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Old 12-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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If you were ordering a Hot Rod all over again...

For those guys who have completed their HR - or are almost finished with it (like me), knowing what you know now, what would you ask FFR to delete if you were ordering now?

When I ordered my car (#583), I deleted and got credit for the racing harnesses and the gas tank (bought a Boyd.) However, during the course of the build, I have also thrown away and replaced:

- Headlights and headlight buckets
- Inside and outside mirrors
- All that crappy, ugly, flexible metal radiator hose
- Fiberglass-blowing mufflers
- Wilwood brake master cylinders & brake pedal (used a Whitby power brake kit)
- Cheesy license plate bracket
- All the bronze door, hood, and trunk bushings
- Hood gas struts

I wonder if they would have given me credit for deleting this stuff (much of it junky Chinese stuff)? I do have to give kudos to FFR for offering the new steel body kit - IF (and that's a big "if", based on the lack of quality of their other Chinese components) the quality justifies the extra price. I wish they would also give the option of ordering higher quality major cast components - most notably the windshield frame and grille.

So, what would YOU delete from your Hot Rod if ordering today?
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My list would include the gas tank, the Koni's, the steering wheel, side mirrors, the rear cockpit trim panel that you attach with "velcro"! on a roadster, the wiring loom and rear lamps, racing harnesses, and the entire exhaust system. And yes that c.u.f. radiator hose.
I'm tempted to include the Assembly Manual but that would be a bit harsh. A 15" steering wheel lightens the steering measurably and fender piping set between the waterfall and rear deck gives a cleaner look than the supplied cockpit trim panel in my opinion. The rear lamps can't be used in Australia. I went with these Hellas.
Neil

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Old 12-23-2016, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your response Neil. Some excellent advice there. I am just kind of surprised that more builders haven't weighed in here. Back before I ordered my kit, I got some great advice from wallace18 to delete the FFR gas tank and buy a Boyd (fortunately, Boyd's shop is only 30 miles from my house.) However, I wish someone had warned me about all the other substandard stuff that comes with the kit. That's what this post was all about. Come on guys, I am sure that more of you would be willing to try and help newbies BEFORE they order their kits...
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I Think you hit the big items, I deleted the Koni shocks and went with QA1's from Dan Ruth. The wiring harness is Ok, but if I had to do it again I may go with a bigger universal kit I had to add a couple of circuits and cut out and reworked it for to eliminate the cobra specific parts.

I threw away the clutch quadrant and cable went with a hydraulic setup, the front brake calipers, went with the Wilwood 6 piston calipers and rotors. I have two drawers full of fasteners, used a lot of black oxide stainless steel fasteners. Door handles, have none, the mirrors are pretty bad, I used hagen fatties and they are great. That is all I can think of, but when I clean out my attic I am sure I will find more parts.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kraftee and BrentM,

I think you two have hit on most of same items as I have.
I have two shelves in my shop loaded with things I did not or could not use.

I am just getting the doors on and starting the body work so I have not mounted the headlights and headlight buckets, mirrors and license plate bracket but they do seem pretty cheesy. I'll be asking for some pointers when I get to them.

Did not use the crappy, ugly, flexible metal radiator hose. Bought radiator hose from a forum member. Can't remember his name but I have the receipt.

Had FFR delete the mufflers and I used Flowmaster.
Had FFR delete the fuel tank and went with a Boyd tank.

Did not use any of the clutch parts or cable as I went with hydraulic clutch from Mike Forte.

Did not use brake master cylinders & brake pedal (used a Whitby power brake kit) My brake cylinders weren't even Wilwood. They were Chinese knock offs.

Did not use the bronze door, hood, and trunk bushings , got the dereling bushings from Tim Whittaker.

I wish I not used the wiring harness,

Also plan on using Tim Whittaker's hood struts. I'm sure I missed something but it's not over yet.
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Old 12-26-2016, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In addition to the items already mentioned, I'd skip the gauges if installing an EFI engine. Speedhut gauges that only need to connect with two wires from the OBD system, simplify the gauge wiring. The only gauge not connected to the OBD system is the fuel level sensor.

I was surprised that the A/C unit being used was not the smaller size offered by Vintage air. Having the hoses connect on the bottom side can be a servicing advantage. If you can't install or remove the hoses after the body is on, the whole unit should be removable with the body on and not trapped in place by the body. I've read of a new unit having a leaky evaporator. Not being able to remove it would be a disaster.

