Nearing the Finish Line!

   Posted by: kdavis

I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to do an update…and I still don’t really have much time, so here’s a bunch of pictures and a quick status update.

The paint is done…thanks to a lot of hours and a trip to Portland, plus some reshooting of clear. I still need to wetland and polish it, but I’m really happy with how my “budget” paint job came out.

I just finished the Fat Mat insulation install yesterday, and also got my computer cover built. Carpet is next, then I’ll put the body on and get things all prepped for the trip to SoCal (for wet sanding and tuning with some friends of mine).

Pics:

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A Room Inside a Room and Body Work Adventures

   Posted by: kdavis

The last several weeks have been a blur of activity, all surrounding the body work adventure. When I first thought about doing my own paint and body work, I was pretty scared about it, hearing all of the 100′s of hours required to do it and how difficult it was. Now that I’m neck deep (literally) in the process, however, I’ve found that it’s not any worse than any other part of the build, and actually just as enjoyable.

The first thing to realize about body work is it makes an absolute MESS. If you use 2-3 pails of body filler, 80% of it will probably end up on the floor as sanding dust, which has the consistency of a light bread flour. Depending on what your work area is comprised of, it’s unlikely you’re going to want that stuff all over the place. If you happen to have a small one-car garage, and nothing else in it, you might be okay, but if you don’t, then you might consider building your “room inside a room” like I did. Basically, I built a two-stage room, a sanding booth, and a paint booth.

I thought I’d pass this along to other guys doing their own paint/body. I have a pretty large shop, about 1200 square feet, so the prospect of cleaning dust from the entire thing scared the crap out of me. I also plan to paint at home (we live in the boonies, so no EPA stuff,) so I wanted to build my own booth.

The first revision of this is a self-contained sanding booth, which after generating 1/4″ of dust over the entire floor of it is already proving well worth it. I’ll firm it up a bit more and add an air handler and real door before I start paint, but this is good for now.

To keep it simple, I just made it 10′ x 20′ x 9′ high. That means only about 6 cuts on the pvc pipes, the rest just stick together.

I used 4mil plastic, which is about $25 for 100′ at Lowes. That completely covered all 4 sides and the “roof” completely with some left over.

I sourced all parts at Lowes, with the exceptions of the 3-way corners, I had to buy those online. You can get them at Amazon, but they might be cheaper somewhere else. Amazon.com: 1-1/4″ 3-way Elbow PVC Fitting Connector: Everything Else
Like I said, I need to firm it up by adding some T’s and additional cross braces on the sides and top. I ended up duct taping some braces for the time being since I didn’t want to drive the 30 minutes back to lowes.

I used 1″ SCH40 PVC which is about $1/stick cheaper than 1 1/4″ schedule 80. Even at full 10′, it’s pretty stiff, but adding a cross brace at 5′ is better. You’ll have to do the math for yourself between more fittings and thicker PVC. The 1″ is also easier to store when it all comes down. The only thing I had to adjust for is that the 3-ways were 1 1/4″ so I did some bushings to reduce them down. You might be able to find actual 1″. I didn’t really do the math until I got to lowes.

I didn’t glue anything, it’s all just fit together, and the plastic attached with duct tape ever 4-5′. The duct tape works really well as it sticks instantly to the plastic.

Adjust your size as needed, I bought the pvc lenghts, T’s for the braces and mid points, and the 3-way corners, plus the plastic (which will be replaced before paint. I’m also adding a working hinged door, an air handler filter, and kraft paper on the floor, so I’ll update that later.

I also added and taped up the holes for my air hose, long shop vac hose, and the overhead extension cord. It’s not completely air tight at this point, but after about 30 hours worth of body work, it’s kept probably 98% of the dust out of the rest of the shop.

This all cost me about $125, so far, plus the other stuff that I need to buy later, another $40 or so.

Pics:

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And the Real Work Begins:

Since Christmas, I’ve tried to spend as much of my free time out in the shop as possible, and I’ve managed to rack up 30 hours worth of body work time. I’m actually quite surprised at how far I’ve gotten in that amount of time.

I had already knocked down the seams before I drove around in gelcoat, but I still needed to go back and do the job right. I went all around the car, and used my angle grinder to cut down each seem to remove the gelcoat completely from each one, checking for any gelcoat in the actual seam. My car is a MK3.1, and it appears that the overall condition of the gelcoat bodies has improved to the point where the real hard work on the seams is largely unnecessary. I didn’t find more than just a couple of spots where the gelcoat was deep enough into the seam to require that much come out. In general, I ended up grinding down the seems and taking 3/16-1/4″ deep from the level of the rest of the body.

The nice thing about the seams not being in bad shape is that it meant that I could skip a step that was necessary on previous bodies: applying HSRF to each one before doing to filler. I was a little nervous about skipping it, but after all of the horror stories with sanding HSRF, I was glad that I didn’t have to deal with it.

So, the next step was to begin filling the seams with Rage Gold, the preferred filler of other builders. It’s nice stuff, mixes pretty easily and sands of very well. After reading other informative posts about doing body work, I used one of the tricks I found there, using a hacksaw blade to screed the body at the seams. The advantage is that you can pull the blade across the seam while bending it to the exact contour of the body. This makes for a surprisingly smooth sanding surface, rather than having to sand a very bumpy surface. I found that you can only really use this method on the tops of the fenders, but as this is a big part of the seams process, it’s a huge help.

It took 3 coats of filler to get the seams to a point where I was satisfied with them. I used my Dewalt palm sander (1/4 sheet size,) to do all of the sanding on the first two coats, which made it go pretty fast. I did the 3rd coat by hand, mostly with a small foam sanding pad. This coat left a few pin holes and low spots, so I’m currently working on touching up those areas. I’ve run out of Rage for now, so I have to wait for that to show up before continuing.

The other thing I’ve started on is getting the doors evened out with the body. I spent a few hours working on the door alignment, adjusting them to the point where they were in the “best fit” position. On both doors, the fitting at the cowl and at the bulkhead ends were the worst, and required a lot of building up. The end result is, of course, having the doors and the body line up perfectly all the way around. I’m on the first coat of filler on both doors.

One “tool” that really makes doing the filler easier is a “mixing pad.” It’s basically a clip board with a handle on the bottom, and a pad full of non-porous sheets (like wax paper) that tear off one at a time. You mix the filler a little at a time, then tear off to a clean sheet for the next set of filler. I found that even in my shop where it’s about 60 degrees or less, I could only do about a 4×4 inch by 1″ thick amount of filler before it started to set up. Once it sets up, you can’t spread it any more, it just doesn’t flow well enough.

