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Car photographer 16th July 2017 17:57

click on the image itself first - and it should open up the page with that as an option

it's not letting me share it but I'm presuming that's because it's not my image (could be wrong though)

Mick O'Malley 16th July 2017 18:04


Originally Posted by Car photographer

I can't find a screen like that one, must be doing something wrong?

Regards, Mick

Nope, nothing like that available. Bizarre!

Mick O'Malley 16th July 2017 18:19


Originally Posted by Car photographer (Post 89505)
click on the image itself first - and it should open up the page with that as an option

it's not letting me share it but I'm presuming that's because it's not my image (could be wrong though)

I've found the hoops they need me to jump through, at last. Pictures now in original post.

Many thanks!

Regards, Mick

Car photographer 16th July 2017 19:00


Jaguartvr 10th September 2017 09:52

Any updates on the Moss?

Mick O'Malley 11th September 2017 08:21

Not a lot............

Originally Posted by Jaguartvr (Post 90521)
Any updates on the Moss?

Not a huge deal of progress made over the summer months. There was a long wait for my latest batch of welding jobs to be done by my contact of almost 40 years as he has had staffing problems at a very busy time: his real work takes precedence! I've been driving the A352 'D' quite a bit and have had a holiday so the months seem to have flown by.

Anyway, at last my extended gear change remote, hand brake lever mounting plate and multiplier lever mounting bracket are ready for installation. I've now realised that final bolting of the body to the chassis will be almost the last job of all as being able to pop it off facilitates so many of the building tasks.

I've run the battery cables from the 'boot', through the transmission tunnel, to the starter solenoid and cranking motor mounting bolt respectively, with an isolation switch in the +ve. Working out how to crimp the terminal eyes caused a bit of head scratching until I hit on using my water pump pliers with inch box over the arms to multiply the effort. This worked a treat :).

Careful measuring of the limited space for the handbrake effort multiplier lever showed that it could be used, slightly modified, as the manufacturer intended, rather than by my previous idea. The problem of shortening the primary cable was overcome by substituting a length of angle cut from some scrap box section. I've angled the mounting hole in the top of the tunnel to align said rod with the business end of the multiplier lever. As soon as a dry day comes I'll bolt the handbrake bits and gear lever in position with the body off. End of part one.

Mick O'Malley 11th September 2017 09:29

Not a lot, part two...............
This weekend I dug out the loom which I'd carefully wound into sections secured with cable ties. Offering it up to the body revealed two problems 1) The front section for the lights and indicators is missing. This isn't a great problem as 'Spitfire Steve' can bring me one when he drops off my stainless steel exhaust on his next foray up the M5. 2) The rear lights and indicators, being wing mounted, will need their cables routed along the wing stays. Offering up the brackets supplied revealed that, not only are they substantially over-engineered for the lightweight GRP wings, but they're designed for bolting to some other style of chassis frame. Scratchbuilding will be required!

Here are a few pictures of the various bits and pieces mentioned above.

I'll need to create an access panel to fold up the P clips holding the earth lead once the body is mounted.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 13th September 2017 07:58

More Body Mounts and Wiring
On Monday I decided to finish off the body mounting hardware. This involved visiting my local fixings supplier where their warehouseman supplied the imperial screws I needed. He's dug me out umpteen times over the years, never failing to have in stock the obscure threads and lengths I've requested. :)

I had considered using large flat washers to spread the load on the inside of the body, but decided to cut some bigger spreader plates. Under the seating area there are two long ones to be bolted through to two manufacturer's body mounting tappings and two redundant seat belt tappings, the Monaco seats being well aft of the Spitfire position. The picture below shows the 12 mountings: the front four attach the floppy front body; the next two through the angled outriggers; then the inboard seat belt tappings; then the aforementioned original body mounting tappings; the last two into the rear suspension bridge. Once these are all finally in place I don't think the body will be detaching itself in a hurry!

