View Full Version : Rick's 1960 HT

07-06-2013, 10:53 PM
There is still much to do but I was long overdue to post pictures of the car. Currently:
408 Windsor stroker
Edelbrock 650 Thunder AVS carb
Built up AOD with high stall converter
Front discs, 2 circuit master w/prop valve
Hurst Line Lock
Cal Trac traction bars
N2O system (almost done)

I am very apprehensive about doing the AOD shuffle but I did finally take it up to 5000 RPM in 1st at WOT. That was fun. Hoping to get it tuned up and down the strip at Lapeer Dragway a few times before the season ends. Thanks to everyone at Squarebirds. I am honored to be part of this first rate online community.

07-06-2013, 11:25 PM
This is my idea of a perfect Squarebird. You have a modern yet inexpensive engine and all the modern amenities necessary for safely driving among modern traffic on today's roads with plenty of confidence.

Every other combination actually costs more money because not only are parts scarce but so are good mechanics. Windsors and AODs are very available. You can also do EFI if you're so inclined.

What a beautiful ride... - Dave

07-07-2013, 12:24 AM
WOW - what a ride.
Didn't think a shaved Squarebird would look so fine.
Shaved with that color and those wheels is sweet.
You have a good eye to foresee the result.

07-07-2013, 02:47 PM
Very nice, love the clean look and tidy installation of everything. Very well thought out and executed. Wish my '66 had a full frame, it would be nice to have that kind of room to work!

07-08-2013, 12:14 PM
Looks like a sleeper to me, very nice job!

Dakota Boy
07-08-2013, 07:00 PM
those rear tires dont stand a chance...:D

Richard D. Hord
07-09-2013, 05:17 PM
Hey Rick,
What can I say but "WOW"
If you take her to the track, please have someone video it and post it for us to see. SHE IS AWESOME!
Richard D. Hord

Dakota Boy
07-09-2013, 08:17 PM
Is that an electric fuel pump under the rear bumper?

Looks like you have a return line running back to the sump on your tank too.

Where did you run the fuel lines? There are so few choices on these cars.... I ran my one 3/8" hard supply line in the factory location.

What radiator and electric fan did you use?

07-09-2013, 11:19 PM
I hope this will work. The drivers side line out of the fuel tank is braided hose ending at the mechanical pump. After the mechanical pump I have a filter and a non-return pressure regulator and gauge. When sitting in the drivers seat with the hood open I can watch the gauge tell me 6psi. The passenger side which is the fuel supply for the nitrous plate has the filter right after the electric pump leading to a return regulator and another fuel pressure gauge. For the return line I used some braided hose to go across the crossmember and clamped it on to the original fuel line to get back to the tank. I am wiring it so that the "ARM N2O" switch will turn on the electric pump too. I will be using a throttle position switch on the carb and a delay switch to experiment with.

I ran the lines on both sides of the car tucked in behind the drip channel. Got to be careful when lifting the car. The radiator is a griffin that I chose based on its similar dimensions to the original rad. The fan I forget - just got the strongest one I could find (and it is running a bit warm- stays at 180 for awhile then creeps up to 200-205)

07-09-2013, 11:27 PM
And thank you everyone for the comments. You can be sure I will be getting video soon.

Dakota Boy
07-10-2013, 08:43 PM
I'm going to need that 600HP crate 460 from carsbycarl.com before we ever decide to race each other.

08-14-2013, 10:01 PM
I had asked two different guys in town to help me finish the nitrous install but their actions contradicted their words. I was not confident about wiring it up but after a few weeks it became apparent that I was going to have to figure it out. I think I have everything done right and my tests so far have been successful. Tonight I installed a purge solenoid with the 1/4" tube poking up where the drivers side windshield washer used to be. Seeing that work was quite gratifying. I'm charging my video camera now. I'll have numbers tomorrow. My camera is old (not youtube ready) so it will be a while before the video gets posted but it will get posted. Thanks again to (in no particular order) Greg, Dave, Jopizz, Carl, Ray and everyone who has helped me get to this point.


08-15-2013, 03:27 PM
I got a hole cut in my H-pipe for an air/fuel mixture sensor to go in during the testing and tuning. They strapped the car down and started it up. He pulled it up to 5200 rpm (which I missed recording) and got a pretty flat torque curve just below 300ft/lb. Rear wheel HP was 275 and still climbing. We were talking about the nitrous and decided not to use it till I got smaller jets(I realized I had a 100HP shot installed and I want to start out more like 50) and possibly a controller to take timing out during nitrous use. We never got to tuning though because on the next pull the rollers started loading up before they were supposed to indicating failure of one or more of the coils (it's a mustang brand dyno) that provide the electromagnetic resistance. He said "I'm sorry, we're done. I'll call you when I get the dyno back online." He did say that the air/fuel mix looked pretty good as it was.
No charge. Meanwhile, I still have plenty of interior work to do.

