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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Aug 3, 2018.
True, but I did see a fair bit of Cobra in that trailer.
True. It's impossible to mention Carroll Shelby without the Cobra coming up, at least for anyone who knows anything about cars. If they didn't include the Cobra in the movie at all, even with it being about the GT40, I think that would be wrong.
Just so you know: I met Carroll Shelby one day, and got a couple of hot laps in a genuine Cobra on the road course at Texas Motor Speedway with Bob Bondurant.
Is it just me or does the real Carroll Shelby seem a lot taller than Matt Damon?
My 10th birthday is a day I will never forget as long as I live. A friend of the family is friends with some folks who have an incredible collection of cars. Their "guest house" garage, which I got to see for my birthday, included something around 14 Ferraris at the time, 2 300SL Gullwings, and...
Steve McQueen's 428 Cobra.
I was supposed to get a ride in the Cobra, but it wouldn't start. I had to settle for the 365 GTB/4 drop-top.
A heavenly sound that I won't soon forget. There was effectively no insulation on the firewall, and I remember the heat from the exhaust radiating on my legs. A fantastic machine.
Today's positives and setbacks for the moment:
Positive: Went out to get POR 15 for painting the rear axle and caliper paint. Got both at Advance Auto, and got them to almost match Amazon's price on the POR 15, so now I have it on hand instead of waiting a few days for it to arrive. So I can paint the rear end if I so desire, but I'll probably wait on that until after I have it back together. Either way, it's on hand.
Negative: I placed an order for the power brake setup I want on the car yesterday. Heard nothing back today (they don't take credit cards online so you have to call them). I got told those kits are "currently in production" and it may take "a few weeks." Realistically it probably won't hold me up any, but it is a bit of an annoyance since I won't be able to complete the brake lines until I have that. It'll mean I'll need to work on something else when I get to that point (fuel lines, electrical, etc.) if they aren't there. It's also reminding me that I need to think about lead time on parts for this car moreso than I'm used to.
I doubt it'll cause much issue realistically, but I do need to keep in mind lead time on items that I need. I'm still going to wait on the power steering for now, but it does make me think about the Webers that I want to order.
Last night I had a couple of hours after the kids went to bed and spent that time tearing into the transmission. I already had it opened up, but I had to tear apart the main/output shaft to get the gears off of it. Getting the main shaft out is not difficult but it is a long shaft, so it requires getting the right angle and also pulling the 5th gear off of the countershaft. Easy enough once the snap ring is removed. This T5 has what's called a "reverse brake" - essentially a synchro for reverse.
Once the main shaft was out, I put my hydraulic press to work, first pressing off the 1st and 5th gear (which are located furthest on the end of the shaft). Using a combination of my "new" bearing splitters and some of the steel plates I had around, I was able to get 1st, 2nd, and 5th gears off the shaft. 5th gear had a retaining ring around it that was a real pain to get out. I'm now at the point of removing 3rd gear (4th is direct drive, so there's no gear to remove for 4th) and that has another retaining ring. It was getting late and I didn't have it in me to tackle another PITA retaining ring. Plus my Harbor Freight snap ring pliers broke, so I decided I was done with wrenching.
I did do some inspections on general condition. I've determined that this case has never been opened for a few reasons. For one, the factory did use RTV (I learned this in the book) and it seems to be in proper amounts - not too much as most individuals do when taking things apart and putting them back together. Honestly there are virtually no signs of wear. The countershaft is mostly dark which is what supposedly happens when the oil gets older and isn't changed when it's supposed to be. However, it's not nearly as dark as some of the ones I've seen on videos. The gears themselves don't show any signs of wear on them. The sliders look good as well, although I need to look at those more. The shift forks look new, although I think the 5th-reverse shift fork is the older style and should be updated to the new style which is supposedly stronger.
