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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Spalding
    Posts
    37

    Am I up to the job?

    Hello,

    As i have said in another recent thread, I am pretty much in a position to take the plunge and order a basic kit, probably from AK or GD. I live in Spalding, Lincs so AK and GD are near to me which I like, also SMS are around the corner for paint.

    I have been researching what is involved in a build from chassis up, including reading many many threads on here.

    Problem is the more I read the more I realise I know virtually nothing about cars and the more I am doubting whether I am up to it!

    I suppose what I want or need is for hundreds of you people to reply with posts like "don't worry it's not as difficult as it seems", or " I was the same and now I have a fire-breathing beauty all nailed together by me".

    Please form an orderly queue though!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    East Leake, Nottinghamshire, England.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    9,478
    First off welcome to the mad house. The more you read on here the more you will find out we were all nervous when we ordered our kits which gets a lot worse the nearer we get to kit collection time. Personally I had always done all my own car maintenance when I was younger and you could still work on cars. It is not all that difficult to build these cars common sense being quite an important talent. Of course the finished article won't all look as good as some cars you will see at shows, the more talented and the more of a perfectionist you are the better they will turn out but this is not always the most important thing as I for one built mine to drive as well as build. I built mine as a learning experience as well as a hobby and have enjoyed the experience immensely. Get along to one of the East Midland meets and have a chat to some people who have already gone through all these nerves. Good luck what ever you decide.
    Martin

    351W 416.7 HP and 466.8 ft-lbs

    Running Mega Squirt and Edis 8


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    471
    Ok
    Here goes
    I built my own and soon realized that you are completely on your own even though good natured friends "egg " you on in the nicest possible way
    Mine took me 8 years !! and many times you will go through the garage door and think what have I done ....all that money
    The Guys on here are brilliant and there is nothing they have not encountered
    However advising you and you physically doing it are two different things
    The next thing is the price of a build nowadays £40,000_ £50,000 budget
    My advice for what it,s worth is sit in a finished one because if your a tall guy your head will be above the top screen line (not a good look if you look too big for the car )
    My second piece of advice is unless you are determined to build one.... you should buy one with all the "Right" bits on it ...far cheaper than the build cost of a self build
    Wait for it ....Mine is for sale on Car and classic
    Jon W

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Cheshire
    Age
    50
    Posts
    266
    If you haven't already then I recommend watching A Car Is Born. I know it's a Sumo but it takes you through the process and you will see how simple (but time-consuming) the process is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Spalding
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by TINKA View Post
    I built mine as a learning experience as well as a hobby and have enjoyed the experience immensely. Good luck what ever you decide.
    That is my main motivation. I do like a challenge and have quite a lot of time on my hands these days. Problem is I am a perfectionist, it is either good or bad with me, no middle ground. If I spend many thousands of pounds and an awful lot of time and effort doing something, I want it to be the best it can be or I won't be satisfied. My worst fear is spending thousands and not being able (or lack the motivation) to finish it. The IVA scares me to death aswell.

    One thing I do know is I pity the manufacturer I buy the kit from; they will need a dedicated team to deal with me!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Spalding
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by Whit427 View Post
    Ok
    My advice for what it,s worth is sit in a finished one because if your a tall guy your head will be above the top screen line (not a good look if you look too big for the car )
    My second piece of advice is unless you are determined to build one.... you should buy one with all the "Right" bits on it ...far cheaper than the build cost of a self build
    Wait for it ....Mine is for sale on Car and classic
    Jon W
    I want to build, that is the whole point. For two reasons; the cost will be spread over a (probably very long) period of time and I want the challenge and to learn new skills. I have done pretty much everything else including building a house single handed.

    I'm only 5'8" and seem to be shrinking as I get older. I have been to one of AK's open days and sat in their demo. I'm going along to the next one at the end of the month.
    Last edited by Pondrew; 12-09-19 at 04:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Spalding
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by skinnymathew View Post
    If you haven't already then I recommend watching A Car Is Born. I know it's a Sumo but it takes you through the process and you will see how simple (but time-consuming) the process is.
    Yep saw that years ago, with the vet bloke? Maybe I could get a TV production company to give me a series on my build and pay for the bits. "An idiot car builder" has a ring to it. Now where did I put Ricky Gervais' number?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Marlow
    Age
    68
    Posts
    1,782
    Hi, Don't know your name so Ill call you Pond if that's OK? Building such a powerful vehicle demands some skills and tools. You will need to be able to read engineering drawings, follow specific written instructions, have a working knowledge of hydraulics, mechanics, electrics, glass fibre and materials. A good tool kit, space, heating and of course time and long term comittment. Lots of these skills can be learnt on the job as it were. Night school and utube are fun places to find, this forum and others are wonderful mine of information.

