Wagons Ho!

Hit the road yesterday with the trailer and Boss427 body in tow.

Made it to Whitby’s and back in 1 day… 14 hours and 670 miles. And at 10.2 mpg, that means we sucked up about 65 gallons of gas. Whew. Hello hydrocarbons.

I was impressed with Jeff at Whitby’s. He took the time to show me around, talk to me about my car, made me feel good that I was going to like what I got back. We spoke about options and details and he was patient and listened to everything I had to say.

This is just 1 room at Whitby’s. There’s 8 Factory 5 Roadsters and a ’33 in this pic. Thats my #9042 in the lower right. Cant wait to see what it looks like in another 6 months…

Road Trip!!

Tomorrow, I leave with the Boss body, hood, trunk and doors for Whitby Motorcars in Greensboro, NC.  If you click on the Customers button, there’s about 5 pages of cars that they’ve done in many different stages. They will go from the simplest small job to body work, paint & return to complete builds of Factory 5’s.

Whitby’s is going to have the body for a while. If they send me pics, I will certainly post them up here. In the meantime, say bye-bye….

Uber thanks to my old friend Bo for helping me get the body buck and the body into the trailer, and to another awesome friend Chip for the loan of the trailer. I couldn’t do this without you guys.

[edit]: So yes, I’m farming out the bodywork and paint. I’m a very good mechanic, but that doesn’t mean I can do anything. I know my limitations, Without the knowledge and experience, there’s no way I would have the patience to do this work. I’ve been told these bodies need at least 80 hours of work to be ready for paint, and I would end up with something crooked with lots of fisheyes and sanding marks. I know when to pay the pros. 😉

Peace-Out.

Working the hinges….

Started assembling my hood and trunk hinges today. The Roadster has an unusual hood hinge in that it’s a 4 link arrangement, allowing the hood to lift and then tuck in, to prevent the front edge from digging into the body.

Once I started putting all the pieces together (I had all the steel powdercoated last year), something struck me as not so cool.  There’s lots of side-to-side and front-to-rear alignment adjustment, but then there’s these wavy washers designed to go in between the bolted hinge points. When everything is bolted down tight on the shouldered bolts, it has a lot of flex and slop in the hinge assembly.

I may be proven wrong when everything gets assembled, but I didn’t like this. I also didn’t like that the wave washer is right up against my powdercoat, which could wear over time and then the steel starts rusting.

The copper-looking thing in the middle is an oilite bushing installed in the hinge arm.

If I removed the wave washers, with the nut tightened down to the shoulder bolt, that left a ton of room and made things even worse. Off to ACE Hardware for some washers. The idea is to use washers to take up the space so that the nut is tightening on the last washer and clamping everything together.

Here’s a comparison of what I did. The bottom assembly is with the wave washer and the top is without, but with a washer added to eat up the space. This worked wonderfully. I am able to use the nylock nut to fully tighten the hinge (tightening on the bolt threads and not on the shoulder), then back it off about 1/16 turn so that the assembly moves smoothly but with little to no slop.

Here’s the hinge installed and ready for the hood. The top bracket gets riveted to the hood. The 2 carriage bolts at the bottom are adjustable for side-side and fore-aft. There’s another pair of carriage bolts underneath to adjust height. In the background you can see the drivers side hinge laying flat.

Another update this evening as I’m on vacation and getting some work done… as well as a big update coming soon.

Headlights

I am on vacation later in January, so im taking the opportunity to move the Boss 427 body, doors, trunk lid, hood and hood scoop down to Whitby’s Motorcars down in Greensboro, NC. They are a premier Factory 5 body and paint facility. They also provide any level of assembly or finishing that you need. I will be getting all body work and paint done by them. I know it takes a lot of work, and I don’t have the patience nor the skill or experience for the level that I want on this car. A man has to know his limitations…

To prep for taking the body down south, I need to do a few things, one of which is to premount the exterior lights. I started with the headlights.

Time for more mods, right? Since the car is going complete LED lighting, I chose Watson’s Streetworx 7″ LED headlight system. This will replace the sealed beam halogen as supplied by Factory 5.

