Monday, November 30, 2009

Spark Plug Condition - Running Rich

I was thinking of a good way to fix the carburetor troubles and decided to pull the plugs to see how they look. I started with the number 1 cylinder and the end of the plug was black. This indicates either the engine is running rich or the plug is too cold.

I pulled each of the other spark plugs and noticed the #1, #4, and #7 plugs are the worst. These are all fed by the same side of the carburetor. Since I’ve done more idling than driving lately (to test the coil), this is likely related to the idle mixture screws.

These screws should be set the same distance out on each side and should be set to generate the highest vacuum. Unfortunately, my vacuum does not change when I turn the mixture screws. However, the screws are set the same distance out so you would expect the same plug appearance on both sides.

I checked the screws again and they are about the same distance out. The passenger side, which feeds the plugs in question, was possibly a little further out. I turned it in by 1/3 turn just to get closer to the right spot until I can fix the carburetor tune.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rear Quarter Window Cranks

I started work on the rear window cranks today. I restored the rear quarters about 1.5 years ago. The driver side rear window crank would never fit on the regulator shaft. It fit on about 1/8” which was not enough to use the retaining screw. The passenger side fit a little better and could be installed but fell off a few weeks later. They have both been off the car for at least a year now. I’ve wanted to fix it but there have always been more important projects to address.

I started by using a rubber mallet to tap around the regulator shaft on the rear quarter panel. This reshaped them enough that the regulator shaft stuck out enough to attach the cranks. This worked very well and did not distort the panels at all.

I cut the end off of one of my old, original window cranks. Since the allen screw is under the arm of the crank, this would allow me better access to the hole. I then drilled out the threads with a slightly larger drill bit. I then used the old crank as a template to drill holes in the regulator shaft. This allowed me to then install the new crank and tighten the retaining screw into the small divot. This should keep the window cranks from falling off the shafts.

Later in the afternoon, we were running errands today and drove by JoAnne Fabric. I went it and picked up some dense ½ foam. I removed the arm rest from the bench seat, removed the upholstery, covered the stock padding with the foam on four sides, and then reinstalled the upholstery. The arm rest looks a little better now. You could previously tell the foam inside was deteriorating. It was a five dollar fix and I think it was work the money and effort.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Troubleshooting the Engine Dying

A couple of days ago, I let the Mustang run twice for 15 minutes each time. The car did not die as it did previously. I left the old coil in to test it more after Thanksgiving.

I let the Mustang run for 15 minutes again today and the car did not die. I drove around the block a little and then swapped back in the Petronix coil. I started the car and let it run for 15 minutes and it did not die. I’m a little stumped by the whole thing. I’m not sure what the cause is as it does not seem to happen often now.

I tried to rotate the clamp I used on the new exhaust pipe coupler to stop the exhaust leak. This stopped the leak at the old location but now it leaks at a different spot. I’ll either need to find a way to slide the exhaust further forward, or buy a different type of clamp to hold the pieces together better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Deciding on the Next Project

I’m a little bothered by the problem with the Mustang dying randomly. It is difficult when you spend so much time restoring something like the transmission to have something else immediately stop you from driving the car. I expected to drive it around for a couple of weeks before starting the restoration of the rear undercarriage.

I already have the limited slip differential and installation kit. I’m really ready to put it on. However, I don’t look forward to stripping the entire rear undercarriage of the car. I really don’t like the job at all. The other problem is the carburetor is not tuned right, the intake leaks, and the car keeps dying. I’m not sure I want to keep moving on to another project when the last few don’t quite feel complete.

What I might do is just work to correct the issues with the car. If I get them handled quickly, I might go ahead and do the rear undercarriage. If not, I’ll just remove the rear axle, clean it up, and install the new differential and gears. This is not what I originally planned but I feel I should be doing what I enjoy with the car rather than slaving my way through the restoration when I’m not feeling up to it.

