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Discussion Starter #461
Hey all,

Didn't get the motor out yesterday like I had planned, and now I'm back on a 6 days a week schedule for a bit. It's going to be tight making the car show in August I was planning on... :(

The hood has a 3.5" rise. The custom work on the hood I had done by a guy in the Vancouver, WA area. If anyone wants some custom hood/body work done let me know and I'll get you his name and number. The hood isn't finished yet - it still needs more filling and block sanding - but I think his version of slapping some black paint on it for me looks pretty good.:D

I didn't weld the firewall when the car was apart, and also didn't put in a brace because the new clutch was much lighter than the Spec stage 2 I had behind the V6. With the old clutch it needed a brace badly - you could easily see the firewall flex when you pushed in the clutch, and it wouldn't always fully disengage. I was concerned about the new clutch because the T-Bird master cylinder is different bore/stroke than the 07 Cobra. Once installed I checked and made sure it would fully disengage, but there was always the question of the long term effects after breaking in the clutch and throwout bearing. Once I get the motor out, I will be able to check and see if the firewall is cracked, or if there is something else wrong. I'm hoping that I just boiled the fluid or damaged the hose running to the slave since the line runs close to the header, but time will tell.
 

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Well, the firewall can crack regardless of any abuse. It's a pretty highly stressed area on these cars. My car (auto 1990 SC) has 1 small crack. I stop-drilled it and put sealant on it.

There's nothing else I can do without removing the entire dash, so I will just monitor it for now.

Oh, and I will try to avoid the moon craters in Pennsylvania's highways. :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #463
Just a quick update since life is so busy... so the issue with my clutch was the alignment dowels flying out of the flywheel, and subsequently getting caught between the pressure plate and the bell housing - as is evident by the three bulges in the bellhousing. I think it stretched two of the pressure plate bolts (because they were slightly loose) and destroyed the pilot bearing somewhere in the process. If the two bolts worked loose and were the initiating event, I would expect only the alignment dowel between the two loose bolts to come out. Anyone seen the alignment dowels fly out without breaking all the bolts???

Mike
 

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If I recall correctly, I cant see how it's possible for the dowels to come out at all. When I put in my clutch the dowels were larger diameter on the side where they went into the flywheel and a bit smaller for the pressure plate to sit on. I dont see how they could come out at all without the pressure platel completely lifting off of the flywheeel. Not unless the pressure plate was so loose that it warped the holes out enouh and let the dowels blow out that way. Either way something seriously went wrong in there.
 

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Mike,

RE: Heat exchanger, and fitment in the bumper. I like your install that seems like the perfect spot to mount the H.E. I hope that my 1997 Bird measures out the same.

Did you ever get the dimensions of the Afco unit written down anywhere? I think they are 26 3/8" lenth, and 8 3/4" height, not sure on the thickness. I'm shopping around for an H/E before I put the Bird under the knife again, it was great to see how well the Lightning H/E fit in your bumper, the Cobra units are wider/longer and would not fit in the same spot. I was able to confirm the LFP version the dual pass H/E is 27"L x 8.5"h x 2 3/4"thick with a bit more fins (and a bit cheaper). Trying to get parts lined up before I dive back in during some vacation time in November.

I may just wait and measure my bumper and be safe.

Hope your beast is running well!
 

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Discussion Starter #466
Teeps,

I never wrote down the dimensions of the AFCO unit. If I have enough of the car apart this winter to access the heat exchanger I'll grab the measurements. Something to note, if your windshield washer reservoir is in the same place as the 95 you will have to relocate it. I ended up using one out of the back of a 93 explorer and mounting it where my ABS unit used to be.

Mike
 

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So what happen with this project i know he finished but what happen with all the bugs?
 

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Discussion Starter #471
Just a little update...

Wow, I really dropped off the face of the earth. I did get the car back together with help and motivation from a friend of mine. Bought a house, moved again, broke the car again, etc. You all know the drill.

So it turns out that the clutch issue was an oversight on my part when I put it together. When I assembled the clutch I saw the Ford torque spec for the 03 Cobra clutch pressure plate bolts was xx ft-lb plus another ¼ turn (or whatever it was). I have no idea why I didn’t clue in immediately that they were torque to yield bolts. So I found something that gave a torque equivalent and torqued the OLD pressure plate bolts from the Cobra to the equivalent torque spec. Sitting in stop and go traffic at 102F the flywheel and pressure plate heated up enough to get a little movement and as I pushed the clutch in and out, worked the alignment dowels out. Needless to say the clutch is back in with ARP bolts. As for the alignment dowels, Ford parts counter said that it should be the stepped pins. The pins that came out of the 03 Cobra I parted out were straight. So I picked up a set of stepped pins and drilled out the holes in the pressure plate to match, leaving a ridge of metal at the top of the hole so that the dowels can’t come out unless the pressure plate is removed. Probably going to be a few disagreements with the wisdom of this ‘fix’ but hopefully no more clutch issues.

