Steve's RCR GT40 Build

Klaf

Supporter
Hello all. I have been meaning to get this started for some time now. I recently took delivery of my RCR GT40. My madness began in September of 2022. I decided that this was the car I wanted to build. I live in Grand Rapids, MI and RCR is only 2 hours away. I made a appointment to visit the factory and fell under the spell of that place, like so many others have. I put my deposit in the next day. My engine is a Prestige engine from North Carolina. It's a small block 351 stroked to 427. It clocked at 580 HP. It was delivered in March. Fran set me up with a Quaife transaxle. It was the only part that was on sale. Liz Truss, the Prime Minister of England at the time, brought the pound to parity with the dollar the week I sent my wire. Saved me 15%!! Yeah! Her reign didn't outlast the cabbage.

To be perfectly clear and transparent, I am not in anyway a mechanic nor have I ever done this. My blog will be a cry for help from all you accomplished builders and fabricators out there. Think of this as more of a comedy than a tutorial. There are fantastic ideas and great skill in a lot of the builds documented on this site. I plan to steal many of these ideas but will try to give credit. I will not hide my mistakes. There have been plenty so far. Please enjoy reading about the next 10 years of my life, laugh and don't pull any punches when responding to the stupidity on display.
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Brian Kissel

Staff member
Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Congrats On getting your forty Steve. I am about 45 miles East of you and also have a RCR Lola T70 on order. I will be following your build closely. Keep posting pictures. We love them.

Regards Brian
 

Klaf

Supporter
Next order of busines, connect the engine and transaxle. I bought the QUAIFE bellhousing because why not. It’s made by the company that made the transaxle, it should fit perfectly. While researching how to connect it, I realized this isn’t very straight forward. There is a great thread by Bryanf.


It describes several of the issues. I purchased the engine plate, power master starter, Pantera throw out bearing, pilot bushing, Mcloed flywheel and dual disc clutch. I found a friend with a lathe for the dowel pin shaving. Next, fit the engine plate. Well the engine plate doesn’t line up with the bellhousing. You can see if you line up the starter holes, the rest of the bolt holes and dowel pins don’t.
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So I learned to weld 6 months ago and built a car dolly for goodness sake, I can fix this:
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I warned you this would be comedic. New plan, I found the blueprints of the SBF 351 Windsor.
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I then put all the dimensions into a CAD program and shifted the angle of the starter center to match the bellhousing. I used Send Cut Send and my new plate fits.
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Add a little powder coat
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Rod Dittmar

Supporter
Steve,
Welcome to the madness! I'm located about 15 miles N/W of Ann Arbor. During your build, you'll probably be visiting RCR a few times just as I have. Very convenient for us being so close and they are great people to work with. I always make an appointment, and I try not to stay long because i know they are extremely busy. But to be able to pick up a part I need, get some first hand advice, or actually see one of their cars in process is invaluable. Anyway, feel free to stop buy and look at my current MKI build if you're out this way.
Rod
 

Klaf

Supporter
Next order of business, dial in the bellhousing. Fortunately , there are tons of articles and YouTube videos on this. I will add one point for the uninitiated. You need to torque your flywheel to spec before you begin. It also helps when you buy the right size bolts ARP 350-2801 vs 350-2802. What I gathered is one is a flex plate and the other a flywheel. I had a 50-50 chance and I get it wrong 90% of the time. This is a theme in my build so far. This gave me a big error on the indexing until I used the correct size bolts. No need for offsets. Yeah! Now the parallel is only a 2 thousandth’s tolerance. I messed with that for a week. I did everything I could with shims and washers to no avail. Finally, sanding off the paint on the engine block in tactical areas worked. Ain’t she a bute,”Clark”
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Klaf

Supporter
I attached the starter and hooked it up to a battery and everything seemed in order. Then the train fell off the rails while attempting to connect the trans to the engine. First off, that transaxle is a beast. Getting the spline through the clutch plates was no problem. It was the last 3/4 inch that plagued me. I resisted all temptation to force it in with longer bolts and finally gave up for the night. I resigned myself to taking it all apart. With the clutch off, still couldn’t thread it through the pilot bushing. Yes, I did check the size on the spline prior to assembly. That came out next. I used tortilla and grease for some southwest flavor since we were out of bread.
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There was a tiny deformation of the inner hole when I put it in. Wouldn’t fit. Back to the Summit website.
 