After thinking about it a little while, I was able to come up with the following list of items which need to be handled. It is a little longer than I expected. Many of them are small and could be handled quickly.
1. Fix Ignition Problem
2. Restore Core Support
3. Fix Exhaust Leak (leaking at new coupler)
4. Stop Brake Rattle
5. Fix Rear Window Handles
6. Paint Spot on Firewall (missed a small spot during trans tunnel stripping)
7. Restore Rear Axle & Install Gears
8. Check Water Pump (seemed like it could be leaking again)
9. Paint & Tighten Harmonic Balancer (damaged by water pump leak)
10. Fix Alternator Squeal (this has never gone away)
11. Reinstall Intake
12. Touch Up Valve Covers
13. Fix Distributor Angle (currently touches fuel line)
14. Fix Carburetor Hesitation
15. Set Choke Properly
16. Fix Shock Tower Caps
17. Work on Front Suspension (rides a little rough)

Tonight, I swapped back in the original coil. I ran the engine for 15 minutes and it did not die. This is good but it ran the same length of time a few nights ago without dying but then started up again. I decided I would let it cool a little and then take it for a drive. I drove a large circle around the neighborhood without any trouble.

I think I’ll leave the old coil in for now. I’ll start it a few times over the next few days to see if it will die. If it is the coil at least it is something simple. However, I will be upset that the coil is only a couple month old and is already not working.

I checked the water pump and I believe it has a very small leak. It is mostly visible as the fluid has taken the paint off the motor. It is very small but worth fixing when I take care of the intake. The radiator will already be drained so it will not add too much work.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Engine Dying Randomly

Last night I decided to drive the Mustang to Wal-Mart. The car again died as I was backing down the driveway. It did not want to start until about the eighth attempt. Since it happened earlier and then went away, I did not think it would harm driving the car to Wal-Mart but I was wrong.

I made it to the end of the street and it died again. I planned to turn around but the car died three more times before I could get around the block and back home. The problem is really strange as the car just dies as if someone has turned the key off. It does it when idling and when driving down the road at 2000 RPM.

I thought I might be crazy and it could just be really low on gas. I filled up this morning and drove around some and had no trouble. However, this afternoon, I decided to drive to O’Reilly in the Mustang. It again died twice before I could get around the block and back home.

I’m wondering if it is something electrical like the ignition switch. I tried to test it in the garage tonight. I started the car and it died in about 3 minutes. All the connections on the coil and solenoid are correct. Everything which should have power does have power. There is plenty of fuel in the see-through fuel filter.

I started it again and it died again. I repeated this one last time and it died a third time. Each time, the car would start back up immediately without the use of the gas pedal. I posted on the StangFix forum about it. They agree it is something electrical and suggest I start by going back to the stock coil. I’ll likely try this in the next few days.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Transmission Install Continued

While the transmission is technically installed, there are several items left to address:
· Install shifter
· Reinstall sill plates and kick panels
· Repair cut exhaust
· Bolt up and connect starter
· Connect parking brake

I started on these projects at about 10 o’clock today and finished up around 3 o’clock. The two difficult jobs were installing the starter and fixing the exhaust.

As I’ve mentioned before, the starter is trapped by the exhaust. I had a hard time balancing it between the exhaust and the flywheel. I thought I had it in place but I did not. It is not high enough. The only way to get it in the correct location is to remove the transmission or remove the exhaust manifold. Considering the options, I removed the exhaust manifold. This was a little difficult but not too bad.

The second difficult part was managing to link back together the two pieces of the exhaust on the passenger side. I had a coupler and two clamps. The rear section of the exhaust is welded directly to the car. I had to bend the mounting bracket to move the exhaust tub back to fit it into the coupler. I cut a little off the tube, installed it in the coupler, and then had a very hard time bending the mounting bracket back so the exhaust would slide forward.

The rest of the job was not bad at all. Once I was done, I cleaned up the interior and exterior of the Mustang. It was incredibly dirty from stripping the undercarriage. I started the car on the jack stands to set the clutch linkage and to make sure the clutch would engage. Since all was well, I took the car off the jacks.

