Project EXI

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

Apr 01 2011

Shock mount rose joints are wrong

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The extended Rose Joints arrived, but there were two problems with them
1 - The thread on the joint was 7/16" UNF and not 1/2" UNF
2 - The length was too long, allowing the lower wishbone to hit the main chassis.

Spoke to GAZ again, and they are going to make some slighty shorter ones at 52mm from plate to Center hole (instead of 60mm), and also make sure the thread is 1/2" UNF.

For reference 12mm piston rods have 7/16" and 14mm piston rods have 1/2" hole.

Returned the 60mm extensions for exchange.
Good customer services at GAZ :)


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Mar 30 2011

Shock mounts - raising the ride height

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Spoke to a technican at GAZ, he is going to send me some rose joints with a 30mm longer leg length. This will avoid welding cutting and shutting.
With the longer leg it should create a 30mm longer shock piston, which will in turn give additional clearance for the tyre under the wheel arch.

The shocks fitted ar GPG-1168, with a 12mm piston rod. Will takes some before and after photos of the mod, once the rose joints are recevied.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Mar 28 2011

15" rims fit better, but got saggy shocks and very low ride height

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Finally figured out why the wheel was so close to the bodywork.
The shock was at full extension, once I removed the top shock mount the top of the wheel dropped by a good 35mm.
I need to increase the length of the shock by 30mm, will see if it is possible to weld in a small extensionof 30mm to the shock bar, as has been suggested by Mark @ Marlin.

Lower the top mounting hole by 30mm OR
increase the rose joint leg length by 30mm

Decisions decisions.......


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: wheels

Mar 27 2011

15" rims with proxies have arrived

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Wheels and tyres arrived on Friday as promised.
They much better than the previous donor wheels.

The fronts looks like they will fit no problem,
I have had to make some modifications to the two topmost ball joints to account for the required camber.
I will need to check that the suspension mount bolts are not too tight as I still seem to be lacking in clearence between the wheel and body work.

Decided to re-think the horn connection and the self cancelling indicators. But it would much simpler not to use the horn connection and cancelling "dough-nut" assembly on the steering column. This would make the fitting of the quick release boss so simple its a no brainer.
A horn button can then be permantly fixed on the dashboard, by the drivers right hand. I belive this should meet the IVA requirements without any problem.

Ive cut out a carboard template to fit the footwells, to mount the heater matric fan and ducting. This effectivly replaces the forward center tunnel section.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: wheels

Mar 22 2011

Ordered some 15" rimes....

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Ordered some wheels and tyres :)

7Jx15 5x100 ET45 Team dynamics prorace 1.2
195/50/15 Toyo T1R proxies
Weighted balanced
Bolt kit
Lock nuts
57.1mm spigot rings

Should arrive by the end of the week.
Finges crossed I can make them fit.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: wheels

Mar 20 2011

Need some 15" rims, cutting the headlight holes

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Had a chat with Mark and 195/50/15 with 6.5J15 Et 35 wheels should fit without the need for the wheel arches.
finding 5x100 on a 15inch is a bit tricky.
but I have managed to find team dynamics pro race 1.2, that can be made to any stud pattern and any offset.
So will order up a set of pro race 1.2 in black 5x100 7x15 with 195/50/15 toyo T1R proxies, being custom drilled and custom offset. the lead team is 3weeks, but I think the overall effect will be as required.
Just need to check that they will cover the front discs, and the bore size is correct. At 585 quid, including the tyres and wheels it is a bit pricey but the kit is useless without tyres!


I also spent the weekend cutting out the holes in the bonnet for the headlights, Im please to say I have managed to get them to fit!! A bit of tweaking is needed on the offside headlight as it currently fowls the intercooler, I should be able to make it fit by a small adjustment to the palstic shell of the headlight.
Doesnt seem to be the same problem on the nearside, but time will tell.
Next I have to work out how to secure them in place, once secured adjustment will be limited, so this is cruical.


