Journal: July 1999


Choose Your Month



Thursday 7/1/99, After about a year and a half of researching and dreaming about it, I ordered my Factory Five kit today. Made my day! So here is what I ordered:
FFR Basic kit Body Cutouts
FFR upper and lower control arms
Bump Steer kit
Windshield wipers
Heater / Defroster
Adjustable Seat Tracks for the driverís side
External Battery Jacks
Hood Hinge with Struts
Crate fee
Deleted the seats (Iím getting some taller seats that provide better head and neck protection)
Note that there is not much in the way of cosmetic accessories. I plan on driving this most of the summer months, so I want concentrate on making it reliable first and good looking second. I also kinda like the black side pipe and roll bar look. Most pictures of original cobras I've seen were pretty basic. Thatís the look Iím shooting for. If Factory Five offered a 289 FIA replica, I probably would have purchased it instead of the 427. Are you listening Smith brothers? At any rate, I love the 427 too and the kit strikes me like a pretty good deal for $10,990. Especially when I hear Factory Five will be raising the price by at least a thousand dollars in a month or so. I hope to have a total cost breakdown posted shortly. It should be interesting to compare my costs to those on the Shuffelton build site at Jeff Shuffelton and his father are building a no-holds-barred, butt kicking, cruising machine. Itís definitely in the stratosphere of FFR cobras, but it will be one fine car when itís done. Thatís another one of the great things about these kits. You can build them the way you want! But I digress.

Saturday 7/3/99, I worked on my Safari Van today. Made several calls to local recycling yards and finally found a place that had a turn signal stalk and heater control valve. When I got there, it was junkyard nirvana. The place is Wayne Auto parts in Dover Ohio. Not only did I save over a hundred bucks, but this place was cleaner than some doctorís offices Iíve seen. The employees did not appear to be the result of generations of inbreeding and they knew what they were talking about. So anyhow I got the van pretty well fixed up so I'm ready to move on to the Mustang teardown now.

Sunday 7/4/99, Today I installed a CD player, amp and additional speakers in the van. Sounds pretty good if I do say so. Now I just need to find some "Keep on Truckin " bumper stickers and a mirrored ball for the ceiling. Spent the rest of the day grilling, swimming and relaxing.

Saturday 7/10/99, I finally got back to tearing down the Mustang today. Removed most of the interior to get down to the wiring. Thereís nothing too tricky here. Just find ever screw you can and remove it. I had a little trouble getting the speedometer cable disconnected from the instrument pod. I used a pair of channel lock pliers to gently squeeze the white plastic clip and it popped right off. Getting the light and defroster switches out was kind of a pain until I found the clips that hold them in. See the donor teardown pictures for some examples of these procedures.

Sunday 7/11/99, I removed the dashboard and rear wiring harness today. You canít imagine how many wires they can stuff behind the dashboard. Be sure to mark the connectors so you know how it all goes back together on the Cobra. I used a permanent marker on most of the connectorís and labeling tape on those to small to write on.

Saturday 7/17/99, Packed up the wife and kids today and went to the Fun Ford Weekend at Norwalk Raceway. It was about a two hour drive and hotter than hell once we got there, but the family did their best to humor me. There were hundreds of beautiful and fast Mustangs, but two Factory Five Cobras were drawing most of the attention. Heath Hammersmith was there with his brand new black and silver Factory Five. His car is beautiful! He used all new parts and a supercharged crate motor. I canít imagine how anyone could build a nicer Cobra. It really raised the bar on the expectations for my kit. Heath was kind enough to give me a ride. WOW, talk about inspiration, I canít wait to get started on mine. I also met Greg (the wheelie guy) Lapoint. Greg has one of the first FFR kits ever made and itís still holding up great. He did mention that the doors are a little loose after four years of wheelies. His car is ALL business with outrageous horsepower, a roll cage, slicks and a fuelcell. Greg was off to a week of road and drag racing at Run and Gun in St Lois after Norwalk. It was a great day thanks in no small part to Greg and Health.

Sunday 7/18/99, I finished removing all of the Mustangs wiring harnesses with the exception of the transmission harness. That will have to wait until I get the car up on jack stands. Now I see why people are intimidated by this part of the project. Damn, but there are a bunch of wires in these things. I still havenít decided if Iíll send my harness out to have the extra junk removed, or if Iíll do it myself. Right now Iím leaning toward doing it myself AFTER I get the Cobra running.

Thursday 7/22/99, I received Factory Five's new assembly manual in the mail today. This kind of service gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about my order. Kerri Kuehne gave me the $50 credit for the manual I purchased last year, and was true to her word that she would send me the new manual when it came out.Thanks Kerri! From the quick glance I gave the manual, it appears to have more and better pictures as well as a cleaner look. It also has instructions for installing the new big block and independent rear suspension options. (Maybe on my next kit)

Saturday 7/24/99, Not much was accomplished today. I jacked the car up and removed the transmission harness. Other than the harnesses directly attached to the engine, this should be the last one. I also removed the speedometer cable. I spent way to much time trying to figure out how the speedo cable was attached to the transmission. Finally dug through all the gunk around the cable and found a bolt and clamp holding it on. It popped right out after I removed the bolt. While the car was jacked up, I removed the plastic inner fender well on the drivers side to get to the horns and cruise control module. I took the cruise module out, but probably won't install it.

Saturday 7/17/99, My Sunday was spent looking at the world from under the Mustang After spending a few hours under there removing the fuel tank and exhaust system, I'm pretty happy with the mechanical condition of my donor. It must not have seen too many Ohio winters, since it doesn't have too much rust. I guess that is one advantage to having about as much winter traction as ballbearings on ice. I didn't even break any of the exhaust bolts off when I removed them. I do have a couple of tips that may make your life easier if you do this. You'll need a universal joint adapter and 6" extension for your socket to reach at least one of the header bolts. When removing the fuel tank, try to get enough slack on the hoses to rest the tank on the ground. It makes life much easier when removing the return hose from the tank if you can actually see the connector. Also, use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the pins from the tank mounting straps. I spent about 15 Minutes messing around trying to line up the pin with two screw drivers as was recommended in the assembly manual, I got them out in 15 seconds with the pliers.


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