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So many question not sure I can remember them all -

Clock light - why not go with LED? (assuming one fits the hole)

VR capacitor - why? Sure the electronic one switches a lot, but it is an electronic switch not a mechanical switch.

Walnuts in your blaster. Do you use walnut shells for everything or just jobs like this?
I will get a blast cabinet soon, however building a building at the moment.

My 66 Merc has the same HVAC. I will be referring back to this section to update my ride. The blower works, however it is decades old and likely never been apart, I bet your motor just purrs,
And the rubber cooling hose had crumbled on mine. I believe I got a replacement (used) however the old Merc has been on the back burner as far as priority. Have been workin' on the 4 door convertible. But it is such a time suck.

Where did you get the FE rocker arm shims?
A guy on a Lincoln forum had some head work done and the push rods are not too long. Raising the rocker arm assy some might just be the thing. A MEL engine has the same rocker design as the FE engine.

You are crazy for using INSULATED stainless zip ties that will be temporary. Yikes!

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
So many question not sure I can remember them all -

Clock light - why not go with LED? (assuming one fits the hole)

VR capacitor - why? Sure the electronic one switches a lot, but it is an electronic switch not a mechanical switch.

Walnuts in your blaster. Do you use walnut shells for everything or just jobs like this?
I will get a blast cabinet soon, however building a building at the moment.

My 66 Merc has the same HVAC. I will be referring back to this section to update my ride. The blower works, however it is decades old and likely never been apart, I bet your motor just purrs,
And the rubber cooling hose had crumbled on mine. I believe I got a replacement (used) however the old Merc has been on the back burner as far as priority. Have been workin' on the 4 door convertible. But it is such a time suck.

Where did you get the FE rocker arm shims?
A guy on a Lincoln forum had some head work done and the push rods are not too long. Raising the rocker arm assy some might just be the thing. A MEL engine has the same rocker design as the FE engine.

You are crazy for using INSULATED stainless zip ties that will be temporary. Yikes!

Action
Howdy Action,

Hope you are well. To answer your questions:

- Clock lamp and LED bulb. So there's a couple of reasons why I didn't do this. I do have LED bayonet base bulbs and have tried this in the past. But the problems lies in the solid angle of light emitted from these style of LED bulbs. It's a relatively small cone area of light, I'd roughly estimate 1sr (sr = steradian) and that light primarily aims at the back of the brown wafer board and doesn't reflect nor scatter much of the light and the clock appears dimly lit. Whereas an incandescent bulb emits ideally in a complete sphere or 4sr, obviously the filament supports and base will block some of this, but this light also hits the white reflective surface in the cover and reflects forward. So it's a much better light source for this application. The secondary reason why I'm hesitant on using LED bulbs is because of the terrible quality and short life of most of them.

- The VR capacitor. Anything that switches on and off quickly is going to generate noise, now how fast it switches, the amount of current switches and the slew rate & shape of the current dictates the frequency, amplitude and bandwidth of that noise. A small value capacitor will absorb most if not all of it depending on the ESR and value of the capacitor.

- Walnut blaster. I have two blast cabinets, one is coal slag and the other walnut. I use walnut for more delicate parts I do not wish to etch (remove parent material) from. So I would use walnut for: electrical parts, steel parts I don't wish to remove the plating on, engine and transmission parts. Usually everything else gets the coal slag treatment.

- Rocker arm shims. These are from Precision Oil Pumps and they are meant to go on the rocker shaft when you buy the solid spacers to replace the springs in between the rockers. These shim off the rockers precisely in place over the valve stem. I definitely would not suggest that you shim the rocker stands up with these. For incorrect length push rods it's best to buy the push rod micrometer in that general range, put a light test spring on the valve and roll the engine over and adjust that push rod micrometer until you have good rocker arm to valve stem geometry. Then read the push rod micrometer and order the correct pushrods. Crane has a form you can fill out for custom push rods if need be. Easy peasy.

What kind of building are you erecting? What size area is it?

And yuppers I am crazy :p . Nah I just really hate zip ties or some call them zap straps. Adel clamps are a much more elegant solution. This was only temporary and I'll fix this when the heater core gets replaced.

