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

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

  1. Ok I guess I just have never seen anyone use heavy square tubing when building a race car chassis. Not even for thru the floor sub frame connectors. But I am more of a drag racer and weight matters more to me. Mine is all chrome moly tubing but my car (25.5 chassis) requires alot more bars then the AI class.

    Here is a pic of mine just the drivers compartment is done.

    This is a pic I found of Maximum motorsports fox AI car
  2. I'm not building it to race the class, that's just the standard of rules I'm building it to. I'd never try to campaign a 4.6L 4V anyhow. I don't have the capability of welding chromoly, but that would be my material of choice. A 25.5 drag race cage is going to have a lot more bars in the area around the driver seat, whereas a road race cage is going to have different style door bars (NASCAR) etc. as well as having key differences like being permitted to gusset the main hoop to the B-pillar and the front downtubes to the A-pillars. A road race cage makes its money on tying the unibody into the cage and then into the subframes.
  3. I was a lazy pile of **** this week. Monday I showed up late and have to leave early due to track anyway so I only put 5 hours in total and I took Tuesday off. I left work early the last two days due to lack of work and just sat around the house again so I need to break this streak before it becomes another long cycle of nothing done. I don't work until 430 tomorrow so Adam and I are going to try and make it over to the garage to make some progress.

    I picked up some spray-on chemical stripper being as I had to do the torque box area straight up. Just doing the small amount I did under the car already the paint on stuff is very messy. This is "aircraft grade" so it should be stronger, right? One is paint remover the other is base coat remover. It's still a giant, messy ordeal and really gets very little off. If anything, it just weakens it up for the wire wheel to come blasting through to the bare metal.

    I removed the last of the rear seat belt passenger side mounting tabs.

    Fully (as best as I could) stripped torque box area. The brown is that primer I was using before. Honestly, the rust is not that bad. It did get under the factory primer and peeled and chipped it off in many places but the rust is not beneath very far. The wire wheel got 99% of it and I'm hoping a good coat of primer will slow it down to get me through another year or two until funds permit a larger-scale restoration...there's a scary thought, eh?

    I finished seam welding the area that the replacement torque box would go into and not allow me access to anymore. This gives you an idea of what even my small welder is doing for heat. This is the wheel well area of the rear wheel. This is the inside of the wheel well - I was welding on the other side on two 1/16" thick pieces of metal and all this heat still came through that and peeled up the undercoating in the wheel well.

    A piece of undercoating still on fire decided to drop down onto me and give me a new access hole through my sweatshirt. Thank goodness for crappy work clothes and 3-4 layers - it was a good 30 seconds of burning before I noticed due to smell.

    The rear lower control arm bolt access hole needs to be opened up to allow you access to the new highest mount. I chose the hole saw and it made pretty quick work of the job.


    Ground down the edges of the torque box clearancing it (my seam welds got in the way) then ground the paint off the edges I think I need to weld eventually.

    Bottle jack ftmfw, these are heavy and I'm a small guy!

    Trying to show the clearance between the new torque box and the rocker panel on the outside of the car, then the new torque box and the rear subframe rail. There is a notch you can see in the rear subframe rail. According to Gene's direction, this needs to be extra clearanced to fit the torque box even tighter up to the floor pan and to the rear subframe rail. Not understanding, I called him and I think I understand what he means now.
    View attachment 226672

    That is all. Yeah, I know, suck ass update.

    In other news, new toys! (Not pictured Hobart 10lb spool conversion hub) two 10lb reels of .030", a new gun liner to hopefully finish off the last of the ****ty wire feed issues, nozzle gel, nozzle brush. I didn't spend that much this week, got her camera fixed, and made DOUBLE my normal paycheck = happy wife. We'll push our luck next week with new parts.
  4. Put 7 hours in cars today...pretty cool since it wasn't a scheduled day. Didn't touch my car at all but made a lot of headway on Adam's car and worked on the welder. Put the 10lb spool kit in and the new gun liner. Out of gas so couldn't test it out but just running some wire through the gun felt much better.