I also found that you don’t have to be afraid of running out of hardener. I was worried about that as I mixed each batch, but when the can was empty, I still have quite a bit left over (probably 5+ batches worth.) I did make a mistake on one of my batches and didn’t get enough hardener. It’s not evident until you go to sand, at which point, the filler will ball up like crazy and gum up your sand paper. I was glad it wasn’t very much, I went through way too much paper, and it was a pain.

Another tool is a sand paper cleaning “stick.” You can get them on most wood working websites, and even amazon.

Once my filler gets here, I’ll finish up the doors. I ended up putting too much filler on the top of the doors, so I’ll blend that in and fare out both ends, plus all the way around. The driver’s door was far worse than the passenger, but both of them needed quite a bit of work.

While I wait, I need to sure up the body buck so it’s more solid for sanding. My next filler steps are to finish the doors, clean up the trunk lid lip, and then work on the rolled cockpit edges, as well as getting the door, hood, and trunk lid gaps perfect at 3/16″ using Greg M’s foam insulation trick.

I’m finding that most of the body work is just easier to do with the body on the chassis, since a lot of what needs to be done centers around the door, hood, and trunk alignment. All of those parts are tied into the chassis, so you really have no choice but to leave it on. The pro painters have enough experience to not need this, but most builders don’t, including myself. The downside is it makes an absolute mess of the chassis, so I’ll have hours and hours of clean up work to do.

More to come….

Pics:

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One other thing I’m working on is getting the “bend” of the hood corrected. It’s too flat where it meets the cowl area. So, I’m taking a page out of Scott’s book and using a ratcheting tie down to bend it. If it were summer, I’d leave it out in the sun, but I’m using a small space heater instead, which is far slower, but so far it’s working quite well.

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Seat Heaters, Suspension, a Big Ride

   Posted by: kdavis

It’s now been just about 2 years exactly (as of 4/18) since Aaron and I made the long trip to WI and back to get the roadster kit, and this last weekend saw another huge milestone in the life of the project…the first official Go-Kart ride, complete with rides for the whole family. Leading up to that, I had a few more minor things to get finished up, and also worked during the week on some items.

Seat Heaters:

Living in the mountains of Montana, not only are our roadster-driving seasons short, but the days can be pretty cold, especially once the sun falls below mid-sky. For that reason, I need all of the heating I can get in the car. Along with the summit heater I’ve already installed, I added a nice set of seat heaters in the car, which came from www.warmseats.com, and are very nice, complete with OEM style 2-level heating, pre-wiring, etc. Installing them did require partial disassembly of both seats, which wasn’t too bad overall, but the seat backs are a bit of a challenge to get the heating elements pushed up into the back of the seat and taped in with the supplied double sided tape.

I basically followed the instructions provided with the kit, and on the website, but there was one hugely helpful tool that the kit left out…an 11 year old girl. ;-> With skinny arms, and a willingness to help, she was able to actually reach up into the seat back and position the seat heater properly. As you can see in the pictures, I also used a ruler as a “push rod” to adjust it, which can be done, but if you can find someone who’s arms fit, all the better.

Pics:

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Seat Installation:

The installation of the seats is one of those “make it up as you go” kind of steps in the build. In my case, that was definitely true, and it was actually a “make it up, then change it, then change it again” kind of step, at least the first go around.

Almost everyone recommends that the seats are installed such that the front of the seat angles back so that they are a little more comfortable. It seems the sweet spot is about 1.5″ of lift on the front of the seat, with the back sitting on the floor. Since I needed to fabricate some sort of mount, I looked around the shop and found some 1.5″ angle steel that I had. Each side actually measures just a little bit over 1.25″, which means that it’s perfect, and strong enough to be a permanent installation. This part went quite well. I cut 2 pieces of the steel, about 10″ each, and clamped and drilled holes for bolts through the 3/4″ support bar on the bottom of the seat (the 2nd one in since the 1st one is covered with the seat cover.) I used some bolts to bolt them on. The flat part of the bracket goes onto the seat so that the other side makes a sort of “pedestal” for the front of the seat. Very sturdy and strong.

My first attempt at the seat install was on the driver’s side, and I had decided to use some large rivnuts on 3 of the holes, and a through bolt where the plate runs across the bottom of the foot box. This didn’t really go well. I ended up over drilling the holes so the rivnuts wouldn’t work correctly. I attempted to “work around” the problem, but in the end, decided to cover the 3 rivnut holes, and go with another solution. Since I was going into the 4″ tube in 2 places and the rear 2″ tube in another, I decided that the best approach was to drill and tap those holes. For me, this was the best solution, and worked perfectly. I could probably lift the whole car from one of the seats. Once I figured out the driver’s side, the passenger side was pretty straight forward, and I realized a simple rule for this project: “upon finishing any task in the build, the pile of tools that were required to complete it is in direct relation to how difficult the task was, and if one or more hammers are in that pile, it didn’t go well.”

Pics:

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Pinion Angle, Alignment, Etc.:

The last step with the suspension before the Go-Kart ride was to get the suspension marginally dialed in. I’ll need to do a complete alignment on the car once the body is on and it’s fully weighted (windshield, lights, etc.), but I still needed to get the 3-link setup, pinion angle set, front end alignment and sway bar basically set, and all of the components greased up. The pinion angle setup is a bit of a challenge at first, but once I understood the concept, it was pretty easy. I actually used my ipod touch and a 4-wheeling app that measures angles to get the pinion set to about 3 degrees at the ride height. This should allow for good travel on the drive shaft. I discovered a way to use my lift and a couple of saw horses to simulate “ride height” so it made it a little easier than trying to squeeze under the car to adjust the upper link. At the same time, I also set the left/right bias of the 3-link so it was centered and locked in the nuts on the 3 link. The rear ride height is set to about 4.5″ right now, which will settle a bit.

On the front end, I managed to get a very basic alignment completed, and the spring collars adjusted so that the initial ride height is set to about 4″. Just like the rear, this will change once some weight is added.

Pics:

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A Big Ride!

The first official go-kart ride is one of the major milestones in the build, and the whole family got to participate in it this weekend. After buttoning up any loose wires, and doing a pretty thorough check of everything, I got the video camera and the wife out, and fired it up. I decided to take the first ride on my own in case something went very wrong, but thankfully, nothing did, so I was able to take her and the 2 tween girls all for a ride each, which was great fun. I did learn, as you can see in the video by my slowness, that without a body on it, these tires make quick work of picking up small pebbles out of my driveway, which gave me a nice little pebble shower. After the first run, I gave up on the driveway and used the lawn. I have plenty of room to make my own entrance/exit in the field, so this won’t be much of an issue in the future, I’ll just have to stay off the gravel driveway.

