Untitled Document
  • 21st November 2016 – Getting ready to turn the key.

    We had previously connected up the dash and wiring looms as well as mechanical gauge connections, water temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature. These all run directly from the gauges through the bulkhead onto the engine.

    We also had to consider where to run the battery feed cables. As battery shelf is located on the near side of in the engine bay between the foot well and front wheel arch, we drilled a hole through the bulkhead behind the wiper motor unit and fed the battery cables through to connect onto the starter.

    We added some fuel to the tank and we were now, in theory at least, ready to start up. Mark tried and turned the key but realised that something wasn’t quiet right as the engine started but cut out straight away. Knowing that we had fuel pressure, Mark rechecked the wiring to the coil and ballast resistor finding the positive feed to the coil was being pulled down to ground by the wire from the starter. This then killed the coil and the spark. Upon rechecking the wiring on the starter Mark realised the wire for the coil was connected to the incorrect terminal on the starter for the ballest resistor bypass.

    Once this was rectified, the engine started perfectly. We haven’t got any exhaust fitted at the moment so I think we got the attention of most of the neighbourhood. What a noise!

  • November 2016 – Upgrading the fuse box

    Things haven’t moved on as quickly as we had hoped over the last year or so, but we both knew that we weren’t too far away from a big milestone on the build of actually turning that key and getting it started up. We spent a day back in August getting the wiring loom sorted and connected up but with the wiper unit not being finally installed, this had prevented us getting the wiring loom fully connected up and the dash in.

    We had also decided at this point that we weren’t so happy with the older bullet type fuses in the fuse box as these open up and can lose connection when warm. So we decided we would prefer to replace the original fuse box that was part of the wiring harness with a more modern blade type fuse box. We felt this was a good addition at this point as it will be behind the dash and won’t be visible. We also decided to reposition the new fuse box underneath the relays to make them more accessible when the dash is installed.




  • 6th August 2016 – Wiring up

    We spent another day on the build and thought it was time we got on with the wiring. Wiring up the outer components such as the lights, fuel pump, was all quiet straight forward as we had run the front and rear parts of the wiring loom previously. We also created an earth to the chassis which we did underneath the rear axle.


    The main challenge is to connect the front and rear parts of the wiring loom to the central part which is eventually located behind the dash and connects to all the gauges and switches on the dash, as well as the fuse box and relays. This can easily become like a mass of spaghetti and a little overwhelming. Fortunately we had spend time previously labelling all the wires and connections separately which made it easier to follow the wiring diagram. We decided to connect up the gauges and switches before bring the dash back into the car.





  • 6th April 2014 – Rear wiring harness

    So… after a few months of inactivity, we got a day back on the build. Things have had to take a back seat for the last few months.We intended to get the boot all sorted out. This included doing the final fit of the fuel tank and also fitting the spare wheel well.

    The first job of the day was to sort out the rear wiring harness. For extra protection, Mark had bought some 10mm wiring conduit that we decided to fit around the part of the wiring loom coming through the rear bulk head and through the inner sill under the drivers door. So we fitted it and also taped it all up using wiring loom tape before feeding it through the bulk head into the cabin around the rear wheel arch and behind the panel below the door and into the drivers foot well where eventually it will be connected to the loom behind the dash. We had previously installed some 20mm plastic wiring conduit tubing behind the door panel when we fitted the panels (read about that here). As planned this made feeding the loom through much easier and kept the wires all nicely hidden. The only exposed part round the rear wheel arch we neatly secured in place a with plastic p clips.

  • 8th June 2012 – Making the dash

    While Mark was sorting out the coolant system and pipes, I took on the task of making the dash. We are making this dash to suit our standard Hawk Loom. All of our gauges are Smiths Cobra with a mechanical oil, water temperature gauges and a mechanical oil pressure gauge. We’d already cut out the area for the steering column a while ago, so I initially got to work cutting out the remaining holes for the dials. At this stage the plan is to make an IVA compliant dash.

    The gauge holes were cut with a 54mm holesaw and the switch holes were cut with a 16mm drills which I increased a little to allow for the covering material. Obviously the holes need to be large enough for the dials as well as to allow for the covering material to be layered through the holes and stuck to the back of the dash.

