Monday, November 3, 2008

11/2 update

11/2 update:

For his bday, CG got the gift of a whole day of working on the car in the garage.

Picking up right where we left off, I tackled pulling apart brake booster and master cylinder. It took a while to unravel this intricate puzzle, but I finally managed. I unbolted the MC's union fittings into the distribution block, so that the brake booster and MC were free. After that, I was able to wiggle them out of the car. With some difficulty, I was able to unbolt the MC from the booster. Unfortunately, I totally destroyed one of the bolts. Need to get a replacement.

The instructions for making manual braking are to fit the brake pushrod directly into the master cylinder piston. Problem is, with the Cobra brake kit, the huge pushrod seems to have a much huger diameter than the piston into the MC. Will need to follow up with FFR to see what's up. Maybe we can buy a pushrod from them.

I sawed the distribution block's brake lines free of the body and recover it as well. The instructions are vague but I think we won't need these lines and will be fitting on parts from the kit.MC and distribution block socked away for now.

Next job for me was starting on the engine wiring harnesses. This was a real pain. Plastics were really brittle, many connectors had their latches on the blind side or hidden, and fasteners were rusted. Still a custom harness from FFR is $475, so this would save a lot of money.

I tackled the driver's side harness first. It seems to have more of the wires powering non-motor devices and distributes the +12v source from the battery mounted in the hatch. Lots of the looms wormed into fender undersides and had to be rooted out.

While I was down there unscrewing the horn and pulling out headlight wires, I found a piece of clag (tire debris) wedged high up into the fender edge. All over the engine bay were chunks and strings of clag. Truly a well worn race car.

All of the left harness was unraveled and labeled. The only thing left attached on the left harness network is 2 plugs into the alternator. I was wearing thin and snapped the latch off of the sensor plug. I think the alternator might have to be loosened or removed to get clearance to pull it off. Any 5.0 guys know?

CG and Marc were working on the suspension, panhard setup, and exhaust. It was an ugly ground war against rust and tack welded nuts. They managed to get the sway bar and one rear strut off. Oh, and the X-pipe. Very clean and quite a sculpture after 10 years on the car.

We also got the radiator, fan, and air filter out.

- loosen rear diff and axle to unload left rear suspension
- plasma cut through some of the quad shock assembly (I dunno what happened back there but I think we ran out of alternatives). Fortunately CG got the upgraded suspension parts so we won't need to reuse that stuff.
- disassemble rest of suspension
- proceed with wiring harness extraction. I need to get all the motor wiring off, and then work from the dash to the back of the car.
- steering rack
- rear diff off
- engine out (maybe with an optional test crank that we keep putting off)

Some wisdoms I gained from doing the wiring harness work. I dunno if it's applicable just to 5.0s or more Fords.
- the lightbulb wiring plugs unlock by twisting counterclockwise, except for the main lights. They have a collar that twists to unlock. Move that out of the way and then there's a latch that comes off with the plug. Once unlocked you can pull them straight out.
- when working with the lights, hands go in through the gaps in front of the radiator bracket.
- remove the light wire looms through the central hole in the radiator bracket that the main wiring loom passes through. All the plugs even with the bulbs on them will be able to snake through. I recommend taping up the bulbs for that extra sense of protection.
- the airbag sensor needs to be pulled out through the same front gap where your hands fit. By god it is a tight fit but it'll work. You might have to unhook the main headlight plug to get clearance. The ABS sensor's loom has a plug further up the harness. To get it out, unplug there and pull that part of the loom through the hole following the sensor's exit.
- the airbag sensor looks like a little transformer mounted under the top of the radiator bracket, but with 2 wires leading to it.
- when disassembling stuff, get into the assembly line frame of mind. Each part should have one clear (if not easy) way of getting installed. If it isn't going to go out one way, keep looking for the correct way. Order matters in that some parts get installed later and can 'lock in' earlier parts.

No comments: