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Discussion Starter #101 (Edited)
Wipers Plus

My build plan includes wipers and I’m going to do washers as well. Both are required by the Michigan safety inspection. I’ve gotten away without washers on the Roadster builds thanks to sympathetic LEO’s. But not going to try again, plus maybe with this build the wipers and washers might actually be usable and necessary. But I don’t want to work through the Lucas drama for wipers again, so looked for an alternative. Found reference to a company Specialty Power Windows located in Georgia on several other forums. Seemed all good. They sell various performance car power windows and wiper setups, including a universal wiper system WWK-2. Pretty old school. You actually have to call them to order. What??? Found that Speedway sells their products, was in stock, and with a few clicks here two days later. Looked it over today, put together enough to see how it works, and have a basic plan for installing. The overall design is similar to the Lucas variety with a moving cable going through wheelboxes. But it’s quite heavy duty and seems rock solid. Configuration, direction, and amount of sweep are all adjustable. Also in my digging around, found reference to a wiper/washer switch that does everything the usual DD does. Push for washer and several wipes, variable intermittent, high, low, and park. Cool! The one I bought is a Cole Hersee 75600-04. They sell a bunch of variations. After studying the switch schematic and the wiper setup, determined this was the right one. Clipped everything together temporarily, and it all works as it’s supposed to. The wiper kit doesn’t come with arms or blades. Need to figure that out. But even once those are added, what I’m going to install will still be cheaper than the usual Lucas knock-off and I think (hope) quite a bit better.

Had to chuckle a little bit. The literature says these wipers were the Best New Product of the Year at the 1991 NSRA nationals. My first reaction was these are maybe kind of an old design. Then on second thought realized that's 30 years or so newer than the Lucas style wipers. OK, that's progress. Here are some pics.

Inside of main mechanism. Orientation of the drive wheel determines direction. Different holes to adjust the amount of sweep. The wheel boxes come with a long driveshaft that can be shortened, which I probably will need to do. Everything gets packed with grease when assembled for good.


Motor and the Cole Hersee switch. I’ll be changing out the knob to match the others on the dash. Drive cable is in the background.


Expect to mount somewhere in this vicinity. Plenty of room and should link up OK with the wheelboxes.


I mentioned before about picking up the Breeze locking gas cap and installing into the LeMans cap. Got that done the other night. I’ve shown this including a full description in my other build threads, so won't repeat the details. Cut off the LeMans connection, hog out the flange for the regular cap, and bolt in. Not cheap, but an ideal setup IMO.



Spent more time on the interior layout. Feel like I’m about there. There are some amazing interiors out there. I’m trying to stay within the basic boundaries of the stock layout though. I’m thinking of putting together a small center switch panel. The ends will be boxed in and have the aux outlets. Only switches on the dash itself will be the ignition, headlights and horn button over by the gauges. Probably going to go keyless push button start. Turn signals will be the Russ Thompson unit with headlight low/high/flash to pass on the stalk button. Four A/C-Heat outlets on the face of the dash, and I’d really like to install a glovebox. Probably can’t be real deep because of all the hoses behind the dash, but I’m going to try. I’ll have to do some fabrication on the DS to move things over a bit to fit the outlet on that side. Brow piece is still optional at this point. I’m planning to have the panel with the gauges removable which opens the dash area for access and servicing. Thinking of finishes of vinyl, C-F and some red stitching. Along the lines of how the seats are finished. Something similar for door cards as well. Again, very preliminary but it’s a start. What do you think? At this point changes are as easy as cutting more kraft paper and printing switch images.



My first batch of powder coat pieces are promised for early next week. Also found out today Factory Five is sending out an update package for all Gen 3 Coupe buyers. There have been some sheet metal changes and maybe more. I’m really not sure. Some have gone out already. Mine is due in the next week or two. Good customer service Factory Five.
 

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Always enjoy the updates and it's looking great Paul! Gauges appear to be pretty near exactly vertical; is your view from the seat OK or are you considering tipping them a bit so that the faces are perpendicular with your line of sight?

