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Discussion Starter #141 (Edited)
Panel Fitting and Drilling Done

Been a little while since an update. I’ve been working on the build, but enough other life things going on have things slowed a bit. No worries. As of today, now have had all the aluminum panels fitted, drilled, and cleco’d in place. Only remaining panels are the splash guards – two in front and two in back – that will be fitted when the body is installed. I’ll be taking all the drilled and fitted panels to the powder coater next week.

Couple words about the Gen 3 Coupe aluminum panels. I didn’t count them to confirm, but seems like there’s more than on the Roadster. Or maybe I'm just tired of drilling... In general, I would say they all fit very well. I did tweak a few bends for the best fit. Also had to trim a few places to clear welds a little better. But I’m very satisfied with everything. One observation though. Because of the space frame design, and multiple frame and angle pieces, there are a lot of places where the frame tubes go through the aluminum. There are varying sized gaps with most of them that will need to be filled to get the cockpit airtight. Similar to the Roadster, just more of them. I’ll be using a combination of caulking and aluminum tape as I’ve done before. But that’s later. Also, again because of all the frame tubes and angles, be careful laying out where you put rivets. It would be real easy to put some where they're not accessible.

I did make one new panel. In another build thread I saw where the builder suggested a fill panel for the center area below the firewall in the engine compartment. I decided to do the same thing and finished it up this morning. I can’t see any downside to covering that area up. There will be some wiring behind it, so should look a little neater. I am hedging my bets though in case there’s something I’m missing. I drilled holes for the rivets in the new panel, but not in the frame yet. I’ll do that at time of installation, assuming all is OK. I’m tentatively planning to put the Coyote PDB in this area, or on the new panel directly, TBD when the engine is installed. I’ll have the master disconnect behind the panel with the switch lever in the cockpit.


On the passenger side footbox, installed my usual 10-32 nutserts for the access cover to the A/C evaporator and hoses.


These are the rest of the footbox and engine compartment panels now fitted and ready to go out for powder coat. Nothing too earth shattering here.





Yesterday I returned the Coyote block I borrowed for the engine/trans mockup. Now the real waiting begins for the (hopefully) Gen 3 Coyote crate. Also cleaned up the T-56 and hit it with a coat of Duplicolor engine ceramic clear. I’ve done that with my transmissions in the past and really helps to keep them neat and clean. If that’s important to you… Last week I trimmed the QuickTime bell housing and block plate. This to remove the 1-1/2 inches or so of the flange that extended below the frame as pictured in an earlier post. Have to say that bell housing material is tough. But it’s done, nice and straight and touched up. Looks like it came from the factory that way. I’ll post a picture when it’s installed. While all my panels are at the powder coater, planning to dive deeper into all the wiring. Plenty to do there.

I’m going to go off topic now. I’ll try to tread lightly, so bear with me. This is something I want to say. Hopefully it doesn't sound too much like a grumpy old grandpa. Which I am. But just the grandpa part. Most I think are aware there was an accident earlier this week with a Factory Five Roadster that resulted in the extremely unfortunate and untimely death of the driver/owner. Happened here in SE Michigan so is especially close to home. I actually drove through that immediate area running an errand in the DD yesterday. I didn’t know the gentleman, but still hits close to home in our close-knit community. My deepest and sincerest condolences to his family and friends. By all accounts he was an avid builder and supporter of our hobby. Out of respect and not having first hand knowledge, I’m not going to get into the details of what happened. But the press and police are reporting excessive speed as a contributing factor. This is a huge and sobering reminder to all of us to respect these cars for what they are. Properly built and setup, they are a blast to drive and in moderation don't have to be scary or necessarily dangerous. But we have to respect what they are at all times. A momentary lapse and the right combination of circumstances, and, well, this is what can happen. I am admittedly pretty conservative with my mostly street driving. Out of respect for the car, the law, and my own driving ability. But I'll admit I’ve had a few times that I’ve pushed a little where I shouldn’t have, and something happened I didn’t expect almost instantly. Nothing ever really bad or close to losing it. But a reminder of just how quickly things could go badly. I get a little nervous when I see threads talking about "ideal" horsepower, and the numbers go up and up. Many times by first time builders and only for street driving. Yes, the power is controlled by the driver's right foot. But the margin for error gets even smaller at these high HP's. Bottom line, unfortunately many of us act like this can't happen to us. We have to accept that it can. As the LEO said at my first build’s safety inspection, “Be careful out there.” We all need to be constantly reminded and on guard. RIP my brother.
 

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Been a little while since an update. I’ve been working on the build, but enough other life things going on have things slowed a bit. No worries. As of today, now have had all the aluminum panels fitted, drilled, and cleco’d in place. Only remaining panels are the splash guards – two in front and two in back – that will be fitted when the body is installed. I’ll be taking all the drilled and fitted panels to the powder coater next week.

Couple words about the Gen 3 Coupe aluminum panels. I didn’t count them to confirm, but seems like there’s more than on the Roadster. Or maybe I'm just tired of drilling... In general, I would say they all fit very well. I did tweak a few bends for the best fit. Also had to trim a few places to clear welds a little better. But I’m very satisfied with everything. One observation though. Because of the space frame design, and multiple frame and angle pieces, there are a lot of places where the frame tubes go through the aluminum. There are varying sized gaps with most of them that will need to be filled to get the cockpit airtight. Similar to the Roadster, just more of them. I’ll be using a combination of caulking and aluminum tape as I’ve done before. But that’s later. Also, again because of all the frame tubes and angles, be careful laying out where you put rivets. It would be real easy to put some where they're not accessible.

