Mike's drb #41 build

It was my pleasure to purchase a mostly completed DRB which needed a new home. Many of you surely saw Dave Harris's GT40 for sale last fall. I live within a days driving distance , so I took a road trip with my son to inspect and purchase.
Have since had some time to absorb it all, and have started to dive in...

A little background.
The primary reason I got into the car is the result of taking my Mustang to a Cruise In last summer. A GT40 was also there, so when returning home I browsed this site "just for fun." Once I saw the for sale ad, condition of project,the asking price and the proximity, I decided I had to investigate.

I already have the Mustang, plus I recently completed a BMW 2002 track car toy for weekend events.

Here they are.
SSCC 67 mustang poster by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

DSCN6991 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_1057 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

PIR 2014 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

This is my build blog on the BMW 2002 FAQ forum...76 2002 Track Car Project - Project Blogs - Archive - BMW 2002 FAQ

As much as I loved building and driving the 02, I just sold it to make room for the 40 in my shop. Went to a good home semi-locally where it it will see many future track days. Hopefully we will meet again when I have the GT40 done.

As far as current status
Have been picking up odds and ends, but the biggest news is that my 347 stroker is ordered.
Placed an order for it from Woody and Nicole at FordStrokers.com. It is one of his DIY short blocks, plus I am getting the TFS 11R 190 heads with upgraded springs. Also a custom cam.
A long list of other items from Summit and Jegs is ready to be ordered also, need to prioritize those.

Just a starting point, here is the car as of now. My compliments to Dave Harris for this build. I am pretty anal about things, but his workmanship and detail make me happy to own it. I will change very little from here on out.

IMG_1542 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_1550 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_2260 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_1593 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

That gets me going...will update as things progress.
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You have acquired a very good car, and I am sure you will enjoy the rest of the build out. If you run into any snags along the way give a holler. I learned so much with my build of DRB#5. Lots of good ideas out there on the forum.

So it has been a few weeks and most of my parts have arrived for the engine build. I still have 4-5 weeks before expecting the stroker, so working out details on other items. Car is re-positioned and partially unzipped to gain access.

IMG_2643 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

DSCN8658 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

DSCN8655 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

One item getting early attention is the water pipes. The tunnel pipes are stainless steel. but the 4 front/back bent pipes are all mild steel and rusty inside. They are also welded from multiple sections.

DSCN8654 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

I have a superb Tig welding guy at work (certified aerospace welding), but I still would like to reduce the number of joints in the name of reliability and durability. There is a good mandrel bend shop an hours drive away that sells stainless pieces and will custom bend. Currently getting a plan together for that. They also will form the proper beaded ends after bending. The front pipes are pretty simple to duplicate so that will be first effort.
I am borrowing a friends bare block to dry fit and bolt up my water pump and intake to see about adjusting the back pipes. hoping to simplify or reduce to minimize welds. Have been browsing through the forums and seen some creative layouts, and that will tie in with my pulley/belt decisions.
I should be picking up sway bar stuff Friday. Front bar was never painted so it got rusty the past few months. I thought a little shine would look good against the black frame, so both bars and the link rods are getting satin nickel plated. Will post a pick of those soon.

Enough for now......
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Time has been flying by so time for an engine update. My 347 arrived early April, but it sat a few weeks while busy with other projects. Well under way now. Assy has gone well, taking it slow and enjoying the build. I should be able to wrap it up his next weekend as far as intake, balancer and some other details. I am going to build a engine cart to mount it onto so I can fit the adapter plate, flywheel and such prior to install. Will trial fit the gearbox also.
DSCN8677 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_2935 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_2904 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr
Decided on Crane Gold rollers. Did the adjustable pushrod measuring thing and cam up with 7.25" for a nice witness mark on the valve stem. Those arrived last week...3/8 dia x .080 wall.
IMG_2890 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr
I really like the Trick Flow 190 heads..looking forward to the first fire-up.
I still need to settle on pulleys, alternator and figure out water hoses.

After some thought, I elected to go with a different steering wheel. I am not that concerned about exact replication, and i like the flat bottom wheel in the Mustang. Purchased a nice NRG unit for the project. Project came with a locking removable hub, so that is on now too. Still dwelling on keeping that..:undecided: This is updated pic AFTER INTERIOR WAS DONE....
IMG_5397 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

I will try get some assy pics up during trial fit. Prior to that I am going to do some frame detail and repaint.
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As usual time is flying by with the family summer schedule, but here is the latest update.
Accomplished rear frame repaint. I used a good 2 part polyurethane gloss that i have sprayed many timed for Mustang and airplane stuff. Happy for now.

IMG_3193 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3280 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

I have also sorted out the exhaust pipes. got them marked and install order figured out. Just waiting on some Stainless hardware to final install.

