Last few bits

This is it, I’m almost at the finish line, just a few more bits to do. Enough chit chat today lets get straight into the next piece of work.

At some point you need to reinforce the tunnels fixing the chassis to the body, it helps with keeping it stable apparently. So with this in mind the manual says to use ply wood, however I decided because I love fibreglassing I would do that instead! First off I measured the gap, cut up and moulded some wire mesh to fit. Positioned this in the tunnel which was fairly fiddly and left my arms looking like I’d been attacked by a pack of hungry cats!


Anyway once the mesh was in and fixed I fibreglassed it in place, another very messy job and tricky with everything in the way but not impossible. Once Id’ built up enough layers of fibreglass I left it to go off and then painted it black with the same paint I used on the rest of the car (rear inner wings etc) just as another level of protection really. Once the inner front wheel arches are in you won’t even see that area.

OK, next item was something I found out about which is required for an IVA pass. It’s not in the manual anywhere so thankfully someone mentioned it otherwise that would have been very annoying! So what is it you ask, well, you have blank off the area in the passenger footwell next to the mini-heater so that in the event of a problem with the water pipes your passenger doesn’t get sprayed with hot water! Safety first

I asked the question at Pilgrim and had no response so I went online on the cobra forum and got my answer almost immediately! I have to say if you need to know anything, get stuck or have an issue, ask online. Theres some very knowledgeable people on there, always happy to help.

Right, back to the issue at hand. Firstly I made a cardboard template of what the shield needed to look like. Then (luckily) I had some aluminium left over which I cut up, moulded and made as my template. Once that was done, I covered it with black fabric, drilled the holed through to the chassis and bolted it in place … done!


Consider you won’t ever actually see this, its functional and fixed in place, all IVA ready … hang on … ALL IVA READY! Yes, well almost yes, I’m waiting on the VIN plate from Pilgrim but thats it. The car is done, the forms are filled in and I’m ready.

Other than this, all I have to sort with the car is to over come an overheating issue I’m currently having. Hopefully this won’t be to much of an issue but apparently its quite a usual one for the Sumo. I’ll keep you posted once I know more.


I was told to check several things, including the expansion tank, restrictor valve, water levels, ensure all the air is out of the system etc and that the fan is blowing in the correct direction! … Guess what, the fan wasn’t. Who knew you could wire it incorrectly. Swapping the wires over has seemed to have fixed the issue tho 🙂 It was running for a longer period at around 90deg as apposed to the other day when it went up to 120deg! … Problem solved!

Until then, I also managed to get the car out of the garage for a clean …



Waiting Game now!

If you’re sat there reading this and considering a build or even part way through etc (obviously hope you find this helpful) but anyway, I decided to start looking at what I need to do for the IVA and found out today I have to apply to the DVLA for a new VIN number which could take weeks, maybe as long as 4! So when you’re approaching the end of tour build give yourself plenty of time to get things ready and get all the ducks in a row as they say. So today I contacted the DVLA and started the process, I’m hoping it will be quick, fingers crossed because once I have that I can fill in the IVA form and get that under way too. Seems kinda scary and exciting all at the same time, its so close to becoming a reality of actually driving my own car!

Anyway time is quite limited at the moment but there’s still quite a few things to do, so this evening I set about finishing off the door cards and handles etc. After I’d finally managed to get the mechanisms working, with a combination of clips and cables I decided to use industrial velcro to keep the door cards on so theres no screws being shown, although I’m not impressed with them at the moment, as they haven’t stuck as good as I thought, so I might go back to screwing them in, but for now they’ll do. It’ll be a modification at some point perhaps!

Photo 20-04-2017, 20 53 37 Theres the finished article, I have to say I do like the orange trim 🙂

Next on the menu was the handbrake and gear nob gaiters, these are all straight forward really, mark the holes, drill the holes, screw in and just make sure the gaiters are secured under the plates, done! Well, almost, the only thing I can’t figure out right now is how they attach to either the handbrake or gear stick!? Very confused at this at the moment, so although I think they look good attached they aren’t secured at the top. Not sure if thats an issue or not currently.

