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"The world's best selling 1965 replica has been re-invented! After more than a year and some superhuman efforts on the part of our engineering team we are ready to announce a major re-design of our famous 1965 roadster replica. We call the new version, The Mark 3 Roadster.
The bulk of the changes involve modifying the kit to allow not only the proven 1987-1993 Mustang running gear, but now also the wide variety of donor Mustang parts (namely the later model 1995-2004 cars). We have also made other significant upgrades and improvements that promise to keep the world's best selling roadster on top and up front.

We've put this package together to help describe these exciting changes and improvements in detail. The Mark 3 (MkIII) is a big step forward for us, every bit as much as the Mark 2 (MkII) revision of three years ago was. In order to help you easily understand the number and nature of our improvements, we've made a bullet list of actual changes, followed by a more lengthy section that goes item-by-item in detail.
Many folks have been pestering us (rightfully so) for more details regarding the MkIII roadster. We had released general information on our site back in April and May, but until now, we hadn't released a nut and bolt description of the exact changes. So here we go... the line item specifics that make this car the best Factory Five ever!

The idea for the MkIII version started for the most practical reasons. A large percentage of FFR customers use a single donor 1987-1993 Mustang to source running gear parts to build their cars. The 1987-1993 donor cars, while plentiful, are getting harder to find, especially in low mileage/good condition. The need to include later 1995-2004 Mustang parts (in addition to to the already proven 87-93 donor parts) was obvious.

Midway thru 2003 we began the process of revising our best selling MkII Roadster. The MkII kit was already the best selling roadster in the world, and when we began the engineering work, we figured it would be hard to make any large scale improvements. The early focus was on simply updating the design to accommodate later model (1995-2003) Mustang running gear. As the team started their work however, more and more ideas began to form.

The design team consisted of Dave Riha (ME), Jesper Ingerslev (ME), Colby Whipple (ME), John Clark (ME) and Mark Weber (MME). The initial goal of making required changes to the existing MkII platform to allow the use of later model running gear lasted about five minutes as ideas started flowing the scope of the project was dramatically increased.
Within a couple of months the team had begun work on what would be the company's third significant re-design of its best selling 1965 roadster replica. The early project goals were formalized to incorporate four major areas of focus...
? Performance
? Safety
? Quality/Engineering
? Convenience/Ease of Assembly.

Design Goals

1. Performance: Factory Five is first and foremost a racing company. Our products must always lead in performance. With the valuable lessons learned from our FFR-NASA spec racing series and the experience of having built over 4500 kits, we knew our engineering staff was ready to make some serious performance upgrades to the legendary FFR roadster. It was decided that the MkIII program would involve raising the performance bar even higher.

2. Safety: The strength and safety of the FFR design is unmatched in the replica and custom world. At Factory Five we have distinguished ourselves with an unmatched commitment to safety. Knowing that every race car chassis carries a human soul is a heavy and serious responsibility. It was decided that the MkIII effort would consider safety from as many different angles as possible. The result is that the new MkIII is the safest FFR design yet.

3. Quality and Engineering: The team decided that the new MkIII had to be even better in materials, construction and design. The story of Factory Five is best told by our long and relentless work to do something better every day. The commitment to continuous improvement meant the MkIII team would have to do more than simply make the kit "late-model" 4.6 capable. Major quality and engineering improvements are key to the success of the effort.

4. Convenience/Ease of Assembly: Over the years the quality of completed FFR cars has continued to climb to unbelievable levels. This is for several reasons. The quality of the base kit is better than ever. Our tech department is better staffed and more knowledgeable. An entire on-line community exists to help guys build their cars and build them right. Also, the FFR sponsored Mott Build School has taught hundreds of people how to do the job right the first time. We decided that the MkIII project would build on this energy. Making the kit easier and more convenient to build became the last major goal.

