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

Rear engine & exhaust covers

This is the engine cover with some more problems highlighted. There is no metal glassed into the cover where the hinges need to mount.

I have to say compared with chassis which went together quickly and easily, the body is a nightmare. Parallel could make great strides in the quality of the kit just by applying a little quality control in the bodyshop.

Got the new boot lid and set about popping it on. I say pop it on like its a trivial thing, needless to say it took me all day.

This picture shows the gas ram I had to shorten. The metal plates for the gas ram mounting on this side had dropped during manufacture, so to get the lid to look parallel when open and to make it close nicely, I took the socket off this particular ram and shortened it by 5mm. Its one of those things you could get pissy about if you let it bother you, but seeing as its unlikely that anyone else will notice, I didnt see the point in sending it back again.

In this image you can see how far out the metal plate is compared to the other side. I havent got round to filling the hole as of yet.

The more observant of you will notice the lid is an entirely different colour. Naz only had grey in stock, and I didnt want to wait for one the right colour. Had it been a panel round the bottom of the car, I would have waited for a yellow one in case of stone chips. But as its nice and high, unless Im stupid and drop something on it, it should be fine.

Its difficult to see in this picture but I have installed the cross member that holds the engine cover latch and provides mounting points for the exhaust cover and the exhaust system. Once again this component is made from stainless steel, specifically 20mm box section, using small pieces of 25mm right angle to provide brackets to mount it to the body.

Many builders weld this bar in but I do not like this solution. If I need to remove the engine, its a damned sight easier to lift out the engine and gearbox in one go rather than maneuvering parts around fixed sections. Also visible in the picture, but somewhat difficult to see, is the frame which will hold the exhaust cover. Also made from stainless steel, this will be bonded to the cover to prevent distortion as it is made of much thinner material than the rest of the body.

The exhaust cover has no mounting brackets supplied, so you have to fabricate these yourself. This is one of those annoying things that are time consuming for little visible benefit (other than the panel being in the right place). The frame also serves another purpose in that it will help to shape the panel which is unlikely to be in the right 'shape' to match up with the rear engine cover.

This is the rear cover showing the metal frame bonded into the exhaust cover. Its stainless steel again so will not rust. This component has givn me the most aggravation with any body component so far. Normally when you heat up fibreglass and bend it, when it cools it retains this position. For some reason this was not the case with this panel. I could not get the section where the exhaust cover lines up with the engine cover correct.

It took me all day to get it correct and I was geting quite angry with it by the end of the day, but my persistence paid off and I finally got the panel to sit correctly.

Here the panel is in position on the car. It is bolted at the front to the mounting bar for the exhaust and engine cover latch. At the back it is fitted to the chassis member that runs between the two radiators. It is worth taking your time to make sure your frame marries up with chassis correctly so that the cover is in the right place. If you fail to do this, expect plenty of sanding and grinding.
I have put the lenses onto the light housing here in this picture to give you a good idea of what the whole arse end looks like when its together. As you can see, it is unmistakeably a lamborghini. But there is a whole lot of sanding and filling to still do.

Getting the gaps right is probably the hardest thing to do with regards to body work on the car. Get them wrong and the car looks like a dogs dinner no matter how good your paintwork is. That being said, the real Diablo's, especially the early ones have shamefully large and uneven gaps. Its often said that the one true way to tell a replica from the original is that a replicas panels all fit correctly.

That being said, here is the gap on my engine cover after significant work. For best results you need a straight edge to work against, a long bendy piece of flat steel would work if your engine cover is bad. Mine was nice and straight so I used the engine cover as my template, and made everything fit around that.

This side is not completed as yet, it still requires a little more work. My wife is fairly good at spreading filler, so we worked in tandem on this. She applied filler, and when it was dry, rubbed it back down and pointed out to her where another skim was required. Larger gaps were first filled with bridging compound before applying filler, because it is both cheaper and stronger than filler alone.

This is one area of the kit where poor execution of the mould was apparant. The roof line was too low, too far forward and badly distorted and trimmed.

I raised the roof line using glass fibre to get the general shape. I then trimmed a 5mm section from the engine cover itself and bonded this to the body using a pair of 8mm spacers to get the gap correct between the body and engine cover. The gaps are much better now, and the alignment is much improved. I need to do a little work to thin the engine cover at the point above the hinge so it clears the body nicely.

This is my next problem. Notice the gap between the roof line and the rear wing thingy. I may mount it up in its current position and bring the roof line out to meet it, or cut it further back towards the roof like the early Diablo's.

This is the closest position I can fit the mini wing without it fouling the body as the rear cover is opened and closed. This is a hard area to work on as every picture of the 6.0 Diablo looks different in this area. Some of the cars I have seen do not this piece at all, others have a much squarer wing with a tiny gap, some a curved wing with a big gap. This may be one of those things where I choose a type and go with it.

Either way there is a lot of work here...

Here I have constructed a box from fibreglass offcuts. I used Araldite to secure the box to the bottom of the mini-wing, then filled and shaped the box to blend it into the wing. This looks pretty close to the original although it does look sufficiently close that only a purist would notice.

The third brake light that Parallel supply is bent concave, whereas the profile it would follow in bent convex. Additionally the light also has a slant on it which is actually fairly useful in mounting the light as the angle of the mini-wing points slightly down.

I have mounted the light here to the engine cover. I used rivnuts bonded into the mini-wing, drilled holes to suit on the engine cover, and passed bolts through the engine cover to hold it in place. It pretty solid, and I may actually bond it into place as a belt and braces approach. The cable for the brake light is a little bit difficult to route, and the use of a draw cable here is a very good idea. The supplied cable has a piece of rubber insulation which will prevent the cables chafing on the rough fibreglass, its thickness makes it difficult to route. Persevere and you can get it through...

The proof of the pudding is here, the brake light illuminated (although the light is only connected to a battery for this demonstration).

This is another view of the lamp bolted into place. The mini-wing is somewhat straighter than the curvature of the roof, so I will need to build up some material towards the centre to match the profiles correctly.

The gap between the mini-wing and the actual roof is slightly too large for my liking at 15mm. I may be able to reduce this somewhat through careful sculpting of the matching edges.