Friday, 21 December 2007

Surprise Christmas Visitor

Here it is.... the fuel pressure regulator bracket....... I'll admit to having forgotten about it so I went and picked it up today.

With a bit of fettling that'll be the regulator mounted properly then.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

The trouble with Accusumps is......

..... that they may not always fit under the bonnet! Well nearly but not quite. I have to admit to have taken a flyer with the positioning of the Accusump. The height of the installation was measured relative to the header tank. However, looking at the underside of the bonnet it was clear that I hadn't bargained on the deeper edge to the bonnet:
With some careful setting out it appears that the body of the Accusump will fit - it is just the pressure gauge that fouls the underside of the bonnet. The easiest fix will be to remote mount the gauge.... time to order some more plumbing bits then.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Body Arrives!

After a long day on the road the body finally landed in the garage. Having got GD to prep and polish the body as well as fitting the body panels was well worth the additional expense. I am extremely pleased with the end results.

So here's some photos - fluorescent lights and flash photography don't make it look as red as it really is. The colour is spot on for what I was after.
Well with Christmas and New Year round the corner there's not going to be much happening in the garage for a while - which is a good thing as the build funds are now quite depleted! - not sure if I can afford a turkey for dinner on Christmas Day now!!

Any spare time over the festive period will probably be spent planning the next stages of the build.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Body Ready for Collection

My body and associated bits and pieces is now ready for collection from GD. However, due to other commitments and a pre Christmas run on box vans (apparently due to the likes of Argos etc) I can't get the time and a box van until next Friday (7th December).

I'll consider it an early Christmas present!

Friday, 23 November 2007


Body is nearly ready ..... just waiting for the miscellaneous metalwork to come back from the powder coaters.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Off My Trolley ?????

Soon be time for the body to arrive so as I had a some garage time this weekend I busied myself with a load of timber and four casters:

So I will be able to work on the body above the chassis and also move either the chassis or the body outside independently.

I could also convert it into a pool table

Or I could go and find a really big hill...............

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Catching up

In the excitement of starting the engine I sort of glossed over the fuel supply! I'm still waiting for a special bracket for the pressure regulator - but that didn't stop me!

The first job was to convert the 3/8 copper hard line entering the engine bay to -6 braided steel hose. This was done using a compression style adaptor together with a -6 90 degree hose end:
I had found the ideal location for the pressure regulator and decided rather than run a short length of hose directly to it, to loop round the distributor. This is a better way of doing things as it allows the hose to accommodate any engine movement. Done the other way with a short length of hose, any engine movement could have ended up causing the copper pipe to fatigue.From the pressure regulator it is a short run to the carb via a -6 banjo fitting. With the "dropped pan" air cleaner I have there would appear to be no clearance for the banjo. There are, however, a couple of recesses on the bottom pan which accommodate the banjo fitting:So, nearly a neat job - just need the bracket to finish things off.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Accusump Set Up

In a vain effort to find something useful to do I thought it was time to set the accusump up - however this would include running the engine again....... shame!

The accusump had been pressurised prior to the cam break in run to avoid it taking oil out of the system. The big question is how much oil to add? The accusump will store oil according to the pressure in the oil system at shutdown.

I thought it would be a good idea to calculate the theoretical amount required and compare this against the actual amount added. The main problem I could see is that as the volume of oil stored is dependant upon pressure, this means that the volume will be temperature dependant as oil pressure drops with increasing temperature. So back to some schoolboy Physics/Chemistry and the theory is as follows:So with a 30 psi difference in oil pressure at idle between hot and cold the actual variation in volume stored will only be 0.15 litres (not a great deal with no danger of overfilling). This range of 50-80 should cover the normal operating range of the engine: 80 cold at idle, 50 hot at idle and presumably 80 ish hot at high rpm. However this may need some adjustment once it's on the road.

So the theory says that I should need to add around 1.8 litres of oil, the aim would be to have the desired level when cold. This would mean a theoretical overfilling of 0.15 litres when hot, but oil would be circulating in the engine so would not be high in the sump. The main issue would be not to end up with a low level when the Accusump takes more oil when cold.

