Then I started thinking about the valances themselves. When I made my radiator valances I used the old cardboard ones as a template. This time I wasn't going to be so lucky! I've never had a set of engine valances on my car so I was going to have to start from scratch. I started off by looking at Paul Tegler's excellent website (http://www.teglerizer.com/triumphstuff/spitenginepanels.htm) and decided to make some panels up in cardboard to see if they'd fit!
Once I'd marked it all up I set about cutting it out using an X - Acto style knife. This is much easier than using scissors and leaves a much nicer edge. I took the template out to the car and offered it up.
Straight away it didn't look quite right. There was a 2 inch gap between the bulkhead and the valance and I couldn't work out what the hell the circular cut out in the bottom was for! I'm ashamed to say it was quite some time before I realised the (now) blindingly obvious and turned it the right way around! Thanks to Neil (neilnaz) on the CT forum for the picture he posted to show me how the valance mounts up - it helped me realise where I'd gone wrong.
I had presumed the longer bit would be at the back but that is not the case! With the panel the right way round it was obvious that the circular cut out was for the steering rack. The only thing that wasn't quite right was the front part where the template meets the radiator frame. The angle of the frame on mine seems to be a bit 'non standard'. Other than that though it fits great! I do need to sort out the top edge though. It's going to need some material removing to allow the air filters to fit!
Feeling flushed with success I set about building another template for the other side.
This was a much less brilliant fit! I don't know quite what the hell went wrong but basically it just looks ridiculous! I couldn't find any errors in my template so I guess it's just the plans. At least I tried it out on the cardboard first! It's quite possible that I've made a huge and very comical error so if anyone out there knows where I went wrong, please let me know!