Body Modifications

The K series engine is longer than the A, so the engine bay has to be lengthened to the tune of about 6 inches.  This lengthening is obtained by moving the heater tray area backwards.  This means putting the battery in a different place if the heater is to be kept.  I chose to keep my heater, so I put the battery in the boot.  Others have fitted smaller batteries over the passenger footwell, or behind the heater.

The following picture shows how the heater tray needs modifying:

The edge that is yellow-ish here is the old edge of the heater hole that takes the hot air down to the footwell vents and along to the windscreen vents.  The original font edge of the heater tray can also be seen.

This area has to be quite strong as it takes some of the loads shared by the scuttle panel and, as it is effectively shorter, it has to be stronger than the original.  The modified panel has a large piece of angle over the front edge, as well as one in the back corner.  The new heater hole for the hot air is visible here as well

The two forward facing curves are required to make sure the footwell vents get air to them; the whole of the inside of this area fills with hot air when the heater is turned on.

This new heater tray is strong enough for me to stand on without flexing, unlike the old one.  The arch is there in the middle to clear the clutch fork; an issue that won’t arise of the Frontline bellhousing is used instead of the Caterham one, or if a concentric hydraulic clutch slave is used.

The other area that needs modification is the gearbox crossmember; the Ford Type 9 is a taller gearbox than the old 1275 ribcase, and rather than move the whole tunnel upwards the standard method is to remove the old crossmember and get the strength back with the mounting plate and crossmember inserts.  Next up are before and after pictures of the area that needs removing:

 

 

These are from the engine end, that’s the front end of the diff in the background.  The open ends of the crossmember left by cutting it out have got 65mm square section tube hammered into them.  This extends the full width of the crossmember cut-out into each side.  There are captive nuts in the bottom and top of this reinforcing bar; it is bolted on with two bolts downwards from inside of the car, and upwards with two bolts that pass through the new gearbox mount and the bottom of the existing crossmember. The ends are capped with 3mm steel plate (same gauge as the square tube) and everything is welded together at this inner end once all the bolts are in.  It is worth noting that the tunnel floor was cut back further than in the picture (away from the camera) to make fitting the engine and gearbox easier as one unit.  This is also reinforced with a bolt-in plate.

The other modification needed is a hole further back in the transmission tunnel for the differently placed gearstick, and some holes for the speedo cable and so on.

The Type 9 can have the tailhousing shortened so that the gear stick pops out in the same place as the old ribcase box.  This is quite exacting work, so instead I just bent the lever forwards.