As I was putting these together, I was confounded by these little clips that hold the lamp to the adjustment ring. I assembled it as it should be with the screws and clips secure but not clamped down.

Next day when I got up, 2 of the clips had broken. Just from sitting overnight on the table. Can’t imagine what would have happened when installed in a rumpity rump car.

Since the LED kit uses a lens housing and a replaceable H4 style lamp, after much thinking and posting on the forum, I decided to glue / seal the lens housing to the adjustment ring. I would then make some small tabs out of aluminum and use standard #6 hardware to attach it all together.

 

Another item is that my new LEDs have 3 parts, all hardwired together. The LED unit, an LED driver and a plug. My plan was to mount the driver outside the bucket for cooling, but I’d have to drill about a 2″ hole to fit it through the bucket. Instead, I cut a slit from the lip of the bucket to where I drilled a 1/2″ hole for the wore and grommet. This way I was able to slip the wire through the slit, work the grommet into place and secure the slit. Now the lamp is inside while the driver is outside.

I will post up some.more pics when the units are assembled and on the car.

 

Continue reading “Headlights”

Overflow tank

In the forums, it’s been discovered that the coolant overflow tank is too small for almost any engine larger than a 302. Since mine is significantly larger… More mods!!

I bought a Canton tank from Summit that looked like it would fit well. There’s not much space left in the engine compartment, so I decided to mount it to the front X member. Since the mounts would never line up, I made an aluminum plate to secure to the X member with 2″ Adel clamps. Then I would bolt the coolant overflow tank to the plate.

This worked well. It left enough room to get the hoses to the fittings and fits right between the battery box and the power steering.

Locked it in place, ran the hose from the pressure cap and an overflow hose to the ground and filled it up. I’ll be running it to check a few things one weekend soon… This will be one of the things to check.

Getting pretty busy in the engine compartment….

Steering wheel

In the few times I’ve been sitting in the car, I’ve confirmed exactly what I always suspected…. It’s beyond small. Im a pretty big guy, so to help, I decided to install a quick release steering wheel.

I don’t have a lot of pics. It involved buying a kit from Breeze Automotive (Mark makes so many wonderful parts for this car). It requires welding a spline to the end of the steering shaft and them modifying the wheel mount.

The wheel mount is a beautiful piece of billet aluminum that Mark has custom made for us. It bolts to the QD on one side and the steering wheel on the other. To make sure it mounts to your wheel, you get to drill and tap it. 😁

Once installed, the wheel is secure with a bit of looseness. Im happy with bit for giving me increased access as well as a small level of additional security. I will update this post with another pic or two when able.

More seat work

You know I got the seat heaters installed, but at this point the heater wires were just hanging out of the side belt holes. More work to do.

I drilled a 1″ hole in the back inner corner of the seat for the wiring to come out. Had to get special grommets because of the 1/8″ thickness of the aluminum. I then installed the seat heater switches in the trans tunnel cover and used some Adel clamps to attach the wiring bundle with the relay to the back of the seat.

After this, I was able to get the seat mounts installed, set the seats in place and installed the seat belts. I was finally able to actually sit in my car!!

Since the pic was taken, I used a very sharp, new single edged razor blade to cut the threads and remove the badges from the belts. Looks much better. I am using RCI Platinum series 6 point harnesses, modified to 5 point. I chose to use these over the factory supplied Simpson harnesses simply because of the color and that the RCI’s use a camloc latching system. I like it.

Seats are set in place, belts are bolted in, adjusted and secure and the seat heaters are installed and working. Getting closer to playing go-cart….

Trunk work

Hey everyone,

Sorry for being gone for so long. Not only has the weather prevented me from having much garage time, my desktop computer crashed and it’s been a long process to get it fixed. I still haven’t accomplished that goal, so im trying to post updates from my phone. We’ll see how this goes.

 

One thing I have worked on is carpeting the trunk. Im using a grey almost felt-like material, similar to what you’d see on some speaker boxes. Cutting out pieces, gluing them in and keeping it looking good was a tough process. I would call the end result acceptable… Def not perfect and beautiful.

 

I also finished the area of what I call the glovebox or cubby… The area behind the rear bulkhead, accessible from between the seats.