YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! - Bill's Car Project Thread

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Postby DollarBill » July 8th, 2008, 1:38 am

Checklist for engine start:
- Replace crappy fuel hose. CHECK
- Replace fuel filter. CHECK
- Replace radiator hoses. CHECK
- Replace spark plugs. CHECK
- Prep/cleaning for gas tank install. CHECK
- Install new gas tank. HOLY FREAKIN' CHECK
- Prep/cleaning for intake install. CHECK
- Reinstall intake manifold. CHECK
- Install distributer. CHECK
- Reinstall carburetor. CHECK
- Connect all hoses and wires. CHECK
- Reinstall linkage/hardware. CHECK
- Reinstall Fan. CHECK
- Reinstall Coil. CHECK
- Top off fluids (Oil, Radiator, Power steering, etc.). CHECK
- Buy and Install new battery. CHECK
- Try to start car. CHECK!!!!!!
Last edited by DollarBill on July 15th, 2008, 4:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby sara farr » July 8th, 2008, 2:13 am

I don't know why, but I'm reading this thread. Probably for the drama and suspense.
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Postby KathyRose » July 8th, 2008, 10:43 am

It does hold a certain horrid fascination ... like all reality TV ...
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Postby DollarBill » July 13th, 2008, 2:43 am

HOLY FREAKIN' COW!!!
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So a couple nights ago I installed my new gas tank... TWICE. With a great deal of effort I wrestled the tank into place, buttoned everything down, and then went inside to chill out for a bit. When I got inside I noticed a little plastic bag with screws, an O-Ring, and a gasket.
OOPS! O-Rings and Gaskets are almost never "extra" parts... I forgot to put in the O-Ring which would keep the gas tank from leaking out of the sending unit connection. The shiny new screws were to replace the old ones. Fine, but what was the gasket for? I went online and found out that you can pull out the filler neck which makes removal/installation of the gas tank much easier. AH-HA! The gasket goes between the filler neck and the car. I had to remove the filler neck, remove the tank, reinstall the sending unit with the O-ring in the tank, reinstall the tank, reinstall the filler neck, and connect everything up. While I had the filler neck out, I thought I'd clean the gunk/rust out if it... UH OH!!! Now we have to go back 7 years to understand this new dilemma... doodleeedoo... doodleeedoo... doodleeedoo...
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The gas caps on these old cars aren't attached to the car by a plastic cord. After a fill-up I left my gas cap on a gas pump. When I went to autozone for a replacement they only had locking gas caps, so that's what I got. Well... somewhere in the last 7 years I lost the keys. So it took me 45 minutes with a pair of plyers and a knife to destroy that plastic lock. I learned that the locking gas caps aren't bullet proof, but I never wanna battle with one ever again!
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I forgot to take a picture of the installed tank from the top (i'll post one soon), but here it is from the bottom. That round thing with the tube sticking out is the sending unit WHICH REQUIRES AN O-RING FOR A COMPLETE SEAL!!! Uhg, I'm pretty sure I'd own several islands by now if I wasn't such a dumb-ass.
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So the tank was finally in, but it took so long that I didn't get to any other stuff... Tonight I did the intake manifold, but that's a whole post on its own. Hopefully I'll try to start it Sunday or Monday! It won't work, but maybe I'll be able to post a funny video of my face catching on fire.
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Postby DollarBill » July 15th, 2008, 2:37 am

Pic of tank installed as promised.
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Postby DollarBill » July 15th, 2008, 11:20 am

Ok, I consulted every resource that was readily available about installing an aluminum intake on a 351 windsor, small-block ford. I checked with some books, some magazines, my brother-in-law, and scoured every other corner of the internet. Nobody agrees 100%, but I averaged the "how-to's" and came up with my method. Here we go!

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After thoroughly cleaning all the mating surfaces (sexy) on the intake and heads of their old gasket pieces/gunk, I was ready to install.

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I had some gaskets already in the trunk (the black ones), but they didn't match the ports on the heads, which is a shame because they're better quality than the ones I got at autozone (the blue ones). But the blue ones fit better. Like, how a miniature horse is way cuter than a full size one, but if big fat Ace tried to ride it he'd break it's poor little back. So go with the less cute full size horse for your big, fat, stupid roommate. Right, so then I put a little gasket adhesive on the gasket and on the heads around where the water flows through the engine. This helps to keep the gasket from sliding when you install the manifold and it adds a little protection against water leakages (which is where ford small blocks are notorious for leaks... so I read).

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So, after the gasket adhesive sets up you just stick the gaskets in place. Then in the front and aft of the engine you'll see I laid down a thick bead of RTV gasket making silicone instead of using the cork gaskets that are provided when you buy a set of gaskets. Most people on the net said that the cork gaskets always get pushed out of place as you torque down the manifold and that causes loss of vacuum and oil leaks. So it's recommended to just go without them. Then I smeared a paper thin layer of the RTV over all the mating surface on the gasket and manifold. It made it a little thicker around those infamous water ports. OH! And on a great tip from some websites I put some studs (bolts with no heads) in four of the bolt holes to guide the placement of the manifold. Worked like a charm.

