Throughout the winter months I have been compiling a list of
'finishing touches' that I wanted to do to my Libra in the nicer weather.
People have often said to me that you never finish building a kit car!
Below are the latest changes:
The first track day that I took the Libra too in February 2005,
I failed the noise test on the gate. Not a particularly good start!
I made up this silencer box from a cheap Astra centre silencer. The car is
just under 100 dB at 4500 RPM now.
When I initially set the car's suspension geometry I used
parallel strings along each side of the car. I found this took a very long
time to set the strings up and then wasn't particular accurate trying to take
measurements from them. I made up this 'setup bar' which touches the front
hub and the rear suspension brackets. It is very quick to set the bar up and
easy and accurate to set the car up with it.
When I received the new style instruments from GTM I was disappointed
that they had stopped supplying an oil pressure gauge. I was initially
going to fit a gauge pod under the radio and just fit an oil pressure and oil
temperature gauge. Whilst I was looking for gauges I found one that
incorporated a rev counter, water temperature, oil pressure and oil temperature
gauge. It also has a remote shift light which I have fitted to the top of
the dashboard. Very handy for track days. The second rev counter is
handy too as the steering wheel obstructs part of the dash mounted one.
To record the action on track days, I found this very neat
bullet camera and multimedia recorder. The camera and microphone are
mounted on the rear bulkhead between the seats. The recorder sits in the
glove box and is powered from the cigarette lighter.
The person who trimmed my car was supposed to be a professional,
but he made a terrible job of the top dashboard cover. Twice he attempted
it, but it was dreadful. I've now re done it myself and it is how it
should be! I wish I'd done all the trimming myself now.
I wasn't very impressed with the windscreen washer jets.
How ever much you moved the nozzle they seemed to either spray over the car or
just hit the wiper blade. I've now fitted 'spray bars' from a Peugoet
405. This bar has about 4 holes along its length and clips over the wiper
arm. This way it always directs water just in front of the wiper
blade. I'm very impressed with these and they are such a simple upgrade to
I've still got the mint condition1400 engine in my garage.
I'm undecided what to do with it. Sell it, or keep it for my next project!
I always thought the head light covers needed something to
finish them off. I also didn't like the way they were screwed on as water
can get in and it is very easy to crack the covers. I had a go at bonding in the
covers in. I experimented with the thickness of the black band I painted round them first. I tried the whole width of the overlap at first but it was too much and had a kind of panda eyes look. I've settled for this narrow band. I think it really
finishes them off nicely. I've always thought that just left clear it doesn't look quite right. It's also a nice width to cover up the bond.
I've silconed around the back of the lights to hopefully stop any stones getting in. For the bond I was going to use Sikaflex, but 1) I was worried about making a mess when it all squidged pressing the covers into place and 2) it'll never come off if anything did manage to get in there.
I believe the stuff I used is called Tremco. Windscreen fitters used to use this stuff before they had the sikaflex style stuff they use now. It comes in a big roll as shown below and you just cut a length and simply just press it in. It is as strong as a sikaflex bond, but it has the beauty of not being messy to use. It also never fully sets, so it is possible to pull the covers off. It very strong stuff but not impossible to get off.
I heated the covers up first to mould them to the proper shape of the body. That would also be worth doing if you were going to screw the covers down, as you'll have less chance of cracking the covers if they sit properly on the car.