Cheers
 

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Thanks for the data.

I will pass the Crane info to the cheap guy with the broke '67 MEL engine. The factory made 2 off sizes for push rods. Those parts are in the unobtainium parts world. But I have seen custom push rods and it may be able to make adjustable rocker arms work. The guy has almost no cash however he thinks he knows how the world spins. Last winter in a cold snap in the mid-west his 67 Lincoln would not start. I forget what happened but he ended replacing the heads. Now it wont start. After looking the new head is machined too much and the valves never close fully. He is literally considering drilling holes in pennies, dimes or quarters to use as a shim under the rocker stands. He doesn't want to buy custom push rods.

Building - I live in a very urban setting. The sub-division has 1/4 acre lots and the home is old and big. My vehicle storage situation is a bit cramped and I want to go up. (stacking cars) So making two buildings actually. I have one space that is only 12 X 22 on dirt. I will pour concreate and install a lift and store 2 vehicles there. The enclosure for that may only be a roof and two sides. I am squished between a 6 foot block wall (lot line) the pool wall and the house. Then I will tear down the old garage and build a new one. The concrete floor here is poor as well. A product of the 50's. May not support a lift. The garage will be expanded to 22 X 30. The foot print has not been finalized but do not have any more space on the short end. This will be tall enough to stack two vehicles on one side. If I make it deeper I will stack two sets of two. Deep enough for a better work area. However I am looking at what machines I want and sizes of those. I have a drill press, metal lathe, cabinet blaster and parts washer. The last two are getting replaced as they were used and now they are used up. So doing a lot of exploring and planning with limited space.

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Thanks for the data.

I will pass the Crane info to the cheap guy with the broke '67 MEL engine. The factory made 2 off sizes for push rods. Those parts are in the unobtainium parts world. But I have seen custom push rods and it may be able to make adjustable rocker arms work. The guy has almost no cash however he thinks he knows how the world spins. Last winter in a cold snap in the mid-west his 67 Lincoln would not start. I forget what happened but he ended replacing the heads. Now it wont start. After looking the new head is machined too much and the valves never close fully. He is literally considering drilling holes in pennies, dimes or quarters to use as a shim under the rocker stands. He doesn't want to buy custom push rods.

Building - I live in a very urban setting. The sub-division has 1/4 acre lots and the home is old and big. My vehicle storage situation is a bit cramped and I want to go up. (stacking cars) So making two buildings actually. I have one space that is only 12 X 22 on dirt. I will pour concreate and install a lift and store 2 vehicles there. The enclosure for that may only be a roof and two sides. I am squished between a 6 foot block wall (lot line) the pool wall and the house. Then I will tear down the old garage and build a new one. The concrete floor here is poor as well. A product of the 50's. May not support a lift. The garage will be expanded to 22 X 30. The foot print has not been finalized but do not have any more space on the short end. This will be tall enough to stack two vehicles on one side. If I make it deeper I will stack two sets of two. Deep enough for a better work area. However I am looking at what machines I want and sizes of those. I have a drill press, metal lathe, cabinet blaster and parts washer. The last two are getting replaced as they were used and now they are used up. So doing a lot of exploring and planning with limited space.

Action
Hi Action,

I do wish you well on your larger garage. A 22 X 30 is a pretty big garage. My shop is 30 x 40 but I am doing 2 body off frames and it is cramped. I don't think I'd honestly want any larger. Right now it's easy to heat (gas forced air furnace) and cool (2 ton refrigerated heat pump). The trick is as you say picking items and planning with limited space.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
More XL Shenanigans

Just more where I left off.

48477


I bought a spacer for the air cleaner since it hits the electric choke housing and rubs on the distributor HT wires.

48478


What a shocker it doesn't fit, the I.D. is too small.

48479


It's as though they forgot to cut it down all the way.

48480


This was a bear to set up in the independent 4 jaw chuck perfectly circular as it's so flimsy.

48481


Fits now, but still a bit too tall.

