After the simplicity of the steering rack, the build got going for real with the mounting of the front wishbones. As per the manual, I started with the lower wishbones and pondered the arrangement of washers. The S3 chassis comes with a recommendation of a 2-2-2 distribution between the wishbone mounts and the chassis, and 0-4-0 for the SV chassis.
The Team Ivans build blog has a great diagram reproduced here that clearly shows the two potential arrangements. I did a bit of research on Blatchat for what this placement of washers does to the handling of the car, and it increases the castor angle, making the steering more responsive, or twitchy, for the slightly wider track SV.
Swapping emails with Derek and information from other builders, revealed the factory have recently begun to install all cars with the 2-2-2 arrangement. I suspect a couple of reasons for this – it doesn’t make a huge difference, and it simplifies the build process in the factory. I decided to go for the 0-4-0 arrangement.
Getting the four washers in proved to be my first challenge. After the ease of the rack fitting, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a “Tab A into Slot B” kind of a build. A bit of violence was needed to wedge them in and compress the rubber bush in the wishbone fitting.
A combination of a rubber mallet with a thin block of wood or flat-head screwdriver to drive the washer home, coupled with a screwdriver positioned through the hole in the vertical chassis element to keep three washers aligned while the fourth is knocked into place. The first four took a while as I got a feel for the process. On the other side, the job was done in a fraction of the time.
Lowers in, time to fit the uppers. I’m in the zone with the wishbones now. Offer up the wishbone, make sure it’s the right one, fit the bush and while the Coppaslip is out, pop some on the threads of the bolts. And just like that, the LHS Upper Wishbone is in.
Feeling quite pleased with myself, I take the photo to the right, share it with a fellow builder Martin to check I have the right bolts in the right place and he kindly points out I’m missing the headlight bracket. Shit. I’ve got ahead of myself. Time to take the wishbone off again and think about the headlight assembly and the wiring. The dreaded wiring.
A change of pace and a couple of nights fiddling, swearing and shrink-wrapping on the workbench followed.