Friday, 30 April 2010

Fuel filler cap 2

After a wee bit of head scratching and going through the brake fitting I came up with a plan as I didn't want to go and get a npt tap for one job and have to order and wait for a 1/8 npt fitting.
I took out a M10 male and female brake fitting and decided to weld them giving the fitting required for the job.
Now I have loads of M10 taps 1.5 and 1.25 but no 1.00mm, sods law the filler neck is alloy so soft, so I decided to tap it the old fashioned way :) For M10 its a 9mm hole which I marked out but putting the neck back in the car and marking the location where it needed to be to route the brake pipe vent. Once marked it was drilled out.
next step I used the normal M10 tap JUST to start the thread by about 1 turn, once that was done I took a spare m10 male fitting (see pic) and cut 2 slots in it with the grinder. I used that slowly to tap a thread in the alloy filler neck just doing a bit at a time and keeping it lubricated. 10mins job done.
I then welded the male and female fittings together, ground them down and installed the finished item into the neck with some threadlock.
Just need to clean it up and put it away until a later stage when the body work is sorted.

Fuel filler cap 1

Decided to tackle the fuel filler cap today, I'm going with the Aston type. First of all I checked the center mark for the fuel neck to be installed. Happy with that I took out a 76mm hole saw and drilled the hole for the neck. I've been lucky so far that everytime I need a hole saw on the project I had the right size,
Next I added a couple of the gaskets supplied with the neck and cap and screwed them together, this meant I could set the cap in the right position on the car. I put a small bit of masking tape on the body and a bit on the filler and marked the 2 when the cap was in the right position.
Once removed 6 holes need drilled in the filler neck flange, these are pre marked underneath so easy enough to do with a 4.5mm drill bit. Once that was done on the top side I recessed the holes so the M4 button heads would sit flush.
Next the filler neck went back on the car lining up the masking tape marks, the 6 holes where then marked and drilled out on the body.
Simple as that ready to go on.
Well almosttttttt I had read somewhere that a breather needed fitted to the neck though there is already one in the cap. Flicking through the GD CD I seen the breather setup and also reading Simon's blog I knew one needed fitted. Firstly I didn't have a 1/8 npt male to female fitting and I didn't have a npt tap. Hmmmmm how to get round this

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Bonnet scoop 3

After drilling all the holes in the bonnet for the M4 button heads, next job was to cut a really big chunk out of the bonnet going through both skins.
I carefully ran masking tape 10mm right round the scoop in from the holes that had been drilled and 20mm in from the front of the scoop.
With this marked out a deep breath or 3 and the combination of the angle grinder for the straight bits and the dremel for the curves the cuts were made. The outer skin comes of first then you trim the corners of the inner skin to release it. Just before the cut through is made in the skins support it so it does not snap of and take a chunk of the bonnet with it.
Once cut out the file and the flap disc on the pencil grinder smoothed of any rough bits.
Now once the bonnet is cut it reveals the outer and inner skin, there is a gap between these and the surfaces need bonded together. IT is important not to squeeze these to skins butt tight as it distorts the bonnet, I checked this with GD.
So putting a few temp bolts in just to retain the natural gap between the skins I then bonded them with a polyurethane bonding agent, tiger seal, sikaflex etc does the same job.
With that done the next job whilst the bonnet cures is to remove the front part of the scoop so wire mesh can be installed. So tea break over and away to play with the dremel again :)

Bonnet scoop 2

With The actual position on the bonnet marked out, my next job was to mark out where all the holes where to be drilled in the scoop. After some head scratching and masking off round the lip with some 20mm masking tape I decided to make the first hole 10mm in from the front of the scoop at each side. After that I marked a hole dead center at the top of the scoop so that each hole from there to the front corner either side should work out in the same place. I then set about working out the spacings to make them equal 51mm worked out just about perfect after a few trail marks.
With everything marked out to my liking it was of to the pillar drill to drill all the holes out with a 4mm bit to suit the M4 by 20mm Button heads and lock nuts. If needed I can ream them with a 4.5mm bit later.
Once all was done The scoop was set back on the bonnet and held down with some gaffer tape to stop it moving about whilst the bonnet itself was drilled through both skins. Best to leave the masking tape on for this as the drill can spring when going through the skins.

