Just FYI: State by State safety inspection, emission regulations. Go to www.sema.org for up-to-date information about your state's pending legislation effecting your rod, custom, antique or resto, restomod automobile.
Here is the engine,finished and fired-up, cam breakin (August 2003). Now quiet for a few months until there is some place to put it. Note March pulleys, A/C, PS. I still have to tune the pulleys, but basically engine is done: 460 about 500HP, Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 800cfm carb, Crane cam h-288-2, 1979 Ford truck 460 block heat-treated, stress relieved, shot peened, H beam rods, overbored .030, honed, decked, MSD ignition, Edelbrock gear drive, high volume oil pump, 10.0 to 1 compression, forged Federal Mogul pistons, moly rings, Clevite H series racing bearings, fully blueprinted. Comp roller rockers (1:7) chrome moly pushrods. Runs about 70 lbs oil pressure, 15" vacuum. [I have since changed the configuration of the pulleys. When I get everything done I'll post a picture.]
I investigated other buildup possibilities, forged crank, roller cam, etc. But for my purposes, a more or less daily driver, fun transport, these options were tempting, but really overkill. Forged cranks for 460s are available (for example, Bryant Racing will do one for you, also Velasco will deliver a forging, and Scat offers a billit model) but compared to GM products they are very expensive ($2K). If a forged crank is needed, then you will also want 4-bolt mains or a girdle and improved block oiling characteristics. For street use, a good 460 nodular crank is a very strong piece and is not going to give problems unless maybe you want to rev above 5500 RPM on a regular basis and run torque numbers above 650. Some people have pointed out that they have run higher RPMs regularly with cast cranks. A roller cam is certainly a possibility for a 460, but for street cams with a reasonable idle, a roller cam is just not needed and can have its own set of problems. Again, prices are generally higher than the ubiquitious GM stuff. If I were going to build a nostalgia drag car that I still wanted to drive on the street I think I might grab one of those GM 502 crate engines with fuel injection, forged crank, roller cam, etc. Cheap at the price of 8 or 9K. Nah. If you are interested in more details on the 460 a good place to start is the 385 forum.
I'd like to put EFI on this engine, possibly in a few years there will be drop-in systems available at a reasonable price. In a couple of years, I'll start collecting parts if complete setups are not available by then. At the same time I might consider an overdrive transmission. [Recently, a company has begun to produce a drop-in EFI for high performance 460s. The company is Quality Roadsters. Oops. I guess their EFI is so successful, they dropped their Cobra build business to work strickly on EFI! Their stuff looks really good and I have heard good things from people who have used it. One advantage of their system is the use of Ford electronics which means you can get it diagnosed by nearly anybody. Recently, I had a conversation with a guy at Edelbrock who told me that next year (2006) they will be offering EFI for big block Fords.]
To put this engine in a 64 galaixe, you have to create your own motor mounts somehow. I took the FE mounts from the old 352 I pulled and turned them sideways, drilling a couple of extra holes. Another view. And another. To get the mounts ready, I put them in the blast cabinet and then painted them a cast gray. I have a spare aftermarket set that I may use to replace these used mounts. I also purchased a mount system from Crites restoration. These mounts are built in a way that makes them suitable for installing the headers that are also offered from Crites especially for this swap. Since I did not use these headers, and since the 64 Crites mounts raise the motor a little higher than the FE mounts I did not end up using these mounts. The Crites mounts also have the mounting stud welded to the steel backing of the mount which makes for less vibration absorption.
When I purchased the car in May 2003, the first step was to remove the front clip to examine any rust problems at the joint between body and front fenders. I also pulled out the seats, carpet and door panels. To get the door panels out, the door window cranks and door handles must be removed. The cranks require a rather common tool to push out a retaining clip. The cranks then just pull off. I also removed some of the exterior trim and the bumpers at this time. The rear bumper was badly corroded. It would cost close to $900.00 to get it restored. Fortunately, the person I bought the car from had a spare in much better shape. The design of the support system for these rear bumpers makes them prone to rotting, as it traps debris next to the bumper. I chose to modify this internal support system to make it possible to clean out the area next to the bumper. Replacement rechromed bumpers are very expensive, $800.00, if you have a core. Happily, my front bumper is in good shape. I finally decided to remove the body from the frame, to replace the body mounts and bolts and make it simpler to clean the frame and underside of the body. Body mount rubber is available in the aftermarket, but the bolts are not and neither are the metal portions of the mounts. So you have to restore these parts. I found some stainless bolts to match some of the stock bolts, but for some others I had to use some plated bolts. The stock rubber insulators are different sizes and the aftermarket sets have to be cut to match in a few cases. Not a big deal for a band saw. Tearing down is greatly facilitated by an air ratchet.
I next dismantled the steering. My car had power steering and I purchased some aftermarket parts to repair/replace the steering ram, ball joints, tie rods, bushings and so forth. To replace the ball joints, you must remove the front springs. This requires a chain and floor jack (frame was on jack stands by this time). Wrap the chain around the jack and the upper control arm and then expand the jack to put pressure on the lower control arm and hence compress the spring. You can then, after removing the castle nuts, use a pickle fork to separate the ball joints. When removing the Pittman arm from the steering control valve, you should use a puller rather than a pickle fork.
With the steering and front suspension out, I then removed the rear end and leaf springs. I used a pressure washer to clean off the frame and the body. I cleaned out the inside of the frame rails, mice had stored food in the driver side rail. There were several quarts of corn there. After grinding on some of the sloppier factory welds, I painted the frame with a rust inhibitor product sold by Eastwood. The steering went back in without a problem except for the new steering ram. The stud for this just did not want to fit easily into the center link.
I decided to replace the stock drum brakes with four wheel discs. For the front discs I used a package from Master Power Brakes made specifially for this application. For the rear end, I used Ford SVO discs I was able to get from the people who built my new rear end. If you embark on a project like this, be sure to make measurements in the rear wheel-wells to see what space is available since the stock rims are not usable with disc brakes. Additionally, you will have to fabricate or have someone build for you, parking brake cables. I had mine built by Six States. I bought an equalizer from a Mustang shop. Disc brakes usually require that you have flexible lines to the calipers. With the frame off I decided that new brake lines were a necessity anyway, so I bought a roll of 3/16 line from Summit Racing. For the front discs, the MP kit has hoses included. For the rear, I bought hoses from a local supply house. I had thought of using stainless for the hard lines. They are an improvement, but you need to use a 37 degree single flare tool with AN fittings. If you try to do 45 degree double flare standard stuff with stainless, it will leak. Anyway, being lazy and willing to bleed brakes every couple of years, I used standard steel lines.
With a new engine going in with considerably more horsepower than the old 352, I had to find a transmission. After deciding that I would not attempt to build my own, I looked at racing shops around. Finally I obtained a C6 from Performance Automotive. My case was originally behind a 351M which has the same bolt pattern as the 460. The transmission has a converter from Midwest. It is a 2000 RPM stall. 460s came with different sized crank pilot holes. But some of the newer replacement cranks are set up to use two different converter pilots (1.848" or 1.375"). Be sure you get the correct converter. One item that I forgot was the so-called "starter plate" or "block plate." This is the thin spacer that goes between engine and tranmission bellhousing. It helps to keep the starter aligned with the flex plate and adds a small amount of clearance to keep the converter from bottoming out in the front pump of the transmission. I found one on ebay. I bought one of the PM high torque mini-starters from PA Performance.
Just a note on bolting up the bell housing to the engine: The top bolt driver side securing bellhousing to engine needs thread sealer on it, or you will have an oil leak.
My rearend is built from Strange and Moser parts. The case is a nodular iron 9". Axles are 35 spline, the yoke is a 1350 type. It has a Detroit Locker. Six States built my driveline (4" aluminum).
A new transmission and engine require a repositioning of the crossmember so that the transmission mount finds support. I used two 1/4" plates to relocate the crossmember. After centering the crossmember with tranmission bolted to the engine and supported by a jack, I marked bolt holes in the plates. You can use the old cruise-o-matic tranny mount with a little modification. However, be sure to check that you get the tranny tailshaft and the rearend pinion parallel. They should not however be on the same line. The U-joints must have some angle in order keep them properly lubricated. By the way, I used a Moser slip yoke for my driveline/transmission. Lube the yoke splines with a little high temp grease before install.
In rebuilding the front end, the bushings must be removed from the control arms. I used a chisel in an air tool holding the arms in a vise. I then sand blasted and painted them. Putting a small amount of hightemp grease on the new bushing shells, I used the vise and some large sockets to press them in. I installed an after market sway bar (made by Quickor) on the front since the stock bar is so puny as to be useless. I also used a Greg Donahue product to stabilize those weird cam-bolts (offset shafts) Ford used on the front of the lower control arms. Finally, the front springs were replaced with a stiffer model from Eaton. I got new insulators from Donahue. Some of these items you can get from a good pick-n-pull. Here, we have none.
For the rear suspension, I took my springs to a local company to have them heat-treated, recurved, a broken leaf replaced and an extra leaf added. I got new insulators and bushings from Donahue. One odd thing was that the new rear end required me to get some new U-bolts (spring clips). The old ones were just not long enough. However, the old spring clips were of a special design that had a flare end just before the threads. This limited the compression that the spring clips could exert on the rubber insulators. Well, Six States made me some new U-bolts (longer), but without the flare. When torqued down, they compressed the insulators quite a bit more than the original design. This may cause some kind of problem with alignment or drivability. I'll have to see. I also installed an aftermarket rear sway bar from Quickor.
With the motor sitting in the frame, I took measurements to see if the aircleaner would clear the hood. It looks like the stock hood should fit.
