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I spend a bunch of time posting on FFCobra.com.  Here is a list of topics started just for fun, questions answered, or how-to's that I have done over the past year and a half.   The questions or comments are in bold!  I hope this helps! 


This post on ffcobra started it all!

Hi All,

Is anyone running a small block Chevy in a FFR Mark II Cobra (Roadster)?

If so, how did the build go? I know that this can be a hot topic and I am not trolling for a flame job. I am a die hard Chevy guy and have a 380hp 383 on an engine stand ready to go.

I am interested in things like:

How well did the engine fit?
What was needed to be done to the motor mounts?
How did the trans the cross member work out? (I'm planning a Tremec TKO setup for a Chevrolet)
How did the driveshaft work out,
Was the pinion angle with an IRS acceptable?

I have seen a few people that have installed an LS1 and a Ford 460 fits so I am pretty sure that a small block Chevrolet will go in there too.

My philosphy is this...

If you're restoring anything, make it original.
If you're trying to replicate something, make it original.

If you're building your dream, build it any way you want.

Resale value is not a factor.

Any and all helpful replies appreciated...




Can courtesy lights be put in the car and where do you get some cool ones.

I got the idea from Bob Mac and put them in my car. It's one of the coolest things at night!

Basically, I got two small light fixtures from Autozone (about $9 each) and mounted them on the bottom of my 'Mike Everson under dash panel'. There is a switch also mounted on the panel to operate them. To the driver's side of the steering wheel.

I walk up to the car, reach under the dash, and hit the switch. The car interior lights up like a production car!


It had been raining and I decided to take the car out for a Christmas day ride!

Hi all,

Well, it rained like mad on Thursday so most of the salt is gone for the time being. Today, I decided to take the Cobra out for a short drive!

It was 14 degrees out and damn was it cold... But, it's an amazing rush to get in that thing and drive it. I'm all warmed up now and the smile is still here.

Here's a self portrait!



Post about the first drive!

Hey all,

We'll we did a bunch of head scratching today and pretty much decided that we had a bad or upside down thermostat or air in the system. I came home, checked the thermostat and it was in right. I gave it the boil test with the digital thermometer and it opened right on que. We decided that I should put everything back together and fill from the thermostat housing. (Less, I read your post afterwards, GMTA) Anyway, when the engine got full and I tried to put more water in the radiator via the upper hose, it came out the thermostat housing. I put the thermostat back in and we fired it up. There was a little air left but it never got above 185. After fussing with the mixture and timing for awhile as well as letting it burp as much air out as possible, we were ready.

The first tests were back and forth in the driveway to make sure the brakes stopped it. They did. It took a bit of a push but it stops. I can't wait to see what it does with some good Hawk pads. Anyway, everything seemed like a go so I took it around the block with several simulated emergency stops. It tracks dead straight and stops just as well. You can literally almost lock up the wheels without having your hands on the wheel.

All I can say is that as much as you're ready for it, these things are twice as fast as you think they're going to be. It's an absolute rocket.

This one of the best days of my adult life. I am pretty proud of how things turned out. It's back in the garage with no squawks other than the distributor needs to be re-curved so the timing is right on.

Julie took a movie well after the initial testing was done with my digital still camera that turned out pretty well. (It's 50 megs so beware.) And here is a link:


Right now, I don't have a way to make it smaller. If anyone has any ideas on conversion to mpeg or something, let me know.

Pictures: The first one is me, the second, Julie and I, and the third is Al driving, a great friend and the best engine guy I have ever met.

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It's a good day, gentlemen. The beer afterwards tasted very good.

Thanks to everybody for all the help getting me this far.

How I fixed the issue with the door latch mounting on the Mark III

I just did this and it turned out great. I have to say that it took me 4 hours to figure out and an hour to do both sides.

The steps I did things:

1. Don't mount the latch assembly to the door first. It's the last thing that gets done. It won't be anywhere near the little marks that look like they should be used as a guide.

2. I tried to use the stock mounting tab that is welded to the frame but then just decided I couldn't and cut it off.

3. Drilled out two of the four screw holes in the striker bracket larger so that I could use a bolt instead. I think they were 1/4-20 stainless. When the body comes off for paint, I am going to put the bolt through from the other side and use a chrome acorn nut on the inside which is visible.

4. Drilled the 1/8" lower hole for the latch assembly (farthest from the hinge) as low and as far away from the hinge as it will go and still hit the mounting 'boss' that is molded into the door. I screwed the latch assy loosely so that it would pivot.

5. Latch the striker bolt in the latch and put the striker bracket on the striker bolt with no washers.

6. Rotate the whole assembly (it rotates around the one screw that we put into the door) so that the striker bracket is parallel to the 3/4" steel tube it's going to mount to. You're rotating the latch on it's one screw, the striker bolt is latched in the latch, and the striker bracket is slid on the striker bolt.

