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26  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: April 22, 2017, 05:55:16 PM
Got some polishing done today.  My Dad wet sanded the car during the week down to 2000 grit.  I started polishing with Meguiars M100 and a wool cutting pad, then a foam cutting pad.  After that, I switched to M205 and a foam polishing pad, followed by Menzerna SF3800 and a foam finishing pad.

Here are the loose panels all sanded

And the body

Here is the hood as I'm beginning to polish

I think this is after the 2nd step was completed - it is glossy again, but you can still see scratches around the reflection of the lights

After the 4th step

Here is the full hood

Here is the reflection off the rear deck

And the car as it sits now

I've still got a lot of polishing to do - tops of the other 3 fenders, all vertical surfaces, doors, trunk, top, etc.
27  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: April 19, 2017, 04:49:08 PM
Thanks, guys!  Looking forward to having it all together.
28  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: April 16, 2017, 03:18:14 PM
Scheduling, weather, and a bunch of other stuff came together this weekend and the car is painted!  My Dad did a bunch of prep during the week to get the car ready and I was able to take Friday afternoon off because work was slow.  I needed ~2.5 consecutive days to paint.

Friday afternoon we rolled the car into the paint room, finished cleaning and masking, and then set up a few sawhorses with all the other parts (doors, hood, trunk, top, etc).  Once we cleaned everything like 3 more times, I shot it all in a coat of dark grey sealer.  I then shot the insides of the doors, hood, trunk, and scoop in 2 coats of base, 2 coats of pearl, and 3 coats of clear.  We used PPG Omni for the base and pearl, which is "only" $300/gal.  The clear is PPG Deltron Urethane.

The Omni paint looked good, but not nearly as nice as the test panel we shot using all PPG Deltron products.  The Deltron base and pearl is ~$700/gal.



Saturday morning, my Dad went to the paint shop to buy some Deltron base and pearl and we got ready to spray the rest of the car.  I masked off everything I had just sprayed and we mounted the doors, hood and trunk on the car.  Spraying it all together will help make sure everything matches.

The hood and trunk were mounted so there was a gap around the whole thing, which would let me open/remove them, spray the jambs, then close them without touching the paint I had just sprayed.

You can see all the overspray around the edges of the room.  I've got a massive intake fan pressurizing the room and two small box fans for exhaust, blowing through four 14"x24"x2" pleated HVAC filters with some paint filters in front of them.  The intake fan flows way too much air, but it is really effective at clearing the room out and keeping dust out of the room.  The overspray tends to settle in the dead areas of the room (the edges).  As long as the room is clean to begin with and you don't bring any dust in with you, the setup seems to work okay.  The overspray on the floor stays put...I actually am not sure I'll be able to clean the floor.

Sunday, all I had left to do was spray the clear.  I unmounted the hood, trunk, and doors so I could spray everything without having to open and close the doors and trunk and remove the hood repeatedly.  I sprayed the loose body parts first - 3 coats, then uncovered the body and sprayed it.  This way, I could keep my timing between coats in the optimal window and not worry about getting overspray on the body as I was clearing the other parts.  There's a bunch of overspray on the loose parts, but it'll come off easily when we sand and buff.

BTW, this is what the room looks like when you don't run the intake fan.

Safety first...

And here is the fully painted car.  The pearl looks really cool in different lighting.

I got a few runs in the clear, but overall it went on really nicely.  I was also very worried about striping the pearl, but thankfully didn't have any issues.  Once the clear dries for a couple days, my Dad wet sand the car, then I'll buff it.  It should look awesome.  Once that's done, we're pretty much onto final assembly!
29  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: April 09, 2017, 06:09:45 PM
Alright, we're getting close.  We've spent the last few weekends buttoning up loose ends before mounting the body, hopefully for the last time.

We made some heat shields to protect the fuel filter, and most importantly, our feet!  The aluminum doesn't do a great job keeping the heat out, so we made some cardboard templates, cut them out of stainless steel, polished them, and bent them up.  They're spaced off the aluminum panels ~3/4" to create a good air gap.

Here's the passenger side one covering the fuel filter

And the driver side one protecting the wiring to the wideband O2 sensor

I also cut open the rear wiring loom to run a single wire back for the reverse light.  Once I re-loomed the whole thing and clamped it up to the frame tubes, my Dad installed the aluminum panels in the trunk.

Then we spent most of the day today masking things off and mounting the body.  He's got a bunch more masking and cleaning to do, but if all goes well we should be able to paint it this coming weekend.  There's a chance we have it together by the end of the month!

30  General / Open Forum / Re: Reputable Tire Shop for mounting and balancing on: April 06, 2017, 05:56:23 PM
In the past, I've taken my stuff to Howe Audio on Midlothian Turnpike.  They've got a fancy machine and typically do people's 22"s and whatnot, so are used to low profile tires and not scratching things.  I always call them ahead of time to figure out a time that will work since it's not their primary business.
31  Results / Autocross / Re: March 26 Results on: March 28, 2017, 03:29:53 PM
Any photos from last Sunday? I've been running with VMSC since the early 80's. Such a great bunch of folks and a well run club. Thanks for what you do. Very refreshing and friendly.

