Pre­par­ing For Your Fac­tory Five De­liv­ery

Pre­pare Like a Pro With These Tips!

Hot Rod - - Front Page - Mark Gearhart

To many, the thought of build­ing a car from scratch can be a mind-blow­ing af­fair. Some even­tu­ally suc­cumb to a dis­mem­bered project strewn across the garage floor in fa­vor of more space to store the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. Luck­ily, com­pa­nies like Fac­tory Five Rac­ing have dis­tilled the frus­tra­tions as­so­ci­ated with ve­hi­cle as­sem­bly and present a gift-wrapped plan, in the form of a Bible-thick as­sem­bly man­ual. What if you’re ready to pull the trig­ger? We walk you through some of the most im­por­tant tips when it comes to build­ing a Fac­tory Five project car.


Fac­tory Five’s web­site walks you through the cost to op­tion ev­ery sin­gle kit. Check all the boxes, and ev­ery­thing you need shows up on the back of a truck. Some can’t af­ford to do that, so we will run you through what we con­sider to be the no-brainer op­tions.

There’s a lot go­ing on with a Fac­tory Five’s chas­sis. They are all de­signed and built with com­puter-sim­u­lated soft­ware that makes them han­dle great while also be­ing rigid. A plethora of dif­fer­ent-di­am­e­ter round and square tub­ing has been in­tri­cately joined by a skilled team of welders. To prop­erly pow­der­coat the chas­sis, it needs to be af­fixed to a ro­tis­serie. Un­less there’s a need for crazy cus­tom color, the black pow­der­coat­ing op­tion is worth ev­ery penny. Most of the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents will not come pow­der­coated, giv­ing you the op­tion to spray them your­self.

Since these fiber­glass bod­ies are made in mul­ti­ple pieces and bonded to­gether, holes for the side pipes, light­ing, and sim­i­lar must be cut out. For a small fee, Fac­tory Five will cut out all the nec­es­sary holes for the roll­bar, side pipes, light­ing, gas cap, and more. We trust the com­pany’s pre­made tem­plates over any­thing we can mea­sure.

Do you want a solid axle or an in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion? An IRS adds a fair amount of com­plex­ity and cost to the build; though, with the fi­nan­cial off­set comes a bet­ter ride and more re­spon­sive han­dling. A few years ago, Fac­tory Five con­verted its IRS of­fer­ings over to the S550-style (2015-and-later Mus­tang) rear sus­pen­sion. This setup is vir­tu­ally bul­let­proof, but so is a nicely built solid axle. Per­haps, then, a good mid­dleroad de­ci­sion is to choose the three-link solid axle op­tion.


So the de­posit has been made and your ve­hi­cle goes into pro- duc­tion. What’s next? If you live in the North­east and are will­ing to make the voy­age to Mas­sachusetts, it’s easy to pick up your kit di­rectly from Fac­tory Five. If you’re look­ing for a trans­port com­pany that spe­cial­izes in de­liv­er­ing these kits, look no fur­ther that Ste­wart Trans­port. Fac­tory Five has a long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Ste­wart, and thus, Ste­wart has Fac­tory Five– themed rigs that are fit­ted with a crane. All the com­po­nents that are avail­able for your kit are shipped with the car. Ste­wart Trans­port pro­vides a white­glove de­liv­ery ex­pe­ri­ence that in­cludes care­fully un­load­ing your ve­hi­cle and boxes, as well as help­ing get your project onto jack­stands.


Upon de­liv­ery, the driver will re­view the com­po­nents for you to ver­ify and sign off their item­ized list. Each box is num­bered with a cor­re­spond­ing num­ber on the pack­ing list. If any of your parts are on back-or­der, they will be in­di­cated by a “zero” on the pack­ing list. Take note of all the back-or­dered parts and ref­er­ence that against the mas­ter Parts Or­der List. It’s rec­om­mended to go through ev­ery box—line by line—to en­sure all the parts have been re­ceived. It might be wise to trans­fer the parts to plas­tic totes, though the sane way would be to write the box num­ber on the tote so it’s easy to ref­er­ence the parts with the pack­ing lists.


As we men­tioned be­fore, ev­ery kit comes with a highly de­tailed in­struc­tion man­ual de­scrib­ing the ve­hi­cle build process. While it would be great to work from the front to back, back-or­ders may dic­tate a dif­fer­ent start­ing point. We’d al­ways rec­om­mend start­ing with the sus­pen­sion to get ev­ery­thing rolling. Beyond that, jump to mark­ing and drilling sheet­metal pan­els as­so­ci­ated with the floor, trunk, fire­wall, and other com­po­nents that are pre-fit­ted al­ready. That will keep you plenty busy.


Speak­ing of sheet­metal, we will have an up­com­ing ar­ti­cle that pro­vides our top tips. This is, by far, the most time-con­sum­ing por­tion of build­ing a Fac­tory Five car. There’s noth­ing hard when it comes to this process, there’s just a lot of holes to be made! All the pri­mary sheet­metal pan­els are af­fixed against

the frame. This means you’ll want to draw an out­line of the frame be­hind the sheet­metal to know where to drill your holes. This might re­quire drilling a cou­ple starter holes with Clecos in place to keep the panel from ro­tat­ing. Once the pan­els have been marked, they can be re­moved from the ve­hi­cle and drilled. Once drilled, line the pan­els back up with the frame and com­plete the con­nec­tion

through the frame.

