It’s starting to feel like I’m on the home straight with the build. I unwrapped the big sheet of vinyl, also known as the hood, from it’s packaging and started to put it into position. It’s a process that requires patience and a heat gun. Patience as it’s a tight fit and I was juggling poppers and hood sticks, straps and poppers, poppers and poppers while I fought, no wrestled the hood into submission.
I attached a couple of the poppers to the windscreen, making sure the felt sealing strip was correctly positioned. Then got the central popper at the back in position – a heat gun was required to assist the flexibility of the hood here. I then worked my way outwards on either side at the back, with the hood fighting me every step of the way.
Once the rear poppers were in position, I was able to start to position the ones at the side above the rear wheel arch, and the forward ones, nearest the side screens. This involved the scary prospect of drilling the bodywork. However, a steady hand, plenty of masking tape, a pencil and another five rounds with the hood and the poppers were fitted and hood stretched tight.
Key to getting the hood in position was the length of the straps between the hoodsticks. Once I had these adjusted correctly, so the sticks line up with the darts cut in the fabric (as per the assembly manual) everything started to fall into place. I also made an error in the positioning of the hoodsticks in relation to how they are attached to the chassis. I followed the guide and placed them on the outside of the brackets attached to the car. However, as pointed out by Simon of the CTG, the correct positioning on the SV is to have the hoodsticks inside the bracket. No mention of this in the guide, but yet again the CTG came to my assistance to stop me making another mistake.
Another thing that really helped with this process was the Press ‘N’ Snap tool I borrowed from Martin of the CTG – thank you Martin. It made the locating and fitting of the poppers simple and accurate. I haven’t seen the “Durable Dot” tool that is mentioned in the manual, not do I want to, as this lovely bit of kit worked a treat.
Writing this post, I’ve realised I haven’t take a picture of the car with the hood in position. I’m not likely too either; it’s not a good look, and getting in and out of the car with the hood on is comical. My plan is to use a half-hood for inclement weather, and the only time the hood will be on the car is when I trailer it to the PBC. Otherwise the hood will be wrapped up safe in the garage, never to be seen again.
The boot cover was more of the same. Masking tape, pencil, patience. I’m going to fit harnesses to the car, but have decided not to before IVA – mostly because I have the inertia reels and don’t want to complicate things for the test. I do need to take account of the harnesses for the boot cover though. The positioning of the poppers across the rear bulkhead is affected, and I also need to unpick some stitching and slide out the metal strip across the front edge of the boot cover. I sewed the cover back up after getting hold of some serious needles and thick thread suitable for upholstery, regular needles and thread did not cut it. More stretching, cursing, heat gun and Press ‘N’ Snap and I have a lovely, taut boot cover to admire.