Still going…

It doesn’t feel like it’s been six months but looking at my last post it was back in October!

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Spot the difference

What 3 posts in less than 2 weeks!  Shock horror but I managed to slip away to the garage for another few hours this afternoon!

You may not be able to tell at first glance but the pictures below are very satisfying!


The pipes are hanging there without the heater and any blocks of wood propping them in place! 🙂 Woo Hoo!  What should have been a quick job with two holes to drill for the passenger side bracket turned into a bit of a pig as my drill bit that I use to do the pilot hole snapped in the hole and I couldn’t get it out.  The only way I found, in the end, was to blunt another three bits with brute force and drill the drill.  I now need to buy a few replacement bits but it makes me happy that the side pipes are now in place with all the gaps symmetrical on each side thanks to the rubber head of a rubber screwdriver for hand gap gauging.

The next job I thought I’d tackle was adding the hinges to the boot. It’s being lying in place for what’s most likely several years but I’ve never added the hinges.  With this new found gusto I’m on a mission to use up all the parts I’ve bought in the past before buying any more.  Hopefully this will mean that the garage naturally tidies itself in the process!  We’ll after re-introducing the second hoop, lots of measuring and marking and tying a string in place on the nose and waiting it using a lump of wood at the back all the centre lines  have been marked but there seems to be one minor issue…  …I’m not sure that I ever bought the rear hinges. Doh!  At the time my idea was to have a hidden hinge at the back but I’m not sure I have the skill to achieve this and Dax and DB don’t seem to sell a kit that I can buy that would achieve what I’m after so it’s back the traditional external hinges.  I’l leave things marked up for now and hope as the garage starts to tidy itself a bag of hinges will appear or I’ll confirm that I don’t have them and get some ordered.

Lastly, the oil cooler has been bolted in place.  Coated with some foam shock dampening tape on the bottom and with the aid of the centre line it’s been bolted to the Cobra’s fireglass nose.  I wasn’t sure that this would be acceptable but after looking at a few “in-progress” builds at the Dax garage a few weeks ago this is exactly how they have done it so it just leaves things to be plumbed in now to move the engine bay area forward.

Till next time…

Build Time : 220 Hours (possibly)


What a difference a few bolts make! The doors are on, plus one side pipe is mounted at the rear to the chassis (just not on the pics) and the other is ready for mounting.

The bolts of the door hinges are a pig to tighten because of the limited space within the door and because the studs are sooooo long meaning you spend more time in that limited space grating your knuckles for as long as possible. I chopped one set down to ease the pain but I could have taken another 10mm off the stud happily. In the end a 13m angular rachet spanner made the job more bareable.

Cutting a 3mm steel bar into small sections and sticking them around the door opening provided some simple consistent spacing to sit each door on and with a little bit of sanding for the drivers door both lined up with suprisingly little pain.

One top tip for those that buy their exhaust pipes from the good man that is Dave Brooks – your rear brackets, bobbins and bolts are packed inside one of the pipes! Mine fell out as I fitted the second side pipe and I’d shelled out money for the bits from Dax! Doh!!

Build time: Another six hours on…

Less faffing, more doing

The pedal box and brake servo have finally been fixed properly in place which involved being upside down for a good hour or so, dropping more nuts than I care to say and with my head stuck in fibreglass dust which is super itchy! After lots of taping for the head of the bolts on the engine bay side to try hold them in place (it really would be easier as a two-man job), trying to thread the nuts on upside down in the foot well with a sprinkling of cursing to help get things into place the job was done. All frustrating stuff but equally rewarding knowing that another bit is done.

The next jump forward was the final fitting of the gearbox to the engine. This had stood beside the car for sometime “looking” ready but there were two holes that needed bolts in place to get he bottom of the gravel shield fixed to the box.  The engine has a “special” oil sump which mean that there was no space to use the standard cap bolts so it had sat like this for a few months (12?) before I managed to cut some studs and set them in place using some good strength Loctite.  Another job needing expert skills in wriggling your fingers in small spaces to slip a nut into place as the box and the engine were mated whilst balancing the gravel shield in the right position.

