Hopping Up the Top End, Part 4

Well, this is what the final result looks like:

I may still have the bracket bent slightly where the kickdown cable comes through.  It’s tough to see in the picture but the bend on the cable is too sharp.  Otherwise, I think we generally have it.  We did have a flat spot when first driving the car.  The air/fuel ratio was good so we had the boosters opened slightly and that helped.  There’s still a minor hesitation when the car is first being driven but after a block it disappears.  I’m debating whether to tweak the carb some more but want to drive it a bit this spring before deciding. By the way, there was no problem at all with hood clearance.  I have a good inch, maybe two, to spare.

One thing that you will notice if you look on the firewall is a billet aluminum vacuum tree.  I got that off ebay and it looks nice back there.  Should I ever decide to go to a power break set up, I can tap into that.  If I decide not to, no loss.  In my next post, I’ll highlight another repair we ran into along the way!


Hopping Up the Top End, Part 3

In my last post, I described the challenge we ran into once we mounted the carburetor:  how to route the throttle and kickdown cables over the valve cover in such a way they could pull the throttle.  We knew we’d need a bracket that was up a little bit.  So, our bracket ended up looking something like this:

Jim custom made this bracket from stainless steel. It looks great!  We routed the  cables through it like so:

And then we bolted it down.  Now, if you look at the next picture, you’ll see a problem we ran into when first using this bracket:

There was no way it would pull the linkage far enough to open the throttle all the way.  If you look at the connector I’m holding, you’ll also see it’s rather long.  That’s the stock length from Lokar. Go back up to the picture with the cables in the bracket, though, and you’ll notice we shortened it.  By doing that, we were just able to pull the throttle open to WOT.   Yay!

Running the cables is a real challenge/problem to be solved when using the Autolite/Motorcraft 2100 carburetor as part of a small (Ford) inline six build. I have seen a couple other approaches  out there online but both of those required welding a jig-saw puzzle of stuff onto the valve cover.  This bracket took some time to think through and mock up but this is a much cleaner look than anything else I’ve seen thus far.

Hopping Up the Top End, Part 2

Well, as we saw in the last post, with some work, we were able to prep that intake on the cylinder head and install the adaptor.  We then mounted the carburetor and installed the high ratio rockers and put on the valve cover.  Once we test ran the engine, however,we found that the higher ratio rockers hit the baffles on the inside of the valve cover.  I didn’t take pictures of the baffles or their removal, but we cut them out with the dremel. It took a while.  Once that was done, we then had to run the lokar cable set up over the valve cover to the carb linkage.  Here’s a picture of where the Lokar bracket is manufactured to mount:

It would mount by way of the carb stud that mounts the carb to the adaptor.  The problem is that it then sits too low.  The throttle and kickdown cables can’t loop over the valve cover and then turn to connect to the carb linkage.  The carburetor also cannot be turned the other way.  Based on the butterflies on the carb, it would make sense to turn the carburator around, but carburetor bowl and the valve cover cannot occupy the same physical space, at least not according to the laws of physics that govern our universe,  so this is the only way to mount the carburetor, leaving the conundrum of how to get the cables and linkage connected.  There are some ingenious methods you find online.  As this series continues, I’ll show you what we ultimately decided on.


Hopping Up the Top End, Part 1

So, last season we got the top end improved just in time to make it to the last West Fargo Cruise Night.  I had intended to post on our work as we did it but life has a way of getting busy.  So, now, with winter in its last gasps (I hope!), and with some future work around the corner later this spring, I thought it would be good to post what we’ve done thus far.  I hope this series will help others who likewise wish to hot rod their inline six for something different rather than transplanting in a V8 (especially in early Falcons and/or Comets).  So, with the tear down complete, we turned toward installing the machined cylinder head.  The cylinder head bolted on normally but when we went to install the carb adaptor and the carburetor itself, the putty the machine shop had used to build up the low areas had to be smoothed.  When Micah was smoothing things out to make a clean fit, the machine shop’s putty flaked  off.   So, instead of just bolting things on, we had to build up part of the cylinder head in order to get a level, flat surface.  We chose the Permatex version of “JB Weld” because it has a higher temperature tolerance.  Here are some pictures of how we did that.

First, here’s a shot of what we encountered.  Notice how chalky the putty was that came from the machine shop.  Your thumb nail could remove it (which is why it flaked off when Micah was making sure  the flange was smooth.

