Ultima GTR - Hours 301 to 350
Final stages part three
Final bits and engine in !



Sat 31st March 2007
Day 191 (74th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 305)

Battery connected and I hold my breath.  Lights work, horn works, hazards okay, electric mirrors too.  In fact, most of it works !  With three exceptions :

-  The speedo registers 8380 miles even though it is new (?!?) and the reset doesn't work.  The wiring for the 240mph speedo is different from standard so a call to Ultima is needed here to check the wiring.
- The left hand fuel pump doesn't whirr into life - could be the wiring there or the fuel pump switch
- The indicators don't work - likely to be switch as the hazards work.

Overall, pretty relieved, as electrics ain't my thing !  Here is a (blurred) shot with the headlights on  :o)

Onto the remaining rear and front bulkhead bits.  Firstly the windscreen wash reservoir and the brake reservoir.

Next the fuel pipes - remember to trim off 20mm and they fit without a hiccup


Drier unit and reservoir also fitted but need to take a few more pics - will update later.

Sat 7th April 2007
Day 198 (75th build day) - Hours 6 (Total 311)

With the front back on the car it was time to fit the catch releases.  These are straightforward enough.  Rather than cut the right side rear to length it is easier to loop it around the lower edge of the air con radiator and cable tie it to the chassis rail.  Will remove the blobs of masking tape when I have a new pair of pliers strong enough to cut the cables !  I also tidied up the fuse box / relay rail.


Windscreen next !  I wasn't going to attempt this one alone for obvious reasons.  It's heavy, expensive and if poorly fitted will p**s rain through !  It's a job for an expert.

Cue Steve from Autoglass.  Steve had a good look around the Ultima a few months back when he came to fix the windscreen on my Vectra.  He left me his number and zoomed round to help.  I say "help", but what I really mean is Steve fitted it and I took a photo at the end.

It is a tricky job - you definitely need two men to help lift it in place and you can only attack it from the sides.  I'll give it a day or two to set then on goes the windscreen wiper !

Sun 8th April 2007
Day 199 (76th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 314)

Back to that rear bulkhead !

First job was to tidy up the hoses and neaten the whole area.  Second job was to fit a centre heat shield for heater and overflow pipes.  Thirdly was to fit the MSD (multiple spark distibutor) which came with the engine.


The manual shows the position of the fuel hose and filter in a number of places - some left, some right, some centre.  The water pump on the engine sits dead centre so I avoided the centre option.  This luckily left just enough room for the MSD !

The MSD mountings look like they need a nut on the other side of the bolt, but how do you do this when the double skin is on !  A quick test on a spare piece of Ally showed that a M5 tap would hold them in place firmly enough.  Four taps later and they were in.

Next on the agenda is the engine fit !  But am cooking a big Paella for a party this afternoon so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Mon 9th April 2007
Day 200 (77th build day) - Hours 4 (Total 318)

Had one of those early wake up and can't get back to sleep moments so back in the garage at 3:30am.  With only a few boxes left, I opened them all up and looked for an "easy kill".  Ah ha - the air con compressor unit - that'll do for starters !  :o)


It takes some headscratching to figure out how the plates attach but a trial fit and you see the orientation.  You must remove the blanking plate as per the manual as otherwise the adjuster arm won't allow you to fit the adjuster bolt (predrilled in the engine block).

Reading ahead, I need to fit the adaptor plate, clutch and flywheel before dropping the engine in.  But this is trickier than it seems as you first need to get the engine off its shipping mount.  Ultima reckon two bolts where the adaptor plate goes to lift the engine, but then how do you get the adaptor plate on with these bolts being used to lift the engine ?  And you can't bolt on the adaptor plate with the shipping mount in the way (see below)


Stripped off exhaust manifolds and air filter to make the job easier.  Will think it out over a coffee (now 7am so can risk waking the kids & missus up !) and post a "help" on pistonheads.

11am and I have had lots of useful input from the Pistonheads gang - cheers dudes.  You can pick up the engine using the bolts from the adaptor plate into the cylinder heads.  It works and we have the engine up and into the car !


The tricky bit is getting the engine mounts to fit.  They fit onto the engine AOK but you can't get the bolt through the tube hole in the chassis.  They are out by 8mm or so.  Time to call it a day, crack a beer open and I will ask Ultima tomorrow.  The pic below shows the mounts in question.



Tues 10th April 2007
Day 201 (78th build day) - Hours 0 (Total 318)

A quick call to Ted at Ultima re the engine mounts.  Ted says to shave off a quarter of an inch to make them sit lower - just grind off the lugs at the bottom.  next a call to Trev to see if he has a grinding tool - he has - will get it tomorrow.

