GD427 in action

GD427 in action

Monday, 30 April 2012

Blog Sites

After messing about with the look of my blog, adding feedjit and then a map, I've started to expand my links to other cobra blog sites, got about 20 listed now, they're nearly all UK manufacturers but there's one I've found being written by a guy in Australia who's building a Classic Revival kit so there's something a little different for the guys from the UK.

Sunday, 29 April 2012


Found the design button for this blogsite, not sure whether that's a good thing or not :-)

Brake Light Switch

I took a look at the pedal box today with a view to fitting the brake light switch. While I was at it I also took the opportunity to "persuade" the pedals in a vice to give me a bit more clearance for my size 9's. The brake light switch mounts on a bracket supplied by GD which bolts onto the face of the pedal box and holds it in position against the brake pedal itself. This gave me an idea for the circuit I'm putting together to control the reverse lockout solenoid. I've posted about it here "click". I'm planning to use a second brake light switch mounted against the clutch pedal to make the reverse lockout circuit "live" when both the brake pedal and clutch pedal are depressed. The theory being you'll only want to put the gearbox into reverse whilst you've got your foot on the brake and the clutch depressed. This also gives me a circuit to control the neutral safety switch which I'm going to wire so the clutch has to be depressed before the engine will start. Hopefully this will help avoid any mishaps which might occur trying to start the engine in gear ! Anyway, I made bracket, the same as the GD one, to hold a second brake light switch for the clutch pedal. Just got to get a second switch now and we should be away!

One area that give's me a little concern is that when placing the brackets on the front face of the pedal box I didn't look to see what clearance I had behind. Where the holes come through doesn't really leave enough room to fit the nut and washer on behind. I had a feeling this might be the case after drilling the pilot holes so I made the final hole a little smaller than needed for the bolts to pass straight through and cut a thread into the pedal box instead. It all bolted up nicely and seems OK I'm just not 100% sure on the strength of cutting a thread into cast aluminium. I guess time will tell!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Steering column surround

I've not got the leather trim yet to finish this area but I decided to make a start by cutting the aluminium column surround in preparation. This part comes pre-formed from GD but you have to cut the clearance holes for the column stalks and ignition barrel. Not too difficult, just take your time measuring using the stainless face plate and column controls as a reference points and cut out the bits you don't need.

Eventually, the aluminium part you can see will be wrapped in leather.

UPDATE: Looking at a few pictures others have posted, there looks to be another section I have to remove to provide clearance for the bottom part of the steering lock mechanism, not got time to do any more today but I'll post some more at a later date.

Securing the body / engine connections

I needed to find a way of securing the connectors which join the body looms to the engine/chassis looms. The standard GD arrangement is for two connectors in this area but because I'm adding a few additional circuits namely; provision to power the reverse lock out solenoid on the gearbox and a low oil level warning, I have three. It was all a bit busy in this are so I decided to use some P clips to tidy them up and hold them down securely. I started by drilling and then tapping a M5 hole to thread a button head boot through from underneath in the footwell area.

Because the bolt was held securely, this made it a lot easier to work with as I didn't have to worry about holding it in place while I fitted some P clips around the cylindrical connectors. I used two at the bottom and a third separated by a short length of steel tube at the top. The bolt is a little longer than needed so I may swap it for a shorter one when I come to fit the nyloc.

Not the best pictures in the world but you can just make out the three p-clips and the short length of steel tube. I've used a stainless M5 repair washer underneath to spread the load. Another reason for fitting the bolt from the inside up rather than outside down is that I didn't want to take a risk with the end of the bolt protruding into the footwell area and posing a potential hazard to the occupant. Because of where it is I'm not sure whether it would be an an IVA issue but either way, better safe than sorry.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Improvements already...