With the drive train more or less finished I had to worry about transmission linkage and installing the parking brakes. I found a kickdown set up from Lokar - the stuff is available for a reasonable price from Summit Racing. It has everything you need. B and M racing has parts to set up either a floor shifter or column shifter. The column shift linkage has problems with header pipes in my case, so I'm thinking of going to a floor shift. [I decided on a Quicksilver from B and M.] In Line Tube has loads of stuff to plumb your brakes and tranny lines and they have a nice brake light switch with a chrome T. Putting things together was an occasional challenge, but the guys on the C6 forum were very helpful. When I get the brake cables installed it will be time to do some more serious body work.
Brake cables are installed.
Getting ready to hook up speedo gear and transmission cooler lines, I encountered a few problems. My trans had none of the speedo assembly and my old trans was long gone (and probably would not have worked anyway). My transmission has 8 teeth on the worm drive gear machined into the tail shaft. Since my tires are about 27-28 inches in diameter and rear end is 3.00 I will use an 18 tooth driven gear. Also the trans was missing the two adapters necessary to hook up the cooler lines. On the trans end you need two 5/16" x 1/2 adapters (with the inverted flare on the female side). On the radiator side I needed two 5/16 x 1/8 male/male adapters with the inverted flare on the big end. Use thread sealer on the non-flared ends. Some people use teflon tape, but I have had a bad experience with that (I was not careful enough). Don't over-tighten.
Last fall (2003) a friend of mine did some rust repair in the trunk Two spots were rusted through near body mounts (these were not the bolt on mounts but the two passive ones in the forward trunk area). These were cut out and new metal welded in and sealed with seam sealer. Before the sealer went on, I started sandblasting the entire interior. Then I went over the trunk and floor pans with Por-15. Eastwood has a nifty little portable blaster for small jobs or areas that need some extra attention, that can just hook up to your compressor (with a little quartz sand from Home Depot). Of course the sand goes everywhere, so either move to the lawn or get your leaf blower out when you are done.
This April (2004), the weather moderated enough so that I was able to get the dash out and finish prepping the firewall and then shot it with primer. I got the rear window channel cleaned out sand-blasted and shot some primer on it to keep the rust off temporarily.
Finally, the body is back on the frame. It's May 19, 2004 and here are a few photos. New body bolts went in, here is a photo of one of the rear pass compartment bolts (stainless) and here is one from the firewall, passenger side. I used anti-seize on the bolts. There was an interference problem with the FPA header (pass side) and the mount bracket on the body (and on the frame), I used a sawsall to cut a small part of the bracket away (not visible on the photo). These bolts are rather odd since the bolt heads are on the bottom rather than the top as in the other mounts. The bolts secure the two parts of the mount then the body is attached to the bolt with a nut. Here is a photo of the driver side firewall. You can see the parking brake cable on the lower right entering the firewall. There was an interference problem with the header and the steering box. Massaging the header took care of the problem. I put an insulator blanket on the steering box to keep the high heat from the header from damaging the box. I will torque down the body bolts tomorrow as soon as I double check measurements to see that the body is straight on the frame. The header gaskets were installed, I used Percy's gaskets. Supposed to be among the best. Locking stainless bolts were used, with anti-seize. The locks on the bolts don't engage on all the bolts, so some will undoubtedly come loose at some point.
Well, live and learn. I've got tons of parts to recondition or replace and last week I decided to clean up the rear window to see if there were some cracks hiding under there. Well, no cracks, but near the driver's side edge of the window, I found some fine pitting. I thought I had protected the thing from the sandblasting, but apparently not. There are polishing kits available to get out very fine scratches, I may try one of these. Today, I finally pulled out the rear quarter windows, they were not too tough to get out, it seems to help if you wind them up to about 3/4 closure. Once the bolts are out, the rear track is removed first, then you work the window out of the other two tracks and pull it out from the outside of the car.
It's June (2004) and I just took my inner fenders to a powder coating shop to get them blasted and coated. I tried blasting and painting them myself, but I just wasted a week trying to get them to look decent. Didn't work. I was able to do a half-way good job on the radiator support though. It looks pretty good. I painted it with Eastwood's rust encapsulator and then with their engine compartment black after a little sanding with 400 grit.
Today I got my new fuel tank out of the box and cleaned it up with lacquer thinner. I then painted the top and filler tube with rust encapsulator after a light sanding to give it some teeth to hold the paint. I went to a new subdivision a mile or two from the house and found some discarded roofing paper. It is perfect for the top of the tank to prevent squeaks. Also between the straps and the tank. Some people with charge you $50 for a 3x3 piece of roofing felt by calling it "tank insulator." I have stainless straps (Crites) and a stainless sending unit (Autokrafters). When you put the sending unit in, be sure to get the float angle set properly so it doesn't bind. I put a little vaseline on the new gasket and the lock ring. Makes things go together more easily. Yesterday I also found some compression fittings with screw on hose barbs at Evco for my fuel line. Just have to find the right place to mount the fuel pump now with some kind of rubber insulated bracket. As soon as the inner fenders get back, I can bolt up the radiator support and put the radiator in, get the tranny lines hooked up, fuel line hooked up, a little wiring, and I can fire up the motor! It's about time. Time to think about the coolant debate.
Well, the fenders came back, but then I remembered I had to cut in the firewall surround and parts of the outer fenders. So got that done last Saturday (June 26). Took off all the do-dads from the radiator support to blast and paint, but the nozzle in the blast cabinet was toast and it took a week to get a new one. Meantime, I tore the dash completely apart. What a pain just to get that trim off! And of course all the pulls came off a different way it (seemed like). The headlight switch comes off by first removing the knob - you pull it all the way out, then reach back on top of the switch and press a little button and the knob comes off. Naturally mine was rusty and would not pull out at all (sitting in that barn for 14 years). Mister pliers helped.
Most of the knobs got scarred so that means more work. The ignition switch can't be removed without the key and a paper clip. You turn the ignition to acc. and insert the paper clip in the little hole and the lock should come out. There is a nut on the back of the air vent pulls. My ash tray was rather corroded so I blasted it inside and out along with the bracket. My dash speaker cover was also somewhat corroded too; it got the blast treatment. I had to break loose with some cash and get some bezels from Dearborn Classics. Dash needs to be cleaned up and painted later.
Well, it's nearly the middle of July (2004) and I just finished mounting the brakebooster/master cylinder/brake light switch and plumbing the brake lines. I also hooked the fuel line to the carb. I checked to see if there was some hope that the old throttle linkage would work, didn't look to have a prayer, so I ordered a Lokar cable/ pedal setup (ouch). I nearly attempted to start the engine for a few seconds but the battery I had was too weak to turn over the engine. Maybe next week.
Front clip is back on at least for a while to check gaps and try out the radiator clearance. Bad news: there is about 2.5" between the radiator and the cap on the water pump pulley. I don't think I'll find a fan that skinny. Good news: the hood shuts without hitting the air cleaner. Bad news: the alternator bracket is rather in the way of the top radiator hose. I don't mind bending it around, but I have to run an in line filler in it since my radiator has no filler.
Ok, I had to cut the radiator support to move the radiator away from the motor. Now I have dual Flex-a-lite 12" fans (advertized as requiring 2 5/8" clearance, the smallest I could find). They are too wide and so I will need to fabricate something to keep the pass. side fan from sucking air around the radiator. I finally got a tensioning rod for the alternator and a couple of new belts for the serpentine system. The alternator is just wrong for this application. The back bearing housing just sticks out too far to clear the valve cover when you bring it in far enough to use the March recommended belt size. When I put the belt under tension, the (longer than recommended) rod I had to use comes quite close to the alternator fan blades. If the belt stretches much, the rod will start hitting the fan. I could go back to the original system I suppose; the other alternative is to grind down the fan blades on the alternator pulley about 1/8". The other bad news here is that I don't really get much more clearance for the upper radiator hose by using the new tension rod. Going to a different alternator is possible, but I'd rather not fork over more money yet.
I did get the trans cooler lines hooked up. Hope they don't leak.
To get a little more room up front, I put the battery in the trunk. I also installed a battery switch, and wired up the engine compartment with some temp wires.
August 28, 2004. Got some gas, some more transmission fluid, two gallons of antifreeze, jumped the solenoid and started the motor for the first time in a year. Finally got it to stay running, checking fluids refilling power steering fluid and trans fluid. Last time it was running the idle was smooth at 1000rpm. Now it's rough and it acts like there is a vacuum leak?? The carb idle screws don't seem to work. Pretty annoying. But, there were no fluid leaks, and the power steering works.
Problem with the new wheels. I ordered new wheels last June (6th I think) from Stockton Wheel in, you guessed it, Stockton, Cal. I finally got the fronts last week. They've been telling me for a month that the rears were ready to be shipped "that day." Yeah. Today (Aug 30) I called. "I saw them on the rack ready to be welded." It's getting old. I'll call them again tomorrow and see if they are on the rack ready to be welded. Ha, Ha.
Still waiting on the wheels. Today the phone call went like this: "they're on the way, should be there in three days." Hmmm.
Installed gauges yesterday, so I will try to make a short video of the thing running and post it here.
Saturday before Labor Day 2004 I finally got the brakes bled. The fittings all leaked of course. Torque the snot out of them until they stop. On Labor Day, I took it around the block. Good thing the neighbors are tolarant (no mufflers). Brakes worked, throttle was a clothes hanger attached to the carb running through a screw hole in the firewall. Seats were boxes of appropriate size. The thing really roars. Power steering works great. I put synthetic ATF (I get Mobil 1 cheap) in the ps reservoir.