Even the VA unit with low mount hoses has a problem - most likely the #10 suction hose that requires 1" and 7/8" wrenches to install has the fitting located so close to the firewall that this hose would not be removable. I cut an access hole, so I know this hose can be changed out. Another access hole allows the high pressure hose from the condenser to pass through the firewall. An aluminum plate covers both.





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Old 12-26-2016, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by daveS53 View Post
In addition to the items already mentioned, I'd skip the gauges if installing an EFI engine. Speedhut gauges that only need to connect with two wires from the OBD system, simplify the gauge wiring. The only gauge not connected to the OBD system is the fuel level sensor.

I was surprised that the A/C unit being used was not the smaller size offered by Vintage air. Having the hoses connect on the bottom side can be a servicing advantage. If you can't install or remove the hoses after the body is on, the whole unit should be removable with the body on and not trapped in place by the body. .
It would be good to have the bottom tapped VA unit for hose routing as well.
The hoses are way too crowded against the side of the chassis. I split mine and ran the 2 heater hoses over the top to the middle of the firewall to clean that up. I will likely ditch all the kit gauges as well and go with something more to my taste.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm like everybody else - I have a huge pile of leftover stuff - but I think everyone has a little different list depending on how they built the car or what they built it for. My list of never installed items includes:

- Roadster windshield
- Entire fuel system. This means every fuel component supplied by FFR
- "roll bar". lol
- Seats
- Gauges
- Front brakes
- Engine sides
- Side pipes (exhaust)
- Mirrors, except the interior mirror which I did make work
- Cable gas pedal
- All the carpet
- E-Brake boot

I'm sure there are a ton of other smaller items that I did not use - I have a big pile that I haven't looked through for quite a while.

Interestingly enough I DID use the FFR mufflers which did not blow fibreglass everywhere for me (you can even see my genuine first start and dyno video here: https://youtu.be/IpI4IcIsLMs ), and I used the supplied rad hoses which don't look great but work and have held up fine. I also used all the supplied door and trunk hardware and while I would not characterize the door hardware as good, it works, and I suspect that my car has been subjected to stresses that exceed those applied to virtually any other completed FFR 33 without an incident of the doors or trunk coming open (or the top coming off, but that is because of the extensive work I did on hardtop attachment, not because it is great right out of the kit).

In hindsight would I delete all this stuff? Probably, but I have sold or traded some of it, and I will probably sell the rest of the stuff that is some good over time.

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Old 01-12-2017, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This has been very helpful. I plan on ordering my kit in the spring and I'm working on my list of deletes for FFR. I have a question (probably one of many). Has anyone installed the wire harness and A/C system sold by Dan Ruth and if so how did they work out.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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After reading this thread I must say I'm a little discouraged. I thought Factory five kits were more bullet proof. Now I'm more confused and have lots more reading to determine "order this but not that" and what is junk?
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Unless it has to be a 33, I'd look around. Lots of newer kits out there that rival the FFR products in regard to price. Not hard to meet or exceed the quality of FFR any more. In the early days, they were the beast bang for the busk. Not so true today and after 15 Yrs. and being a three time offender with FFR I can tell you the Customer Service is only getting worse. I speak with at least two or three customers monthly that have all repeated the same in recent times. They can't all be wrong or difficult customers. A short search will prove this has been going on for many years.

If it has to be a 33, FFR does have a nice kit to start with but many small fixes and a few after market parts might be needed depending on your vision for a finished car. IMHO
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I haven't even gotten my kit yet and the list of unused is starting.

First, let me say, the only reasons I chose FFR over a speed star is ability to fit coyote, frame and front suspension design. I seriously considered seeing if FFR would sell me a frame, body, aluminum and front suspension only. I want to build my own and not just bolt together a kit (even though there is more to it and I simplify the task in that sentence). But the FFR frame and front suspension is the coolest setup out there so that's where I am starting.

That said, I already intend to ditch the brake lines, radiator lines, most lighting, probably the harness, whatever is needed to toss for power brake setup, steering wheel, all the interior, gauges, door handles, trunk handle, license plate frame, all the wire/tube holders, exhaust, and probably the front brakes (already planning my own rear brakes using a hybrid sn95 setup on fox length rear).

