Journal: May 2002


Choose Your Month



  Sunday 5/5/2002, It's getting close! After I got the body back from the paint shop from hell I had my wife and kids help me mount it on the chassis. This allowed me to fit the aluminum panels in the nose, the inner fenders and the interior panels under the doors. These panels need to be installed after the body is on the chassis. Some imagination and minor trimming was required to get them to fit but the process went quickly once I found some pictures on Wade Lingers web site that showed how he installed them. I also completed the installation of the Lucas windshield wipers while the body was installed on the chassis. The Lucas wipers were original equipment on many early English sports cars and are like most Lucas products floating on the hairy edge of failure from the moment of installation. They go back and forth but but I'm not feeling real good about their reliability.

Fitting the hood hinge was a real treat. I've heard people bitch and moan about how bad this is but you really can't appreciate what a piece of junk the hinge assembly is until you try to install it. A popular solution for guys with welders is to cut the hinge arms off of the hood mounting plate then tack weld them in place once the hood is on the car. They remove the assembly from the car, finish up the welds and bolt it all back together. This is great if you have a welder but I don't. I found a thread on the CobraForum that described how to modify the hinge to make it adjustable. It took some extra time but it allows the body mount to move back and forth and up and down to adjust the pivot point of the hinge. It works great and if FFR hasn't fixed the hinge yet I'd highly recommend this modification. Another option is a new hood assembly and hinge that Mike Mack at Tristates is developing.

  Wednesday 5/8/2002, So after I got all the under body aluminum temporarily installed I removed it and had the family help me pull the body off one more time. (We're getting pretty good at this by now.) This was done so it could be delivered to Lamberts Body shop in Canton Ohio. I started talking to the shop manager Eric last month and made arrangements to have them paint it this week and have it done by May 17. The May 17th date was prompted so I would have the weekend to reassemble the car for it's Ohio state inspection on May 22nd.

  Friday 5/25/2002, Dealing with the staff at Lamberts was a total turn around from the experience I had at the last paint shop. They had the car done in week and it looks great! The shop owner Bill Lambert is a Ford guy with a Pantera and a history of cool toys under his belt. I got the idea that he usually leaves the day to day stuff up to Eric but he took it upon himself to paint my Cobra and it looks sweet! These folks, all of them from the receptionist to the body shop guys were first rate. I would highly recommend them.

After I got the car back on Wednesday I had to go out of town to attend the International Science Fair in Louisville Kentucky. My son Cody and his friend David made it through the local and regional fairs with a wireless USB port project and earned the right to attend the International fair. It was a great experience and I know I'm getting a little off topic here but man I'm proud of them. By the time we got back from Louisville on Saturday that left me with four days to assemble the car for it's Ohio inspection on Wednesday. The family came through for me one last time on Saturday and set the body on the chassis for the final time. As is typical for me I procrastinated and ended up staying up all night Tuesday and finishing it up. I was beat but it was great to watch it all come together. I still have a page of little stuff to finish up but at this point it's driveable, looking good and close enough to be called DONE!!!!!

The Ohio inspection was anticlimactic. After all the time I spent finishing up the car the guy was kind of upset that I didn't leave the top off of the transmission tunnel so he could read the tranny serial number. He ended up crawling under the car with a mirror and flash light but I don't think he ever did find it. The inspection is basically a check to verify that the drive train components are not stolen and that their serial numbers match the donor vehicle. I've heard others say that they also had safety items like lights and wipers checked but they didn't check this on my car. The most frustrating part of this is that I have to go back to the inspection station in one to five weeks to have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) tag attached to the car so I can get it registered. In the mean time I've got this beautiful car sitting in the garage that I can't drive. Oh well, after two and a half years, what's another week or so................

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