Welcome to the build manual for your Honda powered
BRA CX3 Super Sports Roadster
Aero Cycle Car build, but here solely as a generic form of manual. In due course, a new manual will appear.
In essence this is the original build-up manual used by the previous BRA CX3 project owners. I have removed the sketches which will be replaced soon. I may in time re-write this whole manual. How many other manufacturers provide a build manual free and on-line?!
Please read this manual thoroughly before you commence the building of your CX3 in order to familiarise yourself with all of the various procedures. Many builders have produced very nice cars by simply following the instructions contained within this manual. Remember though, you are building a kit car. Please feel free to do things your own way in order to customise your car to suit your individual requirements. We are always here to help.
This manual is continually added to and amended, so if you find any errors, omissions, or think anything would be worth adding, we would be extremely grateful if you would let us know and then we can include the amendments for the benefit of future builders.
Left and Right refers to the view as you sit in the unfinished (or finished) car, and imagining yourself driving down the road.
Even if you haven't built a kit car before, you'll find building your CX3 relatively straightforward, needing no more than the normal tools found in the garage and shed of most DIY enthusiasts and mechanics. If you can put a shelf up (and it not fall down!) and change a set of brake pads (and live to tell the tale!) then you can build a CX3.
We have separate sections dealing with the major procedures plus special sections and additional information on subjects such as registering and driving your CX3. You will find this manual very easy to follow. We believe that your BRA CX3 is one of the easiest kits on the market to build. Ask other builders. We do not cover reconditioning and servicing of donor parts as this is adequately covered in the workshop manual. If you are building one of the variations of the CX3 such as our Moto Guzzi based MG3 you will still find that this manual will supply the majority of information required to build your car. If you require and additional information regarding special variants please call us.
You need from your donor Honda CX500/650:
Engine gearbox unit (CX500 or
Rear wheel and brake unit (or our 15" exchange) MUST be CX500. CX650 wonít fit.
Rear brake operating rod
Rear mudguard, if required
Rear suspension units MUST be CX500. CX650 wonít fit.
Exhaust system if being used (needs modification)
A commonly asked question is "how big is the kit:
The chassis dimensions are as follows: Length 11ft
Height (inc. dash support) 18"
Remember also that there will be the aluminium side panels (3M long X 12 inches wide) and other aluminium panels along with the various GRP parts and any additional parts which you order. If you are using a large van you can tie the larger GRP panels in place on the chassis.
GENERAL NOTES ON BUILDING YOUR CAR.
There's no point in going over how to paint a car here. There have been many books written on the subject and a lot of advice is available from people who have already built cars.
Without a doubt, you will obtain the best looking car if you leave painting until last. Build your car completely up to driving stage, strip it down completely, have it painted and then simply put it back together. You will have to paint the chassis frame however before fastening body panels in place. We actually paint the inside of the aluminium panels before fixing them to the body frame.
By building, dismantling, painting and then reassembling, you will avoid scratches on the paint work while you hang over the side of the car wondering where a particular part should go. If you drill a hole in the wrong place you can fill it in and will not be left with odd holes in your nicely painted bodywork.
Obviously doing it this way is more work, but the end result is usually worth it.
When drilling GRP, use a drill with the sharp edge removed and you will avoid chipping the gel coat off the moulding and thus avoid having a ragged hole.
Stick a piece of masking tape over the position of the hole and mark with a pencil. The tape will help avoid the drill slipping and leaving a mark across your nice new moulding.
Before painting GRP mouldings (and aluminium) make sure you flat down well with wet and dry paper to give the etch primer a good surface to adhere to and to remove any "flash" lines (these are the lines left during the moulding process and are particularly evident on the nose cone).
You must be sure to remove any traces of mould release agent left on the moulding otherwise the primer will not stick properly.
Use largest possible washers on GRP (and Aluminium) to prevent screws and bolt heads pulling through.
Aluminium is soft. When marking aluminium, to drill for example, use a pencil or felt tip pen not a scriber. If you use a sharp scriber then you will need to use a lot of elbow grease and wet and dry paper to remove the scribing mark prior to painting to avoid it showing through your paint. Aluminium panels dent easily so treat them with kid gloves. Before painting aluminium (and GRP) make sure you flat down well with wet and dry paper to give the etch primer a good surface to adhere to.
You may wish to try and use stainless steel fasteners wherever possible. The extra cost is well worth it as they will continue to look good almost indefinitely. Stainless steel fasteners are available unpolished or polished. We do not believe the extra cost of polished to be justified as "unpolished" still look good. Do not, however, use stainless steel fasteners on highly stressed or suspension components as the tensile strength is only half that of high tensile steel. You can of course use stainless steel washers and spring washers in these situations as they are not stressed even in suspension parts.
In these situations use high tensile bolts. Zinc plated bolts look good when new but soon lose their new look.
An alternative is to use chrome plated bolts, which may sound expensive but can be done relatively cheaply if you take them to your local plating shop and tell him to plate them as they are, without polishing. This means that you will still have the little numbers on the heads but the bolts will be a lot more corrosion resistant.
The little plastic insert in self locking nuts discolours when chrome plated but this does not affect their efficiency.
Donít use stainless steel fasteners to fasten aluminium, as you will get electrolytic action between the stainless steel and the aluminium, and corrosion will result. Use Zinc or Chrome plated steel or brass.
We use anti-seize compound wherever possible to make sure that any assemblies can easily be taken apart for future maintenance. This is not expensive and is available from your local motorists shop.
The next section is of extreme importanceÖ
BEFORE COLLECTING YOUR KIT.
In between ordering your kit and collecting it, you will have lots of time to play around with the dirty bits of the operation and to make them into clean bits. You've got plenty of time for reconditioning wheel bearings, brakes etc. and for painting suspension and steering parts etc. Please refer to the appropriate workshop manuals such as Haynes or Autobooks for details of the various assemblies. We use a large garden type rubbish bucket or a water butt (cut in half) with a couple of gallons of central heating oil in for cleaning dirty, oily parts. Cheaper than paraffin and much safer than petrol. Beware of soaking rubber parts for long periods as they often swell. Cellulose thinners is good for a final rinse, but still highly inflammable. Use petrol at your peril. Heed the above warnings about fire safety. Avoid thinners and solvents on your skin. Use barrier cream and suitable gloves.
As a finish for the dirty bits, there is nothing to beat powder coating. You will find the names and addresses of powder coaters under "Stove Enamellers" in your Yellow Pages. Please don't confuse "Stove" Enamelling with "Vitreous" Enamelling and "Powder Coating", (Vitreous Enamelling is the stuff found on gas and electric cookers. It chips when knocked as it is glass based). Powder Coating is the one you want. It is available in both gloss and satin finish and is very hard. The cost of this is quite reasonable, and it should include shot blasting the parts to bare metal prior to coating.
Most competent powder coaters will mask off axles and machined surfaces etc. If in doubt specify exactly what you want and perhaps give a sketch. Most coaters have black going through the process all the time. If you want a colour then it usually takes longer and may be slightly more expensive.
NB. Contrary to common belief, standard single coat powder coating is not the fantastic corrosion preventer everyone thinks, as it is micro-porous. It is necessary to use a 2 coat system which has a zinc based primer, which is then top coated. Expensive though. You could always use the powder coating as a good base for painting over. Roughen the surface slightly and apply paint. You only need to paint the parts you will see on the finished car.
Most "Pantone", "BS" & "RAL" colours are available in powder coat. Black (satin or gloss) is slightly cheaper. Choose your coater carefully as we had one large coating firm suggest that it was not necessary to shot blast rust as the coating would "bind" it together!! We can arrange basic one coat system for about £100 or so. Worth doing if you want to over paint the "seen bits".
