Update …

Hi all, firstly I should apologise for being absent as it’s been quite a while since my last post and secondly I should give you an update on where the build is.

So after the Kit car show, I left the car with Pilgrim and had them check and finish the dashboard for me. We weren’t overly happy with how we’d done the work, and my electrical skills are sketchy at best so this seemed like a good option to get it professional done. I said there was no hurry and as such I’ve only just got the car back recently, so it sitting pretty in the garage at the moment.

There’s a few items I NEED to get sorted which they’ve let me know about, brakes and steering rack need some attention but slightly more frustrating are some of the lights aren’t working now, which were when I gave them the car! and the VIN number I asked to be stamped on, wasn’t. Not really big issues but sometimes its the little things that make a big difference, but not so in this case. It shouldn’t take to long I hope and then shes more or less ready for the IVA. The only issue I have currently is getting those little bits done, time wise and cost. The money pot is finally empty :/ needs must currently so the car has had to be covered up and it looks like it wont be ready for the summer now which is annoying.

If things change you will see me post again and once I’ve fixed the parts I need to, that should hopefully make it drive better, we’ll see.

I wasn’t going to post this but actually it kinda helps talking about, my mum’s been diagnosed with a form of stage 4 blood cancer, so she’s really not good at the moment. This has kinda put hold on a lot of things at home and life for one reason or another has changed at home. So I’m struggling to find the motivation currently, I’m sure it will return but for now please bare with me … Thanks

Until next time … J


Easter Sunday is all about your car!

Happy Easter everyone, for me it became another day I was able to get a few things finished on the car, completion date is looming (I think) as is some exciting news regarding the car, which I will reveal nearer the time, perhaps next week!

On with the build, the main things I had planned to get done before I get back to work and loose a possible few weeks was the bulk of the interior. Today started off by finishing the seat belt fixings and fixing the seat to the floorpan.

The seat belts are straight forward, follow the instructions and they go together nice and easy, I’d already brought some 50mm square plates and pre-drilled all the holes, marked the carpet and put holes in that too. After the belts where fitted and it was time to finished the seats. I didn’t quite finish these the other day because the M8 bolts I had left were only 20mm which didn’t quite work out to be long enough, I could get them through but after tightening them up I couldn’t quite see 1-2 threads on the bolt, which I think is an IVA requirement, either way it left me feeling nervous so I managed to acquire some 30mm M8 bolts and after changing them, all was done and good, the runners are a little stiff, but seats are fixed and feel really comfortable.

As it was a lovely day, a big part of the day was also spent sorting out the garage again, everything was getting covered in fibreglass dust and muck, all sorts, the car was looking a state. So out it came in the sun, I gave it a quick clean and to my horror noticed quite a few little nicks and marks all over the body, I clearly wasn’t being as careful as I should be! The gelcoat does tend to mark easily and black shows it all! So there’s more work to be done on the body! But it did give me a good chance to have a proper look at the car out of the garage.

Once that was all done and another box and huge bag of rubbish and dust, all ready for the tip tomorrow it was time to check in on the wife to see how the dash was going along.

This was actually quite tricky, trying to get all of the creases out of dash was near on impossible or at least it was for us. I don’t know if it was the leather or how we were doing it, but clearly without proper tools and knowledge/skills etc this is a tricky task. The dash itself comes in two pieces which you have to cut out all the holes and put together, all straight forward. I put four bolts in the top, fixed with a nut the other side so that It can be position on the car easier once done and cover with the foam and leather you can’t see them. I also did this to the centre section, I wasn’t comfortable with the thought of holding it together with just glue, just make sure you grid the head bolts down a little so you don’t see bulges in the foam. We ended up using spray glue to fix the foam to the dash and pulling it around the edges and into the dial holes. This was then glued onto the back with either glue or tape. It takes a long time and finding the right glue makes a big difference. We found using a glue gun was much better and quicker way of fixing the leather or foam to the back.

You can see our first attempt wasn’t as successful as we’d have liked, the layout, dials and lights all fit in fine and look nice, but the wrinkles in the leather aren’t the best. Once we had the glue gun, and peeled it back off and tried again it did end up fixing a few of the wrinkles out and looks better now. I’ve not looked at the wiring for the dash yet, as I wanted to get it fixed to car first to make sure I had plenty of room etc, after a bit of trimming, cutting more fibreglass off the return where the dash sits it all sits in nicely.

