The Black Pudding
A while back I got a 1979 SE6a auto in special order black, this was bought with the soul intention of being entered into the Practical Performance Car magazines £999 challenge at Mallory Park at the end of May. I decided the car needed a little more power and would suit a more modern engine well.
The cheapest power I could find was the 3.0L V6 Vauxhall Omega's, these have 210BHP and 200lbs/ft. The Vauxhall engine is a nice compact engine having a 54į V is only a little wider than the Essex. It's also exactly the same height and a little shorter, it's also lighter having aluminium heads.
A standard 3.0L Omega weighs 1550kg or 1.7ton yet with this engine it does 0 to 60 in 8 seconds and keeps going to 150mph!
I managed to get myself an ex-police Omega estate for £270. The police spec comes with a more rare 5 speed manual box, this is a real bonus. It's a very short box with an easily adjustable gear linkage that can be made to fit the scim with little hassle. I am also amazed at how light this gear box is. I weighed it having single handedly lifted it out of the car through the engine bay. This box is only 40kg or 88lbs in old money. That's got to be a huge saving over the old auto.
The Scimitar's engine bay standard.
The Omega's engine bay standard.
This is how much stuff I had to dig out to get to the front of the engine. Everything is labled with masking tape so I stand some chance of getting it all back together in the right order.
The amount of electrics that will need transferring is immense. Again everything is labelled. Everything on top the engine is disconnected electrical loomís.
Finally it gave up the engine. It took a whole day of stripping to get this far.
Sat on the floor with gear box placed behind.
Again on the floor. It's a very compact engine and box.
Just the electrical bits to remove from the car now.
Because of the amount of cooling this engine needs the spare wheel is going to have to reside in the boot.
The keys and immobiliser are going to be kept. An immobiliser is a nice thing to have on the Scim anyway.
There's also the compressor and vacuum air pumps to transfer, and if I want the omega speedo to work in the scim I'll need to transfer the abs computer and sensors. I've also got an ecu reader coming
Not quite as much to strip out like the Omega.
Engine bay clearing a bit now.
Space,,,,, Hopefully enough for Mr Omega to fit.
I new the front would lift a little, but I wasn't expecting this much.
There's the little blighter.
Just for some size comparison.
Now it's time for the real fun to start and make the Omega lump fit. From the look of it I'll have to sit the engine 2" further back than the Essex to let the sump clear the chassis cross member. This is bound to result in a little fibre glass adjustment.
Well here's the moment
I've been waiting for, Will it fit???
And the answer is...........
And very nicely at that.
It just looks right as well.
This engine is far lighter than the Essex. Just look at the suspension, and that after jumping up and down on the front and pushing it around on my drive.
It's sat in there with make shift engine and gearbox mounts now while I fabricate some to bolt it in properly.
No modification to the gearbox tunnel at the moment, I'll re-check but it's looking very promising indeed.
The sump is about an inch lower than the chassis and the whole engine is sitting about two inches further back than the Essex did.
This is the LH engine mount, I also had to cut out some metal and weld a patch in on the chassis where the out rigger meets the chassis. I don't believe in just welding a patch over the top of the rust.
This is the gearbox rear mounts for both Scimitar and Omega.
And here is the finished modded mount. How simple is that!
Box fully mounted.
A view from underneath looking back from the front. I'm well chuffed with how that engine fits.
Next job was the gear stick. The standard Omega mount is so easy to adjust to whatever length you want.
Simply cut out what you don't want.
Then weld back together. It's kicked off to the left to clear the handbrake on the Scimitar.
The gear linkage from underneath.
And there we have it, one fully functional gearstick. It's sat about 2" back from where the auto selector was positioned. It feels perfect here.
I had to cut a hole in front of the gear stick to allow clearance for the selector bracket. So thats a bit more fibre glassing I've got to do.
A little more
progress, I've built the exhaust, and what a pain in the butt that was.
The new left hand down pipe sat beside the old right hand one for a comparison.
The pile of scrap bits of exhaust I accumulated over the weekend.
