Still wondering what the heck I'm doing with this thing I found myself coming to the realisation that whatever it is I am doing, I should make a start, somewhere, anywhere rather than procrastinate as I usually do. I figured that the body might be a good place to start. I was hoping to find the needed panels in the correct colour, and so far I've managed to find a bonnet from a regualr Ka, and a bootlid from a StreetKa. However they are both quite far away from BelongaClint, and in opposite directions! I was going to get the bonnet first, however after doing a bit of research on t'internet it appears that the StreetKa shares no panels whatsoever with the normal Ka hatchbacky. To be honest after browsing lots of pictures of both StreetKa and Ka hatchbacks I can see that all of the panels and bumpers are different, but surely the bonnet is the same? I think if it was closer, and cheaper I might take the risk. But it's almost 200 miles away, and the guy wants £80 for the bonnet, so I think I'll keep an eye out for one a bit closer to home. The bootlid however is a different matter, that's definately for a StreetKa, only 130 miles from home, and although still £80 it is metallic purple, so should match... Hopefully.
Closer to home I figured that for the most part the interior is exactly the same as in the Ka hatchbacky, so I went on a search for interior parts, before long I had an fleabay watchlist full of Ka interior bits and bobs, and soon found myself a steering wheel...
My £1 fleabay bargain! I've absolutly no idea what it's from, but it was only 12 miles from home, and for £1 I thought I'd risk it! It feels pretty chunky in your hands (much like Mrs Clint) and although it's square, it does fit the Ka column, so this will be my steering wheel, hopefully it's better than the steering spanner I have been using.
My next fleabay win was this dash, it cost me £50, and I needed to go into London to collect it. the guy told me that it was all off and ready for me to collect, we arranged an evening when I could get it, and I turned up at the time we had arranged only to find that he hadn't even started taking it out yet! I was pretty hacked off as I'd paid him with paypal, then had to wait around for nearly three hours while he struggled to remove it from the car it was in! On the plus side this did mean that I got to see how it was fixed in, and where all the fixings where. Still, I was pretty cheesed off with getting home after midnight on a school night!
I managed to get an instrument cluster for £20 delivered, so that was it, I could start assembling the front of the cockpit if nothing else.
Before long the cockpit had gone from completely empty to atleast beginning the resemble what a car interior should look like.
OK, so there's still quite a long way to go, but I felt like getting the dashboard in was a major hurdle out of the way. It was quite a struggle on my own, and it pretty much took me a whole Saturday to do it. The main problem was trying to tuck the wiring loom in behind the dashboard while I fixed the dashboard in place. The worst bit of all was the fuse box, that thing just did not want to fit. I'm guessing it all goes together easier at the factory because firstly I am not a robot, I know this because the internet likes to test me for roboticness every once in a while and I always manage to find the items they're looking for in the correct boxes in the picture! But not only that, my guess is when cars get built they're built in a sequence, and I was probably doing it out of sequence.
But never the less by the end of Saturday the dash was in, and my bald head was sunburnt! Might wear a hat next time!
The instrument cluster went in fairly easily, just a single plug and four screws and it was in. I could finally see how many miles my little scrap nugget has on it! I'll be honest, at 127,242 miles it was a little bit higher than I imagined, but atleast it should be nicely run in.
I managed to find some seats less than 20 miles from BelongaClint. Initially I was going to collect some cloth ones for £60, but when I got there the fella had these heated leathery ones too, although he wanted £100 for these! I didn't want to spend all that on them despite them being far nicer than the cloth ones, and so after a bit of bartering I managed to get them for £80 because the leather was a bit saggy on the squabs where he had stored something heavy on the seats.
So that was it, my interior was starting to come together. As I was passing a breakers yard one day I thought that I'd pop in to see if they had any StreetKas. They didn't, but had a number of Ka's, so I wondered around to see what they had. I didn't have much time on my hands, so I couldn't get too involved, but the wierd thing I noticed was that none of the Kas had gear knobs, and I wanted something because I could see that at some point I'd put my hand, or face onto the gear stick and damage myself. In the end, after a quick search around, a Hyundai Amica donated it's gearknob to the cause. It's not perfect, but the shift pattern on the top is right and I kinda like how it looked. Plus, it sort of fell into my pocket, so it didn't exactly cost me anything! My guess is that this is why none of the Kas had gearknobs, they kinda fall into your pocket quite easily!
What I did find however, in a regular Ka hatchbacky was a pair of front footwell mats, and they even say StreetKa on them. This pair of beauties cost me a whopping £15, but I figured as I'd already liberated a gearknob too, and this would be as much carpeting as my StreetKa was going to get then it was money well spent.
So that's pretty much where I'm up to as far as the interior is concerend. I still need the dashboard facia, switches, door cards, door handles, door switches, speakers, and the rear roll hoops, but I think for the time being, once I've tracked them all down, then that will be the interior done. Although, that being said, the more I think about it, the more I think that the instrument cluster is lacking in instruments. In my previous StreetKas I always thought that I would have preferred a small selection of gauges to tell me what is going on under the bonnet instead of a small collection of idiot lights to tell me after it was too late. So I think I may well track down some after market cheap auxillary gauges at some point soon, and then work out where on the dashboard I should mount them. But that all may well be in the future after I've got this thing back on the road as it'll be perfect roadworthy without them.
One thing I was thinking, while I was collecting, and buying these parts is that by the time I've finshed this thing, it's not going to be cheap. One of my friends, who it has to be said is probably the Eeyore of my friend group said to me the other day that I was wasting my time and money on this because I would probably be able to get a roadworthy one for far less money that it was going to cost me to patch this one back together. Well, the car (what was left of it) was free, so, so far so good. But to date my very incomplete interior has cost me £166 plus diesel/petrol, and time running about getting the bits! Therefore, at this point in time my StreetKa has cost me £166, now I realise that I would not be able to get a roadworthy StreetKa for that little amount of money, but I still need quite a lot of bits and pieces for it, I'm a long way from the road at this point still. However, when it's done, as rough as I have no doubt that it will look, it should be unique, the only one like it, and it'll be mine. To be honest I struggle with the patina'd, or rat look cars. I want to like them, but my OCD cuts in, and I always end up feeling that it would be better if the paint all matched, having odd mis-matched panels doesn't sit well with me, so hopefully this will help me with that. I'm hoping that I will be able to cope with having a very scruffy little car, as long as it's safe, in good mechanical shape, and dives well. Plus, if I get it back on the road, I've saved one, so thats a good thing surely, right? My friend Eeyore thinks I must be the only person to restore a Ka, and maybe that's true, but my feeling is that I'm probably not the first, and definately won't be the last, and as I said to him, back when we were kids, nobody would've been restoring Mk2 Escorts, you'd have been laughed at for even thinking about it, and now look, people are spending huge amounts of money restoring old Escorts. He agreed, but reminded me that this ain't no Escort! I said that may well be true, but the Ka's in general do like to rust like the Escorts did. I think I had him there, but I do think he has a point, I have wondered who in their right mind would spend their time and money trying to (I'm not going to say restore, because that's really not what I'm going to do) put a StreetKa back together and get it back on the road? Currently probably nobody, I'm either a complete idiot, or a genius... Time will tell!
TOTAL SO FAR... £166.