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[Project] The Rattlebox

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Well this bog was started on a welding site a while back which is where someone called matt (from Sheffield) spotted it and informed me about you guys on here.. (I`ve read the for a while as its full of techy wisdom but only recently joined and figured I`d run you through the work so far and keep things updated on here…. I`ve noticed a few familiar faces from OLD pgac days and a few other sites but for those that don’t know me… I`m stu.. a 30 miserable sod from Cambridgeshire…. HELLO!!


So this first instalment will be copied over so bear with me if it doesn’t scan perfectly.. here goes!!!




despite being old enough to know better i`m having a go at putting together a 106 for a few track days and maybe a bit of hill climbing/sprinting..


i`ve owned the car for a few years and had done a few things.. rollcage/suspension/changed the roofskin as the leaky french sunroof became too much.. converted it to run on yamaha R6 carburettors and it was a giggle on the back roads but during my ownership i`d noticed the dreaded rust appearing here and there so decided to go for broke and attempt to get the ol girl up to a higher standard....


first up was a spit:




this should make scraping/welding at awkward angles a bit easier/comfier..


initial scraping went well and early signs were good...




but then....




i had an inkling there was something amiss with the drivers side chassis rail and inner arch but after the affected stuff was cut out i realised i had some patching to do!!




first job was to replace the chassis rail as i was getting worried about it giving way on the spit:




after a bit of whacking it was in... then i realised i needed to put the "crumple zone" creases in it... now i`m not sure if this is the correct method but...




some heat and some healthy whacks with the ball pein resulted in..




next up... the inner wing...




decided to do this in 2 bits...




once TIG`d up i was (fairly) happy with the repair......



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with them bits done.. i had 1 small hole left..




a wiered shaped compound curvey thing... now i`ve watched chop-cut-rebuild/american hotrod/overhaulin on SKY so i`m aware there are all manner of posh shrinking and stretching tools out there.. me??? i had some hammers' date=' old dollies and a bit of wood...




i wont lie...... several pieces of metal were thrown across the workshop but eventually..




we had a winner!!!








what did i do then???? ahhh yes

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next job was the gussety/bracing things under the shell which somewhere along the line some A-hole had decided were a good jacking point resulting in...




1 caved in gusset and 1 rotten rail... actually 2 of each as the other side was the same!!!


peugot parts were (as usual) half ass`d and could only get the panel for 1 side




so on with the grinder action




reapired both rails:




and cut the important bit out of the pug panel and sunk that it...








the other side i ended up having to make my own repair section:




thats about it for the time being...

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currently welding in some pads to weld the seat bars too.. (french tin aint the thickest so welding the tube straight onto the inner sill/tunnel would probably only last till i hit the first pothole..






will post again once i`ve done a bit more...



right... a little more progress today...


had this catch tank tacked up for bleedin ages but i can now mark out where the fittings need to be welded on for the aeroquip hoses..




also the 10mm plates arrived from the laser cutters for my inlet manifold jig.. the actual ally flange was cut a while back after i drew it up..






the top plate is split and will be bolted onto the 2 angled uprights and fingers crossed the spacing will match the gsxr1000 bodies i`m gonna be using..


i`ve already rolled a section of 1 3/4 tube to form the inlet tracts and once theyre cut down flush with the top of the jig i can finish it off with these a CNC mate of mine turned up fo me..




these taper internally to match the I/D of the tube to the I/D of the throttle bodies..



as with every old car restoration underseal and the ravages of time spell 1 thing...





armed with a new wire wheel in my grinder i soon found a hole up inside the rear arch.. about the size of a 50pence piece.. now i`m a realist so suspected that lurking underneath that hole may be some thing a dit more severe...


step 1- clean the panel around the rust:




step 2 - start cutting the rot out (bear in mind the shell is 3 layers thick in this area)



step 3 - once back to clean metal give everything a coat of weld-thru zinc primer




step 4 - start patching!!!!!!




step 5 - all cleaned up and welds dressed




step 6 - bang some red oxide on there until it goes to blasters/painters



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unfortuntly... that was the GOOD side...


the passenger side currently looks like this:




YES that is the end of the boot floor crossmember!!!!