  5. Sigh. Another day where I got little done.
    Found a bunch of wiring issues in Adam's car and got it started and running though.

    got a couple more seam welds done

    cut a 10 3/4 piece for the middle part of the jack rails. beveled both ends to clear the welds from the rocker panel footer plates to seat mount tubes. added 1/8" plate to take up the gap between the jack rail and pinch weld. jack rails serve a few purposes - strengthen and straighten the abused pinch weld and tie it into the SFCs, provide a higher clearance, easily accessible area to lift the car with floor jack or car lift, and for me, securely mount side skirts.

    I'm going to cut it back out. Apparently I moved it between tacking and welding and I don't like how far the front part is away from the footer plate. I don't know WTF is up with the brown dust it looks like I ARCd.
  6. Fought the welder through that piece again today (eventually figured out I needed more wire speed) and made some welds I'd rather not have any human set eyes on. Drilled the first bolt holes for the side skirts. The following pictures convey the general idea.

    Cut the section for the front, I think it was on the order of 24" or so. Ground out all the seam sealer I could with the wire wheel (messy!), then went back with the paint stripper, more wire wheel, then a scratch awl, and finally a pick. And in the end, still didn't get it all. Seam welded this section. Also cut and flattened a front portion I was not able to earlier.

    Got my drill press working again!

    Tacked the front tube into place after requiring six notches for clearance. I did add the 1/8" plate spacers just like the last one to account for the seat rail to rocker panel footer plates. I drilled the holes (above) into this one prior to welding in the car so I should have a pretty easy time drilling straight up through the holes as a pilot for the easy through-floorpan hole. Five bolts per side skirt should suffice in helping mount them sturdier than they were previously.

    My welding is still extremely hit or miss. I'm signed up for another adult education class to find out if it's man, machine, or both. The tricky part for the front jack rail tube is that the front fender mounts to the pinch weld at the very front. I ground off the two nuts that the bolts go through and planned on drilling through the tube once installed and installing longer fender bolts and tacking nuts on the end. We'll see how that plays out. As you can see in the pictures, I need to really bend and hammer the pinch weld in this area closer to the jack rail, that's how bad mine were messed up. It was a bit late to be doing that so we cleaned up and called it a day. Adam got a lot of work done again and we both were able to sell some used parts but the car is not moving along as quickly as one would hope.
  7. Dang dude nice job! Thats quite a project you got going. You got a lot of ambition!
  8. GREAT GUY !! I score some sweet parts from him for my cobra build and can't wait till I get to start workin on my extra set of heads > :)
  9. Beautiful day out. Going in late to work consistently on Fridays so making it over there then too. When I got there the last thing I wanted to do was work on the car, way too nice out. Ended up doing other stuff I needed to catch up on around the house and garage and helping Adam out. I started hammering that pinch weld towards the jacking rail some more, man that area is F'd up. I need a bigger hammer.

    Some new toys:

    And since my wife is a giant jerk and hates pictures being taken of her, I took one of her and said I would put it in the thread to embarrass her.

    Cut down some trees. Threw lots of crap out. Sold some crap, shipped some crap, took pictures to sell and ship some crap. Not much done on Cobra, but overall good day.
  10. I had my first experience with doing V-band clamps myself today. Did these for a customer for a dual exhaust project on a 02 Concorde (yeah...). I don't have all the parts in yet but I wanted to see if it was true about eBay brand V-bands leaking. They seemed to seal pretty damn good to me but I'll put a bead of RTV orange on them when they're in the car. When you put the two flanges together even before the clamp they are so solid you have to break them apart with a vice grip. I know what I'll be doing all my exhaust out of from now on.

    I did figure out that as thick as they are, I'm getting such good heat and penetration with my welds lately that I need to run short beads, rotate, and give good cool down time. The first one was ever-so-warped so I threw on its mate and clamped it down real hard for awhile while it was still very hot and it seemed to get better. Later on this project I'll also have my first experiences using stainless 304.