I was not able to drive the Mustang until later tonight because of rain. When I drove it around, it drove nicely. It seems smoother and quieter than before (especially at highway speeds). The clutch is about as stiff as stock if not a little easier to press. There is about a 1-1.5” zone between starting to engage and fully engaged. The old parts were so worn it was about a 2.5-3” zone for the clutch to fully engage.

The only odd thing which happened during my test drive was the engine died while backing out of the driveway. I started it back up but it was rather odd that it died for no reason.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Transmission Installation

I made it home tonight and cleaned up the bolts for the bellhousing. Everyone was feeling a little lazy and just watching TV. I decided I would go ahead and install the bellhousing. Before long, I was working the transmission into place.

I moved the transmission under the car using the creaper. I then laid the wood support block I created on the bottom of the transmission and rolled it onto the jack. Once balanced on the jack, I filled the transmission with some 85W90 gear oil I purchased from NAPA (same type used previously). This is much better than building some crazy tube to squeeze the fluid into the transmission after it is installed.

Installing a transmission by yourself is not an easy job. Balancing it on the jack is not incredibly difficult but a little dangerous. When you then have to line up the throw out bearing and input shaft, two hands no longer seems to be enough. Adding to the difficulty was the fear of scratching up the freshly painted transmission tunnel.

While it would have been nice to have an extra set of hands, I don’t know if having a helper would have been very good. This is one of those jobs you somewhat feel your way through. If you feel a little resistance on one side you are often off center. If you don’t have perfect communication with the person helping you just waste more time pushing when you are off center.

After I put the transmission in, I bolted it to the bell housing and then put the support bracket in place. I decided to call it a night as I had actually planned on taking care of all this tomorrow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Transmission Preparation

This morning I painted the front of the transmission with the VHT Cast Iron paint. I wanted to wait until the RTV dried before painting the front. Painting it in the morning will allow plenty of time for it to dry so I can install the front bearing retainer after work today.

When I made it home, I installed the front bearing retainer using the original bolts and a new gasket which came in my rebuild kit. I coated the gasket with a thin layer of RTV to avoid a leak. I torqued all the bolts down to 34 ft/lbs per the Shop Manual.

I then installed the tail housing on the transmission. I reused the original bolts which I have already cleaned a phosphate coated. The bolts were covered with thread sealant (like those on the front bearing retainer) so oil would not seap through the threads. I slid the driveshaft into the end of the tail housing before torquing it down completely as I did not want it to bind.

The last thing I did for the night was bolt up the shifter to set the shift linkages properly. The shifter works much better now. The setup is very simple. You put the transmission in neutral, push an alignment pin in the shifter mechanism, and then tighten the shift linkage to the shifter. It then works perfectly without any additional adjustment.

I unfortunately lost one of the nuts which go on the shift levers. They are a standard size with no special marks. I’ll need to pick up another one at Ace Hardware tomorrow at lunch. Once I have that, I should have no trouble finishing up the project this weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flywheel and Clutch Install

Tonight I installed the block plate, flywheel, starter, pressure plate, and clutch.

The job of installing the starter and flywheel was difficult. Since the starter is trapped between the flywheel and exhaust, I had to hold it in place while I align the flywheel and bolt it up. I weighed these parts and they are each about 17 pounds. If I had three hands it would have been significantly easier.

When I mounted the flywheel I reused the original bolts. I installed them with thread sealant and High Strength Loc-Tite. They were then torqued down to 85 ft/lbs per the Shop Manual. I cleaned the resurfaced face of the flywheel with Acetone and then installed the clutch and pressure plate.

I cleaned the pressure plate with Acetone and then held it and the clutch in position. I started each of the original six bolts to hold the pieces in place. I then used the lose transmission input shaft to line up the clutch with the new Ford Racing roller pilot bearing I installed. The input shaft slide into place easily and held everything in alignment while I removed the bolts one at a time, coated them with Loc-Tite, and then torqued them down in the proper sequence to 20 ft/lbs (per the Shop Manual).

