Now if taking delivery and going for a spin was not enough... We were lucky enough to have the company of many forum members!!!! Wow, were we impressed and honored. The day was cold and the weather was iffy, but many guys still took the chance and showed up in their cars!!! A alot of other members showed up too and in the end it was a great turnout!! I was so overwhelmed, i never really got much time to spend with any one guy which was a bummer, but i know there will be more chances for that later. But thank you EVERYONE for the support. It was amazing and the cars really got us excited to get this project going!!!
We have officially been working on the new car for a week and a day. Christmas got in the way of getting more done, but I think we did pretty well considering.
Valuble lessons: Make sure the correct aluminum panel is on the front of the driver's side footbox before spending hours intricately drilling each hole. Grrrrr... Also make sure you don't decide part way through the panel process that you want to switch and do firewall forward. Again, grrrrr... Lastly, make sure you read the directions carefully and don't use 150 ft lbs of torque on a bolt that calls for 150 in lbs. Oops. I suppose we had to learn a few things the hard way. The rest will be smooth sailing, right?
Mike and Steve are a team (not as awesome as team Alyssa and Julie though). They worked on the front suspension and a smidge on the rear end. The brakes were attempted, but they discovered quickly that stainless steel wire and some other odds and ends were needed. The stinking stores we needed were not open because of the holidays. Guess I had one more grrrrrr after all.
Alyssa and I have been masterfully drilling perfect little holes in the aluminum panels. Okay, so maybe there was a slight learning curve, but we have a pretty decent groove going now. Having a second...actually third...drill helps. Neither of us likes using the air drill since it's so loud and drill-y. It's necessary for the panel to chassis holes though. Sadness.
Hopefully next week will bring a slow work schedule and a big car building schedule. Looking forward to having Friday off.
I've read enough on the forums to know that it didn't happen if there aren't any pics, so here's proof of our greatness (or occasional lack thereof).
Nope, no RC action going on here. I need something to drive
So far the front suspension is basically completed, Most of the engine panels have been drilled and the brakes will be ready tonight, since i was missing some wire and a INCH torque wrench. We also finished cutting off the shock mounts and brake mounts off the rear with a plasma cutter. We then ground down the wellds for the shock mounts. We will be installing wilwood on the front and back. Tonight we are going to paint the axle too.
This kit has gone together sooooooo easy so far. FF really could not have made this any easier. Its been a real joy to build. I am just afraid its gonna go by way too fast.
I'm sure I can find someone local on this forum to drive me around in our new car (in case I never learn to drive stick). Any volunteers?
Well, another week has passed. We got quite a bit done, but not as much as you'd expect for four people with three days off. We discovered the largest time issues stem from Alyssa and me. Having approximately zero previous mechanical experience, we are SLOW!!! For instance, the pedal box took us approximately 6 hours to build. I know. Poor Mike. He has been exceptionally patient and supportive.
Mike and Steve finished up brake installation. Wiring up the bolts looked like a horrible chore, but Mike managed to do an excellent job (especially considering he never got around to buying the pliers for it). Most of the work those two did was on the rear end. It's the only "previously owned" part we are using, so it required some extra attention. I'm not sure what all they did, but I know it involved paint, wire brushes and a lot of time. I also discovered that Steve has a natural ability with a can of spray paint. While I'm not encouraging him to go out and tag any walls, I have to say I was impressed. He was kind enough to paint the red on the pedal box for us.
Back to the rear. It took the entire family, but we got the rear end bolted in. Sadly, the lower control arms are on backorder, so we are using tie downs to keep it pulled back to a more normal angle. Hopefully they will arrive soon.
Alyssa and I had a slightly more difficult time than the others this week. We sure laughed a lot. After dropping the same locknut in the same hard to get spot for the fourth time, it was laugh or cry. Emotionally, we make an awesome team. Mechanically, not so much. We did manage to build the pedal box and install it along with the master cylinders. I know the brake switch is turned, but we will fix that when we adjust it for the pedal. We don't want to get too involved since we need to powder coat the panels still and will therefore need to unbolt it once more. Speaking of panels, we have done nothing useful on them this week. Still waiting for the firewall forward kit.
