Archive for December 2012

Something’s Cooking in the Garage, Passenger Footbox Aluminum, Steering Rack – and Some House Décor for Christmas   Leave a comment

It’s been cold in the garage lately (50s-60s), but I wanted to get some more work done on the Coupe. My 302 is scheduled to arrive this month, but I have a lot of work to do before I can install the engine and transmission. This is one of those rare times when I can tell a supplier to take their time.

Back to this weekend’s update: What’s cookin’. When I lived in a small townhouse, I used to make a lot of meals in a Crock Pot, and noticed a few things: First, it was very handy to fill the thing up with various meats and vegetables, turn it on, go away for a few hours and dinner would be ready. Second, the smell was always wonderful. And third, it actually made the house a little warmer.

I decided this third effect of Crock Pot cooking deserved a try in my garage – and it worked. In the morning, I filled the Pot with my universal minestrone recipe and added some leftover spare ribs from the freezer. I call it “Spare Rib Minestrone.” The recipe appears at the end of this entry. It is roughly based on a minestrone recipe from Fat Free, Flavor Full: Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Guide to Losing Weight & Living Longer. And it is pretty tasty. It made the garage a few degrees warmer, too. Here’s a picture. . .

Cooking in the garage - a tasty alternative garage heating method!

Cooking in the garage – a tasty alternative garage heating method!

Halibrand-Style Wheels Arrived

The Factory Five Racing Halibrand-style wheels are BIG and beautiful. Wheels are 17 x 9 in front and 17 x 10.5 in the rear, and feature a spin-off hub. I am still not completely sure what tires will go on these rims, my preliminary choice is a set of Goodrich Sport-Comp 2 or something like that. This may change as I get a little farther along on my build.

kh6wz 004

kh6wz 005

The Steering Rack

I decided to see if I could finish the front end this weekend, especially since a lot of the back-ordered items arrived – I finally have a complete set of parts for my complete kit!

The steering rack is a non-powered unit made for the Mustang. Like many others, the mounting ears were too close together and I had to spread them out by a little over a quarter of an inch. I tried to use my pipe wrench trick, but the tabs are a little small and I wasn’t able to exert enough torque to move them. Doing some research on the Factory Five forums, I kept reading about people using a nut and bolt to spread mounting tabs wider. I finally found a post that included a picture of this, for future reference, it is located here, and I am posting photos and captions on my site as well so it may be easier to find. It’s a pretty neat trick, although no one says anything about the mounting tabs springing or bending back into their original position – you have to “over-bend” the tabs in order to make the part fit.

Here is my version of the mounting tab spreader tool using threaded rod, washers and nuts – I used 1/2-inch all-thread, since the 3/8-inch rod seemed a bit flimsy:

This really didn't work too well, the tool needs another nut to hold it securely.

This really didn’t work too well, the tool needs another nut to hold it securely.

Like this

Like this

kh6wz 003-mounting ear spreader2

In the photo above, the open end wrench is being used to spread the mounting tabs outward. If the mounting tabs need to be smaller/tighter, move the washer and nut to the outside of the tab, and tighten the nut – squeezing the tabs closer together.

For the steering rack, I ran into another problem – that turned out to be a non-problem. As you can see here, after spreading the tabs out, the rack fits between the ears – but the holes on the passenger-side need to be moved about an eighth or a quarter of an inch to the left. After thinking about how long this will take using a rattail file, I took a break and thought about the steering rack. The driver’s side mounting tabs had a slot on one side – how come I am not able to move the rack over towards the driver side of the chassis?

The answer is, of course, yes, the slot is just enough to make the rack fit nicely. I used a punch and a mallet to move the rack into position. Success!

Compare the hole on the left (I used silver marker to show where to enlarge the hole) and the slot on the right. No reaming needed - I used a punch and a mallet to move the steering rack into place.

Compare the hole on the left (I used silver marker to show where to enlarge the hole) and the slot on the right. No reaming needed – I used a punch and a mallet to move the steering rack into place.

So now the tie rod ends have to be connected to the steering arms. But here is another problem – the driver side tie rod is too long – can I just get a hacksaw and cut off about an inch, as shown by the blue tape?

The driver side steering rack tie rod seems too long - but wait - something is amiss. ..

The driver side steering rack tie rod seems too long – but wait – something is amiss. ..

I decided to stop the steering rack installation at this point and get some answers before cutting the tie rod – because, as Norm Abram always said, “Measure twice, cut once.”

