July 1, 2008

February 2007 Entries

February 4, 2007
Total Build Time: 361 hours

I'm another weekend closer to heading for paint and still no brakes. Usually the brakes would have been completed long ago but instead of holding up the whole project waiting on one vendor I continued on. Now the Roadster is practically done and ready to be shipped off for paint, yet I still can't test drive it due to no master cylinder/hydroboost setup. Hopefully relief is on the way in the form of a different supplier.

There's not much to do on the car so I only spent a couple of hours in the driveway finishing up the front brake lines and installing a line lock device. I may only go to the drag strip a couple of times, but to do a proper burnout a brake holding device is essential. Plus, I used the line lock as a distribution block to the two front brakes as well. The red plastic plug is the inlet fitting to the line lock and simply needs to be plumbed from the master cylinder once we install it.

I've had the cooling system completed for a little while now, but before I actually fill and bleed the system I wanted to finish off the Mr. Gasket G-Sleeve (www.mrgasket.com) installation to beautify our hoses. Using their carbon fiber look hose covering and these way-cool Shadow hose finishers gives the standard cooling hose a much racier AN fitting look with simple hose clamps. I may end up polishing the Forte's Parts Connection (www.fortesparts.com) degas tank to add some shine and to match the polished March pulleys nearby.

Most of the Roadster's aluminum has been installed and riveted many months ago. I have left the trunk floor loose for some time just to aid in installing the fuel system and most recently the brake lines. Now that both of these tasks are finished I prepped the trunk floor and the transmission tunnel top for final installation. The kit comes with a finishing plate for the shifter opening. Final shifter position is determined by several factors so they cut the shifter hole oversize and you add the finishing plate with a few rivets. The mating edge between the two panels was very slim, so I used some thermal barrier tape instead of silicone to seal the two.

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February 11, 2007
Total Build Time: 366 hours

Well it looks like I finally have the hydroboost problem figured out. I've found another vendor who actually has built several hydroboost kits for Factory Five customers, so he's aware of any special mounting and line issues this project would create. I just have to wait a little longer for the unit to arrive. Maybe by this coming weekend, but at least I know an answer is in sight. Meanwhile, I finally wrapped up the cooling system. Last week I was able to cover the main radiator hoses with the Mr. Gasket (www.mrgasket.com) G-Sleeve and their Shadow brand hose finishers. Today I tackled the water pump bypass hose and heater bypass hose as well. Some of the hose ends required minor grinding or cutting of the hose finisher for the hose finisher to seat properly. For instance, the radiator upper hose at the water neck; this required grinding away the lip of the finisher so it would slip over the water neck, and then I had to make a split cut on the rear of the finisher to spread it open enough to fit over the hose. But the looks were worth it. Once the hoses were finished I filled the cooling system with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and Peak Long Life antifreeze/coolant. The Factory Five radiator filled easy with the built in bleeder opened to allow air to escape. Once we can start the engine again I'll finish topping off the cooling system.

I also finished the installation of the air filter assembly. As noted a few weeks ago we swapped to a Ford Racing Performance Parts (www.fordracingparts.com) Cobra oval air filter with a taller element from Mass-Flo EFI (www.massfloefi.com). I gave the FRPP air filter lid a coat of wrinkle finish topped off with a coat of satin black to match the FRPP valve covers that we got from Tony Branda (www.cobranda.com). The finishing touch was a new billet retaining knob we picked up locally from Classic Creations of Central Florida (www.classiccreationsfl.com). Hopefully next week we'll have our hydroboost tackled and we'll be able to put a few test runs around the block on our project. Stay tuned.

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February 24-25, 2007
Total Build Time: 383 hours

It starts. It goes--and now it stops too! This has been one of the more exhausting weekends working on the Cobra replica, but it was certainly worth it. Starting right after breakfast Saturday morning I got started by yanking the body off the frame and mocking up our hydroboost unit from Hydratech Braking (www.hydroboost.com). While the Hydratech kit was originally designed for the Fox Mustang as an upgrade, with a few minor changes Hydratech now has a system that will fit the Factory Five replica. The system installed easily enough and the kit is very complete with all hoses, line ends, adapters, and more. I did run into a few small snags, but nothing horrendous. Remember too that parts like power steering pumps and racks can come from different year applications so there's always going to be the chance of minor modifications.

I really wanted a master cylinder with a remote reservoir for easy access and I found one with a little help from Hydratech at Master Power Brakes. That too installed easily. I had a few brake lines to finish making up and then it was time to bleed the brakes and power steering systems. The power steering system worked flawlessly and ended up being leak free. The brake system, however, had a few minor leaks--nothing squirting across the garage mind you, but enough of a drip to easily be noticed. I tried loosening and retightening the fittings, but to no avail (even ruining one), so I've got to pick up some new bulk brake line and make a couple of new lines. However, the slight drip didn't prevent me from taking a short go-cart run around the block. It was 7:30 Sunday night, so it was dark, but it still felt damn good to have our project run up and down the block under its own power. We're now just a week or two away from transporting her off to paint. This has been so much fun!

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