- Thursday, 4 December 2014

Chipping away at the Iceberg

A few more weeks have passed and thankfully things are getting there day by day. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting a war on two fronts with a brace of Renaults to think about, but thankfully MGR are taking care of everything with the FR & doing a great job - aside from setup, my training day and making a new foam seat there is very little left to do prior to testing. I just can't get enough of the way it looks in the new colours :D

It's good really as although I'm going slightly crazy at the wait to drive it, it's allowing me to focus on the van. To be honest, if the van isn't finished I'm in big trouble - I booked the ferry for HebĂ©crevon early next May a few weeks ago so there's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. I've paired it back a lot in terms of things I'm going to fit (these are now things I need to fit) and after a week of fretting and sleepless nights mapping it all out in my mind I sat down over a weekend and ordered a lot of parts like a door, tie down points, insulation, aluminium angle and skylights.


I figure so long as I have a lot of materials here, an endless supply of mince pies and a convector heater I can spend some serious time working on it over Xmas. I finally built up the courage to get my angle grinder out the other day and cut a large whole for the door. I hate using them, plus my jigsaw bit the dust midway through so I was using the angle grinder for things that they aren't really designed for... still as the sun set I counted ten fully attached and functioning fingers and the door was fitted. I left a gap at the top for an awning as I want to fit one later but can't afford one for 2015, but once it's had a lick of paint to match the van it should look pretty good.
In other news I picked a bargain basement moped locally through a friend (thanks James!) which has spent the last 10 years sat in a shipping container. It needs a new battery and some TLC but it's a Suzuki so it should be fine. Sadly it's only a 50cc so it will be a bit of an escargot but with so many things to budget for it will do fine for next year. I looked into tuning it but it won't alter the top speed so there's no point, another  tick on my list though. I'm actually really excited at the prospect of zipping around the paddock on it and driving to local towns to pick up baguettes and things!
My ramps have also been finished & fitted on Sunday, Josh at JaF Fabrication did a fantastic job on them - they're laser cut and TIG welded and weigh a lot less than the original tailboard (which I can weigh in for scrap). I just made a pretty simple drawing with a few of the dims like the height from the pivot point to the top of the van and track width of the car and let Josh do the work.
Seeing photos of them in build I knew they were going to look great, the ends slot in and lock with a pin, these can then be stored inside and there is a panelled section nearer the van for lifting the moped which also acts as good security by covering the door when fixed upright.  
Now I can order the steel cable & fittings which will come swaged as complete units and I can go lift the car in! So the next stage will be measuring up for the living that I can build over Xmas, and collect my moped to see what 35mph feels like - at least I'll have plenty of time to memorise the course as I crawl up them...

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