Bonnet Scoop 1

Interesting thought cutting the center out of a perfectly finished bonnet.
Step one the top of the scoop starts 3" down from the edge at the bulkhead. Now to find the center line with curved corners and sloping sides makes it a bit more aquard.
On the straight part of the sides of the bonnet I made a few measurements up it and marked the center to give me a rough guide to start with. I laid the scoop on the bonnet and put some masking tape either side closest to the front of the car and another bit at the top in the center and marked it 3" down.
setting the scoop on I made a series of measurements at both sides and also the distance from the 2 front corners to the front of the bonnet. When I was sure it 3" down and had the same measurements side to side and also to the front of the bonnet I drew round the corners onto some masking tape also had a bit at the side. I could then remove it happily knowing that when placed back it would be in the same place.
When in place from each front corner to the front of the bonnet was 487mm and from the same front corners 220mm to each side of the bonnet. Top center was 3" from the bonnet top. I had another measurement at the top from side to side but this varies depending on where each person puts the tape across as a reference.


Made a start on the 2 doors the other day. The process of getting rid of the air bubbles along the join at the top of the doors and down the edge. The coarse lines were removed before with a file so it only meant flatting along the tops of the doors with 800 grit wet and dry, This was only to key the surface and not to try and sand down into the GD gel finish.
Once that was done I masked of the area either side of the mould lines and made up some gel coat 50.1 ratio or a couple of drops to a tea spoon.
I just let it sit for a couple of days to cure as I was in no hurry to get back at it, though I removed the masking tape a few hours after the gel went on.
Next stage was to sand down the newly applied gel with 800 grit paying attention to not go onto the GD gel to much, Once it was flatted down and the seam lines of the new gel totally blended in I looked over the door again and 95% of the air bubbles were taken care of.
If I had applied the 3rd coat of gel on the first hit I think it would of got them all out in one go, but happy now that this job is in hand.
I'll put some gel on the side of the doors and along the bottom when doing the final bit at the tops.


Yesterday when I got back home I finished of the rest of the under sealing, using stone chip and applied with the air fed stone chip gun. It's a lot less messy than brushing on rubber seal and isn't as easy marked once on, With 2 or 3 coats it gives loads of protection to the shell. You just need to watch for over spray and we bits getting on the body near where you are spraying so either cover the car or just wipe of any that gets on right away with some standard thinners. In total used about 7 liters on the car.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Buffer lies down :(

Well as it says on the tin, my pro buffer just decided to give up, the electronic speed control stopped working so its of to the shop as its only 5 months old and done a couple of cars. Just one of those things that happen and its one item that has never a good time to quit.
Early start this afternoon so while waiting for some tech info from GD re the dash instruments/switches I decided to buff the shell a wee bit, only got 10 Min's.
That buggers up my plans as it could be 2 weeks before it gets repaired, really wanted it for the holiday weekend.
A bit of a rethink in order now job wise, once I get back from town I'll tackle more of the under seal and get that job wiped out. Not sure whats on the list after that, I'm sure I'll soon come up with something :)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


The dash cut outs Hmmmmmm nervous to say the least, Opting for the Carbon faced dash which I think looks really well it was time to measure out and start cutting out the holes for the clocks, lights and switches. The Only problem is that one slip and the dash is scrap. The holes for the warning lamps are just a 12mm hole but I used a few sizes of drill bit to get up to the final hole size, I started with the battery drill but found it wanting to cut in once I got to the large bit and was in danger of taking a chip out of the face so I headed for the pillar drill which gave much more control and made the job easy. I would not fancy doing these free hand unless I reground the drill bit to a really small angle.
For the small Gauges, start button and hazard relay I used a hole saw which done the job perfect again on the pillar drill.
The 2 large cut outs for the Tacho and Speedo I reverted back to the trusty dremmel and the radius tool which worked spot on.
Took a long time to get to this stage but well worth it, next is to install the clocks and start the wiring. I got the Diagram from GD today which should help identify the wires etc. I went with the Smiths classic gauges which should go really well with the Carbon dash.
I want to get the Dash part finished as its a module and can be put away until needed again, then I can get back to the sanding and buffing, the part we all love so well :))))))))))))))))))))))

