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Thread: Matt's Gen2 65 Coupe Build Thread

  1. #161


    I bought the pre-cut carpet from FFR when I ordered my kit. After reading some posts and learning that the kit didn't have a piece to cover the sides of the trunk, I ordered an additional 2 yards of carpet from FFR. I needed up needing it all. Between the sides of the trunk, the inside of the doors, and various mistakes (ie. tracing wrong side of carpet, not sticking in the right spot and having to rip up, cutting too much) I used it all.

    Before starting the carpet, I needed to rivet the trunk aluminum sides to the body. This closes the gap between the outside and the inside. You can see the rivets to the left of the round tube. Also needed to patch up the holes between the body and the frame behind the seats.

    I bent up some aluminum and riveted it in.

    Then built up the inside with dynamat to make it flush with the rest of the dynamat

    I did this on both sides.

  2. #162

    Carpet cont.

    Now for the carpet on the floor of the trunk. The piece from FFR fit very well. I just needed to trim some off the sides to fit. I then sprayed part of the backside with adhesive. The plan was the rest would just sit flat so I could have access to the boxes in the floor,

    I sprayed more adhesive on the trunk floor and stuck that down. Then sprayed more on the parts that go down behind the seats.

    With that done it was on to the sides. Made a template with brown paper and cut and trimmed to fit. The section near the back was done with velcro to provide access to the access holes for the tail lights.

    I wrapped the carpet around above the wheel wells and stuck to the body. This covered up the edges of the trunk aluminum sides.


  3. #163

    Carpet Part 2

    Here are the rest of the carpet pictures.

    I had made the top piece of aluminum removable for the transmission tunnel, so I only glued the carpet to the top of the tunnel. I let the sides hang down and used velco to hold them.

    To finish off near the door openings, I decided to run carpet up the square 2" tube. This would hide the insulation on the outside of the footbox and close up the gap between the body and that tube. I marked in tape the location of the holes for the door straps, so I'd know where to punch the holes in the carpet once installed. Here's the before picture.


  4. #164

    Carpet Part 2 cont.

    Just a zoomed out shot showing carpet and templates everywhere....

    Trying to show the front, but hard to see everything with the black carpet. The only dynamat you still see is in the doors and where the rear speakers will go.

    Put some carpet in the doors.

    Carpet in the back. Again, I just glued the top section and can lift up the carpet to get to the rear access panel.

    To get access in the back, just roll up the floor carpet.

    There you have it. Done with carpet.


  5. #165

    Carpet Install Tips

    Here are some carpet install tips:

    It's a balancing act between not having to cut a piece a million times to get the correct fit and cutting off too much. Using the brown packing paper that came with the kit in all the boxes worked out great. So anyone starting a new build should save those off when going through the boxes. I've used a ton of them for insulation templates, carpet templates, painting, under the car etc.

    Two things that I found during the install:

    1. Once you stick the carpet down and then try to pull it back up, the carpet fibers will pull out from the sheet and stay stuck to the adhesive. Then you are left with places in the carpet without "carpet". So if you have to pull it up, you'll probably have to cut and use a new piece.

    2. If you wait the allotted time after spraying the adhesive, then it becomes really sticky and you only get one shot to position it. If you spray it on, then position the piece (within a minute or so) you can move it around and get it where you want it. Then with only a bit of the piece sticking, wait for the rest to become tacky. Then press the rest of the piece down. Or you can not spray part of the piece, then position that part first, press down the part you did spray. Then lift up and spray the other part.

    Obviously test fit all the pieces first before spraying as they all need to be trimmed some amount.

  6. #166
    That's looking great!

  7. #167

    Seats In

    Installed the seats and the seat belts.

    Not a lot to write here, just that it took some patience getting the bolts in the seats near the transmission tunnel. Just enough room to get my fingers in to start the nuts....

    For the shoulder seat belts, you just undo and slide/take off the mount that comes on the belt and loop around the roll cage bar behind the seats. Do one at a time so you remember how the belt loops around the metal holder.