Dakota Boy
08-15-2013, 07:38 PM
Yeah, but what does your own internal "dyno" tell you?

Does the car feel and sound fast?:D

08-15-2013, 08:43 PM
It sounds great. I put about twenty feet of rubber in front of my house (my son Kevin got that on video) and that was cool. The line lock doesn't hold the car as much as I thought it would. I was pressing the pedal pretty hard when I engaged it. That has me thinking about upgrades to the rotors/calipers/pads but I have no braking issues with normal driving-just always thinking bigger better you know the routine.
I certainly believe that it can use the nitrous. Don't know if my expectations are too high but it doesn't really push me into the seat like I'm looking for on the motor alone. I bought a set of 50HP jets and I'll put them in soon as I get 'em. Also I learned that lower bottle pressure equals less HP so I can ease that off, too. I still have to learn more about timing and air/fuel ratio. I have read that running lean is suicide but I don't yet know how to control that. I'll keep you posted.

Dakota Boy
08-15-2013, 09:09 PM
Try pressing the brake, then hold the line-lock button, and pump the brake pedal one more time and release (keep the line-lock button pressed). What happens is a bit more fluid pushes past the lock, but cant get back out.

A line-lock wont hold the car back for too long on dry surfaces, but it'll hold forever on wet concrete. Ask me how I know this...

Their main purpose is to keep a car in the burnout box at the strip, not really as a "launch-control" device.

Is your rear diff open, or limited slip/trac-loc/posi-trac/whatever-whatchmacallit?
I have a Detroit Locker in my center section.

08-17-2013, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the tip. I have a posi. It seems to work pretty well judging by the marks left on the pavement:D and it makes strange noises sometimes when I'm in reverse and turning. I bought a cheap little usb camera to put under the car while I'm driving to see how the suspension is moving and stuff. Haven't recorded much data yet. Pretty sure the clanking sounds in the back are my Cal Trac whachamajiggies slapping the leaf springs. Got my 50HP fuel jet today. N2O jet is on the way. So close. I read that using race gas reduces the need to retard the timing when spraying. I can do that.

Dakota Boy
08-18-2013, 09:08 AM
Have you seen that MSD makes a little gadget with a dial on it for adjusting timing from the driver's seat? I'm pretty sure you have to use it in conjunction with one of thier ignition boxes though.

08-19-2013, 12:04 AM
Yes I was looking at that today. I have a 6AL in the car so it's a viable option. I also saw the msd digital 6 that has that feature(and others) built in. Also looked at window switch but I don't think I need that. If I want to turn the nitrous off near the top end I can just turn off the arming switch in the ashtray and that will kill the WOT switch and the electric fuel pump simultaneously.

08-22-2013, 11:43 AM
Well I got my 50HP jets installed, put in some race gas and finally hit the N2O. The first attempt was on a freeway on ramp. I thought I could tell the difference but it wasn't overwhelming. Perhaps the fuel line wasn't full. I hit it a couple more times going about 65-70mph in third gear. About the same. Then on the street I coasted down to first and tried again. This time I heard the pitch of the motor go up about a major third at the onset, still in first gear. I don't know what the rpm jump was, I'll keep one eye on the tach next time. My one second delay helps me know when it hits. It was as if the throttle opened up a bit more even though my foot was all the way down. I don't think I'm going to fear the 100HP jets. Maybe there are other things to do but other than not knowing exactly what my timing is doing I think everything is where it's supposed to be.

09-11-2013, 12:34 AM
Still waiting for the dyno guy to call but there is plenty to do in the meantime. My wife sewed the seat belts because they were too long. I was chasing a problem of my "N2O ON" (flowing) light on the dash was illuminating when I turned on my headlights. Other symptoms appeared long story short boy it really cannot be overstated MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD GROUND! I had mounted the relay for the solenoids on the fender right where the passenger headlight wires go through. I thought I would use the same ground point for the relay as the headlights. Clearly I compromised the ground when I did that and I was lucky too because my dash was getting hot to the touch. I put things back the way they were and presto! Bright headlights, everything good. Tomorrow I'll put the relay back on and see if I need to ground it somewhere else or if I can just make a good connection there.

09-11-2013, 02:09 AM
Really? ...nitrous, MDS, relays, extra dash lights... and you're depending on fifty year old rusty spot welds to carry half your current?

Many restorers are very particular about their electrical connections but take grounds for granted. You know, like the ground side is 'a given'.

