FFR Mk3 #4453
Extreme Energy Cam
Holley 570 Street Avenger (18mpg highway, ‘snot bad!)
Stock heads, but all ported, smoothed & polished up. (hope I really know what “ported” means)
T5 World Class Transmission w/ 2.95 1st gear
Steeda Triax Short-Throw shifter
3.55 rear w/ 4-link & VPM Coilovers http://www.vintageperformancemotorcars.com
Wheels: Max size 275/40 R17 Front, 315/35 R17 Rear
Custom Gauge Layout
Hooker Ceramic Headers
Mallory Ignition System
Vintage Air heater
Russ Thompson Gas Pedal http://www.norcal-cobras.com/store/r...uss_garage.htm
Russ Thompson Pedal Covers
Cobra Earl’s Vented Footbox Kit http://www.cobraearl.com/
Herb’s Door Panels – a gift, thanks, Herb! http://cobra-herb.tripod.com/
Breeze Automotive Lower Radiator Support http://www.breezeautomotive.com/
Breeze Automotive Top Radiator Closeoff
Fortes Oil Pan Temp Sensor http://www.fortesparts.com/
Finishline Cobra Steering Wheel Emblem http://www.finishlineaccessories.com/
Z-Racing Low-profile Gas Cap http://www.z-racing.com/productpage.html
Tangent Technologies Blind Rollbar Attachment Kit http://www.tangentkits.com/
“Made For You” brand wire looms
Taylor wires - cut to length by me
Cobrastuff Alternator and P/S brackets http://www.Cobrastuff.com
Fatmat & Aftermarket carpet
Clear Front Turn Signal Lenses
LED license plate bolt lights
Virtually Invisible Wiring
ALL local chroming – door hinges, hood hinge, quick jacks, rollbar
Black Dyed Door Check Straps & Seatbelt Leather
Shortened Front & Rear Quick Jacks
Mike’s Replica Parts brake pedal mod service http://www.replicaparts.com/
Mike’s Replica Parts rollbar trim rings
Mike’s Replica Parts seatbelt trim rings
Mike’s Replica Parts steering wheel dash opening bezel
Mike’s Replica Parts trunk support kit
Mike’s Replica Parts weatherstripping kit
Home-made removable trunk false rear wall (hides seatbelt hardware & battery cutoff wiring)
Home-made E-Z Passenger Footbox expansion
Home-made top radiator close-off
Home-made aluminium dead pedal
Home-made aluminium sidepipe hangers
Home-made under dash tab
Home-made recessed side gills (look at the photos carefully)
Home-made windshield trim bezels
Home-made wooden seat tilter-backers, custom angle, just the way I wanted it
Home-made Serial Number “window” plate
Home-made leather trimmed floor mats
delete am/fm Stereo
delete Power Brakes
delete Hood Pins
delete Back-up lights
delete Fog Lights
delete Girlfriend (can’t afford one anymore)
I am not sure about the ride height, so please don’t ask. I just go with “how many fingers fit in the wheel well.” Three in the front, two in the rear (no jokes please.)
Donor parts used: Engine block, heads, crank, oil pan, oil pump, pulleys, timing cover, rear axle, rear 4-link control arms, front lower control arms, spindles, gas tank cover & straps, gas tank filler tube, fuel filter bracket, rear drum brake assembly, e-brake assembly, and a bunch of parts for “cores” when buying parts new.
Total Cost: only $32,000. “Don’t hate me if I am beautiful….” I had the $1918 off sale. I stripped and sold parts from my $1000 donor. It took forever, but the donor put me $1000 on the positive side. The chroming & engine machine shop service was “free” in exchange for a lot of bathroom tile….
Enjoy the photos, especially the ones with my beautiful car model. Any questions, please ask. (No, she’s not available.)
In the photos, notice how the stripe color changes greatly depending on the light, and even "fades to black" at certain angles.
The Chino area's landscape varies quite a bit, all these photos were taken just a few miles from my house..
. For dyeing the check straps, i used a special leather dye, and a special glaze so the sheen on the check straps would match the seats exactly. Matte, semi-gloss, etc. -- i don't remember which one. I dyed the seatbelt leather also.