Jeff
 

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Looks good Paul, nothing wrong with a stock approach!!
Think about interior lighting too. I’m working on that when I get my chassis back from the painter on the weekend.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #104
Always enjoy the updates and it's looking great Paul! Gauges appear to be pretty near exactly vertical; is your view from the seat OK or are you considering tipping them a bit so that the faces are perpendicular with your line of sight?

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I have fun doing them. Glad you like the rambling. I'm expecting the gauges may move to the right just a little when I mod the dash to fit the DS HVAC outlet. So I haven't checked the sight lines much yet. Will adjust if necessary. Tipping them toward the driver is an interesting idea. I'll see about that. But not sure it's necessary. These particular gauges are bigger than the smallish Roadster gauges. Plus maybe you can see the smaller ones on the dash are sticking out some. They have spacer rings on the front right now that actually go on the back. Just haven't taken the time to change. So in final form they sit closer to the dash like the tach and speedo.

Looks good Paul, nothing wrong with a stock approach!! Think about interior lighting too. I’m working on that when I get my chassis back from the painter on the weekend.

John
Thanks John. Yea, I'm planning LED downlights on the underside of the dash ends on the courtesy light circuit. Just didn't mention in this update. Watching your paint progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Body Off Plus

It’s been a busy week since the last update. Still forging ahead. I was hoping to have some powder coat parts back and start installing. But haven’t gotten the call yet. But other things to talk about. I mentioned before we were going to have a Great Lakes Cobra Club event at our house. Happened last Saturday. Had a great turnout. After donuts and coffee, made it to the garage where I rambled for a while and then we just had a good time checking out the Coupe build, talking shop, and visiting with great friends. Then went to a barbeque place for lunch. Doesn’t get better than that! Hope my buddies don’t mind me posting these pictures. These are also in the public gallery on our club’s website, so should be OK here too.



Today I removed the body for the first time. But first a few other updates. During the open house we set the nose on the chassis to see what it looked like (good to have lots of help) and I took the opportunity to measure the clearance under the area where I wanted to put the triple reservoir for brakes and clutch. Was 4+ inches, so the 3 inches I planned for them above the frame was fine. Should give good flow into the master cylinders. I was going to just tap 1/4-20 threads into the frame. But decided to use heavy duty nutserts instead. Was interesting working in that tight space. But got it done and the reservoir mounted. I mounted it with the caps level. The top frame member angles down toward the front. I think it’s going to work out well here.


Also decided to make some progress with the wiper installation. Unlike the Roadster, the Coupe has the wiper locations molded into the body. Nice flat surface to bolt against on the outside but not on the inside. After drilling the holes centered at the right location, found it a little challenging to get the wheel box bolted in adequately. But the wiper system came with 5/8-inch long steel spacers that are intended to be welded into a steel body if necessary. Decided to use those. Shaped the ends so they fit into the contours in the underside of the wiper locations. Then spot glued with HSRF using the wheelboxes to make sure they were at the right angle. When that set up, put a pretty big filet of HSRF around each. Doesn’t look pretty, but doesn’t need to. The wheel box mounts are now rock solid and held perfectly at the proper angle.


Cut and flared the tubes for the cable to run in.


Installed where they belong.


The wiper motor assembly came with a “universal” mounting plate that I didn’t use as is. Instead, harvested two pieces out of it, added as outriggers using the bolts already there holding the assembly together, and mounted some rubber shock mounts I had on hand. These will bolt to the firewall. I’ll get the final position and make up the last piece of tubing when the body goes on for the final fitting. I remain very pleased with this Specialty Power Windows (SPW) wiper system. It's kind of like the Lucas style system on steroids. Everything is bigger, heavier, and very solid. I've had it wired up a couple times and it seems to work very well. Now just need to find some arms and wiper blades. But plenty of time for that.

