The Rocket!

Chillin out reading my copy of Ultimate Garages today I came across a car in Jay Leno’s garage.  A little red thing that kind of looked like an older F1 car but had modern gear.  Unfortunately there’s no mention of what it is in the book!  A little digging and I present you with the LCC Rocket.  A limited production car from the early 90’s.  I don’t love it’s lines, the driver bubble on top doesn’t feel right to me, but I still like the concept of it.  I think I’m getting more and more in love with little lightweight cars like this.  Something about the idea of high horsepower to weight ratios and racing suspensions.  The DP1 and Kimini are two ground up builds of small, light cars that have caught my attention.  I’m sure the Cobra will have a similar feel, once it’s done.

Reading the signals – part 2

Well, that was quick! The hazard flasher does work perfectly. I’ve updated the diagram to reflect the new design.

I just had the thought that I’ll probably be able to elminate some more cable by running the wires coming from the switches through the bus bar as well. I’ll save that for the final dash positioning though. No need to go hacking up wires when I’m not sure exactly what I’ll need. It’s always easier to take them out than it is to put them back in! I also had the thought that I might be able to use one of the female ends of the spade lugs I’ve been using for the lights. They might fit over the spades coming off the switches very nicely.

This small thing is another significant step. I need to think about this over night but I’m pretty sure I’m done with the rear harness now. I think I can start grooming it and tying it down. After I’ve done that I can install the trunk aluminum. Still a lot to do but it’s an important milestone that opens up other tasks for completion. One thing I need to remember to mention to Angie…a 3 link would go in a lot easier without the trunk aluminum installed. 😉 Reading this hon?

Reading the signals

Spent a good part of the weekend hooking up the turn signals and the hazards.  I was a bit worried about making sure I was thinking straight so I did this diagram in visio real quick.  I missed a couple of things so I’ll be posting a “finish” diagram later.  Notably, using a DPST for the hazards works better than the SPST in the diagram.  Using an SPST will result in either a loop and everything flashing no matter which signal you use, or the necessity for diodes to stop the current flow back through the loop.  The DPST switch seemed much cleaner to me.

I also replaced the badly frayed coil plug’s wire.  Here’s what it looked like before:

Here’s what it looks like now:

Click on the pics to zoom in to the gallery.  I’m pretty sure I actually saw sparks a couple of times with the old pigtail!

Of course, here’s my Box O Wire that I never posted from the wire diet entry:

I haven’t weighed it but it looks significant!

I have a few more pics in the electrical section of the gallery.  I only have one outstanding problem with the signals and it goes something like this.  When I turn on the turn signal and then apply the brakes the turn signal freezes in mid cycle.  The rear turn signal is out while the front one is on.  I posted on FFCobra about it and got a very interesting response.  Seems the “turn signal” flasher doesn’t get enough load to kick over when the brakes are applied.  However, the “hazard” flasher doesn’t have that problem.  I’m going to try it out as soon as I finish here.  I actually like the hazard flasher idea better since it seemed to be a faster flash.  If that does work I think I might be able to pull the power lead for the turn signals from the hazard flasher instead of the turn signal flasher.  That’d be a few more wires to add to that box!

Major milestone

Last night I reached what I consider a major milestone with the Cobra.  I plugged the wiring harness’ back in after finishing the trimming.  It didn’t start on the first try but it did on the second!  Idled kind of rough but I suspect that’s because I didn’t tighten things down, like the battery terminals, and/or because I have a ground that I know I need to re-attach.  The important thing is that I didn’t remove anything I absolutely needed!

The wiring was a bit of a mental hurdle and I’m glad I’ve crested the hill with it.  I’m not done by any stretch, but I feel like I understand what most of the wiring is doing now.  At least from a fundamental sense.

Next up is hooking up the lights and making them work properly.  I’d like to verify that before I start tying the wiring into the car.  Easier to fix things while they’re draped over the frame.  I expect to have issues with the lights.

I’m excited about the possibility of actually having this thing on the road in a month or two.  It’s been a long time and I’m ready to drive it.

