Journal: October 1999


Choose Your Month



  Monday 10/4/99, Had another great weekend. On Saturday I completed the body buck.  It's basically the Factory Five design from the assembly manual with extension legs and wheels so it can  be positioned  over the frame.  I got the design from Al Solomko, a regular on the Cobra Forum.  This should  help maintain marital bliss at the Baker household since it will allow my wife to reclaim her half of the garage for the family cruiser.  On Sunday, Cody and I took a trip to Akron to buy a bunch of parts at Summit racing.  What a great store!  I bought the following:
FMS Clutch kit
FMS 3.55 gears with a shim kit and gasket.
FMS Cobra dress up kit (valve covers and  intake manifold cover plate)
KYB rear and Quad shocks.
Flaming River steering shaft with U joints
Battery disconnect switch
Self locking header bolts
Moroso Radiator hose filler
I also ordered some FlowTech unequal length Shorty headers with ceramic coating from Autozone.

  Tuesday 10/5/99, I added some foam pipe wrap to the edge of the plywood on the body buck where it contacts the fiberglass body.  It's pretty tough to get the contours of the body buck to exactly match the body. Adding the foam seems to spread out the load a little better.  I also updated the costs page tonight.

  Wednesday 10/6/99, Ordered a pair of John Lismans' trick Heim joints for the rear upper control arms.  They look awesome and should prevent roll binding in the differential. (At the time I bought these, people were saying they helped reduce wheel hop. Since then FFR has redesigned control arm mounts to eliminate wheel hop. These probably aren't necessary but they are nice pieces. You can still buy them from Mark Reynolds at Breeze Automotive.)

  Thursday 10/14/99, Cody updated the Web site yesterday. I'm still trying to figure out the new software he used, so bear with me until I get the hang of it. I think it looks pretty good, but I honestly liked the look and feel of the old site better. This one does seem to work much better with Netscape. We'll be tweaking it as we go, so if you see something that you don't like or that doesn't work, let me know. E-mail:
I picked up my Flowtech headers last weekend at Autozone. I'm underwhelmed at best. Flowtech apparently never heard of quality control, or maybe they just don't care. The welds on these things are just plain ugly. I bought them because they are suppose to give the best fit in the Factory Five kit. Hopefully the fit will make up for the welds and mediocre looking ceramic coating.
I've also been researching seats this week. I'm trying to find a good compromise that will fit in the car, is high enough to provide some head protection from the roll bar and wide enough to fit my fat butt. So far seats from Cobra, Sparco and Momo are on the short list.
The parts list is getting shorter. Just need tires, seats, motor mounts, battery and a non tilt steering shaft. (And a bunch of small stuff)

  Sunday 10/17/99, I've been cleaning the Mustang turbine wheels this weekend. Unfortunately the rims were in worse shape than I originally though, so the refinishing process is going to be a little more involved. I had the old tires removed and I'm stripping the clear coating from the outer lip on the front of the rim. After stripping the coating, I'll polish the rims and then re-coat them. The recessed areas on the front of the rim will be painted a dark gray or black to highlight the polished edges of the turbines. At some point this winter, I'd like to recreate the spinner caps that Dave Houstea made for his wheels.
I also added some shelves to the inside of the body buck this weekend. It really helps with the storage situation in the garage and stiffens up the body buck. The coming weeks should be filled with more cleaning and painting and hopefully I'll be able to start building the beast by the end of the month. Don't give up on me, the good stuff is coming.

  Sunday 10/24/99, I love the smell of caustic chemicals in the morning. The way they make the paint bubble up and the cool followed by the burn when they touch your skin. Sorry..... I went away for a little bit there. Must be from sniffing paint stripper most of the weekend. I got the clear coat stripped off the outer edges of the turbine wheels and re-coated them with clear lacquer this weekend. I still need to spray gray (cast metal) lacquer on the recessed areas but they are looking pretty good. If you are contemplating using Mustang wheels, I'd highly recommend getting nice clean ones. I've got about three hours into each wheel so far and I've sanded the finger prints off my fingers. The problem with mine was that the clear coat wore off where the wheel weights were located and the aluminum corroded. Looked pretty nasty after the weights were removed. So that's about all I accomplished this weekend other than buying a battery for the cobra. I'm doing the wheels now so I can get new tires mounted before some household catastrophe sucks up all my cobra money. (No body ever accused me of being an optimist.)

I'm still trying to decide what to do with the frame. It could be used as it came from the factory, but I'd prefer to smooth out some of the rough spots and give it a nice paint job. Had I known Factory Five was having a special on powder coating, I would have opted for that $300 option, but it's too late now. Several people have recommended using POR 15 paint on it. It's extremely tough, but they don't recommend spraying it. I've seen it on some of Jeff Hamilton's donor parts and it looked great. I'm just not sure how it will look brushed on to the smooth metal of the frame. One of the guys on is going to do his fame with it so I'll probably hold off until he lets me know how it turns out. I've still got plenty of prep work on donor parts to keep me busy so the delay shouldn't cost me any time. I'm also considering painting it silver, Here's a pic of a silver one from Ron's FFR site. Looks pretty good to me. I suspect Ron's is silver powder coat but you get the idea.

  Monday 10/25/99, ARGHH!!!! I picked a dust spot out of the lacquer on one of my wheels and found that it flakes off with a fingernail. Kind of makes me want to cry! I'll have to strip off the lacquer and find something more rugged. Oh well, live and learn. If anyone has any suggestions on what to use, let me know. Maybe a clear epoxy?

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