 

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Discussion Starter #106
Body Off Plus (continued)

Today my side windows were delivered. These are new for the Gen 3 Coupe. Similar I guess as previous ones, but I really don’t know since I haven’t seen any others. I had seen some preliminary pics, but not the final version. Consists of a powder coated metal frame, plexi insert with a sliding panel (pre-assembled BTW), mounting brackets to mount it to the door frame, rubber gasket material to mount the window into the frame, and a bunch of hardware. Even comes with an installation tool for the rubber gasket. Interesting. No instructions yet so I’m not positive how it all goes together. The packing list did show two pieces backordered. Listed as plexi rear quarter windows. I'm assuming the kit provided scoops are replaced with a flat piece? Makes sense, but I don't know for sure. I won’t be doing anything with this for a while. I’m sure there will be more information by then. This isn’t the best picture, but snapped this pic with one of the frames and windows on my work bench. Not cheap, but I’m happy with the quality.


So today I removed the body for the first time. I had hooks in the ceiling of my other garage, and had removing and installing the Roadster body all figured out doing it by myself. Pretty easy actually once you follow the proper sequence. I decided to try using my lift (watch too many car shows on Velocity I guess…) to take the Coupe body off. So put the chassis on wheel dollies, tied the body to the arms of the lift, and slowly lifted it off. It’s similar to the Roadster in that the sides need to pulled out to clear the undersides and door hinges. Also once it starts to move, needs to go a foot or more back to clear the back of the frame. I used towels wherever it was contacting the frame, trying not to mark up the powder coat. Took it slow and worked OK. But unfortunately, with the lift all the way up the body still didn’t clear the roll bar cage. So moved stuff around in the garage and was able to roll the chassis out of the way enough to set the body back down. I was going to use my Roadster body buck and modify as necessary. But it wasn’t even close. Would have been a complete rebuild. But in the end, decided a buck wasn’t even necessary. The sides of the body are straight and it sits flat on those with the back just slightly elevated. So I’m storing it that way with some blocks and towels under the back so there’s no pressure. It should be fine. It’s not particularly heavy. Maybe even lighter than the nose piece. But is a little bulky and floppy to move around. I decided to store it in the back of my Serpent Express trailer that’s parked outside by the garage. I don’t use the trailer too much, and it’s an easy in and out when I do. Also gave me a chance to see how the Coupe is going to fit into my 14-foot SE. Pretty much as expected, it doesn’t. Looks like it will stick out the back 6-8 inches which would keep the back door from zipping up. Still useable, but not ideal. Anyway, some pics. I've been used to seeing the chassis with the body on. Sure looks different now.




Summary for me is that I was able to get the body off by myself. But 99% certain I won’t try that again. It would be really easy with a couple helpers, and that’s probably what I’ll do in the future. Next steps now will be to start locating and drilling aluminum panels.
 

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I remain very pleased with this Specialty Power Windows (SPW) wiper system. It's kind of like the Lucas style system on steroids. Everything is bigger, heavier, and very solid.
The same can be said about the window regulator mechanisms from Specialty Power Windows. I'll add that the parts are easily modified and their tech support is very helpful. The units are a bit bulky, but with the other mods I made they will do the job nicely.
 

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I was concerned with a few areas of the body changing shape if unsupported. Our body was off for two years. We braced between the pontoons to stop spreading and twisting. Next we braced across the rocker panels to stop spreading. We built a brace to hold the cowl from sagging and attached that to the rocker brace. Last we braced the roof at the center of the windshield to prevent the roof from sagging. Your body may be back on fast enough that any of this could be a waste of time, but it was nice that the front and rear windows fit. Your cars look great and keep up the good work.

Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #109
I was concerned with a few areas of the body changing shape if unsupported. Our body was off for two years. We braced between the pontoons to stop spreading and twisting. Next we braced across the rocker panels to stop spreading. We built a brace to hold the cowl from sagging and attached that to the rocker brace. Last we braced the roof at the center of the windshield to prevent the roof from sagging. Your body may be back on fast enough that any of this could be a waste of time, but it was nice that the front and rear windows fit. Your cars look great and keep up the good work.

