EdwardBís Mk4 #8674 20th Anniversary Build
*** 5,000 mile report posted 06/19/019. Direct link: https://www.ffcars.com/forums/6064898-post491.html ***
Time to get rolling on another build thread. After a 1,680 mile round trip from Michigan to Wareham, as of August 6, 2015, Mk4 #8674 is now sitting in our garage. This is a 20th Anniversary Edition Mk4, number 03 of 20. This will be my third Roadster build, but a significant first. This is the first build where I am the original owner and taking delivery directly from Factory Five. The first two were purchased from their first owners as partial builds. The Mk3 had a good head start by a pro builder, so a great introduction. The Mk4 was only several months started, so almost like a new build. But time to go it alone from the very beginning. Plus Michigan gave me a really tough time the last go around without my name on the Certificate of Origin. So not going there again.
I thoroughly enjoy driving the completed Roadsters, going to car shows, and cruising whenever I get the chance. Absolutely a blast. The social aspect is great too, with our local club, the extended forum and Factory Five community, etc. But I also really enjoy the whole learning, planning and building process. Each time the builds were completed, I found myself missing the building. With my retirement earlier this year, it didnít take long to realize another build was something I wanted to do. After some studying (and soul searching) decided it had to be another Roadster, and just to change it up a little spent quite a bit of time planning a 289 FIA build. I was ready to order one during the 50/50 sale several months ago. But then the 20th Anniversary Edition Mk4 was announced, and I was immediately hooked. I called and ordered it while at a rest stop in New York on the way to this yearís Factory Five open house, just minutes after it was made available for purchase. The plan is to sell #7750 when the new build is completed. #7750 is in it's first driving season this year, and now all sorted out and truly a pleasure to own and drive. Frankly, I canít imagine letting go of it. But thatís the deal, and Iím sticking to it.
So letís get down to the new non-donor build. The planned use is almost exclusively street cruising. The overall theme is a classic look and feel with completely modern mechanicals and premium driving. Because of the fully optioned anniversary edition, many aspects are already defined. Some of the specifics: Grey powder coat chassis, white powder coat on underhood panels and footboxes (intended to simulate the fiberglass of the originals), balance will be grey powder coat to match the chassis. 2015 Mustang IRS with 3.55 cast iron center section, FFR front spindles, front and rear sway bars, 13 inch front and rear Wilwood manual brakes, Wilwood pedal box with hydraulic clutch, engine driven power steering with 3.0 turn rack, upgraded Koni double-adjustable shocks, 18 inch FF Halibrand style wheels, new Coyote engine with footbox mods to maximize space, Stainless headers, GAS-N side pipes, TKO600 trans with Libertyís shift mods, leather Roadster seats, Lizard Skin insulation, competition dash (tentatively) with glovebox, Speedhut gauges with GPS speedo, seat heaters, Breeze front battery, dropped floor in trunk, wipers, bumpers and overriders. Undecided about a heater. Haven't done one yet, and haven't missed it. But maybe it's time.
Thatís probably enough for now. Iím planning a number of the little mods and touches learned from the first two builds, and maybe some new ones along the way. Notably absent will be a sound system. Spent a lot of time on that with my last build, and find it not very practical. One of my goals is to have a really clean Coyote installation. Not easy with all the wires and hoses. Iíve seen some really great examples. Iíll see how I can do. Color is still undecided. Iím kind of stuck on red, and could easily do that again. But looking at some other options as well. It will have stripes. Iím going to take my time. This isnít a race. Plus even though Iím retired and have more time than before, I also have other things going on. Iím expecting a roughly two year build, like the first two.
There are 19 items on the backorder list. Many are minor, and wonít hold anything up. A couple others (front spindles, IRS parts) Iíll be watching closely. Iíve completed my inventory. I had a few missing and wrong parts. But not bad and Iím expecting will be quickly addressed. Probably my biggest observation, and I wonít say much at this point, is that I think I might be one of the first people to tackle the new 2015 Mustang IRS. I saw it in person at the Open House, and itís really impressive and I think will make a great build. But itís early for FF too. Iíll report more about it in the build thread as progress is made. I do already have the center section, knuckles and hubs on hand and ready to install. Talked about that in this thread: https://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-fac...so-begins.html.
Going through everything, I'm generally pretty pleased. The windshield is now marked as made in Taiwan. The last two were from China. I wonder if they've changed vendors? It seems decent quality with everything nice and tight and clean. The new wheels are noticeably improved over the previous ones. The new tooling and new vendor has produced some nice parts. But those 18 inchers are huge! We'll see how that all turns out. The chassis looks good. The grey powder coating isn't real glossy, but it's nice. It seems they may have done some extra work prepping it before PC. I don't see much weld spatter. At least in many of the obvious places. Having a whole box of white PC'd panels before doing any fitting or drilling is different. I'll need to take care of those. The body looks good. All the panels match up OK at the parting lines. The new front quick jack mount brackets are interesting. I'll still do my usual grommet installation, but now even more to hold things up. I've got the newer style front UCA's. In general, interesting to see how they continue to make interim improvements to the same version. All good I think.
In the true spirit of no pictures it didn't happen, here are a few of pics of the delivery process.
From another forum member who saw my car in final assembly. Mine's on the RH side:
On the rack and ready to go:
Parking with the big dogs at a rest stop in New York on our way to Factory Five:
Loading onto the frame cart:
In she goes:
Me looking a little sweaty, while my wife does her best Vanna White impression. Factory Five posted this pic on their Facebook page:
Safely back in Michigan, ready to roll back out:
Yes, we used every inch:
Home in the garage:
Just a few boxes. All are in the basement now:
Here's the new IRS chassis setup, before anything installed. I suspect many will be interested to see this:
Here is a slideshow of all the pics taken during the delivery process, if you want to sit through them all: Delivery Slideshow by edwardb123 | Photobucket
Iíll take the body off and start dis-assembly of the rest of the panels next week, in and around Woodward Dream Cruise activities. Iím going to store the body off-site this time around, rather than having it on an elevated buck like my last two builds. I won't miss the head bumping and sore back working under that thing. Iíll get the frame up on the 2-post and start plugging away. Stay tuned for much more!
