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GTM Coupé Page 35

September 2009

After another coat of paint and 24 hours to dry the wheels were ready for a finishing touch. So some fluorescent red wheels stripes were applied, to be on the safe side, I think I will apply a layer of clear lacquer just to seal everything down.

wheels with stripe
Wheels with stripes
wheel dull
Stripe in normal light
wheel bright
Stripe with flash light
wheel at night
Stripes at night

The tail end of a tropical storm, means that I can't get the wheels finished, and as I need to picked up a spare set this weekend that I won on eBay, I put the coupé onto a set of Metro wheels, rather than sitting longer on axle stands.

wheel off metro
Ex-Metro wheels

Well after the storms caused chaos in the local area. We set off down south and collected the new wheels I had bought.  Once home they were put on the car ready for its MOT.
The original wheels were given several coats of Lacquer, and while the wheels were off I took the chance to paint the front subframe, which I seems to have forgotten, and at the same time, the brake calipers were painted red, to stand out behind the black wheels.

wheels with lacquer
Lacquered Wheels
new wheels
new wheels on
red brakes
painted caliper

Now that so much of the car is red/black, I decided to remove the remaining chrome from the car, so I started with the bonnet catches and the door handles, the mirrors will stay at the moment, as they will need dismantled to paint, and that can wait to post MOT.

black bonnet catch
Bonnet Catch
black door handles
Door handle

Well the car has had its 1st MOT for a few years, with the last certificate I have dated December 2001.  First hurdle was to get the car registered on the new computer system, so after a few moments when the system wouldn't accept the chassis number (its 3 numbers and a letter) not the 17 digits required, we got started.  The tester was fair and spend a few moments trying to spot the cars the parts came from, with 100% success I add. He then managed to fit himself into the car for the brake test, but then decided it was better if I sat inside and worked the lights and moved it forward onto the ramps for more checking.  After 48 minutes he was finished and gave me the short 4 point list of points, so not a bad result, the points were;

  1. Offside headlight aim too high
  2. Front brake juddering
  3. Parking brake efficiency below requirement (by 1%)
  4. Seatbelts insecurely fixed.
  5. The first points were my own fault, I had adjusted the suspension up a little to make sure it would clear the brake testing rollers and had tried to align the lights on a wall, just the one was a fraction off, but I have already adjusted it down a little. The front brakes seemed fine to me but the tester believes that they just need a little more use and a clean up to cure, but I have ordered a new set of front disc's and pad, the rears just need the offside adjusted a little tighter to pass. 
    However the seal belt will need a little more thought. At the moment I have the standard spreader plates welded to the underside of the floor, the tester though that these wouldn't spread the load enough to stop them tearing through the floor. I have ordered a set of the newer standard plates, but may have to look at plating the floor somehow.

    Having had the MOT tester ask the model of the car was, I decide to mount the badge I had bought back in the spring, so after, measuring and drilling the holes, I fitted the badge above the rear nearside light.  To stop it falling off, or being removed, I run a die down the mounting legs and fixed it in place with a couple of nuts.

    badge on car
    badge fitted

    Despite the post offices best efforts to destroy them, a set of FIA spreader plates arrived.  These are 65mm square and 3mm thick, about 20mm bigger than those fitted and a considerable bit thicker.  If they are good enough for the FIA to approve on race cars, then I hope they are enough for the MOT.  A late return from work meant I didn't get a chance to weld them onto the car.

    spreader plates
    65mm spreader plates
    3mm thick

    More parts arrived today, a set of brake discs and pads. There is no great need for grooved and drilled discs, but at the price they were, it wasn't worth buying standard ones.

    discs and pads

    First thing to do was to attempt to swap over the spreader plates. The first one released its grip with a little effort, but the rest will need a little more time to do, so they will have to wait until the weekend. But when compared, the pads are quite a bit different, not too much on area, but the thickness is only about 1mm.

    spreader plates compared

    Rather than waste the evening I started on the brakes, the hub nuts were released and the drive flange removed, then the old discs were unbolted from the flange, then once cleaned up the new disc were bolted back on. As darkness fell and I didn't have the required torque figures to hand, the flanges were fixed back on, and the hub nuts, left to be tightened tomorrow night.

    original brakes
    Original discs
    hubs off
    flanges off
    replacement discs
    replacement discs

    Once I had found the right torque, the flange nut was tightened and the new pads fitted.  I decided to bleed the brakes just as a precaution then the wheels replaced onto the car.

    new brakes
    back together
    hidden behind wheel
    shame to hide them

    With the whole day available, I made a start of replacing the spreader plates. Whilst on a trip for some more Mig wire, I stumbled across a set of tube ends that seemed to be the right size for replacement centre cap for the wheels. Once home I sanded them flat, then in between welding the plates, I gave them a couple coats of primer, then a few more coats of black.

    centre cap
    centre cap

    Well Wednesday the 23rd saw the car booked back in for a second attempt at the MOT. A quick exit from work saw me at the testing centre by 5:45pm, after a check on the ramps the tester was satisfied by the welding, a quick check of the brakes and lights followed and at 6:34pm it was declared a pass. So now after 2 Years, 11 Months, 4 Days, 9 Hours, and 34 Minutes, the car can be taxed and legally used on the road once more.

    Waiting to begin
    light check
    light test

    A visit to the local post office results in a Tax disk, so the car is now completely road legal. Wasn't sure if I would be able to get one "early" as the DVLA web site seems to suggest you need to wait until the 2nd last day of the month, if your car was SORNed, otherwise you loose a months, tax. i.e. the disk would start from the 1st if the current month.

    tax disk
    tax disk

    Even though the car is now on the road, work hasn't stopped. As a safety measure I fitted a inertia cut off switch from a Peugeot to the fuel pump feed. In the case of an accident, the power to the pump will be cut, rather than it feeding petrol out a fractured pipe.

    inertia switch
    inertia switch