a parcel from Pilgrim today, I had forgotten that they had never
sent me the steering column extension, I had since made up my
own !. Still at least I have a spare now.
job of the day, double check the alignment and bolt down the
body permanently, first the back, no problems here, I am using
ACME screws which are basically 6mm self tappers with a 10 mm
head. Then across the rear bulkhead behind the seat area. Finally
the two 8mm fixing holes at the front for the nose, everything
feels nice and solid now.
was about to fix the fiberglass bulkhead flange down to the
metal bulkhead floor when I noticed a problem. It seems there
is a fault in the molding and one side of the bulkhead is 80mm
deep ,(nearside), and the other side is 65mm deep. This is obviously
why the bonnet does not 'lay' all that well, one side or wing
is lower than the other. You can see the error if you bend down
in front of the Cobra and 'eye' along the top of the fiberglass
bulkhead curve in relation to the back bulkhead curve. I found
the best thing was to put spacers under the offside flange before
fixing down , this raises the offside to the correct height and
the bonnet now lays a lot better. There is now an unsightly gap
under the bulkhead fixing point, but the stainless steel sheet
for the bulkhead cover will obviously be
of sins !.
fixing, I had been dreading this but here goes anyway. There
is quite a bit of preparation first , the door has to be de-flashed,
holes cut out for the lock and hinge holes cut into the body.
I started with the body and cut out the two square sections ready
to take the hinge arms. Next de flashed the door, and then cut
out the slot for the door latch, (using a cardboard template).
now for fitting the hinge, hmm you need to be a bit of a contortionist
to get inside the body and reach up to the hinge fixing points
to get at the rear two bolts. I used 8mm coach bolts which fitted
perfectly in the slots, not requiring me to hold the bolt head
when tightening up, this helped a great deal. The hinge was spaced
out from the chassis with 10mm of washers.
with the two arms in place the door was offered up to the body,
using plasticine, (don't tell my daughters !), to hold the door
in place. I then marked out the holes and removed the door. After
drilling the holes the door was re-fitted and bolted into place,
after a bit of adjustment the door fits an works fine, well bugger
me . not too bad after all !.
body sills can now be bolted down and also help to adjust the
door gap, with a further bit of fiddling I achieved a reasonably
good fit, enough to keep me happy.
was painting the body I could get the gaps a lot better by filling
etc, but this will have to do, although I have been experimenting
with the tub of Gelcoat I bought with the body and it does go on
very well, rubs down and polishes up fine, so I could use filler,
then paint with Gelcoat, Hmmmm.
Not looking too bad so far !
Next weekend the other door and both door strikers/catches.
a bit of luck at the scrapyard this weekend, found a Mini which
had not been completely 'raped' as normal and still had the wiper
motor fitted. 15 min's later and 15 quid , I had myself a good
wiper motor. Probably next weekends job.
next job fit the other door and the door catches. This time things
went a lot better and the door was soon fitted and 'gaped' as
best I could. The door strikers from the donor next, the offside
only needed a couple of washers to space the striker out from
the fixing point, but the near side needed nearly 10mm of spacers.
It was a bit difficult marking where the strikers fixing holes
should go, I jammed the striker up against the door post then
carefully opened the door, leaving the striker in place, after
about 5 attempts, (each side), striker fixing holes were marked.
Unfortunately now the original Torx screws are now not long enough,
trying to find chamfered 8mm bolts is about as easy as finding
rocking horse s**t. I sorted the problem by welding on a length
of 8mm thread to the original screws. I now had working doors
the body could be finally bolted down along the sills, after
clambering up inside the wing again, I managed to get plenty
of glass fibre in my arms !!, note do not do this job in a tee
to fit the roll bar next, hmm how to mark the position for the
holes in the body. I drilled through from inside with a small
drill then kept enlarging the hole, looking down and keeping
the fixing stub in the center. Then tried on end of the roll
bar in the hole , gradually enlarging the hole each time. The
hole is actually an elongated hole because of the body curve,
I ended up making the hole far too big, but the trim plate covers
cam the problem after drilling both holes I found that no way
would the roll bar fit into the holes, it appeared the roll bar
was much too wide. I carefully measured the centers of the fixing
stubs and then the roll bar centers, yep the roll bar was a good
20mm to wide !. I was about to send the roll bar back when I
wondered if the roll bar could be 'persuaded' to fit, closer
examination showed the roll bar had spread so I leaned on one
end of the roll bar, and found you could bend the bar little
by little eliminating the spread.
worked as I was then able to successfully fit the roll bar.
looking too bad so far !
