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Quote of the Day

Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
- Samuel Johnson


 
This month saw the near completion of all the final details on the car.  We finished the upholstery and also buttoned up many of the final details on the car.  We started the month at the upholstery shop and ended it in a mad thrash to complete all the remaining details.  Will the final parts arrive in time?  Will we be able to finally show the completed car at the Autorama?  Will we walk away with the "Ridler"?  Will we even place in our category?  For the answers to these, and other nail biting questions, be sure to check out next months entry.

2-28-06

Hi All,

Details, details, details....

Bothe Wayne and I are both about to loose it.  The pressure is really starting to get to us.  I can't wait till we are finally on the road.

We are STILL getting the car ready for the Autoramma.  We will be leaving on Wednesday the 1st and returning on Monday the 6th.  We are still awaiting the delivery of the last few small parts (they better get here today) to complete the last few items on our short list.    We will be taking video and photos of the trip to, and at, and from the show.  Check back next week for a complete update.

Hope to see you at the show.

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-23-06

Hi All,

I spent all day yesterday at the upholstery shop.  We got a pretty much everything completed that we needed to, but there are still a few items that need to be addressed.  In the photos below you will see the hood insulators we bought to "cut up" for our hood.  The last picture is the main section preliminarily in place.



Here are the hinge cover plates in place.  We now need to run the rear "hood to cowl" seal and we will be able to check one more thing off the list.



Today we will keep plugging along.  Only 5 more working days to go to the show.  We better pick it up a notch.

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-22-06

Hi All,

The car is over at the upholstery shop.  They are finishing off a couple of details.  Finish covering the speaker pods.  Clearance the switches for the door locks and electric windows for proper fit.  Install the hood insulation.  Trim the bottom of the seats (to cover up the seat mounting brackets).  Shorten the seat belts.  finish the trim at the vent windows.  Etc...

Here are some shots of the speaker pod assembly and installation.  Looks pretty kick ass!



Here is another detail we are trying to finish up.  These are the hinge cover gaskets.  They cover up the hinge recess.  We are going to add a hood / cowl seal that will overlap these items.  When we are finished, the hinge covers and the cowl seal should look like one continuous piece.



Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-16-06

Hi All,

We continue to pick away at all the remaining details. 

Wayne has finished buffing and glazing all the horizontal surfaces.  He now only has the sides to finish up.  He has finished packing the gap around the front window with butyl strip caulk.  The results are just amazing.  You would not think that a little detail like this would make such a big difference, but it does.  While it is an extremely tedious and messy job (remember to ware rubber gloves if you try this at home) it is well worth the effort.  After the gap is packed, you just have to wipe the area down with 330 acrylic solvent (wax and grease remover).  You have to keep wiping the area down over and over and over again until the packing is worked to the desired width and depth.



Below are the seat mounting brackets all painted and ready for installation.  We finally got the repaired seats back from Recaro.  It took forever for them to fix the damage that occurred during shipment.  They really have to work on their customer service.  Today I am finally going to mount the seats and the seat belts.



I have ordered the new warrantee plate and also two plates that I can use as vin plates in the engine bay.  I kind of overlooked this step.  I hope the supplier can get these before the end of the month.  Below is the original warrantee plate from the 65.



Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-9-06

Hi All,

I just thought I would take a moment and look back at where we were a year ago this month.  12 months ago we were getting the final body panel alignment complete, working through the hood design and finalizing the K-member / steering linkage designs.  It is always fun to look back and see just how far the SN65 has come. 



Below you can see the wheels we will be receiving from Forgeline.  They are a 5 spoke design that is similar to the wheel used by Ford on the Cobra.  The front will be 18 x 8.5 and the rear will be 18 x 9.5.  We will be using P245/40/18 on the front and P285/35/18 on the rear.  The OD of the factory tires was 25.66.  The front will now be 25.71 and the rear will be 25.85.  We should have the rims / wheels complete by the end of next week.



Every day we tick off an item or two on the checklist.  Every day we get closer to our goal.  I really don't know how to explain my feelings at this point.  It is a paradox.  I am very excited about completing the project and driving the car and taking it to shows etc...  But I am also sad to see the end coming near.  Coming to the shop every day and working on this car has been a joy.  I am afraid that once it is complete, I will have a giant void that I need to fill.  I guess I can always start another project.....  Hummmmm.....

