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Building lockers over rear wheel


Rob Andrew

Having decided several years ago to expand the carrying capacity of the Grasshopper, without just carrying a larger 'top box' I thought of building some pockets around the rear wheel where there's a lot of lost space. Having seen other's pic's of their compartments, and realising that I couldn't have a door from the top or side, I drew a few sketches, and rejected the all I realised that I'd just have get around to doing it.

Here are some photographs of my attempts at making some templates for the aluminium to be copied from. The first thought was that I would have to bring the rear wheel as high as possible so that if; God forbid, I should hit a huge pothole or a sleeping policeman, the wheel wouldn't crash into the newly formed boxed off area. Here, as you can see that I've lowered the suspension (having removed the knife edge completely).

Having done that I set about boxing off the area directly behind the spare wheel. As you can see one of the rolls of cardboard that some nice person brought to Duncan's workshop, has come in very useful. It isn't easily seen here, that the template is made from several pieces of card, stapled and masking taped together. (I've promised myself that I'll tidy them up when they all fit properly).

The next part was the area offside of the rear wheel. This picture is shown before the left hand bit (in red) was fitted correctly. The white piece showing to the right of the letter L is where the rear bump-stop will bolt through.

As you can see in this pic' I'm thinking of curving the edges around the rear of the wheel. My apologies for this photo as it's out of focus. However, you can see that I've decided to build the floor around the fuel pipe and not box it out completely. Again, as you can see, there're odd bits stapled together.

Here I've fitted all four major pieces together to see just how it could look,

An approximation of how the side of the wheel arch will fit, when inside the car. Note that one side is higher than the other from the footpath. At which point the sky changed from an azure blue to a ‘lookout below black'; and it poured down, including hailstones.

From a beautiful blue to this in a couple of minutes!!! So rain stopped play.

Therefore, I went inside to combine them all into one whole piece by adding the (previously made) top of the wheel arch to the two side pieces. It all looked great; until; I tried fitting them all together the following day.

It took me another two days of tinkering with it to get the five major pieces to fit together comfortably. The biggest problem was that the two bases of the wheel arch sides were at a different height. Saturday and Sunday (the 23rd and 24th of May), were spent outside in the sunshine again. Pat had a lot of coming and going to do when I needed her to hold pieces as I tried to get them to fit from underneath. I'm now taking apart the whole thing apart to make some tidy looking templates from them. These will include the turned over edges for the rivets to go through. So, hopefully. when I bend them all in the correct places, all the cardboard templates will still form the area I had created previously. The next thing will be to construct a template for a door to keep the road dirt out. So hopefully there'll be more pic's and commentary soon.

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