48482


Took about 1/3rd of its height off and now it's perfect. I used the loosely wadded aluminum foil atop the air cleaner and then lowered the bonnet carefully and measured the crush. I have about an inch and the air cleaner is of the choke and distributor wires.

48483


Although the O-ring works best down facing the carb and the regular paper gasket atop the aluminum spacer.

48484


The Optima came and that was installed.

Now it's time to start it after all that work.

1968 XL Start Video

So the charging system works a treat now, at hot idle the battery voltage was 14.10 and with the HVAC blower on high, the battery voltage was still 14.10 at idle. It didn't even change a hundredth of a volt and all the lights are nice and bright. I am very happy with that.

However I am not happy with the ignition system. So this mix-n-match system is mentioned on several popular automotive forums and I thought I'd try it since I have extra GM 4 pin modules and it simplifies the wiring for now. This still is a temporary thing so I can enjoy the car now whilst I finish those other two 66's. However this GM-Ford alliance of an ignition system does not play nicely together.

The problem is the coil overheats. The timing however is very stable. To be honest I was kind of hoping this would work as it was praised on several places. However my one suspicion was no one ever posted scope readings.

Well, here they are.

48485


This is the primary coil current. Well no wonder why it's overheating. This is at approximately 710 RPM. The coil magnetic core is saturated and the current is hitting the limiting function on the GM module of about 5-5.5 amps.

Now I'm using a Pico amp probe clamped to the (-) coil wire.

I just want to mention you do not need expensive lab grade equipment for something like this. This is a cheap 100 dollar 2 channel O-scope that fits in your pocket. I think I paid more for the Pico amp clamp. But this scope is perfect for this, plus it has a signal generator you can set up and it will output on a jack. It's perfect for audio work too.

This setup is also extremely useful for checking DC motors like blower motors or fuel pumps. You can see the commutation action and see if you have bad windings or brushes on a motor that might be on its last legs, especially a fuel pump in the tank.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
More XL Shenanigans Continued

48486


It's probably hard to see but the amp clamp is atop the engine near the coil.

48487


This is at roughly 1760 RPM and the coil dwell is happy here and higher RPM's. It's just at idle it saturates and the coil and module just dissipate heat when that happens. It doesn't take much to see that if the module limits 5.5 amps then simply put I^2 x R. Where 5.5^2 = 30.25 x coil resistance of 1.5 ohms = 45.4 watts. So the coil for the time it saturates has to dissipate the heat of a 45 watt light bulb. Add to that sitting atop a hot engine and then blocked off from air flow from that idiotic 1968 compressor bracket, no wonder why it overheats.

Now according to this website Ford - GM HEI Ignition it should auto adjust the dwell to prevent coil saturation, but it doesn't. This guy says that the controller in the GM HEI module is the MC3334. I have no way to verify that. But in looking at the data sheet it looks like the module is trying to offset the voltage at the pickup coil to alter dwell. If that's really the case, then the pickup coil in the distributor has to have a certain electrical characteristic for this dwell control to work properly. In other words at a certain RPM the pickup coil has to output a certain voltage.

I do not think the Ford pick up is properly matched to the dwell correction in the module.

It's quite clear this system does not work happily together so for anyone interested, don't bother. For giglesnorts I'll put the amp clamp on a genuine GM distributor with this module and have a look at the primary coil current.

With that I did order the California only Duraspark I module and coil. However it will not be here for a week so in order to use the car I added the resistance wire back in between the coil and module and bought a heavy duty version coil.

48488


I raided the resistance wire out of a wiring harness. I have a huge bin full of 3rd gen wiring harnesses. So I unwrapped my harness and gave myself two coil wires, one regular wire and one resistance wire. Then I taped it back up. So when the Duraspark I module arrives I can just use the other wire instead.

What a pain in the butt.

48489


The car runs the same. But here you can see the dwell was stretched by the module not sensing current limit early. The coil still gets warm-hot, but not blistering hot like before. This is at idle.

48490


This is a higher RPM.

It'll be interesting to compare this vs a genuine GM HEI distributor then to the Ford California HEI system. At least it's drivable (well that's relative) for now.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Will be interested in the next measurement.


