Ultima GTR - Hours 151 to 200
Stages 14, 15, 16, 17 (or parts thereof !!)
Cockpit, Instruments, Alcantara, Aircon ...



Sat 13th January 2007
Day 114 (44th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 153)

Am nearly there with the painting of the inside of the bodywork - just the side pods, which were pretty straightforward.  About an hour each to remove, spray and clean the overspray.

Another quick job was inserting the fuel senders into the two tanks - remember to remove the safety "pin" (under the stickers) and make sure you have the  "VDO" sign pointing towards the engine so the five screw holes line up (they are not quite equidistant).


Sun 14th January 2007
Day 115 (45th build day) - Hours 4 (Total 157)

On to the cill covers.  These must be in place before the cockpit goes back on, but the outside rivets must wait (door alignment etc).

As with the rest of the paneling, a template makes the job much easier.  I've stuck with an octagonal "nibble" to match the other panels and prefer the look - it's also easier than circles !  The carbon fibre lids ar expensive but very very cool ....  :o)


Mon 15th January 2007
Day 116 (46th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 160)

Long day at work but dinner eaten, kids homework done and Crystal Planet by Satch on the CD !

There are a number of jobs I can be doing but I thought I would tackle the worst job first.  The gearchange rods are still a fraction too large for the links, and need filing down carefully so as not to scratch the rods.  Cue some wet and dry, and a large second file.  The amount to remove is only a tenth of a mm, but it needs doing.  The gearknob is even tighter, so I will leave this for a while. Fitting the long cockpit rod I realise that the holes in the rear and engine bulkheads are a fraction too high (2mm or so) and need drilling out a fraction.  After a few trial drills and filing, I suspect I need to borrow a "dremmel" or something similar - I don't want to make a dogs dinner out of it and the two panels are too close to allow a file to be used.

Wed 17th January 2007
Day 118 (47th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 163)

My instuments have arrived from Ultima so I can now start the dash.  The 240mph speedo is something else - what's more this car can do that sort of speed !  Crazy stuff !!  :o)

Ultima's diagram is self explanatory - just get a hole saw (I used 50mm then sandpaper to 52mm to correct any wobble on the hole saw) and the main four holes are done.  The smaller holes are for switches and lights etc.


I also drilled the hole for the speedo / techo section (208mm wide, 200mm long, with 50mm "ears" for the screws, all 15mm from the front of the dash) and the two vents (76mm each - no specified location so make them look good !).  Eventually ran out of sandpaper so called it a day at 11pm.  

No action schedules for tom (missus is out and about) so see you Friday night !

Fri 19th January 2007
Day 120 (48th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 166)

Don't quite know where the time went this evening - spent hours looking at the dash making sure that it was all lined up and eventually drilling the top section away so the speedo / tacho binnacle can fit.  Spent more time swapping tools, supping Stella and drooling over the GTR than actually turning the spanners; but hey, I must be allowed the odd day off ?

By 11pm, the hole in the dash top was done and the holes for the screws nicely lined up.  The GTR rocks ....

Sat 20th January 2007
Day 121 (49th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 169)

A quick few hours tidying up the increasing mess, finding lost tools, sorting out the dash vent holes and starting the swiches holes - now where IS my rectangular drill :o)

The switch holes are not shown on the manual - the are 22mm by 29.5mm and Ultima leave a 10mm spacing.  It took me three attempts to get the outline of the holes exactly where I was happy with them - curved surfaces and all that - you try and get a spirit level in there !

Fingers buggered and need some quality time with kids and the missus, so called it a day  :o)

Sun 21th January 2007
Day 122 (50th build day) - Hours 7 (Total 176)

Whoa !  A great car build day where everything starts to gel.  A combo of Satriani, Thin Lizzy, G3, Vai and Eric Johnson twanged their way through a double session whilst yours truly turned the spanners.

First job was to finish the holes for the switchgear and then also drill holes for the turnkey and the electric mirrors (the latter are 19mm and 32mm respectively, but you need an octagonal finish on the 32mm hole to get the mirror swich to sit flush - too knacked to explain in detail (well it is 11:30 pm) !

Next were the rear bulkhead carpet and the seat runners and drill holes.  Thanks to Ness for help with the carpet - great job !  This needs two people :o)  The glue is a bugger - just get in on quickly and make sure you place the carpet right first time !  Watch out for the top surface being proud of the lower (and then vice versa lower down) - a couple of G clamps made sure it didn't slide ...

The onto the seats.  The drill holes for the seat runners need to be accurate within half a mil (in 600+, or else the seat adjuster will foul) so don't try and measure in the "well".  After two failed attempts (the measurements are from the angled sides in Ultima's manual) do what I did - draw it out on a big piece of paper after deducting 32mm for the sloping sides.  

The runners are quite easy to fit - move the runners using a screwdriver for leverage and watch the fingers !  The fittings are 305mm apart.


Floor holes - measure twice and fit once here - you don't want holes in the floor !  But you'll soon be in the seat with a BIG smile on your face !  I spared you the smile (and my large executive a***) in the photo, you'll be glad to see ...  The seating position is SUPERB !!

The seats then came off again for the floor carpet and crutch belt fittings.