I'm looking forward to this.
I have really enjoyed following your last build, you do great work on the car and writing the build thread. Keep up the great work.
Giddy up and go Paul! I'm looking forward to this build. Followed your last one and I got some geat ideas from you. Cars are fun!!
Congrats on the 20th! Two in the garage, that is nice. I'll be following your build as mine with start just around the corner and being a newbie I have a lot to learn.
Really looking forward to watching your new build Paul as I'm just wrapping up my first Mk IV Roadster #8442 Thank you for all the detailed posts with #7750 It's been a great help for me.
F5R #8442: MK4 Complete kit , 331 Stroker , T5 , 3.73 Posi 3-Link , 15" Halibrands , Goodyear Billboards
Ordered 8/22/14 Delivered 11/7/14 First Start 3/9/15 First Go Cart 3/14/15
Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...MK4-8442-Build
I too followed your last build and am looking forward to this one since I am about to start mine too. Hint, hint; I know it is an extra step and effort, but you can never provide enough detail :001_smile:
Looking forward to this (again) also.
new Coyote engine with footbox mods to maximize space, Stainless headers, GAS-N side pipes, TKO600 trans
Notably absent will be a sound system. Spent a lot of time on that with my last build, and find it not very practical. One of my goals is to have a really clean Coyote installation. Not easy with all the wires and hoses. I’ve seen some really great examples.
Another Coyote/Stainless Header convert. I should be getting royalties from Ford and Stainless Headers from all of the positive comments I've made about this combo since I built mine in 2012. A word of advice...Plan on a tune. Not a generic tune from a guy on the internet. Put the thing on a Dyno and tune it. Determine ahead of time if you are planning to make any mods to the engine. Whether its an intake change, a mild blower, or whatever. Make the changes then take it to a reputable tune shop that specializes in Coyote tuning. The HP gains and the amazing runnability will be well worth the cost.
I was recently on a weekend outing in Whistler, British Columbia, with mostly American Cobra guys from Washington State area and a few Canadians. I had the only Coyote. Everyone else had small or big blocks and some guys were pushing as many ponies as my Coyote (490HP). The Coyote ran as well at sea level as it did at 4,500ft elevation. No hestitation. You can get 5 hours out of a tank (FFR - OEM mustang tank) and don't need to be looking for a 94 octane Chevron station. You will be SO impressed with this set up Paul. I'm sick with envy.
The first week has mainly been ongoing preparations for the build. I've heard back from FF regarding my backorder list and several missing or wrong parts. Dan assured me all were taken care of. I also heard they have now received some (all?) of the 2015 Mustang IRS parts. So now the waiting begins for boxes to show up on my front porch. It will be a little while before I run out of things to do, but I'll be happy to see all that stuff arrive.
Meanwhile, first order of business was to get the body off, onto a body buck, and stored out of the way for now. The last two builds I put together quite elaborate elevated body bucks, then ended up cutting them down and giving them to the painters thinking I would never need another body buck. Oh really? So this time I tried to keep it real simple. I have a frame cart (visible in some of the earlier pictures) so I thought why not use that as a removable base for the body buck? Overkill, but double duty would be a good thing. So I made a real simple frame on 24 inch centers to rest on the frame cart, and then just hung everything off of the frame. I used 7/16 inch ply instead of OSB because it's much lighter (plus I had a piece laying around). With the body buck done, used the SE to take the body over to our storage unit. I have it for our SE and also store the car there in the winter. There's enough height, so I hung the body/body buck in the back up against the ceiling. The SE still fits. Barely.
One hint, while I'm thinking about it. There are a number of threads where guys are asking about their dash placement on the 3/4 inch dash hoop. Also about the clearance between the cockpit lip around the dash. I've been one of the advocates to actually temporarily place the body on the chassis during the build to get this all sorted out. With my body off-site, plus not the easiest to get up and down, I took the opportunity to check all that out while the body was still on from the initial delivery. I measured and made notes of exactly where the body is sitting in reference to the dash hoop. I also used a Sharpie and marked a line on the body lip 1/4 inch from the dash hoop. This gives me enough information to mount the dash with confidence, and also for the initial trim on the body during final assembly. I suspect the body will be in a slightly different position (mainly height) with all the aluminum and bulb seal in place, but this is still good enough to get me started.
With the body up and out of the way, I got the frame up on the 2-post. This is my first build from the start with the 2-post. I'm going to like this! Now for some pics.
Taking the body off for the first time, using my hi-tech ceiling hooks and pullies. What can I say? It works.
Body buck frame using frame cart for wheels, when needed:
Body buck all done:
Hung from the ceiling at our storage unit. For peace of mind, as an afterthought I added some 2x4 braces to the floor. Almost for sure not needed, but will help me sleep at night. You can see what's left of the 2015 Mustang IRS pallet. Hope there's some Craigslist/eBay value there.
Just fits: (SE needs a bath...)
Now the fun begins:
In the true spirit of all good projects deserve a little spilled blood, I had a bit of an incident yesterday. I was working hard and fast trying to get the buck done and then away for the evening at a Woodward Dream Cruise event. In the process, I was working inside the body with it on the buck. I stepped out going to the next thing and managed to catch my foot on the door sill. While trying to catch myself and thinking "Don't break the body…" I proceeded to face plant myself right onto the steel door sill of the frame sitting next to the body. A really hard hit and scared myself to say the least. I immediately went for the ice and surveyed the damage. Man was I lucky. Got myself in the cheekbone and gave myself a bloody nose. But no teeth, eyes, nose, whatever. This morning I woke up plenty sore and with a beautiful black eye. And no there won't be any pictures. Moral of the story, we all really need to be careful and go at the right pace and stop when we get tired. I was lucky this time.
