Door Cards

With the doors having been adjusted for gaps, alignment and fit, it was time to trim them with the door cards.

Had a read through a few other blogs to get a rough idea of the best way to fit and went with the following process.

The door card is held in place by 7 clips and the door handle itself.

First thing to do is check the position of the door handle relative to the hole in the card that it has to pass through. The door handle can be moved left or right by loosening the cap heads that hold it in place. It is important that (a) the two sides are equally balanced for aesthetic reasons and more importantly (b) to ensure that the door will close properly without the door card fouling the latch mechanism.

Once i was happy with the positioning of the handles, I used a small punch to create a hole in the door card leather for the handle to bolt through and I fitted each of the 7 clips into the remaining holes. At this point I didn't pay too much attention to their orientation as I had decided they could be positioned properly when the card is offered up to the door.

Rear Number Plate Lamp

When I fitted the boot I decided to cut the section of loom that supplies the power to the number plate lamp as it was easier to feed it through the skin of the boot.

As I am nearing completion, this is one of the remaining wiring jobs to be sorted.

First off, I removed the light fitting and threaded the wires back through the bootlid and terminated them on the fitting. Then I made a up a new small section of loom and connected the two parts with bullet connectors and positioned this behind the boot carpet so a nice neat job was done.

Number Plate Bar

The front number plate fits to a stainless steel bar which runs across the nose cone.

This is mounted to the inner wings by a couple of bolts either side. With hindsight this is something else I should have at least trial fitted with the body off which would have made access and marking much easier.

In order to get the horizontal centre line, I measured from the floor to the bottom of the nose and from the floor to the top of the nose. I then halved the distance between the two and added that to the dimension from the floor to the bottom of the nose to give the centreline.

This was then marked onto the inner wing and drilled through slightly oversize to allow for any misalignment.

With the car sitting on a level surface, I used a spirit level to get the bar lined up then tightened everything up. Just need a piece of MDF now to mount the plate on :)

Courtesy Lights

The GD loom comes with feeds to both doors for courtesy lights. GD tend not to fit these but I think its a nice touch and useful when using the car at night, so have decided to fit them. At a later date I will also take a feed to a separate override switch.

I positioned the door switches centrally between the two escutcheons and trimmed the length of the plunger to suit. The switches were then simply connected to the GD loom.

I have then broken into the loom circuit to take feeds to the lights which I have mounted in the dash under trays.

The dash is back out again at the moment so I will have to wait until its back in and connected before I can test everything.

Wiper Motor

With the dash connected back up, I was able to test the wiper motor function. The good news was that it worked. The bad news was that the motor parks the wipers the wrong way and it made a hell of a noise.

Reversing the park isn't a major issue, its more of a pain as the whole thing has to come back out.

With the motor on the bench, its a case of removing the retaining cir clip, popping the motor over onto its back and undoing the securing screws. This gives access to the motor mechanism. There is a little white plastic bit that has to be taken out and put in the spare hole 180 deg opposite where it is currently fixed. Swap it over, grease it all up and refit in reverse order.

Note White Plastic 'Stop' in opposite position

Greased and ready to go

Before fitting back into the car, I greased the whole length of the spiral gear wire to try and eliminate and noise and i made sure the bends in the bundy pipe are as smooth as possible.

I also double checked the wiring of the wiper stalk and noticed there were a couple of wires incorrectly connected. This probably explains why when I did the original test that the slow speed didn't work. There is also some confusion over the wire for the horn and the washer which I need to clarify with GD.

Bonnet Strut

 The worst thing about this build as it nears completion, is that I am faced with all the jobs that I have been putting off because I didn't fancy doing them any earlier for one reason or another.

The next item on this list is the boot and bonnet struts. Having had a good look at a factory car that was on the GD stand at Silverstone Classic, I felt somewhat more confident and decided to take on the bonnet strut first. Andy said he could supply a bracket for the boot strut, so I will leave that again for now.

So on to the bonnet strut. I had originally planned to fit gas struts but because I have fitted a stainless header tank for my washer bottle, I don't have the room to do this now.

The standard strut has a bracket at both ends. One of these needs removing as it bolts straight through to the inner wing.

