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!

My finished Car – Lucille

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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Lucille

Ok, so after a few weeks waiting for the DVLA for the paper work back, I finally get my v5 and confirmation of my new reg 🙂 correctly registered with pilgrim sumo as the car, emissions noted on front (there have been a few issues this year with the changes) and now my new number plates 🙂

No MOT for 3 years because its registered in 2018 but I have an age related plate the donor car/engine 🙂

What does the future hold for Lucille, I’m not sure yet, its taken under two years to finished (with a year off in the middle) there were parts I loved and parts I hated, times I thought I would never get this done, it was too much of an ask. But I can finally say I’ve built a road worthy car which looks and sounds awesome. So what’s the net challenge???

Until I decide here’s my final album of Lucille in all her glory. If you thinking of building or are in the middle, you can do this, I did, I know its tough, its also more expensive than you first set out! Help is always on hand on the various forums (Cobra Club) and at Pilgrim but you have to speak to the right person … But all in all, I’m glad I stuck it out and got her finished and you will too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and my journey building an AC Cobra Replica from Pilgrim Motorsports.

Cockpit

Slowly but surely the cobra is starting to come to life, or at least for me in the way I want her to look. I ordered a set of sun visors and wind-wings from Europa Spares last week and thought it was about time I put them together and on the car.

To make things clear I went for smoke coloured sun visors, I thought that would match the black more and for the wind-wings I decided on perspex rather than glass. Two reason really, one was because I’d read some awful stories of them shattering over people from stone chips and secondly they came with the fitting kit and were less than half the price! Big saving for me at the moment.

To be fair now I have them and they are on, they look and do the job just as well, so its a thumbs up from me.

So any problems with the kit, not really, the hinges come in various bits and on first glance I think OMG now what, no instructions, this is going to be fun! But actually once you start getting them out, they make perfect sense where everything goes together nicely. The only real issue is they don’t come with any fitting screws/bolts to attach to the screen. Most likely because different manufactures use different screen, maybe for different size bolts etc.

The Sumo standard screen uses 4 M4x16mm (countersunk) bolts for the wind-wings, 2 each side. The sun visors use 4 M3x8mm bolts (countersunk), however I used M3x10mm rounded head ones, which went in very slow and easy until they tightened around the fixing. Phew no broken windscreen! Everything nice and tight and fits well and now looks even better. I’m not going to worry about the hood yet, it might be a winter project but for now, its a summer, open top car!

You’ll see form the interior shot I also decided on the handbrake handle, which was a chrome mini handle from eBay. Really easy to fit, the old just pulled off and the new one was fitted via a small grub screw. The gaiter I ended up glueing in place because of how baggy it was, not the best fit but does the job I guess.

The only thing left is the spats and number plates … just waiting on the dvla now to send my V5 back with my new reg. Oh on that, remember you also need to pay a registration fee £55 because of the new chassis … I forgot! but thankfully the lady I spoke to sorted it with 6 months tax, the registration fee and a refund of the difference. Saves time and I’m really hoping I get that paper work over the next, or days would be extra nice 🙂

Thats it for now, not quite legal on the road but not far to go now!

Steering Wheel

Finally decided on what type of steering wheel I wanted and size … I ended up going for a wheel from Vintage Warehouse 65 on eBay. The original wheel, that being from a ford sierra was 15″ rubber, old and really didn’t suit the car. The one I have chosen to install is a 14″ wheel dark wood and metal 3 spoke wheel, much better in my opinion.

The boss that came with and horn push wasn’t quite as straight forward as I thought. The boss its self I had to cut down because the part that fitted to the existing column was too long, so the horn attachment didn’t meet the wheel. I took of approximately 5mm off in the end to get a better fit. The other issue I had, was in getting the horn to work. In the usual Pilgrim set up there are two wires coming from the steering wheel to the horn, but the new boss only had one wire. The sierra wheel itself has a two ringed fixing to complete the circuit for the horn and the new boss had a single solid ring for the horn. It was all very different and no mater how I tried I couldn’t get the horn to sound or stop going off, not without re-wiring the column.

Instead I ended up taking off the double conducting ring from the sierra wheel and glueing this onto the new boss. This way I kept the same two wire set up and didn’t have to rewire any of the electrics behind the wheel. On the push button horn itself I just added a lever and metal contact so that when the horn is pushed it competes the circuit and the horn sounds, basically same set up as before.

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Finished wheel and new black shinny gear knob, couple more additions to the Cob 🙂

All I have left now are the wind wings, sunvisors (all ordered from Europa Spares) and the spats (which will be added in time) oh and the gear lever, I still have to figure out what I’m doing on that.

