Building a Mk4 Roadster
An Exact Replica of the 1965 Shelby Cobra
Why I Chose This Project
I chose this project because I have always wanted to learn about the basic mechanics of a car and to accomplish I have decided to build the Factory Five Mk4 Roadster (Kit Car). As well maybe one day lean how to race it.
My goal is to learn the basic mechanics and functions of the parts within a vehicle. To do this, I, along with the help of my step dad (Dean Fleming) will build a Mk4 Roadster which is an exact replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra. This car is simple light weight and right down to the core all out power. When stripped down to it's basics it includes the Body, Frame, Drive train (engine, transmission & rear differential), Suspension & Electrical systems. During the process of building the car I will learn in basics what each system and part does to make the car run. So when someone asks a question about how something works within the car, I can give a fairly detailed answer to the question being asked. For example, “Explain to me what the carburetor does?” I will go on to tell them what I know about what a carburetor does within the vehicle.
My AOI's (Areas of Interaction)
This project directly links to two AOI's the first being "Human Ingenuity" and the other being "Approaches to Learning." Firstly the building of the Roadster is "Human Ingenuity" because I am creating a new product and it can never be the exact same as someone else's. The construction of the car, the way I have planned it is, while my step dad and I build it every time a new piece of the car is put on I ask "What does this do?" If there is no immediate, sufficient answer at hand I write the part down and research it until I can explain what it does to someone else. This is the "Approaches to learning" aspect of my project. As said by Mulgrave’s definition of this AOI, I am "Fostering the knowledge of lifelong learning" which is true, because once I learn the basic mechanics of a car I won’t forget the most important parts and how they work. So one day when I need to know this I have the knowledge. (For example, my dirt bike breaks down in the middle of a trail and I need to know how to fix it so I can continue riding. I will know where to look first for the most common problems then work my way down the list of possibility’s that could have caused it to not run, then I will know if I can fix it with simple tools or if I will need to take it to a shop. Or if my boat has an engine failure... "Is it an easy fix or do I need to call the coast guard?")
My Plan to Achieve
To achieve my goal I must build mechanism/ 4 wheeled vehicle, which will not just leisurely take me from point A to point B but will take me from point A to point B... much faster... For the more mathematically gifted this means 0-100k/h in a mere 3.6 sec. But still legally if you know what I mean. But on a more serious note, firstly I must go through many steps before I can accomplish part of my overall goal. First I will research the simple mechanics of a car, which is a very large task, so to make this easier as I say in my process journal I will split the car into 5 different systems. The Body, Frame, Drive train (engine, transmission & rear differential), Suspension & Electrical systems. Next Dean and I must decide on the different specifications that we want for the car like I also explained in my process journal, so we can place our order in for the kit at the Factory Five Racing facility. Because we live in Canada our government has law's against whole cars being imported into the country there are 5 different parts of the car which must be purchased in Canada for it to be legal to drive here. The five components must be taken from or built for a 1987-2004 Ford Mustang so they can fit properly within the car, these components are:
1. Engine and transmission assembly.
2. Drive shaft.
3. Ford 8.8” rear end assembly w/quad-shocks, springs and control arms.
4. Ford front and rear brake assemblies, w/master cylinder.
5. Ford front wheel spindles and lower control arm.
I will also probably do some research on more of the Canadian Custom Laws. After these steps are completed, Dean will book a 3 day build course where we will fly to Detroit, Michigan and drive to a small town just outside of Detroit where we will spend the 3 days building a Mk4 Roadster with 10 other guys and a couple professionals who will take us through the steps to complete this car so when we go home we have a general idea of where things go and how to put some of the parts together. On one of our spare days while we are there Dean and I will drive to the actual Factory Five facility where they manufacture the car, rather than the course which is taken in a collage automotive garage so all the tools and enough space for everyone is already there. At the course I will take notes every day on what we accomplish and parts I don't know about as well as how much I am learning in my process journal. After the 3 day build course we fly back to Vancouver and wait a few weeks for the arrival of our un-built Roadster. In that time Dean will help me learn more complicated parts of the car, so I can expand my knowledge for this project and for my further knowledge of the ever growing car building industry where the manufacturers come out with new technology every year. Our estimated time arrival for the "Complete kit" should be around the middle of May. When we find a usable garage we will move the parts to the location and start the assembly of the car. While we build our car, I will document each time we work on it and explain what we did and what I learned each day. On the day which we will work on the car we will most likely spend a good portion of the day working on it so we can make steady progress throughout the summer. As well as we construct the Roadster I will take numerous pictures so I can give a more visual presentation of the steps, parts and tools with which we build the car with until completion. After approximately 250-300 hours of work on the car, it should be finished except for the paint job, tires & rims, which we can choose at our leisure. Once it is complete we must send the car into a Paint shop where we give them our design and they will paint it for us in about a week or so hopefully but I'm guessing longer due to numerous hold ups that can happen.