How it works.

I cannot promise this will always be the latest information , but when things are slack in the garage Ill post up what I can.

Friday, 1 October 2004

Engine Part 2.

Did I mention that whilst this was going on I was also managing the build of a brand new purpose built garage designed to build the car in, nothing like doing things the easy way!

The engine now sat for 6 agonising months whilst the garage and surrounding works were finished and I made what I consider to be my next hasty decision. I got itchy feet and went out and brought a Jag rear axle from John Gordon’s in Accrington. Logic would have said concentrate on the engine but I had no direction with that yet and 6 months had allowed some cash to build up and start burning a hole in my bank account! Back to the engine!

Finally with the garage completed and kitted out I was able to get the engine up on the stand and begin stripping away the years so to speak. First off were all the rocker arms and out with the pushrods, the first and then the second head came away.

Things looked a bit ugly but I was happy to see the bores in good condition measuring out at standard 4.00, with only one showing a strange mark on the side.

I continued stripping stuff out until finally the bare block was left albeit with a hefty coating of sludge and old gaskets. Nothing for it but to get a set of gasket scrappers and start cleaning.

The block was now ready for machining so off to South Cerney Engineering Ltd in South Cerney we went, South Cerney chemically cleaned, decked to 8.2”, bored/honed to suit my 0.30” over KB115s and installed my new cam bearings. This was not cheap but their work is worth paying for, also every other shop I phoned locally to me said “a Ford what, is that a Pinto?” When delivering my block there were 3 302’s, 2 289’s and a couple of 351’s sat waiting to be collected, all of which were for a single customer who builds race engines, therefore I got the impression that Cerney knew what they were doing with the Ford block.

Sunday, 11 July 2004

Running Gear - Front Axles.

My front axles were sourced from The Jag Shed in Swindon, I started by removing the road springs to get to this stage.

From here it didn't take too long to take them all apart although copious use of WD40, a breaker bar and the impact wrench were required. I'm really glad I got a compressor with a 50L tank.

Unfortunately at this time I was more interested in taking things apart than I was in documenting the process, so virtually no photographs exist of the destruction.

I can show a brake caliper though.

But that's about it!!

Needless to say I wound up with lots of bits and an equally large box of scrap that wasn't needed.

What you end up with is a shelf of bits like this.

All the good bits were thoroughly degreased in my wife parents old bath (handy them renovating at this exact time!) gave the wife a laugh!

And then they were sent to a local firm in Chiseldon for shot blasting.

Once cleaned I painted the bits with POR15, this involves 4 stages.

1) Degrease and clean with POR15 Marine Clean.
2) Surface etch the metal with POR15 Marine Clean.
3) Paint POR15 in Silver.
4) Paint with POR15 Engine Enamel in Red.

Stage 4 is optional but the POR15 is not UV stable unless covered in and top coat, I chose red to be different from everyone else who has black or silver. Plus I like red!

Heres the first batch of parts after stage 4.

All ready to start putting the front axles together, thats for another night!!

Thursday, 1 April 2004

The engine Part1

Well I decided to build the engine first as it was something I could get on with whilst I saved up for the chassis.

What to fit, well it had to be a V8, when it comes to a Cobra you just have to ask WHY? when faced with 4, 6 or 12 pot power plants, like strawberry jam in an omelette,(see Gary Rohdes) ITS NOT RIGHT!!! So with that cleared up I looked at the usual suspects of Rover and the Yank V8’s, I started off small deciding on 3.5 RV8 with a stock rebuild and possible LPG conversion but this time I managed to control my desire for power and decided eventually on the Ford 302.

With the engine type sorted I researched many options for the rebuild including buying a turnkey, but thanks to a big mortgage my entire Cobra build is being completed on a £200 a month budget allocation, so I either waited a couple of years to buy a turnkey or I got stuck in and learnt how to do it myself. I went for DIY. Step one, buy a copy of Tom Monroes “How to rebuild small block Fords”. Here comes my first potential howler, I purchased my crank and rods before I had a block finalised! I ordered a CAT crank and Eagle SIR5090FP rods from Now although this may have been hasty I got the crank, rods, ARP head bolts plus a full gasket kit for less than I could have purchased the rods for in the UK so I figured I did OK.

Next I set about sourcing the base block for the rebuild I approached, so after a few conversations to Brian at Henwick garage in Worcester I was the happy owner of a 1971 302 long block on standard bores.