IMG_3291 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3289 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Clutch install. I am a little nervous about input shaft pre-loading the crank, as that is what junked the first engine the PO installed prior. Improper input shaft bearing install jamming the #3 journal thrust bearing.
I was very careful to set the new bearing to proper depth per other threads and verified depth measurements.

IMG_3153 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3158 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

With spark plugs out the engines seems to spin as freely as before trans-axle mating. I also get about .003-.004 end play at crank snout/balancer. Measured thrust bearing during engine assy and got .004-.005, so that seems OK, but still I want to be cautious. I pre-oiled the system real good prior to distributor install, so with plugs out I plan to spin it a few seconds with the starter. At least that will verify that operation.

More to come..... as I am in process of removing the tunnel to rework the water and heater tubes.
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Great to see life being breathed into that old girl :thumbsup:
The lower part of the adapter plate ( between engine and gearbox) needs to be supported or braced :-


I agree with Chris on the support of the adapter plate. I did it with mine even though I bolted the engine to the frame(mine is internally balanced).

There can be some flex there when the torque comes into play. I have been following your build and you are doing a great job with it. My only suggestion to you is to consider removing the water pump and going with an electric one. I have a remote Moroso pump that moves only about 30-37 gpm. This is good enough to get temps in the 150-170- range without a thermostat or fans on the radiator if moving in traffic. There are several remote bypass thermostats on several cars here on the forum. The main reason I suggest it is that if you move the engine forward for good axle alignment, that pump will be under your elbow. My crank pulley is only about 3/4" from the frame rail. That is also why they put that notch in the top rail for the distributor. You might even have to move your engine mount forward a wee bit. My engine is a 351W and that is what I was up against.

I have a question. What is the tubing at the end of the rear frame member, with lines to the hub assembles. Don't recall seeing this on any of the other DRBs. Is it part of a power brake setup??

Guys, thanks for the positive comments.
To answer a few items....
Yes I have the trans braces, but still need to paint them. Was advised of that need when buying the car from Dave. Based on your previous experiences, is engine fitment generally easier to install the engine mounts to the block prior to dropping into the frame? Or have the mount assys on the frame previously.
The "hoses" from back frame to hubs are e-brake cables for the drums.

The frame cutout for the Distributor is pretty clear. Do the earlier DRB's also have the firewall dimple on the removable panel as seen below? that seems specifically setup for the Mechanical WP. I believe that was what was installed prior during the test runs PO did. I remember he had the old engine on a stand, but do not recall WP details. Need to ping him on that.

IMG_4730 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Saw early on that the center water pipes needed to come out for some TLC. A bunch of rusty crap from the plain steel pipes up front and no beading. The water pipes for heater were very compact, but I am not fond of the multiple solder joints. Too many opportunities for failure. My Aircraft Mechanic background is pushing me to AN fittings if at all possible. Picked up some new tubing and hardware recently. Also took a few minutes to clean up the stainless tubes and bead them properly. We have a nice beading tool that I borrowed from work. Will do the same with the copper lines once sorted out.
For the front end I recently picked up a few silicone hose and SS T-bolt clamps. Have not made the trip to tubing shop yet for fwd radiator tubes.

IMG_3454 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3455 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3597 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

With that all said, now the electric WP option and ability to go complete AN at the back end would be real good.....time to think........:undecided:
I need to do a trial fit soon.
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Sorry to be picky but your gold rockers appear to be Competition Cams, not Crane, although Crane do make a Gold Race Rocker too...
I can't advise about the dimpled firewall. Mine didn't come with the car so I had to fab up an aluminum sheet. I removed the water pump and ground down the edging of the timing chain cover where the bolts went to give a smooth surface.

I have seen where others just gutted the internal workings of the pump, striped off the pulley pieces, and installed the electric unit in the front area just under the nostrils. A quick measurement or two will tell you which way to go. I can just vouch for the windsor setup. The pump was way too far forward.
When doing the engine install, I always had the motor pieces in place on the engine as in my pix. That way all I had to do was to line up the vertical component. The braces for the trans adapter are easier to put on with the engine out of the car. Either way will work as it takes a little jostling either way.


Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Supporter
Hi Mike

Yes DRB did do the raised dimple in the firewall panel for the waterpump but in my two 40's we used the 5.4 modular motors so that was not needed and the firewall panels are now flat.
Long overdue for an update, so here goes.

