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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2022, 09:37 AM
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Default New Year update and questions

Hello all,

Happy New Year!

Well here is the next update at long last; I had a bit of time over the holiday season to get some work done between family stuff so here it goes.

The front suspension building process is similar to the rear with the exception of needing to add caster angle to the set up. I did it the same way it was done in the MG’s and others like the Lister Jaguar back in the day. This is due to the fact that the uprights have no ball joints. MG did it by building the suspension as a sub assembly and mounted it at an angle to the uni-body,I did it more like the Jaguar with the arm mounts mounted at an angle with the upper and lower pivots parallel .

I waffled a bit on what this angle should be factoring in old bias ply tires verses radials and what folks on MGB sites were saying. It’s a bit of a debate, some folk swore buy adding shims to reduce the caster angle from 6.5 or 7ish degrees to 3.5 or 4ish degrees to reduce the steering force at low speeds especially if you use a small sport steering wheel and some folks say the old cars handle just fine in stock form and people have just gotten soft because even the smallest cars today seem to have power steering. You can also factor wide tires into this equation too.

I have settled on 5 degrees, a little bit less than stock MGB and I have driven a few over the years and found yes, I think they drive just fine.

I am using the Moto-Lita 16 inch wheel with narrow (ish) radial tires and wearing a flat cap so I think it is a fair compromise. I have also noted in the chassis manual that the 427’s ran 6 degrees as well so I hope I am right as it would be extremely difficult to change later.

I think if anything the steering might feel a tad heavy at low speeds but I do prefer a car that wants to keep going straight when it’s rolling at speed so we will see how it works out. Back in the day I drove a slightly hotted up 70 VW Beetle for several years, no power steering and I added shims to the front suspension to INCREASE the caster to help keep it straight! It also featured one of those classic small 3 spoke Grant sport steering wheels, I thought it drove fine so I guess I can adapt to anything.

I am sure my current stock Suzuki SX4 would drive rings around the old bug but honestly nobody has ever slowed down to give me the “thumbs up” on the hi-way driving the SX4, so I still miss the Beetle sometimes………..

The basic trick as I said is the same as the back, I built up the arms from my drawings.






Then I fitted up the lower mount at the 5 degree angle and then made another spacer jig to help set the point in space for the upper arm mount and keep it parallel to the lower mount.





Based on my drawings I needed to extend that mount point inboard as the spring also needs to pass through the exact same location.




Sometimes I think this might also be some sort of art project going on, Hmmmm,






Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

I then added tubes down to the main chassis tube similar to the 427 chassis and figured out a top mounting plate based on the 289 upper shock mount from Chuck’s drawings as the rad hose and steering shaft need to pass through these areas later and I am also trying to keep things looking a “bit correct” under the hood.



The coil over upper mounts of course need to be in the correct place for full travel, and very strong. So again using CAD I came up with a nice reinforced box structure that I will try and mask with a faux leaf spring assembly in the end….well at least that is the plan. I wish they did not stick up so much but those points need to be where they need to be so that is what you get. As I said at the beginning I am really trying to use the parts I have easily available to me in the best way I know how.









Just had to try the rims



Lots of room!





That brings us to the steering rack! I have known for a while this was going to be a bit of a trial and error type affair. The inner arm mounts center line does sort of work out nicely with the MGB rack but due to the design of the uprights and steering arms a conventional layout drawing is not going to really work. It gets you in the ball park but there will be some tweaking required. This rack worked well on the MGB and AC figured out how to make it work on the old transverse leaf spring suspension so I am sure I can come up with a placement that can work. The goal would be zero bump steer in a perfect world but I will settle for slight toe out on bump so it feels better in a corner. The world is not a perfect place and the roads are not always smooth, there will be bumps but I would prefer that the car not try and change lanes when we hit one.





So that is where it’s at kids.
The rack is now attached to a frame that lets me move it up and down and forwards and back fairly easy. This will allow me to fine tune the location of the steering rack and then I will do some more CAD to make the mounting brackets in a similar shape to the original style. Then on to a final check of angles and such before another bunch of welding…….!

I think my next major phase will involve mounting the engine, transmission and differential so I wanted to ask a couple of questions to the group………


What kind of angle is the engine mounted on relative to the chassis tubes? I am guessing it would be kind of parallel?

Most RWD cars have the engine mounted at an angle to the rear. I guess it looks nice when you slam the front of the car way down( yes I know, driveline angles) but the intake manifold has the angle included in it to keep the carb somewhat level, how about in a Cobra?

There is no need to angle it down, the driveshaft is very short and the differential is fixed in place. I currently have a nice old Edelbrock F4B that I was planning on using and it has a very noticeable angle but that can be changed.

