Progress update …

There are some things I find hard to leave alone, and this is quickly becoming one of them. I’ve just been tinkering around in the garage again to finish off a few minor jobs before the body arrives, oh yes I forgot to say, I’ve got the body on order, so although its going to be extremely busy from now till after Christmas I’m sure I’ll manage to find a few hours out in the garage getting started on prepping the body. After all the longer I spend on it, the better it will be.

So on to today, basically because I’ve got the car up and running before the body arrives and sorting a lot of other parts, including lights etc and apparently most people don’t start their car for a while after the position I am in. I wanted to get the fuel cap fitted, at least to safely secure the fuel and protect me from the fumes and more importantly the fuel evaporating, all I had at the moment was masking tape covering it. Straight forward to fit, nothing to trim yet, until I fit it to the body.

The second bit I wanted to finish off was the throttle cable, so once I had fitted the bracket which needed a little adjustment (It bolts straight onto the manifold) I inserted the cable and used a M6 bolt through the end of the cable fitted to the carburetor, bolted it in place making sure it wasn’t tight so it allowed for movement and that was that. I pressed the accelerator pedal to make sure and all appears fine. It was a little late and very wet outside so I didn’t worry about fully testing it because now I should have a complete rolling chassis able to move under its own power 🙂 (I’ll test that another day)

Lastly I have the speedo sensor to fit and run through to the dash. Pilgrim have from what I understand changed this in recent years in favor of a pulse type sensor so instead of using a daisywheel, you mount magnets or bolt heads to the propshaft and aline everything this way. I ran out of time today to get that underway, other than the adjustable sensor mount you can see. This will be mounted to the diff so that I can adjust it when I have mounted the magnets/bolt heads to the prop.

I’ll go into more detail on that once I’ve done it. So that’s it for today, little bits really until the body arrives, its going to be a quiet few weeks.

But don’t forget to keep checking back or subscribe and once I have any updates they’ll appear on here.

Rolling Chassis

Last night I managed to get a few more little bits done, and still have a few more left now the engine is in, connected and running I thought it was about time to get the wheels on and see if I could get the suspension set up and everything tightened. First things first I had to get the car down off its axle stands! (once the wheels were on of course)

Everything pretty much straight forward, oh and I also bled the hydraulic clutch, which in hindsight now I think I would have routed to the other side of the chassis, there’s not a lot of room where it is and every thing’s a little tight! I may still do this, but I’ll see, as it means draining it all, doing it all again, and new tubing!

I still have to tighten the suspension now the car is on its own weight, but there are question I have thrown up I need answering before I go to far ahead. The rear wheels are at a funny angle and the back end is jacked up quite high compared to the front. I need to wind one of the track rode ends in one turn to align the wheels better as well and check the front suspension, its very very low?! is that normal, not sure and how much can I wind the front suspension up, by hand, not much more!

I’m also not sure the hydraulic clutch is working as I can’t find reverse gear in the box and it slips into gear even when the clutch isn’t pressed? seems strange to me but this among a few other little bits I need to check, research and ask questions.

One more thing I find really helpful and that’s the whiteboard I brought before the build to note down things to do, or thoughts as I’m going along, saves me forgetting and gives an indication of whats next etc. I find it very helpful 🙂 well worth doing if you’re considering a build too.

Back in the garage tonight most likely so will post a little more later, Christmas is looming and I’m running out of things to do! Oh no wait …. wiring the sierra column :/ damn it 🙂

More to follow ….

She’s ALIVE!

Today was the day, everything was more or less finished to the point where I could get the engine running. This has been my aim from the start, to basically get the engine running and as much finished as I could in the first 5 modules before Christmas arrives. From next weekend the car will covered and put to sleep till the new year, purely because I have a really busy period coming up and no time to work on the car. With that in mind I HAD to get things moving and the car started.

