Less Car, More Shop

   Posted by: kdavis

I’ve had to suck it up and work on the shop for the last week or so, almost every day.

We poured concrete on Monday, and we’re 1/2 way through. The rest of the pour will be done on Friday. I have a little more form and gravel work to do and we’ll be ready to go there. We’re going to start framing on Tuesday, which will be a welcomed site!

I did manage to make a little progress last weekend on Sunday. After battling for about an hour with the harmonic balancer bolt, I finally managed to get it off thanks to a breaker bar and some serious leverage. I swapped in the B303 cam, new timing chain, new oil pan and oil pickup, and I drilled out and painted the timing cover for the new front dipstick (went with a front sump pan). It wasn’t bad, just a 3/8″ drill bit and some careful drilling. The dipstick fits great.

I flipped the engine over and much to my dismay, CLINK, CLINK! Oops, I had left a nut inside the engine, from the oil pickup hold down. Back over she went and oil pan off again. A waste of a 1/2 hour, but live and learn I guess.

The GT40P heads went on without any trouble, so there she sits, waiting for the intake and carb and fuel pump (mechanical).

Still doing some paint and polish. Got the tranny all cleaned up and painting it with metallic silver (really like that paint.) Almost all of my parts are here now, including the wheels and tires, which are awesome. They look fast just sitting there, according to Kenzie (10). The 4×4 headers will be here on Tuesday.

The plan is to bench fire the engine to get everything tested and running and timed, plus check for leaks. Maybe next weekend, but we’ll have to see.

Pics of Engine Progress:

Engine Build

Pics of Concrete Progress:

Concrete Pouring

Christmas in May?

   Posted by: kdavis

This coming week is going to be just awesome, like Christmas around my house. The UPS and FedEx guys will be my new best friends (like they weren’t already!) as a flurry of parts will start arriving Monday from Forte’s Parts Connection, Summit Racing, Breeze Automotive, AmericanMuscle, and Factory Five.

Fuel tanks, cooling systems, distributors, intakes, oh my! Lots of engine parts on their way, plus some other much needed items, including some awesome wheels and tires, 4 into 4 headers, a new oil pan, and lots more. Can you tell I’m excited?

I’ve been concentrating more on the engine side of things for about the last week. It’s a little out of sequence, but since I’ve been waiting on steering and suspension components to proceed to the next build step, it’s worked out fine. The engine it pretty well torn apart now, and today’s fun will be finishing up the job. I’m going to pull the harmonic balancer, timing cover, and get the cam out, ready for the newly donated (thanks Glenn) B303 Ford Racing cam to go back in. I also spent some time cleaning and doing a minor porting job on the GT40p heads. Rather than go all out and do a full port job with the exhaust gasket match, I decided to play it save and remove the EGR bump only and polish the ports on the exhaust side a little. Nothing fancy, but it should help things flow better.

Some more cleaning and polish, and as of this time next week, the engine should be basically ready to bench fire.

My other big project going on is finishing up the Ford 8.8″ rear end. I had a local shop do the gear swap for me, just more involved and too many speciality tools to do it. So, now I have the brand new 3.55 gears in it, up from the 3.08 stock ones, and all new bearings. Just need to do some work on the axle seals and I’m ready to go. Unfortunately, the c-clips that hold the axles have gone missing, so $8 and special order from Ford, and we’ll be back in business.

One of the biggest purchases this week was wheels and tires, and I feel like I got a great deal from AmericanMuscle. I’m going with their Anthracite Bullitt wheels with Sumitomo HTR Z’s on both the front and back. I decided to go 17×9 in the front with 255/40-17’s and 17×10.5 in the back with a whopping 315/35-17 set of meats on them. Nothing says manly like a wide set of rubber.

Some pics of the wheels and tires:

More pics later of the progress with the engine build!

Passenger Side Foot Box Mod

   Posted by: kdavis

Alright, before you even think it, I KNOW this isn’t the prettiest foot box in the world! ;-> I’ve deemed it the patchwork-quilt foot box mod. However, I did this knowingly and more or less on purpose.

Why aesthetics don’t matter in this case: I’m going to be adding heat-insulating material over both foot boxes and the firewall, so when it’s all buttoned up, you’ll never see the patches. With that in mind, it didn’t make sense to spend the extra money on aluminum making 4 new panels. My 2 main concerns were that it was bigger, and that it was structurally sound. Mission accomplished on both areas.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, especially considering I’ve never fabricated with aluminum before and I had to use a DIY bending brake setup to make a 4-bend box for the end piece.

Cost – about $20 worth of aluminum panels, same grade as FFR kit.

Thanks – to Ray for the initial pics of 4 into 4 headers so I could gauge if everything would clear. I feel pretty good that I’m good to go there.


Background/Step 1 – My situation was a little different because the kit I bought was already started, and the foot box was already assembled. That required me to drill out all of the rivets and cut through and wire wheel the black sealant off of the box. Not a big deal, the wire wheel in a drill does pretty quick work of that stuff, although it makes a huge mess.

Step 2
– After everything was cleaned up, I took my tin snips and cut the fold on the inner wall of the foot box so I could create an angled bend. I did so in a place that would ensure the largest header bend would still clear. I also bent out the original panel ends to make straight pieces out of them.

Step 3
– After measuring everything, I made a new bottom panel by using the original as a template and adding the new lengths that I needed. I originally used snips to cut the aluminum, but it makes a jagged mess of the panels, so I switched over to the jigsaw with a metal blade. It’s kind of difficult to get a true straight cut with a jigsaw, but it did the job well, and cut quickly.

Step 4
– I put the top panel back in place and made a “patch” to fill the gap created by the new inner panel bend. I was worried it wouldn’t be strong, but it actually turned out great.

Step 5 – The fun part…I wanted to basically make a “cap” that would fit over the other 4 panels on the end, so I had to create a sort of box as the end panel. The top 3 panel bends fit inside the others, and the bottom is under the bottom panel. This was pretty challenging, especially bending since my bending brake was basically a piece of angle aluminum and a board and rubber mallet. The most challenging part was getting the piece in place though with the 3/4″ down sloping tube and the large round 2″ tube in the foot box. Took some moving around, but it went in. I did scratch up the powder coat, so a little touch up was needed.

Step 6 – The end panel left a gap of about 3″ from just under the 3/4″ down sloping tube all the way around and down. I cut 2 separate pieces to fill this gap and it all worked pretty well.

Step 7 – Rivet everything in place – this hasn’t been done yet, but will be soon. It’s just screwed together right now, and it’s pretty darn tight.

I had my wife test it and I took a pic of my legs in there. I’m 6′ and size 11 shoes.

I took some pictures of the measurements, however, since every installation is likely to be different, your mileage may vary. If needed, I can take some better measurements of what I did.


Passenger Side Box