    Passenger side in:

    Driver's side in:


  8. #168


    Installed the shifter and boot. I have the mid-shift option on the Tremec TKO-500 transmission and bought a Hurst 538-7201 shifter stick. When I bought the transmission, there was an offer for a free shifter knob from Tremec, so that's what I used.

    The shifter stick had mounting holes in it that are much bigger than the bolts used in the mid-shift. I also wasn't happy with the height and angle of the stick, so I drilled two new holes the correct diameter which lowered the stick and angled back some more.

    With that on, drilled the holes for the trim ring and it was on.


  9. #169


    The last big thing before trying to get the car titled, registered, inspected etc. was to get in the windshield. I did some research and thanks to the forum bought the following:
    Flexline Windshield Auto Glass Universal Molding Flexible Trim Rubber 19mm 15 FT UM1913BR
    3M 08682 Single Step Primer - 30 ml
    3M 08693 Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive Cartridge - 10.5 fl. oz.

    I had forgotten to test fit the windshield before paint, so I wasn't sure how it was going to fit into the opening. I temporarily taped in some rubber spacers to keep the glass flush with the body. I cut a couple little pieces of the trim off and used it to test fit the glass. Put a piece on the top and bottom:


    Bottom: Uh-oh. There's not enough opening to get the glass with the trim into the opening.......

    Ok, so it doesn't really fit. Maybe need 1/8" or so more for the opening. Thinking to myself, why didn't I test fit this before paint? Oh well, can do anything about it now. I have the body mounted solid at the top and bottom and the hood fits well, so I don't want to change that. Seem like the only things left to do would be to grind the glass down or file the fiberglass to make the opening bigger. After sleeping on it a day, I decided I've never tried to grind glass before and didn't want to start now. So I went the route of filing down the fiberglass. It killed me to do this to my brand new paint, but kept telling myself the trim around the windshield will cover this up.

    It's hard to see, but if you look closely at the top and bottom openings, you'll now see red instead of green or white. Fortunately, I didn't have to take a ton off, and split the different on the top and bottom. Now the glass would fit in with the trim on.

    Using the blue tape on the outside of the window as a guide, I flipped the window over and masked off the inside where I would apply the black primer. It was about 1" on the top and sides and about 1-1/4" inches on the bottom.

    Borrowed one of the kid's paint brushes and painted on the primer. The stuff is really thin and I went around twice to get even coverage. Painted a little spot where the rear view mirror would mount as well. A little bit bled under the tape, but this cleaned up easily with a razor.

    I permanently mounted the rubber spacers with screws and trimmed some of them near the edge of the opening so the glass with trim would fit. Also stuck on some foam to hide the urethane that holds on the glass.

    I worked the trim all around the glass. This wasn't easy to do as the opening in the trim that goes around the glass would close together as you are trying to get it on the glass. Would have to stick my fingers in to pry it open as I worked it around. There's also a bead of black sealant already on the trim which helps hold it to the glass, but as you stick your fingers in to open it, it starts to stick to your fingers and get everywhere...... Anyways, eventually got it done. Also glued on the button for the mirror.

  10. #170

    Windshield cont.

    Time to install it. Put the urethane in a jug of hot water for about 10-15 minutes to warm it up some. Cut a V shape in the nozzle, opened up the tube and started going around the window opening. One thing I forgot to mention, was that the glass didn't lay totally flat in the opening. The sides were up maybe an 1". There seemed to be enough flex in the windshield and didn't take much force to make it lay flat. So knowing that the urethane on the sides would have to hold the glass in, I applied a little more on the sides and less in the middle. I ended up using almost all of one tube.


  11. #171

    Windshield Part 2

    With the help of my Dad, we put it into place and then taped and strapped it down. I used pieces of wood rolled up inside a towel and jacket to spread the load pushing down.

    After letting it sit for a few days, I removed the strap and tape and think it came out pretty well.

    Shown inside with the rear view mirror.

    There's a little bit of ripple on the trim in a few spots. I've tried heating up a little and it flattened out some. If it doesn't flatten out, I'll probably just lift it up and put a small amount of adhesive to keep it flat down to the body. The windshield hasn't popped up yet, so that's good. Like a lot of things with the build, time will tell how it holds up.


