Project Unfinished Business: 95PGTTech's 1998 Cobra build...

Discussion in 'SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech' started by 95PGTTech, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Finished up the driver's bracket today in the little bit of time I was allowed. Here is one of the ones I had to slot, just after tacking it. You can see what I mean by that small amount of material supporting my weight.

    Not a beauty contest winner, but it will do the job.

    Weld, cut, grind, weld, cut, grind. Final fitment.

    Paint. What I lack in welding beauty I make up with in grinding experience.

    By some good grace, it fits perfectly, and the seating position with everything torqued down is spot on. I can slip about a credit card between the outside shoulder bolster and the doorpanel, perfect height and it seems dead straight.
  2. This one required the same modifications as the other one to get it right - cut all for down to the lowest slot, slot the outside two brackets to allow more adjustment inward, and grind the front inside bracket down to clear the floorboard.

    I wish that was it. It was still so far up against the doorpanel that I had to cut the four floor mount slots - not a big deal on the back ones because they go left-right, but the front ones go forward-back, so I essentially made a "t" cut. Shown finished with the washers tacked into place like I did the other side:

    Then I had floorboard clearance issues that I didn't have on the other side. I had to grind away a lot of the rail, some of the bottom bracket welds (I'll have to restitch them from the inside). Very annoying.

    I still didn't have enough clearance even now with the appropriate room in the slots, so I had to work the floorboard over with the BFH really good, then repaint what I chipped.
  3. I picked up the heads from Lorenzo's Fast Flow - I can't say enough about the quality, and him working on me on the price for cash and the timeframe around all this surgery and stuff. 5 angle competition valve job, valves back cut, hot tanked, all three surfaces decked, installed new valve stem seals, chopped the intake valve guides out of the port, ported the bowls intake and exhaust, and smoothed out the short side radius on both sides. Made over 300 cfm @ .450 lift!

    Finished welding, grinding, drilling, and painting the driver side bracket. Forgot to take a pic of both seats in, but I'm happy with them for now.

    Removed the bottle blanket and heater for now. Debating whether or not I need it, how it looks, and how much of a pain it is with the current bottle location.
  4. Measuring the old clutch pivot ball to order the correct new one. Which measurement is the one I go by?

    I think based on the new pivot ball having an adjustable stop, I measure total length with the threads.

    LAK-15502 1.400"
    LAK-15503 2.317"
    LAK-15504 2.645"

    are all the correct thread pitch according to Summit.

    I think I will go with the LAK-15504 as it is the closest length to the stock measurement. I wanted a bit of adjustability but the closer I am to the stock length I think the better off I am. For those that don't understand the motivation for this, the stock one was worn and had a bad taper after 100K+ miles, and if I can heighten the pivot ball without running into clearance issues, it will take less pedal travel (and hopefully effort) to actuate the clutch.

    You know you married the right girl when it doesn't surprise her when she comes home and the den looks like this:

  5. Received new 4V harness today. I needed some connectors.

    Pushed car out. Cleaned garage. Pushed back in. Got up on 4 jack stands and verified level with a bubble level.

    I installed the very first piece I ever purchased for this car today. Remember what I said about getting side tracked? I've had this car for what, three? four? years now? Ford's choice of fasteners continues to baffle me. One plastic rivet, one self tapping screw, and 11mm captured washer nuts. WTF?




    Speaking of the plastic rivet, consult these two pictures of my 98 Cobra and a customer's 95GT:

    See the plastic rivet I'm missing? You have to drill the head off to get it out. When I pulled the front glass to tint the windows the FSM said you had to pull these weatherstrips off so I did. I have a feeling not having this rivet helped accelerate the death of these weatherstrips allowing them to move around so much. The new ones are very tight in there and in great shape and I'd like to keep them that way by replacing the rivet. On the window regulator to glass connections in the door there is a metal rivet connection that I drilled out and when I put the glass back replaced with bolts and lockwashers, but this hole is not big enough and you have no access to the backside to do that. Re-rivet it? Anyone have a source for SMALL metal rivets? All I have for my rivet gun are 3/16".

    Also, anyone know where you can find the door weatherstripping and the C-pillar weatherstripping? The next two pictures are where mine are falling apart.
  6. Really slow at work, had time to disassemble both rear calipers and let all this stuff soak in parts washer all day, made for a lot easier time cleaning the stuff up. Time to order up the rebuild kits and hardware kits and send the calipers and brackets off to powdercoat.





    These are the brackets that bolt on to the end of the axles to give the caliper something to mount to, and the clamps that clamp around the axle and then the caliper bolts to. I need to decide whether to keep the clamps, and which axle end I am going with. If I go 9" big ends, it uses a different caliper plate so PCing this one would be a waste.

