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Discussion Starter #281 (Edited)
Wipers, Washers, Etc.

It’s been a while since my last update. Have been getting in some good work sessions. So, some progress to report. Did take a 4+ day break to attend the annual London Cobra Show. This was, I think, our tenth year attending. Although the first couple of years were without a car and just looking and learning. Enjoyed the event like always. The new format with a single venue was a nice improvement. The weather didn’t look promising on Thursday. But weather on each following day was great. Friday took a nice cruise and of course the parade and downtown London event on Saturday. I was asked to have my Roadster in the Factory Five display again and enjoyed talking with lots of people and meeting several forum members in person. It was an honor to have Dave greet us personally when we drove in. (Shameless name dropping, sorry.) There was an “incident” on the charity rides as has been reported elsewhere, so won’t go into that. Fortunately, the police allowed things to continue. Just keeping the speeds down. I did three passes in the afternoon and I think my riders got their money’s worth. I’m not sure who had more fun though. For my street driving (and conservative approach) I don’t get to stretch the Roadster and Coyote out very often. I was amazed again what that thing will do when pushed hard. What a rush. The inside banquet on Saturday night was very nice. My wife said she missed the muddy grass floor and bugs biting her ankles from the previous outdoor under the big top venue. :p I didn’t. Another great contribution to CF and the winner of the raffle car wasn’t in the room or on the phone. That doesn’t ever seem to change. Sunday’s drive home was another nice day and an easy drive. With the Roadster in the SE of course. Already looking forward to next year and taking the Coupe as I’ve promised lots of folks. If you haven’t attended the London show before, you won’t be disappointed. Especially with the latest changes. Back to the build thread…

Continue to work through my punch list before paint. Mostly finished the wiper installation. The Specialty Power Windows setup I described previously is now all hooked up and working with the final tube bent and installed. It took several tries but settled on the 130-degree setting for the sweep. Gives good coverage combined with the 15-inch blades. It’s nice being able to set the sweep and tailor them exactly to the installation. One hint though. I had run them very briefly while wiring some weeks ago. Just to confirm they ran, parked, etc. Not a good idea without being in packed in grease like the instructions show. Didn’t do any permanent damage, but much more and I could have.

Also mostly finished up the washers. Probably something not too many mess around with, and I can kind of see why. But I’ve sweet talked my way through inspection three times without, even though they’re specifically mentioned on the inspection form. Plus, the wiper switch I’m using has the washer function built in. So decided to go for it. The Denso tank and pump I picked out and mounted works great. I had purchased the small Lucas style spray nozzles from Finishline. However, mounted on the cowl not far from the windshield they didn’t work all that great. Only put out a small stream that either hit right at the base of the windshield, or with the slightest adjustment all the way over the windshield and onto the back hatch glass. Impressive, but not exactly what I was going for. With a lot of looking, settled on these from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C4T2HHP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. For the low price, I wasn’t expecting much. But they had good reviews and actually work perfectly. My next thought was to go to some type of a wet blade setup. But I'm done messing with this.

Another item on my list is door cards. Still a work in progress, but made some patterns out of cardboard, settled on the basic design, and cut from 1/8-inch hardboard. The tape is where the hole is at in the inner door. I want to use that space somehow for a pocket, but still deciding what to do. I also want to add some kind of door pull but looking at options there too. The door cards will be vinyl wrapped, with some portion being the carbon fiber style covering I have in the seats and showed before on the instrument cluster and center switch panel. That plus red stitching like I’ll be using elsewhere. Little bit to go here obviously.



Finally, have spent quite a bit of time working on my headers and side pipes. I’m still a couple weeks at least away from finally explaining further and showing details. But really making some progress and I’m excited about how this is going to turn out. Also excited because I’ll be able to run the engine again, which I haven’t been able to do since the body is on. Also do a couple drives up/down the street. I missed the go-kart stage because that was during the winter. The first start and initial engine runs were with Roadster side pipes that don’t fit now. Anyway, I know you guys like teasers, so here’s mine for today.

