February 5th

Well, I've been a lazy sod recently, and done nothing. However, I did collect my engine over the weekend, so that's now sat in the garage, waiting for a good clean up. It turns out it's the original TVR engine too, which means no catalyst for me! Hurrah! And I've got my engine mounts too, at a bargain 20quid the pair. Oh, I've corrected the link to Richard's web page too, not that he's actually got anything there yet (hint, hint).

Finally, as promised, some pictures. Not of the car though, cos it's a bit of a mess at the moment - all the tools etc off the floor (I know...) are on/under it from when I made space for the engine.

Grubby, but big :-) Yowsers! Big butterfly valve Possibly an oil leak?

February 11th

A weekend of 'icky' jobs. The engine is now cleaned, the sump and block painted, and the engine mounts have been wire-brushed, and given a coat of primer. Photos up here tomorrow evening once the aforementioned paint has dried. I had intended to tidy the garage too, but realised that's not such a great idea while paint's drying.

Also during the week, I managed to source myself an LT77 gearbox and bellhousing. All I need now is a clutch, the hydraulic cylinder, and possibly the release fork, then I can stick it all together and bung it (technical term) in the Rush.

Clean engine Laahverly

February 18th

Collected the gearbox on Saturday morning, from "Gearbox Man". Had quite a long chat with him about gearboxes, and he certainly seems to know his stuff, and is quite a bit cheaper than the likes of Rimmer/RPi etc (485quid for a fully-recon box and bellhousing without exchange). So, painted that up and cleaned out the garage as I'd promised myself last week.

On Friday, I ordered my brake components from HiSpec (300mm X-drilled fronts with Dynalite calipers, and standard X-drilled rears, greenstuff pads all round), and collected some recon. standard rear calipers from the local motor factors. So, when that lot arrives (towards the end of this week), I should be set to finish off the rear suspension (and also the front, were the side panels on!).

So, tomorrow, it's time to order the clutch, fork and cylinder, and then with a bit of luck, I'll be able to install the engine next weekend!

Pristine LT77 So far...

March 4th

First of all, apologies for the delay in updating - all will become clear...

Having ordered all the clutch gubbins, that duly arrived on the Thursday. With one exception. The pushrod between the clutch fork and the slave cylinder. Irritating, but I can order one. No, it seems I can't. Rimmer can't get hold of them any more, and couldn't say when they might have a 2nd hand one in. Oh. Try the local Rover dealer, and indeed, the part is no longer available, but there's a garage shown in Lincoln which might have one. Back to work, ring them up, and no, there's no such part number. However, in a sudden rush of blood to the head I thought to try the Landrover dealer...Yep, they have them. Great. Except on trying to put the stuff together, I notice it's about an inch too short. Back to the Rover dealer the following day to find that he gave me the wrong part number. So ring the Lincoln garage again, and indeed, they do have one, and it is indeed about an inch longer than the Landrover one. £3.50 and one day later, I get the rod, and am finally able to join up the engine and box. Hurrah! Oh yes, I also had to order a gearbox mount from Dax, as it's not included in the kit. I wish they'd say this, as a similar thing happened with the steering mount - you only get it when your column has been modified. Fair enough, but it'd be nice to know what you get when, and what 'extras' are available through them...

Meantime, the brakes failed to show, and still haven't arrived (after two delays, I'm assured they'll be here tomorrow), and some bits arrived from Europa (filler cap, airhorn and some brake clips). In preparation for installing the engine, I've fitted and drilled the footwell panels and battery tray, so they just need rivetting in place after the engine's in. Also, I've fitted the pedal box, and completed the pipe routing right up to it.

Most of the above was done last week, with very little done this week, due to work commitments. Anyway, to relieve all that, I reckoned that I could easily put the engine in this weekend. Just fit the mounts, and swing it it. Easy! Nope. Wrong. All was going well until I decided to bolt the mounts to the block. Can I figure out what type of bolts are used to fix them? Can I heck! A M10 bolt was my starting point, and it goes in about 3 turns. So, off down the local hardware shop, and they decide it's probably 7/16" Whitworth, as the M10 does the same in the whitworth nut. Except on getting home, I find that the 7/16" Whitworth slides straight in without even touching the thread. Hmm. Ring Rimmer, and they say that it's a 7/16" UNF. Ok. Get 7/16" UNFs. Nope, they don't even go in at all, looking as if they're too big (the threads are very thin on the diameter). And after asking on the Dax list, I'm told to try 1/2" UNC, which I'll get tomorrow. Failing that, I think my only solution is to either take a moulding of the holes (with silicone sealant!) to a specialist that the hardware store told me of, or to take the engine to an engineering shop to get the holes tapped out to a known thread/size. Obviously, the latter is a very last resort! Building a kit has never been so much fun, so no rash expectations on the end of this entry :-)