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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today was an exciting day, as I have just finished both my passenger and firewall modifications. This thread explains how I have, literally, worked outside the box on both of them.(just looked at the time, eastern and its tomorrow already)

Last year, while reading, researching and talking to others I made some statements about how I would build my footboxes. It has really happened and here is the beginning of that adventure.

This is the thread with my ideas on an insulated footbox design. I started this thread on 10-27-2009, five months before I would pick up my complete kit, the first Mk4 to leave FFR.
http://www.ffcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232012&highlight=pyrogel

My research and plans start with post #14

To get to this point has taken more time than I thought. This past summer, my wife and I decided to sell our house and move to something smaller. A decision based on many things besides the kids finally moving out. Well, my project list changed. I designed and built our house starting seventeen years ago. It was still not finished, so that’s what I’ve been doing this past summer and winter.

Most of that work is now done so it’s back to the roadster build. Took me a few weeks to really get up to speed but I’m moving along good now.

I have completed the passenger footbox and firewall with modifications. The driver’s side still has to be completed. First, I enlarged the passenger footbox taking into account the fact that I was going to put insulation and another layer of metal on the outside of the footbox. Total extra size outside the new footbox design would be about 7/16".

First part of the design involved what engine to use. I have completed a lot of reading about both the Ford 302 and Ford modular engines both here and with several books I purchased. I finally came to the decision on the 302 mainly because of the engine width. I know there is a following for the newer modular engines but there is also a lot of support for the 302 in both the after market and among drivers and owners of cars with this engine.

The FFR Roadster footboxes are designed to accommodate both the narrower 302 and the wider modular engines. I decided, in my case, larger footboxes were going to be a priority so I choose the narrower 302. Along with that decision, I choose Ford Shorty headers, as they allowed even more room for footbox expansion then the 4 into 4 headers. With that decision in mind, I went about acquiring an old used Ford 302 block and heads to set into the engine compartment while I worked on the footboxes. My engines are good for another story later.

What follows are pictures, with descriptions, of the design and construction process I went through with the passenger footbox enlargement. Later, I will document the insulating I completed on the passenger and drivers footboxes and to the firewall.

Enlargement of passenger footbox

First, I leveled the chassis and then mounted an empty engine into the engine bay and added my Ford Racing Shorty Headers.

This picture shows me using a plumb bob to figure just how far I could move the engine side of the foot box out. I backed away from this measurement another 1/2” because on the insulation and mirrored stainless steel I would add later.


I then started, slowly working, on the engine side panel. I kept removing and slowly cutting pieces off the curved portion of the engine side panel that is up against the 4” tubing. I didn’t want to remove too much metal and leave a gap between the side panel and the 4” tubing so I made very small cuts and bit by bit moved that panel out until I was comfortable with its position. Those blue marks were made earlier to help guide me where to cut just a little bit more. There is going to be an uncontrollable gap created as you move the panel out and reposition it on the 4” tube. That gap will be filled later with a custom piece of 1-1/2” aluminum angle. Where the clamp is positioned there is a temporary piece of 3/4" wood spacer between the panel and 4” tubing to keep the panel away from the headers. One could add another 1/2" to their box than mine, as I needed that space for my exterior insulation modification. Remember, though I’m using shorty headers. In addition, where the clamp is, I did not want the panel to touch the 4” tubing and create a ‘V’ water trap. During all these modifications I’ve always been thinking about where water flows, splashes and/or may collect.


Here you can see the wood block keeping the panel from the 4” chassis tube.


The wood block at the right top is to maintain the room I need for the insulation modification. You could go all the way to that 3/4" frame member without the exterior insulation.


More to follow, George
 

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Discussion Starter #2
When I had the side panel in the place, where I wanted it, I began making up patterns in which to make new panels. Here, I simply added a pattern to the already existing floor. I took this to a sheet metal shop and had them make a floor panel with the proper bends and tabs out of .090” aluminum. Most of the panels I had the shop make overall square cuts with the bends and I trimmed them to fit. I used a band saw to cut the .090” aluminum panels. Overall, I gained 2” inside the passenger footbox towards the engine. Without my other modifications, others could gain at least another 1/2” using shorty headers. But, in the end, it was very a close fit with only a quarter inch spacing.


This is what the final pattern looked like.


When I had the floor panel in place, I made a pattern for the front panel.


Here, I’m getting ready to attach the new .090” front panel to the original engine side panel. Then, I will make up a template for the top panel.


Still more, George
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pattern for new Top Panel


If you can still remember, I had a gap between the engine side panel and the 4” chassis tube. I used a piece of 1-1/2” angle and modified it to fit the tube and side panel and later riveted it into place. Areas where it was close to the exhaust, I bedded it with Permatex Ultra Black and in other areas such as this angle bracket, I used a black Permatex adhesive caulk.






One more for now, George
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Top Panel is riveted in place and I’m using lots of Ultra Black to seal up the new front piece of the box. The floor of the footbox is not yet installed in this picture.


