Monday, April 10, 2017

MFH's 908/03: exorcising the demons

Have I gotten over my irrational fear of this kit? Maybe. I got stalled in November 2014, over a throttle return spring and a few other issues. Since then I've completed another MFH kit (the much simpler Abarth OT 1300) as well as the Profil 24 kit of the Aston Martin DBR1. I've also wired up a bunch of distributors for both multi-media and styrene kits, including manufacturing distributors from scratch for the DBR1. So my skills are getting there. With that in mind I dug it all out and refreshed my memory as to where everything goes. Fortunately I put it all away neatly in little plastic bags, so this wasn't too difficult.

I started by completing the tub. The previously assembled dashboard and rear bulkhead went in along with seats and a few other little bits. So far so good, although the steering wheel sits a little low, and the front suspension looks to be a bit of a bear to assemble. One little quibble is that the driver's seat obscures one of the two ignition coils; the wires will probably just get pushed down under the seat and left there.


I had assembled the plug wiring harness for the left side before putting it all away over two years ago, so I put that on. Each cylinder has two plugs, one with a black wire and the other a red wire. I arbitrarily put the red one on the forward plug of each cylinder.

I also put in the injector tubing for the right side cylinder head, which is the yellow tubing visible in the picture above. At least one tube is a little short, but it will all be hidden by the lovely little orange air filter housings. And I will skip installing the spun-cast injectors, choosing instead to jam the tube into the holes that I drilled in the sides of the intake horns back in 2014.

The throttle return spring is still dangling there, as you can see in the photo above, but I can see an approach going forward to fix the problem. When I bailed in frustration, I was smart enough to save the teensy-weensy little trunnion that goes on the throttle slide control rod.

A bit more work under the 4X desk magnifier got the second bank of injectors hooked up, and a second plug wire harness ready to go. This is when I discovered that the distributor only has room for 12 plug wires! I carefully wedged the four extra wires down in behind the distributor next to the cooling fan where no one will see them.

Here you can see the bracket for the right-side throttle return spring, attached to the throttle slide body between cylinders 3 and 4. Once I sort out these springs, all that is left to complete the engine is the two air filters with their little tie-down straps.

So all in all it is moving again. Again, though, if I were to choose a multi-media kit to start off with as a first attempt, it would not be this one, or MFH's similarly challenging 917K. Looking through the stash last night, MFH's Ferrari 250 GT SWB looks to be a lot easier, mainly due to fewer chassis tubes made of bendable white metal. The Profil 24 kits are also simpler, as well as significantly cheaper, but more filing and test fitting is needed to get them right.

On a separate note, if you are interested in the MFH kits at 1:24, you should make a beeline for the MFH website (here) because they are moving to 1:12 scale in a big way, and the 1:24 kits are going fast. With 1:24 kits running 25,000 to 35,000 yen (probably $350+ US), they are pricey, but the 1:12 kits are pushing 80,000 yen -- figure $1000 per kit after shipping and, maybe, duties. And any OOP stuff on eBay is getting completely out of hand. Buy it now and stash it if you think you might want it someday. The 1970 908/03 described here has just been reissued (here), and the 1971 version is still available here,

So progress has been made, and who knows where this will lead. Stay tuned!

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