Overall, the drive went very well, and I was able to “give it the full beans” as James May would say a couple of times, and man, it’s fast, even with a conservative engine and tranny build. I did have a couple of minor issues, one, I need to re-bleed the brakes, they were a little soft, and 2, still need to dial in the carb and timing, when I came off the throttle after giving it a little extra, it bogged a bit. Not unexpected, and pretty easy to deal with. I also found that although the t-stat on my electric fan is working, the fan itself wasn’t coming on. Should also be a pretty easy fix.

The last issue I found was I had installed an entirely too wimpy of horn. I found a pretty good deal on one on ebay, but the euro/supercar type tone was just too girly. I found a new one for $50 that is a dual tone, 400/500hz, which will be much better. I got the new one on amazon. Here’s a link if you’re interested: PIAA 85110 115db 400HZ + 500HZ Sports Horn.

On a very positive note, both the seat heaters and the summit heater I installed worked great, and should make a big difference in the comfort of the car on those cooler mornings and evenings here in MT.

Video of the Go-Kart Ride:

So, the next steps are to fix the fan issue, put the body on, windshield, and lights in, and I’ll be able to get the car registered. It’s an exciting time in the build!

Tunnel Cover, Brakes, Seat Belts

   Posted by: kdavis

I had a particularly busy weekend this weekend with family and work obligations, so as far as the car went, I didn’t get that much done. However, I did actually get a couple things finished up, so that was good.

Seat Belts:

I managed to get the is not a huge deal, but it did need to be done before I do the final installation on the seats. One thing I did that might help keep the belts looking nicer until I get things finished is that I taped over anything white, all of the sewn labels, with blue tape. That way my grimy hands won’t get them all stained.

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Transmission Tunnel Cover:

Last week, I was able to get the vinyl all glued onto the main part of the transmission tunnel cover so this week was pretty fast. All I had to do was glue and wrap the sides of the vinyl. Unfortunately, I actually realized that this was not so good. A stupid mistake that I made was not predrilling the transmission tunnel cover before I glued the vinyl. What that means is that instead of a pretty easy “just stick to screw through the vinyl and through the cover on the side,” now becomes a more dangerous job. For the vinyl, that is. I now have to also drill through the vinyl. I did pick up some self tapping black anodized screws, which should simplify the job.

I’ll just need to mark the screw locations, and use the screws without pre-drilling. I’m hoping that it all goes through the vinyl well and cleanly. The screws will make it little bit easier should I ever have to remove the tunnel to get into the transmission. I also was able to get things mounted in the cover like my start switch, the heater switch, and the switches for the heated seats. All that I have left to do on that is to get the LED mounted for my alarm, add the shift boot, and get it all hard mounted.

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Brakes:

Last week, I repainted my brake calipers red. Originally, the brake calipers were a Chevy orange to match the orange paint scheme I was going to go with, but now that I’ve switched over to a black paint scheme, I want a kind do the super car peekaboo red look.

I got those all finished up this week made sure that the bleeding screws were appropriately placed in the upright position (a little trick I picked on the forum,) and I got those things all remounted, the wheels back on, and the brakes all re-bled. I originally had some leaks, but thanks to new crush washers, so far so good. One note on bleeding those brakes using one of those one-man brake breed bleeder set ups: at least in my case. I didn’t realize on the one side was the fitting popped out and squirted brake fluid all over the shop. So, just word of warning with that there is quite a bit about pressure on those so if you use one of those just just can’t be aware of that, and watch the pushing force you use.

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The SAI Kit really made a big difference in the front end alignment. I was able to notice right away, in terms of the angles, so this next week I’ll be able to get the rear end aligned, the pinion angle set, and all of that cleaned up. I also will do the initial front end alignment on it so that I can get things all buttoned up and ready to go to the DMV.

This week, I’m going to be getting the seat heaters installed into the seats so that I’ll be ready to get those drilled out and mounted to the frame. Then, the only thing left from there is to get the body put on, get the lights in, and go to get it registered.

SAI Kit Install, Parking Brake, Calipers

   Posted by: kdavis

Had a good day in the shop today, and managed to get some decent amount of work completed. A majority of the day was spent on the SAI kit install, but since I want to include a full install guideline with pics, I’ll post that information later in the blog entry. I also spent some time customizing my parking brake installation, repainting my brake calipers, and also putting the vinyl on the transmission tunnel cover.

Parking Brake:

The parking brake setup from the standard kit leaves a lot to be desired overall, but it gets the job done, and I decided, at least for now, to just use the standard setup, more or less. The 2 basic issues with the parking brake are that you can’t really actuate it from the driver’s seat when you’re fully buckled in (I haven’t verified this yet), and the way that the cables run from the rear brakes to the lever is a little wacky (it runs under the 4″ tube). I also had an issue with the T handle on the cable assembly hitting the mounting bracket, and a bit of an issue with the main spring itself.

The T handle issue was pretty straight forward. Due to the way the cables run, the “approach angle” of the cables caused the T handle to make contact with the bracket and the lower bolt, which would, in most cases, actually prevent the handle from actuating the parking brake. I addressed the issue by simply making a small bracket that I attached to the lower mounting bolt on the parking brake bracket so that it forces the cable to be offset by about an inch and a half, effectively holding the T handle away from the bracket and bolts. Although I haven’t fully tested it, this seems to be a viable solution, and since I had already made the bracket for another purpose that I didn’t use, it didn’t take much time at all to adjust it for this purpose.

Another issue I wanted to take care of was how closely the parking brake handle sits against the transmission tunnel. This was made worse by the fact that I elected to replace the existing mustang black handle with one from Mike Everson, which is polished aluminum for a nicer look. It’s a larger diameter, and also round instead of flat on that side, so as it was, it was pretty much hitting the tunnel, even before I add insulation and carpet. The fix here was equally as easy, just requiring that I enlarged/elongated the mounting holes in the parking brake bracket so I could just slide the whole assembly over away from the tunnel. Doing so did cause the assembly itself (the ratcheting wheel) to hit the bracket, so I had to also take my sawzall and notch the bracket for clearance. Moving the assembly over also improved the alignment of the parking brake cables.

