Mr. Carroll Shelby
Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc.
11150 West Olympic Blvd.,
Mr. Douglas S. Hasty, President
As you are aware, my son, John David, purchased this car in
January 2003 and after approximately 7 months of missed delivery dates and promises, we picked the car up
The appearance of the vehicle is great but the performance, quality, workmanship and safety are, to say the least, very disappointing! It is obvious that quality and drivability/dependability were not a priority. It is also obvious that these cars were not test driven or built by experienced performance car builders. I have approximately 50 street rods, hot rods and custom cars which are all quality built and able to be driven cross country dependably and safely.
I have attached pictures and a list of the quality and safety problems we have found with the car and the fixes we have made. My son is preparing a website, “FixEleanor.com,” to show pictures of the problems and fixes so other purchasers of these vehicles can have them repaired. I will be
making this information available to Steve Sanderson and others to try to prevent anyone from being injured. As I mentioned to Doug and his folks, I take building safe cars seriously, especially when my 20 year old son is driving it.
When we picked up the car, it was obvious the front engine pulley and belt system was a problem with the frayed fan belt and screeching AC. They used an assortment of different manufacturers’ parts including a hack sawed Bosch alternator and kluged brackets. The gas tank overflow weld was bad so gas leaked into the trunk. The front end turn stops were incorrect so
the passenger front fender edge was torn out. Then the car was not driven until JD came home the end of May from college.
Within days, the clutch came apart. Instead of using off-the-shelf Ford high
performance parts, you used an incorrect mechanical linkage clutch pressure
The entire belt pulley system had to be reworked to keep the belt straight. A Ford crank balancer was installed to get proper alignment and fit, and the crank pulley run-out was checked and machined. Power steering rear bracket was replaced. Air conditioning compressor was properly aligned and a new clutch pulley was fabricated to allow AC to work. Bosch alternator that was sawed was replaced with chrome GM version to fit the bracket. Valve cover baffles were repaired and cork gaskets replaced.
We went through the suspension and there were a number of bolts with lock nuts that were fixed where the bolts did not reach the nylon “lock.” Wiring that was attached to the gas lines in the rear were rerouted. After JD returns to college, we will relocate the oil cooler from extending down under the front spoiler (an accident waiting to happen) and put in braided hose lines (existing rubber hoses are leaking). We will also install proper length brake cable to eliminate loops around rear shocks and replace bent threaded rod brackets.
I have also enclosed a quote from Kenny March to repair and paint the fender wheel well flange for $1,606.58. It appears the new turn stops work. Additionally, attached are copies of the expense incurred totaling $11,586.89 to date for tracking down and properly fixing the problems listed. Unfortunately, most of the problems could have been avoided with proper experience and using off-the-shelf Ford high performance parts. I am sure the people who bought these cars expected you to use quality parts and would have gladly paid a few dollars more money if necessary for it.
It is ironic that when I was growing up in
Very truly yours,
John B. Mumford
cc: Steve Sanderson
Sanderson Sales & Marketing
John B. Mumford
Shelby Eleanor GT 500E
List of Repairs Made or To Be Made
1. Check gas tank filler overflow tube weld in trunk for crack – metal epoxy weld will seal if cracked.
2. Radiator cap leaked and overflow tube leaked on MSD control box – replace cap and reroute overflow tube to ground area.
Belt System Rework
3. Ribbed belt out of alignment and frayed – redesign bracket and pulley set up. Start with using a Ford crank balancer (Ford Harmonic Damper #M-6316-B50) for proper alignment and fit. Machine surfaces of pulleys if necessary for square run-out starting with crank pulley. Aftermarket crank balancer used did not have tight alignment fit to pulley and pulley run-out off .025 requiring machining.
4. Power steering pump rear mount bracket bent and not giving strong hold – refabricated a rear mounting bracket to mount to engine. Also allow dip stick tube to align with pan.
5. Air conditioning compressor too far forward and squeals because clutch pulley not adequate wrap – redesign and fabricate a new belt clutch pulley between PS pump and AC to get more belt wrap on AC pulley to stop squeal. Grind rear bolt head on AC compressor to move back on valve cover to align belt.
6. Bosch alternator not square – mount bracket was okay, but for Chevy alternator (possibly Ford also). Had a Bosch alternator that was sawed to fit bracket but not cut square. Installed chrome Chevy alternator with proper hardware.
7. Suggest using Goodyear belt instead of Gates belt.
Valve cover baffles improperly installed SM screws and
loose with a boss broken off – tapped baffle bosses and installed bolts with
lock tight and lock washers. Replaced
cork valve cover gaskets with high tech Ford
Clutch Replace and
9. Clutch pedal bracket and hardware requires rework – refabricate with metal bushing to replace the plastic one and use proper hardware to attach.
10. Replace improper mechanical rebuilt clutch, cast flywheel and custom fork – use billet Ford flywheel with Ford high performance clutch kit and fork for cable linkage (Ford part #M-7560-C302).
11. Rework and check bell housing – bell housing needs to be notched to properly align cable clutch linkage. Check run-out on bell housing to be sure proper alignment (this one off .018 – replaced with Lawson Bellhousing #96130080). Reroute linkage off pan mount for proper straight alignment.
12. Check suspension hardware and replace all lock nut hardware where bolts do not extend through nylon “lock” washer.
13. Replace front turn stops if modified brackets not installed to prevent over-steer and tear out of wheel well coves.
14. Take wiring off gas line in back and remount isolated.
Other Changes to Be Made
15. Emergency break – replace cables with proper length to avoid coils around rear shocks. Replace threaded bent rod bracket.
16. Oil cooler reposition from bottom of spoiler. Try to mount between grille and radiator and use braided hose to stop leaks.
17. Use heavier gauge front swag bar.