Just waiting on the DVLA now to issue my number plate.

Bling!

So what do you do once you’ve passed the IVA, bling the car a little by adding a little chrome here and there.

Here’s a run down of what I’ve done done far … One major change was to the front nose, which I’ll go into detail a little further on. I’ve added a couple of ‘AC’ badges to the nose and boot and a cobra snake badge on the sides. I’ve replaced the rubber washer jet with a nice chrome one and added some chrome to the side vents. The mirrors have been replaced with a set of round period chrome mirrors, as well as the rear view mirror, thats now mounted above the dash area.

The nose … I really liked the single bar across the nose area instead of a grill, but you need a grill to protect the rad from stone chips etc. I decided that I would remove the pilgrim supplied grill and replace it with a more open grill from B&Q set this back within the nose area and install a single chrome bar at the front.

 

 

This was fairly straight forwarding I managed to mould the mesh inside the nose area and connect it to the nudge bar rods and connect it to the bottom of the opening by bending it around and securing it with the same bolts I used on the old mesh. The bar itself is just a chrome rail bar from B&Q with a long threaded bolt through the middle and secured in by using some left over rubber hose, cut and squashed in, it was very very tight so i’m not worried about any movement there. Looks a lot better I think.

 

 

Quick view of the AC badge on the front and rear. I had to drill some small holes for these and then used some glue to make sure it wouldn’t come off! You can see the little sticker I had made up for ‘Lucille’ on the rear right hand side. Begging for a number plate now.

 

 

The chrome side pipe shields came with the exhausts when I brought them over a year ago, I’ve been waiting a while to get these bad boys on. Hopefully they’ll help prevent any burnt legs getting in and out the car when its hot! All these little bits of chrome just help it all come together.

So whats left … I’ve still got the steering wheel to change, chrome handbrake handle and maybe a chrome gearnob. Chrome rear wheel arch protectors and then there’s the sun visors and side wind deflectors to add. Still a bit to do, but I don’t currently have any of those items so I’ll have to save up the pennies and get those, hopefully before the DVLA get my number plate back to me.

Plenty to do and dress up while I wait, before I can go for a proper drive 🙂

What will I don when she’s finished …. oh yer … Drive!

IVA Passed :)

Woohooooo we have lift off or in our world we have an IVA pass, YES! Couldn’t be happier about that. Finally after 9 months of building the car, then a year out and a then back with a couple of months finishing it all off, its done 🙂

As you know basically all I had to do was get to the IVA station with an intact speedo sensor and run the test. I knew it was calibrated more or less, and as it happens, it turned out to be fine! Pity it didn’t do the first time! It still annoys me that because of the one failure I had to pay £90 for a retest that took literally 5 minutes! Was it a weakness in the sensor or did I over tighten it and the vibrations snapped it in two. Who knows … well to be fair it doesn’t matter any more, I have my IVC 🙂

 

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I guess the only thing I did different second time around with the speed sensor was when I installed it I put it through a grommet so that it would have a certain amount of dampening if the vibrations were an issue last time. Seemed to work fine 🙂 and it was straight forward to install a new one.

The drive down was lovely, the weather was gorgeous and the temps kept rising to probably about 25deg on my way back, perfect weather to enjoy such a great car.

So what’s next … registration. I have my V55/5 all filled in, plus the other necessary paper work and the tax for a PLG with an engine this size works out to be £255 so thats all sorted. Hopefully the DVLA won’t take to long and I’ll receive my new V5 and reg very soon.

At the end of it all, or well to be honest, months ago I decided I would name the car and had a sticker made so I could proudly display on my car … my car 🙂 one of a kind in its configuration. Love it and her name is LUCILLE … after one of my favourite tv shows ‘Walking Dead’

But this isn’t the end, there are modifications I now want to do and I’ll be documenting all of those too so keep your eye peeled for more, or if you’re using the build to aid your own build then I wish you best of luck, you will and I have get there.

IVA

I wish I had better news but sadly I didn’t get a pass first time.  It’s really annoying actually on what the car failed on, but let me elaborate first on the day …

We had a nice early start, 6am which I’m sure the neighbours loved, but after the last few weeks I was pretty confident that the car was good to go and everything was as ready as I could make.

On arrival the IVA inspector was very friendly and started off by saying he wasn’t there to judge or point out all the floors but to help get the car through and ensure it was safe. And I have to say my experience down at Southampton was very good. After driving the car up on the ramps and checking underneath he checked for all snags or anything loose. Check the wheels and brake hoses, so far so good. Checked the lights all working fine, mirror test and brakes were all good, both with and without servo assistance. Noise test came in at 95dbs and the emissions were down at 1.5c so all good too. Seat belts were checked along with internal and external projections, again all good.