Seriously though, run a bare #8AWG stranded copper wire from your battery (neg) to the trunk area, clamping it to the floor along the way in one continuous length. Tap off of it for each area. In other words, run a #14 stranded copper wire spliced from the #8 to your headlight area and connect that to ground. Tap another branch off for your dash, another for your power seats, convertible top motor, and another for your trunk lid, tail light housings, license plate lamps and FUEL TANK.

Then, you can add as many relays or solenoids as you want. - Dave

09-23-2013, 03:36 PM
Hi Dave,

Thanks for giving me a new perspective on the ground situation. Your instruction makes perfect sense now that I can visualize what's going on there. Thanks again. BTW, people at All Tbird Day used the term "sleeper" to describe my car. That was when I had the other set of wheels and tires on. Now it looks like Dr. Jeckyll halfway through the transformation. I keep asking myself am I going to leave that heavy bumper and hood on? Those things are really gonna slow me down!

10-22-2013, 11:27 PM
Going to get my subframe connectors! Then hopefully the doors trunk and hood will stay where I put them after running down the track with that 100hp shot of N2O and drag radials. I have one shot at Milan Dragway if the weather cooperates. If not, I'll be ready come Spring. For the nitrous I installed a new ignition box-the MSD 6520. It has a rev limiter that is programmable and activated by a voltage sensor. I spliced it into the line lock. Of course it also has a programmable top end rev limiter. Also a built in programmable timing retard that is also activated by another voltage sensor. This I have spliced into my solenoid(s) wire. So when the bottle is open and the system is armed, my timing will drop 4 degrees at the same time the solenoids open, currently one second after I go to WOT. Life is good.:)

Dakota Boy
10-23-2013, 06:38 PM
what size tire is on the rear wheels in that photo above?

10-23-2013, 10:41 PM
235/60R15 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A Drag Radial 2. Either 7" or 8" width on the wheel. I can't look it up online at Jeg's where I bought the wheels cause they won't show you your history without the order#. :confused: It took me all day to get them on ( I had to remove the 1" lowering blocks to get the axle low enough - I figured that was less work than undoing the leaf spring perches) then I took em off for a cruise and now they're back on again. I realized it might be a bit easier if I let some air out of em. In truth it seemed like I had to push them through the gap between the wheel well lip and the brake drum just as hard with 10psi as 30.

Dakota Boy
10-24-2013, 07:58 AM
If you cut away some of that troublesome sheet metal around the rear wheel openings, you can then fit any tire you want.... ;):D

10-24-2013, 01:09 PM
Hi Dave,

Thanks for giving me a new perspective on the ground situation. Your instruction makes perfect sense now that I can visualize what's going on there. Thanks again. BTW, people at All Tbird Day used the term "sleeper" to describe my car. That was when I had the other set of wheels and tires on. Now it looks like Dr. Jeckyll halfway through the transformation. I keep asking myself am I going to leave that heavy bumper and hood on? Those things are really gonna slow me down!

You could always do what a local guy did with his TriFive drag car. He built glass bumpers that look just like the chrome ones and had them air brushed to simulate chrome. When you look at them and understand what he was doing, they are kind of cool. That would save what, 200 pounds on a squarebird?

10-24-2013, 01:12 PM
235/60R15 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A Drag Radial 2. Either 7" or 8" width on the wheel. I can't look it up online at Jeg's where I bought the wheels cause they won't show you your history without the order#. :confused: It took me all day to get them on ( I had to remove the 1" lowering blocks to get the axle low enough - I figured that was less work than undoing the leaf spring perches) then I took em off for a cruise and now they're back on again. I realized it might be a bit easier if I let some air out of em. In truth it seemed like I had to push them through the gap between the wheel well lip and the brake drum just as hard with 10psi as 30.

I have the same battle to pull the 17" rims off our 58. I actually have to unbolt the passenger side shock at the bottom to get the tires off. I have concluded, if there were discs on there instead of the drums, I could probably pull them without all the drama. I tried the air thing also and don't think it helped me at all.

10-24-2013, 04:51 PM
Yes that pesky sheet metal. I like being able to put the skirts on when I'm running the cruisin wheels and tires. Hey Rusty I may try disconnecting the shocks next time. I wasn't thinking but that must allow the leaf to drop a little more. Easier than disconnecting the rear spring mounts by far. What I really need now is a bigger jack.

10-24-2013, 09:17 PM
I'm enjoying your journey to going fast.


10-25-2013, 03:07 AM
235/60R15 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A Drag Radial 2. Either 7" or 8" width on the wheel. I can't look it up online at Jeg's where I bought the wheels cause they won't show you your history without the order#. :confused: It took me all day to get them on ( I had to remove the 1" lowering blocks to get the axle low enough - I figured that was less work than undoing the leaf spring perches) then I took em off for a cruise and now they're back on again. I realized it might be a bit easier if I let some air out of em. In truth it seemed like I had to push them through the gap between the wheel well lip and the brake drum just as hard with 10psi as 30.

