5th and 6th
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.
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
12th to 14th
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
& 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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Roadster 3rd Page