I did make one new panel. In another build thread I saw where the builder suggested a fill panel for the center area below the firewall in the engine compartment. I decided to do the same thing and finished it up this morning. I can’t see any downside to covering that area up. There will be some wiring behind it, so should look a little neater. I am hedging my bets though in case there’s something I’m missing. I drilled holes for the rivets in the new panel, but not in the frame yet. I’ll do that at time of installation, assuming all is OK. I’m tentatively planning to put the Coyote PDB in this area, or on the new panel directly, TBD when the engine is installed. I’ll have the master disconnect behind the panel with the switch lever in the cockpit.


On the passenger side footbox, installed my usual 10-32 nutserts for the access cover to the A/C evaporator and hoses.


These are the rest of the footbox and engine compartment panels now fitted and ready to go out for powder coat. Nothing too earth shattering here.





Yesterday I returned the Coyote block I borrowed for the engine/trans mockup. Now the real waiting begins for the (hopefully) Gen 3 Coyote crate. Also cleaned up the T-56 and hit it with a coat of Duplicolor engine ceramic clear. I’ve done that with my transmissions in the past and really helps to keep them neat and clean. If that’s important to you… Last week I trimmed the QuickTime bell housing and block plate. This to remove the 1-1/2 inches or so of the flange that extended below the frame as pictured in an earlier post. Have to say that bell housing material is tough. But it’s done, nice and straight and touched up. Looks like it came from the factory that way. I’ll post a picture when it’s installed. While all my panels are at the powder coater, planning to dive deeper into all the wiring. Plenty to do there.

I’m going to go off topic now. I’ll try to tread lightly, so bear with me. This is something I want to say. Hopefully it doesn't sound too much like a grumpy old grandpa. Which I am. But just the grandpa part. Most I think are aware there was an accident earlier this week with a Factory Five Roadster that resulted in the extremely unfortunate and untimely death of the driver/owner. Happened here in SE Michigan so is especially close to home. I actually drove through that immediate area running an errand in the DD yesterday. I didn’t know the gentleman, but still hits close to home in our close-knit community. My deepest and sincerest condolences to his family and friends. By all accounts he was an avid builder and supporter of our hobby. Out of respect and not having first hand knowledge, I’m not going to get into the details of what happened. But the press and police are reporting excessive speed as a contributing factor. This is a huge and sobering reminder to all of us to respect these cars for what they are. Properly built and setup, they are a blast to drive and in moderation don't have to be scary or necessarily dangerous. But we have to respect what they are at all times. A momentary lapse and the right combination of circumstances, and, well, this is what can happen. I am admittedly pretty conservative with my mostly street driving. Out of respect for the car, the law, and my own driving ability. But I'll admit I’ve had a few times that I’ve pushed a little where I shouldn’t have, and something happened I didn’t expect almost instantly. Nothing ever really bad or close to losing it. But a reminder of just how quickly things could go badly. I get a little nervous when I see threads talking about "ideal" horsepower, and the numbers go up and up. Many times by first time builders and only for street driving. Yes, the power is controlled by the driver's right foot. But the margin for error gets even smaller at these high HP's. Bottom line, unfortunately many of us act like this can't happen to us. We have to accept that it can. As the LEO said at my first build’s safety inspection, “Be careful out there.” We all need to be constantly reminded and on guard. RIP my brother.
From all members of the Great Lakes Cobra Club, we echo Paul's safety cautions and condolences to the family of the victim in the Cobra crash. Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #143 (Edited)
Electronic Content

As more of the details of this build are coming together, I’m finding it fascinating to note how much modern electronic content it has. Certainly, a far cry from the 50+ years ago these cars started from. Some of it by choice. But some of it just representative of more current automotive practices. I thought it might be interesting to capture some of this in a post. I’ve spent most of my career in and around the automotive industry, and it’s especially interesting, at least for me, to note how I’ve had personal brushes with some of this along the way.

LED Lighting. I already did a post (http://www.ffcars.com/forums/5920353-post55.html) about this, so won’t repeat it. But the build will have all LED lighting, including headlights, fog lights, all the marker lights, interior lights, etc. It’s hard to beat the excellent light output, low current draw, and longevity of LED’s. Other than the higher up front cost, no downside in my opinion. It’s typically necessary to change out the two flashers in the fuse panel for solid state versions, which I'm doing. Other than that, everything else works with the existing wiring, switches, etc. Did most of the same on #8674, and I like it a lot. Invention of LED’s is attributed to a GE scientist in the 60’s. So they’re about the same age as the cars we’re replicating.

