Journal: December 1999


Choose Your Month



  Sunday 12/5/99, It's been a relatively successful week on the Cobra front. I found a shop (Midtown Welding in Dover Ohio) to sandblast my donor parts and weld my steering shaft , brake pedal and gas tank. Dropped them off Friday and they should be done by next Friday
I'm getting the following parts sandblasted:
Front control arms and spindles
Brake calipers and backing plates
Quad shock brackets
As for welding, He will be lengthening the steering shaft,removing 1 1/2 inches from the brake pedal and fixing the small rust hole I found in the gas tank. The tank also needs an internal baffle brazed, so it will need to be opened up to provide access to the baffle. Since it needs opened anyway, I asked him to cut the top rear section out of the hump in the tank and then invert it to provide additional clearance for the passenger side quick jack bolts. Tom Christoph made a similar modification to his tank and seemed to work out well. I'm getting all this done for $130 which seems like a quite bargain since that's what a new gas tank would cost. For those of you that have been following my ramblings for a while, you may be asking what happened to the fuel cell? Unfortunately, money! I'd feel more secure with one, but I just can't justify the cost now. (Note: Welding the steering shaft is no longer necessary. New kits come with a one piece mid-shaft.)
I also prepared more donor parts this week. Cleaned up the master cylinder and painted the pedal box to match the frame. I think I also found an easy way to clean up the wheels. I got a metal wash tub, five gallons of lacquer thinner and I have one of the wheels soaking now. It looks like this will be much easier than brushing on the stripper.

Saturday 12/25/99, Wow, twenty days since I update the site. I'll try not to let that happen again. So first and foremost MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that if for just one moment, people are thankful for all that is good in the world.

Since my last post I got all the parts back from the welder / sandblaster. They turned out pretty nice, but still required some wire brushing to smooth out the pits from the sand blaster. He was able fix all the problems with the gas tank and did a great job welding the steering shaft and brake pedal. After I picked up the parts, I dropped off the rearend and drive shaft at Cookson's (a local shop that specializes in truck and heavy equipment drive trains). They are shortening the shaft to Factory Five's spec of 10 3/4 inches and I'm having them install Ford Motorsport 3.55 gears in the rearend. I had a call from them earlier this week saying they were done, so hopefully I'll be able to pick them up next Tuesday.
It's necessary to cut a notch in the spring mount area of the Mustang lower control arms so they clear the coil over shocks. This was accomplished with minimal cussing, all the parts are painted and everything is ready to install. I ended up replacing the ball joints on the lower control arms since one of the boots was torn. Also bought new wheel bearings and seals for the front end. So at this point, I have the aluminum F pieces installed on the front of the frame and the lower control arms are in place. I hope to get the front end buttoned up during my Christmas vacation and then move on to the rear for the New Years break.
Soaking the wheels in lacquer thinner does wonders for stripping the clear coating from them. After a day or so in the mix, the coating is pretty mushy and comes right off. All in all though I'd definitely recommend getting wheels that don't need refinished!
Hope to get some pictures posted shortly and get Web boy to finish up his color picker. He's getting a new hard drive for Christmas so he owes me. Merry Christmas to All. Hope some of you find a Cobra under your tree!

Tuesday 12/29/99, Another Christmas come and gone. I had a great one! Lots of nice gifts, but mostly time. Family time, Cobra time, Private time. It was wonderful. The wife and kids gave me some cool accessories for the Cobra. They include Cobra emblems for the hood and trunk, awesome polished bezels for the rollbar, a Shelby Motors license plate frame and some reproduction AC pedals for the brake and clutch. They all came from Finishline. Great stuff and a great customer oriented business.
It's my understanding that FFR use to offer the emblems with the kit but were forced to cease and desist to avoid litigation from Carol Shelby and company. I guess he is also trying to register the shape of the 427SC to squeeze some royalties out of the kit manufactures or put them out of business. Sounds more like a marketing guy than a racing legend.
I picked up my drive shaft and rear end from Cooksons on Dec 27. I was disappointed in both. They didn't install new universal joints in the drive shaft as I had requested, but what really hacked me off was the price to install the gears. $352 just to install the gears. Most places would charge about half that, but they weren't budging on the price and I wanted to get my rearend back. Live and learn and avoid Cooksons in New Philadelphia Ohio. Guess I'm sounding kind of negative here, but greedy people really piss me off.
The front end is coming along nicely. Both sides are bolted together, but I still need to install the rotors and brakes. I also installed the firewall this weekend and test fit the steering shaft. It's almost starting to look like a car.
It will probably be next year until I do any more updates, so have a great New Year. I'll be at work telling them "I told you it was going to be fine."

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