    Although the FSM was helpful last night reading it over, I forgot to bring it in to work. Luckily, we had this exploded diagram in Mitchell. I got stuck after taking the caliper piston out and the snap ring. The threaded rod in the center is held into the caliper by tension of the seal at the bottom. Using some plastic vice grips so I didn't damage the threads, they pull right out with enough force and the rest comes apart like LEGOs.
  7. Guess what just arrived!


    I'm going to have to bring some tools home tomorrow. No one else on Earth could get these transmission bushings, Bob @ Hanlon not only got me ones that work, they match the part numbers on the ones I have!

    I think I already documented this, but the input shaft pocket outer bearing race gets sent into the backside of the input shaft. You can either tap a race in with a hammer and a universal race driver set (nothing more than a handle and overglorified set of circular pieces of metal that catch the outer lip of the race) or press it in using the old bearing. Being that you're loading up the inner race of a bearing and transferring that force to the cylinders and cage in this method, NEVER USE a new bearing to install a race, you're screwing the bearing up big time. If you ever have to remove or install a bearing that needs to stay in good shape, consult where we took the trans apart, always acting upon only the inner race and never the cylinders or cage. But if you have a replacement bearing, who cares, the old bearing makes a great tapered installation tool.

    Flipped the input shaft over, and slid on the newly supplied input shaft bearing. Interestingly, my complete rebuild kit lacked one of these (and as I later found out, the corresponding race). The piece you see on it is the inner race from the old input shaft bearing. Consult earlier where we cut apart old bearings to make installation tools. I'll use the press on this in the morning.

    Onto the bellhousing, or what the FSM calls the flywheel housing. First send the main shift rail bushing home. Bob @ Hanlon suggested I put some Red Loctite in with it. I have it in my box at work, so I'll be patient and take the advice of a guy that gets calls from Panoz when they need a transmission.

    Now there are two holes, and here is where you start needing a concept of how stuff works. For the simple minded, one hole is bigger and goes through. One hole is smaller and does not go through. Big hole = input shaft. Small hole = countershaft. Lets start with the countershaft, these parts go in...the countershaft front bearing outer race and shim.

    Put them in the hole. These next two races, unlike most races, are built a little "loose". Meaning, if you were to measure the outer diameter with a mic versus the inside diameter of the hole, the race is just significantly smaller so it drops right in, whereas in most cases the race is only .002-.003 for a press-in-only fit. Expect them to just drop right in by hand, as they will need to be removed many times. The shims below each of these bearings are what sets the endplay for the whole unit.

    For the input shaft hole, you've got the shim, the race, the guide tube, o-ring, and seal. Seal is already pictured inside the tube here. I have to ask Bob tomorrow if this is the correct orientation as I disassembled the old one and no picture I have in the FSM documents this one. It's similar to a rear main seal, so the question is which side out. A rear main seal orientates spring side in (spring faces fluid) so I installed this one with the spring towards the inside of the transmission. If you have the benefit of the specialty Ford press tool, don't put it in just yet, it will get in your way. If you plan on beating this POS in with a hammer, it won't be an issue.

    Install the o-ring onto the tube.

    Install tube/o-ring/seal assembly into hole, then shim, then race. I'll have to hammer the guide in at work after hearing from Bob, but afterward the shim and race will fall in easily.
  8. Brought flywheel housing and input shaft to work. 20 tons of power makes quick work.


    Red Loctite, send the shifter bushing home.

    Next was the guide tube. A 30mm axle socket inverted with a 19mm impact socket made a great press tool that really sat very well on the inside lip of the tube.

    I then used the same socket combination to send in the seal. Note: spoke to Bob @ Hanlon. The seal installs with spring facing fluid (inside of trans). The exploded transmission diagram and the FSM do not say which way it goes. Just like a rear main seal, the spring side faces fluid. This was my theory last night, but I wanted to double check before I sent it all the way down the bore and removal would require replacement, and more waiting.

    Sent the mid shift rail bushing into the trans case with some red Loctite. Previously I had pressed these two races in.

    Hit a wall when I went for the rear shift rail bushing. It looks like the same outer diameter as the others but seems not as thick. It's definitely different, different part numbers on it. The shift rail seems very loose in it, can't be right. I have one bushing which *might* be salvageable. We'll try that before panic. While sitting there, annoyed, I was fidgeting and tried to spin the reverse idler gear in the case. Locked tight. Took the bolts out, reassembled, same thing. Did that a couple times lubing and trying to figure out what was wrong, even went so far as to look up the torque spec and use a torque wrench. Apparently the spring under the idler was binding in the housing, as I went to put it back together and wham, spun easy. Took me a few more times of taking it apart to actually figure out what happened. So if you're doing your T45, check and make sure that spring is perfectly centered and not binding on the housing. That could have been pretty nasty had I put it in the car like this.
  9. Only my wife could deal with this...