So the Accusump was bled down to a 10 psi pre-charge. I then added a litre of oil and started up. The engine oil pressure rose to around 75 psi as did the gauge on the accusump (the accusump was not energised so it would not flow oil back into the system). I ran the engine for a couple of minutes (before it warmed up) to get oil round the system and then shutdown. I waited 30 minutes and then topped up the cold level bit by bit until it was at the original level. I ended up adding somewhere around 1.7 litres.

The engine was restarted and warmed up (with the accusump energised this time). As the oil warmed up the pressure reduced to around 50 psi. The engine was then shut down, left for half an hour and checked again and found to be only marginally over the original level.

Job done and a good excuse to run the engine again...... it's getting addictive!!

During this process I noted that the pressures shown on the accusump gauge were not the same as those on the oil pressure gauge?? I checked the accusump pressures with an air pressure gauge... OK. Checked the earthing of the oil pressure gauge - bit too much ptfe tape causing a poor earth I think. The revised pressures are 75 psi cold at idle and 50-55 hot at idle - even better than before - so I had to work everything out again which is what you see above.

Everytime I have run the engine I have always taken the PCV breather off the rocker cover for a moment and looked inside - it has always been comforting to find floods of oil coming up the pushrods and over the rockers - even at 1500 rpm!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Engine Running

Wasted another 5 litres of petrol today .... well not exactly wasted!!!

The strange burbling noise you can hear on the video is not the exhausts... it is the microphone on the camera distorting!!!

I'm not convinced I am going to be able to pass the noise limit at the SVA test!!!!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Engine Start !!

Time to cut the crap...... decided I could do without my regulator bracket so I finished off the fuel run and all was ready for a start: First time: didn't start??? checked and found I only had 5v not 12v going to the 6AL ignition control - redid the wiring

Second Time: Two turns and fired up!!!! Unbelievable sound

I ran it for 20 minutes between 2000 and 2500 rpm to ensure the cam was broken in, no leaks, no overheating, oil pressure 75-80 psi cold and 50-55 psi hot at 2000 rpm.

All that went wrong was that my camera fell over and didn't capture the moment of first start, I burnt my finger and thumb 'cos I wouldn't let go of the throttle, and eventually it ran out of petrol after playing for a while!!

There's a video below of starting after the cam break in run, but the sound isn't the best as the camera was picking up the noise from my diesel tin top that was powering everything and also the twin cooling fans on the GD wich are pretty loud!.

What a day....... Time for a drink!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 6

We're up to 6 all ready - I'm not dragging things out honest!

Bit more progress over the last few days. With the aid of a Turkey Baster the oil cooler and all the oil plumbing was filled and all the remaining connections made:

Next comes the interesting bit....... The electrics were connected up to my tin top and the results were:

  1. Tin Top did not catch fire.
  2. Cobra did not catch fire.
  3. No fuses Blew.
  4. Fans worked OK.
  5. Starter worked OK.
  6. 2 x 5 second bursts on the starter saw around 10psi on the oil pressure gauge.

Result...... Just need some fuel now. I had been pondering what to do about a temporary fuel tank - I didn't fancy bunging a pipe in a petrol can - didn't seem too safe?

The solution was to use a portable fuel tank for an outboard motor - 12 quid - vented with built in fuel pick up - bargain:

Anyone fancy a bet on how long 12 litres won't last!!

Remaining tasks are:

  • Connect up fuel run - need a couple more fittings as I've found a better way of routing the fuel to the carb via the regulator - which reminds me I need to chase up where my regulator bracket is.
  • Fit the back boxes - best not to break the neighbours windows!!
  • Flush out and fill the cooling system.
  • err........... and that's it!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 5

Had plenty of DIY chores to do today however, still managed to grab an hour in the garage to get the oil cooler fitted. I had to shorten the GD supplied hoses and fit new 60 degree hose ends:Ended up a reasonably neat job with plenty of clearance between the radiator and the inner arch. The connections haven't been tightened as I still need to fill the oil cooler and pipework
Tomorrow I think I'll be oil filling and checking the orientation of the one way valve!!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 4

Well that's the wiring complete and checked, oil pressure and water temperature sensors installed, alternator and starter wired up:

I've also connected the heater hoses but need a hose joiner to make a complete loop as there is no heater installed.

