Mark Reid RCR-40 Build


New Member
I know, I won't have the RCR kit until October, but my son Mike (13) and I are hard at work collecting parts and getting the engine ready. We plan on an aggressive time frame, with the car painted and on the road by next summer. Here is our planned paint scheme. I told Mike he could pick the colors and he agonized for weeks moving from Gulf to black and back. Here is what he came up with (He scanned a line drawing into the Benjamin Moore house paint program my wife picked up at the store to do our house color with and found the colors he liked best - hey, so what if our car looks like some ones house!):

We bought Ron Earp's engine, but we had to make some changes. Here it is right after we uncrated it:

While the engine had a ton of go fast goodies, it was a little over the top for our needs. Here are the components straight from Ron:
- 342 inch SB Ford, brand new block, no overbore which is why it isn't a 347
- AFR 185 heads, custom CNC porting job
- Forged crank, zero balanced - bolt on your zero flywheel and go
- Forged Eagle H beam rods
- Forged pistons, compression right at 10.7:1 with Calico Coating applied
- Total Seal rings fitted
- DDS main support and windage tray with crank scraper
- Comp Cam solid roller mechanical cam, specs:
0.676" lift IN, 0.673" lift EX, duration at 0.020 287IN 295EX
Timing @ 0.050" IN Open 18 BTDC Close BTDC 58
Timing @ 0.050" EX Open 61 BTDC Close BTDC 21
110 Lobe separation
- Comp Cam Valve springs and titanium retainers, 600lb open, 260lb seat
- Composite dizzy gear, MSD Pro Billet Dizzy
- Ferrea Hollow Stem Intake and Exhaust Valves, 2.02/1.60
- Ferrea Valve locks and lash caps
- Jesel Comp Series Shaft rockers
- Jesel Pushrods
- Jesel Keyway solid roller lifters
- Total Seal rings
- ARP 1/2" head studs, ARP hardware throughout motor
- ACL 3/4 grove race main bearings
- ACL Race Rod bearings
- Competition brand balancer, three sets of timing marks
- Old style front cover with brand new shorty water pump, fuel pump boss functional and can be blocked (does not include fuel pump, using that on the Lola)
- Funnel web single plane intake manifold - a very good setup reported to be better than the Victor Jr and Sr. manifolds, rear tapped for cross pipe to eliminate steam/air pockets or add bleed
- Canton fully baffled trap door road race pan, front sump, fits well in RCR and RF cars - this motor has been in both sadly enough!!!
Did you check out those cam specs!!! Much too aggressive for our use. First thing we did was to change the cam, springs, manifold, and front cover. Here is the old cam, we replaced it with a comp cams magnum solid roller 31-760-8 (288 duration, .586 lift both intake and exhaust):

After the cam was changed we swapped out the springs. I connected the air to keep the valves closed and also put my fingers at risk as Mike used the spring compressor to compress the spring so I could remove the keepers. Darn springs were so strong we had to weld a 12" bar to the end of the spring compressor for leverage:

I'm using a strong magnet to remove the locks. Notice the difference between the hardened steel retainer on the right and nice shiney titanium retainer on the left. A difference of about $250!

Also, took off the Parker Funnel web intake:

We have a special intake we modified for this project (can you say 8 barrels?). It will be back from the machine shop next week and installed (more later on that).

Finally, we got a pair of Gurney-Weslake valve covers, painted them black, and then Mike sanded off the name and fins:

Standby as we finish the engine once the intake comes back from machining. This will be a true father-son build!

Bill D

New Member
Congrats Mark. That engine should make some good numbers. I can't wait for your delivery. And those colors will look great. Almost UCLA Bruin color!!



New Member
Thanks, Bill. You and Anthony are our inspiration and I can not begin to tell you how much help your build site has already been!


Lifetime Premier Supporter
Hey Mark,
Excellent head start on the project. The builds always go quicker if no time is wasted on the non chassis/body stuff. Good luck with the spring target. Of course...we'll all be here for "support" moral and technical.. :)
Looking forward to the day when my girls are old enough to really be involved in the builds...
if you still a soft copy of that line drawing could you post it please. Would me agonise over the same problem, (yellow with black detail or BR Green with yellow detail, maybe aston db5 silver......)

good luck with the hordeing of parts. its very satisfying watching your pile of bits get smaller and your car more complete!!


New Member
Ant, I'll post the picture once I get it from him.