Sept. 7, the rear wheels finally showed up. Tires are next on the agenda. I tested out the rears and they fit perfectly, so my measurements were not too bad I guess.
Sept. 8, went out to price tires, 275-60-15 for the rear, 225-70-15 front. Looks like Costco had the best price around here. I'll order them in a week or so I guess. Bf goodrich white letter seemed appropriate. They don't have ultra speed rating (S), but this car will not be going that fast (< 120).
Tires are on, lo and behold, the back tires worked out fine. Fronts too. No rubbing anywhere. So, the measurements I took on the too wide rear end which gave me 5" backspacing was perfect with the 8" rims. 7" rims on the front with 4" backspacing worked out well. The rears fill out the space really well. The fronts however don't look that large. One thing is the front springs are stronger than stock and they may make the car sit higher than stock. It will probably settle some. If not, I'll be lowering it sometime probably. Have to put on the front bumper and give it another look.
I noticed a little problem with the transmission the other day, there was a small puddle of fluid under the trans, actually under the shift lever. I crawled under and found a drip on the end of the kickdown rod (no kickdown linkage hooked up yet). Looks like the little o-ring behind the lever is not doing its job. I don't really want to fix that right now. You have to be careful not to disturb things. [This got fixed by installing the kickdown - see below.]
Well, it's on to the wiring in the engine compartment and finally, body panels.
I forgot to report on something. I ran the engine until the temp got up to 170 (hot day, idle) then turned on the fans. And zap, down to 160. That was nice.
Got the kickdown hooked up and it looks very good. It also stopped the leak. Also hooked up the Lokar throttle. Looks very nice.
Last week I finally got around to putting in the sensor for the electric fans and wiring up the control module. Now I don't have to remember to throw the fan switch when driving around the block. I found all my wiring harnesses and started cleaning them up. I'll have several new circuits: fans, A/C, fuel pump, electric choke + possible later mods like power windows, locks, trunk latch . . .. Also, I've got to figure out how to bypass the old voltage regulator. Not sure what goes on there. I was tempted to buy one of those "universal" wiring kits, but $400 is just over the top right now.
Ok, I found what may be the solution to my wiring dilemma. There is a company called E-Z Wiring that produces 21 circuit sets that wire the complete car. The wires are labeled every 5 inches and insulated with high-temp coating resistant to fuel, water, oil, acid, etc. Horn relay included, flashers, instructions diagrams, connectors, etc. While this is nothing new as far as wiring kits go, the price is a clincher: $165.00. Can't beat it as far as I can tell at present. I'm still looking at this but I'll probably go with them if they can answer my questions satisfactorily.
Oct. 26, 2004. I was on the phone with the E-Z wiring place. We worked everything out and I purchased one of their 21 circuit kits. That mostly takes care of the wiring issue. Next I think I'll be working on the dash to smooth it and paint it. I still have not decided whether to keep the dash pad or not. Another thing I bought today was a billet timing pointer made by a guy on the 385 forum (David Willingham). It just looks great; I could not resist. $65.00. Oh well.
Well, yesterday and today I've been working on the wiring harness. Actually, there are 4 separate harnesses: Dash, Tail (rear), Steering Column, Front (engine compartment). They give you a worksheet to work through, which you use to move or eliminate wires (for example, I had to move the headlight "brights" switch from the column harness to the dash harness - its not a big deal, you just move the wires from one zip tied segment to another one). So I will be putting the fuse box on the firewall today I think and running the front harness together with some of the backup light and neutral safety switch circuitry. Should be pretty easy. I had to make a little block off plate for the old harness to plug holes in the firewall.
The old digital camera went poof the other day, which means no more pictures for a while.
I finished the engine compartment wiring the other day and today I wired up the ignition switch. There is no key mechanism in it, so I just used a screw driver to turn the switch. After I switched on the battery, I heard the fuel pump running! Not good. I switched off the battery and found the ignition switch was turned to the accessory position. Hmmm. Turned it to "off" and switched on the battery again and no fuel pump. Got in and turned the ignition switch to start and it fired up. I'm a bit bummed that the fuel pump runs on accessory. I'll be giving E-Z wiring a call on Monday to see if this a bug or a feature.
Ok, it's a feature. Well, I just checked my two fuel injected vehicles and the fuel pump does not activate when the ignition switch is in the acc position. The pump must have a cutoff or there is an alternate circuit. I suppose I will add an alternate shutoff for theft protection anyway. I'm going to take the car into the muffler shop and get the exhaust put on Wednesday. That just leaves three other projects: steel (trim bumpers), interior, paint.
Exhaust is on. I went with XL magnaflows. They are not loud, but sound great. You can tell it's a big block in front. It's nearly Christmas 2004, but I'm going to try and work on my dash this week. I was able to blast the rusty spots last week. I think I will work on getting the dash pad ready to put on the cap I got last summer. I have some SEM flex weld stuff to fill the cracks up. I need to find some matching dye for the vinyl. I never found a cap that comes all the way down to the end of the dashpad in front on the pass side. So there will be a seam visible if you look for it. I hope it doesn't look too bad. But anything will be better than that nasty ugly dashpad. I had some 64 J code paint for cutting in the fenders, etc. I took it over to the paint store and had them put it in spray cans. It should make it easier to get to some of the tight places. No hardener in cans of course, so it will take ages to cure. I also found a billet gauge frame that goes in place of the speedo. You can put 4 2 1/16" gauges there. (Fuel, water, oil, volts). In place of the stock fuel and water temp gauges, I'm going to put a 3 1/8" Autometer tach and speedo. Seems to look ok. We'll see. I'll put up pics when it's done. You can use red or green light shields. Think I'll use red. Should look cool at night. [The billet frame was made by Boese Engineering out of Washington. They don't advertise this model anymore, so if you want one, you will have to call them.]
Managed to paint the underside of the dash with rust preventive and then got it primed. Also put the SEM stuff on the dash pad. It works fast. Starts curing in just a few minutes so you have to get in formed to the shape you want- quickly. Sandable in about 15 min. I used a rotary sander with 80 grit and it comes down nicely. Of course it looks bad, but no more cracks. I'm toying with skim coating the whole pad, but I'd have to spend another $36.00 for another set of tubes.
Hopefully next year I can report some progress on the body work. Having put the front clip back on, I have developed some appreciation of the task of getting panels to fit properly. It takes time and a lot of patience.
During the holidays (Christmas 2004) I stripped, primed and painted the stock instrument bezel (pod). Just need to color sand and polish and it should look ok. I also painted the underside of the dash and it doesn't look bad for something that will never be seen.
It's now Jan. 2005 and work has become the major focus of life again. I'll be doing some little things from time to time though and posting the results here. A happy new year to all.
Well, it's Jan. 19, 2005. On Tuesday I had a few hours so I got gutsy and prepped the old dashpad for the new cap. I tried it on once again, trying to fit it as tight as possible to see where the lines would be. It clearly was not designed as well as it could have been. I mentioned this cap before. I bought it on Ebay from a reseller named Bob Burgess. The manufacturer is Accu-form Plastic Manufacturing based in Hurricane, Utah. They started producing these parts in 2001. The cost was about $80.00. They have caps for many vintage cars. Mopar Muscle did an article on an install on an E body which is helpful reading in addition to the instructions. I got a tube of black silicone sealer from the hardware store (a squeeze tube is supplied but I wanted to use my caulking gun) and after washing, drying and going over the pad with lacquer thinner several times, I dried everything with compressed air, put the silicone around all the edges and slipped the new cap on. I used boards, duct tape and bungey cords to get the thing to conform. It did not come out too bad. The only spots I'm disappointed with are the lower front passenger side (the cap only goes about halfway down the slanted part so there is a clear seam, and where the instrument pod goes, the cap just is not made well enough to be invisible there. I tried an old instrument pod on to see what it would look like and it actually looks ok. But they were just a little bit too stingy with the material around some of those spots. It would have been so much nicer to have had too much material and then cut it where I wanted it. BTW, in the photos of the new dash, it looks all scarred up, actually it's just duct tape residue and dirt. Oh well, it is a bit difficult to complain about saving $500.00 I guess. [I should note here that this company produces these caps for many different cars. Based on feedback from other buyers, I think that most of these cap designs are very satisfactory even for a meticulous restoration (obviously, not 100 point though). Galaxie guys don't get enough respect!] Maybe in another life I'll send it off to Just Dashes. Nah. One thing about it, there are no more ugly cracks and discolorations. I can live with it. [Autokrafters also has a dashpad replacement for $450.00] I hope it looks okay with the dye. First though, I'm going to prep the lower (steel) portion for paint and then paint it. Then I'll dye the pad after repairing any minor blems and doing my best to hide seams. There are a few leakage points where silicone came out slightly beyond the edge seams. You have to cut it away (carefully!). I think there are some SEM products you can use to help the seams disappear. Also, there are one or two tiny cracks in the old vinyl that still show. I know SEM makes a product for that. And of course it is expensive like all their stuff. After I got the dash pad glued on, I started prepping the defrost vents.
I don't know if there are other dash products out there, but I could not find any. I did see a restomod 64 on Ebay once that had a clearly custom dash pad. It looked beautiful, but did not extend beyond the front lip of the dash. It had a custom set of Dakota Digital gauges so the old pod was gone. Just for reference, here is the stock dash as it was in the car. You can see that the lower front pad is quite visible from the front interior. Whine, whine.
