Kitcar Build

Kitcar Build

Kitcar Blog

This blog is to cover out progress through the stages of the strip down and rebuild of a robin hood kit car.
Started the blog a bit late as a fair bit of the stripdown has already been done, this is to follow our progress of the build.

Timing Issue

EnginePosted by Neal Manley Tue, June 28, 2011 00:02:19
With the car now back home makes it a bit easier to do some work on it, so decided I would take a look at the timing issue. Get the car out the garage and try to find out what the amount of advance is on the dizzy so set the timing at static idle to 10 degrees and then took car to 5k and measured amount of advance had 32, so from that im now thinking the dizzy is advancing by 22 degrees so have tried varying amounts of static advance and have settled for 16 degrees this seems to be working allot better on the rev range and not pinking as much and giving an advance of 38 degrees @3-4k which i think is correct will find out a bit more info and try to get the car booked in for a tuning session to fine tune everything.


whilst having a look over the car have now discovered that the rear brake is leaking fluid from the seal so will need to look at this soon as well, im getting the feeling that this well never end.


decided to take car for a quick run just to check how the car was taking the new timing settings and seemed ok, was a little dissatisfied with the power but still think this is down to the tuning not being 100%. will keep you posted on this one.


Oh big thanks to Laura for the help with the rev counter and letting me know what the car was revving at when I was sorting the timing out, so as a little treat took her for a little spin as she had never been in a open top car before and felt the breeze in her hair.


Hope you had fun!




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Throttle and Starter

EnginePosted by Christian French Wed, May 04, 2011 12:01:26
The original throttle cable was originally supported by an oddly bent piece of stainless steel which had an undesirable amount of additional movement so I decided to fabricate a new support plate (below) to hold the pedal solid, and we then cut down the length of the cable and attached it to the pedal box housing.

We also have issues with the starter motor, for some reason it is not engaging correctly, some times taking 4 or 5 attempts to actually crank the engine.


I stripped the motor down and checked and cleaned all the components, and could not see any visible damage, maybe the solenoid has just become weak or there is not enough current to engage the starter gear properly, we have no way to tell as we do not have a spare starter to compare it to.


The starter in all its component parts


Mid Assembly

Even after the overhaul, its still not working correctly, we're still deciding what to do about it...

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Engine Run Up

EnginePosted by Christian French Mon, May 17, 2010 10:29:59
Now Neal has finished the wiring, we ran the engine up (on saturday)



Watch Neal scarper....


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Sent to try us

EnginePosted by Christian French Fri, May 14, 2010 01:46:08
This is a very late blog tonight, only just got in from the workshop.

We ran a compression test on the engine tonight only to find it was only registering 40psi on the new compression tester I bought at the Stoneleigh car show.


Thinking the worst we decided to behead the engine and check to make sure the valves were sealing properly, so off comes the rocker cover, out come the followers and off comes the head.


After checking the valves by using the petrol method, we found they were not leaking at all, and also that petrol removes blue high temperature paint very effectively. Not good.


We put the head back on after having a good look at the gasket also, and ran another compression test, which came back the same.

Maybe the tester is no use we thought so decided to see if it would run.


After fitting up the carbs and the exhaust manifold, we connected up the electronic ignition and gave it a go.



As you can see, the engine did actually run a bit, and Neal felt first hand the effects of a backfire, to which I nearly wet myself laughing.


More videos to come tomorrow when i'm not so tired!


Well done Neal, we finally got it going.

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Tonight's The Night

EnginePosted by Neal Manley Thu, May 13, 2010 14:15:30
So Tonight is the Night as they say!


After work this evening I will be attending the workshop with buddy (Chris) in tow to hopefully get the rest of the work finished to the engine so that's all the remaining ancillaries sort out the electronic ignition system do a compression test and then maybe bring my baby to life.


So Chris I hope you are ready.

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So Exciting!

EnginePosted by Neal Manley Wed, May 12, 2010 17:38:26
"The Engine's in" "The Engine's in"


How exciting is that me and Chris finally got the engine in last night after my little surprise for Chris of a new Cam.


