Having begun and, unbelievably, finished the throttle linkage in one day, I was just reminding myself that this has to be the pattern for the rest of the project. With only 8 months to go, every hour is going to count.
I started the day by finishing off the holes and washer plates for the rear cockpit brace.
Because of the angle of the vertical post, each of the washer plates had to be cut, filed and welded back together again to make sure everything was in the right place.
It seems an awful lot of nuts and bolts but the net effect is rather solid. I salvaged a couple of the old forged right-angled brackets from the original Hillman body and have included those – one each side – at the bottom of the rear posts. The channel along the top of the brace will hold the ash beam to give shape to the rear of the cockpit. I’ve just got a couple of bits of metal yet to cut out and they’ll tie the wood together at the rear of the car. I can start then to sand down the frame ready for the plywood inner skin but I’m not going to rush into that because it’s still quite handy for the moment to be able to get at things through the sides.
Another pressing consideration is the electrics. I like to have the fuses and relays and so on, as accessible as possible and I’m trying to think of a way of utilising the space behind the dash – it’s the obvious place but you always end up upside down and dropping a screwdriver in your eye when repairing something. I don’t want to create a hatch in the scuttle – the easy solution – because that’ll compromise the integrity of the structure so the jury’s still out on that one. The battery I’ve more or less decided to put at the back, mounted on the chassis and between the body and the rear wing. As I’m going to cover with an aluminium sheet the space between the chassis and the tank, I’m less concerned about the battery’s proximity to the fuel.
For the throttle linkage, I ferreted about in the box of stuff that I removed from the Hillman when I first stripped it down. I’d put parts of the old linkage away and all I needed to do was make up a couple of bearing blocks for the cross shaft and fiddle about with the rod lengths until I got it about right.
The bearing blocks are aluminium into which I’ve introduced a bronze bush. I put an oil hole in the top and then decided they’d look nice with a grease nipple. The bodies are threaded and bolted from the other side of the firewall. I thought it was going to be a difficult job but, having all the original rods and rod ends to hand, it went like a dream. With the accelerator pedal fully depressed (allowing for the thickness of the carpet) the stop on the carb is about 1/16th” away from full chat.
That’s good enough for me.