I’ve not cleaned up the bellhousing bolts so I decided to install the input shaft in the transmission. I loaded it with 15 bearings and a new brass blocking ring and slid it into place. I then rolled over the transmission and lined up the dummy countershaft bar (made of PVC) so I could install the real countershaft. I tapped the countershaft into place from the rear of the transmission and then put in the new roll pin through the fill hole.

The last thing I did was put RTV on two spots at the front of the transmission. I covered the shift rail plug and the end of the countershaft with RTV. I then smoothed it out using a small putty knife. This is done to ensure no oil is able to leak out between the casing and either of these shafts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Input Shaft Ready

I went to Vila’s at lunch today. They had a transmission plug I needed to cover the end of one shift rail passage. This part was not provided in the kit I purchased. They also agreed to remove the old bearing and press on the new one. By 2 o’clock they called to say the job was done and the total charge was only $10.50. This is much better than the $80 I paid to have the rear axle bearings pressed on!

I posted on the VMF Concours forum this evening about the undercarriage color for my Mustang. I was always led to believe the undercarriage was a red oxide color. When I was stripping the undercarriage, I did not find any paint on the tunnel but did on the transmission cross support. The paint I found was a medium gray color. Ends up Dearborn used left over paint on the undercarriage so many were painted gray (or other colors).

When I made it home from work, I painted the transmission tunnel with Krylon 1613. I used a total of three coats with the second and third coat being rather thick. I tried to keep overspray from entering the engine compartment using cardboard to block off the area. Hopefully, I was successful but I won’t know until I can clean all the dirt on the car from stripping the undercarriage.

After painting the underside, I took pictures of the parts I’ve restored, installed the plug in the shift shaft hole of the transmission, and I dried off the bolts I had in a mixture of phosphoric acid and water. I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to reinstall the transmission this Saturday so I did not wear myself out with work. I’ll slowly progress through the rest so I’m ready on Saturday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Transmission Tunnel Work

I put on old clothes this morning and started work stripping the transmission tunnel. I wore goggles, a breathing mask, and gloves to protect myself. The job was very slow moving with the fine wire wheel I started using. After working about an hour, I decided to head to the store to get something a little more aggressive.

I returned with a pilot bearing removal tool from O’Reilly and a course wire cup from Truck and Tractor Supply. The wire wheel made quick work of the dirt, old paint, and rust. I’ve heard the undercarriage of the Mustang was painted a red oxide color originally. I was not able to see a color for the front part of the tunnel but the center cross support was the same grey color as the inner fenderwells.

I only stripped the areas I knew would not be replaced later. I plan to replace the entire floor pan and the toe boards. This made the job a little easier. By doing this now, I hopefully will not need to remove the transmission when I start replacing the floor pans.

I managed to fix the hole in the transmission tunnel. I could reach one are through the shifter hole with a dolly. I then used my hammer from the top side to smooth out the metal. The end result was great. The metal is smooth and the hole is completely sealed. Although I can’t weld it closed now, I have no concern about being able to weld it up as is later. Since there are no gaps, I’m not concerned about dirt entering through the hole either.

I tried to clean the front tunnel area out to about one inch past the toe boards. The toe boards have several rust holes and will need to be replaced. I wanted to make it out one inch so I could overlap the panels. I think this will work except for the lower corners have holes on each side. I did the best I could and will determine the best way to patch the areas when I get to that point.

I was able to put two coats of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on all the metal. Eastwood states you should wait 6-8 hours before painting over the Encapsulator. I’ll paint it tomorrow with the Krylon 1613. I’m not sure the Krylon will be my final choice for the entire undercarriage but it will work for this project.

I then cleaned the block plate, primered it, and painted it with the Krylon blue paint I used on the engine. I cleaned all the bolts I’ll need to reuse and placed them in a phosphoric acid mixture. Finally, I made a little plate out of wood which will hold the transmission on the jack. It has a hole for the drain plug and wood lining the sides to help keep the transmission steady.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Transmission Rebuild

I’m not looking forward to stripping the transmission tunnel. I planned to do the job today. Since it is such a dirty job, I decided to procrastinate doing it until tomorrow.

