Ownership Verified: The More-Door Fairlane, V2!


Has Slutty Mustangs
Oct 15, 2007
1969 Mustang Coupe, 2019 Mustang GT, 2011 F150
I can't keep the popcorn in my bucket while riding this roller coaster.



Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
So, I had all this CAD designed sheet metal, and I needed lots of parts to be precisely made.

Making them all by hand would have sucked, and taken forever, so, enter a company called OSHCut.
Their based out of Orem, UT, and their web interface for quoting and getting laser cut material made is one of the best I've ever seen.

I've used them before when I did my individual coil ignition system, and I couldn't have been happier with the results, so they were an obvious choice for these two projects.

Most all the early fabrication of this stuff took place at my parent's place, since I wanted my dad's expertise at working through projects like this.

Despite being designed second, I actually started with the accessory drive system. It was just easier to put together.

Where they could be, the brackets were actually tab & slot designed to fit together.
These are just sitting together, the spacers hadn't been made yet:

I also designed a bracket that would mount my crank position sensor, also tab & slot:

I designed my tab & slots to have 0.005 thou of clearance on all sides, and they fit together beautifully.

The first step was to spend several hours marking, cutting, and sanding to final size a whole bunch of spacers. I used a bunch of schedule 40 pipe for this.

Once all the spacers were cut, it was a bunch of dry fitting & checking: (Fun fact, we're using the actual AFR cylinder heads, but the block is actually the original 289 out of the blue car that I pulled years and years ago)


and then we tack welded and cooled:



it started to look like a thing:


The accy drive assembly and fabrication all took place towards the end of September.

Starting in October, I made some more trips up to my parents place, and we worked on the mid-intake, followed by the upper plenum.

The mid-intake was just a bunch of tubes at first:

and we started cutting them down:

and doing test fits:


Once we had all 8 tubes cut to the designed lengths, we started fitting up the whole assembly

We tried on the table, but it didn't work out well:

Assembling in-place on the intake worked much, much better:


Then we tac welded, and finish welded the whole thing (the tubes to the intake-side flange are actually welded on the intake side and ground flat, you can't see it in any of the pics I've got here)



Now, as far as fabricating the upper plenum, I dont have many pics of that.

It's all laser cut, same as the rest of it, so all I had to do was fold it up, and match-drill some holes. It's a very similar construction to the stuff I design at work, so while I hadn't hands-on built this kind of stuff before, I was familiar with the process.

Luckily, I had bought a 2 ft box-and-pan brake form earlier in the summer, so making nice bends was simple.

Here's most all of the parts after they had been bent up, sitting on top of the engineering drawings I made for the whole project,

and all cleco-ed together: (with the mid, of course)



Now, I hadn't shot any solid rivets before either, so for those, I waited until I was back at work, where I asked one of my co-workers to help me get this thing together after-hours.

It turned out absolutely lovely:



And after I got it home, and cleaned up a bit:

You can see the epoxy in this shot. Every mating surface was fully coated in a 3M aircraft epoxy, prior to shooting the rivets.


and of course, the beauty shot, all together sitting on the engine:


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Now towards middle October, the time had finally come to start taking apart the Arizona car. With the CAD designed parts more-or-less finished, I needed access to the car's firewall so that I could deal with the modifications for the power brakes, power steering, and the air conditioning.

So I started just taking the thing apart.




Eventually, I got it apart enough that the only thing left to take out was the engine itself, so I flipped the car around in the garage, and yanked it. Of course, It started snowing about 10 minutes after I had it out.


The engine is stored now up against the wall (and it's in a bag now as well)

and the car was stuffed up against another wall.

Over the course of the next week, I stripped out the interior side of the firewall, and yanked out the death-spear.



Somewhere in this pic is 3 bolts that hold in the steering box:

There they are:

and thus, the so-called death spear:

That more-or-less catches us up to current day.

Next on the list is figuring out how I'm going to package that corner of the firewall in front of the driver.
There's a hydroboost power brake unit, brake master cylinder, clutch master cylinder, fluid reservoirs, a power steering box, and all kinds of plumbing to do.

I'm also going to take advantage of what's likely to be the last of the nice fall weather to take the 3.73 ratio 8.8" differential that I set up for the old car out of the wreck, and slam it into the AZ car (and move the weak-sauce 8 inch into the blue wreck so that it's still a roller)


Super relevant and trendy avatar
Aug 21, 1995
Epic set of updates, that is some great engineering and documentation!


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Wow, so, uhh.. it's been a minute huh?

It's going to take whole bunch of posts to get this back up to date again, but the TLDR version is this:

Since the last update, the 8.8" axle from the wrecked car was transferred into the new car, many brackets have been both designed and fabricated to mount such things as: the steering column base, the radiator, the Vintage Air HVAC unit, the brake/clutch remote fluid reservoir, and the Drive By Wire throttle pedal.
Additional parts, such as a clutch pedal pushrod adapter (twice over), a blockoff plate to cover the OEM heater line holes, a fan-shroud for the radiator, and dashboard mounted HVAC vent housings were also designed and made.

A few issues have come up, like more rust than expected, a paint shop dropping the ball, badly, and hardware not clearing spinny things, requiring some clearancing to be done.

Some problems, like the lower radiator hose difficulties, were predicted, but others, like the intake plenum doing it's best imitation of a black hole, were unexpected.

