After a vacation break, no rx I got back to work. I started with the hood scoop. I cut off the bulk of the excess on the flange, prostate then used the sander and hand sanding to get the flange to the correct size.
After a few more times sanding, remedy I got it to where I wanted. Then I drilled pilot holes for the screws I will use to fasten it to the hood. I then started back on the hood. I had noticed that one of the bracket rivets had come loose, so I was concerned more would come out. After reading on the forum about others also having this problem, I decided to follow some of their next steps. I re-riveted the loose bracket, put all 4 rivets on both sides using longer rivets where I could and then also used body filler to cover over the brackets. This ensures a strong bond of bracket to hood. Then, with Julies help I continued working on hood fit and the gaps. It took many hours and many adjustments and tons of sanding. I also started using the rubbers bumpers instead of cardboard to fix the height, and putting small “blocks” in the gaps whenever I tightened the bracketry. Without the blocks, the hood always shifted when tightened. I also then measured and drilled fastening holes for the hood brackets and hood handles. I attached these, put on the latches, and the latching system was complete for the hood.
During slow periods I also went back and did additional work on all the panels. All of them needed to have the outer edges rounded off and small defects fixed. I also worked on low areas on the doors, trunk lid and body to get the panels to match up more closely. During this work I also drilled some locator holes in the trunk lid and door bracket so that I could use clecos to more easily get the panels back to their correct positions after they have been taken off.
While Patrick was here, I tackled the next steps on the radiator. First I had to drain the anti-freeze from the radiator. Then I had to fit in the lower radiator fill panel to determine the final position on the radiator, which then allowed me to finalize the length and position of the lower radiator hose. I chose to re-route it and got it fastened in place. then I also re-oriented the fill pipe hose for the radiator. I wanted it higher above the radiator, so I moved it closer to the engine and re-fit the hoses as needed. The radiator was then re-filled.
Next we started working on the windshield.
I attached the side support arms, and we then slid them into the slots in the fenders. The arms were several inches too long, so I cut these off to fit. As we tried to get the windshield into position we ran into several issues. I ended up having to widen and lengthen the fender slots, and bend the passenger side arm a bit as I slid it along the chassis mounting bracket. One issue could not be resolved. The driver side support arm could not be put into the correct position at the mounting bracket. It appears that the footbox top is in the way. I will have to address this when I take the body off. I’m thinking (hoping!!) this will end up being an easy fix.
Next I removed the tires to get access behind them. I test fitted up the splash guards, but chose not to drill final fastening points until later. I also re-set the ride height and tightened the set screws to lock the adjustment collars on the shocks into place.
I started working on the fuel filler cap. I marked and drilled the fastening holes. I then fit up all of the lights. Most of the holes in the body had to be enlarged to get the parts to fit.
I also had to cut off some of the taillight cover screws threads. I then tested all of the lights and blinkers. I did have to work on the passenger headlight plug again as one of the pins pulled back again. I will look at that again later to see if I can get it resolved once and for all.
Next I worked on fitting the roll bars. All of the pre-cut openings had to be enlarged to get the bars to slide in more smoothly and align with the receiver tubes and each other. Eventually I got these to fit in place fairly easily.
Next I checked the fit on the side pipes. Surprisingly the driver side J-pipe was in a near perfect position and the side pipe should just bolt up for final install. The passenger side was not quite as good. The J-pipe is not quite as centered on the opening and is much farther away from the body opening. I ended up getting two 1/4″ flange spacers, a tapered spacer to move the exhaust tip in, extra gaskets and longer bolts to accommodate the additional pieces. I also moved the J-pipe a little bit. After all this, I believe I have a pretty good fit.
Next I started the license plate light/holder modification. I followed Jeff Kleiner’s instructions in the forum I had to drill out some rivets, re-locate the mounting stud bracket, re-locate the insulation block and cut the light cover to create room for the license plate.
Without this modification the license plate does not fit above the trunk lid handle. I got the work done and it looks great. I will need to make an aluminum plate bracket when the plate is mounted on, but will get to that later.
I then worked on the windshield wipers. I had seen lots of info in the forum with various recommendations. However, after reading the instructions and figuring out exactly how it all went together, I thought I would use all the supplied parts as shown. That didn’t go so well. Trying to get the correct lengths on the steel tube the wiper cable runs through was way too difficult. Plus I found the rubber hose spacers provided for the wheelboxes were not cut at the proper angle to get a good fit. Even after cutting them, they would not work as needed. So, I chose to use a combination of the metal tubes and plastic hosing for the wiper cable.
This worked very well. I also turned the wheelboxes around for a better fit. Lastly, I got some PVC pipe to use instead of the rubber hose for the spacer that creates the angle for the wheelbox shaft through the body. This worked very well.
