Untitled Document
  • 16th November 2014 – Fitting new Clutch lines

    As we had replaced the old clutch release slave cylinder with the new Hydraulic throw-out  release bearing, we decided we would also replace the braided hose that we originally installed to connect the master cylinder to the clutch release with proper brake pipe.  We originally mounted a braided hose back in June 2011 when we fitted the brake pipes but we felt that installing a new line using brake line would look must better. The clutch pipe runs parallel with the brake line around the front of the chassis to connect to the new clutch release input line on the near side of the gear box bell housing.

    Mark firstly flared the end of the line connecting to the master cylinder and connected it up before carefully running the new line around the front parallel to the brake lines. We used 5mm P-clips and self tapping screws to secure in place.  The final job will be to connect up the new clutch release input line of the new hydraulic bearing using a female AN-4 fitting screw. Unfortunately we didn’t have one to hand so we have ordered one to fit later.



  • 15th November 2014 – Fitting new Clutch release – Part 2

    Once the new bearing was measured and fitted correctly it was then a case of reinstalling the transmission and connecting back to the bell housing.

    Important point is always have the AN-4 line with the bleeder valve at the top when the bearing is properly adjusted.  The bleeder valve must be at the top position when fitted.

    Getting the transmission back in was a bit of a fiddle, while feeding the lines through the old fork hole opening in the bell housing. It is important to check that these lines do not make contact the spinning clutch and flywheel when the engine is running.


    We were mindful of the fact that we needed to protect these 2 lines so we decided to finish of the job by making a simple plate that would cover the opening in the bell housing where the original clutch fork protruded and have the 2 lines pass through this plate, using 2 grommits to protect them from potential chafing. The bellhousing had 2 holes on the back and side that were close to the opening  that would be ideal to bolt into to secure a plate to the outside.  Firstly we had to tap a thread into these holes. The holes were different sizes, we put a 10mm bolt on the back side, with a 6mm bolt on the side.

    We then made up a simple cardboard template to shape and marked the 2 places where the 2 securing bolt hole would be. Once confident we had is right we marked it up and cut it out in aluminium sheet. We then bent it to shape using the vice while continually checking the shape against the side of the bellhousing. It took a bit of time to get this right. Once we had is correct we finally marked up and drilled 16 mm holes for the 2 lines to pass through. Although this plate will be mostly out of sight we decided to give it a quick polish as well.

    Before the final  fit we decided to use double sided rubber foam on the back side of the plate to create a good seal between the plate and the bellhousing, while also to prevent any unnecessary rattling that may occur.


    We are really happy with the final fit. We think its a really tidy solution. Not only do we believe that using the “Throw out bearing clutch release” will give us a more responsive clutch but we have managed solve the clearance problems we had with the original slave cylinder and the clutch arm.


  • 15th November 2014 – Fitting new Clutch release – Part 1

    In order to fit the new clutch release it meant us taking out the gear box. So we got to it, unbolting the prop shaft, and the 4  front bolts that bolted the gearbox to the bell housing. With the gearbox out we could then go about fitting the new bearing.


    Fitting the McLeod Hydraulic Throw-Out Bearing



    You must screw the “Adjusting screw” all the way into the bearing assembly. We then slipped the bearing assembly onto the input shaft collar on the transmission. Be sure the tapered side of the adjusting screw goes on the transmission collar to sit against the base of the collar. The bearing should fit tight.


    There are two important measurement that need to be taken to make sure the bearing is fitted correctly and has enough clearance.

    Dimension A: With the bell housing, flywheel,disc and pressure plate bolted to the engine, measure the distance from the rear surface of the bell housing to the top of the release fingers on the pressure plate.

    Dimension B: Measure from the front of the transmission to the front face of the release bearing.


    You then have to subtract “Dimension B” from “Dimension A”. This will give the clearance from the bearing to self adjust. The total allowable clearance should be between 0.100″ and 0.150″. You can adjust the distance by screwing out the bearing until the proper clearance is achieved. One complete turn will provide 0.06″ movement forward. There is also an extra spacer that comes with the kit which you can use if required to make the clearance. We found that using the spacer with one turn of the the bearing gave us a clearance of 0.123″ which was perfect.


  • 15th November 2014 – Clutch fork problems


    There was a little problem that we have needed to sort. That was namely the clutch fork. We realised a while ago when we got the body back on that the clutch fork was way too close to the body to allow it to work. It had already been shortened by Gerry when we bought the kit but it was obvious there was not enough space for it to work.

    Word of warning/advise for anyone building a Hawk kit with this clutch specification. Before you get the body back on check the measurements and the space you have for the clutch fork, as modifying it before the body is back on would have been easier in our case.

    We had tried to get at it with a hacksaw to cut it down  but after a few attempts we realised this was a pig of a job to get too and wouldn’t be a nice finish even if we did manage to shorten it.  We weren’t happy with this clutch release, so Mark decided to go off to do some research about other clutch release methods that might more suitable. Although perhaps not as authentic, we thought that a hydraulic throw back bearing assembly might be a good upgrade which would allow us to ditch the whole clutch slave cylinder and be a much tidier job. We spoke to Real Steel and they suggested a McLeod Slip-On style assembly that would fit our T5 gearbox and clutch.


  • 16th August 2014 – Fitting the windscreen wipers

    So we decided to get on with the build again after several months going by without anything being done.