New vehicles were purchased, one as a 50-50 deal with a buddy, and the other merely an acceleration of existing plans, due to finding the perfect deal, at an imperfect time.

All in all, leaps and bounds of progress has been made, but finding a solution to the paint problem has set things back again.

In the end, I have been largely successful, and for those few who have managed to stumble across my instagram it will come as no surprise that the car is now running, capable of moving under it's own power, and painted!

The next major step is to get the roof insulated, then the headliner can be installed, followed by glass, and the rest of the interior.

Of course, even for the TLDR version, I can't hardly leave off without some pictures, so here's a couple highlights:










Anyways, the next several major update posts will go into more detail on the project. Prepare yourself for a full-on book worth of updates.

At the time of this posting, I've already got 8 more full posts drafted, and it only brings us to January of 22, so there's a long road ahead.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
So, to begin where my last major update left off, after getting the steering column out, I decided to take advantage of some good weather, and get the 3.73:1 ratio 8.8 inch differential out of the wrecked blue car. This was done so that I could swap it out with the 2.79:1 ratio 8 inch differential that was original to the new brown car.

As is going to be a common theme, I didn't take a whole lot of pictures during this process, but I did get at least 1, showing both cars ready for the exchange: (dont worry, even though there's not a lot of pictures of each step, I have nearly 300 pics worth of steps to sort through!)


This is the last shot I have of both cars next to each other.

The exchange went smoothly, as it should have. After all, both axles belong in a '67 Fairlane.

The 8.8 of course, comes with disk breaks, limited slip, and a much steeper ratio, all of which are necessary to support the rest of the combination.

With the original steering column out of the car, I finally had total access to the drivers side corner of the firewall, on both sides.

So, naturally, I had to test fit my new Borgeson style steering box, which I had purchased months earlier.


The box is a specific conversion box, so it is supposed to fit in the car, but I was glad to learn that the aftermarket box did actually fit as claimed. The rag joint was a little tight on the hole in the firewall, but it's nothing that a good beating couldn't handle.

At this stage, it was time to embark on another round of CAD designing parts. I didn't go in any particular order, as it all needed to be done, and it was all important.

The first problem area I looked at was the steering column.

I had purchased a "universal" bracket to support the base of the column, but as soon as I tried to mock it up into the car, I knew it would not be up to the job.


The factory pass-through in the firewall was too large, the factory column support too flimsy, and the Ididit bracket too unsuitable. It just wasn't going to work.

So, I designed my own column support brackets. The purpose of these new brackets was twofold:

First, the brackets had to secure the base of the steering column, and eliminate all movement.

Second, I wanted these brackets to seal off the large hole in the firewall, just like the factory brackets did.

I used cardboard aided design, to get the pattern of the original bolt holes (including a pair of un-used holes near the OEM clutch area) and between the cardboard, an angle finder, and a tape measure, I was able to come up with this design:



which would be made out of 12 awg (0.100" thk) steel, and be welded together.

While I was working on the column/firewall area, I also took some measurements, and generated some rough, placeholder CAD files to represent the brake pedal hangar, and the Hydroboost power brake unit.

With those two items, as well as a rough CAD model for the column, I was able to CAD up some brackets, first to mount the Chevy Astro van Hydroboost unit to the Ford firewall/brake pedal hangar; but also to mount the Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest master cylinder to the Chevy hydroboost unit:


The next thing that I tackled was the vintage air HVAC unit.

I had received my Vintage Air under-dash unit some time before this, and I had some ideas on how to mount it in the car, but since both the original heater box, and the Vintage Air unit were so convoluted in shape, it was difficult for me to really understand what needed to happen to make the VA unit mount in the factory mounting holes.

So, once again, it was technology to the rescue!

I got 3D scan data of the original heater box:


Notice in this top down view of the scan data, that the whole box is bent like a banana! I never saw this until I had the scan data, but once I saw it, I went out and verified that yes, in actual fact, the OEM heater box is bent.

Both of them, I checked both cars, and both were bent the same.


I also got scan data of the vintage air unit, overlaid the two on top of each other in CAD (which I'd love to show, but the point data is sparse enough that unless you can see it in motion, it's very difficult to parse and understand)

Once I had them overlaid, I was able to pick up the mounting points of the OEM unit, and figure out a simple folded sheetmetal bracket assembly, that would interface between the factory mounting points, and the Vintage Air mounting points.


Another system that I wanted to improve was the radiator.

From the factory, Ford directly bolted the radiator onto a pair of brackets, which were then directly bolted to the core support.

There was not an ounce of rubber anywhere in mounting solution for the OEM radiator.

For a Brass and Copper radiator, this was probably fine, but for the (admittedly cheaper) Aluminum radiators that are available now, I think this direct mounting solution was the cause of my persistent radiator problems.

In the blue car, I went through several radiators; all of them failing in the same exact way: The welds that secured the top caps to the core were getting hairline fractures in them.

To resolve that issue, and simultaneously improve the cooling capacity, I decided to completely re-engineer the radiator mounting system.

The new radiator would be a Griffin universal unit, with side tanks rather than the factory top/bottom tanks; and also, the new radiator would utilize a "floating" style mount.

While I was at it, I also designed a custom fan shroud; as well as mounts for the AC condenser.


