Factory Five Racing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

My name is Dan, and I am from the Chicago area. I have thought about building a Cobra for a long time, and thought I would get some insight from everybody here before i commit to doing it. My main question is, what type of experience do i need to have to build one of these kits. I will be honest, my auto experience is pretty limited. But that is one of the reasons i want to do it. I feel like this would be the perfect way for me to learn exactly how things work and feel it would be a great time. But i also dont want to get in over my head. I am more than willing to do what i have to do to "prep" for starting this project. Unfortuneately, unlike a lot of you, i did not have anyone to really introduce me to cars and how to work on them. I can do the basic stuff like change oil & the plugs, etc, but i am not naive enough to think that i can just wing it. So, i guess i am looking for some fatherly advice... is this something i should try tackling? also, what type of tools do need to have? i am not opposed to buying some new toys (within reason), but not sure what everyone ended up really needing to use to build their car. Lastly, experience wise, can anyone recommend a good book or and inexpensive way to pick up the basic knowledge i need!? Sorry for my long rambling message, and i apologize if it has been asked (seached the forums with no luck), but this is all new territory for me.

Thanks in advance!

Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,504 Posts
The ideal thing is to go to the build school. There you will quickly learn if you want to do this or not. There you will also learn exactly what tools you need, which are not really very complex. Buy the build manual before you go. You will get a credit if you buy the kit.

Most important of the tools is an automated rivet gun, I had a pneumatic one. There are hundreds and hundreds of rivets. I also had a pneumatic caulking gun. Having an engine lift helps,
although you could probably rent one, floor jack and jackstands, drill. Otherwise just a good set of sockets, wrenches and screwdrivers, need both regular and metric, as the donor has a lot of metric nuts and bolts.

You also need space and a tolerant family,
particularly your wife, if you have one.

You also came to the right place if you want advice....We are all rabid advice givers and there are a lot of experts here....
 

·
Junior Charter Member
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
You might seriously consider going to the build school
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, i had planned on going to the build school for sure... it seems like a no brainer for how much it costs compared to the discount they give you on your kit...

Thanks for the input,

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,676 Posts
Build Manual
Build school
Most likely you can do it.

I think that doing a basic 5.0 donor build has a lot of pluses for those without a lot of experience. If you take the donor apart you get a good understanding of how it was put together and what you have to do to put together the FFR.

I did wrenches in the Navy 35 years ago, did not change the oil in my daily drivers. Took me 3 months to strip the donor and then 15 to build my car. I took the donor completely apart, cut up what was left over and took it to the junk yard in my wife's mini van.

Oh and BTW - Welcome
 

·
FFRroadster builder
Joined
·
961 Posts
Dan, I hired a very experienced mechanic who has built a previous FFR Daytona and has built several race cars from scratch including engine frames etc.. He has a shop full of tools welders chop saws several lifts. This is not an EASY build. If anyone in the forum tells you it is easy they're not being honest or it is taking them forever to complete MKIII.He and i work on saturdays only,and probably will be done in December 2006, 5 months after picked up at FFR.Without alot of great tools you will finish car in 2 to 5 years.Im being honest!!!
 

·
Charter Member
Joined
·
729 Posts
Dan...check out Kouros' build site. He had never even changed his oil. He said the closest he ever came was to assemble a barbeque, and he messed it up. Do a search on his name. Perhaps he'll chime in here.
 

·
The Never-Ending Builder
Joined
·
5,329 Posts
Dan,

The reality of one of these builds is a combination of several things. First, you are at the right place for encouragement and help. This forum will become like family in short order. You'll find people who have the same dreams, with varied amounts of talent and drive. We have people here who have never changed their own oil, to race car builders. The construction of this car will either succeed or fail upon your willingness to see a project to it's fruition.

The suggestions to go to the build school are right on, no better place or environment to "See" how it should be done, and being shown the ways around normal pit falls.

You will find that there are several builders not far from you, they tend to come out of the woodwork when you call for help. Just post a call for everyone within a 50 mile radius to reply, so you can make contact, and get their guidance.

Some builds take longer than others, but with a plan to follow, help from local FFR owners and this forum, it's not impossible to build one of these cars to a high standard.


Below is a link to Herman's Cobra, he had a 5 year plan, and was done in 3 years with a little help from all of us. Thing is, the first 2 years were all planning and get parts ready, it only took him a year to get the car Completely Built!

FIA 289 Herman's Roadster

Welcome to the "Cobrahood", We all have the same dream!! :D

Hank
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,504 Posts
Dont let john2456 discourage you. Go to the build school. Everyone has different abilities, regardless of previous experience.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
468 Posts
Just do it - jump in w/o thinking about it, you won't regret it.

Until last week, I didn't even own a wrench, and i've never ever used a socket before!

Hell, the most automotive thing I've done was install a k&n in my 911, and that took me like 2hrs to figure out how to do!