THE EXTENDED “DIRECTOR’S CUT”, DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO:
I know this is a public forum, and I wish not to infringe on the beliefs of others, but first, I would like to thank Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, who gives me all I need and even a few things I don’t deserve. This project, above all else, has taught me more about patience, determination, and integrity. Second, I need to thank Paul Mastrioani (despite growing up in New York, I can’t spell long Italian names, so how about just “Cannonball Cobra”?). Paul has given me personal assistance more times than I can count. (Pretty good Paul, second only to Jesus Christ – haha!) Third, I must thank my family and close friends for their support. Fourth, I must thank DV/DT (Rod) for special help and advice. Fifth, I need to thank beginner builders Kouros and Matt for inspiration in my beginning days. There are so many other people to thank, I can’t list past the first five, but you know who you are. I have used just about every vendor on the forum - all give excellent support. 10% of the advice I got here confused me even more, but overall, I would probably have needed another year to finish if it weren’t for the advice here on the forum. Most of you will probably just look at the pictures, but for those that have nothing better to do, to follow is my build summary, something I slowly wrote while on breaks at work:
As you all know, there were quite a few gremlins chasing me the whole way. Some of them were rookie mistakes and my fault, most were not. Most of my troubles were due to the mechanical advance in my distributor being faulty. We determined this at my engine tuning party. Thanks again to Nels, Cannonball Cobra, Roger Stine, and Frank Messina. Shirley, I put a timing light to the engine, but these guys held it there for several minutes. This time, they saw the timing mark jump up and down. The engine even backfired “on cue” when the mark jumped. This was the first major problem solved. The problems that the distributor caused were the following:
1. the engine would start perfectly sometimes, but not always, not even when warmed up.
2. due to advanced timing, the engine would overheat, but only sometimes.
3. due to advanced timing, the engine would backfire under hard acceleration, but only sometimes.
4. the engine would backfire and shoot flames out the carb, but only sometimes.
5. the engine would backfire at idle, but only sometimes.
6. upon starting, the engine would rock back on the starter, but only sometimes.
7. I cracked three (3) starters because of #6
Major sources of gray hairs:
1. front suspension / wheels: I spent probably 16 hours trying to get the wheels to fit. I tried spacers, the PCV self alignment to be sure I was correctly assessing the situation, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Turns out, I had the holes in the four-hole spindle holder bracket thingy wrong. that's a lot of headache from just a little thing. it was a very discouraging way to start the build. Chino Chris finally called me up and told me I had the spindle adapter mounted wrong.
2. after a little go-carting, the wrong ignition coil fried my distributor cap. So much for the term “universal coil.” The engine ran like crap, started sometimes, but eventually the spark was gone. I spent forever diagnosing the problem, until I finally looked under the bottom of the distributor cap and saw the button was fried. Again, a lot of time for such a small thing. So much for the term “universal” ignition coil.
3. in time, the distributor ignition module was fried also. after replacing it, the car started up, but still ran like crap. Sometimes. (See above.)
4. grinding starter – another biggie. I spent over 100 frustrating hours on this. everything from checking grounds, replacing the solenoid, to trying different starters, to spacers & shims, to running serial numbers. turns out, the starter motor locating hole in the block plate was (a) too big, and (b) off center. I went through four starters, and eventually had to pull the engine to replace the block plate, flywheel, clutch plate, bellhousing, and of course, the starter. (yes, the defective block plate was a Genuine Ford Motorsports blockplate – source unknown.)
5. directional signals - probably 50 frustrating hours on this. The brake lights were washing out the turn signals. I tried diodes and a trailer wiring box. I finally located the problem -- each pair of lights in the rear were wired together, and the bright brake light circuit washed out everything. I separated the rear lights - top and bottom - rewired, and all was well.
6. first legal drive w/ body on - had my overflow tank totally plumbed wrong - into the top w/ no suction straw. The system was totally closed and I wound up spewing antifreeze out the radiator cap over EVERYTHING. got towed home.
7. after allegedly getting everything cleaned up and back together, the "local pro" tuner said there was something really, really, wrong with my engine. that broke my heart.
8. leaking tranny - I thought it might have been the speedo cable o-ring or the rear seal. it turned out the "hidden" neutral position sensor switch hole on top of the tranny was unplugged. I would have never found this if I didn't pull the engine / tranny. And thanks to Porxter – he sent me an unused “plug” made from an old wiring harness.