Anyways, that concludes the recap for this round of CAD work. There is more yet to come, but next up is some fabrication and test fitting, mostly of all the parts I had just finished designing at this stage.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Continuing not long after where the last post left off. It was now middle December, 2020; and I had just received my big order from OSHCut, which is the supplier I use for laser-cut flat pattern metal.

First up, here is a dry assemble of the steering column base support:

and a closeup of the "Rivetable Stud" design that I came up with for the HVAC unit:

Just how that stud works will become clear later.

I also did just a basic dry fit of the hydroboost unit, and master cylinder adapter, prior to putting in any of the bends:

The booster is from a 1st gen Astro Van, and the brake master is a non-ABS unit from a 1994 Mercury Villager.

It took a fair bit of research to land on the Villager master, but I eventually found it being recommended for use with hydroost brakes on a Factory Five Cobra replica forum.
I specifically needed the shortest, and smallest diameter master I could find with a large bore.
Even so, you can see how close it was to my shock tower.

The first piece to get bent up and test fit was the fan shroud:

Followed by the lower radiator saddle mount, which in this picture is upside down, and just cleco'd together:

Here's a couple beauty shots of the lower radiator saddle mount, after being riveted together with solid aviation rivets:


And I've also got some shots of the Vintage Air HVAC unit adapter:






The Vintage Air unit fit perfectly under the dash, as expected:

and while I had to notch the Hydroboost-to-firewall adapter to clear some screws, it too also fit great:

What cannot be clearly seen in any of the pictures of the HB-FW adapter, is that it's actually designed with a center "tab" that the HB unit mounts to. This tab is only attached to the rest of the bracket along the "top" edge of the tab.

This design allowed me to bend that tab (about 2-4 degrees) to angle the hydroboost unit up. This was done to increase the clearance between the brake master cylinder, and the spring tower.
If you reference the image in the previous update post that shows the CAD design for the brakes, you can see this tab.

While I was visiting my parents for Christmas, I made use of the extra set of skilled hands (Thanks again Dad!) and assembled the air-filter box. This was the last major piece of the air intake system that I needed to make.
It is the critical interface between the shaker unit that will be poking out of the hood, and the plenum/throttle body that actually sucks in the air.

The air box is made mostly out of 3/16 ABS plastic sheet that has been bonded together.

As usual, it started with some printed plans:

Followed by some marking

And then.... Then the headaches started.

Originally, the design called for there to be a single bend piece of plastic, that would constitute the driver/passenger 'sides" as well as the bottom.
However, even with careful application of heat, the 3/16 thick ABS was just too thick to bend. Every attempt resulted in broken ABS plastic.
Even grooving the plastic with the table saw, and then bending, was resulting in broken parts.

I had to change the design so that each piece was just a flat chunk, some with beveled edges, that we glued together.

It was a pain in the ass, but we got there eventually:


Of course, as soon as I got home after Christmas, I just had to mock the intake system together, so that I could start to get an idea of how all this was going to look.


Clearly, it was going to look Awesome


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
So, now that I'm caught up to middle January, 2021, it's worth noting that I was not just working towards being finished as quickly as I reasonably could. I actually did have a specific target date in mind, and a particular 'condition' that I needed the car to be in before that date.

The target was February 1st, a Monday; and the condition was: Ready for the Body Shop.
You see, back in November of 2020 I had made verbal arrangements with a local Body shop to have them paint the car, and also do some under-body coating.

However, it was at this point, middle January, that I checked in with the body shop, to confirm that we were still OK for the February 1st date.

Turns out, for whatever reason, miscommunication or something; they never actually put me on the schedule! Perhaps they didn't think I was serious about bringing the car in February, who knows.

As an end result, the body shop said that they wouldn't be able to get me on the schedule until April; and before they would put me on the schedule officially, they wanted to see the car.

Of course, middle January, the car was not ready; my plan had been for February 1st; SO, that became the new plan.

Bring the car to the body shop on Feb 1st, in a state as close as I could get it to being totally stripped down, and ready for them, that way we could agree on a cost estimate as well as a work scope and scheduled date.

So work resumed on the car.

With the engine in, the obvious next step was to cut a hole in a hood.

I was able to find a decent quality image of a template to put a shaker in a Torino hood.
The template was a repop of the original Ford template from 1969 or so, and the image quality was less than ideal.

Also, when I brought the image into my CAD software, so that I could re-make it, I discovered that it was not symmetrical anyways.

Anyways, I did re-make the template, using a best-fit approach based on the original template. It turned out great.



I positioned the template by first centering it on the hood, and then for the fore-aft position, I used a measurement from the cowl to the back of the shaker. I also compensated for the gap between the cowl and hood.

These measurements were checked and re-checked probably a dozen times, because once I started drilling and cutting, I was going to be committed.

I cut through the skin first, and then the strengthening bars after.
This did have a detrimental effect on the structural rigidity of the hood, but it was surprisingly minor, and I was able to mitigate the issues later.


The hole location was looking pretty promising.





The shaker is riding a little high in these pictures, because the spacers I had it sitting on were too tall.
I later was able to get shorter spacers, so the height is better now.

I had a few other maintenance things that urgently came up around this time, so this was as far as I was able to get the car before bringing it over to the paint/body shop for their review.