I've been guilty of putting a small screw-type jack between the frame and rear-end to force the rear-end low enough to get the wheel on.

Make sure the jack don't slip is MY advice.

10-26-2013, 11:55 AM
I love the idea of a fiberglass hood and front bumper. If I happened to trip over a huge pile of $$ I'd do it, too.:D

But seriously wouldn't one have to delete the hinges if one had a fiberglass hood? I would think a lift off job with those post/cotter pin assemblies would be required.

10-29-2013, 06:39 PM
Stopped by the shop today to see how things were going. They are going alright. I didn't have a clear picture of what they were going to do. The car is up on multiple jacks of course and has been squared up. Roger told me one of the front corners was off by, well he didn't say how much but it was not much. He found some rodent remains and a lot of blasting media that is still in the car after 2000 miles of driving (that stuff is tenacious). He will be putting the driveshaft loop on and welding on some jack pads, too.

10-31-2013, 03:17 PM
Smart moves, both the frame connectors and loop. Now you get more energy put directly towards the rear suspesion and pavement instead of body flex. Caltracks could help some with the upcoming traction probs;) Have you taken your bird to the track yet, I mean ever?

I've seen so many driveshaft failures that loop is a must safety device really.

I like your build a lot Rick

Dakota Boy
10-31-2013, 08:02 PM
So they "squared-up" your car and THEN welded those pieces of steel along both sides of the driveshaft tunnel? Those new pieces keep the car "square", and also add strength?

My car seems to have a bit of a "twist" in it. The right rear corner sits a bit lower than the left.

If this is the solution, then maybe I've found the answer...

10-31-2013, 09:48 PM
Greg, I wish I could remember exactly what my mechanic found when he was checking why my right rear side was sitting lower than the left. But I do know that he found a bracket or something attached to the axle, I think, that was pulling the right side down lower than the left side. It was flipped the wrong way, I think he said and as soon as he turned it the right way to match the left side, it allowed the right side to go up and level off with the left side! I just wish I could remember exactly what it was, but it had something to do with the springs on the right side or a bracket, something like that. You might get under the car and check the left side against the right side and see if something is flipped the wrong way....

10-31-2013, 11:30 PM
Fireball, I have not yet been to the track. If I'm lucky I'll get some passes in before it closes for the season. Greg, that is precisely what they are doing. They have welded the rear end of the bar to the same piece of the frame that holds the front leaf spring bracket. That's why they cut open that area under the rear seat. When they're done we'll adjust the caltracs nice and snug and off we go!

11-13-2013, 08:10 PM
I took more shots under the car but they don't show the new frame rails well. They just blend in now that they're painted. Roger told me he had to do ALOT of modification to the "universal" driveshaft loop.

02-28-2014, 03:57 PM
Y'all know that I painted my valve covers yellow to pay tribute to the original motor. Now I have given my air cleaner a similar treatment. I bought a 428 decal (for a '66) from Birdsnest and had a local (in the fleamarket!) signmaker change the 2 to a zero in his computer and make me a displacement correct decal. I know I'm mixing generations here and the color isn't strictly correct but it's just for fun.

Had to attach a tab to the lid to accomodate the interceptor decal. I used some of what was leftover from my radiator shroud. Same leftover aluminum for the mounting plate for my fuel pump in the back. I still have a few square inches left:D

04-14-2014, 06:40 AM
I took the car to a local shop to be weighed last week. Brian has a wireless 4 pad setup. With no passenger seat or backseat, the passenger door panel and no other interior panels, on the street tires and wheels and 1/4 tank of gas, my results are:

No Driver:
Front Left - 977# Front 50.75%
Front Right - 939#
Rear Left - 944# Rear 49.26%
Rear Right - 915#

With me in the driver's seat:
Front Left - 1063# Front 50.61%
Front Right - 942#
Rear Left - 1000# Rear 49.38%
Rear Right - 954#

My hopes of losing 2-300# from the new motor and trans have been dashed against the hard rocks of reality. I'm 158 heavier than stock and I still have more to put on! On the bright side my front rear ratio is quite good. And as Roger my main mechanic keeps telling me "You don't have a race car, you have a street car that you want to go fast." The rest of the story will come this year when I get some passes and times. I don't think I'll have to worry about ripping up my new headliner for a rollcage cuz I went faster than 12 seconds.

04-29-2014, 02:51 PM
Nice build. Under hood treatment is fine.
Creative air cleaner.

