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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I dive head in I would like to know how mechanically skilled you must be to build one of these machines. I am planning on going to the build school and of course spend tons of time on this forum so I dont think that knowledge will be an issue. I am obsessive compulsive and like a dog with a rag when I decide I am going to do something so persistance wont be an issue either.
Basically I would just like to know that if you can turn a wrench and have a basic understanding of autos if you can build one or if I will be in over my head.

Anyone with little (previous) skill level love to hear from you.

Thanks,
Josh
 

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Oh yeah, that would be me.

I was what I liked to call 'Green' when it came to cars. I went to the build school in Nov 05 and my knowledge of cars was remedial at best. I could barely change oil and had no idea what a control arm was. Never mind cam vs crank shaft.

The build school was invaluable regarding terminology (what names of parts are) and sequence of build.

Since then I have learned some things the hard way and allot of things the less hard way thanks to this forum.

I can't stress enough about finding a local cobra builder in your area. I have a few guys that I depend on when things just don't look right. They come over and say, oh well, that's cause it's up-side-down.

It can be done, if you're as persistant and detail oriented as you say then it may be painful at times and you might end up spending more than you had planned (another thing this forum is good for, thanks guys), but in the end the sense of satisfaction is much higher knowing that you built it.

Good luck!
Ivan
 

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If you have basic automotive knowlwdge you will be fine. If you have ever restored a classic car before, you will be fine. While it may look complicated and intimidating, it really is not that difficult. It is basically a kit, a collection of parts and all you need to do is put them together.
This may be a little simplistic because safety is involved here . After all you will be on the road with a high HP, short wheelbase, lightweight car and things happen pretty quick. For me the most difficult part was the wiring. Others may say suspension frustrated them and still others may say installing and bending brake lines. Point is there will be some things that will really get to you. Just sit down, have a beverage of your choice and most of all take your time and have fun. The fun and satisfaction of building one of these dream machines is proceless. You will not regret it. This forum is the best and will give you all the assistance you will ever need. Now go out and pull the trigger!!
 

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Josh,

There are plenty of fellow builders through out Florida. I have seen posts from people in your neck of the woods, and I am sure they will chime in. I am in Naples just off I-75 exit 111 if you need a look at a go-cart. I am just starting the body work and hope to choose a painter to finish it bythis fall. Take your time, stop when you get frustrated, and ask lots of questions. This site is full of people that have had the same challenges as you. Good luck and keep us posted.

Mark Smith
 

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I didn't know Jack about cars when I bought my kit.
I didn't go to the build school.
I only had one of those cheesy JC Penney Home Repair took kits when I started.
I'm just one of those guys who's handy and can figure stuff out as I go. I'm also not too proud to cry for help.


There's a few guys with cars up in your area, so if you get stuck, someone local or here on the forum will bail you out.
 

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Build school is a really good idea.

Jim and Todd do a great job and the class gives you a hands-on experience that will really let you know if it's something you can tackle or not.

Plus, it's alot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Starting to feel better about jumping into this. I plan on starting in about 6-10 months. I have the bug soo bad I will probably end up building it in a storage unit (30x10 with a/c of course) if I cant find a decent house to rent/buy in the mean time.

I am actually getting together with a guy out of Siesta Key on monday so I can pick his brain and take a look at his mach 1 donor (lookin forward to it Geoff). I would love to meet more guys around here that I can lean on and look at where they are at as well. Love to see your go cart Mark, just let me know.

Anyways I will be around a lot cause I dont see how I can get this out of my system without just jumping in. Thanks for all of your responses. And would love any bits of advice any of you have for a newbie.

Thanks again,
Josh
 

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if you have changed oil, and brakes on a car previously , you are qualified.

If you can follow lines on a page , and are not color blind, thus can follow a colored wire end to end , you can even do wiring.

With the limited manual and this forum, people who have no experience at all have coped.

Good luck.
 

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Look up the member name "Kouros". His experience level was something on the order of essentially just an oil change on his regular car.

His red beauty today is a testment to the required skill level one would need.