OK, enough of that. Next update will be installing the front suspension and steering rack. I don't have the spindles yet, so can't be a complete job. But I'll get started. First step will be installing the first pieces of aluminum, the F-panels. First sighting for those white powder coated pieces. I've got some white painted rivets and will try those.
Thank You Edward.
I am one of the Stealth Five, living in Maine. I will pick up my car at the end of September. Your past builds have provided a wealth of information. You being the first to start the Anniversary Model will be the guiding light for those of us several months behind you.
Needless to say, I will benefit immensely from your experience as you install the new IRS.
Just completed a copy of your chassis dolly and body buck. Wish I could install the two post lift you have, but the radiant floor heat I have in my garage nixed that idea.
Are all the panels forward of the dash powder coated? Any down side of just having ALL the panels PC? Seems to me that a slight radiusing of the panel edges would be smart prior to PC. Your thoughts.
Rick in Maine:confused1:
For both of my previous builds, I've PC'd all the panels. When all is said and done on this one, they will all be PC'd as well. Some white and the balance silver/grey to match the chassis. Lots of discussion about this, and various ways to finish the panels. Or leave them unfinished as some do. But for me, PC is the way to go. The panels are all laser cut at FF, and generally the edges while not radiused are clean and smooth. Nothing additional really necessary IMO.
Subscribing. Oh, and congratulations on your 20ya car.
Time for my first real assembly progress update. You guys asked for details, so you're going to get it. :001_tongue:
Over the last few days, I've completed the front suspension. At least as far as I can go without spindles. One of the items on my backorder list. First was the two F panels. These are part of the set of aluminum pieces powdercoated white as part of the Anniversary Edition. It's kind of a satin white. Not glossy. It's unusual is all I can say at this point. Will be interesting to see the total effect of all the engine compartment white PC. With the parts already coated but not test mounted, drilled, etc., it's a little different. I'm trying to handle them carefully, use tape, etc. to keep from marking them up. First order of business was to put a row of 10-32 nutserts in the back edge for the front splash guards. I've done this on my previous builds, and really like the serviceability. Another hint is to cut a 5/8 inch (or so) square from the top back corners. A similar cutout will be made in the front splash guards. This provides room for the convolute tubing and wiring along the outside edges of the hood surround. BTW, nice touch the PS didn't have the Mustang top radiator hose cutout, then requiring a fill panel. I used white silicone from HD and white rivets from McMaster. I tried to use a light touch with the pneumatic rivet gun, but the painted rivets still get marked up a bit. They look OK though. You can also see I put a bunch of painters tape on the exposed chassis powder coat in the area I'll be working for a while. Trying to keep from scratching up the PC, like I may have done on the last build. (!)
Next I hung the lower control arms. Nothing much to say there. Once the PC was cleaned out of the holes, they bolted up fine. Note that I put a little red dot from a paint pen on all bolts that are tightened to the torque spec. Just a visual reminder to make sure I do them all. Once the build is done, the paint can be easily removed with a little lacquer thinner if needed. Then I put in the Breeze PS rack, the upper control arms with ball joints, and then the Koni shocks. The shock bolts are just finger tight for now. I figure I'll move them out of the way when it's time to bolt in the spindles.
This is another pic of the Breeze PS rack. Nothing too earthshaking here. But a couple words. I used this same 3.0 turn Unisteer rack on my current Mk4, and for my purposes (mostly street driving) it's perfect. Since I bought and installed the last one, Mark at Breeze now provides them in PC black vs. silver, and also provides them with the rack extenders and extended boots already installed. Nice. He also includes a pair of limiters, in case you need them. I'll wait on those for now to see if I need them. I installed the rack with Mark's #70634 offset rack mounting kit, which I've used a couple times before. Centering for a Mk4 is not a big issue. This one was perfect, like my last Mk4. But the bushings, in addition to being solid vs. slightly flexible, move the rack slightly forward and slightly down. Forward is good because it helps the boots clear the chassis a little better. Down supposedly helps with bump steer, although with the newer geometry of the Mk4 and FF spindles, I'm not sure that's a big deal any more. Also in this pic you can see the -6AN adapters for the PS hoses. Those are from Maximum Motorsports.
So I've had two issues so far. One was the upper ball joints. I received (like many) the Mevotech upper ball joints with my kit. And like many, they were too tight. No amount of freezing and heating did anything other than get a questioning look from my wife when I took the ball joints out of the freezer. I couldn't get more than 1-2 turns before they basically locked solid and I just wasn't going to crank on them like many have. I'm sure FF would have replaced them, but probably with more of the same. Like many, I decided to just spend the $17 each and change to Moog K772's. Well, we're having fun now. I received two very quickly from Amazon (best price) and one fit both sides perfectly, the other wouldn't even start threading. No amount of messing around changed anything. So I returned it and had a replacement a couple days later. Guess what? Same thing. Two out of three Moog parts wouldn't work. Note the one good one fit either UCA perfectly. The other two neither. OK, now I'm really frustrated. Read multiple forum posts, both ours and others, and found many guys are using Howe Racing ball joints. Yea, I know, now $60+ each. Budget? What budget? But how much is frustration worth? Received the Howe Racing 22320S ball joints this AM from Summit. Both fit perfectly. Used blue Loctite, and gave them a hefty tug while in the vise, same as shown in the manual. Then put a red paint mark that I'll keep an eye on. I'm confident they're not going anywhere though. In addition to being obviously high quality parts, they are serviceable and rebuildable.