I did a little more on the dash last Saturday. After rubbing down everything with a wax/grease/silicone remover (generally with these you should rub in one direction only and toss the rag or paper towel instead of scrubbing - this is most important with silicone contamination - you have to be patient, it takes a while to do a good job), I masked off the pad and started sanding the metal with 320 grit. No need to take off all the old paint if it's in reasonable shape. There were a couple of rust spots under where the instrument cluster sits. I got out a new tool I bought last year, it's just a wheel made of high tech plastic wands with imbedded abrasive. It got in the crease where the rust was really well. I blew off everything with some air and went over it with a tack rag and then squirted a little phosphoric acid on the former rust spots and let it sit about 15 minutes and rubbed it off with wax remover. When everything was dry, I gave it three coats of filler primer. The stupid cat walked by after I was done and managed to get a hair in the wet paint. After it dried a couple of hours I sanded the hair out and put on a couple more coats of primer. Another sanding with 1000 grit and reprime and sand again should have it ready for paint. Even though the dash has few flat portions, its best to use a rubber sanding block except in the creases. It's a good idea to wear latex gloves when doing paint prep. Just avoids any possibility of body oils causing fish eye or later flaking.
I got some paint on the dash finally. It's not too bad, but if you look really close you can see some defects. It's really hard to see stuff in primer that shows up in paint. I should have done a couple more blocking cycles. It will have to do. Some of it will come out when I color sand it.
After doing some research, I did find a company that produces a vinyl treatment that does not contain silicones. It's called 303 Products. It is expensive stuff but I've heard some good stuff about its preservation value. YMMV. Anyway, you won't end up with a time consuming job trying to get silicone residue off vinyl you want to paint.
Ok, I got the ash tray and glove box lid painted. Next to go is the dash pad dye, steering column and steering wheel repair. The horn ring is not great shakes. It really needs a plating job as does the rear view mirror.
Dash pad is dyed now and the steering column is out. (It's mid February 2005). Steering wheel is off and all crusted up with epoxy paste to fill the cracks. The narrow cracks I ground out so I could get epoxy in there. Since I have a floor shift now, I don't need the column shift lever. The only ways to get rid of it are (1) exchange the whole column with one from a floor shift car or (2) cut off the nub on the collar and grind-fill-sand-paint. So I cut it off. Now for the grinder and patch and paint. You can buy a new collar (for column shift only) from Dearborn Classics. So in case I ever want to restore it, it's not too expensive. I got my dash speaker grill painted so the dash is nearly ready to go back together.
I finally got the column patched (no more column shift) and painted, the steering wheel is ready for paint after a lot of blocking cycles to fill in the little defects. I've got a line on a deck lid too. I think I'll get it instead of trying to patch up one of the two bad ones I've got.
Bagged getting another deck lid. Too much money. So, it's back to fixing one of the two I have. I did finally get the steering wheel painted, but I found a primer sag after the topcoat was on. So back to sanding it. Then I tried respraying the topcoat, but proceeded to get wrinkling in the spot where I sanded the sag out. Tried sanding that and repainting and the wrinkled area grew. So I sanded again and I'm letting it sit for a week in a warm place. Hopefully the thing will harden up and I can try painting again.
Last Saturday, I got the bright idea of replacing the plastic do-dad that goes in the center of the instrument panel below the speedo with something else. I had a piece of sheet aluminum so I took over to my neighbor who has a bending brake and we bent it and cut it to shape. It's not perfect, but after I polished it with 1000 grit to remove scratches and then 0000 steel wool dipped in scratch remover it doesn't look so bad. Has a kind of interesting contrast to the rangoon red bezel. It will be interesting also to see how it works with the new gauge plate and gauges.
Yesterday (March 29, 2005) I did a trial run on the gauges. [Thanks to Deb for the picture improvment!] They went in ok but now I'm kind of leaning to digital gauges. But I think I will wait a bit and try these out. Unfortunately, it will be a while before they get a workout. I meant to post a pic of what they look like in the dash, but this will have to do for now. I don't know. I can't decide if I like this setup or not.
I worked on the horn ring last Saturday, I used car polish and 0000 steel wool. Looks pretty good, but you can still see the pops under the chrome. I polished up the horn contact ring on the steering wheel.
Today I painted the cab side of the firewall with heat resistant paint. The color is not a perfect match for 64 Ford "J" code but it's close enough considering it will never be seen by anyone. Now I want to work on the dash trim and get it in decent shape, then measure and mount the AC/heat parts in the cab and figure out the wiring. Then the condenser goes on and plumbing for the AC/heat. Then I'll cover the unused openings in the firewall. A few weeks back I scraped off the old butyl rubber stuff on the doors and below the rear seat windows. Trying to get everything done I can in preparation for body work/paint.
I found that I have a slight leak of power steering fluid. It is extremely slow, the leak seems to be below and to the right of the control valve. It's dripping off the roll pin. Makes a spot on the garage floor. [Apparently there was a tiny leak in a hose connection. Since tightening it up, no more leak.]
I hooked up the front parking brake cable and found it was seized. There's $50.00 for a new one I'm guessing. Ok, it was $60.00. Great cable, but expensive. Now I have a parking brake. I put the dash in and put the steering column back in. It looks half way decent.
Yesterday, I hung the evaporator/heater on the firewall, took out the wing window frames so I could get the trim off the outside of the doors.
Last night (June 7) my friend and I got a deck lid on the car, straitened it, adjusted the hinges and basically got it ready for some fine tuning. Once it's adjusted and worked reasonably close to paint, I'll be able to cut and paste on the quarters, etc. I made an aluminum plug for the firewall where the heater/evap comes through. I used an Old Air system, but I am not too pleased about their design with regard to hanging the evaporator on the firewall. It's just not solid. I'm going to have to provide some kind of extra brace to keep it from moving around. Same problem with the condenser. They give you some pretty thin stock to connect the condenser to the radiator support. I'll probably replace that too.
Yesterday I sandblasted the seams on the underside of the deck lid to check their condition. All ok apparently.
I finally got around to blasting and painting the hood latch equipment.
Yesterday (July 2) I got an hour or two to work on the passenger quarter panel. We tried pushing it out with a hydraulic ram, but it just looked too hard to get the body lines correct without a large amount of mud. So, we decided to put the repo panel on. It's not exactly perfect, but we should be able to work with it. I got the spot welds drilled out with a neat little tool from Eastwood. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some time to cut the panel off and get a look underneath.
Ok, I marked the pass rear quarter panel with masking tape and starting cutting it off. It was pretty nasty underneath. I ground on it some and cut out some bad stuff on the inner panel and made some patches. Got them welded in, but some of the remaining panel is so thin, we had to turn the welder down to keep from burning through. I sprayed the inner panel with rust remover and then painted it with Eastwood rust encapsulator. My neighbor has a really neat little air tool that puts a ledge in the sheet metal so you lay the new panel on and weld it up. It does a nice job. We screwed on the new panel (here's another view-you can see where we cut some of the many spot welds) after cutting it to fit the hole, first painting the edges with weld-through primer. It feels like progress! I also made patch panels for the a hole in the rocker next to the middle of the back seat. It was rusted through at the place where an antivibration support was glued to the rocker area. Hopefully I will get them welded in on Saturday (July 16th).
Well, didn't get it welded. But I did start cutting on the other (driver's) side. It turned out that only lower portion of the quarter was bad. We pushed out a dent just to the outside of the tail light. We cut the panel out with a new tool that really made slick work of it compared to the cutting disk we used on the other side.. It literally took about 10 seconds to cut the whole panel.
There was a hole next to the same support brace as on the pass side. But since we cut the whole lower half off, no need to make a patch. The brace was completely rotted out, so I made a new one. I'm no artist, but it should work ok.
Well, it's August 22, 2005. Last week I made small patch panels for two places near the deck lid area. I found a few other spots requiring some thought. One is a long crease on the driver's side. The problem is it is nearly impossible to get to from the inside (naturally). No progress on welding the new panels, so there is a lot to do there. Maybe this weekend. It seems like there is always something in the way. I noted another little problem area: the rocker on the driver's side was pushed in slightly from below. I think someone must have used this car for a fishing vehicle. The floor pans under the front seats were also deformed from hitting something from below.
Well the panels got welded in on Saturday and I nearly finished grinding on the pass. side quarter. Naturally there was a hangup. On the driver's side above the rear wheel, we got too much heat going and shrunk the metal, and it oil-canned. Here's another view (look above the rear wheel). Bummer. Now we are going to have to figure out some way of pounding on it. The only thing I can think of doing is cutting out a piece of the wheel housing so I can get to it with a dolly. Two steps forward, one step back it seems.
I got a spoon dolly (it looks like a dolly but with a long handle welded to it) from my friend and started tapping with the blunt end of the hammer and very gradually got the shrinkage corrected (Friday Sept. 9). Took about 3 hours but I didn't need to cut the wheel tub. Then I got a slapping file from the same friend and delivered requisite glancing blows on the high spots. This caused them to shrink down and strengthen the crown between the two body lines. I need another hour or two on that to get it in shape for filing and mud. I got kitty hair mud which adds a bit more body and strength on the welds. Supposed to be a new very spreadable/forgiving polyester. I got some grinding done on a few of the patches. Unfortunately, I got a bit too enthused on one of them and ground out some of the weld. But that should not be a problem to fix and its covered by the deck lid anyway. So, it looks like most of the big body work jobs are close. I just hope the fixes aren't noticable once the paint is on. Too late then! I've learned a great deal in the process of rebuilding every system on this car. Next stop, 500HP hybrid, ha, ha. This thing will probably get 12 mpg on the highway (sniff).
