(Continued from page 18)
The weekend was spend just as I planned and managed to get everything I hoped finished. The rear section went on first followed by the rear bumper. Then the side panels rear mudguards then the nose cone. The scuttle went in last. I fitted all the trims as I went and at the end of the weekend. It was looking just as I hoped. Very neat, clear and every thing fitting like a glove.
During the week I did other bits and pieces, instrument panel, number plate light, from indicators, front bumper bar. The following weekend I fitted the from mudguards, tail lights, fixed a couple of minor electrical problems, fabricated and fitted the windscreen wiper drive mechanism and fitted it into the scuttle. This weekend I fitted all the remaining minor bits, rear top/boot panel, re-secured the rear seat belt anchor points and made the fitted the new aluminum bonnet. The last major jobs I have to do are modify and fit the wiper arms and send the bonnet to the panel shop for painting. This won't happen until about Wednesday and with a bit of luck will have it back for the weekend when it will be fitted for the last time.
For the first time I feel confident that I'm have the car ready for Tuesday the 5th of September when I'm flying in my engineer for the final inspection. I'm not expecting a clear sweep, what I am hoping for is a list of minor work that I can get ticked off with out the need for another inspection.
I've put some shots on my WEB page of the car as of the 13th of August and will take a few shots of the car before I send the bonnet off for painting.
Unfortunately I didn't get any shots but I will get some this weekend after the bonnet goes back on. I have had to make a pair of custom wiper arms and blades because of the way the wiper drive is mounted and my limited access to car accessory suppliers. My windscreen glass is 305mm high, my wiper blade needs to be 240mm and the shortest blade I could find was 280mm from OEM parts.
The last two things to do are to install the washer jets and replace the wiper arm springs for lighter ones. And that will be in two days time, on Saturday when I get my bonnet back.
The bonnets now on. The windscreen wipers are complete and the washers are fitted with time to spare so I've decided to fabricate and install the spare wheel holder. I used left over stainless tubing, used Hilux studs and nuts (NISSAN 200sx were too hard to get from Weipa) and by lunch on Saturday 2nd finished the last job I can possibly thinks I can do. I believe the car is actually finished and have put up some photo's to prove it.
September 2nd 2000
It was a very odd feeling when I gave the car its first wash after all the work was finished, waiting for next Tuesday's all-important final inspection. My daughter gave me instructions to take it for its first trip (although still not registered) and pickup her up from the local ballet hall at 9:00pm. Our short trip home was full of memories and satisfaction and enjoyed pushing the little car through the windy trip home. No sooner had we arrived did I get a call from a mate who wondered if the distant distinctive sound of the whistling turbo, throaty 2.75 in exhaust and mild tyre screech was the Clubman out of the garage. I admitted to nothing and kept him guessing.
The car is finally finished and waiting for its judgment on Sept 5th 2000. I'll keep you informed.
The inspection went very well and had only 6 items to attend to, most of which were replacing bolts and putting either nylock nuts on bolts or spring washers.
The whole inspection was over in 3 hrs but there was quite a bit of paper work to go through. My engineer prearranged my VIN number and brought with him a blank DOT modifications "Blue" plate in anticipation of things going smoothly. I've uploaded a photo of both of these pop riveted to the firewall.
Today is Saturday, Sept 9th and my jobs are done. The next thing to do in to take the car to the local vehicle tester and get a safety inspection (Road worthy certificate) but fist I have to wait for the DOT to send my compliance certificate. In Queensland an individually constructed motor vehicle doesn't strictly get a compliance plate, the DOT issues a compliance plate exemption certificate in lieu of this. From a registration and roadworthy point of view it's exactly the same thing.
The paper work for applying for this has to come from your engineer but only after the car has passed the final engineering inspection. My paper work has gone in and should get my compliance exemption by Friday the 15th, which is really great, because registrations are done on Thursdays up here.
So the last step is about 2 weeks of waiting away, then a bit of red tape to get finished before the car goes on its first official, legal drive out of the garage.