As our Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge build continues to take shape, we’re beginning to really focus on the details. Since the car is being built for use in organized motorsports, rather than just tearing around town, there are a number of elements within the project that have to be considered specifically for that purpose, not just in terms of making the car competitive, but also to ensure the car conforms to sanctioning bodies’ rules and regulations for race cars. Otherwise, it’s going to be stuck in the paddock come show time.
Back in the early days of motorsports, as equipment was pushed to its performance limits, the process of discovering those limits often involved catastrophic parts failures that would not only cause damage to the vehicles, but serious injury to drivers. As SEMA grew over the years, a new organization was formed in 1978 called the SEMA Foundation, Inc., or SFI, specifically to manage the racing specifications program. Today, SFI certifications are generally considered the standard that safety gear must meet in order to qualify for use in motorsport with most sanctioning bodies in the USA as well as other organizations across the globe.
In this installment of the Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge build we’re hooking up a new Tremec gearbox to our Coyote 5.0-liter V8 using a QuickTime bellhousing. QuickTime offers a number of bellhousings which meet or exceed the SFI 6.1 specification requirement. In addition, their unique design and manufacturing process provides a number of advantages over other offerings available to builders looking to install a competition-spec housing.
Making The Grade
Achieving an SFI certification is not a rubber stamp type of operation. In the case of bellhousings, in order to meet the 6.1 certification new manufacturers (as well as established ones that are looking to put a new design on the market) must send three examples of their bellhousing to SFI for testing. SFI then puts a 29-pound flywheel into the bellhousing, spins it up to 10,000 rpm, and explodes the flywheel. All three housings submitted must fully contain the fragmented parts in order to meet the spec for the SFI’s certification. Additionally, once a housing has been certified it must be re-tested every two years in order to maintain its SFI certification status.
Unlike the traditional manufacturing process for bellhousings in which the housings are stamped out from a mold, QuickTime uses a patent-pending “spun” metal process which strengthens the material to a level far beyond that of rolled or stamped offerings. This innovative approach allows the company to design bellhousings that are not only stronger than hydroformed bellhousings, but significantly lighter as well. QuickTime also laser cuts the openings and trim bellhousings to the particular dimensional requirements of an application with unparalleled accuracy.
“These manufacturing processes simply weren’t available 15 years ago,” says Ross McCombs of QuickTime. “And, everything we offer is made in the USA with US-certified steel, right down to the fasteners.”
A Bell For Every Occasion
SFI certification also specifies that designs must have seven bolts on the top of the bellhousing and eight bolts on the bottom in order to meet its 6.1 certification. While QuickTime offers a wide range of bellhousings that conform to that rule, they also offer a selection for street use that differ in their design in the interest of packaging/clearance considerations for various applications. “These bellhousings still meet SFI’s standard for strength despite not being designed for use in motorsports,” Ross added.
Modular Ford guys will be happy to know that QuickTime also offers a number of SFI and non-SFI compliant bellhousings for various applications, from the Ford Mustang T5, TR3550, and Ford TKO 500/600 (PN RM-6081) to the ZF transaxle used in the Detomaso Pantera and GT40 (PN RM-8084), as well as C4 and AODE automatics (PN RM-9080 and RM-9081, respectively) to name a few. QuickTime even has a convenient bellhousing selector on their website to help you determine exactly what you need to match everything up for your build.
It’s also worth noting that the bolt patterns are the same across the small-block Ford modular V8 lineup, so a bellhousing that works for a Coyote 5.0 will also fit 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter motors as well.
One Step Closer
Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day, and neither are bitchin’ race cars. But, we continue to make headway with the Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge build, and with a previous addition of our ultimate fuel system the Cobra is really starting to come together.
With the running gear coming together along with a way to feed it, it won’t be long before this beast is screaming down the road course. You can follow along with the Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge build right here.
With over 250 models offered and more than 4,200 combinations available, it’s a pretty safe bet that QuickTime has a bellhousing that’s right for your build. Check out the QuickTime website, and if you can’t find your application, be sure to get in touch with their technical staff to help you get the right bellhousing for your setup.