244: Saturday 23rd February 2013

I had a friend come round today to help load the rear bumper carefully onto my car. We caused a few minor pint chips that I will need to touch up at some point. I took it for a little drive and hit a speed bump too fast and caught the rear bumper. It made an awful racket, but only a tiny paint chip right at the bottom. It did pop the side fixings right by the wheel arches on both side, so I need to fix them again. The colour match is good though I think it looks cool, can't wait to get the side skirts and front bumper on now. The photo does not do it justice.

243: Friday 22nd February 2013

The new grille material arrived Wednesday, and it was my daughter Sydney-Ann's 17th Birthday yesterday. So armed with her provisional driving license and some insurance we went driving. She has driven at a closed driving centre many times before, so she knows how to handle a car, but this was her first time on the open road. She did really well on her first drive than had a driving lesson with an instructor later in the afternoon. This was a bit of a shock to her, but she didn't really like the instructors teaching style so now we are looking for a new instructor. Day 2 of her driving and she has calmed down a bit more now and I had time to go fit the mesh on my rear body kit bumper. I put the bumper face down on some trestles (with padding), offered up the mesh to the holes to be covered and marked them about 15mm larger than the hole with a red marker pen. I took some electrical cutters and nipped along the marked lines to get the general shape. I offered the mesh up the bumper and generally bent the edges over carefully. Then I took a small hammer and gently tapped the edges of the mesh. It felt soft like shaping lead, and it was easy to work. I then mixed up some P40 fibre glass and applied it below the mesh and then pulled it up onto the edges. When it was dry I could turn it over to take this photo. Everything is nice and solid and it looks really neat. Next is to fit the bumper on the car, hopefully for the last time, then I can put the wheels back on and get him back on the road.

242: Saturday 16th February 2013

Finally the rear bumper from my body kit is painted. It is not a fantastic job and I will have it done again along with the rest of the car. However it is not white and will look like it belongs on the car even though my painting skills leave a lot to be desired. It took me a long time because there was loads of blemishes and small cracks along with some nasty chips that I had to repair and finish. I am not very good at this so it took several attempts to get it right. The finish of the bumper is good, but the paint has orange peel on the red. I have tried to polish it out, but stopped as I could see the paint wearing through before I got a nice smooth finish. Fortunately this was a test area behind where the number plate goes. The black has some pin holes in it but shines real nice. Before it goes back on I need to put some stainless steel mesh behind the exhaust pipe cut-outs. The tiny cut outs will have ultrasonic parking sensors mounted in them (another project for later). So once I have some mesh mounted, it can go back on the car. Then I can put the wheels back on and put him back on the road. I also spoke to my battery salvage supplier and he may be getting some new (salvage) batteries in soon and I should be able to pick 15 good ones to run again. I have 2 duds on the car and 13 in my garage, so this should give me a good stock of spares for the future. Also I have seen a brief video of the battery monitoring system working, but it was done on a mobile phone and not very clear. It had a bit of a slow display refresh rate and my friend Ray said he can make some changes and get it fast enough that the eye won't see any changes. It was something to do with refreshing the display for each piece of data instead of refreshing it for a block of data. It should be about 10 times faster in future. The refresh rate was about 0.5 seconds initially. So we should be able to fit this on soon. Then this can be upgraded to display in different ways and then add a rear view camera to the system and ultrasound sensing to measure distances for reversing. This will ensure I don't damage my beautiful new bodywork...!