GT40E Build History.
January 9 2022, Week 14
Further Prep of Dash board and other switch
locations, Preparation of electronic hand break, Wiring of rear lights.
little bit of work was done on the dash board, with the air con vents on the far
right and left compleated. The light switch mounted. This however I could forsee
an issue of making a neet finish on the swithc surround. Most of the circular
instramnets have a chrome ring that hides the gap between the instrament and its
locating hole. After some Googling a chrome ring could not be found so I went to
the solution of what I am most happy building, by starting to make a Carbon
Fibre ring. This started with laying up a number of sheets of Carbon between
polyester sheet, that gives a nice finish. Note don't use polyester resin as it
is not colourless. Find a good supplyer of epoxi and purchase clear resin. Let's
see how I progress.
I had purchased a second hand Commodore electronic
handbreak actuator, but unlike other switches and wing mirrors I was unable to
figure out how the wiring worked, so I set to work using a standard actuator
that would be mounted between the drivers seat and the batteries in the right
sill. Drawings were made and sent to
CadCut to make some
steel mounting brackets. I guess I will start on that in a couple of working
Many jobs like the above don't get a tick of "Done" against them but I
finished wiring the rear lights, making sure that I maintained details of wire
colours, pin numbers from light to plugs and finally the PDM (Power Distibution
Moduel.) A good feeling of satisfaction to see that job compleated. I little bit
of luck as the evening before I started the wiring and brading I got an email
stating that my Mini Cooper reversing lights were on the way. I had compleatly
forgotten the reversing lights! So with that little reminder I was able to add a
wire to accomodate the reversing lights. (I believe there has to be a lot of
checking that everything is in place before the harness is compleated.)
December 31 Week 13
Preparation of Dash board switches.
it is time for a new phase of the build, that being mounting of the dash board's
switches. This has mentally taken a long time, with lists of what has to be
mounted to look good and ends up being practical. In the days of the GT40 and
similar cars like Jags, my dad had many Jaguars, there would be a line of
identical switches. It looked like an aircraft cockpit but had a fundamental
problem being that, as each switch was the same you had to take your eyes off
the road to work out what switch did which function. This caused many accidents.
I believe that the new Tesla electronic screen will have the same issues. This
in mind I am trying to make all the switches have obvious functions, look
different, but not cluttered. So there was lots of mental planning over the past
few months, and more recently, just sitting in the car working out where to
locate everything. Let's hope that I am right as once the switches are in place
and the upholstery fitted, there is a level of permanence.
In addition to the face of the dash board i have been
making a couple of glass fiber ducts for the air-conditioning vents on the far
right and left of the dash. There is a very tight gap to the vents so some
modifications are required, but as I have worked with glass since my early teens
this is a job I feel comfortable with. No the photo is not the finished job,
just their state as of Jan 1.
December 25 Week 11 & 12
BMS harnesses for Sill Battery Boxes,
Wiring of Tesla to temp switches.
Although two weeks have passed there are not so many photos to show progress.
The two side battery boxes have had their BMS wiring completed. I have then
stripped the batteries and wiring out in preparation for powder coating. In
addition the battery box that houses an additional 12 batteries in the front of
the car was completed, the BMS harness made and then stripped down ready for
powder coating. I have found that so many times components, just fit, the
grommets for the BMS and high voltage just squeeze next to each other in the
box, with no room to spare.
I was hoping to be completed the Tesla wiring before Christmas but time will often run faster
than I can work. Always double the time you expect. Tim from
EV Works spent a few
days connecting the Tesla's wiring. Initially I have a temporary switches that
will be replaced as the MoTeC system is installed. The MoTeC has already been
partially programmed on the desk, but switching across to the real thing will be
done step by step.
December 6 Week 12
All Battery boxes installed but not all wired,
BMS harness, Steering sensor.
Some weeks you feel that you have made much more progress
than others, despite the hours input into the project. This felt like a good
The second battery box was placed over the bottom box, filled with
batteries and copper connectors bolted in. Tim from
spent a day measuring up the high voltage cable to link up the different boxes,
Back Bottom, Back Top, Right and left sill and front. However at the early stage
of the build we will only use the Top back box and keep the voltage down whilst
we get used to the system. Much better to play with 30 volts rather than 300!