9. overheating / burping – this was a huge problem in the beginning, I kept spewing coolant out the overflow tank. It has subsided since then, but the engine still occasionally bubbles depending on how hard I drive, how long I drive, and how hot it is outside. The upper hose gets really tight sometimes, and I fear it will burst. Every few months the whole upper hose fills with air. I still don’t know what the problem is, but it doesn’t keep me from driving. It makes me very nervous, but that’s what AAA is for.
10. e-brake. No matter what, I could never get it to tighten up. The whole “pin” method, etc. Tony W and Professor Wacko helped me snug it up. To this day, I am not exactly sure how we did it. I am a Mechanical Engineer and quite embarrassed about this!
11. CHP inspection -- mismatched serial number on FFR’s MSO and frame. The MSO said FFR…. the frame was stamped F5R (or was it the other way around?)….anyway, big mess at the CHP. Another 4 weeks for the next CHP appointment, another day off of work, and another 20° morning drive to the CHP. At the second CHP appointment, the officer ran the VIN number of my donor, and there was no record of the donor carcass being crushed. So I had to make a THIRD appointment, go to the DMV to get another temp operating permit. I had to contact the guy who bought my carcass off ebay, and get a notarized letter to say he had the frame and title, but not the motor. After my third CHP appointment, I finally passed. (The BAR inspection went perfect, even though I had no wipers, technically required. The Brake and Light inspection went well, even though I had no backup lights, technically required.) Through all of this, I had to get a half dozen temporary driving permits… for a while, I thought the DMV might stop giving them to me.
12. leaky waterneck. I originally had the famous chrome Ford Motorsports one. The first time, I didn’t know the top “screw” was a straight thread. Second time, I didn’t know the front nipple was a thread at all. So I fused them up with JB Weld. The leak moved to the flange. I took it off the third time and sanded down the chrome face. Still no luck. Next, I purchased the billet aluminum CSR o-ring style gasket-less waterneck. That was $100 and still didn’t work. I felt like a complete retard, and was wondering if the face on my intake manifold was the problem. the FIFTH time, I used the $14 Autozone OEM cast waterneck, a little Rust-O-Leum, and Permatex brand RTV. It worked perfectly. I have never had any luck with RTV black on anything, maybe the Permatex is a better product?
13. leaking valve cover – after taking the valve cover off four times (each) and sealing everything up with new gaskets and RTV top & bottom, I finally learned that it was leaking from a hairline crack 1” from the bottom of the valve cover. A little dab of JB weld and it sealed up. I didn’t paint the JB weld black to keep the memory.
14. leaking Damper – changed the seal and smoothed down the shaft, but it didn’t work perfectly. Next time around, instead of using a repair sleeve, I decided to buy a new $59 damper. Cannonball Cobra and I changed it out and all was well.
15. power steering pump – the brand new OEM mustang pump gave way, so I purchased the AGR one from Summit. It’s leaking and I still need to replace it.
MINOR BUT NOTEWORTHY PROBLEMS: (A.K.A. “don’t try this at home”)
1. during first startup, I had the wrong firing order. I used the same 5.0 HO firing order from the donor. It turned over, but man on man did it run rough! Two of the sidepipe headers turned glowing red! Almost clear red! Little did I know, my Comp cam had a different firing order. For a long time, I thought my camshaft was damaged because the engine was not broken in properly during initial startup. Turns out, the cam was okay, but at the end of the build, I did have to spend money on new wires… I used the Taylor cut-to-length wires and re-did the whole thing.
2. rear end bottoming out & driveshaft hitting e-brake cable tab (solved by VPM coilovers), The donor Mustang Convertible springs were just too tired. I wasted money on new mustang shock and spring perch mounts. Oh well.
3. gas filler nozzle shutting off at the pump (solved by removing inner rubber emissions tube). I used to fill the tank two gallons at a time, using a gas can for a lawnmower!
4. leaking steering rack - had to replace the donor one, even though I spent countless hours cleaning and restoring the donor one.
5. donor EFI fuel pump too strong for carbed setup – was popping lines and spewing gas everywhere. How was I supposed to know different pumps had different PSI ?!?!? rookie mistake. I eventually replaced the in-tank motor with a lower pressure one.
6. voltmeter was pinned to the right. I checked and re-checked the wiring for several hours. It turned out that the Autometer wiring diagram was wrong. I disconnected the ground and all was well, it is apparently a floating ground.
7. my heads were installed “backwards”, meaning the female threaded hole for the alternator bracket bolt was on the driver’s rear, instead of the passenger’s front. so I could not install the alternator bracket bolt. that $34 double threaded male/female insert thingy saved me from switching the heads. It sure was hard to locate that part, even though I had the Ford part number. It was a two pack, I sent the other insert to forum member____?
