Viper stripes

While I’m waiting for the receipt of the nuts I had to order for the exhaust bobbins, a point I’ll never understand. Why sell the bobbins with the exhausts but no nuts! and seeing as they are quite specific I’m at a loss, you may as well buy a house with no doors or windows, ummm you kinda need em! Anyway on to more positive things.

I’ve been having a personal battle with the body and struggling to use the electric buffer with reasonable results. Until today! Everything aside I decided that I would give the buffing another try using a different pad, a nice thick sponge, very different from the waffles I’ve been using. Having a go on the rear I set about it and to my surprise this sponge was a lot more manipulatable than the waffles so I was able to follow the curves of the body a lot better and get a decent result. Ok so there are still repairs I need to do and a few scratches I need flatten down, but I’m confident I can now use the buffer as intended.

So on to the next phase, before I fix everything down on the brightwork module I wanted to have a go a marking up the stripes I will be putting on. Now I must be mad in either a good or bad way, because this will either make my car look as awesome as I want it … OR it will hold my build up by possibly a year while I have to get the body properly sprayed and sorted which I really haven’t budgeted for. I’m hoping for the first option to be fair 🙂

Anyway, first things first, I had to mark up the stripes with tape, ensuring correct gaps and straight lines, equal distances etc etc! I set about marking out the centre of the body and measured out at various intervals along the length of the car. I decided to do 2 fat stripes and 2 pin stripes either side of it, 4 in total. It took a little while to mark it up, ok a few hours but I think it was worth it, as I’m happy with the job I’ve done and I think it now looks good, totally changes the look and feel of the car. I’m quite excited.

There you go, I’ve now got to get some paper to cover the rest of the car so its protected when I spay it, but I like it. Hopefully at some point this week in the evening I’ll rub down the gaps in-between the lines so the primer has something to bind too. Then I’ll test it on a small area, with the final orange to see what the colour comes out like.

That’s it for another day, little bit at a time at the moment … keep watching to see the transformation …

UPDATE 1 … Rather than do a new page to the blog, I thought I’d just do a quick update on this post, it’s going to take a while to spray as I need more paint etc and time! so I’m left waiting at the moment. But here’s the first bit of prep work, car all wrapped (like Christmas present) and first coat of primer has gone on. It’s a little patchy so it’ll need  second coat, which will have to wait till the end of the week, when the paint arrives. But on reflection it appears to have gone on ok, wasn’t difficult, just take your time, its all in the prep apparently! I’m really hoping this will make my cobra stand out and put the ‘my build’ stamp on the car.

Points to note, decided I need a new mask and goggles, the one I’ve been using for all the fiberglassing is ok, but NOT for spraying, even just doing the little bit on the nose, was like wow I could really do my lungs and eyes some damage here! Back to amazon for a mask upgrade 🙂

Fairly happy at the moment, obviously wont be able to tell until the wrapping and masking comes off …. so nervous doing this part, but I’m building this car to be mine and to drive, NOT to sit in a garage to be polished every day!


UPDATE 2 … Before I do a separate ‘reveal’ post, here’s another quick update on progress … I was quite happy with the test base coat so decided that it was time to just cover the whole area. 95% went a lot better than I expected after inspection this morning, with a few runs on the backend I’ll have to wet and dry them and then most likely build the base layer up again. I think I’m having a slight issue because of the temperature and curvature of the boot, it’s a little cold so too much spray at once and it runs! you’d be surprised how little you need to add. So tonight I’m back in to finish up the boot and last coat of primer (hopefully)

Showing off my new mask and goggles … and yes they are awesome, after 60 mins in there I didn’t smell a single fume … till I got out and went in 30mins later to check things! damn I’m glad I brought those!


Side pipes

Just a quick hour or so in the garage this evening, time is a premium at the moment with work, so progress feels a little slow. However this evening I had two jobs I wanted to get done, one was I had to refit my boot hinges because one of them snapped in half, while I was working on the boot. I wasn’t sure why at the time but turns out I had them on the wrong side, consequently too much stress while opening the boot and snap! Bugger, but oh well I’ll just chalk that up to another silly mistake and move on. Thankfully a quick call to Pilgrim and they sorted me with some spare ones for now.

