Pilgrim Sumo – Welcome!

August 2016 … The decision has been made and I’ve placed an order with Pilgrim for my kit, I’ve decided to build it using their ‘new’ modular build program. To start with I thought I’d go for the first 3 modules which should give me everything for a rolling chassis, minis the engine and wheels. I could if I wanted to pick up an old set of wheels to build on, but I don’t want the extra cost so for now the car will sit on axle stands while it is being built.

If you don’t know or haven’t checked the pilgrim cobra is built from a old Ford Granada or Sierra running gear, breaks, steering, rear diff and a few other parts etc to ensure you keep the original registration and don’t receive the dreaded ‘Q’ plate. It helps with the re-sale value for the future and if registered correctly I think you can also change the name of car on the registration document to pilgrim Sumo.

So that’s it really, its been ordered and now I have to wait until they gather all the parts together and are ready to ship it. In the mean time it will give me the opportunity to clean out the garage, organise some tools, research engines I’d like and eventually a colour scheme … I’m almost too excited to wait, I want it here now so I can get on with the build!

 

This is a photo of my cobra in its current state, I intend to update this image as the build goes on until eventually it’s completed.

Photo 01-05-2017, 14 38 23

If you’d like to see or know more about the cars Pilgrim make, visit here Pilgrim-motorsport and take a look.

Once I receive a few boxes and the chassis (which is already for me) I’ll update the blog and continue as i work my way through it.

One more thing, I should probably make it clear I’m ‘NO’ mechanic, certainly no more than an avid Ikea furniture builder! Actually a photographer and civil engineer so I’d like to think I have an ounce of common sense, however this is a big task and should be very interesting, so if you want to follow me and my progress then please subscribe or keep checking back.

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Update …

Hi all, firstly I should apologise for being absent as it’s been quite a while since my last post and secondly I should give you an update on where the build is.

So after the Kit car show, I left the car with Pilgrim and had them check and finish the dashboard for me. We weren’t overly happy with how we’d done the work, and my electrical skills are sketchy at best so this seemed like a good option to get it professional done. I said there was no hurry and as such I’ve only just got the car back recently, so it sitting pretty in the garage at the moment.

There’s a few items I NEED to get sorted which they’ve let me know about, brakes and steering rack need some attention but slightly more frustrating are some of the lights aren’t working now, which were when I gave them the car! and the VIN number I asked to be stamped on, wasn’t. Not really big issues but sometimes its the little things that make a big difference, but not so in this case. It shouldn’t take to long I hope and then shes more or less ready for the IVA. The only issue I have currently is getting those little bits done, time wise and cost. The money pot is finally empty :/ needs must currently so the car has had to be covered up and it looks like it wont be ready for the summer now which is annoying.

If things change you will see me post again and once I’ve fixed the parts I need to, that should hopefully make it drive better, we’ll see.

I wasn’t going to post this but actually it kinda helps talking about, my mum’s been diagnosed with a form of stage 4 blood cancer, so she’s really not good at the moment. This has kinda put hold on a lot of things at home and life for one reason or another has changed at home. So I’m struggling to find the motivation currently, I’m sure it will return but for now please bare with me … Thanks

Until next time … J

National Kit Car Show

What I can I say about the National Kit Car show, wow what an awesome day in a very surreal kinda way! Let me explain ..

So I had agreed to lend my car to Pilgrim so they could put it on display as part of their modular build program so people could see what an amateur built car looked like along with a few details about myself ,which was again to show that if you really wanted a cobra YOU could build this car with little mechanical knowledge. I had a quick look around and saw most were factory built cars and obviously looked amazing but that’s what I’d expect from a professional built car after all. So having my car there was a novel approach which from the news I received form Sundays show was it was going down very well and everybody loved the car.

Of course I didn’t know this for sure until I went there on today (Monday) and I have to say the people I spoke to and the response I’d heard, that and the with the amount of people taking photos of my car some what over whelming, so right now from me, If I saw you there then I want to say a HUGE thank you, so many lovely kind words and a lot of congratulations etc … it was amazing to see and think the car I’d built was getting this much attention. And the best thing of all, everyone loved the colour scheme and thought it worked really well 🙂 So whats not to be happy about right now! An awesome day!