The completed exhausts, I'm wondering if there's any extra power now I've removed the cats from the system.
I'm also interested
to find out how loud this will be as there's just one silencer at the end of
each pipe. Thereís space for an extra one if needs be.
This is how it now looks after it has settled, completely level if you measure the chassis with a spirit level. The exhausts are hardly visible.
And a view from the front, as you can see I bent the exhaust around the chassis and brought them back up toward's the cars floor.
A bit more, I've been
playing with the clutch.
First job was to remove all the remaining fibreglass to make producing a new panel far easier.
My local bakery had a refit last year and I saved all the stainless steel that was covering the walls from going in the skip. I've got sheets and sheets of it. It will make perfect heat shielding.
Here it is cut and folded, also you will see the new clutch pedal assembly in place. Amazingly when I held it flat against the bulkhead the pedal was in exactly the correct place. How lucky is that!
The clutch master cylinder from the Omega needed a quick modification to remove the captive studs and install a captive nut instead.
For a little extra stability I welded a 3rd mount onto the pedal assembly, and also moved the mounting hole that drives the master cylinder to get the start position right with regard to the other pedals.
All painted and ready to fit.
The pedal assembly fully fixed in place.
My gravity bleed kit, this is also now my temporary clutch master cylinder reservoir.
The master cylinder fits perfectly beside the brake servo.
Start of the sticky job. The whole panel will be fibre glassed to a similar thickness as the rest of the car.
I've built the engine
shroud and made a removable rear engine cover.
The side panels are stainless steel.
The centre part is 25mm box with 3mm wall thickness, I've drilled and tapped 24 M6 holes into it at 2" between centres. This will house my removable panel.
With fibreglass and centre panel held in place with 12 of the 24 M6 stainless steel socket cap head screws.
The angles took ages to work out, but it came together nice in the end, and it's solid.
I had a spare half day today so decided to fit the radiator, I unbolted and removed the metalwork holding the bumper and front of the body in place. These will be replaced with modified ones.
It fitted without even having to cut the fibreglass, though was tight. So I took about an inch out on the right and about half an inch on the left. The base of the rad fits perfectly between the power steering rack and the body / bumper supports.
With the rad in this position the top and bottom hose's fitted perfectly.
When I say fits perfectly I really mean that, just look at the bottom hose. I havenít adjusted it or even rotated it. Thatís exactly as it came off the Omega yet it bends around the suspension turret without touching a thing.
The top hose is just as good and clears the bodywork as though it was a factory fitted part.
The old and start of the new body / bumper mount.
The rad is also sitting nice and low. I still have to make the mounts for it so it will come up a few mm but not much.
As the radiator fills the engine bay width wise there's no room for the RH support that runs from the suspension turret to the front of the nose. This was my solution to the problem.
And here it is in situ, I'm hoping it will give enough support to the nose and bumper. It's bolted right through the chassis.
I then needed a bottle of inspiration and some help with a bit of lateral thinking for the next part.
The left side was no problem at all as the radiator has a recess that fits around the original metal work. I just had to make the bottom support.
All the parts ready for painting.
While everything was out the way, I degreased the front of the chassis and engine bay and gave it a thick coat of black.
This is the original (bottom) and new (top) nose support. The original should have been a piece of angle but had completely rusted away. There was just one bit of the angle left that I was able to get measurements from to make my new one.
And now in place.
This is all to control the radiator
Making sense of it all.
Completed, with ECU installed and connected as well.
Starting to look "Factory" now.
My chosen fuel pump, it's from a Mk2 Golf GTI, it's a pump, swirl pot and filter all in one tidy module. Not bad for a fiver!
Here's it's new home, the standard Scimitar fuel pipes can be seen passing under the pump at the moment. So I just need to cut then and fit them.
Bit of a jump but the radiator top mounts are made and bolted in place. The radiator is now fully fixed in it's new home. Also the water header tank is properly fixed with a few custom brackets. It's now ready to add water. A lot of the engine wiring is also in place and the whole thing is starting to look a lot more tidy.