I’ve also got to sort the glove box out, which at the moment one of my air ducts is in the way! Hmmm, perhaps having to wait a few weeks will give me time to think about the solutions to these.

Well, thats another evening out of the way and few little bits done.

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.

Please note, after this dash I found out the the 12v wasn’t IVA friendly and I wasn’t happy with the first attempt to cover it. So it was redone and the 12v was actually positioned behind the dash on the passenger side. Easily accessible but hidden.

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

Carpets and seats … almost!

Well, I didn’t quite get everything done I wanted too during my days off, I was held up a little this morning after the dogs had a little spat and our new foster was left feeling sorry for herself. So I thought I’d better stay with them for a couple hours to make sure things were ok.

Once that was done, it was back to the car and on with the interior. The next thing I wanted to get sorted was the seat belts. It all makes perfect sense straight out of the box, the only things I didn’t have were anymore 7/16 nylon nuts, and I needed 6! oh bugger! thankfully I found a motor factors nearby who stocked them. Paid them visit along with B&Q for a couple of 50mm square load spreading plates (Rounded edges, possible new IVA rule coming into play) and then back to the car. I then set about making up the seat belts and oh no wait, the attachments in the top of the car holes were too small! I’d pre-drilled the holes so I could get to them once the body was fitted, but the washers that come with the kit were a lot bigger, basically the top mount should be sunk into the body, so you need to drill a bigger hole! I ended up using a small 2.5mm drill bit and making lots of tiny holes and finally breaking them in together to form one big hole! Once that was done the top mounts fitted fine. I’ve put together the rest of the pieces but haven’t attached to the car yet.

Photo 13-04-2017, 21 58 32

I wasn’t sure about them at first but now they are fitted, they look alright actually, I haven’t tighten then up yet, thats for another day.

And as you can see by the little teaser pic above, I have also installed the carpet set and pre-fitted the seats. Firstly I decide to finish the boot, which is fairly straight forward, its come in 3 pieces, One main piece to cover the floor and two side pieces that cover the rear wheel arches that I painted all nice! oh well! To fix this to the boot floor I used a combination of Compact spray glue and some carpet double sided tape which worked a treat. Theres a little bit of trimming and folding here and there, but all in all its a pretty decent fit and straight forward.

Next came the cockpit area, and there are loads of pieces of carpet to sort through and fit, once laid out they look like a right mess, BUT as you start laying them down in the car, you can start to see how they all go together, which ones overlap the others so you end up with a nice even finish. After I pre-fitted the carpet set, I took it all out and then one by one, stuck each piece back into place. Again using a mix of spray glue and tape to fit it all in. You can now see the custom colours and stitching I had done to compliment my choice of colour scheme for the car. Needless to say I think it will be one of a kind 🙂 My kind of car!

Thats a great thing about getting the set from Pilgrim as part of the module set, you can practically customise it to however you want it to look. The orange piping and cross hatched stitching on the seats are custom as is the cross hatch leather tunnel and rear padding. I decided to keep the stitching in those to black tho, as I didn’t want to over do the orange!

You’ll note the gaiters haven’t been fitted and there’s still no dash, this is in progress, I only have one pair of hands.

Oh I nearly forgot, in order to fit the seats, after I had fitted the runners to the bottom of the seat with some M8 bolts (seems they have a different set up now compared to the manual) I drew up a template in cardboard and marked the positions of the bolts. I then transferred this to the chassis floor, marked it out and drilled the holes. Once that was done I tried the seats again and thankfully managed to line them up alright … on the passengers side anyway. On the drivers side, the floorpan was slightly bowed, so the bolts didn’t reach the floor!! oh no whats happened. Well nothing major, with the galvanisation of sheet metal it can warp and distort slightly, so to fix this I used a straight piece of metal under floor and jacked it up to a position where I could then get the bolts through the floor, job done. I haven’t finally fitted the seat down yet, as it was getting late.

