Rear Spash Panels and Windshield

Rear splash panels and windshield would be the title of this post if I didn’t run into yet more problems that are going to cause me to spent more money and time because of things that Factory Five screwed up.

I started off wanting to do two things this weekend: get the rear splash panels installed in the rear wheel wells, and get the windshield installed. As I’ve said for a few months, the windshield is the thing really blocking me finishing right now, because I’ve got a lot of tasks left that I can’t do until its on.

As has happened numerous times in the past, problems with the parts in question left me mostly stuck.

I started off installing the driver’s side splash panel. These go in basically identically to the elephant ears in the front — bulb seal seals them to the body, and a flange on the inboard side rivets to the car.


It took a bit of time to figure out the right alignment — the manual was of little help in this regard.


There are only four rivets that hold the panel to the car — it hangs down below the rear frame and thats the only spots that have anything to rivet it to.


A small flange bends up into the body, and I used a small rivet to hold it in place. This won’t be visible from above.

Once I had the driver’s side in, I went to do the passenger side.


This was a big deal to me — this is the last panel to be fitted to the car. It was still in its plastic from the powdercoating.

Unfortunately, when I took it out and went to fit it, I realized that Factory Five, along with the long list of other things they screwed up in packing my kit, sent me two driver’s side panels. Time-wise, this isn’t a huge impact because the panel is easy to add later, and I can easily do it even after I get plates on the car. Frankly, its probably better anyway because if the fuel filler leaks, it’d be hard to reach with the panel on to fix it.

Unfortunately, its going to cost me at least another $100 to powdercoat a replacement panel when I can get one from Factory Five. Delays are bad, but I’ve dropped a few hundred dollars now on fixing problems with the parts I was sent.

I was annoyed, but decided to keep trying to get some more work done.


The backup light still wasn’t wired. Power was run to the back, but I hadn’t shortened the wire yet or connected up the Weatherpak connector on it. That only took a few minutes after I walked around for a half hour looking for my wire cutters. Don’t ask me why they were on my coffee table in the house. I have no idea.

The ground line still isn’t wired up — it turns out with the body on, I can’t easily reach any spot on the chassis by the light to get a ground post in, so I’ll have to ground it over in the passenger side wheel well. I was still unhappy about the passenger side splash panel, so I was avoiding that side of the car in spite. I’ll wire it up quickly some evening this week.

So today’s goal was simple: get the windshield installed. Now, thats not likely to be simple, and I assume it would take a few hours, but it was the next step I needed to do. The windshield also represents the last box of parts from Factory Five — getting it installed means all the remaining work just involves parts I’ve already worked with.

I cut the tape on the box, and started pulling out the styrofoam. The windshield comes sandwiched between a convex and concave block of styrofoam, with the rest of the parts tucked into the box. When I pulled out the concave piece from the box, a glint of light reflected off the windshield — it was cracked along the entire height of it on the passenger side. Once again, I catch bad luck with something from Factory Five. This isn’t all that uncommon — the windshield is poor quality, and if they don’t come broken, they frequently break one they are on the car, but its annoying that another part is wrong and I can’t make more progress on the car.

So tomorrow I have to call Factory Five and get them to replace the windshield, as well as get another splash panel. I’ll have to get it powdercoated next week once I get it. I wish I knew I was having to do more, as there are other panels I forgot the first time that I would’ve done now, if I’d known. Unfortunately they’ve got silicone on them now, and you can’t powdercoat once its been hit with silicone.

I took a few hours to calm down (it was good my girlfriend was there, as I would’ve probably thrown the windshield through a window of my garage otherwise…), and I came back and decided to do some more detail work on the car.


I finally re-attached the throttle cable. Its still a little long and I need to shorten it another half inch, but that’s easy enough to do.


After that I decided to put the door straps on. These are leather straps that keep the doors from opening too far and damaging the body. They rivet to a spot on the hinge, and then the inside portion rivets to the 2×2″ frame member in the cockpit.


After positioning the inside bracket, I drilled and used clecos to position the strap, and then installed it with 3/16″ rivets. In the tradition of the rest of this post, Factory Five only included four, not eight, rivets. I found two more, but the passenger one I can’t install until I buy more 3/16″ medium length rivets.


To keep making progress, I decided to install the latches on the doors. These basically just screw into the fiberglass doors, into metal panels that are embedded in the fiberglass.


The cover on the latch comes off, and the screws go into the door.


The passenger side latch, with the cover installed.


The latch catches on a strike pin that gets installed in a bracket on the frame inside the rear of the door opening.


Unfortunately, yet another problem from Factory Five — these bolts are M8-1.0 bolts — fine thread M8 metric sized bolts, close to 5/16″ but not 5/16″ and the thread pitch is pretty far off even a 5/16″ fine-thread nut. Unfortunately Factory Five sent 5/16″ coarse-thread nylon lock nuts. A trip to Ace Hardware, Lowes and Home Depot turned up no options for M8-1.0 lock nuts. Another thing to get from Factory Five tomorrow.

So that’s the progress this weekend. Not much, except getting another long list of things I need to call Factory Five about on Monday.

I’ll check another couple hardware stores tomorrow for the striker bolts, and will hopefully get them installed, as well as getting the hazard light wiring fixed during the evenings this week. If a windshield shows up this week, then I can maybe install it next weekend, otherwise I’ll have to just take a break until it shows up. I’m basically stuck now until then. Even the small tasks all follow it in sequence.