See this thread.  2nd post - Claudia took a bunch of photos.

We've got a whole separate section of the site for Pictures and Media from Events.  You can find a bunch of photos from past events, as well.

32  Results / Autocross / Re: 2016 finial points total on: March 23, 2017, 03:33:50 AM
Looks like it was too large to upload.  click here for the points file for 2016.  The "Trophies" tab has the summary.
33  General / Classifieds / Re: Want to rent hubstands and corner weight scales on: March 13, 2017, 04:55:51 PM
Yup, that's it.  I know the previous previous owner, the rollbar that I took out of my car is in that one (or used to be).  I believe he is the one that did the swap, or had the swap done.  If you PM me your contact info, I'll pass it along.
34  General / Classifieds / Re: Want to rent hubstands and corner weight scales on: March 13, 2017, 12:28:00 PM
When I quickly read the truncated title on the list of new topics, I thought it said "Want to rent husbands..."  The actual title makes a lot more sense.

Is your Miata red with a tan top?  If so, I think I know whose car that was.  I have a set of scales, but not a lot of time in the next 3 months (need to get car ready for Power Tour).  If you're willing to use them at my place, I can give you some instruction while you corner weight and align it.
35  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: March 05, 2017, 07:32:11 PM
Well, we're making more progress.  I got the dash and auxiliary fuse panel buttoned up.

Now it's on to bodywork.  I got the Cobra in a coat of sprayable filler (Slicksand) and then moved on to Mindy's M3 for some practice.

Mindy's car is pretty much done now.  Still getting a lot of orange peel - I'm going to try some different techniques and try to paint when it's a bit warmer before painting the Cobra.  I'll put some more Slicksand on the Cobra and let my Dad sand it flat before spraying sealer, then base, pearl, and clear coats.
36  General / Open Forum / Re: Riding with your co-driver? on: March 02, 2017, 09:19:25 PM

at BRR anybody can ride along with anybody at any time. We debated this long and hard a few years ago and where we settled out was that the social / learning benefits far outweighed the competitive concerns. 

Well reasoned and well stated. That would be my vote. Learning can and should take place far past any definition of novice.


Yea the above would be my vote also.

37  General / Open Forum / Re: PCA - First Settlers on: March 01, 2017, 08:41:37 PM
I signed up.
38  General / Open Forum / Re: Riding with your co-driver? on: February 18, 2017, 08:51:47 PM
I think this is one of the best ways to improve - ride with someone, see what they do differently.  Especially in the same car.  I understand the point of view that it can provide an unfair advantage by giving you a view of the course ahead of your runs.  I'm also interested in hearing what others say.
39  General / Technical Help / Re: 2017 street tires on: February 10, 2017, 08:20:45 PM
Too bad there's really nothing in 275/40/17 and 315/35/17 other than the NT01s, NT555Rs, or NT555 G2s.
40  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: February 04, 2017, 09:20:28 PM
Alright, we're getting closer.  The body is fully sanded and off the car, almost ready for primer.

My Dad has been working on the hardtop.  You can see with it test fit, there was quite a gap at the rear.

If we set the rear completely down, the front wouldn't sit on the windshield.  It looks like the top might be designed for an older version of the car, where the windshield sat at a more vertical angle.  We figured the easiest way to deal with it was to cut a slit along the back and add more fiberglass.  We added a layer of fiberglass on the inside, filled the gap with stranded filler and then finished it with regular filler.  It fits much better now.

While my Dad has been working on that, I've been tackling some more wiring and finishing work before the body goes back on and buries everything.  Here's a bunch of the wiring left to's mostly for all the dash switches, turn signals, horn, indicator lights, etc...

I'm also adding another fuse panel and cigarette lighter/USB outlets.  I mounted them on a brace I made to connect the lower part of the dash to the car.  I also needed to add a distribution block to get more +12V wiring options, so I 3D printed a box to put it in.

Jeff also helped me cut and bend up a 2nd layer for the firewall.  The supplied firewall is 0.040" aluminum and fairly flimsy.  People also complain about heat in the cockpit.  The thin layer of aluminum separating the engine bay doesn't do enough.  The 2nd layer I added is 18 gauge stainless.  It really helped stiffen up the firewall and should help with heat.  I also have started covering the engine bay side of the aluminum panels in heat reflecting material.

I'm looking forward to wrapping up all the wiring and getting the body in primer.  Should only be a few more months until it's on the road.
41  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: 1979 toyota corolla build on: December 23, 2016, 05:15:56 PM
looks exciting
42  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: December 19, 2016, 07:54:33 PM
Well, it's been a while...been doing bodywork.  Not many pictures, but we're making progress.  Dealing with things like this panel gap

The body can be adjusted forward, backward, up, down, left, right.  And the door can be adjusted forward, backward, up, down, in, out, and tilted.  And you need to sand the gaps to fit.  That's a lot of adjustment to deal with.  Every time you move one thing (e.g. the driver's door), we'd have to move something else (e.g. the body), and then something else (e.g. the passenger door).  Anyways, we got all the panel gaps lined up finally.