I'm not that happy with the installation of the oil pressure switch and pressure sender as it looks like a bit of bodge! - I'll have to think of a better way for the permanent install:

Next job is to plumb in the oil cooler and fill it together with as much of the pipework as possible. Then the final task will be to connect the fuel lines....... Getting Closer..........

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 3 : Part 2 - Bonfire Avoidance

After some discussions with fellow cobra builder Andy, I have started to make some minor amendments to the temporary wiring:
Although it is coming up to bonfire season - best not to have one in the Garage!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 3

Spent a couple of more hours on the temporary dash - Warning lights fitted and most of the wiring done - ran out of spade terminals!All that is left to do is fit the engine earth strap, wire up the fans, fit and wire up the oil pressure sensor, fit and wire up the water temperature sender and connect the starter motor and alternator.

It is perhaps not the tidiest thing on earth but then it's not permanent!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 2

It's been a while but I've not been completely idle! I now have a temporary dashboard installed - it just needs 2 warning lights - and wiring up of course!I've also filled the gearbox with oil and covered the garage floor with the same oil!! Now the instructions for the Tremec said to fill with 5.26 pints which I worked out to be a tad over 3 litres. However..... a US pint is 0.8327 UK pints which is 2.5 litres...... this explains why I have half a litre of oil on the floor....... bugger!

I got a bit carried away with the temporary dash and I need to get back to finishing the oil cooler pipework.

Can't finish the fuel line run as I'm waiting on a bracket for the pressure regulator.

Getting closer......

Monday, 15 October 2007

Preparing for Engine Start - 1

Right then..... the day is on the horizon when it will be time to start the engine.

I am currently waiting for my friendly blacksmith to make up the bracket for the fuel pressure regulator (he's a bit busy at the moment!). So continuing on the theme of the fuel supply I've temporarily mounted the fuel pump and filter (as these go in the boot at the end of the day):However there still remains quite a few things to do (and odd bits to buy). I'm putting the list here to remind me!

  • Fit Oil Cooler and fill cooler and pipework (need 2 No. 60 degree Aeroquip fittings, a 3/8 BSP Blanking Plug and some oil!).
  • Fill Gearbox (need oil).
  • Fit fuel pressure regulator and plumb in carb (need bracket & 90 degree -6 hose end).
  • Plumb in Fuel Pump / Filter (need some 3/8 fuel hose and hose clips and some 3/8 NPT hose barbs)
  • Block off Carb Servo Vacuum Port (need blanking plug but don't know what size?)
  • Fit the heater hoses and connect together to provide a flow path (no heater yet!)
  • Fill the cooling system with coolant

Then comes the interesting bit - the temporary electrical system!!

I'm going to need:

  • Rev Counter (altered for MSD control box output), Oil Pressure Gauge / Sender , Water Temp Gauge / Sender
  • Jump Leads
  • Assorted Wiring

And I'm going to have to fit:

  • MSD Ignition Control Box (too many wires!)
  • Coil
  • Main Battery / Starter Cables
  • Earthing Strap

And not forgetting all the things I've just forgotten.

Shouldn't be long...... watch this space

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Yet More Plumbing!

More Plumbing Today.... Started off by fitting the valves and adaptors to the accusump and then permanently fixing the accusump into position.
Next job was to make up a hose to connect the accusump to the main oil circuit:
Even with the correct vice jaw protectors and being careful, it is still very easy to mark the anodising! Having fitted the hose ends the next step was to connect the accusump up:
So far so good...... tightened all the fittings up and moved onto the feed and return lines to the take off plate. This is where I needed to double and triple check - as there is a one way valve fitted before the accusump Tee it is important to get the feed and return lines the right way round - otherwise no flow!!
The above picture shows the take off plate placed below where it will fit. As the oil from the pump flows the to the outside of the filter and returns through the centre, it can be seen that the bottom hose is therefore the feed from the engine, and the top hose is the return to the filter.

So armed with this valuable information the GD supplied hoses were shortened and new 45 degree hose ends fitted.
So after a final tightening / checking of the connections it was job done:

This just leaves the oil cooler to be fitted (by temporarily hanging it from the radiator support frame) and filled with oil.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Fancy Bracket No. 2 Finished

After a bit more miscellaneous metalwork the oil stat bracket is now in place. Then the various bits of plumbing were fitted but not finally tightened as I still have to cut the oil hoses to length and fit the hose ends.So next I need to fit all the hoses and temporarily hang the oil cooler and that's the Oil System finished - apart filing the new stuff.

