July 18th, 2007

Working on it

Minor update

Fenchurch is back on the road!
Fenchurch parked on the drive

In the past few days, we've:
  • Fitted the sliding rear windows. This turned out to be rather a pig of a job that took two of us six hours to do.
  • Fitted the rear doors.
  • Fitted replacement closing panels (the bit that goes between the foot rail and the floor pan). I was a bit annoyed at how the manufacturer has managed to get such a simple panel so wrong that there's a small gap at the front of the rear wheel arch that will allow water to get to the back of the foot rails. If I hadn't been so pressed for time I'd have welded an extra bit on the end.
  • Reattached all the various bits and pieces to the front doors. The second one went a bit easier than the first because I'd figured out the best order to assemble it in: regulator, glass, latch, escutcheon, door top, touch seals, inner door handle. The spacer thingy can go on either before or after the door top - it's just as awkward either way round. Bizarrely the top passenger-side door hinge appears to have become about 2mm too thick since I dismantled the car, and that door doesn't shut too nicely as a result. Also, I guessed wrongly where to drill the holes for the passenger door mirror (I found a photo online showing where somebody else had fitted their driver's door mirror and copied it - Fenchurch's driver's mirror is in the right place but the passenger one is much too far forward).
  • Sprayed Dinitrol rustproofing wax in all the cavities and the underside. I've only applied a coat of the thin stuff so far - I've also got some thicker stuff to go on the underside that's supposed to be less likely to wash off under sustained road spray. I used about 3 litres, which is a couple of litres less than I was expecting to use, and I wasn't stingy with the application either.
  • Put the wheels back on.
  • Drove home.

I didn't flog her at all, but I was again pleasantly surprised by how much power her little 1098cc engine has. On the motorway she cruised comfortably at 65MPH with barely any throttle. The indicator relay box acted up a bit again at first but it seemed to fix itself after indicating on a couple of roundabouts. Probably just disused contacts cleaning themselves up. The engine was making a quiet tapping sound for a while that I thought might be a badly adjusted tappet, but it stopped doing it while going around another roundabout.

After working late every night for weeks on this I just want to rest for a week now, but I have about a day to prepare for the programme items I'm doing at Year of the Teledu, then less than three weeks to prepare for the Land's End to Orkney rally. After that, if I'm still in one piece, I'll probably collapse and sleep for about a month.