At the recommendation of Dave, my body and paint expert, I next measured and added tape to represent the locations of all the stripes on the body. This allowed me to “see” how they looked, if everything fit and whether or not things looked right to the eye. I had three different sets of numbers for the stripes dimensions – two came from the forum and one from my actual measurements on my friend Ed’s Mark IV that was recently completed. I first set things up as per the OnlineCobra.com diagram. These were ok, but I found the stripes were a bit narrow on the hood at the front edges of the hood scoop. So I more or less matched what my friend Ed had, which widened the stripes a bit, and then the scoop fit within the stripes. Overall the visual seemed pretty good.
The stripes also allowed me to place the hood scoop and mark and cut the opening in the hood for the scoop.
So at this point I am in a holding pattern. The body work I can do is done, most of the mechanical work is completed, parts have been fit up, and I have tested the stripes.
Next I will get the car to Dave for the final body work and then move on to primer and painting. There are a few things I will do when the body comes off – fit up the windshield support arm, install carpet and the final aluminum panels, attach the dash extension, and prep for final body install. I hope to get the car to Dave by mid-May.
More photos can be seen in the Gallery.
On May 19th I got the car over to Dave Dante. He wanted to do the initial body work with the body still on the chassis to make sue he got panel-panel edges and contours correct. I did a bit more work on the hood scoop opening and all panel edges, diet but mostly, web it was Dave’s show. He re-filled and sanded and got things smooth. Two weeks later we removed the body so he could start spraying hi-build fillers and primers. I took the chassis home.
While Dave kept working on the body, drugs I did more to start tying up the final steps on the chassis. I cut and soldered smaller gauge wires on the stereo speaker wires, although I may end up removing those.
I spent many hours just cleaning the entire chassis and parts. It was covered with dust from Dave’s work, a necessary but “dirty” evil. I re-worked the brake cylinder access cover panel in the driver footbox to simplify removal with the body on. I also determined where I thought the interference was for the windshield support arm and cut the opening larger on the driver side.
Now I started some work in the cockpit. I trimmed some insulation off the rear cockpit wall to help with the tight fit. I also then measured and cut all the pieces of insulation needed to cover the cockpit. I only glued some in place. I need to finalize the tunnel cover aluminum fit and fastening before the rest are put in permanently. I drilled access holes in the tunnel cover for sear heater and control wiring and installed grommets.
I needed to actually do some driving of the car, so I put in the driver seat belts seat and roll bar. I re-attached the side pipes and then took the chassis over to the local high school parking lot and just drove it around. I barely got past third gear and probably not above 40-45 mph, but I did a lot of hard turning and reasonably strong braking and acceleration. It all worked very well. I did notice one rattle, which I eventually traced to the side pipe bracket under the passenger door opening. I will deal with that at final build. Overall I was very happy with how everything worked.
The next day I contacted Performance Products, the EFI manufacturer, to see if I could get some help with the problems getting the car started. We discussed the details and they had me make some adjustments to the Cold Cranking table, as well as a couple other things. After this was done I turned the engine over and it immediately started and idled beautifully. Hopefully, problem solved!
A couple days later I took it to a service center and had the wheels aligned. This also came out well.
In between I completed the cutting and installation of the trunk carpeting. This looks great. I also took a piece of carpeting to a carpet dealer and had the edge bound. This piece will cover the are of the battery box to hide the access cut-outs. I also later had this piece of carpet embroidered.
Next I began to look into putting on the tunnel cover. While doing this I noticed some greasy residue on the transmission support A-frame. I put the car on jack stands and checked underneath and it appears that transmission fluid is leaking out of the speedometer unit. I checked it and the O-ring looks good and the unit is fastened tight. I will have the investigate this further.
I decided to raise the steering whelk a it. I noticed with the adjustments to make the seat higher to fit over the body the steering wheel seemed a bit low. So I unfastened the pillow block and added some washers to bring it up a bit.
Then I removed the seat and began fitting the tunnel cover. I checked the shifter fit and had to enlarge the opening in that and the shifter fill plate to accommodate the shifter position and movement. I riveted the fill plate on the tunnel and drilled and riveted the tunnel in place. I also riveted the dash extension in place and fastened the support bracket to the firewall. I then put in the final pieces of insulation and began on the cockpit carpeting.
I followed the manual directions for installing the carpet. Some of the pieces fit perfectly, but most required trimming. Obviously, there was a need to trim where I made modifications, specifically the dash extension and the driver footbox punch-out areas. There was also trimming for e-brake, shifter and other areas. I tried to be very cautious when cutting so have spent many hours getting the pieces to fit.
I still have a bit to do with the carpet, and the body is almost finished and ready for the stripe color to be painted. I will post on that later. For more pictures, see the Gallery.