If you decide to paint suspension parts etc. yourself (which you will have to with the likes of track rod ends, ball joints etc.) then you might like to use "Smoothrite" in brush or aerosol. You will need to clean the components thoroughly before painting. Shot blasting is ideal, but can be a little harsh. In the absence of your own shot blast plant, we can recommend the use of a heavy duty wire cup brush in an angle grinder but take note of the safety warnings on the previous page. These remove paint and rust back to bare metal but don't remove the metal.
Be sure to use goggles and a face mask. Ear defenders or ear plugs are a good idea too.
Your local power tool shop can advise you if you have any problems.
Please don't confuse these circular wire brushes with those that fit in your Black & Decker type drill. Your local power tool shop can advise you however if you have any problems.
We can recommend the services of the Power Tool Centre in Widnes, Cheshire, They are available on 0151 424 4545 and offer an excellent mail order service not only on power tools but also hand tools and a whole variety of accessories. Mention BRA when calling for extra discount. Prices guaranteed cheaper than Machine Mart, B&Q, Argos and anywhere else.
When painting ball joints and track rod ends either remove the rubber gaiters before painting or mask the gaiter off. Small amounts of paint in the joint are harmless. If you remove the gaiter you can pack a little extra grease in if you wish.
The engines and gearboxes in our demonstrators are finished with 2 pack paint over etch primer.
CHOOSING A CX500/650 DONOR.
(see also next section re: 500/650 differences)
Try and get one which is in the motor cycle (a complete running bike) as you will then be able to hear it running and be able to ascertain it's condition etc. If it has good silencers, this can save you some money. Make sure the radiator doesn't leak otherwise this will need to be replaced or repaired. Make sure it has clean coolant in and make sure the oil is reasonably clean and is evident on the dipstick. Be suspicious of any strange noises. Cam chain noise is quite common but does need attention costing about £50-£60 for the parts if you DIY. Try MPS, (telephone no at the end), for these. Other than cam chain wear, the unit is exceptionally reliable, and built like a Swiss watch inside. It is usually much cheaper to replace the engine than rebuild a knackered example.
Our advice: leave the bad ones alone except for any spares you may need.
The Honda engine is uncommonly reliable and long lived and examples have been known to cover over 100,000 miles without rebuild. Make sure that the motor will rev to the red line under load (this confirms that the CDI unit and ignition pulser coils are OK).
The engine will come up nice and clean using a pressure washer and some paraffin and a wire brush and you may care to paint it and have the rocker covers polished. While the engine is out, and prior to painting, it is wise to consider any work that it may require, particularly with regard to the timing chain which is easily accessible after removing the engine rear cover. Refer to a manual such as "Haynes" on how to do this. It is also well worth considering replacing the rear oil/water seal in the rear engine cover. These are not expensive and, if you are in any doubt as to itís condition, replace it now.
Builders tip. The rear water/oil seal is an absolute #Bitchto fit. It is well worth removing the rear cover and taking it along to your local Honda motorcycle dealer to have the new seal fitted. This way, if you they damage the seal when fitting it they will have to replace it at their expense. We have damaged lots of these when fitting them. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Mask any faces such as carburettor mountings and stuff orifices with rags. We lightly sandblast the outside of the engine using a small hand held blast gun prior to etch priming but if you do this you must ensure that no blasting grit can enter any part of the engine.
Names and addresses of suppliers of spare parts for the Honda engine unit can be found in vast numbers in Motor Cycle News which is available in most newsagents.
On our demonstration vehicle we have removed (ground away) the top horizontal side to side engine mounting lug just "in front of the carburettors" which is not required, we have removed the upper two lugs on front of the engine cylinders which used to originally mount the radiator, and we have removed the lugs on the side of the engine which use to carry the water pipe to the radiator. This is easily done if somewhat time consuming but does make the engine look better. Do not remove the lower two lugs on front of the engine as these are used to support the front tie straps. (See illustration, next page)
Underneath the rear of the engine, you will see a cast lug, sort of forked shaped, which serves no purpose and is presumably something to do with manufacture. Remove the lower part of the lug only to clear the gear linkage. Do not be tempted to remove the whole lug for neatness otherwise you will break into the inside of the engine!!! We know. We did it!! (See illustration, next page)
The Honda oil filter bowl comes off easily. The centre bolt is not a stem itís just a through bolt. Donít worry that itís close to the steering rack. Remove centre bolt and the bowl and element slides out from the side.
Pay particular attention to the rear suspension swinging arm which has been known to corrode. If this is the case, it is a simple cheap welding job and any welding shop can weld satisfactory plates on this for about £10.00. A word of warning. Before having any welding done on the swinging arm insert the spindle and wheel, less tyre, and clamp up. This will prevent any distortion of the swinging arm and is essential to make sure that the final drive lines up. Failure to do this can wreck the final drive. We often carry remanufactured swinging arms if required.
NB CX650 and single shock models (Eurosport, etc.) have a rear swing arm and wheel which will not fit the CX3. If you fancy a 650 motor you must still find a CX500 swing arm, shocks and wheel.
CX650 Honda's are faster but slightly rougher in their power delivery. They are also more difficult to obtain and the 650 engine is painted black. Don't be deceived however, as the 500cc unit produces perfectly adequate performance. If youíre really lucky you will find a CX700. These were not manufactured for the UK market and are like hens teeth!
Honda Motor Cycle Demolition.(see also previous section)
Remove battery, fuel tank and fuel pipes before dismantling anything else.
You will need to keep instruments, wiring (mark each cable as it is removed so that you know where it went originally), solenoid, indicators, rectifier and bracket, CDI unit (or ignition spark units), fuses, battery, horn, rear swinging arm, the bolt and lock nut which secures it, and the bushes which go in either side of the frame, (it is important to keep the internally screwed sleeve with lug and socket headed screwed bolt, the bearing, and large locknut which secured the swinging arm pivot as it is easy to forget these and leave them in the frame), rear suspension units and bolts, rear mud guard, rear wheel and brake assembly, engine and gear box, carburettors, radiator and cap, fan.
If you are using the motor cycle battery, you may wish to use the battery clamp if it is in good condition. You may be able to modify the brackets holding CDI unit and rectifier. Having kept all these items, you can throw away or sell; front wheel, front mudguard, front brakes, forks, fuel tank, seat, frame, air filter box.
Keep the front and rear exhaust pipes but you can discard the centre box (if itís in good condition sell it Ė worth a few bob). If you wish to play with exhausts then it's possible to utilise these parts or ultimately you may choose to throw them away and buy our stainless steel twin system. If your bike has a 2 into 1 exhaust then it is probably best to sell it or bin it.
As your motor-cycle falls apart put the parts into neat piles ("to keep" and "to go") as previously listed at the beginning of this manual, then you shouldn't have anything left! Sell or junk the "to go" pile. Try free ads in your local paper and Motor Cycle News as often owners are looking for tank, seat, forks, frame etc.
Remove wiring loom and switches intact to avoid confusion later. (Switches not ultimately needed). Mark all connections clearly using masking tape and indelible pen or similar. White insulating tape and indelible marker is good, but keep labels away from petrol or thinners Ďcos the writing will disappear. Donít rely on your memory to remember where the cables went. Our special CX3 wiring loom contains everything you need and will save loads of grief. See later section on wiring.
When it comes to the bits youíve taken off - if in doubt- keep it.
STARTING TO BUILD YOUR CX3
Preparing the CX3 chassis.
Remember steel rusts! The best time to treat the chassis is now, before you do any fitting. There are many rust prevention treatments available from motorists shops, paint suppliers, etc. You could have the chassis galvanised and then paint the bits which are seen. Remember though that galvanising adds some weight to the car. We can arrange to have your chassis galvanised before collection. The galvanising process usually leaves some lumpy residues on the metal. These are soft zinc and are easily removed with a file or similar tool. Lumps must be removed from parts of the frame where aluminium panels fit to ensure they lie flat. You will have to refinish the front parts of the chassis which are seen before painting in order to remove any unsightly zinc residue.
