Our Mk4 is more than ready to take us wherever we want to go, whether it’s a Cobra car club cruise, a track day at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, a street rod and muscle car show, or a blast up to California’s Central Coast for Monterey Car Week. That’s precisely the allure of a replica. We can drive it anywhere. If we had restored a 1968 Mustang fastback, built a 1934 Ford roadster hot rod, or renewed a 1954 Jaguar XK120 roadster, we’d be too afraid to drive it for fear that it might get scratched or stolen.
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There are a few more things to finish. They’re vital components to be sure, such as roll bar, fuel cap and filler hose, head- and taillights, turn signals, and several more aluminum panels for both form and function.
We also want to install the Quickjacks that go on the front and the rear of the car, after they are powdercoated. Once that’s done, they bolt right on. We may also install a lockable glove box in the dashboard, but that can wait.
Our build talents have grown considerably since the start of this project. And these skills will not diminish because we’ll continue to improve our FFR Mk4 roadster as time and funds permit. We’ll also build and/ or restore other projects. The three of us are automotive enthusiasts, with more than just a passion for driving fast and going to shows. Somewhere in our Smith lineage there must have been blacksmiths.
Project 1: Roll Bar Installation
Step 1: Install Roll Bar
To help the fit, rub Tri-Flow Teflon lubricant on the ends that go into the frame pipes. Lay a towel under the three roll bar holes to protect the roll bar hoop. Then carefully guide the straight pipe all the way into the angled pipe. Next, place the hoop into its two-pipe receptacles. If your hoop is like ours, it’s a snug fit. To coax ours in, we folded up another towel to cushion several well-intentioned blows on the top of the hoop using a large rubber mallet. You can see how far you need to go by looking at the frame pipe under the fender. Measure the distance you need to go by the hole in the chrome roll bar compared to the hole in the upright frame pipe. Once you get the hoop low enough, place a pick or a small screwdriver through the holes to align the holes, remove the pick, and install the FFR supplied hardware. To tighten the hardware use a 1/2-inch wrench for the locknut and a 3/16- inch hex key for the bolt face. With the hoop installed, screw up the straight pipe to meet the hoop. You may need a little coaxing from a pick or a small screwdriver to get the attachment holes to line up. Be persistent, and you’ll have an installed roll bar that looks as good as ours.
Project 2: Fuel Cap and Fuel Filler Hose Installation
Step 1: Install Fuel Fill Hose, Gas Cap and Parts
If you like instant gratification, you’ll enjoy installing the pop-open quick-fill Le Mans racing fuel cap, fuel filler hose, and ground strap. These fuel system components are easy to put in place, and they look amazing. Use the Le Mans fuel cap rubber gasket, and drill the six fastener holes used for installing the cap if you didn’t do it before the body was painted. Put a couple layers of masking tape on the top of the body to prevent any errors when drilling.
Step 2: Install Fuel Filler Hose
Though the FFR Complete Kit build manual recommends installing the fuel filler hose on the fuel filler pipe that comes out of the fuel tank, you may opt to install the 5-inch shortened fuel filler hose on the Le Mans fuel cap pipe and then drop the fuel cap, cap gasket, and fuel hose assembly down through the hole in the fender. That’s right; carefully cut 5 inches off the end of the supplied fuel filler hose before attaching the shortened hose on the pipe that comes from the bottom of the fuel cap.
Step 3: Align Cap Installation Holes
Use a couple picks through the fuel cap holes, through the fuel cap gasket, and through the holes in the recessed fuel cap area in the passenger-side fender. It helps line up these holes for the Phillips-head screws.
Step 4: Install Phillips-Head Screws
Open the cap to obtain direct access to the screw holes in the base of the cap. Leave a couple picks in the holes while you screw in the Phillips-head screws (the longer machine screw, washer, and locknut are used to install the ground strap). Use the hole in the cap’s base that is located on the right side of the pop-up cap’s upright.
Step 5: Fasten Fuel Hose & Ground Strap
Slide/coax the fuel hose down onto the fuel filler pipe. Tighten the lower hose clamp that is on the fuel hose over the fuel filler pipe. Attach the ground strap to the underside of the fuel cap by using the longer Phillips-head machine screw, washer, and locknut. Drill a 3/16-inch hole in the frame upright on top of the aluminum wall and install the supplied metal screw to affix the other end of the ground strap. Make sure you also use the other supplied washer to form a solid ground.
Project 3: Headlight Installation
Step 1: Inspect Headlight Components
Step 2: Push Grommet Into Bucket
Step 3: Screw in Adjuster Screws and Install Light Plug Harness
Step 4: Install Mounting Flange
Step 5: Inspect Mounting Flange
Step 6: Install Headlight Gasket
Step 7: Install Headlight Bucket
Step 8: Install Headlight Bucket
Step 9: Plug Light into Connector
Step 10: Mount Flange
Step 11: Install Chrome Ring
Project 4: Turn Signal Installation
Step 1: File Mounting Holes
Step 2: Tighten Locknuts
Project 5: Taillight Installation
Step 1: Install Taillights
Step 2: Install Taillights
Step 3: Inspect Installed Taillights
Project 6: License-Plate Light Installation
Step 1: Inspect License-Plate Light Assembly
Step 2: Install License-Plate Light Frame
Project 7: Side Vent Installation
Step 1: Apply Sharkhide
Step 2: Install Driver-Side Vent
Project 8: Miscellaneous Panel Installation
Step 1:Install Final Aluminum Panels
Project 9: Splashguard Installation
Step 1: Install Driver-Side Front Splashguard
Step 2: Install Driver-Side Front Splashguard (Continued)
Step 3: Install Driver-Side Front Splashguard (Continued)
Step 4: Install Passenger-Side Rear Splashguard
Step 5: Install Driver-Side Rear Splashguard (Continued)
Project 10: Front Apron Installation
Step 1: Install Front Apron
Step 2: Install Passenger-Side Front Triangle Panel
After final assembly, you need to take the car to a professional alignment shop to get the chassis aligned. Factory Five’s Complete Kit build manual recommends that everyone do that, when the car is fully assembled.
Roger Daniel’s Alignment & Brake shop in Santee, California, aligned the chassis while the body and body panels were being painted. So, our car should be ready to go for a little jaunt on the boulevards. The alignment shop said that we should bring the roadster back for some finetuning after we’ve put some shakedown miles on it.
Written by D. Brian Smith and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks