Getting some little bits done

It was a good day in the garage today, I usually have Friday’s off before a heavy working weekend, considering I have West Ham v Middlesborough on the Saturday and then the NFL at Wembley on the Sunday, I won’t have any time now until Monday and that puts us into October! That’s nearly a month on the car already.

On to todays progress and as the title says I think you can assume I managed to get a few little bits done, nothing majorly problematic just putting in the hours and getting things done. Firstly I decided to finish off the fuel line down to the pump, which leads along the passengers side under the chassis and up through a hole to the pump. Yesterday I said I wasn’t going to bother with any bending tool, however when I popped to B&Q for a few bits I came across a bending tool for under £5 so I thought I’d give it a try, amazing, so much easy and bended the pipe just how I needed. I made sure the copper pipe was also fixed to the chassis ever 6 inches or less with rubber clips riveted in. Nice and easy!

Once this was completed I tackled the radiator (which gave me so much grief the other evening) however today was much better, after taking an angle grinder to it (small bracket at the bottom had to be trimmed) I positioned in on the front rail with two nuts to provide a gap for the fan, fitting the mini bobbins and brackets and temporally fitting it to the top rail. It will come off later once the engine arrives which will make it easier to get in and limit the risk of damaging it.

A few other little bits were also sorted today, mini heater was attached to the chassis via some brackets from B&Q. I still have to tinker with this as I don’t want the slider to form part of the dash, just a simple on and off button will do. I’ve been told you can simply bend the arm back, hid it behind the dash and still get to it if need be! Not sure on that but I need to make adjustments none the less. The washer bottle was fitted, the engine mounts and the battery clamp. I think the clamp is a little big so I’ll probably amend this later to make it fit better. The other part of today was spent re-fitting the hydraulic clutch bottle onto a bracket slightly away from the chassis and higher so bleeding will be easier.

That’s about it for now, made the amendments to my list and probably added a few more! The little bits are never ending and getting things tidy will hopefully help in the overall build time.

Things left to do for now are:

Brake lines, front and back and bleed the system

Paint and wrap the exhaust manifolds

Run the heater pipes to the header tank and fit to chassis

Lay the loom out and fit what I can! That should be fun!

Anyway, weekend off now tho, or from the car anyway, football and NFL are calling my name, until next week …. Stay frosty!


Every little bit counts

Thursday evening has come around again quickly so it was time to get back into the garage to get a few more little bits done. I didn’t have a great evening last night trying to sort the radiator out, turns out there’s a little lip that will require cutting off and then holes will need to made wider as they don’t quite match up! Typical ‘kit car’ mentality here! I did however get the fan fitted to the rad and sorted out ‘how’ it fixes to the chassis. i’ll get back to this one when I have more time.

So, on to tonight, I managed to get a whiteboard today and decided to made a little list of things to do before the engine arrives … or at least what I’d like done before it gets here that now lives up on the garage wall.

I usually only get an hour or two after work to work on the car, so tonight it was a simple case of get the expansion tank fitted and the fuel pump. No problems here, drill a few holes and fix it all together. Actually straight foreword for a change!

I also had a look at the fuel line, measured the length and cut it … tried to bend it a little and noticed the pipe kinked! I’m sure thats not good! In the end I decided to stop and do a quick search as to how to bend them properly without a specialist tool, as I don’t particularly want to buy a another specialist tool just for a relatively small job. Of course I might end up buying one anyway if I don’t have any success.

Hydraulic Clutch!!!

