Preparing For Your Factory Five Delivery
Prepare Like a Pro With These Tips!
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.
EASY OPTIONAL UPGRADES WHEN ORDERING
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.
TRANSPORTING VS. PICKUP
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.
REVIEW YOUR BOXES AND PACKING LISTS
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.
JUMPING THE LINE
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.
CLECOS AND RIVET SPACING TOOL
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.
NO BUCKING AROUND WITH BODY BUCKS
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.
EXPECT THE UNSUSPECTED WITH THE BODYWORK
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.
ON WITH THE BUILD!
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 HOTROD.com 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