I spend quite some hours making a wiring harness for the Battery Management
System (BMS). This connects each copper connector in the bottom box and measures
the voltage difference. 48 individual wires! This harness will feed into the top
box where the brains of the system are located. So there needed to be a solution
to number each wire 1 to 48 so that they can be connected correctly. My
solution. Get some masking tape, wrap it over (not round) the end of the wire
and then tear it off. This will leave a tiny bit of tape on the wire. This can
then be marked with Dots and Dashes, a dash being 5 a dot being 1 so - - ... is
5 +5+1+1+1 = 13. When things get too tight i.e. 20 change the colour of the
I purchased a throttle sensor from
Smiths Racing Services
and mount from
Motor Sport Parts. Easy enough to mount other than the Tilton pedals are USA
made and use imperial Alan keys!
November 28 Week 10 & 11
Battery box. Steering wheel.
job takes far longer than you expect. Anyway the back battery box is now bolted
and in place, with the copper connectors fastened to their relevant battery, I
have started planning to wire in the Battery Management System (BMS) and attach
the braiding. This is not going to be as easy, as there are 48 wires that
go from each copper connector in the bottom box to the BMS in the top box. It
will be necessary to wire each one to the correct point in the BMS and then!
Take them all out when the car works, so that the boxes can be powder coated,
and the car sprayed. Then all reassembled in the right place.
I did run into
an issue on Friday, that being that I received a very light tingle from the
batteries. As I was only touching one bank I considered that there could have
been a short to earth. Testing the voltage from Earth to each copper connector,
it certainly appeared to be the case. However there should have been none! So a
lot of connectors came off just in case. Hopefully next week I should find the
reason for the short.
Be where not to short the copper plates. I did and only
had about 30 volts not 300!
Steering wheel in position.
November 14 Week 8 & 9
Battery boxes virtually completed. Motor
installed with brace, Steering column decisions, Wing Mirrors progress. Fuel
filler. Letter received from DoT
main job over the past two weeks has been building the Battery boxes.
CadCut completed the boxes some time
ago and the past two weeks my friend Sid Lacy, a glider pilot like me and a
talented welder, came for a number of afternoons and evenings to weld up the
battery boxes. By the end of this fortnight all the boxes were completed. Those
boxes to be fitted under the doors, there is a lot more room than a
standard car, were in place and a relatively small box was installed in the
front. The big boxes are still awaiting a Perspex cover to be made.
preparation for the installation of the large battery boxes, to be placed in the
rear of the car, crush tubes were welded in place. Crush tubes are inserted into
the 40 x 40 mm beams where a bolt will be placed. These tubes prevent the beam
being crushed when the bolt is tightened up.
Sid and I installed a brace of
the left side of the motor that will support the motor against the chassis, in
compression, whereas the initial installation was under tension.
Wipers and Indicators. It had been my intention to modernise the GT40 and
operate the lights, wipers etc. with stalks. However once I got to work with
assembly it became clear that this was not going to be possible, so I would have
to go to the traditional style of placing the switches on the dash. The next few
weeks I will hopefully start progress here, but good planning will be required.
I purchased from a scrap Audi RS3 wing mirror. By making test connections with
12v supply in all the combinations I was able to find out the function of each
wire, remember if you do this you may find as in the Audi reverse polarity
reverses direction i.e. up / down, left / right. Replacement covers are
available if yours is a little scratched.
I recently received the delivery of
the fuel filler cap and charging plug. I was delighted to see that the two
components fitted like a glove. I wonder when they designed the GT40 in the 60's
if they were aware of the size of the charger plug size.
I also received this
week the confirmation from Department of Transport the ok to go ahead, together
with permission to work with my engineer on electric hand breaks.
October 30 Week 6 & 7
Drivers Seat installed. Tesla motor half
installed. Wiring harness attachments made.
The drivers seat was installed with motor driven rails. I
will not use the demonstrated switching system, I think something a little more
advanced is required. The fundamental issue was minimising the height added to
the seat by installing the rails.
The Tesla motor was put back into the car,
but I had a concern that the motor is particularly heavy on the rotor side so a
stiffening beam, that will be under compression, is being made to support the
weight in addition to the frame that is located above the motor where it will
hang. Hopefully this will be completed next week and photos will indicate the
It is necessary to secure the wiring harness to the glass fiber
body in some places. My solution is as follows:-
cut my battery boxes, make about 50 hexagonal pieces out of 4mm aluminum.