Instrument Cluster. Many are using GPS speedo’s these days, and this build is no different. I have the Roadster Speedhut GPS speedo version in #8674, and I’ve been happy with it. GPS is fascinating, from its origins as a U.S. military system in the 80’s, to now used on everything from cell phones to pet trackers and who knows what else. I think most are pretty familiar with it, so won’t go any further other than to say GPS navigation in our cars is a marriage saver for me. But that’s a little off topic. Something else I find personally a little more interesting with this instrument cluster is the technology behind the gauges themselves. For decades, starting with the amp gauge in the original Ford Model T, gauges have been a mixture of coils, gears, bimetal strips, capillary tubes, and I’m sure more. Some of that is still around, but nearly all automotive gauges today are totally electronic with the needles swung by stepper motors. Including these. And a lot of fancy electronic circuits behind sensing whatever needs to be sensed and commanding the needles to move. Stepper motors were invented many years ago, but were one of many advancements from the space program. Apparently, carbon brushes don’t do well in space. Found their way into the emerging computer industry in disk drives, printers, etc. Then found their way into automotive with instrument clusters being just one of the applications. I happened to work for VDO at the time they were making them for Saturn. One of the very early users of all electronic instruments. In its early days, Saturn did a lot of things that were outside “normal” GM practices of the time, and this was one of them. The instrument cluster plant was in Winchester, Virginia, and later moved to Mexico. Spent a lot of time at both. Still a huge supplier to just about every car brand now as part of Continental. If you peel back the instrument panel in a modern car you’ll find the cluster is typically a single circuit board with everything surface mounted including the miniature stepper motors. Pretty cool stuff.


Coyote Crate Engine. Nearly everything on these engines is standard these days. Multi-port EFI, variable cams, PCM control, distributorless ignition (DIS) with electronic cam and crank sensors, O2 sensors, stepper motor throttle body with drive by wire, in-tank fuel pump, and more I’m not thinking of at the moment. I worked at the Philips plant in Indiana where DIS was invented and first manufactured. Wasn’t separate coil-on-plug at the time. But the concept was the same. Was originally introduced on the Buick 3800 V-6 in the 80’s. GM made millions of them, and so did we until the patent ran out. Also made them for Harley Davidson and Outboard Marine. Now DIS is pretty much standard for automotive. Haven’t seen a distributor on a modern engine for a long time. VDO, mentioned earlier, was one of the early pioneers of the in-tank fuel pumps. Still making them today. Spent lots of time at that plant in Mexico. Also worked at plants that made stepper motor throttle bodies, drive by wire pedals, fuel rails and injectors, and the current Gen 2 Coyote PCM. Small world.

Keyless Pushbutton Start. Nothing too earthshaking here, and no personal connections this time. But as mentioned before, decided to do keyless pushbutton start on this build using the PBS-I system from Digital Guard Dawg. They were out of stock when I initially ordered. But did finally receive the system late last week. I very carefully wired it all up on the bench just to confirm it works and exactly like I thought it would. It does. I put a light on each of the outputs (Acc 1, Acc 2, Ignition, and Start), hooked up to a power supply, and put it through its paces. It works like the DD style pushbutton start in our Dodge Durango, with the only exception that the brake has to be pushed to turn the engine off. Most DD’s are automatic transmission, and the pushbutton start won’t turn off unless in park. So for a manual shift car, this makes sense I guess. Installation should be easy enough. This version is just a single module. Other than needing power and a wire to the brake light switch, it wires just like the ignition switch and exactly duplicates the ignition switch function. Should be an easy plug and play including with the Coyote. Popped the cover off the module and took a look. I do stuff like that. Nice clean and well made circuit board. Has three large 60 amp relays. All good.


Headlight Control Module. One of the not so fun parts of these builds, IMO, is getting a DD quality low/high beam headlight setup including flash to pass which is also pretty standard on DD’s. Usually requires a couple relays, one of which has to be a latching type (which I’ve not a good luck with) and somewhat tedious wiring. During my second build (Roadster #7750) a few years ago, American Autowire introduced an electronic module that provided these functions. Really easy to wire and was seamless. I had very good success with it. Others on the forum used it, but a couple had some issues. Turns out users elsewhere were having problems too. American Autowire did some work, released a couple updates, and claimed the issue was interference with analog (not the newer digital versions) of MSD ignition boxes. The problems were apparently never resolved to their satisfaction, so American Autowire took it off the market. Since they worked fine for me, several years ago saw a new one on eBay and grabbed it as a spare. Then had a chance to get another, so got that one too. I put one of them in #8674, and it’s working perfectly. So with one left, will put it in the Coupe. I guess that means I can’t do any more builds since I’m out of headlight control modules. :(


T-56 Reverse Lockout Module. Found out after buying the 6-speed Tremec T-56 transmission I’m using in the Coupe that it has a solenoid controlled reverse gear lockout. As one who has accidentally made a few grinding sounds with the TKO going towards reverse while moving forward, I like this addition. Doing some research, I found there are several ways this can be dealt with. Some just muscle it into reverse against the solenoid. Others cut the spring in the solenoid to make it push in more easily. Both approaches strongly discouraged by Tremec. Obviously, better to use the solenoid as intended. Some add a pushbutton to power it manually when needed. Others wire a switch to the brake pedal and power it when the brake is pushed down. But the elegant way is with yet another electronic module that senses speed, and when stopped energizes the solenoid so that reverse is available. Once the car is back in motion, reverse is locked out. So I picked up one of those modules, as pictured. Also tested this on the bench with a light and the kit provided speed sensor in a drill. Works as advertised. With the speed sensor stopped, the light goes on, simulating powering the solenoid. Start the drill motor, simulating vehicle movement, and the light switches off. Lockout happening. I like it. I’ll use the built-in speed sensor in the T-56 and the speed sensor wires in the RF harness. But only for the lock-out module since the GPS speedo doesn’t need anything else.


Heater Control Valve. Finally, the heater control valve supplied in the FF Gen 3 Coupe A/C-Heater system also uses a control module and a motor on the valve itself.