Next weekend should see the wiper motor and heater fitted, the exhausts
silencers should also arrive, meanwhile I am trying to locate Capri
or early Escort door handles..
which did surprise me was that the roll bar has been cut to exactly
the correct length, when mounted mine measured the required
had intended to sort the wipers and heater this weekend but during
the week my Pilgrim Exhausts arrived and couldn't wait to fit
them. I had ordered the baffles and heat guards at the same time,
so first thing fit them together?. After trying to figure out
how to fit the baffles, it soon became obvious you just bash
them up into the silencer, so armed with a rubber mallet and
tem minutes later both baffles inserted. The front bend now slots
into place and the exhaust is assembled.
problem, where do I make the hole in the body ?. There are no
measurements so I just looked at various pictures of show Sumo's
and decided where the hole should go. After cutting the down
pipe to size I drilled the first experimental hole, hmm locked
okay so I opened out the hole to take the full dia of the front
bend. My intention is to keep the exhaust level with the bottom
of the chassis, so eventually by opening out the hole a bit
more and experimenting with the angle of the down pipe, I found
I supported the exhaust with two car jacks and marked the position
for the escutcheon plate,you have to be careful here as there
is no room for error, the fixing holes for the plate are very
close to the edge. The problem I now found was that the angle
of the down pipe and exhaust bend are such that the silencer
does not 'lay' parallel to the body, brute force is needed to
persuade the silencer to fit close enough and parallel. Now while
everything is in the correct place, time to make up the brackets.
design I came up with was to use a 6" length of 1 1/2" flat bolted
to the bottom of the chassis, then drops down an inch to allow
for the bobbin, then another piece of flat from the 12mm fixing
stud on the silencer, to the top of the bobbin. This way the
exhaust bottom is level with the bottom of the body, as I intended.
I do not have a strong enough vice to bend the flat to provide
the inch drop, so I simply welded two lengths of the flat to
a piece of 1" angle to provide the required step.
system seems to work well, I will remove the brackets later to
get them plated. The same procedure was repeated for the other
side and both exhausts were in place. The other side was a bit
easier as I had a good idea where to drill the body hole, etc.
final job was to fit the heat guard, (a 40 quid cheese grater
really), these came with big jubilee clips to mount them, no
for the big moment, I was dying to here what the engine sounded
like with the silencers, so turn the key and ... fantastic, no
more BANG BANG just a nice soft rumble, rev it a bit and that
lovely V8 purr you often dream about, lovely stuff.
to have a go at the Mini wiper,after a bit of cleaning up and
an electrical check I dismantled the whole system for an overhaul.
One problem with the Mini wiper system is that the main gear
wheel rotates the wipers through an arc of 110 degrees. That's
fine for a Mini but in a Cobra the wiper blade finishes it's
sweep right in front of the passengers face, now you may not
want the passenger to see what's happening or how fast the
is approaching, but I will have my wife as passenger most
of the time, and she was having none of that.
solution is quite simple , the gear can be replaced with another
one giving a wider arc, they are available in steps of 5 degrees,
I went for a 130 degree gear, the largest sweep you can get.
I got mine from Stafford Vehicle Components, who informed me
this was correct for my Sumo. The gear is simple to replace
and only takes about 10 min's.
wheel boxes looked okay, I just replaced the Chrome nuts. Now
to re-assemble and fit the wiper system. I first drilled the
holes in the body, then fitted the wheel boxes and measured
up to cut the spacer tubes. The manual tells you to cut the
first tube, (the one from the motor to the first wheel box),
230mm which is strange as it isn't that long !, I left it as
is and it fitted perfectly. The motor is bolted up under the
bulkhead rail with the original clamp. The next tube only needs
about 40mm cut off and the end is re-flared with a bent six
inch nail, (well it worked for me). Plugged in the connection
from the Pilgrim loom and hey presto everything works !!.
job the heater, now I have a heater from a Polo , which would be
better than the Mini heater, but I have not yet worked out
how to fit it, and I will need to make up my own 'air box'.
So for now I have decided to fit the traditional Mini heater.
heater itself is a simple affair and only requires a couple
of brackets made up and it it fitted. I have not bolted it
down yet as it's position is dependant on the position of the
as the control arm needs to poke through the dash. I connected
up the heater plumbing but not bolted it down yet. I had intended
to push the heater as far back as possible and control the
heater buy an electric motor or remote cables, thus leaving
the space in the dash for a Radio. Unfortunately there is not
enough room (depth), to fit the radio in front of the heater,
so I will be fitting the heater as Pilgrim intended. The radio
will end up in the glove compartment, which will have a lockable
door , hiding the radio.