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 🙂



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


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.

Umm ops …

Ok, so for anyone who’s following my blog who’s not sure if I have any mechanical knowledge, this next section will put your mind at rest and ensure that I really don’t!! I’m building this kit/project out of pure determination and let say a fair amount of common sense, but honestly even when checking and re-checking little things can still go wrong :/

Thankfully someone (Jim from JRV8) pointed it out and I was able to quickly make the correction and all is well. What I am talking about I hear you ask, well its all to do with the Clutch slave cylinder that attaches to the gearbox. Simple really, I just had it on upside down so while I was bleeding it, it was very difficult to get rid of all the air bubbles and the clutch never really felt quite right. Swap it around and job done, easy mistake to make or at least thats what I’m telling myself. Other than that I’ve been adjusting the shocks to set the suspension up and now I have the body trying to get my right height so that I have 350mm clearance to the underside of the front indicators.

I’ve included a photo of the C-spanner I got of ebay, its adjustable and works like a treat. I’d managed to tighten up the suspension as much as I could by hand but any further and it really wasn’t going to happen. So that makes life so much easier and not really found in your everyday garage! Or at least it wasn’t in mine.

Thats it for tonight, I’ve had my other car in garage for a routine service only to find out I need new shocks and brakes and tyres … oh dear god! thank you 2016!

BUT on a plus and as a little extra, just because I feel like I need to pad this out a little, to further ease your mind and say well just about anyone can build one of these with enough will and patience, below is what else I’ve been up to and well, keeps my busy!

A little montage of a couple of my latest football matches I’ve photographed at.

Mechanic … NO but I can work my way around a camera 🙂 … till next time

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