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15,321 Posts
My father picked up a carriage bolt like that in one of his tires. I too, wondered how the heck that happened.
Through an odd relationship, I have a connection that works at a Discount Tire Store.
Usually the front tire sets up the debris to go into the rear tire.
More often than not it is the right side.

And have seen bolts, screws, knives, screw drivers, chisels, other tools really anything that is laying in the street that is substantial can lead to a puncture.


885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #142 ·
My father picked up a carriage bolt like that in one of his tires. I too, wondered how the heck that happened. Better buy a lottery ticket with that luck.:p:D

I'd also be interested in seeing your dynamic tire balancer.
Hello 70XL,

Here's the dynamic tyre balancer I use.


It's screaming 60's! :) and it's bloody heavy.

The instruction manual has a picture of a '66 full size Ford on it, if that's a clue to the age.




This is the pickup, usually most tyres will balance just fine if you centre the weights in the rim, so you just place this directly under the control arm nearest the lower ball joint. The strobe light triggers only when the vibration pushes the plunger inwards then releases.

I place a piece of brightly coloured tape on the tyre as a reference, as the heavy spot moves at the bottom of the tyre it causes the strobe to flash, where ever the tape is at this point is your reference and you place the weight at the top of the tyre.


Very rarely do you get a heavy spot on the side wall, but if you do you can upright the pickup and place on either side of the spindle and use the strobe to note the location to place the cancelling weight.


This the drive motor, it's 220 VAC as it requires a bit of power to spin up a tyre on a car. I'm sure OSHA would have a panic attack if they saw this in operation still. I did measure the RPM of the wheel it was spinning and with the circumference of the P255/50R17 wheel it worked out to be just a tinge over 140 MPH.

It's a little unnerving with your face so close to a tyre spinning that fast. Obviously you wouldn't want to exceed the tyres speed rating. But since our 1996 Impala SS will do 135 MPH at this high altitude, it does have tyres rated for 168 MPH. A tyre even spinning at 140 MPH does make some eerie noises with the air.

It reminds of hand propping airplanes, although I can't think of anything more intimidating than standing in front of a 150 horse power 74 inch human blender hand propping it. I don't miss those days.

You can use this balancer for other things as well. You don't have to use the drive motor because as soon as you plug it in the strobe and pickup are active. The pickup is so sensitive if you walk heavy footed near it even on concrete it will flash. But I've used this to balance propshafts on a car. Just place the pickup near the pinion on a differential to balance one end, then under the tail shaft of the transmission on the other end and use the car to spin up the drive line. It will show you the heavy spots on the shaft.


15,321 Posts
That is a fine balance.
I used one in a college Auto class.

Pretty HD


542 Posts
Wow! That looks like an interesting piece of kit, thanks for sharing. At least it was a new tire spinning that fast!;)

885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #145 ·
Minor Things - Battery Tray

Here's some little things I've been up to, thought I would update. I've been working on the rebuilding of the factory 1968 AM-FM Stereo and oof will that be a very long post as I'm almost done with it.

But in the interim I tackled the battery tray, I could have stripped and powder coated the one in the XL, but I needed a battery tray for one of our parts cars I wish to get in a running state to move around. So I bought another battery tray.

Guitar accessory Musical instrument accessory String instrument accessory Gas Font

New one.

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This tray was part of a kit, where you get the threaded J bolts and the top hold down.

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Gas Tool Motor vehicle Table Auto part

There's the old one out of the XL. It's not beyond redemption, just I needed another battery tray.

Electronic instrument Gas Guitar accessory Auto part Audio equipment

I found someone selling the Ford 5/16" body bolts in 304 stainless so I bought about 150 of those for all the cars.

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Interestingly the battery tray mounts parallel to the front of the car in the '68. The '65/'66 mounts on an angle.

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It seems the bracket from the battery to the radiator support is missing on this XL and my two '68 parts cars. I'll have to make a bracket from scratch.

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And actually this is the tray out of the XL after stripping and powder coating.

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This is this orientation in the '65/'66.

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Unfortunately the '65/'66 brace bracket will not fit the '68.

Continued in next post.

885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Minor Things - Windscreen Washer Pump and Brake Lamp LED's

The washers in the XL didn't work when I bought it (again no surprise there). The bottle reservoir was cracked and I couldn't hear the clack-clack of the impulse pump either. Much to my surprise the bottle in our '68 LTD parts car (that was abandoned) cleaned up really well and is intact. So I used that. But now had to deal with no washer pump.

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle

It looks like the washer pump is new, well new-er. Also when I tried the better reservoir it just eventually leaked out the bottom of the pump (rolling eyes).

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Bicycle part Rim Automotive wheel system

Well this explains the leak, the sealing rib is compromised.

Fluid Gas Auto part Cylinder Machine

And the pump is rusted shut on the inside. Since this was a Phoenix car he probably just used water. I tried 12 Volts on the pump and no movement, just a current draw. It was seized.

Now I really dislike the impulse pumps of this time period and actually prefer a vane pump that pumps continuously as long as you hold the wash switch. Soooooooooo.

Font Gas Handwriting Transparency Audio equipment

After doing loads of research of other year make and model car washers I found this little gem. It's for a Firebird. It has similar inlet and outlet hose size nipples as the Ford impulse pump. Just need a bracket for it.

Automotive lighting Gas Electrical supply Track lighting Auto part

And there we go, mounts using the same holes in the radiator support.

