Saturday, August 08, 2009

Herald coupe update

Brands Hatch Restorations sent me an update about the Herald coupe last week. They're making good progress, but not necessarily in the direction I'd originally envisaged.

As background, I engaged them to finalise the engine and gearbox mounts, but mainly to repair the rust and alter the bodywork to fit over the braced transmission tunnel and wider track width. Bodywork is their specialty, and they have numerous restorations to their credit. A V8 Herald isn't their normal bread and butter, but they like the idea...

In New Zealand, substantial vehicle modifications have to be approved by a 'certifier', an engineer who applies strict guidelines on design, workmanship and safety before the car can be unleashed on public roads. I used to think NZ's system was a pain, but since moving to Australia, realise it's pretty straightforward. Anyway, BH sought the advice of a local certifier, who specified a few changes. The first is that my beautiful front wishbones, which provide a wider track width and mount to Cortina uprights (no trunnions!) need to be made of a thicker-walled tube. The guy who made them is p1ssed off but will make new ones.

Another change the certifier asked for was to move the engine back. BH have done this, and made the final engine mounts. For the first time, the powertrain is firmly bolted in, about 4-5 inches further back than I'd planned, but it will help both the handling and give more room for radiator and fans. The engine mounts look very firm, and mount to the chassis main rails rather than the suspension turrets. It may be possible to run a brace between the turrets to stiffen the front up further. My Dad has dropped the front pulley in, so they can make sure it doesn't foul on the steering rack. I wasn't pleased when I saw that my tubular backbone had been cut into, but that can at least be rectified later.

And this is what 46 hours labour buys...

The timing cover is now in line with the steering rack. The P6 crank pulley has been dropped in to check clearance.

The right hand engine mount. It's basically a suspension bush, so if it fails the engine won't drop far. Could transmit a bit of vibration though, so the engine had better be well balanced.

The backbone has been 'clearanced' to accomodate the new engine position. If its rigidity has been compromised I'll have to look at replacing the tubes.

A very tidy gearbox mount.


Post a Comment

<< Home