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 🙂

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 …



I hate wiring!

I’m sure I’ve said this before but I really do hate wiring and I think at the moment just the simple parts have set me back several days, which doesn’t sounds like much granted, but still, it’s annoying and I should be further ahead than I am.

This is the reason why I haven’t updated anything lately because I’ve been busy trying to solve some issues I was having. Thankfully Mike at Pilgrim was able to talk me through most of it and how I could test certain circuits to see what should have power when the ignition was in position 1 and 2 etc. There was a lot of head scratching because I had fuses blowing that shouldn’t have, no power to the back end and no hazards/indicators! SO quite a bit really!

My biggest problem was I read the haynes manual wrong and assumed I needed a wire that was already attached to the donor switches but not mentioned in the pilgrim loom. WRONG! ignore all the old wiring and just connect up the correct pilgrim colours to the pin numbers (again I’m sure I’ve said this) But on this occasion I had an extra cable which was an earth, assuming I’d need it, connected and that’s where a lot of problems occurred! Mike thankfully explain what I needed to remove and why, plus he tested my switches for me and confirmed they were working as they should, and talked me through other tests I could do to test the circuit etc.

BUT despite all this I was still having fuses blow, I even swapped a few wires in the rear lights which temporarily fixed the problem. Yes I thought, I have power to rear lights, happy days, but then when I looked at the brake lights they weren’t working! more head scratching until (again with the help of Mike) and more testing I isolated the problem to one of my rear lights. Basically one of the small connectors inside was touching the metal of the surround slightly causing an earth, so every time I connected the battery and tested my side lights, the fuse blew! Makes sense now! SO that was taken apart and fixed, and then once everything was put back together, OMG I had side lights, front and rear lights, number plate and brake lights, YES finally I can move on 🙂 so happy right now!

I tested the wiper motor and that all works and wired up the mini heater to test and that works too. Phew, so many problems but none really that anyone with an ounce of common sense in wiring would be able to fix, a little bit of knowledge and being methodical in testing all the wiring would probably have helped but I get flustered to easy and think its the end of the world! haha I make my self laugh!

Anyway, back on with the build, once I had everything working the way I should do, it was time to tidy up the wiring, put it all in conduit and fix it to the chassis/body. Neat and tidy is the way, which I think I have done. Both rear and front end have now been sorted. I’ll need more conduit to finish off the column and dash area and my flasher relay was dud so new one on order, but for now It’s time to get on with finishing the doors and fibreglassing the rear end!

Photos above – Nothing really exciting, just my finished wiring.

Not sure how much I’ll get done this week, busy week at work, but next opportunity I get, I’ll keep you updated on whats new.

Steering wheel wiring

OK, so today was the toughest day on the build so far, for me anyway. I should point out, this is from my point of view, I know others on their build have done this easy, but for me this is my nemesis! The time had come to finally tackle the wiring on the steering rack for all the lights. It was a horrible task and one I’d not been looking forward too. From what took me most if not all of the day, a lot of oh fu** and head scratching/banging I can honestly say despite all the stress when you get into it and follow things methodically, it does actually all make sense.

Why oh why does electrics worry me so, when to others its so easy, no idea and I almost, almost gave up and called someone in to sort it! But after a quick chat to a fellow builder Nigel (Huge thanks) and a quick call to Pilgrim to ease my woes (and lets face, we never want to admit we need help) I was back on track … but what happened? and for anyone in my position I hope this will help shed a little light on what to do …

This is how I finally got around to it;

Firstly when you’re taking the steering column wiring apart, DON’T and by that I mean, actually use the existing connectors and just trim back the wire and connect it to the pilgrim loom. When you’ve laid the loom over the car there are basically 4 groups of wires that lay either side of the steering rack (convenient huh) these are what you’ll be using to connect everything up with. Then ignore the colours on the existing wiring and actually take off the plugs to reveal the pins behind, these will have a set of number/letters by them. I took a few photos and then drew up a diagram so I could easily refer to them. In the additional wiring loom instructions (there’s been improvements) basically match up the pilgrim colour wire within the correct group of wire (i.e. if the plug needs 4 wires, use the group with 4 wires in) to the correct pin number. You only have to trim the end of the existing wires as the pilgrim loom already comes with connections to slot into and crimp. Go through each terminal, one at a time, making sure to link the 4 pin terminal with the group of 4 wires on the correct side and so on, it really is as straight forward as that (weirdly) it just looks a lot scarier, to me anyway!

After writing it down and seeing how its done, it actually makes perfect sense and I can’t believe it took me all day and nearly broke me, but I pushed through and came out the other end! Of course once I test it and if it doesn’t work I’ll be throwing myself on the floor and having an tantrum like a 2yr old! But you’ll have to wait and see on that one!

These are photos of the steering rack wired up (not tidied up yet) and the pin diagram I drew, I’m not sure if these are all the same, but I’d guess not, so it would be worth doing the same to yours to check before connecting everything up.

And here are a couple of photos of the pins showing their references (excuse the dirt, I haven’t cleaned that area yet)

There you go, not a lot really, but I did tidy up the back end and connect all the earth wires to their points on the chassis. I’m missing a relay and fog controller so I can’t fully test the lights until I have these, which should be by Friday, that’s the next day I’ll be working on the car. Oh and my interior has arrived at Pilgrim HQ, so I’ll be picking up the last module then, I can’t wait to see it.

