Build Diary – Factory Five’s MKII Roadster/Cobra – Part 2

By April 26, 2012 Cobra No Comments

I picked up a T-5 from a local Mustang parts guy, and cleaned it up. The T-5 is good to about 330hp or thereabouts, so in a 2,000lb car with 250hp, should work just fine. I also installed a Pro 5.0 billet short shifter. Typically short shifters just make the shift action notchier and more annoying, but I was pretty surprised how well it worked with the stock T-5 shift action.

The elongated shift lever is normal on the classic 427 Cobra’s, to place the shift knob as close to the steering wheel as possible since the engine/transmission sits so far back.

From the start, I decided to go fairly mild on the power as I tuned the chassis and developed the car.

I picked up this engine, which came out of a ’91 Mustang GT Convertible with 110,000 kms. It looks pretty ragged here, but I will work my magic on it!

After some elbow grease way too many hours, this is how the engine turned out! Not bad for a tired old pushrod V8.

I started by stripping the engine down to the short block, cleaning it all out, and stripping off all the old scale, rust, and grime left on from many street miles.

I painted the block with hi-temperature black engine block paint, and all of the other parts with some hi-temp metallic silver paint.

Fel-Pro provided all the gaskets in a handy gasket kit that included just about everything needed.

Engine setup looks pretty badass with the headers installed, although I think I actually have them on backwards in this shot.

The biggest visual difference in the engine bay of the Cobra would be the valve covers. Replacing the stock stamped ones with these nice looking replicas of the original Shelby valve covers.

Here’s with the sidepipes held up to see what they would look like. This is when a car build becomes really exciting, when the go-fast parts start going together.

Since I didn’t go the donor route, I had to pick up a fuel tank from a local junker. I got it home, cleaned it up and painted it. Mounted the new fuel level sender and the fuel pump.

I went with a Ford Racing in-line fuel pump.

One of the great parts that FFR supplies with thier kits is a Moto-Lita steering wheel. Made in the same factory as the originals were. I chose a 14″ diameter versus the 15″ diameter to get more clearance for my knees.

I got a couple replica AC pedals from Whitby Motors, look perfect in the foot box of the Cobra.

I ended up installing the brake bias adjuster here, so it would be reachable through the louvers on the body of the car.

I think I did a pretty damn good job of bending the lines if I do say so myself!

Here you can see the routing of the rear brake lines, nice and tidy.

The front lines turned out pretty well also. The goal was to get them mounted as flush as possible and as far away from the engine and exhaust components as possible.

A good shot of the front suspension fully assembled and the brake lines in place. Earls braided lines bring the brake fluid to the calipers.

You can see the Flaming River universal joint and D shaft that complete the steering linkage from the factory Mustang collapsable steering column.

Check out those meats! On the MKII FFR chassis’, the largest rear tires you could fit were 285′s, so thats what I went with. Up front are 255′s which matched the 285′s pretty well. The wheels are courtesy of PS Engineering and are a 2 peice wheel with welded centers.

Check out the dish!

The wheels retain the 5 lugs but have a cool lug nut cover and screw on spinners like the originals, to retain the pin-drive look of the cars from the 60′s.

Time to mount the engine! Invited a few friends over to help out with this.

We quickly got to work installing the clutch and aligning it. We also had to remove the valve covers and upper intake manifold to get the car onto the hoist.

My buddy Dave came by to help out, wanted to take some pictures of his own. He’s been contemplating an FFR build for awhile now, just need to convince him to pull the trigger!

Pizza was on the menu for the day. I’m getting hungry right now just looking at that.

Another friend of mine, Manu, brought over his engine hoist which was a lot easier than the 5 of us just lifting it by hand!

Car and engine just about ready to meet for the first time.

I’ve got the fuel lines waiting to mate up with the fuel rails.

Next step is to mate the transmission to the engine.

Dave is busy here bolting up the tranny and the bellhousing to the engine.

Just about ready to go in now.

Jesse, Manu, Dave, and myself lowering the engine in and getting the transmission mount lined up. Manu and Jesse working really hard as you can tell.

There it is! Almost looking like a car now, almost.

Anthony was the first to take it for a test drive, brrrmmmmm brrrmmmmmM!!

Check out how much distance there is between the water pump and the front axle line!

Those beautiful headers poking out!

One of the stars of the day was Jesse’s 65 Goat, gorgeous car, sounded better than it looked.

And it looked pretty damn good.

Absolutely classic.

Manu brought his Bronco, big bruiser of a truck thats for sure. It now sees off-road duty down in Arizona.

Ready to do some big smoky burnouts… or just about.

Cooling system, intake, and plug wires all mounted up.

I used a fairly non-standard wrap for the accessory belt. Since I wasn’t running any accessories such as PS or aircon, this was the cleanest and simplest way to run it. Not a lot of wrap around the water pump, but is definitely enough.

Radiator is temporarily mounted so that the body can be temporarily mounted over top.

Harnesses in, gas pedal, and steering wheel. Everything but the wiring and paint then final assembly!

Finishing up the trunk aluminum. It’s almost a shame to cover up nice metal work with carpet!

Jason and Anthony take the car for its first roll… no burnouts just yet.

Jason and I got the roll hoop and trunk lid installed, ready for transport!

At this point, my friend sold the house and I lost custody of the garage, so it was time to move once again. I didn’t have any other garage to move it to, so it sat in my underground parkade where I was living at the time for a year.

- Carl

Leave a Reply