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Senior Charter Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I am just wanting to know if the manual is followed word for word, will everything fall together a it should? I don't think there is anyone close to me that has built one before and I want to be sure I can handle it without making serious mistakes. Thank You!!

[ August 17, 2002, 12:40 AM: Message edited by: JM_OBRIEN ]
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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1,333 Posts
Consider the manual as a basic reference and you'll be OK. It is OK by iteslf but pretty vague - don't expect "put slot A into tab B" instructions. There have been many, MANY posts over the years about the manual - you may want to search here and on the Cobraforum for them.

The FAQ here is an excellent reference. Use the manual as a general guide but look here for detailed answers.

There's a "manual errors" post somewhere...I'll post it if I can find it.
 

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Yes,

You can build the car from just the manual. Especially if you are doing the standard build and are not deviating.

That and ask any questions here...

Mike
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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1,333 Posts

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FFCobra Fanatic
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if your like me and really like to use manuals you will still use it as a beer coaster after you get your feet wet on the build. The manual is good enough, and everyone here helps...don't get stuck on manual quality, just start building!!

Mike
 

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Senior Charter Member
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366 Posts
personally, i think the instruction manual REALLY sucks. they need a buttload more pictures. i pretty much stopped using the instruction manual. i call Gordon and ask him what i should do next. he tells me. then i just start hunting around the forums looking for pictures. when i cant find any, I call chuck robertson!


-brad
 

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Premium Member
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330 Posts
I have to agree with Brad. There are places where the manual is just flat wrong. There really is no excuse for it. However, I will also agree that if you are doing a stock build, you can get by with it. Don't beat your head against the wall. Think things through. If something doesn't make sense, get on the forum and get some help from the experts here. They have been a big help to me.

Buddy
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,015 Posts
I built my FFR in 1998 using the current manual they had at the time, no forum to help (as I found it right about when I finished my car) and only an 8 year old girl (my Daughter) who was willing to get up early enough on Saturday mornings to help.

Now I am a mechanic by trade so even if FFR had no manual, the build would have been easy for me......and I deviated from the stock kit in a few areas.

......but let me tell you,,,,, I had my 8 year old (at the time) go through each step as we did it on the car, by having her look at the manual.

She would fetch the tools needed and the proper parts..... and we would put them on the car together.

When the car was done and people asked about the build manual,,, I didn't want to show it to them because I was embarrassed at how incredibly EASY the car was to put together!

What I'm getting at is that if my kid can figure it out, I bet any left handed housewife -armed with an elec drill,,, and some hand tools can do it! :D

For those of you that are intimidated by the build manual,,,,,,,,simply pick up your phone and call the local builder and ask for a "turnkey". ;)

Oh, I have seen the "build manuals" for other kit cars in the last couple of years, such as the ones for Manta Mirages, Montages, and a coupl eof Lambo kit manuals. If some of you saw those, you'd FREAK. They are basically typed out notes that say things like:
#1 install suspension
#2install body
#3 align panels
#4 install wiring
etc,etc, one of the lambos I looked at had a "build video",, I watched it with my neighbor and we laughed our a$$es off during the whole thing. This guy couldn't even hold the camera still while he was showing stuff, and almost dropped it a few times! :eek: What a joke that was. My neighbor spent like 30-40 bucks on this video,,,,and all it did was convince us that the car was a joke!
 

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I don't have any big beefs with the manual 'cause I usually end up going my own way on these projects. However, I figure if there's going to be a manual, it might as well be useful. And one thing that would make it more useful would be better descriptions of what fasteners to use and where. FFR already has numbers for each fastener in the packing list, those numbers could be referenced in the manual in the same spot they list the parts to use for each section.

That's really all you need. If you know what fasteners go where, then it's pretty easy to figure out how the whole car goes together.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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1,067 Posts
It seemed the farther along I got on the build, the less I used the manual. Once you start adding the personal touches the manual becomes more like a basic guide and less like a bible. When I was close to done I did go through the manual to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Greg
 

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Senior Member
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Directions?

What Directions?

Since WHEN did men need directions? ;)

:D

Honestly, the build sites are far better than the manual.

If you don't understand the manual, you can come here and ask...before you do whatever it is you're not sure of....Not after you drilled/ground/machined it. (See stupid things post)

IF you would need a "Insert Tab A into Slot B" sort of manual then you should look into a build school before attempting a build....or be brave. (Sometimes stupidity works instead of bravery..)

