It seems like it’s been forever since I worked on the car, but home remodels and work have gotten in the way. The garage is finally back to a reasonable shape where I can work on the car though, so I pulled it out from under the lift and picked up where I left off.
I drilled and added rivnuts to the 2″ square cross tube every where I could reach, but the engine is in the way for all of the holes through the center. I’ll have to install those rivnuts after the engine is removed for chassis finishing.
I reinstalled the firewall and then installed the two rod end bearings that support the throttle shaft, then installed the throttle arms and connected the linkage. The throttle arm that connects to the engine is sitting at an unusual angle, but this is intentional. When we first start driving the car, I want to limit the throttle travel since this engine is such a beast. I set up the throttle linkage to only give us about 1/2 throttle to start with and I can adjust this over time as we get used to driving it.
I pulled out the accelerator pedal and drilled and tapped the upper arm for the 1/4-28 stud on the rod end bearing. Since there is a pedal box support that’s partly in the way, I installed the rod end bearing on the left side of the upper arm.
Unfortunately, that didn’t move the linkage far enough to the left to clear the pedal box support completely, so I also decided to slide the pivot shaft to the left a bit to increase the clearance. The pivot shaft now just sits flush with the right edge of the inner rod end bearing on the firewall.
To prevent the shaft from moving either direction, I installed the other shaft collar on the other side of the outer rod end bearing on the firewall.
This moved the pivot shaft and outer linkage an additional 3/8″ to the left. It’s pretty close to the steering shaft now, but still has plenty of clearance.
The linkage from the accelerator pedal upper arm to the pivot shaft arm now clears the pedal box support. It’s still pretty tight, so I may relieve the support slightly to prevent any touching, but at least I don’t need to remove a lot of material now to provide this clearance.
I started installing the throttle linkage tonight. One disadvantage to installing the linkage directly to the 2″x2″ tubing is that it causes the linkage to sit at an angle. I tried installing it to the lower portion of the throttle arm which changes the throttle action from pull-to-increase to a push-to-increase, but the geometry made it nearly impossible to hit full throttle. By installing it to the upper portion of the throttle arm with a the pull-to-increase throttle action, it’s easy to move it through the full throttle range.
I installed two 3/8″ rivnuts into the 2″x2″ square chassis tubing. The first one is almost directly behind the throttle arm so that the linkage is parallel with the valve covers. I used some 2″ pieces of 3/8″-24 stainless all-thread to attach the rod end bearings to the tubing. The throttle linkage is connected to a throttle arm from Speedway that attaches to a 12″ pieces of stainless rod.
The other end of the stainless rod goes through the second rod end bearings that’s installed inside the driver’s footbox. There is a second Speedway throttle arm here with another linkage to the accelerator pedal.
I haven’t hooked up the forward end yet because the throttle pedal is drilled for #10 screws and I inadvertently ordered a rod end linkage with a 1/4″ stud. I might try drilling this out before ordering more parts.
I’m planning on installing a mechanical throttle linkage instead of using a throttle cable. There is a kit available, but plenty of people have fabricated their own. They typically install it to the firewall above the 2″x2″ square tubing, but that requires installing some firewall reinforcement that ties that area to the top of the square tubing. Unfortunately, I’ve already installed some electrical components in this area, so I decided to install it directly onto the 2″x2″ square tubing. To do that, I needed to get the firewall out of the way.
The firewall-to-chassis attachment is the only place on the chassis that I haven’t installed rivnuts, so I’ll do that as well while the firewall is out.
I laid out and installed all of the brake line supports for the long, straight run along the 4″ chassis tubing. There are four of the mounts with the curved back mounted directly the the 4″ chassis tube.
There are also a couple of mounts attached to the underside of the square tubing under the seat. I didn’t realize until after I took this picture that I had intended to install the spiral brake line guard before flaring the ends. I’ll have to see if the tubing is long enough to remove one of the flares and install the guard. I’d really hate to have to remake the brake line.
After torquing all of the fittings, I filled the fluid reservoirs and started trying to bleed the brakes. I still have more work to do to get all the air out of the system.
I wrapped up the final couple of bends on the rear brake line where it goes into the tee.
I also fabricated the long, straight brake line that runs along the outside of the 4″ chassis tubing.
My dad stopped by again this morning and we wrapped up the engine assembly. We ran the oil pump for about three minutes with a drill and spun the motor over a few times with the starter (without plugs) to make sure oil was nicely distributed throughout the engine.
The moment of truth arrived and we fired up the motor. Success!!! The motor sounds fantastic. Nice and smooth, and no knocking!
We kept the exhaust pipes outside of the garage to limit the exhaust inside. We pushed the RPM up to about 2,500 and let it run for about 30 minutes to help seat the rings.
After shutting down, we pulled the car back into the garage and put the car back on the dolly. Since we’re still in the middle of our remodel, we likely won’t make much progress on the car over the next few months, but I’m incredibly pleased that this is behind us!
My dad and I stopped by Dino’s shop this morning to have him balance our new piston and rod. While our piston was lighter than the old one, we lucked out and the new rod was slightly heavier on the small end. There’s still a small imbalance, but Dino said that it’s more important that the rotating mases are balanced than the reciprocating masses. He also loaned us his tapering ring compressor which makes piston installation far easier than with the traditional ring compressor
We got back to the house and made quick work of getting the piston into the block and installing the bearing cap. We turned the motor over a couple of times to make sure everything was moving smoothly.
We installed the newly painted oil pan, then installed and torqued the heads. I hadn’t yet adjusted the guide plates on the new cylinder head, so we spent a bit of time ensuring that all of the rocker rollers were nicely centered over the valve stems. Finally, we installed the intake manifold and cleaned up the sealant. We can’t run the motor until that sets, so that was a good time to stop for the day.
I cleaned the oil pan and painted four coats of the same Eastwood high-temperature ceramic engine paint that I’ve used on the rest of the engine. I put on some extra coats here because this is likely to take more abuse from road debris than the block or heads.
I received the new piston from Ford Racing (on the right). Unfortunately, it’s 9 grams lighter than the piston it’s replacing. We’ve been told that we need to get the rod/piston assembly within 2 grams, but we’ve also heard that it’s important to get each component as close as possible as well. We’ll check with Dino about whether this will work or we need to order a replacement.
Since our connecting rod was slightly twisted, we decided to order a new one. My dad took care of talking to Ford Racing and Scat about exactly which part to order. That led to an interesting conversation about the piston and connecting rod weight. I weighed the existing rod, and Scat manager to find one that is very close. However, they mentioned that it was important to get the combined weight of the connecting rod and piston assembly within 4 grams of the old weight (preferably with 2 grams).
I was concerned that I couldn’t get an accurate weight from the old piston since I ground some of the damage off and additional wear had occurred on the side of the piston. However, when I flipped the piston over, there was a number written on the bottom that looked like it might be the weight.
I weighed the piston and it was significantly heavier than the number written on the bottom. I figured the weight must be without the piston rings, so I removed as much as I could. There was 2-3″ of the top two rings stop stuck in the piston, but this brought the weight down to 439 grams, so 433.5 grams must be the weight of the bare piston.
While I have the oil pan off, I decided to go ahead and paint it black to match the engine. I spent awhile cleaning out the inside and scuffing the outside with a scotchbrite pad.