The only real signs of wear I've observed thus far are the nylon pads on the shift forks (which even then aren't hugely worn, but they are worn) and the synchros. The synchros are the "newer style" 3-piece carbon fiber synchros you find the World Class T5s. The primary indication of issues with them are that they ride too low on the gears, either touching or almost touching them. For 160k miles on the box I'd say that's essentially expected, but I'm surprised that there isn't more wear. My goal for tonight is to finish disassembling the main/output shaft and maybe get the countershaft out. Then I can work on doing a full check of things, and ideally call up to order the parts I need either tomorrow or Monday - probably Monday. My goal is to get all of the normal consumables/wear items to replace. I'll be waiting on parts for the T5 before I can start rebuilding it. Ultimately, for 160k, this box looks close to new. It's the first thing I've torn apart for this project I can say that about, but it is a factory T5 and I don't think this guy was making too much power. Plus if you follow gearbox theory, going to 3.73s would reduce the strain on the gearbox.
I do need to do some more counting to double check on the 5th gear ratio, though. Looking at it again I think it might be the 0.59 5th gear, which would push me towards wanting to keep the 3.73s in there for sure. I also have to pull apart the rear end and see the condition and quality of those gears. That'll probably be the weekend project. So hopefully order more parts on Monday to get in within a week or two to keep the project moving along.
One thing I'm also learning is that deciding to go with Webers is going to change some of my decisions on the engine, or rather change the camshaft decision. Webers need a wide lobe separation angle, 115 or so being considered ideal. This is obviously quite different from the cam I was originally planning on (108 lobe separation angle). Basically the need for this is because the reverse three Comp Cams offers some cam profiles specifically for Webers, however those are hydraulic roller cams rather than solid flat tappet cams. This is probably going to require talking to some of the cam manufacturers to see if I can find an appropriate cam for the job. Not a big deal and pretty minor to change.
Well... The quality of the car (Chevy) matches the tools... Harbor freight tools for a harbor freight car.
Almost forgot some pictures...
This is where I left off at the end of the evening - need to pull 3rd gear (or is it 2nd? Now I forget...)
Maybe this one is actually 3rd gear with the 3/4 slider underneath it. Up and to the left is the speedometer gear and the outer race for the main/output shaft bearing.
On the left is the 5th/reverse shift fork. Actually looking at the picture now I think it might be the new style, so I wouldn't have to replace it. The synchro ring you see is actually the "reverse brake" (essentially a synchro for reverse). Below it is the 5th gear overdrive that goes on the countershaft.
On the upper right you see the small gear which is the 5th gear that presses on to the output shaft, then the bearing for the output shaft, and below it 1st gear and reverse.
Here's looking into the case where you see the countershaft. Going from left to right on the counter shaft you have the input gear, the 3rd gear, 2nd gear, reverse, and 1st gear.
Below the counter shaft in the picture you have the reverse idler gear, which slides into place to engage reverse. You can't see it in this picture much, but the leading edges of the teeth where they go to mesh with the countershaft are chipped a bit. Per the book, this is common on Muncies (although it doesn't reference T5s specifically) and what really matters is that there aren't chipped portions once it's fully engaged. The guy who wrote the book is who I plan on ordering parts from, so I'll talk to him to get his opinion on whether I should replace that or not.
The plan for tonight is to finish disassembling the transmission.
Last night I got the transmission the rest of the way apart and inspected all the pieces according to "the book" (using the book I ordered). The 2nd gear snap ring was a real pain to get off, probably took me 20 minutes to wrestle with it. Of course I don't have the best snap ring pliers. I really ought to just order a good set of Snap-On ones.
Once fully apart and inspecting with the book I did notice a few things that I hadn't before.
- The 5th gear and reverse slider has wear on the reverse slide of the teeth - by quite a bit. This isn't surprising since a lot of people try to jam the transmissions into reverse, and reverse has a "reverse brake" which is essentially a synchro for reverse. I'm sure that's a common wear point
- The 2nd gear synchro and gear itself show significant wear on the engagement teeth. The synchro ring was worn and riding on the gear. The engagement teeth on the 2nd gear are also worn low and shiny. The other gears look fine
- The 1-2 slider shows wear too on the 2nd gear side splines. It shows less wear than the 5-R slider. Again, that's not surprising.
