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Kirkham Motorsports

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Old 04-12-2018, 03:46 AM
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Default How hard is it really?

Yet another question sorry. So I am contemplating the idea of potentially having a crack at building a Cobra kit. Some people say some brands are like IKEA and others you need to be a metal fabricator. Well I'm no fabricator and some IKEA instructions are really crap.
My question is what realistic skill level or skill set do you need to put a kit together? What are the hardest parts/skills of putting a kit together? If you don't call yourself a handyman and you have put one together what are your recommendations?
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:07 AM
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I would say anyone with a decent amount of common sense and a can do attitude would be able to build a cobra.
There are build groups on line who can advise you and a few people who will professionally build either part of or fully a car for you if need help.
It will be one of the most rewarding things you will do.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:19 AM
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Ditto, I'm an IT guy and I built one. Learned a heap from this forum and talking to other people at the Cobra Car Club Vic (CCCV).

Just work out what you think you can learn to do and then ask around for help or outsource some tasks, e.g. Exhaust (if you cant weld).

Cheers Gregg
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:31 AM
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Gav and gjkrv8 thank you for your advice it is reassuring to hear. I certainly like the idea of building a Cobra myself but must admit it scares the proverbial out of me. I cant imagine a better feeling though than having built something you truly love and getting to drive around in it or even just looking at it parked in the carport.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:18 AM
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Patience. That is the clue. Anyone can do anything. Have a go . BUT getting it right takes patience. Don't rush to get it finished and "That will do" .. It WON'T do. Sit back ..look at what you just did and ask yourself "would you buy that off the shelf at a shop ?" Simply ... Have a go. There's lots of help available.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:59 PM
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As Rob says patience and this too then means planning.

If you don't wont to redo work numerous times because of changing ideas and aspirations, you need to a lot of initial research, ie project planning.

Of course too, building over buying is going to delay when you will be able to start driving your dream.

But if a lot of your motivation is also getting satisfaction from you building then this your path.

I'd suggest the Pace is the only local IKEA cobra kit the rest will need a lot of your input.

Most kits are set up for a certain suspension arrangement and perhaps steering, motor and gearbox so these are easy installs. After that ingenuity, previous experience and plain old engineering gets you through the build path.

As said this forum is a significant source of information as would be your local club group.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:06 PM
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I built my first Cobra (DRB) back in 1999/2000 with no prior mechanical or engineering experience and it took me 14 months, start to finish. I asked a lot of people a lot of questions and learnt things as I went along, solving each section of the build one step at a time.
The bottom line is that you need a willingness to listen and learn and a determination to not let anything beat you. If you follow that mantra you will get the job done.
I'm just a dumb finance broker who's built 2 cars now so I'm sure you will have no problems
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:59 PM
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Be aware of how the costs can impact on your timeline - some stuff isn’t cheap and can take time to save up for.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:37 AM
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Ha Ha I really question the purchase of clothes and house stuff and how much it costs. It's terrible ...all that cost. Show me some cool car parts and there's no questions.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:47 PM
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I don't know where everyone is buying their rose-coloured glasses but I'd sure like a pair.

Without a well-equipped workshop, a more than reasonable skill set, deepish pockets, plenty of spare time, supportive family, etc, etc, it's BLOODY HARD. It's never straightforward, there's lots and lots of problem solving involved and without experience, and even with it, it's hard going.

I'd recommend you buy a running, registered, car. Drive it for 12 months or so. The day after rego renewal start to strip it down completely (that gives you 15 months to re-BUILD before rego hassles). Rebuild every nut and bolt knowing it all fits together. Paint what you want to paint and alter what you want to alter.

If you get through that exercise still with a desire to undertake a scratch build then go for it.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:07 PM
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This man deserves an award for clarity of foresight. This is an ideal way to work up to a couple of jobs at a time to improve your skill set (and toolbox) to get confidence for what you’re doing. It also stops the ICV issues with VINS if you’re in NSW.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:16 PM
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Yes I didn't put time frames in my email but from experience my build went something like this.

First build to a rude and very crude state but to meet the emission laws of the time and get a Windsor installed over a modular motor - 18 months.

Then an exuberance exceeding experience event in a roundabout 6 weeks later forced the planned rebuild somewhat like PeterAllen suggests.

Life getting in the way, attention to the detail I wanted this time and essentially a new rebuild took nine years to achieve. I can be a stubborn and persistent bastard when I need to be, the rebuild proves this, but I wanted the end product.

So Brewy have you the time, persistence and inclination mate?

I too think PeterAllen's suggestion a great option and idea to seriously consider.

More food for thought!
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Last edited by stephen low; 04-13-2018 at 06:17 PM.. Reason: fat fingers typo
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:57 PM
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My first car is going through it’s fourth rebuild. I started it in 1999.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:12 PM
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Treeve you're as bad as Aussie Mike, stop rebuilding and drive - lol

Then you might have time to finish off the GT40!

Assume you've still got it but did you ever get that Lotus you were lusting after?
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:35 PM
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Find a kit that has been started and sat in a garage for 5 years. There are lots of them.

If you want to drive a Cobra, buy one already one.

If you want to get busted knuckles and greasy hands, there are lots other cars that are easier and cheaper to build than a Cobra.

After noodling on that if you still insist on a Cobra, find a kit that has been abandoned and buy it for pennies on the dollar.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:16 PM
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No, my unstarted GT40 kit is still available and I didn't get to the Lotus because of this. So if you're keen on a kit, I can organise finance and you can buy a Roaring Forties GT40 kit for less than a complete Cobra....
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:13 AM
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Like Lowy. I had to do the same thing...beat and meet the new emission laws and build the car rough and ready to meet all the standards and pollution rules. Engineered and passed (nsw) then, every year pull it apart to make it "pretty" to my build quality standard and then put it back together, unfinished, to go through rego again. Then the process started all over again each year . All hindered by the work and life process. It's a labour of love. or a love of labour. I don't know . the car isn't finished to my wants but I'm slowly getting there. Maybe a pre-built - finished car is better.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAllen View Post
I don't know where everyone is buying their rose-coloured glasses but I'd sure like a pair.

Without a well-equipped workshop, a more than reasonable skill set, deepish pockets, plenty of spare time, supportive family, etc, etc, it's BLOODY HARD. It's never straightforward, there's lots and lots of problem solving involved and without experience, and even with it, it's hard going.

I'd recommend you buy a running, registered, car. Drive it for 12 months or so. The day after rego renewal start to strip it down completely (that gives you 15 months to re-BUILD before rego hassles). Rebuild every nut and bolt knowing it all fits together. Paint what you want to paint and alter what you want to alter.

If you get through that exercise still with a desire to undertake a scratch build then go for it.
A scratch build?
Well thatís another subject all together.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:34 PM
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Ok so I have gone from being optimistic and a little scared to out right petrified as I have made my way down through the responses. I do appreciate everyone's honest opinions and the time they took writing them down.
So it sounds from reading other posts that Absolute Pace possibly have one of the 'easiest' kits to build. Do the above comments apply to their kits?
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:39 PM
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Classic revivals aren’t that hard. AP, have a look around the forum - there seems to be a number of people on two very distinct sides of a fence. Do your research for any kit before you stump up a lot of money. ‘Difficult’ is just another way of saying ‘duration’. How hard is it? Can be the same question as ‘how long will it take’?
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