Hexagons as they are economic to cut and they don't rotate under the glass. Each
had a 3mm hole in the center that I eventually drilled and tapped to suit a 4mm
I then taped over the pieces some silver tape, that can be purchased
from any good glass fiber supply. The reason for this is that the tape will
prevent resin egressing into the tapped hole.
The Hexagons were then glassed
onto the body work. Using a counter sunk drill the glass was pierced allowing
the 4mm screw to secure either the Deautch plug attachments or tie clips.
the whole area will be cleaned up.
battery boxes for the rear of the car are virtually finished with the help of my
friend Sid, who is a first class welder. I certainly learnt that drawing up
components in a 2D sketch does not guarantee that they fit into a 3D car, but
with a little modification the boxes were moved into position.
beams were finished and square bolts inserted into each end. They are a tight
fit and with a hard tap on the end with a cold chisel they were secured. I
obtained my nuts from
Bolt & Nut
Australia, who had my goods delivered within a few days of order.
necessary to file a little inside the beams to make the nuts fit.
hand photo shows the bottom battery box in place, but not secured yet.
expect some batteries to be installed and wired within a couple of weeks.
October 16 Week 4 & 5
Steel beams coated with glass, Aircon
fitted, Anti theft
ordered, break line modified, battery boxes collected.
have combined two weeks of work in one session as I felt that I had not done
much work, and was too busy on the weekend to write a report, but looking back
it looks as if some progress has been made. Firstly I have virtually finished
completing the steel beams that hold the batteries down in the battery boxes.
Critically the beams need to be covered in glass fiber to insulate them from
possible electrical shorts. In addition as High Voltage wiring are required to
be Orange, I will go the whole hog and paint high voltage components as well.
Well not the motor. A note in applying the glass, tack the glass into place
first, then when the resin has cured wrap it. I then coded with a layer of epoxy
(as it is less viscose than polyester, and leaves a nice smooth surface. A final
coat of orange will then take place.
A lot of time was spent on installing the
Air-Conditioning. I drilled the two holes in the underside of the demister
as per the photo in the instruction manual, only to find that some beams of the
chassis interfered , so the holes were glassed up and new pipe manifold
positions found, drilled and manifolds re fitted. Getting the air-conditioning
unit in the right place required it to be located, marked, removed, drilled and
and and and. I think it must have been put in and out of position about 6 times.
The break lines were removed and marked for new ones to
be made, as battery boxes will be fitted in the sills where they are located.
The Anti Theft device was purchased and arrived.
the battery boxes and battery contacts arrived from
CadCut in Wangara. It
has taken some time but the present economic climate everybody appears to be
very busy. Hopefully next week I will see some good progress with my friend Sid
able to help me with aluminum welding of the boxes and the seat rails.
September 30 2021 Week 3
Although this is a few weeks after week 2 it is because we went away in the
Motor Home for a couple of weeks, resting after running
charity event we are involved with. We support charities that fight against
slavery, watch this.
I have continued to work on the installation of the MoTeC display, as with
all fiber glass jobs it can take time, with one piece being glassed into place,
then wait for it to dry firmly before proceeding to the next step. I should be
finished next week.
I came to the realisation that guaranteeing, when the car
is finished I will have all the knobs and switches installed, and in the correct
location is not a guarantee. For example I could get to the point when all is
done that the switch to alter the climate's fan is not installed. My solution is
to make a menu in the MoTeC that all functions can be located and added and
Landsdale wreckers sold me a Lexus seat $100 so I could strip out
the seat rails. Hours of grinding took place to get rid of the excess metal
work. You have to remember that the seats need to be as close to the floor as
possible, other wise my head will rub against the roof.
The drive shaft
stumps arrived, very promptly, see video. I thought they were a bit expensive,
like the Hylux headlights I bought 2 pairs! Fortunately I already have a buyer
for the extras.
Now the Exciting bit. Time from
EV Works came on the
30th and ran the Tesla Motor. Much delight as I was always concerned that the
EBay purchased motor may not work.
September 3 2021 Week 2
ordered drive shaft stump from
Zero-ev, in the UK as my Tesla motor did not come with the drive cups.
visited Sam Rossi, who will be my engineer overseeing the build. I was in the
process of making a Glass RSJ to hold the batteries down. I would make one and
hang some weights on it to test its ability to do the job. Sam put the
dimensions through his computer and came up with a figure well short of the
requirement, but quickly stated that a 20 x 20 steel beam 1.6mm would do the
trick if wrapped in glass to insulate. Good advice to keep all receipts and
packing for lights and ensuring they comply with Australian Design Regulations
before purchase. Great to work with people who know their job.
installed the replacement power board in the Tesla after half a days work
eventually managed to get the motor turning - Backwards. So he went away to test
the power board on his motor in his workshop.
