Journal: August 2000


Choose Your Month



  Sunday 08/20/00, It's been over a month since my last update, but this is a pretty big one. I got the engine installed Saturday with the help of Mike Schott and my son Cody. It really looks awesome! I can hardly wait to get it running, but there is still a lot to do before that happens.

In the previous weeks, I took some time off and had a great vacation with the family. When we got back, I started looking for an engine hoist to rent, but the places I called either no longer rented them or they required a trailer hitch to tow it home. I finally bought one for $200 from Advanced Automotive. I figure I can sell it later after I have a warm fuzzy feeling about the engine. Or I may just keep it for my next project. (Can you say Porsche 550 Spyder replica)

Before I installed the engine, I cleaned up the transmission and bellhousing with a wire brush on the drill. They were nasty looking and because of all the fins and recesses they didn't clean up as well as I would have liked. They will be fine though since no one will know but me and you're not telling anyone, (right). I also installed a new Ford Motorsport clutch, throw out bearing and pilot bearing. This was the first clutch I've ever replaced so I was being a little anal about getting it right. The instructions said to replace the flywheel too, but the consensus on the Cobra Forum was that if it was working OK with the old clutch it should be fine, so I just cleaned it up. (I wouldn't recommend the FMS clutch. After living with it for 4000 miles my left leg is twice as big around as the right one. This thing is stiff!)

Before we started the engine installation, the front shocks had to be cranked up to allow the engine hoist to fit under the frame. The actual installation amounted to five minutes of terror followed by several beers. I operated the hoist while Mike and Cody guided the engine in. We had to pause a couple of times to make adjustments to the fuel lines and to change the angle of the engine to allow the air tube to clear the footbox. Other than that, it pretty much dropped right in. I was happy to see that the shifter was dead centered in the transmission tunnel hole. Quite a few people on the forum have mentioned that their shifters are off center or they needed to enlarge the hole. I suspect that this is because they trimmed the aluminum on the foot boxes and tunnel instead of forcing them to fit

On Sunday I tightened up the front and rear suspension control arm bolts and set the ride height to 4.5 inches in the front and 4.75 inches in the rear. It's important to tighten these bolts at the ride height so the bushings aren't preloaded. The car really looks mean sitting so low. I love it!

I guess next on the agenda will be the installation of the drive shaft and then I need to tighten up all the steering shaft components. I left them loose since I was going to take it out for the engine installation. It turned out that this wasn't necessary. This will be followed up with the radiator, mass air sensor, cables, fuel lines and then the wiring. Here's a link to the engine installation pictures.


  Sunday 08/27/00, Just a quick updated before I pack it in for the night. This week I installed the drive shaft, remote oil filter lines, throttle cable, clutch cable and vapor canister. I forgot to remove the vapor canister bracket from the Mustang so I couldn't mount it to the frame as shown in the manual. Instead, I mounted it to the front of the passenger side footbox. This required cutting a slot in the footbox to accept the tab on the back of the canister. A single screw through the top mounting tab holds it in place. I ran a few beads of silicon sealer around the back to seal the slot and keep it from vibrating. I think it looks a lot cleaner than hanging it from the frame.

Everything else bolted in place without a hitch, but I had to make an aluminum spacer to move the clutch cable bracket out of the way of the oil lines. While I was at it I reinstalled the oil filter relocator with some extra silicon sealer and I painted and reinstalled the oil pressure sending unit.

I spend a few hours Sunday adjusting and flaring the fuel lines so they can be mated with the lines on the engine. When I installed them a few months ago I made my best guess as to where the lines on the engine would be. Of course I was wrong, so I had to bend the lines again and then flare them to keep the hoses from popping off. I should have flared them a few months ago when I had flaring down. I had to learn how to make a double flare all over again today. They aren't to pretty but should be functional enough to keep the fuel hoses from coming off. Since I doubled up the clamps on the gas tank side of the fuel lines, I don't have enough to do the engine side. I've checked four stores so far but I can't find any of the high pressure band type hose clamps that come with the kit. The fuel system will be done when I find them.

I'm planning on installing the exhaust system next, followed by the radiator and wiring. I'm going to try and get this thing running and take a drive in the go-cart by September 9th. That's the one year anniversary of getting the kit. It's been a great year!

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