But I said screw it - you got a build manual, you got a brain (hopefully), so just get down and do it.............if I'm going to take the plunge, anybody can ;)


Originally posted by john2456:
Dan, I hired a very experienced mechanic who has built a previous FFR Daytona and has built several race cars from scratch including engine frames etc.. He has a shop full of tools welders chop saws several lifts. This is not an EASY build. If anyone in the forum tells you it is easy they're not being honest or it is taking them forever to complete MKIII.He and i work on saturdays only,and probably will be done in December 2006, 5 months after picked up at FFR.Without alot of great tools you will finish car in 2 to 5 years.Im being honest!!!
lol :rolleyes:
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,990 Posts
Dan,

First off welcome to the forum. If you are serious about building an FFR then I would suggest buying a manual from FFR to see what you need to build one of these cars.

Ok this is my opinion. If you enjoy building things then this will be a blast. If you just want a FFR cobra then buy one already build. There are plenty for sale in the "Cobras and Replicas For Sale / Wanted" section of this forum and you can buy these for less then you can build them. If you want to build an FFR cobra then you can do it and the reason you can do it is this forum. If I were you I would do some research on this forum using the search feature and read what others have done. At this point I think the easiest build is a 4.6 SOHC donor build. Low mileage, parts are in good shape, donor is inexpensive and there are quite a few builders who have done this. The build school is an excellent suggestion if you have the money and time to do that. Here is what I suggest.

1. Most important is take your time. If you think you want to get this done in 6 months or a year then I suggest you buy one that is already build.
2. Order a 4.6 SOHC low mileage donor pallet from Cypress http://www.cypressautosalvage.com/ . Ask Cypress to send you the cross member from the donor that the motor mounts attach to.
2. Order your kit.
3. Get a Wire diet from Roger Stine worth every cent and gets around any wiring issues. http://www.wirediet.com/
4. Use the build manual as a guide not a bible.
5. If you get stuck search the forum for your answer and if you can't find it then post a new topic. Here is a link to a builder that is just starting a build like this and I know he would be happy to talk to you about it http://www.ffcars.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_profile/u/00009508.html.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
644 Posts
Go to the build school! You'll get a manual from the build school as well...so you dont' have buy one separate.

Do it.
...of course I say that not having received my kit yet. ;)

Stan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,598 Posts
Originally posted by White House:
Dan...check out Kouros' build site. He had never even changed his oil. He said the closest he ever came was to assemble a barbeque, and he messed it up.
I'm here WH....I'm here. Do you think I miss one of these posts? Never....Lol

Yes, thats true. Its just how bad do you want one. I even though of pruchasing a built one, but I could not sleep at night knowing all these guys did it why can't I. So I did. And finished in 9 months without paint. If I did it, anyone can. Take a look at my website and some of the videos.

As for tools, buy as you need them.

Best wishes,

KOUROS
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,990 Posts
John2456

John first off it is not a difficult build. I believe your mechanic friend is taking you for a ride. It's not reasonable and in my opinion not safe to build one of these cars in 5 months (private builder). If you enjoy building things then this will be a blast but don't hurry it. If you just want a FFR cobra then buy one already build. There are plenty for sale in the "Cobras and Replicas For Sale / Wanted" section of this forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Dan:
My experiance was 1 year of auto mechanics in highschool 25 years ago. I purchased the manual and after reading it I decided to buy the donor and see how that would go. I learned a lot tearing down the donor, and ordered the kit. I am to the point of wiring now (sent my harness to Roger) and have no regrets. You do not need a lot of specialty tools, or experiance, you do need desire and humility. You will have days when you wonder what you got yourself into. Then you figure out what you are dong and you feel great. You can get the answers to help you out when needed right here on this forum. These guys are great.
Jim.
 

·
Senior Charter Member
Joined
·
509 Posts
Two of the most useful "tools" for me have not been tools at all.
1. A clean, organized work space. Makes it quick and easy to pick up from where you last left off.
2. A running punch list of the next ten tasks in your build...a goal to complete those items during the calendar month, or in a weekend!

One last bit of advice, read the manual several times before starting your build and several more during the build. The manual is written more like the bible than BBQ assembly instructions. Good reading comprehension will help you as the answers are sometimes spread out.

As far as conventional tools, one does not need access to elaborate fabrication tools...the kit was designed to be assembled with simple hand tools which can be done if you don't deviate from the manual...
 

·
section 8
Joined
·
5,136 Posts
Welcome to the craziness. First you must have a phd in the use of a Visa card ! If you hang around here you'll "need" a lot of cool stuff. If you are not rebuilding drivetrain parts, the job is fairly simple. EFI wiring is a pain , I went carb with the AAW harness and it was not as bad as expected. it is fun . Without rushing it took me 6 months for MOST of the chassis this includes "rot" time while waiting for parts to show up.figure 3 times that if you have a life and want to keep it. Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,828 Posts
yes, Chino Chris' garage is awesome!

first time builder here, too. i had lots and lots of problems, but i had lots of accessories, and two defective parts that caused havoc (one of which was the distributor... pretty important!)

my advice (if i could do it over again)

1. build school
2. staright donor build OR turnkey crate motor
3. read the p/m i sent you
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,596 Posts
Dan,
I'm in the Chicago area and if you'd like to c/o a car first hand ,take a look at mine. It's FAR from fonished but you'll get a good idea of what's involved.No, the build is not a piece of cake,but there's plenty of help out here.PM me and we'll work something out.
Later,
Sten
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top