I started looking at fitting the fuel supply system - shown below is the fuel pressure regulator complete with pressure gauge:
The problem is that this needs to fit between the fuel inlet pipe and the carb - and the distributor and air cleaner are in the way. This needs a bit more thought - and possibly a third fancy bracket??

Monday, 1 October 2007

Accusump Trial Fitted!!

After a bit more bracketry I managed to trial fit the Accusump - a downside to mirror polished stainless steel is that it dont half show fingermarks!!
Not a bad job...... even if I do say so myself!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

More Brackets and Plumbing

Continued with the trial assembly of the oil stat bracket and the associated plumbing - starting to take shape now:

The top line of plumbing is the feed from the engine and passes through:
  • A 1/8 npt take off port for a secondary oil pressure cut out switch which will cut out the electric fuel pump in the case of a mishap.
  • An oil temperature take off adaptor

Next is the oil thermostat which will divert oil to the oil cooler when the temperature rises, then coming back along the bottom row which is the feed back to the engine we have:

  • A non-return flap valve to prevent the Accusump discharging back through the oil pump into the sump.
  • A tee connection to the Accusump itself.

I need to change the hose ends on the lines to/from the oil cooler to the 45 degree ones shown to make the pipe routing more natural.

I've also clamped the Accusump bracket into position prior to permanently fixing it:

Engine bay is starting to fill up now!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Fancy Bracket Number One

Spent a short while fitting the bracket for the oil stat and associated plumbing. Slow progress but I only have one of them so it is measure 5 times and drill once. It still has its protective backing on and it probably still isn't that clear what is going on here ..... watch this space.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Here we go.....!

Right, first things first. New bolts arrived for clutch slave - so it was bolted in and the hydraulic pipe fitted. At last.... the b****y clutch is finished!!
This now meant that I could crack on with the exhaust.... which I did. First job was the link pipes between headers and balance box - bit fiddly and a bit of bashing with a hide mallet but all went together OK:
Then it was the link pipes between the balance box and the rear silencers, including the rear hanging bracket - looks a little off centre in the photo but the clamps are not tightened yet as the rear silencers need to fit over the pipes first - I'm not fitting these yet as they will take up precious garage space:
So there we go - bulk of the exhaust completed - there does appear to be a reasonable amount of clearance at this stage (OK body still needs to go on but the suspension has not been pre-loaded yet).
Think I'll start on my fancy brackets and engine bay plumbing next.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Back on Track!!

Received a parcel today from Repower - a replacement clutch slave bracket and also the two parts that make up the bracket. Guess what?...... new bracket same as old bracket!! However, I realised that I could fit a ratchet strap round one of the engine posts and the fork arm and operate the clutch that way. After a bit of experimenting I found that if I spaced the slave 6mm off the bracket then it was just about as perfect an alignment as you could get - through the entire range of movement.

Now it just so happens that the bracket is made from 6mm steel...... so....... I chopped up one of the parts and painted it!!
Does the job very nicely indeed!
This should have dawned on me earlier - but then again it should have been right straight out of the box! Not quite the permanent job - I need two longer fixing bolts yet - but that's easy to solve.

One interesting point is that having operated the clutch manually with a ratchet strap it was obvious that the pressure plate was not seized and stuck to the flywheel as I was able to push the car forward with it in gear.

Now all I need is the three deliveries I'm waiting for to arrive and I'm off and running!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Done Something!!

Not much! - but I have done something!

Fitted the blanking plug to the nearside head, as the temperature sender will be going in the manifold, and also fitted the NPT to JIC adaptors for the heater pipes:
I have also got the handbrake working - there is a little bit of re-engineering required to get the cable clevis to fit properly. Tested it and it does seem to be pretty effective with no adjustment being required to the handbrake mechanism itself.

Hopefully next week there will be a bit more progress?