I next turned my attention to the rear loom. As the layout of the various electrical components is significantly different from the Spitfire I decided to re-manufacture it. I've done this on previous projects: my Lomax 224 two years ago being the last. I really enjoy wiring, especially binding my creation with self-amalgamating tape before fitting. The part I don't like is removing the manufacturer's sticky tape underneath. It's just so messy. Once I'd separated the wires I gave each a wipe with acetone so they're now ready to be cut to length; bound together; and fitted with their connectors. I bought a spotlight as a reversing lamp (it hasn't arrived yet - picture will follow) - the loom has provision for this.

To make sure the wiring doesn't come up short I drilled the rear wings for the lights and indicators, balanced them in position and carefully measured the loom runs. I first had the indicators below the lights but transposed them as I thought they looked better that way around.

This last picture is of the modified radius arm mountings which will bolt through the floor. I doubt this will be strong enough so some sort of anchoring strap to the angled outriggers will be needed.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 13th September 2017 16:53

Earths and Battery
Today I concentrated (between showers) on the battery area of the 'boot'. In my box of electrical bits and pieces I found a terminal block for earthing? The screws for clamping the wires were the right size for mounting three double ended 6mm spades (from Volks Spares) to the block, the fourth clamps being used as intended to secure a spare length of 6mm diameter cable. To the other end of this I crimped an 8mm eyelet connector which will go behind the battery earth clamp pinch bolt. Once it's bolted to the boot floor just below where the rear loom will run, the six spades will provide sound and hopefully corrosion proof earth connections for all the rear electrics :). The picture also shows my Heath Robinson heavy duty crimping tool.

I next pondered the attachment of the battery to the wooden boot floor. I built up stepped strips from 12mm ply which fit nicely over the end flanges on the bottom of the battery and screwed them to the floor. A similar strip is across the back. In a bag of bits which might come in useful I found some straps which originally held down BMW motorcycles in their delivery crates. I cut one of these to suit and fixed it to secure the battery fore and aft. Once the sun comes out I'll post a picture of this arrangement. It isn't pretty but it's very secure.

Regards, Mick

Paul L 13th September 2017 21:53

Good to see you are still chipping away. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

Feel free to post photos of your A352 'D' out and around "next door". :icon_wink:

Mick O'Malley 15th September 2017 09:27

As Promised :)
Here's the picture of my battery restraint system and earth block. I had to buy a new +ve battery clamp when the one that matched the earth proved too small. 'I'll just lever it open a little' - it promtly snapped in half. Monkey metal! Buy cheap, pay twice :rolleyes:

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 16th September 2017 09:22

Reversing Light and Battery Clamp
Yesterday my jumbo old-skool reversing light arrived. Down in the man cave I was eager to ensure that it worked. Touching the wires to the battery resulted in a flash which left a few copper strands welded to one of the posts. Hmmm? I drilled out the rivet (which should surely have been a self-tapper?) to access the innards and connected just the bulb to the battery. It lit correctly. Hmmm? I cleaned all the contact areas on both the bulb and its holder, paying particular attention to the area around the fibre insulator under the +ve. Bulb in holder test? OK. Hmmm? I noticed a small area of discolouration inside the bowl opposite where the +ve bulb holder would sit. Emery and acetone ensured a surgically clean area for a small square of insulating tape. I did the same to the offending area of the bulb holder. On re-assembly it worked perfectly :). Interestingly, despite the lens having the moulded legends 'Lucas' and 'Made in England', the sticker on the back of the reflector was 'Bosch'!

I carefully slackened then cleaned the mounting bolts after WD40ing them, drilled a mounting hole and balanced my new toy (and number plate) in position for the shot below. The space to the right of the plate awaits a suitably distressed AA GB pressed metal badge. I also have a boot rack so the rear end of my creation will look suitably busy.

The monkey-metal battery clamp. Its replacement is very sturdy!

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 20th September 2017 08:05

Yesterday the nice man brought my distressed AA GB metal badge. After freeing it from its bumper mounting plate I gave it a mild clean with WD40 taking care to not destroy any character. I opened up the mounting holes to take number plate bolts and offered it up to the project, held by a loop of gaffer tape. Once I was happy with its positioning I drilled the body and loosely mounted it together with the other rear-end bits and pieces. I really like the busy look which I'm sure will elicit many WTF? moments from following motorists once I'm on the road.