    I guess I didn't take a finished picture. I painted it silver to match the muffler, came out pretty good. My welds are still a little tall and not wide enough for my preference, I need to get closer to my work piece and slower hands.

    I spent a few hours with my BFH from work and a few more vicegrips pulling the pinch weld back to somewhere near where it should have been from the factory.

    zap zap!

    Down below, use the two holes I drilled in the front tube during the assembly process upward into the floorpan. Up top, locate those holes, scrape the sound deadener (yay...) and get them the right diameter.

    Grind two washers, insert bolts - with the exception of deciding on the front two fender to pinch weld bolts, the front tube is done.

    Finally decided to drill off the factory brake line, fuel line (2) and EVAP line retainers after working around them this whole time.

    That tree that I had to cut...yeah. It lost. Dropped it within an inch of where I called it. Not bad for a recip saw. Still working on clearing out the back lot to plant some grass, get some more sunlight, and concrete a two car wide space for more workspace.

    Onto the rear, and final jacking tube...or not. The rear lower S-box needs to go in first because the tube goes overtop it. I had been avoiding it, I admit, because I wasn't quite sure how Gene wanted me to cut the v-cut in the factory frame rail to help move the S-box closer to the frame rail. I pulled the S-box down and had some good witness marks exactly where it was hitting.

    MOZILLA OWNS. I loved it before, and it saved me a ton of times I accidentally hit back or a link while I was typing a big post and you hit back quick and it has what you typed saved (unlike IE or AOL), but my computer just lost power and shut down. Not only did it do the restore function, but everything I typed is still there...crap that's a lot.

    Made a T cut. I didn't get a pic of it, but I will tomorrow, I had to make a lot more horizontal cuts because I'm hitting this mofo as hard as I could and it wouldn't move until I cut more.

    Back up in place and tracing the outline so I know where to strip to get good weld areas. Also from bottom drilled three pilot holes through the holes previously drilled in the S-box into the floor pan.

    Went up top, found three holes, drilled to correct size. And got rid of more insulation crap...

    I'm missing a piece. These S-boxes are supposed to come with floor reinforcing plates. A 1/8" thick mild steel plate with 3 holes in it. The bolts come up through the holes I just drilled and through the plate, then the plate gets welded to the floor pan. Good thing, because that plate comes with holes already drilled in it and they wouldn't match up with the holes I just randomly chose spots for in the S-box. I have a ton of 1/8" plate around, now I get to make my own unique ones. There was a big hill right where I wanted to put my plate. I removed it.

    The 22AUG is hard to weld without punching through, that's ugly. That's actually a patch panel cut to fit but you can't tell I went through it so many times. I later found some settings that worked good for filling some of the many holes I've drilled in these floor pans (1, 20).

    Stripper top and bottom.

    Clean and ready to go.

    Look to the left of the last pic. You can actually see the horizontal slots and the hammering. Tomorrow I am going to start by welding that back together now that I recessed it. Then I have to put the S-box back in place and mark its ouline again and then paint everything that the s-box is going to cover up. It doesn't sit perfectly flush to the floorpan so if any of that is left bare I won't be able to paint it after installation and it will just rust again. Maybe I should have just wire-wheel stripped that would have been more precise, this primer does come up fairly easy.

    Not a bad day, not a great day.
  11. [quote author=MustangChris link=topic=37575.msg824085#msg824085 date=1269384997]
    dang man. that is alot of digging. what are the major gains of the s box?

    The lower, which I am installing now, has three mounting holes as opposed to the stock one of one. The stock location, one above, and one below. Without going too much into the rear suspension geometry, you can really help a car squat if the class you run allows relocation of the front LCA point - some don't, that's why the middle hole is in the stock location. Some people have simply torn the lower torque box so bad reinforcements will not suffice. Such was the case for me.

    I promised a pic last time of the horizontal cuts.