Intake Flange 7

So, in order to address this, we had to use a dremel and emorycloth to remove all of it.  We then used tape to create “dams” to hold the Permatex putty and made sure to tape over three of the threaded holds and insert a bolt into the one hold that needed build up all around it.  Special thanks to our friend Thom  for suggesting this is how we approach the problem after he saw the chalky stuff we were dealing with.

Intake Flange 5Intake Flange 4

Once the putty was installed, we removed the bolt and had a surface we could smooth and level in order to install the adaptor and carburetor.

Intake Flange 1

You will notice that the top two holes are in thicker metal and thus there’s more thread depth.  This meant the bottom two holes (these are the front two, radiator end)had fewer threads.  The hole in the bottom right, in fact, had just 2.5 threads.  To remedy this, we had a very talent friend, Jim, create a nut plate to go under both of these holes.  We then were able to thread the bolts through these holes into two nuts that were welded together as a small nut plate.  The bolts did not extend past the nuts, so as not to disturb fuel flow into and through the head.  I’ll continue with describing the build in the next post.


A Quick VW Brake Fix

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that the brakes were hanging up on the Bug.  It’s a 1972 Beetle and I’ll get a page on it up soon (just as the Comet and the F100 have their own pages).  The Beetle was cheap transportation for me during college.  Anyhow, I thought it was the rear passenger side and, indeed, it was.  At first, I tried to back off the brake shoes by turning the adjusters but they were frozen solid.  To fix it, here’s what we did:

  1. Jacked up the car.  This lets you spin the tires.
  2. Once we realized it was the rear passenger side, we tried to adjust the brakes and back them off from the drum, but the adjusters wouldn’t turn.  So, we removed the wheel.  The tire could barely turn and took a lot of strength to do so.
  3. VWs have lug bolts, not lug nuts.  So, we hand tightened two of them back into the drum.
  4. We then sprayed some rust break into the adjuster holes in the back of the drum.
  5. After letting it soak for a while, we took a crowbar, and ran it across the drum, diagonally between the lug bolts so that it could turn the drum by leveraging against them.  We then turned the drum back and forth.
  6. While Micah turned the drum back and forth, I took a large regular screw driver and worked the star wheels (adjusters) from the back of the drum.
  7. Thankfully, the adjusters broke loose, first one side, then the other.  So, I had Micah go back in and press the pedal so I could get the brake adjusted.
  8. After that, I adjusted the handbrake cables, too, as the brake handle had been pulling up too high even before this.

Although Tasha is still not big and strong enough to help with something as physically intense as this project, we had her watch and had her tighten down the lug bolts initially when we put the wheel back on (Micah then tightened them fully):


Garage Lighting

Well, this has been a BUSY summer.  As we get into the fall, I will start a series dedicated to the hard work Micah and I put into hot rodding the L6 in my ’63 Comet.  In the meantime, I’m going to share a couple of posts of some other projects we accomplished.  Here, I thought I’d share a picture of the installation of some additional garage lighting.  From now on, it will be a lot easier to see what we’re doing in there.  It certainly would’ve helped if we had done it before we rebuilt the top end and did all the carb work.  Nonetheless, we have it now!  A special thanks goes out to our friend Thom.  He had gotten this from someone some years back but is updating his own garage lighting and has no need for it now so he passed it on down to us.


Making A Custom Valve Cover

So with the tear down complete, there are some things to get done to put it all back together appropriately. One question that naturally arises is what to do for the valve cover. I had been thinking about buying the finned one from Vintage Inlines but I was having trouble fitting it into the budget and then saw on their site that they’re out of stock. So, then I thought about a chrome valve cover but when I bought the autolite 2100 from Jacob H, he had one on his Mustang and told me about the thin stamping and oil leaking troubles he had to address. So, I decided we should stick with the stock (heavier gauge) valve cover. My friend Thom suggested a paint scheme that I quickly latched onto. 

So, I prepped the valve cover and Lorie did the painting, making this car truly a family affair!  Here was the first step: masking the rectangular stamp and applying VHT black wrinkle:  

After that, we painted the rectangle light Ford blue (matching the cylinder head):

The next step was to paint the oval the dark Ford blue:
So, it’s starting to “pop” but what really made it pop was when Lorie hand painted the outline of the rectangle and the lettering:
The final product is a beauty:
All paint was VHT high temp and each layer was cured with a heat gun. If anyone decides to paint by hand with this, know ahead of time that the way the paint acts is close to how egg tempera behaves. 
I think she did a beautiful job and kudos to Tasha for holding the light to help mom out as well. I can’t wait to get this back together and on the road and to Cruise night!