 

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Discussion Starter #282 (Edited)
Door Cards

This is probably my most trivial update to date. But finished the initial fabrication of the door cards and door bins, so will post to close that out. The doors on the Coupe are thick and have a good-sized opening. Since there’s no roll down windows :)() the area is free space. So decided to put it to use. Fabricated an aluminum bin for each door that’s 3-1/2 inches deep and basically the size of the opening. They’re held in place with 10-32 screws into nut plates bonded on the inside of the door. Nylon spacers hold them out to where they will be flush with the inside of the door cards. Then cut openings in my hardboard door cards that are nearly flush at the top and leave material along the bottom to hold stuff in. The shape of the openings are the same theme as the glovebox, so hopefully look like they belong. The inside of the bins will be lined with vinyl and carpet on the bottom. I also wanted to add door pulls. After looking at several options, realized I had the pulls right in front of me with the openings to the bins. But pulling on the door cards directly is probably not the best idea. So added strips of 1/2 x 3/16 steel that are also attached to the doors with spacers and nut plates and will be tight against the inside of the door cards and just below the bottom edge of the openings. Turned out nice and solid and I think will work great. The door cards will get 1/8-inch foam and then vinyl covered. The upper part will be plain vinyl, the lower part the C-F style vinyl in the seats and elsewhere, with red stitching on the line visible in the pictures. The door cards will be held in place with the door openers at the top (also going into nut plates) and strips of 3M Dual Lock reclosable fastener material. That’s what I have holding the door cards on #8674 and they've been rock solid.

Passenger side bin and door pull. Drivers side looks the same. The white material is white powder coated scraps left over from #8674 that I recycled for this project.


Passenger side done except for covering.


Same for the drivers side.


Another item I’ll mention. Many have told me that the Coupe doesn’t have great vision out the back through the hatch glass. I’ve had a couple recommendations for a full-time back-up camera. Not a bad idea, but didn’t go there. One idea I saw – and Factory Five offers them on their website – is the 14-inch Longacre Racing wide angle rear view mirror. Thought I would give one a try. Ordered from Summit since Factory Five was showing out of stock. Plus the Summit free shipping thing. Received yesterday and took it for a 0 mph test drive. One word IMO. Fail. First, they’re designed to be mounted on the roll bar versus the windshield. They come in 1-1/2 and 1-3/4 bracket sizes. The roll bar behind the windshield measures 1-5/8. Since Factory Five has the 1-3/4-inch version on their website, that’s the one I ordered. And, no surprise I guess, the brackets only go to slightly under 1-3/4 so don’t clamp tightly. Could modify the brackets, but before I did that, confirmed where the mirror would sit and what the view looked like. Not good in either case. Due to the design of the brackets and attachment to the mirror, plus the location of the roll bar, ends up very close to you. Almost in your face. Plus, the angle has to be really wonky to see out the back and I didn’t see where it added that much. Compared to the more OE style windshield mount mirror included with the kit, very little difference. Not because of the mirrors so much as there’s just so much space available to see out the back. So the Longacre mirror goes back and I’ll be going traditional on the center rear view mirror attaching to the windshield. Fortunately, the BRE side mirrors I have on each side give a good view. So I think I’ll be OK.

As far as the tease from my last update, continue to stay tuned. Should have more news on that in the very near future. That opens up a whole bunch of progress on other fronts.
 

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Nice Paul,

I still have to build my door cards too. I like what you did with the pull.
I will look into the reusable dual lock. Is that like a Velcro?

John
 

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Discussion Starter #284
I will look into the reusable dual lock. Is that like a Velcro?

John
Sort of. But instead of hook and loops like Velcro it's interlocking plastic stems that hook together. Comes in different adhesive types, and different stem density giving different fastening strength. I ended up with 3M Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener TB3550 250/250 Black. Available lots of places, but mine came from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B007OXK1AK. Seems like good stuff. Supposedly much stronger then Velco. Goes together with a "snap" and a predicable thickness. Just don't use too much. With the pictured amount on my Mk4 Roadster leather wrapped door cards they haven't budged. Too much and could be hard to get off. Adhesive sticks great to the painted fiberglass. For the hardboard door cards, put a layer of 5-minute epoxy where the fastener pieces was applied, and stuck them down just at it set up. Planning a very similar approach with the Coupe.