    Main shaft in

    New rail interlock bolt

  10. drove the rear shifter bushing home

    torqued two bolts I installed yesterday and thread sealed them

    put the clip on the fifth-reverse gear shift lever...I still wonder whether or not the tooth on that should engage the main shift rail, but I can't figure out why it would be built like that if it didn't

    5/R shift rail

    4th gear blocker ring. NOTE: I could not find my new 4th gear blocker ring. Luckily, I threw nothing out. For the time being, I installed the old one. I believe the new one is sitting with the other blocker rings I am missing in the garage in a container of ATF. I will try and swing by there tomorrow to pick it up.

    Input shaft

    flywheel housing

    bolts torqued

    setting up the dial indicator to measure main shaft endplay. FSM calls for .009 (tight) to .020 for each shaft. I currently have .006 on the main shaft. No biggie, that's what the shims are for. I really need to get that new 4th gear blocker ring installed as that will affect build height. I think that will add another two to three thousandths, so when I take it apart next I'll add a shim that is .007 taller than the one currently in there. I like to set all my stuff up real tight because in my experience tapered roller bearings are going to get a bit shorter in time. If I am doing a build for a customer I usually like to see the car back after a few hundred miles to check the endplay again, it usually loosens up .005 or so and I'll put it back to full tight. To me, they are quieter on decel set up real tight. Measuring mainshaft endplay. I remeasured today and have .004 to .005.
  11. Flip it over and measure countershaft play. Spec is .000 to .030. I have .000.

    Remove the bellhousing bolts and bellhousing. Remove the two races and measure your shims. I have a .033 main shim and a .039 countershim.

    At this point I put in the new 4th gear blocker ring, I ran to Princeton after work to get it (it was where I thought it was, I didn't see it submerged). I knew this would change my build height so guessing a new shim was kind of pointless. On the countershaft, I suspected it may be set up too tight (preloaded). Anything less than zero endplay is going to come up with a reading of .000. So I took both shims completely out for the second measurements to get a baseline.

    Reinstall races, reinstall flywheel housing, remeasure mainshaft endplay. Remeasure countershaft endplay. With no shims, I now have .038" main and .036" counter.

    Ideally, I'd have liked a .029" main and a .035" counter shim. That would just get me to the hair of specification tight on both while still having a viewable value on the countershaft. I don't like seeing .000 as it does not tell you whether you are dead spot on or preloaded. The best I could come up with from the shims I had in the kit was .030 and .036.

    Reinstall races, reinstall flyhweel housing, measure endplay's again. Final numbers were .010" endplay mainshaft and about a half tick countershaft, just barely readable. I'll stick with these from here and see where we are a few hundred miles down the road. You'd be surprised how much they can change sometimes.
  12. I pulled the rear apart the other day but didn't have the camera:

    I started today by pressing the u-joints out of my old driveshaft so I could throw it away, I need to save the old yoke and pinion flange until I confirm the ones on the new driveshaft are correct for my trans and rear (which I just did at home). I should probably also pick up some new u-joints since these were sitting outside.

    Keeping on track of small projects I could start and finish in one day to keep this car moving along, I tackled that C pillar weatherstrip that was bothering the crap out of me. Pulled the interior panel (1 phillips screw in the coathanger, remove the seat belt bolt cover, T50 torx seat bolt cover, pull and hear four christmas tree pins pop).

    It was then loose enough I could pull the two weatherstrips for the quaterwindow out.

    There are five 11mm nuts from the inside to loosen to remove the C pillar, but then it's still held in the front by the piece that runs across the roof and down the A pillar. I couldn't figure out how to quickly remove it without damaging it, so I just quickly cleaned under it and worked by pulling it up.

    A little bit of weatherstrip adhesive had it finally not looking like poop.

    Tossed the interior panel back in, and *gasp* I finished something!

    So I pulled the rear from the car. Either going to upgrade this one with 9" ends and welded tubes or found a direct replacement on Corral. Trying to work out details with him as it'd save me a few hundred and quite a bit of time/energy having mine done. His is from a Fox, which is 3/8" shorter on each side, so I figured I'd run hubcentric spacers and call it a day. My wheels aren't flush now or centered so I figure the addition of a PHB and spacers would solve both issues. Anyone have any issues running a Fox width rear in their car? His is set up for Cobra brakes but not quad shocks which I planned on deleting anyway. Stock shock mounts and LCA mounts. Since the Fox is narrower will my shock mounts not be correct? Or is the width taken further out than the shock mounts?

