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Messages - rr64

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1
Wanted To Buy: I am searching for a cast aluminum generator sheave with integral fan for an early Cobra restoration. An original part preferred but an authentic copy would do.

The original for CSX2034 is shown below.



Thanks for looking.
Dan

2
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Wanted: Weber Carburetor Parts
« on: July 26, 2021, 14:01:43 »
I am working on repairing a mid 1963 COBRA 4-2V induction system using Weber 48 IDM5 carburetors. The system was handled and stored poorly for decades. I am looking for quite a few very rare parts. Please see list below. I have a file with some pictures and sketches available via email to help illustrate some of the parts. Reproductions of all the parts have been made or are being worked on but I would rather have original 1950s-1960s Weber parts.

Thanks for looking. Dan


3
Did Cobras use the same tool?

Cobras came with a bleeder fitting tool. (I have never used the original for CSX2310. I use flare nut spanners.) Finding an original in the USA is near impossible. I did drawings for a friend about twenty years ago and he made a few. I still have one of the ones he made that I have no use for.

My sketches.

4
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: AC Cobra windscreen demisters
« on: March 31, 2021, 16:04:22 »
This car is a COB car so would that make a difference? It depends if the demisters were fixed before or after painting the body shell?

Good question, I don't know about home market cars.

Color pictures of CSX chassis being unloaded in the USA in the CSX208x range show chassis with windscreens, rear view mirrors, or deflectors NOT installed. All the openings left by vacant installations were sealed with wide brown tape. The perimeter of the tonneau covers were sealed with lots of brown tape.

Some of the chassis designated as intended for racing by special arrangement were shipped via air cargo planes with windscreens and hoods (a.k.a. tops in the USA) installed. Those chassis were normally lacking body body color paint. I cannot tell you if all the "racers" were shipped with heater / demister systems or not. Heaters were not a requirement for racing and right off I cannot recall seeing a Shelby prepared road racer using a heater. The custom ordered drag racer CSX2427 was the 'factory racer' exception I am aware of, it had a heater.

5
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: AC Cobra windscreen demisters
« on: March 30, 2021, 15:31:49 »
CSX chassis, painted body color. The original paint ones I have studied were primed gray (red primer for coachwork to be painted black) all over, painted body color all over, and installed. 

On late cars it appears that chassis completed into running cars in California usually but probably not always, had the bright shiny chromium plated fixing screw heads painted body color before final installation of the deflectors.  If Shelby American refinished a car all over, which was more common that most might imagine, or change body color then the screws heads were certainly painted over as that shop did minimal masking before repairs or refinishing.

6
General Forum / Re: So what are you doing down the garage during C-19.
« on: September 01, 2020, 17:59:03 »
1930 Ford.
Our grandchildren working on my father’s favorite old car. My father died in 2003. We sold all the Model A cars, trucks, and parts except we kept this car he loved.  It last operated in 2009 until we got it out for a project during the shutdown.


Grandpa, it runs but you put too much coolant in the radiator.


Back in a condition it can be driven a little.


Had some 'fun' today. We replaced the 1930s made tires with new made ones yesterday. As we prepared to go test driving today fuel was pouring out of the carburetor. The float turned out to be about half full of fuel. I got a float out of a spare carburetor and off we went.  We even gave some neighborhood friends rides with their grandchildren today.

Dan Case
CSX2310
CSX2551

7
F.Y.I.…. I learned quite a lot in my survey.  Like most Cobra related subjects this one became more complicated as more pictures of intact installations became available in factory images, magazine road tests of new cars, and old pictures of cars before first restoration.  I found a few cars in each group still intact with their original equipment after all these decades.  I bought a selection of fuel pumps to use as examples and designed a display stand to hold them. I also bought some very old Ford engineering and dealer mechanic service literature to get the Ford engineering details. I found enough information to know what was typical installations for Continental Cars and Shelby American in CSX prefix chassis.  I also documented a few atypical details. What I have failed to find is any period pictures or modern pictures of intact COB/COX prefix chassis fuel pump and ancillaries installations.

My current slide show is forty (40) pages long so you won’t see a copy in a small forum text box. I am posting two slides of the most common Shelby American installations for chassis street and race through CSX2125 and CSX2126 onward.   The sample pump assembly shown for CSX2126 and later chassis is an actual unrestored one installed by Shelby American on a new Cobra engine in 1964.





8
CSX 2034 was auctioned as "unrestored", but was also "sent to Tasca for completion", so who knows? I do like this color though.

'Unrestored' and 'original' or 'all original' are not equal terms. One can take a new vehicle, use it any way, and modify it in any way including refinishing and is just unrestored.    Unrestored does not mean exactly as made day one.

Years ago, while CSX2034 was still covered in considerable dust after being parked indoors since the 1960s, red color over spray on parts that would not have been on the chassis at the time at the time AC Cars originally (first time) painted the coachwork in color gave clear evidence of rework end to end. Red body color in locations not normal for AC Cars to paint also raised the question of first paint or not.  The lack of any significant stone chipping of paint on the leading edges of the rear wheel arches also didn’t fit the condition of the rest of the car. 

9
Is it original exterior coachwork paint?


In part because of influential owners "original paint" on Cobras and 427 Cobras has morphed to often mean what paint was on the car when the first buyer took possession and or the first owner had done. In the past few years several high profile "original paint" red cars were actually somebody's repaints; even CSX2034 was repainted by Tasca Ford after the abuse it received as a magazine test subject.


So far no “original” paint car I have been asked to express an opinion on from a potential buyer has had exterior paint AC Cars applied new.


There are multiple "original Cobra paint" schools of thought including but not limited to:


Original = what AC Cars applied if they painted the car, not every car sent to the USA was painted


Original = what Hugus, Tasca, FAV, Moon, Alan Mann, or Shelby shops either repaired partially or completely covered over (includes cars repainted to change color on purpose). Great example: CSX2345 was painted and repaired and repainted several times. The last time by Alan Mann racing in a dark sold blue. The car is hailed as an ‘original paint’ car in the modern era.


Original = what selling dealers repaired or completely covered over (which was very common) as warrantee claims or on their own


Original = what the first buyer wanted done before they accepted delivery


Original = what the first buyer wanted done immediately after delivery


or who knows what else. “Original paint” claims are almost as bad as "original engine" claims.



Last but not least. There are a scattered few trying for forge (as in forgery) original paint.  My favorite example:  An “original paint” 427 Cobra on display. The owner was at one end of the car telling anybody that would listen how untouched the car was and what miracle it was to get an original paint 427 Cobra. At the other end of the car was his painter telling anybody that would listen (including me) how much trouble it was to repair and completely repaint the car to make it look like AC Cars did it. This was not a recent event but one four decades ago!

10
Digtial pictures tend to look different on every different machine screen.

If you like those shades, take your pick as all have been custom repainted since leaving Thames Ditton.

In the case of Ford "Rangoon Red" it has more orange appearance to it than what AC Cars applied.

AC Cars colors, Shelby American colors, the body shop that Shelby American contracted with at times, and FoMoCo USA colors were all different. Many Cobras ended up being completely refinished between the time they left AC and some buyer drove off with their new prize.  For original red cars Ford Rangoon Red seems to have been a common choice for recoating before or after retail sale. That said, every brand that mixed their version of Ford's Rangoon Red came up with a different shade. That is still true today when several "rangoon red" cars park beside each other and every one is a little to a lot different that the others.

11
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: indicator self cancelling assembly
« on: October 17, 2019, 15:27:45 »
Gerry Hawkridge can supply stainless steel tanks.  His indicator switches are higher-quality VW ones (not the cheap repros), as shown in Dan's pictures.  I don't think he has any with the early switchgear shown - I've never seen one of these.
On UK-market cars, the fragile horn switch Dan refers to operates the horns through a Lucas 6RA relay.

Roger

The Hella® 51/51 assemblies shown in Darrell's images (the original switch for CSX2295) and mine with the adapter collar (original to a friend’s CSX25xx chassis) are ones AC Cars installed during the chassis builds day one.

VW® new cars wise there were multiple versions of assembly line and service switches marked as complying with SAE and European standards in different time frames.  I have had VW assembly line versions marked as meeting 1962, 1963, or 1964 SAE standards.