 

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Thanks Paul,

My son is considering fender flares on his daily driver, but doesn't like the bolt on look. wonder if this would hold them on?


John
 

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Discussion Starter #286
Thanks Paul,

My son is considering fender flares on his daily driver, but doesn't like the bolt on look. wonder if this would hold them on?

John
Maybe, I don't know. Not sure the best choice for that application.
 

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Maybe, I don't know. Not sure the best choice for that application.
Hey Paul,
First thanks for the dimensions you sent. Got my 3" fixture fabricated. Going to make a 3.5 and 4.0 inch also, so I can play with what fits best.
Thanks for all of your tips and awesome fabrication techniques. Sure cuts down on the trial and errors!
Bob McLaughlin
 

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Discussion Starter #288
Quarter Windows and Acrylic

Another somewhat trivial update. Expecting some more significant ones very soon. There’s a common theme to this update. Couple of the ideas are from other build threads. That’s the beauty of this community. Lots of shared creativity which I watch closely and pick and choose (and sometimes change a little…) for my builds.

First up, headlight covers. The kit comes with acrylic headlight covers (very last POL item for me) that need to be trimmed slightly to fit the openings. I’m going to wait for that until after paint just to make sure they fit exactly. They are attached with kit provided right angle SS pieces. Another builder posted a suggestion to use 10-32 SS rod end bolts from McMaster instead. Decided to go that way. These: https://www.mcmaster.com/2434k54. Require a couple of minor modifications. The 3/16-inch holes are unthreaded. I threaded them to 12-24, which is a somewhat unusual size. But 12-24 taps into them with any additional drilling, so that’s what I used along with 12-24 button head SS screws. Also used a 10-32 die to extend the threads all the way to the top. The shank will get cut off and probably need a spacer under the rod end. But have them ready for the next step when it’s time to install the covers. Makes for a nice clean look. Note that Peter Brock sells a somewhat similar setup on his website (bre2.net) so that’s another option. About the same cost.


Next up, worked on the quarter windows. First was fitting the formed acrylic scoops. They're provided significantly oversized. Fit both sides to the outline on the body. Like the headlight covers, I’ll wait until paint is completed to confirm the exact fit, then drill and mount. BTW, fit each side individually. They’re slightly different.


When the side windows are installed and running heat or A/C, in most cases you would not want this scoop to be drawing in outside air. So, the windows kit comes with an acrylic panel that’s intended to be placed into the opening for times like that. Couple of issues there. It’s intended to be held in with screws, which isn’t very handy since it’s likely to be taken in and out frequently. Plus the seatbacks are somewhat in the way for accessing the screws. Also, there’s a 1+ inch gap between the back of the window and the edge of the panel if placed on the inside of the body. I had made a note of how Erik Treves (the famous Hawk Coupe) addressed this on his build, so went back and reviewed that. He even posted a very informative video: https://youtu.be/Vj6pKvciQZI. These seal plus slide in and out without any mounting screws. Looks great to me, so unceremoniously stole this idea for my build.

First up though, found the kit provided acrylic panels were a little small to be set up this way. Plus it appears they were cut using a laser cutter, and the edges were burned in several places causing the liner material to be melted into the panels. Only around the edges and still could have been used. But picked up a couple 12 x 12 x 1/8 coated acrylic panels and cut new ones after making carboard patterns. Bent some aluminum angles for the corners, made a couple of pieces for the windows to slide into out of 16-gauge steel, and added some cushion and bulb seal. Sounds easy enough but does take some trial and error to get it all just right. I’m going to get the metal pieces powder coated and will hold the angles on the acrylic the same way the side windows are assembled with 10-32 SS button head screws. Very happy with how this turned out, and thanks to Erik for the inspiration.






