Dead Pedal Finished, Passenger Footbox Finished, New Air Cleaner, Firewall Brace Installed, Brake Booster and Reservoirs Installed

   Posted by: kdavis

Another good progress weekend and Wednesday night!

Dead Pedal and Throttle Panel Mods:

The mod is now complete, taped up and sealed on the outside, and painted. I’m not sealing the DS box until after all of the wiring is done, so the panels will be set aside. Pretty please overall with how it came out. The outside doesn’t have to be pretty, the body will cover it, and the inside is covered with carpet.

I also finished up pushing out the throttle side of the foot box. The panel is now riveted in place, and I made a patch panel to cover the open area around the 4″ tube and gap left by the bump. I will rivet it in after the floor goes in later.


Pics:



Brake Booster and Reservoirs:

Jeff at Whitby’s sent me a replacement booster, so I got it painted and put in. All the firewall cutting I did made it nice and easy to go in. The one issue I had was the boot around the push rod housing coming off as the rod went in and out. I ended up just taking a big pipe clamp and putting it around the boot at the mounting point, and it stays right where it’s supposed to.

I also used the Whitby-suggested mounting bracket and location for the reservoirs, just to the passenger side of the DS foot box. It looks funky now, but once the body is on, it should be a good spot. I left the lines long for now. Once the motor is in, and I’m buttoning stuff up, I’ll route them and mount them in the best configuration.

Passenger Foot Box Mod

I finally got the new top cut and installed, and managed to get the whole foot box installed as well and sealed and riveted in. It looks 100% better than it did. If I were really anal, I would have cut a new piece for the motor side of the box, but I think it looks pretty good the way that it turned out, and once the motor is in, it’ll be great.

I ended up needing some additional bracing to get rivets in place on the bottom of the foot box on the motor side. Not a big deal though.

Pics:

Before:

After: – You can also see the reservoirs.

Inside:

Firewall Brace:

The firewall is flimsy, and once the heater is in and everything else, it’ll be more so. You can buy a brace, but I had the scraps and it took me less than 10 minutes to make this little piece. It really helps keep things in place, and it just feels better.

Pics:

New Air Cleaner:

After reading all of the bad things about the cool Cobra Oval Air Cleaner, I sold it. I managed to find a used 14″ round one with chrome top and a brand-new 3″ K&N filter on it. It was a great deal, and looks awesome. Plus, it’ll breathe much better. I also no longer have any clearance issues with the E-Curve dizzy. It just clears the plug boot on the front of the cleaner.

Pic:

We’ll see what this weekend accomplishes. I’m waiting for lots of parts, so I’m working around the manual a bit.

Driver’s Side Footbox Mods, Steering Shaft

   Posted by: kdavis

After I finished the weekend, it didn’t seem like I made much progress, but I’ll take it.

I was able to get the floor pan riveted in (partial), modified the throttle side of the footbox for a little more go pedal room, and I built the dead pedal insert on the other side of the box, which was a big job. It still needs to be riveted in.

Throttle Pedal Side:

There are a couple of ways to get more room on the throttle side, either build an insert/box so you have more space, or do what I did…push out the bottom part of the panel a bit and add some support to hold it in place.

I ended up just trimming the bottom of the panel slightly, and I pushed the panel bottom out (towards the engine) about an inch. This gets me more than enough room for my size 11 feet (with tennis shoes or driving shoes on) and it was a very low effort fix.

Pic:



Dead Pedal Mod:

On long drives, you’ve got to have a place for your left foot, other than resting it on the clutch or shoving it under the pedal. Lots of guys have done the dead pedal mod, and I just copied one I saw on the forum. It’s 2.5″ on top and top front, 1.25″ on bottom front, and flush on bottom rear.

I basically just cut a whole in the side panel after marking the cross bar, then I measured my additions and the bends from there. The initial bends weren’t bad, but then putting the “ears” on those as the secondary bends were a pain. The first pic I saw I wondered why they looked kind of hokey (like they were bent with pliers…) I know now why they look like that…they WERE bent with pliers. That’s about as good as you can get.

The .040 aluminum is thicker than the kit stuff, and it’s an effort to bend it at all. I actually ended up a little aggressive, and the top of mine cracked a little. I added some angle aluminum I had around as a support.

All that’s left is to silicon and rivet it all together.

Pics:



Steering Shaft:

I learned one of the downsides to buying someone else’s kit is you can never find the parts you’re supposed to have. I was missing my bellville washers (little spring washers), so I had to make my own. A couple of 1/4″ washers, the grinder, a vice, and a screw driver, and they were made. These are what takes the slack out of the steering shaft.

