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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By EM-0785

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:38 PM
EM-0785's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bellevue, WA
Cobra Make, Engine: Everett-Morrison 460, Toploader 4 sp, Jag IRS
Posts: 48
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Default Project Summary Log

Project Summary Log

Starting a blog to document and share certain update projects on my Cobra over time. Hopefully this can provide confidence to anyone else tending to an older Cobra or who is new to, or long in getting back to cars, like me. Of the countless hours of research on every aspect and balancing of many perspectives, hopefully this accumulates some useful perspectives of interest, such as starting thoughts or motivation for your own research, projects and sharing. It is also to report back on and pay respects to the many who have offered advice and shared their experiences on the site over many years, a wealth of knowledge I truly appreciate. It should also provide good entertainment to those who are further down the road and really know what they’re doing!

Suspension/Brakes/Steering
Upon buying my 1985 Everett Morrison I wanted to improve the suspension. The front tires stuck out 3” total and nearly touched the rear of the fender openings. The front sat ‘very’ high and still rubbed too easily on turns and compression. The rear sat ‘very’ low and also rubbed. The sidepipes angled skyward accordingly. The tires rubbed on steering lock to lock. The springs were under rated with shocks warn, allowing significant body lean even at low speeds. The brakes barely stopped the car and were not safe to my standards.

I got suspension advice from the Everett-Morrison group members, who offered helpful pointers and I started down a path. I’m ready to post some project updates. Due to posting size limits, I'll add multiple posts here, including many photos.

To start, below are some photos of overall stance and ride height before and after (so far).

Stance - After

Stance - Before



Tire to wheel well orientation - After

Tire to wheel well orientation - Before



More details to come soon...Brent

Last edited by EM-0785; 01-13-2018 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:22 AM
EM-0785's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bellevue, WA
Cobra Make, Engine: Everett-Morrison 460, Toploader 4 sp, Jag IRS
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Front Suspension & Brakes

Bob Lacey of Vintage Wheels helped specify/source my front solution. He’s a wealth of knowledge and a real gentleman! He and Travis from Shell Valley, were very helpful with product/tech support during this phase. With my MII front and chassis configuration, wheel offset alone wouldn’t resolve clearance issues and leave room for the outer Cobra wheel/spinner look to be maintained. So we converted to 1" shorter, tubular control arms. Also upgraded to double adj QA1 coilovers & 500 lb springs for adj and ride quality. I believe the prior springs were 375 lb and not sized for the 460 engine.

Upgraded the front brakes to Wilwood 12.19" 4 piston (Dynapro Dust-Boot Big Brake Front Brake Kit) for existing 15" wheels. All fit well, no rubbing with a .90” Wilwood spacer I used. Driver side caliper had a hairline rub located with stethoscope at one point in the rotation without the spacer. It was an area on the caliper I can easily file down slightly and go without a spacer. I decided to use the spacer and downsize the tires one size to ensure ample inner wheel well tire clearances, which worked well. If I later find more than ample clearances given my driving, I have the option to remove the spacer, file that point and upsize tires. Yet the steering seems very natural with these tires and they do sit nicely at/inside the fender. Bob Lacey’s specs achieved the maximum rotor size given the existing wheels, and the properly sized control arms for locating the wheels, a couple major objectives for this phase.

I rotary sanded the control arm spacers for bolt fitment. Welded in spacers (three per side) and gussets, with mobile welding help (I was the ‘hand’). Eliminated strut rods, allowing removal of frame mounting flange by cutting/grinding. This restored the natural beauty of the curved 4" tubular frame (see in photos), and freed up space. Loosened & pushed the radiator out of the way to get the lower control arm mounting bolts in. Along with the new braided brake flex lines, I replaced and bent one new chassis hard line. Due to the shortened control arms and proximity to steering bellows, I replaced the brake kit's straight chassis fittings with 90 degree fittings mated to shorter 14" flex lines.

Studied many solutions for fastening, torquing, greasing, tooling, aligning, etc. Found the Wilwood and QA1 instructions and support very helpful. Cleaned, repaired and re-undercoated the front wheel wells. Figured my grease type and grease gun storage solution. Five gallon bucket with garbage bag liner with gun triggers hanging over edge. Standardize chassis grease on Lucas Red 'N Tacky #2, all prior driveline drips stopped (thanks to one of the Dan’s on the site’s prior post on that). Once final ride height was set, I loosened the control arms, bounced car to re-align bushing orientation and reduce tension, and re-tightened. For cotter pins I used a technique I liked from helicopter maintenance blogs as per the photo.