If you wish to paint a galvanised body frame or chassis you must first apply an acid etch solution such as "Mordant T wash". This prepares the galvanised finish ready for painting. Apply the solution with a brush. The galvanised finish will turn black. Allow to dry then wipe off or rinse with clean water. Apply a good quality primer and then a top coat. Remember, you only have to paint the bits which are seen when the car is finished.
Alternatively you could have the chassis shot blasted and primed with an etch primer. A suitable top coat of paint can then be applied.
Mordant T wash solution is available form most good decorators merchants or from us in small bottles and is not expensive.
Always seal around any gaps between the chassis rails and welded bulkheads and floors in order to prevent the ingress of water. Use panel sealer for this as this can be painted over. A little time spent sealing the various gaps will be well worth it in the long term.
Fitting the body panels.
NB Do not rivet the body side panels to the rearmost 21" length of the bottom rear tube rail otherwise the curved rear will look a mess. (see illustration, next page)
You will have to paint the body frame before finally fastening body panels in place. The side panels are attached with 3mm diameter pop rivets or we use M4 x 10 button head socket screws, but it does mean tapping all the holes which is a pain although an M4 tap in a cordless drill works well. The panels are further secured with panel adhesive which is available from a car paint supplier. A variety of these adhesives are on the market and you can obtain advice on the best one for your use from a car paint supplier. We often have suitable adhesive in stock, please ask.
Use panel adhesive not sealer.Sealer will not fix the panels in place properly. Sealer can be used to seal around floors, panels, etc.
If it doesnít say "adhesive" on the tube it is not adhesive in the tube! The adhesive is squeezed onto the frame and the panel placed onto it. The rivets go through the "sandwich".
We fix rivets (or M4 bolts) at approx. 5 inch centres. The actual spacing is down to you but we would recommend no more than 6 inch centres.
Don't be tempted to use silicone sealant to seal the panels as paint will not stick to it.
IMPORTANT.Do not rely on mechanical fixing alone. The panels MUST be secured with adhesive. The panels form part of the structure of the car and must be bonded in place.
Place the body frame on trestles at a convenient working height. You can work on the floor, but if, like me, you have an aching back, you'll find it more convenient to work standing up.
Make sure that the side panel rear edge lines up with GRP rear cover section. The bottom edge of the panel can overlap but the top must lie flush with the top edge of the top rail. The side panel overlaps the tail panel by approx 75mm (3"). (see illustration above)
Leave final attaching of panels until as late as possible. It is easier to work on the car without these attached. You can drill them early in your build sequence, ready for fixing later. Fix bulkheads before fixing any other panels.
Fix the panels working from one end and alternating between upper and lower rivets. A bit like tightening a cylinder head! This way the panels will sit in place nicely and you will avoid having a crease in the panel. Ensure panels fit flush with the chassis rails.
We fix all rivets and then remove them and using a large drill bit (say 10mm ish) held in the hand the burrs can be removed from the panel and the chassis. This will help to achieve a nice panel fit.
Trim and shape all of the panels first and fix in place on a "dummy run" and remove them.
A template is supplied at the end of this manual for shaping the bottom of the side panels.
Only when you are finally ready to fit the panels cover the chassis rails (both horizontal and vertical ones) with panel adhesive, place panel in position on the frame and press down. Locate all the pop rivets in position and then set (pop) them. The right amount of adhesive is just enough to fill the gap between the chassis and the panel without it squeezing out all over the place, although a small amount of adhesive being squeezed out is a good sign. Excess adhesive can be removed before it cures, with thinners. Panel adhesive starts to cure as soon as it comes into contact with the air. This is why the tubes are always well sealed when you buy them.
The adhesive will start to skin over in only 10 or so minutes. For this reason you should have everything ready to go before you open the tube. Rivets, rivet gun, helping hands, rag with thinners on, etc, etc. Use latex gloves when using the adhesive Ė it is really difficult to remove from your skin and can be harmful. The adhesive will remain fresh in the tube for a couple of days but always seal the end up with a screw and some tape to help keep the air out.
The adhesive will set in approximately one hour and will be completely cured in 24 hours (subject to type), see instructions on tube. Once cured, the panel is on for good and can only be removed with the help of a chisel! If you have to remove the panels at this stage you will trash the panels and will have to buy new ones. You have been warned. The adhesive will not go hard but remains slightly flexible when cured. You can paint over the adhesive but check the instructions on the tube to make sure.
The plywood tail panel is trimmed to a good fit and bolted to the rear. Again, use some panel adhesive along with the bolts when finally fixing in place. More secure and prevents vibration. Fix the rear tail panel in place at the same time as the side panels. We face the plywood tail panel with some 1mm (or similar) aluminium. The aluminium looks better than ply wood when painted and gives a better over all appearance. Use a strong contact adhesive to fix the aluminium in place. Remember, with contact adhesive you only get one chance. Better to leave the aluminium larger than the ply wood just in case you mis-align when fixing. Fix in place and trim to size when the adhesive has cured.
When the panel adhesive has cured, gently file away any slight overlap the panels may have using a fine file.
At this stage you may care to take your mastic gun and put a neat bead of seam sealer between each panel and each body frame member. You can also seal any gap between the side panels and the rear tail panel. You can use panel adhesive for this instead of seam sealer although sealer tends to be a lot cheaper and is more effective.
GRP rear bodywork, scuttle and Nose Cone.
The position of the rear cover moulding is obvious. We use six M6 x 25mm Allen screws with chrome plated flanged heads. Line up the panel with the rear of the chassis sides/side panels, clamp in position and when you are happy with its position, drill securing holes. The 25mm flat reinforcing plates are attached to GRP each side with 2 bolts through GRP and plate, and 1 bolt through GRP, plate and chassis frame bracket. Sounds dead complicated but itís really simple. A picture is worth a thousand words etcľ.so.. (see illustration, page 22) Now put this panel away somewhere safe as you're probably not going to need it for some while.
The scuttle is attached at it's rearmost to the brackets on the chassis either side of the cockpit two M6 Allen chrome flange screws as used on the rear section of the body. The scuttle is further secured with approximately six M6 bolts and nuts placed along the length of the bottom flange after drilling suitable holes through the scuttle and the steel mounting flange which is welded to the chassis. We suggest that you clamp the scuttle in place along with the nosecone and trial fit the bonnets before drilling any holes. Once you are happy with all these parts you can then drill and fix in place. (see illustrations, page 19 & 23)
The nosecone simply fits in position
on the front aluminium support plates. Bolt in position using M6-M8
bolts and nuts or similar. Leave the Scuttle and nose cone loosely
positioned until you are sure of a correct position and fit. It is
advisable to ensure the bonnets fit correctly and then tighten
Remove the centre hinge pin from the hinge so that you have two halves. Cut the hinge as indicated. (see illustration) DO NOT CUT THE PIN. These two end "flaps" are used to secure the bonnet and hinge to scuttle and nose cone.
The bonnet is supplied over size and folded but not rolled to fit. Final fitting is done with scuttle and nosecone in place. To make the roll just bend slowly around a pipe about 3-4"dia clamped in a vice or other useful item which you may have lurking around. Some builders have used the likes of a large gas bottle! A little bit at a time is the secret. When you are happy with the fit, and after fitting the hinge as explained in the following paragraph, trim the front and rear edges to suit the recesses in the scuttle and nosecone. Fitting the bonnets is not difficult Ė just time consuming.
