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5th and 6th July 2008

Damn, it's been a long time since I updated the page.  I did not do much over the winter months to be honest, the garage gets very cold and damp.  The chassis has suffered with a bit of rust coating any upright surfaces, this has been cleaned and a bit of paint applied to protect it for a while.  I have welded all the chassis together and added the front  and rear wishbone brackets.  I have also got most of the donor parts for the car, it cost me my van!  But with the price of fuel I could not justify it sat on the drive for 9 months out of 12.  I have made some dummy rear uprights and shock absorber's so that I could check positioning before welding up the brackets.  Last weekend was spent in the garage using the lathe to turn some mushrooms? a couple of pictures below show what I mean. and lastly I have also started to clean up some of the old donor bits such as the drive shafts for the back axle.

up.jpg dummyshock.jpg testsetup1.jpg mushrooms.jpg driveshaft1.jpg

Having now got the donor vehicle a Sierra sapphire 1.8 CVH, I have just ordered the rear uprights to take the drum brakes.  I know that it is suggested that the engine and gearbox are not fitted at an early stage, but  I am finding it more and more difficult to work around the chassis on the table, so getting it on the floor and the big bits inside it would be a great help.

12th to 14th July 2008

More time in the garage, running very short of space as I had donor parts under the table and sticking out all over the place.  So bit of a tidy up, move the chassis outside when it was not raining and chop up and remove the bench.  Gave me a opportunity to take a few snaps of the chassis when outside and the sun is shinning!

I have painted it black for the time being to stop it rusting when it gets damp in the garage, I will have to remove the paint from the underneath when I weld on the floor plate, but I imagine that will be a while off at present.  The rear uprights should be with me later this week, that should allow me to fit the wheels and push the chassis out to work on the engine etc in the garage.

 chassis2.jpg chassis1.jpgengine1.jpg
I have also started on the engine by removing the sump and chopping an inch from the bottom of it.  The next picture shows what stage I am up to with it. It is having a soak in Nitromors to remove any paint, that way I can tell what condition it is in before welding and repainting.  It is amazing how much rust is under the paint!


19th and 20th July 2008

The sump did not go too well, it leaks like a sieve. I will have another go sometime or see if it can be done for me if I can get a decent newish one.  So I have cleaned up the engine and gearbox a bit and put them together.  The idea will next be to sort out the gearbox and engine mounts on the chassis.
I also turned down some bar to make the steering extensions. Just need to get the taps and dies to complete then I will cut the flats.

gearbox1.jpg gearbox2.jpg exten1.jpg

29th July 2008

I used a ratchet hoist today to lift the engine and place in the engine bay of the chassis.  The next step would be to locate and weld in the brackets for the gearbox and engine.  I need to sort out a few things before I do but at least the lifting is done the LO-Cost way.

hoist1.jpg bay1.jpg bay2.jpg

7th September 2008

Once again some time has passed.  I have fabricated the engine mounts from tube I managed to scrounge, it is 50 x 50 mm box section so quite large for my needs, but it works.  Sections cut and welded to 6 mm plate, all drilled and mounted.  The gearbox mounts fitted and welded.  The rear differential fitted, wishbones and steering rack extensions that I made on the lathe, I will have to do some more of these later as they are to long when done to the book dimensions and leaves me no adjustment and no possibility of fitting lock nuts, will shorted them by 15 mm per side I think.  I managed recently to get a non adjustable steering rack so have fitted that, welded the plates for the handbrake in place, fitted the drive shafts and put the chassis on its wheels so I can move it out of the garage when needed.  I did this recently and the heavens opened and it pored with rain, still a long way to go but looking better!

enginnemnt1.jpg front1.jpg rear1.jpg

14th September 2008

Done a bit more during the evenings and this weekend.  Started on the pedal box and have welded the parts together to form the back and the pedals.  Bought some Acetel bar to make the pivot bushes. Just short of some 45 x 3 mm plate to make the brake pedal pad, which I hope to get this week to complete then this lot will be done.  Also made some top-hat bushes from mild steel to locate the steering column mounts better then just using some large washers to cover the mounting holes in the cast aluminium mount.  You may have noticed I have stopped putting on the page how much I spend.  It's a lot!

pedalbox1.jpg pedalbox2.jpg pedal1.jpg

I have to figure a way to fasten the clutch cable and accelerator cables to the pedals, a few questions on to the forum I think!

