Kit arrived on July 19, and the donor had already been stripped down to the PPF, so we're ready to begin the assembly. My kit came powdercoated with welded floors.
First step is to attach front and rear bulkheads, which I'm going to rivnut into place. It's more work in the beginning, but the fact that I can take it apart if I need to, appeals to me.
I've already observed that the bulkheads don't all fit flush to the frame, which means some trimming is in my future, right off the bat.
Curious if anyone can suggest an efficient method to trim the bulkheads? I've got snips and grinders and saws, which means I could jump in and thrash about until something looks about right, but I'd sure like to do it well. Any suggestions?
Hi, I just used a jigsaw which gave good clean cuts. Obviously cardboard templates first. In my experience the bulkheads are the few sections that probably would not need easy removal in the future. However the tunnel will benefit from rivnuts.
Also, it became apparent that if you can stop any squeaks and rattles it will be a more pleasurable machine, so rivets were widely used. Good luck, Russ
Thanks Russ. I've got the bulkheads sorted, using a 3 inch cutoff wheel, cleaning them up with a file. Moving on to the pedals now. The bend in the gas pedal is my next step, and I'm over-thinking the problem, as usual. I guess I'll just vise it up, heat it up, and pound on it until I like it Also the bracket for the clutch pedal standoff doesn't align with the pedal's bracket - the two holes are offset by half an inch. These are not a big problems, but that's all part of the fun!
BTW, I decided to blind rivet the bulkheads in, but as Russ suggests, I'll use rivnuts on the trans cover. It just sounds more sensible.
So many folks have shared so many photos of their builds, adding a photo of mine is awfully redundant. However, after waiting and preparing for the build to finally start, hitting a milestone should be shared. So, here's DaBeast, on it's own feet after the frame bolts are aligned with the chassis, and the coilovers installed.
Tomorrow morning when it's cool, I'll get under her to apply threadlock and torque the frame bolts.
Last Edit: Jul 23, 2020 19:04:23 GMT by rv8air: add photo
Well, the chassis is secure to the subframe now, and the steering column is installed. I hard a start, not knowing there was a supplied bracket to mate the column to the chassis. After consulting the build guide, and telescoping the column out one inch, it went together easily. I am impressed with the ease of assembly, so far, as I've been able to do it all, singlehandedly. Even dropping the chassis on went well, using a shop crane to lift, and dollies under each tire.
Next step is the radiator. I understand NBs require special bracketry...
Moving on to the next thing, I've acquired a radiator from an NA, and after a couple of hiccups, have installed the bracketry to mount it. Fans and hoses are still off. It looks good in there. BTW, my NB donor came with an aftermarket radiator which is different from the NA style, in that there's two smallish hoses at the bottom. What are these for, and do I need them?
The two smaller connections are probably for an automatic transmission cooler, you can leave them open or cap them off. The good news is that it should be a higher capacity radiator, I think about a third more than the standard radiator.
Current build - US AZ 'Old' Sonic 7 kit - 2003 Focus SVT donor. Other recent builds - Furore F1, Arizona Replicar, UK Exocet, UK Sonic 7
Time for an update. My build is smoking right along. During the last week, I’ve got the ebrake installed and the cables secured. The body mount brackets are permanently in place, pedals are in, steering column is mounted, the fuel tank is mounted temporarily, the gauge pod has been cut to shape, and the wiring tray ready to install. Today, the wiring loom is laid out as I begin to sort out the wiring connections.
Not really much to report, although it was kind of exciting for me. Ground connections were made, two at the front and two at the rear for the chassis loom. The engine/trans was grounded to the chassis at the firewall. The battery was grounded to the chassis as well and to the PPF. Grounds in seven places, total. Just for giggles, since I alread had the wiring loom laid out and connected to most things, I connected the battery and gave the key a twist as I push the clutch lockout in with my other hand. The dash came to life, and to my great relief, the starter turned the engine over. Of course it wont run without fuel, and the ECU's not connected, but it was encouraging to get to this point.
Exomotives braided lines arrived today, for the clutch, fuel, and brakes. I spent the extra bucks to get them preformed to size, so installation will be a snap.
After my siesta, I'll get the fuel lines connected, and plug in the ECU, maybe she'll actually run!!!
The connection of the braided line to the fuel rail was not as easy as I'd hoped. There's some disassembly at the intake manifold to get access to the fuel rail, and then some cursing to get the old line off the inlet pipe. I'm much better, now.