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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Night Fury
Budget Build - $25,000 Target

📜 Build Background
A Factory Five Roadster "Budget Build" in the vein of 60's era British sports cars. In this instance, reminiscent of my favorite car, a 1965 Triumph Spitfire.

Back in the day, when I first heard of Factory Five, they had very few kits. Their original Cobra kit always spoke to me even though it wasn't my favorite at the time. Their first Cobra kit was literally a "Donor + Kit = Car" experience. The Factory Five Racing Roadster has now become my favorite. Their new 33 Hot Rod coming in as a close second. If I were to do this someday (I sincerely hope to), I'd approach it like the original concept. Too many out there throw tons of money at their Roadster. Not that I'm shaming them, just that I can't do that ;)

A little about me, I'm just here as a dreamer right now. I've always wanted to build a kit car since I was a child. I figured I'd join the forum as I do my research for my (hopeful) Roadster build. I have some things I can offer; I've been working on cars since I was a teenager, built my own motorcycles, rebuilt two Triumph Spitfires from bumper to bumper, and was a mechanic for about 10 years.

💭 Thoughts & Ideas
I've been doing some research and browsing the forums here (thank you!), as I come across ideas I'll be putting them here for later thought and discussion.

🎨 Colors & Cosmetics:

  • Body - gloss black with satin black stripes, satin black trim, some sort of greenish-yellow here & there.
    • Likely to be painted using a roller (yes, I'm serious).
  • Interior - black vinyl, black carpet, wood-trim vinyl for dash.
💡 Let's Lay Out My Core Ideas:
  • Option 1 - Donor Build.
    • Find an 87-04 Mustang GT 5.0 Automatic.
  • Option 2 - Piecemeal Build.
    • Engine and transmission.
    • Driveshaft.
    • Ford 8.8” rear end with quad-shocks, brakes, springs, and control arms.
    • Mustang front and rear brakes.
    • Mustang spindles/lower A-arms.
    • Radiator/fan shroud.
    • Steering rack with factory ignition.
    • Ford EFI computer and wire harness.
    • Mustang fuel tank and fuel filter.
    • Mustang E-brake handle and pedal box.
    • Wheels - Summit Racing.
  • Creature Comforts.
    • A/C - Will likely attempt to modify donor system.
    • Heater/Defroster - Again, likely attempt to modify donor system.
    • Power Brakes.
    • Power Steering.
    • Automatic Transmission - I'm getting old, plus Heather (my wife) can drive it!
    • Seat Sliders.
🧰 Basic Kit & Options: $13,937
  • Powder Coated Frame - better corrosion protection.
  • Passenger Roll Bar - safety.
  • Pre-Cut Holes in Body - labor savings & less errors.
📋 Recommended Upgrades:
  • Russ Thompson Throttle Pedal?
🛠 Fabricating Myself:
  • Heater/Defroster System - comfort.
  • Center Dash Support - storage.
  • Front-Tilt Nose - essentially copy the bonnet function of a '65 Spitfire.
📆 Later Additions:
  • Tonneau Cover.
  • Soft Top.
Well, that's it for now! I look forward to interacting with you all in the forum!
 

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Welcome to the madness, Todd. I went the donor route, and there are still a few around who did that within the past five years or so. You'll get lots of opinions on options, what to include, what not to include, etc. Take all with a grain of salt - it's your build, do it the way you want.

On my build, my kit options were body cut-outs, FFR LCAs, and FFR 3-link. I prepped and POR-15'd my chassis in silver. I did the wood vinyl, and am including a pic to give you an idea on how it looks. I think $25K is an aggressive target, depending on what deal you get on the donor, and if you do your own paint. Body/paint are frequently a big surprise, big-ticket item, frequently landing in the $7500/$10000 range.

Good luck with this. I hope you pull the trigger. It's a great experience!

- m

20200617_095051.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the madness, Todd. I went the donor route, and there are still a few around who did that within the past five years or so. You'll get lots of opinions on options, what to include, what not to include, etc. Take all with a grain of salt - it's your build, do it the way you want.

On my build, my kit options were body cut-outs, FFR LCAs, and FFR 3-link. I prepped and POR-15'd my chassis in silver. I did the wood vinyl, and am including a pic to give you an idea on how it looks. I think $25K is an aggressive target, depending on what deal you get on the donor, and if you do your own paint. Body/paint are frequently a big surprise, big-ticket item, frequently landing in the $7500/$10000 range.

Good luck with this. I hope you pull the trigger. It's a great experience!

- m
Thanks M! I always forget to include my background in this kind of post! I'm medically disabled and cannot work any more. However, I've been working on cars all my life and was a mechanic for 10 of those years. Though aggressive at 25k, I think I can manage it.