    And much to my wife's delight, I put about an hour into one of the skirts. Some sanding, some hammering of the wheel wells, creative jacking and using the massive rear tires helped get it to where I think it's going to finish. Still have a MASSIVE gap at the back but the rest I am pleased with. Now I just have to devise a better way of mounting them than the previous owner so they don't come off again. Then I can finish sanding and repair all these cracks in the fiberglass gel.
  13. Went on a Home Depot run for some consumables.

    Removed p/s seat

    Neatly sectioned off the bottom most portion of the firewall blanket/sound deadener...still debating how I want to finish that area.

    If you haven't figured it out yet, what I'm doing is starting on my through-floor-SFC install. As a disclaimer, a lot of the ways I do this are very different from the ways other people do this. I've done a few installs with my mentor Joe Gambino (Precision Race Cars) mostly doing the grunt work and him doing the real hardcore stuff, and three installs for customers of mine. I even do things a little bit differently than Joe for aesthetic reasons. Regardless of how you do through-floors, so long as you tie in the two subframes they undeniably work, and work far better than any bolt on or weld on traditional full length SFC. This build for me differs in that it is on my personal vehicle, so it's a culmination of everything I've learned up to this point plus a few more ideas I stole from other fabricators and their styles. Take my method with a grain of salt, and if you chose to do your own, don't be afraid to try something new, or flat out copy what I do.

    I always start with a known quantity, the factory floor support beams, where most aftermarket SFCs weld to in the front. It is pretty easy to find, just follow the detent in the floor insulation. I drill a few exploratory 1/4" holes about 3 inches apart from each other.

    On three of them I drill all the way through the floor support, so I can check how centered I am from the underside.

    For the front two "stop points" I drill these from the underside. Tire is removed to make my life easier. I drill these approximately 3 inches above the bottom most face of the floor support, and I drill them as far towards the outside of the support as I can.

    Now when you look from the inside, they make good reference points for exactly where I envision my SFC ending.

    There are many different methods for what I am about to do next, but this one has always worked best for me. Joe showed me this. Regardless of how you do it, this is the time to remove the skirt as you are going to be making major holes in your car and there is no turning back. Using a 1 7/8" hole saw, I drill those exploratory holes out and end up with something like this.

    I would seriously suggest using something like Rigid's hole saw for anything metal. Instead of relying on a allen key to hold the assembly together, it's a fully threaded body and then a positive lock on top of that. You're going to be beating the crap out of this hole saw. Also, expect some casualties.

    Since I had pilot holes already drilled, it made no sense to keep snapping off brand new 1/4" drill bits @ $3 each so I made this pilot shank out of a wooden countersink bit and it's held up awesome.

    More progress.

    Keep in mind you are just removing a majority of the metal to see better. I am using 1 7/8" because I intend on laying 2x2 .120" square tube into the factory floor support (channels). They actually measure about 2 1/16" inner diameter. If you drill or cut too large a hole, you get very close to the walls of the channel and you can start going through them easily. You also make a large gap that you have to weld back together later. Some people go straight to it with the grinder or cutter. I find using the hole saw to get good visibility and hole-sawing a little undersize allows you to go back and have very straight cuts and then slowly grind away until the 2x2 just barely fits in there with some force. Then you have a very easy time welding, and a better looking product in the end. If you're off center just a bit with your pilot hole and you're using 1 7/8", you're okay because you still have 3/16" tolerance. If you drill with a 2" or go straight to cutting, you better be spot on or you're going to make yourself more work.

    Now after all that work fitting the seats, we begin removing the front seat support crossbar.

    The front floor insulation just barely covers the lip of the crossbar, so in order to find the spot welds I had to remove some insulation. An hour of hammer, razor, paint scraper yielded these results:

    Another hour:

    20 minutes:

    Eventually all that sound deadener has to come up. I will try to find a supplier of dry ice but it is very uncommon these days. There is no easy way to do it. If you have a bench grinder keeping the paint scraper sharpened every 10 minutes or so helps, but it's pretty much use a hammer to knock off the big stuff, then go back and scrape scrape scrape. Then finish with 80 grit sandpaper. Using the vaccuum as you go along makes it all seem a bit more organized.

    Before I left, I did manage to get the front-seat-bar-to-door-sill bracket removed. The cordless drill did not have any more battery in it for the rest of the spot welds on the front seat bar.