On to a positive note for tonight the second thing I had to sort was the exhaust holes for my side pipes. To start with I was quite nervous about this as the pipes I have are slightly larger than the ones that come with the module. So there wasn’t a great deal of adjustment and lets be fair if you cut a big hole thats in the wrong place! It’s difficult to repair.

To start with I measured up where the centre of the exhausts were, aligning the vertical and horizontal I marked the position on the body. Using the escutcheon plate I placed two pieces of tape across it diagonally so again I could align up the centre and marked out the inner hole dimensions on the body with a marker. Now I drilled out a hole not quite big enough to fill the entire plate, but big enough once squared out I could check the exhaust fit and to my surprise I was bang on. So the only thing left to was file out the hole to the require dimension within the plate.

I then screwed the plate on using self tapping screws and offered the pipes up for one final check. Looking sweet!

Then basically repeat on the other side and job done, all that remains now is to fit the exhausts to the chassis, a job that will have to wait until another evening.

Needless to say the hour and a half in the garage was well spent 🙂


Finally managed to get out to the car today, after temporary fitting the doors a few days ago, I now have a pair of swinging doors among other things.

It took a little longer than I thought it would to be honest, but the gaps around the doors are fairly even and not to bad at all. I guess if you were getting the body sprayed you could improve this further by adding filler in places and getting it perfect. But I am happy with the outcome I’ve achieved on the doors. So to the process … of course I’d already fitted the hinges and drilled the holes for the door and offered them up to get a fairly good fit. The sills at the bottom of the door at this point remain ‘flexible’ so you can push them in or leave them out to basically get a nice fit around the door. Working on the drivers side first I manipulated the sill until I was happy with the gaps and then drilled the holes and using M8 bolts with load spreading washers locked it all down.

photo-17-02-2017-14-15-21 Here’s a view looking down the tunnel from the front of the car so you can see the bolt and washer holding the sill in place. Now once the drivers side was done, you can fit the body around the battery tray, I wasn’t sure on this as I knew I needed the body to move a little (sideways) to line everything up nicely. So I decided to look at the passenger side door and here is where it got tricky. Lining the door up with the sill I followed the same process as before but came across a few issues that had me tightening and untightening bolts. In the end however I managed to get a decent fit by not pushing the sill in quite as much as the other side. And as the manual says, you fit the body to the door, by doing this I pretty much ended up with a nice fit.

Once the sides where bolted down, I then looked at the battery tray (bulkhead) area and again here is where another adjustment is required. The bonnet has a slight warp in it so when laid flat there’s an obvious gap down the drivers side of the bonnet. The solution to this is to raise up one side of the body in this area a little which helps tremendously because as soon as you do, the bonnet lines up nicely with the rest of the car. So by adding several washers I was able to bolt and rivet battery tray area down. This is the last and final part of the body that is required to be securely fixed to the chassis.

Still staying with the bonnet, I decided it was time to fit the bonnet prop and handles. For the prop I had to make a small bracket out of steel that was bolted to the chassis which then extended into the engine bay in a kinda L shape. Easy enough to do and the prop is screwed into the underside of the bonnet and the bracket. Once that was done I grabbed hold of the bonnet locks, measured up where I wanted them, marked them up and drilled the holes. Nothing really difficult here, as you can use the gasket as a template on where to drill. On the bottom of the bonnet lock you have to attach little feet that hook under an L share bracket you end up riveting to the body above the bulk head. I used an aluminium L shape piece for this and will most likely end up painting it black so it blends in with the body (you can see it in the photos below)

With the bonnet complete it was time to move to the boot and basically do the same, you just need to make a bracket, fix it to the body/chassis and position the prop on the boot. It all takes time or I’m just really slow in the garage! I’m not sure which but again simple to do and I’ll paint this later as well, seeing as you’ll most likely end up seeing it in the boot.

SO there you have it, the body is finally bolted and riveted down to the chassis, doors aligned and fitted, bonnet and boot fitted and almost all holes drilled. I can now turn my attention to looking at the exhausts and fitting them and before I move on anymore I NEED to finished the body work now. Sort all the imperfections out, polish and take that big leap of faith and mark up the viper stripes I want to put on the car.