It’s been a few days since I’ve been able to get to the car, for one reason or another, I had a small part missing from the module which meant I couldn’t attach the clutch master cylinder to the pedal. After a quick visit to Pilgrim to pick up what I needed I decided I’d also purchase the next module for the remaining engine parts, hoses, radiator and manifolds etc. Other than the wheels once I have the engine that should give me a running rolling chassis … one can hope anyway 🙂

On to tonight, I had another busy head last night thinking of what I needed to do, so as soon as work had finished I got straight on to the car. I’d researched the clutch and been to Pilgrim so now I had a much better idea of ‘HOW’ it all worked. Firstly I started by putting the clutch master cylinder on the provided clutch bracket and offering it up to the chassis, there are a few holes that need drilling in the top of the bulk head for added stability. Once this was done, I married it all up with the servo and bolted it together. After a quick test I the brake seemed to work ok, the clutch pedal was ok and the throttle pedal was bolted on by nothing fixed as of yet.

I decided to install the reservoir next to the servo, which should be an ok place to install it. I need to make a ‘z’ bracket to move it away from the chassis, but for now, its in roughly the right place. Now I have the pedal box all fixed I went around around the car fitting the four flexible brake hoses, all straight forward, and bolted on no problem.

I have the radiator to fit and then I’ll be onto the brake lines … front ones first, lots of holes to drill, pipes to flare and the rear! Bleeding the system should be fun, I think I’ll need a wheel to do that, which could be interesting, I might have to source a spare one to fit the sierra hubs.


Usual Thursday evening

Another couple hours out in the garage saw the passenger side rear arm, suspension and brakes all put together. Nothing too difficult here, just needed time and 3 arms (thanks to the wife) to fit it all together and after completing the other side, the steps were the same so things were straight forward … manual, ha who needs it!

Once I had it all together I managed to fit the handbrake properly and test it and to my surprise it all worked! and really well, a little adjustment required to the lever arm but otherwise that works fine. One thing worth noting is how the hand brake cable is attached to the chassis for adjustment. It’s not shown in the manual but when you’re working through it its fairly easy.


While fitting the drum brakes however this time I decided to put them together before fixing them to the axel! It was a lot easier to do this especially fitting the shoes to the plate, the fiddly little spring and pin were no problem doing it this way. Bolt the whole thing together, again new wheel bearing were used and now have a complete back axel.

So next its time to get on with the pedals, hydraulic clutch, fuel pump and brake lines. I might even have a look at the wiring loom before the engine gets here, then again I might not 🙂 we’ll see how things go.

A busy day ahead

Remembered I hadn’t posted a photo of the steering rack, so here you go 🙂

On to the other bits, I decided to fit the steering wheel and arm (or trial fit it, as this will have to come off for the engine to be fitted) I then moved on to the hand brake and cabling, drilled the holes and fitted the roll bar mounts and fitted the petrol tank. The hand brake was a little tricky on my own, you really need some else to hold the bolts on top, I ended up using a pair of mole-grips instead.

Next came the rear diff, this was one part I wasn’t overly looking forward to as I was on my own, I had visions of dropping it on my arm or worse my head! It’s a heavy beast! But with the use of a trolly jack and some wiggling around, temp support in stages I managed to get it up and supported just fine, to be bolted securely to the chassis.

Once it was up, all the bolts were tightened down and it all looks pretty sung. I was pleased to get that one out of the way! After this I decided to carry on with the back end and get one of the suspension arms fitted. This involved quite a bit of work, with the first part sorting the suspension out. Because of the new setup I had to drill through a small but very solid steel block approximately 20mm deep. 2 drills bit broken and in the end my drill over heated and melted the gears inside! I didn’t quite finish the second block, but with one done I thought I’d carry on and get the drivers side finished.

After offering up the arm and bolting it down, fixing the suspension it was time for the drive shafts and then brakes. Drive shaft was nice and simple as I’d already prepared this and on the Sierra model, the driveshaft simply slides straight in. I grabbed the Haynes manual and looked up about the brakes, as the rear are drums, I had ‘NO’ idea on how this was done or what they really looked like. Trial by error and a little bit of guess work I managed to get the first brake on, then realised it was on back to front and changed it! The little springs that hold the structure together were little buggers! fiddly little buggers!

Inserted new wheel bearings into the hub and bolted it all together, I had to release the shoes a little in order to get the drum on, but thanks to Mark who let me know how this was done, so now the other side should be fairly straight forward.