OK, back to the build. This week all the sheet metal is going to powder coat. Until it comes back, going to work on wiring including how much of this stuff will be installed.
 

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I’m interested in the thermotion valve. Mine has the steel wire control to the valve which is a bit of a pain.
How does it hook up to the controls, and what kind of controls came with the kit?

Thanks,

John
 

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Discussion Starter #145
I’m interested in the thermotion valve. Mine has the steel wire control to the valve which is a bit of a pain.
How does it hook up to the controls, and what kind of controls came with the kit?

Thanks,

John
To be honest, at this stage I don't know too much about that valve. Only what I've learned reading through the instructions. This is my first time ever installing AC and heat. I do know the Coyote requires a bypass heater control valve. Meaning the engine coolant is still flowing through the hoses even with it closed. Just isn't going into the heater core. This valve style accomplishes that.

As far as the controls, what comes with the kit, etc., it's well documented in these instructions: https://www.factoryfive.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AC-HEATER-DEFROSTER-COUPE-Gen-3.pdf. There's a schematic on the last page. Hope that helps answer your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
Panels At Powder Coat

Yesterday I removed all the remaining aluminum panels from the chassis. Spent a couple hours getting them all cleaned up and burrs and sharp edges removed. Today dropped them off at the powder coater. All 50 pieces. My main contact wasn't there, so don't have an estimate on the time. Usually it takes a couple weeks. We'll see. I'm doing them in a dark silver/grey satin color. Same thing I used on #8674 that pretty closely matched the glimmer color Factory Five put on the 20th Anniversary chassis. Like the color and like how easy it is to keep clean. Should contrast nicely with the gloss black everywhere else. The chassis looks a little naked now. (Can I say that??) I made a quick temporary brace for the dash that holds it at the same level as the firewall. Planning to work on wiring and the A/C - Heat installation while I'm waiting for the panels to come back. I'm having some custom rocker switches made for the center switch panel I've shown previously. Switches for fog lights, hazards, and A/C. Got the proofs yesterday and they look good. Using only icons. I'll post some pics and more details when I get them.

 

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Discussion Starter #148 (Edited)
Electrical, Body, Coyote Update

It’s been a little while since the last update. 4+ days out of the schedule to attend the London Cobra Show. Pouring rain on Thursday, including flash flood warnings, and a not-too-great weather forecast for the following days seemed to affect the attendance. Haven’t seen any actual numbers. Friday had some spotty rain in the area, but nothing like predicted. We didn’t go on any of the cruises, but nothing was cancelled from what I understand. We hung around and visited friends and took a private cruise. Saturday, the big day, was sunny most of the time with just a couple of really minor sprinkles around midday. The parade into town was a blast as usual. I was asked to be in the Factory Five booth along with some other customers since Dave was there by himself with just one car. Everyone else was at Barrett-Jackson in Connecticut. It was different than previous London shows for me, but I enjoyed meeting and talking to lots of people. Was able to spend some time looking (again) at the Gen 3 Coupe Dave brought. Also checked out Erik Treves' awsome double turbo build. Good old #8674 is the lead picture in the show report Factory Five just posted. Another great time, and I’d encourage everyone to consider attending.

Back to the Coupe build… I’m still waiting for all my panels to be finished at the powder coater. Promised “maybe” for this week and “for sure” next week. I’m guessing it will be next week. Hope so anyway. Meanwhile, decided to start on body work. Following the same process I’ve used with the Roadster builds. I’ll get the body all cleaned up, mounted, everything fitting and gapped, then deliver for paint when it’s time. It’s dirty messy work so really prefer to do it outside on the driveway. First half of the day is cooler and in the shade, so have spent several mornings making dust. Nearly have the main part of the body done, then will work on the nose. Work so far has been to straighten all the edges, get the flanges around the firewall, windshield, doors and hatch straight and parallel. I knocked the top off the parting lines all around just to keep from hurting myself on them. I’ll leave the rest to the pros. In general, I’m pleased with the body so far. I did find a little clay in places in the parting lines, so dug that out. There’s a couple spots that need some HSRF repair, but nothing major at all. The areas around the side quarter windows will need the most work. Obviously I’ll learn a lot more when it’s time to start fitting everything to the chassis. Hope to finish this stage with a couple more morning sessions.


Before we left for London, I did start tearing into the wiring. First order of business was the Ron Francis main harness. With the fuse panel in place, started looking at what it was going to take to get everything routed the way I wanted. Didn’t take long and I had the wrapping off quite a bit of it. Removed the Hot Rod specific harness branch and a couple other unused wires. Then change the routing and angles so the front harness and brake pedals wires are properly oriented. With that progress, stopped and did a spreadsheet plan for all the circuits and how I’m planning to connect everything. Also mocked up the hoses for the HVAC connections so I could see what space I have to work with. It’s going to be tight, but I think it’s going to fit. But I’ve decided I’m not going to go any further until I have the Coyote harness. Somehow that all needs to fit and be integrated as well. So I’ve stopped for now. Snapped this pic. This is definitely the “before” picture with everything just stuffed in there. It will look a lot different when done.


