Journal: April 2000


Choose Your Month



  Thursday 04/05/00, It's been way too long since I've touched the car, but it just makes it more fun to get back to it. I had some problems with my steering shaft so I'm getting a new one made. The guy did a nice job welding the first one, but it had a bit of a wobble to it and it rubbed on the front of the footbox. I could probably use it by adding some washers under the front pillow block, but I'd rather be safe than sorry so I had Factory Five send me a new extension piece. (They did this for the cost of shipping. Gotta love it!) I already have a second lower shaft from the non-tilt shaft shaft I bought, so it's not a big deal to have a new one made. This time I'm going to use some sleeves inside the steering shaft pieces to keep things straight.
I also assembled the Moto-Lita steering wheel and hub this weekend. It needed a couple of the holes in the hub enlarged to get them to line up with the holes in the wheel. It was an easy fix that is not at all noticeable.
I hope to get started on the brake and fuel lines this weekend. This requires learning the art of double flaring to get the tubing to seal with the couplers. I'm going to practice a few flares with the supplied tubing and a tool from Autozone. If I can't get the hang of it, I'll do what many others have and buy some preflared lines. It sounds like this presents some problems of its own since some of the connectors require hard to find adapters. If I go this way, I'll post some part numbers.

  Monday 04/17/00, The local Autozone didn't have the SAE double flare tool in stock, so I spent the better part of Friday running down parts for the brakes. I actually could have bought everything at NAPA, but they were out of one critical fitting. Suffice to say that for what I would have paid to buy a good double flare tool, I bought all of the pre-flared brake lines and fittings. I guess if I was building a show car, I'd get a little concerned about the looks of the adapters. For a novice like me they sure make life easier and I feel more secure knowing I've got good brake lines. On that note, lets talk steering columns. I got the second one welded on Friday. I couldn't find any sleeves with the correct diameter to line the pieces up with, so I ran a piece of all-thread through them and tightened it down with nuts and washers on each end. All seemed nice and straight, but when I got it home and tried it out, it still had enough of a wobble to hit the front of the footbox. I figured at this point there wasn't much I could hurt so I chucked it in the vice and tried to"tweak" it. Guess I don't know my own strength, since I tweaked it good and ended up with two pieces. Very scary, but better now than at 75 mph on the interstate. There is a good solution though, Throw money at it! I called Mike Mack at Tri-State Motorsports and ordered a one piece shaft. It was $75.00 for the plain steel shaft ($125 for chrome). I could have saved time, money and aggravation by buying one of these from the start. There is also the warm fuzzy factor of knowing that this thing wont come apart at a bad time. (As I noted earlier, FFR now ships a full length shaft with the kit so welding isn't necessary on new kits.)

Installing the brake lines went pretty well. It takes a little imagination and luck to get the bends right, but it's not hard. The great thing about the pre-flared lines that I used was that they all fit perfectly. I used a 20" piece for the front left, 72" for the front right, and a 72" coupled to a 30" for the rear. Here's a link to pictures of the brake lines and a diagram of all the parts needed to use pre-flared lines.

  Monday 04/24/00, I hope that those of you that celebrate Easter had as nice a day as I did. Our family spent the day relaxing at my brother's place and had one of Aunt Cheri's great Easter dinners. They should all be this nice.
On the Cobra front, I've got brakes! Cody and I bled them Friday night and as near as I can tell, they work great. The pedal is nice and firm and most important, there are no leaks. I'd highly recommend getting preflared lines for the brakes. They made this part of the project go much better than I was expecting.
I've also been working on the fuel lines. Much to my dismay I found that Factory Five recommends double flaring the fuel lines so the clamp on the high pressure hoses can't slip over the flare. So I was off to another Autozone and this one had the SAE double flare kit. After two solid hours of practice I was able to produce a barely passable flare. Now I just have to do it on the actual fuel lines. That will have to wait until I get them both installed. I installed the smaller return line tonight, but didn't get the main line completed yet.

I also installed the new steering shaft that I received from Tri-State Motorsports. I have to tell you that I opened up the package it came in and thought "I paid $75 bucks for this?". It's just a piece of formed pipe cut to the correct length. The key here is that it's formed to fit over the upper and lower shafts. It was money well spent though and in hind site I really wish I would have bought one in the first place. In my opinion it's safer than welding the stock shaft to extend it and it sure is a lot less hassle.

In the coming week, I'll be finishing up the fuel lines, then I'll be installing the battery cables, cutoff switch and remote terminals. After this I'll start cleaning up the engine. Can't wait to get started on it.

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