Wed 11th April 2007
Day 202 (78th build day) - Hours 2 (Total 320)

Ground off the lower lugs and tried to fit the engine again.  It STILL won't match up with the holes (now just 4mm out).  Fustrating it certainly is.  Another call to Ultima tomorrow !  For now, a cold beer will have to suffice.

Thurs 12th April 2007
Day 203 (79th build day) - Hours 2 (Total 322)

After much deliberation, and several calls to fellow owners on Pistonheads, I ground off the top lower tab on the mounts and, hey presto, it fots like a glove.  Well almost - it's tight but it's got to be.  Needed to fit one side and then file down the second bolt to a point at the end and use a rubber mallet to drive ot home.  That engine ain't going anywhere.

Sat 14th April 2007
Day 205 (80th build day) - Hours 3 + two hours round trip (Total 325)

Onto the rest of the engine / gearbox now.  First is the spiggot bearing.  Just tap it into the centre of the engine crankshaft plate (yes, I know that isn't the technical name but you get the picture) with a large socket and a rubber mallett.  Easy ?  Well not if you later find that the bearing is a touch too large (by 0.15mm) and jams in the engine.  Quick call to Ultima for help - Ted says pack with grease from the inside and tap a rod through the middle to pop it out.  One tub of grease and much much swearing and it's out.  Trouble is, I got the arse with it earlier and tried to prise it out - I've F'd the bearing and need to drive over to get another one.  Two hours round trip (100+ on the M6 toll) and I'm back with a new one (22 lighter).

For the second attempt, I measured with the vernier calipers.  Again, a .15mm difference.  Freezing it for a while reduces the difference but it ain't gonna go in.  Ted says it will be tight but it just won't go with that error of tolerance.  In the end, I carefully sanded the spiggot with some wet and dry until they were equal sizes then it tapped in easily.  I also put some thread lock on the outside to make sure it stayed put.  Job done !

Next was the adaptor plate +  flywheel + friction plate + clutch.  Easy stuff although it looks daunting.  On they go !



Gearbox next - but need a clutch aligning tool.  Time to sign of for today...

Sat 21st April 2007
Day 212 (81th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 330)

Struggled all week to find a suitable tool so have lined it up by eye.  It's dead centre so on goes the gearbox.  It's a Porsche G50.

The spline goes through the clutch and friction plate and onto the centre of the spiggot bearing on the engine crank.

This proved to be a rather niggly exercise.  The box is heavy and needs careful manoeuvering through the chassis.  It should also slide on easily - as Ultima point out you can't force it.  The winch comes in very useful here - a double rope sling means that you can move it forward across the chassis rails without a problem.

Before the box goes on a couple of other things to do.

Firstly, get a rubber band or two and put on the selector fork underneath the thrust bearing (which has two "handles" on it - this acuates the clutch mechanism).  A pin goes through the circular holes in the box and the fork to hold the fork in position.

Secondly, apply some spline grease to the centre of the friction plate "hole" where the gearbox shaft goes through.

After 20 mins of pushing and pulling it would not go on.  So I tried the friction plate on the shaft by itself.  It is very accurately machined and must be spot on to slide on - otherise it's like hitting a brick wall.  NB there are 23 grooves on each - seems a strange number and must be hard to machine.  Anyway, attempt 2 and it goes on.  However, off it comes again as the top bolts cannot fit after the housing is up to the adaptor plate.  Ultima say fit the top two but the bottom two foul on the sump so I fixed the lower two instead.  

Attempt 3 was with all four bolts in to the adaptor plate and another 20 mins of jiggery pokery before it slid on.  The last 8mm needed the bolts to be tightened to pull the shaft through the spiggot bearing (another tight fit) but it did so without any undue stress or resistance.  The box is on !!

Sun 22nd April 2007
Day 213 (82nd build day) - Hours 3 (Total 333)

Just a few hours to work on the car as another busy weekend.  In any case, I have until 14 June until Ultima pick the GTR up for the SVA & lookover so I have a few weeks I hand.  Nice.

The pin for the box went in quite easily - I was suspecting this would be tricky but no problems.  I greased and then cleaned all the surfaces first and am sure this helped - it needs a rubber mallett to fit it home all the way and by putting your hand under the box you can reach the selector fork and check that the alignment is fine, whch mine was  :o)

A few other jobs.  First, fit the MSD coil using a plate which bolts to the adaptor plate.  Easy enough.

Then fit the clutch cylinder - the front prong on this goes in the "pocket" of the selector fork.  The input points under the car towards the clutch (and the end won't clear the lower chassis rail otherwise, it's quite tight).

