The third NMA student to work with the team recently was Aung Soe Hlaing. Aung had some workshop experience before joining the NMA.
On that basis we decided to get Aung involved in a number of areas of final fit and finish which required measuring, templating, light fabrication and assembly.
In the interim period between the weekend covered in part 2 of this blog and Aung’s day working with us, we had finished applying the vinyl livery to the rear bumper. This gave Aung a list of fun jobs to crack on with. First on the list was riveting on the Dzus quarter-turn fasteners to the bumper to allow for it to be detached from the chassis quickly.
The standard clips used by manufacturers for this task are a) too fiddly and b) too weak for use when racing. Regular bolts and washers alternatively are strong enough, but sadly slow to apply and remove. Dzus fasteners however are strong and can be released quickly with a proprietary tool, flat-head screwdriver, 5 pence piece – and in the case of a particularly savage mechanic I saw once, his thumbnail.
Next on the rear bumper work list was reattaching the number plate panel. Freshly resprayed in satin black and with wiring grommet fitted, this moulding would now be home to the mandatory rain light. Aung had the task of aligning and the drilling holes for M5 security torx bolts for both the light and the panel itself.
A point of note when adding fasteners and fixings to original bumpers being modified for race use is to ensure that relatively large-headed bolts, rivets and penny washers are used to spread the clamping loads applied. Otherwise there is every chance they can pull through the soft, waxy plastic.
Moving along the car, the next job was preparing the inner doors (again in accordance with MSA regulations). This involves covering the carcasses with a strong, shatterproof card to obscure any sharp edges exposed by the removal of the factory door dressing.
This started with applying the self-adhesive 3M carbon skin to the polypropylene door cards which were cut by Zach the previous week. The rears of the cards are coated with fabric tape to prevent any rattling, and the factory door handles are replaced with simple, high-visibility yellow webbing pulls. The finishing touches were a black aluminium handle securely bolted through the door carcass, and jumbo black rivets to secure the card in place
Aung’s last job of the day was fabricating a base for the teams’ data logging kit. The setup of data logger, solid-state video recorded and ECU interface is mounted on a carbon plate which allows us to quickly and easily move it between the different cars. The polypropylene base bolts to the passenger seat mount points and is drilled and fitted with Camlok fastener receivers (conforming to the a templated pattern as used in the S1 and S2 Elises) to retain the logging kit.
Until next time! Andy Napier, NMA Student & Owner Napier Racing.