7/30 update

Been pretty busy this week. Got the new switch panel all wired up to a set of Molex connectors and did the same with the dash wiring. This will allow for easy disconnect and maintenance in the future, should a switch fail or a wire break.

I cut a 3″ slot in my dash undertray for the wiring to pass through. I will also use this to run the tail wiring into the trans tunnel, instead of through the firewall as F5 would have you doing. That keeps me to only 2 large holes for wiring in the firewall.

See my previous post about totally screwing up the mechanical throttle. I got some new thick-walled aluminum tubing and redrilled the firewall for the crossbar mounts. I made them as low as they could possibly go, right up against the 2×2 frame that supports the firewall. This allowed me to rotate the bellcranks up and allowed a much better operating angle. It looks better, feels better and fits inside the drivers footbox. Still using the RH/LH threaded balljoints so it’s easy to make adjustments down the road… just loosen the locknuts and turn the tube. I’ll get some panel plugs from Lowes and paint em gray… hoping that will cover the holes enough so nobody notices. If that doesnt work, I’ll put some nice stainless screws in the holes so they appear to do something.  😉

Next is to finish up some loose ends on heater plumbing, fuel line clamps, more bleeding of the rear brakes, service the hydraulic clutch, work on parking brakes… then I’ll get back to the gauges, dash and engine wiring.

Hope everyone is well and once again… thanks for following.

One step forward, six steps back.

Its bound to happen when you’re building your own car. Things go wrong, stuff needs to be changed to accommodate other stuff,  things being installed aren’t done the exact way you’d like.

I did a bunch of research on how to install the Fortes mechanical throttle. Wasn’t a lot of very good info and no directions. Started installing, then a new thread about mechanical throttles came out on the Factory 5 Forum. Realized I made a huge error. I mean the next day I was now reading how I screwed up. I will keep it short… the fail was that I didnt mount the crossbar low enough for the control arm to clear inside the driver footbox. Realized it as I was assembling, so I pointed the control arms down. Angles were a bit odd, but it seemed to be working. Tubes were cut and I had gotten some LH thread balljoints and jam nuts to install so the tubes could be adjusted by turning. Now the throttle is way too notchy coming off idle and those angles that seemed OK are not.

I’ll be taking it all apart, lowering the rod ends in the firewall as low as possible, order a new throttle tube and going at it again. I dont know what I will do with the holes that are already drilled, but I will have to do something. Maybe some of those metal push in panel plugs painted grey to semi-match the powdercoat. Wont look right, but maybe it will look OK.

Decided I hated (and I never use that word lightly) my dash layout. Way too unorganized, too flippant, too slapped together. My OCD was going nuts every time I looked at it. I know I have a lot of switches and stuff, needed to find a good way to organize. Gary Luigi is driving a Coyote Roadster around in gel coat and lives not more than a few miles from me. He asked to come over one day to see what I was doing and we spent a few hours talking cars and stuff. Anyways, he custom made a true carbon fiber center console and dash for his roadster… asked if I wanted the aluminum mold he made up. Also mentioned he had a blank dash. So we did a deal and traded some stuff and I’m back in business. I laid out the switches and knobs in a much better fashion on the console. He had some holes and cutouts in it, so I had to flush patch some and others I was just able to tape over with some 600mph speed tape.

Console will be a lot of work. Virtually every wire will have to be extended down through the Replicaparts undertray I have after cutting a slot in it. I may take the opportunity to run the tail wiring through there into the trans tunnel, removing it from the firewall as designed. Then I’ll use that firewall hole for the engine sensor wiring.

Sat in the stock seat and laid out some cutouts of my gauges on the dash. These are full size outside diameter, not cut guides. I think I like it. At least much more than what I had before…

Since this was taken, I centered up the speedo and small gauges, aligned the ignition switch and horn button and moved the GR (Green Right), GL (Green Left) and BH (Blue Hi beam) led lights to center in front of the driver. Also ordered matching switches for the Haz and Eng Fan (those did have red guards over them, but I’m going with red labels instead). Liking it more and more.

