Well, today I made a start on this. My first effort eight years ago was wholly wood, and made use of the extra depth available on the offside. It was fiddly to build, but has stood the test of time, but a 'never again' job.
So three years ago when I needed another, having contemplated a wood & aluminium composite, I ended up making one essentially out of a single piece of aluminium, shaped like an aerofoil, and with two pieces added at the sides, and an aluminium box over the diff. It was about 85% OK, but really tested my ability with the tools I have available. It was a 'never again' job.
So faced with this again............ and the reason is very simple. Without extra capacity in the tool tray, all tools and other essentials end up under or behind the seats.
This is the standard set up. On the left is a circular recess which is said to be for a spare wheel nut.
There's a rectangle for a first aid kit and a wheelbrace shaped recess for if you have alloys.
At present, the standard supplied hammer is an aluminium Thor (on the left). My old No1 Thor with copper & leather hammer is on the right.
This is my tool roll, with the usual tools, plus some cable ties, wire, insulating tape (covering the MG badge), and a couple of extra nuts and bolts for the rack mountings. On the right are some spare junior hacksaw blades and a tyre pressure gauge.
With the tray out you can see the latest tank design. This tank is higher than the 2012 tank - which did present a small problem because I started work on Bumble, but more of that in a minute.
I measured the vertical clearance between the brake pipe union and the top of the tank.
Just under 2.25 inches - 5.5cm. That should be enough.
These two protruding nuts and bolt ends get in the way of the tool tray. There are two more on the other side.
Look closely - I decided to make this tool tray in two halves with a centre section riveted in place. This way I was able to make a start on Bumble and transfer the pieces onto the new car. I knew that it wouldn't be the same, but I hadn't reckoned on the fuel tank being higher! I got round this by curving the rear section to lose a bit of height. Interestingly the cut outs I had made on Bumble for the upper damper mounts were not big enough. There was a good half inch difference, so I've been busy with the tin snips. It was much easier to bend these halves using timber formers in the vice, than the huge single piece of aluminium in the Mk2 version. Although I had planned to build a slave body frame to make things easier, the differences meant that it was easier to do the fitting on the car, but taking real care swinging the pieces in and out.
The rear centre panel needed a cut out for the protruding sender/pick up. This is how it started.
Eventually I got a good fit. I'll need to make a cover.
This is the underside. Now riveted into a single piece. I've used double sided tape between the overlaps to seal it.
Final test fit of the day.
That's all for now. I have a few days at work and the Silverstone Classic, so it's on hold until next week.
It will need sides, covers for the damper top mounts and a diff cover. All very time consuming jobs, but so far I'm pleased how it's going.
You can see why the tool tray is so difficult to mass produce. Although Superform could easily bang them out, unless the trads can be standardised under the rear hatch, every one would need fettling before it would fit. To build tool trays as a cottage industry........... well, a good two days work and no guarantee it would fit without having access to the car.