Fac­tory Five in­cludes specs for rec­om­mended rivet spac­ing and a ba­sic rivet spac­ing tool, but a fan-style rivet spac­ing tool re­ally helps cover the width of an en­tire panel. Many pan­els come pre-lo­cated with a sin­gle self-tap­per screw from Fac­tory Five. Pur­chas­ing 50 or more Cleco pins and Cleco pli­ers is an ab­so­lute must. This al­lows for easy panel fit­ting by pro­vid­ing a

re­mov­able fas­tener to help hold the sheet­metal in place.


The first course of ac­tion when re­ceiv­ing a Fac­tory Five kit is to re­move the body from the chas­sis for ease of as­sem­bly. There are myr­iad ways to

store the ve­hi­cle’s body, but one of the pre­ferred meth­ods is a body buck. Tem­plates are avail­able that will help craft a sim­ple wood­work­ing ac­tiv­ity into a func­tional cart for the body. Some builders have chained their bod­ies to the ceil­ings of their garage!

You can even leave the body out­side if there’s no fear of theft or dam­age. After all, fiber­glass can’t rust and the bod­ies are

thick enough to where the sun’s heat won’t warp them.


Fac­tory Five takes great care when it comes to build­ing its bod­ies. All things con­sid­ered, the bod­ies lo­cate to the frame ex­tremely well, and the pan­els are not wavy. The in­her­ent hur­dle that Fac­tory Five must over­come is that these bod­ies are very large and nearly im­pos­si­ble to build as one con­tin­u­ous piece. For ex­am­ple, its Road­ster and Chal­lenge car bod­ies are as­sem­bled in six pieces: the front nose, rear, sides, and cen­ter­sec­tions. The pan­els are rough-bonded to­gether, and that’s where most of the time is spent dur­ing the body-prep process. It’s im­per­a­tive to find a painter who is good with fiber­glass to en­sure that the seam lines don’t show through after the body has been painted.


Well, that does it for our tips for pre­par­ing for your Fac­tory Five de­liv­ery! Stay tuned as we dive into our Drift Rod build with front and rear sus­pen­sion build sto­ries at soon!


FAC­TORY FIVE RAC­ING; 508.291.3443;


STE­WART TRANS­PORT; 602.242.1800;


010201] Here are some of the op­tions that we se­lected when we or­dered our Truck kit. There are a lot more op­tions not pic­tured!02] There’s no need for cutouts on the Truck kit, but it was a must when I built my Chal­lenge car. We let the pros at Fac­tory Five han­dle the chas­sis pow­der­coat­ing and body cut-outs.

04 050303] Our com­pleted Chal­lenge car couldn’t wait to wel­come its Truck brother home. Both ve­hi­cles will be pow­ered by Coy­ote 5.0 Mus­tang GT en­gines. Our Chal­lenge car makes538 nat­u­rally as­pi­rated rear-wheel horse­power, and the Truck will nearly dou­ble that with twin tur­bos.04] Ste­wart Trans­port uses a spe­cial­ized crane truck to load and un­load all forms of Fac­tory Five ve­hi­cles. The Ste­wart team helps load in your project and get it on jack­stands.05] All the com­po­nents that are avail­able for your kit are shipped with the car. Fac­tory Five wants noth­ing more than to get all the parts shipped along with the kits. Ev­ery time they have to pack up a box of parts and mail it off, that ship­ping cost comes out of the com­pany’s pocket. Once back-or­dered parts are re­ceived, we rec­om­mend putting those parts in the boxes they were orig­i­nally de­signed to come in. Mean­ing, if box 13 was miss­ing a bag of spac­ers and those ar­rive, re­unite those spac­ers with the other parts in box 13.

06] The Parts Or­der list and the in­di­vid­ual box pack­ing lists are all in box 1. The Parts Or­der list will tell you ex­actly what’s on back-or­der and should be cross-ref­er­enced to all in­di­vid­ual pack­ing lists.07] Here’s a look at some of those pack­ing lists. A “zero” means that part is miss­ing. Fac­tory Five groups boxes to­gether based on ac­tiv­ity, like front sus­pen­sion, rear sus­pen­sion, pedal kits, in­te­rior, and more.08] The Bible. Since we re­ceived pro­duc­tion chas­sis No. 001, the in­struc­tion man­ual for the Truck hasn’t been com­pleted yet. From the fire­wall for­ward, the Hot Rod Truck is iden­ti­cal to the Hot Rod Coupe and serves as a good start­ing point.09] A body buck can be ex­tremely help­ful when it comes to stor­ing the body off the ve­hi­cle. There are plenty of tem­plates on­line that can make the process to build one eas­ier. This al­lows the body to be rolled around and pro­vides an ad­di­tional place to store boxes. Since the Truck’s body is a small cab, we don’t plan to build a buck for it. 06 08 07 09

10] There’s a de­cent amount of work that goes into the body­work of these cars since they are mul­ti­ple pieces that are joined to­gether. Jeff Miller of Miller Cus­toms is a sea­soned painter whose shop is a stone’s throw from ours. He will be han­dling our body­work and paint.11] The sheet­metal pan­els are held to the body with a sin­gle sheet­metal screw. It’s best to write down the lo­ca­tion of all the pan­els and trace the back­side lo­ca­tions to the chas­sis to make drilling the holes in the right space eas­ier.12] Fac­tory Five in­cludes this rivet spac­ing tool, though pick­ing up a fan-style rivet spac­ing tool is also a good idea. Cleco pins al­low pan­els to be fixed in place for panel fit­ting ahead of fi­nal rivet­ing.10 11 12

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