The second issue was with the Koni 2812 double-adjustable aluminum body coil-over shocks. The manual says to install the standard Koni front shocks body UP. But the Koni instructions for these shocks quite emphatically says they are to be installed body DOWN. Something about the special valving in this shock type only functions correctly when installed down. And Factory Five does have them installed body down in their 20th Anniversary Roadster. So that's what I did. But I then realized the body interfered slightly with the LCA. In fact, if you look closely at the pics FF has on their website of their 20th Anniversary Roadster, you can see divots in the shock body from the interference. I decided not to duplicate this feature. Using a cut-off wheel and then a small air belt sander, I removed the interference from the two sides and back and confirmed clearance with the shock at full extension and compression. It's not a lot, so I'm confident the strength of the LCA is not affected. Here are three pics. Before, after trimming, and then with the shock back in place. Before assembling, I touched up the bare metal with gloss black POR15, which matches the black PC perfectly.
The outer tie rod ends supplied with the kit are absolutely fine, and will work perfectly. But I happen to like these Moog ES2150RL parts instead. In addition to maybe slightly higher quality, it's very likely not necessary to cut length off the inner tie rod. I used this same rack and these ends on my current Mk4, and no trimming was necessary. Also, because of the design, the threads are fully engaged and the excess goes into the pocket of the piece. No need to watch for the minimum one inch of thread engagement. I don't like changing out perfectly good parts. But these are nice and I chose them again.
Finally, something a little interesting. The 20th Anniversary kit comes with front and rear sway bars. The rear setup is clearly pictured in the new IRS announcement. But I wasn't sure how the front would be done, since I don't have instructions that reference any of this yet. But what I did notice was an extension on the front chassis tube end with two holes. Different than my current Mk4 for sure. Guess what lines up into that extension and bolts there? I'm betting this:
I wonder if these attachment points will be standard on all Mk4 kits now? If so, nice improvement for guys that want to add a sway bar and not have to do some of the mods I've seen. I received two of the pictured sway bars. They are .875 inch, from a company called Flyin Miata. For 90-93 Miatas. Is that allowed?? I have some of the pieces, but not all for where it attaches to the LCA. There are rod ends and then a bracket of some kind. More later!
I'm still waiting for backordered parts (no shipments yet…) and especially some of the major missing IRS components. I've got plenty of other things to work on for now, so no panic. Yet.
Loving the details. Since I am a newbie to building one of these, your detail descriptions are a tremendous help.
For instance the details about, "First order of business was to put a row of 10-32 nutserts in the back edge for the front splash guards. I've done this on my previous builds, and really like the serviceability. Another hint is to cut a 5/8 inch (or so) square from the top back corners." I like this along with your info about upper ball joints which I hadn't yet come across and the tie rod ends (I am glad you are also listing part numbers). If I have the same issue this helps to give me options that I know should work. THANKS.
A question for you, I notice on your previous build you replaced the UCA front linkage with AFCO 5 inch tubes in preparation on PS. Are the ones in the pictures 5" or standard from FFR for this build?
Nice to see the continued evolution of the chassis. Having a front and rear swaybars, and slightly softer spring rates would be nice for the bumper corners.
PS very nice clean build you are doing.
This past week I received a copy of the IRS instructions (thanks Bob!) plus my first backorder shipment. Still a ways to go, but progress. I now have the first of the three control arms. I already had most of the hardware. But things are starting to take shape a little now. First a recap briefly mentioned in the opening post. The 2015 Mustang IRS setup requires three parts from a 2015 Mustang: The center section (differential), knuckles, and hubs. The rest of the parts are supplied by FF as part of the new IRS setup. You don't need the donor CV joints and have to install them onto new axles as in some earlier versions. FF is supplying the CV axles completed and ready to assemble into the suspension, e.g. with joints, boots, etc. Not long after ordering the kit, FF suggested I may want to start looking for the donor parts. I found complete 2015 Mustang rear suspension pallets at MPS Auto Salvage in Georgia, and picked one up. It's a "zero miles take-off" meaning the newly assembled Mustang went from the factory in Flat Rock, MI to an aftermarket performance assembly line and part of their upgrade is to replace the entire rear IRS assembly. The new IRS setup is beefy, but apparently not up to the task of the 800-900 HP aftermarket engine mods, stickier tires, etc. Although I only need a few parts off the pallet, at the time MPS wasn't selling them separately. Some other places were, but the cost for the individual pieces was higher. So, received the pallet looking like this:
Removed the parts I needed. I'm hoping to sell the balance and recover some of the cost. In total, should be a pretty good deal. The 3.55 center section case is cast iron, and posi like all new Mustang diffs.
The cast iron center section had some surface rust. Not unexpected. The hubs too had a little surface rust. But the parts appeared to be exactly as advertised. Basically brand new parts. A little wire wheel action and the rust was removed off the cast iron. After thorough cleaning and degreasing, applied some POR15 to the iron and clear Dupli-Color engine spray to the rear aluminum cover. Now ready for installation.
The knuckles require a piece of one of the arms to be cut off. I saw this in the pictures and write-up, but waited until the instructions were in hand giving the details. The instructions give the location and shows using a Sawzall. I don't own one, plus prefer a little more "civilized" approach. With some blocks clamped to hold the knuckles square, I cut them with a band saw. Took it slow and easy and worked fine. A little scary though, lopping off those pieces.
Cleaned up the cut using a disk sander, and then filed and sanded a little radius. I went over the complete knuckles and knocked off some of the larger casting parting lines and just cleaned up in general, and then gave them a quick coat of clear Duplic-Color like the center section. Not required at all, but I've had good luck with this stuff and should stay looking clean and nice for a while. I think they're good to go.