    You will also need a very understanding partner, as these cars can take a inordinate length of time to complete, mine was 5 years of Saturdays with the odd evening thrown in. Even now after 30 years its not finished!

    Im sure that some others will tell you that I'm being a bit anal but my background is engineering and training so I would be!!!

    But above all else it should be FUN.

    Cheers Clive
    On On

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    8,460
    My thoughts:

    If you can build a house, then you can build a car.

    The only issue will be making sure you get a few new tools. And treat H&S with some respect....like don't jack the car up, and swing under the car until you have axle stands in place.
    You need to get in and out of your candidate cars a few times to see which is most comfortable and which you like to drive the most - they have different levels of handling/driving characteristics.
    Don't get blown away by crapping yourself on a high speed test run - drive a car yourself to decide which is best for you.

    But you also need a nice place to work, so paint your garage white internally, add >1 strip light, and heat if you can afford it (says the man with a damp garage, and one strip light). The nicer you make it, the easier it is to get out there when its cold.
    Buy a benny hat, fingerless gloves, and some thermal underwear as well. It will help massively with being comfortable on winter days. If you built a house you already know about the hassle of doing things that need thinking through, problem solving, and dealing with UK weather.

    Also be realistic: doesn't matter which one you choose, there will be bits that won't fit properly.
    There are plenty of build blogs out there that highlight some of the obvious pitfalls. Just assume that whatever you start, it won't fit unless you made it yourself. That way you'll stave off frustration.

    And having said all that, and now on my second car that I built, a big block Crendon, driving it and seeing the admiring looks (even though it has no paint and the wrong wheels atm) is the best thing in the world, and i am extremely proud of it.
    Walking past the garage window when I come in from work and seeing it in there makes me smile every day of thee year. Scaring the pants off passengers make me smile even more.
    I'll be adding knock-on wheels to mine over the winter, and maybe paint next year once I've sorted out a few odd jobs: they are never finished!

    HTH
    Last edited by KevinW; 12-09-19 at 04:56 PM.
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Spalding
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
    My thoughts:

    If you can build a house, then you can build a car.

    The only issue will be making sure you get a few new tools. And treat H&S with some respect....like don't jack the car up, and swing under the car until you have axle stands in place.
    You need to get in and out of your candidate cars a few times to see which is most comfortable and which you like to drive the most - they have different levels of handling/driving characteristics.
    Don't get blown away by crapping yourself on a high speed test run - drive a car yourself to decide which is best for you.

    But you also need a nice place to work, so paint your garage white internally, add >1 strip light, and heat if you can afford it (says the man with a damp garage, and one strip light). The nicer you make it, the easier it is to get out there when its cold.
    Buy a benny hat, fingerless gloves, and some thermal underwear as well. It will help massively with being comfortable on winter days. If you built a house you already know about the hassle of doing things that need thinking through, problem solving, and dealing with UK weather.

    Also be realistic: doesn't matter which one you choose, there will be bits that won't fit properly.
    There are plenty of build blogs out there that highlight some of the obvious pitfalls. Just assume that whatever you start, it won't fit unless you made it yourself. That way you'll stave off frustration.

    And having said all that, and now on my second car that I built, a big block Crendon, driving it and seeing the admiring looks (even though it has no paint and the wrong wheels atm) is the best thing in the world, and i am extremely proud of it.
    Walking past the garage window when I come in from work and seeing it in there makes me smile every day of thee year. Scaring the pants off passengers make me smile even more.
    I'll be adding knock-on wheels to mine over the winter, and maybe paint next year once I've sorted out a few odd jobs: they are never finished!

    HTH
    That does help ta!

    TBH the jargon and names of things scares me more than anything. When I see people talking about "I just used a spline sprocket and mated it to the half shaft, whilst remembering to torque the double wishbone crank pulley to the coil-over at the same time" as if everybody in the world knows, I think 'I have absolutely no idea what any of these things are and they may as well be speaking in Cantonese'! (obviously I was paraphrasing and made all that up).

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