|Posted by Simon Ganderton on November 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
As the car was due to be on show for the Exeter Kit Car show we wanted to leave the body off so that the engine and chassis were clear to see. It was also necessary to be able to drive the car on to the trailer for transport. To be able to do this we concentrated on ensuring that the engine was ready to run and all of the dashboard electrics were completed. This also enabled a first test run around the block which was awesome and showed the car's potential. Without windscreens the feeling of speed was disproportionate to any actual speed achieved and the exhaust sounded great from the single, straight through side pipe.
The car looked great on the Ronart stand at the show alongside a completed car also in British Racing Green. Though the show seemed much quieter than previous years it was good to look at the other stands and we used the opportunity to pick up some goodies including Brooklands screens and seat belts.
After the show it was duly delivered home and the build has progressed at great pace. The nose cone was fitted followed by the side panels with their vent grilles and indicator repeaters. After some fiddling to get the panel gaps correct then bonnet hinge mount was fibreglassed onto the bonnet and the bonnet can now be opened and closed. Progress indeed.
The next step to look at fitting the rear section.
|Posted by James on October 25, 2012 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't been updating the blog as frequently as I would like to but there will be lots to come in the near future. I am planning on a full write up on our visit the the Goodwood Revival (where we saw 2 Ronarts) and also the summary of the Exeter Kit Car Show which is yet to commence.
Anyway, as some of you may know, this weekend (27th and 28th of Oct.) is the Exeter Kit Car Show. We attend anually anyway but this year is special. A few weeks ago, Ronart contacted us and asked if the car would be able to come to the show. So, we swiftly agreed and plans have gone forward to take the car to the show. It will be on the Ronart stand alongside a full built Ronart.
We have purposefully taken all body panels (other than the main tub) off of the car, so anybody interested can see the great design of the chassis, etc. We will also be attending the Sunday and may be helping out on the stand by talking to prospective buyers and showing the car to people.
It is always a great time and is very enjoyable. It's great to see new cars on stands, the masses of kit cars parked up and there is always a stunt show! Here is a video of me, having a go on the "Westfield Slalom" It was amazing.
I strongly suggest going down this weekend, it would be great to see a Ronart in the car park!
|Posted by James on August 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't updated the blog in a while, just for the reason that not much has been done!
We made a reinforcement plate for the pedal box which also allowed us to position it in the optimum position. It also allows for future adjustment. We used a 4mm aluminium plate powder coated in black.
With the pedal box mounted, we could now move on to completing the hydraulics and sorting the throttle cable out. The throttle cable worked out brilliantly as we had rebuilt the throttle assembly which mounts on the inlet manifold. It was unnecessarily long and encorporated a cable pull for the old automatic gearbox. With the assembly rebuild and polished up slightly, we fitted it in. The cable pulling mechanism for the gearbox, used a sort of L-shaped lever which came off the pull from the throttle pedal, we kept this lever in the assembly but switched it around. This allows the lever to be used to rev the engine from the engine bay with ease. The throttle cable went together well, using a hook which works brilliantly with the OBP pedal box. The whole lot went together well, and after some adjustment, we found that the pull of the pedal perfectly suited the pull of the throttle lever mentioned above.
On to the hydraulics... The OBP reserviors were mounted first, straight onto the bulkhead with the bracket supplied. Then the float level sensors were fitted in the top. Although, we could not simply hard wire the float levels in because how would you ever open the top of the reservior? So, Dad wired in 4 small Anderson connectors which mount neatly on the bulkhead. This allows each sensor to be unplugged for refilling the reserviors or electrical testing. The cunifer brake pipes were then fitted into place, running from reserviors to cylinders and then down to servos. The flexipipe for the clutch was also fitted.
At this stage, we had already run the engine but only for a short amount of time becuase we had not completed the cooling system. We have been using a home made open pipe for the exhaust. It runs from the XK 120 manifolds down through two pipes and out of the chassis, and as it turns to run down the car, it joins into one big pipe - sounds gorgeous.
We then got the fan fitted to the radiator and bolted the radiator in. We fabricated a bottom pipe from some aluminium and used some stainless steel straps to fix it to the bottom of the radiator. The original XJ pipes were replaced recently buy the previous owner and had stainless jubilee clips too. They fitted on nicely with a bit of trimming. Then came the expansion tank, a standard steel BMC tank was used from one of Dad's old cars. After powder coating, it was fixed in with stainless straps and was ready to go. The electronic temperature control unit for the fan had to be rewired and was refinished with black potting. With that wired in, the cooling system was done. The engine could now be run properly.
At this stage, I managed to persuade Dad into driving the car. Just up and down the driveway, literally only a few metres. Was great to see it rolling. I have also had a little drive myself and it was great fun. The clutch is awesomely heavy compared to driving any other car though, but how else would you stop all that torque from slipping away?
