View Full Version : doner car

chris g
28-11-12, 08:39 PM
hi brain boxes,
im in the process of sorting out info on building a replica AC Cobra, what is the best car you can buy in the uk to be the doner car, and which v8 engine and auto gear box is the best to use?

28-11-12, 08:43 PM
Hi Chris a whole bucket of worms here chap
Firstly Jaguar or Ford?
Jaguar series / XJS or XJ40 or Sierra or Granada.
It depends which kit you're heading towards.
BTW welcome.

28-11-12, 09:05 PM
Hi Chris and welcome, before a bun fight starts, why auto!, choice of donar depends on which kit you go for, so do that before choosing a donar to use,

28-11-12, 09:09 PM
I chose to ignore the auto comment but since Colin has raised it WHY AUTO?

chris g
29-11-12, 10:49 AM
I chose to ignore the auto comment but since Colin has raised it WHY AUTO?

i need an automatic because i was in a motor bike accident in 2008 which meant i had to have my left leg amputated, so my license is restricted to auto's only.
i would imagine that a Granada would be easier to find rather than a sierra plus the ford parts would be cheaper to replace than jaguar, i already have a jag and even though the parts are predominantly ford stamped up jaguar they are still more money.
would the Granada have to be one with a limited slip diff, if so which model had that?. or maybe if i found a sierra would it have to be either a 4x4 ghia or the XR4i?
also what about using the camber compensation & anti roll system (CC&AR), i have seen this on a walker web site and was wondering if its worth the extra cost,
i also will need an engine, i will be buying a brand new engine and auto box so which would be the best, i imagine with it being an American V8 getting the gearbox and fitting wouldn't pose any problems.
so many questions sorry for my ignorance,

29-11-12, 11:21 AM
If you're looking at the CC&AR system then you'll be buying a Dax DeDion, in which case you'll need a Jaguar XJ40 donor car (I believe some X300 parts can also be used).. engine choice is vast, a cheap(ish) option for good power would be the venerable Chevy 350 w/ some kind of auto box. Dax will have jigs for that engine, I'm sure, and probably auto box too.

If you want to use a Granada donor then you'll be buying a Pilgrim kit.. I think Rover V8 is the most popular V8 option there, others will know more (I'm building a Dax DeDion myself with a Ford engine)

Lloyd Barnes
29-11-12, 11:58 AM
Hi Chris

welcome to the site. I think I'm right in saying only the Pilgrim Sumo can use Ford components. The CC&AR is a Dax system so can't be used if you want to go Ford. I've had that car and I doubt the CC&AR would make a noticeable difference unless you are racing the car so I wouldn't get hung up on that.

Jag will be more expensive to refurb but its proably no more than 5% of the total cost and the finished car is worth more so worth considering carefully before you go Ford.

29-11-12, 12:19 PM
the auto box might be a deciding factor as they can be wider than manual boxes. causing clearance issues around the chassis.

IF you are going to fit a new engine, then the LS engine is pretty cost effective from GM parts in cannock. they may also carry a suitable 460 auto, though i dont know for sure. you will of course need the electronic stuff to run both the engine, and auto box of course, again from GM parts.

IF you are going that route, i would steer towards jaguar suspension rather than the ford setup, as it is pretty cheap, rebuildable, and very strong.

dax/ak/pilgrim/GD all make a jag chassis which would suit.

how large a chap are you? some cars have huge cockpits, some rather tiny, so fitting yourself in a few to try is key. GD make 2 options, and the cockpit difference between the mk3 and mk4 is vast.

GD mk3 is smallish
AK is snug
dax is pretty large
gd mk4..largest

i don't know about others, having only really driven those above

do consider if you really want to strip a donor, the cost of the jag parts you need is pretty small, and they are available as a package from a number of resellers, without the need to dispose of a donor (of course, as soon as you remove the axles, it'll need craning away). ive done it both ways, and I doubt i saved more than a couple hundred quid with the donor route, vs buying stripped off axles, and it was a lot of hassle

29-11-12, 01:33 PM

AK can accomadate a lexus V8 along withe the auto box, these are relatively cheap compared to ls, chevy and ford sb. I would almost certainly go with jaguar suspension. Do some research, if I was looking at a kit to build now, I would knock 2 off the list staright away. Welcome to the site btw


29-11-12, 02:30 PM
I think the camber compensation system would come into its own on a track day.
On normal road driving I doubt you'd notice much difference.

Dont dismiss the GD Euro chassis - that has Ford parts.
The shell on the GD MkIV is a very handome job, and gelcoat on a GD is second to none.

29-11-12, 02:55 PM
In my humble the extra 3k for the CC system on dax is not worth it over the standard model, in fact for the road i woudend bother with it if the price were the same, but you really need to sort which kit before choosing a donar, the ford parts will obviously be cheaper than the jag, but the jag stuff is stronger and gives you more choice, as regards auto, that puts you in a good position, as you have no choice, and you will get a matching ford or chevy ect box for next to nothing, good luck and enjoy

Lloyd Barnes
29-11-12, 05:36 PM
Think we all agree the CC&AR is not a must have, if anything I thought the DeDion Dax was a little twitchy but then I could have had my setup a little out. To be fair to Dax though, its not £3k extra unless times have changed a lot since I bought mine. Was about £1k more than the standard chassis.

Purple AK
29-11-12, 06:16 PM
It actually works out about £1500 dearer these days, most of that is in the bespoke suspension components.

29-11-12, 06:20 PM
First welcome to the club. You really need to sort out the kit you intend to make first go to a few different companies and see how well you get on with them as you will be having a lot to do with them for quite a while. Secondly have a good read through this site as it can stop you making mistakes others have made. Good luck with your choice. As someone on here has said Lexus make a bomb proof engine which will come with an auto box and I know AK have modified their chassis to take it. A lot cheaper than going the new route as well.

chris g
14-09-13, 07:52 PM
Hi Chris and welcome, before a bun fight starts, why auto!, choice of donar depends on which kit you go for, so do that before choosing a donar to use,

hi i decided to go with a manual box, i have found a system that lets me operate the clutch from a lever mounted on the gearstick, its called the duck clutch system, ist quite expensive but allows the proper gearbox