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Day 14 & 15

The door prefit was the first job. This involved drilling the holes for the door hinges, and fitting these and the gas struts to the car, before drilling the doors (all bolt holes are marked in the doors, then adjusted later as the hinge assemblies allow for some adjustment) and bolting the doors to the hinges loosely. The top door hinge was slightly different, as the rose joint had to be adjusted with the hinge attached to the door, then the hinge could be screwed into the recess in the bodywork. Once this was done, the hinge support was removed and carefully filed to shape to match the profile curve of the bodywork.

Whilst the access panels were still off the central bodywork section to allow access to the door hinges, the indicator repeater lights were clipped into position and connected to the wiring loom. The holes in the bodywork were pre cut and the lights fitted with no modification necessary.

The rear alloy bulkhead was cut to shape and fitted to the rear of the cockpit section using the rivet and bonding technique used to fit the alloy panels to the chassis. This is in plain view when the rear clam is open for engine access, so it was important to get the rivets straight and even – even more so than the original panelling. Once this was fitted into place, it further stiffened the cockpit section and allowed the interior trimming to begin.

The rear alloy panel rivetted into place

The first bit of trimming of the Ultima interior was the carpeting to the rear bulkhead. This was a two person job, as it was held in place and roughly cut to shape – fortunately we had been prudent enough to buy a small electric carpet cutter, which made the job very quick and easy. Once roughly cut to shape and the slots and holes were cut into the carpet for the roll bars to go through, the roughly to shape carpet was put into place behind the roll cage, making sure it fitted neatly round the roll hoops, and then the edges were neatly trimmed so they tucked into the edges of the bodywork. Once fully cut and all tucked into position as a ‘dry run’, the edges were un-tucked and the carpet was folded back to allow application of the adhesive. The manual suggested using impact adhesive in the traditional way; applying to both sides then forming a bond on impact of the two surfaces; however because of the tight fit of the carpet between the roll cage and the bulkhead (see picture below), the adhesive was just smeared carefully onto the bulkhead and then the carpet pressed against it. This seemed to work well, as the carpet remained in place, and the edges were all tucked in carefully to make the job as neat as possible.

The rear bulkhead carpet

The same technique was used for the floor carpet, all be-it easier as the carpet was much smaller, since the floor carpet was done in two stages, with a join between the seat recess and the section of floor that would actually be visible. The only tricky bit here was fitting the carpet into the recess of the floor where the seats went, due to the difficult profile of the steel floor. However with some careful and crafty work with the carpet cutter this was done, and the carpet was fitted round the handbrake fixing brackets neatly too. The holes were drilled through the carpet from the underside once the carpet had been bonded into place using impact adhesive once again.

A few small but significant jobs were also done by other team members as some worked on the interior carpets – the covers were fitted to the rear of the front lights, and then came the task of fitting the front light lenses. This was a particularly difficult job since it involved getting a perfectly even and precisely straight mastic line round the edge of the lenses. This was achieved by putting a border of masking tape on the inside of the lens, and carefully marking out an even line 15mm away from the edge of the lens right round the border. This was then carefully cut out with a scalpel and peeled off, so the inner area of the lens was masked off, leaving only a 15mm border round the edge. This was done with the lens placed on a soft cloth, as the polycarbonate lens scratch very easily. The mastic was then applied round the edge, and evened out using a gloved finger, the glove was then disposed of. Getting the correct amount of mastic on is important; too much and it will ooze out into the light unit, too little and it will not stick or not be watertight. As luck would have it, both went on without any major errors in judgement, and they were held on with masking tape whilst the mastic set. Once dry, a layer of mastic was put in the groove between the polycarbonate and the bodywork, and smoothed over to give a flush transition between the lens and body.

The masking tape holding the lens in place whilst the adhesive dries

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Just Doors UK sponsoring MacG Racing
PTR Exhausts
Braid Wheels
AWS Racewear sponsoring MacG Racing
Quantum Racing Suspension sponsors MacG Racing
Albins Performance Transmissions sponsors MacG Racing
Rotary Revs Logo

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