Gas Tank and IRS Center Section

Its been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a chance to work on the car much. A couple weekends of paying attention to the house was in order, and I probably need a couple more at this point. The poor lawn has yet to be mowed this year. I may need to rent some goats or something at this point.

Today I had hoped to get most of the rear end together…

Instead we barely got anything done. Incorrect parts, incorrect hardware, lack of useful information from both the parts supplier and Factory Five (whose manual, frankly, is worthless and has raised putting incorrect hardware to an artform) all conspired to slow everything down. I’m starting to think the difference between people who build a car in six months and two years comes down to who packed (or mispacked) the hardware.

The first thing we did was install the IRS center section. Factory Five could’ve saved a lot of time putting a single sentance describing what orientation you need to put it at to squeeze it through the maze of steel. A better part of an hour was needed to work out how to get it in position without sacrificing too much of the powder coating on the frame.

The trick, for future readers, is to turn the pumpkin 90 degrees (so the mounting flanges are parallel to the car) and lay it on the differential cover.  Work it upwards on a jack until its most of the way into the IRS chassis and then in one smooth motion rotate it 90 degrees to horizontal while rotating 90 degrees so the mounting flanges in the front lay flat. FFR: your IRS portion of the manual sucks. It seriously needs revamping. Mentioning the obvious stuff doesn’t help people, you need to mention the stuff that isn’t obvious.

When we finally got it positioned, we discovered the mounting hardware Fortes provided doesn’t work on the car. The combination of the two washers, two aluminium bushings, and the differential left at best two threads for the nut to grip.

Lacking better hardware to fix it, we mounted the gas tank next. It took a half hour to figure out where Factory Five had incorrectly put four plastic caps that went in the end of the gas tank supports. Its funny how they list explicitly what goes in what bag in the kit, and every bag I’ve opened so far has had the wrong hardware or missing hardware. I did eventually find them in the pedal box hardware bag. Didn’t even get the area of the car right, Factory Five. Thanks for that waste of a half hour.

The mounting of the gas tank was uneventful. Photos to come, I haven’t taken any yet.

A trip to Home Depot got some new Grade 8 hardware to use to mount the IRS center section. A bolt a half inch longer fit perfectly, but I needed to get new nuts as well as HD had coarse-thread grade 8 hardware, not the fine thread the mounts came with.

The only other thing we did today was mount the steering column bearings. The pedal box mount seems to be VERY tight relative to the steering column, so its clear that at least a temporary mounting of the steering column was in order. Factory Five came through again with both putting the wrong bolt sizes in the manual and including a set that didn’t fit the holes in the bearing mounts.

Its clear that I need to find somewhere to get a large collection of miscellaneous hardware to have on hand, or I’m going to end up making a LOT of trips to Home Depot to get through this.