I am using the correct engine mounts in the front but it is the transmission end of things that is the big question. I am using a T5 with an S-10 style tail shaft conversion to fix the shifter location issue. I am sure the mounting point will be completely custom, but where is the question.

I guess the real question is does anybody know how high the centerline of the driveshaft needs to be above the chassis tubes? I don’t need it to the thousands but close would be good; it will also help with locating the differential too.

The other thing and I am thinking way ahead again, is about the turn signal lever.
I know the column is from the MG but the signal assembly is from a VW with a spacer made to fit it up. Most of the good replicas I see have the VW switch with the extra button on the lever and I know VW used it for the headlight dip switch but Cobra folks seem to use it for the horn. That’s good except I know that particular type of lever is a later 60’s part 1966 / 67 and the earlier one did not have the extra button.
I am curious as to what is really correct?
To be honest I kind of like the idea of the horn being there correct or not but I just can’t seem to find the answer in any of my reference books. Any pictures I see of an early dash there is a white push button that I assume is the horn? My copy of the 289 chassis manual is a bit hazy there so any help is appreciated.


So that about wraps it up, questions and comments are always welcome, if you want more details about something just ask and I will do my best to answer. And of course if you can help answer my questions I am always grateful for the knowledge found here

So I am back out in the shop this weekend and hopefully getting the rack location sorted and mounts made then………..everything else

a
b
c
x
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2022, 11:02 AM
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The Hella turn signal switch as used on original Cobras wasn't taken from VW's as they didn't use the stalk mounted switch at the time. Later, VW Beetles came with one very similar though and modern units will work fine for a current replica. Early MGB columns are fairly common on eBay but most will need to be rebuilt with new bushings. You'll need the spacer ring to make it work and if you want to be very accurate, you'll need the column mounts as well. csxparts.com sells them.
Not a great picture but here's my column.



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Old 01-08-2022, 11:45 AM
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Default Another thought

Hey thanks Larry!

Just when you think you know something...hmmmm

I do have the spacer from CSX, again it was more economical than making one. Do you know if the not VW but Hella made switches had the extra button on the turn lever? It's really a curiosity thing right now as I am a long way from wiring up the lights!

I had another thought about the transmission height issue. If anyone has a loose t10 or toploader in their shop and could take a measurement for me.

I would like to know the distance from the lower face of the transmission mount to the center line of the output shaft. If you could hold a straight edge tight against the mount and measure at the tail end that would be fine. I have the original chassis mount dimensions and I have the t-5 transmission I am using. I am lead to believe that the mount in the chassis will need to be lower for the t-5 so if I can compare the 2 measurements I should be able to figure it out. So if anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Yes, I know,....... but it's mine you see.....

Perhaps he was always a shyster, but we just chose to over look it for awhile.

You build what you like and I will build what I like...it's all good

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Old 01-08-2022, 12:05 PM
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Willy,

I have the car apart right now, so I cannot provide the distance down to the frame, which probably would not be right anyways as I have a top loader and you have a T5.

My engine and transmission are parallel to the frame tubes and the tail of the transmission is about an 1" higher than the pinion on the differential, which is a salisbury type. I had to custom make my transmission mount and would suggest that you allow for some adjustment in the mount for side-to-side adjustment and I also use longer bolts and washers as spacers to manage the vertical adjustment so that the drivetrain is set up correctly. Probably will not ge back to putting things together until the weather warms up a little.

You are making nice progress.

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Old 01-08-2022, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by old willy View Post
Hey thanks Larry!


I had another thought about the transmission height issue. If anyone has a loose t10 or toploader in their shop and could take a measurement for me.

I would like to know the distance from the lower face of the transmission mount to the center line of the output shaft. If you could hold a straight edge tight against the mount and measure at the tail end that would be fine. I have the original chassis mount dimensions and I have the t-5 transmission I am using. I am lead to believe that the mount in the chassis will need to be lower for the t-5 so if I can compare the 2 measurements I should be able to figure it out. So if anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
Willy,

Just saw this after sending my last post. I can take those measurements for you tomorrow and get back to you.

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Old 01-08-2022, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old willy View Post
Hey thanks Larry!

Just when you think you know something...hmmmm

I do have the spacer from CSX, again it was more economical than making one. Do you know if the not VW but Hella made switches had the extra button on the turn lever? It's really a curiosity thing right now as I am a long way from wiring up the lights!

I had another thought about the transmission height issue. If anyone has a loose t10 or toploader in their shop and could take a measurement for me.

