Brake rotors and drums

Spent Sunday putting the front rotors and rear drums together. The fronts went relatively easy. Let me tell you, bearing grease smells like crap. I don’t mean it smells bad, it smells like crap! After I figured out that the rotors had their own races I managed to pop things together pretty quickly. I also got the tie-rod lock nuts loose! Finally! Good news is I don’t have to buy a new steering rack. Bad news is I can’t buy a new steering rack. Looks like I’ll be slogging through the donor rack for a while. Some extra upper arm strength never hurt anyone. )

The drums didn’t go together quite so easily. I replaced the shoes and the springs. The left side drum slid on with a little bit of encouragement. The right side however, won’t go on. I must have something lined up wrong or the drum itself is too crapped up on the inside. Either way, it ain’t going on. Been asking the club guys for suggestions. I think Bob Lennon has the best suggestion so far. Check the adjuster and make certain it’s actually in the slots on the shoes. I think it is but that will have to wait until I get home.

I also started putting together the steering shaft. The lower is in and I’ve trying to remove the upper that Travis gave me, from the lower that was still attached. It doesn’t want to slide out but a little time and PB Blaster should fix that. Might be able to sit in it and grab the steering wheel soon. )

For the prospective builders out there…the toughest part of this whole thing has been anything related to the donor. The kit goes together pretty easily. There are parts of the instructions that are a little vague but with some noodling can be figured out. The donor parts are different. Maybe it’s just because my donor was dirty beyond belief. I’m just hoping it runs well at this point.

Big hammer = cracked parts

Important tip: When hitting something with a hammer it’s a good idea to make sure the bracket is solid or else put something behind it. I didn’t do that and I wound up cracking the timing cover. So, $60 later I have a new (used and very dirty) timing cover. Also, another $15 for the gaskets since I’m pulling it off now. Argh! I have to look at the bright side of this. It will give me a chance to paint the timing cover itself. I think I’ll do it a silver just to set it off. Woot!

John Wilkins is the man. He’s letting me borrow a wheel and tire so I don’t have to mess with the tire situation right now. There’s $250 I can defer to a later date! He also loaned me a very good Ford shop manual and some thread cleaner/chasers. Since I’ll be removing the timing cover I’ll take the opportunity to chase out the threads that are buried in the block.

I now have all of the parts I need to put the wheels on. No more excuses for not having a roller. I still need to get the front brake pads but that can wait for a bit. Maybe, just maybe, it will be a roller this weekend. That would be a very nice thing.

Paint it black

Painted the block yesterday. I should have pics up soon. I think it looks ok, not show quality but better than greasy. Still need to paint the manifold. I’ve decided to paint it black rather than getting it blasted. It’ll be cheaper and easier and I won’t have to mess with the seal of the lower to the block. I just need to find out what paint everyone uses.

I was planning on sticking with the donor steering rack for now but I still can’t get the tie rods loose. The jamnut just won’t let go. I’m going to keep wailing on it but if I can’t get it off by the weekend I think I’ll starting planning on swapping it for the Autozone 1980 manual version. Just trying to conserve as much money as I can at this point.

I keep waffling on tires for the same reason. I’ve got one unusable tire where the sidewall has a split. I wouldn’t really want to drive too long on the others either. Still, I think I might just get one tire now so I can at least put the whole thing on wheels. Then decide on either three more tires or all new wheels and tires later. I’ll be making that decision soon.

Engine cleaning tunnel

Well July was fun but I did almost nothing with the Cobra. Last month we celebrated Jacob’s and my birthdays. It was Jacob’s first and my 30th. Woot! Don’t feel a day over 39! )

Finally got to work on the engine again over the weekend. I basically put the valve covers and the oil pan back on after cleaning them up. TIP: Don’t flip the engine upside down unless you have a couple of buckets underneath it. I found out the hard way that there is quite a bit of coolant left in it! After buttoning things back up I stood back and it didn’t look too bad. It still needs a little more scrubbing and a coat of paint but it’s almost there. I can actually see the light at the end of the engine cleaning tunnel.

Picked up some rotors and bearings from stinky Trak Auto. I normally hate shopping there but this time I managed to get the rotors on sale. I’m very happy about that! I’m going to find someone to help me pack the bearings and then on the car they go. I’m so close to having a roller it’s making me itchy. And only a year and a half after picking up the kit! )

The last couple of weeks have been hot, hot, hot. It was 90+ degrees for more than 20 days in July. It finally broke today. It was absolutely beautiful outside. About 82 degrees and breazy. Nice clear sky, couple of wisps of clouds here and there, very blue. It’s days like this that make me dream about having a place on the beach. Mostly I thought about how nice it would be to be driving the Cobra. Bittersweet. I really have to get this thing on the road…