For one thing, I'll definitely be taking my time. This will allow me to either find a decent donor or at least gather the requisite parts. I'll also be using as much stock components as I can, stock transmission, stock rear-end, stock brakes, stock engine, etc.

As far as paint, I'll be doing it myself. I've seen tutorials on doing paintwork with a paint roller (no lie!) and am going to try that route. Since this will NOT be a show car (it will be a weekend back-road cruiser) I'm not worried about a "perfect" paint job, though it should look nice!
 

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Love your plan and ambition!

My car was a mostly donor build.
A donor build is still fast enough to scare you without making enough power that you break parts.

The build is just as fun using donor parts, maybe more because of the excitement of hunting parts. Ordering online is boring compared to scouring the swap meet for that needed part.

Try to get the best donor parts you can, it will save you money in the end. My donor was a 300k mile clapped out hooptie I found for $300. After rebuilding the engine, trans, rearend and using the rest as cores, I had more in it than if I had bought a more expensive donor that didn’t need a complete rebuild of everything.


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Discussion Starter #5
Love your plan and ambition!
Thanks! Though I may not be as ambitious as you think ;)

My car was a mostly donor build. A donor build is still fast enough to scare you without making enough power that you break parts.
Exactly my thought! My old '65 Spitfire was 80 HP and super light. Though no speed demon, it was a blast to enjoy. I'll leave the high-power fun for the young folks.

The build is just as fun using donor parts, maybe more because of the excitement of hunting parts. Ordering online is boring compared to scouring the swap meet for that needed part.
Also my thought process! Having restored a couple old British cars and Japanese motorcycles, I enjoy the part hunt for sure! I heard a phrase once, "shopping cart kit", that referred to a modern kit car build. Again, not shaming or putting those guys down - that's just not my cup of tea. Personally I think the complete kits are a great idea to get more people into car culture because you don't need to be an auto mechanic and an online archeologist to build one :)

Try to get the best donor parts you can, it will save you money in the end. My donor was a 300k mile clapped out hooptie I found for $300. After rebuilding the engine, trans, rear-end and using the rest as cores, I had more in it than if I had bought a more expensive donor that didn’t need a complete rebuild of everything.
Luckily in my area I've found some decent Mustang donors for right around $2k. About 100,000 miles on them, but little rust. I can pull the parts, clean and recondition a bit, and re-use them. Then make decent money selling the leftovers. I also still have a lot of connection in the local wrecking yards. So I'm not sure if I'll do a full donor or just find the bits individually. I think it will depend on what life throws at me!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
THOUGHTS:
  • Removable Transmission Tunnel.
  • Tilting Bonnet (Spitfire Latch Hardware).
  • Footwell Side Access Panels.
  • Column Mount Turn Signals.
  • Windshield Wiper Options.
  • Build My Own Center Support.
NOTED FROM OTHER BUILDS:
  • Insulate footwells and floors only, no need to insulate back of cockpit.
  • Seat heaters are worth it.
  • Footwell vents aren't.
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Discussion Starter #9
My dad’s MK3.1 has an AOD transmission and we didn’t need to modify the tunnel, but I’m not sure about the current chassis.
In that thread it was done to partially hide the shifter.

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Curious George
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Ford performance is offering a coyote with the 10spd auto - it’s way too expensive though for 25k budget! Welcome to the mix!!!! Excited to see your work!


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THOUGHTS:
  • Eventual IRS Upgrade.

  • Roll-Up Side Windows.
Welcome!

RE: Eventual IRS upgrade; the chassis is constructed for either live axle or IRS. The two are significantly different aft of the cockpit. Although it is possible to reconfigure a 3 or 4 link chassis to accept IRS it is no small undertaking and would require lots of fabrication and welding. This is a decision that pretty much needs to be locked in at the very beginning prior to ordering.

I think you'll find that roll up windows are simply not a possibility in the roadster.

You'll probably hear this from others but including power steering and the Factory Five proprietary spindles would be some of the smartest money can spend on the car.

Good luck!

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ford performance is offering a coyote with the 10spd auto - it’s way too expensive though for 25k budget! Welcome to the mix!!!! Excited to see your work!


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Thanks for the welcome! :)

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you!

RE: Eventual IRS upgrade; the chassis is constructed for either live axle or IRS. The two are significantly different aft of the cockpit. Although it is possible to reconfigure a 3 or 4 link chassis to accept IRS it is no small undertaking and would require lots of fabrication and welding. This is a decision that pretty much needs to be locked in at the very beginning prior to ordering.

I think you'll find that roll up windows are simply not a possibility in the roadster.
I just learned both of these myself while researching! Looks like good old fashioned 4-link and no windows :)

You'll probably hear this from others but including power steering and the Factory Five proprietary spindles would be some of the smartest money can spend on the car.
I am definitely going with power steering, though not entirely sold on the FFR spindles yet ;)

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ToddQ – Welcome to the forum.

