Saturday, February 22, 2020

Clothing an AK

Went over to Terry’s in Pateley Bridge to help lift the body onto his AK chassis. James was driving (almost finished his AK), but a boat would have been better after the heavy rain - floods around Otley.

Anyway, with help from Stan we managed to get the body on, although it was touching the near side manifold when in place. So another phone call to Jon at AK and a further challenge on the build route for Terry!
Stan, James and Terry ponder. What’s that then?
The body over the chassis, ready to fit

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Side screens

The wind wings were left off and the mirrors were removed from the windscreen. The wind wing hinges were refitted to the windscreen.
Side screen with guide to cutting
5mm Perspex sheet was used for the side screens. This had guidelines drawn on it by GD - note that it says ‘guide only’. The cutting will depend on how you
have installed the hood, so the cut line WILL be different from the lines GD have drawn, unless you are very lucky.

The Perspex was cut, using a slow speed on the jig saw, replicating the screen rake angle, but allowing an extra 3mm clearance for the hood bow. The front edge of the side screen almost touched the windscreen frame. The bottom edge of the side screen was set about 13mm from the door top, to allow for the rubber seal - I used a piece of wood taped to the door to space the side screen from the door. The bottom rear part of the side screen was also cut to create a 13mm gap to the door at this stage. The side screen was temporally taped in place.
Side screen temporarily fixed with tape and hinge. Note the tape on the doors holding the wooden spacer
Holes were then drilled to mount the side screen to the hinges and these were temporarily secured in place to make sure that the cut was right. No seal was required between the side screen and windscreen.
Side screen hinge
Next the top stitching was used to help mark the top of the side screen, so that it could be tucked under the lip of the hood when closed. The side screen was marked 15mm below the stitching line. The factory markings on the Perspex were incorrect for my screen. So after numerous measurements and remarking, the cut was made. This was a time consuming job. An “S” transition was used at the top rear to create an overlap of roughly 70mm to the rear (screen to hood) to allow rain etc to be blown off to the rear.
The correct cut line is the thinner line near the top, so DO NOT cut to the line drawn. As it says it is a guide only.
The Perspex was removed and cut to shape. The side screen is flat, so does not follow the shape of the car - it sticks out a little at the bottom rear, but being Perspex there is some flexibility here. So it will need fixing at the rear to pull it into shape. This will also stop the side screens lifting when the hood is in place or when the screens are used without the hood.

GD recommend a turn catch that bolts through the side screen and turns behind the elbow of the hood frame, but this limits the side screen use to times when the hood is up! The bottom of the screen cannot be fixed to the door top, otherwise the door will not open (due to the windscreen angle). So I have yet to decide how to fix them - possibly a turn lock that goes behind to door top or some Velcro that goes from the side screen to the top underside of the doors.

The edges of the Perspex were sanded smooth, then polished with a fine body compound, before the rubber seal was worked into place on the bottom edge. Here I applied a little Vaseline to the rubber seal and then worked it into place. Patience and some strength is required here! Finally, clear anti-scratch film was applied both sides (inside and out), at the top of the side screen (tucked in edge only), to prevent scuffing when used. The screen was then refitted to the car.
Here you can see the bottom rear sticking out, until a catch is fitted
Side view
View from front

This process was then repeated on the other side of the car.

I decided to use ‘glove box’ locks for the side locks. A hole was cut in each side screen to the ‘across flats’ size of the lock barrel, then filed to a square to take the locking mechanism. This stops the lock turning in the sidescreen.

The side screen catches were next. First I removed the existing catch part and made up a longer catch from aluminium bar. This was cut so that 50mm was extending towards the door top and 65mm to the other side (115mm in total). Shrink wrap was applied to the longer side to act as the handle. A square hole was cut as the pivot 50mm from the short end, before attaching to the lock (see below).
Catch made to fit lock.
Next the catch position was marked onto some masking tape on the top of each door. The slot size was marked from the escutcheon (I used the bulkhead escutcheons from GD) onto the tape and the screw positions marked. A slot was then cut with the Dremel. After filing out the slot a little, the masking tape was removed and the escutcheons fitted in place using two screws.
‘Bulkhead’ escutcheon one door top
Finally the side screens were re-attached and the catch positions checked.
Screen in place with catch

Monday, December 16, 2019

Hood (part 5)

The centre of the Tenax fastener holes were marked on the fabric where it fitted to the moulding. This was just above the dip between the boot and the rear wing on each side.

The hood fabric was carefully removed from the car. To finish off the hood, the fabric over lapping the hood bows was stuck in to the channel and surplus fabric trimmed off.
Fabric stuck into channel and clamped in place
Fabric trimmed so that it is only stuck to the front face of the channel
Holes were punched in the corners of hood fabric, where marked. Next I made up two tabs out of plastic, using a photo from Andy as a guide.  The screw thread of the spring cap parts of the Tenax fasteners were pushed through the tab and then the fabric. I tried to screw on the “nut” part with a Tenax fastener tool. Although the plastic was supplied by GD, I could not get the plastic and hood fabric between the two parts of the fastener as they were too thick, so this part was abandoned! The idea of the tab is to stop the piping curling up at the corners, so I will have to live with this risk. The Tenax fasteners were therefore fitted without the tabs.

The stud was fitted to the moulding. The nut that goes onto the stud behind the moulding was fiddly to attach to say the least!
Tenax fastener fitted. I have now removed the crease by tensioning the material.
The hood was refitted to the car. It was then that I noticed that the locating peg from the front off side screen bows had pulled out of the bow. So another job to refit it. (Note: Decided to buy a new bow from Europa rather than seek out a welder to fix it).