I would like to know the distance from the lower face of the transmission mount to the center line of the output shaft. If you could hold a straight edge tight against the mount and measure at the tail end that would be fine. I have the original chassis mount dimensions and I have the t-5 transmission I am using. I am lead to believe that the mount in the chassis will need to be lower for the t-5 so if I can compare the 2 measurements I should be able to figure it out. So if anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
Yes, the original turn signal switch from Hella had the button on the stalk and was black in color. Now, those original Hella assemblies are unobtanium! Ones reproduced for VW work just fine. That's what mine is. Just make sure you buy a quality one and not the cheapy ones!

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Old 01-08-2022, 03:12 PM
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Hello, thank you for the response. All it looking great. Both of my cars came from Cobra International out of Midland Ontario, and have since gone out of business he got himself in a lot of trouble Both cars the frame and body was maybe 5 out of 10 for workmanship and craftmanship but the price was right and required a lot of adjustments and finish, however a decent basic starting point. I really enjoy reading your posts and progress, all is out of this world. It is really great reading about someone that is in my neck of the woods, being Ontario Canada. Winter is here and garage time is reduced just collecting, ordering parts waiting for an early spring. Keep up the great posts i really enjoy reading your progress and outstanding, quality of craftmanship. I wish that it was there when my cars where assembled.

Take care, be safe
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Old 01-08-2022, 03:14 PM
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Hello, thank you for the response. All it looking great. Both of my cars came from Cobra International out of Midland Ontario, and have since gone out of business he got himself in a lot of trouble Both cars the frame and body was maybe 5 out of 10 for workmanship and craftmanship but the price was right and required a lot of adjustments and finish, however a decent basic starting point. I really enjoy reading your posts and progress, all is out of this world. It is really great reading about someone that is in my neck of the woods, being Ontario Canada. Winter is here and garage time is reduced just collecting, ordering parts waiting for an early spring. Keep up the great posts i really enjoy reading your progress and outstanding, quality of craftmanship. I wish that it was there when my cars where assembled.

Take care, be safe
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Old 01-08-2022, 04:42 PM
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Hey guys!
Thank you all,
Jim ,
I would really appreciate that measurement, I am told the top loaders and the T10's fit into the same location so I am sure I can figure it somewhat and I will heed your advice and allow for some adjustment. I am thinking I can make the mount a bit lower than I think I need then machine an aluminum spacer to bring it up, then if I need to go up or down some I can change the spacer....hmmmm.

Larry,
Thanks again and I will do as you have done and go with a quality VW type one.

And hey again RussBD,
That's kind of funny as I passed up on a bare bones Cobra Internationale kit in my local area just before I found the body I am going with.

Upon researching it I found a fellow on our east coast who had built one about 20 years ago and still had pictures on a website of it. We exchanged messages about it and he said what you said that the initial quality is a bit low.
He told me that the basic kit was nothing more than a bare square tube frame and a body shell, nothing more. The body on his kind of looked a bit funky in the rear end and his frame required a bit of reworking of the rear axle mounts or something but he did build and drive it, it is doable.

The one I looked at wasn't much more than what he bought, it had some front end parts bolted up but that was it, the body was a bit rough too, it looked like it had been passed around for awhile. I did some more research on this great site and others and read old posts about the issues the guy making them had, I believe there were actual fraud charges brought against the maker but that was a long time ago.

So in the end the fellow out east said I should really, really think hard before buying it and that was the feeling from posters here too. The biggest thing for me is it was a 427 shape and I want the 289 shape, Oh and the fellow who had the bits was starting to give me the sales pitch about how he had taken it all in trade for some bad debt and wanted to get his money back and how much the body and chassis cost new apparently....lets just say what he thought it was worth and what I thought it was worth were very different.

So I moved on and about 6 months later I found myself driving to Quebec to buy a mystery 289 body shell

At least it was the right shape but that's all it is, as you can see here.

Mine is certainly not perfect nor will it be, nothing is, so long as I enjoy what I am doing I am happy with it.

I hope we can catch up at a car show on some sunny day when we get back to such things.

Take care everybody!




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Yes, I know,....... but it's mine you see.....

Perhaps he was always a shyster, but we just chose to over look it for awhile.

You build what you like and I will build what I like...it's all good

You know that guy,
The one in the neighborhood who likes to hang around the garage while you are working and talk about back when he had that killer 1977 Chevy Mustang

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Old 01-08-2022, 07:00 PM
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Willy I havent had my motor and trans in the chassis in awhile. I did the best I could do for you. Its cold in the shop and the lights dont want to warm up very quick. I have a 63 galaxie T10 clamped a piece of bar stock to the mount. I got 4 inches from the bottom of the mount to the centerline. I am using a cobra housing. the front points up about 3 degrees. I dont know how level my build table is right now. but that should get you close. The engine and trans will point down at the rear about 3 degrees also. So the crank trans centerline should be parallel with the pinion centerline. It wont necessarily line up in a straight line. If it did it would beat the u joints in a hurry. The driveshaft will have some angles to it. this will make the bearings in the u joint rotate. The pinion is offset on a cobra chassis with a cobra rear end. Also make sure the angles between the driveshaft and yokes is not too severe. They only have so many degrees working angle. Taking a guess the rear pinion flange will only clear the rear crossmember by an inch or so. Also the trans mount rubber s an inch thick so you need to add that in. Hope this helps. Just added a picture. you should be able to see the upward angle of the pinion.

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Old 01-09-2022, 07:32 AM
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Willy,

I just measured mine and it is 4" to centerline of the output shaft from the base of the mount.

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Old 01-09-2022, 08:23 AM
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Willy could I get a measurement from you? From the front of the rear spring tower to the back edge of the cross tube in front of the rear tower? Was just wondering if Chuck ever changed its position? On his earlier plans it was a problem.

What are your plans to mount the Lincoln center chunk. When I got started I got a Lincoln and a jag center section but ended up with a cobra one.

The Lincoln did not look to be every easy to add side mounts to and there is not much room in the rear spring tower. Looking forward to how you go about it.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:07 PM
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Hello all!

Thanks so much for the measurements guys, I especially like the fact they are both the same. The picture of your diff housing is also quite handy for reference too.
I will keep that 3 degrees in mind and check and see how the engine falls after I work out where the mount should be. I ran out to the lab quickly and on a rough measurement the mustang T5 tailhousing is about 3 1/4 to the centerline and the S-10 type tailhousing is about 2 7/8, not what I was expecting, for some reason I thought the T10 housing would be smaller but I never argue with results.
I think this means I will be putting the transmission mount at the stock height and adding a spacer to the bottom of the transmission. However the fore and aft placement of the crossmember with the mount is yet to be determined.

That brings me to your answer about the placement of the rear crossmember tube. Chuck has it at 8.75 inches from the face of the rear tower but on the next page he also notes that this tube needs to be coordinated with the differential being used. I do appreciate the work that has gone into the plans, they are my best asset for the chassis build along with the great folks here of course . I have found the odd typo or missing note, and I tend to double check everything in relation to other stuff before I commit to it, but really an amazing amount of work has gone into these and I am glad to have them.

As for mounting the 8.8 IRS diff my current plan is to build a front mount to suit the stock Ford front mounts and at the rear I am looking to make a steel plate that sandwiches between the diff case and the rear cover that I can then add a pair of tubes for polyurethane bushings to and use the original AC upper mount point. This also means that my rear crossmember tube placement is is still a bit of a mystery and will need to be coordinated with the differential being used .

I am basing this on some designs I have seen on a Mazda Miata forum, it seems those fellows swap in the 8.8 diff sometimes. A bit of preliminary measuring says it should work out. My original idea was to use one of the Explorer style rear cover/mounts but that would put the diff way too far forward. I may still use the cover though as they look quite good with those big mounting ears trimmed off, and they also feature a drain plug unlike the steel ones.

And while I am still thinking about the turn signal switch perhaps someone can answer the big question for me.

Why is it flipped to the other side?

Is it a clearance thing? or was this just something that had yet to be standardized in cars, kind of like older motorcycles with the foot brake and shift locations. Ever ridden and old Husquvarna? It's very strange and potentially dangerous if you are not use to it .
Not so much with the turn signals but I am curious, and to be honest I have seen pictures of original 289's with the lever on the left side so was that just modified "in the field" as we use to say?
I have also noted that some of the British market cars have the turn signal lever on the right as well so perhaps this is just a British thing?
Monkey see monkey do?
It's just something I have wondered about so if anybody knows please fill me in.




a
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Perhaps he was always a shyster, but we just chose to over look it for awhile.

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Old 01-10-2022, 06:54 PM
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Isn't the Mustang T-5 shifter too far rearward as compared to a T-10 as used in original 289's. The S10 tail shaft is too far forward. I believe the shifter centerline is 16" back from the bellhousing on a T-10, though I've not been able to confirm that for sure. Do you have a way to address that, if you're going to?
BTW, I'm a big fan of t-5's! One of the best transmissions ever made!
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Old 01-11-2022, 07:38 AM
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Unobtainable........ An early VW-SWF is way easier to find and almost exact. If you sand down and semi-gloss paint hard pressed to tell the difference.
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Old 01-11-2022, 12:33 PM
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That’s what brand I have!! SWF! I couldn’t remember the brand when I posted about my column. Good quality but even those are getting harder to find. They’re still out there though. I think Gerry Hawkridge has a couple he’d sell.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:57 PM
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Hello all,
Sorry for not checking in sooner but I am trying to get stuff done, work, home and project roadster!