Wire diet, Part 2

I’m almost done with the wire diet.  I’ve trimmed out everything except about half of the dash harness.  That one’s taking a bit longer as I’m trying to be careful not to cut something important.  All of the harness were pretty simple with the exception of the dash.  The dash hasn’t been bad so far, just more questionable items.  It’s important to not cut wires that are actually bridged inside the plug!  I’ve already found one in the dash harness that I needed to remove and retain rather than chop it.

I hope to finish up the dash harness some time in the next couple of nights.  After that I’ll move the body back to the buck, lay in the harness and make sure everything starts.  At that point the fun begins as I can start routing everything and putting it in it’s final place.  I’ll also start on the dash at that point.

Working on the car again feels good.  Although parts of the wire diet have been challenging I can see my way through it.  I feel like it’s more in my repertoire.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…it’s still kinda dim but it’s there!


Amazingly enough, this is not a post about how I plan on working on the cobra soon.  I’ve actually worked on it this time!  Over the weekend I tagged and removed all of the wiring, moved the body back onto the frame, set up a 4×8 sheet of plywood as a table and started stripping the front harness.

Also drove down to Stephen’s to pick up some wiring diagrams he had.  I’m not completely oriented yet, but I’m starting to understand it better.

This seems like a part I can really wrap my head around.  I’m looking forward to stripping out what I don’t need and cleaning it up real nice.  I’ll have to be careful to be methodical, but the end result should be a much cleaner, more straight forward harness.

Just with the front headlight harness I’ll be removing the fog lamps.  I was considering reusing that wire for the fan but I think I’m going to get a thermostat instead.  I’m all about eliminating failure points, such as me forgetting to flip the fan switch on because I didn’t notice the gauge reading hot!

I’ve got a lot of little things to figure out, such as where to put the battery cut off, but I’m looking forward to it.

With the weather the way it is, I’m excited about getting this thing done.  Nothing like a couple of 70+ days to make it painful to look at it sitting in the garage.

Cobra update

Yeah…not much to report.  The garage has been far too cold to want to work out there.  Wiring is on my short list.  About another month or two of around the house work and I hope to dig into it.

Anyway…things aren’t dead here.  Just slow moving as they’ve always been.

Jeep M/C

It’s been a while since the last post but that’s not because I haven’t been doing anything. I got the Jeep M/C and installed it. Also installed the Wilwood proportioning valve for the rear line. I had to adjust the valve once but now the brakes are much better. The fronts lock first. I think it still needs some adjustment but it’s a huge improvement.

I also got more aluminum in. I’ve had a lot of trouble with the trans tunnel side walls but it’s in. Not the prettiest thing but it should be covered up by carpet anyway.

Got some new Stewart Warner gauges with some birthday money. ) I’ll try to take a pic and post those soon.

Next up is diving into the wiring. Ugh.

Still mushy

I bled the brakes again today, and again, it feels mushy. Seems to get more so after a couple of trips up and down the driveway. I hesitant to take into into the street until I can get this resolved. Bummer.

There’s certainly other stuff I can work on, such as aluminum, wiring dash/gauges, more aluminum…

Power steering

I’ve made a number of changes since last year.

I decided to go with power steering. I was a little concerned about the difficulty of turning the stock de-powered rack. I had been considering getting a remanufactured rack from Autozone. I just decided that I would try the power pump first as I still had it from the donor. Hopefully it won’t be too loud in the long run.

I mounted the Odyssey battery over the passenger footbox. I still need to trim down the rather tall posts, but it seems to fit in there nicely. I’m thinking about figuring out a way to mount the computer to the underside and tie it into the bolts from the battery tray. The passenger footbox is a little tight to begin with so it’ll be nice to get a couple of extra inches there.

I partially installed the heater. I think I’m going to take it out and weld some pipe holes in. I’d like to be able to get some heat over to me, not just the passenger.

I picked up some Street Performer seats from Rob Burton in CACC. My backside’s a bit tight but I kind of like the idea of not sliding around at all. From what I’ve read it’s going to take some tweaking to get them to fit.