I just need to make a cowling that goes between the front of the engine bay and the radiator now.
The new Continental timing belt complete with new tentioners. I'll now get to try my new cam timing and locking kit.
Here is the old one with all the covers remove and the plenum balanced out the way.
Belt removed with the locking set installed.
Came up with an idea for cheap air ducting to the filter box. Gutter pipe, the pipe it's self came out of a skip and the 4 fittings if I need them all cost a fiver.
While on the subject of using cheap plumbing parts to get the Scimitar going. I used a bath waste seal to replace the perished original. B&Q £0.99 and you get 2 for that.
Its a perfect fit.
I've really gone deep into the Omega now retreiving all the wiring I "think" I need. The dash had to come out.
Really getting there now, one more wiring loom to add then a bit of finishing off. Hopefully it will spring into life then.
Iíve done a quick
check on the EML flash codes, came up with:
SAI - Not connected yet
EGR - I havenít connected the flying saucer
AFS - not connected properly
Immobiliser - didn't have the key close enough on the first start up, that code should clear itself.
Well I've added a few
relays to make the ECU happy, and it now runs without the EML flashing on and
brings up no fault codes. Result!
Now I've got the induction piping sorted it runs even sweeter. That GM power steering pump runs the steering rack lovely as well, the pipes were even in the correct place and correct size to bolt straight on.
Most of the loom required goes with the engine, ecu included, there are only 3 connectors that link it to the car. Of those three connectors you will require about 12 wires plus the 4 big fuses in the engine bay. Off the top of my head they are:
Ignition pos 2
Ignition Pos 3
RPM signal for gauge and immobiliser
Temp signal for gauge
Oil pressure signal for warning light
Battery charge light
EML signal for light
EML flash code wire
Secondary air induction relay wire x2 (just to keep the ecu happy)
You will also require the immobiliser fixed around the ignition key switch and the key.
I may have missed a few, once it's complete I'll have to produce a more comprehensive guide.
One new propshaft fitted and working.
Looks lovely, made by Propshaft Services Heathrow.
Breath of relief, my drawings were correct, it fits lovely.
So now it moves under it's own power.
I've also made a battery tray and mounted the battery right up in the nose of the car.
I've been up to bodgery this week, the Scim was far to loud as every one said when I only put one silencer at the back. So
I've used the old scim middle boxes as well.
I cut the skin off the silencer.
Then with some more of my scrap stainless steel made a new skin for it.
While all this was going on I gave my dad a job as he was over and is far better at wood work than me. This is the new carpet support on the left and the old flaky one on the right, he made one for each side.
Other than that I've completed the engine bay electrics, made and mounted the battery, finish the bulkhead and painted all the fibre glassing that I had done, and welded a patch on the chassis.
MOT tomorrow (Friday
15th) at 9 am, ooooohhh
The MOT station have apparently been prepairing for my arival ??????????
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing. Just what prep do they need to do???
It passed first go with no advisory's
Oh forgot to add,,,, flippin heck it shifts.
A little acceleration test, keeping it about 3000rpm and it spins the wheels when you change to second and third. Scary stuff.
So I can happily report it's proper rapid. I used to think my VW Corrado G60 was quick, but this would leave it for dust.
Does anyone get the impression I'm just a little happy with it?
Well I'll be off to
Mallory Park just after lunch, thought I'd give it a quick tart
up with some polish and back to black.
I'm really looking forward to the challenge at Mallory.
I'll let you all know what happened, on Sunday eve.
If anyone else is going to Mallory come over and say hi, the car will be in the paddock area or on the track all day.
Well, firstly I'm loving that car.
What a great weekend, what a lovely friendly atmosphere between all the £999 competitors. The challenge went a bit pair shaped, not on my part but on the set-up of the £999 challenge, they didn't allow enough time to do it properly between track sessions.
There were 39 entries in total, we didn't have time to do the standing 1/4 mile which was a shame as that was the only part I thought I'd have any chance at. Instead the handling test and 1/4 mile were combined into a partial lap of the track.
