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 🙂

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 decided 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 🙂 … 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