We have also had a bit of fun with the interior. We grabbed the old leather out of the XJ and layed it over the mouldings for the seats. Fortunately, the bottom of the old rear seats fits perfectly over the back of the new seats. This is no exageration either, it is if it's meant to be. The top section of the old front seats also fit brilliantly over the other mouldings. This is great news for us as the plan was always to use the aged, red, perforated leather from the XJ. It will lend the car alot of authenticity and character. This was all just trial fitting, no trim has been finished yet.
Dad has now been moving on to electrics. He has stripped apart the dash loom and added some wires which we specifically want, and moved wires which allow us to change position of gauges etc. He's also changed it up to use a dash mounted ignition switch and start button along side the column mounted key. He has added a set of relays which allow us to use a simple switch for the hazards instead of using a modern switch for them. He has also created another little box of relays which allows us to use a button to switch between dip and full beam. This also allows the lights to be flashed.
Now, the body. We have always said that we want to use the Gelcoat as it is very hard, will not stonechip and means we do not have to spend a few grand on a decent paint job. Although there is one problem, the finish. As the moulds have been used by over 120 cars, they are not in perfect condition. I wouldn't expect them to have been smooth when they were new anyway. This means that the body has a few blemishes and moulding marks that just will not do. So, Dad has borrowed a MOP from a friend and invested in some compound and some sand paper for our air driven DA sander. This weekend, we are looking to roll the body out of the garage and under the carport, this will allow us to flatten the panels and start to get a finish. We want to do this before we fit the interior and everything else becuase it is a very dirty job and the last thing we want is to be cleaning everything.
So, that's where we are at now. Hope you enjoy the new photos that have been uploaded, the car is coming along very quickly. I will keep you posted. I am also thinking about making the blog look a bit more interesting. The posts, so far, have just been complete text, and alot of it. So I'm thinking of going through and adding some media for all to enjoy!
|Posted by James on July 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
We are making very good progress and think that we are, an astonishing, one year ahead of schedule. Now that the body is on, the only tasks to do before we can drive it are: fuel system, hydraulics (brakes, etc.), steering, cooling, electrics and trimming.
I say "to do" but half of those are already done: fuel, steering and almost electrics. We have used two fuel pumps inline but will only be using one at a time. We expect the fuel pump to be the first thing to fail on the car, so have got them both plumbed in and will have them both wired up but to a switch, so when the first fails, we can flick a switch and use the backup. The fuel tank is also on, tied down and sender unit in.
The steering was a relatively easy job, just fit the column, hook up the extender bar, and fit the two UJs that are used. The upper column went in nicely and the bearings are nice and smooth, the UJs and extender bar were painted and then fitted perfectly - no modification needed. The car now steers. I say steers but, although it is 2.6 turns lock to lock, the wheelbase is so long that I cannot imagine the turning circle being good. All part of the fun!
The electrics have worked out well too. I have seen a few cars with "shaved" (hidden electrics etc.) engine bays before and thought it looked great. I told Dad that to keep a nice, mechanical looking, engine bay we should hide the electrics where possible. So, the fuse box and relays are within the cockpit, behind the dash, in their own box. The carpet will run up to it and the electrics will not be visible unless you look for them! The battery has been fitted with its own custom leads. Dad had some 50mm² high current insulated copper cable which now runs from each of the battery terminals.
We have had lots of thought with the placement of the pedal box and have tested different positions and have decided to make a plate that will cover a larger whole, so that, in the future, the pedals' position can be altered. The servos have been hooked up to the brake lines, all that needs doing is to fit the reservoirs and then the pedal box, and it will all be done.
We are just starting to do the plumbing and will be deciding if we need to use new hoses or if the old XJ ones are of satisfactory condition (and could be changed in the future). Little bits have been done though, such as the filler cap has been modified, cleaned up and fitted.
The 80/20 rule really does apply here. For those who do not know of this 80/20 rule, it is that 80% of the progress could be done in just 20% of the time in the project. We had the engine in a rolling chassis within two weeks, this is about 80% of the project complete already, in about 20% of the expected time of our project. Then the next 20% of things to do could take the next 80% of the time left in the project. I hope this is a good explanation of progress in this buid.
I've been pleased to see that we are getting more traffic though the site and even more pleased that there is less of a bounce rate. This means that most people are now staying on the site and having a good read and therfore not "bouncing" away. This is very much down to people who have read the article in Jaguar World and searched for detail on the Ronart and found us. It is also down to other people linking to us, such as Dan Mooney from Classic Jaguar over in the States. Thanks for that. I've also seen people linking to us to give details about the car to other people, on forums and other places.
|Posted by Simon Ganderton on July 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
After a few weeks sorting out minor jobs and ensuring that everything was ready for the body to be fitted, we have finally put the body on. It is a big step forward and the car looks very different with it fitted. Having put all of the wiring in place and routed the speedo cable through the chassis, the body just slid into place and rested on the chassis perfectly. The roll cage mountings lined up allowing the large bolts to pass straight through and the footwells were bolted to the chassis with some small spacers.
