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6852 Views 64 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  russelljones48
OK, so I received my M4 roadster kit about 2 weeks ago but FFR has back ordered some of the key ingredients needed to get me started. Body is on the buck and frame is on the dolly awaiting said parts.

So, I'm biding my time accumulating the needed bits and pieces. Found a '98 Lincoln M8 IRS yesterday and will pick that up and get it to the re-builder this week. Next up will be mating the TKO600 to the Coyote. Everyone including FFR recommends the QT bell housing but I'm hoping to save a little in this area since the car should never see "explosive" RPMs.

My question? What stock bell housing will work with this combo?
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I changed the all of photos to links and they work for me. Please let me know if others can see them.

Anyone have any suggestions as to how to get the pics to show in the post - my pics are all on Google photo???
Pressure plate bolts

It has been a while for a post for me. I am still making progress but much more slowly over the last few months. I have had numerous distractions - good ones but it's now time to get back to work and I have a question I hope someone can help with. I've begun to assemble the drivetrain and I'm using the Coyote motor, the stock 9-bolt Ford Racing flywheel and a Spec Stage 2 clutch. My question is this: I'd like to use ARP pressure plate bolts and the only ones I can find are 10X1.5X25 MM. They are sold for the earlier modular motor and I haven't been able to determine if the are an exact fit or if not that they will be OK. The Ford Racing "kit" includes locator pins which I don't need and I would prefer the ARP hardware. Has anyyone used these bolts in this application? Did they work OK? Does anyone know the exact dimensions of the FR bolts?
I bought the Ford Racing pressure plate and dowel kit, M-6397-A46. It includes 10mm x 1.5 bolts, and I can confirm they fit the Ford Racing billet flywheel I'm using with my Coyote. I like ARP stuff too, but the kit from FR I'm sure is fine. $14 from Summit.
An update on lighting (mostly headlights)

I should preface this with the fact that I'm no lighting expert or EE but I do try to look for those who present facts and well founded opinions. I'm going to contribute my findings here so, hopefully, others can benefit from my research. I did a quick search here and did not find much on the roadster headlights and since LEDs have progressed quite a bit I'm upgrading the lighting on my FFR - almost everything on the car. But in researching my options I found that there's so much junk out there on the WEB (opinion and equipment) to sift through it's taken me a while to figure out the decent options and that's just for the headlights.. Couple of thank you's to 2 valuable resources: Daniel Stern and candlepowerforums. Both of these resources deal in fact and not hype... Ultimately here's the options I came up with.

Option 1.) "Better" OEM lights. There are a couple good replacement sealed beams that may be better than what's on your car. GE Nighthawks (not the LEDs) are an example. The improvement isn't good enough for me since I occasionally drive rural 2 lanes at night.

Option 2.) Convert to Halogens. According to Daniel Stern and others there are 2 7" reflectors out there that are good - Cibie which Daniel sells and Koito which are pricier and harder to find. This option will also need the installation of a good relay and wiring. approximate cost is in the $250 - $300 range plus the time or labor to install. Here's a quote on the Halogens: Halogen headlamps: Put in a set of Cibie replaceable-bulb headlamp units, $79/ea. They are the best focused, most efficient readily-available lamps of their type to fit your application. All of the reputable-brand 7" headlamps presently available (Cibie, Bosch, Hella, Koito) are well made of good quality materials, but the Cibies are the most efficient, best focused, highest performing units of their type -- more detail on request. There's a great deal of junk on the market, too. Delta, Roundeyes, Adjure, Eagle Eye, Eaglite, Maxtel, Eurolite, and dozens of other off-brand units mostly from China. Avoid all of it. Also take cautious note that many vendors are offering Bosch 7" H4 headlamps at blowout prices of about fifty bucks a pair. Nice price, but they are surplus motorcycle headlamps, and though they'll physically fit, they aren't car/truck headlamps and their performance isn't adequate for car/truck service. (There is an H4 lamp better than the Cibie, made in Japan by Koito, but it is enough more expensive and difficult to get hold of that its cost-effectiveness is kind of iffy).

Option 3.) LED headlamps. My research (mostly from the site named candlepowerforums) tells me that there are 3 decent LED headlamps out there: Peterson, Trucklites, and JW Speaker. The Speaker Evolution II's seems to be the pick of the litter but the others perform well too. Approximate price range: $400 - $600 for the pair and they are direct plug ins for a well maintained harness and use less power than the OEMs. Note: the major brand LED units like the GE are mostly re-brands of the 3 above and are a bit more expensive.

