- Sunday, 21 December 2014

Fingers crossed this works...

Last week I reached a huge milestone, and I'm pleased (and very relieved!) to say it all happened right on time, like clockwork. Well almost like clockwork as there was a hiccup, but now I can relax a little and enjoy Xmas!

The brackets that attach the cables to the far end of the ramp needed to be re-made in steel and bolted on, meaning that by the time I got back over to MGR it was getting on for 5pm and I was more than a little nervous... I'd seen the tail lift pick up 750kg without compliant when it was fitted, and knew that it should be fine, but when you see the car on the ramps and look how far out the front is from the back of the van it's a loooong way out! But then there really isn't very much weight at this point (the front axle line) - I watched one of the guys pretty much pick the car up and move it sideways a good 6 inches without too much effort. 

So I stood back, held my breath and made a video on my phone... and up it went. I only realised afterwards that it also lifted 70ish kg of mechanic so I think we did a fairly good test going up and down a few timesI have to be able to do this on my own and although there were three of us it shouldn't be too tricky once I've figured out the best place to stand (inside I think). There is just about space for everything inside the van with the car in position down one side, albeit the moped sadly won't fit next to it. There is about 700mm at the end so it will have to go across and have some bars to hold it steady, this will be one of the last jobs on the list though.

I measured up for the ally supports too that will hold the false floor up, these will have 'v' in them to accommodate the roll hoop as the car rolls back onto the chocs with the aerofoil unbolted (see the pic of a friend's install). Its a tricky one as I want to mount them low down to leave as much head height in the living area as possible, but I don't want to risk them touching the car incase they ever start to bend over time... I should have about 1.5m inside, which will be kind of funny (initially...) but I'm only 1.75m tall and not planning to spend any time in there apart from sleeping, showering, etc.

I just need a few more materials like the ply for the floor (6mm or 12mm..?) then I can spend a few uninterrupted days over the next two weeks off making a real impact. I've also pencilled in a day with MGR to do my training, seat & pedal fitting so that come January everything is ready to go testing. I need a new HANS device sadly as my old one which was only 12 months old was a 20 degree version and just too upright. I always go to the Autosport show at the NEC on trade day with a group of racing friends so will pick up a replacement there.

I've booked a couple of days with a guy who does caravan repairs & installs towards the end of April (his only free days 3 months...) so it he can hook up the hot water and electricity. It should leave me enough time, I might even get to make the interior look a bit interesting too...

Happy Xmas everyone, will have an article out with PistonHeads early in 2015 too! :D

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