Finally, this is the first time I’ve worked with acrylic. I found numerous references that care must be taken when drilling holes as it’s possible to chip and/or crack the material, especially when drilling close to an edge. Learned that there are drill bits made just for this material, so Amazon to the rescue. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D1B3B51/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o00_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Never a bad excuse for new tools. Only drilled the eight holes in these windows so far and seemed to work very well. Plus did a bunch of test drilling in scraps. Will use again for real for the scoops and the headlight covers. As the directions state, the right drill bit plus the right speed are important. If you don’t want to buy these, it is possible to drill with regular bits. But work up very slowly on the size with multiple bits, plus keep the speed down so they’re cutting and not melting.

After a week or so of very hot weather, which kept me out of the shop starting around noon every day, it’s cooled back off to our usual very nice Michigan summer weather. Have been able to get in lots of driving in the Roadster, in addition to the build.
 

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Discussion Starter #289 (Edited)
New Headers, New Sidepipes, First Drives. Oh My!

Today was a big day. With my prototype headers and sidepipes installed (more later), drove the Coupe for the first time in my neighborhood. Started the Coyote after not running for quite a few months and it fired right up. Had a bit of a scare. Wasn’t getting any alternator voltage on the gauge. The alternator had to be out to get the headers on and off. So yesterday while reinstalling it, I forget the master switch was on and managed to touch the alternator power lead to ground. Sparked good as expected but didn’t see any damage so kept going. With the switch off of course. Now today no alternator output. Was afraid I fried something in the alternator (ugh) but then I remembered the alternator mega fuse I normally install. Sure enough it was burned and open. Did its job! Put in a new fuse and all good. With yet another lesson learned.

First impressions driving are all good. The Tilton HRB and clutch feel great. Smooth easy release. Really nice. The Wilwood brakes even though not bedded yet seemed strong. Power steering felt fine. T-56 shifts great and reverse lockout works with the car in motion. Initially didn’t have a speedo indication, but I just had the GPS antenna temporarily draped under the dash. Put it up on top and that’s working too. Need to find a permanent location. Radiator fan kicked on when it should have (around 190 F) and shut back off when it dropped back down. Interesting that Ford Performance went back to a more normal temperature curve on the cooling fan program with the Gen 3. I did throw a couple codes related to oil pressure. The pressure is fine (I kept a close eye on the gauge) but apparently the one sensor I removed (at Ford Performance agreement) is still active. Will dig into that. Tried the heater and it poured out hot air. Don’t have the A-C charged yet, so no test there. Checked everything over back in the shop, and no leaks or drips. The Gen 3 Coyote runs good, but still could improve some I think. Not sure if it’s still learning. Or likely will need a custom tune at some point. Kind of expect that. In general things are a little loud without any carpet or weather-stripping on the doors and hatch and windshield just taped in place. And since the splash guards aren’t coated yet, lots of pinging from dirt and gravel on the road. But it’s very driveable now. Only did 25-30 MPH in my neighborhood and found 3rd once. Bottom line, all good.

But the real news here is the headers and sidepipes. Now that I have a working setup, will finally give more details. Most know the stock Factory Five sidepipes are loud, a little on the rough side (at least mine were), unfinished, and the transition is maybe less than ideal. I considered a couple of options, but really wanted to stay with the dual pipe traditional look of the Daytona Coupe. Due to the uncertainty, I purposely didn’t order headers with my kit and figured I would address the header/sidepipe situation later. So fast forward some months into my build, and I was pleasantly surprised that Georgie from Gas-N contacted me and asked if I would work with him to develop a header/sidepipe setup for the Gen 3 Coupe. Would I? You bet. I’ve used Gas-N side pipes on each of my Roadster builds and they’re perfect. Look great, sound great, and last. The prospect of that same quality on my Coupe build was something I didn’t have to think about very long.

There have been a number of steps to the process, and I won’t go through all of them. Georgie developed a twin pipe design and I received the prototypes several weeks ago. Note these are stainless, just like the Roadster pipes. But for this stage, not polished. Then we used “Frankenstein headers” to determine the proper configuration of the headers with the side pipes in their intended location. Once locked down, those were sent back to Georgie to use as patterns for the prototype headers. Couple of weeks later, these arrived.


