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Summary - Trim:

Other than having a Garage "coming home" party after bringing the Cobra back from Phil's paint shop (New Reflections) in November,  I have not touched it until last weekend.   My excuse.....I couldn't get enough nerve to start drilling holes through the paint... sounds like a good excuse :)  Yes... I forgot to trial fit some of the trim pieces before paint ...but as it turns out a sharp drill bit, slow RPM and patience is all you need.    It's no secret that the 3rd party Cobra vendors are in business because they have improved the respective factory cobra offerings - like trim.   It's amazing how much difference there is say between the FFR trim pieces and those found at vendors like Mike's Replica Parts.    

[Product Image]Side View Mirror mount:  I started with a Dark Water bracket and this was a big improvement over mounting to the fender but the limited thread engagement into the windshield bracket was just not rigid enough.  As well... it was a bit too close to the wind wings to be effective.   Soooo... I had my Dad (he's retired) mill a bracket that wraps around the windshield and is secured with two setscrews on the inside.   It's super strong and easily adjustable.    

[Product Image]Side View Mirror mount:   Here's a shot from the inside.  

[Product Image]Emblems:   I decided to only install the 427 emblem (no Cobra emblems for the front or rear).   In proper form I made a template, drilled holes and used "pal nuts" to secure.   

[Product Image]Steering Wheel Cover:    FFR had to stop selling this baby (I think Shelby got in the way) but I managed to get me one :)   

[Product Image]Stainless Hardware:  First order of business was to get enough stainless steel bolts, washers, and lock nuts to fasten everything properly.   I know the kits come with screws for fastening but these seem like a cheap shortcut.   Soooo... bolts and locknuts  everywhere for me.   

[Product Image]Tail Lights:  As you all know the brass nuts that hold lens on protrude from the back of the lights.  If you don't address this your lights will not sit flush against the body.  While some guys notch the body, I decided to add a 2nd rubber gasket (on the left) that is the same thickness as the brass nuts.   The result is nice flush fit.  BTW... the mounting thread on the lights is  M5 x 0.8.   

[Product Image]Roll Bar Grommet:  Totally professional finish with Mike's  polished / coated aluminum trim rings .. which include a rubber membrane to keep the elements out of the trunk.

[Product Image]Roll Bar Grommet:  Given that I have dual roll bars... and black paint... the quality of this trim hardware really stands out. 

[Product Image]License Plate Bracket:  I was not too enthused about screwing this aluminum bracket directly to the paint - the sharp edges would cut into the paint for sure.  Back to my trusty box of rubber to make a gasket.  

[Product Image]License Plate Bracket:  Granted ... any marks the bracket may have made without the rubber gasket would be covered by the license plate but for the extra few minutes work it was worth the piece of mind.       

[Product Image]Over riders:  Just to ensure everything assembled smoothly I ran a tap through the holes and a die on the bolts.   I also polished all the stainless mounting hardware before assembly  

[Product Image]Over riders:  I purchased rubber grommets from Finish Line for the front on rear over riders but it turns out that the rear ones would not work with an FFR (left grommet).   Instead I made my own rubber washers (right) which are installed on the outside of the body.         

[Product Image]Over riders:  Given that the rubber grommets/washers  I added were 1/4" thick I had to cut a 1/4" off the external tubes to ensure there was enough thread present to secure the over riders.  Again I used stainless washers and as you can see I used blue loctite to keep everything from moving.     

[Product Image]Over riders:   The front Finish Line grommets fit but ....I had to use oil, force and patience to get them in there.         

[Product Image]Headlights:  These were the first holes I drilled through the paint.   Actually.... after I got the first one behind me the rest were a piece of cake.   Clearly... fitting these before paint would be a better idea.        

[Product Image]Headlights:   While the headlight gasket initially  appears to fit two ways ... once you look carefully you'll notice that there is only one position to accommodate  the (4) mounting holes and (2) headlight adjustment screws.