Full week of work coming up now so not sure how long the next part will take, but I’ll keep you posted with any progress. Even if I can only manage an hour here and there, at least thats a little polishing or painting etc (detailing makes all the difference) …. ha, hopefully


Doors anyone!

Just a short update from yesterday as I only really had an hour in the garage what with sorting other work and a mass editing run for a client. Anyway on to the car, as I said I wanted to get the door hinges on securely and the doors fitted. This is where its quite important (I think) you follow the manual. Hinges no problem at all really you just need to be extra bendy or ask for help on 1 or two nuts, I found the steering wheel got in the way a little (Passenger side no problem what so ever).

I’ve added an additional photo here which shows the M8 bolts going through the chassis with a M10 nut in-between the bracket and chassis (quite important its spaced like this)

Once I had the door hinges on nice and tight I put the ‘drivers’ side door up for temp fit and by sticking some masking tape on the slots where the hinges attach it was easy to mark with a pen where to drill. The holes are elongated so drill in the middle to give you some extra space for adjustment. Now you obviously have to be careful here because in the door there is bonded strip of metal and then a small gap before the outer skin of the door! drill to hard and you’ll have a nice hole through the entire door! You could put something in-between like a piece of wood but I just went nice and slow, going from a size 4 drill bit to a 6 then an 8 and it was easy, no damage done. Line the door up and bolt together … When sticking your hand in the door to tighten the nuts be sure to wear gloves as the fiberglass is very rough in there!

As I was short on time I had a little fiddle with the side skirts , adjusting and aligning them up to the door which all seems to be a fairly good fit. But I didn’t have time to drill and bolt it all together so that’ll have to wait. Instead I quickly did the same to the other side door, BUT only loosely as you need to do one side at a time and work across the car, otherwise you’ll hit problems.

So there you have it, doors mounted, alignment to sort on my next visit into the garage, which will most likely only be a short one again until the weekend, pesky jobs getting in the way! But on a plus Man City didn’t look to bad last night, played some good football …

The Body gets fixed to the chassis

As the title says, today was the day I really had to make a move on fitting the body to the chassis, I mean I do want to get this car finished!

So, first things first, I jacked the car back up on its axle stands and took the wheels off. Reading through the manual it does really lay it out for you step by step the correct way to fit the body down so by following this it all went down nice and smoothly really.

Firstly I started at the back end and by using a long spirit level and tape, I measure and aligned the body so I have an even distance from the wheel hubs to the outer ridge of the body on each side. Sounds simple, and to be fair it was, I had to make a few adjustments to the roll bar holes I had drilled already (as a note you can leave that till after the body if fitted) mine were a little out, but not by far, the odd 5mm shaved off here and there. But once that was done, I moved to the front of the car and did the same. Once I was happy I bolted the front end down using two M8 bolts on the nose cone and moved to the rear end. Checked measurements again and proceeded to drill the holes I needed in the boot area and riveted this to the chassis. Simple!

Lastly one quick check all was good and then I did the same to the area where the back of the seats will be. Taking extra care here because closely on the underside of this area are the brake lines! But once it was all drilled and riveted down, I felt happy it all looked good and after a few hours it was done.

As you’ll see from the photo in the boot area photo, I actually used a spanner to space out my rivet positions as it made a very neat and accurate evenly spaced 150mm.

With the body fixed down at the front and rear it was time to look at the doors, now I’ve been told and read these can be difficult but with time and patience you can get a good finish and gaps. Firstly though I had to bolt the door hinge to the chassis … be prepared to be just like mr fantastic as the use of elastic and stretchy arms helps! Well when you’re not sure which is the best way to go about it.

What I found was if you attached the rear two bolts first (using the M10 nut as a spacer) and come at it from the seated position its fairly straight forward and then the front two are the easy to get too. I haven’t tightened them all down yet as I want to offer up the doors and get the angles right. Theres plenty of play in the positioning of the door hinges too so lots to adjust and get just right, before you attach the door.

And there you have it, driver side done first, but for now I have to stop as its our valentines night out tonight. Both myself and the wife are working on the 14th so were off out tonight instead, the car will have to wait until tomorrow … door hanging day (hopefully)

Moving on!