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-8-06

Hi All,

Yesterday I finished the "B" pillar vent assemblies.  We painted the inside of the chrome pieces the same graphite color we used on the interior instead of the factory correct black. 



We needed to complete this task before we could install the interior.  Installing the interior and getting it to line up properly is a royal pain in the butt.  All the holes for these items were drilled by hand using the pieces for a guide.  This is fins and dandy if they did a good job aligning the trim at the factory.  I think that this car must have been assembled on a Monday, because we had to re-align every trim mounting bracket and re-locate a lot of the mounting holes by as much as 3/8".



Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-7-06

Hi All,

This past weekend we had the glass installed.  It is amazing to me how something so simple can have such a large impact on cars the overall appearance.  Both the front and rear glass went in flawlessly.  We did have a bit of a struggle with one of the molding retaining clips, but a little persistence on Wayne's part and the molding is now properly snapped in place.  We are going to steal an idea form the Corvette designers and pack the outer edge of the molding with a bit of butyl strip caulk.  This will even out any inconsistencies between the molding and the car body.



Wayne is still buffing.  Below we see the passenger side fender sanded and ready to buff.



Following are two shots of the interior.  One is of the polished SN65 name plate/amp vent and the other is of the completed rear shock tower upholstery.  The name plate came out very well.  We sanded it with a progression of finer and finer sandpaper until we worked our way up to 3000.  The result we achieved was similar to polished nickel or even a satin finished black chrome.  When you see the plate in person you will notice that it is very similar to the rest of the colors in the interior.  I think that is because the plate is reflecting all the surrounding interior colors.  I am happy with the shock cover, although I am thinking that it may have been better if we had used the graphite color instead of the dark charcoal.



We just received our packet for the Detroit Autoramma.  We requested a 20 x 20 booth, but the best they could do was a 12 x 24.  This will be just fine.  The car will have unobstructed exposure on three sides.  We now have to order the carpet and build the crowd control stanchions.  We are going to use a dark charcoal carpet (as close to the color of the interior as possible).  The crowd barriers are only going to be about 18" tall.  Just enough to keep the people where they belong, but not tall enough to obstruct the view of the car.  We are also working on some pretty cool mirrors that we will position around the car.  Hopefully we can work out something that will incorporate both the Mustang's running horse design as well as the SN65 logo. 

I look forward to meeting all of you at the show.

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-4-06

Hi All,

Wayne got the grill together the other day and it really makes the car look aggressive.  Even Sandy, the office manager, said it looked mean.  Here is a close-up of the intercooler heat exchanger air intake.  What I notice, when walking around the car, is that you cannot see the intercooler.  The vents are at such an angle that, to see the heat exchanger, you have to squat down really low.  I like the effect.  I am really glad we went this route instead of the Shelby "R" valance,  Or even one of the many variations on that theme that have been built in the past.



Some have questioned if using an 05 steering wheel, instead of the 03, would give the car a more retro look.  I am struggling with this one.  While it just might be more retro, it might not compliment the flowing lines of the dash and door panel the way the 03 does.  The 05 dash is very sharp and angular.  The 03 dash is smooth and flowing. At this point, I am afraid to make any changes like this.  I am thrilled with the overall interior and don't wish to do anything that might alter the way the interior flows and works together.  I guess the only way we will know for sure is to try it and see how it looks.  I will talk to Wayne and have him add it to the "to do" list.  I will let you know now that it will be at the bottom.  Wayne wants to have everything done within the next two weeks, so maybe it is something we can try after that.



Below is a shot of the WW spray nozzle.  I need to wire ty the loose hoses, but overall, it looks pretty clean.



Today, we install the front and rear glass.  Also, the alignment dude is supposed to show up and tune the suspension.  I am looking forward to this.  We can finalize the alignment and study the stance as well as the fit of the tires.  The fellow doing the setup will be able to determine wheel clearance and help us in analyzing and sizing the final rubber we can fit.

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-3-06

Hi All,

We just got the car back from Riggs Brothers.  Man does it look sweet.  The trunk.  The rear shock tower covers.  The custom door panels.  the way the lines all flow together.  It looks like it rolled off the showroom floor this way.  I could not be happier with the results.

I wish I could show you some photos.  I hope you understand.

There are still a few details for them to finish, but these are items that they can finish while we work on all the remaining details we have to accomplish.  The speaker pods need to be covered and we need the gap at the wing window filled.  We also have to attach the switches for the door locks, electric windows to the panels.  Just a little clearance issue to solve and we are done.

