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CP66's 66 CP Solo II Notchback or "Racing, the Disease"

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I was inspired by this thread: http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/track/1081554-autocross-primer.html to become active with this forum since I've been a member since I believe '09 and have a grand total of 6 posts to my name!

Long time lurker 6th or 7th time poster. It was recommended in another thread after posting the following photo that I start a build thread. I'm hesitant to do so as it would show the world how little I've gotten accomplished on a project started over 15 years ago.


Just a little background; I started autocrossing in '77 with a nice 66 coupe that was primarily a street car. As things go it slowly became a gutted out race only project that by then was being regularly raced in Texas Region events along with several trips to Nationals in Salina and Topeka until I decided to build a new tub with a proper cage into which I would transfer the suspension/driveline into once the body and cage were completed.

As often happens with a slowly evolving project scope creep set in and I decided to go to a coilover 3 link style rear suspension and ultimately hoped to find someone to help me build a front suspension more conducive to dicing the cones than the factory front suspension on the car. Although I had lowered the A-arms and tried various springs, swaybars, etc. the truth was that the factory based suspension just wasn't going to take me to the next level. Since I am not an engineer and could not find someone able to design, build and install the "ultimate" front suspension for me, the project languished for several years.

During this time I moved to the Indianapolis area and thought “Hey cool! The racing capital of the world should allow me to find someone to get my project back on track!” I found that to be a not quite accurate statement but before I could start moving forward again life kicked in and back burner’d the project yet again. Fast forward to about 6 years ago and I had just discovered Ride Tech and after talking to them decided that they had exactly what I was looking for.

So for the past several years UPS and Fedex have been making fairly regular deliveries and the pile of boxes eventually hid the “racecar”out of sight out of mind neatly at the back of the shop. Recently when another project stalled due to lack of fundage and the “honey do” list had been largely vacated I felt it time to inventory and sort the boxes of parts, dust off the racecar and make it a point to have it operational at least to the point it could move under its own power by January 1 2017.

So here it will come to pass; I will attempt to stay the course with planned work sessions on the car and photographic updates of my “progress” as it happens. I’ll warn you right now though that I am no fabricating genius and some of my “skills”are rusty at best. If you happen to see something you don’t agree with or have a better idea during the course of the next several months by all means speak up!
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Discussion Starter · #262 · (Edited)
While I have no doubt there are differences in these I have to ask, how do you know it’s the bar and not the car? Hood gaps and all still good? I see trying to put an export brace back to help check spacing would be a nightmare, but just curious.
My original bar fit it perfectly. Although it's never been a functional car since I've owned it I had "assembled" it for the move to Indy several years ago. In researching the discrepancy I found that bar lengths of 39.75 to 40.5 inches is common although the lengths of the bars aren't advertised. This one is a Scott Drake bar. I had also taken the tub when I first purchased it to a shop and they put it on their frame machine and confirmed it wasn't tweaked, didn't want to build a cage in it if it was twisted. It's faith based on that.

That and the two holes on the horizontal part of the MCB bracket align perfectly with the factory holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #266 ·
Well it's in, sort of;

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The RCI headers are very well made and fit exactly. I've currently got some interference points but the engine isn't bolted in, just sitting on the mounts and the transmission isn't in. I initially didn't believe they would even fit but they do with some finagling.

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Very close everywhere.

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That rear tube is almost touching the shock tower, hopefully when I get it all bolted in it will clear otherwise I may shim the engine up 1/2".
 

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Discussion Starter · #268 · (Edited)
And back out again:

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Good news; new block plate arrived yesterday. Bad news; it's the wrong one!

Somehow in the 20 plus years this project has been in existence the bellhousing on my race transmission was changed from a 157-tooth bellhousing to a 164-tooth bellhousing. Not even thinking about this possibility I ordered the 164-tooth block plate to match the bellhousing but when I started putting it together last night there was a couple of inches between the ring gear and the starter drive.

Thinking I had grabbed the wrong flex plate off the shelf I dummied up the other one I had, and it aligned perfectly for the starter but didn't fit the torque converter. I can't think of any reason why I would have swapped the bellhousing so the only logical explanation is that the transmission shop must have reinstalled the wrong bellhousing after freshening up the trans for me. Not a big deal since I have the right bellhousing, but it does delay, again, the process while I wait another few days for the right block plate that will match the starter, flex plate and bellhousing and torque converter.

A small silver lining to this is that the157 tooth bellhousing is shaped a little differently so there's actually a little extra room in the tunnel.

362 days until the 2023 SCCA Solo II Nationals!
 

