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Discussion Starter #21
I spent a week’s vacation at my parent’s house in Knoxville TN, where I met Greg_M. He spent an hour talking with me and my Dad, and even gave me a ride.

The ride was especially informative because of the similarities to my plan. Greg has a 302 (same engine I plan to use) with a T5 transmission (again, same as I’m planning), and a 3-link rear end with 3.55 gear (I’m going with the same 3.55 but with IRS).

On our ride, we were on I-40 for a bit. The 3rd gear run onto the highway was from 45 to 83 mph at 5,300 rpm. Then we went to 4th for about 2 seconds to about 90 mph. It’ll definitely pin you back in the seat, and it’s LOUD, in a very satisfying way.



John
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
I spent the 4th of July at the lake house with a bunch of friends. In between vacations (TN and Lake House), I built a body buck.

IMG_0957 by jhsitton, on Flickr

I based mine on the instructions found here:

http://www.ffcars.com/FAQ/bodybuck02.html

but with the rear OSB panel modified to match the MK 4 H (thank-you Laser Stan for working out a better fitting profile).

It took ~4 hours to layout and cut the OSB panels, and then another 9 hours to put the rolling buck together. I wanted to make sure I could roll the buck over the car when it was on the chassis dolly, so I started with 47” clearance from the floor to the bottom of the OSB panel.

I used these screws to attach the OSB to the 2”x4”.

IMG_0929 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Why is that important? It isn’t, except that I got these screws from my Dad when we were cleaning out his basement. He may have gotten them from my Grandfather. Either way, it was a neat way to get my Dad involved from the get go, rather than wait for him to come visit.

I found it WAY easier to attach the bottom rails with the buck positioned on its side. Also, I found that 3 1/2” screws are too long for attaching 2”x4”; they poke through about 3/8”.

IMG_0931 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Also, you can see that I forgot to account for the 2”x4” mounting points for the OSB center support are mirror images of each other. So my buck has a random 2”x4” glued to the outside of the front OSB support.

My final lesson learned is that you should build your buck outside of the garage. When you flip the buck, the legs and bottom rails will clear your ceiling when the buck is on the diagonal, but they won’t clear your automatic garage door opener, and so you’ll be stuck dragging it out of the garage into the driveway to flip it.


John
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
After I built the body buck, I decided to add a shelf to the other side. Son Jack wanted to help. He LOVES to glue, so I put him to work:

P1020508 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Since the garages was now a construction zone, he got his hard hat. He also loves cordless drills, so then he helped drill some pilot holes for the screws:

P1020513 by jhsitton, on Flickr

He's not so fond of putting in screws, so then he went to play in the yard. :)

Don't worry about the bare feet. When he helps with the car, we'll both be wearing shoes.


John
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
The body is off!

A couple of neighbors helped me get the body off the frame and onto the buck. It went about as easily as it could. A neighbor on each side of the car “spread” the lower body away from the frame, and I lifted the back clear. Then we pushed the body forward to clear the front, and lifted the body free. Then we lifted it and set it on the buck.

P1020515 by jhsitton, on Flickr

I learned that my extra wide shelves did not allow the body to rest on the vertical supports; instead the sides of the body wanted to sit on the shelf. Fortunately, I was relying on gravity to keep the shelves in place, and the shelves were made in two pieces. It was very easy to just lift the outboard half of the shelf out of the body buck, and now the body is supported as it should be with the sides hanging slightly lower than edge of my now slightly narrower shelf.

P1020517 by jhsitton, on Flickr

P1020518 by jhsitton, on Flickr


John
 

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Looking good John, how did inventory go. Keep up the good work. Still trying to make it up that way.
JR
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Thanks guys.

I completed the inventory today. Everything was very well packed, and amazingly accurate; I had only four missing pieces - pretty darn good considering they shipped 20 boxes. No pictures, but some lessons learned.

  1. Verify you got each subcomponent in an aggregated pack. I was missing the blue, green, and red indicator lights, and one hood pin plate. The hood pin plate was weird, because all the hood stuff is in an hermetically sealed bag. I got two of everything else, just not the plate.
  2. Open the box of carpet pieces in a place you don’t care about getting black fuzz EVERYWHERE.
  3. Finish your inventory the day before the recycling guy picks up your trash. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with a ton of brown paper for a week.
  4. Inventory the body-mounted pieces as well. I think I’m missing a couple of hinge bushings and a couple of #10 bolt/washer/nut sets; I’ll call F5 on Monday to get it sorted. You’ll have to take the body off to see all the trunk hinge pieces.
Build school is next weekend. By the end of the course, I think I’ll be able to make the last few decisions regarding my build.