And that’s where I will leave today, on the car at least.

Other news is I put an order in for my engine, I’ve decided to go for a Stage 3 Rover V8, rebuilt and all shiny new! It will come with a new 5 speed gear box, all ready to bolt together and fit into the car. I have a few more pennies to save for the new module which will include the engine bay, so this should give me more or less everything I need to get it started. It’s not due till November so I still have time to finish the back end, run all the brake lines and bleed the system, fit the pedals and hydraulic clutch, run the fuel lines all in prep for the engine’s arrival.

Ended the day on a happy note, feel like I got loads done, but still lots to do.


Tidying up

Time to clean up a few bits and paint.

Starting with the steering arm and suspension brackets, these are new blocks that increase the height of the back end which are required because they have lowered the rating on the suspensions springs to give a more comfortable ride, but at the same time, to stop the wheels from rubbing on the body. (Nothing exciting just a few painted bits)



Next came the diff … umm first things first, this was a bitch to clean! covered in dirt and grime, thick sludge, washed it, cleaned it, used a screw driver to get to real stubborn areas, cleaned again, more washing, wire brushing several times … you get the picture! But finally I got to a point where I was happy I could paint it. I suspended it on axel stands and got to work.

Nothing more exciting here just a painted diff. But it was another necessary stage that I wanted to do to get everything nice and clean before putting on the car. I guess the only extra thing I did as you can from the photos is attached the diff carrier front and rear. Now there has been a lot of comments made on the diff carrier especially when you put more than 300bhp through it. My plans aren’t to put that much in the car yet, mainly due to cost to be honest so this isn’t an area I’m overly worried about for now. There are several posts about people reinforcing the diff, which I might consider in the future, but for now the standard setup will suffice (hopefully)

Because my kit is based on a 1988 ford sierra the diff is only 7″ wide, so as you can in the photo’s there is a large number of spacers on the side of one bolt, basically the diff carrier is designed to fit a number of sizes, mine being the smallest, these are used to ‘fill in’ the gap. Nothing’s done up nice and tight yet, but its all ready to be fitter to the car.

That’s it for now … keep on checking back 🙂

Brakes and stuff

I received a lovely parcel with my new brakes in, popped back to Pilgrim to pick up my heater and collected the ball joints I needed. Painted a few more bits, started cleaning the diff.

I started off fitting the new wheel bearings to the wheel hubs, I didn’t expect this and reading the info on line it appeared quite daunting, putting the hubs and fittings in the oven etc! I was kinda like WHAT! but on starting it, it actually turned out very easy, so that was sorted no issues.

Once I had it all fitted I continued to push them together to get a nice tight fit, all done, lovely jubbly.

Then came fixing the hub to the whisbones and setting the caster and camber. Again with a lot of research online this was fairly easy, everything is very adjustable and they were on in a few minuets (now I had the correct ball joints)

Callipers were next, nice and shiny reconditioned parts. I decided not to bother with using/reconditioning the ones of the donor and instead used a local motor factors and brought them new. My only advice here is who around, some of the prices vary massively and in the end I managed to save nearly £200! Using the correct part names makes sure you get the right gear, ebay was good as was a firm called Mister Auto. Brakes is somewhere I didn’t want to skimp on, hence I went from proper recon ones rather than doing them myself.

So brakes on, time was getting late, I thought one more job and I’ll call it a day, steering rack and tie rods temporarily fitted.

It was all starting to look really good and I am pleased and enjoying every minuet building it, here’s then a few shots of where I had got to.

Couple of shots of the passenger side front end.

Passenger front end and servo/master cylinder fitted.

Drivers side and full view of front end.

I think that’s starting to look rather nice, I’ve pre fitted the steering rack and wheel, although this comes off when you put the engine in. I had the pedals left to do and hand brake before I moved on the rear …. soon … hopefully …

Keep checking back 🙂