The standard Mustang wheel wheel studs need to be changed to 1/2 x 20, same as the supplied front hubs and matching the lug nuts provided with the FF wheels. The 10 new wheel studs are included with the kit. The instructions show hitting the old ones out with a hammer. I chose instead to use a short piece of black pipe and squeeze them out using my bench vise. Took some muscle, but worked OK. The instructions showed putting the new ones back in with a lug nut, washer and a ratchet. I'm apparently not strong enough because that didn't work for me. Mainly I think because it's impossible to hold the hub while putting that much torque on it. So I rummaged through my junk hardware drawer and found a hardened 1/2 x 20 nut and few hardened washers. Lubed them up good with some assembly lube, and pulled all the studs in with an air impact driver. A press would be ideal to remove and replace the wheel studs, and thought maybe I had an excuse to finally buy one. But no luck. Managed without it. Then cleaned up the exposed parts of the hubs and also applied some POR15 and put them back in the knuckles. Note this is one of many changes with the new IRS parts. The axle bearing is in a bolted in carrier. No longer necessary to press the axle bearings in and out of the aluminum knuckle itself. Also note the little cover and screw in the knuckle just above the hub. This is where the standard ABS sensor is normally mounted. I'm not going to try an ABS installation, so don't need the sensor. But didn't want to leave an open hole directly down into the axle bearings. So made a little cover out of 1/8 inch aluminum and used the sensor mounting screw to hold it in place.
So in yesterday's shipment, I received the IRS toe arms. That with the hardware already received this is starting to shape up. Here is the PS knuckle with the toe arm attached at the bottom, and the hardware for the upper control arm temporarily attached to the now trimmed arm.
Here is the complete toe arm. Note how the setup will allow adjustments without disassembly. For the toe arm and upper control arm. Nice. The lower control arm is fixed BTW.
Last shot of the PS knuckle, showing all three attachment points. The lower control arm attaches to the shorter leg, which is also the same location the coilover attaches. Someone asked in my previous thread about the IRS whether the Ford installed bushings in the two lower arms would be used. Apparently the answer is yes. No new parts received and no instructions to remove existing. Good thing, because they look pretty solidly installed. The upper control arm location is bolted in as shown, with the provided rod end. Nothing to remove or add there either.
Hopefully the next pics will be with all this installed, once I receive the arms and the last pieces of hardware. Meanwhile, still plenty to work on. Work is underway on the Wilwood pedal box, and yes, we still have the famous clutch arm frame interference. Will probably do the same mod as the previous Mk4.
Thanks again for sharing. I followed your example and cleaned up my knuckles the same way you did. It looks very clean and will really help keep them looking clean in the long run.
It also gave me something to do while I wait for my kit to arrive...
Thanks for doing this Paul. Your photos and text will serve as a great resource to the new IRS builders.
More Progress plus Center Section Installed
It's been an eventful week wrapping up several smaller details that I had started. I've received two boxes of backordered/missing parts, with two more due here tomorrow. This list is getting shorter, but I'm still missing the upper and lower IRS control arms and the CV axles. So I'm unable to make much progress with the highly anticipated new IRS. But then I decided why not install the center section in the frame? Now that would be progress. The good news is that it's installed and looking good. But it was somewhat challenging. I'll describe more, but first some smaller stuff.
I cleaned and painted the pedal box mounts, assembled them to the Wilwood pedal box, and checked the fit in the DS footbox. As mentioned in my last update, immediately noted that the clutch arm interference with the 3/4 inch chassis tube that crosses in that area remains an issue. This subject has been discussed and debated at length, including the background, various options to fix, etc. I'm not going to repeat all that here. Multiple threads on the topics. I decided to do the same frame mod that was done on #7750, which is similar to the frame mod Whitby does for their power brake kit. Cut out the interference, then make a plug for each end of the opening, and bridge with another bolted on piece. This approach has also been done by others, and IMO works very well and easily is as strong as the unmodified frame. I used an air saw to remove the roughly two inch section where the interference occurs. Then used some 5/8 inch square mild steel to make the plugs, and some 3/4 inch square mild steel to make the bridge piece. Aluminum would probably be just fine, but I was duplicating what worked well before. Here are the final pieces ready to install alongside the piece that was removed. I made the plugs as long as they could be to still fit into the opening and push into the ends. The front piece had to be trimmed a bit to clear some weld that penetrated the tube in that area.
I sprayed some paint on the parts that showed. After a couple attempts, found some rattle can paint that matches the 20th Anniversary powder coat reasonably well: Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Paint, color 248930 GRAPHITE. It was in the automotive section of our local HD. The piece here doesn't show once the build is done, but still didn't want to leave it bare and wanted to find something that matched pretty close in case I needed it elsewhere during the build. Here are the parts installed. I buttered the plugs with JB Weld before pushing in and bolting it up. Rock solid.
Just to give an idea of the interference, tried to get a couple pictures. Not too easy to show very well because of the angles. This is the clutch pedal all the way to the back wall, from the side and the top. I found that if I want the clutch pedal to be even with the brake pedal (important to me) and use the standard Forte hydraulic setup, this is the amount of travel that it needs. Maybe it's just my memory (very possible) but this actually seems like more interference than my previous Mk4. Some guys have decided to notch the clutch arm to clear. Not my choice (again not debating here) and especially since it would go nearly halfway through the arm in this case. Not sure if something has changed or not. Whatever, problem solved for this build.
So, moving on, installed the master cylinders on the pedal box. FF now supplies 3/4 inch for the front, and 5/8 inch for the back. Doesn't say which side to put them on. I don't think it matters though, as long as it's plumbed properly. I chose the front toward the center of the car. I was a little interested that this is the first time I've seen these MC's without Wilwood cast into the side. Something generic, not Wilwood? Or did Wilwood just change them? Oh well. As mentioned, I'm going to be installing a hydraulic clutch setup, which I don't have yet. So nothing installed on the clutch side yet.
One small detail on the bottom of the footbox. FF provides a small bracket and a switch for the brake lights, which I installed per the instructions. The Ron Francis harness also includes a clutch interlock, meaning the clutch pedal needs to be down for the engine to start. I want this feature, so like on my last build, made a clone of the provided FF bracket from 1/8 inch steel and bolted it in the proper position on the clutch side. I don't have the switch yet. Not the best picture (sorry for the focus) but you get the idea. Upon further review, seems there might be something in the Coyote setup and wiring to also provide the no start function. We'll see if this gets used.