Now installed. And by the way, for those who have busted knuckles and said words Mom said not to use while putting in Roadster headers, the Gen 3 Coupe isn't too bad. The driver side is still tight, but all are reachable. The passenger side is mostly a piece of cake. All but a couple can be reached with a ratchet, extension, and universal joint. I used RemFlex gaskets and high-temp RTV silicone (Permatex 81878) on the bolts. This combination has been rock solid in #8674.





Note these are the first prototypes. Now that they been checked out, Georgie will make a new pair with his legendary stainless steel polished finish. No huge rush because these are fully functional. Did my first drives today with them. Note I don’t have the side hangars on yet, so there’s a little movement of the pipes that will be reduced when those are added. Check out the videos. They're short. But really happened and you get the idea.

https://youtu.be/24kZChAlKeI

https://youtu.be/boH-3-BD52g

https://youtu.be/QCdUdj6n3eM

https://youtu.be/mFHHqadaREs

If interested, you can check with Georgie on price and availability of this new option for the Gen 3 Coupe with a Coyote like this one. Maybe other engines too but check with him. Next up, visit the paint shop for my estimate (oh boy…) and scheduling. This will also be the first time I try to fit it into my 14-foot SE. We’ll see how that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #290
Coupe and 14 Foot Serpent Express

Brief update after the crazy last couple of days. Today I tried the Coupe in my 14 foot Serpent Express (SE) trailer to see if it will fit. Short answer. Not really. Probably not a surprise but not exactly for the reason I expected. After driving it in and stopping short of the cover frame in the front, found a pretty major issue. The door wouldn’t open. Doesn’t clear the side escape hatch. Kind of hard to get out and back in that way. So drove it all the way against the front. Like this:


Now the door clears. Just barely:


Sticks out the back as I expected. This I had figured out previously with a tape measure. Found the covering is flexible enough that it will still zip closed.


Conclusion: Ok to use the trailer for transport before it’s painted. After it’s painted? No way. Can’t have the paint touching anything, specifically in the front. But stopping short, can’t get in/out of the door. Winch is an option, but still the interior (e-brake, shifter) will be inaccessible unless the DS window is off. Even then it’s still sticking out the back. I had resigned myself that at best I would have to tie the door up above the hatch spoiler area and tow it with it hanging out. Still affords reasonable protection. But not so much security. Bottom line: Ok temporarily, but not for the long term. Looking at options.

On a happier note, while I had it out and running, took my wife for a short spin around the block. Still rough and noisy, but she really liked it. Likes the seats, the added footbox space, the 4-point seat belts with pushbutton latches, the roof over her head without wind (think hair...), and the prospect of heat for those cold drives. A/C is a bonus. I think we have a winner. Officially have two miles on the odometer.
 

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Discussion Starter #292
All Apart Again

Last week was a big one. Had a complete exhaust system, first drives including wife ride, trailer trial fit, then a visit to the paint shop on Friday. I’m supposed to have my paint quote and planned date sometime this week. They promised to support my plan to have it done in time for me to complete and display at the Detroit Autorama in February 2020. They loved the car. Hadn’t seen a Coupe before, let alone the newest version. A couple of things to address on the body, but in general they thought it wasn’t bad. We’ll see when I find out how many hours they estimate. After some discussion, they are going to paint it body ON. For sure the doors will come off after body work. Not sure about the hood (cowl). That one is easy either way.

So, with all those steps completed, yesterday I started tearing it down. Next steps will be to get the balance of unfinished metal parts to the powder coater, get the interior parts to the interior shop for vinyl wrap, and undercoat the main body and cowl. I would do the vinyl wrap myself (have done it several times before) but since I’m adding red stitching to match the seats, need some help on that one. For the undercoat, leaning towards using U-POL Raptor. I’m planning to put a heavy coat of Lizard Skin ceramic insulation on the underside of the main body roof before the undercoat. Hoping it keeps the interior temperature down a bit. I’m not planning on using the kit supplied headliner. I’m hoping I can get the Raptor down smooth and clean enough to be the final finish. With the roll cage, the underside of the roof isn’t prominent. So, with a decent finish, hope to just stop there.