10th and 11th January 2009

I have tried to do work on the car, honest guv!  Cold in the garage, joints ache you know how it is.  So to keep it going over the Christmas period, I have ordered fibreglass nose cone and scuttle from Triton, Shock absorber's and springs from Rally Design.  Got some original rack mounts from a forum member.  Bought some steel for the floor.  Bought another CVH sump from a forum member, this for another attempt at the mod to it.  Bought some alloy wheels off the bay of E, for £26!!!!!  Have the engine lifted again with the gear box separated so I could remove the old sump.  Bought an engine hoist from Netto to save me some effort £35!  So spending lots of money but with not a lot to show yet and the glamorous parts have not yet arrived.

I need to do two things quite quickly if I can, one is punch/drill holes in the floor plate to match with the chassis rails so I can puddle weld or spot weld it in place.  To do that I need to turn the chassis over and clean all the paint from the underside. weld it up, paint the floor section flip back over and paint the floor.  I think I will try a local place in Leyland for the sump mod, must visit during the week and see if they will do it for a reasonable price.

floor1.jpg wheels1.jpg

24th January 2009

Managed a bit more in the garage today, the GAZ coil over shocks had arrived Friday, so the day was spent getting them to fit.  No problems on the back of the car, need to make four spacers but that's all.  The front needs a bit of metal removing from the wishbone mounting bracket to stop them fouling, talking of only a few mm and there is more then enough left, in fact takes the shape back to the original book brackets!

I also used the engine hoist for the first time, wonderful device will lift 200 Kg by looping the cable, it is nice and smooth to operate, so much better the doing it with the hand hoist.

gaz1.jpg gaz2.jpg

25th January 2009

Today was all about the floor pan, shift the chassis out of the garage, and punch/drill all the holes in the floor, 151 holes in total at approx 2 inch spacing, I managed to do 109 with the 5 ton hand press and the last 42 with the electric drill.

floor2.jpg punch1.jpg floor3.jpg

Took the engine out of the chassis and had a good tidy of the floor area, stuck the engine out the way, brought the chassis back in and with the help of two neighbours stood the thing up on its side.  Cleaned all the paint from the bottom rails and trial fitted the floor.  I hope to start welding it up as the week progresses.

onside1.jpg onside2.jpg

28th January 2009

Have finished doing the welding tonight and will probably wait until weekend before I grind down some of the lumps!  It would have been much easier if the vehicle was completely upside down, the molten metal would have formed better, but then again, it's done now.  There is very little distortion on the floor just hope it holds when I come to try and stand in it!  I have had a few messages, one saying the fibreglass nose and scuttle are on their way up to me, so looking forward to trying them on the car for effect.  The other message saying the fuel tank is being built up, so I would imagine they will turn up next week.

31st January 2009

The floor is on, cleaned up from the welding and sprayed with zinc coat.  It took a few to lift the car but getting back on its wheels was a doddle,  I dropped it!

onside3.jpg onside4.jpg floor4.jpg
I also collected the modified sump this morning, so the next job is to check the clearance of the oil pick up after cutting an inch out of the tube, book says about 5 mm clearance so this is the aim.  If correct, I may try to weld it up.

1st February 2009 (White rabbits!)

I welded up the oil pick up tube with the smaller MIG welder, it is easier to handle and a bit more forgiving. Fitted it, the sump, gearbox on the engine, starter motor and alternator and put it all back into the chassis.  The paint work needs re-doing around the engine bay now!  Filled it up with 20/50 grade oil and turned the engine over with the plugs out to get the oil circulating around the engine.  It took a while to refill the filter and get pressure up, but it did it after a few goes.