I honestly can’t wait to get a proper steering wheel on! The sierra one looks hideous! But its an IVA requirement it will have to do for now.

And that was about it for today, we had a small mother-in-law emergency so had to rush off to sort a light bulb! Anyway, looking ahead I still have the door mechanism to finish so I can finish off the door cards and properly close the doors. The gaiters around the hand break and gearnob need to be finished, all the wiring for the dash! Glove box, battery tray and finally theres the inner tunnel needs fibreglassing to seal of the cockpit area. Once that’s all complete I’ll need to get the car ready for its IVA inspection … quite scary how close the could be now, but I guess I’m still a little ways off, just because time is becoming less and less again with work.

Anyway, thats me for today, hope you like how the car’s coming along and looking now, signing out … J

Another day, another few hours spent on the car!

Hello again, I had another good few hours in the garage today, and although it feels like ages in there, it doesn’t actually feel like I achieved a lot today.

I started off by finishing off the front end, attaching the front indicators again, fitting the front grills, drilling a hole for the washer jet (plastic one, prior to IVA) and fixing the windscreen in place once and for all.

Everything was fairly straight forward, the small grills where glued in place and the main grill is held in with self tapping screws. I ended up getting the wife to help on that part because I was having a nightmare with the mesh, getting it to bend where I wanted so the screws would catch it. Once Kat was on the screws, I ducked under the car and pushed and squeezed the mesh into place, 5 mins later and we’re done.

Moving on to the windscreen washer, nothing to it really, drill a hole, insert and tighten! job done. The windscreen is straight forward as well, following the manual I had to drill out one extra hole in the chassis to line up with the windscreen upright and then using some fairly long M8 bolts and load spreading washers I set about fixing it all together. It’s important to note here that the windscreen shouldn’t be under stress, so I managed to squeeze a M10 nut in between the chassis and windscreen mount (similar as the door hinges) on all the bolts. I now had the windscreen escutcheon plates so those were fitted as well.

Below was my set up for setting the correct distance to install the windscreen.

Photo 24-03-2017, 13 59 13 I didn’t have any wood at home so I used a piece of metal I still had lying around, so to be careful I used a couple of rags on the body work and windscreen to help set the correct distance, 870mm from memory. It’s important to get that right so the hood fits after IVA.


With the front done, I had to redo the rear lights, this was after a quick visit to pilgrim and a chat with one of the mechanics, he explained that the rear lights can’t have any movement at all, not even a little bit and luckily they had a car in that had gone through its IVA so I decided to copy their set up for now. You basically wedge the lights inbetween the rear nudge bar and fit to the underside of the chassis via a small piece of steel. Once its all bolted together the lights don’t move at all and it looks ok. I’ve reused the holes in the body for the wires and will decide what to do with them after IVA.

I also wired up the repositioned lights, and had a quick look at wiring all the back end.

Wiring takes time, but I managed to get it set up temporarily together so once I wire up the steering column and I can test it all, oh and then I realised I forgot about the license plate light! So I guess my next venture has to be the wiring on the steering column so I can test all these.

Photo 24-03-2017, 17 57 26 It’s all just a jumbled mess of wires really 🙂 I also ran out of wire today, so I’ll need to get some more before I carry on.

And that’s about it for today, hopefully I’ll get some time over the weekend to look at the wiring more and the rear wings that need fibreglassing, now that should be fun!

Dinner time, have a good weekend all


It has a face!

I had so many good intensions today with getting lots done, and although I sat back and had a look I was and am pleased with progress today, even if I am a little short of where I wanted to be (I’ll explain why in a mo)

But for now …

Photo 17-03-2017, 16 33 52Feast your eyes on this little beauty!

So what did I do today, well, I spent a few good hours rubbing down and polishing the front of the car to get it ready for a good dose of wax after I’ve dug out and repaired all the little gelcoat dips I need to do. I’m still not getting the hand of the polisher tho, on most places its fine, but on other areas I catch the odd hole and it rips the pads to bits, I went through 3 today! No wonder most people get their car painted by someone else! It’s a lot of prep. But it looking good I’d like to think.

Thought I would also finish the bonnet lock handles today as well, which are straight forward, I’d already cut the holes for them, all that was left to do was, fix the handle and put the locking shoe on the bottom. 10mins later after a little adjusting and the bonnet locks tight.

I forgot to take a photo of the locking shoe, so when I get around to it, I’ll do that again later and add it as an update.

