Journal: June 2000

Choose Your Month



  Sunday 06/04/00, It was a beautiful weekend. Temperatures in the seventies with Canada blue skies. I took advantage of it Saturday and got some things done around the house, then spent the rest of the time in the driveway working on the Cobra. I really didn't want to get in to degreasing the engine, so I finished up some things on the chassis. First, I added a bracket to the heater to keep it from flopping around. The bracket attaches to the firewall and dash hoop and supports the right edge of the heater. It really firms things up. I also replaced the tie wraps that I used on the battery cables with a bunch of rubber insulated clamps. Some of these will also be used later for the rear wire harness. While I was in a clamping frenzy, I installed the emergency brake cables from the rear drums to the bracket welded in the transmission tunnel. The drivers side cable is a very tight fit and rubs against the rear spring. It will be better when the suspension is compressed by the additional weight of the body, but it will probably still rub so I covered it with some rubber hose. Hopefully this won't cause any problems.

I forgot to mention a problem that I ran in to the other day when removed the door hinges so they could be painted. One of the nylon lock nuts started to bind when I took it off. This is a common problem that I read about on the cobraforum. If you continue to crank on the nut when it binds, it will break off the stud. This is not a good thing since the door will need to be opened up and a new stud welded in place. I cut the nut off and will replace all of them with standard nuts and lock washers.

My daughter Ashley had the honor of being the first to "drive" the Cobra. I pushed her down the drive way to check out the steering and brakes. The steering works a little too good. When the steering wheel is cranked over to either side,it will grind the wheel weights off the inside of the wheels. It's going to need some stops in the steering rack unless things change drastically when the engine is installed. Anyhow, it gave the neighbor kids something to talk about when they saw Ashley coming at them an oversized go-cart.

  Sunday 06/11/00, Another great weekend is winding down. I took a BUNCH of "before" pictures of the engine. They are posted here. (Mostly for my benefit when putting it back together, but maybe someone else can use them for reference) I also removed the drive belt accessories, and some of the wiring from the engine.

Brian Mulheim and his son Eric stopped by on Saturday morning to check out the Cobra. They're planning on building a Factory Five and wanted to see one in the assembly stages. They drove a couple of hours to see it, so hopefully I was able to answer some of their questions. In reality, I think these cars sell themselves, so I didn't have a lot of explaining to do. Their car will be a carburated small block with IRS. It should be sweet!

Saturday night the kids and I went to the Brunswick Big-Boy cruise-in. As always there were plenty of great cars. Three Cobras; a Classic Roadsters, a Superformance and a 427 that I'm not sure who made. It never ceases to amaze me how every Cobra I've seen is different, but they have all been nice in their own ways. I also keep meeting great people!

Maury Novak answered a bunch of questions about his Classic Roadsters replica. It's a beautiful car based mostly on Mustang components. My impression of it is that it is a bit more refined than the Factory Five in the comfort areas, but maybe not as nimble. (Although I'm sure it would be a hoot to drive) Maury must be a perfectionist since he did an awesome job putting it together. After five years, the paint still appeared flawless. I about fell over when he told me he did it in his garage. Incredible! I wish I had that kind of patience and talent! Check it out here.

  Monday 06/19/00, Happy belated Fathers day to all you Dads. Mine was outstanding thanks a great wife and kids!
I've been busy this week stripping and cleaning the engine to prepare it for paint. First I plugged up all the holes and degreased it. After this I cleaned it a couple of times with detergent and hot water. I finished up by wire brushing it and cleaning it with carb cleaner. I painted the block and lower intake dark Ford blue. Tonight I temporarily bolted on the FMS Cobra valve covers and and Flowtech ceramic coated headers. It looks 100 percent better than it did. Now I need to start polishing, painting and bolting on all the "stuff" I took off.

Somebody needs to dope slap me for taking off the distributor without marking the position of the rotor. I was really looking forward to being able to drop the engine in and have it fire up first time, but now it looks like I'll have to play with the timing.

  Sunday 06/25/00, Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting Rex Arnnete and his son Taylor. They are thinking about ordering a Factory Five 427SC kit in the future and wanted to take a look at mine. Rex was pretty well sold on Factory Five before he saw my kit and I think it just reinforced his cobra lust. Rex's will bring the number of Factory Fives that I know of in Ohio up to eleven. It might be time to start thinking about forming an Ohio Factory Five Owners Group (FFROG) guys.

I've been painting, polishing and bolting on engine parts this week. I think it's looking great. I found some black Rustoleum texture paint for the intake plenum that matches the paint on the FMS Cobra valve covers perfectly. I think it balances out the engine nicely. Check it out here.

I ran into a couple of minor problems with the valve covers. First, they are a little bit taller than the stock covers and the extra height interferes with the throttle cable bracket. I think I can fix it by elongating the mounting holes on the bracket. Another option is to throw money at it and buy an intake spacer to raise the height of the plenum. The second problem wasn't obvious until I torqued the cover bolts down. I had them tightened down and the valve cover was still loose. It seems that the mounting flange on the FMS cover is thinner than stock, which effectively makes the bolts too long. I fixed this by grinding about 3/8 of an inch off each bolt. I was a bit disappointed with Ford Motor Sports since the dress up kit that the valve covers came in is designed for 5.0 Mustangs and is advertised as a bolt on accessory with no modifications necessary.

I received a polyswitch fuse for my battery cut off switch from Ed Kamptner. Ed had a few extras and was giving them away on the Cobra Forum. As I keep saying, the forum is a great resource and is loaded with great people. Thanks again Ed! The function of the poly switch is to provide current to the computer when the battery switch is off. If more than four amps is drawn through the polyswitch it will open up. The device resets itself when the current drain is removed. This prevents the car from starting when the battery switch is off, but it maintains current to the computer. (Unless you try to start the car with the switch off)

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