Factory Five Racing Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a digital copy of the most recent FFR build manual (rev 4b) and will have the manual that comes with the kit. I've been reading the forums for a few years now, picking up all sorts of hints, and I'll also be searching for forums for each major system as I work on it to see about suggested changes or things to watch out for. The rub is that the search engine can be a bit non-selective, and the FAQ area is a bit dated.

Without wasting too much of your time, what would be the most important things to pay attention to through the build or what things were wrong/incomplete in the build manual that need to be attended to?

Even just a few hints for search topics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Nathan
 

·
Well Used Member
Joined
·
240 Posts
I'm a newbie around here, but this is how I got started. Found a few "build threads", and without any real project in mind, just read and paged through them. I like the CDXXVII, Dale, and edwardb's threads, but there are many more. Just took my time and didn't try to absorb all at once, just did some (a lot actually) liesurly reading and learning. Had a yellow legal pad handy, and took notes, identified issues, compiled suppliers, addresses, etc. My computers are old, and really slow in these forums, so I wish it were a quicker process, but that's just the way it is. Probably 4 or 5 times more hours reading the forums than actually wrenching on the car.

Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: silver_pilate

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Some quick tips, don't install the F panels first, they get in the way. Drill a few location holes for the cockpit aluminum, then pull them and run all the brake and fuel lines before reinstalling the floors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
Sheet Metal

Do not permanently fasten any of the sheet metal panels until you are sure that you no longer need access. In my opinion the manual has you installing many panel way too early. Buy a bunch of cleco fasteners and put most of your sheet metal together temporarily. Go nuts drilling and "massaging" panels but hold off on the rivets and silicone.

Wait until you have all your electrical, brake lines, fuel system and drive train figured out before you permanently attach anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Great thoughts. I have a good stock of clecos ready to go and definitely plan on keeping things temporary as long as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
If you get any powdercoated parts make sure to clean up the bolt holes before trying to put any bolts through. This caused me no end of frustration with supplied bolts not fitting through the holes they were supposed to fit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: silver_pilate

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,526 Posts
Expect there are as many work arounds - don't rivet in the rear cockpit wall till the upper cockpit floor is in - as there are builders.

Check the build threads & post questions as you go. Lots of help here & in many cases more than one way to solve n issue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: silver_pilate

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
x2 on what Boat737 said

I've got a couple of dozen build threads bookmarked, with notes identifying salient features of the build (IRS, ABS, power steering, hydraulic clutch, etc.) plus another three dozen threads on specific build topics. My short list would be the build logs from B&N, New Build in Long Island, carlewms (on the other forum), Dale, edwardb, and Kleiner. Ignore Kleiner's advice at your own peril!

I keep a file of Build Tips with excerpts from various threads - with a link back to the original location including post numbers. As I progress, I highlight sections in green so I keep the information but I can ignore sections of text as I'm searching for something.

I'm not smart enough to go deviating from the manual too much. The only thing I've done is not rivet cockpit panels when F5 tells you to do so. And so far, I haven't found any place where the manual is flat out wrong - or at least nothing jumps to mind.


John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
John - Thanks for the call out. I am humbled to be listed. I need to do an update as I am now going through the process of getting the car register
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
There are so many.

- like any project, get the right tools
- learn about AN fittings
- get to know your local Ace, etc. you will be going there a lot
- learn how to make bends in aluminum, helps with a lot of mods
- wiring, get to know relays, diodes, etc. and how they work as it will help you later on
- the RF harness that comes with the kit, a lot is not needed if you are going carb - A LOT
- use a Google search of ffcars.com + keyword, you are guaranteed to find results
- you will take things apart multiple times, it sucks but you definitely learn
- buy a magnetic bolt retriever as you will drop bolts, nuts, washers a lot and these come in handy rather than crawling under ever time
- you will do something stupid, mark my words we all do at some point
- there are no stupid questions
- there is no budget

I have so many more...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
If you don't have a pneumatic rivet gun, get one! Another tool which has been a huge time saver is my dremel with a 1/8" carbide ball nose endmill. Makes quick work of any trimming..aluminum, metal, fiberglass etc.
Tom
 

·
Pro FFR Builder and Moderator
Joined
·
14,645 Posts
Having built a couple hundred of these the only advise I can give is this; The manual is a reference guide, not a bible. Unless you are building a base car it is not in the manual. Ask questions, there is a lot of experience around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
On page 47 early in the build, it tells you to mount the steering arms to the spindles so the tie rods will mount from below. This is criminally vague. I did not know what that meant, and mounted them wrong. When I went back to correct this, I slipped loosening the bolt and lacerated my thumb. Nine stitches, and could not work for a few days as I am a surgeon. Don't make this mistake. The steering arms must be mounted with the larger hole at the bottom, cone-shaped so that the smaller hole is on top!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,824 Posts
It's pretty tragic that the build manual can be so "off" after all these years. With the advice here, you'd think that one can't/shouldn't follow any step in the manual without first asking the forum for advice. Then you have to wade through all the different opinions. That is incredibly time consuming. Certainly not the fault of the forum or its members. I just find it odd that FFR hasn't "fixed" the manual given that the recommendation from experienced members is so often to ignore it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
It's pretty tragic that the build manual can be so "off" after all these years. With the advice here, you'd think that one can't/shouldn't follow any step in the manual without first asking the forum for advice. Then you have to wade through all the different opinions. That is incredibly time consuming. Certainly not the fault of the forum or its members. I just find it odd that FFR hasn't "fixed" the manual given that the recommendation from experienced members is so often to ignore it.
I can agree with what you are saying because I too check with the forum regarding many areas that I'm working on as I build.

