Day 2: Front Suspension, uprights and exhaust polishing

Confession, time management…

Yet again I didn’t manage a full day. I am tracking time on the build, and I will give a complete breakdown of my efforts when completed.  I only managed about 5 hours, and therefore even though its my ‘real’ day 2, I’ve only put in 8 hours of effort to date. And quite a bit of that has been chatting to friends and family that pop around for a nosey, and cup of tea management and drinking. I’m happy with this though. Soon everyone will get bored of me locked in my garage and I can hopefully get some more robust build days under my belt.

Front Suspension

As you can see from the pictures I did the safe and careful thing and added multiple layers of masking tape around the suspension area, and stuck cardboard to the side skin further back. This was my first real step through of instructions beyond the simple steering rack bolts, and I was pleasantly surprised. Once I had identified the nuts and bolts from the inventory sheet within the build bag for front suspension it was simple.

Like everyone before me who has done the same, the 2nd side I built up was about 3 times quicker, its still fairly time consuming making sure that you have done everything properly first time around. Oh and its all a tight fit. Took a bit of manhandling to get the lower wishbones in place, and the upper wishbone bolts are fiddly and close to the bodywork, but all fairly easy stuff, no need for any Dremel attacks…

I have a SV model, so wide track suspension by default. If you take the assembly guide as gospel, then the aim would be to have 4 washers, then one spring washer and another at the front of the lower wishbone. I have read enough build diaries to feel confident that I should ignore that and put 2 spaces behind, and 2 in front, as per standard track suspension guidelines. So I did so.

The other thing I didn’t quite understand from the assembly guide was where to place a mysterious grommet on the headlight bracket. The instruction is to insert in hole, but there are 2 holes. One on the upright stem 2/3 rds up (which is oval), and one on the base which mates with the chassis bracket. I assumed the round hole, fitted 2 grommets, checked with Derek and its actually the oval stem holes where a grommet needs to be added. Apparently you slice one in half then stick them together around the edge of the hole, as 2 halves of the oval. Its and IVA thing, ’nuff said, I’ll do it later.


I tried and failed with this one, for lack of correct socket, although once I have the correct socket, I feel like it may still be a funky struggle. I ordered the upgraded brakes, so the uprights arrive as complete assemblies, callipers and pads added, which is cool.

This is where the assembly guide is OK, but the parts list sheet is not. In the bag marked “suspension” there are random bits and bobs. Likewise in the primary parts list bag, there are unidentified components.

So I had to guess my way to a spacer for the lower mounting part of the upright, and also for the Nyloc ‘cut down’ nuts, but it was pretty obvious really – these are the offending items:


I have to torque the lower mounting in the wishbone to 55Nm, but the stem, as you tighten, pushes my socket out and away from the nut. So I need to whizz to B&Q and buy some deeper sockets.

I have temporarily bolted the upper wishbone fitting to the upright, for stability and safety, but I might still need a friend or something to clamp the upright with to be able to apply 55Nm of force. I will try tomorrow after work if I get the chance.

But here are a few pictures of the hanging upright for your viewing pleasure:


Problem Areas

As I spend more time looking at the chassis, I see little problems that I need resolving. Two relate to scraped off and missing paint, either damaged in factory, or in transit to and from BookaTrack from me. These will need fixing, and I will talk to BaT first about it.

A few areas under the rear end, behind the fuel tank have been gouged away. Plus the top of the near side hood mounting point.

There is also a big dent in the underside of the fuel tank, its obviously been sat on something and not been handled quite carefully enough. Little items, but as I say, will need to be sorted at some point.

Exhaust polishing

The exhaust as it arrives is a bit in need of a proper polish. I don’t like polishing, to be honest I thought they would arrive in a slightly more beautiful state, but not to be.


The collector in particular is rough, really rough. So I phoned a local metal polisher (to me in Leicestershire) who specialises in this kind of thing. He actually mirror polished all of the Norton motorbikes in Spectre, the James Bond film.

I don’t need that kind of finish, so asked for a quote for Satin finish. I sent him the above photo, hence the tape measure out so he could work out a price. He quoted £120 which I thought was OK, and I will drop it off to him in the next week or two.

Day 2 Time Lapse


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