March 2001

We spent this month refining the engine design and ordering parts. I bought a copy of Motion Software's Desktop Dyno2000 and experimented with different head porting and valve timing alternatives. We're still waiting for the TWM Induction system to verify some dimensions on the intake before we make a final call on the cam specs, but playing with this software has been very informative.

One of the areas I was still concerned about was the clutch. We had decided to use the Tremec TKO II Racing version which is the same as the TKO but has a 0.83 ratio fifth gear. The standard fifth gear ratio is 0.68. This tighter gear ratio will be better on the track, and with a 3.55 rear-end ratio will still provide for a reasonable cruising RPM.

But I couldn't find much information on clutch selection between the 351W and this transmission. I finally called Dark Horse Performance on the recommendation of several folks on ClubCobra. Fred, the owner of Dark Horse, was very knowledgeable and new exactly what I needed. I ordered the transmission, bell housing, shifter, and all the clutch parts from him.

It turns out that Fred lives only about 45 minutes away from me, so he was gracious enough to drive all the parts over instead of shipping them, saving me the shipping costs. 

Other parts for the engine dribbled in all month. We now have the timing chain, timing chain cover, lifters, lifter installation kit, alternator, water pump, starter, fuel pump, and other miscellaneous parts.

I had been planning to use a Canton oil pan, but another JBL Cobra builder recommended a custom racing pan made by Armando's Racing Oil Pans. He's using one of these on his engine. Richard from JBL also thought this would be a better choice, so I gave Armando a call and ordered a pan.

I'd been bugging my son Scott to put together a Cobra build website for the past couple months, but he's been busy with lots of school activities. So I finally decided to do one myself. I spent the last week of March putting this site together and between Scott and I, we plan to keep the Journal section updated with our progress, and add other sections as appropriate.

Next Month - Knott's custom car show, dashboard design