Note bracket removed from one end of top strut

The bracket is removed as the lower mounting is simply bolted onto the inner wing
Positioning of the strut is critical as you need to ensure that you get the maximum amount of opening but without the strut actually fouling. The lower mounting position is fixed first. This is broadly in line with the chassis cross member that supports the header tanks. I drilled a hole and then fitted a Rivnut and bolted the lower mounting loosely in place.

A bolt runs through the strut as is locked in place against the rivnut using a plain nut. A washer is then fitted between the locknut and the strut and a further washer sits between the bolt head and the strut
I put the strut in its closed position and then opened it back up about 10mm to allow some free play. I then put some masking tape on the bonnet and wing and marked the centreline of the upper mounting bracket onto the tape.

Centre line of upper mounting bracket

Centre line transferred to bonnet
Before doing any drilling, and remembering that mantra about "Measure twice, drill once", I used some duct tape to test fit the bracket in place and check the operation. Once satisified this was all ok I drilled the holes to take the rivnuts.

Centre line transferred to underside of bonnet and hole drilled for Rivnut

Rivnuts fitted - they don't sit flat as the bonnet reinforcement is curved

Dome heads finish the job nicely



Another small task that has been dragging on is the fitting of the horn.

I bought a really loud horn at Stoneleigh and given the position of the oil cooler thermostat, the logical position to fit this would be on the front right hand side of the chassis. Most people seem to go for this location even though the standard loom terminates on the near side.

The horn comes with a fixing bolt that is intended to run through some sheet metal then the horn body bolts up tight against it. As I didn't want to mount it on the body, I needed a bracket that could be fixed the the square box section of the radiator mounting frame.

As luck would have it, I had a piece of exhaust mounting bracket which I was able to bend into shape and cut to length.

All fitted, looks neat and sound loud.

Job done!!


As the dash is back out, its important I get all the various bits and bobs in and around this area sorted before doing the dash final fit.

An area that was left really rough for Blyton was the steering wheel/shroud set up. Ive been using an old Vectra steering wheel while the car is still in build and I had planned to just cover over the centre boss with padding for IVA as I have a nice wooden Mota-Lita replica wheel to go on once everything is finished - for some reason you cant have a wooden wheel for IVA - but I'm seriously thinking about buying a leather trimmed wheel for use on track days. If I go with this option I will use this for IVA rather than the scruffy old Vectra one.

Old Vectra Steering Wheel
For Blyton, I had fitted the column shroud in place without trimming in leather and it was a bit of a tight fit so I have opened up the hole for the ignition barrel and the deburred the apertures that have been cut for the wiper/indicators stalks. I also had to cut an opening for the column rake adjuster. It looks like GD have enhanced the shroud lately as some of the earlier builder seem to have had to cut all of the holes out.

Note aperture at rear left for the steering column adjuster stalk
In order to trim the shroud, I taped the joins together and then sprayed all over with contact adhesive. I then lay the leather (starting at the bottom so the join wouldn't show) onto the shroud then slowly wrapped it around. I then trimmed the edges where they met and waited for it all to dry before fitting the stainless facia to see what it would look like

A slight concern I have now is how i actually fit this over the column with it all in situ :( Oh well a problem for another day..

Talking of problems, another one identified at Blyton was with the way I had fitted the dash and steering column there was no room to allow the column to tilt and as a consequence the wheel was sitting much too high and partly blocking the driving view. This will be rectified by putting spacer washers between the steering column and screen support bar. The aperture for the steering column in the dash will also be opened up by cutting a lower bottom edge of the opening before doing the final trim. 


A couple of electrical problems that came to light at Blyton were that the Charge Warning light wasn't illuminating on the dash and when I switched off the ignition the car was still running until I removed the key from the barrel.

I was pretty confident that the wiring was all done right but decided to double check the whole of the front section of the body loom, the connections to the dash loom and the engine loom connections.

The steering column shroud was a pretty tight fit and rubbed a little on the ignition connector block so I removed this and connected directly to the ignition terminals making sure that all the connections were fully insulated. This has given much more space and allowed the loom to route along the actual steering column and back to the dash support bar.

