Journal: April 2001


Choose Your Month



  Monday 4/23/2001, Hey, there is no Cobra in my garage. Must be time to update the web site.

First, I finally received the seats I ordered from Factory Five. It took a while but the they were worth the wait since they fit me much better than the Corbeau seat. If you weigh more than about 200 lbs defiantly try out any aftermarket seats in the car before you buy them!

So the car is finally off to the body shop. I found a shop that I'm comfortable with and as luck would have it they could even get it in before December. In looking for shops I found two that didn't want to touch it, one that wanted an outrageous amount to finish it and two that would consider it for a reasonable price but couldn't get to it for months. The place I ended up going with is Hoopys in New Philadelphia Ohio. Gary Hoopengarner is the owner. He has been doing body work for twenty plus years and recently opened up his own shop. He mentioned that the Cobra would be good advertising for his business which sounds good to me.

I've been busy the last couple of weekends finishing up loose ends to get the car ready for the body shop. I wanted to get the hardware on the body trial fit so it all just bolts on when the paint is done. Here's a list of the stuff I've been fitting.
Cobra Emblems and badges
Side louvers
iper wheel boxes and arms
Defroster vents
Roll bar bezels
Hood latches
Door hinges and stop straps
Rear cockpit aluminum panel
Rollbar bolts

All of these installations were pretty straight forward with the exception of the wipers. The directions suck so I was on my own to figure out how it all went together. I'm hoping there are some extra parts included because I couldn't figure out where a few of them were used. I'll still need to install the wiper motor and drive cable when the body is off. The outside roll bar bezel also took more time than I would have expected since this one had to be bent to match the curve of the rear fender.

I modified the door hinge by installing a set screw to keep the hinge post from moving in the door part of the hinge. This seems to firm it up and keep it from drooping. It shouldn't be necessary on the kits being produced now since the hinges have been improved considerably since mine was produced.

After I got all this stuff installed, I ripped it all off so the body would be ready for the paint shop. I left the body installed on the frame to make transportation to Gary's shop easier. I also wanted him to fit the hood hinge before I took the body off the frame. I'm going to his shop on Wednesday the 25th to help him remove the body and then he is bringing the chassis back to the house so I can finish up the chassis.

  Sunday 4/29/2001, I went to Gary's shop on Wednesday and we removed the body and brought the chassis home. Since then I've been fixing some of the little things that needed attention. This includes fixing the passenger side header to motor mount clearance, installing steering stops to prevent the front wheels from rubbing and installing poly balljoint covers to replace the lower ones that have already cracked.

To fix the motor mount I ground about a quarter inch off the top of the mount and dinged the header to provide additional clearance. I ended up with about 3/8 " of clearance. This would be easier done before the motor is installed since it requires pulling up the motor with an engine hoist to hold it while the mount is removed.

The travel on the Mustang steering rack is adjusted by installing nylon rings on the rack's internal pistons. I made some wider rings out of PVC pipe and installed them in about ten minutes. It worked great and prevents the wheels from rubbing on the front control arms.

I wish the ball joint covers would have gone as well. I figured it was just a matter of popping off the spindles and installing new covers. After beating on the passenger side spindle for about an hour I gave up and went to Autozone to rent a balljoint separator fork. This made quick work of freeing the spindle from the ball joint but I still couldn't remove it since the control arm hits the brake dust cover and rotor. I tired removing the upper control arm and upper shock mount to get a better angle on the the spindle but now I can't get the upper shock mount bolt out. After trying for about half an hour I gave up and I'm going to take a fresh look at it tomorrow. Sometimes you have to let the car think it won..... but sooner or later I'll get it off.

Today I had a visit from Mike (I already for got his last name) from Brooklyn Ohio. Mike and his wife are also building a Factory Five kit. They started in December and are nearly as far along as I am after a year and a half. Oh well, nobody ever accused me of being speedy. Mikes car is going to be beautiful. They polished the engine compartment aluminum and are using a carbureted engine with hot jet coated side pipes and Autometer gauges. I'm looking forward to seeing them cruising at the Spring fling in June.

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