There seem to be several ways to address the spring tension in the stock mustang parking brake, from cutting the spring completely, to some others. I discovered that the stock setup on mine at least (1990) was so tight that it was sort of binding. Rather than cut the spring, I decided that I could just change how much “preload” was placed on the spring and the T handle. I did this by pulling the spring tight and locking it in place with a nail, then completely removing the cable assembly, releasing some of the tension, and reattaching the cable again, effectively making it “one rotation less” of preload. It lengthened the cable by 3-4″.

Pics:

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Calipers:

When I originally painted the brake calipers, I was all about the orange car, so the calipers were painted Chevy engine orange, which has a little bit of red tint to it. Now that I’m going with a black color instead, a peek-a-boo red (ala super car) is a way better color. Since I had to remove the front calipers anyway as part of the SAI kit install, I figured I would also remove the rears and repaint them all. They turned out pretty nice, actually.

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SAI Kit Install:

Most of my day was spent doing the SAI Kit install from Whitby’s. The purpose of the SAI kit is to correct an inherent flaw in the Steering Axis of Inclination in the front suspension of the car, which causes the steering and overall handling to be less than it can be. The kit from Whitby’s changes the overall setup of the upper control arm, and effectively changes the angles in the independent front suspension.

The kit comes with a copy of a ffcars.com forum post that’s a fairly long and detailed post, but it lacks pictures and also is a little difficult to follow. I’m going to simply take that post and insert some pics and add my own notes and emphasis (found in parentheses.) The original post can be found here.


Thanks for purchasing the FFR Front Suspension Optimization Kit commonly referred to the SAI Kit. The kit optimizes the front suspension geometry for better performance and steering feel on both track and street. It does this by bringing specific geometries inline with know standards.

• Lowers the SAI(Steering Axis Inclination) from 18+ degrees, to approximately 9 degrees. This will reduce camber loss during turn-in increasing front-end grip and reducing the need for negative static camber. In addition, it will have a positive effect on steering feel.

• Lowers the Roll Center from approx 5” to approximately 3.5” to better match the 3 Link and IRS rear suspension options. This will increase front end grip and reduce jacking.

• Brings Caster Trail inline with standard one piece SLA spindles increasing steering linearity and reduce steering twitchiness at freeway speeds.

Installation instructions.

1) Place vehicle on jack stands securely, do not attempt this installation on a jack or a poorly supported vehicle. Some of the installation requires high torque values and could cause the vehicle to fall. (I can attest to the high torque needed, at least 1 at 150ftlbs. I actually put my car on the lift, which makes the install that much easier.)

2 Remove new parts from packaging and verify the parts are correct. The most important are the two upper control arm relocation mounts (UCARM) and the SIA adapters. The parts are different side to side and should be mirror images of each other. In short 2 each brackets and SIA adaptors, 2 short and 2 long 5/8ths bolt, 2 5/8ths lock nuts, 4 each ½ inch short and long bolts, 4 lock nuts. Assorted washers. (The brackets and UCARMS are marked L and R).

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3 Remove the front wheels and store under the vehicle.

4 Remove the cotter pins from the upper ball joint and remove the nut. A 7/8ths thin wall socket should be the right size. (I actually removed the nut and cotter pin, but then put the nut partially back on for step 5.)

5 While prying up on the upper control arm with a pry bar hit the old IFS bracket several times with a hammer. This should save the boot and separate the ball joint from the IFS bracket. Do not hit the stud on the ball joint; all that will do is damage the ball joint stud. If the parts will not separate use a ball joint separator and as a last resort use a pickle fork (this will ruin the boot). (This prying method was a complete failure for me, I could not get the parts separated. I also didn’t want to risk damaging the boot itself. Contrary to what the instructions warn, I actually DID hit the stud on the ball joint. However, I did so by using the nut on the end of it to keep from damaging the threads, and rather than hitting it directly with a hammer, I used the “jacking pole” from my engine hoist (a floor jack pole would also work) to hit the nut. A few good whacks with a hammer, and the stud/ball joint came right out.)

6 Tie a rag around the ball joint to keep the boot on the ball joint and to keep the grease off of everything else. (This wasn’t necessary for me since I had yet to grease the ball joints.)

7 Take care to not stretch/ruin the brake hoses. If the spindle is falling away from the car and putting stress on the hose remove the caliper and hang it with a zip tie, bungee cord or wire. (This wasn’t an issue for me since I had taken the brakes completely off of the car.)

8 Remove the two bolts holding the upper control arm to the frame. ¾ inch wrench and socket will remove them. These will be tight and will take a little force to undo.

9 The control arm is now loose and can be left resting on the lower control arm or shock/spring.

10 The upper control arm relocation mounts (UCARM) are different. There are two even holes and two offset holes. The offset holes go outboard and the even holes go onto (from above) the old upper control arm mounts. The offset hole lowers the front of the upper control compared to the factory location. The outboard rear holes are very close to the frame. Mock up the mounts with the bolts. Short bolts in from the top and long from inboard to outboard. Mark the frame so it can be notched to clear the bolt. An alternative is to remove a small (very small) edge of the rear mounting bolt so it will clear the frame.
(It’s possible they have update the design since this was written, but the TOP of the bracket was already notched to it cleared the welds on the frame. I actually followed a little different procedure here:
a) Once the UCARM is unbolted, I found it best to attach the new kit bracket to it (using the longer bolts in the kit) before attaching the whole thing to the frame.
b) On my car, the “rear” side of the bracket, caused the bolt to make contact with the mounting frame of the car. To solve this, I used a grinder to cut out about a 1/8″ x 1″ section of the frame so the bolt would clear and the upper holes of the bracket would line up.
c) After shooting a little rustoleum spray paint where I cut the frame, I used the shorter bolts to attach the upper bolts and nuts for the bracket

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11 All of the bolts need to be installed in the UCARM including the control arm or it will not clear the shock/spring. Start with the outer bolts and mount the control arm to the UCARM and then the UCARM to the frame. (The third hand you keep in the toolbox will come in handy for this step.) Again, the shorter bolts go in from the top and the longer control arm bolts go from the inside of the car outboard to hold the control arm. Washers can be used as needed. Remember the front hole of the UCAM should be the lower of the two holes in relation to each other. Note: The front of the control arm is still higher than the rear. (See above for different steps here that I followed.)

12 In order to get the maximum range of motion, it may be best to flip your upper control arm over so that the angle of the ball joint mount is reversed top to bottom changing the angel of the ball joint. Note: If you swap your control arms right to left in addition to flipping them, your alignment will be closer to your final setting. It’s best to check it your range of motion before tightening everything up. Do this by marking your spring location and then loosening your spring perch. Jack the suspension up so that the lower control arm is approx level. Turn the steering from lock to lock and check for any ball joint binding or other clearance issues. One place to watch for is the brake to upper control arm ball joint area. Repeat this by measuring the center of the hub and then jacking the suspension up approx 2.5 to 3” Do the same, but at 2” of droop. If all is good you can proceed. If there are clearance issues, this will be the time to address them. Some may need to clearance a bit off the upper control arm ball joint mount. There is a rib of material that goes around the ball joint mount that may require clearancing depending on your brake setup. You will be asked to check this one more time at the end of the installation.