  12. #172

    Parking Brake, Speakers

    I bought the Universal E-Brake Boot Bezel from Mike at replicaparts.com since now I have the parking brake up on top of the transmission tunnel. It's a very nice piece and matches the ring for the shifter. The boot required some trimming. I first drilled and mounted the trim ring, two of which I needed to tap into the 1" square tube of the transmission tunnel. I then removed the front to screws and put on the boot. Then I could mark the holes in the boot with the trim ring in the correct spot. Then I put the front two screws in and did the same with the back two.

    Once this was done, I took an erasable marker and traced around the trim ring to see where I needed to trim the boot. Then I trimmed and installed it.

    With that done, it was on to the speakers. For the front speakers I bought a boom mat speaker baffle to go behind the speakers in the door.

    Passenger side done:

    Driver side done:

    Put in the rears as well.

  13. #173

    Parking Brake, Speakers cont.

    Lastly, got the wiper arms/blades installed:


  14. #174

    Floormat Interior

    Cut up a winter rubber floor mat from my Focus and put it in the driver's side:

    It fits in pretty nice and doesn't slide around.

    To finish up between the carpet and the door sill, I drilled and tapped some flat head screws to hold the sill to the frame.

    I painted the side aluminum pieces that I cut up sometime back.

    Then I sprayed more of that spray on adhesive and stuck them on.


  15. #175

    Hood Mesh, Side Windows

    I painted the mesh that covers the hole in the hood black. I then used some of the windshield urethane that I had left over to attach them to the hood.

    Also finished blocking up the holes between the foot boxes and the body.

  16. #176

    Hood Mesh, Side Windows cont.

    Lastly finished up installing the Russ Thompson 1/4 windows. I ended up using a thicker rubber seal on them and the latch was now too short. I decided that I'd probably never open the windows, so I just put a long screw in and have them permanently closed. Also added some pipe insulation around the roll cage.

    And one final picture of how it sits today:


  17. #177


    Here's the saga of trying to get a VIN number assigned to my car in MA. The procedure is that I'm supposed to go to the registry of motor vehicles and fill out an application for getting an assigned VIN number. I did this on October 20th. I just walk into the registry with the form, explain to the person at the desk what I'm doing and how it works, pay the $50 and get a receipt for this application. I was in and out in about 15 minutes. Then I can call up and try to schedule an appointment for the VIN assignment with the state police at a salvage title inspection center. There are 5 centers around the state and you can go to any of them. I chose the Bridgewater site because I heard horror stories about the officer at the Northboro site, so I wanted to avoid any hassle. The Bridgewater site is about 1.5 hours from my house vs. about 50 minutes to the closest site in Northboro, so just a little bit further, but hopefully worth the extra driving.

    So on Nov. 7th, I call up and I get a recording saying that if I'm calling for a VIN assignment, leave a message with my name and number and someone will get back to me. So I leave a voicemail saying I want to make an appointment with my name and number. I don't hear back after 10 days, so I call again and leave another message on Nov. 17th. Again, I don't hear back. So on Dec. 9th I call again and actually talk with a person this time. I again leave my name, number, etc. and the guy says he'll forward my information on to the Bridgewater site. Again, no calls, nothing. So I took Thursday Dec. 23rd off from work and since I hadn't heard anything back from the state police, my Dad and I took a trip down to Bridgewater to try and talk with someone about trying to get a VIN number assigned to my car. The place opens at 8am and it is first come first serve for salvage inspections. We get there at about 8:50. We are the 8th car in line on a road outside this building which houses equipment for the Mass highway department. There wasn't really a place to walk in and we didn't want to bother anyone, so we figured we'd wait our turn and then try to talk with someone. Around 9am, 2 cars pull out and the first 2 cars now in line pull in. We are now 6th in line and see that it takes a little under 1 hour for the office to inspect 2 vehicles for the salvage title. At this rate we figure we'll be seen a little before noon. At 9:50, I get a phone call on my cell phone and as I pull out my phone it says "restricted number". Since I didn't know what that was and figured it was just a telemarketer, I don't answer. A few seconds later, it says I have a voicemail. I listen to it and there's a guy that says: "Hi Matt, this is the officer from the state police salvage title center and I'm calling to schedule an appointment to get a VIN assigned to your car. I'll try back later."