I started off this morning by cleaning the transmission gears in the utility room sink. I cleaned them with a plastic bristle brush, a brass bristled brush, and some degreaser. The gears came out amazingly clean. After cleaning them, I washed them with water, dried them off, sprayed them with WD-40, and sat them in the sun. The WD-40 was used to displace the water and keep surface rust from forming.

The kit I purchased came with Nachi brand input and output bearings. I immediately assumed they were generic and posted about them on the forum. I learned they are made of high quality steal and are some of the best bearings available. This eased my mind considerably.

The kit came with plastic thrust bearings for use at the ends of the countershaft and reverse gear. I researched the use of plastic thrust bearings on the internet but could not find much information. I posted about these also and someone indicated they are used as other metals do not embed in them as easily. This does not make much sense as they are plastic and you would think hot metal would stick in them. Since the size provided would only work on the reverse gear, I decided to just reuse the copper ones as they are not worn.

I slowly assembled the transmission using my Shop Manual and disassembly pictures as a guide. The parts were not difficult to install. There are suppose to be alignment marks at the ends of the gears (according to the shop manual) but I could never find any. The gears slid together much easier than they came apart.

I’m a little concerned by two left over snap rings. I really should not be as they are too small to fit the output shaft. Additionally, the kit did not come with enough snap rings so I had to reuse one to hold on the speedometer gear. I took pictures of all the gears and installation process (with snap rings installed) so I can remember how everything went together in case I wonder later.

I was able to install the output bearing with a little ingenuity. I placed the entire transmission in the bottom of the refrigerator (yes the whole thing). After a few hours, the cold caused the metal to constrict slightly. I then used a hair dryer on the output bearing which made the metal expand. I was then able to slide the bearing on when I was not able to do so with both parts at room temperature.

The transmission is now complete except for the input shaft. I was not able to remove the old bearing. I think I’ll take it to Vila’s on Monday. Since they are fairly priced, it will likely not cost much to have them do it for me.

The next job I finished was painting the top cover for the transmission. I soaked the top cover in phosphoric acid after cleaning off all the grease. This cleaned off the rust and left a phosphorus coating which does not rust. I then primed the part and painted it with the VMT Cast Iron paint.
The last job for the day was the tail housing. I used an old brush to clean the inside of the tail housing. I then a seal/bushing installation tool I rented from O’Reilly to install a new rear bushing. I then painted the tail housing using the Plasti-Kote Cast Aluminum paint. Once the part dried, I installed the new rear oil seal.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Transmission Preparation

I spent a little time this evening restoring the shift linkage for the transmission. These long parts were rather dirty but cleaned up easily. As I cleaned the dirt off, they appeared to have a black finish originally. Once completely clean, I primered the parts and painted them satin black with Krylon 1613.

There are two rectangular pieces of metal which connect the shift rods to the transmission shift levers. I cleaned the grease off of these tonight and put them in a large container of diluted phosphoric acid. This will give the parts a nice phosphate coating which should look nice and keep them from rusting. I added a few bolts into the container as well as the top plate for the transmission.

I soaked the bearing retainer last nice in Gunk engine cleaner. Tonight I gently scrubbed it with a brass brush and all the grease came off without any trouble. I primed the part and then installed the oil seal. Once this was done, I went ahead and decided to test out my new paint on the part. I used the VHT Cast Iron (SP997) paint I purchased from Mustangs Unlimited and it looks great. It has the correct color with just the right amount of metallic flake.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shifter, Bellhousing, and Starter

I dropped off my flywheel at Vilas Motor Works at lunch today. I received a call from Rick about two hours later stating the work was done. Since they are in downtown Bryan, I’ll need to pick it up tomorrow. They only charged $26 for the work which is much better than the $65 Bryan Drivetrain quoted me.

I checked the contents of the transmission rebuild kit first. The kit contains the brass syncro rings, input shaft bearing, output shaft bearing, front and rear seals, needle bearings, thrust plates, and lock rings. The bearings are made in Japan by a company call Nachi. I’m not sure what to think of them or their quality but they look like the originals. The other oddity is the trust bearings as they are made of a plastic material instead of metal like the originals. I posted on a new website,, about these items to see if anyone has used them before.

