Sunday, August 5, 2012

Exhaust Modifications

This weekend was all about exhaust. I was not happy with the patch job I did to the Midas installed system, so I cut that out. On large bumps, the axle would contact the tail pipe on both sides because the dog leg that goes over the axle was not centered over the axle. I moved the muffler and tailpipe forward two inches to allow the axle to move without contact.

I also took the opportunity to install a pair of V-band clamps just ahead of the mufflers. This allows me to remove the mid-pipe with ease, and there are no leaks like I had before with the old-style clamps and sleeve.

I ordered a couple of 2.25 bends, and a cut-off blade for my mitre saw and went to work piecing together the mid-pipe. Welding is not like riding a bicycle from my point of view, since it is a skill that gets rusty quick. I took a few scraps of pipe and made some practice welds to get my MIG set right and to knock some of that rust off my skills. I use the word "skills" in a very loose manner here. :-)

In the process of reseting the muffler/tailpipes, I removed them from the car. I found a rather large leak at the top side of the pipes going into, and out of the mufflers. Seems Midas did all their welding with the mufflers on the car, and whatever they couldn't reach, they skipped welding that.

Once all of this was complete, I took the car for a test spin, and was happy with the new "leak free" exhaust note.

Next project is a Mustang Steve pedal bearing kit.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Never Ending Stream of Issues

I made a trip up to see my Dad last week, which is about an hour away. When I arrived, I noticed my electric fan was not making its usual noise, so I opened the hood and took a peek. It was turning, but nowhere near the speed it usually turns at.

Once I turned off the engine, I turned the fan blades by hand and it spun freely. There was the familiar smell of burned electrical components in the air, so I knew I had a burned out fan. This was not a cheap fan. Back in 1999, it cost $245 for the fan and integrated shroud.

After hearing good things about Flex-a-Lite, I decided to get their model 118. It was just slightly bigger than my radiator, but the brackets that held the old fan on worked with the new fan after a little bit of modification.

Once I wired it up, everything worked, so I took it for a test spin. I have an override switch so I can manually turn on the fan before the computer does, so I can keep the temps a little lower than what the EEC-IV was programmed for. That switch just activates the relay that the computer uses to turn on the fan. I just added a new ground path with a switch to the switch leg of the relay.

The biggest difference is the amount of air that flows through the fan without it being turned on. It seems I can now drive at 40mph without the engine getting above 185, whereas before, it would slowly creep up, even at highway speeds, unless the ambient air temp was under 80. What this means is that I'll need to run the fan less than before. I had been considering going to a Shelby front valance to allow more air to get to the radiator. Now that may be unnecessary. Cooling is a constant problem here in Florida, but it seems to not be for me anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Backyard Engineering Strikes Again

My emergency brake setup seems to be a success. When I pull the lever, the rolling car stops rolling.

My donor engine has an intermittent lifter tick now. Frankly I am surprised the engine has performed so well seeing that it sat for 6 years.

The brake light switch has died. I don't remember the last time that was replaced, but NPD came to the rescue again. When I went to order the new switch, I was surprised to see that I was replacing a 67 style switch. How I got a 67 on it before, I do not know. Anyway, it worked for years so I ordered a new 67. I was glad to open the shipping box to find a real Motorcraft box containing the new switch. It is hard to go wrong using original parts. :-)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More On Headlights

I had to redo my headlight wiring last week. Seems using the original headlight harness was not a good idea with modern lamps. I had a wire get hot and break.

That gave me the opportunity to replace more of the original harness. I moved my relays that control the headlights from under the dash to the radiator support so my wires that handle the high amp load will be a short as possible. The switch wires for the relays are now the longest wires in that circuit.

I've learned a lot wiring this car, so maybe one day when I have time and impetus, I'll remove all of the wiring and start over WITH a plan and diagram instead of "adding as I go".

Monday, January 30, 2012

Got Some Pics

Here are a few pics of what I did over Christmas.

I pulled the trans three times adjusting the height of the clutch fork pivot so I am pretty sure that is secured in the proper position. I cut out about three feet of the exhaust starting at the headers and welded up some new bends to give me more clearance. And finally added a pivot point for the E-brake lever to the trans crossmember.

As I posted before, the 2nd gear syncro is toast, but if I bump into the 1st syncro, it shifts fine into second. A rebuild is in the not-to-distant future.

I need to finish the E-brake setup too, but I've got other things to do now, so onto the back burner goes the Mustang. :-(

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Usable Again

The car is back on the road, but not at 100%. I've confirmed my 2nd gear syncro is toast. I pulled the transmission two additional times in order to fine tune the height of the clutch pivot so I don't have under or over travel of the clutch fork.

I can still drive the car since I have figured out a way to use the 1st gear syncro to get me into 2nd during a downshift from 3rd. I simply bump into the 1st gear syncro and the lever slides easily into 2nd. This is just wearing out the 1st gear syncro, but since I have to replace the 2nd anyway, I figure that is not a big deal to replace all of the syncros when I rebuild the trans.

The exhaust modifications turned out well considering my novice welding ability. I tucked both pipes up a full 2 inches from where they were so they no longer scrape on the taller speedbumps around town. The low points on the car are the bell housing and the sub frame connectors.

I have no regrets with the decision to modernize the car. While it is not as reliable as a new car, it is much better than it was in terms of drivability.