Glen
Thanks for your comments. I'm only expecting the body off for some months. The way the main part of the boy is sitting right now -- with the pontoons flat on the ground and the rear supported -- I don't see how it's supported much less than if it were mounted on the chassis. The cowl I have propped up against the wall at the other end of the garage. It's sitting nose up with the other end flat on the ground. Also not stressful and don't see how it could be hurt that way. Once the weather is warmer, and I'm further along with the chassis, I'm planning to work on the body pieces outside (hate fiberglass dust indoors) to get them all cleaned up, trimmed, etc. then back on the chassis by fall. All should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Aluminum Panels – Here We Go

Started serious work on the getting all the panels fitted, drilled, etc. prior to powder coat. Including installing the trunk box fabricated and shown earlier. But first some observations. While there are some similarities to the aluminum panel layout used in the Roadster, they are of course all different parts installed in a different sequence. Before removing them, I spent a lot of time reviewing the instruction manual confirming how they are installed, overlap direction, etc. I quickly realized that panel installation is in multiple places in the manual. I ended up taking quite a bit of time searching and finding all the panel installation steps (electronic version of the manual with searching is nice), listing them in sequence, and also listing the major steps between.

What I found is that 29 aluminum pieces are installed before the body, and 24 after the body is installed. That’s very different than the Roadster, where all the panels except the splash guards and a couple pieces by the radiator can be mounted without the body installed. Explains why I had a little more trouble than I should have removing the body. Also has me re-thinking how I’m going to do heat and sound insulation. Some of the pieces that aren’t installed until after the body are the sides and rear for the hatch/trunk area and the rear cockpit corners. I’ve masked and sprayed Lizard Skin on all of my builds, and was planning to do the same for the Coupe. But that was already looking a little tough with the additional obstacles (roll cage, etc.) and now not having all the panels installed first. Has me thinking as well about maybe putting insulation on the outside of the footboxes. Something I’ve avoided on previous builds because I’m not a fan of the look. But that might be the best solution here. More thinking and planning ahead on this subject.

One other observation. For the Roadsters I’ve found the panels were installed in the shipping locations with all the overlaps the direction they were supposed to be installed. I didn’t find that to be the case here. The pictures and sequence shown in the instruction manual has a number of differences from how my kit was received. No big deal. Just an observation and something to watch.

Back to actual build progress, cut the hole in the floor piece, fit the trunk box around the frame rails, and have the floor and box cleco’d in. Happy with how it turned out. I’ll install the folding cover later after installing carpet. Next week I’ll finish the hatch/trunk area, work on the cockpit, and probably take the block and transmission back out so I can start working on the footboxes.



This is pretty minor, but after a couple tries found a shift lever I’m happy with. 6-inch long Hurst 5387201 is a good length and angle for my setup. Chrome plated steel so a nice solid piece, and wasn’t expensive. The shift ball is one that came with my TKO on the last build, so not the right shift pattern on it. I’ll need to find something similar for the T-56. I’m impressed with how easily and precisely the T-56 clicks through all six gears. I think it’s going to be a winner.


One last follow-up item. Received the Gen 3 side windows as described and pictured in a previous update. There was an open question about the rear quarter windows since the kit comes with a scoop for that opening. Not too useful if you’re trying to keep the elements out. I received the backordered quarter windows that go with the windows. They are designed to go on the inside of the quarter window opening. The outside scoops wouldn’t need to be removed. But the inside panels would close the opening. Maybe the previous Coupes were the same way. But this is new to me and I had gotten a question or two.
 

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Ed with a custom layout, just make sure you can reach important switches when you are strapped in the harness. :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #112
Ed with a custom layout, just make sure you can reach important switches when you are strapped in the harness. :grin2:
No worries. What I'm mocking up now, which may or may not resemble the final version, is easily reachable when strapped in. Nothing is further away than the FF stock locations. Whatever the final result is will be the same. Thanks for your message and concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
Still At It

Work on fitting and drilling panels continues. Rear hatch area almost done. Making good progress on the cockpit. Still on the same new drill bit I started with. (Probably shouldn’t say that…) Everything is fitting pretty well. Mainly just the usual minor tweaks on bends and needing to trim around welds occasionally. I’m planning to have the two front transmission covers removable. So will use countersunk rivets along the top edge of the floor pieces. That front hatch floor piece (removed in this picture, but just behind the rear cockpit wall ) is a bear. No less than four pictures in the manual showing exactly how to bend it to get in and out. Still not easy. Put some heavy duty tape on the roll bars or you’re liable to really scratch up the powder coat in the process.


