Monday, 11 August 2014

IVA - first attempt!

24 July
IVA yesterday. Quite an experience! A relatively small number of issues raised, requiring a retest already booked for September. Good news is that brakes, lights, interior and exterior projections all passed OK, the exhaust was quiet, just 86dB. Minor issues were that the connection to the rear fog light had come adrift, the washer bottle wasn’t properly locating in its holder, and some locknuts are required to augment the steering rack and front suspension attachment. A nearside mirror is required as the interior mirror was judged too small for an adequate field of view.

Slightly more tricky, the Panhard rod fouled the diff cover plate. I hadn’t noticed this, and think it was only evident because I had a full tank of fuel for the first time. Should be able to resolve this with some additional spacers, but clearance is tight between cover plate and spare wheel well.

I’d fitted the MX-5 seats and looped the seatbelt through the guides on the shoulder of the seats. This meant that the seat belt runner was higher than the mounting point, which means the seat is in compression in the event of an accident, which it wasn’t designed for and is unacceptable. I think if I remove the belt runner from the seat, or just swap them over, and remove the subframe I’ve used between seat and floor, I can make it acceptable.

Needing a bit more headscratching – the rear wheel arches don’t quite cover the tyre as they should, which requires some ingenuity to attach some sort of narrow mudflap over the rear section of the arch.

The front brake flexible hoses are stretched on full lock – despite having been supplied specifically as MGB upgrade items. I think I need hoses about 50mm longer.

All this should be able to be sorted out in time for the booked retest on 8th September.
02 August
I’ve dealt with the more minor issues from the IVA test – steering and suspension bolts passing through the threaded plates supplied by Gerry now have locknuts, with some thread protruding. I’ve raised the position of the wash bottle so it no longer fouls the chassis, and secured it to the bracket with a cable tie. A connector had pulled off the foglight wiring, which I’ve re-soldered and checked.

I’ve fitted the nearside mirror, and raised the position of the offside mirror so the rear view isn’t obscured by the rear wing (an unrecorded comment from the inspector). I’ve obtained some longer front brake flexible hoses which weather permitting I’ll fit tomorrow.

That leaves a couple of issues over which I’ve exchanged some correspondence with Gerry: I’ve given the Panhard rod some clearance from the diff cover by fitting a half-inch spacer and longer bolt at the axle end of the connection. The clearance loaded is now around a quarter-inch, which should be OK even down to the bumpstops. Gerry was surprised and queried correct fitment, he’s only occasionally had to use a single spacer washer.

Gerry was also surprised about the rear wheel arches – this point doesn’t seem to have arisen before. However, I have the correct wire wheel axle, adapter hubs, and the wheels and tyres supplied by Gerry. The track (which is easy to measure on the trailer) is the same as that quoted for the MGB. The photograph shows a cardboard extension fixed in place to show the extent of the non-compliance – which is a maximum of 15mm.

After some deliberation I decided against progressing with the Mk.3 MX-5 seats. I felt their size might mean the seat belt still rubbed on the seat even if the guides were reversed or removed. I’ve got hold of a couple of early MX-5 seats in good condition that will fit more easily, without modification except to remove the adjustable runners, and with more room around the belts. The seats are smaller, with adjustable headrests. I’ve made a gauge to check the compliance with the IVA manual, for both minimum height and distance to seat belt anchorage. On both counts the measurement seems comfortably within the criteria. If the sun keeps shining today I should get them both fixed in.

While fitting seats seems a simple job, the length of time required to do it properly shouldn’t be underestimated. Due to the location of chassis members the attachment bolts can’t always be fitted to correspond with the seat tappings, so some form of subframe is usually required which needs to be sufficiently robust. Although the seats in the Hawk don’t transmit the seatbelt loads, it’s surprising how much load does pass through the seat attachment – just try braking hard without the bolts in place!
The omission of the adjustable runners isn’t an issue for me. The Hawk isn’t designed to fit large people, and while I’m not tall I need the seat as far back as it will go.

03 August
Fitting the seats:
This took much of the day, but the seats are securely fitted and appear to be IVA compliant. The seat belts fit without rubbing the seats. I took some measurements to compare with IVA requirements:
IVA requirement
Minimum height, point ‘R’ to top of headrest
Headrest height
100mm min
Headrest width
170mm min
Seatbelt mounting to seat centreline
140mm min
Seat-headrest gap in lowest position
25mm max
Vertical height, point ‘R’ to seatbelt mounting
450mm min

11 August
New front brake hoses are fitted. I’ve got some ideas for adapting the fluid reservoir for pressure bleeding, which is my preferred method, so I’ll sort this in the next week or two. Made and fitted the wheelguards required for the IVA. They’re quite rigid and don’t look too bad.

That’s all the failure points addressed now.

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