Tonight I installed the clutch release lever, lever boot, and throw out bearing on the bellhousing. The bellhousing has a few small areas of discoloration from the grease buildup. However, the part has a great classic look to it and I would not think of painting it. The bellhousing is now ready to be reinstalled in the car.

I put two coats of the Krylon 1613 satin black. The starter is not original but looks almost identical to the original. The same style was used from 1966 to 1973. This particular starter has a D2 prefix to the part number. This is likely a rebuilt starter which was installed years ago. There is a small amount of a label left on the starter but it was too difficult to read. The starter cleaned up good and is also now ready to be reinstalled in the car. I would buy a new one but don’t want to pay over $150 to replace a functional part.

I rebuilt the shifter mechanism tonight, covered it which a light coat of primer, and then put two light coats of Plasti-Kote 282 Cast Aluminum paint on it. The color is not perfect but it looks much better than the slightly discolored bare metal. To ensure everything works well, I wet sanded where parts rubbed against one another with 400 grip paper. I also used a hammer and dolly to bend the shift lever retainer so there would be a tighter feel to the shifter. Finally, I then put some lubricant on all the parts so they would move much easier.

The only item I was not able to correct on the shifter with a retaining pin at the point where the shifter attaches. The pin hammered into place firmly. However, the U shaped piece around it wiggles on the pin slightly. I tried to heat the pin and mushroom the end slightly but had no luck. The pin must be made of very high strength metal. This is not a big issue but something I wish I was able to correct.

I checked the rest of my order before going to bed. The transmission mount is similar to the original except the mounting holes are oval to allow more movement to fit the transmission location. The throw out bearing is produced by National and is of good quality. It looks like all the parts I ordered are going to work out well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Removing Flywheel, Block Plate, and Starter

The Mustangs Unlimited order arrived today. All of the parts arrived except for the Centerforce pressure plate which seems to have been shipped separately. I checked the order and everything looked great. The clutch disc looks similar to the original except the material is different. It is not much thicker than the one I removed. Seems the clutch might not have been that old after all.

I had Kimberly hold a socket wrench at the crank pulley while I removed the flywheel bolts tonight. The ’67 Shop Manual states they are torqued to 80 ft/lbs but it seemed like much more. With only a little struggle, I was able to remove all six of the bolts.

The flywheel came of fairly easily and is heavier than you might imagine. Since the starter is trapped by the exhaust, it was held in place by the flywheel. Once the flywheel came loose, the starter did also. I spent a little time juggling these two before getting them safely to the ground. I then removed the block plate from the motor.

Since Aaron had a flag football game and Cub Scouts tonight, I did not have much time to work on the car. After removing the parts, I painted the transmission mount and then worked on cleaning up the starter. By the end of the night, I had the starter casing in primer. I’ll let it dry overnight tonight and put a couple light coats of black paint on the casing just to improve the appearance.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Restoration of Transmission Mount

I stripped and primed the transmission mount tonight. As with all the other parts, it was covered in dirt and grease. It took a while to clean it up to the point it could be painted. I then coated it with Rustoleum Rusty Metal primer. I'll paint the part tomorrow night with some black paint after it dries overnight.

The transmission mount has a date of 04 11 stamped on it indicating it was made April 11. There are similar stampings on all the sheetmetal parts. However, this part has a strange R stamped on the side with a different type stamp than is used on all the other parts. I'm not sure why it is included it is very clear now that I've stripped the part.

My goal for the transmission project is to have it complete by Thanksgiving. I'm currently on track. I've a little sheet of tasks in timeline order so I can finish. Might sound crazy but I want to be a little more planful so I don't run into another 9 month project like I did last year.

Once it is close to Christmas, I'll start the rear suspension and undercarriage project. I'll likely start with the rear axle first. Once Christmas is over, I'll move on to stripping the undercarriage. I like this approach as it saves the dirty work until after the holidays are over.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parts Ordered for Transmission Rebuild

I placed an order today with Mustangs Unlimited and NPD.