The engine loom was wired correctly with one exception which I am hoping will fix the charge warning light problem. There is a separate section to connect between the alternator and the starter. It appears I have got the the connections at the alternator end the wrong way round.

I'm hoping to get the dash back in the car in the next few days so all will be revealed then.

One other issue I have is that there is a white wire coming from the GD engine loom which is meant to connect to the Coil + terminal but as I'm using an MSD box the coil connects directly to the coil. At the moment this white cable isn't connected and the car seems to run ok. Waiting for an answer from Andy at GD about this.


Another area requiring some final fit attention are the doors.

  • Latches need adjusting to allow a smooth close
  • Escutcheons need fitting around the hinges
  • Courtesy light switches need fitting to the 'A' pillar
  • The tops of the door edges need some minor gel coat repairs
  • Door cards need fitting

Escutcheons & Latches

In order to fit the escutcheons, I had to ensure that both doors would open the same amount. I checked the measure measurement from the edge of the 'B' pillar to the edge of the door. This means that the escutcheons effectively create the door stop so its important they are fitted correctly. To allow me to do this I loosened off the hinges and then marked and fitted them using M4 button heads and nylocs.

I then adjusted the door fit, checking gaps and latch operation before tightening the hinges back up.

Quite pleased with the final result as it really tidies things up and looks like a professional build.

Courtesy Lights

I had previously drilled the mounting holes for the courtesy lights in the dash under trays - I'm having a separate light for each side that will illuminate the footwell - but I hadn't got around to wiring them in. The front section of the GD body loom has a positive feed to both doors and an earth which the door switches can be connected to but there is no feed back to the lights themselves.

This is relatively easy to resolve as you just need to break into the wires going to the switches and run a return back to the light.

Gel Coat Repairs

There are a few other areas needing gel coat repairs which I plan to address in one go (possibly even get GD to do them during the pre-IVA checks)

Door Cards

Need to read up on the best way of fitting these as this is one job that will make a big

Wiper Motor and Spindles

Fitting the wiper motor and spindles was another job I have been putting off for what seems like forever.

I just couldn't get my head around how the whole set up works so left it until now when its a case of it has to be sorted.

Looking at the build notes and a couple of blogs there appeared to be a number of things to consider and get right.

1. Position of the spindle holes and the angle at which they are drilled.

I put some masking tape on the scuttle and marked the positions described on the build notes and drilled a pilot hole. I then held the black plastic spacer onto the scuttle and drilled through, progressively using bigger drills at the same angle as the spacer until I reached maximum width. I then used a sanding drum on the dremel to create the elliptical shape required for the spindle to pass through.

Spindle position is 5mm from screen rubber and 415 from screen support struts

Had an assistant hold the rubber spindle in place whilst I drilled at the correct angle

Finished elliptical hole

2. Fitting the wiper motor to the dash support bar and making electrical connections.

First attempt at fitting the wiper motor to the dash support bar went horribly wrong. There was a massive gap under the base of the motor. Looking on the blogs, it appears that there is something fitted between the motor and the support bar. Reading the build notes confirmed this and a hunt around my box of bits revealed a piece of rubber that looks like a pedal cover. This is used to secure the motor and minimise any vibration. Once in place the motor was a snug fit.

Again, due to the corrupt build CD, I couldn't open the document showing the electrical connections to the wiper motor. I got GD to send this through and connections were straightforward. I just need to check now if the motor 'parks' the correct side for RHD car before final fitting the dash and connecting the actual wiper blades.

3. Installing the bundy tube and connecting to the spindles.

Essentially the wiper mechanism works with the motor turning a length of threaded bar which runs through a carrier (bundy tube). The bundy tube has to be cut where it meets the spindles bodies and the exposed threaded bar then meshes with the gear on the wiper spindle and making it turn.

Checking out a few blogs, the sensible way of fitting the bundy tube is to bend it to the approximate shape of the dash first. Having done this, I measured the distance between the motor and the first spindle and then cut the first piece to length. I then measured the distance between the two spindle and cut the next piece to length. Finally, I cut a piece about four inches long and connected this to the right hand side of the final spindle. The threaded bar is cut leaving a three inch overhang so there are no moving part exposed behind the dash.

