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Discussion Starter · #1,121 ·
Clips were a bust and the machine shop was closed when I went there yesterday.

The right EGR spacer came in, so that's pretty nice. I might start the header gasket job in the next few days.

You know, I've been watching this channel on Youtube. Rare and Classic Cars or something. He spends a lot of time talking about less remembered cars from maybe 1960-1990. The non-flashy muscle cars, regular family cars and stuff. It's fun to watch. He loves full size Mercuries, Fords and Lincolns. He says the Mark III is the height of the personal luxury car. He has several videos about it. LTDs, Marquis... it's got me dreaming of owning one of those land barges. That cheap '69 LTD for sale here has me thinking. That body style is so handsome, and you never see them. Old me would have said I'd have to hop up the engine to make it an acceptable "fun" car, especially if we're talking about post-'72, but now, having learned what I have with this project, I don't think so... hhhmmmmmmm...
 

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I have always liked full-sized FLM vehicles. While the Mark Series in not really full sized I would count it.
And post 72 is just not a era I would consider. It is like the first year of a new model. A lot of practicing is going on. Well the industry was making stuff work for the government out of old designs. Things like
Crash bumpers
Roll over standards
Emissions
Fuel economy.
The company attempting to make a race engine get good mileage is just silly.

Want go fast, find a pre-72 big block 385 engine series in anything and it will be fun to drive. There were lots of them. Get one in a Torino or a Montego and it would be a sleeper on the street. Someone is going to expect a Mustang to lite it up. A bone stock Montego MX with a 429. That is hot! And no one would know it until you punched it.

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1970 Mercury Montego MX 2D HT for sale - Classic car ad from CollectionCar.com.

68 or 69 T-Bird with 429 is a nice lux ride with punch.

And a 1970 black on black on black Mark III sold for $7500 this morning on Ebay. All Mark III, & IVs have 460. Only Mark III the full compression 460. BTW 1969 Mark III was a long model run and that year was a work in progress. The early release was a marketing ploy by Iaocca to get a jump on Cadilliac. He did and that model year is a bit wonky.

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Discussion Starter · #1,124 ·
Yeah, the '70-71 Cyclones have been a favorite of mine for a long time. I like the fastback Torinos too, I just think they Cyclones are better executed. A guy could probably slap a Cyclone grille on that Montego and go. Too bad it's so much money. That's way more than I could ever spend on a fun car. Seems to be worth it though. It's super nice.

I also really like the no vinyl roof 2-door T-birds from '70-71. They are super sinister looking. I don't like the weird narrow grille on the '68-69. I don't like the '70 Mustang front end either.

I guess I like the Bunkie Beak. Ford certainly did it better than Pontiac.
 

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I do not care for that beak.

For a lower cost ride the Mark III is a choice. Many can be had for under $10K. All have a 460. And personally, I like the looks.
I am not that much into speed. It is the creature comfort things that fascinate me.

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Discussion Starter · #1,126 ·
Oh yeah, I like it too. I'm not huge on a vinyl roof, but at least it's appropriate for the model.

I can't seem to shake the urge to take an under-appreciated model from my lifetime (born in '76) and hotrod it though, haha. How about a blacked out, de-vinyled Mark VI? Or '80-82 Thunderbird/Cougar? Ford never had a real contender against the Grand National. Slap an EcoBoost 3.5 in one of those and go hunting G-bodies! Anyway, you know those models would be far less appreciated than a Mark III. Having owned the Zephyr as long as I have, I've found that Fairmonts and Zephyrs are pretty common as unusual models go. Parts are pretty readily available, even exterior sheetmetal. The thing I have to remember is that you STILL never see them in the wild, outside of a Fairmont/Zephyr fan group. It's like I'm chasing that knowing reaction from a "real" fan that encounters the car at a random show. It's not about what other people like, it's about what I like. On the other hand, the Mark III and late-60s, early-'70s full size cars would probably garner about the same kind of reaction. I think that's why I'm so interested in them.
 

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The 72 to 84 time frame the company struggled with anything that was close to go fast.
Like everyone else, dollars were being spent on CAFE, EPA and crash standards.
In addition, Ford was paying for a number of lawsuits. Pinto included. And Ford had to replace Pinto because of the bad rep. So, it spent a lot of $ on Escort & Lynx.
Plus the F Series truck took a hit with the 360-390 engine issues.
There were no new V8 engine families from 68 to 91. Which means every V8 in the 70s and 80s was built on 1960s technology. Then heavily modified (detuned) by the company to conform to government regulation.
So not sure what modification to HOTROD means.

The 80 to 82 Thunderbird/Cougar came equipped with a base straight six. Yanking that out and putting in a pre'72 small block would be interesting. However, that body is built on the Fox platform and isn´t that what you have now? And to do that would require opening the bank account.

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Discussion Starter · #1,128 ·
Oh yeah, if I got an '80s car that would be a whole different deal than a '60s one. A '60s car would be just to drive and enjoy, an '80s car would be a blank slate along the same lines as my Zephyr. I was just dreaming about other options that are even more unusual than a Zephyr, haha. That 6 would be gone the day it got home, haha. I HATE that engine. Bad power, bad fuel economy. The worst of both worlds!