The auto test should have been called rally cross. It was held on a gravel area. So I thought it best to forget the handbrake and use my right foot instead. Probably no such a good idea, my best time was 54 second flat. putting me 34th. Oops. Thats the drivers fault not the car.
On the spring things were a bit more promising, I managed 5th out of 39, so she pulls well.
PPC staff decided to call it void and have invited us all back free of charge to do it properly again very soon.
I also had 15 min's of track time and that was great fun. I absolutely thrashed the be-jesus out of it. I didn't trust it on the corners at all so was taking them slow, but on the straight it was awesome and passed everything that got buy on the corners. Pulling cleanly away from a Porsche 944 was most amusing. I was taking the long corner in 4th then flooring it as it was still around 3000rpm, it was pulling 130mph down the long straight in 4th Oh and the noise it makes under load like that is lovely.
Anyway I thrashed it until the break fluid boiled I guess I should have replaced that as I have no idea when it was last done. I had to give up then as that was a bit hairy. Needless to say the cars faster than I'm capable of driving. I also cooked the crank angle sensor on the last few laps and it was reluctant to rev above 3000rpm, so I need to get a new one of them too. It's fine unless you get the engine hot and work it hard when hot. They are prone to doing that apparently.
I need to give it to someone who knows what they are doing to test it properly for me.
As soon as I get some pics of it I'll post them on here.
I guess thats given it a good shake down, along with the 300 mile round trip to get there and back.
Oh also forgot to add, PPC magazine are going to do an article on it, I need to contact them again in the week. I also ended up having to go up in the commentary box and have an interview about it. How embarrassing is that.
I've spent so far £858, I can sell another £80 so that would give me £221 max remaining
A huge set of super sticky tyres on the back would be the best improvement for the £999 from what I can see of it. That or a miricle of an LSD for that money. A set of second hand adjustables would be good but it's traction in a straight line thats going to make it I think.
The three tests should be:
Standing 1/4 mile
Sprint around a hair pin
All the times are added together and the lowest wins. So the most amount of time can be saved on a good auto test. Thats the part I'm usless at, the auto test is more skill than car. Even the PPC Rolls Royce beat me on the auto test. Though I did beat the 750i V12 BMW and Jag V12. Never have there been so many out of place cars on one auto test.
The clever cars from what I can see of it are Nitroused metros and fiestas and the like. They have the advantage on the auto test then the nitrous comes in on the drag and for the brave also the sprint. As long as they can put the power down there away.
That track session yesterday really opened my eyes to what I've created! Nothing except single seaters passed it on the straights, though it was mainly chav mobils going round. The Porsche 944 made me laugh though, and a modded Cav that was really trying hard.
I've got my head buried into Lambda sensors at the moment trying to fathom which one is playing up. I know it's sensor 2 but trying to work out if thatís the left or right at the moment.
I stuck my pc
oscilloscope on both sensors at the same time in the end and instantly found the
left hand one to be at fault, a steady 0.6V
All I had in the garage was an old one from a Vectra. Trouble was it had 4 wires while the one's on the V6 have 3. A quick google found the way to convert it into a 3 wire type. I fitted it and re-monitored it with the scope. Below is what it looked like, the original RH one is red channel 0 and the new LH one is green channel 1.
It's slightly lower on voltage (0.1v) but the ECU seems happy with that, it also seems to switch more regularly so perhaps is a little more sensitive.
The car now pulls even better and idles more smoothly, I thought it was smooth before.
The old one was stuck telling the ECU that it needed more fuel so when hot and really working the car was over fuelling hence being reluctant to rev over 3000 every so often. It should now be even more economical.
Well I was expecting
some teething problems with it, but none as annoying as yesterday when the
clutch thrust bearing decided to start making one hell of a lot of noise. So
now I have to take the gearbox back out and change that bearing. The most
annoying thing is that a couple months ago I had the whole lot sat on the floor
and it would have been so easy then.
So it's off the the Vauxhall garage to ask for a thrust bearing for a SE6a Scimitar
Well at least I made that removable panel on the bulkhead to get to the top bell housing bolts, it's going to be useful that.
