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Mick O'Malley 5th October 2017 06:05

Getting There
Yesterday I set to with organising fitting the front portion of the loom. I first hung the dash with the loom attached from the cave roof in a close approximation of its final position - where would I be without Paracord! I offered up the section that connects (with a multipin) to the previously fitted rear loom, cut it to length, crimped it together and bound it with self-amalgamating tape. I could see that I'd shortly run out of this tape so whizzed indoors and bought a couple more rolls. Ten metres sounds a lot but it soon vanishes....

Every wire now unconnected runs forwards so I popped everything back on the bench and began organising them into two sets. The first and larger part will service the lights; indicators; horn; water and oil gauge senders; alternator and starter solenoid. I loosely cable tied these together and lay them out of the way. What remained are those that connected to the now redundant voltage regulator, fuse box and starter solenoid. I unthreaded the thin brown/green and brown/yellow wires which feed the ignition light, cut them to a suitable length and crimped them together. All the remaining thick brown voltage regulator wires have to be joined in a bundle. It was at this point that I remembered that I'd run out of both blue and yellow straight crimp on connectors which I'll also need for the fuse box wires. Another quick sortie to the computer for some Ebay-ing, paying the princely additional sum of 50p for 1c postage should ensure their arrival today.

As I'd reached an impasse on the wires themselves I dug out the remains of my galvanised 1mm steel sheet and cut some sturdy P clips to locate the chunky section of loom which will run forwards on the side of the passenger footwell. That was it for the day :)

Regards, Mick

froggyman 5th October 2017 07:05

Good progress, dash layout looks great. I like your methodical approach to the wiring which is often lacking with home builds and results in unreliability.I enjoy reading your updates.

Mick O'Malley 6th October 2017 06:02

Harry Houdini? Pah!
Yesterday, before I could thread the front section of the loom through the bulkhead, there were a couple of jobs that needed doing. The first was to bind the two wires which will go to the stop light switch as offering them to its location was one of the 'will it reach' questions I'll need to address.

The next was to make a suitable hole in the bulkhead. Taking the body off and plonking it on the grass with my ever willing son made this much easier. I decided to use the fuse box unit as an escutcheon as it has a neat jumbo grommeted hole. I made a cardboard template, taped it to the bulkhead next to the solenoid, felt tipped the outline onto the GRP, drilled 8mm corner holes and jigsawed them together. I drilled a 5mm locating hole in each long side of the fuse box, offered it up, drilled through the GRP and bolted it in, all done kneeling in the engine bay.

Now the the tricky bit. With the body back on the chassis I hung the dash and loom from the cave roof again. I could see that the tail of the rear section would need a couple more P clips so I cut, drilled and rivetted these in line with the others, at the same 16.5cm spacing. I knew I'd have to lie upside down in the driver's side footwell to thread everything through, and thought back to a couple of months ago when I last performed these gymnastics in the A352.

The pipe to the oil pressure gauge had started to leak at the block end so had to be replaced. The block end took about two minutes but fiddling about behind the dash with no elbow room was real trouble. My back took a good three days to recover from the insertion and extraction manoeuvres: I'm definitely not 21 any more!

With this in mind I lay a folded plastic groundsheet in place to provide slip as the GRP floor is quite grippy, donned head protection in the shape of a beanie, and wriggled into position. The wires behaved themselves at first but a snag presented itself: I'd neglected to remove the cable ties, these wouldn't fit through the grommet and I didn't have any tools with me, aaaaargh! Luckily I managed to worm my 'phone from my pocket and text my son who came to the rescue - his first words - "Are you stuck?" Once he'd passed me the necessary he took a picture of my undignified attitude. Chopping off the ties enabled the rest of the loom to be threaded through. I extricated myself, thankfully without lumbar trauma, and roughly lay the wires in position in the engine bay. The alternator; oil pressure sender and water temp. sender spades fitted fine, there's enough slack for the solenoid and horn connections, but the lights and indicator wires to the offside may need extending. I'd had enough by then so called it a day.

Regards, Mick

p.s. As a complete non-sequitur, whilst typing this BBC Breakfast TV ran an item regarding the new Concorde shed at Filton. I remember well many past visits to Castle Combe, where I'm headed tomorrow, when at around midday this iconic aircraft would pass high overhead on its way to New York. Happy Days!

Mick O'Malley 8th October 2017 08:44

Just a Quickie
On Friday, the nice man delivered my latest Monaco-related Ebay purchase. After scrolling through pages of pedal box search results, and being unpleasantly surprised at the cost of new ones, I hit on this from an MGF. It's eminently adaptable and a further search revealed that matching new master cylinders are reasonably priced. Result, especially as it was only £17.50 including postage!

