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


Usual Thursday evening

Another couple hours out in the garage saw the passenger side rear arm, suspension and brakes all put together. Nothing too difficult here, just needed time and 3 arms (thanks to the wife) to fit it all together and after completing the other side, the steps were the same so things were straight forward … manual, ha who needs it!

Once I had it all together I managed to fit the handbrake properly and test it and to my surprise it all worked! and really well, a little adjustment required to the lever arm but otherwise that works fine. One thing worth noting is how the hand brake cable is attached to the chassis for adjustment. It’s not shown in the manual but when you’re working through it its fairly easy.


While fitting the drum brakes however this time I decided to put them together before fixing them to the axel! It was a lot easier to do this especially fitting the shoes to the plate, the fiddly little spring and pin were no problem doing it this way. Bolt the whole thing together, again new wheel bearing were used and now have a complete back axel.

So next its time to get on with the pedals, hydraulic clutch, fuel pump and brake lines. I might even have a look at the wiring loom before the engine gets here, then again I might not 🙂 we’ll see how things go.

A busy day ahead

Remembered I hadn’t posted a photo of the steering rack, so here you go 🙂

On to the other bits, I decided to fit the steering wheel and arm (or trial fit it, as this will have to come off for the engine to be fitted) I then moved on to the hand brake and cabling, drilled the holes and fitted the roll bar mounts and fitted the petrol tank. The hand brake was a little tricky on my own, you really need some else to hold the bolts on top, I ended up using a pair of mole-grips instead.

Next came the rear diff, this was one part I wasn’t overly looking forward to as I was on my own, I had visions of dropping it on my arm or worse my head! It’s a heavy beast! But with the use of a trolly jack and some wiggling around, temp support in stages I managed to get it up and supported just fine, to be bolted securely to the chassis.

Once it was up, all the bolts were tightened down and it all looks pretty sung. I was pleased to get that one out of the way! After this I decided to carry on with the back end and get one of the suspension arms fitted. This involved quite a bit of work, with the first part sorting the suspension out. Because of the new setup I had to drill through a small but very solid steel block approximately 20mm deep. 2 drills bit broken and in the end my drill over heated and melted the gears inside! I didn’t quite finish the second block, but with one done I thought I’d carry on and get the drivers side finished.

After offering up the arm and bolting it down, fixing the suspension it was time for the drive shafts and then brakes. Drive shaft was nice and simple as I’d already prepared this and on the Sierra model, the driveshaft simply slides straight in. I grabbed the Haynes manual and looked up about the brakes, as the rear are drums, I had ‘NO’ idea on how this was done or what they really looked like. Trial by error and a little bit of guess work I managed to get the first brake on, then realised it was on back to front and changed it! The little springs that hold the structure together were little buggers! fiddly little buggers!

Inserted new wheel bearings into the hub and bolted it all together, I had to release the shoes a little in order to get the drum on, but thanks to Mark who let me know how this was done, so now the other side should be fairly straight forward.

And that’s where I will leave today, on the car at least.

Other news is I put an order in for my engine, I’ve decided to go for a Stage 3 Rover V8, rebuilt and all shiny new! It will come with a new 5 speed gear box, all ready to bolt together and fit into the car. I have a few more pennies to save for the new module which will include the engine bay, so this should give me more or less everything I need to get it started. It’s not due till November so I still have time to finish the back end, run all the brake lines and bleed the system, fit the pedals and hydraulic clutch, run the fuel lines all in prep for the engine’s arrival.

Ended the day on a happy note, feel like I got loads done, but still lots to do.


Tidying up

Time to clean up a few bits and paint.

Starting with the steering arm and suspension brackets, these are new blocks that increase the height of the back end which are required because they have lowered the rating on the suspensions springs to give a more comfortable ride, but at the same time, to stop the wheels from rubbing on the body. (Nothing exciting just a few painted bits)



Next came the diff … umm first things first, this was a bitch to clean! covered in dirt and grime, thick sludge, washed it, cleaned it, used a screw driver to get to real stubborn areas, cleaned again, more washing, wire brushing several times … you get the picture! But finally I got to a point where I was happy I could paint it. I suspended it on axel stands and got to work.

Nothing more exciting here just a painted diff. But it was another necessary stage that I wanted to do to get everything nice and clean before putting on the car. I guess the only extra thing I did as you can from the photos is attached the diff carrier front and rear. Now there has been a lot of comments made on the diff carrier especially when you put more than 300bhp through it. My plans aren’t to put that much in the car yet, mainly due to cost to be honest so this isn’t an area I’m overly worried about for now. There are several posts about people reinforcing the diff, which I might consider in the future, but for now the standard setup will suffice (hopefully)

Because my kit is based on a 1988 ford sierra the diff is only 7″ wide, so as you can in the photo’s there is a large number of spacers on the side of one bolt, basically the diff carrier is designed to fit a number of sizes, mine being the smallest, these are used to ‘fill in’ the gap. Nothing’s done up nice and tight yet, but its all ready to be fitter to the car.

