Donor tear down

For the most part I’ve completed a migration to a new server.  Got lots of space now for lots of pics.  I also migrated the pics to a new Gallery viewer.  Pretty nice little program.  Makes it really easy to manage all the pics.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been tearing down the donor.  It’s taken significantly longer than I expected.  Two weekends ago Greg Keller of came by and helped with all of the heavy lifting stuff.  We pulled the engine, tranny and rear-end that day.  Last weekend I set about taking care of the last couple of pieces and parts that are still on it.  The front suspension seemed to come out pretty easy with one gigantic exception.  NOTE! The first lower arm bolt I tried to pull, I made the mistake of turning the bolt instead of the nut.  Now the bolt is fused, bound up, whatever you want to call it, with the bushing.  It turns but won’t budge side to side.  ARGH!  All the others came out easily too!  Now I’ve got to find some way of getting it out without damaging the mounting brackets.  Also of note, the FFR instructions for donor teardown is greatly lacking.  Basically you end up unscrewing everything on the car.  There are steps where they say something like “remove the dash”.  Problem is, removing the dash requires removal of about 10 different other things and can take quite a while.  For a neophyte like myself, this is rather misleading.  While I am complaining about the lack of detail, it’s still better than others, from what I’ve heard. 

Now that I have the gallery set up I’ll be posting pictures of the donor parts.  What a nasty grimy mess.  I’m actually looking forward to making everything shiny again.  Woohoo!

Donor has arrived

The Mustang finally showed up!!! Check out the pics. The front left tire is pretty low and cracking on the sidewall. I don’t plan on driving it so it’s not a big deal. I would like to be able to keep it inflated while I’m working on the car. We’ll see if it becomes a problem. Time to get dirty!

Donor delay

Turns out the truck can’t do it until saturday so that’s when I’m looking for it to be delivered.  Can you tell I’m getting anxious?  Time to start studying the manual again.  I’m also going to order a Chiltons and possibly a Haynes manual.

Found a donor…and a deer

What a weekend…I expected it to be relatively quiet. Ended up finding a potential donor in NJ Saturday morning. I’ve been looking for a donor for months without much luck. Any time I’ve come close it’s been ripped from me at the last moment. I didn’t want to let that happen this time. I called up Jeremy to see if he could go along with me. I ended up screwing up his day…sorry man. The car is rough on the body…real rough…but the engine and transmission seemed to be in good order. It looks like it’s a done deal. I should be hearing from the owner tomorrow to verify there’s no lien, then he’s delivering it to me! Hopefully I’ll have a donor by the end of the week! What I thought would be a two hour trip each way ended up being 3 hours. The whole day was basically shot.

I got home to find out the Jacob had been a real pill and Ang was worn out. So we decided to go for a drive. Partly to get Ang out of the house and partly to get Jacob to finally sleep. We decided to go take a drive through one of the expensive neighborhoods nearby. On our way there I hit a deer with the Blazer. The whole thing is a blur. I remember cresting a small rise and seeing the deer. I hit the brakes hoping it would stay or head the other direction. Of course it had to decide to run right in front of me and that was it. I found the deer in the ditch on the side of the road later. After a bit I went back to look and it was gone, run off into the woods I suppose. The Blazer looks kind of brutalized. We’re going to need a new hood, headlights, radiator and front grill. Probably the right quarter panel too. I couldn’t get the hood up so I’m not sure if there’s more damage in the engine bay. You can see pics here. If that’s all we’ll be pretty lucky. I’m just glad I didn’t catch it on a leap and have it come through the windshield.

9/11 and Jacob

Haven’t updated in quite a while.  We had a baby!  Jacob Paul Brooke was born July 22nd.  Check the main page for all of the details.  The fact of the matter is that I have done virtually nothing with the kit in the last couple of months.  I have spent quite a bit of time looking for a donor but that’s about it.  Sometimes it’s difficult walking past it in the garage but I know it’ll get done when it gets done.  There have been more important things keeping me busy! )

Last Tuesday, Sept 11th, terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center buildings in NY and the Pentagon in DC.  I’m sure anyone who is reading this knows the details, the excruciating details, of what happened.  I won’t rehash that here.  Suffice it to say, the incident has weighed heavily on me.  Sometimes feeling helpless to do anything, other times being proud to be an American.  As with most everyone I was riveted to the news.  After a couple of days I’ve found myself having to find other things to do in order to get my mind off of it.  I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people who are directly involved either through loss of a family member or in the ongoing rescue efforts. They don’t have the luxury of turning it off.  I truly hope that the citizens of the US will remember that as they get back to their lives.  For those of us that were not directly affected it will be easy to lose focus on what happened.  As good citizens we cannot allow that to happen.  I’ll be doing everything I can to keep the memory alive.  I hope everyone else can do the same.

