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 …


Overheating and Pre MOT

Update time. So I’ve been having problems with overheating on the Cobra lately and been racking my brain to figure out why and what I needed to do to sort it.

Speaking with guys on the UK Cobra Forum they’ve been suggesting that the  configuration isn’t great as it is and there’s been a lot of people in similar positions where they’ve had issues with bleeding all the air out of the system. Well turns out that was one of the issues! Here’s a run down of what I did …

Firstly I had to check if the stat was still working, so this came out of the thermostat housing and in a pan of boiling water, thankfully that opened up with no problems. Next up I changed the fan switch so that it opened up at 82deg instead of the supplied one at 88deg, this way the fan kicks in earlier. I also added some Water Wetter to the system as we refilled it after the switch was removed lost some liquid. Then I removed the front grill which at best has some tiny holes in, which looks quite restrictive. I’d been told about this before, so that came off. The last thing we did was I added a few little washers to the expansion cap as I don’t believe this properly pressurised the system as it was wobbly.  We bled the system again by squeezing the bottom hose and then the top one as some air was still bubbling out. A lot of this I have to thank TONY for as he came down and gave me some help on checking it all over, so thanks Tony.

Once we’d done all this, I started her up and waited until it got up to temperature, check the reading within the car which sat just below 90, perfect. Once it had been running for a little while we used a infra-red heat gun to check the temperature of the engine and rad against the gauge. Turns out the gauge isn’t that accurate either! Probably about 10deg out by the readings. So thats not to bad, at least I know now the cars not over heating!

Yay, problem solved … hopefully.

Ok so next it was time to re book a pre-MOT and see how well the build had gone so far. After the disappointment of the last attempt I managed to find a local garage down the road (about a mile away) who had a mechanic called Steve that just happens to work on V8’s (Bonus) after a quick chat and some helpful info on the cooling system. I decided to book the MOT with them. If you’re local to me you need to check out Clarks Auto Service who have been fantastic (www.clarksautoservice.co.uk)

Really nervous drive down to them, considering the last outing but once there, Steve got the car on the ramps and we went through a normal MOT test. Aligned the light as they were a little low. Thankfully we also found one nut that wasn’t tighten so that was sorted.  We tested the emissions and adjusted the carbs so both side read around 1.4-1.6 Co2 so for the age of the engine thats ok. The Brakes were pretty good too, all balanced and pretty much equal so all in all a good pre-mot.

It’s left me with a few minor areas to adjust and secure, nothing bad just things that will make the car safer, so that all good.

The drive back home, was A LOT more enjoyable 🙂 … 2 weeks till the IVA!


Was really excited to be driving the car today down the mot station for a pre test. We made it about 2 miles before the car over heated and I had to turn around and stop, didn’t even make it back home 😦 somethings not right

I have a few weeks to get it sorted before the IVA so I best do otherwise I won’t be doing that either, considering I have to drive it there, it’s not down the road 😦 … Gutted!