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Discussion Starter #322 (Edited)
Assembly, Posing, Time Out

Today was the day to get the undercoated and nearly completely prepped body back onto the chassis. The goal was to get it to a stopping point in preparation for our move.

Did my usual solo thing with rope locks from the hooks in my garage ceiling to lower the body onto the chassis. I use lots of towels to let it slide into place a little more easily, especially while pulling out the sides over the door posts/hinges. Note this also goes a long way to keep from tearing up the bulb seal around the trunk sides and the cushioning around the hood opening.



Once the body was lowered into place, installed the front and rear quickjack bolts, the front and rear splash guards, side louvers, and the windshield. All that stuff is pretty much in final form. I’m real happy with how everything is fitting and the body is lining up on the chassis.

While I still had the chassis on the lift, I decided to clip off the corner of the e-brake bracket back near the rear driveshaft u-joint. This has been discussed in several threads. Some were just close like mine, others with actual interference. Word from Factory Five is these are hand placed when the chassis is welded up. Apparently there is some variation. Mine was clearing by 1/4 to 5/16 inch, but a little close for comfort. I was able to fit a reciprocating air saw up in there and take off the corner. Cleaned it up with a file and touched up with a little matching grey paint. Much better. Now it’s over 1/2 inch clearance. One less thing to worry about.

I bolted on the doors, taped on the trunk lid, and set the hood in place. I haven’t started to trim or fit any of those parts. All look pretty good with the exception of the usual low spot on the front of the DS door. I haven’t starting fitting the side pipes or adjusting the body openings yet. But the GP Header alignment into the openings looks good. Not expecting any big issues there. At that point, took it off the lift for now. It was such a nice day I pushed it out onto the driveway and posed for a few pictures alongside #7750.





Feels good getting it to this point. Several observations. I’m liking the aggressive look of the 18-inch wheels more and more. I also really like the deep dish design of the rear wheels. Ride height is at 4-1/2 front and 5 back. Exactly one inch more than #7750 sitting next to it. Shows in the wheel wells and the overall height. I expect some of this will settle, but will watch and adjust if needed. The rear track is one inch wider than #7750 (69-3/4 vs. 70-3/4) and gets the tires right to the edge of the wheel lip. The front track is exactly the same on both (67-1/2). I was a little disappointed those BFG’s didn’t come in a 255. But the 245’s look very similar in width to the 255 Nittos on #7750.

I didn’t feel like trying to push the new build up the slight incline back into the garage. So started it up and drove it in. Quickly. Two observations. It’s been at least a month or two since I’ve started the Coyote. It started instantly. Amazing. But without side pipes and open headers, it is crazy LOUD. I don’t plan to do that again unless I have to. You guys that do first starts and run your engines with open headers I hope are using ear protection or you don’t have any hearing left. That’s just nuts.

With both Roadsters back in the garage, took this final pic. Hopefully the next picture like this will be in our new garage.


We’re roughly three weeks from our expected close dates, with some possibility it could be sooner. So I’m officially calling a time out on the build at this point. We have a lot to do to get ready for our move and then there will be even more once we get there. It’s possible I may be able to get the final couple remaining things done and it could be at the painter sometime during the move. But we’ll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #324
Sweet! How are you liking that MaxJack?
I've had it through the end of my last build and all of this one. Can't imagine a build without a lift now. The difference is really significant. The MaxJax is a good solution for a smaller garage, regular height ceiling, etc. For this garage I couldn't use anything more, and the fact that it's portable and I can move it out of the way when not needed is also a plus. My only negative is the sync between the two lift columns. It will get an inch or two out of level and you need to lower it against the stops to get it back. I've tried all the fixes they suggest without much difference. I just live with it. Not a deal breaker and inherent to the design I think. I would buy one again.
 

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I've had it through the end of my last build and all of this one. Can't imagine a build without a lift now. The difference is really significant. The MaxJax is a good solution for a smaller garage, regular height ceiling, etc. For this garage I couldn't use anything more, and the fact that it's portable and I can move it out of the way when not needed is also a plus. My only negative is the sync between the two lift columns. It will get an inch or two out of level and you need to lower it against the stops to get it back. I've tried all the fixes they suggest without much difference. I just live with it. Not a deal breaker and inherent to the design I think. I would buy one again.
Good to know. Thanks. I'm fortunate enough to have 14' ceilings and was thinking I'll go with the BendPak Asymmetrical lift:
FREE SHIPPING — BendPak Asymmetric Lift — 10,000-Lb. Capacity, Model# XPR-10AS | Two-Post Lifts| Northern Tool + Equipment

I do like the portability of the MaxJax though.
 