8. my donor was an a/t. for an a/t, the “block plate” between the engine and transmission was two pieces, one for the top, one for the bottom. Little did I know, for a T5, the block plate is one big piece. I didn’t know to install it between the engine and tranny BEFORE you drop the engine. I had to pull the engine out just to install the block plate. Little did I know again, I’d be pulling the engine once more a year later…
9. I used the wrong alignment specs, the ones in the build manual are for the de-powered power steering rack. I have power steering, so I had to go back and get it re-aligned for another $80. After the re-alignment, the steering wheel was a little crooked again, so it was another four hours to adjust the flaming river steering shaft. Remove, shaft, sand, re-install, adjust, drive around the corner, let the headers cool, adjust, drive around again, cock back to the left, get it right, re-paint.
10. “Adjustable” clutch cable. The build manual refers to the clutch cable as the “adjustable Mustang clutch cable.” Great, so it automatically adjusts for slack when it stretches, right? Wrong. It’s the clutch QUADRANT that takes up the slack. I soon learned that the Mustang quadrant is plastic, with little teeth, but my used footbox had an aftermarket aluminium quadrant. After 500 miles or so, it was getting harder and harder to get it into gear. As a matter of a fact, that was the exact title of my post. I few responses and I realized I needed to buy a firewall clutch cable adjuster. Live and learn!
. A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE:
. DECEMBER 6, 2004. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE TWO DAYS EARLIER, ON MY 35th BIRTHDAY. OH WELL, STILL THE BEST FEELING I HAVE HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. BETTER THAN FIRST START, BETTER THAN GO-CART, BETTER THAN FIRST DRIVE, BETTER THAN GETTING MY PLATES! :
The STRONG points of the car are it’s looks, and that it is all new. I am glad I spent the extra money and got the stars ghosted in the stripes. Jeff Miller’s paint job is the first thing people compliment in public, next comes my custom dash layout. I think my engine is smartly dressed with not too much bling. I did all I could to make the engine bay look good --anything from black heat shrink tubes to scrubbing the white letters off the rubber heater hoses. The wiring is especially clean and 99% hidden. All of the chrome parts on the case were done for free. I spent a tremendous amount of time cleaning up the anti-freeze stains in the engine bay. As far as construction of the car, just about every single part on the car is brand new, rebuilt, or restored.
The WEAK points of the car, unfortunately, are the engine, drive-train, and brakes. It’s just a mild engine with 226 rear wheel HP and 280 rear wheel torque. I have a stock (high-effort) clutch, 4-link, and stock Mustang manual brakes with drums in the rear. I also have an exposed battery in the trunk, and regular rear view mirrors. No heated seats, no stereo, no hidden body fasteners, or rolled cockpit edges. I guess that’s all you get for $32K, but at least everything is new.
IF I HAD TO DO IT OVER:
1. no donor - even though I made money back from the donor, I spent too much time cleaning things that I wound up replacing.
2. FFR 3-link. I have 4-link with VPM coilovers, which is MUCH better than the stock mustang setup, but I think it would have only been $600 more for FFR 3-link because it includes the coilovers.
3. Turn-key motor from Engine Factory or Levy. Basically, my engine cost + local tuning guy that said it was screwed up cost + dyno tune cost + do-overs + beer for engine tuning party + insurance payments while not driving the car + etc + lost wages for side carpentry work = MORE than a turn-key engine.
4. Ultra-Lite II gauges instead of Ultra-Lites. The White illuminated Ultra Lites reflect too much on the windshield at night.
5. brakes – at least I should have used the Jeep master cylinder
HAPPY I DID:
Carb instead of EFI. Cheaper & easier wiring.
Got it painted AFTER all the leaks and bugs were worked out (I hope)
Fatmat with aftermarket carpet
Carpet in the trunk, so cheap, how can you not?
Swapped 3.08 for 3.55 – night and day difference
Extras such as roll bar grommets, billet windshield bezels, trunk support kit, etc.
Spent the extra money to have the stars ghosted in the stripes, plus under-hood stripe
Expanded passenger footbox
For every part that I purchased new, I am happy.