05-10-2014, 09:43 PM
Thank you FINSRIN. I am getting pretty excited now that the interior is close to being done. The carpet I got through the local TBird club 15 years ago is going in rather nicely. The article in the TRL is very helpful.
The car will be COMPLETE soon! I won't say done cuz there will always be something to attend to or improve but I;m really looking forward to how it's going to feel and sound with an interior. I promise video when I get to the strip.


07-29-2014, 04:25 PM
So my mechanic was instructing me on how to launch the car using the line lock. It was not going to be easy with the line lock button in the console because it went like this: Pull up to the tree, put it in neutral, rev the motor aka flash the converter, apply brake pedal, hold line lock button, shift to low (with my left hand cuz my right index finger is on the button), move foot from brake to gas, bring revs up while waiting for the green light, upon green light release line lock and hit the gas. Not even thinking about the nitrous yet.
So I poked around the web a bit and it seems the consensus is: line lock can be useful at launch in a manual transmission car but footbraking is the way to do it if you have an automatic (me). Use the line lock only for the burnout. Then hold the car at the tree with your left foot while giving it all the gas you can without moving the car.
One of these footbrake guys said the first thing is find out your stall speed by doing that and noting what your rpm is at the point where the car starts to move. This is the part I don't understand. If the stall speed is the point at which the converter acts like a solid connection, theoretically one of two things should happen. Either the drivetrain overpowers the brakes, or if your brakes were strong enough, the brakes would overpower the drivetrain, the evidence of that being you pushing the accelerator past a certain point and the revs not increasing. In my case the car starts to move at just over 2000rpm. This with me pushing hard on the brake pedal, no line lock involvement. The converter was advertised as having a stall speed of 3000rpm. I'm just putting this out here in case any of you have anything to share. Hope everyone's having a good summer.

08-23-2014, 08:37 PM
Made 8 passes today. Pass #8: 12.9 seconds @ 110 mph. That was with the nitrous (100hp shot) coming in at 4 seconds after WOT. I need work on my staging and my 60ft times aren't very good but I'm pleased that my two ton car got into the 12s on its first day out.:D

08-24-2014, 08:39 PM
That's really cool Rick.

I think the "tribute" engine treatment looks great.

You're just going to have to post a video of the car going down the track ...... :D


08-24-2014, 09:29 PM
I whole-heartedly agree with Eric Taylor.

Rick, is there any rush better than the feeling you get from a good run down the track? Congratulations for busting past that 13 sec. mark. There are few Squarebirds that go twelve seconds. Someday I'd like to see yours. My brother lives on Winn Lake in Lapeer so I make that trek by times. - Dave

09-27-2014, 09:28 PM
Today and I was able to match my previous time and speed but not beat it even though I took my tires down to 16psi and started the nitrous sooner. I think the problem was I had an almost empty bottle. Of course better driving will help too. A guy offered to take a vid of me with his phone. He did but the quality is not good enough to post. I am going to Milan on Oct. 1 and I AM going to get some good video!

09-28-2014, 12:38 AM
Rick, do you go with anyone? Good video should have a couple cameras, both on tripods.

You need one camera just ahead of the Christmas tree for the launch. The other camera should be about half way down the track with the traps in sight.

Cell phones don't offer stability or video quality you need. Tripods have the ability to smoothly pan while you zoom, etc. Editing is equally important. If you capture raw footage, I can make your video with music, narration, fade and many other features. The more cameras you use, the better your video will turn out because you get more perspectives. If you have good still pictures, they can embellish your video. Take 100 pictures. Seriously. Use as high resolution as you possibly can. Burn the stills and the raw video to a DVD and mail it to me. - Dave

09-29-2014, 08:51 PM
I'm working on getting someone to shoot. I have an old hi8 sony camera that takes a decent video and I do have a tripod for it. I suppose it's time to enter the 21st century and get a digital movie camera. And of course I have my still camera. If I can get more people to take pics and video then I could have a two camera production. If I succeed in getting a bunch of footage and stills I will certainly take you up on your generous offer.

10-23-2014, 12:39 AM
Well I did go to Milan but despite my vow I got no one to accompany me and no video. The good news is I got down to 12.559 seconds (with a slow reaction) and up to 111mph. On what turned out to be my last pass I forgot to shift. :eek: I decided I was going to keep it in 1st for awhile maybe 5000rpm then go to D and let the trans do the 2-3 shift. This was right after my good run. So after a long, long wait in line I do a decent burnout and stage. Light goes, I go and the nitrous comes on at 2.5 seconds like it's supposed to. Shortly after that I hear a loud noise like something substantial snapping that sounds like it came from the back of the car. I don't know if it coincided with hitting the rev limiter (6500) or not. I lift of course and at about that time realize I forgot to take it out of 1st. I finish the distance slowly and go back to the pit area wondering what I broke but I cannot find anything wrong. I drove it home 60 miles and didn't hear or feel anything wrong. I ain't complainin but I do wonder what that sound was. Anyway I put the cruisin tires back on and did the local club cruise with, again, no problems.
Happy Halloween to all.