Option 4.) HID's. Here's the quote from Daniel Stern and this is similar to advice from others out there who know lighting. He can say this much better than I can and it is obviously his opinion but all of the
other experts and the tests that I saw support this view.
"There is exactly one legitimate, legal, well-made, good-performing HID headlamp to fit your vehicle. It is built around the Hella high/low-beam projector used in current-model higher-end Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, Porsches, etc. Beam performance is vastly superior to what can be obtained with tungsten/halogen light bulbs in any optic unit. Power consumption is less than that of halogen headlamps. Bulb lifespan is about 10 years. The lens is almost-impossible- to-break borosilicate glass (no haze/fog/scratch-up issue like plastic lenses give) Beam focus is broad, robust, and highly precise, with excellent control of glare and stray light; when these lamps are aimed correctly they are inoffensive to other road users on low beam. They are also fully road-legal. It is a very costly option; price for the pair is $1523.62 (with black bezel you can paint if you want). Chrome bezel is available for +$100 (pair). Price is all-inclusive; you do not need to get any additional components. All wiring components, bulbs, ballasts, etc. are included; it is plug-and- play. I stock them. Photos attached show these lamps in a Jeep and a Porsche. This is, by a large margin, the best-performing headlamp system to fit a 7" round application such as yours.

I hope this helps others here. The mis-information on this topic out there made my head spin. Read Daniel's tech info and go to candlepower. IMHO if you buy much of the stuff out there (especially the HID conversions) you will be lucky to get decent headlights. I've ordered the JW Speaker Evo II LED units from Northridge 4X4 for $480. And I will take Daniels advice on LED's for directional and taillights..
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It looks like I can skip the usual apology for the length of time between posts... :). I'm probably not going to be a good build documenter, but I've made progress in fits and starts in the last few months. I have now almost completed the sheet metal install (thanks to Richard Oben's advice) and wanted to offer some observations for first time builders.

First, my approach for the car is that I may not choose to cover my aluminum so I want it to look as good as possible with uniform rivet spacing and patterns and a consistent finish. So, I may appear a little OCD about this topic.

My first advice would be to follow Richard's advice. Do all or almost all of the sheet metal in one fell swoop but do it with Cleco's not rivets. He's much quicker than I am so it took me a couple of weeks (not days) - I would say 40-50 hours.

My second piece of advice would be to pretty much ignore the FFR manual and definitely DON'T install piece by piece. Assemble an area or section together and fit/modify all of the pieces in that area together before doing any drilling and Clecoing.

I want to digress a bit and talk about the tools I used and what I might change. I used 4 different drills: a regular corded drill, a regular cordless drill, an air drill ( as small as you can find for tight places) and my bench top drill press for pre-drilling panels. Buy LOTS of drill bits - I've already gone through about 20. Also figure out a quick way to lube your bits for each hole. My solution was to use a thimble sized cup (plastic AN fitting cover) and fill it with aerosol white grease for dipping.

I ended up with over 100 Clecos and a small set of the Cleco clamps (these proved invaluable for temporary set up and as a working clamps). If I had this to do again I would buy another set of Cleco pliers since I was constantly retrieving it from the car or from my work area - they were never in the right spot when I needed them.

For minor trimming I used my tin snip set, my die grinder with various bits, and my belt sander for longer edges. There were several areas where the frame welds interfered with proper sheet fit and some areas where the panel didn't match the frame - most notably the trans tunnel. For longer cuts and for fabrication I found these power shears invaluable: http://www.eastwood.com/electric-met...ng-shears.html. They aren't perfect but with a guide and/or careful use they worked very well for me and for $50 I wonder what I did without them. I also found that my relatively complete set of "wood" hole saws were very handy and they work well on aluminum if lubricated with the white grease. I even found that spade bits are good for aluminum with lube.

There's still one area where I've struggled but I think I've found a solution. My conundrum was that I wanted the rivets to look good on the back side in some cases. Specifically in the driver's side foot box the funky/ragged ends of the pop rivets could snag clothing or shoes in that tight space. So, I punched out the ends of the pop rivets and tried expanding and flattening them (see youtube). This worked OK but left a hole in the center of the rivet which I would then have to seal - too many steps.. The solution looks like solid rivets for those areas. However, this requires special tools: a special air hammer and specialized dollies.. I have some aircraft buddies who will loan me the tools so I won't incur the expense ($150-200) for 20 - 30 rivets.

Lastly, there's lots of areas/gaps that will need to be filled and to look good they will need black or silver/gray caulk and to be carefully taped to create nice looking joints - but that's for final assembly... I do hope this helps someone who's new to all this sheet metal and rivets
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