Next was the oil coller sandwhich plate.  Straightforward again, once you know which one goes on top of which (thanks Andy !).  Ignore the order in the pic - the top fatter ring goes on the filter, then the input output ring then the spacer ring (by the engine), both rubber side up.

Last job was to fit the gearbox mounts.  But another problem here - the top mount doesn't line up.  Do I have a long G50, I wonder ?  Several emails and calls from pistonheads owners (thanks Dave in W Mids) and I realise I do have a standard G50.  Will have to call Ultima to discuss.  Here is a pic of the lower and top brackets which fit and don't fit respectively.


Also, the invert kit (as the box is upside down c.f. porsche standard position) needs breather holes - one of these is trapped by the top rail which also indicates the box is too far back.  There may be trouble ahead ?.....

Mon 23rd April 2007
Day 214 (82nd build day) - Hours 0 (Total 333)

Fired off a few photos to Andy "the Ice Man" at Ultima.  Then packed off the rear bracket to Ultima along with the third (last) gear linkeage rod - Andy says that I have the wrong ones and he is going to fabricate new ones for me.  Just as well - for a moment I thought the 'box would be coming out again !!!

Breather holes are (right) in the middle of the blanking side plate and also (left) in the middle of the bolt with the 1 inch large (sealed) washer - Ultima tap this (so use the long screw thread connector).

It's easy when you know how ....  :o)  Will tackle later in the week when I have more time and parts are back with me.

Fri 27th April 2007
Day 218 (83rd build day) - Hours 3 (Total 336)

Back to bolting on stuff.  :o)

Andy has supplied the new bracket and it goes on with a little fettling.  The ropes come off the gearbox and the whole gearbox engine ensemble is in place !  A few other small jobs but nothing of note.  A long week so off for a beer !!  More tomorrow  :o)


Sat 28th April 2007
Day 219 (84th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 342)

Saturday morning and onto the gear linkage.  This turned out to be a bit of a pig of a job, especially with the engine alreay in situ, but I didn't want to put the rods in not knowing where the back of the gearbox or the engine would be.  Chicken and egg springs to mind.  For the record, screw the bulkhead bracket in firmly in place (which I luckily did) before the engine goes in, or else access will be impossible and the engine will need to come out again !

The roll pins need some very heavy handed persuasion to go into the 5/32 inch holes that are drilled into the rods.  I don't know how the factory do this on the car as the tools on my bench were bouncing around with the force necessary.  They do go in though and, the rods ain't gonna rattle with these babies in place.  Remember to label the orientation of the holes with the CV joints so they line up (I used small pairs of stickers numbered 1 to 7).


A drill press is essential !

I assembled the rods on the bench and pinned them all (taking care to put the rose joins on the right rods) and then put the back two rods and rear bracket piece on in one go.

The front (cockpit) to second rod conection was impossible to pin with the engine in so off it all came again.  In the end, I tapped a M8 bolt thread through the CV and rod and screwed a bolt home - this will make it easier to remove if needed and thre is no play in the linkage.  Not sure Ultima will agree with this but needs must !

The whole exercise took 5 hours - not quite the simple job it seems.  There is very little margin between rod two and the engine sump so the rose joint may need adjusting later.  We'll see when we get the GTR moving, hopefully soon !!

Sun 29th April 2007
Day 220 (85th build day) - Hours 5 (Total 347)

Driveshafts, exhausts and a few electrical connections.

The driveshafts fit perfectly and don't interfere with anything.  A nice change after the gear linkage yesterday !  :o)


The speedo sender unit and the wheel were also an easy fit.

On with the exhaust boxes and tail pipes - again an easy fit !  No doubt will need a fettle when the rear grill needs fitting but for now the sections were bolted on and held with the four large o clips.


I connected up the starter and also tackled the wiring from the MSD.  Again, straightforward but you need to make a few electrical connections yourself and borrow wire from the MSD for other purposes (as Ultima manual, which is easy to follow).

Big pic tomorrow !

Sat 5th May 2007
Day 226 (86th build day) - Hours 3 (Total 350)

The invert kit was first job today.  A quick trip to halfords for some 75W90 semi synthetic and away we go.  The invert tank was riveted on and the hoses were connected.  Getting the gear oil in is another thing - the two holes in the sides seem too narrow to accept the end of the oil cans so instead I poured it slowly into the invert tank to drip down through the hose.

One word of warning - this oil stinks, and I mean really really stinks.  I got some on my hands and can still smell it as I type this.  In the end, copious volumes of lemon juice took away the smell or at least masked it !

Here's where we are now !  :o)


 On to Hours 351 - 400 !

Copyright www.ultimagtr640.com.