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Thread: Saga of a Mark I

  1. #1
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Saga of a Mark I

    As some are aware I had a "minor" accident a while ago when I took out a deer late at night while crusing the interstate. My guardian angel took a beating as I was sure the deer turned too far toward me and it was going to be in my lap! Deer horns and all! But at the last few seconds as I had run out of road to avoid him he turned to go the other way. I hit him in the butt and spun him around right down the side of the car.
    encounter with a dear at 70 mph (2).jpg 20180615_212649 (2).jpg

    I'll let you figure out what got "painted" all along the side of the car!

    So my wife kept after me to just get a new body!
    I kept working on the body and replacing all the broken parts so I could go to Ohio for the Cobra Show.

    the repairs done (2).jpg 20180621_200137 (2).jpg

    That kept me on the road. But she kept saying she did not think the red stripes looked right and to just get a new body!
    So FFR engineers, after discussions of what kind of doors, hinges etc that I had, said the Mark III would work.
    The body was done but I was off traveling and wanted to come pick it up myself. Finally just called Steward Transport for a quote to just deliver a body. A deal was made and this past weekend the body arrived
    This is my first encounter waiting for the parts to arrive on the BIG BLUE truck! I have often listened to others waiting for THE truck to arrive... pacing back and forth - first waiting for THE call … then the second call that the truck was just around the corner! I got to experience that too for the first time! He rolled the truck up into the GST BOCES complex and up to the door of the Auto Body Shop training building.
    newbody4.jpg newbody3.jpg
    The door opened and hidden under a coupe was a black body with my name on it.
    Michael Everson saw the body at FFR earlier in the day so I got a clue to what it was going to look like BUT nothing like up close when it came out of the truck.
    newbody1.jpg newbody2.jpg

    First picture if what Michael sent to me of the body at FFR and the second one is after it was out of the truck, on the ground so we could look it over before it was rolled into the GST BOCES shop There it sat waiting for the high school students to arrive on Monday morning. Just so they could ask "We're getting to work on THAT!!!" Seems I had improved the desire to get to class for the next semester!

    I have been asked on Facebook what color will it be, the same blue it is now (Chrysler PB3) OR a new color. It will be a NEW color! Again my wife thought it was time to upgrade the color also. She does great design work for both designing homes and colors designs for rooms etc. Short answer she won. Not white, green or bright reds.

    You will just have to wait - like me and to see!

    How good is this GST BOCES shop? In the entire nation a senior high school girl from THAT GST BOCES program won the CREF Collision Student of the Year award! And is receiving her aware at SEMA this next week!


    https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2...DOBfCp0dCnZ6vc

    NY has a statewide program called BOCES. BOCES stands for Board of Cooperative Educational Services. While the student attends high school they also attend classes in a trade, like electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, auto mechanics, and auto body repair.
    Last edited by R. Button; 04-01-2020 at 06:25 AM.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

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  3. #2
    East Coast Speed Machines Erik W. Treves's Avatar
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    Nice! Congrats...
    FFR 1879, Blown DSS 306,REDLINE management, VeryCoolParts Tuned 460RWHP

    FFR 818S, The Flash, Chassis #5, 2.0L, LSD, Electromotive TEC-S, VCP Tuned, 278RWHP 265 RWTQ

    FFR 6651, Green Lantern, 408W Crate, Hellion 66mm Turbo, JGS Waste gate / Blowoff valve, Tec-GT management, VCP Tuned, 575 RWHP, 690 RWTQ

    FFR 8335, Black Mamba, 289 FIA CSX 2001 tribute car, 347, 48 IDA webers, VCP Tuned, 311 RWHP 386 RWTQ, 3-link, Trigo's

    FFR 0004, Gen 3 , Hawk Coupe, Coyote twin turbo, 683 RWHP 559 RWTQ, IRS, VCP Tuned. "not too shabby"

    US ARMY Maintenance Test Pilot (CW4 Retired)

  4. #3
    Senior Member phileas_fogg's Avatar
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    This is a great story. I definitely want to see pictures of these high schoolers getting dusty.