First, about your question Larry, Yes I agree the Mustang one is definitely too far back for a 289 style car and I don’t know what the T-10 shifter position is either. However on Chucks drawings there is one for the upper tunnel piece that has the stock shifter hole location.
I am also led to believe that the Shelby continuation cars use the s-10 style housing from Modern Driveline so that was my reason for going this route.

My current plan is to get the engine mounts in and hang the engine and trans assembly in place to work out the rear mounting etc.
I am sure I don’t want the mustang piece in there as I would rather the shifter be a bit forward than too far aft….I thinks…. As I already have the cowl hoop in place and the support tubes I want to make a cardboard template of the upper transmission tunnel forward area with the shift hole, this piece is fitted between those support tubes so I should have a better idea of where things line up at that point.

I have a couple of ideas about offsetting the shifter but that will depend on how high the shifter stub sticks up in relation to that tunnel top plate.

I think it will also need to be a bit more to the left but we will see.

I have driven cars with custom offset shifters and if it’s not too much offset and they shift smoothly it doesn’t feel too strange.
As for T5 transmissions I have had a few, they work well, I only ever had one fail and it was in an 84 Jeep CJ-7 that I had hot rodded the straight 6 in it……. 0.030 over with a Offy dual plane manifold and Holley 4 barrel, Clifford camshaft and 6 into 2 header .
It made much more usable power as I was sick of it running out of steam before 3000 RPMs but third gear did not like that after a while and one day it sounded like Buddy Rich was inside the tranny so I replaced it with another T5 from and 86 CJ and never had another issue.

I know there are stronger gearboxes in today’s market but I am not planning on putting mucho horsepower thru it and my drag racing days are long past.
I just want a nice spirited road car and with the price of gas way up again, it is about $1.44 a litre here right now, I want to be able to enjoy it with a bit better fuel mileage than the old 4 speed.
I have a friend with a very, very nice Falcon Sprint and he wants to switch to a T5 now because it just eats up too much fuel on the Hi-way.

To be honest it’s one of the main reasons I sold my beautiful pearl green Jeep TJ Rubicon a few years ago. The price of fuel was up about 30% more than when we bought it and I realized that even on a beautiful day with the top down and doors off if it was an hour long drive or more ahead of us we would take my wife’s Subaru as it was way better on gas not as much fun, but easier on the pocket book.

Thanks again for all the info on the turn signal switches, I have taken your advice and found a nice SWF unit, I looked at the aftermarket and there are some inexpensive ones available and new German made ones $$$,
I found a nice looking original listed on ebay for a very reasonable price , of course I know I will be disassembling, checking and cleaning it and might even replace the old wiring but in my experience those old parts were just so well made I think it will be worth the effort.

And while you are here Mr. 1985 CCX your beautiful gold car was one of the builds I was watching, If you have a moment I wanted to as a question.

As I know you have an original style chassis in there and a fiber glass body shell, how did it go fitting the body over the complete chassis? Was there an issue with the front and rear bumper mountings clearing things?

I always see pictures of original alloy body cars having the body split below the door opening and the front and rear sections removed and then reinstalled and welded back together so I have always assumed that you can’t just slip the body over.
I was thinking of making a small removable front piece on the chassis to remedy this if need be but I figured I would ask you as you ( or anybody else who knows) as you have been down this road already.
Cutting the body is not out of the question but if I don’t need to I will stop worrying about it.

So thanks again all, I have another small update on the project I am putting together and will post soon.

Cheers,
Hudson




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Old 01-21-2022, 07:19 AM
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Engine placement is also going to effect (affect?) shifter location of course as well. A friend is going to be checking shifter location on a T-10L in an original car and letting me know what he finds. Hopefully soon!
There are T-5’s that have the shifter at 16” but they require a custom output shaft be machined. I’m playing around with that right now… putting that tail shaft housing on a T-5Z gear box.
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Old 01-21-2022, 08:04 AM
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Rare AMC, Chevette and Astro/Safari van tail housing is inbetween the S10 and Mustang. Coveted for Sunbeam Tiger conversions.
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jknich View Post
Rare AMC, Chevette and Astro/Safari van tail housing is inbetween the S10 and Mustang. Coveted for Sunbeam Tiger conversions.
That's what I'm playing around with now. I have two Chevette T-5's and a bunch of T-5Z stuff. They're pretty rare!

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