I pounded some more on the side panel and ground down the welds (Monday Sept. 12). It doesn't look too bad. I still need to get the high spots a little lower. I've still got the welds on the small patch below the pass side rear window (the patch down near the rocker panel). And there was some heat deformation there too. So it will be back to the hammer over there. Metal work is definitely an art unto itself.
Last Thursday (Sept. 22, 2005) I got the torch out and tried shrinking some of the little bulges I created in the driver side removing the oil can dent. It doesn't look too great. I'm no expert at it. But at least it doesn't stick out now, but there are some indentations. Hey filler was made for that! On Saturday I washed down the entire interior with dish soap and rinsed it completely. Then today I got the trunk wiped down with acetone. Maybe Thursday I'll get the rest of the interior and then I will start scuffing it for paint. It would be great to get that done before the snow flies.
Well I got the thing sanded, and sprayed it with Eastwood 'rust encapsulator' on the interior and the inner body panels (October 15) from the rear seat area, back. Also sprayed all the floor pans. I was going to hope for a warm day and do the base color on the interior surfaces, but several people advised me to wait until I'm ready to paint the outside too and just do them a day apart. I'm always willing to postpone work! I also tried to work a little on the driver side panel but I think it really is hopeless. So two choices present themselves: Just slap mud on it even if it is a little thick, or cut out the bad spot and put in a patch. I was leaning toward the latter and trying some of the new panel adhesive out there, but once again I was advised against this course. I think people are still pretty suspicious of the panel glue stuff. I guess that it's postponed for the time being.
One thing I can do in the cold weather is start running wires inside the car. I'm thinking of using some kind of flex conduit. Time to think more about sound systems/wiring. I think I will set up the backup light switch, the neutral safety switch and the interior/trunk wiring. I think I will also put a panel in to separate the trunk area from the passenger compartment. Sheet aluminum probably, with some strength dimples.
There are, of course, many parts to recondition/polish/paint/etc. I need to get the doors off I guess and work on them. Not really looking forward to removing that old sound deadener. I also found a black widow spider inside the pass. door. It ate some wasp spray and died.
I put in the backup lights and neutral safety switch wiring today. It took some time to go back and find my wiring notes since it was a year ago when I last did the engine compartment. The shifter has three electical connections: backup light switch, neutral safety switch and shift indicator light. The harness has power for the backup lights which is just routed to the switch. The neutral safety switch is wired by just running the start switch wiring through the safety switch. The shift indicator light has to take power from the gauge lights power lead so that it goes on when the headlight switch is activated. Since it already has to deliver power to the six gauges, I had to make or buy some kind of splitter.
In the end I didn't find anything available, so I built one with a torch and solder. I needed to build a ground too. The gauges themselves are powered from a different circuit which of course needs to be key-on. The glove box, change tray, interior lamps and trunk lighting all run from a different circuit than the other two already mentioned. I think I will have the glove box and change tray run from the headlight switch instead. Since I've got all the gauge wiring going, I thought I may as well put the gauges in - since I never switched out the temporary sending units that means putting in the new sending units. A job for another day I think.
The 'another day' arrived, I hooked up the senders for the water temp and oil pressure. Now I have tach, volts, temp and oil pressure hopefully. I haven't tried it yet. It's now October 31 and I still have not gotten close on the body work. Bad panels are replaced, but need mud, etc. I think I will keep working on the electrical and maybe finish off the dash. That is something I can do while the weather is cold. When my body-work pal gets time I'll be ready to go. Nov. 4 and just for kicks I hooked up the speedo cable and went around the block. Dang! Speedo didn't move a peep! I pulled the cable off and I was going to go around again to see if I could see it moving, but ran out of daylight.
Well I hooked a ground to the fuel tank and wired the fuel sender. Fuel gauge works! Little things mean alot.
It's a week later and I pulled the speedo gear off the trans. The cable had just slipped out of the gear. So, I pulled it out and put the gear back on and reinstalled in trans. Then hooked up the cable to the speedo. Voila! It works! So now I have a tach and a speedo. I've got to do something about the speedo cable routing though. It seems to rub on the throttle cable. Blah. I want to reroute the fuel line so it is a bit neater looking. I'm thinking I will have it come up near the firewall and be out of the way. The problem is running it so that it stays away from headers and anything else hot.
It has been really cold the last few days, and it doesn't look like it will get any better any time soon. I've also been extra busy at work, but that will ease off now for a few weeks. So maybe I will be able to spend a day on the Galaxie.
November 18, I did a little work on the speedo cable, securing it to the firewall and installing the rubber grommet where the cable enters the firewall. It's been pretty cold this week and aside from thinking about wiring issues about the only thing I've done is to start it up once, and try to refurbish the interior lighting.
It's January 5, 2006 and I haven't done anything on the car over the holidays, except I did replate the rear cabin light brackets and put them back in with some stainless sheetmetal screws. Next thing on the docket is to fix the scrapes I put on my newly painted instrument bezel (grrr). Once that's done, I'll be working on getting the trim ready, and the body ready for paint.
MLK day, I did order some parts to change my serpentine belts. I want to shorten the alternator belt and move the alternator toward the front about 1/4". I also picked up some Z grip and a contour profile guide. One of these days we will start getting warmer! I also picked up a snake spray tube, to spray stuff inside the frame rails. That won't happen until the car is painted though.
Working on the alternator pulley, I found that March does not make the type I have any longer. It has been replaced by a pulley without a cast-on fan, you now have to buy the fan separately. The new belt system should be underway in a few weeks as I get time to work on it. Best way to remove alternator pulley is with an impact wrench, put it back on the same way.
Well, I got the alternator back on, with the new pulley. My old pulley got damaged from my own experimentation. I need a 48" belt, but apparently they are a special order item. So I won't have that for a few weeks. Feb. 4, I spent cleaning the garage and organizing my tools, so I can actually get to them in a finite amount of time. I got a few packages in the mail, some heat shield tubbing for the trany lines for one thing. Three more weeks and we may start seeing some warmer weather. Hopefully by then my buddy will be free enough to help me with the body panels and I can get to painting.
One thing I noticed last week, Billet Specialties is now making a full serpentine kit for the big-block Ford. It looks very nice, but it's also very expensive. A new water pump and other items comes with it.
I finally got the new belt on and everything adjusted. I'll post some pics eventually. I took my stainless steel coolant recovery support off and went at trying to polish the thing. Pretty useless. So, I got out an old flap disk and started grinding on it. Then I used about a dozen 150 grit disks on the DA on it. Finally went back to the buffer, and used the stainless compound. It came out really nice. Then I took the Moroso recovery tank and went at it with some tripoli and then some rouge. Really spactacular! Since it was cold in March, I didn't paint anything except the dash dings. I may pull the dash out and run over it with some 320 and repaint the whole thing with my new gun.
I got on a buffing kick and started in on the aluminum backing plate for the controls (headlights, vents, etc.). Unfortunately I caught it on the wheel and mangled it big time. I don't know what the end of that story is, yet.
I've got to get some windlace for the dash/doors. So I will have to pull the dash anyway. Ugh.
I started buying primer. I'm going with Slick Sand (evercoat stuff). Supposed to work with any topcoat and no ISO's. Got to start getting the sanding materials. I have the fillers, etc. Just waiting for old man winter to give up the ghost. I've got a list now of stuff to do. Prepping the inside of doors and back seat body panels. That nasty OEM sound deadener in there has to come out as much as possible. There's rust. . . I noticed the driver side rocker panel has a ding. Always one more thing. I've got to bore some holes in the deck lid bracing to get the sand out from blasting. And I need to do the same on top of the rockers and get the sand out of there.
I bought a primer gun for the slick sand (2.2 spray - needs it for the thick stuff). You have to spray that stuff on wet or you have real problems. But it really fills everything in sight. Block it 120, block it 220. Guide coating, re-spray as necessary. Still debating on epoxy under coat. Spec sheet says you don't need to, but I wonder about moisture. I got masking paper and tape, my friend has a paper rack.
Well, it's April. The bad weather just keeps coming. I need a string of dry warm (70+) days, preferably on the weekends! I got the spot welds drilled out that didn't take when we welded panels last year. There were about 5 of them on bottom of the exterior panel, drivers side, rear seat area. I got a billet rechargable spray bottle from Eastwood, it was expensive, but very nice for spraying solvents, especially WAX AND GREASE REMOVER for paint prep.
Alright!! Got some everglass on the welds last saturday. It was a perfect day for it. Not too hot so it doesn't set up too fast and for the long welds on the quarters, this was essential. There was too much prep to get anything else going. But I did get all the welds covered, but four small areas. This week is murder, so it won't see anything else until Thursday or so. I also prepped the drip rails and rust treated-with Eastwood paint. They weren't bad, but I wanted to be sure. I also found I couldn't get the rear tires off/on by jacking the pumpkin. You have to jack the frame to get enough clearance. Then slide them in straight up, and lift them vertically onto the bolts. Heh, heh, had me scared for a minute. We also got the new side brace welded in (for those who know galaxies, it was the driver side, next to the rear seat). I've put off doing seam sealer, but now is the time to do it I suppose. I need to get some of that new urethane stuff to put in the drip rails.
Ok, it's May 10 and I got a lot of paint scraped off. On the pass. rocker panel there must have been a long crease. Someone had drilled holes and used a slide hammer and put bondo in the holes. On the driver side rocker there is a bad crease underneath which needs work. Luckily, I have a friend with a stud welder. So tomorrow, I may take a whack at that. There was enough surface rust on the pass. rocker that I brought the sandblaster out again. I also worked on the rear metal where the the eyebrow moldings go on. I got them roughed in for some bondo and put some everglass on them.