    John
    MK IV Roadster #8631
    Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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    Senior Member bil1024's Avatar
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    So cool! Congrats Ralph

  6. #5
    Not a waxer Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Cool Ralph! Great to get the younger folks involved---we're retiring the old guys like us at a faster rate than the new blood is coming in so we need them. I'll PM my number---tell them to call if they have questions.

    Jeff

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  8. #6

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    Garry Bopp's Avatar
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    Ralph, it was great to meet you at LCS 2019. Great story and congrats on the new body for your road warrior.

    Garry
    I sure miss my coupe!

    F5R1004503SP 2004 Challenge Car, 331 Stroker

    Coupe # 031, 422" Windsor stroker by Southern Automotive (Dash autographed by Peter Brock)***SOLD***
    Unique 427 Roadster, 482" Aluminum FE by Southern Automotive***SOLD***

  9. #7
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    Congratulations. Now you'll be good for another 600,000.

    I am definitely interested to see if there are any surprises when the MK3 body fits the MK1 frame.

    Derald.
    Tough Times Don't Last.......But Tough People Do

    FFR 3319. On the road since 2002 with a lot of upgrades

  10. #8
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Will keep an update on the status of a Mark III body onto the Mark I frame. I have received messages from a number of others whating to know how it goes.
    Thanks Jeff!! I'll pass on your number to the instructor, Brian in case he has questions.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  11. #9
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    A quick update... What I thought was going to be a quick unbolt process to remove the Mark I body has turned into a spray the bolts with WD-40 wait a day to remove the bolt! Bumper bolts, body attach bolts, etc. Soon I'll have one of the quick lift jacks to allow me to work under the car easier (waiting on package 2 of three to arrive).
    I have some clean up of rust on the frame, under the seats on the front side of the frame. Most of the original powder coating is still good. The body replace has been a slow process! I bag all the sub sections of the body take offs. BUT as I look at them 99.9999% will be just replaced with stainless steel fasteners, washers, etc. As I work on the car it's more like taking in an old 1950's car for a rebuild! Remove rusted parts, then wire brush them to clean them up. Am considering a sand blasting box & powder coating system!

    What does help is I have a new shop to work in - with HEAT! I set the thermostat to stay at 50 so that when I come out to the shop the tools are warmer as well as the shop! It's a new 24x24 shop. First pic is of the shop shell, then after the walls, ceiling were insulated, and the tools have begun to roll out of the old tiny garage to the new shop!

    build in progress.jpg walls done.jpg
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

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  13. #10
    Senior Member bil1024's Avatar
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    Getting there Ralph!

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    Senior Member John4337's Avatar
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    Great progress Ralph. Room to work helps a lot. Ran across this, see what FFR will https://www.google.com/amp/s/jalopni...1831055446/amp

    Keep the updates coming

    John
    FFR #7388 - Mk 4 Complete Kit w/ IRS, Ordered 10/21/10, Delivered 12/8/10, Drivetrain in 8/21/11

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  16. #12
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    I love the old beetles 1966-1967!
    Taken care of they can last a long time!

    I just keep working on my car a bolt at a time and if needed the Dremel tool comes out to cut the bolt!
    This is what is on my list yet to be done to release the body:
    1) tail lights
    2) couple of rivets to be drilled out
    3) pull the windscreen and support arms out - will do last
    4) 2 bolts on the side of the body - other 6 bolts are out
    5) rear bumper
    6) gas filler pipe
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  17. #13
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    I too have used a lot of stainless fasteners and have used, specific for stainless, anti-seize on all of them. Both large and small, although the smaller ones gall easier. I use a small flat screw driver to apply to the threads.

    George

  18. #14
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    slowly the shop is changing as I fit more tools, and parts into it. This is as I left it last night after the peg board and new wall cabinet was installed. Tonight I get the quick lift installed and change out the jack stands for the lift! Then I can get either cut or remove the side bolts!
    new lift.jpg progress.jpg

    I created a work bench from cut 2x4's. Cut then in half (on the wide side) on a table saw, then glued and put long construction screws fastening then together as I kept adding the cut 2x4's with the cut side up. Sanded it all down to make it smooth, and walnut stained it (had an almost empty can of stain I used). Created the frame for it and mounted it to the wall 2x6's. You can stand on the bench if needed
    Last edited by R. Button; 02-18-2020 at 08:37 AM.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  19. #15
    Senior Member Mike N's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new shop. Looks great!
    Mike............