Rivet the relevant hinge to the return down the centre of each bonnet panel making sure the rivets come together "head to head". (see illustrations, next page) Assemble the two halves with hinge pin and slip the two cut pieces, one over each end of the pin. Place the bonnet and hinge assembly on top of the scuttle and nosecone, which are placed loosely on the top of the chassis. Adjust the position of these to get the best fit and clamp in position.
Fasten bonnet hinge in recesses through nose cone at front and scuttle at rear using counter sunk screws. Detach bonnet and nose cone and move somewhere safe out of the way. You will not need these for a while. Remember Ė easily damaged. Store safely.
Front suspension and steering.
NB All nuts and bolts used to secure suspension components MUST be HIGH TENSILE. Stainless steel will not do.
Squeeze the rubber suspension bushes into place in the wishbones using a vice. Before squeezing the bushes into position make sure they are square in the hole. A small amount of washing up liquid on the outside of the bush does not come amiss, but do not use oil or grease. Any rubber which protrudes from the bush after insertion may need trimming with a sharp knife. The bushes may have already been fitted by us.
Locate bottom wishbones in position using 3/8" diameter by 65mm long bolts washers and lock nuts. Leave loose at this stage.
Bolt the Cortina bottom ball joint to the bottom wish bone using 2 No.M8 x 25mm bolts, washers and self locking nuts and 2 No. M10 x 30mm bolts washers and self locking nuts. Remember- High Tensile. You can cut the upturned flange off the joint but do not use an angle grinder as this will overheat the joint and may cause damage. You may care to attach these ball joints while the wish bones are on the bench. Bottom ball joints can be fitted on top or underneath the bottom wishbone plate. If fitted underneath, it looks neater and the strain is not taken by the bolts, which must be High Tensile. Some builders have drilled another 2 holes in each joint in the corners left after cutting off the bent bit, so that 4 bolts can be used instead of 2. The choice is up to you. Bottom ball joints can be tightened in position at this stage as it will you save you forgetting to tighten them later on!
Locate the top wishbones in position on the chassis using 12mm" diameter x 65mm long bolts, nuts and washers, but leave loose. Screw the M20 lock nut over the Transit drag link and screw into the top suspension wish bone. The suspension is adjustable, but a good starting point is with the joint screwed into the wishbone such that the thread does not quite protrude through the inner face.
Put front suspension damper/spring units in position, locating them in the brackets on lower wish bone and upper top chassis rail. Bolt in position using 1/2" x 2" bolts, washers and self locking nuts. The bolts first pass through the front cross brace (See illustration, page 16). Do not bolt up tight yet. Remember to fit dampers so that the small knurled adjuster is on the outside. Much easier to get at!
Attach the Cortina uprights in position using either self locking nuts or castellated nut and split pin but do not fully tighten yet. The suspension uprights may already be assembled with brake disc, brake calliper, and hub or you can do this on the car. The uprights are handed. The steering arm goes to the front of the car for attachment to the Escort steering rack. It is possible to position them upside down in the wrong position, check if correct. Make sure that the tapered hole in the steering arm has it's smallest end upwards and that the track rod end will therefore have it's nut attached on the top of the arm.
Attach the steering rack to the chassis using new Ford clamps and rubbers. You will need to drill holes to suit the clamps you use. Be sure to use spring washers or self locking nuts. Do not tighten the rack at this stage. (Refer to illustration, page 16)
Attach track rod ends and lock nuts to the rack and attach track rod ends to the steering arms of the suspension uprights. Several types of track rod ends have been fitted to Fords. Also the taper pin can be different sizes, which means that if it is too big it will not go all the way into the Cortina upright. We are told that the ones to use were fitted 1985/1986 and we have a part number FTR 4049 or QR1408RHT. It may be an idea to take your Cortina upright when buying these so that you can check the fit. The thread must protrude completely through the nut when tightened.
We can supply all the correct parts if required.
If you are using wire wheels take care when attaching the adapters as they are handed left and right. See the separate info sheet available from Motor Wheel Services (telephone number at end) with regard to nuts and attachment of the wire wheel adapters. Sometimes we have copies of this. Try to get a copy with your wheels. When fitting adapters remember: RH thread goes on LH side. LH thread goes on RH side. Beware the markings on the adapters; they are often marked LH or RH, but this can refer to the thread or the side to be fitted!
Chrome wire wheels look wonderful when clean, but silver painted look more period and weather better. They are also half the cost!
You can purchase special wheel nuts to suit the adapters from MWS. These are not expensive (approx. £1 each) and are well worth the investment. The studs will need shortening so that they are flush with the adapter flange. See MWS leaflet.
Use either the standard bike wheel or our exchange 15" car type rim conversion. This gives a bigger footprint and improves handling. It also uses a car tyre which wears better. The diameter is also slightly reduced which lowers gearing slightly which compensates for the extra weight of the car over the bike. It is necessary to unbolt the final drive unit to fit the wheel in the swing arm if using the car rim conversion. The car will fail the SVA test with a 15" converted wheel.
Fitting the spare wheel.
The spare wheel simply rests in place on the supports at the rear of the car. There are many ways to secure the wheel in place. We suggest using one of the following methods:
1. Use an additional splined wheel adapter and fix this to some bracketry which incorporates a stud (or threaded tube) which will pass through the rear tail panel. Fit a nut (nylock is more secure, wing nut is easier to release) onto the stud inside the boot area and use a standard chrome wheel spinner on the outside. Very nice but a tad expensive!
2. Use the above method but instead of using a hub adapter you could use a suitably turned boss which again incorporates a tube to go through the rear tail panel. Chrome plated, this looks very nice and is not as expensive as the above method. A suitable turned boss and stud may be available from us. Please ask.
3. The simplest method of all. Cut a small slot near to the top of the rear tail panel (just under the wheel rim) and pass a leather dog collar (or similar) through the slot and around the wheel. Cheap, effective and looks very nice. Very period. Looks good if you also use a leather bonnet strap. You will need a dog collar measuring approximately 26 inches in length although any similar strap will do.
We use cross ply tyres. They look better and are more forgiving if you push it a little too hard. If you are having tyres fitted onto wire spoked wheels you should always have inner tubes fitted. If the tyre fitter tells you otherwise go somewhere else. Some tyres have the word "Tubeless" on the side wall. Still fit inner tubes. If you donít your tyres will deflate within minutes as the air will escape from the holes where the spokes are fitted. Purchase tyres to suit the wheels you are using. Cross plyís look more period but radial tyres can also be fitted. If you have purchased your wheels from MWS they can supply you with an information sheet detailing tyre fitting and balancing. Remember no radials on the front if you use cross ply on the rear. OK the other way round though.
Front cycle wing stays.
There are two versions of the CX3 wing stays. The older two piece stays and the later, stronger, one piece fabricated stays. All stays sold since 1998 are the newer type. The stays bolt in place using the brake calliper securing bolts and the brake calliper stretch bolts (these are the ones which hold the two halves of the calliper together). Subject to the design of the stays you have you may also use one or more of the other (M8) holes in the Cortina hub.
It is almost impossible to fit the stays in the wrong position. By placing them in position you will clearly see which bolt positions to use for fixing. Subject to type of stays supplied the fixing bolts may differ slightly. Fit in the obvious place.
Fitting GRP cycle wings to stays.
We use loads of silicone sealant to provide a nice cushion for the GRP to rest on the stays. Some people (we) just use loads of it to fix the wings and dispense with bolts. Drill the ends of each stay as appropriate, then put a good dollop of silicone on the top of each bracket. (Best to do this after painting to avoid the "silicone = no paint" problem).
Position wings on the brackets and clamp or rest loosely in position. Leave for 24 hours to cure. When cured, if using screws as well, drill through wings using previously drilled holes in the stays as a guide. Beware as you break through the GRP as you will be drilling through from the "wrong" side, and you may chip the gel coat layer. Secure with self locking nuts and bolts.