I had this in my last build thread, but will show again. This 6-inch seamer/bender from Harbor Freight works great to adjust bends for this work. I use it a lot at this stage. https://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-jaw-straight-sheet-metal-seamer-98728.html


I mentioned before about needing to get a shift ball that I liked plus had the T-56 6-speed shift pattern on it. Then I was reminded that Tremec offers them for free if you go to their website and register your new Tremec transmission. Done. They have several varieties and either SAE or metric adapters. Nice quality pieces and the price is right.

The weather is finally starting to warm up. Hopefully will be able to get #8674 out of the garage soon and get some driving in. Will cut into build time. But I’m willing to make that sacrifice. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #115 (Edited)
Powder Coat Plus

Received the call late last week that my first batch of 39 powder coat parts was done. I’m expecting some updated aluminum panels from Factory Five soon. The cockpit is fitted and drilled and just a little more to do in the hatch area. Then I’ll stop and wait for the updated panels. Meanwhile, picked up the powder coated parts and worked with those for a while. These I had done in gloss black to match the chassis. Mainly all the fabbed metal parts and the radiator tunnel and shroud. I’m planning to do the second batch, all the aluminum panels, in a similar silver as the Anniversary Roadster. Like the color, it’s easy to take care of, and looks good against the gloss black.

Everything looked good. Lots of parts. I know not everything will be visible once complete. But still like to have everything coated.


Installed the fan shroud and fan on the radiator. Not too visible here, but the fan shroud was just slightly too tall for the mounting on the radiator. Plus it needed to be up slightly at the bottom to not interfere with the tunnel because of the angle it sits at. So before powder coat, riveted a strip along the top with a spacer between. It slips down over the top of the flange on the top of the radiator and only has bolts on the bottom. They did a good job of keeping powder coat out of the slot. It was a tight fit without any coating.


I won’t mount the tunnel pieces or radiator permanently until after the engine is installed. Just makes it easier to reach, plus keep from banging things up. So just a couple clecos for now to see how it looks.


I spent some time assembling the door frames, hinges, door latches, handles, etc. Thought about cutting the doors open and installing the frames. But decided to wait until full on body work time. No need to be making fiberglass dust just yet. Plus I really want to fit the doors in the body before cutting anything. But still went ahead and temporarily put the door frames on the chassis. Everything fits and works really well. Very happy so far.


The hinges I had welded, shown in an earlier post, turned out really nice. The hinges and bear claw latch are rock solid. The hinges and part of the frame are exposed out of the front of the door.


Another builder posted a picture of the new Gen 3 windows and the mounting interfering with the door handle. So checked that out. Using the just received windows, determined where the mounting will be on the doors. Then where the instructions show to mount the inside door handle. Everything is fine. Clearly this has been sorted out. Also figured out the window brackets lower mounting bolts are intended to be through the door frame inside the door. Good. This is rough, but how things lay out. I’ll cut and drill later.


Another small project was to finish and install my in-tank fuel pump. I had everything I needed except for the step-down butt connectors. Received those, so finalized the assembly and installed in the fuel tank. The tank is ready for final installation. The connectors I ended up using are Molex 19164-0077. From DelCity, but available elsewhere. They’re crimp and heat shrink, and advertised specifically for harsh environments including gasoline. On #8674, I used similar connectors from West Marine, although not specifically listed for gasoline. I soaked those for a couple days and determined they were OK (and made for some interesting banter in my build thread…). But these look better. Minimum order was 10, so I had extras. I took the opportunity to practice and pull test the joints before installing them for real on the pump. Good thing. My first choice for the dies on my crimper didn’t work too well. Sorted that out and I think they came out fine. As mentioned before, this is a Pro-M Racing High Flow fuel pump hanger. Has full 3/8-inch supply and return lines and -AN6 connections. You can see in the pic how the return line goes to the bottom of the sump. Because of that, it’s a little challenging to install. The instructions show how to cut the fuel tank opening to allow it to fit in. I found you don’t have to cut it quite as much as they show. But still is necessary. That plus the usual twisting and turning to get the pump and filter through the opening and into position. So if you decide to go with this hanger, obviously best to do the trimming before putting fuel in the tank. I used a Walbro GSS340BX 255 lph fuel pump. Lots of discussion about what size pump to use with the Coyote. This is the same pump and fuel line setup as #8674, which has proven to work well.