    FFR2100 - 331 with KB supercharger - T5 - 5 link rear 3.08's and T2 Torsen.

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    Senior Member Walt's Avatar
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    Ralph, are you going to get the hard top painted to use?
    Walt
    FFR8237 Donor build 89 GT , MK 4 , T5 , 17 " hallibrands 9" front 10.5 rear ,4×4 headers stainless mufflers, dual chrome roll bars, coil overs all 4

  21. #17
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Good Question! I thought about that, then was thinking about some wrap on it. Not sure yet what to do with the hard top. Am waiting to see if the wife had them put stripes on the car.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  22. #18
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Body is now off and the rewiring has begun
    body off.jpg

    The pile of wires from behind the dash and in the driver footbox has been slowly growing.

    old behind the dash.jpg

    Removing one panel on the driver foot box so far has given me all the access I needed to clean out the old and install the new Ron Francis wiring kit.
    open panel.jpg

    wiring removed.jpg

    I have not done the rear wiring harness removal yet just the front and the behind the dash.

    I have been carrying that Ron Francis wiring kit around with me for years. I bought it from some guy called Michael Everson over at replicaparts.com when I lived in Texas. That box filled with the wiring kit has moved from Texas to NC to Texas, to now NY. The old box looks rather beaten but when I cut the tape to open the box, the parts had survived!
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  23. #19
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Having now looked at the wiring mess behind the dash... I am honestly surprised it held up ok! It does not look pretty! BUT it worked every day and kept the car running for miles and miles.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  24. #20
    mburger's Avatar
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    Ralph, with Henry Renaud's help, I plan on removing the body on my Mk1 this summer and replace the wiring with the RF harness as well. (Along with many other upgrades I am collecting parts for)
    Following your progress is my inspiration! Looks like you're making great progress!
    Mark
    Mk1, Frame #1929 stock ‘90 EFI 302, T5, 8.8, 3:55, 5 lug, PS, 4 wheel PDB Heidts, heat, fresh air vents, RT TS, windshield wings, FFR front/rear lower control arms, Speedhut gauges, Alex's glovebox, rear coil overs 300lb springs.

  25. #21
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    The RF harnesses are great! Well documented and the wires are nicely labeled. The "extra" stuff that will slow me down a bit are Russ's turn light assembly, distributor & ignition module - Ford Duraspark,, and 1 wire alternator. Otherwise I found the RF harness well thought out.
    Henry will breeze right through the wiring! I also found a few places the rivets broke loose so am cleaning them up.
    We had 4 of us get the body off. Lifted from the back, got it up enough to push the body forward to get around the front of the frame and it was off the chassis! We could of done it with just 2 of us but extra help made it real easy. And wiped out a dozen donuts! Oh and I cut a 35" long board with two short boards on each end to hold the front and back of the body together ok. Taped it on the body with painters tape.
    Time is catching up with me so I work for a few hours, take an aspirin (or two) take a long break, then back at it.
    I really want to have it ready for The Glen's events later this summer! So am pushing myself to get it done!
    Having the coffee machine, refrigerator, and Alexa in the shop - to play music, helps too! Maybe a microwave will be a nice addition later
    Henry will get you fixed up!
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  26. #22
    mburger's Avatar
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    Good stuff Ralph. Thank you!
    Mark
    Mk1, Frame #1929 stock ‘90 EFI 302, T5, 8.8, 3:55, 5 lug, PS, 4 wheel PDB Heidts, heat, fresh air vents, RT TS, windshield wings, FFR front/rear lower control arms, Speedhut gauges, Alex's glovebox, rear coil overs 300lb springs.