Deburred the floor holes ready for the final fit of the seats and need to get a waterproof fit on the bolts - Trev next door has a few ideas (some Dowty washers will do it, apparently).

Re-wired the accel cable that I had managed to F up when drilling the holes for the rivets for the side pod - a 1000 to 1 chance, and the first (and hopefully) last problem with the build.  A quick 20 mins to reroute and sorted !

Lined up the holes on the front of the cockpit section with the front bulkhead.  And finally fitted an awkward hose on the top left rad (hot cup of water and some Fairy liquid) and did the first coat of glue on the speedo binnacle.

Back to work tomorrow but a great weekend on the build - a real pick me up !  And with hours a premium next week, it's a good place to leave things.  See you all Monday evening !!!

Mon 22nd January 2007
Day 123 (51st build day) - Hours 3 (Total 179)

Back to the dash.  This needs a good sanding before it gets two (yes, two) coats of glue ahead of the final gluing and positioning.  Pretty straightforward, also gave me a chance to check the hole sizes - it will be difficult to change these once the Alcantara is on.

Next was the speedo / tacho binnacle.  The two coats of glue are already dry (the second done before work this morning !) and the Alcantara cover was stretched over.  Beware !  The glue sets almost instantly - and you don't want to move the cover much as the glue will solidify and you'll end up with lumps under the cover.

The end result was pretty good, but I managed to get two blobs of glue on the top cover.  B***ocks.  Oh well, will call Ultima and see what they say about getting them clean - otherwise it's another 80 for another cover ...  :o(

Finished by slapping the first coats of glue on the main Alcantara cover and the dash itself.  More pics tomorrow as I am covered in glue !

Tues 23rd January 2007
Day 124 (52nd build day) - Hours 4 (Total 183)

Finished the dash cover !  And it look GREAT.  I learned a lot from the smaller cover, this one was twice as hard but the result is twice as good.  Take your time and don't move it once it is on.  Then scalpel off any excess.




As per Ultima, leave 10mm overlap around the windscreen.

Mon 29th January 2007
Day 130 (56th build day) - Hours 8 (Total 191)

Back from a couple of enjoyable days in Barcelona and took today off to get on with the build.  Sweet.

Rear canopy heat shield first.  Just cut to size (just below the vents) then edge with the silver tape.  Sticking down with the Impact glue is easier said than done - it is difficult to get acces to the middle of this 6 foot square panel.  In the end, it stuck, but I am not convinced that it is rock steady - I will need to revisit when I can up end the panel when I have more room to play with.  In any event, I need to get the vents in.


Then the grills (x 6).  This proved somewhat problematic, mostly because I tried to follow Ultima's advice and use pens on the other side to secure the grills whilst the Silkaflex dries.  But as they sit proud, the grills ends up flat against the pens without any tension in the string / wire.  See below.

In the end, it was good old gravity and a few weights that secured the grills.


NB Thanks again to trev for getting them machined into ovals rather than rectangles - a much tidier fit I am sure you will agree !

Next was the rear lights - simple enough except that it is a fiddly job to get the mounting screws in the holes.  Infact, the lights do not sit flush with the back of the car, as the letter is rounded - the lights sit at a slight left/right angle to they aim staight doen the road.  Will have to get the canopy the right way up to straighten them properly before screwing them down, and I need some empty floor space before that !

Another box emptied, and the amount left to bolt on is dwindling by the day.  Good news, as I am closer to a finished car but bad news as the job is just so goddamn enjoyable !  Am contemplating building a Can Am next, but there is just a small issue of 55,000 or so to find.  But is so addictive - I see why so many (richer) DIY customers go back to order a second kit ....

That's it for today ...

Tues 30th January 2007
Day 131 (57th build day) - Hours 4 (Total 195)

Instrumentation !  With the Alcantara on, it's time for the dials.  These fit perfectly (well, I did measure the holes twice) and secure at the back.  Add the light bulbs first and make sure they are straight when looked at from the front.

The speedo and tacho took some fettling with to fit in the speedo binnacle - this is pre-cut but is a mm or two too tight.  This prompted some careful filing (with the Alcantara already fitted !) and careful dusting down afterwards.


Wed 31st January 2007
Day 132 (52nd build day) - Hours 3 (Total 198)

Cill cover number 1.  Fairly straightforward, but took half an hour or so deciding whether I needed to slice an edge (near the tank on the outside) so it would sit flush.  As it happens, it dawned on me that the outside edge of the cover sits ABOVE the side pod edge (i.e. cill cover, then side pod, then chassis).

I took my time with the drilling - after all it is on show 24-7.  Watch out for the couple of holes NOT to drill as the angled front roll bar prohibits access, even with an agle drill.


Remember the spacer too - silkafelx in place and weight it down.  Pre fit the carbon lids (wrapped with tape) wihlst it dries to make sure of a nice neat fit.

Fri 2nd February 2007
Day 134 (53rd build day) - Hours 3 (Total 201)

Working at home today but managed to blast over to Ultima (long lunch hour) to collect the remaining parts.  Also has a quick look at some finished cars (nice !) to see how the pipework connects and how the air con condensor fits.

Finshed the second cill cover and called it a night (same pics as above so I won't replicate them).  Now over the 200 hour mark !

The side pods can be fixed tomorrow  :o)

On to Hours 200 - 251

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