Time for a new post! It’s been a very busy summer and there’s a lot of progress to share on the car since I last posted. Frame modifications took a LONG time, but now that we’re out of that phase the pace has picked up considerably.
Frame modifications have really helped improve the interior space in every dimension – but those modifications have a cascade effect through the rest of the build. Moving, adding, or deleting anything from the frame means that nearly everything attached to the new configuration has to be custom made.
The standard Factory Five kit, has pre-cut panels to make up the interior ‘skin’ of the car including the footwells, firewall, transmission tunnel, floors and the rear hatch area. Out of all of those panels, only ONE panel remained stock from Factory Five, all others had to be cut, shaped or completely discarded in favour of new panels that would properly seal the cabin and create the new interior space.
Here you can see the seating area, much more spacious than the stock frame configuration. The black tar you see between the panels is a polyurethane sealer to help keep the elements out as well as dampen vibration of touching panels.
Additional access panels were also added in quite a few places. One thing we want to ensure is serviceability in the future should anything require attention or replacement. As an example, the battery in it’s normal location would require dropping of the fuel tank and/or the differential to remove – not exactly convenient.
Additional access panels have been added to the custom foot boxes as well so we can service the electric steering unit, adjust the pedal connections and travel, as well as access the car’s electrical center which will be located in the top of the passenger footwell.
Hand Brake Installation:
The standard hand brake in this car is a bit of an odd thing due to packaging, you actually have to reach over the transmission tunnel next to the passenger to pull the hand lever – not exactly convenient and not the best place to locate if you have an instance that you really need the parking brake in a hurry.
As posted previously, our handbrake will be a pull type ratchet with a twist to release. These could be found on some early Mustangs as well as pickup trucks in the 80’s and it’s actually a really nice compact solution for this car.
Here’s a shot of the underside of the firewall where the parking brake mechanism is mounted. This leads down the inside of the transmission tunnel with an adjuster for length as well as left/right bias (pic below)
This starts with a gas tank from a 90’s Mustang, easy to source and the kit is made to accept this tank with very minor modification.
We decided it would also be a good idea to paint the tank in truck bed-liner material – it’s durable and has a nice finish that will hide well under the car. Custom made stainless straps hold the tank to the chassis.
The fittings are Vibrant all black AN supplied by Performance Improvements , with braided lines. The pump is in-tank to keep things cool as well as reduce noise….not that we’d ever hear a pump over the engine.
A fuel pressure regulator for the return system is mounted on the firewall for easy access and adjustment.
All of the brake hard lines have been run and connected to WilWood flex lines with custom made brackets. The system has been filled with fluid, primed and nothing seems to be leaking (a good sign), a full bleed will happen later in the build.
This actually happened in two steps. First step was to place the engine in the chassis and make sure everything fit. Remember that the engine mounts were moved forward AND we’re running a T56 Magnum 6-speed, not the standard T5. Amazingly, with the engine forward, the T56 bolts on to the stock T5 location with no mount modification.
So what’s the second step? The second step is to pull the engine back out to install the flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing and THEN realize that the standard fox-body Mustang clutch fork does not fit a T56 transmission setup. Venice Perno bailed us out again….it won’t be the last time I’m sure. The correct fork is an SN95 from later model Mustangs.
Safety sandals were worn for the entire process I assure you.
I’ve had lots of requests for a video, so I put something together as a quick tour of the car and the progress so far. I shot this with my phone, so go easy 🙂 It should also be noted that the stock music selection in the YouTube editor may be loyalty free, but the selection is less than good. Maybe next time I’ll talk…..I dunno, I’m new to this. Until next time, enjoy!