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 šŸ™‚

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 …


It’s been a while

I think the title says it all really.

With one thing or another the past year has flow by as has the time. But I’ve still had the car sat in the garage gathering dust which is really annoying (especially as summer is approaching again) BUT to be honest I went through what a lot of personal issues and something a lot of amateur builders go through and that just everything get on top of you and it feels like every little issue is a massive one.

Well after feeling so down for a while, I approached Pilgrim to ask for help getting the project finished. Sadly after 1 email they never got back to me, which is a shame. Either way you look at it, customer service should be paramount, in my view anyway! So I took to the UK Cobra forum and the guys on there were very helpful and encouraging, I even had one guy ‘Tony’ who was going to come down and help me. So thanks Tony for the offer but sadly Tony had a fall so it didn’t happen but I wish him a speedy recovery.

With all the encouragement and help from fellow owners and builders alike I decided to take a week off work and get it sorted myself. So there is a plus in all this, I get to finish my car!

OK … on to the build progress.

Quite a few issues to sort out, firstly I had a strong smell of fuel from the boot, which I was informed is quite normal. I had a quick look and noticed the top clip was pinching a little so it may not have had a 100% seal on the cap. Quick rotate, retighten and all was sorted. There were a few pieces of carpet that were coming unstuck too which I managed to re-stick, this time using a special glue spray we used to carpet the VW camper. I should have used this first! Worked so much better.

A few other places in the passenger and driver footwell needed some attention, more sticking the carpets down, easily done with the right glue!

Next step was to swap the front callipers over! Somehow, I managed to put them on the wrong side, so basically the bleed nipples were at the bottom. This turned out to be a easy job, couple of bolts and off they came, quick swap and done! While I had the front wheels off I decide to play a little with the camber of the wheels. I had to wait until the wife came home to re-bleed the brakes, but thats straight forward. I didn’t bother with pics here, because it all looks the same as before.

After this I had to fix a little problem the passenger front light. No idea what was happening here, everything else was working ok, but nothing from one head light. I checked all the fuses, all ok, took the light apart to check the bulbs hadn’t blown and that was ok, so lastly I opened up the conduit to find two of the cables had come apart!? Not sure how that happened but it did, so another quick fix. Once back together I crimped them to ensure a tight fit and placed them back in the conduit and taped it back up.

Then it came to sorting out my leak on the hydraulic clutch. I’ve had this very annoying leak in the footwell, where the clips I was using I just couldn’t get tight enough. I’d also noticed that the hose was touching one of the rocker covers so knowing the IVA is on the horizon I thought I would cut this shorter and re-route it. Pity I waited till now to do this as it made life difficult with everything in the way! However once done, theres now no leak and it looks neater and works better. I ended lifting the clutch reservoir up slightly (by about an inch) which also helped.

The other little job was to place a restrictor in the top hose from the radiator to the expansion tank. I did this before with a piece of plastic where I drilled a small hole through it, but I was never 100% happy with this. So I decided to redo this area by using some good plumbing materials. A flow restrictor with compression connections on to a piece of 2″ copper pipe, all connected and clips together (see picture above) This apparently helps the flow of water go through the radiator rather than through the expansion tank. Hopefully helping keep the engine temp down.

What else was there … oh yes, I had a slight wobble in the steering column so that was adjusted slightly, I also noticed I hadn’t quite tightened the bolts up as it joined the steering arm.

Last but not least! The HT leads were failing on the rocker covers, which from what I understand would be a failure, so I made up some quick brackets to keep them off for now. I’ll find a better solution, or at least one that looks better anyway later. For now, they are off the covers.

Oh I nearly forgot, I also managed to stamp the VIN number I received from the DVLA on the chassis. I used the lower part of the chassis, just in front of the wheel, drivers side to do this. There’s still the VIN plate to go inside the engine bay but I’m waiting for this to come from Pilgrim.

And that was it for the day, very happy with all the progress made. I still have the inner tunnels to fibreglass and seal off, and I need to redo the camber (I did it way to much) and I’m looking at shortening the amount of turning (lock to lock) the steering currently has as it is a fair bit. But I’ll see how it drives first.

So with that lot done, I’ll get on to the tunnels in the next few days, and then all I have left is the IVA to look forward to!

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 55Ā Knew I’d find a use for the donorĀ 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 wasĀ 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 becauseĀ 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 Ā£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 frameĀ 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,Ā but that was enough for today, FA Cup looms for me tomorrow so lots to do and sort for that, tie next time šŸ™‚

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 IĀ marked the position on the body. Using the escutcheonĀ 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 šŸ™‚

Oh Shiny

Not much going on today on the car, I had a lot of other things to sort, but more importantly my exhausts arrived! I decidedĀ to purchase these separate from the one supplied with the kit. But only on the basis that I liked the look of the 4 pipe cluster coming out of the body rather than single one. It’s all at an additional cost but I think in the end it’ll be worth it for my car.

And of course Ash-ka had to get in on the photo for this one! But he adds a sense of scale to it. Thanks to Custom Chrome for these beauties, I think they look awesome

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 šŸ™‚ … 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 preppingĀ 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 secureĀ 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 acceleratorĀ 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 šŸ™‚ (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 headsĀ 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.