Project EXI

The building of a Marlin 5EXi kit car, using a Seat Leon 1.8T 20v Donor

Dec 12 2010

Seats & Fuse board

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I spent saturday fitting the seats and seat mounts, with some help from my neighbour (again, thanks frank!!) the MIG welder swung into action to fix the mounting rails in place.
The seat bolting plates were all drilled to 10mm holes, so there is a small amount of movement for getting the seats bolted in.
The seats bolt from the underside, so when fitting the floor plan I will make some holes to fit the bolt, and allow an allen key to be used. Then seal with a rubber blanking grommit. If I need to move the seat, I will need to drill a new hole in the floor pan, which can also be covered with a blank rubber grommet.
Seat holes are 15mm apart, so I can have forward or backwards movement at that interval.
I decided to mount the passenger seat as far back as it would go. To make use of the floor space, and create addtional room to fit the heater matrix fan.
The passenger seat is about 100mm further back than the driver seat. This also allows the driver the chaneg gear and use the handbrake, without elbowing the passenger in the ribs.

I have also created another fuse,relay mounting plate. I think this will be Version 4, but as with most things on the akit car build, you always find a better way to do things, so have to disassemble and re-assemble countless times.
The plate is now bigger, the cover I have acquired for it, now fits to the plate, rather than the plate fitting to the chassis, and the cover fitting over it.
As the fuse plate is now mounting to the front side panel, and not the front bulkhead I have to had to make some changes in the my wiring, shortening some cables and lengthing others. I spent most of sunday doing this, and have about 5 more wires to indentify and fit (I lost the cable indentifiers) but they can only be a few devices, as the cables are purple and blue.

I had to shorten the main battery feed cable, and had some trouble with fitting the battery terminal, I could get the solder to flow as I wanted it to, so I may have to fire up the gas soldering iron to increase the heat.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: interior, electrical

Dec 10 2010

Roll cage

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Just been in contact with Marlin, and the roll cage, windscreen, dashboard problem is now understood.
The gap on the front roll cage leg, from the angle to the bolt hole should be 100mm and not 70mm as on my roll cage. There seems to off been a batch of roll cages made where the distance varies from 70mm to 90mm. Those cages with a 90mm gap should be ok, those with anything less will not fit at designed.
The solution is make a new hole in the roll cage, 100mm down from the angle, the hole will need a sleeve wedling in place.
So I will get some 12m ID diamter 2mm thick bright mild steel, drill a hole and get the sleeve welded into place. A bit of paint and we should be ok.
See this picture for clarification on the hole in question


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: structual

Dec 08 2010

Need to fit Heater Matrix

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Heater matrix arrived today from CBS.
Now the fun is going start.
To fit the heater matrix is going to need a re-orgnasation of everything attached to the front bulk head.
To fuel will have to move to the left, to allow for some clearance for the heater pipes,
To horn will need to move to the far right, under the windscreen wiper motor.
and I will move my fusebox from the front bulkhead to the left handside front 1/4 panel by the passengers feet. So I can fit the fan where the fuse box currently sits.
To tap into the water pipes for the heater matrix, I will have to drain all the coolant from the system, remove the raditor and intercooler connections.
Drain the fuel system and remove the fuel tank.
It is a big job, but I would rather do this now in developement than when it is finished.
Work will start on this big front end strip down tonight !!


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: heating and cooling

Dec 04 2010

Windscreen and Seats

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Collected my seats this morning from Minispeed and promptly set about making the frame mount them in the car, with alot of help from my neighbour again.
Using 20mm square tube with plates welded onto them, the seats will be semi adjustable. I will have to unbolt the seats from the underside, move the seat and then bolt it again in a new hole, which is created in the welded plate. The holes are 15mm apart, this will allow me a level of fine tuning the seat position. The car is built for me, and my wife, and fortunately we both drive without changing the seat position.
I also found a local supplier, Len simpson for a windscreen, who was able to quote and supply for a non-heated windscreen for 200 pounds. The screen is for a Lotus Elise S1, and is referred to as a Green top. Which means it has a built in tint along the top edge acting as a sun shield. I was concerned about the depth of colour against my orange, but it it inoffensive.
This will mean I will need to fit a heater matrix, the parts for which I have ordered from Car builder solutions.
In sizing up the screen position, I have had to move the dash closer to the driver position, and also raise the front edge. This means the front edge of the dashboard, does not quite fit. Welding a new 20mm square bar along the front edge may be the solution.
I have now fixed the roll cage into position.
It is all a bit of an engineering jigsaw to build the Marlin, but extremely satisfying when a solution is found.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: interior

Dec 02 2010

Turbo intercooler changes

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Ordered some replacement hoses and connections to get the Turbo output to the intercooler mounted lower to it will fit under the rear clam shell.
The box of parts has just arrived so will see about fitting that as soon as the weather allows.
Door hinges have also arrived from Marlin,
Seats I hope to collect on saturday.
That should open the way to alot of jobs, busy times ahead.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: heating and cooling

Nov 29 2010

Heated windscreen

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I was going to fit the Lotus Elise Heated windscreen, but they seems to be a huge problem in getting one for a reasonable price.
Cheapest so far that is in-stock is £412.
For that I might be able to buy a normal windscreen and fit heating.
The module from CBS looks ok, compact and powerful, has two cabin heating an two vents for screen demisting.
Will price it up along with a normal screen and see what i can get for my money