Klaf

Supporter
Throw out bearing difficulties

After I put the clutch on and assembled the throw out bearing on the transaxle, I performed the necessary measurements to determine the distance for shims. So, my throw out bearing is 0.4 inches too long with all shims removed. The Quaife bellhousing is 4 inches wide and the spline sits 3/4 of an inch into the pilot bushing. Apparently there aren’t any shorter throw out bearings for this setup. I could put a .4 inch plate between the engine and the transaxle. That gives me the space for the throw out but is really close to the 3/8 inch necessary for the axle into the pilot. Not to mention the nightmare of dialing in the parallel 2 thousandths for the bellhousing.
I spoke to Mcloed and they suggested cutting 0.4 in off the throw out with a lathe. The Rockwell units are 52. I’m no machinist but Kryptonite sounds softer. I’ve got a guy who thinks it can be done.
I would love any thoughts on this.
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Klaf

Supporter
I connected the engine, bellhousing and transaxle without the clutch and pilot bearing for fitment purposes.
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With my rudimentary tools, getting the combo in place is impossible. I removed the back plate and supports.
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This attachment point for the bellhousing is preventing me from pulling the transaxle back further. I marked it and took the angle grinder to it

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I marked the engine mounts to drill. They need to be moved .4 inches back further. I was limited by the bellhousing. Fran tells me the midpoint on the transaxle hub should e 3/4 inch behind midpoint of wheel.
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Neil

Supporter
I connected the engine, bellhousing and transaxle without the clutch and pilot bearing for fitment purposes. View attachment 132811View attachment 132812
With my rudimentary tools, getting the combo in place is impossible. I removed the back plate and supports. View attachment 132813View attachment 132815
This attachment point for the bellhousing is preventing me from pulling the transaxle back further. I marked it and took the angle grinder to it

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I marked the engine mounts to drill. They need to be moved .4 inches back further. I was limited by the bellhousing. Fran tells me the midpoint on the transaxle hub should e 3/4 inch behind midpoint of wheel. View attachment 132820
I have never been a fan of that type of rear suspension geometry. If you accidentally back into something really hard, one of those longitudinal arms is going to be protruding from your chest. :mad:
 

Randy V

Moderator-Admin
Staff member
Admin
Lifetime Supporter
I have never been a fan of that type of rear suspension geometry. If you accidentally back into something really hard, one of those longitudinal arms is going to be protruding from your chest. :mad:

You may have noticed the “Cap” over the rod-end attachment point in case of a rod-end failure. The rest of the story is that the radius arm would need to force its way through a 3/16” thick bulkhead and from there through a 1/8” thick seat back… Couple that with the limited amount of movement from the lower control arm/upright attachment point - frankly I think RCR addressed the potentia issue quite nicely..
 

Neil

Supporter
You may have noticed the “Cap” over the rod-end attachment point in case of a rod-end failure. The rest of the story is that the radius arm would need to force its way through a 3/16” thick bulkhead and from there through a 1/8” thick seat back… Couple that with the limited amount of movement from the lower control arm/upright attachment point - frankly I think RCR addressed the potentia issue quite nicely..
It is like the roll cage controversy- if that's what you want, have at it.
 

Randy Folsom

Supporter
I am very envious as I wait for my RCR40 that I ordered in May. Your experience with mating the to the transaxle is scaring me. I also went with a Prestige motor, but opted for a 302 stroked to 363. That will be connected to a Quaife via a Safir bell housing and clutch package. I am hoping the smaller Safir package and smaller 302 block will reduce clearance issues. That being said, your efforts to overcome are very impressive.

I have no way of knowing if there is a real risk of getting stabbed in the back by suspension parts but nonetheless I plan to make a bulkhead doubler similar to Tom’s build. The big difference in my implementation will be a layer of Kevlar bonded to the inside. It will literally be bullet proof as well as provide heat and noise suppression. Tom mentioned that the thicker bulkhead also makes it easier to attach the spider. Another bonus of the double bulkhead is rollover protection and stronger harness mounts. I am also going to use Kevlar to bond steel anti-intrusion bars to the inside of the doors.

Looking forward to watching your build.
 

Klaf

Supporter
I took an angle grinder to the bellhousing and aligned the engine, I drilled 2 holes for the engine plates taking the 0.4 inches further back into account. Then I continued with disassembly.
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So both my boys abandoned me at this point. Something about college education, for what’s that worth. I managed to put the car chassis on the dolly with my 13 year old daughter. She’s small and skinny but strong. Next I removed the suspension. I’m sure you can see the left tire in place still. That’s a story for sure. I was pounding on that spinner for an hour. I’m pretty sure in the wrong direction. The others came off so easy. I finally got it off with a tool I found in this site. https://www.knockoffspinnertool.com/
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I started sanding and degreasing. I used 2 coats of epoxy primer and then chassis black from Eastwood.
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