And the joke was made about the manual, but it's highly likely that after the aluminum is in and body in place, I may not need it thereafter either lol.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The most important thing that needs to be done FIRST. Know your wants as to use of car- power & trans and your own vision of the look of overall car. Then look at parts and see how they fit in with your outlined car, order parts that work with that, then get other outside parts to go with YOUR VISION.
This will work with any car, just know that when you go outside the box the work goes UP.
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'd rather have a Kugel Indy style suspension with polished stainless steel A-arms.

Kugel Komponents, Independent Front Suspension

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Old 04-19-2017, 10:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you're gonna chop off the FFR set up and then graft on a different 4K+ dollar one from another company I'll give ya $100 for the FFR set-up when you're done with it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you're gonna chop off the FFR set up and then graft on a different 4K+ dollar one from another company I'll give ya $100 for the FFR set-up when you're done with it.
I've read enough about the FFR '33 on this forum to eliminate it from consideration. The kits are cheap, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've read enough about the FFR '33 on this forum to eliminate it from consideration. The kits are cheap, but you get what you pay for.
As much as I love FFR as a company - I have to agree with you....
Not sure what I will buy / build yet, but it's not likely to be this car.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm just finishing my Daytona Coupe, so my experience may be a little different. My opinion surely is. Everyone sets out to build their car their way. If Factory Five put the best components available everywhere, our whole budget would be gone just buying it. We upgraded some components too. That's the stuff that makes our cars "replica cars" and not "kit cars".

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Old 04-20-2017, 03:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I agree that if they used the best parts out there, the kit would be more expensive. I don't even mind spending additional money to upgrade their parts myself if needed. Just part of a build. Most any build.

What I don't find acceptable is the body not being symmetrical (not even close), parts trimmed too short, a grill that is 3/4" out of square, front suspension parts not moving freely, poor excuse for a gas tank and on and on. To make matters even more concerning is FFR not admitting to these issues. It took them years just to admit that the wheels didn't fit "centered" in the wheel well. If you can't manufacture it right, at least admit to the problem and move in a direction to resolve.

I get several calls a week from customers and it's always a similar conversation when trying to help them through some of the challenges of the build.

The reality is that FFR is in the business of selling kits and not fixing production issues in a timely manner. If they were interested in fixing issues the steel body wouldn't have some of the issues it has similar to the glass body.

At the end of the day, with a lot of work, the car can be completed and the end product can be a beautiful work of art. The body still won't be symmetrical, doors, hood and trunk operation will be sloppy (unless you fix them) and all the problem areas will either be hidden or corrected. You'll have a beautiful chassis that works well if you correct a few things though. Just my opinion, your results mar vary.

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Old 04-20-2017, 05:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I hear you about body symmetry... The reason I got for the lack of symmetry on my GT40 was "The originals were molded in clay, at best and they were not symmetrical to the same degree the chassis is."
Made it really doggoned tough to mount a non-symmetrical body on a perfectly symmetrical CNC produced chassis.
So in case anyone thinks this is only an FFR problem - I have news for you....
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I agree with Randy. It's not just a problem with FFR. However, the others that have problems have no excuse either if they have been produced in recent years. With technology today, there is no reason for a body to be off 1/2". There are several area of the FFR bodies that are dramatically off and can easily be seen with the naked eye, some from considerable distance

This car I have put on the back burner to finish my 33 but there is nothing on this body and associated parts that are more 1/16" in variation. The two sides are the same as well.

The body is so smooth, it can be primed and painted in little time with little effort in comparison.




