How not to build a hot rod.

Published on 3 December 2023 at 09:55

I hate these talented hot rod builders that make it look so easy. Been watching a lot of Ian Rousell's stuff recently and it's weirdly inspiring and frustrating at the same time. Same with Bad Chad - they both look at something, see how it needs to be and get on with it. Obviously it's TV so we never really know how many problems they encounter along the way but they always seem to be much better at planning than I am. For example the other day I did a good bit of the wiring, got so far and then realised that somehow I had forgotten to lay in a fused circuit for the indicators. I had put one in for the hazard lights but as hazards have to work with ignition off and indicators with ignition on you need two feeds. I had planned it all out and bought fuse boxes of the right size, thank God I had some spares available. It was a minor issue but I was rather annoyed with myself.

Then I came to fit all the bits in the center part of the dash and somehow had not left enough room for the Sony head unit to fit where I wanted it. I simply hadn't realised how far down the lower part of the heater housing came and the two items want to share the same bit of space. Bugger. This is not an easy fix, the whole dash layout is going to have to change,, an angle grinder may have to be involved. Oh well, on the plus side it's all good swearing practice, I'm getting really good at that now.

It's really cold in the workshop right now, 4 degrees at best -4 at worst, I need to get a heater in there, you just can't do your best work if you are uncomfortable. I find I try to do things in too much of a hurry and then get a sad on when it all goes wrong. Not sure how I am going to sort out the dash redesign, I shall sleep on that and see where I go with it. Before I get too carried away I need to find or make some vents for the demister - it's a BIVA requirement, even if it wasn't it would be madness not to have some way of keeping the screen clear. I did think of fitting ac but I thought that was a step too far. A Smiths unit designed for a classic mini is what I found so I will make that work.

I also have to consider the speedo. My life would be so much easier if it was permitted to fit a GPS device, sadly, it isn't. I therefore have to find a speedo that is programmable. Most of them are mechanical so the tyre rolling diameter and the gearing in the box and axle all have to match because they do check the speedo for accuracy. What I am going to do is use a Samdo universal motorcycle unit that combines speedo and tacho. They can be configured for a 4 cylinder motorcycle revving up to 12000 rpm so it will be fine for my V8 which red lines at 5500. I can stick magnets on the back wheel to trigger the speedo part of it, they are configurable so that will be one head ache out the way. I could use a Smiths unit at nearly 400 quid, the Samdo is only 60. One word of warning here for anybody going through IVA - you must have the speedo pick up on a driven wheel. Some test centers have twin roller set ups, some single. The car powers the rollers so if you go to a test center with single rollers and the sensor is on the non driven wheels they can't test it. That very thing happened when the Dino went for testing at Derby last month. Oh - another thing just crossed my mind, there are cheap versions of the Samdo all in one speedo available at about half the price. I bought one, it is impossible to calibrate it as the single button set up does not allow you to set the wheel circumference. You have been warned.

Work is now held up again because a courier cancelled my delivery at the last minute yet again, they have now done that 6 times out of 8, it's infuriating. Tracking said it was out for delivery today, the system showed the van being round the corner, then at 14;55 it said, sorry we couldn't deliver.

So all in all, a good week has had last week, this one so far is being an absolute pain.

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