One of the things that the body shop guy brought up though is that, despite the paint guy previously assuring me that this hood (from the AZ car) could be fixed, the body guy took one look at the bend near the passenger side hinge and said that it couldn't easily be fixed.

He also pointed out that the AZ car hood was full of dips and waves that, in his opinion, couldn't be fixed.

In short, the AZ hood that I had just put so much time into was junk.

The bad news is that the UT car's hood isn't much better, but I made the call that the UT car's hood is least worst as far as my options, so it was at this point that I decided that I needed to cut a hole in that hood too, though I wouldn't do it for a while.

Once again I started putting out feelers for other paint/body shops in the area, Sadly, as I had previously discovered in November, almost no-one was willing to even consider my project. The couple that did, were all giving me dates way out in August or September before they could even look at it. Yeah, F that noise. I decided to proceed with the shop I was already working with.

Ultimately, I did get the car on their schedule, officially for April 1st (I know right? turns out to have been a bit ominously right, but more on that later)

In the meantime, I had 2 months in which I could continue working on the car. There was nothing left that I could think of that had to be done before paint, but that in no way means that there was nothing to do.

So, I started looking at plumbing. There was only 1 major component that had not yet ever been fitted to the car, and that is the clutch master cylinder.

Now, back in late November, early December, when I was designing all those other brackets, I also designed an adapter that would mate an aftermarket hydraulic master cylinder to a couple of factory holes in the firewall.

This adapter was inspired by a kit from Modern Drivelines, but I already had most of the pieces for a clutch kit, so buying another $300+ kit was not very appealing.
However, here's the puny image that inspired me:

So my adapter was 2 pieces of 3/8 aluminum that have been tig-welded together (my Dad has a tig welder now, so I figured I might as well)
Beyond that, I also installed Heli-Coils in the adapter, to ensure that the threads never get destroyed.




I also plumbed up the -10 AN feed line from the power steering reservoir onto the pump:


Before tackling the actual difficult part of the plumbing, which is the power steering and power brake booster hard-lines:



As you can see in those images, I'm taking a rather unconventional path for the power steering plumbing, and sending them out into the fender area.

Real estate inside the engine bay is already at a premium, and sending 3 separate lines (high pressure, & two returns) to the front of the engine was definitely going to end up ugly.

The weird routing was going to work well though, keeping the lines out of the way, as well as away from the heat.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
By the middle of February, I was working on fuel system. Thankfully, despite being rear ended, the fuel tank in the blue car was 100% perfectly fine, so I pulled that out, and dropped it straight into the new car. I popped in the two fuel line holes in the trunk floor, same as the blue car had, and the fuel lines from the blue car just dropped right in.

Once the fuel tank was in, I started planning out the rest of the fuel system routing. I decided that I wanted to make a few changes, compared to how I routed it in the other car.
For one thing, I never really liked that the fuel filter was up high and in front, so I wanted to move it back near the fuel tank.
Second, in the blue car, I had the fuel lines running into the wheel-well, and then the pressure regulator was directly mounted into the fender skirt. I had never liked that either.

So, for the new car, I wanted to sneak the fuel lines up between the passenger side toe-board, and the sub-frame (there is about a 0.5 inch gap there)

For the new routing, I was going to need a bracket for the fuel pressure regulator. I had some extra aluminum pieces left over from the radiator mount brackets (I ordered extras of certain, easy to screw up parts) so I quickly whipped together this bracket:


and mounted it on the firewall somewhere that would be compatible both with my intended new fuel line route, as well as my existing 12 inch long braided lines:

Finally, I came up with some aluminum Z extrusion to make stand-off brackets from. I chose the Z extrusion because my previous fuel system was attached directly to the floor with nut-serts and spacers. In that configuration, I had a bunch of little studs basically, sticking up inside the floor.
I lost count of how many times my knees landed right on those fuckers, and it always hurt like hell.

So, riveted on the Z brackets, and the screws can go in those:

I didn't build the full fuel system at this time, as I had other, higher prioritys on my list, so all I did was finish enough of the fuel system to have a solid plan, and then I moved on.

I decided around the middle of February that one of the ways I would take advantage of this extra time is that I would have the underside of the car, and the interior media blasted. I had found a local service that would actually come to me and blast the car.

So, in preparation for that, I needed to get the car 100% stripped down.

The engine came back out, as did the trans:

And with the help of a friend, we got all the glass stripped out of the car (an the trim removed, doors emptied, etc)


The media blasting service couldn't come out until 2 weekends before I was supposed to drop the car off at the paint/body shop, and stripping the car down the rest of the way actually went faster than I thought it might, so I used the time to figure out the Air Conditioning dash vents.

I originally intended to use some generic aftermarket dash vents, but after quite a bit of research, I was having a hard time finding a vent that I stylistically liked, and that I thought would fit.

Eventually I found one that ought to fit, so I ordered just 1, so that I could actually try it out

It's pictured here with a 9/16 (14mm) socket:

The overall dimensions probably would fit where I wanted the vents to go, but the actual vent itself was much too small; I wanted something with way less bezel.

Then, as I was driving my truck, I had an epiphany: the K5's AC vents seemed stylistically appropriate. They are different, but not that different than what Ford would have offered with the OEM AC system actually.
here's an image of a Fairlane with factory equipped AC:

and here's an AC vent from my 84 K5:

Of course, I don't have the factory trim band that the OEM vents are mounted into, nor did I really want that trim, as it would not fit well with my custom gauge cluster, but I had a plan:

Step 1 was to get some rough measurements from my K5, as well as the Fairlane, and make sure that at least on a high level that my plan was going to work.

