Baja Rebuild Diary - November
More News About My Baja 5th November 2001

During the week I finished painting inside the cargo area and inside with black kill rust in preparation for the hood lining.
Then on Saturday morning Rod came over and covered my roof and cargo area in a mid grey marine carpet type material. He did a real good job, and quite quickly too. Then me and my mate Dave put my 4 permanent windows in the car. Putting in windows is an absolute pain in the bum. Especially with new stiff rubber window seals. Now I can start putting most of the interior back in the car. I just need to weld up the relocated steering column hole and then the steering column part of the body lift kit will be completed.

Hopefully it'll be on the road in two weeks.

Thought I'd add a piccy! Looks a bit blurry though, Rhys didn't hold the camera still enough.

Here's some more pics of the body on the pan. They should be in last weeks entry, but the October page is getting a bit too slow to load with all the pics it has.

More News About My Baja 13th November 2001

I have been so busy moving my site I almost forgot to update my diary.

I have been playing with the wiring. It is trickier than normal because someone oversprayed all the wiring, so you can't tell what colour any of the wires are. It makes it more fun, not.

I relocated the steering column hole. It was a huge pain in the butt. I cut the steering column body tube thingy out of the body. Elongated the hole left in the body by 2 inches. Bolted the steering together to check everything lines up, then tacked the tube in place. Pull the steering column back out and welded the tube in place. It was a mongrel to weld because of where it was. I had to contort my body to get in the right position to weld it. I also cut out some cover plates to cover the holes from the elongation, and welded those plates on. Sitting under the dash trying to weld is not much fun. But it all looks good now and that's all that matters I guess.

I put the bonnet on. Which was tricky. It didn't fit at first. When I had the radio holes in the dash welded up, the panel beater did a lot of shrinking with an oxy. Unfortunately that pulled down on the dash, which made the body where the windscreen washer nozzle is go upwards. So it was too high and the bonnet wouldn't fit. I had no choice but to bend it back. It would've been ok if there was no paint on the car, but there was, so the paint cracked a very small amount. Frustrating.

I also pull the engine back out quickly to put the chrome firewall in. You can't get it in there with the engine in the way. I've also been playing with fuel lines, fuel pumps, fuel tanks and fenders.

Hopefully the car will be drivable this weekend.

More News About My Baja 19th November 2001

I said last week that hopefully the car will be drivable by this weekend, and I'm glad to say that it is drivable. I took it for a quick lap of the yard and had a go at a quick hill climb, since I've had withdrawal symptoms since I pull the car apart. At the moment it is loud inside since there is virtually no interior in it. Spinning both back tyres on the bitumen is not much of a problem now.

The car is not quite road legal yet, as I have a bit of wiring and other annoying things to finish off. For now I have put the old fenders on the car. Mainly because I have to relcate my taillights and blinkers before I can put my new guards on. And drilling the holes for the taillights in the alloy engine cage will take forever.

I painted ...
Sorry I had to go. Where was I? Ah yes, painting. I painted the fuel tank. Actually I had to weld up some rust holes first. Very very small pin hole rust where the the fuel tank sits on the body, with a piece of sealing foam under it. It was my first attempt at welding a fuel tank, and I was quite nervous. I filled it full of water so it wouldn't explode, and luckily it didn't. I clean it back and painted it with charcoal hammertone paint.

I spent ages bending up steel fuel and brake lines, cutting rubber sections and trail fitting them all. The brakes lines (between the master cylinder and the reservoir) needed to be lengthened slightly due to the 2 inch body lift kit, so I just added longer rubber sections and bent the steel sections to match. I spent the most of my time on the fuel lines. I run my fuel pump under the fuel tank. Last time I just let the rubber lines handle all the bends from the tank to the pump and back into the tunnel. But when I pulled it apart I noticed the rubber fuel lines were perished and about to crack where they had been bent. I didn't want to get a fuel leak anytime in the future, so I bent up lots of steel pipe sections for the fuel line. All the rubber sections are short and straight. All the bends are steel line. Hopefully I'll never have a problem with those.

I also removed the front brake line brackets (drilled out the spot-welds) and bolted them back on backwards. This moved the fixed point for the start of the flexible brake line section about 2 inches towards the centre of the car. I had to do this because I am running the drum brake flexible hoses on a disc brake front end. The drum brake lines are about 2 inches longer than the disc brake lines. I could've just bought new disc brake lines, but I'm trying to save money. And I also decided that it would be best to have the flexible lines as long as possible so they don't get bent as much when you turn the wheel or the suspension travels up and down.

More News About My Baja 26th November 2001

I have been quite busy during the last week, and almost sick of working on damn cars ( just kidding )

I wired up all the lights, and wipers. That was a major pain in the ... . I ended up pulling out a lot of wires and redoing them. I am running the old fenders on the car at the moment, until I managed to put my new tail lights in. I am going to drill 6 circular holes in my engine cage, and mount some trailer lights in the C-section aluminium. That way it will look like I have 3 round lights mounted in the engine cage. I wanted to try to take the weight of the tail lights off of the rear guards. I tried drilling the holes in my engine cage with a hole saw, and didn't get very far, so I gave up and put the old fender ons. I need to buy a better quality hole saw and try again. I want to do a similar thing with the front blinkers in the bull bar.

I had a guy from Shannon's car insurance come out and inspect the car. They are going to agree the value at $7000 until it is finished, and then $10,000 once it is finished, which is what I was after.

I went for a test drive and found the engine wasn't running too good at all. It would run ok at half throttle until 3,000rpm and that was it. More revs or throttle didn't give any more power, it just started popping and carrying on. Carbs don't like sitting around for 7 months. So I pulled the carb's apart and gave them a quick clean. Then took it for a second drive. Much better, it revved properly and pulled hard like it should. I then realised that when I was driving the floorpan around it was also probably not running properly, imagine how fast it would've went if it HAD been running properly!!!

I finished getting the car in roadworthy condition, and took it for a drive up to Caboolture (about 1 hour away). It feels a lot higher, and seems to get a bit more body roll. But it looks cool, and the lower gear makes it a bit nicer. I can use third in 50kph zones now. It is damn noisy though, I suppose you get that with no interior in the car. I also had to sit on a cushion to see over the dash properly.

This week I want to try to get the interior back in the car. A bit of quiet is nice sometimes.