Man, it’s been almost a month since I’ve done an update. It’s been pretty busy around here. Making some progress here on the build, but it’s been a little slow.
It seems like with every step, I spend a couple of hours researching, clarifying, and modifying the build step.
What I’ve been working on:
I have the engine about 90% completed. I installed the intake manifold, carb, distributor (temporarily), coil, water pump, and alternator (complete with Mike Everson’s bracket.) I need some parts to finish things up, then I’ll be able to get it all assembled and ready to put in the car.
Test Fit with Headers:
I was able to put the engine in the car and put the 4 into 4 headers on so I could verify my passenger foot box modification. I was pretty pleased with the results. With just measurements to build from, I managed to fit it with about 3/4″ of clearance to spare.
Some of the parts were already assembled, and I had already painted the rotors and put the brakes on. Michelle and I got the steering rack installed (we installed and uninstalled it 3 times to get it right.)
After spending hours and hours learning about SAI, bump steer, caster, camber, toe-in, toe-out, etc., I finally felt like I could put all of the components together for the front end. My steering rack is an 18:1 manual rack from Mike Forte, and I also got my solid offset bushings and my bump steer kit from him.
Bump Steer Kit and Offset Bushings:
There are many different configurations for installing the bump steer kit. The tie-rod ends can be installed on top of or below the spindle, and you have a varying number of spacers. As a starting point, I used the “parallel to the LCA” configuration, and ended up with my tie-rod ends on bottom of the spindle arms with one spacer on top. I also added a washer for protection on the bolt head. To get the right angle and to get the rack centered, I put the bushings so that the rack was as high as possible. I also used the bump steer kit to pull the wheels in so they are marginally in pre-alignment location.
Once I’m ready to align, I’ll end up measuring bump steer throughout the top to bottom of the wheel stroke, and adjust as needed.
I had my 3.55′s put in locally since I didn’t have all of the tools needed to complete it. I figure it was $300 well spent, as it was all ready for me to prepare the rear end for installation.
The first step was to replace the old axle seals. Getting them out was a bit of a challenge, but a carefully placed hammer (claw end) worked well to pop them out. Getting the new ones in was even more challenging as they are pressure fit. I placed them in the housing, tapped them with the hammer, and used a pulley I found that was the right size to pound the new seal in place. A little touch up spray paint, and I was ready for the axles.
After this, I removed the rear cover, removed the pinion shaft bolt and pinion, and put both axles into the shafts. The original owner didn’t give me the c-clips to hold the axles in, but I had picked up a set (they sell them in 4′s for some reason) from Ford. You basically just push the axles in all the way, put the clips on, and pull the axles back out to seat the clips in place. Pinion shaft and retaining bolt back in, then I used some rtv to seal the rear cover and gasket, and torqued the bolts down.
One thing that didn’t go well was getting the drain plug out for the rear end. You just use a socket extension since it’s a 3/8″ square plug. Someone in the past had really put that thing in well, so I managed to bend my extension a little. Nothing the grinder can’t fix. Unfortunately, it was my long extension, which I don’t have 10 of like I do the short ones.
I’m now ready to get the rear end installed in the car. Michelle and I will likely work on this tomorrow night for date night!