    Unbelievable. After all that time waiting, the guy calls as I'm waiting in line at the site!!!! I couldn't believe it and of course start laughing and kicking myself for not answering. Oh well, at this point we are 4th in line and probably have only another hour or so to wait.

    At 11:15 or so, it was our turn. We drive into the parking lot and the officer comes out. He's looking funny at my Dad's car because we have valid plates, whereas everyone else for the salvage title has the car either on a trailer or with dealer plates. I say who I am and that I'm trying to schedule and appointment to get a VIN assigned and ask him if he could review my paperwork to make sure I had everything I needed. He then says, with a puzzled look, "I just called you." He then says a comment about my Dad's car with regular plates and that he hopes that car wasn't there for a salvage title. He said, oh you didn't have to wait in line, you could have just walked up and talked to me. We said we didn't know and didn't want to hassle him. He takes my paperwork and goes inside. We wait for about 10 minutes, then he comes back and says it all looks good. I just need to bring two copies of it and a copy of my license to the appointment. He then says, how about next Thursday at 10am. I said perfect. Then he asked if I came to Bridgewater because of the trooper in Northboro. I said yeah and laughed. He said next Thursday, I can just pull in with it on the trailer and not have to wait in line. I asked what about if it snows next Thursday and he gave me a number to call just in case. He was really polite and professional.

    On Sunday, I look at the 5 day forecast. Sunday - Sunny, Monday - Sunny, Tuesday - Cloudy, Wednesday - Sunny, Thursday - Snow, Friday - Sunny. Thursday snow? Are you kidding me? Maybe the forecast will be wrong as it still is a few days out. Tuesday rolls around, nope, still snow for Thursday. I call the officer and am able to change my appointment to Wednesday at 10am. Wednesday morning we load up the car on the trailer and head back down to Bridgewater, get there around 9:30 and unload the car. The officer comes out around 9:50 and I drive into one of the bays on the building. I hand him my paperwork, he checks everything out and assigns me a VIN. I had to cut away a little bit of carpet on the frame near the chassis number and clean up the glue and he lets me stick on the number. The other officer there had never seen a FFR coupe before and took a few pictures. We loaded back up and were out of there by 10:30.

    Blue sticker is the VIN next to the chassis number.

    This morning, I get all my paperwork ready to bring to the RMV to get a title and registration. After calling up and getting insurance yesterday, I had my RMV-1 Form, application for VIN signed and stamped with the assigned VIN, Certificate of origin and the invoice for the kit.

    I get to the registry about 10 minutes before it opens and there is a small line. The door opens at 9, I get a number and seconds after I sit down, I'm called. I say that I'm here to title and register a 2016 Replica vehicle. The person had never done one before and asks a few questions, then asks a co-worker and supervisor, calls on the phone etc. This goes on for about 20 minutes, then I write him a check, he hands me the plates and a registration and I'm out of there at 9:30.

    I can now legally drive my car (for a little bit). I have 7 days to get a sticker and was going to do that today if the snow held off, but by the time I got home it was snowing. After 3 years, I now have a car I can legally drive, but it's December in New England and snowing out so I can't. Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday the roads will be clear and I can take the car for a ride. Then I can start the next part of the process in MA. Get a failed emissions sticker, schedule an appointment at a MAC and hopefully get emissions exempt, then go back and get a valid sticker.

    Here's the front license plate mount I made:

    With plates!!!!

    You can see the snow outside.....

    There you have it.


  18. #178

    Air Filter

    I was hoping my next post was going to be of me driving my car for the first time. Unfortunately with the recent snow storms that isn't the case. It's supposed to warm and dry up next week, so hopefully soon...