By chance, the car I built is based on a 1980 Spitfire 1500 rolling chassis.

I also built a fully tilting hood, using some very basic ‘scissor’ hinges.





Note: I was able to take these photos from this angle because I’d cut a large section of the hood off!



So never underestimate how much you can change fibreglass.

I wanted to use leather straps to secure the hood, rather than the original Spitfire latch.

But I did use Spitfire parts to locate it (sorry photos taken while still under construction).





To be honest, opening the hood on hinges I made myself still makes me smile. :cool:



I also hand painted my car, outside, with a brush!



If you go down this route, I’d suggest a Rust-oleum paint, that goes on rough, but sands smooth.

Unfortunately, I used a synthetic paint, that went on smooth, but sands rough. :rolleyes:

The key statement you made for me is this…

”Since this will NOT be a show car (it will be a weekend back-road cruiser) I'm not worried about a "perfect" paint job, though it should look nice!”

If you stick with this attitude you will enjoy the whole process a lot more, rather than chasing perfection.

My finished car is far from perfect and a lot closer to ‘rough’ in places, but still a joy to drive.





Good luck and don’t forget to keep a build thread going on here.

Cheers, Paul. :)

PS
Only because you mentioned you are retired, and I hope have time on your hands, you can find my LONG build here:

Sammio Cordite - Triumph Spitfire 1500 based kit
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Paul! Great info there! And you brought back a ton of memories with those pics!
 

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Welcome. I hope to see you building in the next not too long a time. Some thoughts from 13 yrs in a MkII.
Paint; read a bunch of threads on how to fit the hood, doors, and trunk lid. Do that yourself and then check with MAACO. At least get an estimate. Real automotive paint is used for a reason. I'd also think hard about black. The darker the color is, the more obvious imperfections are.
Donor; Forget that. Buy individual parts. There is no one donor year that has the best of each component for use in an FFR. Example 94-95 is best for front spindles but probably worst for engine/trans. Get onto any local Mustang group you can because they do a lot of upgrades and the sell off parts are usually reasonable.
Spindles; FFR is by far the best. They started w/ the tall Fox spindles and then some discovered the 94-95 were shorter and the SAI kit was developed to use them w/ vastly better geometry. W/o the SAI kit they offer little advantage and I don't think anyone is machining the SAI kit any more. Than FFR started doing a lot of design in CAD by an engineer and they developed their spindles which provide the absolute best geometry..
Top; I have an APE hardtop and I love the look but would go soft next time. The hard top amplifies road noise. If you go soft top be sure the rear window zips out. I really like driving mine in the summer w/ all windows out for a breeze but the top still on for shade.
Footbox vents. If you go AC you don't need them. However AC is much more complicated and takes up a lot of room. W/o AC the vents are a godsend.
Tilt front; it is a neat system and several have done it so search for threads. But it isn't easy, I'd call it pretty difficult, so I wouldn't do it.
IRS; The current system is fantastic but either do it initially or forget it. I did the upgrade on my MkII. You need to be a good tig or mig welder and very supple. I was 69 when I did it and could only get the car as high as my tallest jack stands. Some of the welding was almost impossible because of the location and my neck not bending as much as it used to. Bad enough that even though retired, I took a day off two different times so I could recover from the bending.
3 link is by FAR better than 4 link so that is what I recommend.
Turn signal. I use a on-off-on toggle switch w/ an extended for the lever. So simple and inexpensive.
The FFR wipers are fine if you take the wheel boxes apart and do some judicious bending to tighten up the cable to toothed wheel fit.
Keep asking questions here. When a used part shows on your radar you need to know all about it and other options so you can jump quickly if it's correct.
 

