Most Common Mistakes - New GT40 Owner

Eric B

Eric
Gentlemen,

I would like to hear from you amazing men (shameless pandering) about the most common mistakes a new GT40 owner makes.

Covid depending, I am 4-6 weeks away from picking up my project at Olthoff's.

I have owned a three Superformance Cobras over 22 years, and there are do's and don't that now are rather obvious associated with a Cobra.

But I would like to get the benefit of your experiences so I don't do something stupid. ;)

E
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Last thing you do before every time you get in to drive is walk around and check the front and rear clips are properly latched and the dzus fasteners on the nostril are tight. Too many times you hear of panels left un latched and flying open /off and destroying themselves.

So often you open it up to show someone something and mistakes happen!

Also if you have an external power cut off switch turn it on before sitting and belting in, the number of times I have turned a dead start key I am ashamed to say is numerous!

Ian
 
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Doug Dyar

Supporter
Two items I'd suggest:

Have Olthoff install an external clutch slave cylinder. Much easier to fix when it eventually needs attention. Trust me.

Second, and I didn't do this and should have if I had known, is to relocate the clutch and brake hydraulic fluid reservoirs to a spot in the front clip under the trap door. If you need to check the fluid levels, such as for tech inspection for every open track event on the planet, having to remove the whole front clip just to get to the reservoirs seems really silly. I am now assembling the parts to accomplish this common sense mod. You could alternately have Dennis fab a trap door in the front clip to get to the reservoirs like the original cars had.

Doug
 

Mike Pass

Supporter
Rear vision is pretty poor especially the 3/4 view where people drive along just behind to look at the car. Get a good rear view mirror set up or camera. Fit a helicopter vent in the window to scoop in some cooler fresh air as these things get really hot inside with a hot engine behind, a hot radiator in front and hot coolant pipes in the cabin and a lot of windows art the best angle for collecting solar heat.
Cheers
Mike
 
Two items I'd suggest:

Have Olthoff install an external clutch slave cylinder. Much easier to fix when it eventually needs attention. Trust me.

Second, and I didn't do this and should have if I had known, is to relocate the clutch and brake hydraulic fluid reservoirs to a spot in the front clip under the trap door. If you need to check the fluid levels, such as for tech inspection for every open track event on the planet, having to remove the whole front clip just to get to the reservoirs seems really silly. I am now assembling the parts to accomplish this common sense mod. You could alternately have Dennis fab a trap door in the front clip to get to the reservoirs like the original cars had.

Doug
Ditto to Doug's suggestions. Also rear view mirrors. I stuck small convex mirrors on my regular mirrors to get wider field of vision. Be very careful changing lanes.
 

Scott Calabro

Supporter
If you have a multiple Weber carburetor setup, shut your electric fuel pump/s off 60 seconds or so before you shut the engine down. This will lower the level of fuel in the carbs helping to prevent fuel from boiling and possibly starting a fire. It also prevents modern pump gas from going stale in the carbs. When I knew I was going to park in a garage I would always turn off pumps a mile or so before getting there and letting the engine run out of fuel as I was pulling into the barn
 

Dave Hood

Lifetime Supporter
I could generate a very long list after owning my MK1 for seven years, but here is my top ten:

- Install paint protection film on key areas of the car. Ceramic coat the paint protection film and all of your paint.
- Install crush sleeves to keep your wheel bearings in place. Otherwise you'll need to check them every 500 miles or so.
- As Doug suggested, have Dennis install an external clutch slave cylinder. You'll thank him later.
- Ian's suggestion of making sure your rear clamshell is fully locked down before getting in the car is critical.
- I have a rear view camera that displays on my iPhone which I put on the dash. It really helps.
- If Dennis is installing bullet mirrors on your front clip, those will work really well. Just need to adjust them properly..
- Whenever you're on a highway, always assume cars are hiding in your blind spots a bit behind you. They will be there.
- Replace the poor quality Superformance headlights with better quality LED lights.
- Always drive with your headlights on since the car is so low. Others won't see you.
- Ask Dennis to install small flaps on the rear clip to keep rocks out of your engine bay. Really works

If you have more questions on any of these, just send me a private message. Enjoy your new GT40!
 

Eric B

Eric
Thank you gentlemen!

Several items suggested above I have already addressed.

Interestingly enough, Dennis recommended a Internal Quarter Master throwout bearing. I have had internals before and (knock on wood) I have had great luck with them. In the Cobras I have and have owned, I replaced the standard external with the internal. Of course taking the transmission out of a Cobra is easy, not so easy on a GT40.

The issue of PPF, I assume you do the front half of the car, lower sides (not the doors), areas around the gas caps, and behind the rear tires. That sound right?

Rear camera that displays on your iphone! Brilliant! I will look into that, do you have something that works?

Speed bumps, yeah I assume a lot of transitions on the street can be tight so I am having Dennis install front shocks that can lift the front around 1-1/4" with a switch on the dash. This should help, but I am going to try not to challenge hard surfaces.

The flaps on the rear clip, I have not heard of that before, and Dennis did not suggest it, I will speak to him about that as I have time now.