    Welded, ground down, put the S-box up and marked the perimeter.

    My intention was to tape off the area which would be covered by the S-box and paint it. I then realized I had a lot more welding to do first, between plugging holes that I would never have access to again to welding the top floor plate in. This welding would burn away the new paint and just let rust right back in.

    Made my template top floor plate out of paper, transferred to 1/8" plate, drilled the holes on the drill press, tack welded it in, then finish welded it. Man, was it a task welding a 1/8" plate to 22AUG steel (.003" versus .120"). I have been struggling the past two days with my Hobart Hood (helmet) and the auto-dim. The screen is just really foggy. So I ended up switching to an older straight -10 filter helmet and laid down some of the best welds of my life actually being able to see for once.
    View attachment 225214

    Went to Ace and picked up some more hardware now that I decided which of the hardware I picked the first time I was going to use. At under a half dollar per, I'm having a field day. And bought another metal tray. My wife rolled her eyes.

    I was saying about the welds.

    I decided to test on something "easy" to see if I really was making any progression in my skills (or lack thereof). There is still a ton of welding to be done on the seat rails and floor pans everything is just real solid tacked in right now so I did one of the top SFC to seat-rail joints. And I just dropped a bomb on it, I wish all my welds were anywhere near this flat, this consistent. Great penetration, great heat, it even looks nice. Remember when I did the others I had to grind them flat for seat grinding this one is so flat. Hopefully I can have more results like this in the future and less rhino snot.

    Mounted the S-box for the first time without a jack. Glad I drilled the holes in the plate, floorpan, and S-box two sizes over the bolt size so I had room to muscle it around.

    Installed the bolts the opposite way of the directions hoping to be able to tack weld the heads of the bolts to the floor dice, the hardware comes in too deep and would hit the LCA on the stock or highest setting.

    Flipped them, VERY SLOWLY and rotating often tack welded the nuts on just two of the six sides. Worked out good.

    I'm happy with the fitment so I stenciled the outline again. This time with all the holes plugged, ground down, and the top plate welded in.

    Masking tape, primer, paint. I was going to do my chrome yellow i have in aerosol but this rustoleum black should cover up bad ass and who knows if we're ever going to paint the car. I've never seen a black undercarraige that looked bad.

    A couple excessive tacks to hold it in place. Bolts do 90% of the work but want to pull one corner up. Not so great welds on my back in tight spots holding the mask with one hand. But they'll hold.

    Damn near no gas left, late. Cleaned the seam seal out of the weld top and bottom that goes where the rear most jack rail goes. I was going to stripper, wire wheel them again but decided to take a short cut. If you move really slow, it burns through the paint pretty damn good. Just watch out for those fumes.

    organized some junk in my time left, took another trash run, found some old fuel line stuff I won't have to order now.

    My goal was to be test fitting the side skirt with the new mounting system by the end of Monday, and we're still finish welding the S-box and installing the rear jack rail away from even a first attempt at fitment. Oh well, an inch at a time, right?
  12. I had a lot of non-Cobra things to take care of today, mostly generating more space for tools/car parts and selling/acquisition of new parts. Concerning the Cobra...

    New toys. 60cuft C25 tank (long overdue), Fedhill Cunifer brake line and fittings, Eastwood double/bubble flaring tool, welding buddy, and rust dissolver. The combination of the new tool and practicing on softer stock lines really make some scary differences, this tool is worth every penny. I can't wait to try it on the relatively soft as butter Cunifer line. My cylinder head changing kit also came in the other day but I don't think I got a pic - most cost effective way of getting stock head bolts.
    View attachment 224835

    My minimal on the car progress is pretty easy to sum up. Step 1: cut fillers.

    Step 2: weld fillers

    Step 3: primer everything but what the rear jack rail is going to be welded to.

    Next time is Monday. Sell more crap. Ship some crap. Figure out that rear jack rail tube and hopefully even test fit the side skirt.
  13. Looking good chris, thanks again for all the help with my POS constantly.