    I did remove the transmission crossmember mounts from the channels (two 10mm bolt each) and I do need to start removing the brake lines and fuel lines (as well as d/s seat) when I start next time. I've done this enough on SN95s that I knew what I needed to remove today with my limited battery.

    side note 1: apparently there is such a thing as a spot weld cutter which looks like a very small diameter hole saw and is apparently very effective. home depot did not have any. I wonder where to get one?

    side note 2: the wife cleared me to remove the rear seat so long as the interior panels were retained and it ended in a "finished" look. which leaves us with the rear seat front support bar. I wonder if I can drill the spot welds out of this and remove it. that would make for a lot easier time when we continue the rails further back.
  14. Been a real hectic last two days. Hit horribly by the snow here in the northeast, and my wife will not drive in this, but it is mandatory for her to appear at work. So I've been stopping whatever I am doing around 2:30 to take her to work and then waiting around until midnight to pick her up. Sometimes she runs over and isn't done until 3-4am. To make it worse, when we were driving home at 3am last night due to PA state emergency all the bridges were closed so we had to turn back and drive another 45 minutes to my parents house and then the kids get up at 6am :x

    Wednesday I reported to work like normal after picking my wife up from work at 3AM in the morning. It had already been snowing good but I got there ahead of time. As usual, everybody else was smart and called out. I told my boss I had to leave when I got there at 2 to drive my wife to work but I could come back if necessary. I ended up standing around all day miserable and getting one job. It got real real bad (white out) about 1PM so they actually ended up closing the whole store again at 3. The last snow Sunday or whatever it was the same thing happened - drive through horrible ****, end up being one of very few who came in, stand around get no work, go home at noon. Complete waste of day.

    I drove her to work but was determined I was going to make something positive out of the day. I asked as I crossed the PA-NJ like (she works in NJ) if the bridges were going to be closed. We had packed change of clothes just in case and the toll booth person said yes they would be. I dropped her off and knew if I went home I'd be stuck in PA and she'd have to sleep at work or if I stayed in NJ we would be stuck there. I called my parents and made sure I had a bed, dropped her off, went and picked up some tools from Harbor Freight (poor employees, only other company open in this crap), and then went to Princeton.

    I've driven through some bad stuff this winter and winters past, but this was right up there.
    Look at the snow on the top of my black Escape - keep in mind I already cleaned off the car once, that's half the storm.
    More is coming tomorrow and Monday possibly :crybaby2:
    View attachment 230200
    View attachment 230201
    View attachment 230202
    View attachment 230203

    Harbor Freight had the spot weld cutters in stock. I bought two, luckily. They are double sided so when you wear one blade out, you can flip it. Just like any metal bit, control the speed (keep it low) to keep it sharp. Honestly, it's nothing special. It's a tiny hole saw. It is supposed to help cut damage to a minimum but there is really no difference. It's just more convenient than using 3 different bit sizes.

    So I continued drilling out the spot welds out of the passenger side of the front seat mount and eventually got them all.

    I pulled the driver side seat and began scraping the sound deadener away to reveal the spot welds, then the power went out.
    I would not be denied!

    Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain.

    Got the corner bracket out with some fighting.

    And eventually, the entire front seat mount.

    The transmission crossmember brackets that I said I removed.

    With the front seat mount out, continue drilling exploratory holes through the front channel and follow it backward with the hole saw until you see the end of it.

    Then fight the war with the rear upper seat mount.

    The rear also has two brackets that you need to get from underneath the car. You're going to hate spot welds even more when you're lying on your back looking up and red hot metal shavings are raining down on you.

    Remember the jackass that claimed he remembered where all the sensitive stuff was on the underside and he didn't need to pull it yet? Yeah, that was me. Well, what happens is you skip a step like that and you forget. Then you go to remove that front seat mount, and you drill holes in your brake and fuel lines. Good job, stupid.

    Then again, looking at these rear fuel lines, maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

    Start the rear channel by smacking out the weather seal. It's hard plastic, smash the center out then use a prybar to get the edge pieces.

    You can't really see it, but I'm using a laser pointer here. See the marks in the sound deadener that looks like there would be another channel below it? There isn't. But you use the inside line as a reference guide where to drill your exploration marks (see the line of drill holes?).

    Viewed from underneath, put some drill bits through the holes. You should be aligned with the center of the rear torque box (well, the big section that forms one side of it). These are no Mickey Mouse LCAs kids, they directly tie the rear torque box into the front subframe.

    Drill the holes.