No prep work today, instead it was time to fit the bonnet, a job much much easier with the body off the chassis, so off it came. Its a fairly straight forward procedure, I started off by laying the rubber seal around the body where the bonnet lays. Then by commando crawling under the body I was able to bolt the fixing bracket to a bracket moulded into the chassis and then align up all the other parts, mark them on the under side of the bonnet and drill a couple of pilot holes.

There’s quite a bit of adjustment there if needed, I used a single M8 nut on one side to move the alignment over a little to match the other side. A little wiggle and all fits together no problem. You also have to take a small notch out either side of the body to allow for the brackets to freely move as the bonnet opens.

While the body is off the chassis and outside I also decided to cut a few more holes that were needed mainly so the dust was blown away and not all over the car again! I spent a good 45mins just dusting off all the fibreglass from the chassis today as well. I drilled a couple of holes for the windscreen wipers and the demister vents and temporarily fitted them. Easy to do really, just following the manual and checking a few measurements.

As well as fixing the bonnet I did a last minuet tidy up on the chassis, just a couple of wires to fix down and tape over, those not be used etc. The expansion tank overflow tube was routed down the bulkhead and tied to the chassis. But the main item to fit was the wiper motor.

Having a look at the position of it and how it fits to the chassis, to try and fit it with the body on would have been very difficult. When I was checking the position on where to bolt it, you’ll notice there’s a steel tube brace in the footwell, that can get in the way and its all a little tight. Of course the route I choose to run the hydraulic clutch was slighting in the way as well so I decided to attach it to the square tube running across the top using 2 60mm M8 bolts (which you can see below)

It’s all mounted very securely (doesn’t budge an mm) and mounting it in this position has given me a little extra space for everything else, annoyingly I also snapped another drill bit! Gotta stop buying cheap brill bits .. or be more careful!

Once that was all done, it was time to put the body back on the chassis in preparation to finally fixing it down. BUT before this was done, I put the roll bars back on and because I didn’t want to remove the fuel tank, I had to lift the body a little to bolt them in place. Fairly easy to do, just a bit awkward unless you enlist the help of someone else, I managed to get the wife out and help me with of this, oh and lifting the body on and off, she comes in handy 🙂

The last and final item that was completed today was the front lights, although the indicators will come off again when I complete the wiring, you still have to drill the holes for the self taping screws. All simple enough really by following the manual and gave a me little sense of achievement after another day.


And that was about it for the day, and it was a very cold day at that. I retired in doors to warm up and write the next chapter on the blog … done!

Hoping I’ll have time on Sunday to start bolting the body to the chassis, front, back and then the doors … oh and a few other bright works along the way (MAYBE)! we’ll see how it all goes.

Body prep update 5


I can finally say, no more flash lines to rub down, thats the entire car (joins) gone over with 400, 800, 1200 and 2000 wet and dry. But if you think its over you’d be sadly mistaken! Another part of the process is in certain places the flash line create small lumps and diverts or small hole in the body, not an issue if they are very small, however if you have a black gelcoat, they stand out quite a bit. So next I’ll have to ‘repair’ the blemishes with new gelcoat and rub those down. If I can then achieve a flat finish I should be able to polish it back to a shine keeping the body in a decent condition. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but you do need to be careful around the body, the gelcoat can mark easily when working nearby, so be warned.

The other really exciting thing I had to do today was clean the garage! The amount of dust that was lying around and all over literally everything was ridiculous. So I popped the wheels back on and pushed her out, Gave the garage a brush and quick clean and while the body was on the drive I thought why not give it a little wash, this way I could see if there were any further small imperfections and set about flattening them.

I have to admit I do kinda ache all over now! haha not use to manual labour! But I’m glad this stage has been dealt with.

So next I’ll try repairing a few of the imperfections and fit the bonnet. I’m just waiting for the brackets, but once they arrive, the bonnet goes on and then I’m ready to start the process of bolting the body to the chassis. I’m leaving the polishing till a little later on once the body is fitted down I think I’ll have a better platform to work on.

Won’t be long now and I should be able to start fitting and bolting the brightwork to the body.