- The shift lugs show some wear, but I'm not sure if it's an acceptable amount or not
- The 5/R shift fork is the new style, so that's good. So is the countershaft, input shaft, and the other gears. It also has the newer style sliders
The 2nd gear wear isn't surprising at all, that's the gear that gets hit the hardest especially from someone who's doing some level of driving like an idiot. And it does have 160k miles on the transmission.
So my plan for today is to call up 5speeds.com, talk to him some about my findings, and see if I can work out a plan and potentially order what I need.
Completely disassembled transmission, plus 1.75 crankshafts and 2 cams.
This is the 2nd gear and its synchro ring. You can see the wear on the teeth. The engagement teeth on the gear are supposed to be pointy but they look polished and rounded off. You can also see how the synchro teeth look polished. The 1-2 shift is usually the hardest hit so this isn't surprising.
Here you can see where the 2nd gear synchro ring was rubbing on the gear. Again, not what's supposed to happen.
My guess is that when driving the transmission did some grinding and generally felt older with the synchro rings being what they were.
I've also had some communication with Comp Cams and am working towards a cam profile that might work. They'd originally suggested a drag race cam that had way too much overlap for Webers (106 lobe separation angle) but said they could build that as a custom grind with 113 LSA. The duration on them is also pretty high, I'm thinking probably too high for what I want that would push the engine into too peaky of a range. I may do some more looking around at some of the cams they offer to find something that I think would be a good profile but perhaps just too tight of a lobe separation angle. Ultimately duration and LSA both play into the overlap.
I grabbed a cheap set of snap ring pliers from auto parts store when I was doing some work on our I/O boat (changing out the gimbal bearing). Those cheap Chinese pliers bent the first time I tried to use it. The snap ring was pretty stout anyway. I ended up getting a set of Craftsman Professional snap ring pliers that were much more solidly built, with replaceable snap ring tips and a small assortment of tip styles. Worked great. Just an option if you have a Sears or maybe an Ace Hardware nearby.
That's actually the exact kind I have. Maybe I just need to order better ends for it. Like I said, I eventaully got it, but it was a pain.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Snap-On, Mac, etc. all have some better snap-ring plier models, but for the price these got the job done on a pretty stout couple of snap rings. For infrequent use, they get the job done. It's obviously more ideal to have a full set of snap ring pliers as opposed to swapping out the tips, but since I use them once time a year, if that, the Craftsman pair will suffice. Knipex has some decent stuff it you want dedicated snap ring pliers instead of swapping out tips. I think you can even pick some up at HD.
So, I've had a couple of unproductive phone calls so far.
First I called up 5speeds.com. It sounds like Tremec isn't being very good to their dealers and isn't good about producing parts anymore. They're out of stock of T5 rebuild kits because of forward bearings, and no idea when they're back in stock. The impression I got talking to Paul was that Tremec annoyed him so he's mostly out of the business of T5s. Can't blame him - I've heard a lot of people were unhappy when Borg Warner sold the T5 design to Tremec. Tremec wants to sell new TKOs, not T5s. I get it. But there are many thousands of T5s out there.
Aside from being out of stock on T5s, he said he didn't carry any of the other things I needed, and suggested eBay... which in his videos he warns about the dangerous of buying used parts on eBay for transmissions. And I can see why, because a lot of them are going to be, well, probably like what I have. He also said that I would want the G-Force transmission gears for what I'm doing anyway, because if I did any road racing at all the stock stuff just wouldn't hold up. That was more or less what my gut said anyway.