Oh I also got meet Fuzz from Car SOS who was also very nice and complimentary about my build. Thats pretty awesome as well to be fair 🙂

You’ll have to excuse the photos of me, I look like a right plonker, but hey that’s why I usually stay behind the camera, much safer and happier there 😉

And there she is, looking awesome, Pilgrim thankfully did a little more detailing on the body work for me, I was going to get someone to polish her up better than I could but they’ve done a very nice job.

Well if you paid a visit to Stoneleigh I hope you had a great visit, and if you passed Pilgrim and saw my car, let me know, I’d love to hear what you thought. If you’re thinking of building one, then seriously have a look at the modular build, its a nice affordable way to build your car with 5 star unbeatable customer service during the build and beyond … once you do, you won’t stop smiling 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on the next step, once I get her back and hear from the DVLA.

Stoneleigh

Ok, so today I can now share my news with you all, if you’re heading to the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh (http://www.nationalkitcarshow.co.uk) next weekend, Sun 30th – Mon 1st 2017 (incase anyone reads this weeks, months or years from now please note the date) then you’ll obviously have an amazing time, its looks awesome, BUT you’ll also get to see my car on the Pilgrim stand, the modules I’ve built it from, how and I’ll even be there on the Monday, so if you’re coming please pop by and say hi. Happy to talk to anyone about my experiences and the build etc of my car.

But I had to say good bye to the car today as Pilgrim have taken it week early to help sort preparations out for their stand, which by the sounds of it will feature customers cars this year, which I think is great. Seeing factory built cars is wonderful, but you know they’re gonna look awesome they’re built by pro’s, so seeing an amateur build will hopefully spur a few people on who aren’t sure if they can or should to give it a go. And trust me it took me a while to decide if I should take the plunge, then 7 months ago and now when I look at what I’ve built and today I drove it out of the garage under its own fuel! it was so so cool 🙂

There is she is, off out on the road and off to Stoneleigh next weekend.

I’m a stones throw away from IVA now, were almost there, this weeks gonna be a little strange as I don’t have anything to do in the garage, but to be fair I’m away all weekend at the FA Cup semi finals, then away for a couple of days with the wife, more football and work, so I actually wouldn’t have any time this week … so what am I worried about!

So in short, if you’re going to the national kit car show on the sunday pop over to pilgrim and check the car, kit etc out or if you’re going Monday, come over and say Hi, I’ll be the guy standing around, big grin not knowing whats going on … more than likely 🙂

 

 

Waiting Game now!

If you’re sat there reading this and considering a build or even part way through etc (obviously hope you find this helpful) but anyway, I decided to start looking at what I need to do for the IVA and found out today I have to apply to the DVLA for a new VIN number which could take weeks, maybe as long as 4! So when you’re approaching the end of tour build give yourself plenty of time to get things ready and get all the ducks in a row as they say. So today I contacted the DVLA and started the process, I’m hoping it will be quick, fingers crossed because once I have that I can fill in the IVA form and get that under way too. Seems kinda scary and exciting all at the same time, its so close to becoming a reality of actually driving my own car!

Anyway time is quite limited at the moment but there’s still quite a few things to do, so this evening I set about finishing off the door cards and handles etc. After I’d finally managed to get the mechanisms working, with a combination of clips and cables I decided to use industrial velcro to keep the door cards on so theres no screws being shown, although I’m not impressed with them at the moment, as they haven’t stuck as good as I thought, so I might go back to screwing them in, but for now they’ll do. It’ll be a modification at some point perhaps!

Photo 20-04-2017, 20 53 37 Theres the finished article, I have to say I do like the orange trim 🙂

Next on the menu was the handbrake and gear nob gaiters, these are all straight forward really, mark the holes, drill the holes, screw in and just make sure the gaiters are secured under the plates, done! Well, almost, the only thing I can’t figure out right now is how they attach to either the handbrake or gear stick!? Very confused at this at the moment, so although I think they look good attached they aren’t secured at the top. Not sure if thats an issue or not currently.

I’ve also got to sort the glove box out, which at the moment one of my air ducts is in the way! Hmmm, perhaps having to wait a few weeks will give me time to think about the solutions to these.

Well, thats another evening out of the way and few little bits done.

Easter Sunday is all about your car!