With the gearbox mated properly to the engine, the side vent studs were glass’d in to the body to create a stronger bond for fitting of the side vents than the worth adhesive that I had used a few months earlier but had proven to be a little badly done, or just weak.

With much if the engine bay work completed and a new birthday present of a hoist level I trial lifted the engine on the scaffolding gantry (built about a year and a bit ago!)  That seemed all fairly simple and as it was working as planned I decided to have a go at getting the block in to place.  Surprisingly enough one of those jobs that I’d worried about my ability to do was fairly painless and after a couple of hours, or even possibly less, it was in! The gantry rolled well over the engine bay allowing the block to be manoeuvred a few mm at a time and lowered as needed. Jacking the back of the car up made a massive difference and allowed the gear box to float in through the bulkhead opening without any drama. A couple of bolts later it was all tied in place via the mountings and the gearbox mounted using the support plate. A massive feeling of progress, and a big empty space where the block used to sit!

The only thing I’ve gone backwards on a little is the timing needs to be redone for the engine – during the lift it became apparent that the distributor was going to get in the way of the lifting chains but being slightly over zealous I remove what I thought was the bolt attaching it to the engine, only to finally understand how those  things worked – there was a driven column that went into the engine which tee’d which spark plug was firing depending on the rotation of the arm within the distributor.  It was all mounted back in place pretty carefully to avoid any rotation but I suspect it should be double-checked to avoid any problems. If I’d only googled it first I could have saved myself this added job as removing the top cap was all that was needed.  I’ll add this to the things to be read up on before possibly asking a professional to do it!

Happy days!

Build Time:  Possibly 195 hours or so?

A Snail’s Pace

The build has pretty much slowed to a crawl as other of life’s priorities keep on getting in the way. Looking back at my photos I last made it to the barn back on the 15th Jan, over a month ago for a few hours which feels shameful!

There are days when I consider selling up as 3 or 4 hours a month just isn’t moving it forward enough but every time I do those few hours another little bit changes and it inches forwards again and provides a bit of hope!

Yesterday was again minute progress, 4 holes drilled and a hole cut for the fuse block holder. I think I spent 2 and a half hours in the barn. An hour faffing over placement, an hour drilling, dremmeling and filing, and a half an hour fitting it all and finding the right size bolts.

I need to swap the fuse block screws for nicer ones but these were the only two which had the right thread that I could find. I must organise the barn more, but that takes time…

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Engine bay harness

There’s been a severe lack of progress due to an upswing in IT related work and a new Tipi business but a few hours have been grabbed at the start of the summer holidays.

After a fair amount of progress in the boot area I’ve now hit a bit of a stone wall after finding out internal hinges aren’t “standard” for kit builds but have to generally be hand built. I now need to ponder how to do this or accept more common but more fussy external hinges.

In the meantime I’m looking at what job to tackle next and the engine bay wiring looks good.  It’s all been laid out and suprisingly looks fairly simple to understand…

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I’ve ordered some side repeater indicators so these can be drilled and mounted plus some waterproof wiring connectors to allow the headlamps and other lights to be easily removed when it comes to painting so I’ll start fitting these in the next session.

Build time: 168 hours


After feeling pretty happy with getting the fuel tank all in place and boot panel all rivetted in I’ve realised its in the wrong way round after looking at a few other build diaries. It would be too much of an issue but this means that the tanks bracing straps aren’t anchored to a hidden steel strip in the panel which is a problem.

The rivers have now been drilled out and it all re-cut to fit so it should be back in on the next session. I just need to work out how to cover 8 additional holes that go straight through when it’s fitted again.

Build time: 152 hours

Filler cap.

I deliberated for hours if not days about where this should go.

I prefered the look of cars which have the filler cap on the back wheel arch but as my body doesn’t have the necessary recess and I’m not convinced of my skills to fit one plus the curve of the body looks too much for the IVA friendly flatter cap I have. In the end I settled for the Dax recommend position on the assumption a nicer cap can be fitted on the hip of the car after an IVA and before the cars paint job.