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 10th October 2017 04:55

Almost there. Maybe.
Before Sunday's sortie to the Cheltenham Literary Festival (two of my moto-travel friends were giving a talk promoting their latest books), I managed a couple of hours or so on the project. The fruits of my labours were more P clips made and riveted in position along the engine bay and over the nose cone for the driver's side gubbins.

Yesterday I started by drilling the holes for the wires which will run into the headlamp pods and fed the wires though. I'm leaving them un-grommeted until the loom's completely wrapped. This left the indicator wires looking rather lonely so I decided to fabricate mounting brackets for the L488s. I decided to have them mounted on the sticky-out bits of the frame where I'd trimmed off (following DVLA guidelines) the redundant parts .

Using the trusted CAD method I soon had their profiles transferred to aluminium sheet. The grommet-sized bit was still in the drill so I made starter-holes and used my 'left hand cut' tin snips to enlarge them to the marked size, just. The holes were about the limit in smallness for this method. A couple of minutes with the bench grinder and a rat-tail file, plus a quick bend in the vice and they were ready for mounting. I used regular 4mm rivets to attach them.

The other day I had ordered my yet-to-be-delivered Stebel Nautilus horn on Ebay. This is the ear-splitting 116db item I fitted to the A352. Scottie's eardrums remember it well from when he tried it in the confines of the man cave :). As the horn button is on the dash, rather than column mounted, I've wired it back to front, as on the A352, with a fused relay. All those decibels need a good few watts! I mounted the relay (it came with a natty little bracket) up inside the nose cone, high enough to be out of the weather. It doesn't look like it in my rather crummy picture, but the purple wires (solenoid to relay, and relay to horn) are 17amp, as the horn's earth wire will be.

Last job was to tightly cable-tie off the junctions between the various legs of the loom so that, once it's removed, I can bind it accurately. This last photo' shows how the end section runs inside the top of the nose. The tails of the P clips won't be bent right up until final loom installation.

That was it for the day.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 11th October 2017 08:40

Double Trouble
Yesterday, as planned, I began binding the front section of the loom with self-amalgamating tape. By the time I'd worked my way back to the alternator/oil and water gauges/distributor junction a doubt had crept into my mind. Haven't I forgotten something? It was the lack of a cable drive connection on the distributor that had triggered it - I hadn't made provision for electronic tachometer wiring. A rummage through the snakes' nest of my spare wires boxes revealed every colour under the sun, bar the white and white with a black twist that are required to maintain my slavish adherence to wiring conventions. I ordered the necessary on Ebay (5 metres of each!) and the nice man has just delivered it :).

As I'd suspended that job I'd decided to have a closer look at the MGF pedal box. It has three M8 tapped mounting holes in its vertical face, perfect for mounting it. The bulkhead in the footwell is too far forward for human legs to reach (Clyde would manage) so I thought I'd attach the box to a temporary wood structure that I could slide back and forth to accurately determine final positioning. On offering up the box to a piece of scrap 13mm ply I saw that the mounting points were misaligned: the donor must have been in a frontal collision. No wonder it was so cheap! I'll stick with the MGF solution despite this setback, but hope one turns up in my local scrapper.

Slightly disillusioned I called it a day. I'm now off down to the cave with my new wire to perform some more binding.

Regards, Mick

Paul L 12th October 2017 05:13

Mick - Sorry to read about your set backs.

As you seemed to be flying through the 'To Do' list recently.

Good luck, Paul. :)

Mick O'Malley 17th October 2017 17:39

Plodding On

Originally Posted by Paul L (Post 91129)
Mick - Sorry to read about your setbacks......Good luck, Paul. :)

Thanks for the encouragement Paul. As my mother used to often say: "It's no fun if it's easy".

I've not had a lot of project time in the last week, but yesterday and today I managed a good few hours in the respectively windy and sunny cave.

My first job was to continue nibbling away at the coaming moulding to provide clearance for the clocks, switches and warning lights. It took about half a dozen revisits before I was happy that the minimum damage commensurate with a sound fit had been done. Surprisingly, despite the amount of GRP removed, the centre section was still very rigid, unlike the 'wings' which are rather floppy.

The next job was to detach the loom, clocks and switches from the dash to facilitate cutting the notch for the steering column. I stowed it away in a stacking tub to await the distant day when it's re-installed in anger. I clamped the dash to the bench and drilled a semi circle of 4mm holes around my paper dot. I joined these to the bottom edge with two hacksaw cuts, removed the scrap and cleaned up the curved portion with a half-round file, use of the rat tail proving unnecessary. To my amazement, I'd measured so accurately (more luck than judgement!) that, on offering it up, the steering column was suspended in its new home. Result!

I fitted the dash to the body and the upper column to the lower section with a block of wood to keep it straight. It all lined up perfectly, another result!