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i always wanted a scope of my own, but they were always bulky and expensive, so i stopped looking into them. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
i always wanted a scope of my own, but they were always bulky and expensive, so i stopped looking into them. thanks!
Hello redrag,

48492


I bought these attachments to work with the little cheap pocket Scope and all this has been very handy on vehicles. Being a 2 channel scope I bought two capacitive spark plug wire clamps and I use one on the coil (if possible) then another one on cylinder one as a sync. That way I can look at the secondary pattern and see if I have a problem cylinder.

All this is a cheap investment on saving hours of aggravation, guessing and needlessly loading up the parts cannon and firing it at a vehicle.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
The Ford Duraspark Distributor and GM HEI Module

Yesterday I had to change the oil in my Caprice Classic and had an opportunity to take a primary reading on a complete all GM HEI system. And it's a confirmed kill. The Ford distributor and GM module do not work well together as the automatic dwell adjustment isn't electrically matched to the Ford pick up coil. It is matched to the GM pick up coil.

48493


This is hot idle.

48494


There is just a tiny hint of coil saturation and that's it. It's like this through the useable RPM range.

Later this week the Ford HEI system should arrive and it'll be interesting to see how well that California only Duraspark I does at controlling the dwell.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Ignition Madness

Hello, well the Ford HEI (Duraspark I red grommet) came in and well I noticed the module was already installed. This was from Rock Auto. The terminals had scratches and the grease was pushed back in the connecter. Great..... <rolling eyes>

48524


So for those who do not know, there are several flavours of Fords Duraspark. The most common in the low energy ignition blue grommet module. There's a yellow, brown and white of which are also low energy ignitions. The red one is the only high energy ignition Duraspark Ford made. However it requires (for a hot spark) a low impedance coil and there is no resistor wire. All key points to this system. The coil looks like the regular points or blue grommet Duraspark coil but it is notably heavier. Also the module is heavier than the more common one.

48525


I couldn't find a reproduction socket for the red grommet Duraspark module. The blue one is keyed differently. So I ground off the key and labeled it with paint.

48526


The other connector fits fine.

48527


Aside from the key on the plug being different Ford also switch around two of the wires so if anyone snipped off the key it still wouldn't work without flipping the wires.

Long story short, the module was defective. <sigh> I ordered another one through O'Reillys and waited a day as no one stocks these rare and expensive units and sure enough when I picked it up I opened it right there and noticed it too had been installed and told them. They said I can return it if it doesn't work. Well surprise surprise it was dead as well. It doesn't take to much deduction to figure out what was going on. Lazy jerks have a car that won't start with no spark, they automatically assume it's the electronics and buy a new module, when in reality the coil is shorted and blows the module. So they plug it in, the car still doesn't start or run for very long and then return it for the next guy. This pisses me off. Two of them just like this.

I got fed up waiting for these esoteric expensive modules and just bought an off the shelf blue grommet low energy module, then switched the old higher impedance coil back in, reversed the wires in the harness and added the resistance wire and it started right up. I mean it's a pity as I wanted to see how well the Ford HEI system actually worked, but these used/defective parts are beyond ridiculous.

For those wondering what the blue grommet module actually looks like on the inside. Wait no more.

48528


This is the guts of a low energy Duraspark II module. This is from a friends car that popped two of these. Funny thing is the car ran just fine but would blow these after a short time running. Turns out the coil was bad as the primary had shorted windings and was drawing more current even with the resistance wire in place. Just takes longer to pop.

48529


Back side.

48530


Blew the trace for the coil.

48531


One of the tell tale signs of a failing coil or soon to fail coil is no oil slosh when you shake it. If there's little or no oil slosh, even if it still works, just toss it right in the scrap bin and buy a new one. Without the oil for cooling, the coils overheat, the insulation fails and you get shorted turns. On the primary you'll never see it with a regular ohm meter either especially if it's still running.

Then the XL developed yet another problem. It would start just fine and if cold would just die if you didn't hold the accelerator a bit. Then when it was warmed up (Cold lamp off) it would idle smooth. However if you put it in gear it would instantly die. It would start right back up and idle smooth, put it in gear and it just die. Rinse and repeat.