The deck lid needs some serious work and the hood has one rather small defect to work out. I'm going to strip them both with chemical stipper since I can take them off the car. Finally, the pass. front fender has some spots to work, on which I already did hammer and dolly, so it just needs mud.
Well, I got out the stud welder and went to town. I rapidly learned a lesson: don't leave the welder on too long! 1/2 second is fine. Any longer, and the stud will leave a hole if it pulls out while you are using the slide hammer. That meant welding up a bunch of holes ( the crusty looking stuff is just some residue of Oxysolv- I had to sandblast some corrosion off the bottom of the rockers and I didn't want to take any chances with rust). But in the end, combining this with the body hammer, I have a reasonably straight piece for a rocker panel. I found some bad news while looking over the car. There's always something. The paint we laid down to cut in the area under the cowl area and behind the fenders where the cowl drains go, has wrinkled in a couple spots. We used acrylic enamel. So, fenders and doors come off, paint comes off, surface gets prepped, and primer goes on, and then a single-stage urethane. Oh well. That's yet to come, since I need to finish the mud issues. More on this to come obviously.
By the way, in exploring some alternatives to using the infamous aluminum backing on the control panel, I thought I might find some stainless washers to make small individual backing plates on each control. No local source had the dimensions I wanted, so I went looking for custom hardware makers. Fortunately I found "Phoenix Specialty" (www.phoenixspecialty.com) and Cathy Mathis. They do a huge bussiness with custom washers, shims, etc. My order was so tiny, that Cathy sent them gratis. Wow. My kind of company. Anyway, I'm going to try this out after I polish up the washers.
There was a hole right on the body line that someone had filled with bondo. So I welded it up today.
Well, it's always something. The compressor got sick. Sounds like a valve problem. I'm debating what to do about this. Can't afford a new one at present. So the project is on hold.
Well, here's the deal on the compressor. The compression ring was shot along with the cylinder sleeve. Replacable, $50 plus shipping. Fix is on the way. In the mean time, I got a smaller unit, oil type, 5 gal. It blew oil into my hose which means it can't be used for painting, but I was going to get a new hose anyway. I finished most of the deck lid work. The lid was bent pretty bad, but we were able to make it fairly straight. Then got after it with a little glasslite and some z-grip. It really looks ok now, pushing filler over the gaps on the side gave a perfectly level line.
There are still a couple low spots, but I'll let the skim coat take care of that. I'm using metal glaze. Still have to finish off the rockers and smooth some of the side panels (fresh bondo). With the heat up around 90 now, the bondo sets up faster. Smaller batches help. The deck lid had a lot of very small scratches which has surface rust under the paint. I used stripper to get the paint off the deck lid, then used the big 3M pad to get the rest off, and washed it down with water. Then acetone washdown.
I had a loose rocker arm which I noticed a couple weeks ago. It was clattering pretty good. The nut was backed off quite a bit. The nut was one of those self-locking types, but it was pretty loose. Hope it didn't mess with the cam lobe-the roller tip seemed fine. Sprung for a set of lockers.
I had a little excitment a couple days ago. I started the car up, after doing body work for about 10 hours in the driveway, to pull it into the garage. I heard a small pop, and the gauges went dead. Turns out one of loose wires from the dash had the wire nut come off and contacted the floor pan. Fuse went poof.
Bondo dust, bondo dust, bondo dust everywhere. Not much point in cleaning it up I guess until the sanding is done. I still need to refine the contours on the wheel wells. I also got to looking at the passenger side door. The body lines are a bit off on the back of the door, but the top is the correct height. Weird. The front gap is off, but that is the fender I think. I tried to adjust it, just because I was tired of sanding. I think I'm going to need a little professional advice on that one. The driver side door is closer.
I learned a little something while doing the deck lid gaps. If you run a razor blade down the gap (one side of the blade touching one edge, the other side running down the other edge of the gap, after the bondo is on - it really helps when you have to clean out the gap. Otherwise you end up digging a few holes with the cut-off disk. You can't really manipulate the gap width with bondo. So the gaps have to be straight before you start.
The pass. side door has a welded hole, so I'm going to strip it. The driver door is ok I think, so I will take the DA to it with some 150 grit to prep it.
Well, I'm still creating more bondo dust. The pass side quarter is closer than the driver side. I found some dings at the front of the roof, so I stripped it with the 3M pad and pounded at it for an hour or so and then smeared on the bondo. It sanded rather well, no pin holes, etc. So that's done. I can't really figure out how they got there. It looks like someone drove under a low hanging branch several times, or maybe something fell on it or they hit a flock of birds. The pass. side door, in addition to the hole that was welded, has a really small but deep (more than 1/4") dent up near the top. I tried working it with the stud welder, but I couldn't seem to make much progress. I may see if the air hammer can whack it out. These things never seem to be in a spot with easy back-side access. I can't imagine what did that one. Maybe a pitchfork fell from a high place. The rocker panels are nearly done! I have a little bit to do on them and I'm calling it good for primer (on them). I'm going to try the Kevin Tetz trick of mixing fiber glass resin into the bondo to make it creamyer and eliminate pin holes, plus prolong working time. The driver side quarter panel really needs some help. It was a mess to start with and it still has some tough shaping to do. Since finishing the roof, I'm out of bondo, and I'm waiting for more. Still got to adjust the pass. side front fender properly. I've been avoiding it.
July 10. Well, I've finished the quarters and got the roof and b-pillars stripped. I did a little on the pass door. I'm going to strip the pass door today maybe. The rockers are done. I may strip the hood today too if the door goes fast. I found another dent in the roof, a very small one. I think I forgot to mention that for body supply stuff, it's hard to beat Crash Supply for prices. They are very reasonable (the cans can be a little beat up when they arrive) and they have a pretty good selection of items. I can't buy stuff locally for much less than twice the price, counting the shipping (which they don't ding you on). The only draw-back is shipping. I've had two orders go astray from them. Caveat emptor. I got some nasty flu-like cold over the weekend, awful stuff whatever it is.
Finally got over that flu stuff, whatever it was. Hood is stripped and repaired, needs a bit of sanding to finish the contour. The dent, of course, was right next to the ridge line. Hard to eyeball it. Both doors are done, only the front fenders remain. I may try one tomorrow. I was looking at the driver side quarter panel in the sun early this morning and I found some irregularities in the body work. I got out the sand paper and tried to correct what I could see. It's just going to have to go to primer and guide coat to see stuff better I guess. Maybe I'll try making some kind of jig to run down it to check for variations in shape. There is always something.
24th of July. I've more or less given up on making the quarters perfect. It will take some major metal work which I'm not going to do now. The whole car has been stripped and filler -ized. Now, I'm going to go over the whole thing with the DA and 150 grit paper. I got a few rain drops on the deck lid, so that needs some sanding. I found that someone had brazed in a gap where the right rear quarter joins the rear panel. So, ground it out and got out the mig. Only thing left is to do the bottom edges of the deck lid and hood, then clean up with 150 and it's primer city! Yes! Oops. I found some more brazing near the same spot. It looks like someone brazed in the little panel between the quarter, the rear panel and deck lid. It's a really small section, but brazed on all sides. So more grind and weld.
Ok, I spent some time prepping the under side of the deck lid, and I hope I can spray primer on it and the under side of the hood tomorrow. [No such luck. It was rainy and then next day it was humid.]
Just a side note that might help with your project car, I've had trouble getting long board paper in finer grits locally. I found a reasonable online source for abrasives with a wide selection of grits and types of paper: Online Industrial Supply.
Well, I couldn't avoid it any more so I had to figure out how to get the gaps set on the fenders/ hood/doors. It took me half a day to get it where I wanted it. It is still not absolutely perfect, but I walked around the neighborhood looking at the new cars around, checking gaps and comparing gaps on both sides of cars. Looks like mine are pretty close to being the best around. The one problem I have on both sides of the car are the fender/door gaps. They are very slightly wider at the top. But they are the same on both sides at least. I can't recall if I said anything about the hood hinges. Anyway, I got those cleaned up thoroughly, painted and put back in.
I finally got the underside of the decklid and hood primed and painted. I didn't take too much time with sanding the primer, so it is a bit rough. No one will see it much and I'm happy with it. I used a different (single stage) urethane for the final, its called Limco. A BASF product. It went on quite nicely, but if I did it again I would have used a slower reducer. The temperature was at the upper limit of the reducer I had, and I got some orange peel going. I think I had my air set a bit high too. But it's a good finish for its purpose and I'm not complaining. The price was right too, and I think I will use it for the whole car. I like rangoon red!
The primer I got is really quite good stuff. But I found out that it does not like going on over a metal treatment - and I sprayed several of my panels with Oxysolv. Out comes the air-long-board again.
Aug. 19. Ok, I primered and painted the gasket surround below the deck lid, then put the hood and deck lid back on. I sanded on the hood and deck lid with 320 grit to remove the oxysolv coating zinc. In the process, I found a few more small dents. So, Monday I fix these, wipe everything down, mask up and prime everything.
Ok, car is in 3 coats of primer. The bad thing is, the primer revealed several semi-major fix-its. So, back to some 40 grit to give some tooth, and smooth on a light coat of filler, pass quarter panel along the top body line, pass quarter long dig in the middle (don't know how I missed that) a short crease in pass door, top body line pass front fender, bottom body line driver quarter, pin holes in deck lid driver side, back end of hood near pass side body line, front end of hood, near pass side corner. I'm out of filler, I ordered some, but it won't get here until next week if I'm lucky. I did get the over spray taken care of, seems like no matter how much I mask, some always get through. But it looks clean now. If you spray slicksand, make absolutely sure you have the material adjustment open all the way. It goes on much better - speaking from experience.
Well, it's Saturday, September 9. Yesterday I got some filler and today I went at fixing all the dings I missed as above, except one which I couldn't find again for some reason and forgot to mark. Out with the 40 grit and prepped it and started in. It didn't take long. Then mixed up some primer and hit it. Everything was going good until I noticed it was getting cloudy. It looked like rain so I hurried and pulled the car into the garage, and managed to bump the front bumper which was hanging on the wall, naturally, it fell and hit the driver side fender. No dent but a nice scrape to bare metal. So out comes the car. I still had some primer in the gun and I hosed it down. Should be ok I think. Sure enough, after the car went in, it started to rain, that wiped out the rest of the day.
15 Sep. The deck lid, roof, hood and most of the pass quarter have been sanded. Broke through in a few spots so that means more primer later. Hard to avoid that anyway. I'm going to try to get some sanding in tomorrow. The catalyzed primer is pretty tough stuff and takes some elbow grease to get it flat. But I think it will need only one more go and then sand and paint. But you can tell how this thing has gone so far. Best laid plans and all that. I'll try getting some more pics up.
27 Sep. Everything is sanded more or less, found a few more dings. I filled them and today I'll try to mask for priming again. It's supposed to be reasonably warm for the next week or so. I should get the final(?) primer on and maybe even mostly sanded. If the weather holds out, possibly even paint.
Well, I should have kept my mouth shut. I got everything sanded, then prepped and masked. Sprayed two coats of slicksand but about half-way through, I realized that I was not putting in enough catalyst. Only about 1/4 the recommended amount! The only thing I can think of is cosmic ray damage to the cerebral cortex. Well the last two batches had the right mix and that went on the quarters. It turns out that the stuff will eventually link up, it takes longer. In fact it took about twice as long, but it did finally dry and appears ready for sanding. So I may have to shoot again. We'll see. Slicksand goes on very nicely, provided you open up the gun all the way and make sure you have about 35psi at the gun. My compressor is not really big enough to do the whole car at once with a wide-open primer gun. You start getting water in the line if you try to keep going. So I had a few pauses and changed my hose once to keep water out. I'm going to pick up a good water trap too. My old one was not very good.
I did not achieve my painting goals and it is too cold to paint for the next 6 months. That means doing something else on the car. I may try a little sanding, or I can always try polishing stainless stuff. I thought about just going ahead with the interior, but the sanding dust can be a nightmare. I still need to put the polylocks on, and think about more wiring issues, plus headlight relay, new bulbs for everything, possibly repainting the dash (I guess that's out too). I've got to get some replacement fuses, I still have not replaced the one I blew. I think I'll change the oil too. Christmas is coming, that means the car gets something! Already looking forward to next April and painting days!
It's the weekend before Thanksgiving (US) and I haven't had time to do anything on the car except put some fresh gas in it and change the oil. Maybe over the Christmas holidays, I'll get something done.
Nothing to report yet this year. The car was started once in December. It's really cold now (Jan. 12) supposed to be in single digits at night this next week. I'm too busy at work to really do anything on the car anyway.
Jan. 30. It has been cold this month! Coldest January in something like 40 years or more I've heard. Mister sun is coming to the rescue however. Those longer days just keep coming and it's just got to warm up sometime. That means paint!
It's the 24th of May and I finally was able to get to some sanding on the quarter panels. Both are more or less done. Then it's on to the doors sometime. Next week is probably not going to happen and the week after I'm out of town. Once you get in the rhythm, it goes pretty fast. I'll report back when more is done, maybe a few pics.
5th of June. I've now finished sanding the sides of the car. Next up is the rear panel.
June 11. Finished sanding today. I'll try to get ready to seal up the break throughs tomorrow.
June 20. Painted the deck lid yesterday, hood today. Roof tomorrow, I hope. Found a couple of dings in the deck lid that I never expected, one in the hood I forgot about and didn't find one in the hood I expected. More orange peel in the deck, the air was a little low.
Well, the wife had honey-do's in line so, while the car is now ready (final touch-up primer/sand/wax-and -grease-remover/paper-and-masking) no paint has hit the car. Probably Monday June 25 will see paint if all goes well. Temps are supposed to be milder, etc. First blow off the car and then tack-rag it and then paint.
June 25. Car is painted. More, more, and more. For those of you doing this, remember to tack rag the next portion before you start spraying. For example, I did the roof, then A and B pillars. When shooting the drip rail, there is always some stuff in there, so tack near the bottom of the drip rail on the quarter panels. Same on every section. It will save you a lot of trash in the paint. I did single-stage urethane because the original car was a single stage paint.
June 30. Got a chance to do a few things today, hood and deck lid are back on, also rear bumper brackets are refinished, hood latch installed, deck latch installed. I had to wait around for sometime cleaning bolts since they were dirty and rusty. So I rinsed in lacquer thinner, then a bath in rust desolver, then into the plater. It takes time.
July 5. Finally, all the relatives are gone, I can get back to doing something on the car - maybe tomorrow.
July 9. I sprayed Eastwood anti-rust into the frame and quarters and corrected a little overspray.
July 18. I painted the front valance and the fuel door a couple of days ago and then yesterday tried to fit them just for fun. Well, they both had problems. The valance was fine on the driver's side, but the PS was NOT. I should have fit everything like that before paint I guess. We shall see I suppose. A few days back I also sprayed Eastwood anti-rust in the wiper area. I've got to get the wipers in and tested.
The dash has been pretty messed up and I needed to replace the windlace anyway, so after labelling all the wires to the guages, I yanked the dash out, prepped and repainted it, plus all the misc. interior painted trim. It was a mess too. I painted the dash with the same paint as the car. It was looking really fine, I did it outside under a tent-like thing. Well, to-good-to-be-true! A stinking BEE came along and thought that "rangoon red" must mean a flower was near, so he tries to polinate the dash. GARRRR!!! I got him off and shot some paint on but naturally got too much going and so there is a sag!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!!!! It actually doesn't look bad, but there will be some sanding and buffing going on there. The rest of it looks great. I almost forgot the change-tray thing, but got it done as well. The glove box face got primered, but it needs some "body work" - it has several extra holes in it for some reason I can't divine. I used a slightly darker shade on the lower front window and rear window trim. It looks good and matches what I used on the steering wheel.
Spent some time matching the front clip lines. Still not quite right, but close.
Aug. 1. The last two days I've been taking care of some problems with the under-dash fresh-air vents. The pass. vent mechanism was missing from my car when I got it. The driver side vent stuff was in a box in the garage attic. I used an after-market wiring system however and the fuse box was installed (by me, shucks) in just the wrong spot to fit that big old vent in. So, The vent hole got blocked off and yesterday I was testing for leaks, etc. I found the shell thing that goes into the hole under the dash to prevent water from splashing down into the pass. compartment and installed that. Naturally, there was a leak on the driver side, just over the fuse box. I finally got it all sealed up. I got new windlace from Donahue (cut it with a good sharp wood chisle) and need to put the two shart pieces in next to the dash. Today I was working on the dash all morning, mainly fixing all the blems and misaligns in the dash pad cover and getting it ready to repaint (again!). That should happen tomorrow. Then I get to put on all the little stuff (defrost vents) and then back in it goes. Then in goes the windshield and back glass (I'm having a guy who does a lot of old cars (glass) - house calls only - come and do the glass. Then some serious buffing gets done.
Aug. 16. Well the glass goes in next Tuesday. Today I was out experimenting with buffing compounds. Tried some Maguires, 3M and Fareclaa G3. The Farecla stuff is the bomb. You don't need much and it really does a job on the sanding scratches. So I'll be using it on the whole car. I did around the rear window opening and then put in the brackets for the rear window trim. It will be good to have glass again.
Aug. 21. Windshield and backlight went in today. Apparently, although my car had no rear window gasket, it needed one according to the installer (Brian's Auto Glass). Luckily I happened to have one, so all is well. I'm glad I paid someone to put in the glass, it was a major pain getting the window trim right on the backlight.
Aug. 31. Dash is back in, guages are in, AC/Heat wiring done. I'm having fun trying to find parts now. What's annoying is that I'll see some part while I'm hunting down another one, then the next day I'll need the part I saw, and can't find it. I had not painted the glove box door, so a couple of days ago I did that, but had fish-eye problems! I finally got that worked out, so that will go in. I also got the ignition switch in with the lock after messing around with it. I ordered a new head light switch and got the AC/Heat controls in too. Now in with the wiper switch and I'm a bit closer to getting a registration.
Well I got delayed by the turn-signal switch. The guts appear to be worn and they don't engage the correct circuits properly. I put it back in, but since no one seems to have the switch available, I may go to an aftermarket toggle switch system like the Painless one. Spent several days working on that ..... grrr.
Now the headlight switch is in and seems to work correctly. Also got the high-beam dimmer wired up. Need to run a wire to the shift selector light on the floor and the rear speaker wires, and the electrical will be buttoned up in the cabin - oh, I forgot the wiper switch. That will be fast I hope.
Hooked up the wiper switch and found that the circuitry in the motor has a bit of a problem. It tries to park the wipers when you turn off the switch, but seems to jump over the "dead" spot and keep going. That's not good!
I had to jury-rig the pass-side air vent. I did it by chopping up the original heater package. It was a bit complex and involved some fabrication but finally got it done and now all the dash controls are in. I need a block-off plate to cover the old heater control opening. I also got the heater hoses hooked up so the heat/AC is basically done (have to charge the AC -my luck there will be obscure leaks).
I've been doing a little sanding on the paint and got a little too agressive in a couple of spots - oh well. You have to be really careful around those edges.