Mostly done with fwd stainless water pipes. Ready to start the last one. Silicone hoses and T-bolt clamps working well so far. Also got my AC hoses finalized and back into place. Yellow stuff is a high density foam I am using under some areas before final interior application.
DSCN8699 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

DSCN8697 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3521 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Began to refresh the front suspension stuff. Dissassy gave no major surprises, but some of the hardware was lees than I liked.
In particular, the hub attach hardware (appears stock Vette??) caught my eye. The hub itself was fine, but holes on the steering knuckle were way bigger than the hardware. I realize the bearing hub fits into a precision bore on the knuckle, so that is what really locates it. I still thought it could be improved. The old bolts were cruddy also.
IMG_3644 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr
Measured the stock holes..... .422

IMG_3633 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

I have a good step ream.... .422 to .4375. Good for a 7/16 bolt.

IMG_3643 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3642 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3641 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Went ahead and reamed all holes...left the hubs as is. they were already big enough.

IMG_3637 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3638 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

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Happy with that. Ordering some AN7 bolts and nuts to get re-assembled.

Hoping to get more parts soon for final assy and keep moving ahead......Later,
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OK, LONG overdue for an update, but I have been making progress despite cooler weather and the Holiday season.
So, the engine/trans-axle are in place.

IMG_3780 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3779 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_4045 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

No major difficulties other than trying not to scratch up the new frame paint...mostly successful:pleased:

I fit the mount to trans braces afterwards. Some slight modification of the LH brace for pan clearance. Also procured 7/16 grade 8 LONG bolts to bolt it all together through the "bellhousing".

IMG_3885 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3884 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

The big Canton oil pan presented me a small problem. The LH side protruded too far and prevented install of the shifter torque tube. Did a littler surgery to modify that and used a couple assets at work to form a new section . Welded into place and leak checked prior to paint. Torque tube now clears nicely.

IMG_3822 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3825 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3826 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3827 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

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Also wrapped up front suspension re-assy. New hardware throughout, locking nuts, grade 8, stainless, etc....

IMG_3887 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

I did not like the open hole on the knuckle that originally housed the ABS sensor(I think)...so made some small cover pates.

IMG_3852 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

During assy there noted that 2 of the lower coil-over mount plate bolts did not exit the a-arm perpendicular.

IMG_3787 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Once again i got out my reams and counter bores. Spotfaced those holes to enable nuts to fit-up properly.

IMG_3783 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

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IMG_3788 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

That should cover it for now...will try to update again soon.
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Wow, just realized it has been 6 months since my last post...NO Excuses...just busy with projects and 40 progress. Much to update...here goes.

First a couple side notes regarding other items eating into my free time;
1. Mustang is up and running for the season..going strong and sounding good.
2. Looking down the road 2-3 years...2005 Mini Cooper S is my DD and will soon crack 170K. I do not want to buy a new car for work commute, so elected to get a project I can refurb for a new DD when MINI expires. Needed something late 80's to mid 90's for a modern feel but not too much a rolling computer or spaceship. Located a great deal on an excellent candidate. 1987 Porsche 944S. I have always liked them and their handling capabilities. Fresh paint, Turbo style nose conversion "low" miles, good glass, 17" 911 Twist wheels, good interior, etc...very happy with it.
My amateur engineer brain will not be satisfied with leaving it stock, plus Porsche engine parts cost are stupid. Going down the path as many have done before with an LS swap. Reliability, costs, HP...all of the above. Taking it down to a shell for refurb...but still second place in line to the GT40.

IMG_3753 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_3756 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

On to business..

Engine plumbing and wiring is completed. Fabbed a linkage for the carb and throttle cable. Also reworked the trans cable shift mechanism. SS bracket and Alum hold down block. Aligned and shifts well. Rod end bearings on the shift tube linkage.

IMG_4257 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_4316 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_4311 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_4308 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Also wrapped up the exhaust. Magnaflows are fit and I am making some heat shields. Perk from work is scrap titanium sheet, so that is being used. used some SS tubing to locate secure mufflers. Still some flex to allow for heat cycle/movement.

IMG_4479 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

IMG_4487 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

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IMG_6181 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

So last week i was at the point where nohing was preventing a test fire....added water and gas....video links below...:thumbsup:

Video_2 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Video_3 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

No major issues. starting to tweak details and start to work on interior assy, heater/ac wiring, etc.....

Took a little time to prep and prime the sponson/tank covers.
DSCN8795 by Mike Sirr, on Flickr

Planning to pick a color soon for a sample spray.

Stay tuned....Later
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Mike, I have two suggestions for you:

First, my a/c compressor is on the same spot as yours and I have experienced the one bracket in the back is not enough, belt tension lets lose. I mounted a second bracket in front, coming from the compressor up to the left cylinder head. Now the tension stay where it needs to be.

Second, the heat shield over the exhaust. The hottest spot on the system are the collectors. So the most heat radiation is there and your heat shield needs to move up to protect your rear bonnet from the high heat. On mine the temperature on top of the bonnet dropped from 150 to 90 degree Fahrenheit (75*ambient temp)

Keep up the good work -- and happy wrenching.