Securing rear, front clams and Zeus clips, yes!

LED headlights... I changed my Cobra to HID years ago. Just spoke with Dennis, he is going to install the LED bulbs, Thank you

I am having Ray Dots installed like this. (this is not my car)
outside mirror 2.jpg


Crush Sleeves for the bearings. Just got off the phone with Dennis. He said he only recommends them for racing applications, not needed for the street (which this is a street car). He said the bearings will need adjustment @ 5,000 miles.

But today's conversation with Dennis (again thank you guys for getting me tips and help) turned to the rear exhaust. I have a Borla injection induction, and SS headers (firefly) and the issue of heat came up. Dennis and I agreed to have him install heat reflecting material (insulated) over the rear exhaust on the rear clam.

Eric
 

Dan Kasten

Supporter
I treat it like a plane, I do a before flight check list. When I first got the car I was opening everything and showing it to friends and left the nostril locks unlocked. I was driving down the street the next day and the nostril panel lifted up about 4 inches and almost flew off. Now while the car is warming up I do a walkaround checking all latches like Ian suggested and just look under and around to make sure it is good.

Rear vision for a new driver is tough. I have the mirrors on the fenders and in the USA I am sitting on the wrong side of the car, took some time to get comfortable.
 

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
We have done spray on LizardSkin on the inside of the rear clam to prevent paint boil. On the SPF we do a seal kit to improve the A/C function and more importantly reduce ambient air intrusion into the cockpit. Easier to reduce temps when the temps are lower (this kit will be sent to Dennis next week for your chassis when we have more ready to go). You will need to carry a flashlight of some sort as there is no lighting in the cockpit although I added a nice lamp setup in my last car.
 
Insulate the area of the rear clamshell above the headers so the heat won't blister the paint --- or worse. After some experimentation, I use a base layer of Dynamat Extreme, then woven Lavamat with a DEI reflective layer nearest the headers.
 

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Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
A very common mistake that very few will actually admit in public is -
Building a right hand drive GT40 to drive in a right-side (left hand drive) country.
Visibility is poor out of these cars. Couple the poor visibility with the driver sitting on the wrong side of the car for the country and you have bought yourself a lot of anxiety. Now think about the other driver's on the road. They may be savvy enough to try and stay out of your blind spots, but they're expecting blindspots for left-hand drive cars. Then - regardless of drive-side, there are the rubber neckers and photo takers that will orbit you and your GT while on the highway - all the while they are paying more attention to you than the traffic around them..
--
If you really want to build a RH Drive car for a LH Drive country, I would encourage you to drive *any* RH Drive car for a few hundred miles in traffic to make sure you're up to it....
--
Originality is important to many of us, but if that originality yields a car that you just won't ever truly enjoy driving - then why build it?
My $.02 worth and Food for thought!
 

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
A very common mistake that very few will actually admit in public is -
Building a right hand drive GT40 to drive in a right-side (left hand drive) country.
Visibility is poor out of these cars. Couple the poor visibility with the driver sitting on the wrong side of the car for the country and you have bought yourself a lot of anxiety. Now think about the other driver's on the road. They may be savvy enough to try and stay out of your blind spots, but they're expecting blindspots for left-hand drive cars. Then - regardless of drive-side, there are the rubber neckers and photo takers that will orbit you and your GT while on the highway - all the while they are paying more attention to you than the traffic around them..
--
If you really want to build a RH Drive car for a LH Drive country, I would encourage you to drive *any* RH Drive car for a few hundred miles in traffic to make sure you're up to it....
--
Originality is important to many of us, but if that originality yields a car that you just won't ever truly enjoy driving - then why build it?
My $.02 worth and Food for thought!
Randy,

I would disagree with this. The RHD is not the issue many think it is. You are almost centered in these cars so not that much difference. And as to the "what about passing?" issue, well you aren't out there very long! I have driven several RHD cars in the US and while it does take some time to become accustomed to them, it is not as big a deal as many might expect. Driving any GT40 LHD or RHD is an exercise in "situational awareness", you must consider yourself a motorcycle and be responsible to I.D. any potential issues around your driving space. My driving space, your driving space.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
I knew there would be some disagreement on my post.
I think you could all see the logic in trying any other RHD car for a period of time beforehand...
What you may be perfectly comfortable with, there are others who are not and may not ever gain that comfort. While I will not post their names, there are/were two rather prominent members here who have told me that they felt it was a mistake. One sold his car after only a few hundred miles at a substantial loss.
 

Eric B

Eric
We have done spray on LizardSkin on the inside of the rear clam to prevent paint boil. On the SPF we do a seal kit to improve the A/C function and more importantly reduce ambient air intrusion into the cockpit. Easier to reduce temps when the temps are lower (this kit will be sent to Dennis next week for your chassis when we have more ready to go). You will need to carry a flashlight of some sort as there is no lighting in the cockpit although I added a nice lamp setup in my last car.
LOL, I thought you already sent the kit!

Better get on it, Dennis is close to finished, and I know he is looking for work.

E
 
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