Once the bodywork was sound and free of rust it was time to apply the underseal. Iím one of those people
that is always on the look out for an alternative use for something, so instead of the normal underseal you get in a tin, or the spray
on stuff they use at the factory, I use for a sort of home made underseal.The stuff I used is a combination stay soft tar used on
flat roofs. Most people would probably think I'm mad to use roof sealer on the underside of my car, but this stuff is really good.It
comes in a large drum and is really thick, and sticky. It doesn't work straight out of the drum because its far too stiff to stick
on primed metal, of which I found it, peeled off without sticking. After all it is meant for roofing.Then one day I was playing about
with it and found if I put it into my hot pot. This is an electrically heated pot that you normally would put crystallised glue in
to melt. Anyway I put a dollop of it in and melted it and found not only did it go as runny as warm syrup, but also it stuck to any
and everything it touched, including myself. However I found when it cooled down again it re-hardened, but still strayed flexible.
Not quite as flexible as before, but enough to move if needed.I soon after covered the entire underside of the car with it, and not
only does it form a very solid underseal, but it also cuts out a lot of drumming. The best thing I found was it could still be painted
afterwards, without any hassle at all.
With the underneath done it was time to add the body kit. Even at this point I hadn't really decided on which
kit to go for, but in the end I went for the Fibre sport Monaco kit.I actully only bought the two side panels and not the front and
rear valanceís, this was because I'd seen plenty of Mini's using the entire kit, and thought if I done the same my car wouldn't look
to much different than the rest. So I decided to use the side panels and make suitable ends to the arches so they flowed into the
bodywork myself out of fibreglass. This was I could still keep the original stainless steel bumpers, which I always liked.As I wasn't
using the entire body kit, I couldn't fix it to the car how the manufacturer suggested, so a bit or ingenuity was called for yet again.
Knowing no matter how rigid the car is made, there was always going to be a slight bit of body twist. I therefore had to make sure
the body kit was fixed firm enough so it twisted with the body, and stayed put, oppose to having it crack after a few months of driving.
To fix the body kit on, I first had to make blocks round the edge to screw through. This was done using fibreglass
resin and mating, and chemical metal, which is very hard filler.When all the blocks were in place and dry I drilled and countersunk
each one of them to take long self-tapping screws. The body kit was then offered up the car and I made marks on the bodywork about
ever six to eight inches so I knew exactly where it would fit, and holes where the screws would goThe body kit was then removed and
the body drilled in all the marked places. I then held the body kit in place with several rolls of masking tape while I went along
spreading chemical metal body filler along all the edges, then I pressed it firmly up to the car.This had to be done in small sections
because the chemical metal body filler will stick to anything really well when soft and runny, but as soon as it starts to harden,
it goes all lumpy and doesn't stick.As I went along I spread the chemical metal along the edge and screwed the body kit tight up to
the car. I made sure there was lots of chemical metal so it would spread out well when the edge was squashed together. It was quite
a long job, but I decided better to spend a little longer on it now than have to fix it later on.
After I had gone along both side sticking and screwing, the body kit was firmly in place. Now however came
the long job of fixing it on properly so there were no water or mud traps in it that would rust the bodywork behind it.This involved
several tins of isopon fibreglass hole bridging filler. This is a filler paste, but with strands of fibreglass matting in it, which
makes it idea for filling large areas easily.I started at on end and slowly filled in the gap that was left underneath after the kit
is fitted on. Where the gap was to big to bridge with just the fibreglass on its own, I use a special foam material which is water
resistant, damp resistant and resilient to just about every chemical around to partially fill the gap then spread the fibreglass over
it.I found it was best if I built the fibreglass up in several thin layers, instead of one big lump, as it tended to want to sag in
one lump. I done this repeatedly until the fibreglass was about an inch thick at minimum all round.