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 🙂


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


It has a face!

I had so many good intensions today with getting lots done, and although I sat back and had a look I was and am pleased with progress today, even if I am a little short of where I wanted to be (I’ll explain why in a mo)

But for now …

Photo 17-03-2017, 16 33 52Feast your eyes on this little beauty!

So what did I do today, well, I spent a few good hours rubbing down and polishing the front of the car to get it ready for a good dose of wax after I’ve dug out and repaired all the little gelcoat dips I need to do. I’m still not getting the hand of the polisher tho, on most places its fine, but on other areas I catch the odd hole and it rips the pads to bits, I went through 3 today! No wonder most people get their car painted by someone else! It’s a lot of prep. But it looking good I’d like to think.

Thought I would also finish the bonnet lock handles today as well, which are straight forward, I’d already cut the holes for them, all that was left to do was, fix the handle and put the locking shoe on the bottom. 10mins later after a little adjusting and the bonnet locks tight.

I forgot to take a photo of the locking shoe, so when I get around to it, I’ll do that again later and add it as an update.

Then came the item that took me the rest if not all of the afternoon and I’m sure others have fitted this quickly, I just either didn’t check as I was going or I need to invest in some ratchet spanners! I’m talking about the front nudge bar which for me was a complete faff to fit! Well actually it was quite easy, and if you follow the manual nice and straight forward. My issue came about when I mounted it all together, as careful as I was it was at a slight angle, and on viewing I noticed one side was higher than the other, so off it all came and I began filing and opening the holes that the nudge bar coms through. Making sure I lifted one side and lowered the other. within the whole setup if you tighten the top more than the bottom or vice versa it can help position the front of the nudge bar. Once I was happy with the position I then had to drill 2 8mm holes in the uprights and attached the front section. You can see from the photos how its all set up, although if you follow the manual its pretty straight forward too. After taking the bars out several times and it felt like forever I managed to get a decent alignment that I’m happy with.

Well, that’s it for now, work beckons for the next few days so the car will have remain in the garage until then, hopefully I’ll be picking up a few little bits that will enable me to finish the windscreen, install the washer jet and connect the hoses to the demisters.

Until then I leave you with one more shot of how the car currently looks 🙂

Photo 17-03-2017, 16 32 57

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 🙂

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 ÂŁ2 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 🙂