YES that big gaping hole at the end of the sill is.. erm.. the end of the sill..




if it was a horse it`d be shot... unfortunatly if i did shoot it i`d just have more holes to weld up...



swung by the bodyshop and collected my inner sill section....


80 quid and this much of it is useless!!!






but the end 18" or so piece (once drilled to puddle weld and cut to suit) fitted a treat:




then it was a case on fabricating and end section to finish the sill and also make a start on the skins in the rear arch...

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2 of the 3 are half complete now but i still need to fabricate the crossmember end section..



also need to cut a section of the bootfloor out and weld in a new fabricated chunk as thats got rot in it too....


ran out of steel now so ordering a 2000x1000 1.5mm cold rolled mild steel (i think thats what its called?? the stuff with no scale lmao)



seat tabs on...




remains of scuttle panel:










cut right down low along the 2 panels which meant the spot welds ended up getting cut off.. so the edge was clamped together and i ran over the top with the TIG welder to rejoin them all in an effort for more room for the inlet/throttle bodies/trumpets/filter.. and should make the left hand drive wiper conversion easier...


also... more repairs on the back end....


another panel fabricated 1.2mm CRGP sheet... and the end of the crossmember fabricated 3mm CRGP and welded in place...










but before i could finish working my way back the boot floor needed some attention...




by attention i actually mean cut the hell outta it....


the new sections all butted up and tacked in place...




this needs fully welding in place... then finish off the inner arch..




i have a solid arse end again!!!


and it is with a great sense of releif i can say the shell no longer has any more rusty holes (ok thats a lie it has 2 very very tiny (smaller than a 5p coin) but there cleaned up and patches made)


final card template made:




inner arch completed and red ox`d for the time being:



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well in anticipation for the arrival of the cage and after some inspiration from a gentleman on an US engineering site i use who made a similar swaging tool for his ally bucket seat i decied to knock 1 up during my tea break at work...





machined this baby up from 60mm solid bar to flare 30mm diameter holes....


tested it on some 1.5mm thick mild steel and miraculously.. it bloody worked!! very very little distortion either.. over 7 holes there is probably 2mm deflection maximum..




even though i only used the fly press (brake press was in action) very very easy to use..



if anyone wants 1 i drew it up on AUTOCAD and can forward the file on

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right.. them last 2 rust holes....


either side.. lurking where the rear seatbelt bracket is spotwelded onto the shell..




being a complicated pressed shape.. the best bet was to cut the section out of an old shell...



cue the 3 stud assassin!! (girlfriends old car that has developed engine issues and is due for the nackers yard imminently)





now.. when i got to the other side... there was of course the fuel filler neck to worry about.. sensible types would have removed the tank + neck to remove the risk of fire/explosions/angry parents wondering where there workshop had gone..


but time was short so (health an safety types look away!)




the bits were trimmed and cleaned up and the `box repaired..



Edited by davenport

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the holes where the std fuel pipes go into the cabin... dont like them.. cant use them due to cage foot.. and a bit of rust appearing... only 1 thing to do:




and make a suitable patch:





it was at this pint i discovered 2 things...


1- my new phone has a better camera that my old 1

2- i`m a twot and ha left my decent welding screen at work!


the ol chap had been naggin that he wanted his tow rope back for a while and couldn`t accept it was more use to me as a rotisserie locking device!!!.. so i got my ass into gear and fitted my brace...



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right.... box for the tank....


needs the ends fully welding but was busy at work today...




pressed a cross in the base as its only 1.2mm sheet and din`t want it to flap about.. rigidity FTW!!


also pressed the ends to include a flange that sits on the inside to keep things flat and i can MIG inside too.. (outside will be TIG`d)




measurements are about 710 x 350 (ish) x 200... so once the ally tank is fabricated to sit inside it should/may/might be somewhere near std capacity of 45litres...


gonna sink it in about 75-100mm into the floor section where rear seat bases fit

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managed to weld the tank box ends in place at work satuday afternoon..


all marked out (about 8 times as i did not want to screw it up!!!)






disc cutter + shell = MAJOR oooooh ass nipping moment...