Happy Easter everyone, for me it became another day I was able to get a few things finished on the car, completion date is looming (I think) as is some exciting news regarding the car, which I will reveal nearer the time, perhaps next week!

On with the build, the main things I had planned to get done before I get back to work and loose a possible few weeks was the bulk of the interior. Today started off by finishing the seat belt fixings and fixing the seat to the floorpan.

The seat belts are straight forward, follow the instructions and they go together nice and easy, I’d already brought some 50mm square plates and pre-drilled all the holes, marked the carpet and put holes in that too. After the belts where fitted and it was time to finished the seats. I didn’t quite finish these the other day because the M8 bolts I had left were only 20mm which didn’t quite work out to be long enough, I could get them through but after tightening them up I couldn’t quite see 1-2 threads on the bolt, which I think is an IVA requirement, either way it left me feeling nervous so I managed to acquire some 30mm M8 bolts and after changing them, all was done and good, the runners are a little stiff, but seats are fixed and feel really comfortable.

As it was a lovely day, a big part of the day was also spent sorting out the garage again, everything was getting covered in fibreglass dust and muck, all sorts, the car was looking a state. So out it came in the sun, I gave it a quick clean and to my horror noticed quite a few little nicks and marks all over the body, I clearly wasn’t being as careful as I should be! The gelcoat does tend to mark easily and black shows it all! So there’s more work to be done on the body! But it did give me a good chance to have a proper look at the car out of the garage.

Once that was all done and another box and huge bag of rubbish and dust, all ready for the tip tomorrow it was time to check in on the wife to see how the dash was going along.

This was actually quite tricky, trying to get all of the creases out of dash was near on impossible or at least it was for us. I don’t know if it was the leather or how we were doing it, but clearly without proper tools and knowledge/skills etc this is a tricky task. The dash itself comes in two pieces which you have to cut out all the holes and put together, all straight forward. I put four bolts in the top, fixed with a nut the other side so that It can be position on the car easier once done and cover with the foam and leather you can’t see them. I also did this to the centre section, I wasn’t comfortable with the thought of holding it together with just glue, just make sure you grid the head bolts down a little so you don’t see bulges in the foam. We ended up using spray glue to fix the foam to the dash and pulling it around the edges and into the dial holes. This was then glued onto the back with either glue or tape. It takes a long time and finding the right glue makes a big difference. We found using a glue gun was much better and quicker way of fixing the leather or foam to the back.

You can see our first attempt wasn’t as successful as we’d have liked, the layout, dials and lights all fit in fine and look nice, but the wrinkles in the leather aren’t the best. Once we had the glue gun, and peeled it back off and tried again it did end up fixing a few of the wrinkles out and looks better now. I’ve not looked at the wiring for the dash yet, as I wanted to get it fixed to car first to make sure I had plenty of room etc, after a bit of trimming, cutting more fibreglass off the return where the dash sits it all sits in nicely.

I honestly can’t wait to get a proper steering wheel on! The sierra one looks hideous! But its an IVA requirement it will have to do for now.

And that was about it for today, we had a small mother-in-law emergency so had to rush off to sort a light bulb! Anyway, looking ahead I still have the door mechanism to finish so I can finish off the door cards and properly close the doors. The gaiters around the hand break and gearnob need to be finished, all the wiring for the dash! Glove box, battery tray and finally theres the inner tunnel needs fibreglassing to seal of the cockpit area. Once that’s all complete I’ll need to get the car ready for its IVA inspection … quite scary how close the could be now, but I guess I’m still a little ways off, just because time is becoming less and less again with work.

Anyway, thats me for today, hope you like how the car’s coming along and looking now, signing out … J

Carpets and seats … almost!

Well, I didn’t quite get everything done I wanted too during my days off, I was held up a little this morning after the dogs had a little spat and our new foster was left feeling sorry for herself. So I thought I’d better stay with them for a couple hours to make sure things were ok.

