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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow builders!

Noob here and this is 100% my first, but certainly not my last build. I just picked up my kit the day after Thanksgiving and the unloading process went far more smoothly than I originally anticipated, great success!

Background: I've done some wrenching and modding on my various cars in the past, but never anything of this scale. For a year in college I was part of the FSAE team and we built an overpowered go kart from the ground up, so there's that to ad to my resume. Aside from this limited experience, all I have to bring to the table is a homemade shop, an onslaught of tools from Harbor Freight and "the thing between my ears".

Plan: I have a rather ambitious plan for this build. I was originally supposed to attend the build class in MI 2 weeks ago, but, sadly, that was cancelled due to COVID. My end goal date I would like to achieve would be middle of July, just before my wedding, but that date can be flexible. It would be so cool to "drive away" in this fresh build. My soon-to-be brother-in-law will be mostly building this together, so having an extra set of hands should help expedite things a bit.

Status: The kit has been picked up, I have inventoried all of the parts and all of the panels have been numbered, marked and removed, with the exception of the F panels. Next is the suspension.

Now, I feel like I might be at a slight disadvantage since I do not have the build class under my belt, but with the research I've done and the review I have done of the manual (all 527 pages), I think I might be okay. However, I would greatly appreciate any and all build tips and tricks people can impart on me along the way.

I'm not the best at self promotion, so I apologize in advance if I do not update this thread regularly, but I will do my best. for a little eye pleasure, I have added some pictures of my inventory system and my garage setup.

Looking forward to the next step of the process!!

Day of pickup. Moments later I started vibrating with excitement
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Unloading party. My neighbor was the only other one nearly as excited as me about this (guy on the right)
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All of the boxes completely inventoried
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Yes, yes, I laid out the carpet in the very beginning. I'm not as dumb as I look
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The ridiculous amount of leftover packaging
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Stack of aluminum panels. I hope I did this right part right
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Finally, the garage and the new home for my kit for the next 8-12 months
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I found that as I went along, there were things I needed to or wanted to revisit (tighten a bolt, make a final adjustment, etc...). I used Manila shipping tags to write myself a note on what I completed, needed to do or recheck and wired it the the component that I needed to revisit. Sticky notes do the same thing but tend to fall off.
I also keep some spiral steno pads to write myself notes as I think of things I need and whatnot. I also found that a right angle drill and a 12” (1/8”) drill bit both came in handy. The 12” bit probably much more so than a right angle drill. A couple times a screw machine length drill bit was helpful too. I’m sure once you build one or two of these cars, you know where you can get a drill into and where you can’t. THe long drill bit enabled me to drill where I couldn’t necessarily get a drill in close, but could still get a riveter in
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ooo good tips. I was thinking of using a marker on things like bolts that need torquing. I might leave the colorless if I haven’t touched them and green if I have. I also have a whiteboard out there I’m going to use for jotting down quick notes
 

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I second the marker on bolts.

I broke the build down in phases that made sense to me. This allows you so look at the project in sections and not get overwhelmed. At the end of those phases I rechecked all the steps and bolts.

I had 0 experience and managed to get my kit up and running. The forum and making friends on this forum is everything for me.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jason, can you impart your wisdom on me in what phases you broke it down by? Possibly by the sections in the manual like front suspension, steering assembly, rear suspension, etc? Or did you do something different entirely?
 

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Jason, can you impart your wisdom on me in what phases you broke it down by? Possibly by the sections in the manual like front suspension, steering assembly, rear suspension, etc? Or did you do something different entirely?
Well wisdom is not the word. Trust me. Technical advise will come from others but organization I can help a little. I will go back and look and see how I did it.

To start.

Front suspension rear suspension are definitely 2 phases. fuel cell. Brake and fuel. Initial aluminum another. Not necessarily in this order. I will look.

More importantly as you keep people updated on the sections you are working they will provide you with useful tips. Sometime even suggesting you to skip certian things until later.

I am still not done with the build. My engine I built needed rebuilt. But it has been a couple years since I was at you point.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Upon further review of my backorder list and after going through the first steps of the front suspension, I realized that I do not have the front LCAs, which is frustrating. I got confirmation from FFR that it might be about 4 weeks before those parts will get to me. However, I decided to move forward and ear mark the pages and sections I couldn't do.

The next stage of the process is supposed to be installing the spindles, brakes and IRS. I am considering working on that, or some of that, tonight, but am wondering if it would be worth continuing with the fronts while my parts list is incomplete.

In any event, here are some colorful pics of the work I did last night. Getting the top bolts for the UCAs torqued was a bit of a b**** and it was a little sketch fitting a spanner in there sideways, but I got it to work. I have to say, I know I'm only about 1.5 hours into the fun bits, but I am totally in love with this project. This is 100% the adult version of Legos. I feel like I never grew up, it's awesome!

