Friday, June 27, 2014

waiting for the heads

OMG It's been FOUR months! There have been a number of "down" periods on this project - and many more periods of intensive work - but that last few months have been somewhere in-between: short bursts of work punctuated by longer periods of...nothing. Oh well...

At the end of my last post I found myself unexpectedly in need of a valve job and without a machine shop. There are ways to find these things I guess (like the interwebs), but, as mentioned countless times already in this blog, I like to start by asking the guys in BAMA when I need something. What was unusual about this time around was that instead of finding a machine shop, I found a specialist head builder that was already in the club! In fact, the owner of Heads by Steve in San Ramon has decades of experience building heads, many have which have been run in NASCAR teams.

So I cut a deal with Steve to do the valve job, install 7/16 inch screw-in studs, and port match the heads to the gaskets and the intake manifold. When the heads came back a few weeks later they were just....well....immaculate.

And the ports were just so smooth, I could see the increase in power!

While the heads were away, I was marooned at home, surround by lots of boxes filled with shinny new engine parts. This spurred me on to crank through some of the half- and three-quarter-finished mini projects I'd previously abandoned. The first one was the tail lights and trunk wiring harness, which I couldn't face after the painful process I endured below the dash. The tail light buckets were refurbed, and painted brake gray (outside) and brilliant white (inside) back in the Green Room days.

The concave tail lights were the feature that first attracted me to the 67/68 cars in the first place. I acquired a bunch of extra OEM trim pieces from my buddies up the Street at Mostly Mustangs and picked out the best six pieces. I replaced the rubber pads, although attempting the glue the new pads to the trim pieces with weatherstrip adhesive was an abject failure. The studs and nuts were zinc plated way back when...

The tail light connectors were, of course, not included in the Pathetic Painless wiring harness, so I adapted the originals. I did the same with the back up lights. And the fuel tank sender connector....and most of the stuff in the engine compartment too no doubt. The Pitiful Painless harness was actually too short to reach both tail lights, so I did a bunch of chopping and joining of wires that I would rather not have had to do. In the middle I ran out of the wire connectors supplied in the P...p...p...FUCKING AWFUL Painless kit, and had to run to Home Depot. Grrrr!!

I also completed installing the Dynamat in the passenger compartment and taped the joints. Long-overdue!

Next time: Engine Rebuild. I mean it this time!!