This one had me going. I went through the carb again and it was so clean I'd eat off the interior if it wasn't holding toxic fuel. All the passages were spotless. Put it all back together and same thing; idle, put it in gear and just quit. Starts right back up again and idles smoothly no misses, just purring.

Last resort after checking everything else I guess I'll doing a compression check, well the first plug I pulled looks like

48532


I've seen dumpster fires burn cleaner.

I did a compression check and it was 125 PSI at 6500 ft MSL. Not good. The Z code 390 (Fords high compression option) in the parts car '68 LTD cranks at 180 PSI. Then I removed the other plugs.

48533


The rest of the miscreants. Um yeah stick a fork in that engine, because it's done. The one really unnerving plug is the perfectly white cone one. It looks almost steamed cleaned. And by steam cleaned I mean coolant leaking into the cylinder clean. My good friend reminded me to tighten the intake bolts and holy crap I dunno who put those in, but those are beyond tight. I couldn't tighten or loosen all but one. I was afraid of snapping the bolts off in the head trying to unloosen them, they are frozen in the head.

The plan for now is to extract the Z code 390 out of the parts car '68 LTD and see if that's a candidate for a "backyard" rebuild as I just need an engine for a year or two till I can build another proper 390 like I did on both 1966 cars.

I did put new plugs in this worn out old turd and it did fix the die in gear problem and it actually runs fine.... well for now.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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I had a box of modules I sold on ebay. One was a red grommet. It sold rather fast. From my memory the red grommet was for Calif. applications and was very late in the Duraspark histroy.

Coils with oil. Isn't the coil supposed to be filled with no air? If there is slosh, there is air, and air is a poor transfer of heat in that application

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I had a box of modules I sold on ebay. One was a red grommet. It sold rather fast. From my memory the red grommet was for Calif. applications and was very late in the Duraspark histroy.

Coils with oil. Isn't the coil supposed to be filled with no air? If there is slosh, there is air, and air is a poor transfer of heat in that application

Action
Hi Action,

Well remember any liquid expands with heat, if the coil was 100% filled at room temperature, then at engine temperature it would destroy the housing from the hydraulic pressure.

Yuppers the red module is the true Ford HEI system. It was a stop gap measure to get certain vehicles to pass California emissions so Ford could sell them. It was expensive and once Ford figured out how to get the engines to pass emissions they went back to the cheaper low energy ignition systems. It just would have been nice to see how well it worked.

With the high energy ignition systems Ford could open up the spark gap on the plugs and that extra area and energy helped the engines burn a little more efficiently and cleaner.

Cheers
 

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The next step in engine controls was in the hopper. And that did have high energy ignition. Along with control over air fuel ratios.
Ford EEC

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i seem to recall one of them(maybe white grommet) had cranking spark retard. used them on racecars
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Howdy All,

Here's a little more work on the XL.


168666



I looked in the Ford Master Parts catalogue and I could have sworn it said 65-68 lower rear control arms are the same. With that I used a spare '66 set to not have the car in pieces unnecessarily.


168667



New bushings used.


168668



Installed with hardware cleaned.


168669



Here's the lower control arms off the '68. They are a little different and they do have holes drilled for a cable clamp. So they are technically interchangeable but you need to drill a hole and they look a little different. The odd thing with the control arms off the '68 XL is one has noticeably different bushings and yellow paint on it. The yellow painted arm has FoMoCo bushings but they are still in good shape. However the other arm has bushings that are completely hard and compressed. You can slide out the inner sleeve with your finger on both of those bushings. This was one reason the car would yaw very noticeably when throttle was applied.




168670



I didn't have a spare rear upper for the '68. So this is the upper out of the '68 XL on the bottom. The top one is the '65/'66 one. Ford changed it in '67 for bigger bushings for more load handling. You can use a '65/'66 in a '67/'68 but not the reverse because the frame pocket in the '65/'66 will not accept the '67/'68 for its full range of travel.


168671



So the upper control arm bushings were blasted too on the '68 XL.


168672



This side was just gouging into the frame.