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Then all I had to do was torque down the bolts in a criss-cross pattern (which, of course, made me wanna JUMP! JUMP!). Here's the new bolts from McMaster-Carr next to the old rusty ones. Then I had to torque them all down to 22-25 ft-lbs. Melissa's Dad gave me his torque wrench before we left for Chicago. I know he gave it to me because he didn't want it and never used it, but I can't help but get this weird feeling of honor when I use it. I know it's not like he gave me his fathers katana to protect his daughter with, but I do make ninja sounds when I tighten bolts with his wrench.

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DONE!!! Then I had to go back the next day and retorque the bolts after the gasket and RTV settled. Look for another post soon. I tried to start her last night. Man... it was really anti climactic. The result was totally unexpected and I have no idea how to fix it. Stay tuned... and tuned up!!!
Last edited by DollarBill on February 28th, 2009, 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby apiaryist » July 15th, 2008, 1:05 pm

Bill, this is probably my favorite thread on the forums. I had a personal connection to my first car, and can't help but get a little misty-eyed when I think about her. At least one person in Austin, TX is living vicariously through these posts.
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Postby DollarBill » July 15th, 2008, 3:17 pm

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Postby DollarBill » July 15th, 2008, 4:21 pm

So, it turns out, I know way more about mechanical stuff than electrical stuff... at least from an engineering standpoint. Last night I connected the battery backwards and burned the ignition wire off the solenoid. It looked cool, smelled awful, and was more disappointing than a blind date with Ace. Today I realized that the battery cables were backwards and the thing started right up.
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Here's what it looks like with everything installed.
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I CAN'T BELIEVE I REBUILT THE CARB CORRECTLY!!!! The choke is sticking a little but, but I bet I'll figure that out. Now I just have to tune the carburetor, set the timing, put the drive shaft in, make sure the brakes are working, and then I can drive it around the block once or twice! HOORAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby bradisntclever » July 15th, 2008, 5:17 pm

Nice. Congrats!
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Postby Aden » July 15th, 2008, 5:31 pm

You sir, are an inspiration!
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Postby DollarBill » July 18th, 2008, 1:49 pm

Feeling pretty good about myself as a mechanic today. The electric choke on the carburetor wasn't working. I took the carb off the car, fixed the choke, and put the carb back on in like 45 minutes.

On the other hand, there's a lot I don't know that's preventing me from driving the car. I don't know where to start on the brakes, and I'm pretty sure I could get the drive-shaft back in, but I'm not sure if there are any tricks to it. There's also a knocking and the distinct sound of sucking air that I'm pretty sure is vacuum leakage. I definately need to replace the spark plug wires. I know because I touched the distributer cap with the engine running and it felt like somebody WHACKED the right side of my body with a 2x4. That means the insulation on the wires isn't really insulating. The other big problem is the amount of smoke coming from the left tailpipe. It only happens when the engine heats up. It could be related to the crappy plug-wires, but I'm not sure. Lots to be done. Awesome.

Also, I found this while looking for Cougar stuff online. CRAZY AWESOME!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7MuFDVEUro
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Postby DollarBill » July 21st, 2008, 12:01 am

I replaced the plug wires, and while it needed to be done, I'm not sure how much it has helped the way the car runs. It's kinda like if you could get Ace to stop eating your ENTIRE JAR of peanut butter while you're asleep every other week... You'd think life would be better, and it would be, but the real issue is that you can't afford to buy peanut butter.

So the real issues with my engine are:
1) I need to set the timing and then I can run some other tests that will inform me of the general condition of the motor.
2) I need to track down any vacuum leaks and stop them. That's why I just bought a vacuum diagram from a classic cougar website.
3) I need to fully tune the carburetor.

I gotta get 1 and 2 done before I do three, which means I get to buy more tools!!! I need a vacuum gauge and a timing light. Fun stuff.
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Postby DollarBill » September 19th, 2008, 2:04 pm

OKAY! I finally got the time and the parts to do my front brakes. The goal is to go from front drum brakes like this:
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To discs like these:
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So I got a bunch of parts used from a guy who was parting out a '70 cougar with disc brakes. Then I got the rest of the parts new from various sources, the best of which is called www.discbrakeswap.com. The used parts are a little rough so I'm cleaning and painting them. Here's what the dust shields looked like when I got em:
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I got a wire wheel brush for my electric drill and went to town. I held the dust shields in place by screwing them into the deck. I wouldn't have done it that way if it were my deck, but it's not and I'm kinda annoyed with the landlord so... Anyway you can see how it looks once it's down to bare metal and ready for paint.
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So I went with rostoleum's bare metal primer and then I found this sweet, dark, flat, camo-green paint for metal that was exactly what I needed for the hard-core industrial look that I wanted. In the picture at the top of this post you can see a crappy old cork gasket. I called discbrakeswap to get new ones, and the guy told me I could just make some out of this stuff from the container store. So I did that. The gasket material cost $0.69.
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And here's the shields in their new spruced up form:
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Last edited by DollarBill on February 28th, 2009, 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby DollarBill » September 19th, 2008, 4:46 pm

Wow. I might get an IQ test to see if I qualify for some kind of mental disability care plan.
Stupid. STUPID. STUPID!
Remeber this?

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Well today I noticed this:
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I guess I'll have to lay off Ace for a while. I even used one of the other keys on that ring as a prying device to get the old gas cap out. Wow.
Last edited by DollarBill on September 23rd, 2008, 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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