Van Diemen RF98 – the build begins.


so here I am…  I have two piles of parts.  My old FB91 swift, now with out an engine, shocks, and transmission and the RF98 that has the frame, sump, radiators, and a few other small bits…  I have a lot of stuff to get.

overall the chassis isn’t in that bad a shape.  It looks like I need to do some work on one of the upper engine mount holes.  But on the front end, all the brake master cylinders are the new AP units, and the clutch master is a Tilton unit.  the car came with a steering wheel sensor and brake sensors for the front and rear brakes.  All the clutch and brake lines to the rear are on the quick release fittings so I can split the car without having to bleed the clutch and rear brakes.

the floor pan has been replaced with a new floor that has been bonded to the frame.  The side panels are pretty rough.  I think I might just go ahead and replace them.

At this point I need a lot of parts.  the main focus now is to get the right bodywork pieces.  I need a nose, shock cover, side pods, and an engine cover.  I should be getting the side pods later with the suspension pieces.  Then the next big item will be to get the engine mounted in the frame.  I reached out to someone on who had an engine cover and he referred me to British West motorsports up in Canada.  They happen to be a Van Diemen (now Elan motorsport) importer.  They are also converting a lot of these RF98’s from Kent power to Honda, so they have all the parts I need to get the engine mounted in my RF98.  Perfect!

I reached out to them and bought everything I needed to install the engine.  In the meantime, I spent the time stripping down the chassis to see what I need to do.

Looks like I have a bit of work to do on the frame.  There are normally insert nuts that are used to hold the body panels on the frame.  Those appear to have stripped, and instead, rivets were used to mount the side panels.  I think I might have to break out the welder and fill some holes and replace those stripped insert nuts.  Insert nuts are like giant rivets, but a slightly bigger hassle to install.

Lots of missing paint which is bothering me.  So looks like painting the frame is in order too.


and cleaning..

and the list of tasks keeps growing.  More next time.