I temporarily installed the steering column. I haven't completely decided what's happening with the footbox sheet metal. Will likely be the King modified panels, so until I get that worked out and mocked up, not attaching the footbox front yet. I found it was necessary to install the footbox front steering column bearing on the inside. Not a big deal, since this is a common change when space is at a premium on the front of the footbox. But in this case seems the output shaft from the Breeze supplied Unisteer PS rack is slightly longer than usual. The adapter is all the way on, but still a few splines are showing. End result is the shaft wouldn't plug onto the adapter with the bearing on the outside of the footbox. So moved it inside and all is good. What I wanted to show though was I found in my last two builds that sometimes it's nearly impossible to get all the play out of the collapsing steering column. Even with the supplied Belleville washers properly installed. The slightest amount of play is noticeable and undesirable, especially in these cars. Some guys wedge shims up between the column pieces. I tried that and didn't like it too much. What I've ended up doing is to install two 8-32 set screws in each side of the column. Once everything is assembled, I use a little red Loctite and just lightly tighten them against the inner column. Removes any remaining play, and doesn't defeat the collapsing capability. A little hard to see, but here's where I installed them:
Finally, before moving onto the main event, I installed couplers for the rear bumpers. Now is the time before any sheet metal or tank mounting. For new builders, the stock setup, especially now with the Mk4 where everything back there is really tight, the tank must be dropped to install/remove the rear bumpers or quick jacks, whatever you install. With the couplers, no longer necessary to drop the tank. I happen to like 7/16-20, because that's the threaded rod and hardware I use. Any similar size is good. Just one very small hint though. Pay attention to where you bolt these down. The holes in the frame are pretty large. Measure the vertical and horizontal locations, compared to the holes in the body and the bumper if you're going to use one. If you stack all the tolerances one direction, it's possible to be off 1/8 inch (or more) and complicates final assembly when that time comes. Ask me how I know…
More Progress plus Center Section Installed (continued)
Ok, so finally to the center section installation. The Factory Five instructions show this installation needing a friend. Well, I have friends (really!) but most not available during my leisure retirement hours or in the immediate area. I'm mainly a solo act. So in this case my friend was the trusty shop crane. Obviously this is the only time this method would be usable. Once all the sheet metal is in place, it's would be all hands on deck working from the bottom. You have to tip it a lot to get it into place, so at first I messed around a bit with my engine leveler. That was overkill, and I ended up just using the same ratcheting pulleys I use to raise and lower the body adjusting each as I went. At 90+ pounds this thing gets your attention, but it's manageable. The pictures pretty much tell the story.
So it's all in and looks great. But here, as they say, is the rest of the story. First, it's a TIGHT FIT. Once the center section is finally in the right position over the frame rail, it takes some serious persuasion to get it lined up. Due to the angles of the mountings, I found it necessary to get above the attachment points, and push it down from above. First align the rear bolts since they're threaded into the rear cover. Once they're started in, leave them loose and go to the front bolts. Here's where I hit the wall. Because it's so tight, it's nearly impossible to move a little at a time. Plus it seemed a little off center. I was using a 2x4 and a dead blow hammer, and then moved up to a small 4-lb sledge. Thought about the next sized sledge I could get my hands on, but time to stop beating on this thing. A 5/8 inch bolt goes through the two center section front mounts, and into bushed sleeves in the chassis. The alignment has to be perfect or the bolts either won't go in or just start pushing the sleeves out. After a while and increased frustration, I decided it was time to stop and think about this. Sometimes that's the best option.
Several things occurred to me. First, all the tolerances are really tight. One of the preparation steps for the center section is to "chase" (as the instructions say) the front mounts with a 5/8 inch drill. The existing hole is probably about 1/2 inch diameter. I bought a brand new 5/8 inch bit to also drill out one of the holes in the knuckles, so used it here as well. It was quite challenging because it really wanted to grab. A step drill would be a much better choice, but I didn't have one that would work. But if I had to do it over, I might drill the holes slightly oversize. But impossible to do once it's in the chassis. Next I decided something tapered to drive into the holes and line them up would be ideal. Something like ironworkers use called a bull pin. Even better would be two. I found what I was looking for on-line at a local tool store, but it was way too long to fit into the available space and I wasn't going to buy a new tool and cut it up. Then it occurred to me to modify the temporary 5/8 inch bolts I picked up at our local Ace (the real bolts are on my backorder list) and make my own alignment pins. So after sleeping on it, spun the two bolts I had on my disk sander, making a nice long taper and pretty much removing all the threads. Looked like this when done:
I put some assembly lube on them, and guess what? Relatively light taps from side to side and both went all the way home with the center section all lined up. Perfect! I couldn't have imagined it would be that easy. Lightly snugged the rear bolts for now, and I'll switch the tapered pins out for the real bolts when they arrive. So, center section in, and I have to say it looks good there. Can't wait for the rest of the parts to finish it up.
We're off next week for nine days visiting family on the left coast. So, no progress or updates for a bit. Hope to get some of the key parts by the time we're back.
I love the work you do and how you explain it. They will make a manual out of your threads some day!
Ref: different size master cylinders - I read or saw a F5 youtube that mentioned the 5/8" goes to the rear brakes. But as you mention, the right plumbing is the key. I have a 2014 MKIV and instructed to do it that way.
Thanks for doing this thread.
Finally More Updates
We’ve been back from our Oregon family visit for a little over a week now, and back on the build. While we were gone, several packages of parts arrived. Really happy to receive the spindles, which are now installed. Also received the driveshaft, even though I won’t need it for a long time. Also received a box of a number of smaller items. So the good news, I’m down to 8 backorder/missing parts. The bad news is that this includes the rear UCA’s, LCA’s, CV axles, and Wilwood brakes. So I’m not able to make any progress with the rear suspension, or install the brakes. Kits after mine are being delivered with some of these parts. Grrr… Back on the phone Monday.
