Author Topic: Service vs. Production Parts  (Read 1330 times)

Dan Case

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Service vs. Production Parts
« on: May 20, 2018, 10:31:02 AM »
Production part or service part?

For historical accuracy, beware of using the 1965 and 1966 (published in 1965 and 1966) Shelby American service parts books for Cobra and 427 Cobra repairs or restorations.  The yearly race season forms and within seasons revised forms Shelby American submitted to the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) race sanctioning organization for Cobras can also get one historically lost as some parts were not described enough to know exactly what was being listed or the picture(s) included might have been what was planned and not necessarily what was used; the prototype intake for Weber down draft carburetors comes to mind, it was a wooden mock up painted silver.  There was a 427 Cobra chassis Bill Of Materials published that included a cross reference of AC Cars and Shelby American identifications. It is a very interesting document but it too must be used carefully as to me it appears to be what was planned before the first chassis was built and not what AC Cars actually built for any of the coil spring chassis contracts. Also do not rely on the aftermarket accessory catalogs that Shelby American published 1966-68. These published works were not 'here is what AC Cars/Hugus/Shelby/Ford "as built" the cars with' set of references.  None of the Shelby service and accessories parts books address evolution of parts well as ‘new’ versions or designs got replaced ‘old’ parts; stabilizer bar grommets and mounts come to mind as 1963-64 pieces and 1965 pieces are significantly different parts doing the same jobs. None of these publications directly addressed the many changes in new chassis within or between contracts for chassis.  It was critical from the start for dealers and owners to know the chassis number of the car they were making parts inquiries for.  Without knowing the chassis number the chances of getting the correct service part(s) were less than perfect. There were quite a few differences in an early CSX20xx car and a late CSX20xx car and a late CSX25xx car was very different parts wise.  (Note: COB and COX prefix chassis were a little different to very different from the CSX chassis that were built concurrently as AC Cars home market specifications were different from American market specifications in many ways.)

The Shelby parts and accessory books were in part lists of commonly serviced or replaced parts and in part lists of post delivery accessories.  Many of the parts listed were just things that will do the job. Most of the parts AC Cars used in building the chassis were not included. Many of the significant parts for early Cobras were not listed at all.  The racing and accessory parts listed were not always the same things installed on new cars street or race. Regarding racing accessory catalogs, Shelby American often used one thing on their team cars and something else on customer cars or through the parts department.

These books also did not include a lot of the small parts SA sourced or made on their own locally without going through Ford or AC Cars.

Also, beware that for Cobras that the AC Cars chassis manuals also include service parts that were different that what was used in production. I have even found an omission, i.e. a part used in new Cobras not shown in the drawing in the manual or associated parts list.

Also bear in mind that chassis were built and finished into running cars street and race over several years by different groups of people in different shops in different countries; there were prototypes or engineering specials; street chassis were occasionally finished into racing cars; chassis were specifically ordered and built as race chassis; ‘team’ race cars often changed a tiny amount to a lot race to race.  Bear in mind that a part or material available on a given day in production might have been replaced by a different or improved version weeks or months later.  The published parts information barely makes an attempt to delineate any of these variations.

In general to get a good idea of how any new Cobra might have been outfitted one has to know the chassis number, when was the chassis finished as a roller, when was the unit finished into a running car, was it a street car or race car day one, was it built to custom specifications day one or modified as a new car into a working test vehicle by AC Cars or Ed Hugus’ shop or Ford Motor Company or Shelby American, and which shop did the final assembly for any ‘stock’ street car.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 08:56:18 AM by Dan Case »
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

Cobra Ned

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Re: Service vs. Production Parts
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 09:47:34 AM »
Dan, my COX car was built in England using a 289 hipo shipped from Shelby in CA and was delivered to its first owner in Switzerland, who was a Lotus dealer and Formula 1 mechanic. Who should I check with for the correct parts?

Dan Case

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Re: Service vs. Production Parts
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 10:47:21 AM »
 
Dan, my COX car was built in England using a 289 hipo shipped from Shelby in CA and was delivered to its first owner in Switzerland, who was a Lotus dealer and Formula 1 mechanic. Who should I check with for the correct parts?

Hi Ned, Good question for COB/COX/60xx/61xx owners. There were many more possibilities for those cars for several reasons including but not limited to the desires of the person that ordered each one. The basic engines are about the only things usually documented in any way by AC Cars in their chassis log.

CSX2xxx and CSX3xxx chassis and finished cars have become fairly well documented over the past few decades. A caveat for COB/COX car owners is be careful about comparing their cars to American market CSX chassis in any time period. Why?  AC Cars often built chassis for their home markets significantly different in some way or another or in several ways than those for the American market ones being built concurrently.

I have tried to give what assistance I can to a few owners.  I can’t always find an answer. We start by seeing what can be found about when the chassis were built and what engine it received (foot box tag and or AC Cars log) if documented. The next step is to try and determine what other chassis or cars were being assembled in the same time frame received if known. For everything AC Cars they were fairly consistent over short time spans; example electrical parts were purchased in batches so multiple cars usually have particular parts with the same date codes on them until a new batches of parts came in. That is not 100% fool proof but typical as AC Cars didn’t seem to practice first in first out inventory control.  Example: I would not be surprised by a boot lid prop dated in 1962 for any Cobra, 427 Cobra, or 289 Sports. I would not however expect one dated sometime in the 1980s on any of those cars. Some things are easy, like an engine block cast two and a half years after the car was sold new.

 For many COB/COX chassis subjects there are just no firm answers unless somebody captured the details in question in pictures when the particular car was brand new. A lot of the time we can’t come up with a great answer but opinions on what range there might have been.

Dan

Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

Cobra Ned

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Re: Service vs. Production Parts
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 02:17:23 PM »
Ok, thanks, Dan. That's what I was hoping to hear. I can just keep on buying parts at Pep Boys.  :D

Cobramax

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Re: Service vs. Production Parts
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 06:28:15 PM »
So, are the PEP boys Swiss, English or "Merican"? Sound like potheads to me.....(that doesn't narrow it down, does it?).

Jim

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Re: Service vs. Production Parts
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 09:56:59 PM »
So, are the PEP boys Swiss, English or "Merican"? Sound like potheads to me.....(that doesn't narrow it down, does it?).

Jim
Manny, Moe & Jack. Moe also worked as a stooge. But if they don't have it in stock you can mail order from JC Whitney.
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