It would.

Then, I ordered up several of these vents (luckily, replacement K5 vents are very cheap compared to the vintage air vent I previously purchased and sent back; I was able to buy all 4 vents for about the same cost as 1 vintage air vent)

Once the vents were in hand, I reverse engineered them, and generated a CAD model:

Then, after making a simulacrum model of the dash area where I wanted to put the vents, I started designing my own enclosure:




A friend with a 3D printer worked up a slightly simplified fascia, that I used to verify that the contour I designed for the dash was correct.


It was.

Thus, I had that same friend print up a prototype housing assembly:


The back-side of the enclosure will probably still be printed in the final design, but for the front face I'd like to have it machined, eventually. As a middle-ground, I'll probably have a printed one (but at a higher fidelity) for the time being.

He also printed up a prototype of my center vent design, which I test fit in place:

Then, using these prototype printed parts, holes were cut in the dash:


The final thing to do before the media blaster was scheduled to show up was to get the car out into the driveway, and ready for the work to be done.

My friend and I rolled the car out, and used my engine hoist, combined with some "bumper extensions" I quickly fabbed up to get the car up on some heavy duty sawhorses:


And then we stripped the suspension out:



The Fairlane was more stripped down than it had ever been since it was first assembled by the factory in early 1967.

I was ready to have the underside and interior blasted back to bare metal on schedule.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Early in the morning of Saturday March 20, 2021, the mobile media blaster showed up

and quickly filled my car up with sand


Once he'd finished with his work (about 4.5 hours) the car was taken off the sawhorses, and finangled back into the protection of my garage

There was a great deal of cleanup, and even now, in July of 22, more than 2 years later, I still occasionally find a little pile of sand that's fallen out of some crevice.
I guess Anikin had a point haha

Once the initial bulk of the sand was extracted, the true condition of the car was revealed.

And the reality is that other than a few small problem areas, this car was in fabulous condition.



The floor pans were pinholed though, and worse than I thought they might be:


The car had some suspension put back in it, including a temporary 'substitute' front spring that I quickly fabbed up:

and the sheet metal was loosely hung on the car once again:

Astute viewers may notice that the hood in that picture has holes for hood pins. That's because that is actually the hood from the original blue car. I had it blasted as well, since the guy was here.

Sadly, its got as many waves in the hood as the new car's hood did, but at least its not bent at the hinge.

I did however, decide that the sheet metal around the shaker hole was much to flimsy, and in a stroke of either madness or genius, I had an idea to fix that

The plan was to get some strips of 1/8 aluminum bar stock, rivet them together so that I had a sturdy 1/4 thick aluminum bar, add some gentle curvature, to match the hood, and bond them in.

here's all the bits and pieces:

A detail shot of one of the bars:

And here's the final outcome:


That last image was actually taken at the paint shop, as by the time I finished the hood work, it was time to deliver it.

I helped them move the car into their shop, and that was that.

The car was, finally, in paint jail.

I had no solid time estimate for when it would be done; it would take as long as it would take. However, I was assured that he would be starting work on the car within the week, and both the painter and body guy at the shop were sure that I would have the car back by august.
That ended up being true, but not in the way any of us were expecting in April 2021.

The body shop would be welding in new floorpans to fix the swiss cheese, and they would also be undercoating the car with their preferred products, prior to painting the whole thing in 1966 Ford Tahoe Turquoise Metallic.

That was the plan at least.

In the meantime, absent a vintage 60's car in my life, I absentmindedly cruised craigslist, facebook marketplace, and the local KSL car classifieds while I enjoyed my summer, not wrenching for once.

It didn't take long to find a deal that I just couldn't walk away from.

It's not like I really needed another car, but my friend, who back in March of 2020 just wanted to learn how to work on cars, and who only had a passing interest in vintage junk like this was now fully interested in a project of his own.

I did my duty, showed him the ad for this perfect project candidate, and after offering to go halfsies on it with him, I talked him into purchasing this gem for himself.

Meet the perfect '64 Mercury Comet project:




We scooped this thing up for $4000, after it had been listed on KSL for several months.

It's equipped with a absolutely pathetic 200ci (3.3 liter) inline six, and an absurdly pitiful 2 speed automatic transmission

It is, by far, the most dangerously slow thing I have ever driven. 0-60, at time of purchase was a blistering twenty... five... seconds..

yeah. 25s 0-60. It was bad.

However, the condition was excellent, the mileage was low, and the underbody was already restored and protected, and slow though it was, it actually ran great.

An ideal candidate for a rad daily driver, and eventual project. My buddy has since bought me out of my share of the car, and it's fully his project now. There's already big, big plans in action to re-power the Comet, plans that would probably piss most people off. Which is kind of the point I suppose...

But, that's another project, for another time.

For now, and for the summer of 21, I used my position as half-owner of the Comet to engage in some (very slow) roadtrips.

So to wrap up this post, here's a couple beauty shots of the Comet:



Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Love the Comet!

This is my dad's real deal 1964 A/FX altered wheelbase Comet at Tulsa International Raceway. He ran it in the late 1970s.