Then I called up G-Force. The guy I talked to was extremely helpful, but also realistic. He said that there's the gearset itself, but that they also would recommend the main shaft upgrade for the power I was running and said if I didn't, I would probably run into issues. He also said that even on their gearset, 3rd gear is the weak point. There's just not good support of the shaft there. 3rd gear is all the way on the end of the main shaft and the bearing supporting it is small. When it's in 4th gear the input shaft and main shaft are locked together, but in 3rd gear, the gear is basically just hanging out there. Even he said I should just buy a T5z if I went that route rather than his stuff. Then I said "Or a TKO" and he said "Don't do that." So we talked about why, and agreed the reasons for not doing a TKO don't really apply to me, other than the 30 lb weight difference (I thought it was 15 lbs, but by the time I looked into it it's 30 lbs). He said 2 reasons for not doing the TKO:
1) They don't like revs. By that he meant above 6500. I'm planning a 6500 redline for the car, and I shifted my Jag up at that RPM all the time no issue
2) They're notchy to shift. I like notchy shifting transmission. I don't like smooth as butter transmissions. That was something I was concerned about with the T5 - having too light of a transmission for my tastes
So then on a whim I messaged a guy I'd been talking to on Facebook about buying a brand new TKO 600 that he had bought but never used - still new in box. He had offered a fair price but was a bit higher than I wanted to spend. So on a whim I messaged him and asked if he still had it, and would he take (a lower price) today. He did, and even better he has a meeting down by my office later today.
Assuming that it all works out (I don't count chickens before they're hatched), my transmission problems may be solved with what's arguably a better solution, or at the very least something I know will handle whatever I throw at it. And then I'll have a pile of parts to sell from the T-5 that I disassembled. Hey, I'm getting really good at this. Buy something used, find out it won't work, sell off the parts I can and keep the parts I need.
Transmission Problem solved.
I love it when a plan comes together.
You have me wanting to get a Town Car (black, no vinyl top), tighten up the suspension, put in a warmed-up engine and a 5-speed.
That was a plan of mine years ago... not a hard thing to do.
The part that's funny about it to me is how this was what I'd figured earlier on, and it ended up being the exact transmission I tried to buy last year. He had stopped trying to sell it but I searched through Facebook messenger (I found it on Facebook marketplace) and messaged him on a whim to see if he had it still after having a couple of disappointing phone calls on the T5. I must have caught him on a good day when either he'd decided the thing had been sitting in his basement long enough or he figured he could use the money.
I'd say I feel as good about the decision as I would on any decision. I know I love driving behind a TKO since I've owned two of them. I love the heavy shifting and the gear whine. So on that part, I'm happy, and I think happier than I'd be with a T-5 of any sort. I also am happy knowing I have a transmission that will hold up to whatever I throw at it. The T-5 is a light duty transmission, no two ways about it. I'm also happy that the transmission portion of the project is done.
The weight gain I'm not too happy about. It is very noticeable. The TKO I can lift by myself but it's one of those "I probably shouldn't for the sake of my back" deals. A T-5 is easy to lift by myself. When I looked up the specs, the difference is about 30 lbs. In the grand scheme that's not too much, but it is noticeable. What's also very noticeable is just how much more resistance the TKO has vs. the T-5. Now part of that is that this T-5 was old and worn and so it didn't have the proper preload anymore, but even a fresh T-5 wouldn't have the same sort of drag that a TKO has. No doubt, the TKO will eat more horsepower than a T-5 would, and it won't be quite as responsive or revvy. But I am putting it behind a 400 HP engine which I do hope to take to track days. Even in a 2400ish lb car, that does seem to be a good idea to have a known good transmission. It will also be something I could put behind a 351 variant if I chose to go that way eventually. Really, I could put it behind anything I felt like putting it behind.
If money were no object, I would probably build up a T-5 with the aftermarket upgraded case, gears, shafts, and tailhousing. That would give me the strength and the light weight that I'm really going for with this car. However, that would easily add $1,000-$1,500 to the build cost vs. what I'm doing, and is from most technical aspects still an arguable worse result. If money were no object I'd also be going for an all aluminum block rather than an overhauled stock block for the engine, and IRS instead of the solid rear axle. If money were no object, there'd be an easy $10k added to the build just in those items, hence why it's not happening.