Anyway, none of that is probably going to happen. I'd have to convince my dad to store it at their house, and that would be pretty unreasonable, haha. My brother takes advantage of their parking too much as it is.

I went to talk to the machinist at Napa today. He said there is no way to machine material off that spacer. He suggested trying to do it with washers, but I really don't think washers are going to fit inside the pulley on the bolts. Not well, anyway. I'd have to cut them. I think I'm going to try to make a second spacer out of sheet metal. It's worth a try, anyway. I have some on hand that's roughly half the thickness of the 1/16" spacer.

I'm still planning to start the throttle body and header gaskets job. I didn't get to it today though. I found the company that makes my air/fuel gauge makes a "heat sink bung extender" that's supposed to address your O2 sensor getting too hot. I think that's worth a try before I drill another hole in my exhaust. It's pricey enough I need to wait to buy it though.

I got another set of clips for the shifter bezel from Amazon today. They fit better, but still don't really do the job the way I need them to. I'm going to let this problem go for a while and come back to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,129 ·
So, I made my sheet metal spacer. The position of the belt on the pulley looks great, but the noise... remains. Ugh. I think I might try removing the lock washers I have on my water pump pulley. I originally put them on there in part to space them out a bit because they were sticking out the back too far for my comfort. The stock bolts are long gone, so these are estimated replacements. But now with the pulley spacers in there, I think it's probably okay. Anyway, I noticed the pulley wobbling when I first started the engine to test the spacer repair. You don't want that! I was able to tighten the bolts enough to make it not visibly wobble, but I feel like those washers might still be causing it to wobble enough that that's what's causing the noise. Like maybe their unevenness is making it so the pulley can't be properly tightened straight. I know the factory doesn't put lock washers there.



I started on the header gasket job yesterday. My collector bolts had worked their way loose on the passenger side again. I guess I need to put some lock washers on there. I hope that does the trick. Remove some, add some other places, haha. I'm skeptical that any sort of Locktite kind of thing can be used there with the exhaust heat. But, I guess I'm still not convinced the ball and socket fit together all the way at the header to h-pipe flange. Could be wrong; hope I am.

Up top, I started the throttle body transplant. Here's a dramatic before and after. The old one just never seemed to want to look nice despite my cleaning it up and painting it.



And then we have this new problem. The air will hit a wall once it reaches the intake. I had thought 65mm to 75mm wasn't that big of a step up, but apparently it is.



I had been thinking of trying my hand at porting if it was just a small change needed, but this is a LOT of solid aluminum that needs removing! I don't know what you'd even do, hole saw?! haha

After I finish the header gasket job, I'll have to think on what to do about the intake. We're low on funds right now, so any outsourced work or additional parts will need to wait until next year. That's okay; it snowed yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,131 ·
Well, I'm glad you like where you live. I like where I live too. It just means the pressure is off for me to get it put back together. Take one of your classics for a ride for me.

Had a little time for more yesterday. I pulled the plugs out the passenger side of the engine so I could get the header off. Here's what they look like. The farthest away here is cylinder #1. It looks pretty different from the others. I don't know anything about "reading" plugs though so I don't know what that means, if anything.

 

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How long have those plugs been in operation based on mileage?
Can you post a shot of those plugs looking at the tip? (The tip that is into the engine)

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They look good based on the use.
The porcelain is not as white (clean) as it could be. But I would suspect a lot of short engine run times.
On cold start up the system is very rich to get the engine to run. After that the system leans out.
The threads of the top and bottom plugs have what looks like oil. Have a valve cover leaking?

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Discussion Starter · #1,135 ·
They look good based on the use.
The porcelain is not as white (clean) as it could be. But I would suspect a lot of short engine run times.
On cold start up the system is very rich to get the engine to run. After that the system leans out.
The threads of the top and bottom plugs have what looks like oil. Have a valve cover leaking?

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Probably. I have some locking bolts to put on the valve covers, but I haven't put them on yet.

I just thought it was weird the metal part on the top plug looks so different from the others. Like maybe it's subjected to more heat or something. I don't know what they would mean. Maybe it's not coming through in the pictures, but it's a dramatic difference in real life. That cylinder could be where the header gasket leak is, I don't know yet.

But yes, definitely mostly short trips, unfortunately. Take it out for a ride to verify repair/adjustment and then go back home is about all I've been doing with it.
 

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Yeah the dark metal looks like oil soaked.

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Shall we set up a Go Fund Me for a funnel?
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Discussion Starter · #1,139 ·
Well, I put all that back together now. New header gaskets are in. Odd, Mr. Gasket's instructions that came with them said you either need to torque the bolts with either "oil" or "moly". In all my years of wrenching, I've never heard of doing that except for ARP saying you need to use their lube on their bolts to get the warranty. What oil? Motor oil? And what is "moly"? Regardless, I did a little asking around, and no one I talked to said they do anything like that, haha.

I put lock washers in at the header to h-pipe joints so those shouldn't back out anymore, and I removed the lock washers I'd had on the waterpump pulley. Changed the oil, and added the fuel treatment for the winter rest. I didn't slop any oil this time, haha.
 
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