Dan Leavens
10-23-2014, 09:51 AM
Rick thanks for setting up the run.

The good news is I got down to 12.559 seconds (with a slow reaction) and up to 111mph. On what turned out to be my last pass I forgot to shift. I decided I was going to keep it in 1st for awhile

I think that would be a blast especially in these old gals:eek:

Dakota Boy
01-30-2015, 07:44 AM
So I guess my car needs to run low 12's too. :D

You have posted a photo of your car with black steel wheels above. Where did you get those wheels?

I need to get a pair of those, but am looking for 10" width.


01-30-2015, 03:48 PM
They are Cragar Delux 69 series. Jeg's has all the sizes. With your wheel wells you could get the 15 x 14s.:D I noticed when I have mine on I could get another inch maybe two of width on the backside but they don't offer multiple backspacing sizes. So maybe I'll look into that when my BFGs are done. No idea how long they will last.

Dakota Boy
01-30-2015, 07:58 PM
Hmmmm..... I'll need more backspacing than they offer.

Wheel Vintiques is probably where I'll be heading.
And those M/T ET Street drag radials sure are spendy. Dang.

07-02-2015, 09:48 PM
After much time and effort, and no small amount of frustration, I appear to be back in business. I had my radiator out to make room for the timing chain r&r that Roger told me I needed. He showed me just how loose it had become earlier this year when he was putting in my new Lentech tranny (no AOD shuffle-first is one position, second is another, and Drive is another. The overdrive is turned on and off by a dash switch) . He said it wasn't dangerously loose but I should keep an eye on it. Well the last time I went for a drive I thought I was running kind of hot so I decided to have the radiator checked out and replace the thermostat. I certainly wasn't going to pull the radiator twice so I called the folks in Chicago who built my motor and ordered a new timing set from them. The biggest frustration was finding out the new gear was thicker than the old one. A new crank pulley spacer took care of that, and now I have a 3/8" and a 7/8" spacer I don't need. I also relocated the trans cooler while the rad was out. Instead of being strapped to the radiator it is now on brackets a couple inches in front of it. My drive today showed 150 degrees trans temp. I was not thrashing the car but I did give it a couple short acceleration bursts. My new engine operating temp is right around 190. It creeps up one or two degrees from there when standing or creeping but goes back down when I return to normal cruising. I would like to put in more heat shielding for the passenger compartment. I could feel it coming in pretty good and it was not anywhere near a hot day today so I have some steep cabin temps to look forward to.:(
So, new posi, new 3:70 rear gear, new rear drums and shoes, new 31 spline axles and the aforementioned trans and timing set. And an air fuel ratio gauge, which is telling me I am running lean. I have my ignition unit programmed to retard 4 degrees when the juice hits (the rule of thumb I was told is 2 degrees for every 50HP) but I did not know what my A/F was, so again I was lucky last year. I went through a couple bottles and didn't damage anything. I will go to the dyno and have a nice fat tune put on it before I use the bottle this time. Then it's off to Lapeer for test n tune. I'm hoping we will have good weather in September so I can meet Dakota Boy at Great Lakes Dragaway and beat him in his own backyard:D That's gonna be a tall order with that new mill of his, though.

07-03-2015, 08:50 AM
Wait a minute. I'm confused. You live just north of Detroit (The Motor City) but you had your motor built in Chicago??? Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago. I was born there. We have much better engine builders here in Detroit and at much better prices than Chicago ever dreamed of. Chicago has a bad reputation for overcharging for any and all automotive services, (especially at the dealerships where I should think they would take good care of their customers).

For a timing chain, you should have a 'true roller' timing chain set. Summit Racing offers their FE set for $40.00. CLICK HERE (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-g6608-9). I use this double-roller set and am very happy with the performance and longevity it delivers on my roller cams. - Dave

07-03-2015, 02:01 PM
I have no good explanation for that. When I was looking for a replacement for my original Windsor (crate motor purchased at now defunct Ramchargers speed shop in Waterford) I somehow believed that I couldn't find a builder here. I contacted John Vermeersch and he was cooperative but at the same time told me he had more work than he had people to do it. I tried to contact Barry Robotnick without success. I know Barry is an FE specialist but I thought he might be interested as a Ford guy. Then I found a website called FordStrokers.com and I did get a positive reference in that the guy who bought my old Windsor knew the proprietor and said he knew what he was doing. That's how it happened and yes it was costly but I don't have anything to compare it to. So we drove down, put it in my van and brought it back and now it's doing fine under my hood.:)

07-03-2015, 04:10 PM
John and Elaine Vermeersch are personal friends of mine. They run the Galaxie Club of Michigan and they own Total Performance, 44050 N. Groesbeck. John has beaten cancer and I wouldn't be surprised if he retires soon.