Last up, received my Russ Thompson turn signal setup. Have been on the waiting list for a while, but sounds like he’s got another good supply of the VW turn signal assemblies so is now filling orders. He was still proving out the exact setup for the Gen 3 Coupe. Worked with Mike Everson on his build, and then sent me several different spacers with instructions to try. Was pretty easy to get sorted out and installed. I like this top mount better than the angled bottom mount used on the Roadsters. As I understand, new Roadster kits have a similar steering column mount now.


Was really hoping to be driving #8674 soon. Woke up Easter Sunday morning to snow. Grrr! It’s gone now, but still pretty chilly out. Come on. Meanwhile, plenty to do on the build.
 

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Looking good Paul.

You are on the right track with the doors.
You first want to hang the frames and make that work.
Remove the frames.
Then hang the body
Put the frames back on and fit the skins in the body opening.
Then mount to the frames.

John
 

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if your doors fit like mine you will need to trim mostly from the back or you end up with a lot of washers under the latch striker. So yes fit the door frame and latch first then the door skin.
David W
 

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Awesome build Paul, really like your style and innovative thinking especially your choice of upgraded parts. Your craftsmanship is one cut above also!
Your build got me interested in building another FFR - Gen 3 coupe.
I noticed your first build page indicated you bought a "complete kit". With all the new parts why not choose a base kit? Trying which way to order since I'm planning a lot of similar upgraded parts as well.
Thanks,
BobMac
FFR3981

Bob McLaughin
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Awesome build Paul, really like your style and innovative thinking especially your choice of upgraded parts. Your craftsmanship is one cut above also!
Your build got me interested in building another FFR - Gen 3 coupe.
I noticed your first build page indicated you bought a "complete kit". With all the new parts why not choose a base kit? Trying which way to order since I'm planning a lot of similar upgraded parts as well.
Thanks,
BobMac
FFR3981

Bob McLaughin
Thanks Bob. Appreciate your comments. Even with some of the changes I made, the complete kit was still the way to go for me. I actually just spent a few hours the other day going through remaining boxes and consolidating unused parts into a single box. It's mostly small stuff and in many cases would be in the base kit as well. The larger items I didn't use, like the manual steering rack and seats, was able to sell pretty quickly on the forum. Some have had success in having unwanted parts removed for credit. But my experience with that hasn't been too good. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough. Regardless, what I've seen guys get credit for I can typically beat selling myself. Other stuff that is added to the complete kit -- like the wiring harness, lower control arms, spindles, fuel tank, etc. I was fine with what FF supplied. So no real reason to go elsewhere. I chose the upgraded big Wilwood brakes, so no reason to go elsewhere for brakes either. For the IRS option, I didn't go with the center section or spindles from FF. There's some potential saving to shopping around for those, plus in that case I did want something different than what FF offered. Your situation might be different, but after working through the build plan, it was a pretty easy decision for me to go with the complete kit. They're still fine tuning it, but FF did a very nice job with the Gen 3 Coupe. Come on in and join the party! Good luck whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #120 (Edited)
Aluminum Panels Again

Finally, almost done with getting all the aluminum panels drilled and fitted. Everything is done except a couple around the footboxes, and I’m still not sure what is coming in the update package. So, will stop until that arrives.

The instructions don’t say anything about access panels (like on the Roadster DS footbox) or leaving the footbox top(s) removeable. At least that I found. But clearly it’s necessary. On the DS, provides the usual access to the Wilwood pedal box, master cylinders, etc. On the PS, with heat and A/C, also necessary IMO. The heater hose connections would be basically inaccessible without the top open. After considering the options, and also looking at Mike Everson’s build, decided I didn’t want or need the entire top panels to be removable. So I cut them roughly in line with where the body cowl extends over them. Added a small piece on the back of each panel that slides under the fixed portion. I’ll rivet those pieces on after powder coat. I’m using 10-32 SS flange head screws for hold downs and was originally going to just tap the threads into the frame tubes. But decided after doing a couple that there were only 2-3 threads, and since these could be used somewhat frequently, went ahead and put nutserts at each location. I ground down the welds some where the covers fit which allows them to sit down a little flatter. Also added nutserts for the heater control valve which mounts on the PS cover.