Saturday, 15 September 2007

....... even slower progress

This is now perhaps the slowest period of the build to date! However, there are now plenty of bits on order that should be arriving some time next week:

  • Accusump and Oil Stat Brackets
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Filter and Pump Pre-Filter
  • Fuel Pressure Gauge for Fuel Regulator
  • Carb inlet fitting
  • Braided Hose for fuel supply and assorted fittings
  • Braided Hoses and assorted fittings to complete Accusump connection
  • Clutch Slave Bracket (Getting Beyond a Joke now - but promised for next week!!)

So the plan would be:

  • Replace Clutch Slave Bracket - fit slave hose.
  • Finish the exhaust system.
  • Fit Oil Stat, Accusump and associated plumbing.
  • Install fuel supply to carb in engine bay.

This means we are now getting closer to engine start up! to get to this point I will need to do the following:

  • Rig up a temporary fuel pump and filter arrangement.
  • Rig up a temporary electrical system and dashboard - this means I'll need to order my gauges and senders - although I'll only be using the Rev Counter, Oil Pressure & Water Temperature initially.

The aim is to get the engine running, and the cam broken, before mid November - as this is when the body has been ordered for!!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Slow progress.........

Things are a bit slow in the garage at the minute but there is plenty happening behind the scenes:

  • I've placed an order with Control Waterjet Cutting to get the two brackets made from mirror polished stainless steel - those should be here next week.
  • I've sorted out the plumbing for the Accusump etc - just need the brackets!
  • I've placed my body order with GD for 3rd week in November.
  • I've half figured out the fuel supply in the engine bay - needs a bit more thought yet. I've ordered a Holley fuel pressure regulator to try things out as this will be key to getting everything to fit.
  • Fitted a radiator cap.
  • Scraped some more paint off the radiator!!

I'm still waiting for the replacement clutch slave bracket that should have been here this week. This is stopping me from completing the exhaust as access to the bottom of the slave bracket will be easier without the exhaust fitted.

Things won't progress significantly until I get either the replacement slave bracket or the accusump plumbing brackets - or both!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Brackets and Bits

Seem to have spent most of the weekend trying to figure out how and where to install the Accusump and its associated plumbing. One thing I certain of is that I am glad I got the 2 quart model and not the three quart one - there's no way that would fit!
Anyway, eventually I found a promising set up and after a lot of measuring and cardboard templates I managed to produce some CAD drawings of the two brackets I'll need:

Hmmmmm..... not obvious is it! I've got a couple of enquiries out with some water cutting companies for getting them made from 2mm mirror or polished stainless steel. It should all become clearer when they are fitted!

Did some other odd jobs:

  • "Adjusted" the plug wire guides so that they actually fitted in the engine bay with an allowance for engine movement.
  • Mocked up the rear exhaust link pipes and drilled the diff rear bracket for the exhaust bracket.
  • Made up a gear shift extension so I can measure up for the hole in the tunnel top sheet.
  • Fitted an additional fuel pipe fixing in-lieu of the one I had to remove because it fouled the gearbox!

This week I should be getting a replacement clutch slave bracket so hopefully that side of things should be sorted soon.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

More Bits

Here's the Accusump, electric valve and assorted plumbing - including some adaptors and elbows for the heater pipes off the manifiold:
Having had a quick look I'm definitely going to have to aquire some bespoke brackets for all this!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Odds 'n Ends

Done some bits and pieces but nothing very productive?

I fitted the propshaft but only have temporary bolts in at the minute as GD were out of stock of the correct bolts. It was a bit of a Chinese puzzle with very little room for manoeuvre. It would be much easier if you hadn't fitted the T piece for the rear brakes - note for people who've not got this far yet!

I have also fitted the oil cooler take off plate - however the extension screw was about 4mm too long so the threads bottomed out before the take off plate and spacer were tight - out with the hacksaw and the files it was!

I was then able to start laying out the braided hose and oil stat to get an idea of where the pipework is going to run - hmmmm I wonder if I've put the header tank overflow in the wrong place?

I've ordered my Accusump and other associated plumbing today so that should be here in time for the weekend so hopefully I should be able to sort out the pipe runs then. I think I will have to trim the pipes from the take off to cooler and also probably fabricate a fancy bracket for the oil stat.

On the subject of parts expected shortly, there should be a new clutch slave bracket on its way from Repower - hopefully that'll be the clutch sorted once and for all then.