Note: All of the small images are linked to full-size images. To view an image in full size, just click on the small image. To return to this page, use your 'Back' button on your browser.
September 1-3, 2000 - Because the battery is mounted under the trunk floor, I purchased a pair of remote battery terminals from Summit Racing and mounted them to the trunk aluminum. I also mounted the Inertia Switch at the lower rear of the trunk, basically in the same relative place as it is found in the donor Mustang. Once the trunk aluminum was in place, I temporarily installed the rollbar and drilled holes for the mounting bolts. It was much easier now than it will be after the body is on!
Finally, I installed the transmission cover (which required 7/8" to be trimmed from the front edge) and the rear cockpit panel. Drill, rivet, drill, rivet, drill, rivet, drill, rivet, drill, rivet...
Here's a picture of the project on September 3rd, the night before the initial fitting of the body...
September 4, 2000 - I installed the rubber gaskets to the frame in places where the body comes in contact. I then removed the rollbar and the exhaust system to make the frame ready to accept the body. At 3:00, Guy Baroni, Nick Fantasia, and Ed Cassidy came over to help put the body on. By 3:30, the body was on and the side pipes were reinstalled. I was very pleased at how well the body lined up with the frame without any adjusting. Also, the side pipes fit pretty well. I'll have to take the car to an exhaust shop to have final adjustments made to make them perfect.
(Sorry about the Jeff Gordon shirt. Guy did not know that his picture was going to be seen on the World Wide Web...)
September 9-10, 2000 - Not much accomplished this weekend. This stage of the project involves putting most everything involving the body on the car so that any and all drilling, grinding, adjusting, etc. that needs to be done gets done before painting the car and risking messing it up. As it turns out, that was a good thing because the rear half of the body did not align properly, and required some "adjusting" to the frame and the body with a grinder. This area will be cleaned up and repaired when the body is back off the frame for painting.
September 16-17, 2000 - This week I continued to fit the various body-related parts. The biggest challenge was getting the hood hinge mechanism modified and working properly. Next came the doors. I was able to adjust the driver's side door without any serious modifications. The passenger's side door would not move in flush with the surrounding body panels, so I removed the hinge and enlarged the mounting holes to allow additional inward movement. Once the doors were installed and adjusted, I got help from my son, Benn, to assist me in putting temporary screws in the door sills while I held them in position to match the top edge of the body at the front and rear of the doors. I then removed the driver's side door and began the finish work necessary on the inner edges. The only major body-related step to be completed prior to painting is the fabrication and installation of the rear deck lid's hidden hinges.
September 19, 2000 - Today I drove the car to Nuzum's Fantastic Finishes Expert Exhaust shop in Fairmont and had the 'J' pipes cut and re-welded to align the side pipes properly. For safety, I drove with two escort vehicles, one in front and one behind. The five mile ride to, and from the shop was uneventful, but exciting. This car certainly generates a ton of interest among those who see it; even in its current unfinished state! Thanks Carl for helping me get to the shop, and thanks Bill for doing a great job on the side pipes!
September 21 - 25, 2000 - Worked on the hidden hinges for the trunklid. First, I filled-in and leveled the deck lid in the area designed for the FFR-type external hinge mounting studs. This allowed the custom mounting plates to fit flush using the West System Epoxy and fiberglass mat. Using the Mustang hood hinges for this purpose requires slight modifications to the mounting holes of the hinges. Then the FFR frame must be notched in two places to allow the hinges to mount. The center section of the frame cross-piece is supported by the new sections that Steve Shaffer welded-on for me back in August. The aluminum panel that supports the body just in front of the trunk opening must be notched for the hinges. Finally, holes are drilled through the FFR frame and the aluminum panel to allow for the bolts that secure the hinges. As an added touch, I painted the hinges Torch Red so that they will match the body. On Sunday, I spent most of the day finishing the fiberglass and filler work on the doors. They are now ready for primer and block sanding.
Many thanks to Steve Shaffer for his help in setting-up the hidden hinges, as well as fabricating the stud mounting brackets for the trunk lid.
September 27, 2000 - Finished the hidden hinges and installed the trunklid.
September 29 - 30, 2000 - With all major body fitting complete, I pulled it back apart and began the process of final preparations for painting. After coating the inside of the hood with West System Epoxy, then sanding it; I painted the underside of the hood and deck lid with torch red paint. I mixed the paint with an additive that produced a 'flat' appearance. Finally, I began filing, grinding, and sanding the hood in the area of the hood scoop opening.
More good news! Russ Thompson sent me email telling me that he has completed and shipped my custom turn signal switch set-up! Now I should have everything I need to complete the dash and wiring while the body is off for painting!
© Wade's Cobra Site. All Rights Reserved. This site is in no way affiliated with Ford, Shelby, or any other companies on this site that own a trademark.