For a 351W, I would not go to John. I would go to Alternative Auto Performance (http://www.alternativeauto.com/Home.html), formerly only a mile from John. Lidio Iccabelli is THE MAN in my book for SBF engines. Lidio and his brother were trained while working at Dorian Ford. (Mike Doran, Jr. lives across the street from me.) Now located on Gratiot in Chesterfield, Lidio made his name installing Vortec superchargers and racing at Ubly Dragway.

Having said all that, I build my own SBF and FE engines. I am retired and I don't have a machine shop but there are many excellent shops I use around Detroit. Restorers NEVER have enough friends and I am proud to call both John and Lidio my friends. Any time I need a source, they always come through.

I'm in the North Woodward area (Royal Oak) where we have our own clique of hot rodders, and an airport that sells racing fuel at prices better than Citgo. - Dave

Back to John Vermeersch... Yes, he is busy but John told me he is giving up the title, "FE Guru". John will always give you the name of another great FE guy in the Detroit area (there are many, believe me). - Dave

07-03-2015, 11:25 PM
Thanks Dave. I will certainly contact Alternative if I ever need engine help in the future. Everything seems good at the moment. Even without a whole lot of throttle I am getting rubber on the 1-2 shift:D


07-14-2015, 07:22 PM
Got my car back from the dyno today. I am not going to report the numbers in keeping with the rules of etiquette between soon to be dueling racers (DAKOTA BOY!):D but I will disclose that my peak HP on the bottle was 71 HP more than the motor only number (measured at the rear wheels of course). That is with the 100HP jets. I haven't researched it but it seems to me a drivetrain loss of 29HP is pretty good. So it's on with the drag radials and off to Lapeer to learn how to drive this thing.


Dakota Boy
07-15-2015, 11:15 PM
Umm me too.

Havent been to the track yet either.

07-17-2015, 07:08 AM
Sorry about your starter woes. I had a setback too. My extension housing cracked and I had a puddle of tranny fluid on the garage floor. With the guidance and reassurance of my mechanic Roger the fix has been much easier than I feared. Still, I'm out of commission till he can modify the crossmember to accommodate a real trans mount. The guys who engineered the swap made a crossmember with a rubber shim about 3/16 thick. So the motor was able to twist on its mounts more than the trans on its. I should mount a sign in the car like they have at factories-THIS CAR HAS BEEN DRIVEN....DAYS WITHOUT THE OWNER HAVING TO FIX SOME **** THING:D

Dakota Boy
07-17-2015, 07:58 AM
I have my starter thing fixed now.
I was going to go to the Meltdown Drags at Byron, IL tomorrow but the temp. plus heat index is going to be 105 F.
I was there a few years ago when it was that hot, and it was absolute torture.
I'll stay home in the A/C instead.

11-17-2015, 10:31 PM
New bushings and ball joints, freshly painted control arms and 1/2" spacers under the coils. I told Roger to cut a coil back when we were first getting the car running and driving. I thought it needed it to get the stance right. I put the street rims back on (225/60R16) and it looks good with the 1" lowering block in back. Got it aligned and it feels pretty good. I can't do anything about the slop in the steering box. I will upgrade to rack and pinion I just don't know when. There is still something sounding like it's loading and unloading under the car though. Now it sounds like the right rear. There's not a whole lot under there. Leaf, axle, shock. And in my case, CalTrac. Something's loose. I don't feel like squirming around on the garage floor again so soon, but I'll check it out. Man it's always something. These mild days have been a real blessing. I even got some yard work done!:D

Dakota Boy
11-18-2015, 04:56 PM
Some of my "race car" buddies (one even has a car that runs 4.5's in the 1/8th on 275 drag radials) have told me to get rid of those rubber pads that sandwich the leaf springs (where the springs are bolted to the axle). I know the feeling you are perhaps talking about, but it could also be the Detroit Locker in the rear end that is causing this.

11-19-2015, 10:06 PM
I tightened the u bolt nuts and the noise went away. It was very nice of them not to come completely off at 100+mph. Of course I (imagined that I) felt the improvement in handling as well. I realized I hadn't checked those nuts since I put the axle back together after getting the new innards. So once again everything is as hunky dory as it can get. I wonder what the next issue will be.