I've done almost 1000 miles in it now
Well on Friday I took
the gearbox out to find out that was making the huge racket whenever I pressed
Firstly I was very pleased to find that it is is possible to change the clutch without even dropping the gearbox as you can let the whole gear box rest on the chassis cross member and just slide it back.
I pulled the clutch thrust bearing off to find there was nothing wrong with it, this meant I had to dig further. So the gearbox came out completely and then I took the clutch plate out to find the spigot bearing in the end of the crank shaft had collapsed.
I got a new spigot bearing from my local Vauxhall dealers for the grand total of £3.06.
The collapsed spigot bearing and the new one to the right.
Yesterday evening after work I refitted the complete gearbox, exhaust, prop shaft, lambda sensors, and gear stick. The gearbox is so light it makes this an easy job. 2 hours are plenty to refit it.
The clutch hydraulic hose is quick release and if done properly doesn't need bleeding on reassembly.
Gearbox, lambda sensors, clutch, pressure plate, and a new thrust bearing just for good measure.
The clutch plate has no springs in it as the V6 uses a duel mass flywheel.
The gearbox back in and prop shaft connected, just the exhaust and lambda sensors left to connect in this pic.
A test drive today
shows all noise issues fixed so there's a result.
What a lovely circuit
Curborough is, we all had a great day there Friday
despite the weather. The morning tipped it down but in the afternoon the sun cam out and it was lovely.
We all done a drag race in the wet from the last corner back down the the finish line. My best was a 11.37 in the wet, the best for the day was a 10.24 set by a Skoda Rapid on NOS. Neil's SS1 turbo done a 10.93
We all then started the sprint, which was a double lap of the circuit starting and finishing at the line. The front wheel drive lads were really struggling in the wet. The best I could do in the wet was about a 1.19.52, and most of that was sideways, I think I drifted the whole circuit.
It then rained so hard the circuit started to get some big puddles so we called it off for lunch, and managed to cram about 30 of us under one gazebo. In the afternoon the rain had stopped and the sun came out. On my first dry sprint I knocked 10 seconds of my best wet run and came in at 1.09.11, I couldn't get this much lower and done my best at 1.08.89, this put me back in 18th out of 24 runners. I think I need more practise at this, I've never really done anything like it before. Though less than half a second faster would have moved me up to 14th over all, it was that close between everyone. Neil managed a very competitive 1.02.98 to put him self 3rd over all, well done mate. Best time of the day was jointly set by an MX5 2.0L on nitrous and a Honda Prelude at 1.00.32
I had a great day there and what a mixed bag of competitors, less than a grand motor sport is so much more fun.
It all went a bit pear shaped on the way home though, the fuel pump gave up on the M42. I think there must have been some rubbish in the tank that got stuck in the pick-up pipe. So my arrival home was on the back of an AA truck.
Thought I'd better do
a bit of tarting up for Curborough,
so got the drivers electric window working with the
help of an electric drill and some WD40. The brushes were all clogged up and
everything needed a good clean to remove the carbon. I wasn't expecting it to
look like a sardine tin though.
I striped the door card off, and discovered one big heap of rust,,,, Thought these things were fibreglass???
As usual one job leads to another far bigger one. Looks like I'll be breaking out my stainless steel stock and making a new door top. For Curborough it will be fiberglassed to stop the water getting in.
The rest of the door support and top is in the bottom of here.
The sardine tin motor with a big chunk of magnet missing? Well it works like this but I will be on the hunt for a new one.
I was getting worried about the new rad as it was a bit vulnerable down there in the front so I've made this to replace the old rusty thing.
Looks ok and doesn't affect engine temp so thereís a result.
at it again, this time concentrating on the speedo. As some of you will
be aware I've been using a GPS as my speedo, so yesterday I started to look at
what was required to get a speed signal sorted. The first thing to do was
establish what the signal was supposed to look like and how it was affected by
To do this I used the Omega speedo as my Ginnie pig and found that the speed signal to the speedo is held at 12V, then taken to ground every time the Omega wheel sensor passes a tooth on the axle.