Have everything needed off and bagged and tagged. Today a buddy came over and helped me lift the main body and cowl off the frame. Just slightly different than the final pictures posted last week. But progress is being made here. Next time together hope it stays that way. We're taking our annual trip to the west coast soon, so will have two weeks out of the build schedule.

 

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Conclusion: Ok to use the trailer for transport before it’s painted.
A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to get an enclosed trailer, even talked to some trailer guys about building a soft top for my alumalite. Why don't you post it for sale and see what happens? Then you could get a longer Serpent Express. I would buy it except I am building a coupe also.
 

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Discussion Starter #294
A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to get an enclosed trailer, even talked to some trailer guys about building a soft top for my alumalite. Why don't you post it for sale and see what happens? Then you could get a longer Serpent Express. I would buy it except I am building a coupe also.
That's the plan and it's underway. Not posting it for sale yet because I have a potential local buyer plus another that has expressed interest. If nothing pans out, then will post on the forums. Have a quote in hand from Larry Johnson for a 16 foot SE. Expect to move on that soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #295 (Edited)
More Minor Stuff

Last update before leaving on vacation for two weeks. Prepared a 3-page punch list of everything needed to finish this thing. Quite a bit there, but a good sign it’s down to a list I can manage. The remaining powder coat parts are at the plater. The interior parts at the interior shop. Met with them yesterday to work out the details. Both places promised they’d be done when we get back. Sold my current SE trailer and ordered a new 16-foot SE. Larry Johnson is quoting 8-10 weeks. Pick-up will be in Three Rivers, Michigan like my last one. The owner of my old SE is leaving it here at my place until the new one is ready. So I’m not without a trailer if needed.

For the actual build, knocked out some last-minute details on the front cowl. Did the final trim on the back edge. Turns out the side vents (by the latches) were cut out but undersized. Used the provided template and the pressed screen to get them properly sized and put a radius on the edges. Both the vent and latch openings had gaps between the inner and outer fiberglass shells. Somewhat like the hood scoop cutout on the Roadster. So got those filled with HSRF and should be good to go. Little more clean-up on the underside and then the bedliner spray when we get back, and it will be done except for paint of course.

Had a bit of a scare that’s maybe worth mentioning. I ran the Coyote checking out a few things. Still chasing a few codes Ford Performance is working on. Later came back to the garage to find a puddle of antifreeze on the ground in the vicinity of the RH (passenger) rear corner of the engine. Good grief. Heater hoses and heater control valve back there but confirmed nothing was leaking. Further review with a trouble light and could see antifreeze on the back corner of the head and running down onto the starter motor and then to the floor. I panicked thinking maybe head gasket, but at least in my experience that’s not how they leak. But still had visions in my head of a big problem. After things cooled off, dug deeper and found the source of the problem. It was the heater hose connection at the front of the engine. Was leaking from there and running down between the top of the head and the intake, and eventually off the back of the engine. The connectors I used were what come with the Coyote installation kit. But I knew from the Roadster build they are Gates 28504 connectors. So ordered a couple and replaced the one that was leaking. Immediately could tell it fit better, locked on tighter, and didn’t wobble like the other one. In comparing the parts, the ones with the kit are marked made in China with an unidentified logo. The Gates ones have the Gates logo and the package says made in the U.S.A. Cheap knock-off parts included in the kit? Would seem so. Decided to switch the other side too as a preemptive move. A little disappointing, I guess. But relieved not to have a serious problem.

Another small detail to sort out was the Speedhut GPS antenna location. After studying multiple locations, ended up making a bracket out of 16-gauge steel (aluminum wouldn’t be the best choice for the magnetic antenna…) and attaching it to the LH firewall extension. This places the antenna in a similar location as the windshield mounting bracket location often used on the Roadster except on the other side. It's just below the fiberglass body and in front of the windshield and any other obstacles. Which for me has always worked well.


An update about my paint situation. Today I went to the shop and met with the owner and general manager. We were able to reach an agreement (yea!) and I will deliver the Coupe for paint on Oct 1. Completion promised in 10 weeks or less. I’m not going to discuss the specifics, but summary is somewhat more than I expected but less than first quoted. I know they will do an awesome job, as they did on the last two they painted for me. So very happy and relieved to have this behind me for now.