I'd say one thing that's very satisfying about this is the nostalgia of a TKO. The first transmission I bought was a TKO, back in 2002 when I purchased the 5-speed conversion kit for my 1982 Jaguar XJ-S. That was an original TKO (before they added the TKO 500 and 600 variants). The ratios were different on it, having a 3.27 1st gear and 0.68 overdrive compared to this one having a 2.94 (I think) and an 0.62, respectively. But really, it was essentially the same box. Opening the box, moving the shift lever and spinning the input shaft brought back memories of those years ago when I took delivery of that first transmission. In the end, I only owned that one for 2 years (albeit about 40,000 miles) and then sold it to a friend when I disassembled that car when it had gotten to the point where the rust was obviously at a bad point and the engine was smoking badly. I regretted selling it then. I then purchased another TKO, this time already installed in a '92 XJS, in 2006. That one I kept until 2010, about 3.5 years total. I regretted selling that car.
I think I will keep this TKO a bit longer than the last two. as well as the car it goes in.
Now I have to buy a bellhousing since the TKO uses a different one than the T-5, but the transmission itself is taken care of. I can order those bits, and I already have someone interested in buying up the T-5 in "some assembly required" form.
Next is the rear end. That I have the highest confidence in actually reusing of the major driveline components. This weekend I'll hope to get it disassembled. This transmission also puts me firmly back in the 3.73 gear camp, which is what the rear end has in it now. However I do want to see if I can identify who made those 3.73 gears. If it was a no-name brand, I'll probably replace them with Ford Performance ones.
With the current track record, I'm expecting at this point that I'll be ordering a 331 short block next month after I find out that the block is either no good, or that the machine shop is going to be slow enough that it's just not worth the wait for the cost savings.
Lastly, I dropped the heads off at the cylinder head specialist to get evaluated. I hope they don't find anything significantly wrong with those.
Today I managed to get a few hours in doing more disassembly. My son helped me with getting the rear axle out (only two bolts and the brake hose were left). Then I pulled the hand brake setup and the pedal box. All of this was made much easier by a guy who had come and removed most of the interior and most of the rear suspension. Once again procrastination has been the best policy. If only someone had needed to buy the brake booster... that 4th nut holding it to the pedal box is a pain.
My goal for tomorrow (and maybe this evening after the kids go to sleep) is to tear apart the rear end to inspect it and get it ready for rebuilding so I can order what I need for it. Since I’m doing 3.73s now with this transmission, I’m either using the existing 3.73s in the thing if they're good or ordering new Ford Racing ones.
The hand brake handle is the stock cheap looking Ford one. I need to take a look at what’s available to spruce it up and make it look nicer. Supposedly there’s a modification to put the hand brake handle in a more accessible location - Factory is on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel pretty far up. However where it is keeps it out of my way when I’m driving so I’ll leave it alone. Mainly I’ll just make things prettier with it.
Here’s my son proudly next to the first rear axle he’s ever removed (he had a little help from dad).
I figured I was done for the day, but the kids were all in bed and asleep before 8 PM, giving me some time. So I decided to prep the pedal box and sort of prep the hand brake handle.
For the pedal box you have to drill out some spot welds for the piece that normally goes through the firewall on the Mustang, and you also have to cut part of the metal on the right side of the brake pedal to create clearance for the accelerator. The footwell is noticeably tighter than the Mustang and one thing that people have said is you have to wear thin shoes when driving the car. So I cut off the metal, and then I did a coat of spray paint to cover up the surface rust on the pedal box. That's kinda silly to do since nobody will ever see it, but I am trying to make sure that everything I put on the car looks new.
I'd like to install the pedal box tomorrow, but given that I don't have the power brake setup, I'm probably smarter to not do that and instead focus on the rear end. I can tear into it and also do some other prep work on it.
This car never ceases to amaze me...
Well, you might start ordering the Ford Performance gears depending on what other damage exists, lol.
You gonna get enough lope with that 115 LC cam they’re recommending with the Webers?