    First job of the day was to fit the windscreen wipers in place.


    There are 2 marks in the body moulding where the wipers should be located. The windscreen wiper wheel boxes protrude from underneath the body at a forward angle so firstly we marked them up and drilled a small pilot hole through the body using the angle from the chrome fitting as a guide. We then followed on by drilling a bigger 16mm hole then used a file to carefully get the final shape.


    We fitted the wheel boxes underneath the body behind the dash but due to the angle they need to be fitted at we decided to make an extra wedge shaped piece of wood that we hope will give more support. It was simply a case fitting the wheel box, marking the angle and cutting the wood to shape. Then it was easy enough to fit then in place tightening up the bolt on the stork.


    The final thing  was to fit the wipers and wiper blades. These came from Gerry and look great. We needed to bend the arm a little to get them to fit perfectly with the screen which wasn’t difficult. We put them in the vice and carefully tapped with a rubber hammer until we got them the right shape.


    The next job will be to fit the motor and connect them up. More to come on this.


  • 26th October 2013 – Connecting Master cylinders & reservoirs


    Connecting up the master cylnder with the clutch and front and rear brakes was something we had wanted to get done for a while and not got around to.

    We ran in the front and rear brake pipe in June 2011 and had left the pipe loose ready for connection. Firstly Mark cut down the front to rear brake pipe to size and then  bent the pipe around to fit the unions, carefully doing so without trying to cause a kink in the pipes. He then double flared the ends of the pipes that would connect into the unions. The rear brakes we connected to the central master cylinder.


    Mark then made up a new piece of pipe to connect the right hand master cylinder to where the brake switch union sits on the front right hand part of the chassis. Again, taking his time carefully bending the pipe to shape without causing the pipe to kink. This would then connect up the 2 front brakes to the master cylinder. Once all the pipes were bent in place Mark then neatly secured these pipes to the chassis with P-clips.



    Last job was to connect the clutch slave cylinder to the left hand master cylinder. The clutch pipe runs around the front of the chassis to connect to the clutch slave cylinder on the near side of the gear box bell housing. We again had mounted this back in June 2011 together with the brake pipes. YOu can read about this here


    The bracket for the reservoirs we had mounted previously. This sits between the end of the pedal box and the inner wing. The 3 reservoirs sit on top. The final job was to connect these up with flexi-pipes to each of the master cylinders. Initial we connected these with the standard rubber pipes that were sent with the kit from Gerry, but due to these being a little too short we decided to invest in some longer braided pipes from Graham Goodes motor supplier which took a week or so to arrive, but we think look loads better.



  • 15-17 November 2013 – Our Cobra is at the NEC


  • 3rd November 2013 – Air filter fitted


    We received the air filter for the car today that we ordered from Summit racing in America. Mark got onto fitting it straight away. Originally we had to measure and make sure the filter we order would fit underneath the bonnet with enough clearance and space. We established that the optimum size would be either a round 8 inch diameter or a 8 1/2 inch oval set up with a maximum 3 inches  height from the carb flange.

    We looked into both options both in Holley and K&N. Mark was keen on the K&N filter as this is a washable lifetime performance filter with cotton gauze, oil coated element  that will perform better than a paper filter… but we prefered the design of the Holley and also would fit nicely with our Holley carb. So what we did was order the Holley oval 11 3/4 inch x 8 1/2 inch filter along with the K&N air element (which is the same size) and use this with the Holley case.

    As you can see, when fitted, there is enough clearance under the bonnet scoop.




  • 26th October 2013 – Rear bulk head panel


    The next job was to make the cover panel the SVA Seatbelt frame. We decided to use thin plywood sheet for the actual cover panel which we eventually plan to cover in carpet. This is important and needs to be done for the IVA test as the frame has too many sharp edges and trap points. So we started by making some cardboard templates to cover the frame. Once we had  the template we marked it up on the plywood and cut it out. Additional holes are needed for the frame bolts and seat belt mountings.

    Then just to finish it off we decided to spray it up black. This isn’t necessarily required as we eventually plan to cover this panel in carpet.



  • 26th October 2013 – Re-making the inner door panels


    We had made and fitted the inner door panels in November 2012 (you can read post here). we had originally made these panels from some spare sheet aluminium that was left over from the heat shields in the engine bay and had fixed them in place with 6 screws on each door. Having had a think about it, we started having concerns that the raised screw heads and metal panel may cause potential rubbing points which then may cause markings on the door leather trim once it was fitted. So we decided to take off the original panels and re-make them in hardboard, this time making sure that when they were fitted they would fit flat with the profile of door. This, we hoped would remove any problems for  potential rubbing points.
    So as we did previously, we  made a simple cardboard template based on the shape of  the recess in the centre of the door and from that  made 2 pieces from hardboard that exactly fitted.
    Back in November 2012 we had also  begun to fill the doors with expanding foam. The first time round, we had run out of foam so we knew we would have to go back later with more  foam to get the doors filled to finish this job nicely.  This time we planned to secure the new panels in place simply using the foam so there would be no need for any  screws.
    So once the panels were ready we sprayed the foam deep into all the areas of the door where required and as it expanded pressed  the panels down in position. We used a few off cutted of wood and screws to temporarily secure the panels in place as the foam set. Expanding foam is messy stuff and we did have some over spill around  the edges, but this  cleaned up nicely once the foam was set.