    Better have marked the rear bulkhead with that laser pointer, you're going to need it. Just one exploratory hole and hole saw needed. See how it's off just so slightly (missed right, towards inside of car)? Since we're smart and using 1 7/8", we'll be fine. When we cut the hole to 2" for the tube, we'll cut just the left side.

    I build my car to AI rules. Where possible, I also try and meet NHRA tech. Not that this is an AI car, or going to be an AI car, but it is a very modern and safe class and something to aspire to. If I ever decided to go full race in the future, I would not want to have made permanent modifications to the car that would require purchasing a new vehicle or cutting out and re-doing difficult things. That being said, I try and keep up on corner-carvers and NASA forums often for rule changes, see how people are building new cages and chassis, etc. Someone posted an image of his cage and one critique was it would not meet AI tech because he had cut the floorpan so he could run a cage bar straight instead of with a bend. After much debate (and PANIC by myself, as you can see my floorpan is modified!), the conclusion was made that it did pass tech due to

    I think I'm good. I'll check with the local NASA tech that I know.
    [/SIDE NOTE]

    I wake up at my parents this morning and grab some tools, have some coffee. Call my boss, and flat out told him I'm not coming in. The bridges are now open, but I'm not coming in a third day this week to stand around. Went and worked on the slowbra.

    Drill the last two spot welds out of the front channel.

    Cut that mofo off where it pinches at the end. Now the only part of the front channel left on the vehicle should be the uniform straight section so the 2x2 will lay right in.

    I began digging for the new rear seat mount. No real need to move it too far. Use a scratch awl and protractor to scribe a straight line through the center of the old two bolt holes and end perpendicular to the door sill. Look close. Make dimples for drill bit in the line.


    Same story on the front one, but there are no old bolt holes (they were studs for front). So freehand it where it looks flat and as painless as possible.

    I was going to drill some holes but Harbor's drill (new) started making some odd noises. I picked up a cheap corded drill while I was there for other stuff because my cordless stuff dies QUICK. Somebody threw a grenade into the gear drive I guess. For once, I have the receipt, it's one day old. We'll see how well they handle warranty issues.

    Moving on, lets make some header plates for the door-sill-to-seat-mount. I never end a tube-to-body connection, whether it be cage, frame, or whatever, straight to the body. You can fail tech for it, and it's generally just not a strong connection. As thick as that door sill looks, it is still pretty thin. Rules state no plate may be larger than 100 square inches, no smaller than 2 inches any dimension, no greater than 12 any direction. Must be at least .080 thick (see side note below). Generally, if I'm making a plate, it's twice the dimensions of the tube mounting to it (2x2 tube goes to a 4x4 mount, 2x3 goes to a 4x6, etc.). Clean at least a four inch wide area on the door sill and floor pan above your scribed centerline. I'd suggest 8 inches or so. Scrape away all that bodysealer. Drill out the rivets in the centered 4" area.

    This helps.

    Cut out the section of the floor pan that was riveted (the part that goes up/down).

    Get underneath and clean the area out. Again, you will hate anything from the underside infinitely worse.

    Fabricate yourself some 4x4 mounting plates, or as you will inevitably hear me refer to them as header/footer plates. In this one, four holes, 1/2" diameter.

    Slide in the footer plate. Straighten out your pinch weld underneath as best as possible, then vice grip. Tack top. Tack 1/2" holes. Go underneath, tack, remove vicegrip.

    [SIDE NOTE]NASA CCR updated the spec for mounting plates to .080 thickness. I used to use 16 gauge for small stuff like this and 11 gauge (1/8") for the cage, etc. So great, I get to cut this plate out. Luckily I had to leave to drive wife to work.[/SIDE NOTE]

    That's it for today. I need to catch up on some sleep. I won't have a chance to go back unless we get hit by snow again and work gets closed until my normal days off Monday/Tuesday. For now, I'll toy around with the trans at home, I think I have some shift linkage issue to chase down. A trip to get dry ice and a trip to pick up the metal are in order so I can start cutting out the channels and laying new steel.
  15. Well, that's it, we're up to current date. Seeing a lot of the build, man do I have fabricator's remorse - there is a ton I would have done differently. With a grinder, a welder, and enough patience, there is always doing it again next time. I'm just trying to stay on track and get this thing back running again.