We even test-fitted the windshield and hardtop

This past weekend, we started sanding down the gel coat, especially the seams where the mold is bolted together.

You find things like this - mold wax trapped under a thin layer of gel coat.

The first layer of filler is on, covering the seams.

We'll continue sanding and filling low spots over the Christmas break and hopefully get the body ready for primer before I go back to work.  It's exciting, we're getting close.
43  General / Classifieds / Re: ZR1 wheels 17x9.5 with Hoosier P275/40ZR17 A3S05 (set of 4) on: December 14, 2016, 05:59:55 PM
While placing the ad your site  offered so I  took it.
My rough guess is......someones feathers got ruffled.
Sorry for any flack you may recieve Bill.
If they offer people the platform expect it.
That's just me.
Poking the bear by their rules.
But the wheels and tires are agreat deal!

Hah, no ruffled feathers.  People use the poll feature, but the poll is usually related to what they are posting about.  I saw the poll and thought it was an error.  My guess is that Beth did, too.
44  Events / Other Events / Re: The Grand Tour viewing party on: November 17, 2016, 04:30:34 AM
yeah, that works.  shot you a PM.
45  Events / Other Events / Re: The Grand Tour viewing party on: November 16, 2016, 04:35:24 PM
Yeah, it looks like it debuts on the 18th at midnight GMT, which is 7pm Thursday EST.  If we had known that a couple weeks ago, this would have made a great Club Meeting!

Oh well, I'll wait an extra day to watch it...Friday plans at my house are still on.  We've got like a dozen people, I'll be getting BBQ on my way home from work.  Bill - you should come!
46  Events / Other Events / Re: The Grand Tour viewing party on: November 10, 2016, 06:36:20 PM
Cool, looks like 8 of us so far.
47  Events / Other Events / The Grand Tour viewing party on: November 03, 2016, 07:29:18 PM
So Hammond, Clarkson and May's new show, the Grand Tour, gets released on Friday, November 18th.  I figured I'd have a viewing party, kind of like the Garage & Movie nights we did a few times a couple years ago.  I can drag the 50" TV to the garage and provide some BBQ, you bring seating and anything else to eat/drink.

I'm out in Powhatan, about 20-25 minutes West of 288 and 60.  Thinking people can start coming over around 6 and we can watch the show around 7:30, assuming it's released by then.  Anyone who wants to come, post up here or PM me to RSVP and I'll shoot you my address.
48  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: October 02, 2016, 04:46:16 PM
Alright, just got done cutting the grass with my newly-engine swapped mower Smiley  Got a chance to upload a couple videos from today's practice, which went really well.  I had only been able to tune the car for a few minutes while driving it around the block at very low RPM.  I took some guesses to get the rest of the VE table setup and was amazingly close.  No more breaking up from being way rich like at RIR.  The first run, AFRs stayed above 11.0.  I pulled some fuel out and got it pretty close by the end of the day.  Not sure there is too much more I can do right now.

Here is a video of my last run.

The car is well-balanced, but super sketchy on the 245/45/17 street tires.  I only went above 40% throttle once according to the data logs, and I know I was blowing the tires off the car.  We've got another set of wheels that will get 275s up front and 315s out back next year.  Should be a lot more stable.

Now I can start all the bodywork...
49  Pictures and Media / Pictures and Media from Events / Re: Media from VMP 10-2-16 on: October 02, 2016, 04:34:05 PM
Nice.  Here is my last run in the Cobra.  The new ECU is so much easier to deal with.  I think I've got it pretty close now.  Time for bodywork!
50  General / Autos and Autosport / Re: Factory Five Cobra Build on: September 25, 2016, 12:25:49 PM
Alright, well I'm back to working on the Cobra after a couple weeks of vacation and also starting to rebuild my mower.  Went to London, Barcelona and Germany on vacation.  Went back to the Nurburgring (we went 5yrs ago on our honeymoon).  Rented a Toyota GT86 and did 6 laps (video).  Also went to the Goodwood Revival.  Watched a few races, including a bunch of Cobras, XKEs and Ferraris sliding through the corners.  It was fun.

Anyways, I think I've finished up all of the major wiring on the Cobra!  I'll still need to wire up the 12v power outlet, heater, a couple minor switches, and eventually the ABS computer, but those aren't necessary right now.

Here is all the wiring I ended up cutting out of the engine harness.

And the ECU plugged in and wiring loomed to the fuse box.

We also installed the passenger seat.  Next Saturday we'll mount the dash and the car should be ready for the practice autocross at that point.  Hopefully we can get some more tuning done.

Then I've gotta finish putting my mower back together...

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