  27. #23
    Senior Member bil1024's Avatar
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    awesome Ralph

  28. #24
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    And I found out why the Mark I gradually has a feeling of the chassis twisting... If you are out pushing the car hard - sticky tires - at a track event. Doing it often, what I found happens on my car was the rivits that attach the aluminum that installs over the top of the transmission tunnel break! The heads come off so the aluminum is loose. I have some sound deadener installed that was holding the aluminum in place. I think it was all the fun I had at VIR and what was called the Oak Tree turn! A tight right hander before the long straight away. In my case it had gotten bad enough that during auto-x the driver door would pop open.
    I'm cleaning up the tranny tunnel so I can have some new braces welded in place like are already install in the newer cars. This is not something most would ever have an issue with. I'm just a bit further down the road than most Mark I's!
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

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  30. #25
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Well I'm finally into the the transmission tunnel. As I'm looking to tighten up my frame. I took the carpet off the top of the transmission tunnel. Removed the sound deadening material. Found all the side rivets has popped out - heads came off them. So peeked under the aluminum where I had removed rivets. I was looking to see if back in 1998 I may have missed riveting to the frame. Surprise there is no frame there! Back in the day the Mark I's did not have additional frame in the top of the transmission tunnel. Well this Mark I is about to get a new frame across the top of the transmission tunnel. I had wrongly assumed there were two square frame support members front to rear at the top of the transmission tunnel and I could just weld to them... oops. Now am hunting for a company that can ship me some square tubing as my wife is not letting me out of the house for the duration! Am making measurements for how much I need. I have pictures of what the current frames look like to work from and will generally follow the new design from the Mark II, III and IV's. Pictures of what I discovered to follow shortly. Again this is not a defect - just who would have figured someone would put this many miles on a Mark I! All those miles that aluminum did it's job.

    We have the technology - I can make it better than it was before! (and for a lot less than 6 million dollars)
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

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  32. #26
    mburger's Avatar
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    Awesome Ralph. Looking forward to the photos!
    Mark
    Mk1, Frame #1929 stock ‘90 EFI 302, T5, 8.8, 3:55, 5 lug, PS, 4 wheel PDB Heidts, heat, fresh air vents, RT TS, windshield wings, FFR front/rear lower control arms, Speedhut gauges, Alex's glovebox, rear coil overs 300lb springs.

  33. #27
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Well as long as I'm locked in the house for a while... Added a dash rebuild to the list.

    dash rebuild2.jpg
    Just going to do a recover the dash with new leather. Brought the dash to my office so I can keep up with paying work and have something to get my hands dirty too! Some of the tops of the keys on my keyboard have gotten sticky!
    Last edited by R. Button; 03-28-2020 at 02:46 PM. Reason: fixed the upside down image
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  34. #28
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    Here is what the new body looks like now - over in the paint booth at BOCES
    body getting ready for paint.jpg primer1.jpg
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  35. #29
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
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    tranny tunnel.jpg

    Forgot to post a picture of the tranny tunnel here. On the Mark I's it just an aluminum box! Soon to be framed in with square tubing.
    The top cover on the tranny will soon be leather covered With a piece of leather just like the dash.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  36. Likes GTBradley liked this post
  37. #30
    Super Moderator R. Button's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
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    336
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    13
    tranny tunnel has been reinforced, and the reassembly of the car has begun.
    Driver seat is installed, carpet is done.
    Some of the wiring has to be extended to work on the older Mark I's
    The old dash was looking "poorly" so I got a new carbon fiber dash. After a lot of measuring, used the metal template to re-template the dash, I finally have it all assembled.
    tranny tunnel.jpg.jpg
    Some of the new bracing that was done to the tranny tunnel!

    carbon fiber dash.jpg.jpg

    The new carbon fiber dash. All gauges installed with switches. Now to get the wiring done for it.
    Ralph Button
    FFR 1436 (PROUD Owner of an Original Mark I)
    400,013 miles as of 11/1/2009
    417,840 miles as of 8/12/2010
    435,021 miles as of 12/19/2011
    Now a well broken in 347 engine
    523,145 miles as of 7/29/2014
    601,165 miles as of 6/1/2018

    "It's not about the destination, it's the about the journey. And where is your journey taking you?"

    "... Not all who wander are lost!... --J.R.R. Tolkien

  38. Likes Walt liked this post
  39. #31
    mburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Punta Gorda FL
    Posts
    502
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    Nice work on the tunnel. Looks great!
    Mark
    Mk1, Frame #1929 stock ‘90 EFI 302, T5, 8.8, 3:55, 5 lug, PS, 4 wheel PDB Heidts, heat, fresh air vents, RT TS, windshield wings, FFR front/rear lower control arms, Speedhut gauges, Alex's glovebox, rear coil overs 300lb springs.

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