Wow, I love that A/FX style. What ended up happening to that car?

My buddy is obviously going a different direction than that though. He wants a comfortable street cruiser with enough power to easily manage modern traffic.
the powerplant he's got in mind is quite different for a car like this though, since he wants to keep an inline 6 configuration, and for him, pissing off the purists is just gravy on top haha


So of course he picked up a 2JZ lol

Should help the motivation plenty

My great uncle had a '63 Comet with the same powertrain. That was my first classic car ride. Produced more noise and seemed to slow down quite a bit after upshifting lol. That one looks great.

Keep us posted on your progress 👍

This comet doesn't even make the noise lol. It just quietly groans away, doing fuck-all.
I'm pretty sure the muffler is actually still factory original on it.

Slowing down after the shift is spot on though. 0-40 is slow AF, 40-60 is slower haha.

Anyways, here's the scheduled Saturday update:

By the end of July, 2021, I was getting very, very frustrated with my body shops complete and total absence of progress.
I had been checking in with them bi-weekly, and the car hadn't had a single second of work done on it.

To make matters worse, the middle of July is the rainy season for southern utah, and we were getting hammered. The body shop got partially flooded out, and while my car was on casters, and thus high enough that no water touched the car, the shop had to move my car so they could clean out the mud from their floors

When they did that, they moved the car outside, with perfect timing for it to be hit with a massive microburst of rain.

The unpainted car got rained on.

the bare metal, media blasted car, got rained on

I at least did protect the car with a post-blast treatment, long before handing the car off to the body shop, and the treatment did it's job, reacting with the water and resulting in a bunch of white & black, powdery, nasty, chemical filled substance, rather than out-right rust.

Still all that shit now had to be cleaned. It was a fucking mess, and to make matters worse, fuck-all was being done to the car.

after giving the body shop an ultimatum, that I was going to be taking the car back at the end of the first week of August, that was enough to push the body shop into doing something and they welded in the new floor pans. Though not particularity well:

Still, it was mostly done.

I took the car back on August 6, and by the end of that weekend, I had the car much cleaner, and the pans were welded in:

Of course, per my Family's tradition, I had a long vacation planned for the second half of August, so work stopped on the car for a short while again.

At least camping in Wyoming was beautiful though:

My friend with the Comet expressed a willingness to help me paint the chassis stuff (basically everything that wouldn't be going color), so in early September, I got myself a Harbor Freight spray gun, as well as some Eastwood paint products, and we went to town:

The silver rust/bare metal encapsulator went down first in the interior (after extensive cleaning of the raw metal, wire wheels, scotch pads, the works)




After protecting the inside and engine bay, the next step was to get the car back up on sawhorses, with the suspension off, so that we could do the underside, and also start the next layer, which was going to be an Eastwood Chassis Black product.

However, before that could happen, I had an opportunity come up that I couldn't pass on.

First, a bit of background.
You see, I've always had this idea, a plan if you will; that I wanted to expand my road-tripping boundaries. I've never much cared for Hotels, and after Covid, I was even less interested in them.
One of my problems though, is that I also hate tents. I'm a bigger guy, and I'm chronically allergic to manual labor on tasks that I don't enjoy, such as assembling tents.
So, No Tents.

I wanted either: a camp/travel trailer, large enough for me to sleep without curling up, and also big enough that I could change clothes without being a gymnast, BUT small enough I could tow behind the Fairlane (and K5 for more remote camping)


I needed a RV that could tow the Fairlane or K5, and that was small enough to be manageable for a single person.

This was something of a long-term plan. I saw myself wanting to make this a reality in no more than the next 8 years.

I had been keeping an eye out for the right deal for 2 years, when, in September 2021, just the right rig showed up on Craigslist, near Denver, for what was, IMO, a fabulous price.

Behold, The Winnie


Now, don't let it's initial looks deceive you. This thing is Rad as hell

It's a 1975 Winnebago Brave, 21 foot.
Originally equipped with a Dodge 440 big block, it now sports a 500 cubic inch stroker with a claimed 500 crank horsepower.
I very much doubt that it's actually making that much..... yet ;) but it's certainly got more motivation than a stock 440. A lot more

The interior, which I didn't get shots of at that time, has already been mostly renovated and updated, and is genuinely in great condition.
Everything on the rig works, the water system, propane, heater, fridge, etc. all of it.

For only $6000, I consider this rig to be a steal. The engine alone is worth that, easily, and with the work that has already been done, it is well on it's way to matching my ultimate vision for it.

Unfortunately, the Winnie was not actually ready for me to drive it the 500 miles home that particular weekend, the carb needed to be fully rebuilt and tuned first.
During my test drive on that first trip out, it was running OK at first, but the longer I drove it, the worse it ran. By the end, it was having a hard time even maintaining 25 mph. Something was dreadfully bad in the cab tuneup, and it was loading up and popping, and generally bogging and misbehaving.

But by October 15, it was ready, so I made a second trip back out to Evergreen, paid for the coach, and drove it 500 miles, all the way back to my home.

I'd like to say that it was an adventure, but most everything worked fine, and I had no issues at all.






It was cold in the morning, and climbing Independence pass up to Eisenhower tunnel did suck a little, since the heater fan was not working, but otherwise, it was a fine trip.
The heater fan has since been fixed. Just a minor wiring issue is all.