168673



New upper control arm bushings.


168674



Bushings are installed and hardware cleaned and prepped.

Now I did set the pinion angle as well. What I did is before I lifted the car I measured where I wanted the rear tyres with respect to the top of the wheel arch. Then with the car in the air and the springs removed I jacked up the axle until it was at the ride height I desired for the back and removed the propshaft. Then I measured the angle of the tail shaft on the C6 using my best judgement of when the shaft was centre'd. Once I had the measurement I laid a flat piece of stock steel over the yoke on the pinion and with the yoke orientated on the vertical I adjust the cam bolt on the upper control arm till the angle matched that of the tail shaft on the C6. Then tighten every single bushing bolt.

My camera battery died I didn't have pictures of all this, but it's in my other posts regarding the 1966 LTD and 1966 galaxie 500 XL posts. It's the same axle and same procedure.

I also needed to replace the parking brake cables as the rear ones were very sticky and I couldn't even budge the core with pliers. So I replaced all three parking brake cables. However when I removed the drums to remove the rear cables. I found this.


168675



Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
168676



It just never ends with this thing.


168677



I had no idea where this metallic stuff was coming from. Whatever.

So the previous owner had the rear wheel cylinders and the shoes replaced, but I mean what's the point with replacing the shoes if it's just gushing gear oil out into the brakes. The shoes were soaked and are scrap at this point.


168678



Oh look it's the original seals. A 100 year old Saltine cracker is more flexible than these seals.


168679



That bearing spun as good as it looks.

The irony is the leaking seal allowed gear oil to flow through the bearing and prevented a catastrophic failure. <rolling eyes>



168680



One thing leads to another.



168681



Ug, what I mess this made.



168682



Axles prepped for new bearings.



168683



This will hold the axle over for a little while longer. Someone in the past changed the oil in the axle as it's clean....much to my surprise. But the differential is so worn out. I shall just have to live with the clunk from R-D and D-R for now. At least it doesn't leak and the brakes work now.



168684





168685



Another barrage of new parts.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
168686





168687





168688



With the drums cut these might actually work now.



168689



Ug, this front cable was a bear to change. I fought with this for about 2 hours.



168690





168691



I had to remove the splash shield and of course it's so crispified it just broke after I took the bracket off. But it was a pain getting the old cable out and tricky getting the new cable in such a tight space.



168692



I installed air shocks to try to level the car.



168693



Since the previous owner replaced the front springs and they are not the right calibration for this car with these options it rides almost 2" higher in the front and the rear is low. This at least levels the car for now. It rides pretty high at the moment, but there is nothing I can do till I am able to get the original calibrated front springs for this car. I do have them in my parts car but it's a big to do to get them out at the moment. I do wish people would see that the new springs aren't correct and put the old ones back in. In this example I can guarantee they were throwing parts at this trying to get it to drive normal when the rear bushings were at fault and it has excessive play in the steering gear. That play may be in the worm and rack and at that point you need to try another gear or locate an NOS rack and worm to replace it. It's very time consuming and expensive to properly rebuild a steering gear. There is no adjusting that play out.

The end result is now a car that is now just roadworthy. The rear end is nicely secured, aside from the differential clunk it's sorted out back there. The parking/emergency brakes work and release fully now. That's novel.

I can now use the car for now for local trips without too much worry. I can't do too much more for the suspension and steering until I get my spare front springs and have a good power steering gear candidate for a proper rebuild. Ultimately it needs a new differential, but if I'm going to do that, I will upgrade to 31 spline, Eaton True Track, nodular iron third member and Ford Explorer rear disc brakes. It doesn't make sense to just replace a 28 spline open differential with the same especially when this car will eventually received the same type of fuel injected built 390 (500+ gross horsepower) as the other two '66's received.

The transmission in this hits so damn hard going in reverse first thing cold in the morning it chirps the tyres with the brakes on. I swear it tries to shatter the Cardan joints. So that C6 needs to go. Then the engine also needs to go as it's on its last leg. Funny thing is it runs so smooth but it's burning coolant and I 9 out of the 10 intakes bolts are seized and I'd probably break every exhaust bolt as well.

