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Rob’s 427

Rob's 427

Just Looking

Sometimes, I catch myself just standing and staring at the car.  This project has been really rewarding and very fun at the same time.  It’s starting to look like a car!

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Rob's 427

Electrical Stuff Arrives

I bought a 2-node electrical system from Infinity Box.  This is a really cool system that has a control module (which is really a little computer) and 2 “Power Cells” that are basically computer controlled solid state relays.  They communicate with CANbus.  One of the nicest things is that all the switching (ignition, headlights, turn signals, etc.) is done at VERY low power, which means the wires can be small and the switches themselves don’t need to handle full current, like the OEM cars of years past.  It’s also completely programmable so you can get all sorts of nice features.  I’ll be figuring out where to mount the modules and designing the harness soon.  I will be making nearly all of the harness, wire-by-wire.

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Rob's 427

Fuel Tank Sump

I bought an RCI fuel tank from Summit Racing.  While it had a pickup tube and return line already, there was no baffling of any sort.  Also, the return was really just an AN fitting welded to the top.  I decided I needed a sump to prevent starvation under accel/decel/lateral G loads.   So I made this one from 0.090″ 5052 aluminum, which is what the rest of the tank is constructed of.

My sheet metal brake won’t bend anything that heavy so I made a simple press brake to do the bends – worked well!  The idea with this sump is that the pickup will actually be on the bottom, facing the rear.  The sump is pretty deep – it goes nearly to the top of the tank.  I re-purposed the original pickup tube to be a return, which I extended to the bottom of the sump.   The sump has 4 3/8″ holes near the bottom of the tank.  This thing holds about 2 gallons so I think it’ll work great.

I don’t have a GTAW (TIG) welder and my GMAW (MIG) skills with aluminum aren’t good enough yet to weld something like this, since it has to be leak proof.  I did tack the top corners of the sump with the GMAW welder.  That way, I can take it to a local welder with the sump already in final position.

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Rob's 427

Engine Assembly – Crankshaft Trigger Wheel Mount

I’m using an Electromotive TEC-GT engine management system, which includes crank triggered ignition.  There was no off the shelf trigger wheel available for an FE engine so I had to make something.  Yeah, I got a little carried away, but I love the result!

The trigger “disk” wheel in the photo came from Electromotive.  I drilled lightening holes in it, enlarged the center hole and made a mount from a big piece of billet 6061 aluminum.  The harmonic damper is a Performance Products part and i was able to machine a register surface on the the aluminum adapter I made – also , I had to machine the damper a small bit just to true up the mounting surface.  It’s a shame that this will all hardly be visible on the completed car, but hey – I know it’s there, and now so do you 🙂

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Rob's 427

Oil Pump Drive

With the Electromotive TEC ECU, there’s no need for a distributor, which I like.  The TEC uses a crank-trigger and separate coil packs for ignition, much like a lot of OEM engines are starting to use.   However, you can’t just eliminate the distributor because it also drives the oil pump.  So, I bought a ProComp distributor and started chopping 🙂   First was cutting off the top end of the shaft.  Then I modified the body of the distributor to eliminate the top end and made a simple cap to cover it. I also put a sealed bearing in the top end.   Looks good and should work just fine.

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Rob's 427

Engine Assembly Progress

The engine is coming along nicely!   This thing looks GREAT!!9

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Rob's 427

Engine Assembly

 

Got a bunch of the engine together – definitely one of more exciting parts.   I bought most of the parts from Keith Craft and he did nearly all machining required.  I had to make a few changes:

  • Machined cam sprocket to fit needle thrust bearing
  • Machined mounting pads of rocker shaft assemblies to clear ARP head studs
  • Manifold matched TWM intake ports and cleaned up the throttle body side – actually removed quite a bit of material.  The 58mm throttle bodies as shipped by TWM were MUCH larger than the manifold opening.  This manifold was originally designed for Weber carbs, BTW.  

Look at all that aluminum!  Just think how many beer cans gave their life to make all these aluminum parts 🙂

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Rob's 427

Engine Bay Panels

Decided to polish the aluminum panels that face the engine bay.  I figure this will help control heat and look nice at the same time.  I used Nuvite Chemical polishing compounds and followed their guidelines.  Their products are widely used in the aircraft industry.  This stuff is great and worked extremely well.  As you can see in the last photo, it’s quite a messy job.

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Rob's 427

Updates – March 2008 – Mostly Brakes

Lots of work on the brake system.

  • I’m using a Wilwood pedal box.  Forte’s Parts makes a bracket to mount to the FFR Mk3 my throttle pedal setup wouldn’t clear so I modified it.  The red bracket is the part in question – you can see how I made a wider, bent flat steel piece for the bracket, welded, painted, done.
  • Some decent photos of the brake line routing.  I used all AN fittings and polished the brake lines while I was at it.  I used the Rigid flare tool 377 (which is a 37 degree, roller-nose tool) – works REALLY well.  In routing lines, I wanted to keep the lines away from hot things (headers, etc.) but also make them pretty – all parallel runs (to whatever surface they’re mounted on), bending tool bends only – no hand bends.   I threw away a fair amount of tube until I got the hang of it but I’m quite happy with the results.
  • I made the black bracket to brace the back end of the brake and clutch cylinders.  The mounting with the Forte’s bracket made for a lot of flex in the back end of the cylinders, which I did not like.  It will make a cylinder change a little harder, but nothing major.
  • I didn’t like the Wilwood supplied plastic master cylinder “caps” so I machined some from 6061-T6 billet.  They turned out well.  While I was at it, I made the 3 stainless lines that connect the reservoirs to the master cylinders.
  • Finally, you can see the car in the driveway with brakes and some trial fit aluminum panels.  It’s almost starting to look like it’ll be a car!
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Rob's 427

Straightening Coiled Brake Line

I decided I wanted to use stainless steel brake line.  One goal was to use as few fittings as necessary so that meant I’d have a few pieces that are longer than 6′.  I couldn’t find anything longer than 6′ that was straight.  So, I ended up buying 25′ coils of line from Summit Racing.   I wanted brake lines that were beautiful so I needed to come up with a way to straighten the coiled line.  Simply rolling it out on the floor leaves a lot of “coil” bend in the tube still – as shown in the 2nd photo above.  

What I came up with was to use a piece of oak trim and clamp the tube in the vice (between two pieces, as shown in the 3rd photo).  I cut a groove in the short piece to better hold the tube from rotating while not crushing it.   You have to “overbend” the trim/tube combo and it will end up straight.  It takes some practice to get the technique down but it works!  You can get arrow-straight line if you do it right.   The last photo shows a straightened piece of line.

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