I don’t seem to have a finished picture of the outside of the aluminum box but here is a picture waiting for me to make the top pattern. Note the space between the engine side panel and the 4” tube. I think there should always be a space here to allow water, dirt and more to drain without being caught there to cause future corrosion problems.


Inside the passenger footbox with my 4E wide shoes-lots of space for my passenger


This is the finished picture of my Passenger Footbox and firewall. Now, this is where I start to get radical. As mentioned, it includes a 10mm layer of Pyrogel outside the engine side, front and top panel. Then outside of the engine side panel and front is a layer of .050” mirrored stainless steel, button head bolted onto the aluminum footbox to seal it in and act as a reflective barrier to the radiant heat of the exhaust and engine. On the top is a .090" piece of aluminum painted with Titanium Silver paint. I will explain all this and some testing I completed of the Pyrogel in a later posting. I will also explain my firewall and drivers footbox modification which is different from others I’ve seen.


That's it for now, George
 

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George, good job of documenting what you had to do! Good pictures are also so important for builders to see what you are doing.

I'm curious, can you still remove the headers after the modified panels are all in place? I know with my build it took some manipulating to get the headers in, and lined up, without any modifications. I would need to remove the headers first, before pulling the engine, if that day should come.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bill,

I had those headers on and off several times yesterday because I had to mess around with getting the engine mounts to fit properly. Now, I don't have anything on the front of the engine yet, so when all the accessories are there??

I just slid the header forward at bit and was able to get it right out. It is the number 3 cylinder pipe that is close and actually almost past that corner already. I think it was dv/dt that has moved the footbox way forward and has made an interesting hammered out piece to make room for that pipe.

I've got a picture with the engine in with the finished box that I'll post later. A 1/4" space.

George
 

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Hey Buddy,

This looks GREAT! What a huge amount of work, but I think it will be worth the effort. You will have the coolest and quietest footboxes/cockpit ever. Besides...it just looks good. As always, you did a great job of documenting this phase of the build (as well as every other phase that you have completed). Anyone that has met George, knows how detail oriented he is, and this is one small example of how much thought and effort he puts into everything he does.

I regret the fact that I didn't modify the passenger side footbox during my build, now, having seen yours, I really wish I had.:(

When do you want me to bring my car over so you can get started on mine? :)

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the comments guys. Mike (oxbow) has seen the passenger footbox while the stainless steel still had its protective cover on it. Mike and I talked yesterday and our plan is to get together next winter and work on modifying his passenger footbox.

I haven't said much about the finished passenger footbox but I've got to tell you I am really pleased with the final results. The camera shots do not do it justice.

At first, I was just going to use plain stainless steel but the local sheet metal shop had some left over from another job. I wasn't looking for a spit and polished job but it just happened out that way. The polished stainless steel is also functional in reflecting radiant heat.

I've got a mocked up engine in to test for spacing to the headers and to the A/C evaporator unit in the firewall. I'll post the construction of the stainless steel and firewall later.

Like I said to Bill, the header came off real easy.


That space is 1/4"


I'm using this GT-40 intake system but I'm am planning to clean it up a bit


George
 

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Really nice job.Sure wish I had done the floor mod on my car when I was building it.I some times ride shotgun and it would be nice to have a little more leg room.Roger
 

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George,

I wish you hadn't started this thread, because now I'm obsessing over what to do with mine. Just kidding...there is good information here. :)
As you know, I want to enlarge the foootbox on my 3.1, I'm running BBK 4 into 4 small block headers. It would seem, after looking more closely at my car, that I could go deeper as well, perhaps to the front of the 2" round bar, instead of just behind it as you did. What are your thoughts on that? How difficult would it be to make the footbox wider (more square toward the front of the car) and longer in a finished car?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mike,

I have always admired dv/dt’s work. He has on many projects stepped outside the box. It took a little searching but I found dv/dt’s footbox modification, posted in 2005. This is the ultimate passenger footbox enlargement modification out there. I don’t think he lengthen his but the ultimate width was achieved. Pictures included below but here is the thread he started:

http://www.ffcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133090&highlight=foot+box

Note in the third picture he went all the way to the 4” chassis tube






Mike, here is a picture I took of your car December, 2009


George
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don’t know where I got the first three pictures. Maybe someone will recognize them as I got them from the forum some time ago.

None the less, it looks like they were laying out their box and thinking about how they could modify it. I’m better about documenting where I get pictures now.







After having completed the overall job of making a box larger, then making a box over a box, just enlarging the box now sounds easy to me. It's taking that first step and moving ahead one step at a time. At first, I was intimidated about what I was starting to do.

So, in saying that, I do think it is doable. I have been thinking about doing this with the body on as I know you'd like to do. I don’t think we could completely disassemble the footbox with the body on but a partial dis-assembly could be possible with the removal of the headers. Drilling out all the rivets on the engine side panel and moving it out toward the engine then making filler pieces to fill the gaps. These filler pieces would be similar to the way I made my patterns above but in aluminum. We’ll keep talking it out and thinking about it throughout the summer.