The ONLY sticking point was when it came to the speedo test. I’d already measured and calibrated the speedo. We tested it at all the speeds on the way to the test centre which was pretty much spot on. Until about a mile togo … the needle started moving all over the place. When it came to the test, sure enough the speedo didn’t read and then it did and then it was all over the place. Thankfully the IVA man let me put the car back on the ramp to see if I could figure out what it was. I was hoping that perhaps the sensor had come a little loose, maybe from vibrations … but sadly no, as I was checking it, the sensor had sheared in half, no way of repairing it. So it ended with a fail on the speedo, not for incorrect speed, but because the thing broke! So annoying!

On a positive note everything I’d built up to this point was good and the car was fine, I was just beaten by a dodgy sensor, just my luck.

New one on order, I’ll re-book a test asap tomorrow and hope I get an early date, it’s an easy fix, because I know it was working. Still very annoying to get that far and it to brake literally as it goes in for its test. Should have passed first time!

Retest set for Friday the 6th July 2018, new speedo on the way, that’s my weekend planned!

Tidying up

After a brief visit to Pilgrim to pick up a few bits, I needed some extra tidying up bits which I’ll explain below along with a new top ball joint because the one I have had a tear in the rubber which was noticed at the pre MOT, thankfully. Not sure if it would be an IVA foul but I’m not taking the chance.

So onto today … It doesn’t feel like much but I’ve on the car for about another 6 hours today tinkering. I thought it was about time I set up the speedo, so I popped under the car to work out the diff ratio as I couldn’t find a tag or stamp for it. I basically moved the wheels and counted the number of rotations on the driveshaft for two full turns then halved the figure. Hopefully my diff has a ration of 3.92 cos thats about what I worked it out to be. After this you have to measure the rear wheel circumference in inches and work out the number of inches in a mile (63,360 in case you were wondering) this is divided by the wheel circumference then multiplied by the diff ratio and then the number of magnets I’d installed on the prop-shaft (2) so my pulses came out to 6180. I reset the speedo and will see next time I drive it, fingers crossed. While I was under the car I tightened the handbrake so that I have between 2-3 clicks before it tightens and I had one of the flexible brake hoses slightly touching the copper brake lines, So I moved this over and attached a small clip to ensure it didn’t cause any further problems.

Next up was the battery. As part of the IVA you need terminal covers and to make sure that as much as possible you don’t have any wobbly cables. Mine were quire long and Tony had commented that perhaps I should trim them a bit … so I did. I ended up cutting them shorter, with the terminal covers on and making a small bracket to attach the fuel line and live battery cable too. Fairly simple to do, just takes a little time. I also clipped another one of the hoses down to the rocker covers with p-clips to tidy it up.

At the MOT as we were checking the car we noticed that the top water hose from the top of the engine to the top of the radiator was fouling on the bonnet hinge, not good. I decided to buy a large 50mm p-clip and fix this down to the top of the chassis rail. this proved a little fiddly because the body was on now so anything from now-on wasn’t going to be simple. But with a 90deg gadget on the end of the power drill, it wasn’t to much trouble. With the hose held down I now have a little bit of space above it. I also decide to just trim about 6mm off the bottom of the bracket, which again gives more room above the hoses when the bonnet is closed.

Other little bits were just tidying up the electrics where I’d grabbed some boots for the live terminals and altered the connection to include these on the starter motor and coil, similar to that on the alternator.

Lastly was I had to change the seat belts, unfortunately I had a set that were no longer IVA compliant due to the length of the webbing and they didn’t have any covers over the reels. As I’d already installed these, I simply had to remove the old ones and install the new ones.

Still a few little bits to do and only a week to go for the IVA, biggest worry at the moment is sorting the geometry out and getting the horn to work. Not quite sure whats happening here, but I think I forgot to sort this at the start, so now I HAVE to figure it out and fix it. But I still have a few days spare to problem solve so I don’t think it will be an issue.

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

7 days and counting …

UPDATE … managed to get the horn working. It was a simple case of one of the wires hadn’t been connected in the steering rack. Little annoying because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me but none the less it sorted now. The best part is where I hate and don’t fully understand the whole wiring/electrics bit, I managed to check the the loom and live wire to and from the horn and again in the steering rack to problem solve the issue. I wanted to make sure connecting the wires was the correct thing to do. Pretty chuffed about that.

5 days and counting …