7. Slide the striker bracket in or out on the striker bolt making sure it's near the center of the tube it's going to bolt to and that you also have threads of the striker bolt visible so that you can put the 'finish nut' on it.

8. Drill two holes through the striker bracket and through the 3/4 tube.

9. Add washers between the bracket and the 3/4 tube to adjust the bracket (and the door) in or out. (note: I also had to grind a small amount of material off the rounded bottom portion of the striker bracket. It contacted the tube making the bracket too 'high' and made the door 'close too deep'

10. Add washers on the striker bolt on both sides of the bracket as needed to adjust it so that it fits into the 'V' and the latch has good action.

11. I needed the FFR supplied spacer plates to space the latch assembly off the door.

12. At this point, the latch assembly should sit flat on the door. Drill the three remaining holes and screw it down.

I'll post pics tonight.

I really hope this helps those that come after me. It took a bunch of time to figure out and very little time to actually do.

The first is the driver's side and the last two are the passenger's side.

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I had some concerns about the three link being close to the rim.  I was right about the rim hitting on sharp left turns.  I took a little material off the bracket shown and all was well.  The shock angle was correct.

Hi All,

I am just finishing up the 3link and have a couple questions for you guys that have done it already.

1. In the first picture below, you'll see a part of the driver's side 3link assembly. The issue is, the panhard bar is not in yet but I know the rear end is too far to the driver's side. It also may be too low.. The area at 'A' is very tight and won't let the axle go toward the center of the car enough to bolt up the other side. Where do these parts sit in relationship to each other when the axle is full down against the limit straps? It seems that the point 'B' should be well above where the end of arrow 'A' is.

2. When bolted up, my shocks aren't vertical as shown in by the red angle of the 2nd picture. Is this correct? I have looked at tons of 3link build pics and can't see that I'm doing anything wrong so it may be OK. Just to be clear, I have two even spacers on the top and the one big spacer on the bottom front and a 1/8 small washer on the bottom back.

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Here was the introduction to the webcam!

Hi all,

I had a webcam lying around that I wasn't using so I decided to mount it on the wall facing the cobra project. It's a 1.3 megapixel and shoots a picture every 30 seconds or so. It runs 24/7 so if you go there and it's dark, that means the garage is shut and the lights are off.

I'm out there almost all the time I'm home.

It's just the picture right now but when I get a second, I'll put a page up with a couple pictures of Julie and I on it as well as a quick cobra project bio. (too busy for a build site but this is pretty cool)

Let me know what you think!


How do you change from four lug to five on an 8.8 rear end?

It's easy. Swap in Ranger or Aerostar axles and buy a couple of Richard Oben's brackets.

You need two driver's side axles from a pre 91 Ranger or any two passenger's side ones from (I'm told any year) Aerostar.

The junk yard got me 50 bucks for the set.

Richards brackets are a bolt in but remember to have them in had when you do the axle swap!


Here are my notes from mounting the driver's side seat.  It slides.

Using the tristates seat rails which are not fancy but very functional, I was able to mount one right side up and one upside down to have the desired effect. They go up an incline of about 7 degrees and will allow both me (5'10") and Julie (4'10") to drive it. The handle is in the middle of the seat, moves (right) toward the tunnel to disengage and it is on the seat side so as you move the seat forward or backwards, the handle is always in the same place with respect to your butt.

I'm sure it's been discussed but I wanted to note for those doing this after me that the seat rails are actually mounted slanted so the seat, when moved forward, moves along the same plane as the transmission tunnel. The seat faces dead nuts forward but actually moves toward the left as it goes forward.

All in all, it worked out very clean.


Thoughts on the Forte's tubular lower control arms:

I have '95 SN95 spindles and Forte's lowers and they work fine. If you have Bilsteins, make sure you read about the spacer issue we have.

With the LCA's though, there's a small spacer that goes on the ball joint bolt so that when you tighten it up, the hole in the ball joint bolt lines up with the slots in the castle nut so the cotter pin slides in.

How long is an FFR Cobra!

Just went out and measured for you.

I get 12' 10" from 'nose to tail'.

I don't have quickjacks on so I measured from the tip of the license plate light to the tip of the nose (which seemed to be the furthest forward point)


Early on, I had a brake squeek.  It was coming from both rear calipers.  It turned out that the pads were getting stuck on the caliper because of my paint that I put on there.  After cleaning and lubing them, all was well!

I just need a quick sanity check on a squeak the Chevycobra has.

When I first started driving, I had a distinct hot brake smell from the rear. It smelled like a dragging E brake had the rear brakes hot. It went away in a couple miles and now, the tires spin fine by hand. (I'm confident that nothing drags at this point)

Now, each time I go out and after a couple stops, I have a persistent squeak. Initially, it was coming from both sides but more prominent on the passenger's side.