Used some of the time off to finalize some of the build plans, and order some more stuff. In other words, spend money… Decided to go ahead with GAS-N SS sidepipes. Even though the kit came with FF SS sidepipes, I’ve used the GAS-N’s on my previous builds, and love the looks, sound and overall quality. Got hold of Georgie and they’re already here. Works of art. Also going with the custom SS stainless headers. Called GP Headers (not Stainless Headers any more) and should have the Coyote double collector pipes in a few weeks. No hurry. Ordered and received an in-tank fuel pump from Breeze. Ordered and received a turn signal assembly from Russ Thompson along with my machined steering wheel hub. Found Russ also offers a trunk expansion box. I was going to make my own, but decided to get the one from Russ. Like all his stuff, it’s first class. Thanks to another forum member who contacted me, I also received a box of King DS Coyote mod panels and firewall that he decided not to use. Huge thanks. These forums are an amazing resource. I was considering making them myself. Now that I see them, would have been challenging.
So for some build updates, first thing was to get the newly received spindles installed. Everything went fine. The ball joint tapers pulled in and tightened without drama. I used the FF spacer for the lower ball joint, and needed a hardened washer for the Howe upper ball joints. The hubs slipped on with no sanding or large hammers. Nice smooth fit. Torqued the spindles nuts to 250 ft-lbs, which I’ve now decided is my personal limit. Ouch. As you can see from the pics, I pried off the tone rings. I have no plans for ABS, plus I think they’re kind of ugly. Then I put some POR15 on the back side of the hubs. Can’t help myself.
I did a SWAG on the UCA for camber and caster, and then used a magnetic laser level to get the toe in the ballpark. I mainly wanted to do a sanity check on the length of the inner tie rods. I have about 1 inch of threads left on both sides of the threaded section on the tie rod ends. So there will be no cutting required. This the second time I’ve used this combination of Breeze PS rack and Moog tie rod ends. Perfect. Yes I know the cotter key isn’t installed in the castle nut yet. Later.
The final item to wrap up the front suspension was the sway bar. I posted pictures of the front frame mounts before. Once the sway bar is bolted on up front, it’s attached to the underside of the LCA’s using a longer bolt on the lower shock mount, two rod ends, a bolt and spacer. The instructions show cutting all but 1/2 inch of threads from the male and female rod ends. Those things are HARD! But it’s done and turned out well. The instructions didn’t say so, but I put red Loctite on the rod ends before putting them together. I don’t have instructions yet for the rear sway bar, but the parts provided are all almost exactly the same, so I’m expecting a similar setup.
I decided to cut the hole in the Breeze shroud and get that part ready for powder coat. The hole follows the inner outline of the FF supplied cooling fan. I put 10-32 nutserts in the mounting hole locations, which makes it real easy to install the fan and remove if necessary for service.
The 2015 Mustang “Super 8.8” diff has a different driveshaft mounting flange than previous 8.8’s. FF provides a very robust adapter that is held in place with six bolts, then the traditional U-joint bolts into that. The bolts need Loctite and then a pretty strong torque, and is impossible to hold with no axles, hubs, brakes, etc. You can see the note I made to myself to complete later. Bad memory needs to be managed…
Other parts recently received were the final mounting bolts for the 2015 Mustang center section. I showed previously installing it. But the rear bolts were the original Ford bolts off my IRS pallet, and the front just had tapered pins I used to locate it. I suspected it would be challenging to get the four bolts all in and finally torqued. And it was. This thing is TIGHT. I dread the day it would have to come out. As I mentioned before, I would recommend drilling the 5/8 inch holes in the center section front mounting bosses slightly oversize. I think that would help a lot. With these size bolts at 100 ft-lbs, this thing isn’t going anywhere.
I mentioned the King modified DS and firewall panels. I started mocking them up a bit. Looks like they’re going to work out fine. I’m getting a blank FFMetals DS footbox front and will replace the one pictured here. I’m not going to finalize any of these panels until I have the Coyote on hand, but looks very promising right now. Should have the necessary room up top, and still plenty of room for my feet. This is probably not the exact final position, but looks like I will have similar feet space as my current small block Mk4. Perfect. I will likely also do the King PS footbox expansion. Those pieces are a bit simpler, and similar to the ones I did for my current Mk4. Looks like I'm going to have several panels to get white powder coated like the ones from FF.
Finally, I also prepped the Ron Francis fuse panel piece. First confirmed that it fit the provided fuse box OK. It was a little too tight, so adjusted a bit. Then put some holes on the edges and installed some 10-32 nutserts in the frame to mount it. There are a couple welds that needed to be flattened to get it to sit better. Plus notice how it needs the corner trimmed to clear the mounting washer/bolt for the Wilwood pedal box. I don’t like how the front outside corner of the fuse panel is just hanging in space, so similar to my last build, made a little bracket to anchor that corner. Since I’m using a shroud, the provided mild steel fan mounting brackets aren’t used. Those are great for fabbing little pieces like this. It also has a nutsert in it, and is riveted to the frame with a couple 3/16 inch rivets. It’s way overkill and much stronger than it needs to be. But does exactly what I want.
Will keep forging ahead!
Beautiful work. Every time I look at one of your assembly posts I get at least one idea. This time it was the fan shroud. I cut mine exactly as you did but even though I have rivnuts and have them elsewhere on the car I didn't think of using them to hold the fan to the shroud. I just assumed I would drop the whole shroud if necessary. That will be fixed today.
This Week's Update
No big changes to report with my backorder situation, mainly affecting the IRS and Wilwood brakes. I’m in regular contact with FF, and I believe they are trying hard to get my remaining parts. But no firm dates at this time. I’m not the only one in this situation. I want the IRS installed before starting fuel and brake lines, which is really what I want to be doing next. I’ve not done IRS before, and I don’t think anyone has done the 2015 Mustang one yet. So I’m just not comfortable running any lines before I see exactly what I’m dealing with. Then need the Wilwood brakes to finalize all four corners plus e-brake.
