M20 Dreaming

Rod Brace

Silver Supporter
I got my build table done and putting up a I- beam length wise in the garage then I will start my build log. I got the wheels and some of the suspension stuff, most of the engine stuff too.
Will be good to see another build taking place on here Rod looking forward to it, what is it you are building this time is it a McLaren??
I painted the buck today so it will be ready for F/G this week. I painted the wheel centre's a couple of different styles to see what I like and to be honest I can't decide as I like all Black wheels so will see what whim takes me on the final assembly.
Here is some pic of the painted buck.

Cheers Leon



Active Member
The shape looks great, the body will do the rest of your impressive work proud. Congratulations on this milestone. A LOT of filling and sanding along the way, eh? I bet you can't wait for the finish line, hell I can't wait and I'm just a spectator.
Whoa Leon, Does that look good or what!
I think I need to take some time off work. I bet you've found that it makes a difference to be able to keep at it, in stead of stopping and starting all the time on weekends or when ever.
Regards, Udo.
Leon, great effort. I do not think most will understand the amount of effort required to get to this point.....and its not the finished product yet. I like the idea of painting the buck Orange as it gives a big boost to moral. Its going to look great.
I am fitting the body on mine at present and then some paint.
More progress, I have assembled up the rear suspension to make sure it all fits before I pull the engine back out and send it to the engine builder on Friday, all the parts are now balanced, machined and ready to assemble so will run on the Dyno before it goes back in the chassis so hopefully will have noise buy the end of next week. The rear uprights are a mock setup at this point as I had to reconfigure them after i changed the back spacing on the rear wheels. I have machine the hub housing from the donor car which gives me brake lugs and as well as the extra depth I needed. I had to make up a spacer which I will do on the pattern and make some new uprights later. Hopefully the weather will improve later this weekend and we can get some F/Glass laid. Make a body, assemble a G/Box, make a roll bar and finish the rear brakes, etc etc and we should be done in a few weeks, Fingers crossed.


Excellent work Leon. Couple of odd questions I want to ask. 1) what size Heims are you using out back? 2) Have you done a, or seen any, study or discussion in which the lower parallel lateral control arms are skewed vertically to induce toe as the suspension changes (e.g. raise or lower the fixed inner pivot of only one of the arms relative to the other)? I've been looking over this set-up versus the typical reversed A-arm (which changes toe, but solely based on lateral link geometry), and was wondering about advantages to toe change in a turn.
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Hello guys, Terry: 1/2" Chrome molly through the whole car except for the front king pin caged joints which are 5/8" and the tie rod ends are 3/8 molly. To be totaly honest I have just built this the same configuration as the original and not bothered too much about why they did it. I believe they changed from the reverse "A"arm when they went to the M8s.

Rod: yes I modified the original uprights. I only did this because I increased the back space on the wheels to 9" so they wouldn't reach any longer. That said, I would continue the use of the donor car hub on any future uprights for 2 reasons 1) the obvious brake lugs and not needing to Machine the bearing and circlip area. 2) If they were wanted for a road car I could utilize the stock hand brake features and the whole stock caliper/rotor if wanted.

I got a call from Udo Settler today and he and his son are going to visit tomorrow and check out the car, I hope it meets there expectations, i always worry that the finish may not be up to what others expect. Will be good to meet them and talk to another McLaren builder.

Cheers Leon
I have been saying it for a long time now but it is official, I have a fully self supporting rolling chassis. Now I have to mock up the headers and I can pull the engine and get it to the builder this week. I will concentrate on the body and the little items to finish the tub ready for the running engine, Oh yeah, and put the trans together. This trans will have the Nissan gear set and diff with a 10" Winters R&P.

I had a visit from Udo and his son Max on Friday, it was great to meet him and talk about the processes we have both gone through building our cars. Great guys and lots of positive and encouraging comments. I think they also enjoyed the good pies at my local cafe for lunch.

I have attached some photos. cheers Leon


Leon, that`s looking great, I am sure you must have liked do nuts as a child because those tyres are just the go! I am currently fitting the body and making mounts to suit.
I will be glad once the dusty stuff is done and dusted.
Hi Leon, Back home in Darwin, back to grim reality. It was great catching up, thanks for taking the time to show us your car and where you are up to. Both Max and myself left there very impressed. You're doing a fantastic job.

Russell, I'm sorry, but we just didn't have the time to get up to Auckland this trip. We usually land there and drive down to Wellington, and take in the scenery. Now I know where you live I'll definitely drop in on our next trip.
I did see one of your creations in the Southward Car Museum, Very nice.
It looks like it should be at the track somewhere, not stuck in a museum.

Catch up again one day.

Regards, Udo.
Thanks Udo
will look forward to catching up, it was a sale made in heaven so easy to complete and the car will be available for some time. It will probably be worth more once they move it on.
Hey Russell, need some help URGENT!! Started the make my mold the last couple of days and could really do with some advice. Things have not started well as it seems my Resin is dodgy, probably too old, got half way through a 20L drum and the last have is Jelly. what I have done seems to be Ok but will see when we part it from the plug in a couple of days. Could you call me on 0274229493. Really just looking for what kind of volumes of Resin/cloth you used on the mold, how did you brace the mold to keep it from distorting and what volumes for the body.

Cheers Leon
I don't have the recent experience Russell has, but I've been able to cut resin with Acetone if you're really in a pinch, but would recommend fresher resin. Resin already has a small amount of catalyst in it anyway, which is why it will eventually set up even if never used. The fact that it's gelled is an indicator you've had it a while. Also, don't rely on old catalysts either, as this will affect the reaction (old will have a really "sour" smell). Keeping the heat down, for me, was the key to reducing shrinkage, and hence, the distortion.
Thanks Terry, Heat hasn't been an issue so far but I will put a frame around the molds so they can sit on the floor and stay square when I lay up the body panels. I have put strengtheners the length of the fin and through the length of the fender so that should keep that stiff I'll put some photos up and you guys can tell me if I'm on the right track.
More interested to know how thick the mold needs to be, I only have 225g shopped strand and 12 layers thick at this point, How much more do I need to go???