Then came the item that took me the rest if not all of the afternoon and I’m sure others have fitted this quickly, I just either didn’t check as I was going or I need to invest in some ratchet spanners! I’m talking about the front nudge bar which for me was a complete faff to fit! Well actually it was quite easy, and if you follow the manual nice and straight forward. My issue came about when I mounted it all together, as careful as I was it was at a slight angle, and on viewing I noticed one side was higher than the other, so off it all came and I began filing and opening the holes that the nudge bar coms through. Making sure I lifted one side and lowered the other. within the whole setup if you tighten the top more than the bottom or vice versa it can help position the front of the nudge bar. Once I was happy with the position I then had to drill 2 8mm holes in the uprights and attached the front section. You can see from the photos how its all set up, although if you follow the manual its pretty straight forward too. After taking the bars out several times and it felt like forever I managed to get a decent alignment that I’m happy with.

Well, that’s it for now, work beckons for the next few days so the car will have remain in the garage until then, hopefully I’ll be picking up a few little bits that will enable me to finish the windscreen, install the washer jet and connect the hoses to the demisters.

Until then I leave you with one more shot of how the car currently looks 🙂

Photo 17-03-2017, 16 32 57

Progress is progress

It feels like ages ago or months maybe that I mentioned I had to fit the speedo sensor … well this evening it happened and as promised I’ve got a set of images to go with what we now have to do or at least it appears that way. By that I mean when I researched how to fit the daisy wheel for calibration of the speedo etc there is plenty of info out there and it looked rather straight forward … oh no wait, after speaking with pilgrim they now do a more accurate way of fixing the speedo sensor which as far as I can tell there’s no documentation on it yet. So after a few chats with them I had an idea of what I needed to do and tonight as I said set about doing it.

First things first you have to attach two very small magnets to the prop shaft, remember this is going to spinning at several thousand revs …. so I decided to drill a small pilot hole that I could sink the magnets into and fill it with some very strong metal adhesive. I ended up using a two part Evo-stick from B&Q which once mixed gives you a few minuets to work with until it goes off. So drill a small hole, fill with glue, carefully place and push the magnet into the hole. I then used a paint brush to ease the glue around the magnet and added a little bit more for good measure. You have to make sure they are 180 degrees apart so for this I just used the stubs on the prop shaft to set them apart. Seems easy enough.

The next step was to fit the little bracket to the diff and align it with the magnets making sure they were approximately 2-3mm away. Having the bracket in two parts works wonders and give you plenty of flexibility to adjust it where needed. All straight forward really. Align the bracket and fit the sensor making sure the position is correct.

Just make sure you connect the bracket with the sensor to the diff so any movement will be picked up together. After that was fitted I feed the wires through some small conduit, fitted to the inside of the tunnel and up through the grearnob hole, which will eventually be fitted to the dash wiring loom. Hopefully thats fairly straight forward for anyone else doing the same sort of approach.

While I was working on the car I thought I’d also get the windscreen wipers sorted, following the manual was straight forward, the only thing I did different was rather than use the mentioned measurement in the manual I measured it myself. Cut the pipe and used a pair of long nose pliers to flare the ends. I did try my flaring tool, but for some reason it didn’t work? but switching to the pilers quickly fixed the issue and it was all together in no time at all.

Nothing difficult there really and once the wiring is all sorted I’ll test it and hope it all works!

Next on the list was the rear lights, or to be more precise the reversing and fog light, I still have to add the reflectors but I currently don’t have those so they’ll have to wait. Now there are from what I can a few ways to do this and it all depends on what you want to do with your car in the end, some people fit them to the nudge bars for the IVA and then change then and remove the fog light etc, however I want my car ready and fit for function all the time so I plan on keeping them both. Now I will most likely change the style of lights because they are rather boxy and not that nice looking really, but otherwise they do the job.

I basically decided to fit them to the body, behind the nudge bar where they will be visible but not cause any problems. Then once through the IVA I’ll simple change them for a different type and fit them in the same position. I’m going to keep them both on the car so I can’t see the problem with it. Might change my mind in the future but for the time being and certainly while I have the car on the road for the first year I want to use it and not keep it in the garage, tinkering! Oh and I realise now after reading the instructions I have lights on the wrong side! I’ll swap the lenses over when I finish wiring them, they are only temporarily fitted for now.