If there's interest I can make a Winnie specific thread, and eventually there will be something of a Build, but for now, I plan to continue using it as-is. It's a perfectly suitable tow-rig and dispersed camper, and a damn sight better than a tent.

Of course, pic's alone are all fine and good, but how about some video too, so you too can sample just how good that 500CI stroker rumbles.

Here's a short idle video:

And as short pull to about 55 or 60 mph:
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Ich bin ein Kartoffel
Feb 14, 2007
Mustang SVO - Frontier Pro-4X - BRZ
Wow, I love that A/FX style. What ended up happening to that car?

Not sure why dad sold it, but he sold it and it ended up in the hands of a collector. Dad believes that the collector took the VIN plates off and crushed what was left. Then put the VIN plates on a nicer shell. Basically rebodying it.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
Not sure why dad sold it, but he sold it and it ended up in the hands of a collector. Dad believes that the collector took the VIN plates off and crushed what was left. Then put the VIN plates on a nicer shell. Basically rebodying it.
Shame, but it makes sense. Once a vehicles been chopped to that degree for racing, it's not like they can just be returned to street use.

As far as the Winnie goes, I guess I'll be making a thread for it sooner or later. I've got plans for it, as far as changes go, but with the engine work and interior work that's already been done, the goal for now is just to use it.
I've already been on 2 camp trips with it, and I've got another planned soon.

I like the 500 stroker quite a bit. My original thoughts when I started looking for an RV like this was to yank the original Mopar engine, and LS swap it; since the 318's, 413 Wedges, and even the 440's that came in these old Winnebagos were all such pooches.

The stroker wont ever give me the economy of a potential LS swap, but I don't think it's any worse than the 440 was, and the power is undeniable. The coach scoots in a way that it really has no right to haha

To rewind slightly from where I left off in the last update; In between the two trips to Evergreen CO, My friend and I were able to get the underside of the car sprayed in the silver encapsulator.


and also the Chassis black:





Once, the paint was dry and cured, the first parts could be reinstalled back onto the car. Those were the front and rear suspension, steering, steering box, clutch, and brake booster:


Once I had driven the Winnie home, the next item on my to-do list was to get the brake fluid reservoir and proportioning valve mounted, which would enable me to start plumbing the brakes.
Of course, I had no parts or design to make that happen.
So, after some thinking and planning, I fired up Autodesk Inventor once again, and got to work:


Then, once my parts showed up from OSHCut in middle November, I was able to dry fit them:

With some welding, and some massaging of existing parts, they fit up well:


and by the time January 16, 2022 rolled around, I was able to get some brake plumbing done:



Generally, throughout the car I am using Ni-Copp brake lines, but for the lines going across the firewall, I actually re-used the original lines. All they needed was a little bit of adjusting on the master cylinder side, and I was able to make them work just fine.
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Ich bin ein Kartoffel
Feb 14, 2007
Mustang SVO - Frontier Pro-4X - BRZ
Shame, but it makes sense. Once a vehicles been chopped to that degree for racing, it's not like they can just be returned to street use.

But that's the rub, it was built as a drag car and only sold to approved drag racing teams. Restoring it was the only right thing to do, even leaving it altered wheelbase.


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
But that's the rub, it was built as a drag car and only sold to approved drag racing teams. Restoring it was the only right thing to do, even leaving it altered wheelbase.

I agree, restoration would have been a better approach.

On to the update:

Now that the engine compartment brake plumbing was done, it was time to start thinking about the last item that needed to be placed in that drivers side corner of the firewall: The main electrical disconnects.

In the previous iteration of this car, I had wanted to keep the electrical disconnects in the (approximate) OEM position, under the hood hinge and outboard of the brakes.

I couldn't actually do that at the time, as the car was fully assembled, and I just needed wiring to quickly replace the melted OEM harness, and keep me on the road.

Thus, for that iteration, I located the connector inboard of the brakes, just above the valve cover.

Then, when I added EFI, the logical location for the EFI specific disconnect was right next to the first one.

For this new version of the car however, that would not do. It would not do at all.

Finding the new home for the two electrical disconnects started with some Cardboard:


Then, I used Dykem, a scribe, calipers, as well as an Optical Center Punch to transfer my design over to some steel.


The optical center punch is something I learned about from watching an Adam Savage's Tested video on that tool and wow is it a game-changer for precision hand fabrication.


It's not easy to get a photo down the "sight" of that tool, but you can see how close to dead-on you can get the punch.

Anyways, the intent was to rivet this plate to the firewall, and further, I wanted to make 2 plates, to sandwich the firewall.

The clear solution was to kill two birds with one stone, rivet the two plates together so that I could finalize the profile & also cut the precise connector holes, then I could drill out the rivets, and re-rivet them with the firewall in-between.




I also made a plate that would take the 4 Vintage Air bulkhead fittings, and mount them inside the passenger fender-well, where the old HVAC blower motor cover used to live.

I don't think I have any direct pictures of it installed, but I'll call back to this when I get around to making the AC work, later.

Meanwhile, here's a pic of the plate:


I also made a plate to block of the OEM HVAC holes, since they wont and can't be used with the Vintageair system:



With the engine side of the firewall wrapped up, there was only 1 more major bit of fabrication needed before I could move on to the next major phase of the project, and that was the throttle pedal.

