4/23/08 – Dad’s Visit, Electrical & More Aluminum

The last we talked – over a month ago(!) – I was just wrapping up the brake lines, installing aluminum, had seen the return of the motor from the shop, and ordered wheels.

Since then, we received the wheels (well, most of them), finished the plumbing (both brake & fuel lines), picked up my dad from the airport, decided what engines heads to use (and ordered them), dropped off the driveshaft to get shortened, received my FFR heater and dash blank, started running the electrical wiring, received the remaining wheel, had a visit from my cousin Bill (Saturday) and another local Cobra builder (Sunday), caught the flu, fitted and drilled the rest of the cockpit aluminum, visited another FFR Cobra builder in North Bend (the following Friday),  laid out the dash, broke my drill press, received the heads, fixed my drill press, drilled the big holes in the dash, dropped off my dad at the airport, and picked up the shortened driveshaft.

And probably a few other things too… Let’s get right to the pictures proving it all happened.

First, the wheels.  As I mentioned, they’re kinda wide:  10 1/2" in the rear, and 9" in the front, and they look even bigger in person.  Three of the four wheels were correct, but one was the wrong style.  I ordered them from Gordon Levy and he made sure everything was right in the end.  Here’s a shot showing their width:


Then here’s another shot showing a front wheel with the 13" drilled & slotted, Mustang Cobra brakes (brakes like this aren’t really needed on a car this light, but they sure look great!):


Did I mention my dad flew in from Michigan (Chicago, Midway actually)?  Weather was here (and snowy); wish he were beautiful.  Jasper’s not impressed:


Then we started in with the wiring harness.  It took a while to sort it all out (especially the donor Mustang EFI/engine harness), but once we did, we were able to start threading it through the chassis rather quickly.  One thing we did was to mount the fuse box on a hinge from Lowes providing easy access:


For a change of pace we decided to gain some ground on the cockpit aluminum.  The area behind the seats is notoriously tricky and it was good having an extra set of hands, or two (thanks Rick!).  It all looks pretty simple in this photo, but there was a lot of pulling, pushing, grinding and bending needed to get it to fit.  We started with the passenger side, which took 2 hours.  The driver’s side took about 30 minutes:


There are a couple of generally accepted Cobra dashboard layouts, the "289" and "competition".  I’m a big fan of the competition layout, if only because it puts important stuff like oil pressure and water temperature directly in front of the driver, and leaves the unimportant stuff (like the speedometer) way out of the way, over on the right.  We mocked this up and rearranged everything for a couple of days.  Once we put the drill press back together – don’t ask (which, like everything else required a trip to Lowes, Shucks Automotive, and NAPA), we were able to drill the gauge openings:


Finally, the new Edlebrock Performer heads showed up and we picked up the completely refurnished driveshaft which ended up costing more than just buying a new one from one of the FFR Cobra vendors:


Thanks for reading.

Thanks dad!


All photos: