J. Salmon RCR-40 Build

Initial report

I can't believe it has taken this long, so I'll even comment on that. If you plan on having someone else do any work because you think it will speed things up or get things done to a higher standard than you may finish things, think again. Your own obsession will drive you better than money will drive another.

This is the first time I really got o drive ANY GT40, so this was answering a long lingering question of how it was going to be. And I was thrilled by the result. The driving position is just fantastic. You are very central in the car, the view is excellent, the wheel and controls are spot on. I could easily do a long highway drive, and likewise I felt positioned better for track driving than in anything else I have been in. You can see right in front of the car with the subtle fenders to each side. I will add a headrest, and probably some sort of dead pedal.

I drove it (lightly) for about 25 minutes, it was about 65 degrees out. I do not have the AC in. We did insulate the crap out of the center tunnel, and I have reflective shielding on the back of the firewall. I do not have the flip-out window panels in yet, so the windows were "open". I did not get hot, which surprised me.

You probably don't need 550 hp. It's pretty cool, it's truly scary. Throttle response from the LS7 with the Kinsler system on it is insane. We still have some tuning to do. The idle is not perfect and some of the lower rpms still need smoothing. It is not as loud in the cabin as I thought it would be (in the video my GoPro has the solid back because it typically mounted on the outside of my formula car).

The transaxle was worth it all. Getting the shifter right is tough. Several "kits" I have driven (including our Cobra) have been really left wanting in the shifter feel, some are downright balky. Using the Ricardo with the OEM Ford GT shifter makes a butter smooth action, very positive, perfect. We do not have the pedal heights set yet, and combined with the throttle response, heel-toe shifting was tricky to match. But once we get it set and get to where the car is being driven harder, it's going to be really nice.

Turns out the steering rack was bad. It was binding horribly on my first drive. It's now 4 years old and there is now a quicker ratio rack. We will be switching it out and adding the bump steer kit to dial in the steering. Once we scooped all the bushing material out of the rack and got it to where it would move, the steering really was pretty decent, about what we have been able to get out of our Cobra (with a lot of work). I am very particular about steering feel and I am not going to stop until it is really good.

For better or worse, my wife just decided she liked her first track event, so this car may see more track time than I expected. So stiffer springs are probably in order as these are the street weights. I don't mind a bone-jarring ride on the road, so I won't consider that a compromise.

RCR40 First test - YouTube
 
Really looking and sounding good J. Extra nice you waited to clear Dad's car before toasting the hides. 355 on one side, SLC on the other.....what could possibly go wrong!? :)

Looking at your go-cart test drive video - looks like there is a lot of driveshaft angle when viewed from the rear. Or was the car too high at that point in life?

Oh - just viewed the track drive, sweet. Bet ya were all pumped for that little milestone, eh? As you mentioned seems like a bunch of steering input for the little esses.

Congrats on the first real drive. I look forward to that day!
 
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Mesa,
that was much higher in the older video, but it is still a LOT of angle, and going +2 is really going to help. We are in near constant contact with the driveshaft shop to make it all come together. Bottom line though: if you are using the Ricardo, go +2 at the start!!!

The old rack ratio is slow, but in the video you cannot see the steering effort. I was sore that night from muscling the wheel both directions. It was binding and needed to be forced back to center with the same effort. Made for a nervous drive, as there was not going to be any ability to react with steering to unwanted rotation. But it was just parade laps anyway.

The burnout never gets old, does it?
 
I don't like to see cars do a burnout with their foot on the brake so the tires smoke up,

but I do like to see a car just flooring it and then some wheel-spin appairs just because its so brutal (so without holding the brakes)
 

Randy V

Staff member
Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Now you have me wondering aout my rack Jay.. Won't be tll next summer to drive though..
 
Congratulations for your first drive

The steering rack is kind of slow on purpose, the new quicker one is quicker, but only by app 10%. THis cars react so good onto steering input that you want some slow steering ratios, especially at high speeds or for "panic" countersteering ( believe me , with that power, your rear will hang out not only on purpose).

I still have the old slow ratio in my car and i love it. In the beginning you have to get used to it ( especially coming to it from a modern servo supported car) . But after some driving it is just great. My car needs no more force for steering than any modern servo supported car. If this is the case something is wrong with the steering rack or with the suspension set up ( binding). THe steering ratio is realy helping for lower steering forces.
Steering gives a nice feedback and the slow ratio helped me for shure to save the car in more than one occassion, where a even more intensive countersteering would have resulted in a major kick back of the car to the other side.

Jay, get also the new steering arms in combination with the fitting tie rods.

Also, i´m only using a 320mm diameter steering wheel, which is nice in terms of driving position, Tried it with a 365mm before, but this was to big. On the other hand the 320mm gives a smaller lever , but still the steering is very easy.
TOM
 
J,
Once you fit the bump-steer kit and new tie-rods it will be a night and day difference! I am using the most forward holes on the front uprights for the tie-rods, and steering response is now instant. See the end of ckouba's build thread. (I havent had any problem with my rack other than some annoying squeeking here and there) I also lowered the rack and am running 2deg - camber on the front. Sincerely, S
 
It is about time for an update!
We are driving! We are ready for inspection!
We still have much to do... but mechanically we are there!
Using the new steering arms, the suspension set up is pretty much amazing. The car rides, handles, steers, and performs better than I thought would be possible. I am finally able to have answers to my own FAQ:

1. Is it loud? I just took a flight in a commertial turbo prop which was significantly louder. I wore ear plugs on the 1.5 hour drive home from VIR but I have been out for decently long drives and don't think they are needed. And I don't even have the carpet in yet.

2. Is it hot? No AC yet, I don't think the car is any hotter than other sports cars. With AC it will be pleasant in all temps. I was worried about the center console but I cannot detect ANY additional heat from it. I think the Swain Tech coating oin the headers may be a genuine help.

3. Can you see out of it? Forward: brilliant. Side mirrors, OK. Rear... not too much, with a little mirror I bought at O'Reilly's I can see the flashing lights but not much else. I will say this, if you pull up to make a turn and are 45 degrees to the road, you cannot see ANYTHING 45 degrees towards the back of the car.

4. How about the seats? I think they are comfy. I need a headrest, and that is my next project.

5. Roll cage? It think my car will end up being primarily a road car. I am seriously considering removing the cage. I just padded the bars to the front; even when strapped in tight I can extend my scrawny neck enough to tough the bar with my head. Which means I will definitely smack it in an impact.

6. Is it fast? It's crazy fast. Stupid-nothing-else-quite-like-it fast. Despite being geared so that first is good to 60, first is useless. It will spin the tires at any speed in first. And second. And it will spin third at about 4000 rpm....

So what needs to be done? A LOT. Including headrests, calibrating the speedo, state inspection, gearbox cooler plumbing, carpets, clutch stop, etc. I will try to post info as I go along.
 

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Using the new steering arms, the suspension set up is pretty much amazing. The car rides, handles, steers, and performs better than I thought would be possible.
I told you:thumbsup:

Sounds like a lot of fun.

For headrest, seating position (including safety harness mounting), check out my build log. If you still can move and stretch you neck out to the roll bar, your safety harness is not holding you back enough.

Especially with a car that fast i would work on all other options in order to keep the roll cage.
TOM

PS.:
wow that color always strikes me , whenever i see it. Just great
 

Bill Musarra

Supporter
If you plan to have the car on the road much you may want to investigate rear view cameras. You will need a low one for backingup and another up high for rear visibility. Just Google rear view cameras for many hits that will offer all types of cameras. There was a discussion about them some time ago. for a good bit of info go to post #11 here:
http://www.gt40s.com/forum/gt40-tech-exterior-interior-ac-trim/38802-experiment.html
Lots of good info to think about. The one that would be used for actual rear views needs to be mounted up high. It can be concealed above the rear window inside the rear clip. Visibility won't be as good as outside the rear clip window, but it will tell you what you need to know and will shade it from any low sunlight glare. The small ball type cameras can be added to the top of the car and a little bump like the BMWs etc. use won't distract from the apearance of the car. The top portion of the rear spoiler isn't bad, but is a little low. Try to stick with ccd equipment as it gives a better picture. If you can, try to find 90 degree lenses as it mimics the eye in what you can see. The 120s makes anything not right up on you look very tiny.

Bill
 
Getting more routine to drive it. Going for state inspection Wednesday. Exciting is an understatment. This makes my 355 seem mudane!
And Tom you are right - get settled in the seat and pull the belts snug like you would on track and the roll bar is well out of the way.
 

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I had a stub axle nut work loose. Anyone know where to find some of these locking caps?

... well I found some Jeep ones that I think are 36mm and they are on the way. I'll post pics if they fit.
 

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Those little locking caps are very popular on single and two axle utility trailers. If you have a trailer sales place near you I would bet they have them.
Very nice build, good luck with inspection.
Cheers
Phil
 
on my car the stubaxle is locked with two nuts per side(one of it for counteracting). Also use the torque recommanded on the buildmanual(118 lbs/ft =160 Nm) . I have mine additionaly locktied.

Should be solved than.

TOM
 
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I had a stub axle nut work loose. Anyone know where to find some of these locking caps?

... well I found some Jeep ones that I think are 36mm and they are on the way. I'll post pics if they fit.
This locking caps usually are majorly used on wheelbearings on which you adjust the preload with the means of the axlenut. This than is usually not very tight, therefore the support of this locking caps to keep the nut in position. As mentioned before just make shure to use the recommanded torque.

Also please recheck your wheelbearing. There is the risk with a loose stub axle that wheel bearing is not hold together properly and get damaged.

TOM
 
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This locking caps usually are majorly used on wheelbearings on which you adjust the preload with the means of the axlenut. This than is usually not very tight, therefore the support of this locking caps to keep the nut in position. As mentioned before just make shure to use the recommanded torque.

Also please recheck your wheelbearing. There is the risk with a loose stub axle that wheel bearing is not hold together properly and get damaged.

TOM
Tom,
Thanks, and I plan to pull all four corners apart and check the bearings. No room for error here.
-J.
 
Been hard at work. Got everything mechanical done which included replacing the CV boots (again), re-torquing the rear stub axle nuts and adding the castle-style cap nuts with cotter pins, padding a number of lines in various places just to be extra sure, and replacing some squeaking bearings in the idler pulleys for the AC compressor. I also discovered that the folks who worked on the body fitting decided to thread the rear clip latch bolts into the fiberglass only. I decided this was unacceptable. I was able to feed angle aluminum between the tanks and the rocker panels to drill and tap them and now the latches are nice and secure.

I replaced my ITG filters with screen filters from Bill Hirsch (Home - Bills B Racing). Now I can see out of the back window!

We also applied the vinyl graphics to the car and I am just thrilled at how it came out!

I need to add foot rests both sides. I am going to do that and drive it this weekend; then I believe I will pull the seats and center console and finish the interior trim and carpet.
 

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