Are there any other thoughts from anyone on this?

Has anyone enlarged the passenger footbox with the body on?


George
 

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George,

I wish you hadn't started this thread, because now I'm obsessing over what to do with mine. Just kidding...there is good information here. :)
As you know, I want to enlarge the foootbox on my 3.1, I'm running BBK 4 into 4 small block headers. It would seem, after looking more closely at my car, that I could go deeper as well, perhaps to the front of the 2" round bar, instead of just behind it as you did. What are your thoughts on that? How difficult would it be to make the footbox wider (more square toward the front of the car) and longer in a finished car?

Mike
Here is a link to a larger footbox in a 3.1 with a 302 and BBK headers.
http://www.ffcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209209
 

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Nice

Great mod George. The first time I saw the new Mark 4 I wondered how long it would be before someone made it even better. I like your attention to detail. Great work.
 

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Silverstreak02, thanks for the link that you attatched, it is from dv/dt's mod and I think he has some good design ideas that I will be taking advantage of when I actually do my mod.

George, as always, you are a plethora of information. I'm taking notes, gathering info., and compiling what I can. Probably will attempt the footbox mod next winter. BTW,how come you have more pictures of my car than I do.lol

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Silverstreak02,

Thanks for your comments.

Great link, above, to three different passenger footbox modifications. Silverstreak02 being the first. All three are great and approached just a little bit differently.

The modifications are what I'm enjoying the most. I am working on the drivers footbox now and specifically the engine side of the footbox. I can't tell you how many hours/days I have on that one piece of metal. And I'm still massaging it.

Back in December 2009, Mike invited me over to his house to check out his build. We actually live a little too far apart to make it a convenient , Hey come on over. The body was off and it was the first time Mike and I met face to face. We talked for hours, me with lots of questions and Mike more than willing to give me most of the answers. It was then that I took lots and lots of pictures of his car. It was my first chance to really see the inner workings of one of these cars.

George
 

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Silverstreak02,

Thanks for your comments.

Great link, above, to three different passenger footbox modifications. Silverstreak02 being the first. All three are great and approached just a little bit differently.

The modifications are what I'm enjoying the most. I am working on the drivers footbox now and specifically the engine side of the footbox. I can't tell you how many hours/days I have on that one piece of metal. And I'm still massaging it.

Back in December 2009, Mike invited me over to his house to check out his build. We actually live a little too far apart to make it a convenient , Hey come on over. The body was off and it was the first time Mike and I met face to face. We talked for hours, me with lots of questions and Mike more than willing to give me most of the answers. It was then that I took lots and lots of pictures of his car. It was my first chance to really see the inner workings of one of these cars.

George
Sorry to Silverstreak02, when I viewed the link you attatched I must not have scrolled far enough down ( I view my posts in decending order). What you did in your mod is what I want to do. After actually riding in my car as a passenger I realized how cramped the PS footbox is. Do you feel that just going wider is sufficient vs. wider/longer? It would seem that this would be much simpler if all I had to do is widen the footbox, then I could re-use the the side panels.

Thoughts?

Mike
 

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Sorry to Silverstreak02, when I viewed the link you attatched I must not have scrolled far enough down ( I view my posts in decending order). What you did in your mod is what I want to do. After actually riding in my car as a passenger I realized how cramped the PS footbox is. Do you feel that just going wider is sufficient vs. wider/longer? It would seem that this would be much simpler if all I had to do is widen the footbox, then I could re-use the the side panels.

Thoughts?

Mike
Mike

I felt the width was the real problem, since my shoes were crammed side by side in the original 3.1 box. I used the original sides and made new top, bottom and front pieces. This saved me some work and material. After it was done I have some space to move my feet and it is much better. If I stretch my legs out all the way I can touch the front wall. I don't normally sit like that so I don't think it's a problem. For reference I'm 5' 10". If your passenger is over 6' it may be worth the extra work. My passenger is 5' 4". I hope that helps.

Jeff
 

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Silverstreak02,

Thanks for your comments.

Great link, above, to three different passenger footbox modifications. Silverstreak02 being the first. All three are great and approached just a little bit differently.

The modifications are what I'm enjoying the most. I am working on the drivers footbox now and specifically the engine side of the footbox. I can't tell you how many hours/days I have on that one piece of metal. And I'm still massaging it.

Back in December 2009, Mike invited me over to his house to check out his build. We actually live a little too far apart to make it a convenient , Hey come on over. The body was off and it was the first time Mike and I met face to face. We talked for hours, me with lots of questions and Mike more than willing to give me most of the answers. It was then that I took lots and lots of pictures of his car. It was my first chance to really see the inner workings of one of these cars.

George
George

If you're enjoying the mods don't forget to do a deadpedal. It helps and isn't too hard to do.

Jeff
 
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