Ultima GTR - Hours 251 to 300
Final stages part deux
Body back on, electrics connected !



Wed 28th February 2007
Day 160 (65th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 255)

At last, back in the garage and back on the car !  

A few miscellaneous jobs tonight listening to "A funk odyssey" by Jamiroquai.  JK has a great voice and coupled with a lazy bass it's just what you need to get down to some spanner twiddling after a long day on the road.  He's also a car nut, which can't be bad.

First job was to get the wiper motor and washer head on the cockpit section - this will be on the car as soon as my winch arrives and the car is off the dolly.  And on that subject, a big thank you to Mr T and Dave, who are fabricating a winch for me - this will also be used to get the engine in early next month  :o)

Having masked the front section, studied the photos and drilled the holes (12 & 8mm, 35.3mm apart), I realised that Ultima actually mark the position with a faint cross-hair mark.  Oh well, I was only 2 mm out left to right and that's well within the margins !


Next was to trim a fraction from the right hand rear lip of the cockpit section - I have noticed that my air con condensor radiator is 5mm too far to the right and will foul the "flap".

I had also noticed a few weeks back that I had a couple of triangles of ally left over in a rogue box.  Andy at Ultima confirmed these are for the side sections of the "cheese plate" that is in the passenger footwell; without them it may bend as the passenger braces for a corner / under hard acceleration / for an imminent crash !  So off it came, sides riveted on and new holes put in the bottom (it is slightly longer with the side plates which stretch the "v".  The strip of (loose) carpet will cover the bolts.  You may also need 16mm rather than 12mm bolts if you do as I do and put it on top of the carpet rather than underneath.


Last was to put the rear wheels back on with the new shiny nuts that Ultima have supplied (see Pistonheads for narrative of the previous nut problems - the chrome plating was flaking off) and to measure a few templates for the remaining holes in the splash shields - I will cover these in plastic but need to check that the plastic will stand 100 degrees from the colling pipes (they should but you don't want hot plastic everywhere, do you ?).

And so ends another 18 hour day.  I know what they meant when they say a "labour of love" .....  See you tomorrow !

Sat 3rd March 2007
Day 163 (66th build day) - Hours 6 (Total 261)

A quick investigation in the kitchen (with a slice of plastic rivetted to a slice of ally, all boiling on the cooker for an hour) revealed that the plastic was good for 100 degrees at least.  So I can use this to fill the bigger spaces on the splash shields.

Stuck down with Sikaflex, they then got another thin layer around the gaps remaining.  That should keep the water out of the side pods.  Nice.

Hot on the heels of the fuel pipes, it was time to tackle the oil pipes.  Same approach as before, just slightly larger pipes.  Ultima give you exactly the right length of hose but you need to measure carefully so as to not end up short.  The oil filter sandwich plate is loose at the mo, but is taped to the top of the Acusump for now.

The Acusump itself fits on a plate that rivets to the second from back chassis rail and also directly taps to the back rail.


The acusump wiring is not explained in the manual and this will need a call to Ultima.  There are two loops of wire left over and it looks as if you have to make your own mini-loom.  Not something I can do without help from the factory !

Mon 5th March 2007
Day 165 (67th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 266)

A trial fit with the headlight covers yesterday showed that the front lights stick out a shade too far.  Bugger.

A long chat with Ted showed me where I had gone wrong.  A set of small rubber washers is sandwiched between the headlights and the bodywork - tightening these adjusts the lights - and importantly the light, now back 8mm, clears the headlight cover.

So off with the covers (again) and the lights finally get fixed in the right position.  A few things to note :

- The pair of main lights have black to "top" and blue to "bottom" connections.
- The side light connection (to the side of one of the main light pairings) connects either way.
- The indicator is "black to black".
- The picture in the manual (version 3) showing the light pairing with the bolts and washers should show ribber washer - penny washer - then NUT, not another rubber washer !  Probably obvious but I was scratching my head for an hour on that one.


Also, route the wiring loom through the plastic "H" shaped support at the top of the cover (with grommets to prevent chafing the wires).  Front lights in at last !!!

Sat 10th March 2007
Day 170 (68th build day) - Hours 6 (Total 272)

A busy week at work and home prevented any work till today.  But I have a week or so to kill anyway until the hoist is built and I can get the car on its wheels.  Not a great amount to do in the meantime, but a few things are possible.

Anyway, today was one of those build days where you hold your breath a little.  Nothing too problematic, just fitting the headlight covers and the perspex for the doors, but both will have a significant impact on the final look of the car.  Mistakes here may not be able to be fixed - I wouldn't want to try and remove a cover that has been sikaflexed in place ....

Headlight covers first.  The job comprises :

- Fineline taping of the perspex
- Priming the perspex
- Priming the GRP surround / bodywork
- Bonding the two together without slapping bonding agent all over the place !!

The fieline tape provided by Ultima is excellent - it does it's job 110%.  Ultima say they do three or four rings from the outside in but this isn't really needed so long as you have a good eye and take your time and measure along the way.  I went for a 16mm border which seemed pefect to me.