So whats left I hear you say … well seeing as I was on a role, I thought I’d pre-fit the windscreen and see what it all looked like. I can’t fix the windscreen down yet because I don’t have the escutcheon plates, and I still have to make up a measurement guide so the soft top will eventually fit properly which is 870mm long, the manual explains all this really well, It was more a case of quickly positioning it to get an overall look.

Photo 16-03-2017, 21 33 12

So that’s it for now, well for today anyway, I’m going to look at polishing the front of the car tomorrow adjust the windscreen to the correct position and hopefully get the front nudge bar fitted, then if theres time I’ll might even look at the front grills … We’ll see how the time goes, until next time 🙂

Exhausts and more

It’s taken a few days to sort this post, mainly because I wanted to have something to post about! It’s felt like I’d taken 3 steps forward and then 5 steps back and finally moved on 2 again, only to get right back where I started! I’ll put it down to one of those days/weeks! It wasn’t a total waste, I have been pottering around the car, I guess everything’s just taking its time at the moment.

Anyway onto what I’ve been working on … that’ll be the exhausts, after cutting the holes in the body the next step was to fit the exhausts, now these were a little tricky, with the issues compounded a little perhaps because of the exhausts I choose to use. The way they are mounted (with bobbins) means you can’t simply fit a length of steel to the underside of the exhaust to the body. This is because of it creates a step, hmmm what to do!

First you have put the whole thing together, offer it up to the manifolds and level it out against the car, checking gaps etc and making sure it will fit where you want it to fit.

Photo 10-03-2017, 11 45 55 Knew I’d find a use for the donor haynes manual!

With the exhaust level I noticed the brackets already fitted to the exhaust where too long and failing against the body of the car. Out came the angle grinder and the brackets where shortened with new holes drilled. Pre-fit it again and ok, seems to fit better. Next comes the brackets. The bobbins basically fit directly below the exhaust so I had to make a ‘S’ shape bracket. Quick trip to B&Q for some steel and I set about chopping it up in 25cm sections and while in the vice I cold bent the bracket to the shape I needed. I checked it every few hits as the bracket changed shape to make sure I was moulding it correctly.

Once the exhaust was fitted I could take away the jack and check all was good. You can see from the bracket pic the basic shape of the bracket, but I have to say this is slightly different from the other 3! All of them are different and formed to suit their position, but all done in the same manner. The front two I ended up having to angle forward because there was a bolt in the way that fixed the body to the chassis. It’s nice to say they feel stable but with a little bit of flexibility which I’ve read is important so that if there’s any movement when the engine is running/revved it will take the strain, rather than the manifolds.

One thing I should have mentioned actually, is that in order to help stabilise the exhaust when fitting the brackets is to fit the exhaust clamp first. Easy to do, just be careful not to over tighten, I snapped one in half by doing this! thankfully it only cost £2 so it was replaced easily. Just make sure you get the correct size! Oh and also, both the exhaust (which comes in two pieces) and where you fit it to the manifold have to be sealed with special exhaust and heat resistant gum.

Once they were both fitted I connected up the battery and started her up again so I could hear what the car would sounds like with the exhausts on and OMG LOVE IT! You really can’t beat the sounds of the V8 roaring into life.

But that wasn’t all, I had to get a few other bits done as well. So I thought I’d look at the rear nudge bar, mainly because again this needed another set of brackets being made and as I had been doing this most of the day I thought it made sense! I measured up rear nudge bar and marked the position on the body, where I needed to drill through. Double and triple check the measurements before cutting, making sure they were horizontal as well.

The bracket was fairly straight forward, however the bolts through the chassis were not quite so much! Because of where its positioned you have to careful where you drill through to bolt it all down because of the frame under the boot, well unless you have some very long m8 bolts! I ended up moving the boot bracket over by about 1cm to make room. However once it was all fitted I stood back and am very pleased with the outcome. I’m not sure if mentioned before but I also fitted the rear lights making sure to wire in the earth which is all explained in the manual.

Photo 11-03-2017, 17 22 30

So there you go back end all together, all bar the inner wings which I’m leaving until I’ve sorted the body work.

Next up, I want to go around all the brackets and get them painted in black and then I can move on to the passenger door, I’m still not happy with the fit, it needs more adjustment. Once this is done I’m going to look at the front sill and bonnet locks and finally finish off the work I need to do to the front of the body and then the front nudge bar, oh and fit the windscreen … not much really!!!

The list is endless, but now those bits are complete, I feel like I’m a step closer, but that was enough for today, FA Cup looms for me tomorrow so lots to do and sort for that, tie next time 🙂

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 🙂