The rear axle upon inspection doesn't have anything wrong with the housing. Even the axles look to be fine. I'm replacing them anyway so that I can get the correct dimensions for the kit.
The shims were an interesting one. It seems that when the rear end was set up there wasn't enough preload in the rear end (although I didn't check it before disassembly) and so the shims were able to walk up and then get eaten up by the axle. The gears are a no-name brand. I can't identify who made them, but there's nothing that makes me think Ford. No Ford name or part numbers anywhere. So I'm assuming they're cheap like the rest of the car, and I'm going to scrap them or sell them to someone who doesn't care. The bearings all said Timken on them, which leads me to believe they were original and the guy just reused them when he put in the 3.73s.
I do need to check the differential and see if it meets spec, but even if it does, I think I'm either going to rebuild it or buy an aftermarket limited slip to throw in. I can say for certain this is an original Ford limited slip - has the Ford logo cast into it and the part number.
At this point I do need to start ordering parts to rebuild the rear end. I also have to pull the axle bearings (one of them the cage was blown and some rollers fell out as soon as I pulled the axle anyway). Basically it'll be a Ford rebuild kit, Ford 3.73s, and maybe a new limited slip or rebuild kit for it depending on the price difference. Bottom line, time to order stuff.
Reading through the manual, it looks like the kit allows for me to either use the stock single flexible hose that goes to the center of the rear axle and then the stock hard lines or else I can T off the lines on the car and then run flexible hoses to each caliper. Since the hard lines are original and I was going to replace them and the flexible hoses anyway, I'm going to go with option 2.
The rear axle does require some modifications in order to set it up for the 3-link, but it's all pretty straightforward. I figure I'll take the rest of the bits off that are unneeded, do some of the conversion and rebuilding, paint it, and then put it all back together over the next week or two. Then install it in the car. At that point, I'll have hit the milestone of having a roller - being able to roll the car around if I so please. That said, I really don't intend on doing so unless I have a need to.
I figure tomorrow night if I get some time I'll do a bit more on converting the rear axle, and I might also look at the fuel tank to decide if I want to reuse that or not.
One thing's for sure, this car never ceases to amaze me with the stupidity I find in it. At this point I think I'm done, though.
That's a good question and that's something that I have wondered about. I've listened to a few idles with Webers and I think the carbs themselves lend to a nice sounding idle.
When I asked Comp Cams for a cam recommendation, they suggested a racing cam that had around 240 degrees of duration, mid 500s for lift, and a 106 lobe separation angle, all in the solid lifter flat tappet type of cam I was looking for, off the shelf. If I wasn't doing Webers, I think it'd be a good option and sound heavenly. Then go for one of the many intake manifolds out there and a 700 cfm 4-barrel or so and it'd be a good combination, and be much cheaper than the Webers to boot. It is an option, and not a bad one. However I am going for something that has essentially instant throttle response Webers are the best for that, plus I've always wanted to play with Webers and while this car isn't about making something that's by any means pure, Webers harken back to the early 289 powered racing Cobras.
I suppose it's another thing to think about. For now, it doesn't impact any of the design aspects of the build until I get further down the line. That'll come pretty quickly at this rate, but I'm still not there yet.
I managed to get a few minutes in tonight to work on the rear axle. More than anything I wanted to get those axle bearing races out, as I'd gotten the loaner tool from AutoZone. The guys at the counter had no idea what I was talking about, and couldn't locate "Axle Bearing Puller" even with their finger right next to it on the chart of pictures. Once I found them the part number (where they were pointing) they were able to get it. I was afraid the bearing outer race would be stuck (these bearings actually don't have an inner race - they ride on the axle) but they both came out pretty easily with a few slams of the slide hammer. I went to go pull the hard brake lines, but a couple of the bolts holding them on were on pretty tight. I didn't feel like getting out any of the big guns and it was pretty late by the time I got into the garage, so I just decided to give up for the night. It'll probably be next week before I get back to it, but that doesn't mean I can't order parts!
