Jon's 5.0 v8 Build
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Author:  maxlessca [ December 24, 2007, 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Jon's 5.0 v8 Build

Hi everyone. I'm Jon. I'm 18 and I am building a Locost from a 1989 5.0L Mustang. This was my donor:

My mustang is has an automatic, so I will need to do a trany swap on it. (Mechanically, its very simple. Electronically, its complicated) I'm using the Mustang front spindles (which needed to be modified to have an upper balljoint).
I started building the frame in September and have been working on it ever since. I'm making it out of 1x1" .100 wall square (because it was 3x cheaper than what I was suppose to use). I started building the frame before I had a donor and I had no idea that I was going to buy such a big engine. I was originally going to buy a 4cyl Mustang, but this v8 Mustang was found for $300 and it ran perfectly. I couldn't resist. I've had to modify the frame by making it 2" wider and 4" longer to fit the engine. (I cut the frame down the center and welded in 2" long pieces to make it wider. As you can suspect, the frame is a little twisted, but will be straighted before welding the diagonals on the transmission tunnel. (Its off by 1/2")
So far, I have the rear end in, the motor mounts have been started and yesterday, I started the front suspension. I have started making my own seats out of sheet metal. They are shown in the picture, partially painted. They still need padding added to the bottom and back. (waiting till January to do that) I've managed to buy a nosecone mold from a fellow builder in my city (Guelph, ON, Canada) and I used the mold in the picture below, so I could get an idea of what it will look like.

Now, I imagine that some of you are wondering who I am. I'm probably the youngest person on this board. I've always loved building things and this project seems like its the perfect project for me. I've built 7 Go-karts (4 for me, 3 for friends), a boat and hundreds of other little projects. My dad isn't interested in cars, so when I started high school, I took auto shop and learned everything I could. So, I only have a basic knowledge of how cars work. One of the reasons I am doing this project is to broaden my knowledge of how cars work. I have learned so much already. I have built up my own little shop in my parents' garage over the past 3 years, and have all the tools needed to do this project. Its been a big financial stretch for me so far, but I'm doing it! I have graduated from high school and plan to go to college next year for Manufacturing Engineering.

Questions/ comments are encouraged and I hope to bring frequent updates. I haven't taken many pictures yet, but I plan to start taking more pictures, now that I have somewhere to post them.

Author:  mr.peabody.d [ December 25, 2007, 6:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Welcome aboard you have been stickied. i look forward to reading more about your build!

Author:  eVox [ December 27, 2007, 8:52 am ]
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Ah ha! More young blood! I am 20, and I guess I was one of the youngest (if not the youngest) until you. These boards are great, and the old farts are always willing to help (just kidding, everyone here is young...in spirit!). We can definitely out last them in insane nightly building binges!

Looking forward to seeing more of the build.

Where are you located? Where are you looking at for college?

Author:  Philippe [ December 27, 2007, 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jon's 5.0 v8 Build

Hi Jon and welcome,
Since your car is going to be both heavy and powerful I would advise you to read from the Clubman files (under chassis) what they say about frame reenforcement (stiffening). Others here who have built a V8 Locost will I am sure provide more details.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Author:  maxlessca [ December 28, 2007, 1:24 am ]
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eVox wrote:
We can definitely out last them in insane nightly building binges!

Tell me about it. Sometimes, when I work late, I come home at 1am, and I'll go straight to the garage and work on something for an hour. Even today, after working 9.5h, I got home at 10pm and what did I do? I did an oil change on my truck. My parents think I'm nuts.

I live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I plan on going to Conestoga College to get a degree in Manufacturing Engineering.

Since your car is going to be both heavy and powerful I would advise you to read from the Clubman files (under chassis) what they say about frame reenforcement (stiffening). Others here who have built a V8 Locost will I am sure provide more details.

I have looked through those files and at other builds. Especially Rod's 5.0 build (He's been a big inspiration to me). After I get my steering and suspension set up, I will add braces like crazy, wherever I can.

Author:  maxlessca [ January 10, 2008, 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Finally, Good Weather!!

I've been waiting for some good weather to come my way, in order to continue working in the garage. luckily, Its been above 40 this week and I've been able to work on my suspension and steering system.

I wanted to avoid using different spindles than the Mustang ones, because of cost and having to find a bolt pattern that matched my tires, so I just modified the Mustang ones. You can see in this picture, how I made a spot for a rod end to attach. It works pretty well.

Using the end of the old Mustang control arms, I made the bottom A-arms. The top A-arms were a challenge for me, because it was so hard to get an accurate measurements to know how long the arms needed to be. After making them, I don't like how they look. I may re-make them....

After figuring out that I needed a rack length of 25", I decided to just stick with my mustang rack. (It is 25.5") This way, it requires little modification to the tie rods and I can use power steering. Since I made the width of the front tires match the width of the tires at the rear, the tie rods only needed about a 1/4" of adjustment to make the wheels strait. Wahoo! No cutting or welding needed!!

I mounted the steering shaft in multiple places to help prevent movement. My one concern is with the angle at which my u-joint is. If you look in the picture above, you can see that is a sharp turn. I'm afraid there will be stiff spots in the steering.

