Journal: January 2000


Choose Your Month



  Monday 01/03/00, Hey, we made it through the dreaded Y2K computer bug with nary a scratch. I was really glad we didn't loose power or have any computer glitches since I'd have been eating a large helping of crow. My first New-year resolution is to never utter the term Y2K again. Second is to drive this Cobra by the end of summer.
Since my last post, I cleaned and painted the rear-end and installed John Lisman's ultra trick heim joints for the upper control arms. I fully intended to get the rear end installed this weekend, but I found that the upper and lower rubber spring seats from my donor Mustang were in bad shape. I ordered new ones from a Ford dealer today and they should be in by the end of the week. I also ordered a new rubber gasket for the gas tank filler neck while I was at it. So until these parts come in I'll be finishing up the front end and getting back to cleaning my wheels so I can get some tires on the beast.
Cody got the Cobra Color Chooser on the Web site menu working. It takes a little while to load but it's worth checking out if you use Internet Explorer for your web browser. Sorry Netscape users but he hasn't got it working with Netscape yet. Let him know what you think of it.

  Sunday 01/09/00, Not a lot to report this week, but I got enough done to call it progress. I finished preparing the rear-end assembly. This included mounting the control arms to the rear end and cutting the rear springs. I ended up cutting 3/4 of a coil off the springs. The manual recommends cutting a full coil, but the folks on the Cobra forum recommend anywhere from none to 2/3 of a coil. I split the difference and made it 3/4. Bottom line is, if you cut too much off, you may not be able to adjust the car high enough in the rear.
My wife and son helped me installed the rear-end. If you're planning on building a FFR kit, I'd definitely recommend getting some help on this step. It's a pain to get the upper control arms lined up so the bolts can be inserted. This is a case where persistence pays off. It all fits great once it's aligned, but getting it to that point is a bitch with a capital B.
t's pretty cool to see it all coming together. At this point, I'm going to have to get some tires mounted on the rims so the front and rear end bolts can be tightened down. They need to be torqued down with the axles at ride height so the various bushings are not pre-loaded.
I also spent some time working on the Web site this week. We got a new program that makes it easier to format pages with assembly pictures. I need to make some changes to the menus to make it all work, but I should finally be able to get caught up on the backlog of pictures I have and get new ones posted quicker.

  Tuesday 01/18/00, The flu and a power outage at work on the weekend combined to keep my garage time to zip this week. I got the gas tank installed, but that's it. The tank installation is a breeze. Four bolts and it's in. I'll get some pictures posted shortly that show the modification I made to the tank. The top rear corner on the passenger side was cut out and inverted to provide additional clearance for the quickjack bolts. I had to open the tank up to have a loose baffle brazed, so it made sense to have this modification made when the piece was welded back in. I also pressure tested and painted the tank prior to installation.

  Monday 01/31/00, Since my last post, I've been busy setting up the pedal box and installing the AC pedals I got from Finish Line. The pedal spacing in these things is very tight so I bent the clutch and brake pedals slightly to separate them as much as possible from the gas. I also played around with the pedal location on the arm to get them just right. Hopefully this will still be close when I get my seats installed! Installing the pedals was pretty simple. I cut the old ones off using an abrasive wheel on the grinder. I also used the abrasive wheel to "mill" a groove the width of the pedal arm in to the tab on the rear of the pedals. Drilled a hole through the whole mess, stuck in bolt and it was done. Looks so nice I ordered one for the gas pedal to finish it off. It's a real good idea to install a bolt in the pedal box to prevent the rod from pulling out of the mastercylinder during hard acceleration. (I hear this is not necessary on newer kits since they now install a frame tube in this area). I also installed a small spring to keep the pedal pulled up tight against the master cylinder. Some others have had the unenviable experience of loosing their brakes when this happened. I'd rather not go there.
After a fair amount of bending, I got the brake distribution block lined up and bolted to the frame. I also drilled all the rivet holes in the floor panels, but I'm holding off on mounting them until the pneumatic air riveter I ordered from Harbor Freight is delivered. I was planning on doing all my riveting with a manual rivet gun but I found this one on sale for $26.00. After seeing how many holes I drilled in the floor, I think it's well worth the cost.

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