13 Remove the two factory bolts from the IFS bracket from FFR. These are the factory Ford spindle mount bolts and will not be reused. (I found it easier to do this up near step 8 and 9)

14 The new IFS bracket goes onto the rear of the spindle. The ball joint hole is to the rear of the spindle also. The dog leg, or elbow on the IFS bracket needs to point to the inside of the car. Refer to the pictures to make sure you have the correct IFS bracket on each side of the car. Temporarily install the new IFS bracket by using the new 5/8s bolts to mount the IFS bracket. Put the shorter upper bolt in finger tight and just slide the longer lower bolt in far enough to hold it in place, do not install the nut yet. Note: make sure your upper brake bracket bolt is installed before installing the new IFS bracket. (I missed this in the list and had to disassemble it. The “dogleg” statement here confused me. The brackets are marked L and R, so you can’t mess up the sides. The proper way to install it though is to have the L shape so that it “points” to the tire.)

15 Remove the rag and reinstall the upper control arm back into the new IFS bracket. Make sure to put the cotter pin hole where it can be reached. Tap (smack pretty hard) the control arm with a dead blow hammer to ‘set’ the ball joint into the new IFS bracket. Slide the lower IFS bolt out far enough to allow access to the ball joint stud. Install the castle nut and torque to the recommended torque of 60 ft-lb’s. Install the cotter pin after the torque spec is met.

16 Now install the IFS bolts for the final time. The upper should be thread locked in place. The lower should use the locking nut. Both should be torqued to approx 150 ft-lb’s. (I also had to “jack” the lower control arm so that I could get everything aligned with the bolts, this may or may not be necessary for you, I only did it on one side.)

17 Tighten all the upper control arm bolts to the UCAM and the UCAM to the frame. The torque on these bolts is 50 ft-lb’s.

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18 The following is very important please read and understand the importance of these steps. Mark the current spring collar location and loosen the spring perch as far as possible. Using a floor jack with care not to break the grease fitting off, move the suspension through its travel while looking for interference and checking ball joint angle. If the angle is a problem (not likely) the cup can be reversed. The cup is welded on one side and bolted on the other. Now is also the time to turn the steering wheel through its full arc. Do this at both the compression and droop positions of the spindle. Depending on which brakes and/or spindles are on the car there may be interference with the bleeder screw. This is especially noticeable on the driver side with the ball joint cup mounting bolt. Remember the cup is welded on one side and bolted on the other. The interference will be at the bolt. Finding the interference now is better than breaking the bleeder and having no brakes!!!! Other cups are available without the angle so the bolts can both be on the front.

19 The alignment on the car has changed dramatically. Check the toe in and take the car to the alignment shop ASAP. The new SIA brackets allow for better caster and camber curves so we recommend the same 1 degree of camber for street cars and closer to 2.5 degrees for auto cross cars running radial tires. Caster should be between 3.5 and 4 degrees and up to 5 degrees caster is fine with power steering. (I have not yet finished 18 and 19 steps.)


Once my calipers dry, I can reassemble the front end and get the car aligned, and check the items in steps 18 and 19. Once the car is aligned, only a few small steps remain before I can get it registered and out ready to enjoy the nice weather when it comes.

More Aluminum, Audio, Body

   Posted by: kdavis

After a much needed 2 week vacation in Orlando, it was great to get back to the shop for a few hours this weekend and work on the car. With each session out in the shop, it’s becoming apparent that the day the body goes on is getting closer and closer.

Overall, not a tremendous amount of progress to be made, however, I did reach another milestone, the day the body came back off of the ceiling where it’s resided for more than a year.

Audio:

I did receive the new subwoofer and was able to get the custom box built and covered. I covered the bottom with carpet to keep it in place better, and used some vinyl to cover the rest. I’m pleased with how it turned out. I also built the box so that the amps are mounted on each side, and my power inverter is mounted on one side as well. The inverter is small, and also includes a 5v USB port directly on it, so that I can power the Ipod Dock right from the trunk. I’m a little concerned that my small battery will be inadequate for any real use of the inverter while the car isn’t running, plus the amps (although they are small), but only time will tell on that.

Pics:

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Aluminum and Parking Brake:

Most of the remaining aluminum has to wait until the body has been mounted for a proper fit, but I was able to get the last of the rear trunk panels in place, drilled and riveted on. I also finished up the cockpit, some of which is riveted in, and some is just temporarily attached using screws. Final placement will be completed after the body is mounted.

I need to get the vinyl on the tranny cover top, and mounted, which can be done after the body is on.

I learned a valuable build lesson also, which is that you really want to get the parking brake in place and secured prior to transmission installation, it will just allow for more room. I’m having some spacing issues with the parking brake cables, and still need to work through some changes in the parking brake handle itself to get it finished up. I’ll be working on that soon now that the car is back on the lift again.

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Body off the Ceiling:

Another build milestone came and went this weekend, as the body came back off of the ceiling, from where it’s called home for the last year or more. This involved a little creativity, as did getting it up there in the first place, especially by myself, but it didn’t fall, crack, break, or fall on top of me and kill me, so I would call that a success.

The plan is to drive the car this summer in gelcoat, so very little body work is to be done. All I need to do is bump the seams a little to soften them up a bit (they are sharp), and I also need to research a little on the gelcoat seams themselves to make sure the work the previous owner did on it (he ground down through the gelcoat) won’t create any issues long term if I don’t cover them up. All in all though, I won’t be doing much work to the body before setting it in place.

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The next steps in the build are to get the SAI kit installed, front sway bar adjusted, right height set, and brakes bled again, plus repaint the calipers (they are an orange instead of red.) Getting closer each weekend, and the excitement is building!

Measure, Cut, Drill, Rivet…Repeat

   Posted by: kdavis

The installation of the cockpit and trunk aluminum panels is a bit of a mundane process thanks to drilling 100′s of 1/8″ holes in the panels and chassis, but thanks to some needed fabrication and design, it was a little less so this weekend.