Since 1983, in my hunts and purchases of most versions of VW production, service, and aftermarket switches the only switch that mates perfectly with the collar adapter AC Cars came up with is the Hella one. Wiring gauges, color codes, and lengths are not the same either.  I have used new SWF® brand replacements on three cars and wished their wires were longer. On two cars I modified the switch body to slip fit over the AC Cars adapter collar. For the last car I repaired I bought a universal one fits all adapter collar from Nick Acton. The broken switch on the car was a used VW assembly that had been forced over the adapter and collar. The marks on the parts indicated that a big hammer was used to drive everything together. After a considerable time trying to remove the switch I resorted to removing the entire steering column and taking it to the work bench. It took a large hammer to beat the offending non-stock switch off. It wasn’t an original and the stalk was broken so finishing its destruction was not a concern. I did have to do some metal work on the steering column because it had been slightly crushed when the VW switch was driven on.

When all AC factory pieces are used assembly is simple, easy, quick, and the wires are sufficiently long to comfortably mate up with the main loom behind the dash fascia.

Maybe 9 of 10 the Hella 51/51 AC Cars production switches I have come across in these decades of hunting were damaged ones removed from American market Cobras CSX2201 and later and early 427 Cobras.  Over the decades I have talked with quite a few people that removed their original Hella assembly because they thought it was not working, tossed it in the trash, and replaced it with either a used VW switch or a new SWF replacement only to find out that they still had not solved their problem.  (A similar situation often happened with the tail lamp relays, i.e. remove, discard, and replace only to still have a problem.)

Some of the VW or aftermarket switches have raised text on the outside of their main die casting.  This raised text is a dead giveaway that the switch is not a production one for a Cobra.  This text can easily be detected in use.  Some owners and restorers will sand away this text carefully and repaint the switch to make it more authentic looking.

Dan

12
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: indicator self cancelling assembly
« on: October 14, 2019, 16:43:51 »
Thank you for this information rr64
DC: You are welcome. (rr64 =Dan Case)

I have cleaned the mechanism and lubricated there was quite an amount of debris present . The cancellation device works fine when turning right but the stalk needs to be held in position when turning left or it just returns to neutral . Any suggestions ?
DC: As indicated in the picture in my post, the grub screw contacts the O.E. cancelling lever one direction only. To trip it the other direction one has to turn past it and come back.  Many long time owners do just that sometime after their turns are completed one way or the other depending on which side there grub screw sits near the cancelling lever. Having the alignment of the grub screw very near the cancelling lever helps make little movement to trip it. (A similar problem can happen with some of the aftermarket replacement switches also.)

You are quite right the indicator stalk is broken but I have seen today in a previous post on this forum that Gerry of hawk cars had some back in july . If I have no luck I would appreciate the details of someone who might help .
DC: Original Hella® 51/51 assemblies are very rare not on a late Cobra or early 427 Cobra. If he has some, by all means get at least one. Otherwise the choices are used or very rare new old stock VW® production assemblies with enough wire leads to do signals and horn or aftermarket replacements for VW service. SWF® is the most common brand of VW service switch you will find. Be aware that to use any VW or aftermarket switch in an original Cobra application you may have to modify the AC Cars adapter collar, the new switch, or both to make them fit together without using a hammer to beat them together.  Parts that people beat into place can be very hard to get back apart. As assembled by AC Cars everything was/is an easy slip fit.




Want more information on this subject, send me private message with your email address. There are three pages with full descriptions and illustration sketches in my electrical file for CSX2201 and later (American market) chassis in my electrical file I have available for owners and restorers. I would send you the entire file.

I would think that any community, town, or city of more than maybe 40,000 or in population would have skilled welders available. Most job shop type machine shops probably have welders in house or somebody they get on contract. They must know that they are being asked to work on a zinc die casting. They can buy filler rod for the job. To get the best results it is best to make a fixture to hold both pieces firmly and in exact alignment. For repairs of rare parts by welding I remove the finish on the parts, make a holding fixture that also allows the welder good access from multiple angles, and prepare the broken ends for fillet welds. The welder’s only function is to do the welding. Even damage to Holley® carburetor zinc die castings can be welded up and once refinished well the repair becomes invisible except via X-ray inspection. Mostly just takes lots of time.