    In the meantime I never really like how the oval air filter didn't fit straight due to hit hitting the body/firewall. I bought a K&N air filter (E-1963) which is 3" high. In order to get this to fit I'd need to find a way to move the filter forward and and raise the front to clear the distributor.

    I bought Trans-Dapt aluminum air filter riser (TRD-2011) and modified that to fit. Ending up cutting it on an angle and grinding it down.
    For the piece that will fit over the riser, I cut up the piece of metal for the battery holder that came with the kit and cut a circle in that.

    Next was to cut out the existing air filter base. You can see the riser ground down on an angle.

    Painted it up and drilled for the rivets

    Riveted it on

    Set on the car. Also bought piece of threaded rod and bent that in a way to use the same hole in the top of the air filter.

  19. #179

    Air Filter cont.


    The filter is just below the hood lip now.

    And here's a picture looking from the inside showing it just clears the hood. Now the bump in the hood is actually needed and not just for show.

    Will hopefully fire it up soon and take it for a drive.


  20. #180

    The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

    Well, I'll title this post: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
    And it's in that order too.

    The Good:
    Last Friday the weather and roads finally cleared up enough to take the car out for the initial inspection. I've only done a few quick trips in my back yard and in my neighbor's driveway before that. My Dad came over and I was going to follow him to the inspection station about 10 miles away. Since I haven't calibrated my speedometer yet, I was going to follow him and he was going to drive exactly the speed limit so I could see what my car was displaying. We started out and in the 30MPH zone I was reading about 34MPH and in the 45MPH zone I was reading about 51MPH. Ok, at least that gives me some idea. The car took a little bit to get used to. I could see out the front great and out of the rear view mirror. The side mirrors not so much. We got to the inspection station and waited our turn. When it was our turn the attendant walked up and says "you drive that in, I'm not getting in that". He said he'd done a bunch of FFR and other kits before. He did the safety inspection and gave me my failed emissions sticker and the number for the MAC that I needed to call for an appointment. We headed back home and stopped to get some gas for the first time, got some looks but no one said anything. After getting gas, the car had a little trouble starting and I had to blip the pedal to get it to start. Also when driving and I put in the clutch the engine almost stalls out and then recovers. I've been reading up on the EFI and think I need to make a few tweaks to smooth that out. It started up and I went on my way back home.

    The Bad:
    Driving home I got about 2 miles from my house and the rear end started making a lot of noise. It had always made a small amount of noise but wasn't really sure what it was supposed to sound like. But now was different, it was making noises I'm sure it wasn't supposed to make. It wasn't coming from the transmission, but the rear end. When I let off the gas a little it was worse, when accelerating it wasn't as bad. As I was hearing this I thought of 2 things:
    1. Crap, I never put any oil in the rear.
    2. I need to make it home.
    We'll I got about 1/2 mile and my rear wheels locked up and I came to a stop. My dad who was following me was wondering what I was doing testing out the brakes like that. I got out of the car and sure enough the rear was really hot and the wheels were locked up. We couldn't push the car, so I took my dad's car home, got some wheel dollies, a jack and my truck. Jacked up my car put the dollies under the rear wheels and slowly towed it home.

    The Ugly:
    I took apart the back and took out the rear pumpkin and brought it to Mike Forte's. He took it apart and here's what it looked like:

    Mike says it needs a new ring & pinion kit, complete bearing kit and a thorough cleaning. So it's currently in process of getting fixed.
    I'll make sure to put oil in it this time.


  21. #181

    Back on the road

    I picked up my new rebuilt pumpkin on Monday. Super fast turn around by Forte's, thanks Mike. Finished putting it back together on Thursday night and this time added the oil. Put the wheels on today and took it for a spin. Much better, no noises coming from the rear. Took the 3 boys for a ride, too bad it's only a two seater as it forced me to give 3 separate rides. It idles much better now and doesn't dip down like it's going to stall.
    I'll see if I can get a few pictures and maybe a little video tomorrow.

    Now I'm ready to call up the MAC on Monday to make an appointment to try to get emissions except and get rid of the "R" sticker. Almost there.....