Saturday, I swapped the rotor from passenger's to driver's side. Also, I Scotch-Brighted the rotor just in case I glazed it.

The noise seemed to follow the rotor to the driver's side although it doesn't seem nearly as bad. I know now that both sides are squeaking nearly the same level.

It's definitely one squeak per tire rev and it goes away when I depress the brakes.

I assume that I might have warped the rotors but before I have them turned, I my plan is to replace the rear pads with semi-metallic pads.

Also, I know there is no anti-squeak glue on the pads now so I will put some of that stuff on there.

Does this sound like a sound plan? Is there any other suggestions that you guys have?


You don't need the axle limit straps when using my configuration.  FFR said it was true and what do you know, I could take them off!

I just wanted to mention that I took axle limit straps off this weekend because the popular information right now is that if you have Bilsteins, you don't need them.


When I removed them at first, my rear end was allowed to come down so far that the driver's side bottomed out on the Panhard bar triangular bracket before the springs stopped it.

I moved the upper shock mount to the upper set of holes and it was perfect!

The setup is:

Mark III
'88 Tbird Turbocoupe (fox width) with disc brakes
Factory 3 link setup

A major milestone for me and my post talking about it!

Hey guys!

Every now and then you get a day that is one to remember. For me, today was one of those days.

About noon, we loaded the Rollerblades up in the Cobra's trunk and went down to the Erie canal. They have an awesome bike path that goes for miles and miles. There, we skated about 10 miles round trip and returned to people standing around the car wondering what it was. After a few questions answered, we were off.

Next, we stopped at Jul's parents house to water plants, and then over to our friend's house who haven't seen the car on the road yet. Well, both wanted to go for rides! Jamie (him) went first and said he was really impressed by the solid feel and (at least from the passenger's seat), said it felt really balanced. Jamie has a Porsche Boxter so he's into sports type cars. Next, Cherie (her) got in. I started it up and she got this grin on her face. Around the corner and stopped at the stop sign, she says: "Light it up! ...You won't scare me!" I'm still breaking my engine in but I will tell you that we still left really hard! There was definitely a squeal from the right seat!

After the short visit, we went to store to get groceries! (Pic attached)

At home, I threw some steaks on the grill, opened a bottle of Yuengling and then talked with Robert Feddersen where I learned that he got his car running again and it runs great!

Then, with some Phil Collins on the stereo, Jul and I had a great dinner.

Here is a picture of the car with the rollerblades and groceries in it! [Big Grin]


I don't need anything else today...

It was truly a wonderful day to be alive!


What size tires am I using and what would I like next time?

I'm using FFR Bullits and have 245-45-17 Sumitomo HTRZ's. They fit fine but I might get 255-45-17's next time. The only issue with the 245's is that they're 'exactly' the width of the 9" rim. Thus, the tire won't protect the rim at all if I accidentally curb the car.


Information about those that use Forte's front lower control arms and how the spacers interact with the ride height.


No disprespect to Mike but his spacers made some (possibly all) our Mark III's too high in the front. It took us awhile to realize that the spacers made the front end higher than we wanted even with the shock adjustment all the way 'lowered'.

I'm still VERY happy with his lower control arms but I had to remove his spacers. I'm sure he has probably changed the size of the spacers now so give him a call.

I ended up finding the right sized grade 8 washers that fit perfectly and added them until the cone didn't touch the LCA at full droop.

Just did this tonight so it's fresh in my mind.

I'm happy to answer questions about my setup if you have em!


So, how much lube does an empty 8.8 live axle need?

It will take a little over two quarts plus the Friction Modifier. I had to make another run to the store to get a third quart. Of which, I used about 1/3.


Why do I have a battery cutoff switch?

I installed one for two reasons. I like the idea about being about to turn the battery off completely. I was obsessive about my short postitive battery run from the battery to the switch so I know that if the key is with me,

1. There is, for all reasonable purposes, no chance of an electrical fire.

2. It's another layer of theft protection.


Automatics need transmission coolers.  Here is how I mounted mine and the post I did for it.  You can't even see it unless I point the hoses out to you!

Hi All,

Just thought I'd post what I finally came up with regards to the trans cooler and fan controller.

Trans cooler - Hayden 12 x 7 (or something like that) mounted in between the fan and radiator. I made two AL strips and mounted the cooler to them using the zip ties it comes with. That way, nothing protrudes out the front of the radiator.


Fan controller - Autozone adjustable and it's wired so it can control the fan even with the key off. I still have a manual override on the dash just in case I want to turn it on myself.

If you look closely, you can see the capillary tube probe mounted on one of the strips. When the shroud is mounted, the probe is about 1/8" from the fins of the radiator.