The wiring was all passed through two 38 mm holes that we cut in the bottom of the body and the speedo cable and vacuum gauge feed went through with them. This will allow the fuse box to be mounted under the dashboard and all of the dashboard wiring to be hidden inside too.
We cut out the gear lever and handbrake holes in the right places and have fitted the handbrake, this is now all connected up and working correctly. The gear lever needs to be shortened and kinked to put it in a better position. The steering colum has been modified and fitted so we can now sit in the car and pretend to drive whilst holding the Moto-Lita steering wheel!
|Posted by James on June 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
As there hasn't been much activity on the site recently, you may be thinking: "What's going on? Maybe we're just so busy doing the car we don't have enough time for the blog!" The truth is quite the oposite. The reason there has been less activity is that we haven't done much on the car.
Almost everything that needs to be done to get the body on is done, there are just a few parts that we are waiting on before the body can be fitted. We've just been doing little jobs such as the water pump, electrics, alternator and other little things. We have grabbed a set of good E-Type gauges off of eBay, we just need an ammeter.
A lot of this project is not just practicle work though. There is a lot of thinking that needs to be done in between jobs. As this short clip from a well-known show demonstrates.
|Posted by Simon Ganderton on May 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
After some, impressive, initial progress things have slowed down now and we are fiddling with some of the detail parts. We fitted the front and rear brake flexi hoses and have been routing the new cunifer pipes around the chassis. We hit a slight hiccup when one of the pipes didn't reach but after a quick chat with Arthur a longer pipe is on its way.
The wiring loom has been laid over the chassis to check that everything reaches the right places and there are a few tweaks needed to make it perfect. It is important to us to have the loom fitted neatly without being strained as it will not be easy to change once the tub is in place.
The propshaft has been stripped and we are blasting it clean prior to powder coating it. We have chosen to make the propshaft red - just because we can and it will be different.
|Posted by James on May 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
All in just a week...
The suspension was all done and the car was rolling. Every part was assembled with the appropriate grease. Every bush, rubber grease and every nut, copper grease. The nickel plated front arms look great and the powder coated rear arms look better than we thought they would. The springs went in nicely too. The coilovers are great as there are no deadly spring compressors to be playing with. We sat it down on the wheels and were shocked by how low it was, the springs were at their lowest point! After raising the spring height, the car is still wonderfully low.
Then engine was then to go in. Dad borrowed a nice engine crane from work and we got the engine mounts on the block and started to position her in. She lowered in quite nicely, better than expected. Although, we did have to take an engine mount off, get the other side on the chassis and then reposition the engine mount. Easy in general.
Also, we knew this before but the gear lever with have to be cranked or bent forward in some way as it goes too far backward in fourth/second, not forward enough in first/third and also fouls the handbrake.
Next, we will be getting onto brake lines, fuel lines, etc. and doing all other small jobs before getting the tub on!
Oddly, we have been receiving lots of, briefly visiting, traffic from Eastern Europe. I can't figure out a reason for it, but it is a bit of fun as a webmaster.
|Posted by James on May 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
The kit has arrived! On the Thursday, the 10th of May, Arthur came down and we now have the chassis in the garage. Dad and I are very impressed with the quality of the kit and you can see that a lot of attention detail has been taken while building the chassis. We also like that every bit is powder coated.
Now that the engine is fully completed and everything polished, it has been taken outside under the car port for storage until we are ready to put it in the car.
On Friday, the first build day, we refurbished the diff and built up the IRS. It is great to look and and pictures will be up soon. This morning, we managed to position the IRS in the chassis and it is now bolted in. The brand new rear brake lines have also been fitted. We will swiftly be getting the front suspension done too.
We have also been taking the first pictures of the time lapse we will be producing. We've been taking extra care with our pictures to ensure we get a good quality video in the end of it. I think it will be great to look back at the build and see all the little things that are done to produce a Ronart.
Sadly, the site has been moved down to the second page on Google with the keyword "ronart", so I'm going to continue my efforts to improve the site to get us noticed. Although, I'm proud to say that we have returning visitors from 10 different cities in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France. It's great to see that people are interested.
|Posted by James on May 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM||comments (2)|
The expected build duration of a single Ronart kit (just the kit) is 8 weeks. So far, it has been 27 weeks since we made the order. Although this may sound bad, it is actually very good. As you can see from photos and previous blog posts, we have been very busy refurbishing parts and preparing for the arrival of the kit. I say delay but really, it is just taking a bit of time because Ronart have been building a batch of cars and not just ours. The "delay" has worked out perfectly for us as we are almost finished refurbishing everything.
Dad has spoken to Authur and he is taking another Ronart for an IVA when we were going to have it delivered (this Thursday or Friday). So, the new date is Tuesday the 8th of May.
I've been working hard, recently, to get the site a higher ranking on Google and it's paid off. We are now on the first page of Google. This means that the few people who want to find us, can. We've had visitors from up north in York and as far as Germany! (but that's about it :/)