July 1, 2008

June Entries

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
Total Build Time: 124 hours

Like most any project some days are "two steps forward and one step back". After proudly forwarding my progress report to the crew at Factory Five (mainly Joe Fournier who's been keeping me in line and offering great advice) I found out that the Flaming River steering rack I used is a different animal than the typical late model Mustang rack (I think it might be a Mustang II hybrid). This means my freshly powder coated steering shaft is too short. Thanks to Joe's watchful eye I was able to order a custom length steering shaft to fix the problem (should be here next week). In the mean time, I grabbed the dash panel that I had started working on and clamped it to the frame so that I could start finalizing switch locations and where I wanted to mount the FFR supplied heater kit. Tonight was only a few hours in the garage, but it was nice seeing how I hadn't touched the project in over a week (I was gone to Carlisle, PA for the All-Ford show last weekend).

Friday, June 9th, 2006
Total Build Time: 128 hours

I knew this coming weekend was going to be a busy one with a Mustang club road rally on Saturday and Sunday I planned to catch up on some work I brought home. This meant if I wanted to make any progress on the Roadster this weekend it was going to be tonight or nothing. I ended up foregoing our usual Friday night movie so I could spend the next four hours with just me, my rivet gun, and the bugs that love my garage lights. I was able to button up the passenger foot box and the small section under the firewall. Many of the small gaps are easily sealed with a bead of silicone but I'm still contemplating the foot box intrusion bar and how it passed through the front of the foot box. I might cut a small aluminum trim plate for the area since the gap is larger than what I would like to seal with silicone. Before it got too late I also installed the trunk side panels. There are three aluminum panels per side and they were easily riveted in place. I'm going to leave the trunk floors out for now since I still need to mount the battery box I got from www.ffmetal.com and I'm thinking of installing some sort of storage bins as well to expand the trunk's usable space.

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Friday, June 16th, 2006
Total Build Time: 131 hours

The custom length of double D steering shaft I ordered from Factory Five showed up yesterday (Thursday) so when I got home tonight I wanted to measure the proper steering shaft length, cut the shaft to length, and paint it so that it would be ready to install over the weekend. I cleaned the extra paint off of the upper steering shaft and slid the shaft into the pedal box support bearing until it was in the proper location as described to me by Joe Fournier at Factory Five. I then measured and cut the shaft, painted it to match the powder coating done earlier, and set it aside to dry, calling it a night.

Sunday, June 18th, 2006
Total Build Time: 135 hours

Ah, Father's Day. A day just for me to do what ever I wanted (and luckily I cut the lawn yesterday). After a great breakfast of Belgian Waffles with the family and a small gift and card from the wife it was out to the garage to work on the Roadster. I wanted to put in a full day of work, but the Florida hurricane season is upon us and that means almost daily afternoon rain showers. This presents a problem because I roll the body buck containing the body and several cardboard boxes out into the driveway for working room on the Roadster. One quick dumping of rain and I have to hurriedly push the buck back into the garage. I'm probably going to buy a big tarp so I can keep the buck covered outside when it rains and just close the garage door and continue working.

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Before the rains came though I was able to clean and paint the '96 Mustang pedal box I had received from All Mustang Salvage (www.ampperformance.com) and get it installed into the driver's foot box to check for proper pedal spacing. I also put in a little time with the passenger foot box that I finished riveting last week. The main four inch frame tube and the outer foot box intrusion bar both needed to be sealed off after riveting the panels in place. Using some high strength adhesive I bonded some aluminum patches to fill in the large gaps and then used more of the aluminum colored silicone sealer for the final step. Hopefully I can get a lot more done soon with the upcoming four day holiday weekend.

Saturday, June 24th, 2006
Total Build Time: 141 hours

I didn't have the luxury of a whole day to work on the Roadster project today, but I did want to start buttoning up the driver's foot box. The top is left off until the very end for wiring purposes, but at this point it is safe to rivet the floor and lower side panels into place. The row of Clecos shown here is being used until the silicone seam behind the aluminum has cured, then I'll remove them. When the top panel goes on for the last time I'll add another bead of silicone as well.

Sunday, June 25th, 2006
Total Build Time: 145 hours

Since it rained yesterday it looks like I'm going to have to take care of the lawn today. There's also a cruise night tonight I want to take our '66 Mustang out to if the weather holds out, so today would only be another couple of precious hours in the garage. Being that the rearend is going to be arriving some time next week I decided to install the parking brake handle on the frame in anticipation of installing and routing the parking brake cables. I also installed the removable transmission support as well. It's one more part off of the storage shelf and on the car.

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Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
Total Build Time: 149 hours

I know at the beginning we said that the Roadster was going to be built completely in a typical two-car garage, and so far it has. But from an ease of shipping standpoint we are having some of the major items shipped to the magazine's shop first. Case in point is our freshly built 8.8-inch rearend by Drivetrain Specialists in Michigan. DTS built us a nice 8.8-inch Ford rear with an Eaton Posi, 31-spline Strange axles, and 3.27 Ford gear set. It arrived at the shop today and I set it up on some Powerbuilt jack stands and installed the FFR 3-link brackets after lunch.

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Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
Total Build Time: 153 hours

Continuing the prep work on our Roadster's rearend, today after lunch I returned to the tech shop and assembled the Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. rear disc brake kit. The system installed easily and comes with a really sweet adjustable parking brake setup, braided brake lines, Zinc washed rotors, and aluminum calipers.

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Thursday, June 29th, 2006
Total Build Time: 156 hours

There's only one last bit of work to be done on the rearend today before I can take it home, and that's bending up some brake lines. Another editor had some left over 3/16ths-inch bulk brake line and flare fittings from his recent project, so I snagged a few feet of hard line and four flare fittings and made my own hard lines in just a couple of hours. Now it's time to take the rearend home and slide it under the Roadster.