    I'll try and keep the questions I still need answers to in the most recent post (I'm sure there are more but this is all that comes to mind ATM):
    1. fiberglass side skirts - what the hell am I supposed to do? the face of them, the gel or whatever smooth top coat has cracks all in it under the black paint. the deeper I go trying to sand smooth they are still there. do I refiberglass it, or "re-gel" it, or just fiberglass bondo it smoooth? how do I take up that giant gap at the end of the skirt towards the back to the rocker? if I place it in any other position the gap for the rest is much worse. It fits perfect how it is there pictured except for the last few inches.
    2. crank thrust washer installation - did I do it right?
    3. door weatherstrip rivet - where do you get it
  16. Saturday I was supposed to have off, ended up being called in. So my normal Monday/Tuesday off. Monday I did some stuff around the house, made a million phone calls, and was generally lazy. I really didn't want to go work on the car because a question came up about whether it was legal to cut the floorpan for the seat mounts. To cut for the cage in NASA AI is OK. To cut for the SFCs is OK. The National Director Todd ended up giving me the green light on cutting for the seat mounts as I stated it is legal to tie the SFC into the cage in AI and I really want the seats tied directly into the cage and not the unibody for safety purposes. He also clarified that I do NOT need footer panels where my new seat mounts would meet the rocker panels, I only need foot mounts on cage-to-body junctions. I will use them anyway, though. If I decide to go that route. Another builder gave me the idea of using a different design to utilize side mount seats to get them even lower in the car due to my out of the ordinary height. We'll see, that's a bridge for another day.

    Cam degree stuff came in.

    OTC 4v holding tool kit.

    Wild Rides upper and lower battle box bolt or weld in torque box reinforcement kits.
    I may upgrade to the s-boxes...another bridge.

    Summit bolt-in driveshaft loop.

    Comp Cams adjustable cam gears. They come highly recommended from my cylinder head guy Lorenzo.

    6 foot 2x3 .125", 2x6 foot 2x2 .125", 2x6 foot 1x1 .0625", 2x6 foot 1" .0625" round, .125" drop-offs
    got a killer deal from Metals Your Way, all ERW tubing wish I would have asked that question and gotten DOM...oh well.

    Cut one of the 4x8 drop offs in half at work the other day and redrilled them. The new footer plates. 16 gauge vs. 11 gauge.

    First order of business was making sure the Cobra was as level front to back as humanly possible. I didn't worry about left-right so much but also got that close. This will really help putting those tubes in and getting them aligned with each other.

    I had only tacked that one footer in place but it was time to remove it. You know your welds are solid when you just tack something and it's a half hour war to get it out and it ends up looking like this. All in all the surface is flat and ready to take welds again.

    Since I knew I was going to have the most excess of the 2x3 I cut the abuser square out of it.

    I chopped out the rear section so the abuser piece fit into it and fits into the rear subframe. Remember how I said I missed on this one? Not terribly bad, but you can still see I am going to have some gaps to fill. I did not go over the top with the cut just wanted a visual reference point better than a row of circles.

    I started into the front channel by removing the two brackets that are inside the channel and in the way. One for the bolts for the transmission crossmember mounts and one for god knows what in the front. Two spot welds in the front one. The rear one is welded in.

    I did a real basic start cut up the entire channel. Then I switched from a cutting blade to a grinding blade and slowly started grinding the edges until I could see the edges of the channel. From there, I just kept test fitting the abuser piece until it fit. It should be snug at all points, but not bind.

    This is what I mean by ERW. See the weld in the tube? DOM is drawn-over-mandrel. Which basically means it is one piece as opposed to welded. Most racing bodies require roll cage tubing to be DOM, saying it is stronger as the weld is a potential weak spot. All I know is it costs DRAMATICALLY more.

    Chopped a 36" piece (god I need a band saw, or at least a chop saw...) and laid it in. Scratch awl marked the rest of the cut.

    The front needs to be angled based on how the front subframe ends. Poor man's protractor. Put one ruler on the bottom of the channel from underneath the car. Put one on the front subframe upwards angle. Clamp together with vicegrip. Transfer angle onto metal with scratch awl.

    Making endcap out of one of the .125" drop offs. Holy cow it is easy to MIG new steel. Grinded, it looks almost like I know what I'm doing. Almost.

    I guess I did not take a picture of how it sits in the channel. Pretty damn good. Inevitably, your channel is dented upwards (towards the interior) from being jacked on over time. Ballpeen hammer, that abusing block, extensions/sockets, whatever you need to use to bang it back out and as flat as you can get it. Ideally, when you're done, the new 2x2 sits just as level as your car measurement was. Next, drill periodic holes into the channel downward. We will weld the channel to the tube from the underside later with these holes. It's nearly impossible to drill holes in the side of the channel, but there are a few stock holes in the sides we will take advantage of as well. I made one hole with my hole saw about 3" from the front of the subframe. This is for my matrix.

