Build Day 23 – Brake lines, cooling, misc.

I unexpectedly ended up with a free night so went down to the garage for a bit to work on the car. I’d left the brake lines unattached prior and felt that was an easy thing to get sorted as well as adding the spacers which I realized were missing (middle bolts, why the bolts had a huge gap in them!). In theory an easy, relaxing night…

Brake caliper missing spacer

Correctly done with the spacers (middle of pic). Also used the correct bolts from the Ford bag on the calipers to hold the pads and piston together. There are some bolts from Caterham which fit, not sure where they actually go, but since others were using the Ford bolts I did as well.

Spacer in place

With the spacers in I moved onto attaching the rigid brake lines into the calipers from the DeDion tube. Both the left and right sides required a little bending to get lined up, and the left side seemed to go in without issue, however, the right side was just being a massive, angry, evil bitch. The thread would start then immediately cross thread. I tried multiple angles, bent and rebent the hard line, and it would just not go in. GAH! So frustrating. I think I fiddled with it for at least 30 minutes.

Brake line cross threaded?

Finally I pulled it out and it looked like the first thread was a little crushed so grabbed one of the other lines I’ve had laying around and put it in – went in first try! I then took a brake line adapter I had and screwed that into the threads on the rigid line – went in first try! WTF!!! It was like this one rigid line and this one caliper just would not get along. Entirely frustrating.

So in the end I just left it. I’ll come back to it when I’m in a cooler state of mind.

[Edit: I went back down to the garage dressed in my robe and slippers during the middle of the night, I think about 2am, because I just couldn’t let it go and fall asleep. It went in the first try with no drama (of course).]

With the brake line being stubborn I moved onto the cooling lines and getting those situated. The upper radiator hose needs to be trimmed as its contacting the chassis a bit, but other than that was fairly straightforward following the manual. I did not end up using the aluminum rail – consensus is it is not needed.

Large L shaped upper radiator chassis contact

I also spent some time trimming up the T junction near the washer bottle and cleaning up a few of the other water line routes. Getting lines off is way harder than getting them on. Last thing up for the day was to double check the right bolts were in place on the rear brake calipers. I’d pulled down a picture from one of the other build blogs (can’t remember if it was Andrew Bissell’s, Tom Wood’s, or Dave Fernlahone’s, but it was quite helpful so here it is.

Correct bolt placement for rear caliper