So, yesterday I left things with a few minor items to finish. I popped down to Halfords and picked up the Jubilee clip I needed, some distilled water, coolant and a couple of plastic (5L) petrol cans. These then got filled on the drive back and everything on the cars ‘to do’ was sorted. So I connected up the battery and turned the key to check the fuel pump was working … nothing! not a sausage! pooh! Time to check the wiring and connections, fuses etc, all appeared fine. I popped around the mother-in-laws to pick up a volt meter to test the power and noticed the there was no voltage getting through to the back end at all. I’d clearly connected something up wrong but where!?! Working my way through I found my way back to the ignition which I had power to, but when I’d turned the key through to the auxiliary position there was nothing! hmmmm Checked through the wiring diagram but no clue there, nothing really understandable in the haynes manual either (the wiring diagram in that looks scary beyond belief) so after a quick google search I found a page which explained what each cable did on the original sierra column did. Once I had sorted this I found I had a few in the wrong position, so reconnected these correctly and the fuel pump jumped into life!

For information if anyone gets to the same position as me and I’ll assume this is only for a sierra but here’s the wiring details I found;

Red = permanently live – attaches to pilgrim brown

Black/Yellow = switched live/auxiliary position -attaches to pilgrim white

Black/Blue = cranking feed to solenoid – attaches to pilgrim white/red

Yellow = ?? – attaches to pilgrim light green/brown

All that was left to do was turn the key all the way and wait to see if the engine would jump into life … and OH YES it did 🙂 I can’t explain the exhilaration when the engine started. Excuse the jumpy video, when it first started it startled my wife, you notice the jump when it goes!

Watch the Video HERE!

It was great to hear the sound of the V8 roar into life, scary starting it, but once it was running, oh so nice. And after 2 month’s from starting with a just a bare chassis to having the engine up and running I can quite happily break for christmas … Hopefully the body will be arriving in January and I can get to start on that. It’s coming in black gelcoat, apparently its probably the worse colour to get it in because the black will show up anything I do wrong and can be quite difficult to get looking good … that’s the challenge I like. Very happy with my progress so far so I’m really looking forward to the next part. Roll on January. If I end up doing anything else I will of course post about it … wheels on, suspension to tighten now and clutch to bleed. Still a few little bits to do 🙂 …

Excited … I’m still smiling



More wiring!

It feels like theres not a lot to report at the moment, every minute turns into an hour and that turns in 4, I turn around, pack stuff away and look back at what I’ve done for the day and think OH! is that it! It sounds weird but the whole project/build is progressing, so its all the little bits of tidying up, connecting up more wires, cutting to length, stripping them, crimping and fixing to the chassis in a what I think is a fairly nice and tidy route. Each wire and route just takes time to be honest, once I got my head around certain aspects it was fairly straight forward, logical and if you just take you time, eventually it all goes where it should and looks good.

So to recap the wiring loom was laid over the chassis, the fuse boxes and relays fitted in the footwell, the wiring in the engine bay has all be laid out, put in conduit, fixed to the chassis and all engine parts connected (Starter motor, battery, oil pressure sender, and switch, water temperature, horn, fan switch, coil, dizzy and washer bottle to name a few)

Ive also, fitted the the clutch to the gear box, just need to fill it and bleed and then thats done.

I’ve also finished wiring up the fuel tank (sender and pump) making sure you earth where necessary of course. The wiring loom here actually stops short, I guess because of the different options etc so you need to use the supplied wire or some of that you actually cut off and run the wires to the appropriate connector. All put in conduit and fixed to the chassis and tank via little sticky block and cable ties.

ADDITION – Please note and see future post regarding the Gearbox slave cylinder is mounted here upside down!

And finally or almost finally, I wired up the ignition this evening, oh and I nearly forgot I ran the final heater hoses through the bulk head, connected to engine and mini heater. Anyway back to the ignition, which was to be fair quite a scary moment because I had to CUT off the existing sierra connector, put new ends on all the wires and place them in a block, then connect it to the loom, once I’d checked what was what it all went together no bother, just double checked everything and all was good.