Yesterday (18 Sept) I worked on getting the windows up and running while at the same time doing some polishing on the old stainless. There are a couple of minor dents in the grill I need to work on tonight.
Well, I didn't get to the grill, but I finally did get the rear windows in with the help of one of my boys who held the window up while I tried to get them to slide onto the brackets. Not quite done with the adjustments there and then the door seals have to be replaced which probably means pulling off the doors.
Sept. 27. I got the door handles and locks in. It's starting to look like a car. I also did Por-15 on the rear bumper reinforcement thingy and fixed and tested the rear license plate light assembly. I also drained 5 gallons of gas and put it in my wife's van (aren't computers great!) and replaced it with fresh 91 octane - the highest you can get at the pump around here. I had destroyed one of the the phillips head bolts that secures the striker plate on the pass. side but thanks to a place called DD bolt in town, I got replacements.
Today I worked over my son's car - the front bumper was attached by bungey cord. So I made some brackets. After that I worked over the piece of trim that sits below the grill. It's normally chromed I think. Mine is in rustville. Now the rust is gone, but I think I will not go the chrome route. After looking at it for awhile, I think I'm going to paint it body color. This will not be a durable as chrome, but I want to try it out anyway.
I think I mentioned my non-parking wipers above. The circuit in the motor housing is bad. I rigged it to work by using a large zip-tie to put some tension on the plug-in assembly on the motor.
Oct. 27. Today I finished with the drip rail trim and the window well trim and rubber seal. Now the windows more or less seal up. It is difficult to get the seal right with the front and rear side windows. Adjustments of the back seat windows is not as straight-forward as you could wish. I got some arm-rests from Dearborn Classics yesterday, but they were for an XL, so back they go. I managed to put a few dents in the drip rail stainless. Then I figured out how to do it. You run vaseline along the top and bottom of the rail, then with some tape-wrapped pliers gently roll it back on, pliers must go on the top and bottom of the trim. If you pinch the top and side together, you will end up with very faint dents in the trim. And I have a few of those. I used some polyurethane roof sealant to seal the well liner to the well. I couldn't find any of those flat screws that secure the stainless well liner so I ended up ordering some from dearborn. Anyway, dents and all are in. Sometime I'll take off the drip rail trim and get it fixed. It's easy to get off with a bottle opener. One more thing with the drip rail. You have to be careful with putting on - you'll take off the paint on the top of the rail. You can't see it, but it's bound to rust. By the way, you start the drip rail trim at the back and work forward. It's that first bit that takes some time. Also, with the rubber seal that goes in the well trim, you start at the front where there is a screw the secures it. Work the outside edge into the trim and put vaseline on the inside edge and it will work into the inside edge of the trim pretty fast. I tried it without the vaseline at first. It was a major pain to try to get right that way. The vaseline makes it a snap.
Last week, I also put in some new turn signal controls and now I have emergency flashers too. The down side is that the turn signal control is now on the dash. Not all you could wish for, but there you go. No one seems to make a turn signal replacement switch anymore.
By the way, brake lights/tail lights and headlights are in too. It was kind of fun to do the wiring there finally. The original tail light buckets were messed up, but I had some spares in great shape. There are three (count 'em, three) gaskets on the rear tail lights. Oddly, some parts are steel and get mighty rusty. I cleaned and coated these with Eastwood rust paint. Then, the screws that secure the buckets to the body, I coated with the Eastwood stuff before screwing them in. Might slow the rust down a little on the body. Oh yeah, the backup lights work too! The headlights went right in, the brights work too. One of my head lights is from a T-bird. You can tell by the logo stamped on the glass. A guy told me he got offered $150 for one of those. Must be rare.
I also did some work on the grill the past few weeks. The anodizing is a problem. I sanded some of it off and it polished up very nicely. But I think I'll just slap it on the car and get it stripped and polished when I get the drip rail thing done. The next thing is the park lights. Just waiting on some new gaskets and lenses from Dennis Carpenter. I hope I can find the brackets that secure the park lights to the front bumper. That reminds me, I need some bumper bolts. It's always something. And some wiper blades. Wonder if you can still get replacements for those? Oh yeah, and some 1156 bulbs.
Got wiper blades, put on the cowl, hung the grill and I put on the bumper supports and hung the front bumper by a couple bolts just to see what it looks like. It looks very cool. Also the red stone deflector looks rather sharp if I do say so.
Recently I installed the trim around the windshield and finally the windshield wipers. I also got the weatherstrip around the passenger door installed. It't not bad looking, but some day I'll get the trim completely refurbished, just not this year.
Finally got around to doing the driver door weather strip. Also secured the front bumper and hooked up the park/turn signal lights. Nearly street legal now, I just need to slap together the back bumper and we're good to go on the safety inspection. Then it's sealing up all the unused holes around and getting sealer on the usual things. I've been working on the door panels, cleaning them up and getting them ready to go in the car. I also bought some 4 mil plastic sheet to make water shield for the doors. I'll need the trim clips on the doors before I can seal them up. One disappointing thing is the number of paint chips I made by working on the thing. At least 6 of them, some more visible than others, but bad anyway. The good thing is that with single stage, it's pretty easy to fix things.
Dec. 20. It's just too cold to do anything on the car so it has been sitting for a couple of months. Before the cold really hit, I did get the back bumper on. I've got parts and such sitting around ready to finsh the exterior stuff and the inner door panels but I have no desire to get out in the unheated garage. Who knows, maybe we'll get a warm snap.
It's May, the end of May (28th). The car has essentially been sitting. I've just had too many things going to work on it. But this month I have been able to do a few things between the snow and rain storms. The floor pan/trunk/dash is all sealed up and the trim on the driver's side is on. Next up is the pass. side trim. I used SEM two part seam sealer for most of the sealing stuff. I've prepped all the door panels and the heel kick for the back seat. I also found a seat cover place who will do my seats and headliner. The doors were sagging a bit, apparently from the weatherstrip. I fixed that by adjusting the strikers.
Well, just too many other things going on. I did get the floor insulation in and the door panels on and the door hardware back on except the handles. I bought a resonably priced sound system to put in. Now I have to fab up some brackets for it. I've got some health issues going on so it may be a while before I can get to everything. But we are near the end!
Aug. 18. Sound system is in, head unit is in the glove box, antenna is back on now. The carpet is down, the seats are at the shop, they are going to do the headliner too. I got a new battery which really made a difference in starting, etc. I'll be gone for a few weeks for work purposes. Then I should have a few days before I have to leave again. Hopefully the thing will get registered this year.
Sept. 12. I have done a few things on the car. I fixed paint chips. I got front seats in and they look great. The sail panels gave some trouble. The head liner went in fine although it took several hours. My sail panels (B-pillar covers) were bad - the cardboard backing got wet sometime in the distant past. So I needed new backing. I tried making some but finally decided to order some from Dearborn Classics and just pop them in. Unfortunately, the driver's side panel was defective, the material was not properly glued to the cardboard. But with time being important, I tried smoothing it out and getting it in. The hole for the dome light was a little off, but I worked it out. No screw holes were drilled so I did that. The cardboard was a bit long so I cut off the bottom. It helps to use an ice pick or awl to find the holes in the sheet metal for the screws. I finally got around to the pass. side panel but when I opened the package I found they had sent TWO driver side panels. So, just took off the vinyl stuff and cut a new piece out of the the left-over headliner material. Then I turned the cardboard stuff over. glued on the vinyl and tacked it onto the pass side. It actually looks much better than the one they sent, so I may redo that at some point. In putting the newly painted window trim around the backlight, I found that somehow I was missing the top piece! I got the rest of it in. So it remains to do the rest of the trim on the headliner. The power steering control valve has been a consistent leaker. After messing around with, I finally ordered a reman from "Rockauto" a place out of New York. It came a couple of days ago (expensive) and so today I jacked up the car, finally got the old one off and the new one on. The new one was somethat different, but the most difficult part as usual was getting the hydraulic lines hooked up. They are a royal pain. The only ones you can mix-up are the ones between the ram and valve, but just remember that upper goes to upper, lower to lower. I took it for a spin after getting the fluid in. No leaks! Now all I have to do is get the vacuum reservoir in, the package tray, install the rear seats and its inspection time!
Sept. 15. Installed the rear seats and package tray. I need a bit more consistency in the vacuum department for the power brakes so I ordered a comp cams vacuum canister from Summit. It arrived without the promised hardware. So it goes back for another one. And I found another chip. grrr. Oh yeah. The canister came without any hookup information, so I called comp to ask about it. The guy managed to give me exactly the wrong information. Cool.
Nov. 12. Car has been licensed for a few weeks. The inside and outside trim is not quite complete. The remaining pieces need to be worked over and polished. I did have a problem with the trans. It would skip 2nd gear up and down. It turned out to be the modulator. The last thing I would have guessed (the intermediate band was out of adjustment too). The carb was dialed in at sea-level so it took a couple of sizes up on the metering rods. One thing it still needs is a pro alignment job. Oh yeah, and the paint still needs some work. But basically, it's done!
Dec. 12. Just a postscript, I've been home for a few hours and already got the car off to the alignment shop (Taysom Tire). These guys are good, and can deal with the old-time stuff. Interior trim is up at "Metal Master" in Salt Lake City. They did the stuff for my neighbor's camaro and it is beautiful. So I'm hoping it gets back in a few weeks. I'll try to get some pics up. I have some that have been on the camera for a while. Five years. But it's fun driving. Especially now that gas is $1.40/gal. instead of $4.50! Hopefully it will remain low for this summer so I can do some driving! Au revoir!
Questions, comments to me.