Inside view
View from front
View from rear
Job finally done - after three attempts at getting the tension right to get rid of the ridges in the fabric - had to pull the stuck fabric off the bow, remove the adhesive and then refit!

I was told that the first time the hood gets wet DO NOT put it down until it is dry, otherwise you will never get it back on. So I won’t risk it, but presumably it will help further tension the hood by getting it wet.

Now for the side screens!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Hood (part 4)

The hood fabric was removed again and warmed up in the house, then refitted to the moulding and over the hood frame (this is important to ensure that the tension is correct). Make sure that the hood frame is fitted the right way round  - with the cranked bits facing forward. The frame straps were put in place to hold the metal tubes in the correct place. A small heater was placed on the transmission tunnel to keep the hood fabric warm and pliable.

The fabric was pulled over the hood bows and screen, then taped in place, making sure that the overlap at each side was as near as possible same. The rear fitting to the moulding had to be adjusted to remove the sag from the rear window and creases from the roof area. The whole thing took a lot of fiddling, a bit of cursing and I broke a few finger nails in the process!
Effective, but doesn’t look pretty!
Inside looks ok though.  Note: straps to retain spacing of hood frame
Next the hood fabric was released from half of the screen and adhesive applied to the front of the hood bow only. The fabric was pulled over the bow/screen into its original position and the tape was then re-applied to retain the position whilst the glue set. This was then repeated for the other half. Note: The fabric is only glued to the face of the hood bow (not the top, as this slopes in the opposite direction to the hood fabric).

The press studs were fixed to the moulding (see photo) to secure the hood flap. I used double sided number plate adhesive tape to help identify where the male studs should be fixed. Simply put a small piece of number plate tape or similar under the female part of the press stud and apply some pressure against it (the female part of the stud is already fixed to the hood). Then drill a hole in the centre of this mark. I used a small nut, bolt and washer to fix the male part of the stud.
Press stud fitting to moulding
I made sure the securing tape (to the screen) was plentiful and left the hood on the car overnight for the adhesive to go off.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Hood (part 3)

The hood has come back from the trimmers. There was a roll of Velcro in the pack which wasn’t there before. On closer inspection I noticed that the Velcro was just the hook part (there was no loop Velcro). Also I noticed that the hood fabric that went under the moulding, has been cut off! So a quick call was made to Andy at GD to find out what this was about.

Andy said that the fixing method had changed. He recommended that I applied adhesive to the moulding and let it go off. Then to stick the hook part of the Velcro to the moulding. The loop part of the Velcro is already sewn on to the hood fabric. Andy also sent through some photos of a hood fitted to a factory built car. These showed that in addition to the Velcro, two Tennex fasteners were used at the rear corners of the mouldings to help hold the hood in place. Andy sent through a couple of Tenax fasteners. Another photo showed where the other part of the hood press studs were fitted.

First the mouldings were removed from the car and the position of the Velcro was marked on the upstand of the mouldings and cut to length. The Velcro was positioned so that the very bottom edge of it was in line with the moulding’s lower edge. This makes sure that the piping on the hood fabric is a snug fit to the body. This area was rubbed down again to provide a key for the adhesive and masked off. The exposed part of the moulding upstands were spray painted to tidy them up a little (Andy also trims the ends of these with some leather). Once the paint was dry, the masking tape was removed and the adhesive was applied to the mouldings. When this had gone off, the hook side of the Velcro was applied to each of the mouldings and the moulding re-fitted to the car.

Next I applied some P shaped draught excluder to the underside of the two mouldings. This was to seal any gap and to stop the moulding scratching the car body (not in the GD instructions).

The hood fabric was warmed up on a radiator to make it more flexible to fit.

A bit of heat helps with the fabric fitting.
The centre of the hood fabric was found (mine had a central seam) and this was positioned to align with the centre of the car. The hood fabric was then attached to the car using the Velcro, stretching it to go around the moulding.

Fabric fixed to GRP with Velcro 
The inner flap near the doors do not reach the ends of the GRP - about 30mm short (so 20mm better than it was!). Andy says this is OK and this is why he finishes it off with some leather. So the fabric does not cover all of the GRP (see photos).

Near side flap is short of GRP end 
As above, but for the off-side
Next job, once I have thawed out, is to fix the hood fabric, press studs and the Tenaxfasteners. More on that later.

Friday, November 01, 2019


Sorry I haven’t posted recently regarding the hood. This is because I could not stretch the fabric around the moulding no matter how much I tried or heated it. As a result and following a conversation with Andy at GD, the hood fabric has been sent back to the trimmers to ease the stitching holding the piping in place. This appeared to be stopping the fabric from stretching around the moulding and so it was about 50mm (2 inches) short at each side!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Engine in AK

Got an email from Terry, who is building an AK, asking if I would help install his engine. So a quick trip over to Pateley Bridge in the pouring rain.

His workshop is so tidy, made mine look positively bomb like!

So after a bit of prep, he shifted the engine hoist round to the front of the chassis.

Me stood with hands in pocket. Easy life!
After a few huffs and puffs and a few hours of pushing, pulling and lowering, the engine went in to place. Brilliant stuff!
Engine in place, just to tighten up mountings.
Terry thanked me for my help, but I seemed to be the king of standing around (see first photo for proof!).
Engine in place without the hoist.