I purchased a Centerforce II pressure plate, clutch, roller pilot bearing, shifter rebuild kit, and cast blast paint from Mustangs Unlimited. This was my first order with them. I decided to buy the pressure plate and clutch from Mustangs Unlimited as their price was $50 less than NPD.

I ordered the transmission rebuild kit, throw-out bearing, and transmission isolator mount from NPD. I trust NPD more for providing a complete transmission rebuild kit. Their catalog lists a rebuild kit for the V-8 3 speed and a separate kit for the inline 6 version (2.77). Mustangs Unlimited lists only one. There must be a reason NPD does it separately and I trust their experience over MU.

The parts should arrive next Tuesday. I'll need to remove the flywheel in the next few days to have it resurfaced. There is a local machine shop (Villa's) who stated they would resurface it for only $25.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Main Transmission Case Cleaned

I've worked on cleaning the main portion of the transmission case for the past few nights. I finished up the work tonight by removing the last of the grease deposits.

I cleaned it using Gunk engine cleaner, brake cleaner, and a wire wheel. To get to the small corners, I used a tiny wire wheel on a dremel. When I was done, there was no sign of grease on the case.

I then painted it with some Rustoleum primer for rusty parts. I used this because there was a slight bit of surface rust on the piece. I wiped it down with pre-paint prep but it did not get all the rust off. I'm not concerned and think it will end up looking great.

I'll leave the part in primer while I rebuild the transmission. I'll primer the front bearing retainer and top plate separately also. Once rebuilt and reassembled, I'll paint it with a cast blast paint which resembles the appearance of cast iron (but does not rust).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TrueTrac Rear Differential Order

I ordered a few parts from Summit Racing yesterday..

I decided to go ahead and order the TrueTrac differential and ring gear installation kit. By purchasing by October 31st, I receive $40 in Summit Bucks which is basically a discount on my next purchase. Once I receive the Summit Bucks, I'll order the ring gear and pay the difference.

The TrueTrac differential is great. Unlike others, it is a helical gear design which does not use clutches. There are no parts inside which would wear out. It engages so smoothly it is suggested for use even on front wheel drive vehicles. Finally, when engaged, it is a direct connection of the two rear wheels rather than a partial locking of the secondary wheel.

However, it is hard to justify sending so much on the rear axle based on the budget for my build. I have the $86 from the carburetor, $40 in Summit Bucks, and $50 in cash back bonuses on my Discover card. This helps a little and I hope to sell more unneeded parts to help make the purchase reasonable.

I'm now trying to determine which rear gear ratio I should use. Since I am going to be using the 3 speed for a while, I want something which is not too bad on the highway. I'm not sure if I will ever get a 5 speed but if I do it would be best to not need to replace the rear axle. While a 3.25 or 3.40 would work they would not be ideal. I guess with either one I would probably want something larger.

I'm leaning toward the 3.25 gears right now. They should put me a little under 3,000 RPM at 70 whereas the 3.40 gears would put me around 3,100. Of course, there would be a slight gain in performance by going with the 3.40 gears. Decisons. Decisions.

Bellhousing Cleaning & Transmission Dissasembly

I soaked the bellhousing for a while yesterday and cleaned it up this morning. The part came really clean despite the large amount of grease on it. The inside is as clean as the outside. After I took this picture, I removed the clutch lever and will restore it over the next few weeks.

I soaked the tail housting also and it turned out nice. There is still grease residue which would not come out of the inside. I'll need to get a brush which will fit down the middle to clean it further.

This afternoon I pulled all the gears out of the transmission. It took a little longer than I expected. It was like a big puzzle you had to take your time to get apart. The bearings had the FoMoCo markings on them so this transmission has never been rebuilt. Considering the condition, I would say the transmissions must be built really well from the factory.

The case is now empty and I'll be able to clean it thoroughly. I'll then rebuild it in the next few weeks.