  22. #182


    So after the test rides last Saturday, I was going to take a drive on Sunday and make sure everything was still ok, but unfortunately for me it was raining off an on. Thus no pictures or video.

    Monday morning I call up the MAC (Motorist Assistance Center) to schedule an appointment for my car. I was expecting a similar delay in scheduling that I encountered with getting a VIN number assigned. I was shocked when they said they had an appointment for Tuesday (as in tomorrow) at 8am. I said yes, then started having some regrets as I looked at the forecast and saw rain for Monday night/Tuesday morning. Also I called up my dad to see if he wanted to ride with me, but he couldn't go Tuesday. The forecast for Wednesday looked clear, so I called back and easily switched the appointment to Wednesday at 8am.

    Wednesday morning comes around and the weather is perfect, sunny and in the 50's. My dad hops in the passenger seat, well not exactly hops, but he's able to get in and buckled up. We drive off. The MAC center is a little over 20 miles away and I decide to take back roads there instead of the highway. As we get into the city where the MAC center is located, there's a little bit of traffic and construction, but not too much. I'm happy to say even in the stop and go traffic, the engine idled well and wasn't close to stalling. The car is pretty loud even with ear plugs in. Not piercing loud, but kind of a low drowning sound that ear plugs don't really block out. We get to the MAC center right at 8AM.

    We meet with the inspector who was very friendly. I told him I have a block from a 1971 Mustang. He starts asking if I bought the whole car or not and that he didn't think I could just use the engine. He said what people did was to buy an old vehicle, have it crushed and then they could use any engine. At that point I brought out the email that I had with the head of the Mass DEP from 2014 where he wrote that I could use a block from a pre-1974 engine. I also show him my reciept for the engine from the salvage yard and a letter saying the VIN of the car the engine came from. He took copies of these and said he'd have to talk with someone. Then he had me pull the car into the bay where he took pictures of the car, VIN, engine etc. He asked my about the transmission and the rear end. I told him it was a 5 speed Tremec and a Ford with with 3.55 gears. He tried calling someone else, but that person was not available as they are in meetings in Boston on Wednesday mornings. He said he had all the information he needed, but couldn't remove the flag for emissions at this time, and he'd call me and let me know. My dad and I got back in the car and drove home. I was expecting a "yes" or a "no", but hadn't thought I'd get a maybe. I was disappointed that I didn't have an answer, but at least it wasn't a "no".

    The rest of the day I wait for a phone call, but don't hear anything. Then a little after 5pm, I see that I have a message on my phone from the inspector. He says that he couldn't get a hold of the person who he needed to talk with, but was sure he'd hear back in the morning and then call me back. Thursday goes by and I don't hear anything.

    On Friday, I decided that if I didn't hear back by 11am, I'd give him a call. I call him a little after 11am and am able to speak with him. He said he's had some correspondence with someone, but was still waiting to hear back about something. He mentions something about a 1971 Mustang didn't have the option for a 3.55 rear end. Then he said they did offer a 3.91 and that he's waiting on clarification. He was a little vague and I'm trying to stay calm. But in my mind, I'm saying, are you kidding me? My engine is good to go, but I'm going to get rejected because of the rear end ratio? Why did I say what gears I had in there? I just had the rear end replaced last week (from my lack of oil mishap), if I have to switch gears now....... etc.
    He said he'll definitely call me back today as soon as he hears more.

    Finally around 3:30pm, I get a call back and hear the words I've been waiting to hear for almost 4 years. "You're all set!" Whoo-hooo! "You just need to go back to the inspection station, then they'll scan your rejection sticker, see that they car is emissions except and give you a valid sticker". I thank him for his help and say goodbye.

    So I'm 99.9% there. I still have to go back to my local inspection site, but barring any mishap with the computer I should be good to go. I'm not going to say I'm officially done until I get that sticker, but crossing my fingers, things look good. Again it is supposed to rain for the next few days, so not sure when I can make it official.

    There you have it.


