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Thread: Getting ready to dive into a Roadster project!

  1. #1
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    Getting ready to dive into a Roadster project!

    Hello Forum,

    I am middle aged automotive engineer from the Detroit area (Brighton, MI to be specific).

    I’m getting ready to commit to buying a Roadster Kit and just wanted to get anyone’s 2 cents on any advice that you may have for me on my endeavor.

    I currently own a ‘88 (upgraded EFI to ‘89) Mustang GT Hatch, its a complete POS aside from the powertrain that I rebuilt in college.

    ‘88 Mustang GT Upgrades (for which I remember):
    - Trickflow Stage 1 Heads, Cam, and Intake
    - 100 shot Plate system from TrickFlow (w/mini controller)
    - 24# Injectors
    - Summit Ignition Box
    - Cold Air Intake (from RH Quarter Panel box)
    - Removed A/C
    - 5-way KONI adjustable shocks
    - Tubular Upper/Lower Rear Control Arms
    - 3.55 gears
    - Rebuilt (upgraded 2nd/3rd) Tremec T5
    - ...Many other small items

    My plan is to take the good things that I have upgraded on the Mustang from the above and use that as a base for my Roadster.

    Certainly I will utilize the FFR resources to ensure I don’t mis anything I need to remove from my Fox Body. But is there any recommendations on things that I absolutely should take from the Fox and use? Or on the other hand are there things that I absolutely should not use from the Fox?

    I am slowly working to disassemble the Mustang now and plan to order my Roadster kit before the end of the Summer Sale for a fall delivery. I think the build will probably take me more than a year so my target to to have a go-kart by the end of next summer and hopefully the car done by the summer of 2020, worst case it leaks into 2021.

    If anyone has any advice let me know. Looking forward to being a part of this community.

  2. #2
    KDubU's Avatar
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    Welcome! I can’t give advice, well I can but it may be wrong . I went a non-donor but there are plenty of others on here which have or just know a lot more. I am sure they will chime in.
    Kyle

    Complete Kit pickup 09/05/2015, 351w, QF680, 3.55, 3-Link, 15" Halibrands with MT's, Painted Viking blue with Wimbledon white stripes on 03/15/2017.

  3. #3
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    Thanks KDubU! I would have loved to do a complete kit, but don’t have that kind of budget for my build. In adddition I have put so much work into my Mustang GT powertrain that I want to see it utilized in a useful and beautiful shell.

  4. #4
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    Put in my order last night!! Super excited!

    Just put in my order last night! Really looking forward to getting started on this project!!

    Here is my order list:
    12189 - Powder coated chassis
    12070 - Body with cut-outs
    12066 - Upgrade: Tubular Front Lower Control Arms, standard width.
    10917 - Mustang OEM 4-Link Rear Suspension Kit
    13866 - Catalytic converters: 87-95 Mustang 5.0L donor
    Using 1987-1993 Mustang steering rack
    16007 - Vintage Factory Five/Smiths Style GPS Gauges (mph)
    15478 - Upgrade: Vintage Low-Back Aluminum Race Seats with black vinyl covers
    14865 - Vintage Halibrand Replica Wheels, 17” X 9” Front and 17” X 10.5” Rear
    14932 - Upgrade: Polished Stainless Side Exhaust (standard kit comes with bare steel pipes)
    12049 – Wind Wings
    12042 – Sun Visors
    15549 – Vintage Wiper Kit
    16116 - Front Swaybar
    12453 - Battery Cutoff Switch with removable key
    16039 - Vinyl Dash with Glovebox molded to fit Factory Five Vintage Gauge
    15154 – Floor Mats
    15101 - Upgrade: Chrome Driver Side Roll-Bar (Powder-coated black is standard)
    15158 - Roll Bar Grommets
    15659 - Assembled Side Louver set
    15635 - Center Dash Support
    15760 - 14” Leather Steering Wheel Upgrade
    16590 - Trunk Gas Strut Kit
    14613 - Electrical System Completion Components
    16285 - Rear Solid Axle Brake Kit with 11.65” rotors, calipers, brackets, pads, stainless steel lines, e-brake cables and hardware

    With this order I can get it in for the summer sale and achieve the 50% off of the options level! This makes this Kit very reasonable I think!

    Let me know if anyone thinks I missed anything critical for a donor kit. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Go-Dad's Top-10 Suggestions From The Dark-Dart Side:

    1. Get the manual and read it a couple of times before ordering your kit.
    2. Watch the Factory Five Assembly Videos too.
    3. Take a look at Edwardb's 2nd & 3rd build threads because they really help supplement the manual.
    4. When you get frustrated, don't throw tools, spit or curse, but walk away and come back 15-20 minutes later.
    5. When your kit arrives, do a detailed inventory and tape a copy of the individual inventory sheets on each box.
    6. Get your shop ready and buy twice as many Cleco's than you think you will need.
    7. Get four (4) heavy duty super tall jack stands that can get your frame at least 18 to 20 inches off of the floor.
    8. Take your wife or significant other out to dinner after you order your kit.
    9. Take your wife or significant other out to dinner after you tell her how much you spent on your kit.
    10.Take your wife or significant other out to dinner just because you feel like it.

    Welcome Aboard, Enjoy Your Build & Don't Get Discouraged If Life Throws You A Curve Ball Along The Way!
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 08-08-2018 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Consider getting these upper control arms since your intend to run the 4-link rear.

    https://www.spohn.net/shop/1979-2004...-Fox-Body.html
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 08-08-2018 at 08:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    Thanks GoDadGo!

    I really appreciate the list, haha! Some of those things I have done and some I have not.

    Regarding the upper control arms, I had upgraded ones on my Fox body, so hope they will do the job.

    What is the benefit of the adjustability in your opinion?

  8. #8
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonJon24 View Post
    Thanks GoDadGo!

    I really appreciate the list, haha! Some of those things I have done and some I have not.

    Regarding the upper control arms, I had upgraded ones on my Fox body, so hope they will do the job.

    What is the benefit of the adjustability in your opinion?
    1. Being able to adjust the pinion angle to get it spot on and in phase at ride height is extremely important.
    2. Reduces/Almost eliminates suspension bind because of the Spherical Ends do a great job improving axle articulation.
    3. Reduces side to side to rear end movement while reducing the rear steer shimmy effect that Fox Bodies are famous for.
    -- (If you can afford upgrading to the 3 link, it would be a big help if you plan to drive it like you stole it!)

    Mustang Mayhem:
    https://youtu.be/A5-ieqahu5o

    Factory Fives Tested By HRM:
    https://youtu.be/V96-AQ1FghI
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 08-08-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  9. #9
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    GoDadGo, I appreciate the feedback. I will have to take that into account. Started a thread over on the main Roadster forum to get a larger group’s feedback on the matter.

  10. #10
    Administrator David Hodgkins's Avatar
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    RonJon,

    Are you getting the Ron Francis wiring harness? I've heard the harness out of the mustang can be a bear to work with, requiring dieting, etc.

    If it was me I'd drop the Stainless pipes upgrade and steer that money toward a new harness. If you want stainless there are other, quieter(!) alternatives that don't blow out like the FFR pipes do.

    Last thing - I'd DEFINITELY go 3-link.


    FFR 5369 Pin Drive, IRS, Trigos, Torsen, Wilwoods, FMS BOSS 302 "B" cam , Mass-flo. CA SB100 (SPCN) Registered
    Delivered 4/23/06. "Finished" 4/2012 (still not done!)


  11. #11
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    David,

    So I have looked at ordering in the past and the wire harness kit (or whatever the Ron Francis harness was named) was listed as an option. It appears to have been replaced by a slightly more expensive 14613 - Electrical System Completion Components.

    I really hope this is the Ron Francis harness with some small additional components. Can’t imagine what else electrical would cost >$600.

    Can anyone confirm that is what that is?

  12. #12
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    I confirmed with FFR that it is indeed the chassis wiring harness plus indicators and switches.

  13. #13
    Senior Member HiggyMK4#????'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonJon24 View Post
    I confirmed with FFR that it is indeed the chassis wiring harness plus indicators and switches.
    Here what you get with that part #
    14613 ELECTRICAL SYSTEM COMPLETION COMPONENTS...….

    14503 CHASSIS WIRING HARNESS EA 1.00
    14560 CHASSIS HARNESS FUSE PANEL MOUNT EA 1.00
    15763 INERTIA SWITCH EA 1.00
    15765 INERTIA SWITCH CONNECTOR AND PINS EA 1.00
    15766 BLACK CONNECTOR HOUSING EA 1.00
    15767 1.80 MM RECTANGLE END FEMALE TERMINAL EA 3.00
    15768 BLACK CONNECTOR SEAL EA 1.00
    25461 FLANGE BUTTON HEAD SCREW, 1/4"-20 X 1" EA 2.00
    10802 1/4" NYLON LOCK NUT EA 2.00
    15859 HORNS SET 1.00
    11180 0.25" FEMALE TERMINAL CONNECTOR EA 2.00
    10984 #14 x 1/2" SCREW EA 2.00
    10816 GREEN TURN SIGNAL INDICATOR LIGHT EA 1.00
    12354 HEADLIGHT SWITCH EA 1.00
    12454 ON-ON SWITCH EA 1.00
    14954 ON-ON SWITCH EA 1.00
    11128 ON-OFF-ON SWITCH EA 1.00
    25542 GROUND STRAP EA 1.00
    14544 BATTERY GROUND STRAP EA 1.00
    11024 5/16"-18 x 1" BUTTON HEAD BOLT EA 2.00
    13963 5/16"-18 NYLON LOCK NUT EA 2.00
    11005 5/16" WASHER EA 16.00
    15256 LED UNDERDASH LIGHT EA 1.00
    14726 IGNITION SWITCH COMPONENTS EA 1.00
    14502 IGNITION SWITCH EA 1.00
    12223 RING CONNECTOR, GAUGE WIRING EA 2.00
    14087 RING CONNECTOR, GAUGE WIRING EA 4.00

    Another thing your only an hour from Edward B(Paul) who is an absolute guru!!! So that's a bonus!
    Higgy
    Last edited by HiggyMK4#????; 08-10-2018 at 06:50 AM.
    'Collecting knowledge and parts for a future build'

  14. #14
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    Thanks Higgy! That’s an awesome amount of stuff I wasn’t expecting!

  15. #15
    Member NiceGuyEddie's Avatar
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    Fully agreed on the 3-link instead of 4-link. Sell a kidney, sell your mountain bikes, trade in your gold chains that you bought in the 80's, or whatever you have to do to afford it.

    1. Get a set of REAL pads for your jackstands. Rags are cheeky.
    2. Budget at least $150 in drill bits for the 1/8 rivets and buy only the top quality bits. (Thousands of holes to drill.)
    3. Put green painters tape (lowest adhesion) on the frame, as you will step on it thousands of times during the build.
    4. After delivery, take any duct tape off the body as soon as possible.
    5. Take a zillion pictures of the aluminum panels and the way they are installed when the car is shipped (over, under, etc.)
    6. I don't care what they say, Rustoleum™ does NOT fully dry in 24 hours, it takes 48. Don't handle or install painted parts until they are fully dry.
    7. Budget $150 for FATMAT or other sound/heat insulation.
    8. READ posts about cracking the windshield with the screws for the visor brackets. (check depth and be sure the hole is going into gasket material only)
    9. DO NOT buy cheap tires. They can literally kill you, even with a mild motor. Sticky tires don't cost THAT much more and they save lives.
    10. In any case:

    When the car is done, find an empty parking lot. Go maybe 20mph in 2nd gear. Turn the steering wheel a little bit, MASH the gas, and see how the back can slide out. Do this over and over and over again until you actually lose control. Very important to learn the car's limit.

    (Ignore #10 above if you are already an expert driver.)
    Last edited by NiceGuyEddie; 08-10-2018 at 09:00 AM.

  16. #16
    Junior Member RonJon24's Avatar
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    NiceGuyEddie, thanks for the good advice! Luckily over the many years of having a car hobby I already learned about painting parts and either not waiting long enough or not being careful enough because Rsutoleom durability isn’t that good. I am planning to take to powdercoat as many things as I can and avoid Rustoleum at all costs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member stack's Avatar
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    if you are keeping your power steering rack keep power steering.

    stack
    FFR MKI Roadster FFR2202K Built in 2000 sold
    FFR Hot Rod #39 under construction

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