John
 

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Let the fun start

I was missing a few parts I was a little worried then looked back at my paper work and found them to be on back order. Made me feel a lot better. Good luck on the build.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I'm amazingly lucky. The only part on back order is the drive shaft.


Cheers, John
 

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Discussion Starter #31

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Build School

Build School last weekend was a blast. Instructors Scott & Todd were great, and really got me motivated. It was also a lot of fun to meet a bunch of folks as interested in cars as I currently am.

I took a ton of notes, which are posted below.


John

------------------------------

Shorty headers & J-pipes give more low-end torque than regular headers. The F5 J-pipes include O2 sensors for EFI. Finally, the shorty headers go on the engine before you install it into the car.

Midwest aluminum shears are the best. Left cut, Right cut, and Straight cut are all useful.

The Build Manual (http://mk4build.com/manual/doku.php?id=start) provides full-color pictures and all available updates for a nominal cost.

Make sure the aluminum panels don’t contact the fiberglass body; this prevents paint chipping and general wear & tear. Before taking off the body, hold a Sharpie flush with the fiberglass body and mark the firewall, back of cockpit in the trunk, and side panels for the trunk to ensure there’s no interference. The distance between the side of the Sharpie (which is flush with the trunk) and the nib will provide adequate clearance for the bulb seal.

When installing aluminum panels, mark the panels with a Sharpie and the rivet spacing tool, then drill holes in the panels, then clamp the panels against the frame, then mark the frame, then drill holes in the frame, then apply silicone, and finally rivet the panel into place.

In visible areas like the engine bay, mount the aluminum panels such that the flanges are hidden.

Run brake lines from the foot box to the rear on the outside of the left 4” tube, higher than half-way up the tube. Fuel lines all depend on what you are using. Ford engine mechanical pump is drivers tube, whereas Ford fuel injection is pass side tube. It all depends where the fuel pickup is on the engine.

On the front lower control arms, extend the radial grooves on the bushings to the outside of the bushing so that grease can travel throughout the bushing (see the front upper control arms for an example).

Do NOT use button head bolts on the steering bracket that mounts to the spindle. They break. If F5 sent you button head bolts, ask for a replacement.

Ensure all 4 shocks are set to their softest setting.

O&M: Check the zip ties that secure the coil-over spring to the shock at the beginning and end of each season. Or get stainless steel zip ties.

Use three 2”x4” stacked on top of each other to set the ride height to 4 1/2”.

Initially, set the pinion angle to +2 degrees as measured from the horizontal.

SAFETY TIP: Get a 2nd brake reservoir.

Get a 2nd metal tab for mounting the brake light switch & a 2nd brake light switch. Use these to fabricate a clutch safety switch. Also, if your transmission has a neutral safety switch installed, be sure to use it.

SAFETY TIP: The F5 gas pedal supplied with the complete kit can get stuck in the wide open throttle position. To prevent this, drill a fourth hole in the pedal & mount the throttle cable to this. Then cut off the top of the throttle pedal at the 1st hole.

The Russ Thompson gas pedal is WAY easier to adjust than the kit pedal. It also has sufficient range of adjustment to support heel-toe braking.

If you use a chassis dolly, test your plan to get the chassis off the dolly BEFORE mounting anything to the chassis. My plan is to raise the chassis onto jack stands, then roll the dolly out from under the chassis, and finally lower the chassis to the wheels.

The front foot box panel shipped on the chassis is for the base kit. If you’ve purchased the complete kit, use the front foot box panel supplied in the miscellaneous aluminum box.

Don’t buy tires until the engine is ready to go in. Tires are date coded; sitting a new tire on concrete will suck the moisture out of the contact patch and create a flat spot.

Buy and use flare wrenches to tighten the brass brake line fittings. This will prevent the soft metal fittings from rounding off as you tighten them.

Run the front brake line to the right side in front of the X-tube to keep it hidden.

When bleeding brake lines, use slow and steady pressure on the pedal. If you get foam out of the caliper bleeders, you’ve pumped too fast & you’ll have to stop the bleeding process for ~ 2 hours.

Use Gunk spray-on brake cleaner to clean the rotors after bleeding the brakes. This will ensure the brakes “grab” when you’re done.