Ever since I fitted the main engine loom through the dash I'd never been entirely comfortable that the only thing holding it central was the rubber gasket I'd used to to close the hole. Seeing what Martin, another builder had done, inspired me to make some improvements. Firstly I mocked something up in paper which was formed along similar lines to the original stainless ring I had in place but rather than cut the centre out, I planned to make a partial cut and bend the centre forward making a tab to secure the wiring to. Once I was happy, I bought a small sheet of stainless and transferred the dimensions onto some masking tape stuck on the back.

I started by drilling all the holes before making the cuts with a metal blade in my jigsaw. Taking it nice a slowly I gradually cut along all the lines before bending the centre "tab" forwards, putting a small curve into it and tidying up all the edges.

Then it was just a case of removing the original backing ring behind the bulkhead and replacing it with the new one. The oval holes I cut into the tab allows a ziptie to be passed through and secure the loom nice and tight. The gap at the top of the new ring allows it to be placed around the loom rather than having to pass the loom through it.

Worked perfectly, whilst there are no sharp edges I will probably go back at some point and spend a bit of time really rounding them off just in case.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bonnet locks & scoop bolts

Finished today by refitting the bonnet locks and the stainless button heads which hold the hood scoop on. The number of bolts is obviously just for show and replicates the rivet pattern found on the aluminium panels of the original cars from the sixties.

Number plate light

As with most things now, this has been previously fitted and then removed for safe keeping. I did need to make some small adjustments as it sat a little high. All it needed was a few holes elongating.

I also completed the wiring inside the boot. I'd previously feed a length of wire through the boot skin for the light which exits through the left hand side hinge arm. To make it easy to remove the boot in future I joined the boot wiring to the loom with a connector which I held in place with a p-clip bent to shape.

Just the rear lights, indicators and fog/reverse lights to connect inside the boot and the rear of the car is complete.

Tank sender wiring

Completed the fuel tank today by wiring the fuel sender. I'd previously cut down the plastic which surrounds the terminals so they could be bent over for additional clearance. It was just a case of cutting the wire to length and fitting a couple of female spade terminals and a short length of heat shrink to tidy it up.

The 11/16 written on the top of the tank is to remind me what size spanner fits the top fuel fitting just down the side. I've made marks like this in a few places and found it saves time hunting through different sizes spanners/sockets etc. until you find the one you need, especially when the fitting is partly obscured and not easy to see.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Front Under Tray

The other job for today was fitting the front under tray. This bolts into the bottom of the nose area, tying the inner wings together. This is also used in some builds to mount the oil cooler but with the engine I'm using this is something that's not deemed necessary as the aluminium block dissipates heat quite nicely on it's own. Gotta say an oil cooler does look "cool" if you'll pardon the pun. I'm lead to believe the under tray also brings some aerodynamic benefits too !

Simply a case of drilling and then bolting this in. The rear of the tray slips between the radiator and it's bottom mount which helps keep it all held firm.

Rear Over-riders

Today was the turn of the rear over-riders. These simply bolt through the rear of the body work and are bolted up from inside the boot. I've been in a bit of a dilemma recently knowing whether to mount things such as the fog and reverse stand-offs and now the over-riders, level, or by eye, trying to keep things looking "right" even if they actually weren't. After a few trial runs using spirit levels, laser levels and various pieces of wood in order to find "level" and use that as a reference point, I gave up and decided that I'd make it look right in comparison to the rest of the car. To that end I suspended a piece of cotton taught between the lens fixing bolts in the rear lights and used that as a reference point to mount the over-riders level compared with the rear lights. As it stands, a spirit level across the rear lights shows them to be pretty close but as I've said before I've no idea whether the floor is level in this part of the garage. Once it's back down off axle stands, if it looks wrong I can always tweak it later.

The first one took a while before I had confidence to wield the drill but once I'd got one side fitted, it was just a case of the same again on the other side using the cotton line as a reference for height and distance from the boot edge as a reference for how far to mount to the side.