The controller is mounted on the outside of the fan shroud over near where my relays are. (In the upper left of this picture:


The controller with it's adjusting screw:


I'm really happy with the way it came out. We'll see how it works in practice!


So, what is your FFR number and where is it located?

This is an interesting topic and one that we've discussed before but most agree (me included) that your Mark III FFR number is the number that is 'engraved' on your car and matches your FFR Certiticate of Origin.

It will be something like mine: FFR1004114RD


How do you wire the hazard lights?

Here's how it's supposed to go. The diodes keep one side from back-feeding though the hazard connection into the other side when you want only right or left turn signal.

I hope this helps!




What gauges am I using?

Here are two pictures of my 5" tach and speedo Autometers for comparison. It's certainly a few hundred dollar option over using the donor...

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The rear Exhaust hangar isn't exactly clear in the manual so I drew this up after I figured out how it goes.



Every now and then, somebody will post the question about if it's worth it to pick your kit up at the factory.  It's totally worth it!  Here is a post with a few pictures about that.

I agree, make the trip!

You can do it easy with a U-haul car hauler also. Here are a couple pictures taken on the day I met the 'ChevyCobra for the first time!

You'll need at least four big ratcheting tie downs. I built the cradle that you see in the pictures. If you need anything while you're there, there is a Home Depot right down the street from the factory!

Jul and I are going to bring the car back there this summer just for fun!

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The famous Minicooper Light install howto that I wrote.  Thanks again to Tony A for being the first.  I was the 2nd!

Hi All,

I just installed my Mini Cooper backup (reverse) light yesterday and if I didn't have to look around for the tiny terminal connectors, it would have been about an hour's job. It's really inexpensive, easy, and looks great!

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures and decided that I would post a 'howto' here just in case those that follow us can use it.

Thanks to Tony A for the initial information!

Stuff you'll need (or want)

- Mini Backup light

- Tiny push on crimp terminals. I think they're used for small car speakers. (I got mine at an auto parts store. Radio Shack and Home Depot didn't carry them that small)

- Dremel with the sanding drum on it.

- Sabre saw

- Drill motor and a large sized bit or a step drill.

- Sharpie (or equivalent marker)

- Silicone

Step 1.

Get a Mini Cooper backup light assembly from a Mini dealership.

The part number is: 63-22-1-477-678

They cost about 10 dollars depending on where you go and are a really nice part. The pricing has to be a mistake as there is no car part ever that was this nice and cost so little.

Step 2.

Prep the light. As you can see in this picture, there are these little 'ribs' on the light that would prevent you from inserting it in the hole you're going to cut in your body.


30 seconds with the Dremel sanding drum and they're gone like in this picture:


You'll also notice that I cut the plug. My original intention was to solder wires onto it but the lugs are chrome so push on terminals had to be used instead. I put a dab of silicone on top of them to keep corrosion down.


Step 3.

Locate your hole. Make sure you don't hit the trunk floor and that you find center. I decided center was the middle between the two lower quickjack mounting bolts. It may not be exactly center when paint is applied and if not, I'll have my painter move the hole. ...but you get the idea.

Step 4.

Set the light, face toward the car and use a Sharpie to trace around the lens, essentially making an oval the shape of the light.

After you've traced the outline, you need to 'freehand' another oval inside the first. Keep in mind that your actual hole has to be smaller than the outside oval on the light. This will keep the light from pushing right through. Instead, it will stop at the 'flange'.

Here is a picture of the two ovals on the car with a sharpie:


Step 5.

Drill a few holes inside that are big enough to get your sabre saw blade into.

Step 6.

Cut the oval with your sabre saw but leave yourself some room. Don't cut right up to the line, you'll sneak up on the actual size with the dremel.

Step 7.

Use your dremel again with the sanding drum to open up the hole. Keep putting the light in the hole and open it up so that it's a snug fit but not too tight. You'll use silicone on the back side to keep it in.

Here's a picture of the hole all finished:


Step 8.

Wire it! I picked up a frame ground right near the light and soldered my reverse light with a piece of shrink wrap.

Step 9.

Push the light all the way to the 'flange' and put a bead of silicone on the backside to keep it in.

Step 10.

Have a beverage of your choice! Like I said, it was really easy and one of the funnest projects of the build so far!

Here's a picture of how it looks finished:


If you have questions or comments, feel free to ask! There are a bunch more pictures of the light assembly on my website at the bottom of the photos section.

Have fun!


Where did I have my Chrome parts done?

This is just a quick note to say that after calling a bunch of places found here and otherwise, my chrome parts are headed out to Mike at Kerr West.

Mike is a really nice guy who, apparently, does great work (so said a few of you), and his pricing is great.

Kerr West Plating
4737 N. 43rd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85031


Where did I mount the fuse box?

Mine worked great here (next to the pedal box on the driver's side):



There was a question about if the stock battery cable that FFR sends will work.