This week I received the three custom switches for the switch panel. Talked about before. They’re rocker switches for the fog lights, hazards, and A/C on/off. They have laser etched icons, and LED indicators. I’ll have the LED’s under the icons on the dash lighting circuit. The other LED’s light when pushed on. The literature says they’re rated for 15 amps at 12 volts. But they’re marked 20 amps at 12 volts. Either way, will easily handle the three circuits without relays. These are from New Vintage USA, a local company here in SE Michigan. They have a lot of interesting products and from this small job do very nice work. Not cheap (there’s a common theme…) but I’m happy with them. I’ve now got the switch panel basically done. A few more details and it will get the same C-F style vinyl wrap as the gauge panel. In addition to the switches already mentioned are the temp and fan control for HVAC, wiper/washer switch, seat heater switches, and aux outlets on the ends. Note that this is integrating the FF supplied HVAC controls. So I won’t be using their panel.


I’ve also managed to get some updates about the Gen 3 Coyote crate. Looks like it’s going to happen! I have several sources, and not sure I should be posting too much. But seems the release and availability is maybe 1-2 months away. The part numbers for the engine and control pack (manual shift only) have been released along with the pricing. It is more than the Gen 2. Won’t know exactly how much since street price is less than retail. But pretty much what I expected. Could have been worse I guess. I’ve got feelers out to see if I can be first in line or on a waiting list when they’re released. We’ll see how that goes. But I’m now nearly positive this is going to work for my build and the timing is going to be OK. There are now multiple reviews of the Gen 3 (2018) Coyote out there, with impressive results. Pretty stoked about it.

Finally, all good builds have to have new and more tools, right? So here’s another. Pretty common these days to have torque-to-yield bolts with both torque and angle specifications for tightening. I’ve always determined the angles as best I could. But with more of these coming on the build, decided it was time to have an angle gauge. Looked at several options, and decided on this Brown Line Metalworks BLDAG001 unit. My digital torque wrench is from Brown Line, and I’ve been happy with the quality. This unit has magnets that attach to the handle of whatever wrench you’re using. Reads the angle, warns when you’re approaching the selected angle, etc. Just played with it so far. No actual real use. But certainly a big step up from my previous guesstimating.


That’s it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #149
Powder Coat Panels

Today I received word my powder coated panels were done and picked them up. All 50 pieces. Turned out nice. I'm real happy with the color. They call it IG 90 Satin Glimmer. Don't know the brand. But it's a close match to the frame on the #8674 Anniversary Roadster, and used it some on that build as well. I think it's a nice compliment to the gloss black frame on the Coupe. My experience is that it's easy to keep clean and the satin doesn't show scratches. This isn't much of a picture, but was setting most of them in place as I was making sure I had everything. I did.


Going to wrap up what I'm working on with electrical and then switch over to panel insulation and installation. Still undecided how I'm going to do the heat and sound insulation. I really want to use Lizard Skin like I've done before. But with several panels that don't go on until after the body is on, plus all the various frame pieces and angles in the footboxes, not sure. Would be a real pain to mask and spray. Thinking of masking the footbox pieces loose, spraying, and then installing. That might be much easier and work just as well. Or maybe switch to a stick on product for the footwells and spray Lizard Skin on the rest. Have to think about this some more. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #150
More Electrical

Another quick update. Today finished the center switch panel. Wrapped it with the same C-F like vinyl used on my gauge panel. A little tedious, but it’s done and turned out nice I think. Also worked more on the overall layout of all the electrical components. I mounted the previously discussed modules across the top of the upper transmission tunnel cover. They’re pretty much out of the way of the main wiring harness and HVAC ducts. Plus hidden by the switch panel. So I think (hope) it’s all going to fit and be reasonably accessible if needed. This is the completed switch panel with everything mounted. Managed to sink quite a few hours into this with the design and fabrication. Lots going on, even though doesn't quite look like it now. One last minute surprise. Had to make a cutout in the switch panel base and trans cover for a corner of the Cole Hersee wiper/washer switch. It's pretty big. Then made a little sheet metal cover for the underside to seal it up. Always something.


Left to right – relays for the headlight reminder and fog lights, headlight control module, keyless push button start module, reverse lock-out module. Have to get everything hooked up, but this is a start.

Here’s the gauge cluster and switch panel in my now nearly completed dash. Lots of work to do obviously for all those wires hanging into the footbox. As mentioned before, planning vinyl on the front and top of the dash, with red stitching that matches my seats across the top front. No brow piece. The two trans covers will also be vinyl covered, with red stitching along the corners. The glove box door will probably be the same vinyl as the dash. I'll look at using the C-F style vinyl, although that might be too much. But coming together now.


The switch panel is held in place with six screws through the bottom of the trans cover, all accessible from underneath, and two into the underside of the dash. With those screws removed, the panel will slide out. The gauge cluster is captured between the dash and the upper dash tube at the top and three screws along the bottom. With the switch panel and those three screws removed, it will tip out. At that point, all the wiring should be accessible, including the modules pictured previously. Both the upper and lower trans covers also will be removable. None of that would be real quick but possible. Hopefully won’t be necessary.

That’s a good head start on electrical. Basically fabrication is completed and ready for wiring. But going to take all this out and get going on permanently mounting panels and getting everything insulated. Then wiring can be finalized.

Family visits and other stuff going on for the next couple weeks, so progress will be slowed a little. That’s OK. With the warmer weather it’s been a little warm in the garage. Received another update on the Gen 3 Coyote. Saying “end of August” is looking pretty good. That works.
 