On another related subject my original fuel tank needs replacing it will make a fine pattern , do you happen to know of a reliable supplier of such things ?
DC:
I) If originality is important to you:
A) Is the original tank repairable? The tanks in our cars leaked with fatigue fractured lead solder joints. I desoldered the offending areas and resoldered them but that is at best a temporary fix as lead sealed joints that flex any at all will fracture. After solder repairs I used the tank sealing compound Eastwood® sells. I follow their directions exactly except for every rinse stage I do two more rinses. I did the tank in our black car in the fall of 1997 and had zero issues since using all kinds of street and race fuels street or track.

B) I did drawings many years ago for a friend in want of an original specification tank. He was wanting to replace an aftermarket tank. Two brass bungs must be machined and correct rivets have to be sourced but otherwise any good sheet metal shop that can work to drawings and holotype sample pictures can fabricate a very authentic looking assembly. I would still recommend sealing it as after all lead solder joints will fracture sooner or later.

C) About once a year really nice original tanks come up for sale. Racers don’t want original tanks. One must be aware that CSX2201 and later chassis have mounts for a Stewart-Warner® fuel level sensor and not a Smiths® unit all other chassis used. Again, even if it looked perfect I would seal the inside.

II) If originality is not all that important to you:
A)   There is a company in the USA that will seal an old tank inside and out with a proprietary process and materials. THE TANK WILL NOT LOOK ORIGINAL NOR WILL IT EVER AGAIN.

B)   More than one parts company has available modern made fully welded tanks in either aluminum or stainless steel.



13
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: indicator self cancelling assembly
« on: October 13, 2019, 15:34:15 »
You have an original Hella® switch assembly. It is very possible that the cancelling mechanism is stuck in the collapsed position. The original Hella design mechanism in Cobras is fairly fragile as compared to the very different mechanism in any version of any O.E. VW® or VW service replacement aftermarket replacement switch. Two failure modes are common to original production switches: 1) lack of lubrication. The spring operated return is not very robust.  Without good lubrication the cancelling mechanism has trouble making the device return to normal position again after being tripped by the grub screw. One friend of mine found his was dusty and gritty. He carefully cleaned all the small parts, relubricated them, and the switch cancelling work fine afterwards. 2) Something is broken inside.

Shelby American use to offer a Hella® brand repair kit (“Horn Switch Repair Kit Hella 81/39”). I have no idea what the kit contained. The only person that I know of that ever had a kit had two that he bought from Shelby’s stock decades ago and they have long since been used. Years ago I asked obsolete parts dealers on multiple continents if they had any of those kits and I never found one. I would like to know what the kit contained, did it have horn and turn signal parts or just the horn leaf switch which is also not very robust as originally made.





Original switches not in their late Cobra or early 427 Cobra in any condition are extremely rare now.

I suggest inspection of the mechanism. If intact, carefully clean it and relubricate it.


Your signal operating lever is taped up. Is it broken? Broken levers are not rare as they are fragile. There are people that can do welding repairs on broken zinc die castings. These switches are too rare to discard during restorations just because the lever is broken.

Dan Case

14
Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum / Re: WTB - Original Cobra Emblems
« on: September 27, 2019, 15:36:22 »




Photo credit for this photo goes to Dan Case.





Actually both are photographs I took. Both emblems are in one of my display cases.  The S1CS-C part is the very first original emblem I collected decades ago. It has not been on a Cobra since 1964 but its actually a mint condition used part. The C3RA prefix one is new old stock. I have posted both pictures in various forums.  These and other emblem pictures made by Rick Wood (for me) or myself have been published in several books over the years also.

Dan

15
If you own or have access to an unrestored, substantially as built, with its original engine, and original engine mounted fuel pump car before CSX2126 we (me mostly but others are interested and helping) would like you to help add data and pictures to a database.  We are working to collect data on the pump’s manufacturer, casting numbers as applicable, casting dates as applicable, assembly dates, finishes, and fittings.  Real good pictures of the installation in the car would be great to have also.   Maybe you know where an original engine with fuel pump still attached is sitting in storage or on display.

Don’t have a car or access now, did you manage to take some pictures of the fuel pump area on these cars decades ago?

The intent is to add to the open source Cobra engine notes and slide shows I share with owners and restorers.   If you have information or pictures but don’t want them public, that works for me as long as I may add your casting or assembly dates to the known ranges without tying them to you or a specific car.

Thanks in advance for any information you may add to the collection.  Send me a private message through this site if you wish to make contact.

Dan

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