So next time I can get out into the garage I’ll get the seat belts fitted and the seats bolted down to the floor pan. I’ve then got the gaiters around the hand break and gear stick to fit along with the dash and tiding up the electrics, still a way to go BUT …

… So close now …. till next time

Almost there

Another day in the garage saw a bit more progress, after waiting for the fibreglass to dry and harden I got out the underseal and painted over all the fibreglass in the cockpit area, in the boot and under the rear wheel arches. Once that was done, I had to leave the car alone for a while to let that dry! all this waiting around is getting to me!

Once done, I fitted the door sill and went around the rest of the cockpit area sealing all the holes, making it watertight (hopefully)

Doesn’t seem like much and there was a lot of waiting and popping out down the shops for dog food! Feeding 4 huskies takes a lot of food!

Ok so the other bit I got stuck into today was the dashboard, which there is actually a fair bit to do, more cutting holes for all the dials, switches and lights. Annoyingly the hole cutter I had was either to big or to small, so I went for the small one and then used a rounded file to enlarge all the holes big enough to fit the dials … I also managed to rope Kat into helping as she’s going to finish the dash off for me and cover it 🙂 leaves me free to get the seats, belts and hopefully carpet fitted, plus a little tiding up to do on the electrics I’ve already done.

Photo 12-04-2017, 18 49 59

Again thats it for today, rough day today hopefully on to better things tomorrow

Signing off

My new love, Fibreglassing!

It’s been a very busy week, the hours I thought and planned had disappeared until yesterday, when I thought ok it was time to fit the rear inner and cockpit wings. They’re not a bad fit straight out of the bag, you have to do a little bit of trimming especially around the door, but otherwise you can pretty much see where they go and the manual tells you this anyway.

The rear wings once I’d trimmed where I needed, I riveted to the chassis to hold it in place where I could, the manual is slightly different as it shows rivets in different places which simply aren’t possible on the mkiii chassis. So choose a position and fit it on. Fairly straight forward fixing both sides and then the inner panels in the cockpit area are a simple fit, trim around the door for the door sill to fit flush too and then rivet to the chassis again. I also fixed this to the body where I could to extra strength.

I also used some contact glue just around the seal for good measure as you can see in the last pic, I used a couple of clamps to hold it tight. The next step is to fibreglass over the gaps to create a waterproof and secure cockpit and watertight boot space.

In practise this is actually quite a straight forward process … just a messy one! So cover what you don’t want plastered in resin! I don’t know if you need to but I glassed the outer edge and inner edges of the boot.

This shows the first coat of fibreglass going on, which will later receive a second coat and finally painted with underseal for added protection. Any extra little gaps will be filled with silkaflex prior to the carpet being fitted … yes I have my carpet now 🙂

The inner cockpit area wings were much the same …

It doesn’t look pretty, but again this will be painted, holes sealed and finally covered with the carpet and seats etc. But all in all a successful job done, finally finishing at about 9.30pm … it was a late one.

Oh I nearly forgot, I also got around to fitting the door mechanism and handle. This was a little more fiddly as you have to cut another hole in the door for the latch to lock into etc. I used a piece of paper to draw a template so I knew where I had to drill the holes to bolt the latch to the inside of the door. Offered up the door hook I guess its called?!? and marked the position on the chassis. Drilled and bolted into place with a little bit of adjustment. Drivers side was almost a perfect fit, passengers needed a couple of washers to separate it from the body to lock properly.

I should also say I used my door cards to position the handles correctly so they come through the already pre-made holes. I’m not sure how I’m going to get this to work yet, but I’m they’ll be a way to do so.

That was it for now, onto painting and sealing the cockpit ready for carpeting etc 🙂