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03-31-2005 10:53 AM Rat - Budget Update 3/31/05
Budget Update 3/31/2005

The good news is, I created a handy-dandy budget spreadsheet using Lotus 1-2-3 which makes my budget updating much easier. The bad news is, the spreadsheet caught a couple errors in my prior entries and calculations. So as of today's round of new bills, the project has, unfortunately, gone over my $3,500 "revised" target. We are now at $3,651.54 in expenditures and I still have one big ticket item (the windshield at approx $75 incl. shipping and installation materials) not yet included. In addition I am sure there will still be a number of odds and ends that are bound to come up before it's "on the road". My "new revised" target is now a maximum of $4,000. I'm a little bummed out by this turn of events - but on the bright side, I'm happier with the way the project is turning out than I originally anticipated. So I guess the extra $500-$1,000 is worth it. Also, there will a slight reduction in the budget at the end of the project when I subtract out the major (3' and over) lengths of steel which were not used but were included in the steel category when they were purchased for the project.

Here are the expenditures as of 3/31/05:

Donor - 1981 Ford F-150 $400.00
Chassis and body skeleton 961.17
Body sheet metal 221.55
Bolts/Fastners/Hardware 180.01
Paint and Body Prep
Resins & Fillers 49.45
Paint 119.31
Tires -Front 141.56
Coil Over Shocks 341.46
4 Bar & rod ends 309.04
Steering wheel & adapter 36.34
Floor Shifter 70.99
Proportioning Valve 32.95
Hoses (3) 48.54
Lines (pre made flares) 33.90
Fittings/clamps 31.65
Lights & switches 43.19
Headlights 49.95
Moon disks 59.80
Drive Shaft 165.99
Gauges -tach,oil,water,amps 47.37
Fuel System
Fuel Cell 77.69
Filter 2.31
Line/fittings 30.80
Fan 81.99
Fan Wiring Kit 19.88
Pipe and bends 58.75
Mufflers 35.90

Total to date $3,651.54

Major items yet to be purchased:

Windshield and installation materials

Other notes on budget:

There will be an "add back" at the end of the project for usable lengths of steel that are remaining. Lengths under 3' will be considered scrap and charged to the project. Lengths 3' and over will be deducted from the project cost.

I did not included in this list the Mazda master brake unit, pedals and pedal bracket which I had on hand from a prior project. For all of these items I could have adapted the donor vehicle parts but the Mazda parts fit much better and were easier to use. Thus, I did not charge them to this project.

Also, my wife surprised me with a set of new rear tires for my birthday. The existing tires look like crap (they are the original truck tires) but still have enough tread to be used on the project. So keep in mind I am not charging the rear tires off to the project - once I unwrap them and take off the bow.

  [Entry #165]

03-30-2005 07:44 PM Rat - Trunk Latch & Handle
Photo #1 shows the T handle as mounted on the outside of the trunk.

Photo #2: This is a shot from the under side of the trunk lid in the closed position. The latch arm (which engages the drip edge of the trunk to hold the lid closed) can be slid up and down the square rod which extends from the T handle. I position it so it latches properly and place washers behind it to keep it at the correct height. I then made a "collar" (an old nut) which can also slide up and down the square rod. It is slid up firmly against the latch arm and washers and then held in place with a set screw which I drilled and tapped into the nut.

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #164]

03-30-2005 07:26 PM Rat - Trunk Latch & Handle
Photo # 1 below: I wanted a traditional looking "T" handle for the trunk lid but didn't want to pay $30 or more for a handle and another $15 or more for a latch. So I dug through me storage bin and found a chrome Stanley garage door handle and latch that I bought last year for $6. Actually I bought 5 sets of the handles and latches...all that they had available in a bargain box at Menards. I will be able to use the handle as it is but I will need to alter the latch a bit. The mechanism comes with a center section which "swivels". I'm not sure why it's made that way but I need to make the center section solid. So I took it apart (it's held together with two rivets) and welded the center section solid to the latch arm.

Photo #2: This is a shot from the underside of the trunk. There is a 1x1 structural "rib" which runs down the center of the trunk. I drilled a small pilot hole through the center of the rib and upward through the sheet metal above.

Photo #8: I can then close the trunk and use the pilot hole to drill progressively larger holes from the top side until I get it to the required 3/4" in diameter. The finished hole is shown here.

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #163]

03-29-2005 08:51 PM Rat - Brake lines
Photo #1 below: This is the brake line where it attaches to the brake hose on the driver's side front wheel. I still need to fabricate a weld on tab to hold the brake hose in place. BTW, I replaced all the F-150 brake hoses with new units.

Photos #2 & #3: I also purchased a new (Speedway/Wildwood) adjustable proportioning valve. The stock combination valve might have been okay but I didn't want to take any chances with it. It looked pretty corroded and crudded up when I took it off the donor. The proportioning valve is inserted into the brake line to the rear wheels. I positioned it under the seat and will be able to access it from below the car or by removing the seat base. The valve is mounted on a 1/8" piece of flat stock welded to the frame.

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #162]

03-29-2005 08:37 PM Rat - Brake lines
Next I will fabricate the brake lines. this portion of the project was made a bit more difficult because I am attempting to mate a Mazda master cylinder, which uses 10mm metric fittings, with the F-150 front calipers and rear drums, which use 3/8" npt fittings. The mis-match is further complicated by the fact that the Mazda master cylinder metric threads are a rather rare 10-.125 rather than the newer and more common 10 -.1. After much research on the web and two days of parts running, I finally tracked down the exact adapters I needed to make the systems work together.

Photo #1: I am using all pre made brake lines rather than buying or renting a flaring tool and attempting them myself. I have heard some real horror stories about flaring failure in brake systems so I figured I'd stay on the safe side and buy mine flared and with the nuts already installed. However, I still need to bend and fit the lines. I am using a $16 tube bender I got from Car Quest. I thought it did a pretty good job for the price.

Photo #2: Here you can see the first line installed out of the master cylinder. It is for the driver's side front wheel. Note that the Mazda M.C. has two outlets right off the cylinder for the front wheels and one outlet for the rear wheels. There is a "T" mounted on the rear axle to split this rear feed.

Photo #3: Here are all three lines plumbed from the M.C. I don't have any great tips about how to do the bending. I found it to be a real "shot in the dark" sort of operation. Some of the bends I got pretty accurate, some were off by an inch or more. So things didn't turn out too pretty. But hopefully it will be functional.

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #161]

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