The two "loops" are one on the inside and one on the outside at the edge - I opted to prime the "edge" but didn't want any overspill onto the outside of the perspex.  Then came the primer - it's a small tub so be sparing.  Also, so the doors at the same time as the headlight covers - the ball shaped applicator goes rock hard very quickly and then you get fine lines in the primer coat.  The fine line tape comes off easily and leaves a very sharp edge (you can't see it on this photo resolution but belive me it's a knife edge!).


The headlights were given a final clean as was the inside of the perspex - well it's gonna be nigh on impossible to clean them afterwards - the lights would need to come out from the inside to do this.  Then bonding agent on (a thicker line than for bodywork as you don't want any leaks) and on they go !  


The covers needed weighting down at the top (they clear the lights, just, but the shape is very very marginally less convex than the bodywork area.  Six hours later the bonding agent has set and, if I say so myself, it's the puppies privates !

Confidence high, it's the same process on the doors.  Easier to fit that the headlight covers, just lay the door down and tape the window in place whilst the bonding agent sets.


That's me done for the day - off for a well earned ale  :o)

Sun 11th March 2007
Day 171 (69th build day) - Hours 2 (Total 274)

Not a huge amount of time to play with today, but time enough to nail two more smallish jobs.

First was the fuel filler caps and sleeves.  Nice and straightforward - line up the tops as Ultima say with a line across the top of both caps.


The other job was painting the insides of the wing mirrors prior to fitting the glass etc.  Attention to detail eh ?  Well I don't want to look at unpainted GRP each time I use the mirrors, do I ?  :o)


That's the lot for ths weekend - hopefully the car will be off the Dolly by next Saturday and then its full speed ahead - everything will start to be "final fitted" and the GTR will be on its wheels for good !!

Mon 19th March 2007
Day 179 (70th build day) - Hours 2 (Total 276)

Still waiting for the custom made winch to get the car off the dolly ahead of the bulkhead final fit and the rest of the pieces going on.
Another week goes by.  A little fustrating but these things are worth waiting for I guess.  

The only job left was to fit the wiring for the wing mirrors and fit the mirrors themselves.  Make sure that you note the wiring colours as you need these to connect at the other end.  Also, the manual doesn't tell you that the " 2 1 3" numbers are written on the underside of the motor mechanism (see "finger") - you need to unscrew the three screws to see this.  See diags below.



Winch should be here tomorrow - then we're on the final run for home  :o)

Tues 20th March 2007
Day 180 (71st build day) - Hours 2 (Total 278)

Not really a car building day, more of a winch building evening !

Many thanks to Dave from Salopian for constructing the mother of all winches.  This has two brackets that fit over the roll cage and also fit the engine too !  Two winches mean that one person (me) can lift the car up and down.  Nice.


Sat 24th March 2007
Day 184 (72nd build day) - Hours 12 (Total 290)

A big car day !  

The main jobs today were to fit the cockpit section back on and to connect up theinstruments.


The cockpit section is tricky to get on - after a lot of trial and error I found the best way was to move the rear "pillars" back as far as they can go, get the dash under the bottom rail and then push the whole thing forward.  Getting the front "lips" over the splash boards is especially tricky as the drivers side needed a trim (only a few mm) before it would fit.

Now onto the wiring.  I had struggled with this from day one and, after a couple of calls to Dave at Ultima, finally realised that there was more than one simple schematic on the CD !!!!  But CARE - the link from the loom shows only the single page.  You need to probe into section "102 - wiring checks" to print off the complete foolproof list of connections & colours.

With the full listing, it ain't too bad.  But being colour blind doesn't help ...

There are 86 sets of wires and we identified them all before connection them.  It's half a day's job.


Connecting the speedo and tacho is particularly tricky as the air con unit os in the way from below.  I found removing the console and working from left to right (with hands in wherever they fit) was best.


View from inside front right hand side pod.

Sun 25th March 2007
Day 185 (73rd build day) - Hours 10 (Total 300)

There are quite a few things that can now be bolted on to the rear bulkhead, but before that I put on the front canopy and connected up the front lights.  The doors were also refitted.


Swirl pot and bracket for air con drier unit.


The manual doesn't mention where to put the horn but the wiring diagrams and position of wires lead you to a small hole in the front left radiator side plate - it simply bolts on there :o)

The relays and fuses were next.  These all fit on a bracket in the left hand side pod.  The manual doesn't specify which goes where so another call to Dave.  NB version 4 of the manual will give mor einfo, I am told.

Firstly, fuses.  There are seven slots and Dave recommends using 3 10amp fuses (red) and 4 15 amps (blue).  This isn't what Ultima supply, so a visit to Halfords is needed.

Next the relays.  Ignoring the headlight relay (which goes to wire group 15) the seven relays go in th following order.

Starting at the blue wiring, fit the four identical relays (covering high beam (x2) then air con fan and then radiator fans).  Then fit one of the taller relays, then a small one, than another tall one (the same as the other).  This covers hazards, starter and indicators.


Next time I will fit the battery connections and see if she lights up !

On to hours 301 - 350 !

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