Finally, on a side note, last weekend was the big Woodward Dream Cruise here in SE Michigan. Organizers claim 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars. Officially, it’s the third Saturday in August. But in reality, people and cars pack Woodward Ave. for a couple of weeks. Our Great Lakes Cobra Club had an event during the week, and then an all-day event the day of the cruise. 60+ cars and 100+ members, so a great turnout. Between admission, silent auction, and rides made a sizeable contribution to charity. I gave two rides myself. Not the London Cobra Show quick shots, but a nice cruise on Woodward taking in the sights and event. Weather cooperated for a great day. #8674 just about to turn 6,000 miles on the way home. Good times.
 

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Last update before leaving on vacation for two weeks. Prepared a 3-page punch list of everything needed to finish this thing. Quite a bit there, but a good sign it’s down to a list I can manage. The remaining powder coat parts are at the plater. The interior parts at the interior shop. Met with them yesterday to work out the details. Both places promised they’d be done when we get back. Sold my current SE trailer and ordered a new 16-foot SE. Larry Johnson is quoting 8-10 weeks. Pick-up will be in Three Rivers, Michigan like my last one. The owner of my old SE is leaving it here at my place until the new one is ready. So I’m not without a trailer if needed.

For the actual build, knocked out some last-minute details on the front cowl. Did the final trim on the back edge. Turns out the side vents (by the latches) were cut out but undersized. Used the provided template and the pressed screen to get them properly sized and put a radius on the edges. Both the vent and latch openings had gaps between the inner and outer fiberglass shells. Somewhat like the hood scoop cutout on the Roadster. So got those filled with HSRF and should be good to go. Little more clean-up on the underside and then the bedliner spray when we get back, and it will be done except for paint of course.

Had a bit of a scare that’s maybe worth mentioning. I ran the Coyote checking out a few things. Still chasing a few codes Ford Performance is working on. Later came back to the garage to find a puddle of antifreeze on the ground in the vicinity of the RH (passenger) rear corner of the engine. Good grief. Heater hoses and heater control valve back there but confirmed nothing was leaking. Further review with a trouble light and could see antifreeze on the back corner of the head and running down onto the starter motor and then to the floor. I panicked thinking maybe head gasket, but at least in my experience that’s not how they leak. But still had visions in my head of a big problem. After things cooled off, dug deeper and found the source of the problem. It was the heater hose connection at the front of the engine. Was leaking from there and running down between the top of the head and the intake, and eventually off the back of the engine. The connectors I used were what come with the Coyote installation kit. But I knew from the Roadster build they are Gates 28504 connectors. So ordered a couple and replaced the one that was leaking. Immediately could tell it fit better, locked on tighter, and didn’t wobble like the other one. In comparing the parts, the ones with the kit are marked made in China with an unidentified logo. The Gates ones have the Gates logo and the package says made in the U.S.A. Cheap knock-off parts included in the kit? Would seem so. Decided to switch the other side too as a preemptive move. A little disappointing, I guess. But relieved not to have a serious problem.

Another small detail to sort out was the Speedhut GPS antenna location. After studying multiple locations, ended up making a bracket out of 16-gauge steel (aluminum wouldn’t be the best choice for the magnetic antenna…) and attaching it to the LH firewall extension. This places the antenna in a similar location as the windshield mounting bracket location often used on the Roadster except on the other side. It's just below the fiberglass body and in front of the windshield and any other obstacles. Which for me has always worked well.


An update about my paint situation. Today I went to the shop and met with the owner and general manager. We were able to reach an agreement (yea!) and I will deliver the Coupe for paint on Oct 1. Completion promised in 10 weeks or less. I’m not going to discuss the specifics, but summary is somewhat more than I expected but less than first quoted. I know they will do an awesome job, as they did on the last two they painted for me. So very happy and relieved to have this behind me for now.