Press (squeeze, drive carefully) the right hand swinging arm bearing (from the motor cycle) into position in the RH rear fork pivot hole using a suitable drift. Press the internally screwed bush removed from the motor cycle into position, shoulder innermost in the left hand side of the fork pivot making sure that the flats on the bush locate in the slot in the frame. Grease the inside of the bearings in both frame and fork and locate the right hand part of the swinging arm in the bush in the frame. Screw the large Allen socket headed screwed sleeve through the bush and into the swinging fork bearing all just as removed from the motor cycle. Do not over tighten. Finally tighten the large locknut. Refer to you workshop manual for this. The procedure is exactly the same as used for the motorcycle. (see illustration below and also refer to workshop manual)
Attach rear dampers to swinging arm and chassis. Set dampers their hardest setting.
Some builders have made a very useful sealed luggage space by simply enclosing all of the rear suspension and wheel components using plywood or aluminium. If you do this remember to allow for service, wheel changing, etc.
You will note that you now have a rolling chassis. You can put this on the floor which will enable you to move it around but that will give you a working height which is a bit of a pain. Our suggestion is that if you have enough room, keep the car on the trestles for as long as you can. The car is easily lifted off the trestles using several willing assistants.
We now use Allegro upper and lower columns which are available new.
Final length is one of personal preference and is best done on car with driver in position. Any competent welder will then weld the top section of the column in the desired position for a pound or so or we can do it for you. Junk the column switches unless you wish to try and use them. Drill a hole in the scuttle approximately positioned as shown. (See illustration below) Locate the steering column by attaching the self aligning bearing (on our column) to the dashboard cross brace. Use self locking nuts. You can pack and adjust the height and location of the steering column to suit yourself.
A hole is required in the dashboard to take the column for which the position is approximately as shown. (See illustration, next page) The splined universal joint at the lower end of the column is attached to the steering rack pinion. Make sure the joint is slid fully home and that the clamping bolt (high tensile) is located in the groove in the steering rack pinion. This will prevent the steering column pulling off the rack in the event that the bolt comes loose.
Locate the lengthened prop (drive) shaft and it's bearings loosely in the transmission tunnel and slide the rear universal joint with its internal spline into its external spline in the final drive unit having passed the shaft through the large hole in the rear bulkhead and down the inside of the RH tube of the rear swinging arm. Locate the bearing blocks loosely but do not tighten them until after the engine is in situ. The centre bearing block must be spaced off the mounting flange using suitable spacers (washers, etc.). Note that the gear control rod passes behind the prop shaft centre bearing block, actually between the spacers holding the bearing off the chassis. Give all nipples a good few of squirts of grease. Ensure that all new bearings and the Honda transmission splines are adequately greased.
The transmission tunnel covers (2 long & 2 short) are fitted with pop rivets to form the tunnel. Leave this till late in the build sequence. You may need to cut the covers to clear the bearing blocks, and you will have to cut holes for hand-brake and gear levers. The tunnel covers can overlap each other. Some builders apply seam sealer to the chassis and the overlaps to (less vibration too) but always use a few pop rivets or other fixings to secure in place.
All gear linkages sold since 1999 are supplied by us with spherical (rod end) joints. Tighten these up tight and the centre ball bit provides the pivot.
Attach gear lever to transmission tunnel using bolt, washers and self locking nut. Tighten until there is minimal play but so that the lever still moves freely. Attach bell crank to chassis brackets on chassis rail at rear of engine aperture, with upper arm pointing to LH side of car and lower arm pointing forward. (See illustration, next page) Secure pivot bolt with a split pin. Put pivot bolt in from the top. This way, should the split pin go astray, the bolt will not fall out! Grease before assembly and ensure pivot moves freely. Attach crank to link rod, using self locking nut and bolt. The other end is similarly attached to gear box when engine unit is in position. The Honda gear change lever will require some modification (see illustrations, next page) We can modify the lever for you if you wish. Note that the control rod passes behind the prop shaft centre bearing block.
Our speedometer drive goes onto the bracket in the prop shaft tunnel with the little wheel forward. It rests on the prop shaft under itís own weight. Use self locking nuts in the pivot and make sure that the unit can swing freely. You may decide to adapt a spring to make better contact. The cable is secured with a grub screw, it only needs to be secured in place. The Honda speedometer cable can be used although our special (longer) cable will allow for a neater installation. Tacho and speedo cable are the same on the bike.
We have to admit that this "mechanical" method of speedometer drive is not 100% reliable or accurate. An alternative is to use one of the many electronic types available. These are not too expensive and are fully adjustable. Electronic speedometers use a pulser which can be easily fitted to the prop shaft. See Merlin Motor Sport or Europa catalogues.
Tachometer Cable Fitting.
The Honda Tacho cable will be too short for your car. We have available a special, longer cable which will connect from the tachometer drive output on the front of the engine to the instrument.
Engine and Gearbox.
The big dirty bit (should now be a clean bit).
Using a couple of helpers, or preferably an engine crane, locate the engine in position in front of the chassis. While positioning the engine it is necessary to slide the prop shaft spline (attached to the universal joint on the prop shaft) onto the gear box splined output shaft. You may need to rotate the shaft to get the splines to line up as you slide the motor backwards. Locate the front engine mountings first, and then you should find that the rear will drop into place. Don't locate the rear mountings first.
The engine is purposefully a tight fit between the mountings and even too much chassis paint can make it a ##### to fit. If you encounter problems making the engine go in apply a little grease to the mountings. When the engine is in position bolt up, two at the lower back, two at the lower front and two straps under the exhaust ports which attach to the top chassis side rails (See illustration, page 16) The two bolts at the back need modifying by removing 3/4 of the head (See illustration, next page) or use the original Honda long bolt and nut.
The modified bolts fit in the cast groove which runs along the rear of the gear box.
Attach the gear linkage. The gear box gear lever should point vertically downwards and the hand gear lever should point vertically upwards when the whole assembly is attached. Now fasten the prop shaft bearings in position using suitable spacer tubes (see previous section) to ensure that no strain at all is put on the shaft. Bolt up tight the shouldered screw (original Honda from donor) in the hole in the universal joint just behind the gear box, having located the shank of the bolt in the groove in the splined output shaft and tighten any grub screws in the bearings. Remove the front top suspension wish bone bolts and replace the bolts after having passed them through the front cross brace. (See illustration, page 16)
Pedal Box, Brakes & Hand brake.
Drill holes and bolt the hand brake lever to the brackets on top of the transmission tunnel. The lever has a better (lower) angle if it is bolted underneath the mounting plate, and the front mount is spaced a little lower still using a spacer tube. This makes the lever lie much flatter to the transmission tunnel.
Attach original back brake control rod off the bike, from the relay lever mounted on chassis to the brake back plate lever. A hole is needed in the rear bulkhead to take the flat control rod which is fitted between relay lever and handbrake lever. Connect using clevis pins, or bolts and self lock nuts. Please note that the hydraulic brakes work on the front wheels and the handbrake works on the rear wheel. Some people have done hydraulic conversions to operate the back brake along with the front but we do not consider this to be absolutely necessary. Feel free to experiment though. You are, after all, building a kit car.
Locate the pedal box on the top bulkhead. The pedal box secures to the two angled support bars which the steering column passes through. Secure with suitable bolts and self locking nuts once you have the position correct for your leg length. Some builders have made an adjustable pedal box (sliding) with great success. If you do this you should ensure that the pedal box is held securely in position before driving. Bolt master cylinder in position on rear of pedal box and bolt a brake line tee piece in a suitable position on either the top or front bulkhead. For future service, etc. you should position the tee piece in an accessible position.
