She’s In!

The day came, when it was finally time to put the engine into the chassis. I decided to enlist the help of a friend on this one as trying to do this on my own I thought may have been a little tricky, although I’d seen a few have done it that way, it was in the end I think a lot easier with Mark’s help.

We decided to get started in the morning to give us plenty of time, just in case any issues were encountered. Mark brought around the engine hoist and we set about putting it together. The first job was to marry up the gear box with the engine, no real issue here, remove the blanking plate and slide the gearbox into place, not being to heavy we man handled it and with a little a wiggle, it went in no problem. Once the gearbox was bolted on, we hoisted the engine in the air to ensure everything was secure and then proceeded to fix the engine mounts to the engine and place the blanking plate back on.

Once this was done, it was time to manoeuvre the engine over to the chassis, lift it up and put it into position …

The only slight problem we had was as the engine was being lifted in, it became apparent it was slightly twisted on the hoist as we trial fitted it, one side was lower than the other, which was a little tricky as we lifting and lowering, moving the engine in and adjusting the gearbox to suit. On that note we used a trolly jack to keep the gearbox off the floor and raise it as we needed while moving the engine in. With a little bit of effort we aligned it all up and managed to get the engine mounted to the chassis and bolted down with little room at the back to spare.

Once the engine was in and bolted on the mounts fixed to the chassis, I got under the chassis, marked up the holes for the gearbox mount, removed it, drilled the holes and fixed it to the chassis once again. Nothing to difficult here really so that was all fine.

After all this I decided that I’d fix the steering rack, radiator and hoses back on. There are a few little pieces I need to get to finish up hooking everything up, before looking at the carburettor and electrics.

One thing I did notice once I’d fitted the engine, the upper front suspension bolts will need to be taken out and put in the other way, this is because the exhaust manifolds need this space to be able to positioned onto the engine. I’m sure I remember asking this or someone saying this but I wasn’t sure if it was a must do … now I know, so those will be changed tomorrow, I’ll put up to some photos tomorrow as I change it so it becomes clear.

But for now, the engine is in 🙂 happy days

Engine has arrived

I’ve not been able to do a great deal lately, mainly because I had finished practically everything I had, other than the miles and miles of wiring, but I’m waiting for a fuel sender from Pilgrim, most of the rest is in conduit now and fixed to the chassis, leaving some hanging, ready for when I buy the brightwork module (that’ll be next year tho)

So for now the only news I have for you is my engine arrived today from Jim (JRV8) Pilgrim’s recommend engine builder over in Ireland. I opted for a Rover V8 over both Ford and Chevy mainly due to cost and weight so by the time you work out the power to weight ratio there isn’t a huge amount of difference and putting all that power through a Sierra diff and running gear, I thought that would be plenty. The engine is reconditioned to what he calls a Stage 3, which has forged pistons and better high lift cam among other things, hopefully putting out over 200bhp and over 200lbs of torque. Considering the end weight of the car will be around a ton, maybe a little under it should shift enough when asked.

Looks all shiny and new, and as I stated when i first started the build, it feels like Christmas has come early again 🙂

The next challenge will be to fix the engine and gearbox in the chassis … I’m going to need to help here I think, from what I’ve seen this is a lot easier and probably should be a two man job, so I’m insisted the help of a friend and his mate who will hopefully be able to come over in the next few days to get it all bolted in. Then I’ll have to connect everything up and get the little beauty running. Excited to hear it roar …. but a few weeks away I feel due to other work commitments.

That said, keep checking back and hopefully I’ll have more news soon.

The little jobs

Hey, it’s been a little quiet here the past few days/week, what with work and I’ve been waiting for various items like conduit for the wiring and exhaust wrap, some little fixings from good old eBay, and oh I’ve revisited the brakes.