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Paul,

I've been wanting to refurbish my dash and after seeing your work with the CF vinyl, I'm going to try that on my dash. Thanks for the inspiration!

Garry
 

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Discussion Starter #152
Panels and Insulation

Finally getting around to another update. Family time and out cruising cuts into available time. But all good. Last few days have been productive. With all my panels back from powder coat, finally time to get serious with them. First took a bunch of stuff out of the chassis. Wiring harness except the rear harness, dash, pedal box, steering column, and A/C evaporator. Need as much as I can out of the way for panel install and partial Lizard Skin spray. More on that later. Then started on the cockpit installing panels for the final time.

There are occasional threads in the forums about using silicone sealant as an adhesive for the panels, as the manual says. Some think a stronger material is needed. Others don’t want anything silicone around their build for fear it could contaminate the body and subsequent paint. Others find it a pain to clean up, which it sorta is. I’ve used plain old GE silicone from the big box stores on my previous builds and didn’t have any complaints. I’ve had to remove a panel or two in the past, after the usual rivet and silicone, and it’s not easy to do without damaging the panel. So, it does seem to be strong enough for this purpose. But never being one to leave well enough alone, plus like to try different things, I went for one of the alternative adhesives that has been suggested. There are several, but I chose Sikaflex-221 Polyurethane Adhesive/Sealant. Available from Amazon for a little under $10 for a 10.1 oz cartridge. Just about through the first tube, and have several observations, all good I guess. I’ve not done any testing, and don’t plan to. But all indications are it’s stronger than silicone, if that’s important. Still a little flexible when cured but seems more substantial. Definitely bonds well. Probably the main thing I like is how easy it cleans up. A little mineral spirits on a paper towel and it wipes right off without leaving a residue like silicone. It does start setting up pretty quickly, but still can be cleaned in a reasonable time. My only regret is I chose the aluminum grey color thinking it would match my powder coated panels. But it’s quite a bit lighter, so I need to make sure every trace of squeeze-out is cleaned up. In hindsight, I would have chosen black. Probably will get another tube for the all black radiator tunnel.

I have a number of cockpit pieces installed. The two transmission tunnel covers will be removable, as already mentioned. The rear outside cockpit corners don’t go in until the body is on. The front tunnel sides will get riveted when the footboxes are installed.



I prefer to not put rivets into the seat pan. Certainly all the chassis members all around it, but not the pan itself. Just don’t like the rivets sticking through the underside of the pan. (My OCD at work again…) What I do is put plenty of adhesive on the pan and after putting in all the other rivets, weigh it down with a cinder block. I let that sit for 24 hours or so, and the panel is firmly attached. The seat bolts will add another layer of attachment when installed. Pretty glamorous picture of the cider block doing its thing.


Another small detail is the rear harness through the aluminum panels. As I recall, this isn’t noted in the manual. And isn’t cut in any of the panels. I added a cutout in the top of the DS trans front tunnel side. Put a piece of wiring protector on the cutout, and there you go. Right now has the rear harness and the rear brake line going through. Will add the clutch hydraulic line when the engine is installed, and then seal it up with some caulking.


Now for sound/heat insulation. I’ve sprayed Lizard Skin heat and sound materials on all my builds, and have been satisfied with the results. As with most spraying jobs, there are hours spent on masking and minutes spent spraying. As I mentioned before, the Gen 3 Coupe with the space frame has even more obstacles to deal with, mainly in the footbox area. Rather than trying to mask it, I’m going to take a hybrid approach. I’m using stick-on sound/heat insulation products on the footboxes, and Lizard Skin on the rest. I’ve not used these materials before, so spent quite a while looking at the options. Both on our forums and elsewhere. There are a bunch of choices! And the costs are all over the map. I ended up doing a hybrid here too. I was very impressed with everything I read about Second Skin Damplifier Pro. Gets great reviews. Isn't the cheapest, but also isn't the most expensive. It’s primarily for sound, and is the first layer used. I wanted to add another layer for heat. There I chose to use Dynamat 1/8-inch Dynaliner. It has an adhesive backing, where the similar product from Second Skin did not. I found a couple very positive reviews using this combination, so not an original idea. Ordered the required materials and have been working on it.

My strategy is to mount all the insulation materials on the loose panels before installation. Then mount and done. So first thing, traced all the chassis members and overlaps on the inside of the affected panels. Total of 15 (so far). Then I used blue masking tape along all the marked lines. I found it easier to see and work with. Then made patterns for all the pieces out of Ram Board. If you’re not familiar with this material, it’s sold at Home Depot (and I’m sure lots of other places) and is used for floor protection on job sites. It’s just thick enough to make great patterns. Way better than chasing around thin Kraft paper or too small file folders. Only available in a 50-foot roll, so will last a long time. With all the patterns, started cutting and applying the Damplifier Pro, which is now basically complete for all the pieces. Interesting and tough material to deal with. At least for this first-timer. I found a straight edge and single-edge razer blades to be the best for cutting. But went through a bunch of blades because it dulls them fast. Read all the warnings about the sharp edges. But no bloodshed. At least this time through. The material is butyl with an aluminum layer. Really sticky and gummy stuff. But apparently doesn’t smell like tar based products. Here are three representative pieces with the first layer applied:


With that done, started on the second layer of Dynamat Dynaliner. It’s way easier to work with and should go quickly. I only have the same three pieces done so far. Should finish the rest tomorrow.


