Some good steps forward

So the engine I bought has an oil pan that hangs too low. It would hang about 3/4″ below the frame rails… not good for ground clearance. I bought a new pan and pickup from Breeze and worked on installing that this week.

Inside the Boss427. Pure Art.

When I replaced the oil pickup, we had an immediate clearance problem.

The rod for #3 cylinder hits the oil pickup tube. Installed a 1/4″ stack of washers under the bracket and voila!

We now have clearance. If that rod had been allowed to wear a hole in the tube, the oil pump would have been drawing air instead of oil and the engine would have lost oil pressure. This could result in either a major inconvenience… or total engine destruction. Its good now!

Spent the better part of 2 days getting the headers to fit. Some of the bolt holes were not lining up very well at all. A total of 6 (out of 16) bolt holes had to elongated, and this stainless is tough stuff. Finally got the headers on for a good fit. Final install will be after the engine is installed.

Worked on my glove box. This has been a thorn in my side trying to find the right concealed hinges to make this work. I finally decided a stainless piano hinge would not look too bad and could be easily worked into the plan. So got that cut and installed today. Its only temporary until I start doing leather and carpet. It will have some reinforcement to stiffen the door and also a locking latch out of a 70’s era VW bug.

Lastly, some cool stuff showed up today. You’ll see these within the next week or so…

Hope everyone is having a good week!

First color

Ok, really short post. Excited to say I ordered the first item that involves color choice today. Placed an order for the leather that will cover the dash, center console, rear glove box door, shift and brake boots and possibly the rear bulkhead. Purchased from The Leather Hide Store.

Also a tip to the external colors I’m working on. This will be very close to the stripe color, although that paint will be in metallic.

Yowza. Aint that nice?

Short update.

Found a local young man who loves to weld. Bruce from Biggdaddy Steelworks came over to the BOSS427 Garage and welded up my Breeze stainless roll bars for me. They look great, and will be even better when they are all polished up. Didn’t take long, didn’t cost much and he did a great job. Look him up if you need some welding done.

While he was doing that, I couldn’t work on the car so I turned to my left and started assembling some of the components to my engine. Installed the Edelbrock AirGap RPM manifold, Pertronix Ignitor III distributor, Canton billet thermostat housing. Started the test fit on the Gas-N Stainless headers, but that’s going to require a bit of hole stretching.

Back at it tomorrow…

More electrical

This electric work sure does proceed slowly. Or maybe it’s because I only get about 3 hour per day to work on the Boss.  Just dont seem to be getting a lot done.

I replaced all of the running & taillight bulbs with LED’s. I usually use www.superbrightleds for most everything, including the led’s in my garage and house. But I had heard great things about these JDM Astar leds. I checked out some research and they certainly got great reviews, and for about 1/2 the price of the best superbrights. I’m here to say I am not disappointed. Also required changing the turn signal and hazard flashers from the old style mechanical units to new, updated electronic EF32RL’s from Amazon.

LED light test on the workbench

I temp wired all 6 lights on the roadster, hooked up the ignition, headlight and turn signal switches and applied power using a battery charger. All the functions work well and my mods are working great. (PS -> That’s the first time electric power has been applied to The Boss!)

With all this electrical work, I need a place to run the wiring to. Time to temp install some switches. I had already bought a blank dash from Factory 5 so I could design my own. Did some layout work…

Initial dash layout, with a photo bomb by Trinket

…and drilled for my switches. There’s spots for seat heaters, footbox fans, headlights, high beams, fog lights, windshield wipers, keyless ignition, heater fan, turn signals, hazards, eng fan over ride, etc. I temp installed the switches just to have a place to start running wiring to.

switches temp installed

The gauges I have marked out are going to look awesome. A tribute to the original Cobras, but completely modernized and custom. It’s requiring about a month to have them custom made by Speedhut.

The rest of the plan for the dash is to test fit everything, then remove it all and cover it. The dash will have 1/8″ foam covered by light gray leather. This same leather will be used on the center console and the glovebox door in the rear bulkhead, and should be very close in color to the center stripe when the car is painted. I may also get custom inner door panels made… remains to be seen.

Not much else to report. Should have some more parts coming in over the next few days, so maybe I’ll set aside the electrical and work on something else for a bit. Found a local guy to come to my shop and weld my stainless roll bars, I think that will be tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a pic of my helper, trying to hide when I was cranking up the Boston and Led Zeppelin…

My girl Trinket

Till next time, take care of yourselves and your families, and once again… Thanks for reading.

and some little stuff

I actually don’t have pictures for this post.

I’ve begun installing the wiring harness. Not very glorious and lots of small details to take care of. Perhaps I’ll get some pics tomorrow.

A few of the mods I’ve done or are doing. If you’re not into the electric geek stuff, this is a good time to move on. 🙂

The F5 Roadster harness comes ready to also be used in the F5 ’33 Hot Rod. As such, there’s an extra connector in the harness just for the ’33. Instead of tying it back and always having it there, I elected to open up the harness and remove the extra connector.

