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.

Monday, December 3, 2018

the next bit

January 2016: with the fenders all restored and back on the car it was time to re-build the front of the car and and finish the wiring in the engine compartment. I started with a Dynacorn front valance - I still have the the original, but it has several dents and some rust and I couldn't be bothered to restore it. The replacement was an excellent fit. I can't say the same for the stone guard - the reproduction part was awful, so it was back to my shed to restore the original.

As usual, the first step was accomplished with a mixture of the trusty wire wheel and some aircraft stripper I had left over from this project.

There were several holes in the stone guard that I didn't really need. I blame whoever installed the 1970's AC. The holes were filled in with the MIG welder and ground down, painted with primer, yada yada...

And it dropped right in! No adjustment required. The picture below was taken a bit later after the front bumper had been bolted on.

I also installed new trim pieces - the originals have irreparable AC-related damage.

I bought a reproduction grille and installed the original trim pieces and my custom GT fog lights with their zinc-plated mounting brackets.

The back bumper was bolted on around the same time. Both bumpers need re-chroming at some point in the future. The rear bumper is also slightly bowed.

At the end of January 2016, Amy and I took an early morning trip to the world famous Turlock Swap Meet, where, among other things, I was finally able to locate the third member I've been looking for all these years. Older readers may recall be interested to know that I have been rolling the car around on a 3.00:1 gear ratio, which just happened to come with the eight inch rear axle I acquired for this project, while searching for something a bit the right price.

The key here, as often, is price. I was reluctant to drop a thousand bucks on a complete third member when I already had one, and I was quoted a similar amount for a local shop to swap out the I sat tight and waited.....and then found almost exactly what I wanted (3.40:1 rather than 3.50:1), at a price I could not quite believe.

The following weekend the housing was painted with Eastwood brake gray and installed with a new gasket and some shinny copper nuts and washers that I got from NPD.


Back to work on the engine...I installed the distributor and most of the under-hood wiring was done by this point.

The valve covers had been wrapped up and stored for over three years when I broke them out in March 2016. The export brace came from a Turlock visit in 2011. Installing the brace was seriously difficult but I made it fit.

Looking good...

Looking even better...