Then will start installing the footboxes, and also get the rear hatch area done. Still a ways to go and a bunch of details to finish. But hopefully will be spraying Lizard Skin in the not too distant future. Than a whole bunch of stuff starts going into the chassis for the last time.

One other comment about insulation. Obviously, my approach is to put the insulation on the inside of the footboxes, plus the balance of the cockpit and hatch area. An alternate approach, and used frequently especially for the coupe, is to put the materials on the outside of the engine facing panels. Especially in the areas directly adjacent to the headers. Certainly a valid approach, and arguably easier than how I'm doing the footboxes. I just prefer the clean look of the powder coated panels in the engine compartment.

Some of you may have seen Mark Gearhart’s post on the forum about receiving one of the first of six Gen 3 Coyote crate motors. Didn’t explain specifically, but apparently an early release for those in the industry because they’re still not officially released. But the August promise still seems on track and I’ll be ordering mine as soon as possible.
 

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what a great build! I love your details!! cant wait to see the finished car
 

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Discussion Starter #154
Footbox Insulation

Finished the two layers of footbox insulation today. Was pretty tedious work. But I kept telling myself how much easier this was than trying to mask and spray these panels if they were mounted on the chassis. Plus there's no way I'd be able to get up into all the nooks and crannies like this. I'm really hopeful this will do a good job on the heat and sound for the footboxes. Have test fit most of the pieces and have a little adjustment to make in one place where I didn't allow for the pedal box mounting bracket. But an easy fix. Will starting mounting them for good tomorrow. You can see in the pictures I also decided now was a good time to mount the A/C and heater bulkhead fittings. They have 1-1/8 inch nuts on the inside, and easy to reach them now. Still a couple small pieces to insulate. Will do those once all the panels are mounted. One other small detail I'll mention. When I was tracing the frame members onto the panels, I noted where there were gaps or openings (like where frame members intersected, etc.) and adjusted the patterns accordingly. Should help get those openings filled. Planning to add seam sealer or something similar. But this will give something for support rather than just a bare opening.

Also today received notice of an incoming FedEx from Factory Five. My last POL item! It's the long lost clear Coupe headlight covers. Apparently they changed vendors and took some time to sort out. No big deal and not holding anything up. But kind of a milestone. Kit is now 100% received. :D


 

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Is it something I said?

Nice work as usual!

I'm curious though, is there some reason you did not go with Bostik:
https://www.breezeautomotive.com/?s=Bostik&post_type=product

Or Quadmat:
https://www.breezeautomotive.com/shop/quadmat-4-layer-dampening-system-plus-thermal-insulation-cushioning/

Just wondering as usual how to motivate people to order from Breeze. I mean we are here ready willing and able with a curated selection of parts and supplies for the very specific market of the FFR Roadster and Coupe of items that I find best-in-class, with fair prices and service as good as any and better than most yet sometimes it feels like there is something I am doing that repels customers. Input appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #156 (Edited)
Nice work as usual!

I'm curious though, is there some reason you did not go with Bostik:
https://www.breezeautomotive.com/?s=Bostik&post_type=product

Or Quadmat:
https://www.breezeautomotive.com/shop/quadmat-4-layer-dampening-system-plus-thermal-insulation-cushioning/

Just wondering as usual how to motivate people to order from Breeze. I mean we are here ready willing and able with a curated selection of parts and supplies for the very specific market of the FFR Roadster and Coupe of items that I find best-in-class, with fair prices and service as good as any and better than most yet sometimes it feels like there is something I am doing that repels customers. Input appreciated.
Hi Mark. Thanks for the compliment. I'm not too sure what to say about the rest. I've ordered a lot of stuff from you over the years, and the quality, service, and instructions have always been top notch. For sure you're doing nothing to repel me, and based on other comments and threads by other forum members, you're one of the most highly rated forum vendors. I direct builders to you all the time. I have > $700 of parts from you on this build, and have used you extensively on my other builds as well. I'm sure the two products you recommended are first rate, I just chose other stuff (one was also a forum vendor) and I'm not going to try to defend my selections. But certainly nothing negative towards you.
 

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Discussion Starter #158 (Edited)
Panels Done for Now

I’ve had some productive build sessions since the last update. As of today, all the panels I’m planning to install are done. As I’ve mentioned before, the Coupe has a number of pieces that aren’t installed until after the body is installed. So I have those yet to go. Plus I’m leaving the fixed portion of the footbox tops and firewall off for now. They’re easy adds later and I want the additional access for the upcoming wiring, HVAC installation, etc. Also still not permanently attaching the center fill piece I made for the engine compartment. I don’t see any reason why it won’t work or fit. But waiting until I have the engine and everything else installed just to be sure.

Related to this, and I’ll mention it here, the hatch sides are two of the major pieces that don’t go in until after the body is on. The instructions show the edge of these panels going under the hatch floor. That’s fine, and what I’m planning to do. Be careful to not have adhesive under this edge of the floor. I actually kept it an inch or two away on the cross pieces as well. I’m able to left the edge enough to get the pieces under. Also on this point, I’m not planning to use adhesive on these pieces or the other pieces, like the outer rear cockpit corners, that are also added after the body is on. Although I’m not sure why it would be necessary to take the body off once everything is done, don’t want to make it harder than it needs to be. The nose would come off pretty easily, e.g. for major engine work or removal. The back half affected by all these pieces probably unlikely.