But I do need to say that I can tell that FFR is putting together a better manual as they have progressed. I am building a Mk3 and have the manual that came with the car. Once I saw a Mk4 manual and how much clearer the directions w/ the MANY photos that they added, I downloaded it immediately. That mk4 manual has made the build much easier!

There are at least 200 more pages in that manual than my Mk3. The order of the build has also changed in that manual compared to my Mk3 manual.

So, yes, I agree with checking on the forum regarding ANY topic that would affect your build (if you have a question). But I'll also say that FFR has made improvements on the manual. Emailing FFR regarding a discrepancy/concern has also been a good experience for me. They have always answered.

Regarding the forum: It takes a community to build a roadster. I value each of these guys' opinions and responses to a post I've made.

Other Tips:
Make it your car. Not someone elses that is on the forum, but yours. Be honest with yourself if you're going to need/want it on your car. Make the modification so you're not second guessing or regretting not including the item.

SAFETY!!! Do NOT take a short cut because you're ready to "move on" to the next step or to keep a "schedule :lol:" that you've come up with in your mind. Peoples (other than yours) lives are in your hands. You may realize that you need to break things down to redo it right. Get use to it. I goes quicker each time, and you'll learn more about your car.

Make a phone call to FFR if you need clarification on forum recommendations. I've emailed a couple of times to FFR and have gotten good replies that have helped me.

If you're not familiar with fast cars (as I am not), don't get caught up in the horsepower game. Be able to drive your Cobra within your capabilities when your finished with the build. That may mean a 250 hp motor instead of a 500 hp. But odds are better that you'll be able to handle it. When I try to explain my concern, I use the model airplane analogy. Spend a couple of years building it, then a nose dive on your first flight. Game over.

Keep track of your expenses. That's to see how far out of your "budget" you strayed. But it gives a realistic idea of what you spent and how much to plan for your next build.

Use the forum for modification purchases: wipers/heater/wheels/sun visors/wind wings/etc. The savings add up.

Learn from other's mistakes. I don't mean that this means to go out seeking errors. But there are threads on this forum that come up readily regarding FFR errors or build errors. You will also encounter those errors if you don't take the time to make the changes that others have used to fix their problems.

PHOTOS! I take photos as part of the build, and Love to see the progress. It will help others too.

Well, I'm rambling now. So I'll stop. Stay a part of the forum.

Best Regards,
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,933 Posts
It's pretty tragic that the build manual can be so "off" after all these years. With the advice here, you'd think that one can't/shouldn't follow any step in the manual without first asking the forum for advice. Then you have to wade through all the different opinions. That is incredibly time consuming. Certainly not the fault of the forum or its members. I just find it odd that FFR hasn't "fixed" the manual given that the recommendation from experienced members is so often to ignore it.
I think this characterization is a little tough. FFR has made huge improvements to the manuals with every version and with major upgrades. They're not a complete step-by-step manual like manufacturing process instructions, for example. They assume a certain level of mechanical aptitude and understanding of basic principles. I think it would be nearly impossible to have instructions that cover every possible combination of parts possible. Also there are multiple ways of doing things, each neither right or wrong. Depends on the builder. None of those things are negatives IMO. Just the way it is.

Here's a specific example. The manual shows installing all the aluminum panels in a specific sequence. Which can work BTW. Other builders say leave all the panels off until the last minute. Others (like me) choose to install some permanently but leave selective ones loose until late in the build. Which approach is right? Which one should the manual show? None are right or wrong. Just depends on the builder.

One other comment. There's usually not a day goes by that someone on one of the forums asks a question that is covered in the manual. When the answer is provided, often with a comment about it being in the manual, the response is "didn't look" or "missed it." Suggests that for some the manual isn't the complete answer anyway.

I agree with Gordon's comments. The manuals are a reference for a stock build. Since it seems there really are no such things as a stock build, whether donor or all new, the manuals still serve a purpose. I believe they're very useful to study in detail before starting, and reviewing frequently during the build. That along with the forum searches and questions is a winning combination. For some the build school is another resource.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
If you haven't gone already... the build school is an EXCELLENT way to learn where best practice diverges from the manual. Since the instructors have built hundreds, they can really steer you in the right direction. When I was there, I wrote down every step in order as we built and I can say it diverged quite a bit with the order that the manual takes you through. I'm at the tail end of my build and the build school steps went smooth as can be.
 

·
Junior Charter Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Manual

There's a Manual???
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18 Posts
the RF harness that comes with the kit, a lot is not needed if you are going carb - A LOT
Sorry to bring back an old thread, but I am just starting out and getting my research done. You say A LOT is needed if you are going to carb, but after talking with FFR and Mike Forte, it doesn't seem like there is anything that would need to change in order to accept any engine. Not to mention, carb'd engines require so much LESS wiring, so wouldn't EFI engines require a lot more, if anything?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top