The tee piece usually contains an extra hole for a hydraulically operated brake light switch. Both tee piece and switch can be sourced from a scrap yard very cheaply. Connect brake pipes using cupro-nickel pipe as this does not corrode and is easy to bent into shape. Connectors are usually metric threaded. Support the pipe every 6 inches (300mm) maximum using appropriate clips. You can use standard Cortina flexible brake pipes for the front brakes but these actually have a bulk head type fitting at each end and therefore stand proud of the caliper. We can supply stainless steel braided hoses with a special end fitting, which are slightly shorter than the Cortina hoses and look much better. The inboard end of the brake hose is located through the bracket on the chassis and secured with shake proof washer and locknut. Do not twist or kink the hoses and make sure they do not rub on anything. You may find the brake pipe from the brake master cylinder to the tee piece difficult to support and if this is the case we recommend replacing this too with a flexible pipe which we are able to supply.
It is important to either replace this with flexible or support adequately to prevent vibration cracking the pipe with will cause the obvious loss of brakes. Fill cylinder with brake fluid making sure that you do not get any on the paint work (if you have any paint work) and bleed the brakes.
The fuel tank fits in an obvious position on the top bulkhead just in front of the scuttle. (see illustration, page 23) It is better to secure the scuttle in position before fitting the fuel tank. The fuel tank can be one of the last items to be fitted.
Drill holes in the fuel tank flanged and through the top bulkhead and bolt fuel tank in place using M6 bolts and self locking nuts. Strips of rubber or dense closed cell foam under the tank flanges is a good idea. You can use a Morris Minor or Mini type fuel pump but the Morris Minor type, which is bulk head mounted, is more suitable as it is designed to suck, whereas the Mini type pump is just designed to be gravity fed and then blow. If you use an SU type of pump be sure to connect it the right way round, the inlet and outlet are clearly marked. You may prefer to use a modern electronic pump in which case the Facet or Mitsuba type pumps are reliable and compact. They are suitable for either suction or gravity feed but you may need a Malpassi type regulator to keep the pressure down. These are available from good motorists shops.
A fuel filter in the line is an absolute necessity, especially if using an electronic fuel pump. These are not expensive (approx. £2 each). We fit two! One before the pump and one after the pump. The Honda carburettors are very prone to problems should dirt get to the needle valves or into the float chambers. We use Teflon hose with stainless steel braid. Looks really good and is not too expensive
We use a chrome 2" Monza screw fitting flip top cap (vented), onto a chrome flange (all available from S&J Motors or Europa). Really looks the biz. Drill holes to suit and use self tapping screws or tap M4 holes. Use blue Hylomar to seal the flange to the tank, not silicone!
We highly recommend that you fit a fuel cut off tap on the outlet from the tank. These only cost about £5 and are well worth the investment. The tap will make your engine safer to work on (remember the fuel will be gravity fed to the pump) and will add a little security. You insurance company will appreciate this too! Fuel taps are available from us, please ask.
If you remove the main jet needles from the carburettors and place some small (say 6BA) washers under them in order to raise them slightly you will richen the mixture to compensate for the missing Honda air box and filters. Raising the needles by approx. 1-2mm should do the job nicely.
For air filters try the foam sock type available from motorists shops, factors or car shows.
Clutch and throttle cables.
The original clutch and throttle cables can be used usually without any modification. Only the rear most throttle cable is used, (the bike has a pull/push cable arrangement) but you may wish to add an extra return spring to the throttle pedal. Keep unused throttle cable as a spare. You will find however that the cables are rather too long and may look unsightly. You may therefore choose to shorten them to provide a more direct route. Remember that it's better to have a cable which is a little too long and snakes a little, than to have one which is too short. Remember "measure twice and cut once".
If you decide to shorten the cables, you will either have to find a source of nipples to fix on the end of the cable (soldering is the only satisfactory method) or make your own.
We have successfully made solder type nipples (which for some reason don't seem to be available in the shops any more, from a piece of 6mm bar (if you have no 6mm bar use the shank of a 6mm bolt). Drill as shown (See illustration below) splay the wire and then solder into position. It's a good idea to use a vice as a heat sink to prevent excess heat running down the cable making the cable lose it's temper. You can use multi-core solder for this, but the operation does seem to benefit from the addition of a small mount of plumbers type soldering flux or Bakers fluid. When finished grind all the excess whiskers off the nipple to ensure that it seats properly in the appropriate control arm. Clean off all excess flux; you may need to wash in water to remove acid based flux.
It is not possible to use the original nipples simply by unsoldering them and sliding them down the cable as is often done on British cables as the nipple is cast in lead in one piece and it just falls apart on heating.
Be sure that all the load is taken by the splayed end of the cables and not on the solder itself. The solder itself has very little tensile strength and the nipple will simply pull off the end of the cable.
Setting front suspension.
Place the car on a dead flat level surface, detach the top suspension ball joints and screw in or out until the verticality of both wheels is the same. Re-connect top joints. Use a spirit level or plumb line. It is important that the wheels are either vertical or leaning in at the top (negative camber). The actual amount of negative camber is not too important, but it is important that both sides are the same. After having set the camber of the wheels, then the steering tracking must be set at 1/16" of an inch toe- in. This can be done accurately by any tyre depot or inaccurately by you using two lengths of straight wood or steel or similar pressed against the tyre walls. This is only good enough for setting up just to get you to the tyre depot. Excess tyre wear will result from incorrectly set tracking. Any change in camber necessitates the tracking being re-set.
With the unladen car on level ground tighten all suspension bolts before driving the car at all. Donít forget the 20mm locknuts on the top ball joints.
The motorcycle radiator is reversed and mounted behind the engine on two brackets bolted to the chassis and one bracket bolted to the rear of the upper left hand side of the gear box. You may have to make some small metal brackets for this. There are some radiator mounting flanges welded to the front top rail of the chassis (in front of the fuel tank). Use these for securing the radiator in place.
A long length of hose can be connected from the bottom radiator outlet and routed around the engine and connected to the original Honda bottom water outlet side pipe, This looks a bit naff however.
Alternatively, a neater solution is to turn the bottom radiator outlet pipe through 180 degrees. This needs the use of a blow lamp and care to stop the radiator falling apart, (try enlisting the help of a plumber).
Remove the drain plug first as it is plastic and it melts really well! Using a couple of 22mm plumbing elbows and some copper pipe, re-route the original Honda water pump outlet pipe (the chrome plated pipe which used to run forwards along the LH side of the engine) backwards instead of forwards. (see illustration on next page for pipe modification details) Connect this straight into the bottom of the radiator.
The shortened water pump outlet pipe will need securing into the water pump housing using a small bracket or a couple of grub screws. Spend a little time here to get things right first time. These pipes are difficult to get at once everything is secured in place and a water leak is the last thing you want. Remember also our recommendation on page 15 with regard to replacing the rear engine water/oil seal. If you are going to replace this seal do so before you fit the engine and cooling system.
There are plenty of flexible cooling pipes on the market which can make life easier. Check out your friendly motorists shop or kit car shows.
If you are re-using the original Honda thermostat housing which is mounted between the cylinder heads connect this to the top radiator outlet. If you wish to use a thermostatically controlled fan and also to use the Honda (or another) temperature gauge then you will need to put a couple of tee pieces in the top hose to take the sender unit(s). Most motor factors stock an adapter for the temperature sender which can be soldered into the tee branch of a 22mm copper plumbing fitting available from a DIY store. To avoid the probe of the sender obstructing the water flow, the branch of the tee will probably need lengthening an inch or two using a short length of copper pipe into which the adapter can be soldered.