7th and 8th February 2009

I ordered a fuel tank from a contact on the Haynes web forum some a few weeks ago, the tank arrived on Friday, so have done a simple fit into the rear of the car, I need to obtain a fuel sender before I fasten the tank in place.  Very nice work it is too.  The hole to the left is for the fuel sender and I will need to obtain some 2 inch fuel hose to a side filler cap.

tank1.jpg tank2.jpg

I also had a go with the ECU and finally managed to start the engine after some time.  Two videos on Youtube,: -


Need to figure out the cooling system before I can run the engine for any period of time.

14th February 2009

The nose cone and scuttle arrived Thursday, so this gave me the opportunity to try it for fit and work out the radiator position.  I used 25 x 3 mm metal strip for this and ended up with the radiator leaning backwards to fit in and still leave some gaps around it. 
nosecone1.jpg radiator1.jpg radiator2.jpg

A few things I need to consider changing next is the water pump, as the outlet heads off toward the exhaust and then has to bend back on it self to head to the front of the car.  Looking to replace this with a 1.6 CVH water pump.  Need a compact electric fan unit approx 10 inch I think?

16th February 2009

The existing water pump inlet pipe is weird in that it has a large bend on it and comes by the engine mount and the exhaust area. I tried to heat the pipe and bend tighter without much success, I kinked the tube.

So today I picked up a water pump from a 1.4 Orion and modified that to fit. I had to pull off and swap over the pulley's, as although they are 20 teeth each they have a different profile and using the wrong one would  soon ruin the cam belt.  The two pumps have the same fixing holes and thickness so the Orion pump will fit. I also had to drill and fit a stud for the adjuster spring to push against, finishing off with JB weld to cover where it goes into the pump body. There must be an easier way or a better pump to use, but when done the outlet will go directly away from the block and keep out of the exhaust area.

oldpump.jpg pump1.jpg enginefront.jpg

I found the tensioner bearings dry so replacing that as well, was quoted £63 plus VAT from one Motor factors, found one on ebay for £40 and got a final quote from another factors at £25 plus VAT, what a difference!  Replacing the cam belt as well.

17th February 2009

Did a bit more on the car, fitted new Water pump, Cam-belt, Tensioner, fabricated a T piece for the cooling system and started to put it all together again, below is a picture of the T.


Other jobs done today were to shorten the steering rack extensions by 25 mm each.  This should allow the front wheels to be adjusted correctly for tracking and allow for 14 mm locking washers.  I cut approximately 10 mm from the nearside engine mounting bracket to give me a little more clearance when taking the engine out of the chassis.

18th & 19th February 2009

Bought a radiator fan switch and drilled it out on the lathe, soldered in a short 15 mm copper tube, the idea is to use this as a way into the radiator from the expansion bottle.  Filled the system with coolant and had the engine running for a few minutes, but I need to quieten the exhaust before I can run the engine long enough to get it up to temperature.


To try and silence the exhaust I have been spending a lot of hours trying to change the standard exhaust downpipe to get it to exit at the side of the car.  Finally got to that stage tonight, after lots of cutting bashing and welding, not the prettiest of things but it is a start, need a 48 mm, 90 degree bend welding on the end of it so that an exhaust pipe can be fitted.

exhaustdownpipe1.jpg exhaust1.jpg exhaust2.jpg

Will probably wrap the exhaust system with heat insulation, otherwise the passengers shoes may start to melt, and no the battery will not stay there!