So I quickly rigged up a BC547C transistor to switch the speedo signal to ground then made a program and used my laptop to emulate the signal. Amazingly it worked first time and I could control the speedo from my laptop.
Speed to frequency is as follows:
So it's linear that makes life much easier as when I make the signal conversion control box the maths needed in the processor will be simple.
I even clocked up 18 miles sat on the drive.
Next job is to mount up a sensor on the prop shaft and work out the conversion formula.
While I wait for
parts to complete the speedo, I've turned my interest to the heater, or lack of
it at the moment.
After the conversion there wasn't enough room for the heater to fit by about 1 1/2 inches. So I've started making a new stainless steel heater using the old matrix and operating principle's.
First of the old heater stripped apart.
This is what I've come up with, looks to nice to hide behind a dash.
It will use just the same controls as the old one, but as you can see its 1 1/2 inches shorter from the bulkhead forward.
With the matrix sat in position.
And this is how it will sit in the car, cold air from the existing fans will be fed into the lower rear of the heater, then a flap will either direct it through the heater matrix for hot, or around it for cold. A cowling on top will take the air to the windscreen demister and the punkah louvers.
Well, here we go
again, the car and me have been hibernating over the winter months, starting to
wake up again now.
There's a few things on my list that I want to get right, firstly and most importantly as it annoys the heck out of me is the leaking sunroof, I think I've sourced the correct replacement rubber for it. After that the interior and heater need looking at, then respray time. Once the car is looking a bit more presentable I'll be happy spending time fitting the ABS and TC etc.
To fit the heater properly and investigate a small water leak I'm going to take the dash out completely, as it's very warped and cracked I doubt it will get re-fitted, I have other plans for that, I'm hoping it will look ok, more will be revealed as time goes on. I've set a deadline of having the car drivable again by the start of April as thats when I'll tax it again.
Until the sunroof rubber arrives and the nights get a little lighter I'm playing wiring again, with the dash out will be a prime opportunity so make all the electrics work correctly. I'm going to install the original Omega instrument console as a permanent thing. To that end I've started work on the "Multi Function Display" (Trip computer), I see no reason why this cant be fitted and made to work.
I've labelled all 30 of the trip computer wires and tested them.
Labels may look cryptic, but they tell me the entire route of the wire from source to ground.
The trip computer not only gives MPG figures and the like it also links to the lamp test unit to report on any failed lights around the car, oil level and pressure, water level, screen wash level, etc. It's very thorough. The display may look odd in the pics as I only had an LED to illuminate it until I get four new lamp for the back light.
There's even a built in stop watch, just what every budding autotest contestant needs. haha.
I want to fix
the omega instrument console permanently in the car along with its
digital display and trip computer, to do this will require modifying the dash
top a little, now as this is warped and cracked I
wasn't to bothered. On looking at the rest of the dash I decided that was in a
poor way and up to usual Reliant interior standard. To this end I've gone for a
complete redesign but keeping the Reliant "look". I spent a good few
hours down my local scrap yard with a tape measure and tool box. I've come away
with a complete Vauxhall Corsa heater unit and the
control panel with all linkages and associated wiring. I've also got a Rover
400 series fuse / relay box. While down there I noticed that Alfa Romeo 156
seats are very nice and also very narrow, they look about the same size as the
SE6 ones, sadly no tilt mechanism though.
Anyway, here's a quick pic of my plan with the heater sat temporarily on the passenger seat.
I'll make up a steel dash skeleton then use 10mm square steel mesh to complete all the contours needed, then fibreglass, plastazote 3mm foam, and leatherette. It will be made in the same way as Reliant did, so a separate top panel, centre panel, and side panels. The main dash and side panels will be tan leatherette with black instrument panel and black centre panel.
Once the dash is done I can get on with replacing the horrid carpet and generally tarting the interior up a bit.
I'm at risk of
breaking the sewing machine out!