[Product Image]Windshield:  With the help from a Southern California hot-rodder friend, (Terry -the man in the white hat) .... we got the windshield in - smooth and flawless.   This is a two man job and even if there are only 4 bolts to put in ... give yourself a few hours.  I think it took us closer to 3  with all the screwing around.  Had to find nuts,  bolts, lock-washers etc.... chase the threads, find the trim ... and be very careful....no beer until after this baby was in.       (Note:  I found the FFR mounting hardware the next morning... arrrrh)     

[Product Image]Measure of Success:   Oddly enough, as much as getting all the trim installed is satisfying,  getting rid of the last boxes seems equally rewarding - especially that big windshield box with styrofoam.    Terry - thanks again... looking forward to seeing the frame welding shop.  Pictures to follow but Terry is taking me to one of the finest frame fabrication/welding shops on the planet - of course in Southern Cal.     

[Product Image]Inner Gas Filer Tube Plates:  After cutting the filler tube in half it is recommended that you remove the spot welded inner plates.   Many Cobra owners have complained that they experience gas overflows (all over their paint) while fueling and as a direct result of these plates NOT being removed.      

[Product Image]The Pieces:  I made a rubber gasket but also decided to make an aluminum "trim" ring to to cover what would be the painted surface.   

[Product Image]The Trim Ring:  As you can see it is installed with 3 stainless bolts/nuts.  I painted the gas inlet black and shimmed it from under the car to force the top surface to be just slightly below the the trip plate level.  At this level the cap locks perfectly.    

[Product Image]Installation:  Note that trim ring really finishes of the gas cap install - small detail and several hours to fabricate / polish but the effort was worth it.   

[Product Image]Louvers:  I upgraded to the Finish Line Louvers and after reviewing all the advice going, I decided to mount in a way that allows fairly easy removal (if necessary).  1. Used silver GE silicon II to attach 90 degree mounting brackets to the top and bottom of louver.  2. After this hardened (overnight), I used JB Weld to secure the mounting brackets to the body (the idea is that I can cut through the silicon if I ever need to remove.  As you can see I used rubber bands (4 of them) attached to some plastic tube to pull against the body and hold the louver in place while the JB hardened. 

[Product Image]Upper Radiator cover.   I fabricated an aluminum piece to cover the hole between the body and top of radiator.  Polished ...added bulb seal and installed with several rivets.     

[Product Image]Underneath:  this is the hole I am covering (looking up from the from of the car).  My intent was to nicely force all the incoming air through the radiator and not lose any through the top opening.  

[Product Image]Top:  Looking from above I wanted to cover the hole in front of the hood (when open) and also to wrap the aluminum around to cover the top of the radiator and some wiring (mission accomplished)  

[Product Image]Inner Doors:   While pondering  how to finish the inside of the doors, my wife (Sandra) comes out to see what I was up to.   She looks at the raw aluminum and says.. " carpet would look great.  I started siliconing & riveting the aluminum to the door.    Then I sprayed the hinge area with truck bed liner. 

[Product Image]Template:   Next I made some templates from Bristol board.  (Note I made a template of the hinge to ensure I left room for hinge adjustment.   While putting carpet under the hinges might look better, it would eventually allow the hinge area to loosen and require "unwarranted" flush/gap adjustments. 

[Product Image]Glue:   Sprayed my trusty 3M glue on the door and also on the carpet.   Left both to dry for 10 minutes and then put together (very carefully).    

[Product Image]Carpet:   Same Bentley carpet I used for the interior and truck.   All I can say is that it gives the door a solid feel and ... "It just looks like it belongs"    For now  - I'll refrain from making a pocket..... just a place to forget things anyway.   

[Product Image]Door Sills:   As soon as I saw these I knew I had to get them (Dark Water Customs).   This trim tied the carpet and body together perfectly ... and looks great against the black body and polished dash.    Thanks Chris! 

[Product Image]Door Sills:   A view from the inside. 

Tips: 

1) Drilling through paint: 

      A) Measure twice - drill once

      B) Use new or very sharp drills. 

      C) Go two sizes smaller and drill a pilot hole first.  

      D)  Use low RPM's  

      E) Take your time.   Let the drill do the work.. do not force it.

While I did not cover cover the paint with tape to prevent tear out or pealing.... this extra step could save you every now and then. 

 

 
I can be reached directly at the Legacy Garage at:  klegacy@comcast.net (SR71 on FFCobra.com)
Last modified: Sept 1, 2009