I'm running 10.5:1 with the FFR supplied positive cable and a high torque planetary geared starter with no trouble at all.


Notes on mounting and balancing of tires this big

For 17x10.5" rims, they need special equipment. Also, there are tire mount machines that are 'touchless' and can't mar the rim.

Not just any tirerack.com affiliate can do it. You'll have to call around.

I had my tires road-force balanced on a Hunter 9700 (The best they make)

To mount and balance with hidden stick on weight cost me $155 total (out the door)


Occasionally, someone will post a question about if they should buy a built car or build one themselves.  Here was a reply.

Hi and welcome!

My advice would be to drop by a couple builds going on in socal and offer to help for a few Saturdays. Even if it's passin tools, I'm sure guys would welcome the chance to talk with you about the build and show you some things.

If, after seeing some cars in construction and helping out a little, you decide it's still something you don't 'want' to do, then buy a completed car and have great fun. Maybe you'll build one at some point.

If you think you'd be interested at all in building one and you think the hangup would be skill, build it! There are guys that didn't know how to change their own oil before their kit arrived. Building one of these things is easy with the forum and real live 'cobra-buddies' around to keep you in the center of the road.

I'm almost done and can say for sure that, so far, it's been the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

When people ask where did I get it, I look forward to saying 'I built it!'.

If you would like to talk on the phone about it, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions about my build. Just PM me your phone number.

Hope this helps! 'HTH'!

What front end parts am I using?  (steering and such)

Atsco 6812 18:1 manual rack
breeze polyurethane offset bushings lowing the rack (but I'm told you don't need them with Mark III.)
FR tie rod ends
1995 Sn95 front spindles.

The lower shaft comes standard with the kit from FFR but you have to tell them that you're going to use a manual rack so they can give you the right one.


The best suggestion when building (and then registering)

Make sure that all your paperwork is in order. The registration turmoil varys from state to state but the common thread is:

They want to make sure the major components are not stolen.

In an effort to do that, the burden of proof seems to be on us when registering.


If your state allows you to meet emissions by engine date code, buy a 'seasoned block' with a casting date of 1973 or earlier.

If you buy an engine from a retail store, get a receipt and have them write the serial number on it. Actually look at the engine and make sure that the serial number is the original stamping from the factory without question.

If you buy a donor, make sure it's a 'numbers matching' car and that it has never been stolen in it's life. You can verify this easily via Carfax or your local State Police. If it has been stolen at some point and recovered, it could be completely not worth the trouble.


A ton of people in the past have registered their cars using 'something other than their legit state DMV way'. Tust me, those methods are not available like they used to be. (I'm not getting into the legal or moral discussion here, that's another topic.)

Let's just say that I am lining up my ducks in prep for the NYS registration process and have hit some roadblocks.

If I had planned correctly in the beginning, things would be a little smoother right now. I knew building the car would be a journey and this too will pass (so to speak) but I just wanted to share some learned items.

Which Turbocoupe will give you five lug axles and all the right brake goodies?

1987 or 1988 Thunderbird Turbocoupe. Or, you can buy loaded calipers and new discs from Autozone and Richard's brackets. That way, everything's new. I think the calipers were something like $120 for the set and the discs were about $30 each. They will have to be redrilled if you're running 5 lug.


Here's a post that I did showing how I mounted the stock supplied battery box underneath the trunk floor.  (only the top sticks up)

It's in the back still so it wouldn't be an option if your main goal was to make the cable lines shorter.

In case you're interested though, I used the stock FFR battery box and hangars to mount it flush with the trunk. The only think that sticks up is the cover. Here's a picture with more on my website:

HTH! [Big Grin]

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How do you unload the kit from the trailer.  The body is bolted to the frame.

Lift it right by the body with one guy on each wheelwell on the curved part and if you have two more, one guy on the top of the front air intake and one in the back.

Set it on four jackstands in the garage.


How did I do my brakelines?

I'd run Tristates lines again in a second. Really easy and fit 'fairly' well. There was a little forming involved but it was relatively a non-event.

Well worth my money.

Post regarding the fabrication of the headers.

Hey everybody,

If you were interested in the webcam, today would have been a good day to check. A friend of mine and I built the headers for the ChevyCobra from start to finish and it took all day. They are 4 into 4's for the late model side pipes and I'm really happy with them.

As far as I can tell, there's only putting antifreeze in it, set the timing, and light the fire. (There's probably a few more tiny things but right now, I can't think of any.)

Here are a couple pictures.

 -  -


If you think you have a battery drain, how you would go about proving it.

If you have an 'amp' meter that you're familiar with and a battery cutoff switch, hook the battery up with the switch off and measure current (on the 10amp or more scale) across the terminals of the cuttoff switch. You should have no (or something way less than a 500ma load. The load assumes you have a computer or clock.) If you have neither, there should be no load at all.

If you don't have an ampmeter, I would:

1. Unplug the computer (if there is one)

2. Test for continuity between the positive cable and the negative one. There should be very little (if any) resistance there. Assuming there is none, proceed. If there is, you may have something shorted or loaded (on) that you don't know about. Check everything.

3. Put your battery charger on 2amp or borrow a 2amp power supply and hook the car to it with clip leads. Watch for any spark when you do(even very small). If you see a spark, go back to 2. and check things. If you don't see a spark, go to step 4.

4. Hook up the battery and see what happens. Turn on things one at a time and test.

ALWAYS turn the battery disconnect off unless you're standing right near the car.
(Initially and until you really trust things.)


Here is a post regarding the upper hose.  Keeping in mind that it's a Chevy, everything that goes from the engine to the car is custom.

Each part of building this car is a challenge I win. Sometimes it takes more effort than others but tonight, I had a big win. My upper radiator hose looks completely factory sanitary.

I'm using a Summit Aluminum radiator (Chevy pattern) and the Summit one piece filler with the cast flange (not the Moroso with the bonded sheet metal flange). I'm using the FFR lower hose piece that we get with the kit on the top near the radiator and another bought hose slightly trimmed down on the engine side.

It's all in the engine compartment and doesn't touch anything. The pictures don't really show it but the cap is the highest point in the system and the outlet for the barf-bottle exits right toward the left-F panel where it will be mounted.

Score one for the good guy tonight, I'm proud of it.


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First body test fit!

It finally looks like a car. [Big Grin] After spending all day yesterday with the wiring, I made up some excuses to put the body on today for the first time. It slipped right on.

I'm really excited...

Here are a few pictures.

 -  -  -

We should be making some noise in a few weeks!


Sometimes, you'll find there's a little slop in the steering shaft and it's coming from where the upper DoubleD tube meets the lower steering shaft.  Here are some notes on that.

The double-D shaft has a hole in it. Per the manual, I drilled the corresponding hole in the double-D tube and the shaft fits in the tube with the hole lined up. No problem.

I will run a hardened bolt and nyloc in the hole to hold them both together.

The trouble is, there is a little slop in the wheel and it's at that junction.

It's not much but with the wood wheel, it's about 5 degrees so I'd like to get rid of it.

Tightening the bolt until it pinches the slop away is what I did and it worked great.  After I did that, I took the bolt out and put a new 'unstressed' grade 8 bolt in there.


Where are the engine mounts located on my car?

I have been asked a couple times about the measurements of my engine mounts. I took a couple pictures to give you guys an idea. Keep in mind that these are close but not perfect as your setup may differ from my a little bit.

The first shows the distance between the mounts (both front and back) and also the height of them.


The second picture shows how far back behind the 4 inch round cross member they are.


I hope this helps! If there is anything I can help clarify for you guys that are building or considering a Chevy, let me know! I'm here for you!


What type of engine mounts did I use?

Here is a picture of the engine mounts I used and a link to where I purchased them.


I bought them from www.speedwaymotors.com and they are sort of hard to find on their site. The part number is: 91018031 so if you 'search' the site for that, you'll find them. Here is the description:

Universal Weld-On Motor Mounts
Fit most frames. 1⁄8" steel, 6" long, uses 1⁄2" bolt for engine mount.


Basically, I radiused the bottom 'square part' so that it would fit the 4" round tubing and welded them in. I'm also using normal polyurethane engine mounts for the SBC from Summit.

Here is a short list of things you will have to modify a solution to when installing an SBC into an FFR:

You'll have to fab up something for anywhere the engine touches the rest of the car. That means stuff like:

- engine mounts (grinding and welding involved)
- trans cross-member (mild welding most likely)
- coolant hoses (very easy)
- different radiator (very easy)
- drive shaft (easy because you'll have a custom one made anyway). Just tell the DS maker that you need one from whatever trans you have to a Ford 8.8
- headers (hardest part) Less Steger had luck with slightly modifying a set of Shell Valley headers. A friend and I fabbed up my custom 4 into 4's in one whole Saturday. When we were finished, they were ready to run.

I ordered my Mark III and had FFR not weld on any engine mounts. Then, modified a set of Speedway Motors engine mounts to fit the 4" round tube.


How we built the headers!

I thought about going the flexible tubing pattern route but decided that it wasn't going to be exact enough. Building headers right on the car wasn't bad at all. I did it right with the body on.

Basically, here's what I did:


- Header parts from the guys at Shell Valley including flanges (which I ended up not using), 16 1 3/4" mandrel U bends, and 2" adapters to get from the 1 3/4" pipe to the FFR 4 port flanges. (you can see these adapaters in the pictures below)

- The header flanges I ended up using came from Speedway Motors.