    We phoned Gerry again just to double check the position of the gauges. We decided to fit the tacho right of the steering column and the speedo in the glove compartment area. This it for the IVA test as the normal location for the speedo will be obscured by the steering wheel spokes, and fail the test. For the smaller gauges in the triangle, Top row – Water temp, Oil temp, Oil pressure – middle row Volt, Fuel meter and at the bottom the clock.

    To relocate the speedo, I made a pattern of the glove box opening and cut some 10mm ply and a second piece with a bigger hole from 5mm to make a recessed for the speedo. We then screwed this in place from behind and secured in place using gaffer tape on the front and behind.

    I then covered the dash with leather cloth we had sourced from a company on the internet. We ordered a 2 meter roll so have loads left over. We used spray mount glue to stick the cloth down and then secured on the rear side using more gaffer tape. This of course is a temporary measure for the IVA test, as the plan is to get the dash covered properly once the IVA is out of the way and we can move the speedo to the position behind the steering wheel.

    Once covered we cut the circle for the gauges and switches and again secured using the spray glue and more gaffer tape. It was then time to put the gauges and switches in and connect them up to the dash wiring loom. As we have gone for mechanical oil and water temperature gauges and a mechanical oil pressure gauge, mechanical speedo and a tacho it means some of the dashboard wiring loom isn’t required.

  • 31st March 2012 – Wiring loom (part 1)

    We had now got to a stage where we could start thinking about the wiring up the Cobra. So we got the wiring loom out of the box in the shed that it had been sitting in for months. We made the decision a while ago, upon fitting a standard Hawk loom to avoid any major issues at the IVA test. It includes all switches, fuses, relays, an immobiliser kit and battery connections. The complete loom actually contains three looms, one that goes through the engine Bay, one that sits behind the dash and one that feeds the back end. These will all eventually plug together to make a complete loom.
    While I was away over Christmas, Mark decided to get ahead of the game and had already spent a couple of hours marking all the connection points using masking tape to make it easier with the installation. I’m sure this will save hours of frustration in the future.
    Firstly we laid the three looms out on the grass to see what we were up against. We then moved them inside and laid them over the body to get a rough idea for the route for the wires.

    Having read about Stuart Clarkes experiences with his wiring loom we decided, as he had done, to do things a bit differently with the fuses and relays. Like Stuart, we didn’t like the idea of these being fitted on the driver’s footwell inside the engine bay and decided to follow his example and mount them inside the cabin above the steering column (Stewart actually decided to mount below the steering column). You can read about Stewarts experience here.
    We just needed to feed the front loom through the bulkhead into the engine bay through a hole right in the corner of the bulkhead. Mark conveniently had a 40mm gommet lying spare in his tool box that would be just the job for fitting to the engine bay side of the bulkhead so the loom could easily pass through. We decided to drill a 40mm hole before carefully feeding all the loom wiring through the gomment to the position where the loom would enter the engine bay. The grommet sat in the recess quite nicely.

    Next up was to decide how to mount the relay and fuse box. We sat and had a cuppa while we had a good think about it. We knew we had to mount some sort of bracket to the rear side of the bulk head, but we didn’t want extra bolts to be seen on the engine bay side, so thought it would be a good idea to use the same holes used to rivet the metal heat shields to also secure the brackets for this job.
    We found an old piece of right angled aluminium in the shed that we thought might just work a treat, so we measured up and cut to fit. We provisionally fitted the steering column to make sure the bracket had enough clearance (we still need to recon the steering column and fit properly…more to come on this later). We then drilled out 4 of the rivets in the bulkhead panel to then re-rivet with the bracket attached on the rear side. We thought to mount it in this position would be better for the SVA regarding potential dangers with catching bracket edges. Although this will make the relays slight more tricky to access, we didn’t see this as a big issue as modern day relays don’t fail as often as older ones.
    Last was to mount the relay unit to the bracket which we did with 2 small screws, We also used self adessive foam padding to protect the wire from potential chaffing against the bracket and rivets. We made an extra bracket to mount the fuse box next to the relays – More to come on this in part 2