I can't speak for the others, but I've learned a ton so far. 1) No matter what you need, it will not be within arm's reach. If you are in the engine compartment, everything will be on the furthest edges. If you are on the driver's side, things will be on the passenger side. 2) The grumpier you get with a misbehaving part, the more likely you are to slam your funny bone into something and that isn't funny. 3) I had no idea prior to this weekend what caused the brake lights to come on when you step on the brake. I feel incredibly smarter now and smile because of it each time I step on the pedal when driving my truck. I'm hoping that wears off so I don't get permanent smile wrinkles. 4) The instructions are great in that they are better than no instructions, but I find they are geared for people with a certain amount of common sense and ability to assume things. Alyssa and I are not those people so we find the manual to be exceptionally frustrating. For example, you really do install the brake pedal despite the fact that the instructions have a picture with no brake pedal and then suddenly have a brake pedal with no clear instruction to put it in. Of course, I accidentally removed the clutch thinking it was the brake. My fault, but there were only two pedals at that point, so I assumed the one on the left was the brake. See what Mike has to deal with???
I don't think we have any super helpful advice except that you shouldn't super extreme tighten things until you know 100% you have the correct hardware in the correct spot at the correct time. ARGH! I'm sure Mike has a much better and more mechanically inclined perspective and will be happy to share. This is what he gets for letting me do the updates though.
I also forgot to mention that Alyssa and I taped all the inventory pages up on the doors of the cabinets near the car. We no longer have to spend extra time flipping through pages (especially since we wear gloves) trying to find which box the part is in. Having them all on display at one glance is such a huge timesaver.
I just tracked our engine and its due in thursday!!!! cant wait to see the beast! its the 427w from ford racing. Got a great deal on it from the guy i purchased my tko600 from. I ordered my stainless headers last week and the weber setup from jim should be here in the next couple weeks? I am soooooo exited to see that engine in there. It will be a real dream!
recieved a shipment from FFmetals yesterday. Very highly recomended. Shipping was very fast, packed well and the quality of parts were fantastic!! We purchased the firewall forward kit (definately worth it just because of the thickness!) and the battery relocation kit, very nice also!!
Lastly we recieved the side vents from finishline. Very nice parts for the price. Wish these came standard on the kit instead of the REALLY cheap ones that they give you that in my opinion are not usable on a car of this caliber!!!
Today was the first time I read the "Casey Family Build Thread," but I'm glad I did. Sounds like you're all having a great time. MRSQSL, its quite different to hear the perspective of someone who decribes themself as "Having approximately zero previous mechanical experience," yet having such a grand time learning. QSL, you're a lucky guy! Keep it up and keep the updates coming. Sounds like that is going to be one sweet roadster. Who gets to pick the color?
Mk 3.1 #7172 / Viper Red w/Pure White stripes
308 / GT40P heads / TFS Stage 1 cam / Crane roller rockers / Explorer intake / 65mm TB / 24# 75mm Pro M MAF/ March pulleys
Cobra spec T5 / 3.73 8.8 / Konis all around / 15" FFR Halibrands
I LOVE purple!!!!! I can't convince anyone else it's a good idea though. The original idea was gray with silver stripes, but then we thought maybe metallic green with gray stripes, but then we decided on red with gray stripes. Sigh. It changes pretty much on a daily basis. Although I'm supposed to be in charge of paint, I've found that I get outvoted a LOT. Sigh. Can't wait to find out what color it actually ends up being. Alyssa has voted for donut box pink with sprinkles painted on top.
I have manual brakes and steering and my comments follow.
Manual brakes are OK by me and I made them better by upgrading to Hawk pads. Porterfield were also recommended, but my local hot rod shop only could order Hawk. I can push them to the point the front wheels lock, yes I have to push hard, but I am old and learned to drive with manual everthing. My only issue with Hawk pads are then now have started to make noise when almost stopped. Others have said the same thing.