Chris got straight to work, with some help from me as well.


and after a few hours we had this.


and a little while later this.

It's starting to come together after all this time, I thought I would never get there it has been so long in the running but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not sure going to make the June dead line (Cash Flow Issue) but will most definitely be on track for this year.


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My Present!

EnginePosted by Christian French Wed, May 12, 2010 10:23:07
After being stuck on the train coming home from the city yesterday evening and getting thoroughly frustrated because it took forever and was hot and sweaty and jammed full of bodies, I made my way to the workshop.


Neal had sent me a picture earlier in the day saying he had bought me a present and I knew it only meant one thing, I could crack on with my task of building the engine, so to say I was excited was an understatement.


So I got changed and set about getting the cam & new followers fitted.

After fitting the cam and adjusting the followers, we adjusted the valve clearances in a super quick team effort, then it was time to get the engine off the stand and get the flywheel fitted and the cam timing done.


When trying to fit the clutch, I discovered that the bolt holes in the flywheel were crudded up, so I had to run the tap through them to clean them out, this meant we could then fit the lovely new ARP bolts we found.

While all this was going on, Neal was fitting the wheels to the car so that we could move the car underneath the crane to enable us to get the engine in.

He had previously got the mudguard carriers on so that the front suspension is now complete and we have a temporary rolling chassis.



The engine and gearbox were then mated together and ready to be fitted into the car! At last!


The crane in the workshop certainly helped in this process.

After some jiggling and lifting and general man-handling the powertrain was in and it was 01:30, time to leave.



Next is to get the cam cover on (waiting for a gasket) and then get the car basically wired up and test the compression and then maybe get it fired up.


Watch this space!



Your turn Neal.

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Living on the Edge

EnginePosted by Neal Manley Tue, May 11, 2010 16:31:34

All has gone well with the strip down of the Gearbox, so while everything was still in my head it was time to put things right and get on with the rebuild. All was going fine until my good friend Chris turned up to lend a hand as always, but this time was not in the car building mood and for most of the evening he played the town jester. (Thanks Chris for keeping me sane)

Getting the box back together is a little easier than taking it apart as long as you can remember what goes where. (Now what did I do with that?)

Putting on the 5th gear

Selector Rod in place with arms attached.

Putting on the gasket ready for the housing.

All back together let’s just hope it works.

Once I had finished I decided to try the short shifter and discovered that you was not able to select first or second this came as a bit of a shock but then noticed that the old shifter had two notches cut in it and the new one only had the one so nothing that can't be fixed with the help of a grinder. So all done with five selectable gears and a reverse so let’s just hope all is well when running.

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Boxing Clever

EnginePosted by Christian French Sun, May 09, 2010 22:33:45
Neal decided to strip the gearbox tonight as one of the syncro rings had come adrift previously so with great trepidation we started, with manual nearby for help.


This is how it looked before!


This the the 5th gear selector plate, complete with the ever-present silicone, which appears to be just about everywhere on this car, courtesy of the previous owners.


Extension housing removed


This is Neal's technical approach to removing the bearing carrier, note the specialist tools


Let's try something a bit heftier...


Success, at last!


The layshaft in all its glory, freshly cleaned


I'm sure this bit normally contains some gears, all that seems to be in there now is some slimy grease and metal filings...


Notice all the metal swarf on the circular magnet


What have I done?!


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Late Finish

EnginePosted by Christian French Wed, April 14, 2010 09:38:53
Last night I called it a day at 12:30, the crazy Neal was there til 02:30!


I built up a bit more of the engine, fitted the head and the thermostat housing and oil filter, and test fitted the intake manifold.

Neal spent a bit of time stripping the paint off of the suspension components so that they can be resprayed more evenly than the previous coating, he tried nitromors but we [mostly me] ended up cleaning the paint off with the bench grinder.

You can see from the pictures the top suspension arms before, during and after the paint removal process.

We still need to grind down some of the welds on the mudguard carriers, as they're a bit untidy and we pride ourselves on lavishing attention on every single part, probably why this is taking so long.

The carburettors are currently soaking in some degreaser to hopefully remove some of the crud that has built up on them.

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