I moved the bearing on the footbox to the inside to keep it clear of the brake booster, which was easy. The rest went in without a hitch as well, so the steering shaft is in, and working and tight…

Pic:

This pic shows some measurements a guy needed on the position of the shaft bearing assembly, and the angle at which it sits.

I hope to get my brake booster replacement soon so I can get that moving again. I also managed to sell about $300 worth of parts, so that’ll help pay for some more new parts.

Driver’s Side Footbox, Brake Booster, Dead Grinder

   Posted by: kdavis

Another pretty productive weekend with lots of different activities. It’s hard to concentrate on one particular area of the car as there’s always one thing that needs to be done while you work on other stuff.

Most of the waiting time is for paint-related items. Lots of spray paint flying around the shop right now as I paint all of the aluminum panels for the engine bay, the rear end parts we’ve been working on, and the brake booster setup.

More detailed info:

Rear End:

I made the decision that for autocross (which I’ll be doing in this car), the 4-link suspension setup was going to be wholly inadequate. That means I need to upgrade it to a 3-link setup, which uses the original 4-link as the base. Fortunately, FFR sells a retrofit kit that includes the panhard bar, cross members, braces, and all necessary hardware. All in all, the upgrade is reasonable at $550. Considering the 5-link is $1700, this isn’t a bad option. This is going to be my birthday present this year (and probably most of Christmas!

Since the original 4-link was going in, the lower control arms are designed for it, and have brackets and perches we don’t need. We decided to be both anal and brave at the same time, and we broke out the grinder and get rid of the extra stuff. Michelle made quick work of it as a start, and I finished up the first one. We also cut off the quad-shock mounts from the axle housing and drilled holes for dv/dt’s possible bracing mode using the upper ‘ears’ on the axle.

Unfortunately, I also finished up my cheap grinder. A combination of using the wrong wheel, and not cooling it adequately…I let out the magic smoke.

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Driver’s Side Footbox, Brake Booster, Pedal Box, Engine Bay Aluminum:

This is a multiple-personality set of projects. I’m putting the footbox together, putting the master cylinder and brake booster together, and putting the pedal box together as well.

Everything has to be painted before going in. I’m using Hammertone on the panels, and although it looks nice, I’m not that happy with how it all goes on. It does not touch up well as it more or less has engineer “orange peel” so you get high and low spots as you try to touch it up.

Other parts like the brake booster and pedal box are getting just a metallic aluminum paint, and I like it much better.

Brakes:

I decided after driving Mike’s non-powered brake car, I definitely wanted to go with the boosted system. Whitby Motors puts all of the necessary parts together for you, and the kit is top notch. Since you have to cut the frame to make room for the big booster (the car is designed for manual brakes), they even include a well-designed frame brace to make it possible. If you want power brakes, this is the way to go.

You do have to make room in the footbox metal to get the booster’s boot and push rod assembly through. This was a bit of a challenge for me, and I ended up kind of hacking it up a bit, using my sawzall. If I had it to do over again, I would have bolted in a piece of wood or metal as a backing, and simply used a large holesaw instead. You need the backing so you have something to guide the holesaw.

You also need to move the steering shaft bracket to the inside of the firewall. Despite the spacers, the booster will still hit. This is a very easy movement though, so not a big deal.

A bit of bad news, as I assembled the pieces, I discovered the booster is broken. The good news is as I was doing this entry, Jeff got back to me. I’m shipping him the booster and he’s replacing it. He’s a good guy!

Pics:



Bench Bleeding – since I hadn’t done this before, I had to look it up. A lot of guys say it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but after doing it, I can see the value. This includes filling the reservoirs, hooking up the tubing, and then actuating the push rod piston manually until you get all of the air out (AIR IN YOUR BRAKES = BAD.) The basic procedure is to clamp the master cylinder in a vise, get it totally level so the bubbles will come out, and then push the piston in and out until it gets the air out (this primes the system). This is easier said than done. I ended up removing the plugs one at a time, and mounting the resevoirs to a board high above the bench. I used 2 3/8″ socket extensions to push the piston in. You’ll start with more than 1″ of travel, and eventually when it’s primed, you’ll get less than 1/8″. It took me maybe 100 strokes to get it there. Much better than doing it with the pedal and pushing air through the whole system.

Engine Bay Aluminum – This was a pain. The guy I bought it from was not going to paint his stuff, so the f-panels and firewall have all already been sealed and riveted into position. I’m doing all hammertone as mentioned already, so in order to paint what’s there, I could either drill out and remove the panels, or tape and mask around them. The 2nd was the lessor of 2 evils, but it took forever, and was a pain. The good news is that the frame (powered coated) cleans up easily with goof off (lots of over spray, despite my efforts).

