Ownership Verified: Detroit Steel: The CraigB/Dr_Grip 1972 Ford Country Sedan adventure thread

Dr_Grip

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So, as you know, Lucille these days is running great, fuel consumption even at 90phm is at a relatively frugal 13mpg, and Finnmeet is coming up.

So, time to prepare for Finnmeet!

Day 1

Remove Headers
Remove Exhaust
Remove Heads (which of course means the intake manifold has to come off as well)
Remove Fan

Day 2
Install Heads (and intake manifold)
Install Electric Fan
Remove Steering Box
Remove worn bushings on front suspension
Replace engine mounts

Day 3
Install Headers
Install new bushings
Install New Steering Box

Day 4
Install Exhaust

(and then get an alignment)

What could possibly go wrong?
 
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CraigB

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I hope to see lots of photos! :D
 

Dr_Grip

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Sooo, Dan and I had a chat about my plans yesterday and he strongly advised me to prioritze because he did not believe in me getting all the work done before Finnmeet.

Reluctantly, I agreed. So we changed the approach from "ripping it all apart" to "do one thing after another based on time left and importance of the job". The most important thing for the trip to Finnmeet, of course, was to get the new steering gear in so I'd benefit from that on icy conditions. And because we thought the steering box is in the way of the headers, we decided to tackle headers and the steering as one job. And of course, with exhaust and steering box out of the way, the engine mounts had to be done as well.

So, update on plan:
Day 1
Remove Exhaust
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_134837.jpg"}[/IMG2]
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_135447.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Remove Headers
Remove Heads (which of course means the intake manifold has to come off as well)
Remove Fan

Day 2
Install Heads (and intake manifold)
Install Electric Fan
Remove Steering Box
Remove worn bushings on front suspension
Replace engine mounts

Day 3
Install Headers
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_175545.jpg"}[/IMG2]
A first test fitting of the headers did reveal only two minor problems: The passenger side header had to be cut by 7cm (that's 2 3/4 freedom units) so that the mounting flange clears the transmission crossmember. The driver's side header made contact with the engine mount (a known problem on "some model years" according to Hooker documentation). But we quickly found out that there's no way to fit the steering box with the headers already installed - and installing the box lead to a massive fitment issue with the driver's side header.

With support from the relevant expert video, we set to work.
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_183854.jpg"}[/IMG2]
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_200201.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Also, we cut the driver's side header.
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_193649.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Install new bushings
Install New Steering Box
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/pic.armedcats.net\/d\/dr\/dr_grip\/2018\/01\/07\/IMG_20180106_193157.jpg"}[/IMG2]
The guys from Blue Top were even nice enough to throw a Blue-Top hoddie into the parcel!

Day 4
Install Exhaust


Next up is replacing the front suspension bushings. After that depending on time either fan or heads, but at least one of these two probably won't get done before the trip.
 
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Dr_Grip

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nicjasno;n3543828 said:
I'd prioritise the heads. Those would be most beneficial to fuel consumption and power. :p
There's a lot to gain from fans as well.
 

NotLaw

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When I changed from a fixed mechanical fan, to an electric one, I did not see a great deal of real-world improvement so far as power and fuel economy were concerned. (Though cooling was significantly improved of course, and less sound as well)

The heads on the other hand; changing over to AFR cylinder heads remains the single biggest improvement to both power and fuel economy I have ever made to my engine (unless you count the swap from a stock 289 with no compression left, over to a 302 with a cam, intake, headers, and bigger carb)

Even my recent MPFI conversion did not make as big a difference as just swapping the heads did.



On the other hand though, swapping to electric fans should be a fairly quick and painless job. Swapping cylinder heads, while not as involved as say, a cam swap, they'll still be much more time consuming than a simple fan conversion.
 

Dr_Grip

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Say, I have two full afternoons of time to work on the car before a 3000 mile road trip. Heads or Fans?
 
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Spectre

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Fans. Too much to go wrong with heads that can render the vehicle inoperable in that deadline.
 

NotLaw

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I agree, Fans.

Like Spectre said, while Heads could be done in that time frame, they could only be done if everything was perfect. If it was just a head gasket R&R, sure, but upgrading presents too much room for unforeseen problems, some of which could be major show-stoppers. Pushrods, Front accessory mounting, and intake manifold fitment are the prime candidates for problems.
I know when I did mine, the bolt pattern on the front of the head where the alternator mounts to was different between my 80's spec heads (with AIR/Thermactor ports) and my AFR heads. Luckily, it was just a matter of getting a longer bolt and coming up with an appropriate spacer for me, since the AFR heads used the same hole pattern as my original 289. (it was a bigger problem when I put the 80's engine in, as of course, the alt could no longer be mounted; I had to make a bracket for the head to create a landing place for the alternator hinge bolt)


Anything goes wrong with the fan install, and it wont be any real issue. In fact, unless you are planning on spending lots of time at low speed/idle, you could probably get away with no fan at all, especially at this time of year.
 

Dr_Grip

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With a lot of help from master mechanic Beni ("Of course I use brown wire for positive. It's how Fiat do it"), Lucille made a huge step ahead yesterday.

First, we changed the strut and stabilizer bar bushings. Naturally, that kind of work does not make the best picture material, so have a look at those old vs. new pics:


Now, she's in dire need of an alignment, but should handle much better than before.

Then, we pulled the mechanical fan - you can see the four silver screws where the fan was mounted before.


And installed one electric fan. The mounting kit for the second one sadly was incomplete from the box, but for Finnmeet we should be fine with one fan...
 
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CraigB

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The old suspension bushings look like they have seen better days.
 

Dr_Grip

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CraigB;n3544181 said:
The old suspension bushings look like they have seen better days.
Strut looked okay-ish, but the stabilizer bar busings were toast.
 

CraigB

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That's a lot of wagon those bushings are trying to wrangle. :D
 

93Flareside

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That reminds me, my a-arm bushings are crumbly looking... on the rebound after a noticeable dip in the road, things move but you feel like something comes apart during the bounce up after compressing the suspension.

this mean you?re on your way to triple digit (mph) speeds?
 

WDWBen

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93Flareside;n3544342 said:
That reminds me, my a-arm bushings are crumbly looking... on the rebound after a noticeable dip in the road, things move but you feel like something comes apart during the bounce up after compressing the suspension.

this mean you?re on your way to triple digit (mph) speeds?
Only with an SRB strapped down inside the trunk and the tailgate open ;)
 
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