Now, keen-eyed viewers may have spotted in a few of the earlier pictures of my intake that the throttle body I've had mounted up is a little... different.

Its a GM drive by wire throttle body, and I do indeed intend to eliminate the old cable throttle, and go full electronic throttle.

This will gain me a few advantages, but the main ones are: easy cruise control, great reliability, and very finite levels of control of the pedal-throttle body relationship.

My old setup with it's 70 mm cable TB was very, very responsive. Too responsive; It was very easy to get into a feedback loop of bucking that was hard to control.

My hope is that with some good tuning, the DBW setup will be easier to manage.

But, of course to make that happen, I needed an electronic throttle pedal that is compatible with my Holley system.

I am using a pedal for an 09 Cadillac of some description, and it's got much less throw to it than my original pedal does.

personally, I like a pedal with plenty of throw, so there's definitely some modification that will have to happen there.

I started by CAD'ing up the Cadillac pedal, as well as getting some rough 3D scan data of my firewall. I also CAD'd up the arm from my original pedal.

Then, it was a fairly straightforward process of figuring out a mount system and location. I also played around with some different methods to attach a trimmed offcut of my OEM pedal to the Cadillac arm.

Eventually I settled on a design that would give a similar neutral & WOT position for the extended Cadillac sensor assembly:



In orange is the GM throttle sensor, with the blue arm, and the red adapter that would bolt to the blue arm, and weld to the yellow trimmed OEM arm.

The purple and green brackets are what I designed for mounting the sensor to my firewall.

I failed to grab many pics mid process, but here's the layout for the (green design) bracket:


and some shots of it installed:




You can see in those pictures that the adapter, shown in red in the design images, is just c-clamped to the cut off section of the OEM pedal. This was done so that I could test the car, but still adjust the exact pedal position after I get the brakes and everything working.

That pretty much wraps up the major fabrication jobs for now, so the next step is to begin major assembly.
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Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
Cedar City, UT
'90 Saab SPG, '84 K5 Blazer, '67 Fairlane 500
February 11, 2022. Time to assemble my 347 short block for real.

Of course, you can see in an earlier post of mine in this very thread that I actually purchased my short block back in August of 2020, and received it in September of 2020.
This 347 is using Wiseco forged pistons, SCAT 5140 crank, as well as SCAT rods.

It had been sitting in my container inside a plastic garbage bag the whole time, but I was finally ready to assemble it together, and slam it in the car.

For good.

I started with the windage tray. This is a part that I was originally running in the 302 in the other car, but it'll work fine here:

Clearance was tight, but it was there. I think I did have to shim it by a single washer set:

The oil pan was only loosely bolted on there, just to keep crud out, but the cam was set in, and I set up a dial gauge so that I could precisely determine true TDC.

The Camshaft is also inherited from the 302 build. Its a Comp Cams roller retrofit cam, with the 290HR grind.
It's 230/230 @ .050, with a 110 lobe separation. Total duration is 290/290.


Then the timing chain went on.

Followed by the timing cover and water pump.

Sadly, this is where I encountered the first problem.

I knew that clearance between the water pump bolts and the crank trigger wheel was going to be close, but I thought I had already done a test fit, and it cleared.

I was wrong.

A change of bolt style, and a bit of grinding handled that issue though:

There was also a secondary issue, relating to the timing pointer.

You see, Ford used probably dozens of different timing pointers and locations over the years. Passenger side, drivers side, top, bottom, the list goes on.

For explorers, I'm not even sure they have a timing pointer.

One thing is for sure though, my 28oz balance harmonic balancer is marked for a standard 1967 ford location.

that location is pretty well occluded by the drivers exit serpentine style water pump from the ford explorer that I am using.

Now, I don't really need a traditional timing pointer, or at least, I don't need it much.

All I need is to be able to set the initial synchronization with the EFI system, and then I'll not need to point a timing light at it again (at least until I pull the engine apart)

So, after looking at the situation for a little while, I was able to come up with a plan.

I realized that the timing mark on my balancer was perfectly aligned with one of the pulley bolts and the center. This meant that if I could get the angle of the one bolt, relative to the vertical centerline of the engine, that information would allow me to quite precisely know exactly where I needed a pointer.

Of course, that requires and assumes that the crankshaft is exactly at TDC, which it was.
It also is a process that is made hugely easier by having accurate 3D scan data of my engine, so that I could take that angle, and mark it up on the computer, where I could make the necessary design.

So, I found the angle:


(yes, I was aware the engine wasn't level on the stand, I zero'd my angle-finder on the china wall, and verified on the pan)

and made a tab:

(spoiler, that image is supposed to come later, but I apparently didn't take a picture of my tab right after I made it. Oops)

Then, with the timing cover/water pump handled, I installed the oil pan for real:

And finally, I did a dry run install of the transmission/clutch/flywheel on the floor:

When I first installed the T56 into my first Fairlane, I was quick to discover that installing the engine & trans together as a unit was way, way more work than was necessary.
The t56 is so damn huge that its genuinely very difficult to slip into the Fairlane with an engine on it.

Much easier to install them separately, trans first, then engine.

Of course, then you have to fight lining up the splines & junk in the car. That's no fun at all.

But if you mate them outside the car, then separate and install (without spinning either the engine or trans!) then the installation usually goes smooth as silk.