While the engine was out we cleaned up the rust on the stainless headers. I’ve since learned that stainless steel is easily contaminated by grinding and other work on mild steel in the vicinity of the stainless. You should also separate your tools (grinding wheels, files, wire brushes, etc.) when working with stainless and mild steel. After cleaning up the rust on the headers we gave them a quick coat with BBQ paint and then wrapped them with header wrap to help protect the wiring harness in the car, since it is pretty close on the driver’s side of the engine compartment. We used the high temp paint on the headers because I was worried about corrosion at the elevated temperatures, and because our rust clean up wouldn’t have removed all the contamination that caused the rust.

The last thing we did before putting the car back together was to drop the fuel tank. I had two issues with the fuel system. One is that the fuel gage only goes up to 3/8 tank level, but seems to work fine once the tank level goes below 3/8. I figured the float was hitting one of the fuel pumps or fuel lines. The other issue was that I put the PPRV from the mustang into the fuel system and it was bleeding off fuel pressure. With the power levels I’m running and the stock 39# injectors I need fuel pressure up around 70-80psi. When we opened the tank we found out that one of the fuel lines had come off the discharge of the pump. Since that line had the PPRV installed in it, the check valve in the PPRV allowed the other fuel pump to supply the engine but would still keep pressure around 39psi. I would guess that the line came off the fuel pump after the dyno run (can’t see 524rwhp on one pump even with the boost-a-pump), but may explain why the car occasionally cut out under WOT. Good thing I didn’t crack any pistons in the process. We pulled the PPRV out and put a 3/8in check valve after each pump. We also pulled one of the evap fittings out of the tank and reached into the tank with a metal rod to check that the float would move full range. A little bending of the float rod and everything looked good.
After getting the car back together and on the road the fuel gage still only goes up to 3/8. I need to look at the sending unit. I surmise that the range on the TBird sending unit is different than the Mustang, so I’ll need to swap to a Mustang sending unit. I also had to drop the fuel tank again because the gasket had slipped out of place when we dropped the sending unit back in so the tank would leak when I filled it up. Dropped the tank again and repositioned the gasket, was good for a fill up and now it’s leaking again. Guess I’ll replace the gasket next time.
Now the car is down with oil in the cooling system. I ordered new orings for the oil cooler and will swap them in tomorrow morning and flush the cooling system, hopefully that will take care of it.

Problems I still need to work on:
-Check hood clearance and see if I can bring the front K-member up to stock height
-Have to look at the springs on the car. They sagged too much and now I’m occasionally rubbing the front tires, and I would like to have enough spring in the back to keep from rubbing back tires when someone is in the back seat. I may go to stock height springs, ¾” drop, or custom spring rate. I’ll also look back at the Mark VIII air spring idea. It sounds like it might be enough to keep me out of trouble for a couple weeks.
-Need to brace up the rear subframe so it can’t move, this should also get rid of most of the wheel hop.
-Fuel gage/fuel tank gasket
-Finish instrument cluster mounting and surround
-Auto headlights don’t work, must have miss wired them. The Ford schematics suck by the way, might have to find a car with auto head lights at the junk yard and trace the wires, or see if someone has an auto headlight system that works and do some voltage checks to compare.
-Have a loss of constant power code, mentioned in an earlier post, from the computer, most likely I missed power to one of the pins on the GEM module when I was doing the wiring.
-Need to re-enforce the hood shock mounting on the hood, make some custom plates to cover the bottom side of the hood where I installed the hood pins, and fab new pieces to weld onto the core support for the hood pins to lock into.
-Need to fix the wiring to the fuel filler door release… not sure where I messed that one up, but will be easy to track down.

I realize that the car will never be done, but once the above list is finished up I’ll probably be putting a lot more miles on the odometer.

Thanks all for the help and support. I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent on this forum. I’ll probably do a video clip of the car sometime and get that posted. Was thinking of taping a walk around, startup and idle, maybe a burnout or two if I can get the rear subframe anchored.:D

Jim, my old phone broke so I lost your number. I'll pm my new number. Give me a call!

Mikey
 

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I'd love to see this car with air ride! Use some custom switches to control the height and you're golden!
 

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Been a few years....any news on this car?
 
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