Engine Details

Now that I have my engine and transmission installed in my car and fired up. I am so pleased with the entire process that I wanted to pass along my experience for others who are looking. I ordered my engine package from Al Beix at Western Canada Cobras. I wanted something that was completely turnkey, and basically ready to drop into the car. Working with Al, we came up with a power plant that fit my budget, was on target with what I wanted to use the car for, and was ready to install.

I am building the cobra mainly because I wanted the experience of building the car as a hobby, and to have a great looking vehicle to drive after. It will be a summer driver so I did not need a big block with more power than I knew what to do with. After many discussions, I decided to go with a 302/351. The estimated HP was 350-380, more than enough for what I wanted. I also got the chance to pick what parts I wanted in the engine, and got great advice from Al on this.

The engine was built at Fortin’s engine shop for Western Canada Cobra, and me! The builder and shop Foreman, Norm, has been great. He has answered all my questions, some intelligent questions, some really not intelligent, but he knows his stuff and got me on my way. I also wanted a Transmission, bell housing, clutch etc and Al worked with me so that all these parts were installed/connected when it was delivered. The engine and transmission arrived in a big crate which I shipped back to them. It was all bolted together just like they promised and I literally picked it up off the crate, added engine mounts and dropped it in.

The engine sounds awesome, looks awesome and runs really smooth. Here is a first start link so you can check it out. https://rmcmicki.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/first-engine-start/

Some stats on the engine

Block is a factory 5.0 roller block, oven cleaned and shot peened, lined bore // rough bore and squared decked in a Rottler 68a C&C machine
The block was torqued plate honed in our Rottler HP7A honing machine
The crank is a cast steel index ground and micro polished
Cam shaft is a custom ground for Fortin’s Engines only, timing chain is SA double roller
All internals are precision balanced
Heads are aluminum Edelbrock, taken apart and give them an extra tune up the Fortin’s way
Con rods are new Eagle I beam
Pistons are Probe forged flat top pistons, rings are Perfect Circle
Flywheel and balancer, timing cover are all new parts
Fastener are ARP; main studs,head bolts,crank bolt
All engine bearings are Clevite; mains, rods, cam bearings
Cobra valve covers
Holley 670 CFM carb with electric choke and vacuum secondary’s
Performance Distributor
Holley external electric fuel pump
Chrome one wire Alternator
Mach pulley set
The Transmission is a Tremtec T5.

The engine dyno’d at just over 360 HP at 6300 RPM and has a really nice torque line, never dropping below 300 ftlbs from 3200 to 6300 RPM.

For those of you that live in Canada, or even the Pacific Northwest, I would strongly put these guys on your list to contact when you need a complete engine.

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First Engine Start!

Today was a major, major milestone.

Big Milestone – turned over the engine!

We pretty much finished up the wiring the other day, just a couple little things to tidy up. So we figured what the heck, lets turn it over and see how we did. There is no fuel in the car yet, still have to run one last line so we knew it would not start, but we could see how the wiring side of it went.

The first crank was a bit of a let down…Nothing. Ok so I forgot to tighten a wire, easy fix. Second time, we found out the ground wire on the solenoid was not heavy enough (or as Dana puts it, the fuseble link). Ok no big deal, swapped it out, and the third crank everything worked flawlessly and the engine cranked over.

It was so exciting to hear the engine for the first time. What a great sound.

Everything is coming together. So close to that first start I always talk about. The next month is crazy busy, so will continue to chip away at it, but I am 100% confident the wiring it done, done right, done well.

Very Cool. The next post will hopefully be a video 🙂

Side pipes and roll bars

Getting close to a first start so Tony and I put the side pipes on. Dont really need them for the first start, and they need to come off, but we wanted to see how they looked…and they look AWESOME!

We needed to make sure they were close to level or else we would need to move the engine at the mounts, but i think they are pretty close. Wont know for sure till the body is on, but they look promising.

Chrome Side Pipes!!!

Chrome Side Pipes!!!

We also test fit the roll bars, dead sexy

Roll Bars

Roll Bars

A few pics of the car as it is now

The last couple weeks we have been working on the wiring, so not a tonne of exciting pictures. I have done a few other things along the way.

Painting panels – I was waiting for it to warm up a bit before painting most of the rear panels. The last couple days was a bit warmer so I covered some of the trunk panels, which are now needed for the electrical to be finished up, and the rest of the foot box panels. For lack of a better place to put the high beam switch, I am going to build a dead pedal in the driver footbox and mount a floor based high beam and see if that works. Its pretty tight down there but we have other options if that does not work out.

Before Painting

Before Painting


Covered with rubber coating

Covered with rubber coating

I also got the Holley four barrel carb installed and the linkages sorted out. I am working on trying to find radiator hoses that fit, easier said than done! I also just got the MSD rev limiter so will get that wired up soon.

I pushed it outside yesterday so i could clean the garage, which was a disaster. This is what the car looks like as of Jan 25th.

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