Once that was done, it was back to the car and on with the interior. The next thing I wanted to get sorted was the seat belts. It all makes perfect sense straight out of the box, the only things I didn’t have were anymore 7/16 nylon nuts, and I needed 6! oh bugger! thankfully I found a motor factors nearby who stocked them. Paid them visit along with B&Q for a couple of 50mm square load spreading plates (Rounded edges, possible new IVA rule coming into play) and then back to the car. I then set about making up the seat belts and oh no wait, the attachments in the top of the car holes were too small! I’d pre-drilled the holes so I could get to them once the body was fitted, but the washers that come with the kit were a lot bigger, basically the top mount should be sunk into the body, so you need to drill a bigger hole! I ended up using a small 2.5mm drill bit and making lots of tiny holes and finally breaking them in together to form one big hole! Once that was done the top mounts fitted fine. I’ve put together the rest of the pieces but haven’t attached to the car yet.

Photo 13-04-2017, 21 58 32

I wasn’t sure about them at first but now they are fitted, they look alright actually, I haven’t tighten then up yet, thats for another day.

And as you can see by the little teaser pic above, I have also installed the carpet set and pre-fitted the seats. Firstly I decide to finish the boot, which is fairly straight forward, its come in 3 pieces, One main piece to cover the floor and two side pieces that cover the rear wheel arches that I painted all nice! oh well! To fix this to the boot floor I used a combination of Compact spray glue and some carpet double sided tape which worked a treat. Theres a little bit of trimming and folding here and there, but all in all its a pretty decent fit and straight forward.

Next came the cockpit area, and there are loads of pieces of carpet to sort through and fit, once laid out they look like a right mess, BUT as you start laying them down in the car, you can start to see how they all go together, which ones overlap the others so you end up with a nice even finish. After I pre-fitted the carpet set, I took it all out and then one by one, stuck each piece back into place. Again using a mix of spray glue and tape to fit it all in. You can now see the custom colours and stitching I had done to compliment my choice of colour scheme for the car. Needless to say I think it will be one of a kind 🙂 My kind of car!

Thats a great thing about getting the set from Pilgrim as part of the module set, you can practically customise it to however you want it to look. The orange piping and cross hatched stitching on the seats are custom as is the cross hatch leather tunnel and rear padding. I decided to keep the stitching in those to black tho, as I didn’t want to over do the orange!

You’ll note the gaiters haven’t been fitted and there’s still no dash, this is in progress, I only have one pair of hands.

Oh I nearly forgot, in order to fit the seats, after I had fitted the runners to the bottom of the seat with some M8 bolts (seems they have a different set up now compared to the manual) I drew up a template in cardboard and marked the positions of the bolts. I then transferred this to the chassis floor, marked it out and drilled the holes. Once that was done I tried the seats again and thankfully managed to line them up alright … on the passengers side anyway. On the drivers side, the floorpan was slightly bowed, so the bolts didn’t reach the floor!! oh no whats happened. Well nothing major, with the galvanisation of sheet metal it can warp and distort slightly, so to fix this I used a straight piece of metal under floor and jacked it up to a position where I could then get the bolts through the floor, job done. I haven’t finally fitted the seat down yet, as it was getting late.

So next time I can get out into the garage I’ll get the seat belts fitted and the seats bolted down to the floor pan. I’ve then got the gaiters around the hand break and gear stick to fit along with the dash and tiding up the electrics, still a way to go BUT …

… So close now …. till next time

Almost there

Another day in the garage saw a bit more progress, after waiting for the fibreglass to dry and harden I got out the underseal and painted over all the fibreglass in the cockpit area, in the boot and under the rear wheel arches. Once that was done, I had to leave the car alone for a while to let that dry! all this waiting around is getting to me!

Once done, I fitted the door sill and went around the rest of the cockpit area sealing all the holes, making it watertight (hopefully)

Doesn’t seem like much and there was a lot of waiting and popping out down the shops for dog food! Feeding 4 huskies takes a lot of food!

Ok so the other bit I got stuck into today was the dashboard, which there is actually a fair bit to do, more cutting holes for all the dials, switches and lights. Annoyingly the hole cutter I had was either to big or to small, so I went for the small one and then used a rounded file to enlarge all the holes big enough to fit the dials … I also managed to rope Kat into helping as she’s going to finish the dash off for me and cover it 🙂 leaves me free to get the seats, belts and hopefully carpet fitted, plus a little tiding up to do on the electrics I’ve already done.

Photo 12-04-2017, 18 49 59

Again thats it for today, rough day today hopefully on to better things tomorrow

Signing off