It just goes to show you can't trust a seller no matter what they might seemingly convincingly say and no matter how long they've owned and how it may look aesthetically or the stack of receipts a mile high they might have on the car. It all has to be gone through and you'll probably find a lot wrong.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
It's Always Something....

Hello all,

Well the engine in the '68 XL pretty much went Tango Uniform. I had it running quite well for the last couple weeks, by quite well, I mean if you babied it, it was fine and really behaved itself. Well 2 days ago I was out doing errands in it and a couple times I noticed when I let off the throttle coming to a stop the car would start bucking. But if you gave it throttle it revved up fine and accelerated fine <rolling eyes>. So what gives. I came home and just parked it in the usual garage spot hoping it was just a "thing" and would be ok in the morning because I don't want to deal with this right now, or really ever as this thing is getting on my nerves.

However yesterday morning it didn't get the memo and it was cold and wouldn't stay running and it was bucking like it was missing on more than one cylinder. Super-duper... I had to sit on the throttle till it warmed up and was chugging on its own. So I start the process of cylinder balance test by taking off one plug wire at a time on the cap. Well 4 and 7 are completely dead, I mean they do nothing. Just swell, one on one bank and one on the other. That's not good.

So I pull the plugs, they look like brand new. That's not good either. I grab the compression tester, unplug the ignition and test both cylinders, both are struggling to make 100 PSI cranking. Well on the whole, that's not good, but that's still enough to light off. I put the plugs back in and start it and magically it's running fine. That's not good either as a whole.

With that I did my errands yesterday, well that lasted about 10 minutes and back to chugging and stalling in gear at idle. Sure enough 4 and 7 aren't doing anything at idle. Thinking well maybe it has two bad plugs that are shorting the HV. So I grab two new platinum ones and still 4 and 7 completely dead and you can hear the spark jumping to the wire off the cap just holding it there, so they are sparking. I revved it up to about 3500 RPMS and then something bad happened. It just started making all kinds of mechanical internal noise and was shaking the car pretty vigorously. I let off the throttle and it just dies, start it with gas and it just dies. Great….

I get the timing light out and in cranking the base timing magically jumped to over 30 BTC. That distributor was tight so it didn't move. Now I'm really scratching my head. I move it back down to 12 BTC and it starts and idles but still nothing on 4 and 7, if I rev it up there's really loud noised out of the rocker covers.

That's it, stick a fork in it, it's done. I can't explain the sudden shift in base timing. But I can hypothesize that the camshaft ate at least 2 lobes and maybe some of the metal ended up in the oil pump and the load sheared the pin on the dizzy gear and moved the timing. I bet if I cut open the oil filter I will find at least 5 kinds of unhappiness in there.

I remember the seller saying he changed the oil before we bought it, I wonder if he didn't add ZDDP and with a high mileage camshaft, the lack of those lubricants just finished it off. Now the race is on to make the Z-code 390 out of the pile 68 LTD work once more. I ordered all the stuff for it, sans the valves.

Has anyone noticed the shortage of engine parts???

I had to order from 5 different places to get all the parts. It's pretty bad when you have to scavenge off of E-Bay and Amazon for parts. For just a stock rebuild I had to order from Summit, Rock Auto, Fleece Bay, Amazon, and Cylinder Head Supply. That's nuts….. just nuts…

By stupid chance I timed the dissection of the 68 LTD parts car pretty well. I was thinking about using its C6 as well, but I noticed it's not the original transmission to the car.

48729


It has a small leak, and by small leak I mean like Han Solo having a slight weapons malfunction in the rescue scene at the Death Star.

48730


The pan didn't look to horrible on the inside.

48731


There's a C6 in there somewhere I'm sure of it.

48732


Found it.

48733


The serial doesn't match the serial of the car, but can anyone confirm the 8 Z means it's a 68 and mated to a Z code engine? I am not sure of the codes stamped.

48734


Since I have no idea what this came out of, I have no idea of what the valve body calibration is, so I'll just keep this as a spare for now and will do the other spare C6.

Continued in next post.
 
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