After 6 months away from the van, (mostly fiddling with the trailer, Doris or taking both to shows), the real build has started.
To make things easier I decided to fit the front subframe and suspension, so the van could be wheeled around. It also gave a chance to test a possible fuel tank location ;-)
Sticking the flip front on has also liberated a bit of space in the shed.
After an inspirational moment, I decided to move the rear axle back by 5". Hopefully moving the wheels back in relation to the engine & gearbox will get the weight nearer to the middle of the car. (Some bodywork will be required)...
A new cross member has been installed with a low middle section for the sump. The swing arm crossmember was welded to the back of this, then the middle cut out to match. Some 35mm box has been welded to the back of the floor pan for strength, and as a start point for the bulkhead.
The rear section of the frame has been tied into the shell and a pair of motorcycle coilovers have been stuck in to check the suspension action and ride height with no weight.
The V8 from the Micra sits snugly behind the line of the bulkhead and with no part of the engine is above the 'waist' line the COG is nice and low :-)
The tail of the gearbox does protrude through the valence a little, but the number plate should cover that up.
With the suspension at full compression there's still a few inches of clearance, but there will be a sump guard fitted, if only to spark on bumpy roads ;-)
With a few flat panels to cover the engine and gearbox there should still be a fair bit of load space for camping stuff, or maybe pies...
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This page last modified 08/01/2008.