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Old 04-20-2017, 06:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My next build will have artmorrison.com parts. I really like the new IRS, and they can build new frame for just about any car.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Yep - we're on the same page given the technology we have today. The body shown above looks decent from the pictures and probably representative of what people really should expect for their money.
The body on my GT40 was roughly 1-1/4" shorter on the left side vs right side. I got all but 5/8" back but it took a heckuva lot of work to do it. The remaining 5/8" was all in the front clip and frankly, it was not worth cutting the front clip to pieces and rebuilding it.
---
Back to the topic at hand.
I was hoping that there would be more information from 33 builders here on the quality of the steel body.
Myself, I am gearing more toward Tudor Sedans for additional seating and storage room..
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I was told by a customer that he spoke with an FFR rep. ( Eng. ) at SEMA and was told that they used the glass body with sensors mounted and reproduced a steel body from that electronic footprint. Not sure if that's correct or not but this customer has always been reliable with information. He also suggested they couldn't produce the body trim line the same and it has more of a "V" shape to it rather than being more rounded.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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After reading this thread I must say I'm a little discouraged. I thought Factory five kits were more bullet proof. Now I'm more confused and have lots more reading to determine "order this but not that" and what is junk?
Sorry to hear that. I does seem like there has been a change in attitudes about the FFR hot rod and FFR in general. When it was introduced, the hot rod was pretty cutting edge - and still is. No one had been able to package a hot rod in this way with the engineered chassis and suspension like this for that price - and still no one else has.

However, the quality of the builds over time has escalated so now you see a lot of high end builds that are basically using the kit as a starting point (the Ride Tech build comes to mind - pretty much everything including the front and rear suspensions was all custom). So people are making the jump to everything in the kit is junk. There are also many vendors that have popped up to help improve upon the final product and I'm not sure if the promotion of those products gives the impression that the FFR supplied components are unusable.

I think it's also a function of everyone wanting to build better than the last guy. Frankly, if I had to do it all over again, I would have built it bone basic and left it that way (well maybe not

I think people get on these forums and see what others have done and maybe get the wrong impression. There's nothing wrong with building the car as designed out of the box. It will run, drive, handle and look awesome even if built buy the book with no "substitutions". Sure there are million better ways to build and improve upon it - but that's where your personal touch comes in. Just because someone bitches that it doesn't meet their needs or wants, doesn't mean it won't work for you.

Of course the kit isn't perfect, there are lots of things I upgraded and changed too. But it's not because they didn't work. I could give you list of things to delete, but I have no idea if those components would have worked just fine for you. I will give you my opinion on some of the components and you can decide for yourself.

Gauges - work fine but there are side lit which makes them hard to see at night - for me cause my eyesight sucks. Sure you can delete them and get true back lit gauges, but your looking around $800 or more.

Wiring harness - It's fine if you have a carbed engine and standard transmission. Start adding EFI, electronic auto, power windows, A/C, electric power steering, line lock, etc. and you run out of spare circuits pretty quick.

Gas Tank - I'm sick of hearing about this one. The stock tank works fine if you use some common sense. Make sure the O rings for the sending units are the correct size and shape and are sealing properly and you pressure test it before putting the body on. If the sending unit is contacting metal and not the o ring then it's not going to seal. As far as the fill, yes I installed my gas cap on the outside on the top of the rear deck - and I have the original style tank that fills at the top. I don't have to pop the trunk when I fill and it fills plenty fast - and I think it looks cool. Now I think there might have been a few that actually leaked at the seams - but again a pressure test would find that and a call to FFR would get you a replacement.

One other thing, take my and others opinions with a grain of salt. I strongly recommend a visit to FFR to take a tour and try to visit with a builder in your area who is actually building or has built a hot rod. And there is even the build school where you can actually help build a car from scratch - and get a credit for you tuition if you buy a kit.

Good luck and hope you enjoy whatever kit you go with.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I built my straight out of the book without any special mods at all. A little trim here and there and working for a while with the doors and two years later I have a screaming cool Hot Rod. I had some good guidance and suggestions, but basically straight out of the book. I did use a Boyd's fuel tank, had the waterfall professionally covered, and bought different mufflers. Also did a hydraulic clutch and put a billet brake filler on the fire wall to keep the cowl clean. The body symmetry was a little off on the firewall and the pieces under the engine, but nobody knows other than me.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:42 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I am building my car in Canada and if I were to do it all over again I would get the "starter kit" from Factory Five and not order the "Completion Kit". The completion kit must be ordered through Whitby and the whole ordeal was expensive and frustrating. The parts in the completion kit could be replaced with high quality parts sourced else where for the same price. e.g.: Konis for Dan Ruth QA1s, F5R fuel tank for Boyd tank, F5R driveshaft(which took 6 months to get the correct one due to Whitby sending me the wrong one) for a locally made unit, etc...
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 317
I have a short list of the stuff that I wouldn't want to have from FFR and a Looooooong list of extra stuff to be sourced....

Ahem, when I ever get to start the build that is....
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