View Full Version : Cracked Chassis

24-06-05, 09:10 AM
:angry: :-( :eek:

Over the last couple of weeks I have been slightly confused as to why my Pilgrim was started to behave rather strangely. The wheels have been very gradually tilting in at the top and parts of the engine have started to rub on the axles :confused:

Checked all the engine mounts - nothing wrong here... hmmmm

Oh well, kept driving as the weather has been so lovely :-}

Took it round my dads to see if he could spot anything wrong... "oooh look at that, there's a crack in the chassis!"

Yes, it has a huge crack directly above the lhs suspension arm. The ****ing thing has only done 400 miles and it's gone already :mad:

Not sure whether to blame Tony Blairs speed humps (like playing crazy golf everytime you go out for a drive), the stupid woman that reversed into me last month, or Pilgrim?

All I know is that its well and truly F***ed

24-06-05, 09:14 AM
Speak to pilgrim directly and straight away, whatever the cause, it's damn good PR for them if they will fix it for you (and they're a good company so there should be no problem) give them a call NOW.


24-06-05, 09:23 AM
Thanks Simon, I am going to contact them this morning. Not sure if they will help though as I brought it from a guy up in Blackpool who built it himself. I think he possibly left out the torsion bar that goes at the front of the chassis? It's a Rover 3.5 on a cortina running gear and I think the only way he could fit the engine in was to cut this it out (I guess he was just planning to park it on the drive and look at it - rather than drive it)

If I don't have any luck with Pilgrim I am going to have a go at welding it next weekend.

Purple AK
24-06-05, 09:29 AM
As Simon said, Speak to Pilgrim NOW! Apart from the fact that it should not have happened, There may be a problem that they aren't aware of.

Good Luck

24-06-05, 09:44 AM
Oh yes, forgot..for goodness sake don't drive it!

tony c
24-06-05, 09:46 AM
From the sound of it you have a mark 2 Sumo and if I remember correctly there was a problem with the weld cracking in that area. I believe Pilgrim carried out a modification as soon as they were aware of it. Kitcarman should throw some light on it.

24-06-05, 09:55 AM
Thanks Tony, Yep it is a Mk 2 Sumo. Although its not on the weld it is very near it (where the box section ends).

And no I am not driving it :-(

Grease Monkey
24-06-05, 11:16 AM
Friend of mine, 'Alex the mad Greek Australian' had a similar problem with his 3 series.

He had a normally aspirated, (ie non turbo/supercharger 3 series) dyno tested at 517 horses. The engine bay had been 'modified' slightly to fit the enormous headers and injectors etc in and was all held together with a cross brace.

Had been playing with the engine and forgot to replace the cross torsion bar, drove the car and the monocoque bent under the engine power. Oops

Lesson to us all.

Good luck getting it fixed, sounds like nothing a good welder couldn't fix an additional brace to.

24-06-05, 11:29 AM
Going to have a go at getting it fixed next weekend, gonna use a hydraulic jack to push the top of the chassis back to it's original position - weld it, and then fix a brace across the top. Its just so frustrating as we haven't had it long... I was planning to go to the Chingford meet tonight for the first time.

24-06-05, 12:34 PM
Sorry to hear of your problem. The cracked chassis may not be the end of it, unfortunately, as other components may have been unduly stressed. Of course the repairs have to be made but it may well be worth having the suspension geometry checked to prevent any downstream problems eg. uneaven tyre wear. Good luck. :thumb:

24-06-05, 03:50 PM

We were telephoned by another member to look at your post. We at the factory were very concerned when we read this before we realsied it was a MK2 Cortina based with a Rover V8 fitted. Then we were even more concerned. After making over 3000 chassis we feel we know what we are doing. We have never recommended fitting a Rover V8 into a Cortina based kit, and wonder how it was done or how well. Please feel free to contact us at the factory if you need anything. We will be happy to advise and help if we can.

Kind Regards
Tony Holmes

24-06-05, 04:06 PM

Thanks for posting... when I brought the car I didn't really know much about them and have since realised that its a bit of a mix and match of parts that don't really fit together. The engine does fit in but you need to have extremely bendy arms and fingers to be able to tighten anything up. The guy that built it unfortunately didn't do a very good job at all and I have had to do a lot of work on it. The main problem was the exhaust manifolds. As the clutch and brake servo was in the way I couldn't fit the standard manifold for the pilgrim (side pipes). The original manifold was routed under the chassis with zero ground clearance so I had to get a custom manifold built.