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Discussion Starter · #269 ·
Not much progress right now, engine in and out a half dozen or so times figuring out where and what I need to tweak to set everything in place. Pulled the engine back out a couple of days ago and shoved it in the corner for a few days and started on some of the other work. Have the battery master switch located as well as the starter panel, working on wiring to the master and trying to decide if a want to or need a hot post under the hood for anything. I've also mounted the 7AL2.

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This is some Cortex looking stuff….
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
Things have slowed down a little bit; I finished fitting the headers and have sent them out to be porcelain coated. I notched the shock tower a little more to provide additional clearance, not a big deal though as I had originally notched them to ease a cleveland installation.

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I'll get a piece welded in each notch this weekend and mix up a little paint to touch it up and some of the bruises and abrasions that resulted from pulling the engine about 20 times total while fitting the headers. Once the headers are back and the engine is in place I can get the driveshaft ordered and it should be smooth sailing to the finish line.

326 days until the 2023 SCCA Solo II Nationals
 

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I love how you make light of these “little tweaks”. That’s more impressive fabrication in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #273 ·
I love how you make light of these “little tweaks”. That’s more impressive fabrication in my book.
No real hard deadline so I don't get too uptight about it. Since I'm not working on a concours restoration and not worried about streetability I can take "liberties" with it. I appreciate the compliment!

My fiberglass doors arrived Monday and they look pretty good on first inspection. Seems while I'm waiting on my headers coming back from getting coated, I now have something else to keep my busy until then.

I made the mistake one time after pulling some doors off of a car and then unbolting the hinges from the doors. It made it very difficult to reinstall the doors and getting them aligned properly. SO when I tore the old car down, I left the hinges attached to the doors to keep them aligned properly on the doors. I've installed the old doors on the car tonight, tomorrow I'll take the doors off the hinges so that they are relatively aligned on the body and start fitting the 'glass doors to the car. Once I get the doors installed and aligned properly, I'll modify the hinges so that I can just pull a couple of pins to remove the doors completely.

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I'd thought about using something like this but they cost money or fabrication time.

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Discussion Starter · #274 ·
Fiberglass door pics.

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This is the outside of the door as delivered. I've already got it bolted to the hinges and mounted to the car at this point.
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I've got the door mocked up next to the door bars so I can trace the door bars to show me where to notch the inner panel so the door will shut around the bars.
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Hung on the hinges with the door in the closed position.
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When I ordered the doors, I had asked about cutting the doors and what it would do to the structural integrity. He said it wouldn't impact the integrity of the doors but with the location of the cuts it's allowing the door to twist when it's closed. Trying to decide if I'm going to pour foam it with some 2-pound foam to lock it in shape or if I'm just going to install some standoffs to hold it to proper orientation when closed.

If not for the door bar issue I would call them a pretty good product for race use. There isn't any accommodation for window mechanisms, and they'd be too light duty for that type of use anyway.
 

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Any room to lay some fiberglass in there to regain the inner doors continuous surface? Not sure how much room you have between the bars and the outer skin, but glass looped around behind it would be stronger than the open cuts flapping around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
Any room to lay some fiberglass in there to regain the inner doors continuous surface? Not sure how much room you have between the bars and the outer skin, but glass looped around behind it would be stronger than the open cuts flapping around.
Plenty of room but I can't figure out how to lay it in. I thought about cutting some shipping tubes lengthwise and laminating them in place to strengthen it back up. Anything of that nature will be difficult to work as there's only the window slot at the top to work thru which I'll close once I'm satisfied with the door fit. I may just have to lay it in from the outside if I go that route.
 

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Seems if there is enough room and you could form your little troughs with a flange on the sides you could lay them in and glass them where they are. Might not be fun, but should work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #278 ·
Been working on fitting the doors so I had to throw the fenders on to make sure everything aligns properly; it's actually starting to look like a car!
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I'm only putting one interior door handle in the car, obviously on the driver's side. I'm mounting it down low roughly adjacent to my left thigh.

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Also continuing to work on the switch panels install. I think I'm going to run a ground to all accessories vs grounding to the body or frame. Of course, I'll also ground the battery to the chassis, engine, etc.

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313 Days to the 50th Annual SCCA Solo II Nationals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
A little help please: I'm going to start trial fitting the front fenders, r-apron, hood, etc. Given that all of the "sheet metal" that comprises the front clip is race weight fiberglass I'm in need of a couple of basic measurements to get started. Will someone please measure between the front fenders above the firewall and core support as in the picture and tell me what those measurements are? TIA!


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