It’s all the little things that add up and really make the car and make it more pleasurable to drive. For example, the under-dash tab keeps the dash secure when pressing the horn. A dead pedal, tilted back seats, trim bezels, windwings -- those things step up the creature comfort. I also got me custom molded professional musician’s earplugs that filter out 25db, but still let through all frequencies… you can still hear everything and NOT turn away the ladies with florescent orange things stuffed in your ears.
Southern California is an expensive place to live, but 350 days a year, it’s a nice day for a drive! Speaking of, I’ll think I’ll go out for an ice cream…
P.S. - There is still something else "lurking under the hood", but it did not photograph well, so you'll have to come to Huntington Beach to see it. Hope to see you there!
Congratulations. It is an excellent build and a beautiful car. You are the one that made me trust this forum and keep coming back for advice. I asked some questions initially on here about rear end assembling and donor parts and got a bit of crap about my car, and got disappointed. You told me not use the donor quad shocks and offered me your Monroe replacement ones for shipping. So began my immersion in this forum, and making forward progress on my build. Thanks, and again congratulations, it is a great looking ride.
MKIII, FRPP 306, FRPP T-5 Worldclass, 4 wheel discs, 17 inch hallibrand. CobraEarl Vented Footbox, TriStates Heater, Heated Seats, FFR Top...And now she runs!!!
Eddie, congratulations!, after all that effort, it looks like it was worth every headache and grey hair. all of us i think had similar build experinces, only different ( it builds character). The Paint is awesome, your model is hot! can we at least get her name? Thanks for being part of the forum fun. We hope you don't dissapear now that youre done. Aloha, Karl
mark III ordered 2/10/05, donor build- 2003 mustang gt sohc. ABS,Accufab intake,17x9 Bullits. Lots of Carbon fiber. legal 7/19/06
Fantastic job! Well worth the wait, but I'm still glad I gave you a hard time about not posting pictures. Great write up and probably the best graduation post I have ever seen. Be proud, drive safe, and show off!
FFR coupe #190 SOLD
RCR GT40 SOLD to Fast and Furious 5 producer
Kirkham #690 (289 FIA) w/427w and TKO 600
1966 GT350 clone w/Boss 347 and TKO 600
1966 Bronco w/289 and 3 speed
1967 Mustang convertible rust bucket (soon to be GT350 clone)
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Eddie way to go!
I'll say this. If it could go wrong during the build. It went wrong with yours.
No doupt most people would have given up.
Not you. Kudo's for finishing your car not to mention the excellent finished product.
Nice. Very nice
M III recieved 8-06, 3 link,lca\'s PS+PB,carb,302,373 gears, T5 first start 8/27/06.Go Kart 9/9/06 Tagged 10/24/06 Graduate 4-07
Congratulations!! The set-backs that you encountered must make the sense of satisfaction that you (deservedly) feel now that much stronger. Your build, the paint and all of the little details are fantastic. I think I am going to "borrow" your concealed trunk back wall idea... that is very clever.
FFR #5819 - Mk III, '90 GT Donor, 302 EFI, GT-40 Intake, 65mm TB, T5 Transmission, 4x4 headers, under-drive pulleys, 3G Alt., 3:08 gears, 3-link, 18:1 steering rack, "Street Package" from Winter '06 Sale. Picked kit up 11/18/06. Began Chassis Build-up 2/10/07. First Start 11/13/07. Go Carted 11/17/07. Road legal 5/12/10!! Did my own bodywork but had a pro shoot the paint. Go Cart Videos... Build Pics... Graduation Thread...
Welcome to FFCars! The
representations expressed are the representations and opinions of
the FFCars.com forum members and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions and viewpoints of the site owners, moderators, Factory Five
Racing, Inc. or Ford Motor Company. This website
has been planned and developed by FFCars.com and its forum members
and should not be construed as being endorsed by Factory Five
Racing, Inc. or Ford Motor Company for any
purpose. "FFR", "Factory Five", "Factory Five Racing", and the
Factory Five Racing logo are registered trademarks of Factory Five
Racing, Inc. FFCars.com forum members agree not to
post any copyrighted material unless the copyrighted material is
owned by you. Although we do not and cannot review the messages
posted and are not responsible for the content of any of these
messages, we reserve the right to delete any message for any reason
whatsoever. You remain solely responsible for the content of your
messages, and you agree to indemnify and hold us harmless with
respect to any claim based upon transmission of your message(s).
Thank you for visiting the FFCars.com Forum dedicated to Factory