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: heating and cooling

Nov 28 2010

First fitting of front clam shell, rear light fitting, seat mounts

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Set about fitting the front clam shell,
temporaily clamped the hanging brackets to the body shell so I could align the front body work, once the ideal location was identified I permantly fixed the hanging brackets with fiber filler and 3 M6 bolts per bracket. The front clam fitted really easily, and alignment was perfect striaght out of the box, modified the dash to remove a few tight spots. It does look like the dashboard front will need to be raised about 15mm, so seal the front clam shell correctly however this cant be done until the windscreen is in place.
Drilled and fitted the rear lights, both side/brake and indicators. No problem here was simple 10minute job with a drill and a dremmel to get the cut outs. A few M4 bolts secured the light clusters.
Decided to also fix the rear part of the side panels in place, to the mouting lugs near the roll cage. Again an M6 bolt and a rivnut were order of the day. This made fitting the rear clam a little easier as I had a fixed point. Removed some excess material from the panel joins, and some high spots on the facing surfaces which locate the rear panel.
Recevied the metal work for the seat runners. Have 3x2m lengths of 20mm x 1.5m square tubing, just need the phonecall to say seats have arrived.
Also have 25mmx4mm aluminium flat bar to secure the ends of the side panels, this is the next job on the list of todos.
All in all a productive weekend, shame its been as cold a -5C over the last few days, it doesnt do much for your fingers.!


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork, lighting

Nov 21 2010

Seats ordered, fitting the Rear clam shell

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Ordered two seats on Saturday, I bought two Corbeau Forza Sports in black vinyl from mini-speed. They should arrive in a couple of weeks, perhaps before. They are also FIA rated so will offer decent protection.
Will need to get some 20mm x 1.5mm square box tube to weld in a support for the seats. Not going to go with a runner, just bolt them directly to the chassis once extended with the tube.

Set about fitting the rear clam shell, so drilled the holes for the bracket, and used fiber filler to make sure it is secure and sturdy.
Had to remove the first of the exhaust mounting brackets at it interferes with the rear shell. Also had to remove some bodywork to get the turbo pipework to fit under the aluminum insert. It still wont fit so will have to see how I can reduce the height of the turbo pipework.

Set about lining up the rear clam shell with the side panels. I haven't fitted the side panels yet so there is still room for some movement there.
It seems the rear clam has also flattened since it was made, so I have clamped it together and hope it will retake its shape.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork

Nov 16 2010

Roll cage manufactured wrong

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This isnt going to plan.
With 20mm spacers to raise the height of the roll bar the mounting hole on the front uprights wont fit onto the plate on the inside of the front 1/4 panels.
15mm should do the trick, this now means that the roll bar angle is slightly (by 5mm) below the level of the dashboard.
I dont see I have another choice, not without cutting and shutting the roll cage which I feel is a definite no no.
So I will go with 15mm spacers and see what happens.

Another issue is the rear part of the roll cage, the seat belt bar will foul the top of the rear bulkhead GRP.
The angle brackets just seem too low, I may end up cutting off the right angle brackets and fitting my own seat belt bar, maybe out of the same tube as the roll cage, but thats another job for alot later.

Will fit 15mm spacers and see what happens next.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: structual

Nov 15 2010

First fix of GRP side panels

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I had to raise the height of the roll bar by 20mm, as the angle near the dashboard seemed to low, my neighbour made some spacers that fit on the bottom of the roll bar mounts.
This allowed the bottom of the GRP to slide all the way home.
This opened up a can of worms of problems.............
The intercooler side pipes now foul the inside of the GRP side panels.
only option was to lower the side pipes, so I swapped over the drivers side intercooler pipe with the fuel lines.
Had to make the boost pressue pipe slightly longer, luckily I had a longer length of 57mm tube, for now this is in place without the pressure sender. Fitting the sender back is another job.
All the u-clamp were mounted lower, and the old holes bunged with rubber grommets.
I decided not to fit ruvnuts to the new fuel mounting locations, instead just used M6 button head with M6 nylocs.
The drivers side went without too much of a problem.

The lowering of the passenger side was alot more troublesome, firstly the connections I made around the battery box were now all out of alignment, I have a 45 degree bend and a 90 bend before the pipework goes over the gearbox, with the pipe now lower this setup no longer worked. After about an hour of trial and error swapping the 90 and 45 degree bends over, it just about fitted. I could look a little closer and perhaps reduce the stress on the silicon hose connectors with a few small tweaks.
Now I had to connect the front section of the itnercooler pipes on the passenger side. This I still havnt resolved as the z shape pipe fouls the top of the suspension arm. The distance between the pipe and the front 1/4 panel is too big to fit a U-clamp. I may have to cut (10mm) off the bottom of this pipe to "move" the first of the Zs closer to the bulkhead.
I could of saved ALOT of trouble and expensive silicon connectors, if it was known before hand that the intercooler pipes MUST be mounted as low as possible on the side panels. I belive I can get it too work with the parts I have, will find out later on tuesday night....


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork
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