I was in the middle in terms of auto knowledge by the time I built mine. My beginning were jsut having just a basic set of tools and the all important torque wrench but with that, worked on a Honda CB550, 65'Mustang, and my VW Passat over the years and I felt I was ready for the FFR.

I think you'll do fine. Tenacity is a good thing with this build.
 

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Josh,

I am allowed one day out of the weekend to play with my car (agreement with wife). You are welcome to come by anytime. The only thing I might change is buying a donor pallet. I think I overpaid for my 87 GT Mustang donor and as I went along I used less and less of the donor parts. I even threw away parts that I had sand blasted and painted. I spent one year tearing apart and redoing my donor parts before my car was delivered and my one year anniversary of Stewart delivering my car was yesterday.Establish what you want as far as options and then lets talk about what you buy new and what you get in your pallet.

Good luck,

Mark
 

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First Time Builder
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141 Posts
Josh:
Jump on in!!! I didn't know anything (and I mean ANYTHING) about cars when I decided to go for it. With the help of Richard Oben (a great resource), the other FFCars vendors, my brothers-in-law, some fantastic local FFR owners and this forum, there is no way I can fail. One word of warning - think of a number and then double it - that's what your budget will be!! This forum is very, very good at helping you part with your money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hadnt decided yet if I was going to go donor pallet from either mps or cypress (costs about the same even with shipping from CA). But I did just start dating a girl who manages a car lot so she has access to the dealer auctions and such so she can probably get me a donor really cheap or almost free (yeah I plan ahead lol).

I am planning a budget build which currently totals in the neighborhood of $35k, you guys have spent at least $10K more than I was originally planning on spending and I have only purchased the manual lol. Look forward to you guys spending the rest of my money.

Josh
 

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Josh,

$35,000 should get you a very nice car. I have all my receipts but I am not totalling them until I am done. I do not want any evidence just yet. Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So far the plan is 5.0 donor clean up everything rebuild engine (some upgrades, power adders and rebuilt bottom end, staying efi), trans and rear (3.55). Whitby top, a/c, decent stereo, dyna mat, custom interior and if I really get nuts I'll do the paint/body cause I want this to be a daily driver. Just a little over my experience level lol.

So hopefully after some melted credit cards, lots of swearing and an enormous amount of postings to this site I might actually be able to post some grad pics.

Thanks for all of your input,
Josh
 

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Originally posted by carsick:
I am planning a budget build which currently totals in the neighborhood of $35k.
Budget Build and $35k do not go together.

$35k would literally build 2 of mine (shown below...actual costs) and leave me $1k for beer and pretzles.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would love to have two of yours. Beer sounds good too.

Figured if I said $35k I wouldnt have to worry about going over budget, but I am sure none of you will help me stay within budget but hey whats the fun of that.
 

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I'm with MES a few posts earlier. I am three years into this project and I haven't yet totaled my invoices. I will soon, because I'll be having the car checked (mandatory in MA) by the state police.

I hadn't worked extensively on cars at all, but I have loved cars since I crashed my pedal plane as a child. I love that the FFR is in fact a race car for the street: it reminds me of the interiors of so many Porsche 917's and 312 Ferrari's I had lusted over in the pits at Watkins Glen back in the days of the six-hour races. Now I've got one of my own, and I'll be able to use it almost every day for most (well, maybe 8-9 months) of the year. So I have loved a lot of cars, but my FFR tops them all, and it's not even registered yet (in a few weeks). If you decide to go for it, you'll never regret it if you don't overspend and your close relatives are understanding. Good luck.
 

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I think 35k is a realistic number. To build one for less than 20k IMHO is unrealistic. I went the non-donor route, carb, no power steering or brakes, and my build will total over 50k. Going donor, 30-35 is a good budget.

Good luck with the build. Rob.

BTW, it really isn't that hard. Just read alot, search or ask questions here on the forum, and you'll get is knocked out.
 

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[ May 14, 2007, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: 5N4K3 ]
 

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carsick: if you want a $35k car, plan for $25k... this place will put you that much over.

I planned for a $40k car. I'll be at that before wheels and paint. To hit $35k, you're either going to end up using donor or used parts or going without many options.

IRS and Mass Flo is what pushed me over budget.
 
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