2 June: Before riveting down the cockpit double-skin floor, I cut and stuck Damplifier Pro on the floor and double-skin to aid in sound insulation. I sealed and riveted the cockpit double skin panel after double checking that I can still get the cockpit side panels in and out without too much effort. According to the build manual these side panels are supposed to be installed before the floor, but the carbon work on these side panels are taking much longer, so will only be done later.
I used some bricks to add weight to the panel while the sealant was curing.
I moved on to the engine-side bulkhead panel, cutting around the welds and drilling the holes according to the diagram provided on the Ultima Online Owners Resource Page
I drilled the chassis and left the two holes for the handbrake and gearbox cables once the chassis was secured with skin pins and I could confirm perfect alignment.
3 June 2018: Added some Damplifier Pro to the rear bulkhead panel before glueing and riveting the engine side panel.
4-7 June 2018: It has been too cold at night to do any water sanding on the side panels, so I spent the evenings doing a few odds and ends such as wrapping and fitting the radiator pipes and riveting down the wiring loom, battery cable and brake/clutch lines.
I also fitted the gear selector by riveting the base plate and securing the two front mounting bolts with rivnuts. I also fed through the gearbox cables and handbrake cables through the read bulkhead panels.
The following picture is an overview of the total progress made to date. As you can see, I am getting close to being completed with all the work I can do before the body and other components arrive.
The majority of drilling for panels, clips etc. has been completed at this stage. I broke a total of 2 drill bits, and retired 7 bits after they were getting too blunt.
Andrew from Ultima let me know that my second order is ready for collection, so that means I can send the next container which will most likely arrive in South Africa sometime middle July.
Total time spent to date: 165 hours
The team from Ultima sent me some pictures of my body and seats that will be on the ways soon:
8-10 June: I drilled the chassis and side pods in order to fit the underside covers between the chassis and the side pods. Most of the time over the weekend was spent sanding down and polishing the interior side panels and the passenger foot plate. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts when it comes down to getting these panels done. Any imperfections in the surface can be seen once the panels are polished.
The right side panel was ready to get fitted by Sunday night, so I applied the Sikaflex before riveting down the panel only to realise that the rivets are now too short. Unfortunately I did not have any longer rivets the correct diameter. I used some skin pins and quick release clamps to hold the panel in place to cure until I can buy some longer rivets.
I also had to cut a few millimeters from the centre tunnel covers in order for them to fit properly. I spent another 16 hours on the car this weekend, bringing the total to 181 hours.
11 June: I purchased longer rivets from JKM Industrial Supplies in Randburg. It took me a while to rivet the panel as ai had to run the drill through each hole again to clean the sealant from the holes that set overnight.
I used my metal cutoff saw to make a steel bracket for the LS3 DBW throttle unit using 4mm flatbar. I purcased some extra rivnuts from JKM which came in handy for this bracket. I modified the standard Chevy bracket, but needed extra hight to clear the steering shaft. I also had to grind the plastic pedal from the bracket because the pin holding the pedal in place was very tightly pressed in and I didn’t want to damage the electronics from too much hammering.
I could not use the same mounting locations as the manual indicates as the unit seems to be different sizes to the one in the build manual. I assume the build manual refers to an older unit than the one shipped with my GM ECU.
I spent a few more hours labelling every plug on the wiring harness. Spent 5 hours working today.
12 – 17 June: I didn’t do much work on the car as I went away for a long weekend, however my next container was packed and is on it’s way from Ultima in the UK. Another couple of weeks and I can start with the bodywork. I spent a few hours on Sunday 17 June sanding and polishing the left side panel.
Working hours this last week was 10 hours, bringing the total to 191 hours.
18 June: I finally completed the last interior panel and riveted in place.
19 June: I started working on the chassis alignment and fitted the wheels to double-check the alignment. I noticed that the brake lines were scuffing against the rim, so will have to remember this so I attach the cable clips in such a way that they will clear the wheels when this is done. I used some Damplifier Pro to cover the outside face of the interior panels to help with sound deadening on the panels. I will not rivet the side pods in place until I have fitted the Aircon piping, as I will need to make some cutouts for these but they will only arrive towards the end of July.
20-24 June: I have slowed down with the work on the Ultima as there is not much more to do before the next container arrives. I finished drilling all the holes for the side pod undercover plates on both sides before lowering the chassis onto its own wheels. The additional parts fitted over the past few weeks quickly add to the weight of the car. I lifted both sides of the chassis onto the supports by myself when I started, but had to use hydraulic jacks to get it down again as I could not lift either side by myself anymore.
I still have a roll of automotive carpet left from a previous project, so I cut some templates to cover the floor in the seating area. There carpets are not stuck down at this stage as I am still going to make a mess inside the cockpit when doing the dashboard.
The floor panels under the seats still have a ring to them even with the carpet fitted, so I will have to treat them with some Damplifier Pro. I will leave this until the seats arrive, as I need to cut the material around the seat rails.
As you can see in this picture, this car is very low.
I rolled the chassis outside so I can clean my workshop floor from all the work done over the last two months.
After sanding and polishing up the passenger foot brace, I drilled the nescessary holes, installed the rivnuts and secured the footbrace into place.
The only jobs left for me over the next few weeks is to secure some more cables, wiring and hoses in the engine bay using the clips and rivets provided by Ultima.
Total working hours is now at 200 hours.