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welcome to the madness.
make sure you sent your shocks to their softest setting before installing them. they should be this way from the factory, but I found one that wasn't. there should be a dust cap that you can remove on one end and a small button you'll press to adjust the firmness of the shocks.

when planning out your build, make sure you don't do something that will interfere with your ability to reach something else later.
go ahead and drill all/most of your aluminum panels at once to cut down on the shrapnel and cleaning necessary.
you can work on the IRS while waiting on the LCAs.
do the brake lines before putting in the engine.
i found the first 1/3rd of the build goes really fast. once you get all the parts in, you just bolt them together. like adult legos.
for me, the 2nd 1/3rd slowed down as I had to rebuild an engine/transmission. being a novice, this required lots of reading/research to figure out the right combination of stuff.
there's always something else to work on if you get stuck, frustrated, or just waiting on backordered parts.
try to keep organized and use the forums as it's a wonderful resource for most of us first timers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm I didn't really see anything that looked like adjustability on these. These are not the double adjustable shocks, but I'll take another look.

I just read ahead through to the pedal box install and it seems like I'll get the IRS, center section and brake lines done pretty darn quickly, with the pedal box being a little tedious, especially since I don't have all of those parts. Any tips for these sections?

Any of your own personal suggestions for organization? I am open to everything to be as efficient as possible.
 

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Lookin good so far, I think your front (and rear) shocks should be mounted with the body up. Something about unsprung weight and better clearance to the control arms, at least there was talk about it in the past, maybe someone can confirm. I saw you were asking about Petes Restoration in another thread to RockOn. He has painted 3 of mine and will do my latest one. He is local to me in Woodbury i can give you his contact info when you are ready. I am just getting started with my 5th build, came back from powdercoating last week. Keep up the good work, and keep posting your progress.

Mike
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Discussion Starter #12
You're right, Mike. Upon looking at the colored PDF version of this manual, I noticed that it is mounted upside down. However, I originally thought it was the double adjustable that was supposed to be mounted this way, but I guess not.

I would love his contact information. 5 builds is a good review if you keep going back. I'm loving the skeleton, btw.
 

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Hmm I didn't really see anything that looked like adjustability on these. These are not the double adjustable shocks, but I'll take another look.
As egchewy said - The black dust cap pops off and there is a way to set the softness of the rebound. I think there are four settings. I'll see if I can track down the exact procedure from Koni.

Are you doing power steering? If so, you can also cut the rear upper control arm adjuster tubes while you have this in the wide open. Take them down about 1/4 to 3/8 on each end. It will allow you to fully adjust the Caster to the +7 to 8 degrees.

Build school info - shock body up on the front and shock body down on the rear - if using a moser solid axle rear end.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As egchewy said - The black dust cap pops off and there is a way to set the softness of the rebound. I think there are four settings. I'll see if I can track down the exact procedure from Koni.
I saw the dust cap and saw what looked like a small ball bearing, but I could really move into a position it held. it just fell right back down.

Are you doing power steering? If so, you can also cut the rear upper control arm adjuster tubes while you have this in the wide open. Take them down about 1/4 to 3/8 on each end. It will allow you to fully adjust the Caster to the +7 to 8 degrees.
Yes, I am doing power steering. However, I was a little confused by the rough alignment for the front end. In one of my pictures, you can see the passenger side UCA has the welded on pivot joint to the back, but on the other side it's opposite. Are you suggesting taking off the welded pivot sleeve on both and cutting those down or strictly the ones in the rear? Looking at the angle of the UCAs in contrast with each other doesn't seem to give a true forward alignment.

I took a couple of pictures to show you. Both pictures are taken relationally from the same position on each side with my feet facing the rear. In the picture, you can kind of tell that the ball joint for the passenger side is a bit more aft of the coiler and on the driver side you can see it is a bit more forward.

Passenger side
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Drive side
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Discussion Starter #15
Oh yeah and I was an idiot. I looked at my list and thought I read IFS LCA missing, but it said IRS LCA. I found the Front LCAs in Box 22. Woot woot!
 

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It is correct that for the front LCA's, one side will have the welded portion on the front. The other side on the back. You're not the first to question it (or I'm sure not the last...) but it's correct and works out just fine. If you want to preemptively trim for power steering, you would do the back portions only on both sides. This because often the rear adjusters bottom out before the maximum amount of caster for power steering is achieved. Or you can wait until it's time for the alignment and trim then if needed. The pieces aren't that hard to remove. Your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is correct that for the front LCA's, one side will have the welded portion on the front. The other side on the back. You're not the first to question it (or I'm sure not the last...) but it's correct and works out just fine. If you want to preemptively trim for power steering, you would do the back portions only on both sides. This because often the rear adjusters bottom out before the maximum amount of caster for power steering is achieved. Or you can wait until it's time for the alignment and trim then if needed. The pieces aren't that hard to remove. Your choice.
I think it's probably best to do it now while it's fresh. I have already torqued everything down, but who cares, it doesn't take long.

egchewy. thanks for sending this over. While I modify the sleeves, I'll take the shocks out and double check those, too.
 

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I think it's probably best to do it now while it's fresh. I have already torqued everything down, but who cares, it doesn't take long.

egchewy. thanks for sending this over. While I modify the sleeves, I'll take the shocks out and double check those, too.
When you cut the sleeve check to make sure the threaded pieces, one bolted on and the other welded on do not bottom out against each other inside the sleeve. I had to also trim about 3/8" off of each of the threaded inserts too.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good advice. I'll be sure to do this tonight.
 
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