Work has carried on a-pace over the last few weeks. Sorry about the poor pictures - took them on my new i-phone and haven't got the hang of it yet!
The wings have had all the rust cut out and replaced by profiled steel. Primed, painted and then assembled. The wings went on with the rubber joints faithfully copied by splicing together two classic car rubber profiles - glued together and it has nearly matched the original. This sandwiches between all the panels and the body of the vehicle - stops water ingress and vibration.
The wings went on easily, but the rear bins were more problematic. They are constructed from 8 seperate parts that bolt together. Each part needs to line up correctly and then bolt to the hull. This was quite a fiddle as there were at least 60 fasteners to make sure they were lined up - or the bins wouldn't go together. You can see clearly the rear exhaust outlets from the last blog - now all painted and fitted.
Next job.. The driving seat went in as did the foot rests (in aluminium) and the cover for the master braking cylinder - without this cover (in red) you have a tendancy to hit the resevoirs with your boots and break them! - see the blog of the bovington version to see how this can happen. Notice how close the steering wheel is to the seat and the driving position can't be pushed back, only raised and dropped to see out the hull or drive with the hatched closed. The drivers must have been school boy size as its quite a squeeze to get in and out - behind the seat goes the batteries - so you are quite hemmed in.
Mud flaps cut from old conveyor belt (well new belt off cuts - they just throw them away at a factory the other side of town) were copied using the old ones as templates and fitted to all four wheel arches - they are strengthened with stays at the back to ensure they don't rub on the wheels.
The fuel tank has returned from the refurbishers (one job I couldn't take on myself!) The opened up about 10 holes in the tank, bead blasted the interior to remove rust, then coated inside and out with sealent - then baked in an oven. It comes with a 10 year guarantee and at only a few hundred pounds - well worth it! I refurbished the tank surround - really its to hold the tank in place and act as flail guards should the drive shafts fail and possibly hit the side of the fuel tank.. The tank covers the entire floor, and sits under the bottom of the turret basket. If the vehicle drove over a mine it would shoot up under the belly and into over 40 gallons of fuel - spraying the interior in petrol. Hmmm - glad I'm not going to be in a combat zone with it!