226: Tuesday 31st January 2012

Yesterday my body kit arrived. I had a couple of things to do when I got home, so it was late before I got to even see it in the packaging. I started unwrapping and got as far as the side skirts, then gave up. It was too dark and I need to get everything on the driveway to unpack it easily. So I left the front and rear skirts wrapped and unpacked them when I came home today. There was a slight bit of damage with a couple of chips where the pointy bits are by the ends of the wheel arches. I shall need to repair these before they go on, so I need a small fibre glass kit to rebuild these corners. The damage is only a few millimetres, but I cannot overlook it as it would notice for sure. The kit itself in general is good quality and has a good finish to it. I am very pleased with the quality of the parts. It was a shame it had some slight damage.

225: Wednesday 25th January 2012

I went and got new wheels at lunch time today. They are 18 inch diameter x 8 inch width with 225x40x18 tyres. They are from a VW Scirocco, but I got them with Ford badges in the centres. The photos don't do it justice.

224: Sunday 22nd January 2012

Tuesday my new sunroof panel arrived. Saturday I set about changing it over. Firstly I had to remove the old panel and take the rubber strip off the edge. In the photo below you can see the amount of rust on the underneath and this had bubbled through on the outside, right across the back edge. To remove the sunroof I had to open the sunroof a few inches, pull the trim front edge downwards to release it from the clips, then fully open the roof and put a long thin bar or piece of wood between the trim and the roof panel to release the other clips around the sides and back edge. There are seven clips all together. Take the trim away by sliding forward and out of the top of the sunroof opening, then shut the roof, undo the four nuts and the roof panel is free.
In the pictures below I have drawn a green circle to highlight the position of the hole for the trim clips. These needed to be drilled, very carefully. I used a 3mm drill to drill a pilot hole in the centre of each position for the clip holes. Fortunately these were very easy to find as they had been taped over when the fibreglass mould was made and the circle was clear to see. I found the centre of each mark and drilled through very carefully. The fibreglass is very thin and a drill goes through very easily. The risk is going right through and out the other side leaving a hole in the roof. That would be tragic. 
In the next photo the hole has been drilled very carefully again with an 8mm drill. I measured this at 7.6mm on the original roof panel, but 8mm was the nearest I could get. Once again there was a high risk of going right through. 
In the next photo you can see the clips fitted.
Finally, the roof panel is lower into position and bolted down. In this photo it is sitting high as I did not realise the four nuts that were on the panel when it was deliver needed to be removed. I had to go for a drive and the increase in wind noise was incredible. This was exaggerated because electric drive is so quiet and you can hear every noise. When I got back I took the nuts off and refitted the roof panel and then it was sitting up a touch on 2 corners that were diagonally opposite. I took off the rubber shims from the sliding bracket and tried again. It was still a little bit proud of the main roof on the same 2 corners. I shaved the brackets with a grinder as they were aluminium and this brought each them down a couple of millimetres. It is still very slightly proud, but it looks right now. I took it for a drive and there was a bit of wind noise, but this was due to 2 factors; I had not fitted the inside trim and it was a very windy day. I fitted the inside trim back on and went for another drive and it was back to normal, except I had a rust free roof.
I also cleaned all the rust from around the sunroof opening and cleaned all the sliding mechanism. I got everything working perfectly so the roof opens freely now just like new. Idecided to wait a little longer to order some wheels asI have another couple of options  am exploring now. I hope to get the body kit on Wednesday, so hopefully I can get this fitted next weekend.

223: Sunday 15th January 2012

Yesterday I fitted an earth wire from the bolt on the back of my radio linked to a screw on the body under the centre console. The problem was that sometimes the earth through the connector was not so good and I would get a horrible whine from the electric power steering pump. All o.k. now. still waiting for body kit and sunroof. Been holding back on the wheels until paint done, but prices will go up soon, so will order now. I have decided to go for the original red with gold metal flake and heavy lacquer, on the body kit this should look cool. I have emailed the two companies to get my parts moving. Now I'm off to order my wheels.... :o)

222: Thursday 5th January 2012

I had an email back from the people I have ordered my glass fibre sunroof from and they said that the guy who makes them was on vacation for 2 weeks over Christmas, so I should get this soon. I have now ordered a body kit and tomorrow I am getting some new wheels. The photo below (free advertising) shows the body kit in silver, but I am having mine painted bright metallic red with a gold flip. The batteries are holding up well and easily doing my journey to work now. I shall try and do another couple of test runs at the weekend now the batteries are "cycled up". I contacted the battery salvage yard to let them know I had 8 batteries to swap when they have some more come in. I still have 5 spares and 2 more that I know are low capacity, but do work and 2 more that may be recoverable slightly. Hopefully he will get some more soon and we can come to an arrangement for swapping them over for some fresher ones.

221: Sunday 1st January 2012

Happy new year! The people  that were supposed to be fitting the new windscreen didn't come. They were expected by 4pm, so I called them at that time and the call centre guy had no information, so he said he needed to make some calls and call me back. 15 minutes later he called back and the guy who was supposed to fit my screen had gone home sick, but before he went he phoned his Manager who neglected to tell the call centre. Since they schedule the work they could not know it was not getting done. I told them I did not want to pay anything for the next appointment, so they noted that. The new appointment was for 27th December and they came (a little late), and I got the charge for windscreen excess of £60 reduced to £45, so that was not bad for a new screen. They brought the correct trim for a Ford Probe, but it was very difficult to fit and kept popping off. The fitter told me it was a bad design and asked if I wanted them to try a universal trim. They did and the finish is better than the original. Also the edge of the universal trim is easier to lift when the paint person wants to mask the windscreen, cool. Still waiting for the sunroof panel to come so I can fit it and get the car into paint. Today I fitted Aeroquip one piece wiper blades. They look neater and wipe a whole load better. Friday I borrowed my friends volt drop tester. This applies a 275A  load for 12v. I tested the batteries I had on the garage floor. The two remaining red ones I had were reading very low, but all the yellow ones were showing a good charge, and this is after standing for several weeks. Today I swapped the 2 batteries that were lower than the others for 2 of the yellow ones and then went for a drive. Directly my range went from around 9 miles to 11.2 miles. I gave it a full charge and ran it again for 13.6 miles. This gives me confidence for my work commute as this was 7 miles each way, but my passenger has moved and that adds another 2 miles each way. I shall charge up at work, so 13.6 miles is easily more than I need to complete the trip. This will save me over £120 per month in petrol using my Fiat Punto. Also I shall have enough range to take my daughter to football training and loads of other little trips. 1st of January and I am back up and fully running, great start to 2012.