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 πŸ™‚ 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 …



It’s been a while

I think the title says it all really.

With one thing or another the past year has flow by as has the time. But I’ve still had the car sat in the garage gathering dust which is really annoying (especially as summer is approaching again) BUT to be honest I went through what a lot of personal issues and something a lot of amateur builders go through and that just everything get on top of you and it feels like every little issue is a massive one.

Well after feeling so down for a while, I approached Pilgrim to ask for help getting the project finished. Sadly after 1 email they never got back to me, which is a shame. Either way you look at it, customer service should be paramount, in my view anyway! So I took to the UK Cobra forum and the guys on there were very helpful and encouraging, I even had one guy ‘Tony’ who was going to come down and help me. So thanks Tony for the offer but sadly Tony had a fall so it didn’t happen but I wish him a speedy recovery.

With all the encouragement and help from fellow owners and builders alike I decided to take a week off work and get it sorted myself. So there is a plus in all this, I get to finish my car!

OK … on to the build progress.

Quite a few issues to sort out, firstly I had a strong smell of fuel from the boot, which I was informed is quite normal. I had a quick look and noticed the top clip was pinching a little so it may not have had a 100% seal on the cap. Quick rotate, retighten and all was sorted. There were a few pieces of carpet that were coming unstuck too which I managed to re-stick, this time using a special glue spray we used to carpet the VW camper. I should have used this first! Worked so much better.

A few other places in the passenger and driver footwell needed some attention, more sticking the carpets down, easily done with the right glue!

Next step was to swap the front callipers over! Somehow, I managed to put them on the wrong side, so basically the bleed nipples were at the bottom. This turned out to be a easy job, couple of bolts and off they came, quick swap and done! While I had the front wheels off I decide to play a little with the camber of the wheels. I had to wait until the wife came home to re-bleed the brakes, but thats straight forward. I didn’t bother with pics here, because it all looks the same as before.

After this I had to fix a little problem the passenger front light. No idea what was happening here, everything else was working ok, but nothing from one head light. I checked all the fuses, all ok, took the light apart to check the bulbs hadn’t blown and that was ok, so lastly I opened up the conduit to find two of the cables had come apart!? Not sure how that happened but it did, so another quick fix. Once back together I crimped them to ensure a tight fit and placed them back in the conduit and taped it back up.

Then it came to sorting out my leak on the hydraulic clutch. I’ve had this very annoying leak in the footwell, where the clips I was using I just couldn’t get tight enough. I’d also noticed that the hose was touching one of the rocker covers so knowing the IVA is on the horizon I thought I would cut this shorter and re-route it. Pity I waited till now to do this as it made life difficult with everything in the way! However once done, theres now no leak and it looks neater and works better. I ended lifting the clutch reservoir up slightly (by about an inch) which also helped.

The other little job was to place a restrictor in the top hose from the radiator to the expansion tank. I did this before with a piece of plastic where I drilled a small hole through it, but I was never 100% happy with this. So I decided to redo this area by using some good plumbing materials. A flow restrictor with compression connections on to a piece of 2″ copper pipe, all connected and clips together (see picture above) This apparently helps the flow of water go through the radiator rather than through the expansion tank. Hopefully helping keep the engine temp down.

What else was there … oh yes, I had a slight wobble in the steering column so that was adjusted slightly, I also noticed I hadn’t quite tightened the bolts up as it joined the steering arm.

Last but not least! The HT leads were failing on the rocker covers, which from what I understand would be a failure, so I made up some quick brackets to keep them off for now. I’ll find a better solution, or at least one that looks better anyway later. For now, they are off the covers.

Oh I nearly forgot, I also managed to stamp the VIN number I received from the DVLA on the chassis. I used the lower part of the chassis, just in front of the wheel, drivers side to do this. There’s still the VIN plate to go inside the engine bay but I’m waiting for this to come from Pilgrim.

And that was it for the day, very happy with all the progress made. I still have the inner tunnels to fibreglass and seal off, and I need to redo the camber (I did it way to much) and I’m looking at shortening the amount of turning (lock to lock) the steering currently has as it is a fair bit. But I’ll see how it drives first.

So with that lot done, I’ll get on to the tunnels in the next few days, and then all I have left is the IVA to look forward to!

Winter Update

Sadly nothing to report yet, with one thing and another towards the middle and end of this year, worlds have been turned upside down (mum passing away) and then home situations changed a little (took my motorbike license as another form of transport, LONG STORY, needless to say we had too many vehicles so two cars had to be sold, replaced with one so now the wife and I share that, BUT I wasn’t going to sell the Cobra)

Then I had an unfortunate accident on the bike, thankfully nothing to seriously but its left my right hand (my do everything hand) needing physio and my grip is rubbish, so I literally can’t complete the work on the car currently with one hand! Hence she still sits in the garage gathering dust waiting to be completed, I’m gutted about that, but little I can do currently.

As soon as I can, and its not far from the IVA really I’ll be able to get that sorted and let you know how it all goes, the pit falls, how the car performed getting through, if it gets through of course, any niggles and things I can help with. HOPEFULLY!