I then put the scuttle brace in position usung my tri-square to ensure correct alignment. I marked its position on the dash, removed same, clamped it to the bench again, and marked and drilled three 5mm holes. Replacing the dash I marked and drilled (on the bench) matching holes in the top of the scuttle brace. Amazingly (again!) they lined up perfectly so I loosely bolted them together.

Not wanting to push my luck (quit while you're ahead!) I called it a day and packed up, well satisfied with my efforts.

Regards, Mick

molleur 17th October 2017 18:06

Good progress, following along.
Some days it's fried chicken, and on others it is merely chicken shit!

Paul will vouch for that.

Mick O'Malley 24th October 2017 06:34

Steering Column Brace
Yesterday, after a few days off, I pitched in with locating the top end of the steering column. I'd purchased a 500mm length of 37x37x3mm angle in ally in anticipation of this job, and offered it up to the bracket on the column, clamping it in position with mole grips. Making sure that it was parallel with the bottom of the dash, I marked the end which would mate with the body with its profile in both planes. I used a pencil taped to a small block of wood to bridge the gap and hacksawed off the scrap.

With the angle mole-gripped in position, its newly cut end snugly against the inside of the body, I marked through the two holes in the column bracket, removed the angle, drilled 6mm holes and bolted it back.

I then made two locating angle brackets, firstly with card, then some of the ally strip I'd used to locate the petrol tank, to fix the RH free end to the body. I clamped these one at a time to the angle, again with the mini mole grips, and marked where to drill it for M5 bolts. After rivetting and bolting it in position with the column still supported by the wood block, I turned my attention to the scuttle brace end.

First job here was to cut a suitable slot in the angle and bend back the side which would mate with the brace. It took a few goes before I was happy with it.

I then cut a small slot in the return on the brace to accommodate the front edge of the unbent end of the angle. With everything sitting nicely I could then mark and drill the 5mm holes to bolt the two together. I removed the wood block and made a realistic attempt at moving the new attachments - they were solid as rock. The only blot was that where the column comes through the slot in the dash, a gap of about 2mm had been overlooked somewhere in the proceedings :rolleyes:. I can easily rectify this with a similar thickness ally spacer between the brace and the column. The ugly protruding end of the angle will be much less obtrusive once it's been painted matt black, the eyes of interested parties hopefully being drawn to the dash.

I dug out the steering wheel which came with the project, popped it on, and wormed into the cockpit. The wheel's boss is very deep, locating it far too close, so a replacement will have to be found. I made a few brmming noises, extricated myself and packed everything away, having once again decided to quit whilst ahead :). Apologies for the pictures having been taken out of sequence, and for the crap one of the body brackets. This last picture shows both the depth of the boss and the heads of the rivets attaching the aforementioned angle brackets.

Regards, Mick

Jaguartvr 24th October 2017 08:59

Looking good, my only concern would be the sharp edges of the metal dash, could do a lot of damage in an accident.
Could you tap them over to produce a small radius?

Mick O'Malley 25th October 2017 04:39

A Short Day

Originally Posted by Jaguartvr (Post 91335)
Looking good, my only concern would be the sharp edges of the metal dash, could do a lot of damage in an accident.
Could you tap them over to produce a small radius?

I'm not sure quite how to finish the edges. They're not sharp as I'd gently profiled them with a fine file. I think maybe I'll use some small section transparent split edging strip which would be quite unobtrusive.

Yesterday I had hoped to make a start on fitting my stainless steel exhaust, kindly delivered last week by Spitfire Steve. I don't have any of the mounting gubbins so some Ebaying or breaker's yarding would have been involved. However, as it was drizzling and I wanted to plonk the body on the grass to access the chassis, this had to be postponed. Maybe today as the forecast is good?

A job I've been putting off is cutting the headlamp holes in the GRP mounting pods, so I decided to tackle that. The first hurdle was how to fix the pod securely to the bench? I drilled matching holes in one of my many ply off-cuts and bolted the pod to it with big washers to spread the load on the GRP. I clamped it in the vice with its free end supported on a piece of scrap wood G-cramped to the bench - it was suitably rigid. Apologies again for crap photo'.

Next problem was what to cut it with? I considered the 'ring of holes' method but discarded that idea because of the amount of filing needed to clean the edges. My solution was to make a super fine padsaw blade by disc cutting a short length of hacksaw blade to size. I drilled three starter holes 120° apart in the marked face of the pod and set to with my new tool. It must have taken a good hour of patient work but I was delighted with the result. I assembled one of my 5¾" headlights and offered it up. It slotted into its new home perfectly, all that was now needed were the holes for the mounting and adjustment screws. My ex-neighbour turned up at this juncture for a coffee and a chin wag and, after he'd gone, being full of cold, I called it a day.