I wasn’t going to do anything on the Cobra tonight. We got home late, my wife just got home from her shift, and we’re all tired. Then one of my daughters went upstairs, changed into garage clothes, came downstairs and said “Daddy I reeeeely want to work on the Cobra! Pleeeeeeeze?”
Well I can’t say no to that. She also wanted to wear my old welding helmet for protection.
So we got the old brake lines off the rear axle as well as the old shock mounts. I won’t be using either. The bolts and nuts were tight but the impact gun took them off quickly.
Nope. Not gonna say no to that!
We had a long weekend in Florida after saving some puppies, so I didn't order any parts for the Cobra. I figured I didn't want them getting delivered while we were out of town. So now that we're home, I ordered a few things from Summit Racing:
- Ford Performance 3.73 gear set (replacing the old no-name gear set that was in it)
- Ford Performance 8.8 rebuild kit
- Ford Performance upgraded Traction-Lok rebuild kit including the carbon fiber clutch plates
- Ford Performance friction modifier
In the end, I bought this car for the 3.73 rear end, and it turns out there was no benefit. The gears themselves I won't trust. The rear end was obviously put together wrong and needed to get gone through. And since the whole car has evidence of being done wrong, well, just going to rebuild the whole thing and plan on not touching it after that. As @jesse said before, it's going to be a new car, putting in stuff that's not new or essentially new/rebuilt is just something I have a hard time with, especially seeing the various issues with what I've torn apart.
My wife leaves for her next round at work tomorrow, back in a week. My hope over the upcoming week is that I'm able to rebuild the rear end fully and install it in the Cobra with the required modifications. That would then get me to "roller" status even though the reality is I'm not going to bolt on wheels and tires to roll/drive it around until I get to the go kart phase. I see no real point in rolling it around unless I have a reason to - just rolling it for the sake of rolling it doesn't do anything for me. Still, that would be a nice milestone. We'll see by that point where I am with other engine parts and see what I work on next. Probably brake lines and/or fuel system.
I'm very impressed with the amount of progress you've been able to make on this, especially considering all the other commitments you have. It may not feel like that to you, but from the outside looking in, I think you should be very pleased at what you've gotten done so far.
Ted. that picture is really cute!
in about 14 years she will be "Daddy I reeeely want to take the Cobra to the dance tonight! Pleeeeeeeeze?" Be prepared!
I really appreciate that. Overall I feel like my progress on the car has been pretty good given everything else I'm doing as well. I've also tried to keep all goals relating to this as "soft goals" since the whole point has been to keep it as a fun family build that the kids remain involved in and it shouldn't be taking away from other activities that we want and need to do.
One thing that I have enjoyed about this kit as that every time I've gone out to the garage I've felt like I've made progress on it. I've had a few one step forward/two steps back periods, but overall not many and I continue to be more pleased with what I think the end product will be as the project moves along. I'm enjoying it enough that I already know I want to build another car after this one is done, although not immediately.
As I said a page or two ago, I would like to be able to drive the car to Ford v Ferrari on opening night. Even better would be if I could drive my son to his first day of school in August. I suppose I feel like that's unlikely, but it's not unattainable to be in the go-kart phase by then.
All three of the kids have been into working on the Cobra, which I've loved. But that girl, she's a firecracker. Her motto is "I'm full speed!" and is she ever. Won't surprise me a bit if she starts racing.
Did you ever hear back about the status of whether your 302 was rebuild-able?
Not yet. When I dropped the block off he said it would be several weeks before he could get to it. I dropped the heads off about a week and a half ago at a different shop (one that specializes in cylinder heads specifically) and I'm expecting that they get done this week. Once I get them back then I'm going to call the machine shop up and see if he's made any progress on the block. If not, I think I'll probably call up ATK and start talking to them about building a short block for me and what the lead time is for it. If you look at it from a high level (and not necessarily in order), I've got the following items to do before I'm going to be ready to build and install the engine:
1) Rebuild and install the rear axle
2) Install the fuel tank
3) Install the pedal box, power brake booster, and master cylinder
4) Run the fuel and brake lines/bleed the brakes
5) Do some level of work on the electrical system
There's some ancillary bits with all of those, but the reality is needing a short block next month is not at all outside of the realm of possibility. What I don't want to have happen is be unable to work on the thing because I'm out of parts. There's a danger of that which has me thinking it might be time to call up at ATK anyway.