Sorry for those who were waiting to see how it finishes, you’ll have to wait a little longer … Thank you

Update …

Hi all, firstly I should apologise for being absent as it’s been quite a while since my last post and secondly I should give you an update on where the build is.

So after the Kit car show, I left the car with Pilgrim and had them check and finish the dashboard for me. We weren’t overly happy with how we’d done the work, and my electrical skills are sketchy at best so this seemed like a good option to get it professional done. I said there was no hurry and as such I’ve only just got the car back recently, so it sitting pretty in the garage at the moment.

There’s a few items I NEED to get sorted which they’ve let me know about, brakes and steering rack need some attention but slightly more frustrating are some of the lights aren’t working now, which were when I gave them the car! and the VIN number I asked to be stamped on, wasn’t. Not really big issues but sometimes its the little things that make a big difference, but not so in this case. It shouldn’t take to long I hope and then shes more or less ready for the IVA. The only issue I have currently is getting those little bits done, time wise and cost. The money pot is finally empty :/ needs must currently so the car has had to be covered up and it looks like it wont be ready for the summer now which is annoying.

If things change you will see me post again and once I’ve fixed the parts I need to, that should hopefully make it drive better, we’ll see.

I wasn’t going to post this but actually it kinda helps talking about, my mum’s been diagnosed with a form of stage 4 blood cancer, so she’s really not good at the moment. This has kinda put hold on a lot of things at home and life for one reason or another has changed at home. So I’m struggling to find the motivation currently, I’m sure it will return but for now please bare with me … Thanks

Until next time … J

National Kit Car Show

What I can I say about the National Kit Car show, wow what an awesome day in a very surreal kinda way! Let me explain ..

So I had agreed to lend my car to Pilgrim so they could put it on display as part of their modular build program so people could see what an amateur built car looked like along with a few details about myself ,which was again to show that if you really wanted a cobra YOU could build this car with little mechanical knowledge. I had a quick look around and saw most were factory built cars and obviously looked amazing but that’s what I’d expect from a professional built car after all. So having my car there was a novel approach which from the news I received form Sundays show was it was going down very well and everybody loved the car.

Of course I didn’t know this for sure until I went there on today (Monday) and I have to say the people I spoke to and the response I’d heard, that and the with the amount of people taking photos of my car some what over whelming, so right now from me, If I saw you there then I want to say a HUGE thank you, so many lovely kind words and a lot of congratulations etc … it was amazing to see and think the car I’d built was getting this much attention. And the best thing of all, everyone loved the colour scheme and thought it worked really well πŸ™‚ So whats not to be happy about right now! An awesome day!

Oh I also got meet Fuzz from Car SOS who was also very nice and complimentary about my build. Thats pretty awesome as well to be fair πŸ™‚

You’ll have to excuse the photos of me, I look like a right plonker, but hey that’s why I usually stay behind the camera, much safer and happier there πŸ˜‰

And there she is, looking awesome, Pilgrim thankfully did a little more detailing on the body work for me, I was going to get someone to polish her up better than I could but they’ve done a very nice job.

Well if you paid a visit to Stoneleigh I hope you had a great visit, and if you passed Pilgrim and saw my car, let me know, I’d love to hear what you thought. If you’re thinking of building one, then seriously have a look at the modular build, its a nice affordable way to build your car with 5 star unbeatable customer service during the build and beyond … once you do, you won’t stop smiling πŸ™‚

I’ll keep you posted on the next step, once I get her back and hear from the DVLA.


Ok, so today I can now share my news with you all, if you’re heading to the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh ( next weekend, Sun 30th – Mon 1st 2017 (incase anyone reads this weeks, months or years from now please note the date) then you’ll obviously have an amazing time, its looks awesome, BUT you’ll also get to see my car on the Pilgrim stand, the modules I’ve built it from, how and I’ll even be there on the Monday, so if you’re coming please pop by and say hi. Happy to talk to anyone about my experiences and the build etc of my car.

But I had to say good bye to the car today as Pilgrim have taken it week early to help sort preparations out for their stand, which by the sounds of it will feature customers cars this year, which I think is great. Seeing factory built cars is wonderful, but you know they’re gonna look awesome they’re built by pro’s, so seeing an amateur build will hopefully spur a few people on who aren’t sure if they can or should to give it a go. And trust me it took me a while to decide if I should take the plunge, then 7 months ago and now when I look at what I’ve built and today I drove it out of the garage under its own fuel! it was so so cool πŸ™‚

There is she is, off out on the road and off to Stoneleigh next weekend.

I’m a stones throw away from IVA now, were almost there, this weeks gonna be a little strange as I don’t have anything to do in the garage, but to be fair I’m away all weekend at the FA Cup semi finals, then away for a couple of days with the wife, more football and work, so I actually wouldn’t have any time this week … so what am I worried about!

So in short, if you’re going to the national kit car show on the sunday pop over to pilgrim and check the car, kit etc out or if you’re going Monday, come over and say Hi, I’ll be the guy standing around, big grin not knowing whats going on … more than likely πŸ™‚



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 37Β Theres the finished article, I have to say I do like the orange trim πŸ™‚

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.