Between me, my boyfriend and my dad we have near enough re built the engine, but unfortunately we didn't pick up this crack in time and I fear it might have bent the chassis beyond repair. My dad is an engineer though and a very accomplished welder and we are going to have a go at it next weekend. Hopefully it should be even stonger once we are finished :o

24-06-05, 04:08 PM
After reading this post, i have to commend Pilgrim (i have only dealt with them regarding ordering bits for our viper). The offer appears very positive, especially considering they did not build the car and it is not a new one.
Nice to see a company taking an interest for a change.
Keep us posted as to the outcome.
Just my opinion :)

24-06-05, 04:12 PM
Yep, I agree. I am at work at the moment and was planning to phone Pilgrim when I got home but they beat me to it!! Its not often that you get customer service like that


As they did not build the car I would not expect them to feel obliged to do anything but it is great for them to show concern and ask for more details... I am looking to buy another cobra soon to build myself and will definately go to them.

24-06-05, 04:34 PM
The engine does fit in but you need to have extremely bendy arms and fingers to be able to tighten anything up

So much like my engine then?

24-06-05, 04:40 PM
I got stuck the other day with my hand wedged between the starter solenoid and the manifold, it wasn't a pretty sight and I think I have list the use of two knuckles!

24-06-05, 04:42 PM
You can get your hand down the side of the manifolds? :)

24-06-05, 04:52 PM
Only my left hand, its smaller than the right one :p

Gets very annoying when you are trying to do up manifold bolts, lost it the other week and threw the spanner over the hedge into next doors garden :o

24-06-05, 06:31 PM
hi jenny,

Just read your post regarding a v8 fitted into a Pilgrim Sumo mk2, cortina based.
The thread "v8 in a mk2 Sumo" may put your mind at rest .
In this thread Dave from D.B.Replicas has fitted one in his a few years ago, mind, but he may be the guy to speak to.

Im having a v8 fitted into my Cortina based Sumo Mk2 and my guy has had no problems so far, but may be a good idea to swop photos as my body is off the chassis ,so maybe able to check chassis photos against yours. but many people have fitted v8s into mk2 sumos as per previous threads, but i will be watching this space with interest.
Maybe dave might have some photos of his but his was done some time ago.


25-06-05, 09:51 AM
Just to clarify one point - Tony Holmes has referred to a Cortina based car and this has been taken as a MkII Sumo. i think he makes a distinction between a Sumo with Cortina suspension at the front and the rear and one with Cortina front but Granada rear ( "Granada based" according to my build manual).

Pilgrim's literature certainly refers to a Rover V8 being fitted in a Mk II chassis.

Suppose the real question is whether Jenny's car has Cortina rear suspension?

27-06-05, 11:03 AM
Hi Guys,

Yes, Cortina throughout... It is a very very tight fit! I will be posting some photos in the very near future. Chasssis getting fixed this weekend!

Kevin W
27-06-05, 11:16 AM
Jenny, I may be wrong here, but when Den Tanner was in charge at Pilgrim, he always warned against fiting V8s in the cortina cars as he wasnt happy with putting V8 torque through the Cortina diff. Having said that a good few vipers were built wth that configuration, but personally wouldnt recommend using a highly-tuned RV8 with the cortina back end.

With the MkII Garanada cars (Granada back end only) the steering asssembly has an extra UJ compared to the MkIII to allow for the size of the RV8 and to get round the manifold problem. Give Tony Holmes a ring - he's built almost all the Sumo versions, and the extra linkages were still available as spares if thats any help.

As for problems tightening bolts etc, no Cobra is going to be great on access, although some better than others, If its any use, I find it easier to tighten up manifolds and plugs by removing front wheels and going in via the front wheel arches, once the car has been jacked up on axle stands. No good if you;ve got inner wings already bonded in, though.



27-06-05, 11:46 AM
Thanks Kevin,

I have been noticing some rather strange sounds from the back end when accellerating - the cars back end, not mine!! Which I suspect is the diff being put under a lot of strain.

I did visit Pilgrim so they could have a look at my manifold problem, Tony couldn't help me and suggested that I call the Samaritans so I ended up getting my custom built manifold (which by the way only took 1 week to make. A very helpful and professional manufacturer called Cheeseman Automotive products in Woking - only cost me 200 for both sides. Very highly recommended!)

01-07-05, 10:49 AM
HI there,
I have a MkII Sumo with a V6 3000cc and have just cracked my heads and cooked the engine, so its time for an engine transplant. I'm going for a RV8 and have been following your posts on the subject.
My car has the Granada rear end.
I see you had your manifolds made in Woking! I live in Byfleet and was wondering if you were local, and if my mechanic and I could perhaps have a look at your engine installation at some point?
I would have sent a private message but it kept giving me error messages