Trunk:

I spent the weekend working through installing most of the trunk panels, including a substantial amount of work fabricating the aluminum panels and fillers for my dropped trunk mod, as well as cutting and attaching access panels to make it easier to get to the fuel level sender, fuel pickup, and passenger side rear body mount (which I’ll need since I’m doing hidden body mounts and quick jack delete.)

The dropped trunk mod required that I cut the original trunk panel, drop the cut out piece down 4″ and then fill the sides in with new pieces. The mod will add a bit of extra trunk space out of the wasted space above the fuel tank. The extra space is needed since I’m doing the rear bulkhead shelf and throwing in a subwoofer.

I managed to get the drop box all built, and most of the trunk drilled, sealed, and riveted. I still need to fabricate the new cockpit “wall” that will sit about 10″ behind the bulkhead shelf I cut in the rear wall.

Pics:

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Tranny Tunnel Cover:

I had a bit of an issue with my transmission tunnel cover, thanks to a bit of poor planning, and failure to pay attention to the filler panels in my box of aluminum. I failed to realize that the oval hole in the cover allows for different mounting locations for the transmission and shifter, and that there is a filler panel that goes in to allow for the shifter boot mounting.

Unfortunately, I failed to realize this until AFTER I had applied, glued, cut, and smoothed the vinyl on the cover, which is a bit hard to undo. So, a little rework to be done, which is always a pain, but allows for some good practice. In the meantime, I was able to fabricate a top filler setup so that the vinyl will have a nice smooth surface to adhere to.

I experimented with the best way to mount both the main filler, as well as the top pieces, and realized the even smooth rivets will show through. My best option was to simply use an adequate amount of aluminum tape to attach both of them. This is the same process I used on the dash, and it turned out great under the same vinyl, so I’m confident that the tunnel cover will be the same case.

Tip – I needed to smooth out all of the seams and wrinkles in the aluminum tape. I had a lighter in my pocket from doing my electrical (I don’t smoke,) which I found worked great for this job.

Pics:

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Audio:

I ended up changing my plans on my subwoofers. Originally, I had purchased some inexpensive subs from Parts Express, but unfortunately, I didn’t read the enclosure requirements closely enough. I realized later that each one required a pretty large enclosure, close to 2 cubic feet. The total volume of the area where I wanted to put the sub box is about that same amount, which left me with a very large box, a somewhat inadequate sub, and minimal trunk room.

The solution was to find a sub that performed adequately on it’s own (without having 2 subs), and also required a pretty small enclosure. The answer is the Boss Audio D10F 10″ Subwoofer, (see below). At under $40, and with good ratings, it should do what I need it to do. the best news is that it only requires a 0.5 cubic foot box.

The box I built is out of 3/4″ wood, and measures 8″ x 17.5″ x 11″, which after factoring the box thickness, provides the 0.5 cubic foot internal volume. I added a separate speaker hookup panel as well, and sealed it all up with silicone. Once I wrap it in vinyl and mount it, it should fit nicely, and look good too. It will also make for a perfect mounting location for both amplifiers (one on each side), so it all stays nice and compact, and it is easily removed as needed. I’ll hard mount the box to the trunk/chassis frame so that the low end transfers well.

The sub arrived today (quick from amazon), but I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet.

Pics:

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Wiring, Dash Install, Aluminum

   Posted by: kdavis

Despite spending a lot of time over the last couple of weekends working on vehicles distinctly NOT the roadster, looking back, I did actually get a fair amount accomplished. I had to spend time doing brakes and some other items on the hot wife’s Beetle, and spend most of Saturday last weekend working on the Suburban (new K&N, exhaust manifold gaskets, plugs, wires, tire rotation).

Dash Install and Holy Crap Bar:

With the rest of the dash wiring installed and tested, I went ahead and finished up getting the dash installed so that I could get the heater ducts finished up. Since the dash won’t actually be finished in terms of install until the body is on, this isn’t a final step, but will allow for gokarting when the time comes.

As you can see in the pics, I also finished up my Holy Crap bar. There are lots of names for this, but it’s for the passenger to hold onto, and it’s appropriately named “holy crap bar.” Since it can see a good bit of stress, it was important for me to get it very secure, yet be able to adjust it’s position for final dash and body fitting. I fabricated a mounting system to allow for that, then drilled the holes in the dash for it. The dash position is static, but the part that mounts to the secure assembly is adjustable up and down (not a lot of side to side movement anyway with the steering column in place.)

Some of this was already detailed in an earlier post, but here are some more pics. It’s attached to the 3/4″ dash hoop, and is pretty stout. I ended up having a bit more of a gap between the dash and the frame, though, so I added a couple of 1/4″ nylon spacers to make up for that so I didn’t bend the aluminum dash.

Pics:

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Alarm LED:

I was able to get my alarm red led installed a couple of weekends ago, and so I thought I’d give the how-to on that as well. I wired it up, but since it’s going into the tranny tunnel cover now (just in front of the keys), I won’t do final install until that’s ready to go in. It did work very well though.

For those that might want to do a similar thing, here’s what I did.

Found the blinking LED here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170477135292&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

I used an extra housing I had from my del city order, but you can also buy them from del city or from parts express.

You don’t really have to, but I used a relay for this, just so I could make it easy to switch between the key ON and key OFF status.

Here’s how I wired it, using a standard 12v relay and socket (parts express too). I’m just going to give the wire colors, but you can look up the relay positions if you want.

Red – Battery – always hot
Blue – + side (red wire) of the LED
White – Ground
Black – Keyed 12v (ignition source)
Yellow – Not used

Obviously, the black wire (-) of the led is to ground.

That way, the light blinks when the key is off, but goes out when you start the motor or if the key is on.

I had read that there was some concern about the battery drain from the LED, but the draw on this one is 20mA. I left it running for a couple hours, and no drain at all was perceivable on my meter from the battery. I’m sure if you didn’t start it for months, it would have some draw, but in that case, you should have a battery tender on it anyway.

Interior Aluminum:

After a really cool mini-event of actually driving the car out of the shop, and then backing into the other bay, it was time to continue work on the interior aluminum. This is one of the last big steps in getting to go-kart status.

I was able to get the driver’s floor, passenger’s floor, and the bulkhead pieces all drilled, siliconed, and riveted in. Thank GOD for Mike’s air riveter…I can’t imagine trying to do all of those rivets by hand. I was glad that I ended up buying the double-ended 1/8″ drill bits from harbor freight, but wish they were a little longer. Every time I use my drill, I am reminded that I will NEVER buy another chuckless drill, they are worthless for small bits, and end up having to retighten the chuck all the time.