Monday, 26 April 2010

Door Gell and wiring loom

Looked at the tops of the doors where the mould join is, then sanded the area slightly to roughen the surface but not taking to much away from the gell, There is quite a few air bubbles as normal in the doors. After the sanding I masked of the area and coated both doors with some gell once it hardens I'll have a go at sanding it to see how it comes up, more on this later.
I took out the GD main harness today and had a look at it to see whats envolved with it, I must say its very well made and worth the extra cost implication as oppossed to a standard loom.
First job with the loom was to ID all the wires, I got this info from the GD paperwork. Idea with the labels was to ID the wires as the loom went in, knowing quicking at a glance what went where.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sanding and Buffing

Done some work on the dash on Friday, spoke to GD as the wiring loom came with no diagram or ID tags, Email to follow, but it didn't land so I took another look at the Gel coat as I mentioned before. It buffed up well but having done quite a few spray jobs over the years I reckoned I could get it even better to match a pro spray job,
So out come the DA sander and the 1500 discs, It's hard to see in the pics but if you look you can see after a light sand when the shine is off the surface in places has the appearance of an orange skin. I sanded the area until it was dead flat, One pic shows the finished result :) looks like a mirror infact you cant see the car, just looks like a perfect reflection.
Will take some time to go over the whole car and buff it up but the end result will be worth it.
Looking ahead I need to decide on interior trim and carpets etc so I know what route I am going down , wheel size is another issue that's floating about at the moment.

Friday, 23 April 2010


A bit more done, lights and indicators at the front are finished, I also cut the air vents out just need to get some stainless mesh for them. Oil cooler blank is cut out as well.
Mounted one of the side indicators to see how it looked, to be honest I would rather not have these but its an IVA must. Next I made a start on the rear lights but only done the side/stop and Indicator on one side as I need to sand and buff the mounting area on the other side.
All in all good progress this week and I ordered some more parts from GD over riders, twin cooling fans, seat belt anchor bolts and door Escutcheons that's another few quid taken care of.
I ordered some 3M 1500 grit sanding discs of EBay the other day and they arrived this afternoon, i,m thinking of flatting the complete shell again to get a more glassy finish as I can still see the odd dimple here and there, will make that decisions over the next few days.
Next on my list is to build the dash, I want to get all the cut outs done so I can make any cuts needed in the bulkhead area where the dash bolts up to. Not looking forward to this bit as I'm installing a Carbon fronted dash so no room for error and the thoughts of the drill bit chipping a lump out of the Carbon do not bear thinking about :(

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cut outs and Indicators

I decided to tackle some of the front cut outs, once measured a few times out come the trusty dremel, For any Cobra builder its a must do purchase :) as its used all the time.
Following the GD instructions everything went smoothly. One Indicator fitted. Still loads to do including the air vent cut outs but a little futher forward . Next is to get the headlight adjusting holes and mounting holes sorted.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Slow going this past while with half the house getting pulled apart, wall down, floor lifted new kitchen, bathroom and half the house tiled in natural stone but I guess we all have to do the indoor work at times :)
Anyways some further progress on the GD Cobra I got the door fitted and the mechanisms, this took a right bit of tweaking and adjusting to get the gaps right.
The bonnet fitting was a simple task but I ended up removing the hinges quite a few times to slightly bend them in one direction or another to get the bonnet set at the right height and the shut lines sorted. Looks much better than using washers or packers to sort it.
The boot was much along the same lines as the bonnet, once both were sorted I fitted the stay bars to both, the standard stay bars need the brackets modified in order to fit correctly, the bonnet lower bracket is removed and the hole used to bolt it in place, the boot lower bracket needs attached to another bracket with I made to fit under the boot lip.