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These comments after reviewing your initial post and responses: (1) Huge YES on the Factory Five 2-piece spindles. You say not convinced. Not sure what it will take, but I've had both and there's a huge difference. The car tracks like a daily driver with no mods, e.g. bump steer, SAI, etc. Figure out how to use those in your build. You won't regret it. (2) If you're going solid axle, definitely do the 3-link vs. the 4-link. Little/no difference in cost and much better and more predictable performance. (3) I'm a big supporter of power steering. You're going automatic for driveability. Put power steering in the same category. Makes the car easier and more fun to drive. (4) Somewhat trivial, but you list "Center Dash Support - reduce cowl shake." There is no cowl shake in these cars. The strength is all in the chassis and the body doesn't shake. Not a bit. The center dash support offered by Factory Five adds little/no strength. Or is it needed. Simply an appearance item intended to look like the support in the originals. Buy it or duplicate it if you want. But don't expect it to do anything structural.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Welcome. I hope to see you building in the next not too long a time.
Thank you! So do I :)
Some thoughts from 13 yrs in a MkII.
Paint; read a bunch of threads on how to fit the hood, doors, and trunk lid. Do that yourself and then check with MAACO. At least get an estimate. Real automotive paint is used for a reason. I'd also think hard about black. The darker the color is, the more obvious imperfections are.
Thank you again ;) Though I am a PPG certified auto body technician, I simply don't want something that I'm gonna worry about. Kids are gonna lean against it, it's gonna get rock chips, door dings, and more.
Donor; Forget that. Buy individual parts. There is no one donor year that has the best of each component for use in an FFR. Example 94-95 is best for front spindles but probably worst for engine/trans. Get onto any local Mustang group you can because they do a lot of upgrades and the sell off parts are usually reasonable.
I think this is why the donor guys say "don't read the forums ;) I'm going for lowest cost possible.
Spindles; FFR is by far the best. They started w/ the tall Fox spindles and then some discovered the 94-95 were shorter and the SAI kit was developed to use them w/ vastly better geometry. W/o the SAI kit they offer little advantage and I don't think anyone is machining the SAI kit any more. Than FFR started doing a lot of design in CAD by an engineer and they developed their spindles which provide the absolute best geometry.
Oh, I agree! If I was building a top-notch Roadster I would definitely go that route. Same with the complete build and a crate engine & transmission, etc.
Top; I have an APE hardtop and I love the look but would go soft next time. The hard top amplifies road noise. If you go soft top be sure the rear window zips out. I really like driving mine in the summer w/ all windows out for a breeze but the top still on for shade.
That's some great tips! Thank you :) I recall that issue on my Spitfire, I had to take the top to have a zipper installed.
Footbox vents. If you go AC you don't need them. However AC is much more complicated and takes up a lot of room. W/o AC the vents are a godsend.
Yeah, I'm still researching A/C and such. Thank you for the input though!
Tilt front; it is a neat system and several have done it so search for threads. But it isn't easy, I'd call it pretty difficult, so I wouldn't do it.
Personally, I think it's cake. It'd be super easy to replicate it from the Daytona replica. Being that I'm doing a full donor build, I expect there'll be some wrenching required on this. But we'll see!
IRS; The current system is fantastic but either do it initially or forget it. I did the upgrade on my MkII. You need to be a good tig or mig welder and very supple. I was 69 when I did it and could only get the car as high as my tallest jack stands. Some of the welding was almost impossible because of the location and my neck not bending as much as it used to. Bad enough that even though retired, I took a day off two different times so I could recover from the bending. 3 link is by FAR better than 4 link so that is what I recommend.
Even the 3 link is out of my budget on this build. But I did learn of sales that FFR runs... so maybe!
Turn signal. I use a on-off-on toggle switch w/ an extended for the lever. So simple and inexpensive.
I didn't even think of that!
The FFR wipers are fine if you take the wheel boxes apart and do some judicious bending to tighten up the cable to toothed wheel fit.
Thanks for this tip!
Keep asking questions here. When a used part shows on your radar you need to know all about it and other options so you can jump quickly if it's correct.
I plan on it! I've been reading through the threads, there is a TON of knowledge here! Thank you again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
These comments after reviewing your initial post and responses: (1) Huge YES on the Factory Five 2-piece spindles. You say not convinced. Not sure what it will take, but I've had both and there's a huge difference. The car tracks like a daily driver with no mods, e.g. bump steer, SAI, etc. Figure out how to use those in your build. You won't regret it.
The price ;) Definitely possible in a later update though! I just need to stick to my initial budget. My ADHD makes it difficult. It's too easy to look at stuff and go "oh yeah!" and add it to the list. But if I stick to my goal and finish it, I am looking forward to later improvements.
(2) If you're going solid axle, definitely do the 3-link vs. the 4-link. Little/no difference in cost and much better and more predictable performance.
I could swear I saw 3-link was quite a bit more... yeah - $1,400 is too much. For right now anyways.
(3) I'm a big supporter of power steering. You're going automatic for driveability. Put power steering in the same category. Makes the car easier and more fun to drive.
Definitely! Power steering, power brakes, and AOD from the donor.
(4) Somewhat trivial, but you list "Center Dash Support - reduce cowl shake." There is no cowl shake in these cars. The strength is all in the chassis and the body doesn't shake. Not a bit. The center dash support offered by Factory Five adds little/no strength. Or is it needed. Simply an appearance item intended to look like the support in the originals. Buy it or duplicate it if you want. But don't expect it to do anything structural.
That's awesome news! This is all stuff I'm still learning ;) I recall it being a problem on a lot of 60's era British cars. I'll likely leave or use it for a storage compartment. We'll see. Thank you again!
 

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Hit me up if you need discounted EFI tank and 190lph fuel pump. Parts are new never used. I went with a completely different tank and have this brand new 15 gallon mustang tank sitting in my garage. Was going to list it for sale this weekend.
 
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