Body Mounting 2

Today is a big big day in the life of my Cobra

Today the body and the chassis will be mated and two will become one!!

I have spoken to Andy at length about this and read every blog over and over and I must admit I'm a tad worried. There seems to be one school of thought that it is a complete and utter balls ache and takes hours to an alternative view point that it takes a lunch break.

A number of lads from work have volunteered to stay back and help me and Ali lift the body on and my grateful thanks to... Ian Clarke, Jon Hughes, Jason Atkin, Will Dowling, Bob Hunter, Wayne Hodgson and Mark Stevens (guys your on the tin ter net!!)

Not many photos of this part of the build but I do have a video which I will upload as soon as I can edit it down from the full 12 minutes it took to get the body in place. Yes 12 minutes!!! However this was merely to get the body on top of the car - the mounting holes were no where near where they needed to be and they weren't sorted for another 3 1/2 hours.

Down a bit...

Body on... Sort of on

We're not just posing we are trying to get the body to sit a bit lower so the mouting holes line up!!

One problem we encountered was the stainless steel header tank I had had made fouled on the inner wing of the car. Fortunately we spotted this before it becasme too much of a problem and it was removed. Once the body was on, the wing was marked and then cut with the Dremel to allow the tank to fit.
Inner wing marked

Header tank fitted

Body Mounting

A date has now been set to fit the body to the chassis (27th Feb) and no matter what it is happening. This means some preparation is required and a quick run through the checklist of things that can be done after fitting the body. Lets hope I don't forget anything important or the body will be coming back off!!!

List of jobs still outstanding but happy to leave til body is on...

1. Cut bonnet and fit scoop - this needs to be left until the  body is on as I am planning on using a the traditional oval 'Ford Cobra' style air filter and there is some doubt as to whether this will actually fit.

2. Windscreen and Dash Supports - decided I would prefer to do this after fitting body. Two reasons, (a) the body will weigh less and (b) I am worried it might shatter if we have to do much jiggery pokery to get the body aligned correctly.

3. Fit bonnet latches and escutcheons

4. Fit brake and clutch fluid reservoirs to bulkhead

Jobs still to be done before the body goes on...

1. Mark rear mounting holes - the holes that are already there (that have been filled in) are not in the correct position for the the Mk4 Euro chassis. Andy gave some advice on the positions for the new holes but said they dont have to be too precise as they can be adjusted afterwards. I measured the distance between centres on the rear mountings fixed to the chassis then transferred these to the body, starting by marking a centreline the measuring the correct distance out.

Centreline marked

Estimated mounting hole positon marked (note the filled hole - not for use on Mk4 Euro)

2. Add chamfer/leading edge to transmission tunnel body mounts - Andy advised its best to apply a chamfer to these mounts to allow the body to slide over them more easily.

Using grinder to apply chamfer to top edge of body mount
This should make fitting the body that little bit easier

3. Cant think of a number 3 but I bet I will when its too late...

Seat Runners

Received the next consignment of parts from GD today.

Sorting through the fixings for the seats, I couldn't quite believe how many bits and pieces there were. Think I will be waiting for the seats to arrive before attempting to do anything with them.

Side Louvres

The front wings have a recessed area where side louvres are fitted. ON the offside this is purely for show on the GD but on the nearside there are holes drilled for ventilation purposes for the heater matrix.

There are nice polished covers to be fitted here but with the car being white in colour I though it would look a bit artificaial if they were just fixed in place. I had also seen some other Cobras where the owners had painted the recess matt black to make it look like the louvres actually led through to the engine bay and I decided to copy this approach.

I contemplated whether or not to spray the rebate or just the flat section and decided on the latter. My logic being that if the vents were 'real' then the aluminium wing would be rolled into this shape and would therefore be in body colour.

The side of the car was fully masked and then several coats of matt black paint were applied. I had a slight problem wiht blistering on the off side but i overcame this by rubbing down, filling and respraying.

And here is the finished result. I wont be fitting the grills until after IVA as this is anohter of the strict requirements and a simple blanking plate will be fitted (no sharp edges). Bit of a strange one for IVA in my opinion given BMW 'M' cars and Aston's have side vents amongst others. 

Oil Cooler

Not sure how necessary an oil cooler really is for my car but they just have that 'cool' look when you see the big gaping mouth on a Cobra and it kind of looks incomplete without one so this was something else on the options list I decided to tick.

So today, I made a start on fitting it...

First things first, I laid out all the components in the kit to see what went where and it all looks quite simple.

Oil filter has to come off to allow an adaptor to fit between the mounting point on the block and the oil filter. Two braided hoses then run to/from a thermostat and then two more hoses run to/from the thermostat to the oil cooler itself (which is in effect a small radiator).

Sounds simple enough but, and there always seems to be a but with every task on this build there are a number of things that aren't that straightforward. First off, the oil filter needs to be changed for a shorter one as the one supplied with the engine wont fit once the adaptor, which is about 35mm thick is fitted, as it fouls on the lower chassis rail. Next off the hoses runnign to/from the thermostat leave it needing to be mounted in thin air, so a bracket has to be made to locate this. Then there is no clear way of fixing the oil cooler in place in the nose of the car.