Install the transmission support bracket BEFORE installing the engine/transmission.

Mount the spherical bearing for the steering shaft to the front of the foot box BEFORE installing the engine/transmission. Leave it slightly loose until putting in the shaft.

SAFETY TIP: Make sure the set screw on the steering shaft goes into the groove on the steering rack (not on the flat).

Replace the corrugated metal radiator hose with rubber hose from the auto parts store.

Don’t bias the radiator 5/8” towards the left side; it creates a different interference issue than the one it’s trying to solve.

Test the cooling system for leaks using distilled water. EDIT: If you're using a heater, you can still use the distilled water trick despite the F5 heater instructions & warning stickers. HOWEVER, if you've got a heater/AC unit, you need to either (1) use coolant, or (2) run the heater at the same time you test the AC or else the AC will freeze the non-moving water in the heater coil.

Install additional ground wires, preferably one for each harness section, into the electrical system.

Use weatherpak connectors for the head & tail lights (one per light) so you can remove & replace each light independently. You’ll have to modify the Ron Francis harness to provide independent wires to each light.

Trim electrical wires so that you’re crimping / soldering shiny copper (not dull copper).

Use a 9V battery for continuity checks.

Summit Racing sells the pin removal tools for Weatherpak and Molex connectors.

When splicing a “Y”, use needle nose pliers to smooth the heat shrink together between the individual wires. This provides a more weather tight connection.

Install the upper trunk floor BEFORE installing the big back cockpit panel. Install the big back cockpit panel BEFORE installing the 3 lower back corner cockpit panels.

Ace Hardware makes a pretty good swivel head hand riveter.

Put a little bit of transmission fluid on the spline end of the drive shaft to make installation easier.

SAFETY TIP: Buy and install a drive shaft safety loop. Summit Racing makes a good one.

A used mid-80s Mustang parking brake handle/ratchet/cable assembly is more robust than the assembly provided in the complete kit.

Rivet the inside trunk side panels BEFORE the outside trunk panel.

Use a spring loaded center much (~$7 from Lowes) to mark holes in aluminum panels. This keeps the drill bit from wandering, and won’t dimple the aluminum like a hand punch may.

Cobra Earl’s billet radiator fill T puts the coolant filler at the front of the engine and is a more elegant solution than the F5 filler provided in the complete kit.

Put rags under the radiator vent plug (which is open when filling the cooling system). That way when you’ve filled the cooling system & fluid comes out the radiator vent you minimize the mess. Use the same technique when filling the transmission (& IRS pumpkin, if you use one).

Duplicolor makes a brush on truck bed liner kit that’s good for coating the underside of the fiberglass body.

3M makes a sprayable clear rock guard product (Invisible Mask?) that’s suitable for protecting the rear fenders.

Rough up the aluminum with 60-80 grit sandpaper BEFORE applying bed liner.

Test fit the roll bars with the body off. The rear leg may fit the hoop better if swapped end-to-end; check both ways for the best fit. Drill mounting holes for the roll bar BEFORE mounting the body; start by drilling a pilot hole & working up to the final diameter.

Seat belt bolts go through the transmission tunnel side aluminum. Drill holes through the tunnel side aluminum BEFORE installing carpet. Use a hot nail/rod to meld the sides of the carpet hole.

Use a couple of washers between the shoulder belt bracket in the trunk & the metal plate on the belt itself. This prevents the shoulder belt from rubbing against the mounting bracket.

The wiring for the fan switch as delivered overrides the thermostat to turn the fan OFF. Be sure to modify the wiring such that it turns the fan ON (or just eliminate the switch).

Add bulb seal across the top of the rear cockpit wall. On the trunk sides, you may have to pull out a couple of rivets to get the bulb seal to seat (put them back in after the bulb seal is on).

Use vellum paper (or color ads from the newspaper) to protect the bulb seal on the trunk sides as you put the body back on.

You get just enough trunk seal to go around the opening; don’t cut it. Be sure to put the ends at the BOTTOM of the trunk opening so you don’t get leaks.

Use male Weatherpak connectors on the brake light & female Weatherpak connectors on the turn signal lights (or vice versa). That makes it easy to get the brake light on top on both sides.

Consider using the metal break to fold over the edge of the license plate so it will fit between the light and the trunk handle.