Haven't been here in awhile, you've made progress! The TKO swap was a good plan. I run TKO's in both of my racecars, no problems with shifting at all. They rev to 6500 on the track. One is a 500, the other a 600. Mine have the .82 5th gear for the track; the cobra has a T5Z with the .68 OD and 373 (I think) rear gears. I run manual brakes in the cobra and one racecar and like them, but I have to caution my wife about them when she drives it. No power steering but I bought a PS rack but haven't installed it. Are you going with fox width or SNwidth axles? 28 or 31 spline? If you're interested in a locking diff for cheap let me know. You're probably not but I've got one. Will watch with interest your engine decisions... as someone that's broken stock blocks gotta say I'm a fan of the 4bolt aftermarket blocks. When the block goes you lose expensive cranks, cams, rods, pistons, sometimes heads, plus hours of labor to swap, etc. If it's a street cruiser like my cobra, stock block is fine. If you're gonna rev it or track it I'd look for a good used aftermarket block.
Welcome back, Ed! Yeah, I've been busy.
The fact that my wife is going to drive the car is part of why I'm doing power brakes and power steering. If it were strictly a me car I would probably forego them, but I do want for her to drive it and enjoy driving it.
Regarding the rear axle, I'm going with 28 spline axles and Fox width with Cobra disc brakes in the rear. The axles I bought are upgraded strength vs. new and the guy who sells the kits said that in 20 years of selling them, he's never seen his 28 spline axles break on a Cobra regardless of engine. So I figure that's good enough. I appreciate the offer for a cheap locking diff but I'm sticking with limited slip and ordered the Ford Performance high performance rebuild for the limited slip, should be here Wednesday.
Something I realized I forgot to mention earlier was some extra info on the heads. The shop said that the valves weren't holding well so they're doing a 3-angle valve job. I'm also wondering if there are some bent valves given the bent pushrods that were found when I tore that engine apart. I'm hoping that the heads are done by the end of this week, if not next. I imagine the engine will start coming together after that.
I would love to do an aftermarket 4-bolt block, and if I did I would make some different decisions with respect to the engine in many ways. However given the cost associated with that, I'm just going to work with a stock block and aim for around 400 HP which will be plenty.
Once I have the heads back, I think the rest of the engine will come together pretty quickly.
Tonight I managed to get some time in the garage and I decided to finish disassembling the differential in preparation of parts arriving tomorrow to put the rear end back together. On my lunch break I picked up the 75W-140. The oil I bought already has the limited slip friction modifier in it, although as part of my order I ordered a couple bottles worth. I hadn't yet gotten the bearings off of the differential. One side came off easily, but the other side took some more persuasion to get off. Fortunately, some of the leftover bearings and bits from the T5 helped get everything lined up and get the bearings off.
Then I got the spider gears pulled out and looked at the clutches and plates. This definitely is an older setup and low performance, not having the carbon fiber plates that I ordered (which are considered "high performance"). Also interestingly, it had what appears to be the older style traction lock setup pattern of plate - steel - steel - plate - steel - steel - plate and the shim in there too. Maybe someone who knows Fords better than me can say, but I'm guessing this was a factory setup that hadn't been touched since new (wouldn't surprise me). From what I've read (and I'd appreciate input from those who know better), it seems like there are better clutch pack arrangement options for improved grip. Either way, once again rebuilding it is the right thing to do if it's all original. If I can get in the garage tomorrow evening, I think I'll start putting the rear end back together.
Oh, and note that an old crankshaft makes a good metal base for a magnetic drop light in lieu of a proper light for the bench area (need to get one of those).