The next thing I did was to remove some more excess wiring. I’ll be using a GPS-based speedometer, so don’t need the normal speedo wiring that’s used from the transmission. Of course, I removed that.  The fuel injection system I’m using by FiTech controls the fuel pump without a relay. So I also pulled out the wiring that drives the fuel pump relay, leaving the direct fuel pump wires for the FiTech.

The next thing I did was to work on my mods for the exterior lights. The Roadster has 6 parking / tail lights… 2 in front, 4 in the rear. First, the fronts. I do not like turn signals that flash bright/dim/bright/dim. This is a function of the lower wattage parking light and the brighter turn signal. I am incorporating a special type of turn signal switch made by Ron Francis. It’s made to turn off the brake signal on rear lights when the turn signal is activated. I’m just using it to turn off the parking light when the TS is switched on. It will work for all 6 lights. This will make the lights flash on/off/on/off instead of bright/dim.

Now with the 4 tail lights. The stock design is 2 lights on each side, 1 is brake and 1 is turn signal. Not for me! I want all 4 to be brake lights and to have a brake light override when the turn signal is activated. Remember, the dimmer parking light is already over-ridden. So now I’m installing a trailer light controller by Reese Hitches. It takes in the brake signal and the turn signals for each side. When the brake is activated, all 4 lights will be bright. With the brake and a turn signal, the side that is signalling will be on/off/on/off, overriding both the dimmer parking light and the brighter brake light.

Clear as mud?

Oh, and since the rear tag light is tapped of the rear park lights, well, it wouldn’t be good to have my tag light turning off whenever I applied a turn signal. So I ran a new power wire for the tag light back up to the dashboard, where I will tie it in with the headlight switch.

Tomorrow I will run some new wires for interior lighting and perhaps begin to install some electric items for testing… keyless ignition (yes, I’m going pushbutton start) with security system, headlight switch, maybe install some front & rear lights so I can test my wiring mods. This also means it’s time to buy a battery and make some new battery cables.

More tomorrow and perhaps I’ll try to get some pics for ya!

Some big stuff…

So the big news of this past week is that my engine arrived!

It took Me and my friend Chip about an hour to get it uncrated and on the stand…

Few interesting items that make this a non-standard engine, never offered in any car.

front right block casting
front left block casting

It looks like this oil pan is too deep… it will hang about 1.5″ below the frame rails. Dangerous stuff and not something I’m prepared to risk. So this pan will have to go. I’ve already got a line on a new pan that will work well with this car.

My new headers and sidepipes arrived. They are all T-304 stainless made by a company called Gas-N Performance Products. The headers are not polished as it doesn’t maintain very well in the long run.

The sidepieps, however, are polished to a very high standard. Yes, they are beautiful.

Big order!

Took a few big steps this week towards more upcoming work to be done.

I ordered my engine! I showed y’all a link to it before. In case you missed it, it’s a Ford crate engine, a Boss 351 bored and stroked to a 427. It should have around 450hp and 525 ft/lbs of torque, quite a beast for this little lightweight car. I ordered it from Jegs as they had the best price and free shipping.

Jegs contacted me today and said the engine was being shipped… if not today, then tomorrow. Much quicker than I expected. So I jumped on Summit and started ordering all the stuff that needs to be bolted on the engine: intake, fuel injection, gaskets, front drive accessories, clutch… a bunch of stuff. I’ll show you a lot of it as I’m building up the engine.

Ordered my stainless headers and sidepipes from Gas-N today, and will be ordering the TKO600 transmission tomorrow.

The TREMEC TKO-600 5-Speed

Example of the purchased sidepipes (not my car!)

The plan is to spend the next month doing some electrical work and getting the engine ready, then about Memorial Day being able to drop in the engine and transmission. Hopefully Bwana will be here to help.

Next update soon!

It’s been a while…

I guess it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update. My apologies to those that are continuing to follow… and my thanks.

I had to do some traveling for work, but now I’m back to my regular schedule. On the few days I was home, I did manage to get some more work done on The Boss.

Last update, we installed all the trunk metal, the dropped trunk floor and the rear cockpit bulkhead. Now I’ve cut an access hole in that bulkhead and installed a secondary bulkhead as part of a kit by Breeze. The idea is that since my heater will take up all the space behind the passenger side of the dash, I need a compartment of sorts to store things. This kit creates a compartment just behind the seats. The original design is just an open access hole, but I will be making and installing a lockable door on it.

Custom storage access behind the seats

Finished trunk:

Finished truck with dropped floor for a bit more cargo space

Speaking of the heater, I got the holes cut for that and it is installed on the firewall.

Electrical heater mounted on the passenger side firewall

I installed some more Thermo-Tec; the stuff that’s giving me heat and sound insulation.. Also installed the drivers footbox inner wall, leaving the top and outer wall off for now. I still have a lot of work to do in there.

Took my wheels and tires to Absolute Style & Sound in Pasadena, MD for mounting and balancing. They use pneumatic mounting equipment that never touches the face of the wheel and 3D imaging with lasers to do balancing. Got all 4 done and out the door in an afternoon for $125. Not too shabby.

So all 4 wheels and tires are now installed. I just had to roll it out on it’s own feet and let The Boss feel the sunshine. It’s a roller!

Yikes!