After speaking with a friend he suggested that they really shouldn’t be spongey and that I should redo them, so I did. Before I used the Eezibleed kit to do it myself, so although this got me started, evidently it didn’t get ‘all’ the air bubbles out. With the assistance of my wife and secondly a friend we set about bleeding the system the old fashioned way! While they manned the foot pedal, I was on the brake nipple. With all tube in place, crack open the nipple, depress the pedal, while the pedal is still at the bottom, close the nipple and release the pedal and repeat … and repeat! We did this for all four brakes lines and eventually after what was about an additional 2.5lts of brake fluid going through the system the brake pedal is now nice and firm, solid at the bottom, and it feels like it would stop if you ever really needed it too. One little job done (did you see what I did there … heading, clever huh, no, ok lets move on)!

Back to the wiring, the pilgrim module comes with a certain amount of conduit to cover the wiring, however if you’re like me and want it all covered and as neat as I can possibly get it, then you’ll soon run out of it. Hence having to get a load more of eBay and wait for it to arrive! Before this I decided the wiring job I wanted to tackle first was in the drivers footwell. Using conduit and loom tape (another eBay purchase) I was able to cover all the wiring and fix it to the chassis for what will be relatively easy access for later for the fuse boxes and relays. Once I’d positioned everything where I wanted it, I drilled the holes, purchased some little brackets (B&Q) so the fuse boxes were facing forward and mounted them along with the main set of relay switches on a metal bracket as the side of the bulkhead wasn’t 100% flat. The only real issue and slight annoyance was that one of the cables in the fuse boxes was a little tight and pulled out where I wanted it mounted, I only noticed this after I fixed most things, so I ended up mounting it slight at an angle. you see in the photo, but as this is in the footwell where lets face it NO ONE will see, I can live with that as It still easy access. With the remaining conduit I ran the wiring down the divings side to the rule tank and the first section of the engine bay. You will see I have decided to drill holes in the bottom of the frame to fix clips to that I can then attach the wiring conduit. I noticed on some cars they simply use cable ties to loop around the frame and fix them this way. I’d like if possible to keep everything as neat and tidy as I can.

Now the footwell is complete I can reposition the steering wheel back on the car and look at wiring that in. it looks like so much fun! But to be fair the wiring isn’t actually as horrible as I thought it first was going to be.


My Engine is finished 🙂 I had a phone call this week from Jim at JRV8 who is building my stage three 3.5lt RV8. It appears the engine is a feisty one with a lot of torque which I look forward to using. He did send me a photo, but I’m going to save putting them up until I have it here and I can share it with you all then. The gearbox is due in this week and then it can be packaged up and shipped, so its looking like I could have my engine within the next 2 weeks easy, lovely.

In preparation of this the last thing I had to do for the exhaust manifolds was to cover them in exhaust wrap, apparently this is part of the IVA so I thought I’d best get that sorted now, because once they are on, thats it. Easy enough job really, I brought 20m of basalt Titanium heat wrap (2 x 10m rolls) which come with steel cable ties and basically set about wrapping them. One tube at a time, and the forth one led into wrapping the entire lot.

photo-16-10-2016-16-55-14I don’t think they look half bad. The steel cable ties were a bit of a mystery to me as to how on earth do you get them tight … you tube to the rescue, all you need to do, is hand tighten as best you can, then cut of the remaining length ensure you leave about an inch. Then using a pair of long nosed pliers, take hold of the end and twist them towards the clip in a rolling motion, as it gets to the clip it tightens into it and thats it. Easy really … when you know how!

So that’s a quick update on prepping all the little jobs I had left to finish. I still have the wiring in the engine bay to finish and a little bit to the rear of the car, but I’m waiting for a fuel sender to finished wiring that up. Until the engine arrives I am practically sat waiting for the next part to arrive. But once its here I will be back, what will most likely be towards the end of October, until then, stay frosty!

Wiring … Part 1

I’m not sure how many part to this there will be and I’ll be totally honest about this, I HATE electrics! For whatever reason they just don’t work in my head so I had a feeling this was going to be tough for me … so I called for help from the wife 🙂

To be fair once you lay it out and start to go through it from the back through to the front it does start to make sense, a little, maybe! I feel like I’m really lacking confidence here. Anyway on to the build, we decided to lay the loom out on the living room floor making sure all the dogs were out of the way, sitting happily on the sofa’s. We worked from the back labelling the each wire as we went to make things easier when finally connecting it all up. Working our way forward to the steering wheel, dash through the bulk head and on to the lights and around to the dizzy and washer bottle.

