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01-13-2006 05:20 PM Dash and Gauges
The dash design is very simple, flat, and straightforward. I will be using 3/4" Medium Density Board (MDB) as the base for the dash and will cover that with thin, workable, and inexpensive aluminum flashing - the stuff you get at Home Depot for roofing your house. I discovered after buying the flashing that the back side of the flashing (which has a gold tint) was much more interesting than the front side of the flashing (tradition aluminum). So that's the side I left exposed.

Photo #1. The MDB is first cut to the correct width to fit the body and then to the height and shape you want. I then marked out the position for the three Equus gauges, the tach, and the speedometer. The only tricky part of this install is the speedo. I am using the stock speedo from the F-150 donor. Unfortunately this unit is square while all my other gauges have round faces. Also, because of it's shape, I can not use the plastic speedo lens/cover from the old dash. So I'll need to make a new lens. Note in the picture the holes marked for the gauges, the speedo, the steering wheel column, and to the far left, the tach.

Photo #2. To make the new lens for the speedo I cut a piece of plexiglass cut slightly larger that the hole for the speedo. I then use my router to recess the MDB the depth of the plexiglass. I can then lay in my plexigass so that the face of the glass is level with the face of the MDB.

Photo #3. The aluminum flashing is then cut to match the exterior dimensions of the MDB. Then, the flashing is temporarily clamped to the MSD and holes are drilled through the board and the flashing for the gauges, the tach, and the speedo using appropriately sized hole saws. In this picture the hole is being cut for the speedo using a 2 1/2" hole saw.

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  [Entry #210]

01-13-2006 04:46 PM Radiator Plumbing Update
In earlier entries I showed the 1 1/2" copper pipe used for plumbing to the rear mounted radiator. This is an addendum to those entries.

After starting and running the car numerous times I discovered an unfortunate oversight. I blew one of the radiator hoses off the end of the pipe. This was because the hose was simply clamped to the end of a straight run of pipe and could slip off the end when under pressure. What is needed is some sort of ridge or ring around the end of the copper pipe to act as a backstop for the hose and clamp.

Photo #1. I made a "ring" to slip over the end of the copper pipe by simply cutting about 1/4" off the end of a copper elbow. This photo shows that cut in progress.

Photo #2. This is the ring after being cut off and cleaned up a bit.

Photo #3. The ring is then simply slipped on the end of the 1 1/2" copper pipe and sweated in place. more blow offs.

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  [Entry #209]

06-02-2005 08:32 PM Rat - The Beast Lives
June 2, 2005

With the wiring completed I re-assembled everything and tested all the electrical components (brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, headlights etc). I then filled all the fluids (tranny fluid, oil, water) and filled and bled the brake system. And then came the major milestone of the project. I cranked and started the engine. The only major problem I encountered after getting the motor running was the discovery of a small leak in the radiator. I'm pretty sure this is where I accidentally touched the core with my mig while tack welding the radiator brackets in place. I will need to take the radiator to the shop to have the hole(s) plugged.

After the engine came to life I quickly realized there was no really good way to picture this red letter I'm just including a few shots of the roadster and my truck getting ready to cruise.

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  [Entry #208]

06-02-2005 08:17 PM Rat - Wiring
Photo #1 I'm not sure how others go about a complete re-wiring of a car but my approach was to use the original harness and wiring, take off ALL of the banding and electrical tape, and then cut and snip until I had the main components of the system (lights, ignition, charging etc. ) isolated and identified. This requires the installation of a lot of male/female joints - but it's the way that makes the most sense to me. Here you can see the core of the system, the fuse box, near the center of the picture and then the major wire groupings organized in individual piles. I have also totally eliminated a number of components such as the heating, air conditioning, and instrument panel wiring.

Photo #2 I then began to install the major modules of the electrical system (regulator, ignition relay, ignition module, alternator, etc). I am installing as many of the components as possible under the seat of the car in order to keep the firewall cleaner and maintain as much room as I can under the cowl . This is a shot of the components going into the passenger side seat area.

Photo #3 Here is the system nearing completion. Once I know everything works, I will organize and put bindings around all the major runs of wire. On the far left of the picture is the fuse box which will be accessible from the under side of the drivers side seat. To the right of the fuse box is the headlight switch. Then the engine module (brain box), which was later moved under the cowl to facilitate some of the connections.

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  [Entry #207]

05-25-2005 10:41 PM Rat - Mechanicals
Photo #1 This is how I mounted the alternator.

Photo #2 An overhead view of the alternator mount, the power steering mount and the power steering plumbing.

Photo #3 Any of you who have completely rewired your car will know all about this mess. All the wiring from the donor truck was saved and is here laid out in the driveway so I can begin to sort out what I need and what can be cut out and tossed. Also, you can never over do it when you are labeling the wires as you strip them from the donor. I though I had marked everything but I've discovered a number of "strays" which I somehow overlooked. Fortunately, I have been able to identify most of them by the color coding in the wiring diagrams I have.

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  [Entry #206]

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