    At this time I will seam weld the front channel and anything I think the SFCs, jacking rails, or matrix will get in the way of and not allow me access to later. When you install the new tubing, if you just weld it from the interior you're really just welding it to the thing 16 gauge floor pan. By drilling the holes in the channel, you're now truly welding it to the thicker channel material which is connected to larger parts of the front subframe. Seam welding the channel to the front subframe and the floorpan helps make everything one working unit. Eventually, I'd like to seam weld the entire car. For now, I'm just doing what I won't have access to after this installation. Unfortunately for seam welding, it is imperative those seams are PERFECTLY clean. I started off with a 24 grit abrasive wheel and the abrasive wire wheel pictured earlier for harder to reach places. The seams were still in the edges filled with paint and seam sealer, so as if grinding upside down didn't suck enough, I busted out the chemical stripper. I don't even want to talk about how much the fumes, the mess, and getting that stuff on bare skin sucked. When you're done, use the ballpeen end of your hammer along the seams to get them as tight together as possible, there are some sizeable gaps you can close up. Since we drilled the spot welds out of the back of the front channel, I used vicegrips to hold it back tight to the floor pan until I tacked it.

    Adam had a chemist's lab coat around the shop that we never use. I found it makes a good fire blanket to protect the bit of wiring I have left in the interior.

    Got about half of it welded up good before it started to spatter really bad and make an ugly weld. Then I realized I was out of gas. As clean as you get the car, there is still some crap in there, and getting used to the correct settings takes some time. I welded with a little slower wire speed and a setting higher heat than I normally would if this was brand new metal and that seemed to work best as the extra heat and slower hand motions I guess burned through what was still left there. Expect a lot of small fires, blow them out. Check your interior every once in awhile. I hit the half I welded with some primer. The bare metal will last a week in the conditions I have, but the welds really attract rust fast so I covered them. It's thin enough it will wire wheel off quickly if I need to re-do something. I usually do my seam welding a 1" weld and then a 1" gap. But I don't go in order. I'll do a 1" weld, move down like 6", weld again, move. The metal here is of a good size but it's good practice to move the heat around. Then when I get to the end of the subframe I go back to the start and do the next 1" weld, move down 6", keep moving. So by the end of three passes I have 1" welds spaced 1" apart but I didn't really build too much heat up at any one point.

    And when I got home, RockAuto had delivered. Pilot bearing, u-joints, caliper rebuild kits, caliper pin kits and boots, new emergency brake cables.

    I also managed to drop by the powdercoater and drop off the fuel tank straps and the driveshaft yoke and pinion to be done in an aluminum/silver. He had not gotten the calipers back from sandblast yet but he knows I don't need them anytime soon. He cuts me great deals because he knows my stuff can wait forever until he is really slow and he uses the leftover powder from other jobs as I'm not really color picky. Do this "red whatever" and do this "silver whatever." And I managed to drop by Harbor Freight to exchange that drill that I grenaded last week. I kept the receipt for once (actually, I tossed it, and the box, but since I broke it within 2 hours of unwrapping it, they were still on the top of the trash). They gave me a new one. Which I promptly broke in the same manner. I guess I'm just going to return this one and buy a few new batteries for my cordless.

    Next day off is Monday and Tuesday. I have some parts errands to run during the week.
  17. Amazing thread :nice:
  18. WOW I JUST SPENT ALMOST 2 HOURS reading every single word and looking at every single pic. You my friend are very talented. I couldn't even dream to tackle 1% of the stuff that you have. Good Job!!
  19. You have far more patience than me! I've tackled quite a few of these nasty projects on both my 88 and 97 and it is often torture work for. For example, disassembling the T45 is NOT fun.
    I certainly couldn't do everything at once like this. I'd never get it done.
  20. Hence the project name.
    I started this tear down May 05, 2009.
    Before that, the wife overheated the car and it sat from about July 2008 until I got it running in April 2009 (work, unmotivated, no money).

    So it has been awhile since it has seen the road. You may recognize the Mustang next to mine in my garage.

    With all the cars I have built, I can honestly say I don't mind the torn apart/in pieces/never ending project. As soon as you get it done, you have fabricator's remorse. You see a way you could have done something better and you want to tear it apart again. Whether it be a lighter material, a better weld, a different bend or routing, whatever. It's really the build that is the fun part, not so much the end result. Then, when you are driving the car again and enjoying it, you don't have the time/motivation to tear into it again so your pile of parts that you buy for it stacks up to the ceiling again and you get another uber-build.

    I would like to have it together and officially stage 1 of this car done for the nice weather of summer.