First off, let me say hi and thanks in advance to anyone that leaves me some advice. Background, I have had 2 vettes over the last couple of years and am wanting to build a Cobra for many reasons. I do have some questions about an FFR build.
1. What would be the approx price on a kit if I got everything I needed for the car from FFR minus the drivetrain (motor, tranny, and rearend)? I know options vary but assuming I went with modest options, ie cheaper rim package.
2. Is this project feasible to do in a 2 car garage?
3. If I went the donor car route, assuming I am some what competent, how big of a pain is stripping and getting what I need off it. What is the average time frame?
4. On the base package from FFR, what all is missing that I will need to complete the build if I do a donor? I am worried that I will be constatnly ordering small pieces that aren't included.
Guys thanks again for all the input and if these questions are a nuisance or in the wrong forum I apologize.
Best way to get familar with the kit is get the build manual. FFR will give back the $50 for the manual when you order the car.
My kit ran over $15K after IRS, big block, FFR wiring harness, pin drive wheels, body cut-outs, wind wings, visors and other options.
I know of several people that went the full donor route and spent about $19K on the total build.
The kit is very complete except for the motor, drive train, wiring, gas tank, rear-end, front spindles, brakes, rims and tires. The kit is setup to take everything you need from the Mustang and they do a good job with a very complete kit including fan belts and a new air filter.
If you go the non-donor route you can spend upwards of $30K easily. A two car garage is plenty of room. Lots of people have done one in a one car garage.
FFR# 4909 with Ford FE, SpeedPro forged pistons, Eagle H-beam Rods, Elderbrock Alumin Heads, Comp solid roller cam, Comp roller rockers, 750 CFM Mighty Demon on a 428 PI alumin intake, TKO 600, IRS and pin drive wheels.
1. most people, including me, spend about $25K to $30K with paint for a donor build. (i actually did a half donor build)
2. of course, some have done it in one car garages.
3. no air tools like me: 60 hours or so. with air tools, possibly 30 hours.
4. the kit + a donor gives you everything you need, technically, but you wind up spending thousands on the following:
A. new bushings, spring seats, gaskets, etc.
B. new bolts from home depot becuase the kit has the wrong ones, the kit came up short and you don't want to wait a week to get someone from FFR on the phone and have them mail them to you, or they are not the right color. (even the exposed hardware is sometimes mis-matched.)
C. performance/safety/comfort upgrades. the donor gas pedal is awful. the rear solid axle setup is okay, but the donor spring setup was awful for me, so i went with real coilovers. you will probably want fatmat insulation. don't forget that you will probably want a 5-lug conversion to expand your wheel possiblilties. did i mention you may need wheel spacers? you will soon learn that "upgrade" often neans "need." lots of guys on this forum have made fantastic extras for the car, everyhing from cobra earl's vented footboxes, to the breeze automotive radiator support, to herb's door panels.
oh, the fun never ends.
search my recent posts and see all the problems i am having. it is me, more than anyone, that will recommend a non-donor build. check out www.breezeautomotive.com and they have everything you need to build the whole car, even new engines.
I'm waiting for my kit to get here - was hoping for today but I guess its gonna be tomorrow. I'm trying to go mostly donor, so I'll tell you how I'm doing so far.
1. My total kit came to $13,661. That was with powdercoated frame, body cut outs, steering rack & shaft, mustang guage conversion, blank aluminum dash, street performer seats, hood hinge, tubular fron LCA's, and 5 lug superlight wheels. I got a lot of the options free though 'cause I ordered when it was on sale back in january. I paid a little over 2k for the donor. Picked up a set of 5 lug axles for $100 on ebay. Add in the $800 for Stewart to ship it to me and I'm right around $17000 so far.
2. I'm sure 2 car garage will work. I'm building mine at the office where I've got an 8000 sf shop with air tools, etc. A lift is soon to come [img]smile.gif[/img]
3. I'm not done stripping the donor yet, probably about 10 hrs into it and I've got most of the front end done, plus engine and trans all cleaned up and painted. I'm leaving the wires in and going with the new i squared system, so that should save some time.
4. The kit + donor is supposed to have everything you need. Most likely you'll decide to buy some new stuff instead of using certain donor parts (like the wires for me).
I went non-donor mainly because I couldn't find a decent donor. Downside was increased cost. Upside is mainly new parts and less frustration. See NiceGuyEddie's problems. I got my kit last Sept. and will be good enough to license in 3 weeks. Maybe. Hopefully.