Most of which does now seem to make more sense, I’m still 100% happy, I don’t like not understanding an element of what I’m doing, but until we get the actual parts that are then wired into, I won’t know for sure.

I drilled two holes in the bulkhead to allow the cabling to go through grommets, I was surprised that a normal hole saw managed to drill through the first hole … but not the second, almost, but I got a little over zealous and may have blunted it! ops! thankfully it was close enough I managed to punch the rest of the hole in and file it smooth. Fed the wiring through to the rear of the car and like the front I just temporarily attached it via cable ties.

And that was enough for today, sounds silly now, but I feel more exhausted stressing over this than anything so far, so I decided to take a break tonight, plus the NFL is about to start and I do enjoy my Sunday football nights 🙂

Next, I’ll probably fit the cable I am 100% sure and put it in conduit ready for the IVA … next year … maybe (Hopefully) till next time

Brake lines … finally!

Well I’d done just about everything else, so now it was time to get the brake lines sorted. I think if truth be told this seemed a little daunting to me at first, which maybe why I have been putting it off and off and off and getting all the other jobs done first, when really once you get started its all fairly logical and straight forward.

I purchased a brake flaring kit and got stuck in, firstly concentrating on the driver side brake line then the passenger and finally the rear. No real issues here, just remember to put the brake pipe components on the lines before you flare them, oh and make sure they are around the correct way! Drilling plenty of holes the chassis for the clips was ok and this time, no broken drill bits! I just made sure the clips were no longer than 5″ apart which I’m pretty sure is well within tolerance for the IVA.

I didn’t have time last night to finish the rear brakes as I needed a few more bolts, rivets and clips so I called it an evening (every little min or hour counts)

I had to head to Pilgrim in the morning to pick some spare wheels I am borrowing in the meantime until I buy the actual wheels as I want to get things things moving on all four wheels ideally. Picked those up along with a few minor parts and headed back into the garage.

Time to get the rear brake line finished. Everything was fairly straight forward, following the same principal and I’d already taken a few cheeky pics at the Pilgrim garage as reference, this made things easier for me, I’m a very visual learner, which is probably why I’m doing this blog and adding so many photos. There’s obviously other ways to do and built the kit but this is mine and if it helps anyone else, then that’s gotta be good really.

I guess in hindsight the only thing I would have done different is fit the rear brake lines before I fitted the diff and rear suspension arms etc, there’s not a lot of room under there which made things tricky, but no impossible. I still managed it on my own so it can’t have been that bad.

So once I had all the brake lines fitted, I decided before I bled the system I would temporarily fit the roll bars, because up till now, they’ve just been sat there. I’d read this takes while and is pretty noisy and tricky … Umm, took a while, tick! noisy, tick! tricky, well not really, just takes a while. I decided to place the roll bars on the chassis and drill straight through them using size 5 bit. That took a while but was ok going. I then took the bars off and enlarged the holes using an 8 and then 10 on the chassis and finally on the bars themselves, lined them all up and bolted them together, job done.

You’ll notice, I’ve actually bolted them in two different ways, one side on and one front on. I think this will help stabilise the bars and limit any movement while making a little easier to fit an remove once the body is on … well, thats the idea anyway.

And finally today I bled the brakes using an Eezibleed kit, which to be fair was awesome, so easy to set up and use on your own, I’m glad I researched about it. All you need is a spare tyre pressurised to about 20psi, you link this to the bottle filled with brake fluid which goes into the brake reservoir, then when you release each nipple in turn, the air pushes the brake fluid through the lines. All you really need to do is keep an eye on the amount of fluid you use so it doesn’t start pushing air through the system. Make sure each calliper bled has the brake fluid running clear through the hose and you’re good to go, nice and easy. I started at the further wheel away and made my way around the car in turn get closer to the brake reservoir. Basically, passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front and finally driving front.