Guided by these four main design goals, the team spent the last year and thousands of hours working on what we are now in full production with, The New Factory Five Racing Mark 3 Roadster! Here is a detailed list of the exact changes with a link to a more detailed explanation by line item.

Mark 3 Upgrades:

1. Use 1987-2004 Mustang Donor Parts! The new MkIII allows customers to use parts from many more Mustang donor cars. Engineered changes make the kit able to accept parts from 1987-2004 Mustang GT donor cars.
2. Stronger and more verstile MkIII Frame/Chassis! The new MkIII frame is stronger, more elegant, easier to work on and able to use a wider variety of engines/drivetrains without modification.

Larger steel plates for easier seat mounting.
Tow strap hooks on front of frame for easier transport/hitching.
New welded mounts for optional hood hinge to eliminate drilling and riveting.
Many parts that were welded are now bent/formed for lower cost and higher strength.
Dropped foot box on passenger side (narrower but deeper).
Increased cockpit space on driver side, room for dead-pedal.
Bolt-on spring perch makes for cleaner look frame on kits not using Mustang springs.
New side impact tubing increases strength and safety.
New side tubing design increases strength, makes door latch mounting easier and ensures better aluminum fit.
Rear trunk steel and suspension parts narrowed for larger tires.
New steering design, and rack location has been moved to result in better geometry, improved Ackerman, and easier alignment procedures.
Removable transmission mount for easier removal/maintenance and accommodates wider number of transmission types.
New laser cut aluminum panel for fuse box (up to donor year 1998).
Relocation of holes in aluminum foot box for cleaner engine bay looks.
Ground strap hole pre-drilled in engine mount section of frame.
Relocated trans tunnel backbone tubing to more easily accommodate the installation of a mid-shift kit. (no cutting).
New mount location and revised/improved steering bearings/assembly.
New rear frame brackets and locations to enable the use of newer style fuel tank straps.
Improved/stronger gusset on three link bracket plus bent steel here, not welded.
Frame bracket added to make all (1987-2004 Mustang GT) ebrake cables and handles work.
Serial number inscription on steel tubing and ID plate matched.
Dual seat harness steel mounts to accommodate the "now standard" H-Harness set-ups.

3. MkIII roadsters enjoy upgraded molded parts and technology. The molding area was thoroughly revised. Changes were made to parts and processes.
Main body shell: Increased rear fender flare 3/4" per side to help allow bigger 295/15 and 315/17 tires rear.
Refinished main body shell mold master plug and built seven (7) brand new wet layup molds at cost of over $125,000.
Rear trunk lip design changed for cleaner look and better seal.
Composite parts (hood, trunk, doors and body shells) trimmed by automated robot for superior fitment, increased accuracy, and lower costs.
New hood liner standard (re-designed hood hinge as well).
Changed to higher quality black gel coat
New optional carbon hybrid body shell.
Began process of converting all molding to pre-preg process.

