July 1, 2008

January 2007 Entries

January 13, 14, 15, 2007
Total Build Time: 348 hours

It looks like I finally got a handle on the wiring. Over the course of the three day weekend I wrapped up the nose wiring (horns, headlights, etc.) and installed the SPAL fan controller. The driver's foot box is about ready to be buttoned up but I'll wait until we have the brake master cylinder installed and a few test miles under my belt first. My wife has one of those label machines and it came in handy for a few extra wires I plan to use later, such as the wire shown here for the line-lock I am planning. Once I plumb the brake lines and mount the line-lock the wire will be in place ready to provide power to it.

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With the wiring all but finished I started on some of the pre-body work prep. My plan is to have any holes drilled or modified before the paint is applied, this way I'm not drilling a hole for the license plate light into a painted body (been there, done that, and it makes me nervous). So, I test fit the roll bar and made any necessary clearance adjustments to the mounting holes. Same goes for the license plate light, tag bracket, and trunk latch/handle. I also pre-drilled the holes for the fuel filler pipe and LeMans fill cap as well.

While I initially ordered the optional Roadster heater kit, the more I played with the heater's mounting and plumbing, the less I realized I wanted it. I was going for a very clean firewall (nothing mounted to it or holes in it) so I returned the heater kit and ordered heated seat upgrade kits from www.cobraheat.com. These universal seat heating kits are easy to install, only requiring some minor fabric removal and reinstallation with new staples. The elements heat the base and seatback and are just like the OEM offerings found in newer Fords like the Five Hundred, Fusion, etc. Hook up power and ground, mount the on/off switch, and you're done. Thats easy and no bulky heater or heater hoses to deal with. There are just a few odds and ends left and then it's off to paint at KR Restorations in Nebraska (www.krperformanceandrestorations.com).

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January 21, 2007
Total Build Time: 353 hours

With the wiring finally out of the way I was able to start working on body fitment this weekend. I'll probably bow out of any serious alignment work like the doors, hood, and trunk, but with the body securely bolted to the chassis I did want to make sure everything else was going to fit properly before the Roadster left for paint. Meaning, anything I would have to bolt to the body after it is painted such as the dash, roll bar, windscreen, lights, etc. would fit right before paint. The last thing I want to do is grind away on painted fiberglass to get something to fit. I have bad memories of drilling the holes in the painted fenders of my '66 Mustang to install the pin lettering and running horse emblems and I don't want to relive that anxiety thank-you-very-much!

Once I had assembled the three-piece windscreen I test fit it to the car, and drilled the appropriate mounting holes. The body opening on the driver's side needed a little clearance work for everything to sit nicely. The dash was a perfect fit, though I'll need to trim a little of the dash vinyl off of the top when I'm ready for our final dash install. You can see the excess vinyl pushing the dash out a bit at the top. Lastly, I grabbed my die grinder with an 80 grit sanding disc and started sanding down the mold seams on the body. The boys at KR Performance & Restorations said it wouldn't be necessary for me to do so, but I wanted to be able to say I did "some" of the body work on the project!

Our driveshaft is currently en route from Forte's Parts and we hope to have it installed this coming weekend. If our planned hydroboost system comes in as well I might even be able to take our Roadster for a test drive around the block. Then it's just a few small odds and ends and it will be time to say goodbye to the project for a while as it heads off for a coat of Ford "T8" Tungsten Gray. Man I can't wait!

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January 28, 2007
Total Build Time: 357 hours

I'm batting .500 this week. The brand spanking new shiny driveshaft from Forte's Parts connection (www.fortesparts.com) showed up in time for my typical weekend wrench turning festivities, but still nothing for our hydroboost system. I can't expect the body shop to wait for me forever, so it could come down to installing the hydroboost system after the body is painted, though I dread working over a freshly painted body! The Forte driveshaft I ordered was a perfect fit and comes with a brand new yoke, flange, tube, and 1330 U-joints. What I was surprised to see in the box was four brand new factory Ford mounting bolts. No hunting for salvage yard bolts or getting inferior bolts at the local hardware store--a real nice touch.

I've had the oval air filter installed a few times for photos, but now that the body is on I needed to ensure there was enough clearance for the filter housing along with a high-flow aftermarket filter. Unfortunately the Tony Branda housing, while a more accurate reproduction, wouldn't clear the hood. A call to Ford Racing Performance Parts netted their single wing-nut version with a stamped metal base. The stamped metal base was just the right dimension to get everything to fit under the hood with our 351 Windsor. The air filter itself is from Mass-Flo EFI (www.mass-floefi.com) and I mounted the mass air meter control box directly to the base of the filter and routed the wiring through a grommet to the air meter within.

Even though I have no hydroboost unit to mount yet, I did start on the brake lines. I figured I could bend up and route the brake line from the rear flex hose, routing it forward, until I got close to the hydroboost mounting area and then leave the rest of the line for when the hydroboost would physically be in place. The same went for the two front steel lines. They were custom bent using a coat hanger as a template and then routed towards the driver's foot box area. Hopefully we'll have the hydroboost unit soon so everything can be finished on the brakes; a few test miles put on the whole project, and then get it up to the paint shop. Stay tuned.

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