One thing I've seen mentioned here is try to determine what you want to do with the car. Cruise, auto-x,race? Know what you want up front and try to stick to it. But if you spend much time here, and you will, the budget will be hard to stick to.
Check out my blog and others build sites. Do lots of searches. And don't be afraid to come here and ask questions. There are no stupid ones.
First off...you will come into this thinking that you really are going to do this for under 20k. (I did) You will plan on using every part off your donor and now really upgrading much. However...if your like me you are going to end up wishing you had gone completly non-donor...you will spend more money but in the long run its going to be a much better car...much faster and with a lot less headaches...JMHO...
As for your garage 1 car would work fine but you'd have to get creative on where to store the body when you're building the car...so 2 car is more than enough. I have no idea how niceguyeddie has been able to get through this without air tools. I use mine all the time...ratchet, air hammer...air chisel...air grinder....especially in the teardown. He's a much more patient man than I am thats for sure.
I find myself ordering small pieces all the time. This was mostly because I got a automatic donor and then purchased a tranny seperate. There were quite a few more items I ended up needing than I thought. I really suggest if you go with a donor you keep the donor until you are well past the go-cart stage. I let mine go as soon as the engine was dropped in and it probably has cost me about $1000 in small parts (speedo cable, inertia cut-off switch, etc.)
Good luck, these cars are a blast and the people here are great. Hope you get one.
FFR 5053K Carbed, 3link w/ coil over, Fuel Safe, Rear Disc, Mustang Billets and a million other additions.
I'm building a non-donor car for "wastehauler", he has gone top shelf all the way. A Hardcore 427,TKO 600 New everything, estimated cost for parts without paint is 35 to 36K. You have to remember that" speed costs money, how fast can you go."
One thing to keep in mind as far as keeping costs down is the performance available from a stock engine and the usual 3.55 rear gear w/ only about 2100 lbs to push.I think the spec racer w/ stock Mustang rear gear is listed as 0-60 at 4.8 sec.So 355 rear might be 4.6-4.7sec. Now get a R&T magazine and check their roadtest summary chart near the back of each issue.See where that time puts you in relation to everything else.Nice company isn't it?
FFR 5353K,351/400hp,TKO 500, 3-link w/3.08 and Truetrac, Koni DA coilovers front and rear,APE hardtop,Forte front and VPM rear swaybars
A West Coast NO rust donor car from Cypress with all parts guaranteed was my choice. The build was easy and driveable in six weeks. With paint I was at $15,500 in 1997. In nine years I've replaced parts you would on any '92 Mustang driver.
Today the donor shortblock, T5 transmission, petal assembly and gas tank still exist in my FFR. The replaced parts never failed but were performance upgrades for open track driving. I have not experienced any problems from custom engine failures or mixed unmatched parts.
Figure out what you're going to use the car for first. I built my car a couple years after Roger and still haven't hit $17,000. I had a donor that had been partly restored (new brakes and checked out) and did the original concept that FFR touted. Buy the kit, buy a donor, plan on paint (I did my own) and you've got a Cobra.
There are a lot of nice upgrade options, but you can get carried away very easily. I once priced out my dream FFR (still a donor build) and came up with $36,000 that I'd be sending to FFR for the kit (assumiming that they would do an aluminum option....looked good at that time).
I use my car to drive around on the street only. Remember that even if you put in something used, or from the donor....like the gauges....you can always upgrade later. That's what I've done over the years. I sold off every single unused donor part or upgraded part and that's helped to keep the costs low.
96 5k mile Explorer engine
Explorer chromed intake
mass air conversion (self done)
mustang turbine wheels off the donor
hidden trunk hinges (mustang hood hinges)
Autometer gauges (from open house....cheap!)
Battery cutoff switch
FFR lower control arms (from open house).
rebuilt T5Z 2.95
I also have a ton of stuff in my garage that I either haven't decided to use or need something to complete, including driver/passenger chrome rollbars, replacement gauges, etc.
Nobody's ever done with one of these cars, so don't be afraid to start modest and upgrade. If I were to do another one, I'd buy a Mustang that had been modified and rebuilt and spend the money there. Drive it for a summer to sort it out and then build the Cobra from that. I still see tons of very nice fox bodies around for cheap money. I passed on an 88 convertible auto over the winter for $3k with a new top and new urathane paint job.
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