A 1.8 meter wide by 4 meter long roll of Tan Vinyl leatherette arrived today yay, don't you love the 70's haha. This should be enough for the dash, doors, and perhaps seat sides too.
Looks perfect colour.
Nice texture too. (Questions man hood)
Oh, and I've done this too.
Can anyone spot the difference?
I've got taking the dash out and labelling everything down to less than half an hour now. haha Oh, there's some other Vauxhall parts mixed in with that lot just for good measure.
I've cut some plastic out of the heater to make it fit, some other parts needed adjustment.
I had to shorten the centre vent tube to keep centre console back as far as is possible. My fiberglassing is coming along nicely as well, I've got bends of to a fine art now.
And here it is sat in place, the gearstick will need it's start position changing again to give a little more clearance when in 1st, 3rd, and 5th. I should have about 1.5" of clearance.
This gives a current clearence idea, it's getting there.
The controls are kicked over to the left to allow room for the instrument cluster and light switches, the stereo will sit above all this. It's starting to look "right" once again.
So here's where I am
Looks more like something from Tate Modern, but it is the new top to the Corsa blower.
This should help make it a bit more obvious, the original Corsa top sat far to high.
This then turned up, 1 gallon of fibreglass resin and hardener along with 10m of chopped strand fibreglass matting.
The top of the heater now enclosed, I've only fiberglassed down to the original joint so the entire top can still be unclipped if you ever needed to get to the blower.
The original removable bulkhead panel needed modding to buy me a little more space, I've also chopped it in half to aid heater installation and removal.
Fitted in place to give you an idea, it gains me about 30mm.
I de-activated the Omega steering wheel air bag. This was done because I've discovered a new trick.
The Omega steering wheel fits snugly on the standard Scimitar column. In this pic I've also fixed the Omega gauges, trip computer, and light cluster in place. I'm also very tempted to fit the Omega headlight and indicator stalk assembly, it has a variable speed wipe option that I'm sure I could get to work on the standard Scimitar wiper motor. Sitting in the driver's seat now is completely different, and having a modern chunky steering wheel makes it feel lovely. I will connect up those horn buttons too.
Not sure if you can make it out but I've started the metal framework for the dash top, I'm trying to keep it all flowing to make vinyl covering it as easy job as possible.
The heater is not far of completion, I need that fully plumbed in (both water and air) before I can make the dash. The instruments also had to be fixed in place to ensure that the heater ducting doesn't obstruct it. Fitting the instruments needed some planning to so that you can clearly see all the gauges through the steering wheel.
I made a set of dash brackets that sat where I wanted the dash to go, then made the shape I wanted out of 6mm steel rod. To this frame I've tack welded rectangular wire mesh and formed all the curves I'm after.
Another view so you can see the shape I was trying to achieve.
As I was starting from scratch and I only had the thicker gauge fibreglass matting which doesn't form around bends to easily, I've "wired" the dry matting to the mesh backing.
Then soaked the entire thing in fibreglass resin ensuring I got good penetration. You can just imagine the mess and smell.
From the top side.
Once it was set it was far easier to move and test for fit in the car.
I've started to add some expanding foam to the back to add extra rigidity and sound deadening to the entire thing.
Start of the body filler stage, this has taken me all day to end up with something I was happy with.
The finished part sat in the car to check angles and fit. Well chuffed with it, just needs covering now.
It's ended up exactly as I wanted and should look great covered in tan vinyl. It's hard to get a photo to show the radius's and curves correctly, I've also sealed the dash in fibreglass resin now so that there is a good base for the contact adhesive and foam / tan vinyl.
It was my first attempt, but to be fair I had a good fiddle around with the wire frame and mesh until I was happy with the shape, it's only once it's fiberglassed that your stuck with the shape. It took a whole day of body filling, then sanding, then body filling, then sanding, etc etc.
I've made some of the heater mount brackets now and a stainless steel centre console that will be black rubber coated.
On another note, the engine had gained a water leak at the end of last year, but as there was only 2 weeks tax left on it I just left it. Over winter all the coolant leaked out, I went out yesterday to fill it up and it came out the water pump shaft as quick as I could poor it in.
