1/27/08 – Pedal Box & Cockpit Aluminum

Whew!  It feels good to get back into a grove.  We’re back from the holidays and – close on the heals of getting back from Chicago – our travels to NYC (thanks Ed & Claire!).  All of which means I’m able to spend a little time out in the garage.  It probably sounds a little strange, but I’m actually looking forward to a couple more months of dark, rainy weather before the time change, sunshine, and outdoor activities start to compete for time.  Speaking of time, the other day I decided the ultimate luxury (in the whole universe) is time.  Everything beyond this is only fun if you have the time to enjoy it…

Anyway, the first thing I dug into was the pedal box.  This is one of the donor pieces and provides the pivot points (and associated cutoff switches) for the clutch and brake pedals.  And it needs some work.  Thanks for Ford Motor Company, it’s completely unfinished and covered with surface rust.  Then, to fit against the FFR driver’s firewall, the bottom 1" of the vertical mounting surface needs trimming to avoid hitting the steering shaft.

I cleaned it up, removed the pedal brackets, bent them to provide more room in the footbox, and painted it using some "hammer" finish paint from Lowes:


The red bits are an aftermarket clutch quadrant and firewall-mounted adjusted (another reason I went with this particular donor) from Cypress.

While stripping, cleaning and refinishing stuff I cleaned & painted the rear rotors the same ways as I did the fronts.  Sorry, no pictures of this (boring) process.  But if you’re interested, you can go back and look at what I did to the front rotors.

Then I dug out all the stored cockpit aluminum.  In addition to the pieces mounted for shipping, there was a whole other box full of strange and unusual things that had no obvious home.  After a few hours I managed fit and clamp most of it together:


Updates on other things:

I talked with the guys at Action Machine about the motor.  They’ve checked the block and our next steps include boring the cylinders .030" over, balancing the rotating assemblies, pressing new pistons on the connecting rods, and checking the cam with the Cam Doctor.  Hopefully they’ll be getting started this coming week.

I’m quickly realizing that – in many areas – I’m going to have to make some purchases.  Some of these include: Whitby Motorcar’s Power Brake Frame Mod., Russ Thompson’s Throttle Pedal & Pedal Covers, Vintage Performance Motorcar’s 3-link Brace Kit, and FFMetal’s Grand Slam aluminum kit.

Finally, we’ve got some more room in the garage.  This is nice for a number of reasons, one of which includes the ability have some perspective to get these kinds of photos:


Take Care!


1/13/08 – My New Favorite Tool

I just took a look back at last week’s update and, once again, it seems like a lot has happened since then.  The steering wheel arrived after being back-ordered for a while.  Rick & I mounted the rotors and calipers while the Seahawk’s lost to Green Bay.  Then today, I managed to get the rear differential painted, and mounted (without torquing anything).

So, sometime during the week (like I said), the steering wheel showed up.  Of course I had to get it mounted, if for no other reason than to make it easier to test the rack and pinion steering setup.

Here’s a shot of the wheel (with a bonus peek at the front calipers):


Did I mention the front rotors & calipers?  Oh yeah — the Seahawks.  Nevermind.  Anyway, since I painted everything a while back, it was pretty simple to mount the rotors, bolt up the caliper brackets, reinstall the old pads, and mount the calipers.  The front Cobra brakes have a single c-clip and pin holding everything together.  You could replace the pads using a pair of needle nose plier and nothing else:


This morning my buddy Lance Lambert stopped by with some of his car pals this morning to check out the Cobra.  We had a great time shooting bull, talking cars, and telling lies (not in that order).  A little later in the day I decided, since it was so nice (50 degrees & sunny), to paint the differential and see what I could accomplish.  Step one, was rolling the rear end outside, letting it warm up, and masking the engine stand it was setting on:


Ultimately, I ended up not only painting the differential, but mounting the entire rear suspension.  We have the 3-link rear suspension, which provides better road-holding than the stock 4-link (which matches the Mustang geometry).  The 3-link kit includes Koni coil-over shocks, a panard bar, and lower control arms to locate the axle in 3-dimensional space.

Here’s where I ended up this afternoon:


I’m heading to New York to visit my wife (Karen) on Wednesday and returning on Sunday.  So I’m not sure that I’ll get a lot done during the next week.  But the 21st of January is MLK-day, maybe I’ll get a little done then.

Oh yeah, my new favorite tool?  My 28oz. mallet:


Until then, take care


1/6/08 Update – Front Suspension & Brake Paint

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been since December 9th since my last update.  That’s almost a month ago – way too long.  But, as you might expect with all of the holidays & travel, there hasn’t been a lot happening on the car.  It sure was good seeing everyone in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Shortly after my  last update, the backordered front upper control arms arrived from Factory Five (along with a few other items).   I was able to install them without too much  trouble and  took the opportunity to double-check  the torque on all the front-suspension bolts.  I left all of the adjustable pieces loose so it’ll be easier to slap a home-alignment on it when I get my wheels/tires.

I’m leaving blue masking tape on the things that are loose & un-torqued.


I also installed the new Baer stud that I ordered through Brad’s Custom Auto on the left steering control arm.

The paint on the donor Cobra brake calipers was pretty thin and dirty, so they were the next thing to freshen up.  I hit them hard with the wire wheel and was able to remove most of  the old paint.  Eastwood has a caliper paint kit that I had ordered in red.  I spent the Saturday before flying to Chicago for vacation painting them — it’s hard getting a good finish using the crappy little brush they supply.


This past weekend I rebuilt the front calipers using a kit that I ordered.  I would have done the rears, but I ordered the wrong kit and nobody seems to stock 1994 Mustang Cobra caliper kits in Seattle.

I also cleaned up the front rotors, grinding off the coating where it was compromised.  I then sprayed them with some silver high-temperature engine paint.  Turned out okay, I think:


This week I hope to wrap up the front end and maybe start putting some of the cockpit aluminum in.

All photos available here:

Take care!