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That is the exact lift I got a couple of months ago. Couldn't be happier. One word of caution. If you go with the low profile arms and set it up in the wide configuration, you need to back on the lift as the short arms won't reach the main frame rails. Backing into the lift is no biggy and it works perfect for that. I needed to go with the wide footprint when I installed it due to the in floor heating tubes and to make it easier with my pick up. You have the option of either width out of the box. Two of us installed it in about 6-8 hours.
 

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Good info Chuck. I'm going to be in the market for a new pickup in the next few months as well so it's good to hear someone else already tackled this dilemma. So go with the wide config & low profile arms, the truck & roadster will both fit so long as I back up the roadster onto the lift. Got it.

Sorry to derail your thread Paul. Back to the build. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #328 (Edited)
Nearly Ready for Paint

We’re two weeks from closing and moving, so this really is my last update. I’ve managed to get some shop time in here and there trying to get as much ready for paint as I can. I’ll be talking to the painter this week to see where I can fit into their schedule.

In my last update, I had the front and rear quick jack mounts done, the body centered, and the windshield on. Next up was to fit the doors. Here the location of the sills is very important. On the passenger side, I’ve found like most others that the door fits fine with the sill pulled tight against the plastic bumpers on the chassis side. The driver’s side is another story. I don’t know how far back it goes, but it was quite common on the Mk3 for the lower front corner of the DS door to end up lower than the body and require some buildup. In spite of a re-designed body and new tooling, the Mk4 duplicated the same issue. With the Mk3, you added washers or spacers under the DS side mounting points to minimize the issue. For the Mk4, you can do the same thing by varying the location of the DS sill attachment on the underside of the chassis. The common approach is to pull the sill tight against the front and middle bumpers. As tight as possible. Then space the body away from the rear bumper while fitting the door. Doing this, it’s possible to get the DS door to fit reasonably well except along the lower front corner. I prefer to still have the body touching something back there, so made a spacer from a chunk of hard rubber. It ended up being a tapered piece, about 3/8-inch wide at the top down to 1/4-inch at the bottom. Glued this on the plastic bumper and pulled the body tight against it. I’ve heard of some pushing the DS rear sill out even more. But I didn’t find any more helped the door fit any further, plus I wasn’t comfortable bending the body sill any more than that.

With the doors fitted and the sill locations established, time to anchor them. The FF instructions say to use pop rivets to attach the sills. I’m not too excited about that approach because they’re just not that strong, not easy to take on/off repeatedly as I tend to do, and finally I don’t find the sills fit tight against the frame everywhere. So rivets just aren’t the best choice IMO. For my last build I used 5/16 nutserts in the frame with flanged SS button head cap screws. I did the same thing on this build. These are the same nutserts I used on the support frame for the passenger grab handle and also for the side pipe hangars. More about them later.

With the sill taped in place, I located three attachment points on each side. Installed the nutserts in the frame and the cap screws. The rear and center ones are easy enough because they go into the square frame tube. The fronts though are in a section of round tube. So it’s important to measure carefully and hit the center of the tube. Not much to see, but this is one of the attachment points.


I don’t have the final gaps or latches installed yet, but did some preliminary trimming to get the doors hung. The passenger side is almost perfect on all sides including where it wraps up on to the dash area. The driver’s side is pretty good except in the already mentioned lower front corner. I was able to get to about 1/8-inch lower than the body at the worst point, and tapers from there along the front and bottom edges. Better than #7750, so that’s good I guess. Should be easy enough for the painter to fill and make go away.

From there I fit the trunk lid and hood. Same as the doors, final gaps aren’t set yet or latches installed. But trimmed to where they fit in the openings reasonably well. For both, it’s important to not start trimming without something to hold them up to the same level as the body. I tape bumpers around the perimeter of varying thickness, mark, and trim. I use my ancient Craftsman 3x21 handheld belt sander for trimming back to a scribed line and works great. Hard to give up my old woodworking habits. #7750 had the older style round trunk hinges. I really struggled to get those adjusted properly. This kit has the newer, more square hinges, and maybe it’s just my imagination, but I was able to get the lid aligned and working well pretty quickly. For the hood, I bonded and riveted the hinge and strut brackets with HSRF. They’ll get painted with the rest. Makes a really clean finished look. I’ve got the hood hinges probably about 90% adjusted. Once again, the Coyote install makes things interesting because it’s so full under the hood. The intake is right up against the DS hinges. My power steering reservoir, hoses, and degas tank are guarding the PS. Interestingly, I ran out of rear adjustment on the PS hinge on #7750. This time was exactly the same. I turned the holes in the chassis bracket piece into slots so the bracket could move back about 1/4-inch and all was good.