Wayne finished the assembly of the front end last night.  We just have to mount the bumper and we are finished.  Here is a close-up of the headlight bucket.  Look at the reflections in the fender.



Wayne is getting nervous.  We only have a couple of weeks left and there is still plenty to do.

Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

2-1-06

Hi All,

The door panels are going to be killer.  Here you can see the John sanding the final contours of the modified pony interior panels.  We have eliminated the outside SS trim and brought the outer contours all the way out to the edge of the panel.  The center of the panel will be filled with a padded insert that will follow the contours of the dash at the front edge.



Below you can see a mock up of the door lock/window switch bezel.  When installed in the door panel, the top surface of the bezel will be slightly lower than the surrounding padded areas.



Catch ya'll l8r

Bob

 


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Recommended suppliers

Ford Racing Performance Parts
For create engines, engine blocks and assembly components, suspension, electrical, etc... Ford racing is always my first choice.  They have the knowledge and expertise to make any project car a success.

DSS Racing
These engine building experts know all the ins and outs of building reliable high performance Ford engines.  If you are in need of a state of the art, high performance Ford engine, built to the highest quality standards, these are your guys.

Bowler Performance Transmissions
If you are looking for a transmission for your project car, look no further than Bowler.  They know the ins and outs of transmissions like no other.  Before making any decision on a trans call Bowler.  You will be happy you did.

HTP Welding
We have been using their welding and plasma equipment in the shop for quite a while.  They are a quality product that we have found them to be rugged and very reliable.  We recommend them highly.  If you are looking for welding equipment for your shop or home check out the line of equipment offered by HTP.

Whipple Superchargers
Quality, durability, performance and style all played a part in choosing Whipple as a supplier.  Those things combined with their customer service and the fact that Ford uses them as a supplier made them the obvious choice for the SN65 project.

MagnaFlow
We chose them as a supplier because of their sound, but we have been blown away by their quality and ease of installation.  If you like the sound as I do, you cannot go wrong with their products.

CenterForce
They are the first name I think of when the topic of clutches come up.  The product we are using on this project is new, so we cannot comment on the quality as of yet, but I have never been disappointed in the past.

Toyo
We were referred to Toyo by a racing friend of ours and are we ever grateful.  We have tried two different versions of the Toyo Proxies and these tires grip like no other tire we have ever used.  I have recommended them to a few friends and they all say the same thing.  These tires are the best they ever mounted to a set of rims.

NPD
They have always been my choice for early mustang restoration parts.  They offer competitive prices, friendly staff and fast delivery.

Riggs Brothers
We have used custom upholstery shops in the past, but none can compare to Riggs Brothers.  The attention to detail and the quality of the work is beyond compare.  If you need upholstery work of any kind (marine, automotive, etc...) and you want it done right call on Riggs Brothers.

Forgeline
When we first realized that the stock 03 Cobra rims were not going to give us the final fit we desired, we scoured the net for alternatives.  Nothing that was available as a "stock" rim was going to solve our particular wheel fitment issues.  When Forgeline heard that we were having troubles, they stepped up with the best possible solution.  Doug is great to work with and their product is exceptional.  If you are looking for a custom set of wheels to solve any type of issue, give them a call.

Speed Inc & Kurgan Motor Sports
The fellows at Speed Inc really helped us out when we were in a pinch.  We needed dyno time and they bent over backwards to help us out.  On top of that, the tune on the car is fantastic.  Bob Kurgan did the tune and I really could not ask for more.  Excellent attention to detail and they work hard to achieve your personal goals.  If you are in the Chicago area and need your late model Stang tuned, these are the guys to go to.

The Color Shop
The Color Shop is our major supplier of auto body supplies.  We cannot recommend them highly enough.  If you need it, they have it.  There service and expertise are both exceptional.  If you need auto body supplies, go to The Color Shop.  You will be happy you did. (708) 547 -0855

3M
3M's automotive aftermarket division offers a complete line of products covering frame and body repair, paint preparation and everything in between.  We use all their masking, sanding, plastic repair and paint protection products in our shop.  Quality products at a reasonable price.

PPG
As far as we are concerned, there is only one paint system worth using and that is PPG.  They offer everything from factory correct paint systems to full out custom paint products.  For those looking for something a bit different, look at their "Hot Wheels, Spectraflame and Vibrance" series paints.