However, not crazy about the footbax fan switches sticking out of the side of the console. I may move the fan switches to the front and then put the seat heat switches on the side. That way there’s not a switch sticking out of the side. Also installed a power port on the rh side that I had not found a place for before.

OK, I like this a lot more. Next few steps are to get the dash, undertray, center console and trans cover all lined up and temp installed. Then remove it all and start extending wiring to the center console. I plan on using Molex connectors for everything so it will all be easily removable in the future.

Thanks for following!!

Fuel and ignition

Just a short update…

Manufactured and installed the last fuel hoses from the engine compartment hardlines to the FiTech fuel injection. All Earls fittings and hoses, all -6AN.

Cut & crimped the ignition wires. I’m using a set of vertical wire looms that I bought through Summit. Came out pretty nice n neat, I think. 😉

Power Steering and Fuel Control

Once I got the radiator installed, I was able to make and run my power steering hoses. They are in and tight, and I dont think they’ll leak, but I’m not crazy about the routing. I may need to get some new fittings, perhaps some more hose and do it over. I just dont like the big loops and it looks like a figure-8. Have to think about this one.

Got some new hardware from the ACE down the street and bolted my FiTech fuel control on the intake manifold. Nothing big there, but it’s lookin pretty cool. I like this system because it’s very self-learning and doesn’t require complicated laptop skills and expensive custom tunes to run well. It does have a small screened interface, but its just to setup some simple parameters for starting and to monitor. Once you start it and start driving, the self-learning and self-tuning take over.

I chose to install a custom footbox fan system. This will consist of a switch and a push-pull cable for each person. The cable will open and close a 3″ butterfly valve and the switch on the dash will control a 3″ marine bilge fan. The fans are ducted with aircraft CEET tubing from the brake cooling inlets in the front end to the footboxes.

Many folks on the forums have said it’s not necessary, but I dont want to have a lot of heat there and have to do this mod later. It didnt cost too much and if I never use it, its no big deal. But I cannot imagine being out on those hot summer Maryland 95° – 100° days and not enjoy some moving air in the footboxes. Note the cables are not installed yet.

Passenger system:

Drivers system:

 

So thats how the Boss 427 sits right now. I’m working on whatever is required to be able to start the engine in about 3 weeks. Gauges, more wiring, fuel lines, etc.

Thanks for staying with me…

Cooling system

Worked on installing the radiator and hoses.

Factory 5 normally has you bolting the upper radiator to the frame, then the lower section is supported after the body goes on. I felt I needed something a little different. Another shopping trip to Breeze and I got upper and lower radiator mounts as well as some very cool upper and lower hoses. Also got a full coverage aluminum fan shroud.

When my brother was in town and we installed the engine a few weeks ago, he also started on the cooling system by mounting the fan to the shroud. That made my work shorter when I mounted the whole thing to the radiator. Then the upper and lower mounts are installed and voila… radiator is in.

Installed the upper and lower hoses. These are just plain cool. They are computer bent and beaded steel tubes, then powdercoated with silver ceramic inside and out. A short length of hose connects at each end.

small successes…

It’s been a while since my last update. A big item I’ve worked on has been the interior lighting. Factory 5 supplies a small 1 foot led strip light. If you want to split it up and use it in several places, you can cut it and solder on some new wires. Soooooo… that plan didnt work. I’m pretty good with soldering, but I could not for the life of me make those cut strip lights work. I had also planned on adding more lights.

So I went to Superbrightleds.com and did some searching. I bought 2 wired mini switches that were rated at 10 amps ($.95 each), 4 of the 6-led pod lights that self stick ($4.95 each) and a 40″ long led strip light that’s sealed ($18). Cool stuff.

Wired up the 2 footwells with 2 of the pods, using the headlight switch courtesy light function to control.

I then ran power wires from the same fuse to the Breeze Glovebox (remember my glovebox is behind the seats with a door in between) and the trunk. I wired in the mini switches with 2 light pods in the glovebox…

and the light strip in the trunk.

I know you can see the reflection of the individual leds in the trunk, but once the carpet goes in, you wont see that anymore.

Took a while to work out the wire routing and make it work, but I’m happy with the end result. It really looks better in person.