Next up worked on the side pipe alignment and body cutouts. Took a spacer and small wedge on the PS, and two wedges on the DS to get them parallel with the body. The Gas-N pipe flanges already had 7/16-inch holes. I drilled out the GP Header holes also to 7/16-inch, and using 3/8-inch bolts was able to get them level. I haven’t had a build yet that didn’t take some wedges and tweaking to get the side pipes lined up nicely. This was no different. But the final product is by far the best of the three builds I’ve done. They are almost exactly the same height side-to-side and the same distance from the body on both sides. My other builds I can’t say either of those things (but don’t tell anyone). It’s subtle, and you don’t see it unless you compare the two cars side-by-side, but the pipes on this build exit the body at a more “down” angle than the previous SBF builds. I don’t know if this is because of the taller/wider Coyote or the design of the GP headers. Doesn’t matter because they’re still (barely) above the height of the frame 4-inch tubes. So won’t be any lower than I set ride height.

With the sills attached, the splash guards in place, and the pipes installed, marked an even gap around the pipes on the body, and trimmed accordingly. Hard to tell from the reflections, but I set the gaps at just over 1/2-inch front and back and 5/8-inch along the top. Turned out clean and tight.



Last thing on my list was the side pipe hangars. Some guys leave them off, but I’m in the “use ‘em” camp. The Gas-N hangars are a little different than the FF ones. The locations of the mounting tabs on the pipes aligned very nicely with the 2-inch chassis tube where they’re attached. The hangars come with through-bolts, which puts the head of the bolt in the footwell. No big deal, but I’ve used heavy duty 5/16-inch nutserts on my builds instead. Same ones I mentioned previously. They’ve held up just fine. This is where they end up.


To give an idea, this is what the back of these particular nutserts look like in a test piece I did a while back. These are McMaster part number 95105A155. Once installed are very strong and really hard to get back out. Ask me how I know.

 

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Discussion Starter #329 (Edited)
Nearly Ready for Paint (continued)

Muffler hangar installed and ready to go:


That finished everything on my list plus no more time for now. I adjusted the ride height a bit on all four corners because it was really high, and took it off the lift. Also disassembled the lift in preparation for moving, so it’s really done with that. Beautiful day out and a quiet day in the neighborhood, so just had to take it around the block a couple times. It’s still pretty raw with no carpet, open transmission tunnel, and small stones pinging off the unfinished splash guards. But all seems to be working well. I have officially 1.8 miles showing on the odometer. Parked back in the drive while working in the garage, walked around and took a few pictures. A few hours and it will be ready for the painter. But that will happen at our new place.






We are at “RTC” (Ready to Close) on both properties and closings are set for Sept 26. Then 15 days to make our move. I’m expecting to be out of the Roadster build business through at least the end of October. The list of projects at the new homestead keeps getting longer. We’ll be running out of driving season here in Michigan sooner than we’d like, but still very much on track to have done and on the road for the start of next season which has been my goal from the start.
 

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Discussion Starter #330
Paint Scheduled

Took the build to the shop that I want to do my paint on Thursday. Same place that did the amazing job on #7750. Local, less than an hour from where I live. They agreed it's a clean body and everything is fitting pretty well. Makes a difference in the amount of time they expect it to take, which is why I wanted them to see it before giving me an estimate. Received a written estimate yesterday that I'm satisfied with. They're real busy, but have me scheduled for December. Will be about three weeks once they start. Should have it done sometime after the first of the year. With everything else I have going on, that's good timing and still lets me get it done by my target date. I have a few days of work to do before then, but shouldn't be a problem. Since the body is undercoated and fitted, they're going to paint it "body on." Of the ones they've done, about half off and the rest on. They prefer body on, so that's what we're doing. They're the pros and I'll leave that to them.