10-17-2016, 11:41 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen I am pleased to announce that Big Red (a nickname for my car that I literally just now thought of) has broken the 12 second mark. Last year my best was 12.157. Between then and now I put 90/10 drag shocks on the front and removed the swaybar. I went to Milan last Wednesday looking for an 11.99 and ran 11.929 at 116.18mph on my second pass. That was before I remembered that I wanted to let some air out of the drag radials. I had 20 lbs. in them for driving to the track. I let out 5 pounds and even with a bit of wheel hop got a better 60ft. time (1.793) but not a better et or speed. A problem with the nitrous not coming on when it was supposed to prevented me from making any better runs but I was happy I got that 11. I hope to get one more shot at Lapeer. Still haven't gotten anyone to accompany me so no video:(. Maybe I'll get some video at Lapeer. I'll tighten the Cal Tracs and see about maybe getting some 11.8s.:D

10-18-2016, 12:09 AM
Congratulations, Rick! That is quite the accomplishment! Hopefully, the next time there will be someone who can shoot some video!

Dakota Boy
10-30-2016, 10:27 AM
Dude that is an awesome time you have there-

I just added a 1/2 inch fuel line a few weeks ago, and finally the carb isn't running empty on me anymore. Should've done this a long time ago!

11-04-2016, 09:19 PM
Good good. You take it out? I went back to the same track and got down to 11.88. I lost the race though cause I jumped the gun. I think the body is twisting around despite the connectors. I see a wave in the passenger door I didn't notice before. On the other hand, maybe it's due to the weatherstrip. I had to move the striker all the way out to get the door closed and it needed significant force at that. I let it stay that way for a few weeks then moved the striker in a bit. Passenger door was never right anyway, even with no weatherstrip.

It does seem like the gaps are moving around over time. Not a huge deal. Car is pretty much finished. Plenty of flaws but it's a driver not a show car. I hope I can come up with a way to get more cooling. It hasn't been a problem with these mild temperatures but on hot days it runs a bit higher than I'd like.

My son took a video on his phone: https://youtu.be/SCs5TOwPGrM

Dakota Boy
11-06-2016, 06:25 PM
nice video!

11-29-2016, 09:45 PM
I did go to Lapeer and stunk up the place pretty good. I couldn't do anything right. If I wasn't screwing up the car was. You know what they say, though - a bad day at the track is better than whatever else I would have been doing instead, um, or something like that.

I bought a nice hood from Carl and my mechanic is going to raise the scoop so I can ditch my 2" air cleaner for a 3.5". While we're at it we will put a vent or vents to hopefully release some of that hot underhood air and I will fab up an aluminum plate with some foam to seal the carb intake. It'll be Ram Air only with no engineering :rolleyes: The guy who built my Windsor said he wouldn't spray more than 250HP on it:eek: He's got nothing to worry about there. I'm at 150 now and I got a simple progressive controller that gives you three choices of ramp up: slow medium or fast.The biggest jets that came with my N2O system are for 200 so I'm going to put them in and play with the controller until I get the best I can do with it.

Oh and I took out the power steering system. I don't think it was doing anything for me anyway. At idle there was no assist that I could tell. So I plugged the ports in the (not original) steering box, took out a few components from the pump to let it spin free and plugged those ports and now I have an idler that looks like a disconnected pump. We'll see how that works out.


02-24-2017, 04:18 PM
Well the pump shell is gone, replaced by an idler pulley. I never did drive it with the pump shell so we'll never know if it would have exploded. I also have my replacement rear tires: M & H ROD-36. Same size as the BFGs. John at M & H says I'm gonna love 'em. Work on the hood (my hood, I decided not to buy Carl's) should be starting soon. I had the car out the other day and hit the 200HP button on the freeway. I have not yet installed the progressive controller so it came on all at once. It was good but felt like less than I was hoping for. My bottle pressure may have been low and I know I was on the tail end of the bottle. And I was already doing 70mph. I'm looking forward to many passes this year. If I can get consistent I might even compete!
Oh and it IS absolute hell to steer. The rack and pinion conversion must happen soon.

04-08-2017, 06:38 PM
I'm giving myself a hood scoop that can hold its own with Greg's wheelwells.;) The most I can get in there is a 2" element on a drop base. With the new scoop I will be able to fit a 3 1/2" on a flat base. We're going to figure out how to partition it off at some point in the future.

Dakota Boy
02-26-2018, 07:53 AM
I'll be watching this hood scoop mod here.... I need to do that myself at some point, as I am also out of room under the hood. The cowl scoop is the direction I am leaning at the moment.

Dakota Boy
02-26-2018, 07:55 AM
Lets see a side profile shot of your car with that scoop on it

Dakota Boy
02-26-2018, 10:48 AM
By the way, I bought a four-row radiator from US Radiator last July and all my overheating issues are gone. I have an aluminum shroud on it, with a 6-blade fan which is probably overkill now.

07-17-2018, 05:27 PM
Know these photos were posted quite a ways back but I have to say "wow"