I set to work drilling holes in
the dashboard for the Speedo, Volt meter and clock, all in 1960's style. The
grinder got to work cutting out a hole foot the MoTeC display. As I have worked
with fiberglass since I was about 14 I feel quite confident getting stuck in
here. If you make a mistake you can always patch it up.
Finding various parts
appears to fill half my time. Lights, switches, gas struts, and there will be far
August 24 2021 Week 1.
arrived on Friday the 20th and from now on rather
than me entering the date I will put the week of the build. I will exclude weeks
that I am away, like holidays. This will give an idea as to the time it takes me
to complete the build, excluding holidays.
The first job was to build a
trolley to mount the car so that I did not end up breaking my back working on
the car, I have a very stiff back anyway and the car can be moved around the garage it
has large wheels, all steerable. On opposite corners there are breaks, and the
other corner the wheels can be locked straight to help me steer, unlike a
shopping trolley. The car was lifted onto the table with he use of a couple of
gantries and 4 pulley blocks. It was a good thing that the GT40 has a hole in the
boot and bonnet to allow the chains to go down to the chassis. If you do it
yourself don't skimp on gear. The hire was not cheep but the car is expensive.
For those with sharp eyes will notice that I have done some fiberglass work on
the front right headlight. This is a light mold that will help me select some
headlights that will fit from a scrap yard.
Over the weekend there was a lot of measuring of the engine bay to calculate
the container dimensions for the batteries. I need to fit in 192 batteries. For
wiring sense containers should have batches of batteries devisable by 12. There
is also a big question. "Do I have spacing between the batteries to assist
The bottom line is that the 192 batteries could not be fitted
into the engine bay, even
without spacing, but the extras could be placed in the door sills. So the
decision to have spaces was made. Each battery will have a 10mm strip of hard
foam, 4.5mm thick, along the top and bottom of the battery allowing air to flow from front to
back of the box. Pictures will to come later. After much calculating, what I hope was
the ideal box dimensions was decided on. In addition the dimensions of the
copper plates to join the batteries together were drawn up and a friend of mine
in Sydney drew up the CAD design. (I have a free copy of Sketchup but it
can not work to finer than 1 mm. The diameter of a 5mm hole is 2.5mm!)
The control board arrived for the Tesla motor, supplied by Tim at EVWorks. This
replaces the Tesla that can not be used as access to its brains is not available
to non Tesla products.
In the mean time the MoTeC wiring system continues
with Great help from Glen. I have got to the stage of working on the display,
getting flash indicators, main beam etc. to display.
came on Thursday to help me replace the Tesla differential with the Quafe
Limited Slip Diff. There are good instructions on the
EVTV Motor Verks web site that are easy to follow.
We did the
replacement on the floor as I was concerned that the weight of the Tesla motor
would be too heavy for my work bench. It was probably better as in that position
it was easier to maneuver into position.
The pulling of the old bearings
needed a bit of "Aussie know how" (The ability to fix something when there is
not a perfect tool for the job.) So put your brain into gear and don't expect a
garage to do the job for you.
The only issue we had was lining all the
components up, on either side of the two castings. My suggestion is that you
have half a dozen over length bolts to initially hold the casings together and
gradually align everything bit by bit. We also had a 5 minute gasket seal that
was used to seal the two halves of the motor together. You will not do the job
in 5 minutes.
Once the diff was replaced Tim replaced the Tesla power board
with an alternate version that fits in place beautifully, replacing the Tesla
board. The reason for the replacement is that Tesla will not allow you to have
access to the electronic drive brains of the system. The replacement will give
us that ability.
July 12 2021
Although the car has not left Phillip Island yet there is
some more progress with the aluminum body coming on. The Suspension is being
fitted as have the hydraulic jacks.
I have purchased some light switches off
EBay hoping that they would be easy to wire in to the harness, but as with all
things now they are designed to fit into a VW CANBus, Nobody is able to help so
I have ideas on how to progress see on my next post.