Oh I forgot to add, the other bits of wiring for the earth terminals and connecting up the washer motor. I had an additional wire in terminal 4 which was labelled ‘W’ this turned out to be an earth, which I connected to plug on the steering rack, basically above it and the second tab there I connect directly to the chassis. This should complete all the earth points I need. The Haynes manual for the donor car told me this and was a good reference to check the pin and colours on the existing loom, when connecting it all up. Yes I looked through the wiring diagrams with a blank look on my face for most of it, but eventually found the right diagram and the pin numbers I needed, all grouped together … Little bit at a time!

There is an additional sheet in the instructions regarding the washer motor as to what is connected where, I missed it, had a panic, spoke to pilgrim and then found it! I think my stress levels were running high at the time, hence missing the obvious right in front of you!

I also meant to add, along with the wiring I fitted the ducting for the mini-heater and demister vents. I ended up using long screws to go down through the body and into the plastic vents, pulling them tight into the underside of the body. I also used glue/sealant to seal it under the body. The ducting was then glued and held tightly in place with clips to the vents and the heater.

Another day, another few hours spent on the car!

Hello again, I had another good few hours in the garage today, and although it feels like ages in there, it doesn’t actually feel like I achieved a lot today.

I started off by finishing off the front end, attaching the front indicators again, fitting the front grills, drilling a hole for the washer jet (plastic one, prior to IVA) and fixing the windscreen in place once and for all.

Everything was fairly straight forward, the small grills where glued in place and the main grill is held in with self tapping screws. I ended up getting the wife to help on that part because I was having a nightmare with the mesh, getting it to bend where I wanted so the screws would catch it. Once Kat was on the screws, I ducked under the car and pushed and squeezed the mesh into place, 5 mins later and we’re done.

Moving on to the windscreen washer, nothing to it really, drill a hole, insert and tighten! job done. The windscreen is straight forward as well, following the manual I had to drill out one extra hole in the chassis to line up with the windscreen upright and then using some fairly long M8 bolts and load spreading washers I set about fixing it all together. It’s important to note here that the windscreen shouldn’t be under stress, so I managed to squeeze a M10 nut in between the chassis and windscreen mount (similar as the door hinges) on all the bolts. I now had the windscreen escutcheon plates so those were fitted as well.

Below was my set up for setting the correct distance to install the windscreen.

Photo 24-03-2017, 13 59 13 I didn’t have any wood at home so I used a piece of metal I still had lying around, so to be careful I used a couple of rags on the body work and windscreen to help set the correct distance, 870mm from memory. It’s important to get that right so the hood fits after IVA.


With the front done, I had to redo the rear lights, this was after a quick visit to pilgrim and a chat with one of the mechanics, he explained that the rear lights can’t have any movement at all, not even a little bit and luckily they had a car in that had gone through its IVA so I decided to copy their set up for now. You basically wedge the lights inbetween the rear nudge bar and fit to the underside of the chassis via a small piece of steel. Once its all bolted together the lights don’t move at all and it looks ok. I’ve reused the holes in the body for the wires and will decide what to do with them after IVA.

I also wired up the repositioned lights, and had a quick look at wiring all the back end.

Wiring takes time, but I managed to get it set up temporarily together so once I wire up the steering column and I can test it all, oh and then I realised I forgot about the license plate light! So I guess my next venture has to be the wiring on the steering column so I can test all these.

Photo 24-03-2017, 17 57 26 It’s all just a jumbled mess of wires really 🙂 I also ran out of wire today, so I’ll need to get some more before I carry on.

And that’s about it for today, hopefully I’ll get some time over the weekend to look at the wiring more and the rear wings that need fibreglassing, now that should be fun!

Dinner time, have a good weekend all


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 🙂

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



More wiring!

It feels like theres not a lot to report at the moment, every minute turns into an hour and that turns in 4, I turn around, pack stuff away and look back at what I’ve done for the day and think OH! is that it! It sounds weird but the whole project/build is progressing, so its all the little bits of tidying up, connecting up more wires, cutting to length, stripping them, crimping and fixing to the chassis in a what I think is a fairly nice and tidy route. Each wire and route just takes time to be honest, once I got my head around certain aspects it was fairly straight forward, logical and if you just take you time, eventually it all goes where it should and looks good.

So to recap the wiring loom was laid over the chassis, the fuse boxes and relays fitted in the footwell, the wiring in the engine bay has all be laid out, put in conduit, fixed to the chassis and all engine parts connected (Starter motor, battery, oil pressure sender, and switch, water temperature, horn, fan switch, coil, dizzy and washer bottle to name a few)

Ive also, fitted the the clutch to the gear box, just need to fill it and bleed and then thats done.

I’ve also finished wiring up the fuel tank (sender and pump) making sure you earth where necessary of course. The wiring loom here actually stops short, I guess because of the different options etc so you need to use the supplied wire or some of that you actually cut off and run the wires to the appropriate connector. All put in conduit and fixed to the chassis and tank via little sticky block and cable ties.

ADDITION – Please note and see future post regarding the Gearbox slave cylinder is mounted here upside down!

And finally or almost finally, I wired up the ignition this evening, oh and I nearly forgot I ran the final heater hoses through the bulk head, connected to engine and mini heater. Anyway back to the ignition, which was to be fair quite a scary moment because I had to CUT off the existing sierra connector, put new ends on all the wires and place them in a block, then connect it to the loom, once I’d checked what was what it all went together no bother, just double checked everything and all was good.

So what do I have left to do, I need one jubilee clip because I don’t have one the correct size for one of the heater hoses, fill the hydraulic clutch and bleed it, I had one slight leak on a calliper so this has been sorted, I just need to bleed that brake. Fill the engine/rad with water and coolant and then get some petrol in the tank and umm, try to fire it up! SO with any luck tomorrow will be the day the engine runs … hopefully, I’ll put another blog tomorrow if all goes well. Wish me luck