Not much in the way of updates for a long time. So what happened? Well, quite honestly, a mix of ‘Facebook’ and ‘not much’. As Facebook groups took on a more bloggy role, I was posting to those rather than here but feel like I’m missing out on capturing the history of my car. It’s fun to read back some of the older posts here and remind myself of the work that went into building the car as well as seeing how I did something. So I’m resolved to post more here.
The last-ish posts were when I’d painted the car with PlastiDip. I loved that look and got way more compliments than were really deserved given the state of the car – no body work, bare interior. It did look very ‘off the track’ though, which is what was so attractive.
A new found friend living locally is building a Daytona Coupe and when visiting him, I was somewhat humbled that he was doing bodywork when here was I, with 4 seasons of driving, still in a mainly unfinished car.
So, I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and get going. I don’t have the funds to get it professionally done right now, so multiple hours of YouTube videos and forum posts later, I started the strip down.
First off, remove all that PlastiDip. In hindsight I should have added more when I first did it, as it did not want to come off easily. Probably 10 hours of work to strip it off – a combination of rolling it off with my fingers and thumbs and using acetone to dissolve it. The major downside to this was that I wore off my fingerprints which made unlocking my phone really tedious.
Next came the rollbar, something I’d not been looking forward to. It took a great deal of effort to install it and I was fully expecting similar issues getting it off. The problem was largely due to the dropped rear so the holes didn’t quite line up and I hadn’t adjusted them. An hour of tugging, hitting with BFH, pulling, swearing, and contemplation finally gave result.
Next, off with the wheels and start on those mold release seems!
Seats and belts out. Some good cleaning needed here before the sound proofing and carpet can go in!
With 80 grit paper, begin on the gel coat. This not to shape the body but to get it sufficiently roughed up that filler will adhere. I did take the time to get the mold release seems as close to the shape of the body (or more) that I could. This should ease the sanding later.
Currently a little further along than this with most of the body prepared. Some left to do including the hood and trunk lids. But a break for the Christmas period.
I also hooked up our old 65″ plasma TV and soundbar in the garage so that I could have some entertainment while working on the car. What should play first? “Ford vs Ferrari” obviously!
Another ‘skill’ that one picks up when one owns a car with no roof. Not a ‘convertible’ – a ‘roadster’. There just is no roof. So when ‘AccuWeather.com’ says that the chance of rain is 40% there’s some mental risk assessment that goes on. Check the weather radar, check other weather sites.
With the car given a wipe down – the first time I’ve EVER put a bucket and sponge to the car, of course its now 40%. Still looking out the window; maybe I’ll risk it.
… and the living is noisy
Finally the white stuff is gone, although plenty of rain of late. Had the car out a few times, never gets old!
Thinking about ‘Plastidip’ping the entire car in black to hide the seam sanding until the bodywork and paint goes on. Decided to first try out a small section, so taped off the ‘spats’ area – cheaper than the custom stainless ones and probably than using 3M. 30 minutes until the next coat …
… to not be driving the Cobra. So thoughts turn to other tasks.
I’ve been thinking for a while on the interior and carpeting. Having decided I really don’t like the factory supplied carpet the search is on and I think I like a marine carpet from Lowes called ‘Black Ice’. It’s more a charcoal gray than black and has a definite loop weave to it, rather than the typical car ‘mat’ carpet. Hopefully it’ll give the car a little more of a lux feel.
I also decided that I’m not paying someone else to do the edging when we have a perfectly good sewing machine here at home. So I picked up some marine grade vinyl, cut a strip, and had a go. Got to say … looking good!
Picked up a vacuum gauge this week and checked the carb this morning. So easy to do – now I’m really ticked off that I paid someone to do this and they apparently did nothing. Getting a constant 20″ Hg at idle, purring like a kitten (lion cub perhaps more applicable) at only about 450rpm. All it took was to richen her up a little. Took her out for a spin. More responsive, more eager to spin the wheels in low gear. I found myself holding my breath occasionally which is definitely where I want to be. Still work to do; new cam, new heads, but it’s a world of difference already.
Well, that’s pretty much what it felt like when I took her out this morning having adjusted the timing. I never felt that she was running right – started well, idled well, accelerated OK, but just didn’t have the ‘go’ that I expected from a 5.8L V8.
So I ordered a timing light that was compatible with the MSD ignition system, stuck the timing sticker on the harmonic balancer, and went to work.
It was so far out I’m surprised the car even ran. From 10 degrees retarded to 12 degrees advanced – what a difference. It’s like driving a new car! Still want engine work done, but this is a great start.
While wiping the car down in preparation for the Beacon car show tomorrow, I discovered that the driver’s side headlight was loose. A common problem in that the small metal brackets used to hold the lens in place snap. Removed the lens and, sure enough, snapped brackets.
Decided to fix both sides.
I doubled up – made new brackets from a sheet of aluminium and also put a bead of clear silicone around the lens. Should be good for …. ever.
Light back in, prior to reattaching the chrome ring.
When I originally bought my Roadster kit it was to be my 40th birthday present to myself. Now, here I am, 10 years on and just past my 50th birthday. She’s not painted and far from finished, but road legal and have 1,600 miles on her in the last year or so.
Took a ride up to Lime Rock Park – an hour away. Need to go and watch some racing there at some point in the future.
Another car show, this one as local as local could possibly be – GPS said 4 minutes from home. No awards but plenty of interest in the car, many people having their picture taken with it. And no car show is complete without offering at least one young future car nut their chance to get a photo in the driver’s seat.
Parked in between two 2017 Mustangs – a Roush and a 727HP Richard Petty. Nice cars – far more sensible and understated than the monstrosity last weekend!
A free Saturday, so my son and I took the 30 minute drive to Cortland Manor to a convalescent home that was having a fall festival and classic car show.
I wasn’t expecting much – it was mostly an excuse to take the car out. I wasn’t disappointed – all of 12 cars! We parked up next to a 2015 Mustang that was decked out in neon LEDs, every surface airbrushed with skulls, ‘dedications’ to Paul Walker, and boasting of 1000HP. Oh, and don’t forget the lambo doors – always a crowd pleaser. When the crowd consists of 8 year olds.
Not my cup of tea but each to his own.
There was a prize awarded for ‘peoples’ choice’. Apparently we got 3 votes! I wasn’t expecting any – I turn up at these things having not even wiped the dust off the car and all around me people are waxing up and blowing off that final dust dot and errant fingerprint.
Not unsurprisingly, with a large turnout of 8 year old boys, the Mustang won the popular vote. The ensuing conversation from the other entrants with their 1960s cars was nothing short of hilarious – “Excuse me miss – it says this is a classic car show. How is a 2015 Mustang a classic car?”
My British friends will understand the title.
Decided that the air filter not only looked nasty but with the available space above I could probably squeeze in a larger filter. More filter = more air = more power. 🙂