4. New FFR MkIII Serial number procedure to facilitate vehicle/kit identification, registration and owner history. Includes stamping/engraving machines and new serial ID plates.
5. New wheel options and direct to customers with PS Engineering wheels for faster service.
Awesome Bullet style wheels
Pin drive wheels broader applications
PS Wheels available direct to customers
6. New optional hood hinge design (engineered with new hood liner) : is stiffer and more adjustable.
7. Refined gauge options, new Autometer vintage gauges (smiths look alikes), Traditionals (black faced, orange hands, and ultralights).
8. New seat options: Improved 427 street seat design with easier mounting plates and new FMVSS 302 compliant seating materials. Also new higher line pro-race seats.
9. Standardized side exhaust/header/straight pipes/catalytics 87-95 and 96-04 and all headers manufactured by Hooker Headers. Also improved exhaust hanger brackets
10. Improved mono-tube Bilstein shocks are now standard (effective 8/15/04) on MkIII's.
11. New carpet, and tan carpet option. New carpet is FMVSS 302 compliant and better quality, plush 20 oz. materials. New floor mats optional MkII and MKIII (DOT materials/upgraded as well).
12. New optional aluminum fuel cell includes foam baffles, Kevlar lined bladder, efi pump installed, sending unit installed, and side fill location with check valve. Also univ. cell fits FFR Coupe, MkIII Roadster, Spyder and Challenge Series cars.
13. Pre-beaded aluminum radiator extension tubing.
14. New powder coating price at unbelievable $229!
15. Upgraded fasteners/bushings
More fasteners standard in kit for IFS bracket to spindles (was previously a donor part).
Washers changed from USS to SAE standard.
New counter-sunk fasteners for dash and other areas. Countersunk zinc fasteners with unitized screw/washer, easier to install.
Sleeves and spacers are made from aluminum for steering rack spacers, 3 link spacers, front/rear shock spacers, etc.
Updated side body mount fasteners
1/8" brake line brackets to secure Ford brake lines
Pre-flared brake lines
16. Improved lower control arms design (front)
17. New universal fit IFS bracket can accommodate 1987-04 spindles (no more comp IFS vs. standard IFS brackets).
18. New transmission mount, removable with adaptor for 99 and newer gear.
19. Standard AC eliminator kit for folks running 96-04 kits.
20. Standard oil pan for customers running 4.6 powered cars.
21. New optional steering rack, has more adjustable threaded tie rod inner ends
22. New packlist design and packaging procedure to improve packaging accuracy and ease of assembly.
23. New chassis Assembly area and aluminum bending/forming work stations.
24. Improved and updated welding jigs and tools (new press brake, tools, CNC tools, robot trimmer, new Mk3 main frame jig).
25. Re-designed 3 link suspension to accommodate all rear ends and to make stronger.
26. Aluminum panels revised for tighter fit and easier assembly.
27. Updated kit order form and streamlined in-house computer ordering procedure.
28. New and improved packaging designs to protect contents better. New shipping crates and procedures to ensure fewer damages on ceramic side exhaust
29. Battery box is now standard on all MkIII kits.
30. New gas cap ground wire is braided steel
31. Cool new universal dash cut-outs to fit gauges or conversion kit
32. New FFR steering wheel. Stronger, better laminates on wood, better stitching on leather grips.
33. New FFR windshield design. Better, stronger, closer tolerances on fasteners/holes, weatherstrip and side bar bends.
34. All rollbars are shipped powdercoated standard gloss black, chrome is still optional
35. New alum radiator option (AFCO)
36. DOT lighting: Headlights and tail-lights.
37. New updated assembly manual More pictures in the manual, updated MkIII manual with huge tech section on braking, bodywork, jigs/tooling sections and set-up advice.
38. Red-line 24 hour support via email/website.
39. Standard power brake booster (hydoboost) mount for customers who choose to use 4.6 powered cars.
40. Standard upper steering shaft.
41. Upgraded Seat Harnesses
In every project there are line items that "just miss" the production deadlines. Even as the early MkIII's were launched there were still items being added "in-process". As we stand today there remain some ideas that are just too good to let go. The MkIII project team decided to keep certain items on the engineering plan and integrate them as they become available, still including them in the formal MkIII revision. What this means is that the following items may or may not be part of today's MkIII production, but will be as soon as possible.
* Items are in-process changes being made effective 09/01/04 to 11/01/04. May not be on all MkIII kits.
41. Roll-bar padding delivered standard with every kit*
42. Universal throttle cable works with all years (87-04) and 4.6 engines standard in each kit.*
43. New battery box design to change location to mid-trunk for better weight distribution and to increase storage space.*
44. New passenger side roll bar mounts on every frame, leading edge on all, rear leg bolt-in mount (removable) for good looks and more space on cars not using pass roll bar.*
45. Reasonably priced Painless EFI harness*.
46. Financing* support for customers seeking to buy kits without full cash out-lay.
47. New license plate brackets* (prototype was approved and should be in production on MkIII's before September 15.) "
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