All in all a job I had dreaded that ended up being sorted in a morning, albeit with the electrical test still to be completed.

Throttle Return Spring

When I first drove the car out of the garage to put it on the trailer for Blyton, I noticed the throttle cable was sticking and not returning to the idle/rest position.

Time didn't allow for us to fix this before we got there so it was something we would have to do on the Saturday morning before taking it on the track.

The first reason for this became apparent immediately - there was no throttle return spring set up. A temporary fix was put in place using three or four springs I had in the toolbox, connected up wherever and however they would attach. It wasn't perfect but it helped.

Looking at some other cars with iron block set ups, I noticed they all had proper return spring bracketry and fixings. A call to Ken and EDA on the Monday morning sorted this problem and a proper return spring set up was on it's way.

The second problem was that the hole in the bulkhead that the throttle cable passes through wasn't lined up correctly with the top of the accelerator pedal. This was re-drilled trackside.

It wasn't a perfect solution but it got the car drivable.

Once the new kit arrived, it was a simple case of removing the front left carb mounting bolt, and locating the throttle return spring bracket under it and connecting the two springs to the throttle control lever. There were two types of spring in the kit. One for road use and one for track. I tried both but settled on the track use springs which are slightly stronger and allow for a faster return of the pedal.

The next time I ran the car after fitting the bracket, I noticed that fuel was leaking from under the gasket where the carb mounts onto the manifold. A closer inspection revealed that the bolt holding the throttle return spring bracket in place was too short to tighten down correctly so a longer bolt was fitted and all four tightened back up - hopefully this will eradicate the problem.


Driving at Blyton without door mirrors was definitely a challenge and is something that I really don't want to experience again but time didn't allow me to fit them in advance.

I must admit I was more than a little concerned about this aspect of the build given that any error could result in the screen, or at the very least the screen struts, being damaged or written off.

As I have noted elsewhere in this blog, my build CD has been corrupt from day one so I had to get a copy of the installation diagram from GD.

First off, I put masking tape on the screen strut and marked a centre line. I removed the screws holding the strut in place and transferred the measurements from the drawing before drilling a pilot hole. I then opened the hole up to 3.2mm ready to tap at 4mm.

Once the hole was tapped, I fixed the bracket in place to double check the position of the other mounting hole and repeated the process.

The fixing bolts need to be cut down so that they don't protrude through the strut and foul on the screen itself and the screw that goes through the strut under the mirror fixing bracket also needs its head flattening so the bracket fits flush to the strut.

Fixing bolts cut down so they don't foul on screen frame

An Anticlimax

With the deadline of the Blyton track day to work towards, the build had been going at a frantic pace. In order to get the car running certain corners needed cutting which would mean taking parts of the car apart again to make sure it would be fit for IVA.

Having got the car back to the garage, we adjusted the clutch as it was slipping at Blyton and then road-tested the car locally on trade plates before starting the anti-climatic job of dismantling various sections starting with the dash.

In effect I went from having a drivable car to one that looked a mile away from the finished article in a matter of days :(

Needing to get my backside in gear, I developed a final build plan and tried to sort some time in my diary that I could block out to get back on to the build.

Track Day - Blyton

Blyton Track Day - 29th June 2013

When I received the email from GD at the start if the year suggesting a GD Track Day at the end of June I jumped at the chance. After all it was months away and my car would have been on the road for a while by the time it came around... How wrong could I have been??

Despite committing several man hours to the project, including a few days off work to spend the whole day working on the car, I was still miles form being ready at the start of June.

The most difficult task to complete was probably the engine wiring and trying to figure out the engine loom connections. I called in a local garage we use at work and asked for their help (the owner has previously built a Dax Rush so has some relevant experience) but his comments were "I'd love to help, but I couldn't begin to estimate how long it would take and if you think you are getting that on the track by the end of the month you are having a laugh!!!"

Whilst this was extremely frustrating, I was determined nt to be beaten and Ali and I got our heads together and put a project plan together, detailed the must do's to get the car mobile for Blyton.