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I made the bracket from scratch out of 16 gauge. It's two separate pieces pressure resistance welded to hold them together, just like a factory piece.

Automotive lighting Gas Auto part Electrical supply Metal

Powder coated with stainless hardware.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior

Fits nicely where the original went. Now since the ground side is switched repeatedly by the wiper transmission I didn't use that ground but grounded the pump at the headlamp ground screw for that side. Now it operates like a modern car. The funny bit was the first time I tried it both washer jets shot clear over the car, so they both needed adjustment.

As usual the proof is in the pudding. Washer Test

It was a hot day and so it's idling with the A/C blower on high. I can't even hear the washer pump as the interior on this car is pretty quiet and blocks much out of the outside noise.

Next up is brake lamps. The rear brake lamps on this are dim, actually I think all 3rd gens are dim because, 1.) there is only one bulb and 2.) the bulb is directly blocked by the reversing lamp housings. My concerns was people not seeing it in bright sunlight.

Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

The camera is adjusting but it's actually pretty darn bright outside and these are the brake/turn lamps with the LED's. It may not seem that bright, but they are. This is exactly what it needed.

Automotive parking light Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Automotive tail & brake light

I bought these off of Fleece-Bay awhile back and they are very bright and very Star Trek Deep Space Nine looking, which is probably why I like them so much. Those are all little LED's around it with a big LED under the forward lens. Bloody thing is very bright. I had to adjust the photo otherwise it was just a saturated blob. Also because the LED is red the tail lamps are really a cool looking red now. They were more pinkish with a brand new 1157 compared to these.

More to come.


885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #147 ·
Minor Things - Parking Brake Warning Lamp and Trunk Torsion Rods

Just some more tiddly bits.

Weirdly the golden XL didn't come with a parking brake warning lamp option, my parts car '68 XL and the parts car '68 LTD both had it. So I nicked this out of the '68 LTD before I scrapped the car. The '68 parking brake warning lamp is a little different styling than the '65/'66 ones. I mean either are interchangeable realistically.

Fluid Liquid Gas Electrical wiring Jewellery

Body jewelry Liquid Natural material Jewellery Circle

The lamp housing on this one cleaned up surprisingly well.

Automotive lighting Circuit component Light bulb Liquid Gas

There's the correct flasher bulb.

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bicycle part Motor vehicle Rim

It has a nice appearance.

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There's already a pilot hole drilled from the factory in the parking brake lever assembly for the switch contact. Now I did measure out on my parts XL exactly on the lower dash tier where to drill the hole for the lamp.

Quick video Parking Brake Warning Lamp

I know it's a simple item, but I like old cars with many esoteric options like this. I feel it gives them character.

Right, onto deck lid torsion springs. So the golden XL had some hacked up torsion springs that wouldn't hold the deck lid up. The previous owner had a cut down hockey stick as a deck lid prop and it was irritating and extremely tacky. I had a bunch of these torsion rods off 66's and off the '68 LTD 4 door hardtop, but I quickly learned they are all different than on the '68 fastback. I forgot to take a picture of the hacked up rods as installed in the golden XL, but since I put them in the parts XL I took a picture you can see someone cut and then tried to weld them. And failed miserably.

Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle

Wheel Automotive tire Hood Bicycle tire Automotive design

Torsion rods are spring temper and alloy steel rods. Heating them up, even welding and letting them cool in air will start to anneal that area and they will loose their spring temper as these did. So what happens is they will twist in the heat affected zone and no longer be springy like the rest of the rod. If you're going to heat a torsion rod for whatever reason the whole thing really needs to be heat treated again, otherwise you end up with a hockey stick holding your stuff up :(

Now I do not know why the '68 fastback is different than the '66's or even the '68 4 door hardtop. But the following are the more typical rods and slot arrangement.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tread

This is the '66 LTD and the '66 gal 500 (XL) is similar, so was the '68 LTD.

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire

Automotive parking light Grille Car Automotive lighting Automotive tire

All I can is thankfully I have a parts car '68 XL for stuff like this. Trying to find these rods, then shipping would be pretty expensive.

On other fronts I set the mechanical timing map of the distributor to let full mechanical timing (based on RPM) advance to occur at a lower RPM. I used the weakest springs in the recurve kit. At first when I assembled this engine I was conservative as it is a high compression Z code 390 and was afraid of detonation running on cheap 87 octane fuel. But after driving this in the heat of summer in town with the air con on full it hasn't pinged (detonated) once I've heard.

I will say from a seat of the pants feeling that made a difference in off the line torque. This thing is really a dog but that helped. I haven't mapped the advance out over RPM as it's not a performance engine and not exactly a priority so I'm utilizing my instincts for the best settings. I also went up 4 primary side jet sizes as it was a bit lean. This 4100 carburetor is off of our old '66 galaxie 500 with a 352. Between the timing curve adjustment and the jet changing it really helped fine tune this.

I don't have a bung in the exhaust for my wide-band O2 gauge, but again seat of the pants and listening carefully to the engine measures seem to be ok for now. I have ordered another set of FPA headers and when they arrive I will make a proper exhaust for this with the bung for the O2's so I can see where it's actually at mixture wise.

It can't be that far off from ideal as I have 1000 miles on this oil so far and it's golden on the stick and smells like it just came out of the bottle. For a backyard refresh at home, this is one happy, smooth, quiet running engine so far with no perceivable oil consumption. Plus I'm averaging about 12-14 miles per gallon in a mix of town and rural road driving. So not too bad.

More to come.

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