I came across the Summit Racing – Factory Five Racing Roadster build today – and there is a nice picture of the steering rack-tie rod connection posted here – this is for a Roadster, but I think the Coupe shares the same configuration. I have to give F5R a call to verify something – in the Roadster build, the steering tie rod to steering arms are upside down compared to my “dry fit” – Do the Coupe tie rods mount the same way? Also, the Summit Racing car has two lock nuts for each tie rod – my kit came with one lock nut for each side. The manual does not show the ends of the steering rack – poor photo-cropping.

Getting the Shaft

I did some test-fitting of the steering shaft – after some head-scratching moments, I figured out that I needed to remove the adapter that came with the lower end of the steering shaft, and replace it with another one, from another box of stuff. The length is just right, I have seen some early posts about the steering shaft being too long.

But I ran into another problem – the shaft does not come through the dashboard in the correct position. It is not as bad as some others I have seen, but still is quite a ways off. I am not sure if I can just cut the dashboard hole bigger to allow the shaft to come through, and patch the spaces or – what. More fiddling is needed.

Floor and Footbox Fitting – Passenger Side

I decided to do some more sheet aluminum work – this time, fitting the passenger side floor and footbox. Using the same technique as the trunk floor, I cut the passenger floor into three pieces. After the cutting, I noticed that I could have done this with only one cut, but the three pieces will be OK. I kept the left side un-cut, since it may be seen when the car is done. (I am not sure if I will apply paint or put carpet on the transmission tunnel area yet.)

At this point, everything is being held in place with Cleco pins. I want to test-fit, trim, drill and de-burr all the aluminum panels first, then apply paint – or powder coat them.

So although I think I did a lot of work on the Coupe this weekend, a lot of it does not seem to show. It still does not look like a car yet.

Cutting the passenger side floor.

Cutting the passenger side floor.

Passenger side footbox - another jigsaw puzzle!

Passenger side footbox – another jigsaw puzzle!

Something is Making Me Go – “Hmmmmmmm”

I noticed and wonder why the passenger-side side body mount area sheet aluminum is different from the driver-side side body mount area aluminum – take a look:

Driver side - side body mount near the footbox. . .

Driver side – side body mount near the footbox. . .

Passenger side - side body mount area, near the footbox - see the difference?

Passenger side – side body mount area, near the footbox – see the difference?

Here’s another look:

Driver's side

Driver’s side

Passenger side. . .

Passenger’s side. . .

This is making me go, Hmmm. Or more like Arrrrrg.

Season’s Greetings

Somewhere during the weekend, I installed my Christmas lights. I decided to cut back this year, because of all the work I am doing on the car. My “Ho Controller” and box of new lights and other parts I bought last year will have to wait until next year. In the meantime, here is a shot of my display. One of my Universal Rules for events is: “Everything you setup must be taken down and put away.” So many people spend hours and days – or even longer – putting up such decorations. My setup: less than 10 minutes to deploy, and even faster to take down!

kh6wz-xmas2012 002

Before I forget – here is the Spare Rib Minestrone recipe:

Spare Rib Minestrone

Yield: 6 servings

1 Large onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, smashed

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cups of chicken stock

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 can pinto beans

1tsp red pepper flakes

6 small red potatoes, diced

1 large zucchini squash

Some leftover spare ribs, with BBQ sauce

Put everything into the Crock Pot, with the leftover ribs on top, surrounded by the vegetables. Put the Pot on High for about 6 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Based on the Primo Minestrone recipe by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, MD in Fat Free, Flavor Full

Advertisements

A Christmas Party, the Lytro Camera and a Coupe Goof   Leave a comment

The San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) had a Christmas party this past weekend, and it was a good break from doing sheet aluminum work. The event seemed smaller this year, several of the usual suspects were not able to make it. There was lots of food to share and gifts to exchange. Happily, regular guests Mel WA6JBD and his better half, Tisza KI6DBR came and brought their usual homemade treats, including Tisza’s famous chocolate truffles, microwave dish cookies and a chocolate sculpture. This year’s sculpture was a 10GHz horn and a section of waveguide. And yes, they really do work at 10GHz. Mel measured the return loss of the horn and waveguide and reports more than 17dB or something like that – pretty respectable for an edible 10GHz antenna.

Here are some pictures of the event. . .

kh6wz 012

Where else but a ham radio Christmas party would one find a 10GHz horn and waveguide made of chocolate – that actually works

Tisza's homemade chocolate truffles - Yum!

Tisza’s homemade chocolate truffles – Yum!

kh6wz 011

kh6wz 021

Gift exchange crowd

Gift exchange crowd

What in the World is That?