I have also started looking into Shocks. There is a Hot Rod shop about 30mins from my house and they sell coilovers. I can get them in 160, 180, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450lb rates. And the guy says that if I buy them, and I don't like the spring rate, I can bring them back in and trade the shocks in for ones I'd like better. They are Heidts shocks. They are on this website, at the bottom of the page.

Author:  chanoquin [ January 10, 2008, 9:17 pm ]
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Even though your Adapters don`t look as you would like, at least you took the dive and went on building, I`ve been postergating these for quite a while now. I`m planning my adapters to use a ball joit or Track Rod End instead of your approach. But that will be when I`m done postergating.
Regarding your steering shaft, there are several discussion about steering column, it must not be in line with the direction of travel, say it has to have a couple of deflections so in the event of a frontal collission, the shaft and Steering Wheel are not pushed onto your chest.
If you do a search you should get some info and adjust accordingly.
Keep on building..

Author:  maxlessca [ January 17, 2008, 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Welder Went Up In Smoke!!

So yesterday, I had the entire day to work outside, on my car. I was making great headway, adding additional tubes to strengthen my chassis. I cut out the metal for the floor and started welding on the driver's side. While welding, my welder just shut off. Puzzled, I turned around, only to see my welder up in smoke. I cut the power to it and just stared at it. There was a piece on the front which was melting off, right in front of me. And there was plastic dripping onto the floor! It was probably 25 degrees F outside and I wasn't even using it too much. I was so mad. My welder is a Mastercraft 70A MIG. (from Canadian Tire)

You can see the part which melted off on the picture above.


These are updated pictures of my progress:

The welder is 2.5 years old and has a 3year warranty on it. I brought it back to Canadian Tire, and they have to ship it out to be repaired. They say it will be 8-14 days, but that probably means I wont have it back for over a month. I have no idea what I'm going to do now. I've always hated that welder....
If I buy a new welder, I'm going to end up spending $1000 on a nice 230V Lincoln. I really don't want to spend the money though....

Author:  Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F [ January 17, 2008, 4:48 pm ]
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A double joint or cv for the steering would be expensive. You could add another support bearing on the forward shaft and use an extra joint.

Author:  maxlessca [ January 23, 2008, 4:26 pm ]
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Do to the cold weather and lack of a welder, I've been able to finish up my car seats, made from scratch.

I tell more about making the seats here

Author:  maxlessca [ February 10, 2008, 12:33 am ]
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After waiting 3 weeks for my welder with no word of it returning, I decided to buy a new welder. Its a Lincoln MIG PAK 140. I am so glad to have a good welder now!

In the last 3 weeks, I've worked on my wiring a bit. I laid out the harness on the floor in my bedroom and have started cutting wires I don't need. (very scary)

I have over 20 pages of wiring diagrams for this car...

I've also bought trailer fenders for my car. I plan to use full ones for the back, and use 2 half fenders for the front. (yes, they will be small fenders)
I placed them on the tires to see what it would look like. (sorry for the bad quality picture)

Hopefully, I can get right back into building. Its been nice to have a break from working. But, I have a steering shaft that is begging to be rebuilt....

Author:  maxlessca [ February 13, 2008, 9:14 pm ]
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Today, I was able to do a lot of welding. I had previously cut out sheets of steel for the floor, and I welded them in place.

After spending a couple hours freezing my butt off outside, I came inside and took apart my gauge cluster. I rolled back the Odometer to 99990. That way, after a bit of testing, it will start right at 00000.

(sorry, no pictures today)

Author:  maxlessca [ March 30, 2008, 3:43 pm ]
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Wow! Its been 6 weeks since my last update! Time just goes by too fast. The weather has been bad the last couple months. And without a heated garage, it is hard to get working outside. I have made some progress though. I have finished the floor, made shock mounts, re-did the steering, mounted the rear axle and bought some parts.
The car is now rolling!! I am very excited. I'm just using scrap 1x1 for shocks for now. I need to figure out how much it will weigh before before buying my shocks.
These are before the car was rolling:

The steering system really needed another bend to make the steering smooth. It turns great now. But, after putting the seats in the car, it seems that the wheel is way to far forward. I think I need to re-make part of it again, because it would bother me. (Doing something a third time gets frustrating. But I guess you don't know until you make it.)

This is my fuel cell. It is a 10 gallon from Jaz, with foam. I am going to use my stock Mustang fuel pump and fuel gauge, and install them in the tank.

In another 2 weeks, the weather will be better, and I'm going to cut back my hours a bit at work, so I can work on the car a bit more.

Author:  Locost 5.0 [ March 30, 2008, 5:22 pm ]
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Looking at your rear panhard rod bar, I think it might cause you some problems. Is there a reason its so short? The short bar is going to cause a lot of sideways axle movement on bumps, it doesn't look like there is much tire clearance plus you will feel the axle movement when you drive. It also puts more stress on the frame bracket because of the increased movement. If you can't extend the bar to the other side of the axle, at least reinforce the frame bracket. I'm worried that it may fail when you least expect it. Could be dangerous in my opinion.


Author:  davew [ March 30, 2008, 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Pr0gress


You're making good progress. I like the extra triangulation that you have put in the frame. Along those lines you need to brace your pan hard bracket on the frame, or lower the rod on the axle and the frame. These parts are heavily loaded and with the bracket standing off the frame that high there is additional leverage applied. A 2nd tube just under the hiem joint running diagonally across to the other side frame would help a lot.

Good luck on the build Dave W

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