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Build 2


The front half of the floor panel.


Ready for drilling.


Putting the front half of the floor panel on top of the chassis meant cutting off the bottom of the front bulkheads, flush with the top of the floor panel.


The plan is to to secure and seal the bottom of the front bulkheads (the silver and green panels) to the top of the floor panel (black) at the front of the chassis using some right-angle section aluminium (when I buy some).


I've treated myself to a set of Cleko-Loc temporary fasteners and pliers. So, on the 17th of October I had a long, boring session of measuring, marking, punching, clamping, drilling and de-burring all the panels I've cut so far. This is the rear floor section being done.



Sunday's big job is to bolt the Firefox chassis to the Metro subframe. This is a crucial stage - if it doesn't fit, I've got major problems! Joining the two will enable me to measure where the lower steering column comes out through the O/S/F bulkhead, so that a suitable hole can be made.

With the rear of the chassis secured to my trolley jack, I offered the chassis up to the subframe. The O/S lower (1) and centre (2) mountings fitted perfectly. There will be more thread protruding through the centre mount after I've turned the top arm spindle around - I've put it in back to front!  The centre mounting hole on the N/S needed a little work with a file, as it was slightly too high.

Note: Using the flash on my digital camera (a Fuji FinePix 1400 Zoom) makes everything appear more rusty than it really is.


With the centre and lower mountings on both sides fitted, the top mountings were drilled and bolted in position. Ignore item 1 - it's a tripod leg.


The chassis bolted to the subframe. I'm very relieved that this went together so easily, as it means that the chassis is very accurately made and also that my subframe hasn't been bent or damaged over the years. I think a lunchtime beer is in order!


The top of the lower universal joint came VERY close to one of the front chassis members. Although it's not actually touching (I should have taken this picture from a slightly higher position), I thought it was a bit too close for comfort.


To gain extra clearance I rotated the rack rearwards slightly. First, I filed an angle on the bottom of the O/S rack mount...


...then put a washer behind the top of the mount. The N/S mount is a simple tube clamp that when slackened allows the rack to be rotated.


That's better.


With the chassis and subframe mated, I refitted the pedal box and the upper steering column. Two planks were then made into a temporary seat and I climbed in to check the driving position - very promising. The shortened pedals meant that my legs were almost straight, and the steering wheel is not too far away. Just how I like it. That huge Rover wheel will have to go though.

After fitting these bits, the front half starts to look very much like a rolling chassis with engine, transmission, suspension and steering. If I had some shock absorbers, I could fit the front wheels and push the car around using the trolley jack at the rear. I must order the shocks and springs this week.


I've even temporarily mounted the roll bar, to make sure it fits. The drilled front floor panel can be seen on the right.

One disadvantage of doing this "dry" build before the powder coating is that after each weekend session, all panels and parts fitted are then removed again. So, apart from an ever-increasing number of small holes, the chassis looks exactly the same as it did on collection day.

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