Post-Holiday Type 65 Coupe Updates and Visitors to the Garage   2 comments

I am working on several things on the car at the same time. Whenever I get stuck or run into a problem, I move to a different part of the car to build. At some point, things will meet up and progress in a more orderly fashion, but at this stage, nothing is complete.

This Factory Five Racing Coupe project is consuming my life. Even when I am sleeping, I have dreams about the car, the building process or driving the car.

But lately I have been having nightmares about the car….

Front Suspension Re-Do

I managed to install a part on the front suspension upside down and backwards. Of course, like a lot of automotive things, in order to get to that part, a lot of other parts must be removed first. Some parts required a tremendous amount of torque to install. These are parts that should never “fall off” like anything in the front suspension and wheel mounts.

So, one of the chores I had to do was to remove the front wheel bearings and hubs. I tried to remove the mechanical lock nut with my ratchet, but it would not budge. This is a good thing, since this one nut fastens the wheel to the car. Installing these parts required several very hard whacks with my plastic hammer and several Rated R and X words and phrases. I could not help but wonder how those parts would come off if I ever needed to repair or replace them.

Reading the forums made me lose a lot of sleep, since it seems that a lot of fellow builders have had trouble with this part, too. I bought an AC-operated impact wrench and some very large (36mm) impact sockets to remove the hub nuts. As a back-up, I also bought a large 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and a piece of pipe to increase the torque if needed.

I called my friend Larry over for some assistance.

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Surprisingly, the breaker bar made the hub nut come right off. Even more surprising is the condition of the spindle where the wheel and bearing mounts – it still looks brand-new and without any distortions or scratches.

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After purchasing the impact wrench, Larry sent me an e-mail advising me to not use an impact wrench on the front hubs, because this may damage the wheel bearings. I took this advice, and returned the impact wrench. Good thing I did not open the box. . .

Interior (Cockpit) Aluminum Panels

After the problem with building the IFS, I decided to “dry-fit” all parts from now on. This way I can verify everything is correct – or fix things that are wrong – before tightening the parts into place.

I decided to do some more work on the interior sheet aluminum. Compared to some of the other tasks, fitting the aluminum is easy. I made some diagonal cuts along the floor to make the parts fit easier, and to prevent scratching the nearby interior panels. By cutting the single large pieces into multiple smaller pieces, they will drop into place, rather than bend and scrape into place – preserving the painted surfaces.

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The seams and bend directions are hard to see in these pictures, the aluminum sheets do not provide enough contrast. I may use masking tape to show where the parts go and where the seams meet next time. As I said, this is the first attempt to fit the cockpit aluminum. Based on old Factory Five Racing forum posts, it looks like my aluminum panels have been improved somewhat. The only poorly fitting space is this big gap on the driver side, right at the corner of the transmission tunnel.

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I may either trim the mounting tab behind one of the panels, or just install some sort of patch over the top. Overall, though, this Generation 2 Coupe seems to have better-fitting interior panels, so far.

Dashboard

Here is an example of something gone wrong —

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Notice the odd-shaped hole for the steering column? The mounting location for the steering shaft is not straight and parallel along the ladder structure in the driver side footbox and clutch quadrant. As I examined all the parts in this area, I believe the factory did this because of an interference issue with the brake pedal. If the steering column shaft were to run parallel to the ladder structure, it would block the brake pedal actuator. Moving the mount – but not compensating for this on the dashboard panel – makes this problem look worse than it may be.

I used a nibbling tool, a round file and a sanding drum to enlarge the hole for the steering shaft.

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A popular modification to the dashboard is to cut along the bend, making the one long piece dashboard into two long pieces. This enables access to the inside of the dash from the top as well as the front, and will make installing and maintaining dash components such as gauges, air conditioner and plumbing much easier. I will make this cut at the next build session.

I just have to figure out a way to disguise the big and ugly hole in the dashboard. . .

The Racing Seats

I placed the Kirkey high-back racing seats to see how it fits, and although the steering wheel is a bit toward the passenger side, I think it will be all right.

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Clutch Quadrant and Pedal Box

Many Coupe builders owe a lot to a guy named Chris, who has documented his Type 65 Coupe build experience with lots of pictures. (I added a link to his flickr photostream in the Automotive Links section.) The Factory Five Racing assembly manual left an entire section out for us Complete Kit builders. There are no instructions for the Wilwood pedal box and clutch quadrant assembly. Thanks Chris for sharing your images!

Anyway – here are some pictures of my Wilwood pedal box and clutch quadrant. I do not have too many fitment issues here, except for the mounting points to the 3/4-inch tubes – I will have to wedge the mounts at the firewall in order to securely mount the pedal box to the ladder structure. I painted my footbox mounting plate with silver Rust-Oleum BBQ paint. I wanted to do a test to see how the color came out and how durable the finish is. I like the color, it is much better than the raw steel and hopefully will prevent any rust from forming inside the car.

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A Roadster Driver Visits

Rick, a neighbor and Roadster owner, stopped by for a visit. Here are some pictures of his very nice car. Rick did the paint job by himself in his garage – I am very impressed with the way the finish came out – take a look!

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2 responses to “Post-Holiday Type 65 Coupe Updates and Visitors to the Garage

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  1. Hello. Any chance of getting to the Rick “the roadster neighbor”? I’m interested in some details about his paintjob that he did in his garage. Could you please send me his contact mail to ktmsm.zg@gmail.com. Thank you.
    Also, great work! I really enjoy reading and seeing your worklog. Cheers. Tommy

    • You might want to check the Factory Five Racing forums to find Rick. I really don’t know too much about him. Did you go to the HB Cruise-In last month? If you missed it – plan to go next year – it is a great way to see these cars up close, and talk to the owner/builders.

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