SAFETY

Classics Monthly - - Our cars -

1

Be­fore we get down to the car­pet­ing, I’d no­ticed a cou­ple of safety is­sues, both around the driver’s seat. As you can see, the seat had been fit­ted with an af­ter­mar­ket swivel plate which al­lowed it to turn 90 de­grees but it was of limited use and had been fit­ted us­ing odd-sized bolts, two of them rather too small for safety. In a big im­pact, they would prob­a­bly have ripped out, leav­ing the seatbelt try­ing to prevent the com­bined weight of seat and driver head­ing through the wind­screen.

2

It had also been fit­ted in such a way that it was prevent­ing the stor­age box un­der the seat from be­ing ac­cessed. The main bat­tery lives un­der here so it’s far from ideal.

3

In short or­der the swivel was un­bolted and cast aside, with the seat sim­ply slid­ing out of the swivel and slot­ted back into the orig­i­nal fac­tory run­ners on the bodyshell. Much more se­cure and im­mea­sur­ably safer.

4

With the swivel plate out of the way, I could now ac­cess the bat­tery, which al­lowed the op­por­tu­nity of dis­con­nect­ing some more re­dun­dant wir­ing.

5

Closer in­spec­tion re­vealed just­what a bad idea the swivel plate was: it had been press­ing down so hard in the bat­tery area that at some point in the past the me­tal lid had come into con­tact with the pos­i­tive ter­mi­nal which had melted through the steel. This must have been sec­onds away from a full-on fire.

6

To cel­e­brate, I even made a sound­dead­en­ing mat for the boot, the orig­i­nal hav­ing long gone. I used a length of the heat re­flect­ing un­der­lay used un­der do­mes­tic wood floor which is ideal for the job. It’s re­duced noise levels no­tice­ably and should in­su­late against en­gine heat in the boot area.

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