Gary, thanks for posting the colors. I always liked the look of that car. I am actually loooking for a darker blue and deeper gold. The wheel centers will be gold also.

My intake is ready, so I will pick that up today and post some pictures once it is in full dress. Here is my next problem, no garage room! I need to convince my wife to park her M3 convertible outside. What do you think the odds are of that happening any time soon?


Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Premier Supporter
Ant, I'll post the picture once I get it from him.

Gary, thanks for posting the colors. I always liked the look of that car. I am actually loooking for a darker blue and deeper gold. The wheel centers will be gold also.

My intake is ready, so I will pick that up today and post some pictures once it is in full dress. Here is my next problem, no garage room! I need to convince my wife to park her M3 convertible outside. What do you think the odds are of that happening any time soon?

On a scale of one to one hundred I would say ZERO.:rolleyes:
I see a four post lift in your future.

I got real lucky. I have a neighbor that has been letting me park my Cobra in her garage while I build my car so that my wife can keep her car in our garage.
Mark, my approach was simple - replaceable cars go outside, irreplacable ones go in the garage !! There is simply no arguing with that - even from wives ! (Mind you, I still ended up having build a carport for her cars in the end - marriage : the art of compromise) !!

Kind Regards,

Peter D.


Silver Supporter

My son Ryan was 14 when he persuaded me to build a Shelby Cobra. He turned 16 the week it was registered and legal to drive. Building it was a great experience for both of us, so much so we ordered an RCR llast December and took delivery of it on July 1st.

By the way, what paint did you use on the Guerny Weslake valve covers? Any primer? Any particular preparation, cleaners, etc? I am getting ready to a paint a set my self.



New Member
Jonathan - I have a scissors lift. Unfortunately, the ceiling of my garage is not quite high enough for a four post and stacking cars.

Peter - You think like I do, unfortunately, that's also why I'm on my second marriage! We live on the beach and the deck is over the driveway. Kind of a natural carport. Tried it, didn't work!

Chuck - That's great! Mike is really into it, but I can see the wheels turning in his head already as he thinks about turning 16 and getting the keys! I used Duplicolor semi-gloss black engine paint. No primer required, but they must be completely oil and grease free. I put on about five light coats to make sure I could get all the nooks and crannies with good coverage and without any runs. Good luck with your build. I'm sure you two will have a blast!


New Member
Well I finished porting and smoothing my intake and installed the carbs. I wasn't focused and one of the gaskets slipped and pinched, so enough for tonight. Over the weekend, I'll do it all over again.

Big car show in Manchester, CT on Sunday. Had a great time last year and Mustangs Unlimited picked my coupe as best in show (completely unexpected). They shut down the entire main street and get 600 to 700 cars. I'm really looking forward to it! I'll post more engine pictures on Sunday once I fix my embarrassing error!

Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Premier Supporter
Hi Mark
I guess that's your second mistake getting married again.
If you make a mistake and learn from it that's good.
If you make the same mistake again you deserve it.

My ex told me if I did what I want she would leave me.

I dont miss her.

But I now have a GT40.

As Peter said irreplaceable things go in the garage replaceable ones outside.
That includes the wives.
Personally I wont ever get married again, the cost is too high.


New Member
Dimi, I've made a lot more mistakes in my life than two!

Back to the motor. We reinstalled the Jesel valve train and adjusted the valves. This is great set up. Very stable at high rpm, easy to adjust, and fits under most valve covers. Only downside is the cost!!

Looking down the intake runner from the carb pad, you can see a straight shot to the intake valve:

Once I reinstalled the manifold, the carbs were intalled and I started fabing up the fuel lines. I bought a kit for dual carbs, but they need significant adjustment to fit and clear the linkage:

Next we will finish the fuel lines, connect up the linkage, and finish the rest of the dress (pulleys, wires, etc.). Unfortunately, that will be about it until October when the kit arrives. Maybe I'll haul the engine down to a dyno and see how it runs?


New Member
Ant, turns out he used a picture he found on the internet (looks like the same one at the top of this forum page?).

He also added this one:

These are new to us, but you guys have probably had them for a while. Cheers!

Randy V

Mark - I love the look of the dual quads but can't help but notice how tall it is.. What are you planning for an aircleaner system?


New Member
Ah, now there's the question! Ron was kind enough to measure from the rear valley flange of his engine to the body. Based on his measurement, I should have about 12.5". The height in the pictures is a bit deceptive. Currently, from the rear valley to the top of the carb air cleaner mount I am just over 9", so I am hoping to find one that fits.