So what do I have left to do, I need one jubilee clip because I don’t have one the correct size for one of the heater hoses, fill the hydraulic clutch and bleed it, I had one slight leak on a calliper so this has been sorted, I just need to bleed that brake. Fill the engine/rad with water and coolant and then get some petrol in the tank and umm, try to fire it up! SO with any luck tomorrow will be the day the engine runs … hopefully, I’ll put another blog tomorrow if all goes well. Wish me luck

Wires, pipes and wheel … oh my

Had another quick visit to pilgrim today for a few reasons, one was to collect my GD5 wheels and the other was to have a look around one of the engine bays at the wiring to see how things are connected which I thought would give me a idea and a push to get things moving on the wiring. Not sure if I’ve said this before but this part really doesn’t work in my head at the moment but lets face it, I have to get it done at some point and I WANT to get the engine running before I break for christmas.

So first things first, I connected the carb and brake servo, sadly I couldn’t get the heater hoses finished as I needed an extra grommet as the hoses pass through the bulkhead, but everything here connected nice and straight forward. There’s also a quick pic of my wheels or wheel in this case! I decided to go for the 15″

Next on the agenda was to fit the prop shaft, using the special bolts from the donor car and the new prop shaft supplied form pilgrim it was a simple case of crawl under the car, hold the shaft up and bolt in … job done. Again, nothing difficult here.

Quickly running out of other bits to do, I was getting close to ‘having’ to do the wiring! But before this (stalling again) I fitted the fuel sender to the petrol tank and the horn to the front of the chassis. Ok now I had to get to the wiring … but before I start I have a confession to make, before I got the engine I tided up the engine bay and put all the wiring in conduit and fixed it to the chassis. Only now to realise that 5 wires had to be taken out of the loom so they could be connected to the starter motor and senders on the other side of the engine bay! Ops!

Ah well, once I have unwrapped it all I run a couple wires down to the starter motor and up to the brake reservoir, connect the horn and came a little unstuck with the oil sender. but sadly time was ticking on and it was time I was needed else where.

I’ve obviously still got to run the battery cable down to the starter motor, but I have to cut and crimp these yet so I haven’t had time to finish this, but for a few little bits I’m happy this section has got under way … finally. Will see if i have any time over the weekend to do a little more, hopefully, but until keep checking back and look out for more updates on my progress.

Have a good weekend all

Engine up date

Not a huge amount to talk about tonight, other than I mounted the carburettor and air filter, mainly just so I could take a photo with it on! The radiator hoses have been connected as have the exhaust manifolds and steering rod. It’s all very tight in there but there seems to be clearance to everything so I’m assuming that will all be ok.

I’m still a little unsure about plumbing the engine and connecting all the electrical wiring etc, so I’m paying a visit to Pilgrim again on Friday to have a nosey and get some info and take notes etc. Of everything done so far this is the one area I’m actually worried about getting wrong! Everything else so far has made perfect sense, more or less, and weirdly I can’t wait to get to work on the body and brightwork etc.

Oh wait there was something I had to change tonight, remember I mentioned about the upper front suspension bolts being in the way of the manifolds, I swapped them around tonight and bolted them back in. This made putting the exhaust manifolds on nice and straight forward, plenty of room.

The photos here show the correct way of putting the bolts through, save yourself 5 minutes and put them in this way 🙂 thankfully, where there weren’t tightened up they came off and back on in minutes.

I’ve also been told and just figured out that in my organising I’ve routed some of the wires around to the wrong side of the engine bay, ops so I’ll have to take some of it off and pull the wires back and put the conduit back on. Small little problems but nothing major really.

On a plus, picking up my GD5’s on Friday … I’ll have my proper cobra wheels … then I can look at setting up the suspension, steering and camber properly and I’ll finally have a rolling chassis … almost on its on power just a few things to do in the mean time.

Still to do;

Run heater hoses, connect up the carburettor, finish off the rule sender and figure out the wiring to get some power to the engine (lots to do there tho) oh and fill the radiator, fit and bleed the hydraulic clutch … the list goes on, but everyone complete is a noter step forward.