  23. #183


    It's official. Drove back to the local inspection station this morning. The inspector scanned my old "R" sticker and the machine printed out a new valid sticker. He said I was one of the faster people to come back from the MAC. When I left the previous time he said "see you in 6 months". I think he was only half joking......

    As I was driving home it sprinkled a little and I thought to myself, good thing I have a coupe to keep me dry!

    Now I just need to take some pictures and a video so I can officially graduate.

    Thanks to everyone who's posted and helped me out along the way.
    See you at the open house.


  24. #184


    Now that I took my mom for a ride in my coupe, I can officially say that I'm finished. Here are some pictures of the exterior.

  25. #185

  26. #186

    Finished cont.


  27. #187

    2017 Open House

    I'd been looking at the weather forecast for the past week to see what it was going to be like on Saturday. No rain, sunny and warm. Perfect. My Dad came over and we left the house around 7pm. Since I only had a little over 200 miles on the car, he was a little nervous about making the almost 2 hour trip. He suggested maybe him following me in his car, but I said "hop in, we'll go together. If something happens we'll just get towed." The weather was around 60 degrees to start and the car was running well. About 45 minutes into the trip we see traffic and a sign that says left 2 lanes closed. Needless to say 3 lanes going into 1 is going to result into a backup even at 7:45AM on a Saturday. We probably lost about 10-15 minutes, but it did give time for some people to waive and take pictures as we were slowly merging into one lane.
    Once we got past that it was smooth sailing for a while. The outside temperature was getting warming as well as the inside temperature and my engine temperature. With all the rain and busy nights, I haven't gotten a chance to charge up my AC, so we were just going to have to stay warm. It wasn't too bad driving down.
    As for my engine temp it started creeping north of 100C and hit close to about 105C. At that point I just stayed in the slow lane and cruised along. I think what was happening is that the front license plate I put on was blocking all the air to the radiator. The fan was able to keep the temps from rising too much, but I wasn't able to take advantage of the air coming in while at speed.
    We made it to Factory Five a little after 9AM. The lot was pretty full with cars and we parked in the "coupe" area. It felt good to get out and walk around. I was able to meet a few people from the forum, including Chris, John, Garry and Greg. It was nice to put a face to the names.
    We checked out all the cars and put down a few hot dogs.
    At noon they had the awards and was excited to hear Dave Smith call my name for winning the Best Coupe award. That was pretty cool.
    After that we took a couple pictures and climbed back into the car for the ride home.

    At this point the temps were in the mid to upper 80's and knew the engine temp was going to get warmer than the ride in. On the way back it got up to almost 110C. The inside cabin temp on my rear view mirror read about a steady 106F on the way home. Fortunately the humidity was low so it wasn't unbearable. What was really tough was the resonance that the muffler produces at around 2000 RPM which happens to be the highway cruising speed. Even with ear plugs it was tough. I purchased a set of the flowmaster mufflers and while back and those are definitely in the plans.

    So all in all it was a successful day. Just need to tweak 3 things:
    1. Charge AC
    2. Change front license plate design to get more air in and divert air to the radiator
    3. Change the mufflers

    Hopefully that will make driving it a little more comfortable.


  28. #188

    Front Plate

    Since I had the cooling issue on the trip down to the Factory Five open house, I've made a couple of modifications.

    The first was to fill up the gap above the radiator so air can't flow over it. Cut up a piece of aluminum and added some bulb seal.

    Here's a picture with the hood closed

    The second thing I did was to make the license plate swing down when driving. I made a mount so the license plate can pivot on it. I added a counter weight on the bottom, so while the car is stopped the plate is up. As I go faster, the wind pushes the plate down and let's air into the opening.

  29. #189

    Front Plate cont.


    Partially open around 10-35MPH:

    Full open >35MPH:

    Here you can see the bulb seal to provide a "soft landing" and keep it from banging. It also props the plate up a bit to make it easier to see. If you look close you can see the weight that I added in the form of a steel bar that the plate screws bolt through.

    I took and mounted my front camera down toward the plate, so I could actually see the plate moving as I drive. I haven't had a really hot day to prove I don't have any more cooling issues, but so far so good.