If you are using a thermostatically controlled radiator fan then you will need to find an adapter to suit your particular thermostatic control switch. The electronic switches are usually found in the bottom or the top of the a car radiator. Some of these electronic switches are not capable of passing a high current and the thermostatic switching of a fan will require a relay. A motor factor will be able to advise you on the type of relay to use. The relays generally contain a wiring diagram which is self-explanatory and easy to follow. In the wiring it is generally a good idea to include an override switch which can be used to switch the fan on permanently if required. A fuse in each extra circuit is a good idea too. Many after market electric fans have an optional thermostatic sender unit which simply inserts into the water system via a hose end and clamps in position under the hose clip. Again check out motorists shops and shows.
For a neater appearance, you can dispense with the original Honda thermostat housing which is mounted between the cylinders and it's associated piping altogether. Then use header pipes which we can supply and which terminate in 22mm copper pipe to which you can add various tee pieces and couplings to suit your own chosen system. The two pipes need joining together and connecting to the top radiator outlet using a rubber hose. (See illustration on next page)
The fan in it's simplest form can be the motor unit out of a Mini heater mounted on a home-made bracket and driving a fan secured with a grub screw. If you have excess cash, then try one of the custom made car type jobbies. We use a new 10" electric fan mounted on a Mini or Reliant Robin radiator. Bigger capacity. The outlets are virtually correct and they fit really well. Cheaper than the Honda job too should it need replacing. We can supply a ready modified large radiator if required, please ask.
Make sure that when the fan is switched on it pulls air backwards through the radiator and does not push it forward.
Use a suitable length of flexible plastic or rubber pipe connected to the radiator overflow pipe and route it behind the engine and out of the bottom of the car. Secure in place with cable ties or similar fixings where required.
When filling the radiator, be sure to use the correct proportion of the correct anti-freeze and water. Anti-freeze is essential in aluminium engines such as the Honda unit as it inhibits internal corrosion. See the workshop manual. You must use an anti-freeze suitable for aluminium engines.
Some anti-freeze solutions are not compatible.
You may have an exhaust of several types, which could be one, two, or three piece. The exhaust pipes are obviously handed left and right and must be attached to the appropriate cylinder. Use anti-seize compound on any threads. Use the original (or new) copper gasket washers in the exhaust ports. The old washers seem to last forever. If you use the Honda CX500 silencers then these can be bolted through the body using large washers. A quieter note and a better looking silencer is the Honda dream 250/400 or you may like to use BMW stainless steel silencers which although a little pricey look good and are relatively quiet. Alternatively if you want a car that sounds really mean and wonderful but is a little noisy for the occupants on a run, then choose our two piece system. Mount the rear of the system on rubber exhaust bobbins available from motorists shops.
Important notes on wiring your CX3.
Bearing in mind that most car fires are started as a result of poor wiring, it is very important to pay particular attention to this part of the build.
Upon inspection of the Honda wiring loom you will notice that it isnít long enough and that the wiring diagram in the manual doesnít separate ignition-generator circuit from starting and lighting . A nightmare. Also bear in mind that there are no points to flick with a screwdriver (electronic ignition you see) so beware; any electrical problems are extremely difficult to trace as a result of the electronic circuitry.
With little help to be found in the workshop, many builders come down with symptoms of severe headache when confronted with the task of wiring. Important factors such as cable current ratings need to be carefully considered, especially if you are using non-standard lights, horns, etc.
In order to make your life easier we manufacture a special wiring loom for the CX3. This loom is made up from no less than a "million" different coloured wires (30ish actually). Thin wall wire is used throughout in order to produce a smaller loom (all major car manufacturers now use thin wall cable). As well as wires for all standard accessories, lights etc., we include wires for additional equipment such as oil gauge, tachometer, horn relay, and wiring to an eight-way fuse holder. We even include a couple of spare wires for any future accessory fitting. The loom is supplied with a full description of each colour and a schematic diagram which will help with diagnosing any future electrical queries/problems you may encounter. With our loom you can complete the installation of the wiring in less than an hour, ready for connection. Well worth consideration. A good investment.
We supply our loom with the 8-way fuse holder, fuses, terminals, connectors, grommets, etc as a package. See latest price list for details.
Cable/loom routing must be carefully considered. Keep all wiring away from hot or moving parts and use suitable grommets or similar protection for cables passing through bulkheads etc. Our wiring loom comes with an illustration indicating where the loom should be fitted.
If you have any doubts regarding the wiring or electrical system consult a qualified auto electrician .
Where you do need to alter and extend the existing wiring loom from the motor-cycle, we can supply you with an excellent range of electrical connectors and ancillaries. In general however, where wires do need extending or modifying we prefer soldered connectors covered in heat shrink tubing as these are more reliable and permanent if somewhat more difficult to dismantle!
The battery can be mounted either under the bonnet or behind the rear seat under the rear cover. If fitting the battery behind the seat, you will need a long cable to connect it. Mini battery cable runs from the boot to the front of the car, is ideal, and costs peanuts from a breakers, but is usually covered in c--p and filth and is a pig to get at. We can supply new cable at reasonable cost.
If using a rear-mounted battery it's probably better mounted in the rear of the car behind the seat on the passenger side with an extended cable. As the car will sometimes be driven without a passenger, but will never be driven without a driver, better put the battery on the passenger side. Evens out the weight you see!
When you stripped the bike you marked the ends of each wire indicating where they went - (you did mark the wires didn't you? We said it before. We wonít say it again!!) Lay the wiring loom out on the floor and ascertain the best position to locate the various items such as fuse box, control unit, starter etc. Fasten the various units in position according to the length of the wiring making it run as neat as possible. For the ultimate neatness the units can be positioned under the scuttle or behind the dash - this is awkward but well worth the effort. The 8 way fuse box (if you are using it) fits in a hole in the front of the scuttle.
Wiring to the front headlights needs
to be duplicated and routed down each side front body rail to where the
headlamps are located on their flanges.
Choice of headlamps is entirely up to you but five and half inch "Bates" headlamps are available from MPS or Europa and look quite good even if a little small. Our choice are the ones from Anthony Stafford (telephone number at end). Their 7inch chrome units look the part and are not expensive. Avoid the ones from S&J Motors as they are really difficult to fit (the voice of experience!).
Duplicate the side light wire as for headlight wire and route down each side front body rail to the headlamp unit which will usually contain a side light. If the headlight units you have chosen do not contain side lights then you will have to arrange these separately.
The setting of the headlight dip and main beam can be left until the car is on the road and finished.
Route the appropriate wires for the left and right indicators (also having been extended) down each chassis or body rail to where you have decided to position front indicators. Although we favour mudguard top indicator units for looks, these necessitate a feed and earth wire along the suspension wishbones. The cable must be of a flexible type particularly where the suspension arm moves up and down, and the hub turns.
Alternatively you may wish to use motorcycle type indicators mounted on fabricated brackets underneath the headlamps or alongside the front number plate. These can also be fitted to the ends of the front brace (badge) bar. You can use the Honda indicators if you wish. If u/s or broken, then you can obtain second hand motorcycle indicators from breakers very cheaply. We got plastic ones (new) for a fiver each and they are virtually unbreakable. Firms such as MPS have an interesting stock of different items from £10-£20 per pair for brand new shiny items.
Extend the rear light and brake light wires to the back of the car and connect to the back lights you have chosen. Connect rear indicators and rear stop lamp similarly. Be sure to route cables where they will not get pulled at or crushed and be sure to make adequate and clean earth connections. Try using the rear half of a car loom (Escort or Cortina for example) to lengthen the rear section, as these are easily modified and are nicely colour coded.
Transit type van rear loom section contains nice long lengths of wire in pretty colours or use trailer lighting wire.
If needed, extend the various wires for ignition switch and warning lights etc. through to the dash to connect to the switches of your choice.
The ignition coils can be mounted anywhere under the bonnet but be sure that the HT leads will reach, although these can be extended using special couplers available from the likes of MPS. Some builders have mounted the coils inside the nose cone. Neat.