At 530pm on Friday 28th June 2013, my car, the car I have built (with Ali) in my garage finally moved for the first time under it's own power. I hope to upload the video of this here soon :)

Unfortunately the joy was short-lived. The throttle was sticking as we hadn't got a proper return spring set-up and it had started raining heavily making the trailer really slippy. The next problem was trying to drive up the wet ramps and finding out that the exhausts were going to smash into the floor as there was insufficient clearance.

Some hours later, after adjusting the suspension as high as we could without having a proper adjuster spanner, putting some timber under the trailer ramps and after several failed attempts to get the car on the trailer (including a near miss with it falling off when the ramps collapsed) we finally got it loaded and covered with a tarp and set off at abnout 815pm for a 3 hour drive to Blyton.

15 minutes up the road the tarp started ripping and it was clear that it would have to come off, so a roadside stop saw to that and fortunately no more rain came down on the way up north.

We finally arrived at about 1130 and set about putting up the tent. Again not a straight forward task for a non-camper in the dark.

The car was off loaded and put in the hanger overnight and we had a chat with Andy from GD and a couple of the other owners about some of the problems we still had with running the car and got some good advice.

The next morning we were up early and had the car up on stands by 800am and set to work on final jobs before taking the car on the track. At 1130 we ran the car to the site entrance and back made. Andy made some tweaks to the carb and we got our first laps in just before lunch and WOW what an experience. Even keeping RPM below 4000 and not flooring it the car was awesome.

A few technical glitches were uncovered during the shakedown:-
  • Fan - set up as pushers not pullers and blades need to have orientation switched
  • Water and Oil Temp - gauges reading really high. Need to check if accurate and check voltage stabiliser
  • Throttle return spring - need a proper set up
  • Carb set up - need to talk to Ken at EDA about idle issues
  • Clutch - started slipping so need to look at adjusting
  • Road wheels - rubbing on inner arches need to be adjusted
  • Brakes - need bedding in
  • Mirrors - driving without them was a nightmare
All in all a great weekend, glad we made the effort and glad we got the car on the track and got in some useful driving time.

Was also really nice to meet Ryan Flook who's blog has been invaluable to me in my build, Tim who has bought Simon's red Cobra and has promised to share some useful info re iron block build accessory suppliers.

Pedal Box 2

Only 2 Days to Track Day

With the track day looming large I needed to get the accelerator pedal and throttle cable sorted asap.

The recommended method for fitting the throttle cable into the pedal is to cut a slot vertically down the top of the throttle pedal then drill through a small hole just bigger than the inner cable, then drill a larger hole half way through to accommodate the head of the throttle cable nipple.

The slot has been opened up to allow the cable t pass through but will be squeezed tight later

Note the bent cable - this will be straightened before final fit to avoid it sticking

The cable then passes through the bulkhead (you need to get the hole to be at the same height and position as where it sits in the pedal to avoiding it kinking when you press and release the pedal) and then through the inner wing via the access compartment where the brake and clutch master cylinders are mounted. It then passes to the other side of the engine and is fixed to a bracket attached to the rear left stud of the carb. There is then a ball and clip to fix it to the throttle linkage on the carb. A return spring is then fitted to ensure the throttle returns to idle and doesn't stick.

Sadly, my kit didnt come with the kit to fix the cable to the carb or the return spring linkage so some last minute eBaying was done and we came up with a fix that we hoped would work ok for the track day which was taking place in 2 days time!!!

Bit concerned that the throttle return spring wont be up to the job

Carpets 3

Some more photos of the carpets going in...

I still had the drivers side of the transmission tunnel carpet to fix in place. The chalk line shows where the carpet needed to be cut to allow it to fit into the extended footwell. This then needs some final trimming using offcuts - I will get on to that at a later date,

After fitting the transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead I moved on to the side panels. These are a little tricky to get right and you ned to make sure that you have trimmed the door edge down to 12mm. You also need to trim the leather edging as there is too much surplus and then where the bends are you need to cut nicks to avoid it puckering. A little ticky but all that was needed was a little trial and error.