On a happier note, the Capital Area Cobra Club is really starting to get active.  We’ve got quite a few people who are showing up at events and being active in the email list.  We had a gathering scheduled for today at Lee and Fritzi Tilton’s house down on the bay.  It was briefly considered that it be cancelled.  I think everyone agrees that it was a good idea to move forward with it.  I took a number of pictures and you can find them under the “Pictures” button on the left.  We started by spending some time at Lee and Fritzi’s house.  We then went to a local seafood joint, where the Tilton’s know the chef, for some delicious Chesapeake Bay crabs.  While we were there a kid, might have been the son of the owner, sang the Star Spangled Banner.  Nearly brought tears to my eyes.

If you are actually bothering to read this stuff, thanks!  Take a moment tonight and tell your family how much you love them.  Then consider doing something to support the real heroes of this country, the firefighters, police and EMS.  Remember that they were the ones that rushed into dangerous buildings and rubble to try to save people while other “heroes” were scared to get on airplanes.  I know I’ve been negligent in that regard.  I will be no longer.

First ride with Wade

Did better on the lab last week but not good enough.  I’ve struggled quite a bit with whether or not to try again.  I’m not sure of any real value it still has for me, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt.  What I keep coming back to is that I’ll regret it if I don’t finish it.  I think that’s what going to drive me to get it done.  Still, I plan on taking a few months off before getting back to studying.  Gotta do a little thing like take care of bringing a baby into the world first. ;-)   Managed to have two big Cobra related things this weekend.  First was that we went to Wade’s and Beth’s house for a BBQ on Sunday. I’m really fortunate to have a couple of great people who are also Cobra fanatics so close by (ok, nearly 2 hours but still.)  The highlight was getting a ride in Wade’s freshly finished FFR!  I hadn’t sat in the passenger side before and it was fairly tight.  I had no choice but to put my right arm out the side.  Think I minded?  I also see what he means about the foot box being shallow.  I’m going to give some serious thought to dropping the passenger side, although I’ll probably end up leaving it alone.  After cruising along some local streets Wade swung out onto a mini-highway, did a quick peek for any potential problems that might be sitting at the light, and punched it.  He didn’t run it long but at the end I had a giant grin on my face!  Couldn’t help myself.  The second Cobra related thing is…well you’re looking at it.  I spent a couple of hours and finally cleaned up the site.  I wouldn’t say that it’s commercial quality but I’m pretty happy with it.  I think it’ll suit my purposes just fine.  Next on the to-do list is to finish the webcam hookup in the garage.

Frame Cleanup

Worked on cleaning up the frame last weekend.  There were a bunch of areas with a surface dusting of rust.  There were also a couple of areas that looked like they hardly got any paint on them at all.  I went over all of those areas with a wire brush until the majority of rust was gone.  Then I used an epoxy primer.  In the pics you can see those areas as white patches.  Then finished it off with some black textured epoxy paint.  This stuff look like it’ll do the trick but I guess only time will tell.  I also spent some time doing some more organizing.  I now have a laptop out in the garage.  I’ll probably get the network connection terminated next weekend.  I plan on having a webcam as well as an AIM login for chatting with.

Body buck wheels

Changed the wheels on the body buck.  I quickly learned that having four swiveling wheels is a bad idea.  Went out and got 2 fixed ones.  Jeremy came over and gave me a hand with taking the body off and all that.  Makes a world of difference with the 2 fixed ones on the back side!  Also took off all of the aluminum panels and photographed everything.  I figured all of the aluminum was screwed down but there were a couple of large pieces that were just sitting in there.  Next step is for the aluminum to go to an anodizer to get colored a dark purple.  I’m thinking about leaving the floor of the trunk a clear color.  I have this idea that anyone that helps with the build gets to sign the trunk with a sharpie.  I’ll also be working on finally getting the webcam set up in the garage.  Need to punch down a drop and it should be ready to go.

More body buck

Spent some time today putting the shelf on the buck.  Also managed to find enough wood for the stands.  The frame is now sitting at a close to specified ride height of 4.75″.  Reorganized the garage.  Managed to get quite a bit more space after moving some boxes around and generally cleaning up.  There’s a lip at the front of the garage which causes some problems with moving the buck in and out.  I’ll make some mini ramps at some point but for now I still haven’t figured out an easy way to do that.  Just shave and sand some small blocks I guess.  Note to future builders:  I would strongly recommend putting at least two non-swiveling casters on the buck.  All of my casters swivel and I’ve noticed that the buck likes to head off in the wrong direction when I start pushing it.  I’m always running from end to end to straighten it out.  Also had the body outside for the first extended period of time today.  I’m sure the neighbors are wondering what the heck I’m doing.  I overheard a mom telling a toddler “it’s just the top of a car” as he started running across the street to what was going on. -)   Next step is to pull off all of the aluminum and take it for anodizing.  Then I have a big decision to make.  Either knuckle down and work on getting money together for a donor or see what I can do to bide the time.  I’ve also considering going to a junkyard and starting to grab pieces as I need them.  We’ll see what happens.

Personal aside; check out the main part of my web site to hear the heartbeat of my (due in 5 months) kid!