Reduced 3 front tire sizes (245 to 215) on existing rims and added 0.9" Wilwood spacers. This reduced tire bulk bringing them in further, created fuller round gap to fender, and left ample space inside wheel wells. Gained much functionality and visual tire to fender spacing up front. Compared to before, this lowered the front significantly, gained lock to lock steering without hitting inside on either side, no more outer fender rubbing, and maintained acceptable ground clearance. In short, much improved functionality, improved tire/fender gap, and a much perkier stance.


Before photos











After photos


























More to come soon...Brent
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Last edited by EM-0785; 01-17-2018 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:14 PM
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Default Hydraulics / Initial Alignment / Rear Shocks

Hydraulics

Much research and many attempts to bleed hydraulics for first time on the new clutch slave cylinder. I tried both pressure and vacuum pumps, old school two person, etc. What I adopted as my one person technique, given the 3 masters behind the pedals, was syringes and reverse bleeding. This made life way easier, as found on motorcycle blogs. A 10 cc syringe to suck fluid out of masters (easy to operate with one outstretched hand, lifting plunger with thumb) and 30 cc syringe with adapter and tubing to add fluid in from the bleeders. This gave control, and since air bubbles rise, made sense. Couldn't otherwise get slave to firm up, reverse bled once, firm pedal, done, worked well! Same with both front and rear brake fluid circuits.

Rust and highly broken down fluids flushed from all hydraulics before installing new brakes. After way too much brake fluid research, gave up and went with Wilwood 570 DOT 3 for all hydraulics.

Restored rear jag bleeders on existing Girling inboard calipers. Were frozen solid, many nights with PB Blaster and tapping, cleaned threads & new bleeders with anti-seize on threads and around top to avoid water pooling/rusting in the future. Very easy access to rear jag bleeders with wheels and front-most rear shocks already off. Considered remote bleeder relocation, but just added speed bleeders and have spare non-speed bleeders which work well with syringes and reverse flushing/bleeding if/when needed. I can handle these methods for now.


Initial Alignment

For alignment, once ride height set and car bounced, set camber with a digital angle gauge. Driver side max was 0.50 degree positive without drilling out the mounting holes (passenger side would go to 0.50 degree negative). So I relaxed the passenger side to match that driver side limit, both ending up at 0.50 positive, previously they were both several degrees positive due to the excessive front height. For toe, used string method with digital caliper and the tread method, setting a bit over 1/32" toe-in each side.

Road testing drove very well, straight with good feel and good steering/returning characteristics. Talked with a local race shop about them doing an alignment, and thoughts on corner weighting. He felt the methods and specs I used were adequate as is, given this suspension and my use, didn't think he’d add much in this configuration. He felt corner weighting wasn't needed for my street usage. We'll see, so far it drives really well.


Rear Shocks

Upgraded jag rear with double adj QA1 coilovers with 4 ea. 250 lb springs. All coilovers (fronts too) are easily accessed for height adjustment with tires on, and with adjusting knobs set inboard for visibility and access. Added the roller bearings on the spring seat adjusters, they turn very easily. Used Permatex gray anti-seize on the coil-over threads. Added new jag rear lower shock mounting studs form Speedway, as prior ones were a bit short for washer and locknut engagement, and chewed up.

Decided to upgrade the rear coil-overs with suspension in place. That required compressing the spring about ” to install. After trying auto store spring compressors, I bought a compressor with good leverage, solid plate forks, and covers protecting the springs. I ordered 1/2" wide 250 lb zip ties (plastic cable ties) to bind the compressed springs. Slid right on at measured on-center heights, then snip, snip, done. The 250 lb zip tie is a strong helper, cranked down with channel locks, worked well for me. Added 0.9” Wilwood rear wheel spacers as well to avoid inner tire rubbing. Turned the rear height up a lot, much improved stance, no longer bottoming out on shocks nor rubbing inner fenders. Good shock travel both ways now, and no more wheel well rubbing. Planning to dial in rear camber shims soon.

Before photos






After photos














Steering shaft next...Brent

Last edited by EM-0785; 01-19-2018 at 05:20 PM.. Reason: Bold/spacing
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