After the party wound down, I stayed to get a closer look at Dennis’ new camera. It does not look anything like a camera, but it really shouldn’t because it makes images in a whole new way and enables a whole new way to enjoy still images. I thought it looked more like a kid’s kaleidoscope, rather than a camera.

The camera and lens system optics look very simple. And that is one of the points: You do not need fancy telephoto or macro lens capability. It is done in software.  There are no fancy controls or buttons, only soft pads on the rubberized parts of the case. There is a power switch, a zoom control and a shutter release. An LCD with touch screen is on the back. Here are some pictures of this new gadget.

WHAT is THAT!

WHAT is THAT!

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That's an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right - a tripod adaptor.

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That’s an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right – a tripod adaptor.

As I mentioned on my LinkedIn update, the Lytro camera introduces a paradigm shift in the way we can look at still pictures (pun intended, sorry). At first, I thought this camera simply used some sort of image processing to “fix” images, simple things like contrast and color adjustments and maybe some image manipulation, like PhotoShop. But then Dennis said that you can change focus and “raw image” features, like zooming in – after the image is stored on your computer.

The images are not jpg or other familiar formats – but then – these are not ordinary images, either. You can actually change the depth-of-field – change the point of view of the image.

Watching some of the demos on the Lytros website made me think of scenes from the TV show “CSI:” because you can see an image captured by the camera, and you can actually zoom and move around the various places on the image, and see what else the camera captured.

Visit the Lytro website, pictures and demos and details are worth closer examination. Unfortunately, I don’t have any Lytro images to share – yet.

The Coupe Goof

The day after the party, I went back to work on the Coupe. Something bothered me as I looked at the images and some postings of other builders. The driver’s side footbox and the front, where the pedal box mounts, looked different than mine. And I found another driver side footbox front panel in my box of aluminum parts. I looked at the part number of the “extra” footbox front (15312) on the packing slip, and noticed the description: “Driver Footbox Front Wall, Coupe Wilwood Pedals.”

Argh. Since I have the Complete Kit, it came with a Wilwood pedal box. Part of the confusion is the way Factory Five Racing packed the sheet aluminum – the major parts are held in place on the chassis and are shipped in place. This would be fine for the builders using a donor Mustang pedal box, the “Basic Kit” version.

So, I had to remove the driver side footbox front panel and replace it with the proper one. The good news is that I had all these things in place with Cleco fasteners, not rivets and silicone. And, I used the old panel as a drilling guide for the new panel. Now I have a spare sheet of aluminum I can use for – something. Hatch covers, maybe.

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn't silicone and rivet that panel!

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn’t silicone and rivet that panel!

Disaster averted - the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.

Disaster averted – the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.

Type 65 Coupe Project – Trunk Aluminum   Leave a comment

I planned on doing more front end work this past weekend, including the installation of the steering rack, since I keep kicking that awkwardly long box on the garage floor. Then I wanted to move to the rear suspension, since the CV axles are finally on the way.

But as I thought about doing the work on the rear end, I decided to start drilling and fitting the rear trunk aluminum sheets. I wanted to avoid dropping aluminum and steel debris onto the new suspension and drivetrain components.

I want to drill and fit, not fasten and mount these panels, because they will be painted or powder coated later. This is always a messy and time-consuming task, and in the Coupe, a lot of the panels will be visible. Someone on one of the Factory Five forums said that if you count the number of holes you have to drill, you will lose the will to live. Funny. And true. Here are some pictures of the trunk aluminum.

Over all view of  the Coupe trunk area. I used lots of Clecos on the back seam, because I had to pull the aluminum sheet on the rear panel tight against the floor.

Over all view of the Coupe trunk area. I used lots of Clecos on the back seam, because I had to pull the aluminum sheet on the rear panel tight against the floor.

The blue tape in this area is for a removable hatch to enable access for rear tail lights and the wiring harness. Better do that modification now, rather than later. Other access panels and storage boxes will be installed at various locations in the floor and the sides of the trunk.

The blue tape in this area is for a removable hatch to enable access for rear tail lights and the wiring harness. Better do that modification now, rather than later. Other access panels and storage boxes will be installed at various locations in the floor and the sides of the trunk.

I should draft a construction plan for this project, since I am almost randomly moving through the assembly manual.

My vintage-style Halibrand wheels still have not arrived, and I am missing some brake system fittings. When those parts arrive, I will have all the ingredients for the Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe Complete Kit. The engine and transmission should be done soon, delivery is sometime this month.