  30. #190

    Hood Prop

    Here's what I ended up doing for a hood prop. This is something I should have done a long time ago, but kept putting it off as I wasn't sure what to do. Thank goodness I have the hood rollers because I've had my hood slam down twice on me. The struts are strong enough to hold the hood up as long as there isn't any wind or isn't bumped into. Both times I was fortunate it slammed down right in place and didn't hang up or damage anything.

    I bought the Lisle 45900 Hood Prop. It telescopes from about 18" to 46". It's a really nice piece and heavy duty. I was pleasantly surprised how solid it feels even when fully extended.

    I drilled a hole through the largest section near the end and drilled a hole in the 1" square tube right behind the front right splash guard. I also screwed on a piece of rubber to the end to hold the prop from moving while driving. You can see this on the left.

    In order for the prop to rest flush with the tube when not in use and angle optimally against the hood when in use, I needed to drill the 1" tube at an angle. I used some nylon lock nuts, some grease and some washers to allow the prop to swing.

    The prop stays against the hood fine, but I was a little afraid it could get bumped as well. I riveted a rubber section that was left over from the coolant hose connections to the splash guard and I put the prop through this as I telescope it out.



  31. #191

    Slimline Mufflers

    One of my complaints with the car was the mufflers and the resonance at around 2000 RPM. I had bought a set of Flowmaster 30" Slimline mufflers when they were on sale about a year or two back. After the trip down to Factory Five for the open house, I decided it was time to try to fit these on the car.

    I bought a few sections that I though would be needed to make the connections.
    Some more 2" flanges
    2.5" to 2" reducers that I didn't end up using
    Flowmaster Y-250350 - one 3.5" to two 2.5" Y
    Patriot Side Tube Turnouts H3817 - 3.5" exhaust turndowns

    Now the question was, how to make the connections. After a lot of thought, cutting, trial and error my Dad and I eventually made it work.

    We ended up cutting down the Y piece quite a bit. Also, welded on just some 2" pipe to the flanges. Then we bend down the 2.5" Y to go over the 2" pipe. Then welded that together.

    Eventually it ended up like this:

    You can see the hanger piece that I made that we welded on.

    Everything was repeated for the other side:

  32. #192

    Slimline Mufflers cont.

    Both done almost ready for paint.

    All painted up and on the car.

    So they look nice, but how do they sound?

    Well, they are a bit quieter, but they aren't quiet. But most importantly the resonance is almost completely gone. There's still a little bit, but no where near as bad.

    Thanks to my Dad for his welding and grinding all the welds down smooth. It really came out nice.


  33. #193

    All caught up

    I'm finally all caught up with the pictures and my build. Hopefully people find it helpful.
    If anyone has any questions or would like to see additional pictures let me know.


  34. #194
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I appreciate you taking time to create this thread, which, beyond sharing the eye candy and great work, is better than the build manual in many respects.

  35. #195
    Hey Matt,
    Thanks so much for updating the pictures and posting the update to the side exhaust. Now great out and drive the heck out of it! Since my car is not done...I am sure that I will have a few more writing questions. Thanks again

  36. #196
    Thanks guys.

    Yeah, it's been fun driving.
    Chris, you'll be on the road in no time. Keep plugging away.


  37. #197
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Blog Entries
    Love The Car & Love The Flipping Licence Plate Idea.

    Now, If You Can Get The Rear To Do The Same Then All Will Be Right With The World!

  38. #198
    Matt- Thanks for sharing, and great documentation of your Coupe build - especially the "warts" portions. Who would have thought that the windshield wouldn't fit? I certainly wouldn't have. I guess "never assume anything" is the operating mantra with these kind of projects. Hope to use yours and other builder's experiences to help guide me through a Gen 3 Coupe build sometime in the next few years. Thanks again for the detailed documentation!


  39. #199
    You're welcome Matt.
    Yeah with the windshield, I'm sure it did fit at some point, but when I mounted the body to the frame it moved a bit and closed it in just enough. There are lots of little things that pop up with the build that add to the fun.
    Good luck.

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