This is one of inlet manifolds before any
work has commenced. It is covered in lacquer, has corroded
and is full of carbon and oil.
My initial idea was to clean the manifold fully using a bead
blaster, and to then have the BMW logo machined off. I had
the machining work completed, leaving me with a nice flat
surface to screw plates with the lamborghini logo machined
It soon became apparent that no amount of cleaning would get
these manifolds clean. The aluminium is a strange alloy that
seems to stain easily. Several hours in the bead blaster had
no real effect.
|This is one of the inlet manifolds. The picture
makes it look much nicer than it actually is. The surface is
discolored and the bead blasting seems to be more effective
on some areas than others.
The manifolds mating surfaces are masked off, as well as any
threaded holes, injector ports and mounting hardware.
The logo visible on the bottom is a vinyl cut label. The fly
cut surface which originally sported the BMW logo has been linished
with a belt sander, thoroughly cleaned and then the label applied
as a mask. I was going to place a machined plate onto this surface,
but our work CNC's bed is not large enough to handle a plate
of this size. It would have needed to be cut in three passes,
posing alignment problems.
The lamborghini logo I wanted to use also changed. This logo
is normally seen on the inlet manifolds of the V10 engine present
in the gallardo. I liked it better than the one normally seen
on Diablo engines, and my label cutter at work handled this
one better as well.
Here the manifold has been given a light covering
of acid etch primer. When painting aluminium it is absolutely
essential to use an etch primer. If you don't, your hard work
will come off in no time.
The primer should not be a thick coat, that's not what it
is there for. It is simply to provide a good key between the
chosen colour and the base metal. Preparation here is key
to a good finish. Make sure all your surfaces are clean and
grease free. The dishwasher provides an excellent tool for
making sure this is the case.
|This is what it looks like when all your hard
work is complete. A sharp scalpel is used to lift the label
from the manifold, it is then carefully peeled back exposing
unpainted aluminium underneath.
A coating of clear lacquer will also be applied once the paint
has fully hardened. Any areas where colour has bled under the
label can be removed by carefully scraping it away with a pin
The best time to peel back the label is after the paint has
gone touch dry but has not fully hardened. Leave it too long
and the paint will chip as the label is removed.
Here I have cut the hole in the body for the
fuel filler cap. I used a seven bolt locking aero cap from
europa spares. Its a flush mounting cap so I have to cut a
hole slightly larger than the cap. I used a hole saw 127mm
in diameter which gives me 3.5mm all round to blend the cap
into the body. I cut a flat section of body from one of my
old wings to make a plate to support the filler cap, and have
bonded it to the body using fiberglass bridging paste. I roughed
up both mating faces of my backing plate and body to ensure
a good bond.
Next step is to wait for the fibreglass to go off fully, and
then begin filling against the backing plate to make sure
the cap is at the right angle and flush against the body.
If it sticks out proud or is too flush, its not going to look
very nice at all.
This type of filler cap is not the correct type for this body
style, and parallel designs mount theres a little lower than
I have put mine. I quite like this style of filler however
when it is executed correctly, rather than one of those nasty
stick on things.
|This is the filler cap after a filled and drilled
the recess. I experimented with the direction the handle should
orient and decided to keep it the same way Lamborghini have
it on their GTR, although the filler cap is positioned on the
lower panel on that particular car.
I ordered a funnel and rubber splash gaiter to install at the
same time. I also ordered a restrictor to only take an unleaded
fuel nozzle. But I coudnt figure out how to fit it and have
since found out its only an SVA requirement on cars equipped
with a catalytic converter.
|These are the side runners I have made that duplicate those found on the VT Diablo. I used uPVC window cills as recommended by PD although they now offer these parts, they didnt when I purchased my kit.
The cills are roughed up with a sander and given a single coat of fibreglass to give the body filler something to bond to. As the cills are completely enclosed in fibreglass, if the cill does debond from the fibreglass, it cannot fall off.
The board was then bolted into position on the cill and the gap between the bottom of the car and the top of the board was foam filled. Once the foam had gone off the cill was removed and another layer of fibreglass was placed over the foam before final filling. Foam was used as a bulk filler to keep the weight down although after all the fibreglass and filler each cill ended up weighing about 6 kilogrammes.
||Heres the passenger side running board bolted to the car. It needs just a little further tweaking for a 100% fit but already when its not fitted, it looks like something is missing from the car.
The running board is bolted to the bottom of the car using four 6mm bolts using rivnuts secured to the underside. When the car is painted, the running board will not be held on using only this method. A structural polyurethane glue such as Sikaflex or Tigerseal will be applied and the running board screwed into place. Any remaining gap will be filled using a bead of exterior grade sealant.
||Heres the car more or less complete. Theres still a number of minor jobs to complete before I can say the car is truly finished.
||My friend Danny helped me to move the car back to the paintshop to work through the snag-list. Basically a snag-list is areas where touch ups on the paint is required. Normally due to scratches and dings suffered when the car is re-assembled or where areas were missed.
We originally tried to tow the car the correct way around, but we could not get the 'paddles' which lift the car up under the front bumper. So we turned the car around and towed it back to front.
||Heres the interior more or less complete. A small list of jobs remain to be done, These include the door cards, a small trim strip along the rear window and the gear shifter gate.
The AC control unit also needs to be installed, which is what the cables hanging out the front are.