- Set of two FFR 4 port flanges from FFR.

- a 16' (needed only 8') piece of straight tubing from a local steel tubing supply place. Make sure you are dealing with the right sized tubing ID or OD because it's going to make a difference.

The rest is straight forward in description but a little harder in practice (not hard though) Just a lot of hacksawing!

I also borrowed a junk head to put on my work bench to keep the flange straight while we were welding. any time you weld on the header flange side of things, bolt it down to the head to keep it from warping.

1. shim up and mount the side pipes EXACTLY where you want them.
2. Bolt the flanges to the heads.
3. Bolt the 4 port flanges to the side pipes.
4. Cut two pieces of straight tubing to make the straight center two tubes and tack them to the header flange and the 4 port flange.
5. carefully, remove the 'header' from the car and finish welding those two pipes to 'sturdy' things up. Then, make the remaining pipes a 180 degree U bend cut in two to make two 90's. (roughly)
6. Weld up all the seams where exhaust would leak out. (how's that for being general!)
7. You will have to cut a little diamond shaped piece to go in the center of the 4 port side. (You'll see)

Here are some pictures:

 -  -  -


The 'Dave Smith seal of approval'!

I was looking through some pictures recently and found one of Dave and I while I was vacation in Arizona and FFR was there for a spec race at PIR. I drove down for the In-N-Out Burger get together and ended up spending about four hours talking with Dave and a great bunch of guys.

Early in the evening's conversation, the topic of my Chevrolet came up and Dave's reply was:

'Man, that's cool! These are modular cars and we want everybody to put in any engine and drivetrain they want.'


Anyway, it was a great evening and if you ever get some time to spend with Dave, definitely do it. He's a really good guy!


Whitby convertible top installation - things I learned.

Hi all,

Just a couple things I wanted to note for those coming after.

-- Beg, borrow, or steal (or rent right from Whitbys) a 'lift the dot punch'. The one I got was a squeeze kind which sort of looked like a big staple gun. There is another type that looks like a big punch and is meant to be used with a 'backing plate' and a hammer. I'm sure that it saved me at least two hours and much frustration. You position the punch over your mark and squeeze. (instant, perfect hole.)

-- You get black 'lift the dots' with the kit which are perfect for a black top. My top was tan so I bought some polished stainless steel ones from my boat-canvas friend. Tan top + bright snaps = nice look. (my opinion!)

-- You actually can pull the top too tight when gluing the front bows on. (one of my front bows is rotated slightly but won't be noticed by anyone but me)

-- The manual says 53 degrees but I didn't have batteries in my inclinometer. So instead, we just loosened the windshield and moved it so it perfectly matched one of the side curtains that we held up next to it. (while indexing the bottom edge of the side curtain along the door) In summary... To do this, you need no measuring tools at all.

-- I put the side (fore and aft) stringers in while stretching the front because I figured that if I stretched one side more than the other, it might have diagonal wrinkles when I put the stringers in finally. This worked great and I would do it again next time.

-- When installing the little locking latches to the windshield bows, rivit from the inside out.

-- Glue (with something other than contact cement) a small piece of fabric to cover the rivit heads on the front bows themselves. That way, they won't scratch the windshield frame when you install the front bows and pull it down over.

-- Tap the holes into the windshield frame 6/32 and don't go too deep on the one that will eventually hit the 'inner frame'. This will allow the screws to go in perfectly.

-- You will have to trim the 'banding' where it goes around and into the windshield bows on the sides. There's just not enough room inside for a band, fabric, the windshield frame, and another band inside the bow 'channel'.

-- I had to install one extra 'lift a dot' in the 'valley' that is between the rear body top (in front of the trunk) and the rear fenders. The top wouldn't sit down in there with the stock spacing. Next time, I might think a little 'outside the box' with the snap spacing back there and try to evenly space the snaps while making sure one of them landed right in the valley.

-- The manual was as good as everybody says it is.. Trust the dimensions given. They were all perfectly right on.

The top looks great and I am completely happy with it! If it never gets any tighter, that's fine by me because there are virtually no wrinkles at all in it now. I'll add more to this when I remember something that might help.

Here is a post I did that makes an analogy between electricity and water.  I don't claim to be the first to write something like this, I just claim that I didn't read it first.  I hope it helps!

Hey all,

I was thinking about analogies and trying to describe a few electrical concepts. Here is an analogy between water and electricity. I wrote this up and even though it's probably not an original idea or perfect, I hope it helps the guys that are new to electricity understand a few things.

Here we go:

Electricity is very much like water. Forget volts for a little while and just think about water flow, and electricity 'current' or AMPS.

The Supply:

Water: You have a large supply of water at your house and you have things that consume water in the yard (like big sprinklers or a very small water fountain).

Car: You have a supply of current at the battery and you have things that 'consume' current around the car. Examples are big headlights and a little interior light, etc.