24th February 2009

Have done more work over the last few days but this is the first chance to update the page.   The engine runs well when warm, but has an issue when cold, found the automatic choke was not working.  So stripped it down and reconnected a bi-metal strip and now trying to discover how it should be adjusted.  I have also been working on the pedal box a bit more.  The master cylinder hole has been taken out to 41 mm to fit the cylinder, I have some clevis yokes on order, drilled the floor and bulkhead panel to fit the assembly so hope to have it in place during the week.
Ordered a 10 inch slimline radiator fan from the bay on Sunday and it arrived today.  Managed to work out a way of installing it on the chassis rather then to the radiator it self.  Not sure it a better idea or not but I am very sure it will do the job.

radfan2.jpgradfan1.jpg radfan3.jpg

I have a wiring loom on order, and an exhaust manifold from an Escort RS Turbo.  Decided that I am not to happy with the exhaust downpipe so have another cunning plan!  It will mean more metal fabrication but will be a very simple thing if it works!

26th February 2009

The manifold turned up today so a trail fit to see if it would work.  I was surprised to notice there was no gasket fitted to my engine!  There are difference between the exhaust manifold passageways as shown by the following photo's.


Here, I am showing the 1.8 CVH gasket here both on the engine block and on the 1.8 manifold, you can see the gasket has 'space' around the top of the ports.  This space means the gasket will never work with the RS Turbo manifold.

 testexhaust5.jpg testexhaust7.jpg

I believe the use of the correct gasket for the RS turbo manifold will work here, but there will be steps from the squarer ports of the 1.8 CVH head to the round ones of the RS Turbo manifold.  If this will be a problem I am not sure, but I am still going to try it.  If you wonder why I bother, the answer is in the next few pictures.
testexhaust2.jpg testexhaust3.jpgtestexhaust1.jpg

As seen in the three pictures the turbo port is low and close to the engine block, this would allow for a simple plate with pipe welded to it to exit in the bottom right corner of the third picture and any 90 degree bend to already be started to keep the exhaust system close to the side of the body.  Also, the third picture now gives an idea of how much space is saved, and would allow a  section of steel tube to be welded in place to stiffen up the engine compartment, replacing the one removed from the other side due to the inlet manifold.  Compare the picture from the earlier top view with the previous manifold.

1st march 2009

Slow progress again, have the old exhaust manifold on again, so I can run the engine.  Obtained some aluminium sheet in 1.5 mm and 1.2 mm.  Cut and fitted the scuttle from the 1.5 mm aluminium, used a friends folder to get the bend in it, just need to complete a cover for the steering column.
The nose cone has been fastened on the top chassis rails, the bottom fixings still to be done.  Started to tidy up where the vapour filter goes and the ESC-Hybrid system.  Will have to decide on battery size and tray for it as the standard battery just fits on the scuttle area.


8th March 2009

I have no real progress to report.  The wiring harness arrived from Premier wiring on Monday 2nd and it must have taken me several nights working out what is what, and how it goes together on my car.  Have started to get it fitted, but it's taking a long time doing a bit here and there.  Spent half an hour fitting the alloys to the car to make it look like there has been a change, but not worth posting another picture yet.

13th March 2009

Still slow going at present.  Have done the wiring to the instrument panel, the relays, column switches,  the engine ECU and sensors, alternator and starter.  The car will start from the key, the instrument lights work as does the tacho, could do with the radiator fan wired before I run the engine for any period of time.  Another four or five hours should see me left with just the exterior lights to complete and to be honest these will only be fitted when some of the body panels are fitted.  Will be ordering the prop shaft tomorrow, when that arrives I can look at running the fuel, brake lines and wiring loom down the prop-shaft tunnel.

14th March 2009

Late afternoon on the 13th, I had spoken to one of the guys at North West Propshafts, gave the dimensions of what I required, size of differential to prop-shaft flange, length from flange to gearbox seal, type of gearbox (Type 9) etc.  And was asked about the hole centres in the flange as apparently there are two types.  Anyway I made a guess, then was asked about the engine and expected BHP. Agreed a price and said on the phone I would call in today with the old flange to confirm dimensions and was expecting to have one made ready to collect during the following week or even next Saturday.
I turned up said I had spoken the previous day to find a shaft ready for me, all correct and ready to take away.  What can I say, service or what!  £94 plus VAT later and I was a happy chap.  Fitted it in place this evening and continued with a bit more wiring.

prop1.jpg prop2.jpg

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