Finally, on a side note, last weekend was the big Woodward Dream Cruise here in SE Michigan. Organizers claim 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars. Officially, it’s the third Saturday in August. But in reality, people and cars pack Woodward Ave. for a couple of weeks. Our Great Lakes Cobra Club had an event during the week, and then an all-day event the day of the cruise. 60+ cars and 100+ members, so a great turnout. Between admission, silent auction, and rides made a sizeable contribution to charity. I gave two rides myself. Not the London Cobra Show quick shots, but a nice cruise on Woodward taking in the sights and event. Weather cooperated for a great day. #8674 just about to turn 6,000 miles on the way home. Good times.

Paul - thanks VERY MUCH for your support of the Charity Rides!!

Jeff
 

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Finally Back. Interior Progress

We’ve been back from vacation just over a week now. Took a bit to get things settled back down on the home front including harvesting my lawn. Cooler weather and rain while we were gone made it go a bit crazy. Couple words about our vacation. Two weeks divided between our son and family in Nampa, Idaho and a whole bunch of my family in southern Oregon. It was kind of a family reunion to celebrate my Dad’s upcoming 90th, and we used the occasion to have a family workday to paint the entire outside of their place and put a new roof on their shed. We were done by 3:00. Amazing what a lot of hands can accomplish. Looks great and they were so appreciative since this isn’t something they can do any more. Had a chance to visit one of my favorite places on the planet with my brother and his wife. If you haven’t been to Crater Lake, Oregon, it’s worth checking out. Measured at 1,949 feet deep which is incredible. Couple of iPhone pics below, which don't remotely give it justice. Stopped at Beckie’s Cafe on the way back for some huckleberry pie. Locals will know just what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, a little too much drama on the last day before we flew home. My wife tripped on a parking lot bumper while stopped during our drive back to Idaho. Broke her wrist and generally a little banged up. Pretty scary how quickly something like that can happen. Two ER visits and she’s on the mend. But guess who’s helping a little more than usual (no comments) with cooking, dishes, driving, etc.



Meanwhile, back to the build. Working down my list of things to complete before delivering for paint on October 1. The interior shop finished up my interior pieces while we were gone. I had them do the stitching and place the pieces on the panels. Minimal wrapping and none of the cut-outs. I wanted to do the finishing myself to save a little $$ plus take a little more time on the details. After some hours, the main pieces were ready to install. Also made and finished the glovebox door and got that all fitted. As of last night, have everything mostly back together. The dash will come apart if necessary, but really hope not to. Not a friendly place to work. All the fasteners for the dash are mostly hidden. Same for the upper transmission cover. The lower transmission cover (over the shifter and e-brake) is removeable and decided to put three screws through each edge. Mostly covered by the seats. Will be using some black chrome 10-32 screws from our local Ace. Stupid expensive, but look nice and blend reasonably well. Still have some work to do on the door cards but will save that for later. Took these quick pictures last night. The garage lighting doesn’t play nice on the vinyl covering. But the color match between the regular black vinyl and the carbon fiber style vinyl (matching the Corbeau seats) looks decent. Carpet will go on after paint. I’m very happy with how this is turning out.




The glovebox door uses the same Richelieu 173167 hinges from Lowes (also the same ones used by Alex on his dash kit) and the VW 111857131L pull/lock as #8674. The button inside is for the Digital Guard Dawg keyless ignition system. Used for system access, emergency unlock, etc. Not required for normal operation.


Club event today, and we’re visiting the Factory Five build school tomorrow. Next steps on the build are to get the body undercoated (U-POL Raptor) and back onto the chassis. October 1 is approaching quickly.
 

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Beautiful work!

There's a good chance that I'll be doing another cross country drive next year to visit our daughter and family in San Francisco. Crater Lake is high on the list of things to see while we are out west! I can't reasonably expect that my coupe will be ready for the trip.
 

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Had a chance to visit one of my favorite places on the planet with my brother and his wife. If you haven’t been to Crater Lake, Oregon, it’s worth checking out. Measured at 1,949 feet deep which is incredible.

It doesn’t matter that I grew up down in Chiloquin, every time I visit Crater Lake it takes my breath away. It’s always amazing no matter what season. It’s a must-see.




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