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Markbzero Building My Kit Car


MarkBzero
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Well I have dreamed of building a kit car for over 20 years. I decided on building a Robinhood 2B but I was in the Army and posted around the world. Finally I was medically discharged after 11 1/2 years due to injury and had more time and fixed location. However since leaving Robinhood engineering went through a few changes and I decided on a GBS Zero, why because it was cheap and used a single donor.

 

I have not had time to create a blog whilst building the kit, it has taken me about 4 years and just waiting for IVA re-test date so whilst am waiting I thought I would share some photos and issues that may help others. I am a mechanic by trade although I have not worked in a garage for 8 years, except on the kit car.

 

Finally I would like to thank many on this forum for their help and guidance.

 

How do I turn this;

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and this;

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Into this;

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First problem, I did not have a suitable location to build a kit car. I looked at local lock-ups but price and trying to find one with electric and heating was proving very difficult. So I made some queries on building a garage next to the house. I had to convince the other half this was a good idea and would add value to our property. I used a a pre-fab Hanson garage (Timberland Products completed the build, great bunch guys, highly recommended), building application was easy and I had no problems with the build except the building inspector want 1.7m footings. This annoyed the hell out of the contractor who had built over 3000 units on 4inch hardcore and 4inch cement foundations.

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Garage sorted I had to fit electrics and workbench, this was back in Oct 2009.

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First of many surprises and a reminder not to buy a car from Ebay without inspecting it. The car was taxed and MOT'd and the seller agreed to drive it my brothers, so I thought why not buy it! My brother is not a mechanic but has some experience with older cars, he called me and asked what engine was I expecting it's a Sierra a pinto of course. Well I was wrong, it was a good old fashion Ford crossflow.

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I hear some shout Ford did not do a Sierra with a Crossflow and you would be right in this country, however after a bit of delving I discovered the car is a South African Ford import, they used the crossflow in Sierra's until 1986 would you believe it. Unlucky for me because the only other engine fitted to Sierra's in SA was the V6 Cologne engine, now that would be a nice engine to fit in a kit car.

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I started to strip the donor parts from the Sierra during the winter in 2009. It was good fun, and I had my little helper 'Craig' my over eager son to break everything or smash it with a hammer (you'll see more of his help later). First I removed the engine then the gearbox the health and safety brigade would not approved of some of the techniques I used but they both came out relatively easy.

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It was very cold.

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I cannot argue about his dedication, I just wished he completed his home work with the same passion.

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You might have noticed, it is a 4 speed box at this stage I could not decide what gearbox to fit.

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Next job was to remove the diff, drive shafts and rear brakes. My little trolley jack did not have the clearance to lift the car so in the end I had to use some railway sleepers in the center of the car, removed the front wheels and asked my neighbour to sit on the bonnet to pivot the car like a see-saw.

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Then I managed to roll the the complete unit into the garage, and rested the car on blocks of wood.

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Next job was to remove the front brakes and hubs, and most other ancillaries.

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At the start I decided to do this build on a budget, a very small budget so if I could save anything I would. I am OK with automotive electrics so I wanted to use the Sierra loom. I really did enjoy removing the old loom, sad I know but fun.

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I was working inside the car and asked my little helper to tug the loom near fuse box (in engine bay) carefully, must have had his weetabix on this day because he pulled most of the loom through very quickly. On the downside after my detailed labeling exercise I now have a foot-well full of torn labels and no labels on the loom for most interior connections.

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I had a Haynes manual so it wasn't the end of the world.

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At the start of 2010 I started preparing the donor parts. I started with engine with all intentions to clean and paint because I knew I was going to change the engine at some point in the future after IVA. Well that didn't work, the more stripped the more things needed, oil leaks, and corrosion. I bought a gasket set and bolts/nuts pack, chain tensioner and new timing chain. Took the head off to inspection the valves, because the car was running on unleaded with Redex.

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No major problems, I cleaned and serviced the engine and then started to paint the engine with black engine paint.

All the ancillaries were cleaned and painted silver, why because I got the paint cheap .

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Don't know what I would do without the engine stand, it is worth every penny.

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Craig giving me advice on the sump bolt sequence. At this stage I did not know if the sump had to be modified because I could not find anyone with a Zero and using a xflow. Also I wasn't sure on the carb choice, leave as is or replace.

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Then I moved onto the rear brake back plates and drums. I did consider upgrading to disc's but from the comments on this forum I decided against it.

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Wheel cylinder was leaking and I wouldn't want to cut corners when re-building so I ordered new wheel cylinders, shoes and spring kit.

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Back plate just needed cleaning with wire-brush and painted.

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Craig, under supervision helped with cleaning the drums (PPE was used). I finally sprayed them with yellow paint, now the car has been driven on the road I wished I used black paint.

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Next task was to clean the diff and replace the oil.

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The Sierra diff had a small leak from the driveshaft output seal so I replace them.

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The filler plug was FUBAR'ed so I had persuade it with hammer and chisel,then a quick wirebrush and a coat of silver paint.

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The front brake calipers were in a bad state, so I went to our local parts supplier (we still have a local firm) and asked for new calipers. He looked at the old ones and said he know a company that will clean them and replace all seals for £38. So I used them and they were returned in a week, like new.

 

I painted them yellow, to match the car. Before - post-4145-0-86148300-1392827181_thumb.jpg

After - post-4145-0-93564900-1392827256_thumb.jpg

 

Again with the rear brakes I got a new fitting kit.

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I also ordered new shoes, discs and pads.

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I had the opportunity to drive the car and not experienced any problems with the gearbox, so a straight forward clean and replace seals was needed.

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Final gearbox (I finally sold this box to another Rhocar member and got a Type 9)

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The Type 9 had the same treatment.

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Now the fun starts, electrics!

I laid the Sierra loom on the ground and with a powerprobe tested and started to remove circuits which I knew I did not need.

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I seriously under estimated the time to do this and it was a slow process, for an old Sierra it had every mod con going.

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I did not want to use the Sierra fuse box because most of it was redundant, so I took some pictures before cutting any wires.

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I replaced it with two separate fuse housings, which I thought would look good under the bonnet.

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Well spotted, good to know someone is reading the post. I wanted the future owner to use a normal Sierra Haynes manual if/when the electrics need fixing or modifying, so some of the wire did not match the wiring diagrams so I had to order colour specific cables.I have replaced all scotch locks and blocks, I only used them to test circuits before doing a permanent job with solder and heat shrink and the right colour insulation..

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