I then turned my attention to the rear loom. Working on the outside of the car (to ensure everything was a little longer than necessary) I cut all the individual wires to length, loosely gaffer taped them to the body in their respective sets and joined them at their ends and junctions with insulating tape. Last preparation job was crimping on the female earth spade connectors for my overkill earthing block. I used my new Machine Mart ratchet crimping pliers for the first time. They're a little awkward to handle but they do an amazingly secure job! My creation was now ready for binding with self-amalgamating tape. I really enjoy this, something to do with its being shiny and new maybe? It took a good couple of hours (in the sunshine :) ) to complete. I deliberately left untrimmed the part to be joined to the front loom so that it can be mated tidily when the time comes.

Not my best picture ever but it does show the general layout from front to back.

I then let my son loose with my easy-tongs riveter while I held the ally P clips in place inside the rear body. I used the utterly unnecessary 'Dreadnought' rivets purely because I love the look of them :). Installation of my baby will be today.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 20th September 2017 17:04

No Problems Looming
Today I spent threading the ends of my 'new' rear loom through the relevant holes in the body, loosely folding over the retaining 'P' clips and connecting the earth spades. Once everything was to my satisfaction I tightly folded the clips to immobilise the cable runs. I also drilled a hole in the rear bulkhead, threaded the forward section through and secured it to the inside of the body with more riveted on ally clips. I taped or coiled the external cables out of the way, awaiting the long distant day when they'll carry current in anger. Very last job was to perform a final continuity test which proved positive all round :)

I routed the driver's side 'over the top' on the 'great circle' principle.

The spider-like earth matrix will be concealed by the battery; the hole to the outside will eventually be blanked off with an ally plate.

Primitive, but effective. The rivets are in a straight line parallel with the ground when viewed from outside.

Not sure how I got the reversing lamp wiring quite so overlong, but better that than too short :rolleyes:

Regards, Mick

molleur 20th September 2017 17:25

Electrifying news! Looks neat.

Barber 20th September 2017 18:11

Electrickery, aaaaaagh, you might as well be speaking Polish.

Mick O'Malley 23rd September 2017 08:03

Head Scratching Time
On Thursday I lay the front section of my pre-owned loom along the Monaco in a rough approximation of its eventual location. It was obvious that, due to the rearward cockpit position compared to the Spitfire, alteration was necessary. The choice was which side of the bulkhead to extend? Further close examination of the loom's layout compared to that of my dash blank and alternator/headlamps/indicators made the answer obvious. Both! I think I'm going to have to take it apart and rebuild it as I did for the rear section. When I was discussing buying the chassis frame I innocently asked the vendor if he had a loom - yes, I'll throw it in for another fifty quid he replied. It's definitely not for a Spitfire! However, the standardised colouring used in British cars of the period means that it's not difficult to work out what's what.

A marathon (albeit interesting and challenging) task awaits to brighten the dark winter days :) by Mick O'Malley, on Flickr

I couldn't use Phukubucket as it's been tweaked to prevent copying the url. The land of the free :rolleyes:. Not.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 29th September 2017 10:42

More Looming
Over the last few days work on the front section of the loom has been progressing. My first task, after donning the customs officer gloves, was to remove both the self-amalgamating tape and the horrible sticky tape wound around each junction and terminus. I replaced the latter with loose-ish cable ties as I went along to preserve the layout.

A couple of weeks ago I was pondering how to shoehorn my dash into the scuttle without its interfering with the gear lever/steering column brace/scuttle brace. I hit on the idea of having a bend in it in a similar fashion to my A352. I made a cardboard template marked with the instrument/switch locations and offered it up with a couple of trial folds before bending the real thing. Once I'd decided I clamped the dash blank to the workbench with a length of inch box packing and, using a block of 8" x 4" wood, bent it to the required angle. It will now sit further to the nearside with the instruments central.