BUT luck was on my side.. only tacked in but it fits and its in...




started fitting the cage properly over the past few days....




once the doorbars were fitted i had a sudden concern over room for my seat..




SNUG! was the diagnosis but it fits and i can always make some new sidemounts to pull it over slightly if needs be...


holesaw`d the scuttle panel for the cage-to-turret links (no dimnesions were given with the kit so just had to guess and go for it...







also did some cutting and shaping for the A post supports.. initially i tried doing them directly but unless i plan on useing a button for a steering wheel hand room would be minimal..


so went as the sites pics and ran it in 2 steps..





ran out of argon again so off to BOC dealer tommorrow.. or maybe fit the bars in the rear section up and get gas friday..


had a think and a play about with the bare seat sat on the seat rails..



Edited by davenport

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rude not to put them in isn`t it... :D:D


also cut and shaped the dash bar but needed some help forcing the front bars apart wide enough to get the bitch in...


i had 2 options...


either get on the steroids wait a few months and rip the sukkas apart but time was aginst me so i settled for 2nd best..




porta-power ftw!!


dash bar in place!




fresh bottle of gas tommorrow and good weekend push and it should be pretty much done.. thank god!!



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right... top mounts in a "hokus-pokus" style




(sorry for gratuatous pic stealing but to be quite honest espens 205 is my inspiration for this build!!)


first take 2 plain undrilled eccentric compbrake top mounts:




remove the bearings...


then machine them down to 105mm diameter....


stick them on the mill and put some flat edges on them...




the new turret top has been drawn up on cad and i`ve also drawn up a jig to lay over the blanks to drill the centres for the 4 M8 fixings... emailing laser cutters monday!!

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well i wont lie.... ive been feeling a bit ropey today.. a combination of westons cider... some red wine that my mate danny found in his cupboard and also a dabble in the world of "real ale" last night has took its toll....


now before i carry on with progress i`ll freely admit i dont think me or dan-the-man will be applying to CAMRA anytime soon.. i`m sure the pro`s would select there ber on hops/brewery/brewing methods etc etc.. me??? erm.. i kind of went for the funnyest name option.. so dan was on the "hobgoblin" and myself was supping "fiddlers elbow"...


anyhow i`m rambling... PROGRESS!!!


started dismantling the willans shoulder straps and re-wraped the around the harness bars, threaded the crutch straps in and sat the seat in position..






at this point i got niggly... i wasn`t inline with the steering wheel!! now i never was before the rebuild so why this bothered me so much i dont know.. but it did.. the problem seemed to be the fooking tunnel bulge thats here for standard seats pushing everything towards the sill




but viewed from underneath the floorpan stays fairly constant:




so there seemed only 1 logical solution.... so... erm.. remember the lovely seat bars i`d fitted??????




i wont lie.. it was a tough decision but i knew leaving that tunnel bulge in place would bug the f*** outta me everytime i drove the car so it had to be done!!


i then chopped these bits out:




and the resulting tunnel means i can get the seats and steering wheel inline and it will also look a bit tidier.. and a bit lighter...




and this folks is where i left things..




fingers crossed by next sunday it`ll have seat bars back in....

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right... i cleaned up the tunnel back to bare floorpan and started making a wrap to reinforce the floor..


i wont bore you... made a pattern.. drew round it.. cut out steel.. bendy bendy.. weldy weldy.. 3mm plates.. weldy weldy..






1 wrapped tunnel with seat rail plates...


also with major luck (about f***ng time i had some) i had enough tube for 4 longer seat rails..




didn`t weld them in though as i left my digilevel at work... i also have some more side mount brackety bits from the laser cutters as 1 or 2 got damaged in my rage removing the old ones...


at a guess i`d say theres a good 40mm more room either side now to pull the seats towards the centre.. in my eyes.. thats a REEEEeeeeeeesult...