Manual steering is great at speed IMO, I love the feel. In parking lots it is harder and sometimes you must get the car rolling to turn the wheel. I do recommend a bump steer kit. Some on this site have "issues" with the manual steering and I have made a comment about my mother driving into her 40s with only manual steer and that seems to stop all the comments. I wonder why??? Ha Ha.
My wife has driven stick, but only on my 67 Valiant. I will have to give her the chance to learn to drive the Cobra this year, since she keeps bringing up the point what if I cannot drive and we need to get home.
Very interesting about the power brakes and steering. I'd be interested to hear what your wife thinks once she drives it. I have very vague memories of sitting in the driver's seat of my mom's 64-1/2 Mustang. I was a kid, but I remember the brakes were really hard to push.
Ray, that is so generous of you! It's a super long drive though. I wouldn't want you to do that just for us. If you will already be in the area, by all means stop by, but Mike seems pretty set on manual steering and brakes and I won't be driving the car. Even if I knew how to drive a stick, that engine scares me and, as I believe is the case with most wives, I'd feel terrible if I hurt the roadster. I really appreciate the offer to drive over though!!
Muscles I didn't even know I had are screaming right now. Alyssa and I made a ton of progress (for us) this week. We were able to experience some upside down drilling. Not so much fun, but we developed a system that worked much quicker for us. Whoever was laying under the car would get the drill all lined up and then the other person would reach down and press up on the back of the drill for that added oomph. We are both exhausted, but the passenger side footbox is totally drilled and has now been removed. We also managed to drill most of the driver's side footbox. A panel needs to be taken off so we can get to the last remaining spot. Once we get that done, we can remove the panels and hopefully send them for powdercoating. Mike is leaning towards black and I'm leaning towards a more silver color. My fear with black is that it will be more difficult to maintain, will show any misalignment in rivets (not that we have any, ahem) and will show scratches. I agree silver isn't super exciting, but then it's not like anyone sees much metal once the engine is in and the body is on. Anyway, it feels like we accomplished a bunch.
Things we learned? 1) Don't wear regular eye glasses when drilling from underneath. Shooting glasses are much more protective. 2) Just when you think you're done, you discover you missed an entire section. 3) We are more creative about finding solutions when Mike and Steve aren't around (although they would've gotten some hilarious shots if they had been). 4) There are a whole lotta rivets in this one little vehicle.
Mike and Steve had a much more frustrating week than we did. They've been saying for at least a week that their goal for the day was to get the rear brakes on. Rear brakes still aren't on. It's all because of one little front upper ball joint sleeve thingy. It had a tear, so Mike got a new one from Factory Five. He went to change it out and discovered some reason it was actually a one time use sort of bolt and ended up having to go to the Auto Zone way out in Perris to get a new one. They were kind enough to bring back banana shakes. Super yum!!!!! Anyway, what should've been about 5 minutes ended up being at least two hours. I'm pretty sure it's karma seeking revenge for picking on us about the 6 hours it took us to install the pedal box last week.
Oh, the other project they did...forehead slap. When we did inventory, we saw on the sheet that the lower control arms were on backorder. To make a long story short, he called Factory Five and discovered they had been sent with the original kit. What? How could that be? Oh yeah, he was probably out of the garage when we got to that box during inventory and we marked it off on the inventory sheet, but didn't realize it was also on the backorder one. So, there we were with tie downs holding the rear end in position when the correct arms were in box 23 the entire time.
On the plus side, we've made progress and met a bunch more nice people. We went to the get together in Temecula yesterday and saw a bunch of great cars and then headed out to San Diego to pick up an engine hoist a fellow forum member was kind enough to lend us. We were able to see another Cobra as well as a Daytona Coupe (I forget what Factory Five calls them). So many wonderful guys and so willing to help. Thanks everyone!!!!
the simple task of replacing the boot on the upper ball link turned into a complete nightmare. Fortunately, FF told me before hand that they were out of a 1980 chrysler newyorker, so i was able to track down a whole new one easily. Problem was i had remove the whole upper arm and we had it all torqued down and ready to rock. Love doing things twice! Over all though, team dad and steve made great progress this weekend finishing off some loose ends. It feels good to have those things done and yes, our goal during this week is to complete the rear brakes!
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