One other quick update. Yesterday while taking a break from packing, put a vacuum gauge on the connection on the back of the intake I used for the fuel regulator vacuum reference line. That's the connection that had an attached hose going through the intake to the front of the engine and I found out later was attached to the power brakes booster in a Mustang. So removed the hose and used the very convenient location to run a short hose over to the fuel regulator. I never bothered to check it. Assumed if it's going to the power brake booster, it has to be good. Another forum member reported in another thread that this port didn't register with his vacuum gauge. Didn't make sense, but added it to my "to do" to check. So yesterday I did. Zero vacuum. The needle didn't move. At idle, higher RPM, revving up, whatever. Nothing. Very strange. Who knows what's going on, but I just capped it (for apparently no real reason) and ran a hose to the vacuum port on the intake that Factory Five shows to use for the fuel regulator. (See, I can follow directions.) Took some creativity to get from the 1/2-inch port on the intake to the 5/32-inch nipple on the regulator, but got it done. That port, BTW, shows a very active vacuum signal when measured. Don't notice any difference in how the engine runs, and didn't expect to, but now the regulator is getting the vacuum signal it's supposed to have.
 

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Thanks for confirming that for me. I came across this because I teed the rear vacuum port to a vacuum heater control value and pressure regulator. I couldn't get the heater control value to work. I couldn't believe it either. When I switched it to the front vacuum port both heater control and pressure regulator work fine.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #332
New House Move Underway

Yesterday we closed on both houses. All went fine with the sale of our current house. Nice young family relocating to the area and our place should be perfect for them. We closed on our new house with some last minute drama, but it's done. Today I had my first riding lawnmower experience. Went fine just took a little longer than (hopefully) normal because the former owner stopped mowing the lawn a couple weeks ago (grrr...). Today was mainly spent tearing down a bunch of stuff in the garage (won't even try to explain) and getting it cleaned up. While my wife supervised a cleaning company on the inside of the house. Decided to move #7750 over to the new digs so it was out of the traffic path moving stuff over the next days. Looks quite comfortable there. That's half the garage in the pic. I measured it at 968 square feet plus the alcove behind #7750. That plus the tall 14 foot ceilings. This is going to work. I'll get the Anniversary build over there in the next couple days. I'm planning to take down those RV quality cabinets when I get the garage back together. That's my new lawnmower ride next to #7750. Nothing too fancy, but pretty low time and was in the garage when we made the offer to purchase, so included it. They accepted. Basement junk tearout and clean-up tomorrow, then we will finally start moving stuff in.

 

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Wow, Congrats. I'd kill for a garage space like that! Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #335
Two is Better than One

Thanks for the positive comments while I'm taking my time out from the build for our move. Today I moved the Anniversary build over to the new garage. Used the SE of course because it's not legal, plus another rainy day after monsoons yesterday. Kind of a big day because we also moved out of our storage unit where I've kept the trailer, body buck, chassis cart, and wintered the finished cars while building. Our new place also has a shed, and the body buck and frame cart easily fit into it. Never know when I might need those again. :rolleyes: We can park the trailer here on the property. Plenty of space and no restrictive covenants. It's taken a little longer than I expected to get the garage and basement ready for move-in. But today was the last of it so things start going into the house in earnest starting tomorrow.

 

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Discussion Starter #338 (Edited)
Getting Close!

I haven’t posted any updates for some time because there hasn’t been any build progress at all due to our move. Exactly as expected. We needed every minute of the 15 days after closing to get ready for our move. We’ve been in the new place 8 days now, and turned over the keys to the old place last week. So no going back now. We are a long way from done moving in, but making good progress I think. All the boxes we planned to unpack now are done. The added wiring I needed to do in the house is done. The garage shop is fairly organized. Even the DD has its own spot now. The basement shop still has more work to do, but getting close. We still don't have cable or internet (thanks Comcast...) so the hotspot on my phone has been very useful but not very nice to my data plan. Also still chasing mice out of the garage. No surprise with all the junk that was in there and how long it was unoccupied. Living in the country doesn't help either.

For the first time in several weeks, actually thought about what I need to work on with the build before it goes to paint in December and started making a list. Today I put the build up on jack stands. I don’t have time to mess with installing the lift right now, so back to the old days. I hope to get started again at least a little in the next week or two. Just a few more projects including installing a dishwasher that somehow seems to have higher priority.