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and that folks is about where i`m up to....



the laser cut bits for my top mounts are done and currently sat in my toolbox at work.. i also mad a jig that bolts to STD top mount holes so i can holesaw the turret top out spot on both sides 15mm further back than std so it SHOULD end up giving me 5degrees castor instead of the factory 2.5 or 3.5 options the 106 comes with...


still waiting on my ally tank to be pressed but once thats back i can TIG all that up too...



MODS- if i`ve added too many pics please let me know nd i`ll slim things down a bit... i tried posting this in the full on PROJECTS section but it wouldn`t allow me.. if you feel it should be moved crack on... hope you 205 ladies and gents like the work so far....




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oooooh i almost forgot!!!


the pressed steel steering colomn support was bugging me... it flexes and ain`t pretty!!


so decided to hang it off the dash bar of my cage... but the question is....


how do position 2 threaded bosses in exactly the same place as the originals when you have to cut the std brk off the bulkhead???????






answer: make a jig!!!!!






all this gets bolted onto the std points and clamped onto the dash bar... then the bolts are taken out... the pressed bkt cut off the bulkhead.. new pieces made and the original position can be guaranteed to be the same place...



once done.. remove jig and throw it in the bin... a lot of assing about but gotta be done...

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I have been watching your progress on the mig forum intently. Some very nice work on show.


I was going to join the forum to point out to you about the old seat mountings but couldn't justify it for the one post! I did it the long way and drilled out all the spot weld holding the piece in wheras you took the quick easy option.


I notice you've covered up the hole for the handbrake. Why is this? I know it's only a trackday car but the handbrake makes it so much easier when manoeuvring and parking.

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the D shaped hole and the 2off 8mm holes are now in the tunnel mate.. (you can just see the pilot holes in 1 of the pics) i`m also gonna make a smaller shaped piece to go underneath the tunnel just in case i get a bit heavy handed with the handbrake...


(my days of mcdonalds car park heroics are long gone but theres always that urge on a deserted backroad when a simple 3point turn just wont satisfy hahahaha)


my spotweld drill is a bit ferocious and i was worried about going right through so cut out the main bit then graound off the welds to remove the last bits of the original panel..

Edited by davenport

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Ah i see. One thing i want to do in mine is to lower the height of the handbrake when it's off. It's at a good height when all the plastic is there but when you strip the car you find a serious amount of space there.

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Some very nice fabrication going on there. Keep us updated with plenty of pics!

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the laser cut bits turned up today so with a bit of drilling and tapping i give you....




camber adjustable topmounts a-la davenport!!!



now some techy types out there may now be thinking..


thats all very well you speccy nob but how do you intend to cut a hole in both sides wih a holesaw when theres already a ruddy gurt hole in the std turret top... AND how do you plan on positioning it so its the same both sides and 15mm further back to get 5deg castor????????????


well i`ve thought about it!!




these odd shaped bits bolt up to the std top mount holes underneth the turret (where std topmounts live) and the hole in the middle is bang on where i need the centre of my new top mounts to go..



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excellent work, seen your thread on 106owners but hadnt looked at many of the pictures, what engine you planning on?

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excellent work, seen your thread on 106owners but hadnt looked at many of the pictures, what engine you planning on?


haha havent updated on there for a LONG while.. least said the better.. the site just makes me angry nowadays...


the shenpar 1600 8v will stay for now but with emerald and gsxr bodies instead of dizzy and R6 carbs..


in time... well some keep mentioning the vtec engines but a fruity 2.1 gti6/xsara lump does appeal.. (djmini`s in particular).... whatever it is it certainly WONT just be a 1600 16v... that`ll be a while yet.. mortgage takes priority

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really enjoying this project mate, welding is one thing ive never tackled and i should really.. just get stuck in im guessing.

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