I was also able to get the rear bulkhead access hole cut out, which will allow a little pocket for “stuff” behind the seats, but also will serve as a location for some small speakers in the corners that will fire across from side to side to get some sound. I just drilled a few holes, then cleco’d the panel in place, marked there the frame pieces sat, and cut the hole. I added a 1/2″ to the measurement on the lower cut, which turned out great since the bolt heads on the 3-link retrofit kit make the trunk floor there sit up to almost that level. It was a pretty good fit. I’ll add a “wall” that will sit 10-12″ behind the opening.

One note worth mentioning. When I placed the bulkhead piece in place, I noticed that the holes for the seat belt routing didn’t line up right. I took a closer look and realized the cross bar was actually not even or straight across, so it stuck up about 1/4″ on the passenger side. I ended up “massaging” it with a dead blow rubberized hammer, and it fits great now.

I’m really enjoying the aluminum fabrication stuff, and just thinking through the problem solving aspect of the build. One issue I was having is the location where I want to mount the 10″ subwoofers. I want to use the rear cross as part of the mounting system, which meant that the floor was about 3/4″ too high. Relatively easily solution, I just need to make some “boxes” that will sit into the floor so that the subs will be able to be “submerged” slightly in the floor. After checking clearance on the 3-link banana bracket, I decided 2″ depth was a good size. I also checked and marked for floor supports to see how much room I had from front to back (bulkhead to trunk). I ended up with a box size of 5″ x 13.5″. I was able to get the first one marked and cut, but have not bent it yet. I misfigured the first time, but luckily I remembered to fix it before I cut. I had allowed for the 1″ lips for the bends on top, but forgot to allow for 2″ of drop. I believe I ended up with an 11×19.5 piece.

I wish I had gone with a bigger metal bending brake, this piece is about 1/4″ too big to fit, so I’ll have to bend it using some other methods.

Pics:

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Wishy Washy:

My buddy Mike says I’m wishy-washy on color, and he’s probably right, evidenced by all the posts on this blog about color choice. I have now, however, made some actual commitment-based steps on color. I ordered some paint to do some test shooting. I have “decided” that I really like the black cars with silver stripes. I’ve always loved black, and this was actually the very first color choice, even before the Orange was a factor. I like how it looks like it actually wants to eat children. ;-> This is a backdraft car that I’m using as my sort of template. I’m going to take the hood off the Mustang donor and prep and tape it for stripes and color like I would the real car. I ordered some black and metallic silver paint and the necessary supplies.

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Along those same lines, I’m planning on getting the body down off the ceiling in the next couple of weeks so I can get started on the body work. Some of the steps require some cure time, so doing it a little at a time along with other parts of the build should prove an efficient use of time.

Until next time…

More Progress, A Step Back, and Some Steps Forward

   Posted by: kdavis

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since my last update. I’ve largely been working on the wiring still, and I continue to be too creative with it. A little addition here, another one there, and just when I think “today’s the day I’ll finish up the main wiring”, it really isn’t, and another week rolls by.

Dash – Take II

The big step back this last week was the realization that I definitely put my indicator lights too high on the dash. At first, it wasn’t an insurmountable issue, and I thought I could solve it by just notching the 3/4″ dash hoop. I was quickly reminded by a forum member that the BODY also sits in that same location. After some measurements by other forum members, I quickly discovered that my top left turn signal indicator would sit inside the dash overhang by 1/4″ or more. No good.

All in all, it turned out to be a hidden blessing. I had to remove the original vinyl (see last post) and redo it completely after redrilling new holes for the indicator lights.

When I started removing the vinyl, I quickly realized that it hadn’t adhered nearly as well as I had thought, and would have likely ended up with premature failure, bubbles, etc. Although I’m not entirely sure what caused the issue, I addressed it by simply sanding the dash surface a a lot with rough sand paper (80 grit) and cleaning it very well, plus waiting a little longer to make sure the contact cement cured better and more completely before putting the vinyl on. I was really pleased with how it came out, and I think it’ll be longer lasting. I also moved the indicators into more of a cross configuration, which I like better any way. 4 hours lost or more, but no big deal.

Pics of the new dash:

The speedometer is en route back home, all repaired from Auto Meter. Great service from those guys. I also found that the clock I had traded for had some fading on the hands. I sent it in for service, which they said would be $25. They ended up not being able to replace the hands, but because they quoted me that, they are replacing it with a brand new gauge for the $25, which saves me $50 at least on the gauge. What a deal!

More Wiring Progress:

It really does feel like I’m making some final progress on the wiring. This weekend was some work on the dash gauges, getting them pre-wired in before the dash goes in, the clutch safety switch rewire, and headlight switch wiring. The gauges are a little easier to wire before the dash goes in.

Door Switches, Accessory Lights, Headlight Switch Mod:

I did a full write up of the process for wiring the cockpit lights and door switches. I’ll include it here too:

I spent a bunch of time head scratching to get this all to work the way I wanted, and thought I’d possibly save someone else the time/trouble if they wanted to do the same thing.

This is a long, detailed write up of how I did it. I’m sure there are several other ways to do the same thing.

There is an underlying methodilogical debate with switching, whether to switch the HOT side or GND side. I’m on the HOT side of the coin, and have simply always switched this side. I think there are merits both ways, and probably the GND is actually better/safer. This procedure assumes the HOT side is switched, which did present an issue with the AA switch as you’ll see.

Purpose/Background:

I thought it would be great to have some door actuated interior lights, much like a production car, but also have manually operated lights for each foot box, and for the bulkhead area for the seat/cockpit (I’m doing a rear shelf and the light will light that up and spill in).

I have an LED under the middle front of each footbox (on Everson’s dash panel) and then the flexible strip is on the ¾” tube behind it and wires run in a hidden fashion. The headlight switch has a dome light setting (must be modified so it’s not GND driven), and then each footbox has a rocker switch to activate it. The headlight dome switch also controls the footbox lights, so I can turn on all interior lights light a production car. Another manual switch could be added for the bulkhead, but I didn’t need it.

Parts:

I bought a lot of this stuff over time, you could probably get all of the stuff from 1-2 vendors.

LED Accessory Lights

LED Flexible Light Strip

Standard Automotive Rocker Switches

Diodes

American Autowire Headlight Switch (modified)

Door Switches (push button normally ON switches)

Bosch Relay

Relay Harness (with all 5 pins – 87a)

Misc Connectors

Issues to be Addressed:

Backfeeding – this was the biggest challenge for me, and took a couple of hours of head scratching and testing to get it right. The system wants to backfeed between the 2 footbox lights, and also between the rear light and the footbox lights. The way I addressed it was by using 3 separate diodes (essentially a one-way valve for electricity) at each light so that the power will flow TO the light, but not feed the others. I put the diode on the 12v lead for each light, so it’s the last part of the system.