Although you can use the existing car horn you may find that twin trumpet air horns give a better blast and warning of your approach. Small car Ė big horn better.
Instrumentation and dashboard.
Choice of dashboard material is up to you. Some like alloy, some stainless steel and some plywood. Veneer is expensive and doesnít weather well. Check out Burred Walnut "Formica" type laminate. Looks good, doesnít fade and doesnít mind water. Use template to cut dash blank and trim edges to fit your own car.
The choice of switches and instruments is entirely at your discretion but you may choose to use the original Honda instruments as these save a considerable amount of money. We fitted our Honda speedo and tacho into Jaguar XJ6 instrument cases and fitted them along with the water, oil, temp., and fuel gauges (all from the Jag). New chrome rims are available for these from Anthony Stafford.
The essence of the car being of a period design is that instrumentation is generally kept to a minimum. In fact you'll find the majority of 1930's cars only have a speedometer. The scuttle top can be removed to provide access to the cabling and wiring behind the dashboard. Try and route speedo and any other control cables in as straight a line as possible and ensure that where any wiring or cables pass through the scuttle front, that they pass through a grommet or other suitable protection to prevent chafing.
The neat telltale light cluster in our demonstration car is from Series 1 XJ6 or Vanden Plas Allegro. Really neat but very, very rare. If you find any spare ones of these please, please send to us. Pint at a show guaranteed!
Be sure to provide an adequate earth for all lighting etc.
Builders tip. You can route the wiring from front to rear inside the transmission tunnel but ensure the wires do not come into contact with the prop shaft, gear change mechanism or hand brake mechanism and ensure adequate support.
Bonnet (again) and nosecone.
Retrieve the bonnet and nosecone from its previous safe hiding place and attach to the car using the previously made holes. Use your own choice of bonnet catch. Attach these in a suitable position at the front and rear end of the bonnet. Please note that there is approximately a 10mm to 12mm gap along the length of the bonnet bottom which serves to ventilate some hot air from the engine. This must not be blocked or closed up. After painting (if you haven't already painted) glue a soft rubber strip along the recesses in which the bonnet rests to prevent rattling and paint damage. The BRA badge can be attached to the nose cone section of the car after final painting using epoxy resin or silicone sealant. Make sure that the surface is thoroughly abraded to ensure that the badge sticks properly.
Front and rear number plates.
Pay particular attention to the legalities of the type of number plate you need to use. If your car is registered with a Q then it must have the yellow rear and white front reflective number plates. One guy we know has no front number plate - "Itís a motor cycle officer". He also has a motorcycle size rear number plate. We cannot comment on the legalities of this as it often comes down to individual Police forces interpretation. The man from the Ministry of Transport tells us that there is no exemption for 3 wheeled vehicles from front number plates. So there.
The simplest way to mount the rear number plate is on the chassis extensions provided to support the spare wheel. A simple aluminium or stainless steel plate can be made up to take both the number plate and rear lights. Ensure the rear lights have an adequate earth. We use Ford Model A rear lights from Anthony Stafford on our demonstration cars. BEWARE! Some of these Model A type lights do not come as stop/tail units. Check before buying. You will need reflectors. We put them on the rear of the front cycle wings. 2 inch with chrome bezels look nice and are legal. Smaller than 2 inch is outside of the law, we are led to believe.
The front number can be bolted through the front of the chassis on the little square brackets. Many builders though fabricate a cover for the steering rack and fix the number plate to this.
Seats, Tonneau cover and seat belts.
The BRA seat back and squabs simply place in position.
Fit the tonneau fasteners from the centre line working outwards having first warmed the material to ensure that it stretches into position and does not sag. We use Tenax fixings which, although expensive, are probably the best you can get. Other suitable fixings such as press studs, lift the dotís, etc., can be used. Use plenty of your stock of patience when fitting the tonneau cover. Fix one side at a time and make sure that the tonneau cover is stretched slightly. We use approximately 26 fixings in our tonneau covers.
Fasten seat belts to the mountings provided using high tensile steel bolts. Yes you do need seat belts even thoí our car doesnít have them!! Any rumours that "if you wear a crash helmet then you donít need seat belts is cack. (I am allowed to say "cack"!) You can use any suitable seat belts such as those found in the rear of a Metro, etc.
Anthony Stafford has some very reasonably priced seat belts.
Static belts are easier to fit although many builders have installed inertia reel type. Again, experiment. Talk to other builders. Have you joined the owners club?!
The internal trimming of your car is obviously to suit your own personal choice. Many builders trim all of the interior themselves and suitable materials can be found at most of the kit car and classic car shows. There are also some specialist suppliers. See Yellow Pages, Car Trimmers section for information. When we build our own cars we fit the BRA carpet set and trim the internal rails etc with some colour co-coordinated vinyl or carpet. When fitting carpets we glue in place the side carpets and any trim on the rails with a suitable contact adhesive. Floor carpets are best held in place with press studs or similar fixings in order to facilitate easy removal for cleaning or drying after you have been caught out by the weather!
You can make armrests from timber, aluminium or padded vinyl.
You can use "Brooklands" aero screens (available from a variety of sources) or one of our Vee screens. The Vee kit is easy to fit and comes with fitting instructions and dimensions for mounting holes etc. Having been let down by our supplier, we no longer produce the original chrome on brass Vee screen as fitted to early CX3 models. The current Vee screen, made from aluminium, is, however, suitable for chrome plating or anodising. Once fitted, the screen is rigid and offers exceptional weather protection when compared to aero screens.
Of course the choice of screens is an individual decision and should be based on your own preference. Some of our demonstration cars have the vee screen and some have aero screens.
NB. When fitting screens remember to fit large washers underneath. There can be considerable force on screens at speed. Large as possible washers will prevent the bolts pulling through the GRP. Try making you own be simply drilling the appropriate size hole in a piece of steel or aluminium. We use pieces of steel sheet, approx. 2 inches square, under each bolt when we fit our screens.
Although you can use the existing car horn you may find that twin trumpet air horns give a better blast and warning of your approach. There are also many other types of "louder" horns available. It is worth having a look around at shows for these.
BEFORE DRIVING: a few legalities and technicalities.
You will need to submit the car for an MSVA test in the UK/Europe.
You could try the advertisers in the various magazines but do shop around as premiums can vary quite considerably. One so called specialist firm quoted us twice the premium that another did for exactly the same cover. Many comprehensive policies only insure parts, so if your car is written off only expect to get the cost of another kit. If in doubt, ask.
Do not forget to insure the car while taking it for MOT test. Although you will probably retain your original donor registration, if you do not have one this does not present a problem, the broker will usually just use the VIN number initially.
A few notes on Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN).
Your newly built CX3 will need to have a 17 digit VIN stamped into the chassis and also on a suitable plate fixed to the body of the car. We issue VIN numbers for the CX3ís or alternatively your local VRO can issue one. If we issue the VIN you will be able to stamp it onto the chassis at an early stage in the build. Your insurance company will appreciate this!
The VIN must not be confused with the 6 digit chassis number which we also issue. The chassis number is purely a reference number for us. We incorporate the 6 digit chassis number into the 17 digit VIN which we issue.
Confused? Donít be. Basically, you must stamp the 17 digit VIN onto the chassis in order to comply with the law. It must be stamped onto the chassis and not the body work, which is removable. It should be stamped in a position, which can be seen, on the front offside of the car. You will not be able to register your car without a VIN number being stamped. Your MOT tester will also be looking for the VIN. No VIN = No MOT!
Lead replacement fuel (LRP) should be used if leaded is not available.
Some little reminders before you start your newly built car and head for the open road:
Check engine oil level.
stable of the BRA Cyclecar!