Current progress so far
Links to parts and information websites
Where I will be building my diablo
Where most of the important bits come from
The stuff it all bolts to
What makes it go
What makes it pretty
The cars nervous system
Where you sit
The gubberment bit
Who really cares?
Stuff that will not fit anywhere else
Other diablo replica websites


This is one of inlet manifolds before any work has commenced. It is covered in lacquer, has corroded and is full of carbon and oil.

My initial idea was to clean the manifold fully using a bead blaster, and to then have the BMW logo machined off. I had the machining work completed, leaving me with a nice flat surface to screw plates with the lamborghini logo machined into them.

It soon became apparent that no amount of cleaning would get these manifolds clean. The aluminium is a strange alloy that seems to stain easily. Several hours in the bead blaster had no real effect.

This is one of the inlet manifolds. The picture makes it look much nicer than it actually is. The surface is discolored and the bead blasting seems to be more effective on some areas than others.

The manifolds mating surfaces are masked off, as well as any threaded holes, injector ports and mounting hardware.

The logo visible on the bottom is a vinyl cut label. The fly cut surface which originally sported the BMW logo has been linished with a belt sander, thoroughly cleaned and then the label applied as a mask. I was going to place a machined plate onto this surface, but our work CNC's bed is not large enough to handle a plate of this size. It would have needed to be cut in three passes, posing alignment problems.

The lamborghini logo I wanted to use also changed. This logo is normally seen on the inlet manifolds of the V10 engine present in the gallardo. I liked it better than the one normally seen on Diablo engines, and my label cutter at work handled this one better as well.

Here the manifold has been given a light covering of acid etch primer. When painting aluminium it is absolutely essential to use an etch primer. If you don't, your hard work will come off in no time.

The primer should not be a thick coat, that's not what it is there for. It is simply to provide a good key between the chosen colour and the base metal. Preparation here is key to a good finish. Make sure all your surfaces are clean and grease free. The dishwasher provides an excellent tool for making sure this is the case.

This is what it looks like when all your hard work is complete. A sharp scalpel is used to lift the label from the manifold, it is then carefully peeled back exposing unpainted aluminium underneath.

A coating of clear lacquer will also be applied once the paint has fully hardened. Any areas where colour has bled under the label can be removed by carefully scraping it away with a pin or scalpel.

The best time to peel back the label is after the paint has gone touch dry but has not fully hardened. Leave it too long and the paint will chip as the label is removed.

Here I have cut the hole in the body for the fuel filler cap. I used a seven bolt locking aero cap from europa spares. Its a flush mounting cap so I have to cut a hole slightly larger than the cap. I used a hole saw 127mm in diameter which gives me 3.5mm all round to blend the cap into the body. I cut a flat section of body from one of my old wings to make a plate to support the filler cap, and have bonded it to the body using fiberglass bridging paste. I roughed up both mating faces of my backing plate and body to ensure a good bond.

Next step is to wait for the fibreglass to go off fully, and then begin filling against the backing plate to make sure the cap is at the right angle and flush against the body. If it sticks out proud or is too flush, its not going to look very nice at all.

This type of filler cap is not the correct type for this body style, and parallel designs mount theres a little lower than I have put mine. I quite like this style of filler however when it is executed correctly, rather than one of those nasty stick on things.

This is the filler cap after a filled and drilled the recess. I experimented with the direction the handle should orient and decided to keep it the same way Lamborghini have it on their GTR, although the filler cap is positioned on the lower panel on that particular car.

I ordered a funnel and rubber splash gaiter to install at the same time. I also ordered a restrictor to only take an unleaded fuel nozzle. But I coudnt figure out how to fit it and have since found out its only an SVA requirement on cars equipped with a catalytic converter.

These are the side runners I have made that duplicate those found on the VT Diablo. I used uPVC window cills as recommended by PD although they now offer these parts, they didnt when I purchased my kit.

The cills are roughed up with a sander and given a single coat of fibreglass to give the body filler something to bond to. As the cills are completely enclosed in fibreglass, if the cill does debond from the fibreglass, it cannot fall off.

The board was then bolted into position on the cill and the gap between the bottom of the car and the top of the board was foam filled. Once the foam had gone off the cill was removed and another layer of fibreglass was placed over the foam before final filling. Foam was used as a bulk filler to keep the weight down although after all the fibreglass and filler each cill ended up weighing about 6 kilogrammes.
Heres the passenger side running board bolted to the car. It needs just a little further tweaking for a 100% fit but already when its not fitted, it looks like something is missing from the car.

The running board is bolted to the bottom of the car using four 6mm bolts using rivnuts secured to the underside. When the car is painted, the running board will not be held on using only this method. A structural polyurethane glue such as Sikaflex or Tigerseal will be applied and the running board screwed into place. Any remaining gap will be filled using a bead of exterior grade sealant.
Heres the car more or less complete. Theres still a number of minor jobs to complete before I can say the car is truly finished.
My friend Danny helped me to move the car back to the paintshop to work through the snag-list. Basically a snag-list is areas where touch ups on the paint is required. Normally due to scratches and dings suffered when the car is re-assembled or where areas were missed.

We originally tried to tow the car the correct way around, but we could not get the 'paddles' which lift the car up under the front bumper. So we turned the car around and towed it back to front.
Heres the interior more or less complete. A small list of jobs remain to be done, These include the door cards, a small trim strip along the rear window and the gear shifter gate.

The AC control unit also needs to be installed, which is what the cables hanging out the front are.