Next job was to fit all the clocks and switches to the dash, reverse it and lie the naked loom along in the correct orientation. I then commenced connecting everything, feeding the cables through the ties to shorten or lengthen them as necessary. I removed the redundant wiper wires whilst I was at it. I then realised that I hadn't made holes for the dipswitch and horn cables so I left sufficient slack in them to feed through. I searched in vain for a voltage stabiliser so bought a solid state one on eBay which arrived this morning. I've also ordered in-line blade fuse holders and a two pin flasher unit. I'll also need a switch, warning light and dash holes for the reversing lamp, as I hadn't originally anticipated fitting one.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that there are no earth wires - these will be the last fitments once I'm happy with all the positives. Hopefully, my next update will detail finishing the dash connections prior to moving on to the engine bay. Happy Days!

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 3rd October 2017 06:50

Dashing Around
Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet, cut my dashboard to match the scuttle's profile, and temporarily fit it.

I first made a cardboard copy of the dash as the real thing's a little unwieldy, removed the scuttle and hung it over the workbench. I was then able to easily manoeuvre the cardboard until I was satisfied that it sat correctly. I then marked the top corner cuts and the mounting bolt holes and, after returning the scuttle moulding to the body, transferred the marks from the cardboard to the real dash.

I clamped the dash to the worktop and cut as much as possible with my jigsaw. The size of its shoe meant that I had to complete the longer of the cuts with my padsaw. I then filed the cut edges smooth and drilled the 5mm mounting holes.

I stuck the dash to the scuttle with loops of gaffer tape, carefully marked through the holes, drilled the fibreglass and loosely mounted the dash with M5 bolts.

Next job was to make a cardboard scuttle brace as a template before cutting the folded aluminium that will be the real thing. I stuck in in place with more gaffer tape.

I tidied everything away as I'd arranged to pick up an eBay item I'd won. It's a rear hub puller I need to replace the off side bearing on the A352 which was an advisory last test. The seller (and his wife, who immediately took some pictures) was very impressed with the beast. He opened his garage to reveal an Elan +2 in metallic blue with a silver roof. Beautiful! As ever, I hadn't taken my camera with me - sorry!

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 4th October 2017 05:53

Mr Thickie!!! (with apologies to Lt George)
As I wandered down to the sunlit but somewhat chilly man cave yesterday morning I was feeling pleased with recent progress and was looking forward to finalising my dash and scuttle brace installation. This reverie was rudely shattered when I realised that I hadn't taken account of the steering column! Once my rage at my stupidity had subsided a little I pondered the options. Cut a hole for the column through the tacho. with a thermic lance? Probably not. More measuring (with brain in gear this time) showed that raising the dash by 44mm and cutting a recess for the column would solve the problem. Five new 5mm mounting holes later it was back in the car in its elevated position; the white paper dot being where the column will run. I'll probably fill the redundant holes with my dreadnought rivets.

I appreciate that it looks as though it'll be stuck out in the elements but the rake of the wind deflector will cover it nicely.

Luckily for me I'd suspended operations the previous day before cutting the scuttle brace which would, of course, have been too short. Half an hour with the jigsaw and files and it was resting in position :).

I then removed the scuttle with dash attached, hung it over the bench again and carefully marked the GRP where it will need to be cut for the gubbins sticking out of the back of the dash. This done, I remounted the clocks and switches into the dash, added the reversing light switch and warning lamp, popped the horn and dipswitch wires through their grommets, and set to with wiring the earths for the panel lights, voltmeter, accessory socket etc. Once again my new Machine Mart ratchet crimping tool came into its own: it really is light years ahead of the flimsy combination cutter/stripper/crimper I've used for the last five decades!

Once my newly made black insulated earth festoons were in place I called it a day.

Regards, Mick

p.s. Don't forget the Castle Combe Classic meeting this Saturday - unmissable!

Mick O'Malley 5th October 2017 07:05

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 08:05

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 07:02

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 09:44

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 05:55

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 09:40

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 06:13

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 18:39

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 19:06

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 07:34

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 09:59

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 05:39

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 15:59

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 06:52

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 11:02

Thanks very much for the very helpful and comprehensive answer.

Mick O'Malley 23rd November 2017 08:08

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 08:16


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 19:34

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

Mick O'Malley 25th November 2017 06:25

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 08:23

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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