Welcome To Cobra Home Page !

My name is mark cooper i hope that you will enjoy reading these pages.I have decided to share one of my main interests with you...kit cars,and i hope you will find these pages informative as well as interesting.

A few years ago a freind and i decided it would be a great idea to own and drive a cobra.At that time we did`nt realise how much a really good car would cost,but we soon found out!

On_road1.jpg - 20.98 K

    Things to see here

  1. What we did first
  2. Starting the build
  3. Halfway there
  4. Nearly done
  5. Finally....on the road
  6. Build up pictures
  7. pictures of the finished car
  8. view my link page

1..What came first

First of all we needed to find out what was out there, as luck would have it a kit car show was due to be held at stonleigh.If you have ever attended you will realise just how popular this show is for cobra owners and other enthusiasts alike.

Looking around at the cars you could see how much attension had been lavished on them and all were exellent examples of what we were looking for.But one particular type stood out to our eyes...the Dax Tojeiro.So off we went to chat with Simon at the stand of D.J Sportscars( www.daxcars.co.uk ),and arranged an appointment at their harlow factory to test drive a cobra.

When we arrived we had already decided to test the V12 Tojeiro,as we already had a lot of parts (including V12 engine and all suspension components),the car we tried had a 5speed gearbox and the acceleration was awsome and so was the howl from the exhuasts!

We arrived back at the factory grinning from ear to ear and ordered one on the spot.We chose the supertube chassis for its exellant handling and its lower weight,larger bonnet to accept the 6 down draft weber carbs,the body to be coloured in red gel coat all to be delivered to my house with a few extra`s such as windscreen,shocks,springs,wiring and wheels.

2..Starting the build

Three months after ordering the kit the day arrived to take delivery,by this time we had all the jaguar components reconditioned and painted ready for assembly,and the day found us setting up axle stands to rest the body/chassis on outside of my home.When the loader arrived a few friends and i lifted the body/chassis as one piece onto the stands so that construction could begin.The first components that we decided to assemble were the rear differential and rear suspension including half shafts,this we did because it would be necessary to roll the car around the side of my house into my garage.

The second item was the steering rack and complete front suspension,in this way we were able to fit the wheels and drop the car onto the ground for the first time.All of these steps only took an afternoon and there were no problems worth mentioning,which is completely due to the quality of the kit and accuracy of the mounting points.

Over the next few weeks we continued to build the car using the following order:

Compete braking system (because it is easier to fit pipes at this stage)
Lights and electrical systems using Dax supplied wiring loom
Radiator and oil cooler
Fuel tank and fuel pipes(leaving the pipes long just in case)

3..Halfway there

Now then,most people if they have not been bored with these pages,will wonder why we did`nt stick the engine in straight away.Well the reason for this is simply that we did`nt want to get it dirty!You would be supprised how much dust is produced when using files and drills on fibre glass.Anyway the next thing we did was to size and mount the bonnet,doors and boot lid,this part of the job took the longest by far,not because it is hard to do,it is`nt,but because it is so important not to make a mistake and making sure the shut lines are even and the same gap on all areas of the car.I will just quickly mention how we went about this,first my partner in this endevour was bundled up into the engine bay and the bonnet was lowered on top and positioned in a "best posible" way. He then marked the hinge positions on the bonnet ,so we could be sure where to drill and tap for the bolts.

Once the holes were tapped we bolted the bonnet in position and closed the lid onto the car.Using masking tape around the edges of the bonnet and a marker pen we noted where the gaps and overlaps occured.Leaving the bonnet secured to the car we then filed and cut any excess away until the bonnet could close fully.At this stage the bonnet lid was ready to be gapped,the way to do this is to find using feeler guages the largest gap that already exists,and carefully file away the other areas to suit.Finally when you are happy with the resulting gap (approximately 2.5mm) bevel the raw edges using wet and dry sanding paper.

Using the above method we completed work on the boot and doors.Then drilled and secured the bonnet and boot gas rams(to hold them open) and the locks and handles,also the door catches.Its a good idea to get all the brightwork done at this stage including rollbar,bumpers and grills so that when the car is painted you have nochance of scratching that lovely(and costly)spray job.Now the engine went in with the gearbox(5 speed getrag) already bolted on and the engine/gearbox mounts were secured.All ancillaries were fitted and piped up,and filled with the corresponding fluids.We decided to use side pipes on our car for two reasons,one because when testing the demonstrater we noticed that on really hard acceleration (and i mean HARD!) the exhuasts underneath would bottom on the road causing a horrendous noise and incidently scaring the life out of me.

The second reason apart from them looking good that is,was that my partner and myself wanted the car to hug the ground for even better handling,and this meant twin side pipes.These we obtained from dax and mounted each side.Rolling the car outside we turned the engine over a few times without the low tension lead on the coil connected,to pump up the oil pressure,then started her up for the first time.

Except for the complete interior the only thing missing was the drive shaft from gearbox to differential,seeing as we had in excess of 350bhp to contend with a strong prop was deffinately in order.Because of the fact that everyone uses different gearboxes we manufactured a prop using a jaguar xj12 shaft for the universal joints and the main body (tube),but this certainly would not fit in the end of our gearbox.It turned out to need a vauxall carlton spline but these cars used a "spider" and not the normal u.j.

We managed to get around this problem by incorperating the best of both types of shaft.We obtained a carlton shaft and threw away all of it except the front splined "spider",and using a lathe at work turned it down untill we had removed its "legs" and were left with a splined tube.The jag spline was turned next leaving a hole exactly the same size as the carlton "tube".These were then pressed together in a fly press and finally welded.When the prop was finished it was exactly the same as a jag one except it was only about a foot long! and of course the splines now suited our gearbox.Before assembly we had it proffesionally balanced.

4..Nearly done now

So,the car is drivable,except we have nowhere to sit.There really is not much to say about the interior of the car.We bought the interior composing 2 seats,dash board,carpets and door panels.They were ordered in magnolia leather with red piping to match the body,the carpet was also red to match.After drilling all holes and trial fitting the dash,seats and door panels,the carpet was laid on top of fire resistant underlay.Next the dash was secured and clocks connected finally the seats were secured and the door panels pushed on.One last thing concerning seat belts,we already liked harness type belts and of course you should never use old belts anyway so we bought 3 point harness`s rather than the 5 point ones because they are easier to use.

5..Finally...on the road

The legal side of kit cars had worried me at the begining of our project as i was unsure how to go about registering the finished car.I should`nt have worried though as it is very easy.First you should telephone your local registration office,in our case in chelmsford,and ask for a kit car registration pack.Next get your car an m.o.t and fill in the papers you recieved from the registration office inclosing the reciepts,m.o.t certificate (or copies of them)and the price of a tax disc.You will then have a visit from an inspector of motor vehicles,and if your car matches the details on the forms you filled in,he will issue you with a reg. number and tax disc.And thats it.

The whole build took two years altogether,you can certainly shorten that down to a few weeks if necessary by having all components ready to hand,but this means forking a lot of money over at the start of the project and we did`nt have any!also before getting our car sprayed we used it for a little over a year to make sure evrything was ok,it would have been a nightmare if ,after having it sprayed we found the bonnet rubbing through the paint.

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