Meanwhile, I’ve kept busing making progress in other areas. Decided to tackle the fuel tank assembly and installation. The first two kits I built were not donors but were basic kits. So I bought my own fuel tank in each case. They were pretty generic Spectra tanks. Domestically made, unpainted, etc. This complete kit has the FF supplied tank. It’s not marked, but just based on the box and other components, it appears to be imported. Quality seems decent. It’s painted, which is nice. I like the provided cover better than the standard Ford part. It’s kind of a shiny plastic, and doesn’t have the bump-in for the differential which is out of place for our builds. So gives a nice clean appearance. Important for under the car, right? One caution I would make about the tank. Use a file, sandpaper, emery cloth, whatever, and clean up the openings. They are rough and razor sharp. I can’t think that would be nice on the rubber seals used in a couple openings, or just to protect from cutting yourself. I blew out the tank real well to make sure it was clean inside. Then started to install various components.
A problem frequently mentioned in the past on the forums is having to fill the tank slowly or it backs up, flows over, etc. I think this is mainly related to using a donor fill tube, something that isn’t done too much any more. But one suggested solution is a larger tank vent. I’ve done this on both of my builds to date. They didn’t have donor fill tubes, and I never had fill problems. But I went ahead and got one for this build as well. It’s Breeze #70648. You can see in this pic the difference between the Breeze part on the left and the kit vent on the right. What doesn't show is the much larger check ball and valve on the Breeze piece. It pushes in through the kit supplied gasket in top of the tank.
Next up was the fuel level sending unit. I used the kit supplied part. I did check its operation before installing. First just to make sure it was alive, but also to confirm the measurement range. With a digital multimeter clipped across the leads, measured the ohms at empty (float down) and full (float up). It registered 15.5 – 165 ohms confirming it was doing something. For my last build, the Ford sending unit had the same reading, which turned out to be one of the ranges available in the Speedhut gauge during calibration, so easy to pick the right one if not already using that range.
I need an electric fuel pump for my Coyote build, and decided early on to do an in-tank pump. There are advantages and disadvantages for in-tank and external. But I think it’s generally accepted the in-tank pumps run cooler and are a little quieter. The main downside is they are harder to service or replace. But with the access panel in the trunk, not too bad, so going that way. The Coyote recommended pump is a 255L/Hr unit. I went with one from Breeze. Mark sets it up with a Walbro pump and oversized 1/4 inch inlet and 5/16 inch outlet. Here I have it ready to go into the tank with the filter sock attached.
Here is the top of the tank with the fuel pump and vent installed. I also added -6AN adapters for the inlet and outlet tubes from Breeze. I will use SS flex from here to the rigid fuel lines about 12 inches away on the chassis.
I use a floor jack with a piece of plywood and cushioned with a blanket to lift the tank into position under the chassis. Don’t forget the little plastic bumpers on the bottom of the tank support tubes. Also don’t overlook the manual instructions to straighten the bent seam on the tank by the straps. I admit I missed this at first. The tanks I’ve purchased before weren’t pre-bent like that. The tank won’t sit properly unless the seam is flat. I did have to “adjust” the two front tank supports a bit with a dead blow hammer. The PS about ľ inch. The DS about Ĺ inch. They needed to be moved forward just a bit so the bumpers sat flat on the tank seam without running into the tank sides. With the cover in place, the straps snugged up fine and all is good.
Here’s a nice surprise. Looks like the fuel filler isn’t going to interfere with the frame rail. This is a common problem many have reported, and I experienced on my last build requiring me to shim the tank down a bit. I’m not sure what changed. Maybe FF extended the tank mounting tubes a bit. Or moved the frame rail some. Whatever, happy to see nothing special required here.
The tank is now back off, all the openings taped up, and ready to install for the last time later in the build. I cut off the extra tab above the strap connection on the PS. Did the same thing on my last build as well. Although I haven’t experienced it, there are apparently some tank strap setups that need this higher mounting location. But this one doesn’t, so off it comes. I’ll put a little paint on the bare metal, and add a piece on the trunk aluminum to cover the matching opening. It’s an obstruction that is nice to not have in the trunk. Some go even further and lower the other mount out of the trunk like the DS. That requires welding and shortening the strap. It’s far enough down in the trunk that it’s not an issue IMO.
I assembled the Russ Thompson trunk box mentioned in my last update, and used the now installed tank to confirm the location of the trunk box. I centered the sender access panel over the sending unit, and confirmed all else had adequate clearance. Then located the trunk aluminum, marked and drilled for rivets, and started the first of many drilling and cleco sessions. With the required opening for the trunk box now determined, cut out the hole and drilled and cleco’d the trunk box into place. An often asked question on the forums is how many clecos does it take to build one of these? Here I demonstrate it takes a lot. Couldn’t help myself… Really, not that many are required. In these pics you can also see that I’m leaving in the chassis tubing through this area. Many remove these pieces when installing a trunk box, and (hopefully) weld in new pieces below the box and above the tank. I’m OK with the minor obstruction, and happier to not mess with FF’s chassis design. It still gives a ton of additional space.
My last update for this week is a nice surprise. Part of my Coyote build plan is stainless headers from GP Headers. A little over two weeks ago I called Kevin at GP Headers in Minnesota. He said he doesn’t stock them but only makes on order. No problem. Took my name and number and said he would call back in two weeks for shipping info. On Wednesday, he called and said they were ready. Exactly two weeks! Took my address and credit card number and they were on my porch on Friday. I’ve seen pictures, but not seen these in person. I’m not disappointed. Beautiful pieces and amazing workmanship. Of course the proof will be how they fit. But for now I’m a happy camper. In the second picture you can see the center spike in the collector. Similar piece where it goes back to 4 tubes right before the pipe flange.
At this point I’m going to keep plugging away on sheet metal until my IRS parts are here.
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