Modules 1 & 2

Things started of very quickly, because I had 2 days off work, and after this I'd completed the front and rear suspension. This was a bit concerning because I couldn't afford the next bits. Since then I've only been doing it in spare time and so things have slowed down considerably.

Rear Suspension

Here's the rear end, yes it is a live axle for reasons previously explained! This went together really quickly and pretty much without any problems. I did wonder why the diff input flange was off-centre in the tunnel but being as it doesn't come out of the centre of the diff I guess it has to be. Still think this might lead to a diagonal propshaft/angled engine installation though. We'll see. With the 4 trailing arms and the panhard rod, it's a pretty solid installation. Hopefully it'll handle well, I'm not bothered about bumpiness. Must remember to put oil in the axle before any part built drive's around the cul-de-sac. I mounted the pedal box too.

Front Suspension

Front wishbones all went on with no hassle. The headlamp mounts took a bit of filing, as they always seem to do so.

I'm not sure why the shock-absorbers have to go on upside-down, but they do... The gold blocks that fit to the ball joints, and then hold the uprights on, were the hardest bit upto this point. The balljoints just rotated without tightening. After an hour of getting frustrated I found that putting a large socket over the threaded bit and wacking it pushed them far enough down the taper in order to be able to tighten them.

Uprights and cycle wing brackets fitted. The wing brackets took a bit of filing, and they're still not in exactly the same positions as each other. The uprights are pretty heavy. These are the Westfield's own ones. I'd imagine Cortina ones are a bit heavier. Order me some alloy ones please.

Brakes and Wiring etc.

Once all these big bits were on I was convinced I'd be finished in no time at all, but with the end of my time off it's slowed down. The last remaining bits such as the steering column and steering rack were bolted on before I began the daunting task of fitting the brake pipes. Brakes are fairly important so I cant say I enjoyed this. The brake pipes look all to easy to kink or split and the unions all to easy to cross thread. If you can see enough detail in these pictures, I think I've done quite a good job.

Pretty much complete rear end with fuel pipe and brake pipe exiting from the tunnel. 95% complete handbrake (Can you spot what still needs doing? This was due to missing parts)

The front, showing the steering rack, and the brake pipes mounted along the chassis rails. Hopefully the place where they curve around 270 degree's to meet the flexible hose brackets will not get in the way when the engine is being lowered in. The flexible hoses supplied were the wrong ones and were stretched when a full steering lock. Quickly replaced by Westfield.

Here's the view down the tunnel from the engine bay. The build manual says to run the pipes under the floor. I thought long and hard about this. I doubt they'd get grounded in normal running, althought there's some nasty square speed bump things on one of my regular routes, but some idiot at the tracking garage or something might jack it from under the floor. The problem with running them along the tunnel is that the propshaft will go up and down being as it is a live axle. I spent a long time deciding on the exact route. The brake pipe is the higher of the two in this picture and go's over the top of the handbrake mounting pieces. The fuel pipe goes below. They both exit the rear of the tunnel above the plate which the handbrake cables are routed through, and the pipes are higher than the bottom of the handbrake lever/compensator. So if anything gets mangled, it'll be this first. I'm 75% confident with this at the moment, I'll be 99% once the engine and gearbox are fitted. Any comments? I guess it must be similar on the Striker.

Spent most of a weekend making up a bracket for the handbrake warning switch, not shown here. Fiddly and awkward. Westfield supplied the switch, but I'm not sure if they were supposed to or not being as it's a live axled car. The place is there on the loom for it, and it's semi-required for SVA (because it acts as a brake warning light test switch), so I found a way to fit it.

I've now put fluid in the brakes, and quickly bled them. Things seem to work, and there's no leaks. Being as my mini's all had manually adjusted drums, taking the rear drum off and pumping the brakes whilst watching the cylinder turned out to be silly as it took me 20 minutes to work out how to back off the self adjustment in order to get the drum back on again.

Here's the wiring loom, this is my next job, once I've got everything tidyed up and completed some loose ends. I dont foresee too much trouble in fitting this.

Currently thinking of ordering the engine and gearbox etc. with an ETA of start of October.