The heat and sound insulation I added to the footbox pieces, shown in the last update, all worked out pretty well with just a couple minor trims. Real happy with how that turned out. For the exposed rivets in the engine compartment, I painted them with matching Duplic-Color spray. Same stuff I used on the #8674 build. Kind of a tedious (and maybe a little silly) process of taking the rivets apart, lining the heads up in a pre-drilled block, spraying them after a light sand and clean, and then re-installing the pins. For the most part, they held up to the assembly process pretty well. The pneumatic puller seems to be easier on them than the manual one. But still some would get a little scratched or marked. Spent a little time with an artist brush tonight and touched up those that needed it and I’m done with that. Lots of pictures.







We all know what I need to put in that big empty space in the last picture. Come on Gen 3 Coyote. With the dropped box and hatch floor installed, finally permanently installed the gas tank. Felt good getting everything hooked up and connected for real. Very briefly put power on the fuel pump wires from the harness at the dash. It’s alive. Not supposed to run those dry, but a second or two shouldn’t hurt anything. Also read the ohms out of the fuel level sender. Where it should be for an empty tank.

 

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Discussion Starter #159
Panels Done for Now (continued)

These are views from the underside. Shows that nice big tunnel for the trans. The T-56 fits pretty easily. Also shows how it looks to have all the panels coated. There’s often debate on the forum about which panels to finish on these builds. Some say only what shows from the engine compartment. I say everything shows. Well, I guess if you have a lift and care about such things.



With all that done, installed the steering column and the brake/clutch reservoirs. Hopefully both also for the last time. I’m going to bleed the brakes tomorrow. Anxious to get my lines all checked out.


Finally, broke open the carpeting box for the first time. A lot of pieces in there! Makes sense since there’s carpet for the entire cockpit and hatch area. Would be like a Roadster with added trunk pieces. I checked the fit of most of the pieces and looks pretty good. I don’t have all the details yet, but I don’t see any glaring raw edges like with the Roadster. That’s nice. I think I’ll add a couple pieces in the footwells to cover the square tubes in there. The inside is already covered, and think I’ll add the other two. One hint. Open the box and lay out all the pieces well in advance of installation. That way the bends and creases from being jammed in the box should flatten out. I've got them all stacked up in the basement and they should be good and ready when I am.

Next major step, after a few more details, is masking and Lizard Skin application.
 

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Discussion Starter #160 (Edited)
Brakes Bled

Don't plan on daily updates :p but just finished bleeding the brakes for the first time, as mentioned in yesterday's update. Kind of a big deal. The CliffsNotes version is it's done, working, and no leaks so far. For the whole story, I used my previously successful pressure bleed process. Hasn't let me down yet and doesn't require a helper. I've always used the CNC reservoirs, and came across their pressure cap I think based on another forum post some years ago. I used the Tilton reservoirs on this build due to space limitations, but still wanted to use the same process. So bought an extra cap and added the Schrader valve to it. I didn't plan ahead and didn't want to run around finding one, so just "borrowed" the valve off the CNC cap. Screwed it into the plastic cap with a little sealant and it seem to hold the low pressure required just fine. I used the same Valvoline DOT 3/4 synthetic brake fluid I've used on all my builds. Stock item at our local Advance, not expensive, and supposed to be good fluid.

The process I use is first do a "bench bleed" with temporary lines from the MC's back to the reservoirs. With fluid covering the end of the lines, pump the pedal until there's a full flow of fluid back into the reservoirs. Some have suggested this step isn't necessary when pressure bleeding. But it's the process I've used and not difficult, so sticking with it. With that done and the actual brake lines back on the MC's, start the actual bleeding. I turned my compressor down to 5/6/7 PSI, and used that to first pressurize the rear reservoir. It doesn't take a lot and you don't want to over pressurize. Then to the right rear caliper and attach a line to the outside top bleeder. The big Wilwoods have a top bleeder on each caliper for the rear brakes. With the line into my official brake bleeding Ball jar, open the bleeder. Note at no time during this method of bleeding do you pump the brake pedal while the reservoir is under pressure. The reservoir may need to be pressurized several times on the first try as the lines fill with fluid. But then fluid with bubbles and eventually no bubbles. Repeat for the inner caliper. Then to the left rear, then the right front, then the left front. Keep pressure in the appropriate reservoir. Also watch the fluid level, refilling as needed. If it runs empty, then you'd have to start the whole process over.

Once completed the first time, I didn't have a completely hard pedal. So ran around the bleed process again. Only takes 10 minutes or so. Found a few bubbles still in the rear lines. First time that's happened, but no big deal. Then the pedal was hard just like it should be. Tested the brakes by having my shop assistant (my wife...) press the pedal as I turned each wheel. All grab hard and release properly. Hooray! Held the pedal down hard for a minute or so and it seems to be holding fine. Checked all my fittings and no sign of any leaks. That's a relief because I really don't want to mess around (again) with those SS lines and fittings. Obviously I'll keep checking, but looks good for now. Since I had all the bleeding gear out, went around one more time and bled each again for good measure. Didn't get a single bubble anywhere. So I think it's good to go. Topped off the reservoirs and cleaned everything up and put away. Man I don't like working with brake fluid. Glad it's done for now. Little more ahead for the clutch, but that should be simple with a single bleed.

Quick picture of the Tilton homemade pressure cap. Obviously now removed and replaced with the real cap.

 
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