Regards, Mick

softfeet 8th November 2017 14:59

I really like your dashboard - and the rest of the car!
I may have missed it, but what thickness / gauge of aluminium are you using for the dash? And what grade?
It is a balance between too thick (difficult to work, too heavy, difficult to install) and too thin (flexes when switches are used, etc).

Mick O'Malley 9th November 2017 05:52

Dash Saga

Originally Posted by softfeet
I really like your dashboard - and the rest of the car!
I may have missed it, but what thickness / gauge of aluminium are you using for the dash? And what grade?
It is a balance between too thick (difficult to work, too heavy, difficult to install) and too thin (flexes when switches are used, etc).

The alli from which my dash is cut was supplied by a friend who has a workshop. I sent him my own blank with the centres of all the holes marked with a punch with a list of the required diameters. Top bloke that he is, he cut it from a new 3mm blank of unknown (to me) grade. £27 all in!

I had considered doing it all myself, but the problems I'd encountered with my A352 dash (also 3mm unknown grade), especially the mammoth fag of cutting the two 4" holes, made up my mind.

Picture courtesy of Scottie22 :)

At 3mm thick both dashboards are nice and rigid, especially once the clocks are fitted. As long as the fixings to the body are sound (and I'm a big fan of scuttle braces!) 3mm of any reasonably stiff grade will do the job.

Regards, Mick

softfeet 9th November 2017 10:02

Thanks very much for the very helpful and comprehensive answer.

Mick O'Malley 23rd November 2017 07:08

Progress? Not a Lot
I haven't been down the cave much for the best part of a month now, a combination of weather, health and lack of motivation.

Yesterday morning my daily 'Kit Car' search on Ebay brought up this. Lightweight frame and body with one of those bewilderingly popular overweight and huge truck engines doesn't strike me as very good combination. Be interesting to see if anyone's daft enough to shell out two and a half grand for it, especially as it'll need IVA. No mate, just clap the Cortina plates on, you'll be OK :rolleyes:

Regards, Mick

paul_n 23rd November 2017 07:16


Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley (Post 92041)

Yesterday morning my daily 'Kit Car' search on Ebay brought up this. Lightweight frame and body with one of those bewilderingly popular overweight and huge truck engines doesn't strike me as very good combination. Be interesting to see if anyone's daft enough to shell out two and a half grand for it, especially as it'll need IVA. No mate, just clap the Cortina plates on, you'll be OK :rolleyes:

Regards, Mick

Yes I rang that joker a couple years ago inquiring about a NG kit car incorrectly registered as a MGB IIRC , said if he got it correctly registered ' as he said it would be easy ! ' I would come over and look at it.

He said he had never been more insulted in his life and put the phone down on me .....

Shame really as I could have done a much better job of insulting him if I realised that was needed when trying to buy a car from him !

regards Paul

redratbike 23rd November 2017 18:34

Monaco race car ... lightweight race chassis ....cortina logbook all sounds so perfect

Mick O'Malley 25th November 2017 05:25

What a Joker!
I belong to the Moss Owners' Facebook Group: the following post appeared on my feed. Says it all, except 'Caveat Emptor' should maybe have been in red capitals!

'As the original owner of the Yellow Monaco I have to say I laughed when I saw this. I sold the car via eBay to this seller last Saturday for £500 which I was happy to get knowing how difficult it would now be to get it on the road. The advert is (to be diplomatic) riddled with inaccuracies. I ordered it from Moss Cars at Store Street in Sheffield in March 1985 although by the time I collected it in April they had moved to a factory unit on the outskirts of the city. Therefore I owned it 32 years 7 months from April 1985, not 34 years from 1984. Lightweight racing chassis? It has a ladder chassis designed to accept Ford mechanicals and a longer bodyshell than the Spitfire based version so is more likely to be heavier. Lighter and stronger yellow gel coat body? Being longer than the Spitfire version it'll be heavier, nothing special about it other than the colour which was a special order (I believe it to be the only one in that colour). Engine was bog standard out of a 1973 2 litre Cortina, which last ran about 20 years ago and hadn't even been cranked over by hand in the intervening years. No fancy pistons, crank or cam and only ever had a single carb which was still with the car on Saturday. Judging by the photos the engine in it is the one it was sold with a few days ago. For someone who claims to have had 3 Monacos he seemed a little unsure of where the headlamp pods were supposed to go. Make of all this what you will but as ever caveat emptor!'

Regards, Mick

Mister Towed 25th November 2017 07:23

Hmm! There does appear to be quite a bit of misleading information in that listing! I also never take any notice of anyone who over-uses exclamation marks!!!

CPS wouldn't consider it fraudulent though - Lighter and stronger yellow gelcoat body? Yes, Your Honour, these were usually moulded in dark green or dark blue and yellow is a much lighter and stronger colour than either of those...

As for the engine mods, does the 'Night Ridden' crank come with a row of red led's that sweep from side to side across the front grille?

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