Sunday, May 26, 2019

glass day

Yes, another post, and this one took place back in in November 2016: With the exhaust system all buttoned up, we were really close to firing up the engine. In preparation, I put the 68 front-first into the garage on its return. But wait a minute....first we had to do something about the windshield and backlite.

Installing the windshield is a complex process best left to a professional, apparently. Even the BAMA hardcore sub this job out. So, as usual, I decided to have a bash myself, with some help - this is not a task that could be accomplished independently, and I speak as a someone who lifted an engine block onto the bench on my own.

I studied half a dozen YouTube videos in advance, and came up with my own composite method. All the supplies we needed were purchased from Ellis Ace Hardware on MLK. Window seals and a few extra clips came from NPD, and I got a great deal on a replacement windshield from my friends at Mostly Mustangs (also on MLK).

We got started by removing the speakers and the package tray that were installed a year or so earlier (more on this later), and then I laid the new seal on the trunk lid and checked for any damage. Most people lay the seal out in the sun for 20 minutes to warm it up, but we were were doing this in a garage in November so I gave it a light going-over with the heat gun instead.

My assistant gave the original back glass a good pre-install cleaning. We used **** glass cleaner which comes in an aerosol can and produces a white foam; it worked great. The back glass has been moved from attic to basement to garage to attic to garage a few times since I took it out in 2010.

Installed the rubber seal onto the back glass and a bead of **** was laid down in the channel that meets the edge of the glass. Samuel Bear's old Spiderman blanket was a perfect backdrop.

A bead of **** was laid down into channel that meets the edge of the car body. You can add more of this once the window is in place.

I prepared the opening by installing the clips for the trim pieces and marked the location of each clip with a piece of tape - this is important because you need to see the clips to install the molding, and they are obscured after the window goes in.

This is with the window laid on top of the opening and with most of the bottom edge of the seal installed correctly. We tapped one end of the rope to the inside of the window and hung the other end outside. The rope was very carefully pulled round the perimeter of the seal while the second pair of hands pressed on the glass from the outside.

All done. At this stage we were wondering what all the fuss was about. We took a break and hit up Guido's for lunch.

Came back from lunch and did the same thing with the windshield. This was a little bit more difficult because we were installing a modern replacement (with tinted glass!) and the glass was about a third of the thickness of the original and thus felt much more fragile. I had to be even more careful with the roping-in, but the windshield turned out to be suitably robust.

The inside got a good clean. At this point, the protocol is to add a lot more caulk to the junction of the rubber seals with the car body, however we skipped this step for now as I will probably be taking the windows out again when the car is painted.

Time to put the package tray and speakers back together. When I wrote about customizing the package tray in January 2015, I stopped at the photo below...

The next step of that particular project can now be revealed:

Followed by:

This is how it looked the first time it was installed:

This is how it looks through glass with the rear window trim all put back:

All in all, an excellent day's work.

Monday, December 17, 2018

muffler day

October 2016:  Muffler Day. The 68 was collected bright and early from my downtown garage on and transported the short distance to Ron's Berkeley Muffler by my usual tow truck driver. It's sad to say that over the years I've owned the 68 I've got to know Marc pretty well, and he's had at least three different tow trucks in that time. 

Here's the 68 sitting in the parking lot at the muffler shop. This was the first time it had been outside the garage and not on a tow truck in about seven years (at the time).

While the 68 was away I swept the leaves and crud out of the garage and had a general tidy up.

I didn't get to see the car while it was up on the lift, but the folks at Ron's were good enough to snap a couple of pictures for me.  This one shows the sparkly new Flowmaster 50's. The guys at Ron's fabricated everything from the headers back. Marcus told me he really enjoyed working on the car.

I also had Marcus weld on some straight-cut chrome tips I bought from Summit.

Monday, December 10, 2018

the next next bit

April 2016: things were really getting moving along nicely at this point. Every trip to the garage consisted of opening up a previously restored part or a packet of zinc-plated fasteners; followed by adding them to the car and connecting the electrical wires.

As previously mentioned, most of this work was not recorded, but several oddities did make it into the record.

temperature sender (Autozone, c. 2016).

choke block-off plate (Summit Racing w/ custom fasteners).

Bolted on my carburetor. This is a Holley 650 which a friend from BAMA rebuilt for me.

Engine Compartment (w/ Holley 650).

Engine Compartment (close-up).

This is how my chrome-plated single-wire alternator and supporting bracket setup looks from above. I didn't really need a chrome alternator, but one became available from one of the BAMA guys at the same price as a standard new one. Gutting the setup right took a bit of experimentation. I ended up making some custom spacers out of whatever I could find; these we be replaced at some point, I hope.

Installed and wired in the custom horns. I was planning to re-install the originals, and I did paint them, but they were never going to be up to the job. And anyway, the new ones have red trim.

It was about this time that I started to have serious concerns about the height of the engine and whether I was going to be able to close the hood. A quick inaccurate check with a piece of tape confirmed it - the air cleaner stud was sticking up an least an inch longer than it needed to be. what? Well, apart from custom motor mounts, the best idea I could come up with was a dropped base for the air cleaner - just like the one below in fact. Simple. Except it wouldn't fit past the distributor cap.

I tried a couple of other options, including an off-set base and an off-set/dropped base but neither would fit, mainly thanks to the Holley 650 poking out its corners. The briefly half empty shelves at the back of the garage began to fill up with air cleaner parts. Look closely in the bottom left corner and you can see the factory air cleaner assembly from Jimmy Hoffa's 67 K-code fastback.

From lengthy online research I established that the off-set/dropped base I had on my garage shelf was the only such item available on the entirety of the interwebs. And since it didn't fit, I was stuck with looking at other options:

1. Custom engine mounts - the thought of having to take the engine out again, even if this would work, was not appealing.

2. Hood scoop - I did actually look into this idea, but none of the fiberglass hood scopes on the market are as wide as my gigantic air cleaner. And even if they were, it would be a lot of work and would look stupid.

3. The BFH. After full consideration, I decided to customize the off-set/dropped base by whacking it with the BFH until it fitted over the carburetor. This actually took two attempts with a hiatus of several days while I waited for the replacement to arrive.

By the time this was finally resolved, in the summer of 2016, I had also re-installed the radiator and hooked up all the hoses. The engine compartment wiring was essentially complete.