I put a few of the wheels on I borrowed and tested the brakes, a little spongy to the feel so I will look into what its suppose to feel like, but as there’s still no electrics set up I don’t know if it should go hard or not, but a few pumps and the wheels don’t move at all. So I must have something half right to start with 🙂 plus no leaks!

And that’s about it for today, I’m having this evening off, as I need to prep for tomorrow’s England match against Malta, until Sunday I’ll leave with the the last two photos I took today, 1 as the build stands currently and the other, things to come …

Ahhhh the loom!

Well that’s another day in the garage done, all those extra hours or two in the evenings are really helping get things moving, 4 days left and I will have hit the month anniversary of the build, not to bad so far I think.

Wednesday night madness

You’ll never guess what … I now have the brake flaring tool I was missing, thanks to Mark for bringing it around and letting me borrow it. With that in mind there were a few little bits I tendered to this evening. I purchased some little brackets I could rivet on the chassis to hold some of the cabling and hoses so I decided to fit the expansion tank hoses tonight in preparation for the engine. I am seriously hoping that all this work is all alright and that I don’t have re-position any of it! By the looks of what I’ve seen at Pilgrim it should be ok, plus it gives me more to do and get ready.

Everything was nice and easy, with the exception that I broke another 5mm drill bit, dammit! Other than that I was going to call it a night until I thought I’d quickly run the hydraulic clutch line from the master cylinder through the chassis and down to the bottom rail for connection to the gearbox. I also finished off the hose and connected that all up and tightened all the hoses with clips. The copper pipe was lead up through the chassis with a grommet to protect the pipe, along the top of the bulk head and down the front, all fitted again with the rubber clips at around 5 inches.

Now I have that sorted I can properly get on with the brake lines, which will either be tomorrow evening or on Friday. I’ll also adjust the battery clamp which needs shortening and look at fixing the roll hoops.

I should also be picking up some spare build wheels on Friday so i’ll be able to get the brake system bleed and everything rolling, hopefully I can then also begin to look at the steering geometry and once the engine is in, tighten all the suspension bolts.

Still lots of little bits to do but its getting there, rolling chassis by the end of the year would be nice, under its own power … thats the aim … watch this space …


Mini heater and Manifolds

I’m a little stuck currently as my brake flaring tool is missing the smallest component so I can’t flare the brake lines (angry face) so instead I decided tonight I’d spray my exhaust manifolds with heat resistant paint and fit a couple of new pipe connector on the mini heater.

Firstly on to the mini heater … Check this out …

On the left you can see the state of the original hose connectors which I thought should probably be replaced. Good old eBay to the rescue and ta-daaa new shiny ones that shouldn’t fall apart the second you touch them! Easy enough to change and the second photo shows them fitted in-situ. Job done!

Second job for tonight was to coat the exhaust manifolds with heat resistant paint ready for exhaust wrap! Apparently this is required for the IVA now so I’ll have to do that at a later date, the plan is to once finished and passed IVA to hopefully remove the wrap and just have the aluminium pipes shown instead. Again nothing difficult, set up an area to spray in, and away you go. I choose to use Halfords aluminium heat resistant spray paint which got mixed reviews online but seemed to apply fairly well and evenly. The entire can was just about enough to cover both exhausts with a good two coats.

(Guilty face) Ok I forgot a before photo of both manifolds, so the first one shows one half complete and the other ready for spraying. The second one, all coated and looking rather nice, lots of overspray so just make sure you give yourself space and have the area covered so you don’t get it everywhere. The only other thing I will say is make sure you wash and clean the manifolds first, get rid of all the grease and muck, even if they look clean they probably aren’t. I was surprised the amount of grim came of mine after they’d been sitting around for a week or two. The paint will bond better if the metal is clean!

And thats it for tonight, I’m waiting for a few fixings to come and I collect some build wheels on Friday along with a few bits I’m missing. So until then and I get my brake flare kit sorted I am stuck and at a loss … It’s very addictive this building this car 🙂

See you all soon