So, a new shorter filter was ordered and fitted and the hoses connected

Shows adaptor, one hose and shorter filter fitted

Adaptor and hoses fitted

As I mentioned earlier the thermostat ends up resting in mid air somewhere between the two wishbone uprights (see pic below). I havent ordered a braket for this yet as I want to see where the return hoses from the oil cooler end up once that is fitted as I may end up having the hoses shortened or replaced wiht longer ones as required. More on this to follow.

Oil Cooler Thermostat - requires mounting

Extended Footwell

Having cut the opening for the extended footwell some time ago, I have for one reason or another , been putting off finishing the job of preparing the extension piece.

I decided to go with popular convention and fit using rivnuts but the jury is still out on whether or not to use EPDM foam between the extension and the body or just use a bead of silicone - still time to think about this though.

Now there's a reason why people recommend that you take a break from any task when you have been working on it for a long time and this turned out to be one of those times!! I really should have finished for the evening rather than trying to get this one last job done. But that is the benefit of hinsight for you and fortunately the error was soon spotted and rectified quite quickly.

The first thing to do was to mark the first fixing hole, which I did without problem and drilled the hole out ready to accept the rivnut.

I then fitted the first rivnut...

Rivnut fitted the wrong way
As you can see form the photo, I fitted the rivnut the wrong way. Fortunately I realised my mistake quickly before fitting the others so I drille dit out and re-fitted.

Rivnut fitted right way this time!!!

All rivnuts in place awaiting polishing

Finally finished it off and decided to call it a night at that point. 

Will get around to rubbing this down and polishing when I can.

Underseal 2

With most of the undersealing complete, all that remained was to underseal the sills of the car to give that 'real car' look.

Masked off the sills just above the joint line and painted on the Isoflex I had used underneath the rest of the car.

Pretty pleased with the end result...


One final bit of preparation required on the chassis before the body can go on is the fitting of the gear shift selector and then cutting a suitable hole in the steel sheet chassis cover.

With the Tremec box you get the option of fitting the selector in either the forward or reverse position.  Given we are of similar height, I asked Andy at GD what his preferred position is and he said he likes the selector in the rearwards position as the cranked lever takes put the head of the shifter in an ideal place.

Note two holes allow for fitment in forward or rearwards position



Showing hole through top sheet

Once the gear shift position was finalised this then needed transferring to the the transmission tunnel and a hole cutting here to allow the body to be fitted.

I used the body mounting holes/brackets as a reference point and went from there.

Gearbox and Things

17th February 2013

In preparation fo rthe body being fitted, some final jobs needed doing on the gearbox. Namely:-

Reverse Light Connections

Sort out reverse light connections. There are two brass, screw-like, fitting comings off the left hand side of the gearbox. These need connecting to the engine loom to work the reverse lights.

The engine loom has long wires that pass down along the side of the chassis rail but they have no terminals attached. Was advised by GD that you cannot easily get a suitable connector so he advised making one of our own. This was achieved by using a pair of bullet connectors and pushing them on.

Reverse light connections (close up)
Homemade connections

Speedometer Connections

There is a connector located on the right hand side of the gearbox in a fairly inaccessible position which needs connecting to the engine loom to work the electronic speedometer.

Again, I was advised by GD that suitable connectors are not readily available and that we should fabricate our own. We achieved this by stripping back some bullet connectors and fixing in place with a big blob of silicone!!

Cap removed and locknut loosened to allow some sort of access
Speedometer connector - close up

One final thing thing was to check the connections before putting the body on.

It was a few days after doing all of this that I found on another blog that proper terminals are available form Real Steel Engines :(

Other Connections

The lead in the photo below will not be used in my build. It is a neutral lock out to prevent the car being started whilst in gear. Being of an age where I learnt to drive by always depressing the clutch pedal, I decided this was some additional wiring I could do without (as per a standard factory build).
 This is a neutral lock out to stop the car form starting in gear.

Gearbox Oil

Decided to take this opportunity to fill the gearbox up with oil at this point as it will be easier than when the body is on.

Note we are using automatic transmission oil AQ3 but this is the spec recommended by Tremec.


Some photos of the front body loom fitted in place following undersealing of the arches and nose cone.

All that needs to be done to finish this off is to fix the loom to the bonnet hinge moulding and apply heat shrink to the connectors once everything has been tested.

Need attaching to bonnet hinge moulding - note P clips already in place

N/S Wheel Arch

Washer Bottle 2

16th February 2013

The new stainless washer bottle reservoir arrived this week and I managed to get this fitted.

It was a bit of a faff getting it to line up with the header tank as, although they are the same diameter, they have different mounting brackets and are fitting onto a circular section of chassis.

The braket has to be more substantial for the washer bottle as this is all that will hold it in place, whereas the header tank has two top hoes maintaining its position.

More Painting

16th February 2013

Having had problems getting hold of my contact that had kindly got my other body metal work powder coated, I decided that the remaining bits would have to be painted instead.

None of these bits would be very visible so I wasn't overly concerned and they have turned out ok.

Dash support bar

Bonnet hinges, battery and roll hoop brackets

 Wasn't really sure whether or not to do the tank as it will be unndercover in the boot, but once again I thought it would look better if it ever has to come out!! Using can based primer the end result wasnt  great so decided to get Stuart at Carsmetic (the guy who sprayed the bulkhead) to spray it in his booth for me.

Fuel tank in grey primer