Modified Mustangs & Fords
Factory Five Roadster Build Part 7: Project Snake Charmer
Our project becomes a roller with brakes, wheels, and tires
There comes a time in life when a moment is so memorable you can recite the exact time and place when it happened. Driving by yourself for the first time, your first kiss, your first car accident, the birth of your children, getting your project to the roller phase-er, wait. Yeah, we said it. If you're a passionate car person like we think you are, then getting to a certain point in your project is parallel with that first kiss. It's a moment you'll relish and relive, that's for sure. For us, it was Saturday, August 5, 2006 at 1:17 p.m. It was at that moment the last jackstand was removed and the tires came to rest on terra firma.
Getting our Factory Five Racing Roadster to the roller phase hasn't been without its share of waiting-waiting on parts, waiting on the powdercoater, waiting for the weekend to come so we had time to work on it, and so forth. None of these periods were terribly long, but when you're so excited about getting out to the garage to make some progress (not to mention the pressure of our weekly Web diary updates) a couple of days can seem like an eternity. With our suspension recently installed (Aug. '06 issue), all we had to do was assemble the brake system, slide the rear axlehousing into place, and bolt up the wheels and tires.
The brake package we're using is from Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. and features the company's Force 10 Tri-Power powdercoated aluminum caliper up front with three 38mm pistons clamping down on a 13-inch rotor. Out back we used SSBC's Force 10 R1 powdercoated aluminum caliper with a single 54mm piston mounted over an 11.25-inch rotor. For wheels and tires, we turned to Mustang Tuning and Nitto Tires, respectively. Mustang Tuning's late-model Mustang wheels are the perfect option when building a Factory Five, offering several popular Mustang styles like the FR500 we are using and coating options. Nitto's line of 555 radials will give us great handling and traction to harness the 500 horses twisting the rear axles.
Knock It Off, Will Ya!
Once I rolled the FFR Roadster out in the sun for the first time, the family stood there (along with a few neighbors) just taking in how low the car sits, how wide the rear tires are, and so on. I was explaining to a neighbor why we chose the Mustang Tuning FR500s when he asked, "Didn't the originals use knock-offs?" Well, they sure did, and while real knock-offs are still available, the DOT tends to frown on their use on public streets, hence our five-lug wheels. But the gears between my ears started meshing, and I wondered why can't we have simulated knock-offs on these wheels?
After a bit of research, I found BRS Parts, manufacturer of real metal wheel-spinner center caps for late-model Ford wheels. Even though our FR500 center caps were a different size, BRS offered to see if its kit would work with some minor tweaking. After shipping off a center cap assembly to BRS, I got back four chrome tri-bar knock-off center caps and their installation hardware. These replica knock-offs/spinners/center caps (whatever you want to call them) are the perfect touch, and are available for most any late-model Mustang wheel (Bullitt, Cobra R, Mach 1, and so on).
Check out the installation details, and if you're running late-model Mustang wheels on your classic Ford, these might be just the addition to give your ride a bit more personality.