Next up I worked on installing the bulkhead connectors for the A/C and heater lines going into the PS footbox. Factory Five supplies very nice Vintage Air bulkhead connectors, and the instructions are quite detailed on how to locate and install them. Unfortunately, I managed to make a giant mess of this. I started with the A/C one, and here because of how short (and stiff) the lines would be inside the footbox, the alignment is quite important. After very carefully (I thought) checking and re-checking, drilled the holes, and (you guessed it) wasn’t really very close. The angles of everything make it pretty hard to figure out the exact location. At least for me. I adjusted the holes repeatedly until the alignment was OK, and at that point the bulkhead connector no longer covered my original holes. Grrr… So made little filler plates for each side that I flush riveted in place and are sandwiched in the bulkhead connector and all was good.

Moved to the heater hoses and this time spent even longer making sure I had the right location. Checked, checked again, checked the angles, etc. Went for it. Drilled the holes, and you guessed it. Missed again. By almost the same amount. Crazy. Found the right location, made another pair of filler plates (getting good at this…) and now that one is also done. The amount of time I messed around with this is one of the many reasons I’ll never make it into the 200+ hour club for these builds like the pro builders. I actually kind of like how the filler plates make the bulkhead mounting a little more solid in the footbox walls. But wasn’t in my original plan to do that obviously. I’ll make up the hoses when everything goes back together after powder coat and insulation. But looks like this for now.



I made a new transmission cover. Had enough scrap aluminum and just fits into my little Harbor Freight brake. I decided it was easier to make a new one than to patch the shifter hole that was not centered on the T-56 shifter location. I’ve had to address this somehow on every build. I personally think it would be better if Factory Five would leave these blank and let you cut the hole yourself in the right location. I also used the opportunity to adjust the width/bends just slightly for my planned upholstery wrap of the cover. Still planning to make it removeable, plus likely the one in front under the dash as well.


Moved to the sheet metal in the hatch/trunk area. Everything there is now fitted and drilled.


Starting to look pretty serious. Note in this picture, the rear hatch wall, the two hatch sides, and the two cockpit sides (behind the seats) aren’t permanently installed until after the body is installed.


Two other things:

I’ve been asked why there aren’t lock nuts in the pictures of the door frames I posted before. This points out a practice that I’ve made part of my builds that I’ll share. Where parts are going to be mocked up and repeatedly installed and removed (which happens a lot), I don’t use the supplied lock nuts until final assembly. In this case, Factory Five provides some very nice nylon insert locking flange nuts. But they’ll stay in the bag until the doors go on for the last time. Lots of discussion here and elsewhere about whether these kinds of nuts should be reused, how many times, etc. I’m just cutting through that and not using them any more than necessary. I have a bin of the common size nuts used on these builds (5/16 and 3/8 mostly) and those are what I use during the build itself. They’re easy to take on and off during initial assembly and mock-up, which is another advantage. Some of these are veterans of multiple builds.


Finally, I have a question for other builders regarding the front cowl mounts. I checked the fit of the mounts in the cowl and I’m not sure about what I’m seeing. The mounts attach to the cowl with two bolts through the back of the running light buckets and another one on the lower part of the cowl. The mount is angled (roughly about 3 degrees is what I measured) but this doesn’t match the angle between the back of the bucket and the cowl. The result is a gap that would seem undesirable. I’m thinking for sure mount the bracket flush on the back of the light bucket. Then use a spacer or some washers on the bottom mount? I’d rather have the entire face of the mount flush against the fiberglass though. Maybe make up a wedge or build it up with glass? Thoughts? This picture hopefully illustrates what I'm talking about. The gap isn't real clear in the picture, but it's where annotated.


Planning to start working on the interior and fabricating my dash layout. Haven’t checked in with Ford regarding the Gen 3 Coyote for a while. Probably need to do that too.
 
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