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
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. |
View Mirror mount:
Here's a shot from
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. |
FFR had to stop
selling this baby (I think Shelby got in the way) but I
managed to get me one :)
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. |
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.
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.|
Bar Grommet: Given
that I have dual roll bars... and black paint... the quality of this trim hardware
really stands out.
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. |
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.
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 |
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.
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. |
The front Finish Line
grommets fit but ....I had to use oil, force and patience
to get them in there.
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. |
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.
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)
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.
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. |
Pieces: I made a
rubber gasket but also decided to make an aluminum "trim"
ring to to cover what would be the painted surface.
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. |
that trim ring really finishes of the gas cap install -
small detail and several hours to fabricate / polish but
the effort was worth it.
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. |
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.
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. |
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
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. |
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"
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
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.
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! |
Sills: A view from
Drilling through paint:
Measure twice - drill once
Use new or very sharp drills.
Go two sizes smaller and drill a pilot hole first.
Use low RPM's
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.