GRP body panel fittingThere are five major GRP panels to fit, the key to a successful assembly is to temporarily join the two sills and the upper central moulding, taped together using Gorilla tape (which is superior to duct tape). The front and rear tubs are then offered up and the position of all of these is adjusted and held in place initially with Gorilla tape and wooden blocks till the gluing stage.
After initial placement, and assuming you have optimal initial placement, you can start drilling holes to fix the sills and central moulding in place a little less tentatively. There is so much depending on the central moulding it was/is not wise to glue this in place at this time.
In terms of complexity and rigour this is the most difficult set of operations on the whole build.
Tasks I have now (must have) completed at this stage:
* Front and rear hinges for the bonnet and engine shroud glued in place.
* Sill end closure plates front and back
* Front and rear harnesses and any attachment to GRP panels.
* Throttle cable routing
* Battery fuse box final bolt down
* Battery holder in place at front near side void
* Heater air duct to driver side only of course
* Brake reservoir mountings
* Rear aero catch locating pin brackets
* Rear alignment pins/buffers
* Front and rear internal access panels
* Wiring fixes/completion/ testing
Corner closure plate fabricationThe Sylva at first sight has very little luggage space, unlike the Westfield which at least has a small boot box. But after thinking about it, the offside sill is completely unused in my build. The Near side sill has the ECU, Battery fuse box and the battery itself. However there is even a space in that sill at the rear, provided you set the closing panels far enough back.
I decided to move the suggested position of closure panels away from that in the build blog to a position to maximise storage space. The space provided by this strategy exceeds that of my Westfield by a good margin. As there was nothing to attach the closing plates to in these locations, I needed to make some alloy curved angle plates which would be bonded to the GRP with Tiger Seal or the like.
I borrowed a shrinking machine for this operation from Aliblast (the chap that did my chassis preparation). I made up 20mm x 40mm angle sections in the bender then fed them into the shrinker on one side. This has the effect of curving the angle section. With some practise you can form any shape within reason. I made 6 curved plates in all if you include the internal access panels behind the seat.
The rear hidden closure plates were a real challenge requiring approx 3 attempts to get them right and water tight. The front closure plates doubles as mud guards for the front wheels.
Alignment pins/buffersI used some parts off ebay for a Triumph TR4/6 bonnet locating cones/buffers made of rubber and bonded on to a unf threaded bolt. A wheel nut and a 19mm socket acted as a tool to shape the receiving plate for the buffers.
LightsAll the lights were installed and tested at this stage, I went down the road of installing an LED E marked numberplate light, wrong move, it did not illuminate the whole of the numberplate. The only one I found (and I tried 3 different types) is one from a Freelander and it illuminates the whole plate because it has two bulbs. To attach the wiring to the grp I used some fibre glass tube and glued them on. The repeaters were attached to the front movable bonnet using the same heat resistant sleving.
WheelsI had trouble understanding the wheel size and tyre options on the Sylva J15. It is determined at the rear by the clearance between the tyre and the GRP rear panel in one direction (Inset) and the mudguard overhang in the other (Poke). I contacted Jeremy and he recommends 185/55/15 on the rear and a slightly smaller tyre size on the front. The wheel size is recommended to be 6J x15" this is mainly driven by the choice or rear calliper. People with 14" wheels do not use the Passat calliper, or they modify it. I put all the data into an on line analyser by Jonathan Rowney(*) and low and behold the problems and restrictions became clear. The data I used other than the standard wheel and tyre stuff is Inner Offset/Inset = 138mm and the Poke/Outer offset is 50mm. In order to get the wheels I already had lying about, with 35mm offset, to fit, was by using 24mm spacers on the rear (I do not know why these spacers are necessary, it is not indicated in the build manual, but they are absolutely necessary on my build). The ideal offset (see on line calculator) with the spacers on the rear is 40mm, front and back, and happens to be the offset that Jeremy recommends. I had a wondrous time trying to find wheels at an economic price with the correct offset but eventually it boiled down to two choices s/h off ebay mainly due to cost. Escort GTI in Cosworth form and wheels from a Mondeo Venora both have a 40mm offset. I chose the Veora wheels because they are not only cheap £100 delivered but also look great (picture to follow).The wheels are currently being refurbished by Alloy Finishings in Airdrie. I have ordered 185/55/15 Yokohama AD08 tyres from Camiskill.
Note: I only arrived at the above solution by making some adjustments to the suspension, otherwise the Inset was too restrictive. If you have trouble in this area mail me.
|Old numberplate light|
|dash area hydralic resivoir fixing|
|Dash area speedo area|
|Front offside dashboard fuse box and switches|
|Offside rear closure|
|Nearside rear closing|
|Wiring outlet to engine|
|Front near battery box|
|Rear engine cover alignment pin/rubber|
|Access panels x 4off|
Still to do before my next outing* Seal grp top panel to sills
* Aero catches front and back 4 off
* Alignment pins/rubbers at front as per rear engine cover successful experiment
* Steering cover panel
Hopefully Angus will take another video
References(*)Access panels: http://www.jupiterblue.co.uk/plastic-circular-access-panel
Offset calculator: http://www.jonathanrowny.com/page/offset-calculator
Alloy Finishings 01236 440411