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Author Topic: Factory Five Cobra Build  (Read 50408 times)
jloehlein
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« Reply #75 on: August 28, 2016, 03:08:24 PM »

More progress.  I spent a little bit of time and removed all the unnecessary wires from the ECU connector.  The pins slip into the back of the connector and lock into place.  You're supposed to be able to use a tool that slides around the wire to release the lock, but I didn't have much luck with those tools, I just kept breaking them.  I decided to just get a new connector and break apart the old one to get to all the pins.

Here is all the extra wiring.




I cut open the existing connector to access the pins and after removing the seal on the back, used the tool to get out the ones that I could and then just cut the plastic away from the rest of them.




Here's the pile of unused wiring, the cut up old connector, and the broken tools.  The plastic tools actually worked better than the metal one, but I still broke 4 of them.




All the loose wiring, labeled so I don't mess anything up.




And the new connector plugged into the ECU.  I've got one more wire to run and then I can loom all of this up.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 03:10:26 PM by jloehlein » Logged

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #76 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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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #77 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...
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
jloehlein
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« Reply #78 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.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 04:15:29 AM by jloehlein » Logged

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #79 on: December 24, 2016, 05:56:50 PM »

Looking great.
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #80 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 do...it'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.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #81 on: February 05, 2017, 06:00:31 AM »

Wow that hardtop need some fitting. What were they thinking, just put some caulking, LOL. More fiberglass work. Looks like you are making nice progress.

Cheers
Engelbert
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Engelbert's Garage | My Porsche Video | The AIRBOXER Garage Build
2006 Cayenne S Work Horse
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1988 944 Turbo
1986 944 the beater
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« Reply #82 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.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 07:34:04 PM by jloehlein » Logged

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #83 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!







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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #84 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.

Omni:


Deltron:



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!
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #85 on: April 17, 2017, 10:12:27 AM »

Congrates! Looks awesome!
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-Paul
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« Reply #86 on: April 17, 2017, 01:26:17 PM »

Very, very nice. I can't wait to the finished product.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #87 on: April 18, 2017, 03:06:30 AM »

Yea, that paint looks great!

Gunny
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jloehlein
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« Reply #88 on: April 19, 2017, 04:49:08 PM »

Thanks, guys!  Looking forward to having it all together.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #89 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.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 03:56:41 AM by jloehlein » Logged

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2017, 05:34:05 PM »

Alright, we're definitely in the home stretch.  This weekend is the first time it's looking like a complete car.  Over the past few weeks we've gotten a lot of the finishing touches done.

We got some LED lights from Engelbert and mounted them up.  They are nice and bright.



The kit comes with a ton of cheap, plastic insulated butt connectors for the wiring.  I ditched those and added some real connectors.  I also had to separate the whole front light harness and shorten/modify it to get it to run cleanly across the front end of the car.



I wired the taillights in a similar manner.  You can also see that my Dad has re-painted the inside of the body black.



I also wrapped up a bunch of other stuff under the car, including the e-brake and driveshaft safety loop.




On the top side, we installed the defrost vents and seats.  Engelbert powder coated a ton of stuff on the car, including the seat brackets.  It all came out great.






We fired the car up for the first time since last summer - it started right up.  Unfortunately, the cheap heater core that it comes with is leaking.  I've bypassed it for now, but we'll have to take it out and fix/replace it soon.  There are also a bunch of other small things that need to be done (seat belts, carpet, covering misc holes/filling gaps, more polishing, center caps on the wheels, etc).  It's looking like a real car though!  We drove it around the neighborhood a few times.  Now to get it registered.




« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 05:36:41 PM by jloehlein » Logged

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #91 on: June 06, 2017, 02:26:18 PM »

Just gorgeous. Wow. Need to bring it to Cars & Coffee at Regency. The next one is 6/17.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #92 on: June 06, 2017, 04:08:57 PM »

Looks great! Just sent this to a co-worker who was wondering what all went into building a cobra. Hope you get to start driving it soon!
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« Reply #93 on: June 06, 2017, 06:47:37 PM »

Thanks, guys.  Might make it out to Cars and Coffee at some point.  Now we're getting Jeff and my car ready for track duty.  Good news is that it is finally running somewhat okay after I spent some time tuning it.  And it's inspected!  The windscreen is the perfect size for the inspection sticker.



Also - light weight!

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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #94 on: October 08, 2017, 03:32:54 PM »

We finally got the car down the Peter to finish tuning it.  I had gotten the fuel tables close enough while street tuning it that we didn't need to make any changes - it was running ~12.0-12.5:1 AFR at WOT, so we just messed around with the timing.  I had the motor timed at ~16 degrees base timing.  We tried going to 18 and it lost a some power.  We found peak power at only ~12 degrees of timing.  The difference was pretty astounding - like an additional 40hp compared to 18 degrees.  Here is a video of one of the runs.  Sounds good.



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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #95 on: November 03, 2017, 04:04:44 AM »

So, last week I realized that I had several hundred pictures of the build process, but basically none of the finished car, other than on the dyno.  Since it was nice out Saturday, Jeff and I hung out and took a ton of pictures.  Here are some of my favorites.

These are at the parking garage at work.  You can see how the paint looks different in different light.












I also played around with some of the different settings on the camera






There is a place a couple minutes from my house that has some old buildings.  We called the property owner and he was nice enough to let us in to take a few pictures.  There were probably 30 different buildings that he had moved from around Virginia and North Carolina onto his property.  He holds auctions every now and then - it'd be neat to see what gets sold at those.





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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #96 on: November 08, 2017, 05:57:25 PM »

These are great Pictures !

Where is the place with the ESSO sign ?

Cheers
Engelbert
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Engelbert's Garage | My Porsche Video | The AIRBOXER Garage Build
2006 Cayenne S Work Horse
2006 Boxster the Puppy
1988 944 Turbo
1986 944 the beater
1982 911 SC
1978 VW Super Beetle Cabrio LTP
1976 914 in the works
1971 911T AX Car
1970 911T Current Project
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« Reply #97 on: November 08, 2017, 07:15:19 PM »

These are great Pictures !

Where is the place with the ESSO sign ?

Cheers
Engelbert

Thanks.  It's on 13, right at the end of 609.  There is an old country store on the corner, that's the front of the property.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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