That’s it for now … keep on checking back 🙂

Brakes and stuff

I received a lovely parcel with my new brakes in, popped back to Pilgrim to pick up my heater and collected the ball joints I needed. Painted a few more bits, started cleaning the diff.

I started off fitting the new wheel bearings to the wheel hubs, I didn’t expect this and reading the info on line it appeared quite daunting, putting the hubs and fittings in the oven etc! I was kinda like WHAT! but on starting it, it actually turned out very easy, so that was sorted no issues.

Once I had it all fitted I continued to push them together to get a nice tight fit, all done, lovely jubbly.

Then came fixing the hub to the whisbones and setting the caster and camber. Again with a lot of research online this was fairly easy, everything is very adjustable and they were on in a few minuets (now I had the correct ball joints)

Callipers were next, nice and shiny reconditioned parts. I decided not to bother with using/reconditioning the ones of the donor and instead used a local motor factors and brought them new. My only advice here is who around, some of the prices vary massively and in the end I managed to save nearly ÂŁ200! Using the correct part names makes sure you get the right gear, ebay was good as was a firm called Mister Auto. Brakes is somewhere I didn’t want to skimp on, hence I went from proper recon ones rather than doing them myself.

So brakes on, time was getting late, I thought one more job and I’ll call it a day, steering rack and tie rods temporarily fitted.

It was all starting to look really good and I am pleased and enjoying every minuet building it, here’s then a few shots of where I had got to.

Couple of shots of the passenger side front end.

Passenger front end and servo/master cylinder fitted.

Drivers side and full view of front end.

I think that’s starting to look rather nice, I’ve pre fitted the steering rack and wheel, although this comes off when you put the engine in. I had the pedals left to do and hand brake before I moved on the rear …. soon … hopefully …

Keep checking back 🙂

Front Suspension

Where to begin … Ok, so I might have thought this would have been fairly easy and I was hopping to have got a lot more done, but it’s been a little slow, I’ve made some silly, actually very silly mistakes! but all in all I’m quite happy with the progress considering I haven’t had a proper look at the manual yet! I am male after all 😉

All I’m going to say is Bushes … bloody bushes! OMG they are a bugger to get in, until you know how! Cut to the chase and just use a large socket and bash them in! Job done with a bit of brute force 🙂

Once the bushes were in, it was a case of bolt the upper and lower wishbones to the chassis … first mistake (check ALL the boxes) I used a couple of bolts in the bolt pack, thinking they’ll be long enough, until once I put it together and found they were in fact an inch too short! WTF, lots of cursing and scratching head, followed by an email to the words of am I doing something wrong. Then checked the box for the suspension parts and guess what, a couple of bolts there, the right size, ummm ops! Slotted them in and all sorted. Phew

Bottom wishbone in no problem, just with a few packing washers to make them nice and snug as the manual tells you too. I did, take some of the bolts out and redo, as I wanted to put washes on both Nut and Bolt ends and grease all the bolts that I hadn’t previously, purely because I was waiting for the amazon order to come through (grease thats is) Grabbed the springs, put them together and bolted them to lower wishbone and fitted to chassis. Realised I’d put one on upside down, take it off, turn it over, rebolt and put back on chassis. Then realise I had left the upper wishbone underneath the spring, undo it, move and re-bolt to the chassis again! Ok so I’m no mechanic I think its fair to say I was a little to keen and not paying enough attention, but I got there in the end! Both front suspensions done. Lesson, don’t rush it, it will get done.

One important thing to remember is DO NOT tighten the nuts and bolts on the suspension until you have installed the engine and gear box, rear end etc, so it all sits in the correct position and reduces stress on the bushes.

Again, not looking to bad I think, quite pleased with the progress after a few hours! Both sides done.

REVISION – After fitting the engine I noticed I couldn’t get the exhaust manifolds on for the RV8 so I had to reverse the bolt throughout the top suspension arm. Sliding them in from the back rather than the front (not as shown in the photos) details of this are further on in the blog.

I have a few issues with the upper ball joints, think I have two different sizes, so back to pilgrim to see if i have, until then, this will stop any further on the front for now. Still I have the diff to clean, check and paint etc so plenty to do and hopefully by Tuesday I have all the new brake components as well.


One last shot of today’s work.

Little update, all bushes in now, including the rear diff carrier so glad they are sorted. Off to Pilgrim tomorrow to hopefully pick up my heater and return the upper wishbones for some work to the threads to help ease the upper ball joints in, oh and pick up a new one.

Football tomorrow, so now COB work till later in the week.