Headlight Switch Dome Switch – This switch is handy in that it already has a built in mechanism for controlling a dome light. However, the switch uses the GROUND circuit to do the switching, and the rest of the way that I wired the system uses the 12V side. This required me to modify that switch to use the 12v side instead. It’s possible that you could change the rest of the switches to switch the ground instead, but this wasn’t a preferred option for me since I had already wired everything else in and the headlight switch was the last item.

I had some plastic washers left from a metal shed install around, so I basically made another leg for the switch by drilling a hole in the switch bottom, and using a small metal bolt as the leg. I isolated the bolt by shrink tubing it except the screw end and head, and then put a plastic washer between it and the switch surface. I tested for continuity before I applied power to make sure it wouldn’t short.

I’m no DV/DT kind of fabricator, so keep that in mind, but it’ll work for me. It’s very solid, and I’m fairly confident the switch will wear out before I have any issues with this part of the system.

Hooking it All Up:

There are many ways to go about wiring everything, here’s how I did it.

Feed – I have a separate fuse panel that has both constant ON and keyed on power. I chose to use the constant side for the interior lights, this is how a production car would be wired. I have a 20A fuse for this feed, but probably 10A or less would be more than adequate, especially with LED’s.
Relay – To get this to work, I used a bosch type relay, which has a switched power source inside. The 87 lead is powered when the relay is OFF, and the 87a lead is powered when it’s ON. This gives you 2 separate sides for the door switch side and the manual switch side. When the doors are closed, the manual switches are fed by the 87a side of the relay. When you open the door, the lights get fed from the 87 side.
Footbox SwitchesEverson’s Dash Filler Panel) makes a great foundation for switches. I have a bunch of switches, audio input, and 12v power ports. I put a switch to the side of the tranny tunnel for easy access to turn these on.
Rear Bulkhead – My LED strip was an easy decision for me since I am adding a rear shelf. This gave me a perfect hiding place for the light, so the strip and lighting is invisible behind the ¾” hoop. I ran the wires along the hoop and simply added electrical tape to hide the wires (the wires are very thin.) In a non-shelf setup, a nicer looking light would be needed, but same implementation. I ran a single power wire from the dash to the light area, and grounded right there.
Dome Switch Mechanism – Already described above, but more detail. I grabbed power from the main headlight feed coming into the switch via one of the taps that came with the kit. I added a bullet-type connector so I can easily pull out the whole switch assembly.

Caution – due to the nature of these builds, there is ALL SORTS of conductive metal where you’re working. I had a stray wire that blew out the fuse 2x before I figured out it was resting on the upper column. Use a meter to test as much as possible before hooking up the battery, and if you can, maybe layout a towel under your work space to keep this from happening.

Pictures:

Relay Diagram:

Headlight Switch- Labeled

Footbox Lights and Switches

Bulkhead Light and Footbox Lights (note, one led is out on the left side, pending replacement)

Headlight ON Warning Chime:

This probably wasn’t ultimately necessary, but it’s more along the lines of a production car, and with running a pretty small battery, it made sense to do it.

I just posted this for niceguyeddie in PM, and I thought someone else might find it useful. I’ll get some pics later, but they probably aren’t even really needed.

Both of my daily cars have automatic headlights, so I was concerned that I’d turn these on in the evening and forget them, so I figured wiring in a chime will help me remember.

I bought a $10 door bell type chime from Radio Shack, and wired it in. Works fine, and it’s annoying enough, I’ll never forget the lights. I’m going to be adding a turn signal reminder buzzer the same way, RS sells the piezo buzzer for $7 think.

Here’s what I did:

Mount…I mounted it facing down in the Everson under dash panel, but it could be moutned anywhere that you can hear it (it’s loud.) This worked well for me.

There are 3 wires on the chime, blue, black, and red. The blue and black go to ground. When the black and red are hooked up, and 12v at red, and you take the blue to ground, it chimes.

So, I wired the blue and black to ground together.

I took a bosch relay and wired it this way:

SWITCH (black on my harnesses) to the KEYED ignition circuit.
GND (white) – ground
THROUGH (87a) to the RED wire on the chime.
SWITCHED POWER (Activated side – yellow) – Cut off and capped.
12V IN (blue) – I used a tap to grab power from the dash light circuit – you could also use the tail lights or parking lights.

Basically, no power to the relay at all with just the key on…so, the relay won’t fire. When the KEY ON and headlights ON, the relay has power, and it’s fired, so power moves from the 87A side to the 87 side, and no power to chime.

Turn the key off, and the relay is not firing, but has power from the headlight switch, so the power is at 87a to the chime, and DING DING DING!

Took me a while staring at it, but it works just fine.

Video:

Holy Crap Bar:

I love that name. ;-> Basically, it’s a grab bar for the dash that the passenger can use if you get a little over zealous with the go pedal, plus for getting in and out of the car.

Since the dash is not to support the bar on it’s own, a support mechanism had to be built to support it. I used some steel angle I had around, and made it in such a way that it can be adjusted upward as the dash gets installed into the body. The bar is a marine-application grab bar, and should also help with the relatively empty space on the passenger side of the dash.

Pics:

Dash Vinyl is Done, Gauges and Switches in Place – Almost

   Posted by: kdavis

After a month of no updates, thought I’d show some progress. I have been wiring for this whole time, and took some time for the dropped trunk mod. I’ll post that stuff later, but today, the Dash.

I’m simply ignoring the fact that my speedo is en route to AutoMeter for repairs, and pretending that i finished my dash.

So, it’s really an almost. Speedo will need to go in, and the holy crap bar as well.

Thought I’d post it up anyway.

Details:

AutoMeter Ultra-Lights (oil temp delete, add clock)
LED Indicators (amber turns, blue for high beams and tangent driving)
Push button start (button was $3 from parts express)
Standard horn button
On-Off-On turn signal turned sideways
On-Off-On for tangents
Headlight switch and knob from American Auto Wire
Matching Knob for the Choke

Ignition key and heater switch are going into the tranny tunnel.

Dash Material is Marine Black Vinyl from Joann’s (50% coupon, so cheap) no padding.

Used Weldwood Contact Cement and a cheap paint brush, worked perfectly, very little mess.

Covered up the pre-drilled dash holes (small ones) with one layer in back and 2 layers in front of aluminum tape.

Cut holes with 1/8″ extra inside for gauges, perfect tight fit.

Pics: