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Thread: New Roadster Builder

  1. #1
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    New Roadster Builder

    Hi, all

    I recently ordered the MKIV roadster and expect to be wrenching by mid-January! I have basic automotive experience, changing brakes/rotors, shocks, hub assemblies, doing oil changes, etc. so there will certainly be a lot of teachable moments along the way. Thanks to the many forum members who have shared their time via PM, phone and even graciously welcomed me into their garage for a firsthand tour of their build and experience, as well as those who have meticulously documented their builds.

    Enough about me, here are the details on my build, with a couple of notes/questions for those of you with experience with some of the options. I welcome any and all feedback/recommendations, especially while I still have some time to make changes to the order:

    MKIV Roadster Complete Kit
    P/C Chassis
    302 Ceramic Headers
    Body Cutouts
    Power Steering
    Wipers
    Wind Wings
    Battery Cut-off
    P/S P/C Roll Bar
    IRS w/ Regular Brake Kit (non Wilwood)
    Leather Steering Wheel
    Autolite Gauges
    Trunk Gas Strut Kit (Anyone have experience good/bad with this option?)
    Blank Dash (for Competition Layout)
    Side Seat Track (Anyone have experience good/bad with this option?)

    Im currently shopping around for a 306/T5 combo (TBD on carb/EFI) and plan to go with aftermarket side pipes, wheels (18) and a whole list of other options from forum vendors.

    Looking forward to the journey!

  2. #2

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Welcome Aboard!

    This Will Be A Life Changing Event In A Very Positive Way As Long As You Stay Focused & Don't Start Throwing Tools!
    There are a lot of great builders here that are always willing to share their expertise.
    I'm not one of them but hope to be one someday.

    Again, Welcome Aboard!
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 11-05-2018 at 08:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Papa's Avatar
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    Welcome to the fun!. Coming into this with about the same experience you describe, I can tell you that you will be fine. As for your questions, I can't address the trunk strut option, but will offer some thoughts on the seat track. I was looking at that, too, but unless you get one for both sides, your seats will sit at different heights. I ended up going with the Breeze seat mounting kit, and highly recommend it. It makes the seat installation very simple and practical. You get about three inches of adjustability, but not with the ease of a slider. It also tilts your seats back slightly, which I feel adds a bit of comfort over the parallel-to-the-floor options. Hope this helps, and have a great time!

    Dave
    There are 10 types of people in this world;
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

    My Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ter-Build-9754

  4. #4
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Thanks, GoDadGo. Don't sell yourself Short!

    Dave, appreciate the feedback on the seat track. I assumed this helped with horizontal movement and not vertical, glad I asked!

  5. #5
    KDubU's Avatar
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    Congrats! The build is a great experience. I second the Breeze seat mounting kit and personally would upgrade to the Wilwoods.
    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.

  6. #6
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Kyle, with the Wilwoods, I've been going back and forth on whether to do these and ultimately settled on not (for now) for three reasons:

    1) I can always upgrade later
    2) The standard brakes are setup to stop a car much heavier than this and should be more than sufficient
    3) I worry it may limit my aftermarket wheel selection since they're made specifically to fit the FFR halibrands

    Thoughts?

  7. #7
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    VAHokie, CONGRATS. Have you gotten a completion date yet?
    JR
    MK4 complete kit #9059 ordered 1/19/17 delivered 3/23/17, 2015 IRS, Fortes/DART347,TKO 600, hyd clutch, P/S, 12.88 wilwood brakes front and rear, high back kirkey seats, heater/defrost and vintage gauges
    First start and go-cart 4/11/18

  8. #8
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrcuz View Post
    VAHokie, CONGRATS. Have you gotten a completion date yet?
    JR
    Hey JR, scheduled for a 12/15 completion and hoping to receive the kit in early January.

  9. #9
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    LETS GET THIS GOING!!!! Congrats

  10. #10
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiec View Post
    LETS GET THIS GOING!!!! Congrats
    Thanks, Scott. I'll without a doubt be reaching out once things get going.

  11. #11
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    Welcome to the fun.... I purchased my build in August and have moved along pretty quickly. You should have no problems based on what you have posted. As you know there are a ton of people on the forums that will help you. They will even help you spend your money... I truly think that everyone on here means the best and give you their opinions with that in mind. Remember, it's your build. It's your final decision. You may have to stop and rethink some things and even take something apart and start over. It's all about the growth you will experience as you go. Always feel free to ask questions either on the forum or in a PM. Look forward to seeing your build as it moves along. Personally, I really liked the service and so far, the performance of the BluePrint Engines. I understand that Forte also is a great option.

    Bottom Line.... HAVE FUN!

    Mk4 20th Anniversary #8690 ( #8 of 20 ) Purchased 8/18/18----Build Started 8/19/18
    First Start 11-1-18
    ---- First GoCart 11-7-18
    BluePrint Engines 347ci / TKO600
    Carb / Heater / Heated Seats / Cruise Control / Drop Trunk & Battery

    Build Thread Click Here Gel Coat Driver 1/12/19 - Hit 1000 Miles 3-23-19

  12. #12
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadAsp427 View Post
    Welcome to the fun.... I purchased my build in August and have moved along pretty quickly. You should have no problems based on what you have posted. As you know there are a ton of people on the forums that will help you. They will even help you spend your money... I truly think that everyone on here means the best and give you their opinions with that in mind. Remember, it's your build. It's your final decision. You may have to stop and rethink some things and even take something apart and start over. It's all about the growth you will experience as you go. Always feel free to ask questions either on the forum or in a PM. Look forward to seeing your build as it moves along. Personally, I really liked the service and so far, the performance of the BluePrint Engines. I understand that Forte also is a great option.

    Bottom Line.... HAVE FUN!
    Thanks, BadAsp427. This forum is a huge resource and a big reason why I moved forward with the build having limited automotive experience. Appreciate the thoughts on BP and Forte, they're two of the builders I'm considering.

  13. #13
    doddmoore's Avatar
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    I am with you on the brake selection. They are pricey, you can always do it later, and the stock brakes are made for a much heavier car. You will have no problem stopping. Having ridden in one with the stock brakes and over 600hp I can tell you he did not need wilwoods. I got them, but then again I am not that bright.
    "Doddmoore," Mitchell Moore on facebook, Follow Tonks347Cobra on Instagram
    MK IV Complete kit, Blueprint 347, Holley Sniper EFI, TKO 600, Wilwoods, Power Steering, RT turn signals, FFR soft top
    My Build Thread: Tonks347, The Baker's Build
    Slow and steady wins the race.

  14. #14
    Member John T's Avatar
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    Mine was ordered in Feb and delivered in May. Once you get your car you will enjoy the process.
    I went with the Breeze seat platforms. Once installed I don't expect to move the seats, but I appreciated the flexibility of the installations.
    I also agree that Mike Forte provides a good service. He has built my 306. I had surgery 10/31 so I am not quite ready to put the motor in; however, he sent a dyne video showing 378 HP.
    have fun and enjoy the build.

  15. #15
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doddmoore View Post
    I am with you on the brake selection. They are pricey, you can always do it later, and the stock brakes are made for a much heavier car. You will have no problem stopping. Having ridden in one with the stock brakes and over 600hp I can tell you he did not need wilwoods. I got them, but then again I am not that bright.
    Thanks for the reassurance, Mitchell. Great build thread BTW, I'll be referring to it often as I get my build underway.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Mine was ordered in Feb and delivered in May. Once you get your car you will enjoy the process.
    I went with the Breeze seat platforms. Once installed I don't expect to move the seats, but I appreciated the flexibility of the installations.
    I also agree that Mike Forte provides a good service. He has built my 306. I had surgery 10/31 so I am not quite ready to put the motor in; however, he sent a dyne video showing 378 HP.
    have fun and enjoy the build.
    Thanks, John. I've been pleased with my interactions with Mike so far. Did you request any additional power upgrades with your 306? He stated HP in the 345 range and you're close to +35 of that.

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    From one newbie to another, Welcome

  18. #18
    Senior Member gtaroger's Avatar
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    Welcome from one of the old farts.Unless you are going to be racing your car, the standard brakes will serve you well.Try upgrading the pads to Hawk ceramic pads. Roger

  19. #19
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponymedic View Post
    From one newbie to another, Welcome
    Thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtaroger View Post
    Welcome from one of the old farts.Unless you are going to be racing your car, the standard brakes will serve you well.Try upgrading the pads to Hawk ceramic pads. Roger
    My thoughts exactly and always something I can upgrade later if I feel that it's not sufficient.

  21. #21
    Brandon #9196 TexasAviator's Avatar
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    There are many inspirational builds on here. Read them all... thrice. Welcome to the madness.

    Brandon

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasAviator View Post
    There are many inspirational builds on here. Read them all... thrice. Welcome to the madness.

    Brandon
    Thanks, Brandon. PM sent.

  23. #23
    Member John T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHokie View Post
    Thanks, John. I've been pleased with my interactions with Mike so far. Did you request any additional power upgrades with your 306? He stated HP in the 345 range and you're close to +35 of that.
    I am not very knowledgeable about engine building. I just let Mike make the choices. I also expected around 350; however, he posted the dyno test and it showed 378. You'll have to talk to Mike about what he has done.

  24. #24
    mcwho's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum and many new friends.
    I am one of the slow builders as my MKIV took 8 years to build. It is one of the first 100 to come out of the factory Five plant. It has been a great ride...

    I saw that you said you were gonna put in Gas STruts in the trunk, I would like to hear about that and who the parts are coming from.

    Good Luck and take your time.
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  25. #25
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    I am not very knowledgeable about engine building. I just let Mike make the choices. I also expected around 350; however, he posted the dyno test and it showed 378. You'll have to talk to Mike about what he has done.
    What trans are you running?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    Welcome to the Forum and many new friends.
    I am one of the slow builders as my MKIV took 8 years to build. It is one of the first 100 to come out of the factory Five plant. It has been a great ride...

    I saw that you said you were gonna put in Gas STruts in the trunk, I would like to hear about that and who the parts are coming from.

    Good Luck and take your time.
    Since the post I have decided to go with the Breeze trunk it so no gas struts for me, but hopefully someone else can chime in.

  27. #27

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Hey Va,

    I'm going to be adapting a Corvette Hood Support from an early C4.
    I got my part from Dino's Corvette Salvage, but a new one can be purchased from Ecklers.

    https://www.ecklerscorvette.com/1985...d-support.html

    Steve

  28. #28
    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Welcome to you too. Belated as it is. I hadn't considered the gas strut mot looking period correct. Is that why you're avoiding it?

  29. #29
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTBradley View Post
    Welcome to you too. Belated as it is. I hadn't considered the gas strut mot looking period correct. Is that why you're avoiding it?
    Thanks! I'm not going for period correctness and ultimately decided there are other options worth considering. If I elect to do them, I can always pick them up closer to install date - still some time for that.

  30. #30
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    Hey Tony, any word from FFR yet? Is it ready?
    JR
    MK4 complete kit #9059 ordered 1/19/17 delivered 3/23/17, 2015 IRS, Fortes/DART347,TKO 600, hyd clutch, P/S, 12.88 wilwood brakes front and rear, high back kirkey seats, heater/defrost and vintage gauges
    First start and go-cart 4/11/18

  31. #31
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrcuz View Post
    Hey Tony, any word from FFR yet? Is it ready?
    JR
    Hey Jerry,

    Car is completed and received the "nursery" pic this past Thurs from Sally @ FFR. I should know the exact date for delivery this week, but it'll be some time in the first two weeks of Jan. I'll keep you and the rest of the NoVA crew in the loop so you can stop by for the delivery if your schedule allows for it.

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  33. #32
    BadAsp427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAHokie View Post
    Since the post I have decided to go with the Breeze trunk it so no gas struts for me, but hopefully someone else can chime in.
    The trunk kit is Part # 16590 from FFR.... You get new Stainless Steel Hinges, two gas struts, the mounting hardware.
    You can see mine installed in my build thread, just did them the other day...

    Mk4 20th Anniversary #8690 ( #8 of 20 ) Purchased 8/18/18----Build Started 8/19/18
    First Start 11-1-18
    ---- First GoCart 11-7-18
    BluePrint Engines 347ci / TKO600
    Carb / Heater / Heated Seats / Cruise Control / Drop Trunk & Battery

    Build Thread Click Here Gel Coat Driver 1/12/19 - Hit 1000 Miles 3-23-19

  34. #33
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadAsp427 View Post
    The trunk kit is Part # 16590 from FFR.... You get new Stainless Steel Hinges, two gas struts, the mounting hardware.
    You can see mine installed in my build thread, just did them the other day...
    Looks likes a pretty nice set-up. I'll be sure to check back in down the road to see how you like it - perhaps an item i'll pick-up during next year's Black Friday sale.
    MKIV Complete Kit #9494 l Carb'd 306 l Mid-shift TKO600 l 3.55 IRS l P/S l Forte Hydraulic Clutch, Mechanical Throttle Linkage l RT Turn Signal, Drop Trunk l Breeze Lower Radiator Support, Fan Shroud l Boig Quiet Pipes l 18" Forgestar F14s

  35. #34
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    Hi Dave,

    In a way of thinking, I am a near neighbor of yours in Va. Beach/Sandbridge. My MKIV complete kit was delivered in November. Because of professional travel in Nov/Dec, I was only able to get a real start on the car in late Dec. Currently I have the front suspension hung, have installed front brakes/rotors and the steering rack. Currently I am bouncing back and forth between the steering/firewall and the rear axle assembly (Moser). Though things are going well, I have gotten far too used to doing things twice (install, note installed wrong, remove install, install again). Though I have built engines and modified cars to drag race (years ago), I’ve never done a ground up build. Having said that I know my way around the shop and knew enough to attend the build school at Mott Community College in Michigan. It was invaluable, if for no other reason than my class notes and my extensive photographs. I look forward to seeing how your build progresses.

  36. #35
    Member VAHokie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the note and congrats on your build. You have far more experience than me around cars and it sounds like you're off to a good start. I'll be sure to reach out if I have any questions and invite any comments/feedback on my build thread as I post progress, questions, and requests for checking my work.
    Last edited by VAHokie; 01-13-2019 at 08:36 PM.
    MKIV Complete Kit #9494 l Carb'd 306 l Mid-shift TKO600 l 3.55 IRS l P/S l Forte Hydraulic Clutch, Mechanical Throttle Linkage l RT Turn Signal, Drop Trunk l Breeze Lower Radiator Support, Fan Shroud l Boig Quiet Pipes l 18" Forgestar F14s

  37. #36
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    Congrats on the purchase of your MKIV roadster from another newbie here in St. Louis. I recently purchased the 65 coupe and I am waiting on a delivery sometime in January.

    Good luck with your build, I'll be following your progress.

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  39. #37
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    I just joined the forum and have a kit completion date for mid Feb (complete MKIV). I'm looking forward to following your progress as well - I think you'll be about 2 months ahead of me when you get started.

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