The pieces that fit in the footwells against the front bulk were next. As the piece on the drivers side has to accomodate the pedal box, there were two options. One, I could cut around the pedal box or two, I could just cut the holes and then bolt through. I decided on the latter method. and got the positions by drawing around the holes on the bulkhead (after taking the pedal box back out) with chalk and then positioning the carpet panel in place and pushing against the holes. The chalk then transfers on to the back of the carper where I was then able to use a punch to make holes in just the right places.

Glue the carpet down and refit the pedal box hopefully for the last time, although you will notice the brake light switch is attached to the pedal box but I haven't as yet fitted the switch to the cluthc pedal that needs wiring into the loom to prevent starting without having the clutch depressed. I'm hoping I can retro fit this if I decide to go down this route without removing the pedal box.

When I first fitted the pedal box what seems like many months ago now, I was concerned that the pedals sat too high off the floor of the car. I bought some 20mm expanded foam off eBay and cut this to size to put under the carpet. At the moment I haven't glued this down as the footwell carpet is also padded so it might not be necessary after all.

Once the rear carpet was in the passenger side, I couldn't resist putting the seat and harness in pace and resting the leather panels I have to cover the transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead to give me a proper feel for what the interior was going to look like when finished.

First Sit in Car

With the seat and harness in place, I took the seat for the very first time. Odd that I fitted the passenger seat first...

Dash 4

Finally got the dash fitted for the first time and its a bit of a squeeze and will need some fettling to get it to be just right but its a good start.

It will also need to come back out in order to finish the wiring for the courtesy lights which I have fitted into the dash undertrays, to fit the heater ducting and to stick on the piping which finishes it off really well.

Its only going in now so that I can get the car running for the track day at Blyton.

With the dash fitted, I then did a temporary first fit of the column shroud. There is a plastic surround that comes with the steering column that fixes in place with two cap head. The stainless shroud facia is then fitted to it. To do this I drilled through the plastic and fitted a pair of Rivnuts to allow the shroud to be held in place with stainless cap heads.

The aluminium frame will need some trimming to fit properly around the column rake adjuster and ignition barrel and the edges will then need rubbing down before I can glue on the leather cover but it will do for now.

And this is what it looks like fitted...

Dash 3

The dash wiring is now finally sorted and the wires that come off the dash loom to the steering column electrics and the front section of the body loom have all been identified.

Once I am happy with the fitment of the dash I will cable tie them together to neaten them up as it looks like a whole lot of spaghetti at the moment. Who said old Hi-Fis were messy???

Dash 2

Been having a look at the dash undertrays and seeing how they fit in place and I'm not overly happy with the idea that they rest in place and the back and then simply are held there with the lip of the dash.

Reading some of the other blogs I see that several builders have had a tab welded in place that they can attach them to but having no welding gear and no access to anyone that has locally I needed to come up with a different approach.

In the end, i decided to drill small holes in the underside of the dash and screen support bars and fit rivnuts. I then drilled through the undertrays and fixed them in place with button heads.

This gives a firm enough mount that wont rattle and will support the weight of the MSD box located on the passenger side. Glad I didn't decide to cut a space for a glove box now!!!

Carpets 2

Made a start in fitting the interior carpets today - this needs to be done before the seats, harnesses and handbrake can be fitted.

The main sections are fairly easy to identify and I test fitted them without using adhesive to start with just to make sure they would fit ok.

Test fitted

I had already made the decision to fit sound proofing materials to the transmission tunnel and front and rear bulkheads so i was a little concerned how the adhesive would take but it turned out to be fine. Once again I followed advice in other blogs and glued a section at a time (see below) starting with the rear of the transmission tunnel.

Being glued in separate sections
I then did the front of the tunnel.

Once the transmission tunnel was sorted I moved on to fitting the rear bulkhead carpet. Before this can be fitted you need to cut away a couple of pieces of bodywork to allow the carpet to wrap round into palace. The sections marked on the photos below show this.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the result but there is some work to be done to get the side walls of the transmission tunnel perfectly flat, the section around the extended footwell also needs sorting and the end pieces of the rear bulkhead may have to be held in place with screws inside dished washers.