~ Quick Tips 'n Tricks ~
Some Tips and Tricks which apply to most Kitcar building
- Latest Tip * 31/03/05 *
- Cooling System
- Drive Train
- Fuel System
- Storing - When you receive your brand new body shell, never lean it up against a wall or any other object.
When freshly out of a mould, the Fibreglass is not completely set and you may find that after a few weeks, it will no longer fit.
The best place to store the panels is actually on the body, after-all that is where it will finally rest.
- Fixing Panels - When using standard Pop Rivets on body panels, place a large washer with the same internal diameter behind the panel.
This will spread the load and prevent crazing at a later date.
- Stop Arches crazing - Stone chipping underneath the wheel arches can cause crazing of the top
To prevent this, undercoat the inside of the arches with a rubberised undercoat. It also gives it that nice neat finish.
- Drilling holes - In Fibreglass, drilling holes can cause splintering. If you use a hand drill and turn it in the wrong direction incrementing up in small amounts will reduce this substantially.
- Front Grille - Some builders don't like to fit front Grilles for different reasons. It is advised to fit a grille to protect the radiator from damage by stones/debris.
A cheap alternative to the manufacturers product is a shopping trolley side. These can often be picked up for free as lots get damaged. Simply cut to shape and trim and you have a nice chrome grille.
- Grommets - Have you ever fitted something through a hole in the bodywork only to find later on that you forgot to fit a grommet?
Simply split the grommet with a knife, pass around the pipe/wires and superglue back together.
- Detachable Arches - When fixing the Detachable Arches, use "Plastic Bolts" as used on number plates instead of metal ones.
The reason for this is if you're ever unfortunate to have an accident, the plastic bolts will give way easier and hopefully not damage your body tub.
- Surf the Web - There is nothing like experience and plenty of people have it as they have previously built these cars.
Get Surfing and pick up on other builders experiences, Go to the HOMEBUILDS page for a list of over 50 build sites.
- Threaded fixings - If you have your chassis powder coated, there will inevitably be some of the coating left in the fixing holes.
These can be cleaned out with a tap set with slots down the side making a nice easy fit.
- Stainless Steel - You would think "Stainless" steel would be stainless but it does need cleaning believe it or not.
To clean, use WD40 spray on the area, wipe off and then buff with clean dry cloth, job done!
- Radiator Fan - Fitting a fan to a lightweight Aluminium Radiator is very easy these days with the "Tie" type of fittings. But did you know that with vibration and movement, the fixing can turn into a mini saw and pierce your core.
An easy fix is before you fit it, cover the fixings with a bit of windscreen washer tubing (cut to length), make the hole a little larger in the Radiator and hey presto, no problems.
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- Oil Filter - Whenever you change the oil filter, remember to fill it up with fresh oil before fitting.
This will prevent a momentary lapse in oil starvation on initial start-up and may stop any damage/wear occurring.
- Throttle Cable - Change it regularly or keep a spare. They only cost a few pounds and you would not know it's going to snap until it does. This may save you getting stranded or loss of power at a very in-opportune moment.
- Chafing - Whenever passing any Electrical wires through Glass Fibre panels, ensure you have adequate protection from Chafing as there is a likelihood that they will wear away in time.
Rubber Grommets are readily available in most good Motoring stores and this is also an SVA requirement. Another alternative is fuel hosing, split in half and taped in place.
- Fuses - If you decide to fit your own fuse box, don't forget to label
A year down the line, you are very likely going to forget which does what. It is also useful for any future owners.
- Fuel Filters - Generally, it is advised that you should have at least 2 filters in a system. One before the Fuel pump and another just before the Carbs/Injectors.
This should be fitted as close to the unit they are protecting for avoid any debris getting into the system and as a rule of thumb, no more than 6 inches down the line from that unit.
- Covering Panels - Many builders cover the interior panels/dash with leatherette type cloth. This is done by folding the cloth over the panels and sticking to the other side with Evo-stik or such like.
Ensure you spray the bare aluminium with an etching primer prior to fixing. Although bare alloy seems to stick at first, it will separate quite quickly as the alloy oxidises.
- Aluminium Panels - If your shiny panelling is looking a bit scruffy, why not give it the brushed look all over?
Rub the surfaces with "Wet 'n' Dry sandpaper lubricated with WD40 and you get a smart uniform look.
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- Removing Oil Filter - Ever had an old oil filter that is just impossible to remove by hand?
Don't go out and buy an expensive tool, just pierce filter with a screwdriver and twist remembering to place a container beneath first.
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