Spend plenty of time making sure the 8 tiny screws that mount the wind screen posts to the wind screen don’t bottom out. Check by snugging each screw finger tight and then wiggling the post. If the post rocks back and forth, the screw has bottomed against the glass. You may have to sand (not grind) a half or a full thread off one or more screws. If you strip the brass insert in the post to which the screws mount, Whitby Motorcars sells stainless steel replacements; they slide into the grooves on the wind screen posts.

Measured at the center of the car, the apex of the rear cockpit is 34 1/2” from the apex of the wind screen when set at the correct angle.

Install bulb seal and rivet the splashguards in place before driving the car in gel coat. When ready for paint, drill the rivets out and remove these panels BEFORE removing the body for paint.

Thread the wiring at the front of the foot box through the block off plate (you’ll have to drill a hole in the 2” circular block off) as you go. Otherwise, you’ll have to notch the block off plate.

Riv nuts are installed using a tool similar to a rivet gun.

Put the floor jack under the LONGITUDINAL 4” tube AND angle the jack such that the handle is not pinned under the nose/body of the car. If you don’t you WILL damage the body and/or paint.
 

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John,
Great tips.

"Test the cooling system for leaks using distilled water".
Before I filled the system I made a fitting for the air compressor that screwed into one of the threaded holes on the intake so I could pressurize the cooling system to 16 psi dry to check for leaks and verify the hoses would not blow off. It held full pressure for an hour. No leaks when coolant was added at first start.

Greg
 

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Hi John, just finished reading your ton of notes. Thanks very much. I plan on attending the build school next spring.
JR
 

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John,

Great list ... I am printing it out to make sure I can do most of them ... that I have not already bypassed in the build.

Carl
 

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Filed that away as help to others when they might need it. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Front Shocks

I spent about half an hour putting the front shocks together. The first thing I did was check the date of manufacture against the “KONI Shock Alert” thread (http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/283535-koni-shock-alert.html); mine were manufactured the 10th week of 2015.

IMG_1018 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Next, I made sure the jam nut under the rod end and bump stop was tight (no picture).

Then I made sure the shocks were set to their softest setting. I popped off the little black cap that covers the end of the body with a screwdriver (see the upper shock in the picture below).

IMG_1016 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Then I pressed in the little chrome button on the body of the shock. At this point, a small amount of mystery blue fluid squirted out onto my finger and the shock body. I mention this only because if you’re wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts, and you get this fluid on either, you’ll probably have a new set of painting clothes.

IMG_1020 by jhsitton, on Flickr

While keeping the button depressed, I held the body of the shock and rotated the rod (piston) all the way right until it stopped; keeping a grip on the body while pressing the button was a little bit of a challenge. On the first shock, I could feel the detentes as I went past them, and was easily able to find max hard (full clockwise or to the right with the shock rod facing up) and max soft (three clicks to the left). On the other, it took a LOT of twisting back and forth until I could feel the detentes. I’m pretty sure I found max soft; at least it wouldn’t turn to the left anymore. After a bunch of fiddling, wiggling, twisting, and turning, I satisfied myself that I had found the softest setting. I released the button and turned the rod a little, and the button popped back out.

When I began assembling the shock and slid the coil sleeve onto the shock body, it scraped up the label identifying the date of manufacture.

IMG_1021 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Good thing I took the pictures first!

The rest of assembly was straightforward.

IMG_1022 by jhsitton, on Flickr


John
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Today I spent a couple of hours taking the aluminum off the body.

IMG_1067 by jhsitton, on Flickr

IMG_1065 by jhsitton, on Flickr

I used painter’s tape to label each piece and the order in which I took the panel off. I also grouped the panels into piles, with all the driver’s side foot box panels in one pile, etc.

IMG_1063 by jhsitton, on Flickr

I took lots of photos before disassembly, which I hope will prove useful when it comes time to mock up and fit the panels for final assembly.

I also spent an hour marking, drilling, and marking up the F panels.

IMG_1028 by jhsitton, on Flickr

IMG_1026 by jhsitton, on Flickr

Finally, I spent a few hours applying two coats of Duplicolor bed liner to the outer side of each F panel. I just brushed it on with a chip brush. I’ll paint the inner side tomorrow with Rust Oleum hammered silver spray paint. After that’s dry, the panels will be ready for final installation.

Total time spent on the car today was five hours.


John

EDIT: Pro Tip: It’s much easier to patch the hole on the right side F Panel BEFORE you rivet said panel to the car!
 

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Looking good, keep the updates coming.
JR
 
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