I took the lead from Steve and made some angled spacers to fit over the bolts inside the boot to allow the nuts to tighten up squarely in spite of the angle of the bodywork. I've used standard nuts for now but will change these to nylocs once I know they won't be coming off again.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Number plate bar

Today's job was the number plate bar. This fits across the opening in the nose and whilst used to mount the number plate, it also serves to fill this space and keep Mr IVA happy as without this, it's an IVA fail. The bar is made of stainless steel and simply bolts onto the inner wings via a L shape bracket on either side. I also have an "under tray" to bolt in which closes this area from beneath and stiffens the whole thing up.

First, I clamped the bar into position to gauge it's height in the opening and how far it should be set back from the nose. I used masking tape to mark a horizontal line for comparison but in the end just used the radiator core behind it for reference.

Once I was happy it was level (with the radiator as least) I drilled the holes and bolted it in. Finding what's level has always been a challenge with this build as I've not checked my floor is level and even if it was, I'm not convinced a fibreglass body shell would be exactly level or even symmetrical. That said, I haven't found anything that's concerned me and reading what people have faced with other manufacturers, I've been extremely pleased. I did need to space the bar off the inner wings just a little with some washers. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be a little short to pull the inner wings in or to allow for the mounting brackets of the front over-riders where fitted. In any case, it's set where I want it and I can always remove the washers (two each side) or change the mounting points slightly if I need to at a later date.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Fog & Reverse Lights Fitted

New bolts arrived in the post this morning, only a 5 minute job to refit so thought it rude not too ! I used M5 x 50mm button heads. The bolts are long enough inside the boot to make some angled spacers to allow for the curvature of the body in this area. I haven't done this yet, maybe a job for another day as they tighten up quite securely so I'm not sure the spacers are really needed.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


A day of easy wins today. Most of the parts I fitted have been on the car before and were removed for storage until the build neared completion, Well that day is coming and it was the turn of the front headlights and indicators. Because I knew I'd be taking these off and refitting later I'd used stainless M5 button heads rather than the self tappers supplied in case fitting, removing and refitting weakened the self tapping threads. Just a case of bolting these in and plugging into the existing waterproof connectors I'd wired in previously.

View from the front

..and from the back

Feeling quite pleased with myself :-)


I'd temporarily fitted the scoop before but this time it's for keeps. Because the engine I'm using doesn't need airflow to the top of the engine as the intake is located in the nose, the scoop is purely for looks. Rather than cut out the front of the scoop unnecessarily, I've painted it matt black and covered it with stainless mesh. The mesh was cut to shape and left a little long so it tucked under the bottom front edge and could be secured behind. Hopefully the pictures will make it clear. Around the top, the mesh is held in place by tucking into a piece of rubber channel which I glued into place with araldite.

Once the glue had dried, I fitted the top edge of the wire mesh into the channel and used polyurethane adhesive, tiger seal, to stick the mesh which overlapped and tucked under the front of the scoop onto the rear of the scoop face. The scoop then bolts to the bonnet with some stainless M4 button heads.

Windscreen refitted

The windscreen is now back on for good and I've fitted the escutcheon plates around the bottom of the screen legs and those for the windscreen demist vents. The plates around the bottom of the screen were bent slightly to match the curvature of the body in this area and the holes through the body and the underside of the plates sealed with clear silicone. I've also fitted the demister "funnels" (?) which fit under the vents and direct the air onto the windscreen. These are held with the same bolts which secure the escutcheons so the two are done together. A little tip for anyone approaching this stage, I had trouble getting the bolts to screw into the threaded bolt holes in the "funnels". This was due to a layer of paint which had built up so I ran an M5 tap through them to clear them out which made the job so much easier.

Fog & Reverse Stand-offs

After going great guns fitting the fog and reverse stand-offs, the bolts I'd bought were too short. I've ordered some more so should be able to get these mounted in the next couple of days. I've also fitted the rubber seal for the boot which you can see in this picture. Felt good to finally get rid of that blue masking tape. It must have been there for about 3 years now !

...and the striker plate for the boot catch. This has been fitted before but it should be on for good now. Boot shuts nicely and just squeezes up against the rubber as the catch clicks into place.