If you want to see what white engine bay panels look like, see the in progress pics, the primer I’m using is white.

Pics:




Pedal Box and Pedals
– I put in Russ Thompson’s go-pedal and brake and clutch pedal covers, which required a lot of cutting of the stock mustang pedals, but it came out nice. The throttle pedal is aluminum, so you have 2 options for paint (if you want them to match), either paint that one black, or paint the other 2 aluminum. I chose the latter. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it that way, it might be too much contrast on the back carpet, but I’ll give it a dry. It’s easy to brush on the black latter.

The main issue I’m facing now is my size 11 feet. The pedals are pretty close together like a race car, which isn’t a big deal, but the gas pedal is only about 1″ from the side wall panel. Greg M did a nice bump out to give him more room, and I’m waiting on measurements to do the same thing. Hopefully, that’ll give me the room I need.

Pics:

Next Up:

I’ll wait for the new booster to show up, and work on the bump out on the DS box. I’m also going to mount the steering shaft in place so the booster will go in and stay there. I also need to figure out where to mount the reservoirs (probably on the firewall) and get the hole drilled out for the heater (actually need to modify the one that’s I did already for the ffr heater…I switched to a summit one instead.) So…big fun and continuing on…

Build Update

   Posted by: kdavis

Man, it’s been almost a month since I’ve done an update. It’s been pretty busy around here. Making some progress here on the build, but it’s been a little slow.

It seems like with every step, I spend a couple of hours researching, clarifying, and modifying the build step.

What I’ve been working on:

Engine:

I have the engine about 90% completed. I installed the intake manifold, carb, distributor (temporarily), coil, water pump, and alternator (complete with Mike Everson’s bracket.) I need some parts to finish things up, then I’ll be able to get it all assembled and ready to put in the car.

Pics:


Test Fit with Headers:

I was able to put the engine in the car and put the 4 into 4 headers on so I could verify my passenger foot box modification. I was pretty pleased with the results. With just measurements to build from, I managed to fit it with about 3/4″ of clearance to spare.

Pics:



Front End:

Some of the parts were already assembled, and I had already painted the rotors and put the brakes on. Michelle and I got the steering rack installed (we installed and uninstalled it 3 times to get it right.)

After spending hours and hours learning about SAI, bump steer, caster, camber, toe-in, toe-out, etc., I finally felt like I could put all of the components together for the front end. My steering rack is an 18:1 manual rack from Mike Forte, and I also got my solid offset bushings and my bump steer kit from him.

Bump Steer Kit and Offset Bushings:

There are many different configurations for installing the bump steer kit. The tie-rod ends can be installed on top of or below the spindle, and you have a varying number of spacers. As a starting point, I used the “parallel to the LCA” configuration, and ended up with my tie-rod ends on bottom of the spindle arms with one spacer on top. I also added a washer for protection on the bolt head. To get the right angle and to get the rack centered, I put the bushings so that the rack was as high as possible. I also used the bump steer kit to pull the wheels in so they are marginally in pre-alignment location.

Once I’m ready to align, I’ll end up measuring bump steer throughout the top to bottom of the wheel stroke, and adjust as needed.

Pics:



Rear End:

I had my 3.55′s put in locally since I didn’t have all of the tools needed to complete it. I figure it was $300 well spent, as it was all ready for me to prepare the rear end for installation.

The first step was to replace the old axle seals. Getting them out was a bit of a challenge, but a carefully placed hammer (claw end) worked well to pop them out. Getting the new ones in was even more challenging as they are pressure fit. I placed them in the housing, tapped them with the hammer, and used a pulley I found that was the right size to pound the new seal in place. A little touch up spray paint, and I was ready for the axles.

After this, I removed the rear cover, removed the pinion shaft bolt and pinion, and put both axles into the shafts. The original owner didn’t give me the c-clips to hold the axles in, but I had picked up a set (they sell them in 4′s for some reason) from Ford. You basically just push the axles in all the way, put the clips on, and pull the axles back out to seat the clips in place. Pinion shaft and retaining bolt back in, then I used some rtv to seal the rear cover and gasket, and torqued the bolts down.

One thing that didn’t go well was getting the drain plug out for the rear end. You just use a socket extension since it’s a 3/8″ square plug. Someone in the past had really put that thing in well, so I managed to bend my extension a little. Nothing the grinder can’t fix. Unfortunately, it was my long extension, which I don’t have 10 of like I do the short ones.

Next:

I’m now ready to get the rear end installed in the car. Michelle and I will likely work on this tomorrow night for date night!