In Mercedes-Benz, Mini Big Rigs, June 20214 MinutesBy Carl KirkbeckJuly 7, 2021

Back on the bench this month is our Ken Kirk Merc project, and it is time to fit the chassis components in preparation of primer and paint.

Our chassis is assembled, but we are not going far without a battery box, steering linkages, and air and diesel tanks. So, this month, we fit these components before painting.

We are looking at steps 5 and 6 of the instruction sheet. Again, identify the parts we are going to apply to the chassis and remove them from the sprue.

Because we are painting the chassis, we will break steps 5 and 6 into stages to simplify the painting process. As such, we will not fit the completed engine and gearbox, wheels, tyres or rear mudguards. The installation of these items will happen after the chassis has been primed and painted, not dissimilar to how the life-size Mercedes-Benz is assembled.

Once you have laid out the required parts, complete the sub-assemblies as detailed on the instructions and allow them to dry thoroughly.

1) The first step is to acquire all the parts required from the various sprues and lay out in their groupings ready for assembly. 2) Quick application of the heated tip of a hobby knife will achieve a good burr of the linkage pins and ensure that the steering works correctly. However, be very careful with the glue on parts 74A and 73A, as you do not want to glue part 72A in place accidentally and forever freeze the steering in situ.

                  3) The smaller chassis components now glued and fixed into place, with the larger sub-assemblies drying in 
readiness to be fitted to their chassis locations. 4) The completed chassis ready for primer and paint, and once dry, the fitment of the engine, wheels and tyres etc.

5) Our subject matter: Pilkington Automotive Glass/Ken Kirk circa 1992.

While waiting for these to dry, install the steering box and linkages, parts 72A, 73A, 74A, 75A, and 76A. We need to burr over the ends of the pins on the linkage arms (72A and 76A), as we did earlier in step 2. Ensure that the tip of the blade is hot, then apply the heat quickly to each of the pins individually to achieve a fast melt of the plastic. This will result in a good burr effect.

A word of warning: when glueing part 74A to 73A, be very careful and use the glue sparingly so you do not accidentally get glue on the burred end of 72A ? this would result in the steering being forever locked in position.

Once the large sub- assemblies are dry, install them onto the chassis. Gravity may mean larger items tend to be pulled down and want to fall off while the glue is setting. Avoid this by fitting one at a time with the chassis lying on its side. Once that glue has firmly set, repeat the process for the opposite side.

There we have it, a completed chassis now sporting the major components ready for a session in the paint shop.

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