Thinking this will be expensive I went on ebay hunting for a new pump, I was well chuffed to find new ones for just £19.35 delivered. Thats got to be as cheap as an Essex, if not cheaper. The only down side is I will now need to remove all the air ducting and cam belt cover to get at it. Time now to see just how serviceable I've made it.
On the immobiliser key fob front I've managed to remove the part thats mounted in the Omega key and heat shrunk it to the Scimitar key, so now the Omega immobiliser module is mounted around the ignition barrel and all works well. Perfect.
I've started making the centre console out of stainless steel sheet, it's folded and rolled this shape to follow the contour of the Corsa heater controls. I don't have a sheet metal roller only a folder so the radius was roughly created using a piece of scaffold pole on my lawn. It's not perfect yet but more fettling will see it looking fine.
I then set about it with the angle grinder to make the Corsa heater controls fit thought it.
From the side.
It's to wide at the moment, I done that to be on the safe side. I will now cut about an inch and a half of the right hand side and then taper both sides down to line up with the edges of the transmission tunnel. My intention is to follow the same tapered profile as the side of the Corsa heater control.
Some more views, the pasenger glove box will have an extra piece added to it to follow the profile of the dash top, the whole thing will then be covered in the same tan vinyl.
It's close to the steering wheel at the moment, once trimmed back and tapered it will be fine. I've also thrown the stereo on top as this is me intended location for it. There will then be an extra separately made and covered bit of dash that extends out over all this, looking a bit like the original scimitar centre part. All the stainless steel will be sprayed with black rubber paint that has a nice feel and look to it. In the remaining panel to the right of the Corsa heater controls will sit the standard Scimitar headlight and fog light switches.
Now trimmed and
fitted, it's nice weather at the moment so I can't
help but fiddle.
Switch hole's milled out.
Sat in place and looking about right.
I now have the rubber paint on order that should arrive over the next few days, I'm interested to see just how good a finish it produces.
I've managed to buy a full Scimitar leather interior for it in the same colours,
and replace the leaking heater matrix that the Corsa
heater had when I tested it. I've made a template for the sides of the centre
console and a radiused part that keeps the lines of
the Corsa vents right thought the dash therefore
making it all look more complete. I've temporally fixed the leaking sunroof
only to find the wiper's are
letting water in now grrrrr. Still at least this is
before I put a new carpet into it.
Owing to lack of
undercover space and currently time, I am offering for sale my SE6a Scimitar
fitted with an Omega 3L 24V V6 and 5 speed manual gearbox. I guess
you could consider this a rare opportunity, and I may yet change my mind and
build a workshop for it.
Viewing this is I'd say essential, as it's been off the road for 3 years sat on my drive, it still starts and runs fine, but this is in no way a completed project. From my brief look around it I'd say that for an MOT it would need some new tires and more than likely the lights sorting out again as I know how temperamental these can be. Also some finishing off the interior to make it drive-able. Body wise the sunroof leaks and the paint is crazed, the interior is shot,,, however, I have a complete spare cream and tan leather interior in the shed which goes with the car, you'd just need carpet and to sort the dash / center console. It has some custom dash I started and also the original that would bolt straight back in. The only thing requiring sorting would be the heater, as I sat the engine back as far as possible for handling.
This car for those that do not know, was built for the Practical Performance Car 999 challenge back in 2009, PPC magazine liked the car so much they ran a 6 page article on it in the October 2009 edition, it also seems to get the odd mention even now.
I'll also include the cam belt change tool kit that cost me £100 as the Omega Haynes manual (also included) states 40K miles or 4 years for the cam belt change period.
This was it three years ago / 4000 miles ago. The paint always did look good in pictures but it is very crazed.
The cam belt change tool set
This is pretty much how it still looks inside.
Price wise I am open to offers, or I keep it and finally get it finished, what it cost to build was no secret as it was in the 999 challenge so the total sum of the parts had to be under £1000.