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

Mar 17 2011

17" Donor rims are too big

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Wheels and tyres is going to be a big topic to discuss.
Bascially the 17inch 225/50/15 from the seat leon will not fit into the space under the bodywork of the kit.
The rear clam shell will not close, and the tyre stick out of the bodywork by a good 50mm or so.
The leon rims are 7Jx17 ET38
Marlin do not know what size rims I am going to need, so finding suitable rims is going to consist of a few calculation and hopefully not too much trial and error. That would be expensive.
I will have to contact a tyre/wheel supplier and dicuss it further, maybe take some measurements and see if a suitable wheel can be found. After which a suitable tyre can be fitted.
It may also mean fitting the Marlin wheel arch extensions. Time will tell, but will keep you all posted and developments in this area.

In the meantime, I have found a suitable home for the Horn on the front bulkhead, it fits (just) to the right of the washer bottle and under the wiper motor. I will to adjust the wiring in this area and make some wires slightyl longer to account for the new location.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: wheels

Mar 13 2011

Side panels & doors......first fit

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Had another full day in the garage, and the fitting the door hinges and door hanger. The build manual provides a measurement of 275mm from the bottom of the door to the spindle that fits into the bear claw lock, but the manual doesnt provide a measurement for the door hinge hanger. I had to guess this based on the where the door hinges were and the alignment of the door.

For reference the bottom edge of the door hinge hanger is 50mm from the base of the door, so the hole needed for the door frame is about 90mm or so from the bootom edge.

With the door drill 6mm button heads screws , peeny washers and lock nuts were used to secure the the 5 bolts, 2 for the door spindle and 3 for the door hinge hanger.

At first the 10mm holes I put in were to close to the door opening, so I had to elongate the hole and move the ball and socket joints towards the front. Again no photos in the build manual made this guess work. In the end I found the 10mm hole center needed to be 12mm from the front edge of the hanging plate on the chasis. and 17mm up from the center.
Making this hole lower allows for adding packing spaces on the hinges, to get the door to hand in the correct place.

After some intial tweaking and positioning the driver door aligns with the rear edge of the side panel, the front edge of the side panel.
And the side panel, dashboard and front clam shell all sit at the same height at the front edge.

The driver side panel is secure, with 6mm button heads on securing it onto the chasis for the top mounting points, a 10mm nylon spacer used on the rear, and two M10 washers acting as spacers for the front.
The side panel also has rivnuts at 125mm spacing with M6 counter sunk screws to hold its lower edge on the aluminium side panel.
I have yet to fix the underside of the panel to the floorpan

My neighbour frank lent his assistance with haning these major panels, it is a two person job, as some of the panel are large, they need to go on and off a few times to get them correctly mounted. Thanks again Frank !!

All in all Im pretty please with the results, and the kit looks really good now all major fiber components are installed.

I hope throughout the week to acheive the same results with the passenger side panel and door.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork

Mar 11 2011

Side panels & doors

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Now all four over hinges are fitted the 4 main fiber panels can all be hooked together, its time to look at fixing the fiber panels and doors.
Starting by drilling and rivnutting the side panel by the door, M6 rivnuts 5 inches apart seemed good.
Offering up the door to the fixed in side panel, it look quite difficult to get decent alignment and might take longer than expected.
I think i need to fix the hinge areas of the side panel to chassis, as these seem to "float" around, getting these fixed in the correct place seems critical to get the door to line up with smooth lines.
Aluminium flat bar screwed onto the hinge area and then bolted to the main chassis rails should sort it out.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork

Mar 09 2011

Over latch hinges...........

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Fitted the front driver side over latch hinge tonight.
It fitted better that the rear hinge, the recessed space at the front is slight bigger than that of the rear.
I am maxing a small aluminium plate up to bolt the hinges onto from the rear.
Once I have fitted all the hinges I will have go round and fiber fill the backs of the hinges to hold the plate in place for additional strength.
In some areas the gel coat is poor quiality, gel coat is really thick with no fiber support behind it, so it cracks and falls off easily.
The gel coat also seems to get in the way of making a smooth joint between the body panels, this wil have to be sanded back.

My intention is post IVA get the body work re-sprayed in a metallic orange, I am not too concered about lossing the gel coat and showing fiber glass in some areas.


Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: bodywork
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