Cut – Weld – Grind – Repeat

Well overdue for a blog entry, here’s a little of what’s been going on with fall kicking into full gear.

Acquisition of parts has been progressing and the engine build is essentially complete. We’re waiting for a spot on the dyno. Hopefully, that will be the next blog entry.

Here’s a little taste of the engine build before we hit the dyno with Venice Perno.

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In the meantime, the focus has been making the driver’s compartment friendly to someone 6’-4” and generously proportioned. In addition, since this is not going to be a one person car, an adjustable seating position is a must. So – both length and width of the driver’s compartment must be considered. The engine move forward solved a lot of those problems.

A custom pedal assembly allows for pedal adjustment fore and aft and side to side. Provision had to be made for steering shaft pass-through so the brake pedal has an offset geometry. The pedal lever holes are for show – no real practical function.

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Wilwood was very helpful with master cylinder selection for our tentative brake selection. The new pedal system also has an adjustable pedal ratio so pedal stroke can be dialed in for travel and pedal effort.

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Once the pedal assembly was located and end wall mounting hardware drilling was complete, it was on to the steering system. We elected to got to electric power steering from Unisteer with an adjustable effort feature. The “all-in” cost ends up about the same as a hydraulic assist system but involves a lot less in the way of auxiliaries at the engine. Without the foot-box mods this option may not be the best choice since electrics tend not to like the heat and moisture present in the engine bay. Mounting the unit was easy and requires the shortening of the stock FFR steering shaft assembly. 

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Making a DD shaft end is easy with a grinder, a micrometer, and some patience. Pushing the foot box end wall forward by 3 inches means cutting the stock FFR shaft at the rack end and installing a new U-joint to match the manual steering rack from Flaming River. Surprise – the FFR shaft is hollow at that end, so a sold end plug was driven in and welded for the “DD” connection to the rack U-joint.

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For the input steering shaft we decided to go with an Ididit unit since it incorporates a signal stalk and mechanism, horn wiring, and hazard flasher wiring. We are going to be mounting an NRG quick disconnect so shortening the standard Ididit column will be needed and the dash will need to be modified to account for the overall length. More on that later.

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Trial fitting the Tremec T56 and Quicktime bellhousing, using the foam block engine dummy, revealed that no room was available to widen the passenger compartment. On the driver’s side, however, 1.5 inches is available due to the stock drivetrain offset position.

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This additional width will allow the use of a driver’s seat sized for anyone over about 220 pounds. The modifications amount to replicating the FFR chassis pieces and welding them into the new position. Fortunately no “spring” in any of the chassis members occurred during cutting, indicating that there was no undesirable chassis movement. The new pieces are thicker wall than the original for more strength and rigidity.

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With the forward engine move of 4 3/8 inches, the driveshaft becomes a more reasonable length for the T56. A standard Ford conversion mount can be used for transmission support with no chassis mods. The shift lever works out to be in just about a perfect location in the center tranny position. Since the starter assembly moves forward, the passenger side foot box can be widened at the nose end for more foot room. Length is adequate on the stock FFR configuration.

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Below you can see (where the silver parts are) where the original chassis points have been cut and re-welded for the additional width requirements in the drivers seat.

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Seating position and seatbelt fastening point mods are down the road……..

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One thought on “Cut – Weld – Grind – Repeat

  1. Pingback: Massive update, Interior bits, and NOISE!! – The Factory Five Type-65

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