Current requirements of things:

Water: Things in the yard need water at different rates (they have different requirements to work right) Your big sprinkler needs a ton of water to squirt water over your whole grass while the tiny fountain just needs a trickle. In order to supply enough water for your sprinkler, you need a large sized hose. Your little water fountain only needs a small hose (like would be on an aquarium) to work.

Car: Headlights need a lot of current, a small interior light needs a little. In order to supply enough current to your headlights, you need a large sized wire. For your little interior light, you only need a small wire. (Wires are measured in 'gauges' and it's the reverse of what you would expect.... smaller ga. number = larger wire. An 8 ga. wire would be larger in diameter than a 20 ga. one)

Wire size continued (not a perfect analogy but works):

Water: If you use a hose that is too small for the requirement, it will burst and leak. When water leaks, it sprays water everywhere.

Car: If you use a wire that is too small, it 'leaks' or heats up. Incindentally, if a wire heats up enough, it will melt it's insulation and catch fire.

It doesn't make economic sense to run large wires (like battery cables) to everything you want to power in the car but instead, you want to run a properly sized wire for the job. There are actually tables to tell you what gauge wire to use for a given length run at for a certain 'current' requirement.

Connection quality:

Water: If you have a poor hose connection, you get leaks.

Car: If you have a poor wire connection at a terminal, you get leaks (heat and possible hot enough to have a fire)


Water: If you try and control a large water draw (like your sprinkler) with a tiny little water valve, the valve can't take the pressure and will leak and spray water everywhere.

Car: If you try and control something large (like your headlights) with a tiny little switch, it will heat up and worst case, catch fire!

Switches have different maximum rating on them. (meaning the current draw they can handle)


Sometimes, you need to control something large but trigger it on or off with something small.

Water: If you want to turn your sprinklers on and off but use a small aquarium hose to do the switch, think of it like a little kid standing out close to your sprinkler with the big on/off valve in his hand. In addition to the big hose connected to his valve, we also have a small aquarium hose running out there too (and it's stuck in his belt and aimed at his face!). you control the aquarium hose water from a little valve back at the house. When you do this, your kid gets hit in the face by a little stream of water. When this happens, he squeezes the big valve and turns your big sprinklers on. It's best when the kid is very close to the sprinkler.

Car: Relays work the same way. They can switch a large current (that lights need) with a little small wire being the 'trigger'. The advantage of this is that you can use a large capacity relay to run headlights and trigger from a delicate little fancy switch on the dash.

Relays are like switches and have a maximum rating that they can handle as well.


Sometimes, we want current to flow one way but not the other.

Water: imagine you had a hose in your above-ground pool connected to the spigot. When you turn the water on, it flows into the pool. If you turn the water off and disconnect the hose from the house, water will siphon back out of the pool onto the ground. It wouldn't do this if you had a one-way valve in there that only allowed water to flow 'into' the pool but not back again when the hose is disconnected from the house.

Car: Sometimes, we need to make sure that current flows one way and not the other. Examples are in the hazard circuit or activating a single turn signal dash indicator light from both left and right signals.

I'm sure there are many more but I can't think of any right now. I hope this helps some a little or stimulates some discussion aimed at helping the electrical beginner guys.


A lot of the Mustang sending units are not working when they get to us.  Here is a tutorial that I wrote up that describes how to fix them.  You really can fix most of them.

I just went out and opened another one that I haven't cleaned yet but as I thought, it looks just like my other two did and it will work great.

I took some pictures!

(sorry for the lack of detail but wanted to get this in quick and I gotta bolt for a Cobra ride to Syracuse!) [Big Grin]

Here's the process:

Here's the sender:


Here is the other side:


They melt this little post down to keep it from falling apart if the clips let go. You must remove the melted plastic so it will go back through the hole in the metal case piece. Diagonal cutters work well.


Then, you will see two L shaped parts of the plastic half on one side and a plastic 'keeper' type spring loaded tab on the other. Once you activate the spring loaded type side release, it will all come apart.

Here's a picture of the captures and you can see the L shaped one on the left and the 'spring loaded type one on the right':


Here it is opened up like a clambshell with the plastic piece just opened up and laid right over so you can see the relationship of the internal parts.

I used the sharp end of a Swiss Army Knife and a piece of sand paper to clean the oxidation off the parts A and B (but not the coil) Don't really wipe the coil with much other than a pencil eraser, it's fragile.


Here's a close up version of both halves:

 -  -

Put it back together in the reverse order!


A few guys recently have asked for the Whitby top instructions.  Jeff's top instructions are top notch but they were in word.  I converted them to a .pdf and as a result, the file size is only 1.4mb.

Click here to download them!

You might have to 'right-click' and 'save as' if you want them downloaded and saved.



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This site was last updated 08/26/07