:D

Ozona
 

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Senior Charter Member
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366 Posts
Alain,

To quote what you typed, "...I am a mechanic by trade..." there ya go, that's why you probably didnt need a good manual. You already knew where/how pieces went and how they should look after they have been assembled. For someone that has never changed the oil on a car (ie ME!) and wants to build one, it helps to have good pictures of how things should look when they are done. The instruction manual seems to SERIOUSLY lack in this area. Example, FFR is shipping new upper front adjustable A-arms. The picture in the manual still shows the old A-arms! The manual says to build the footboxes. pfff...okay, show me some completed pictures so I dont rivet aluminum panels I'm need to going to get around later on in the build (IE the driver's side footbox top and outside panels).

Look at it this way, if you were in charge of setting up an 80-site corporate network infrastructure and didn't know how it was supposed to look and the manual really sucked, would it be easy for you to setup? Probably not. If the manual was very in-depth and showed detailed steps (ie pictures of configurations and how they should look when they are completed) would it make it much easier for you to setup? Of course! Would I need any manuals to set up the network? No, but that's because Im a network engineer by trade!


My point being, it really depends on your background and level of expertise as to how effective the manual is. If you have no experience (like me), the manual sucks. If you have lots of experience and just need some general pointing in the right direction, it's probably adequate.

-Brad
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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762 Posts
I had no automotive background and I'm like one post above states " using less and less as I go".

I think what we are really seeing here is the difference in personalities. I performed a DISC analysis at work were everyone completes a survey of a multiple-choice questioner and gives the answer that best applies to them. What you find out at the end is that people are different and can be broken down into basic groups. For example you can basically tell I was a creative person that likes discipline to specs, I make quick decisions and go with it. Maybe your group has someone that needs time to make a decision and likes to see all the facts so they can make the best choice with low risk. It's said the best team is a team with people from each basic grouping a "D" personality, an "s" and so on.

This would be a good survey for the forum, it would point out why you might have little patience with certain posters and allow you to understand why they worry about the things you don’t.

Mike
 

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Premium Member
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12,393 Posts
The FFR manual is something they slapped together so they'd have a manual. You can get some basic instructions out of it, but your own common sense and this forum will help you lots more. I used the manual during my evaluation process, but I've never opened it during the build. My personal opinion is an online manual or a searchable PDF document on CD would be a very valuable tool.

Happy motoring
 

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Senior Charter Member
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564 Posts
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

ROFLMAO (Not directed at you -- the manual is just good enough that I keep it and just bad enough that I don't trust it)

The pictures and sequence of assembly are almost hurtful. Make sure that you read the whole manual before you start any stage. Check what will be going later where you are currently working. I especially like the part where they tell you to start up the car and then 50 pages later tell you to put in the fuel filler. Nothing like pouring in some gas to your tank and leaving it open to the elements for a few weeks. I wish that they would tell you what size drills to use and specifiy the hardware sizes. But then there would be no need for all of the forums and the accessory vendors.

-Perry
 

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29,434 Posts
Hey Alain-

I'm with you about building a GT40 next. In the latest issue of Kit Car Magazine, they list all the replica manufacturers and the costs of their kits. GTD of England has been building GT40's for a long time. I recently saw one of their cars here in Los Angeles, and it looked very good.

I sent their sales guy a note requesting more info as a friend and I are both interested. Maybe we can get a deal by buying 3 kits!!??

Keith
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,015 Posts
Keith, have you gotten any pricing from GTD?
I am looking at getting the one from New Zealand.
Here is the web site; http://www.gt40.co.nz/

Neil M. (also a former FFR owner) just got his a coupl eof weeks ago and has some great pics on his site
http://home.attbi.com/~lemanswinner/

Have you looked at these? There are only two fot ehm in the USA right now,,,,,,but I'm hoping to find another interested party to ship 2 kits in one container with.

Oh- this GT40 does NOT come with an assembly manual..... which is fine with me. I prefer the company to spend time & money making cool parts instead.
 

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Alain-

haven't heard from GTD yet, but I only sent them an email Sat (8-17).

I looked at the GT40 from NZ as far back as 2000, but passed on it because of the lack of a manual. After working on my FFR, I don't see a need for a manual. If I could get a NZ "starter" kit for less than the $29K Neal spent, I would go with them. Money is the driving factor at the moment.

Keith
 

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764 Posts
the assembly manual is ok, not perfect, needs more pictures. i myself think a video of a basic build would be the best, so as you see how things go together the narrater can also explain it. but on the downside, there would be no sense of adventure, guessing how things go together, many mistakes, problems with fitting parts, yea i do think a video may take the fun out of it. maybe a video is not a good idea. vince
 
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