 

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Discussion Starter #339
Back At It

Still plenty of projects related to our move and new house. But we're settled enough I've been able to get back on the build some. Last night I completed a re-plumb of the vacuum lines for the Coyote CMCV system and fuel regulator. This has been an ongoing issue related to P2004 and P2005 DTC's and now finally hopefully figured out. Based on the importance and potential general interest, I just finished a separate thread describing the entire situation and solution. The thread can be found here: http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/582505-important-information-regarding-2015-2016-coyote-cmcv-plumbing.html#post5521913

With that successfully completed, I'm starting down my list of items to complete before going to paint in December. One of those is the radiator surround. Starting with my first build, I was never particularly happy with the supplied surround pieces. I made custom pieces for my first build. Then refined them a little more for #7750 including a protective screen for the radiator. I'm planning to duplicate this exact design for this build. First order of business is the screen. I'm using a 3641-24X36 medium mesh stainless screen, #6 x .035 wire, 24 x 36" sheet, from Pegasus Racing. I'm making a frame out of 1/8 x 3/4 inch aluminum stock from Lowes using a fixture I made during the last build. I'll get this riveted together, trimmed, and then make the bottom and side pieces. More to come.


This picture is in my new basement workshop. Here are some wider views of the workspace. I don't have the layout finalized yet, any shelves or pictures yet, etc. Plus I need to work on some better lighting. But I'm going to get some work done first. It's a short walk up six steps to the garage, so the location is great. The room is narrower than the space I had at the old house. But the entire basement is roughly three times bigger, so overall space certainly isn't a problem. As you can see, the former owner was into some interesting colors and floor designs.


 

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Discussion Starter #340 (Edited)
Parts from the New Shop

For the last few days I’ve been fabricating the last of the parts needed for my build. Not exactly earthshaking, but these are the first parts from the new shop at our new place. Feels good to be back at it. In between house projects of course.

First up was the filler panels for the front of the rear wheel well. In stock form there’s a pretty big gap between the frame and the body. Carpet and to some extent the door sill aluminum piece fill it. But I prefer an actual panel. Made some patterns out of kraft paper and reproduced in .040 aluminum. They will rivet to the 1-inch tube in the area. The exact shape isn’t super critical, but the DS is slightly wider than the PS because the body is pushed out to improve the door fit. Will get bulb seal along the side where they contact the body when assembled after powder coat.



Next was the cowl cover between the top of the radiator and the front of the hood opening. Helps to make sure the airflow through the radiator opening actually goes through the radiator, plus just looks better. I’ve used the part from Breeze Automotive on my last two builds and it works perfectly. For this one I made my own. Slightly changed, but borrows heavily from the Breeze design. (Sorry Mark) Main reason I made my own was I will get it powder coated to match the Anniversary frame color vs. the standard semi-gloss black from Breeze. I like to put bulb seal along the front edge where it contacts the underside of the body. Gives a tight seal plus prevents any vibration or rattling.


Last was the front radiator surround. I’ve deviated from the FF supplied pieces on all my builds. On my Mk3, I made new pieces. Front bottom piece with added bulb seal that jammed inside the front of the body rather than riveting through the body, and new side pieces that were bigger and covered the quick jack mounts. Refined that approach quite a bit on the #7750 build and added an SS screen to protect the radiator. Worked out really well and pretty much duplicated that approach this time around. Fortunately I saved the fixture I used to make the SS screen, which I showed in a previous update. Finished that and made the rest of the pieces. To get these to fit really well, it’s kind of a tedious process. I made patterns out of cardboard, adjusting until they fit the body and radiator profile exactly. Then undercut the front edge the thickness of the bulb seal and reproduced in aluminum. My simple little 30-inch Harbor Freight brake does an adequate job on the bends. The back edge of the front piece bolts through the bottom of the radiator and the Breeze lower radiator mount. There is a steel bracket on the ends of the front piece for the sides. The top of the sides mounts to the frame near the upper radiator mount with 10-32 nutserts. I put gasket material along the back 1-inch flange of the side pieces where they contact the radiator tanks. Then added steel tabs to mount the SS screen.

Disassembled, looks like this:


Put together, looks like this:


I’ll clean up the bulb seal and close those gaps during final assembly after powder coat. The slots in the side panels are for the Darkwater splitter I’ll be using. Yes, again same as #7750. I like the look. The write-up I did for #7750 showing the same idea and final product is here: http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/483593-mk4-7750-update-radiator-surround-maybe-now-s-really-done.html

Tomorrow I’m going to drop these parts plus the rear splash guards at the powder coater. That should be it for fabrication and powder coating. We’re gone for 10 days to the left coast starting Friday. Visiting family. Once we get back, I’ll keep working down my to-do list getting ready for paint in December. Sorry for the kind of crummy smart phone pics in this update. I'll get the Canon SLR back out the next time.

BTW, mouse patrol in the new garage workshop is moving along nicely. Score is me 12, mice 0. Haven't seen any "signs" for some days now. I think the word is out. But I'm still watching. :yes:
 
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