The Chassis



The Chassis

This was one of the primary reasons for choosing the Gardner Douglas. What a chassis...!! Andy and his team really have taken the time, and used some real engineering skills to produce this amazing piece of kit from simple welded tubing.

The following photo is from the early days after delivery, when I followed the chassis build guide to fit the Brake pipes and clutch hydraulic feeds, as well as the special aircraft couplings used to allow simple disconnection of body tub from the chassis later. I had the chassis specifically powder coated light blue to match the body tub's dark blue. Over the years this has proved very durable, with little more than the odd touch up here and there to keep pristine.

picture of bare chassis here, note aircraft hydraulic couplings

Bare chassis in garage. Note you can just see the engine block in the background. My Wife Elaine can be seen cleaning the chassis

The running gear is Jaguar XJ6 from a series 3. Because I wanted this right, and new from previous restorations just how difficult it could be to set up the rear axle gears and seals, I decided to buy this in fully restored, including the brakes. This came from Wards Engineering, who are now listed in the cobra replica club magazine. They did a great job, even to the point of driving all the way up from London to Bishop Auckland where the car was originally put together. The units bolted straight on with no bother at all.

Picture of rear of chassis showing Jaguar axle ready to fit.

Picture of front jaguar wishbones and 4 pot

The dampers were provided by Gardner Douglas, and are made by AVO. These units have not proved that reliable, the biggest issue being seal failure, usually every 2 years from 1 or more of the dampers. The cause seems to emanate from the main damper pushrod being made of hardened steel, but not chromed. It rusts, pits and the seal then fails. The other issue I have with these units is that they have a combined adjuster that alters both the compression and rebound damping together. Sometimes it is hard to get the set-up working for the ride height you want. I note that Spax have just introduced a damper that has separate compression / rebound damping adjustments, these are expensive, but could be worth the effort.

In the next series of photos, you will see the chassis and drive train as fitted. I cannot praise Andy Burrows engineering skills enough. The way this lot has come together is just awesome!!

Picture of Chassis side on, note wax oil dribbling out of chassis tubing where I have riveted a clutch slave cylinder heat shield to the chassis!


Picture of Chassis from front, note oil cooler sat on floor!

The cooling system has had a lot of attention paid to it. Cobras are notorious for overheating, usually because the radiator is mounted at the wrong angle for the air flow. It should always be angled top forward. Any kit that has the radiator mounted bottom forward will overheat!!

Just to make sure I didn't suffer with this problem , I fitted a 4 core radiator from a freight rover truck!, and added twin kenlowe fans! It has worked, I never suffer with over heating.

Picture of chassis from front