July 2 2021
With hopefully only a week before delivery I received
deliveries over the week of a number of light switches and break switches for
the car. In addition the electronic hand
break, that I hope will be legal, arrived from American. I did find that the
instructions were somewhat lacking. As when I went to set the stop and return
points of the liner motor, I had no idea how to send the actuator back to its
shorter position, having not fully understood the instructions. When you read
both the AutoLoc and American Shifter instructions to understand what is going
on. I worked out that 1 (Brown) to 8 White all work independently so you can set
the Brown 1 on the first press to release the break, on the second press actuate
the break. The remaining connections can all have separate functions. So I set a
function on 2 (Brown/Blue) to release the break. This is all test bench stuff
just to be sure that it works.
I also received delivery of two ECUMaster CAN
Switch boards. These will receive data 8 Switch and 8 Analog and send the data
to the MoTeC Display. In principle the CAN Switches will reduce the limited
number of wires going into the MoTeC units.
I spent a couple of days making
a CANBus to test bench some of the settings on the MoTeC and then had a few
hours with Glen
checking that things were in order for me to continue testing and learning. It
spins my brain out. It is great working with him, so patient with this amateur.
My weekly call with
Forties confirmed that, with no promises, the car should be ready for
shipping around the end of next week with the aluminum polished to sparkling,
with Purple Polish.
The motor is in the cage and the car is about ready to leave Philip Island.
Robert had a lot of issues fitting the body as the jig he had from the previous
owner of the business had built the jig based on a crashed car! All sorted and
the jig is ready for future clients.
In the mean time I have been learning
from both HP Academy and Glen of
Auto Sport Electronics had been very patient with me, whilst I learn how to
program my MoTeC electronics.
aluminum panels are being fitted to the chassis.
In the mean time I have
been on a wiring course run by
HP Academy. For those not already experts in wiring I recommend going through
this course. Very thorough and easy to follow.
Powder Coating May 2021
back from powder coating, satin black and floor fitted. Aluminum panels being
made and finished, Bodywork has been fitted. Suspension has been powder coated
in the same satin black and will be fitted as soon as the aluminum is completed.
Motor cradle needs to be manufactured.
Robert is spot on with his timing at
Limited Slip Differential, May 2021
As the Tesla has a straight forward differential and uses the breaks to
encourage even drive on the back two wheels. I needed a limited Slip
Differential. EVTV Motor Verks
in Missouri USA. You can buy the Quaife LSD from them. I found them very
efficient to deal with, giving me same day replies to my questions. Although I
found their freight costs very expensive. But I have a way around that as
follows. I have found many USA companies charge prohibitive freight costs
overseas so I use a freight forwarding company,
Stakry, who also allow
you to batch your purchases. I have an account with them and have used them for
many years. Again a very efficient company. Back to EVTV They have a very good
video on how to fit it to your Tesla S drive,
http://store.evtv.me/proddetail.php?prod=QuaifeATB it looks to be easy
enough, but from what I have seen before handle your Tesla motor with care.
were some traumas getting the engine to fit and but with Roberts persistence it
was eventually fitted in May.
In the mean time I needed to have a contact who would help me with the
Electrical side of the build. I believe I was fortunate in making contact with
Tim from EV Works in
Landsdale Western Australia. Tim supplies batteries for Electric Cars and gives
me good advice.
We decided, having seen a video on a
Evora Tesla build, to go for the
MoTeC display system.
At the same time we watched a very good
the Tesla motor by Professor John Kelly Webster State University. I would
recommend that anybody who is getting involved with a Tesla motor look at the
video. This changed our thinking on converting the motor from East West to North
Shortly after the opening
changed hands with Robert Logan, who had previously built GT40s and also built
1960s F1 cars to the USA. I have to say that I felt a lot more confident with
Robert, particularly as we both knew making an Electric GT40 was not going to be
easy. Robert had to settle down bringing the manufacturing to Philip Island.
Waiting for COVID to allow progress.
Whilst the factory was closed there was little that we could do. However as I
like to plan ahead I started working on the colour scheme. A car like the GT40
needs to look good. It rarely comes in one colour as the Go Fast Stripe was a
regular feature that gave the car at least one additional colour. Details on how
I went ahead in this important part of the project can be seen on a separate
I went to the F1 in Melbourne Australia and on the Friday before practice my
daughter and I went to visit Roaring Forties who were, at that time located in
Melbourne. After a chat to the management and a sit in one of the cars and a
chat with an owner we did our tourist thing round Melbourne. The race had been
canceled due to COVID closing the event that morning. A week later I ordered the
Tesla motor from America, on EBay. Another week later, due to lockdown the
factory closed and did not open until November 2020.