Exorcising a '78 ( and '78 and now '76")

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IICrew

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She has been on 3 alignment racks in 3 different shops and although a little better the vibrations are ever present. The pinion angle is correct according to 2 places and my gauge at home. The first place couldn't check it. The last shop found the thrust angle off and brought it back to spec which definitely helped some but the pinion still hops when above 45mph. Just a little less violently now. They blamed the wheels and needing hub centric rings but it does it on jack stands without the wheels mounted.

I can feel a little play at the tailshaft bushing so I am pursuing a rebuild or replacement transmission. I don't think it will change the vibration but don't know what else to do. I don't see how a bad trans can cause the pinion to hop unless the bushing was destroyed.

The only other thing I am wondering is door gaps. Both my current cars have narrow gaps on passenger door vs drivers side door. The t top car has no gap at b pillar. The paint has rubbed off near the latch it's so close. I previously found the left tie rod end bent. Maybe the whole car is bent causing the rear axle and engine to be out of line side to side vs up and down. Them adjusting the thrust angle made a bigger change then anything else I have done.
 
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IICrew

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Had it at a frame shop this week. Doghouse is out of square 1/8" or so. That should not cause drivetrain alignment issues. I have that much adjustment in the mounts and shoving the trans and/or engine left and right doesn't really change the vibrations after the thrust angle was adjusted.

I did notice when running it to different body shops that the vibration gets more pronounced the longer the drive. This implies it's something heating up. Could be the u joints being stressed but I've ruled out pretty much everything except the used T5 at this point.

I have one more shop going to go over my work this week. They will triple check pinion and drivetrain angles. They do this type of work and actually seem interested in my problem. The alignment/suspension shops I had it at did their part but I don't think either were actually interested in dealing with the vibration. Reading others just needed shims I don't want to spend a couple grand for a new trans and find out it was $100 worth of shims coupled with not being able to use an angle finder.

Received a crazy estimate to paint it from the body shop. In my mind I have already completed half the job. Would love to have a fresh coat of...... maybe a Kona Blue. For what he quoted I can learn to paint and then restore the rusty Cobra as well.
 
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429MII

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I find a lot of body shops quote based on "what they can get" vs "based on cost of the job and a mark up". This inflates the price and makes prices sometimes unreasonable.
If the body shop is at all good, this only means they are busier, and with an abundance of work they don't have to be pricing fairly.
They do this for a number of other reasons, least of which is to cover costs from botched jobs, re-do's and mis-quotes.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Or there's the scenario that they don't want that kind of work so they price the job pretty high with the expectation the customer won't go through with it with them. Kinda goes along with what @429MII says about pricing if they're busier.
 
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IICrew

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With the new pony in the stable little progress has been made on this one. The Mach I is in my work bay currently. This car was checked at a local shop and they found I had the wrong u joint caps. The driveshaft place put the smaller caps on and I did not catch it. Neither did the other shops. I fixed the u joint but nothing changed in the vibrations. I am going to take the wheels off my trailer and see if the vibrations change. Several places say my new bfg's are out of round. I cannot argue that but it vibrates on jack stands without the rear wheels on the car.... I have had great luck with bfg's in the past and cannot see 4 new bfg tires being bad. At this point it's a rule out situation so I will play along.

One thing I did notice, I removed the shift boot and stuck my hand on the transmission while car was vibrating going down the road. The trans felt smooth. Maybe tires will help although I am doubtful.
 

IICrew

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Something stupid I am missing. In my mind it's the trans. I was about to get one from modern driveline in the next month but the other II got in the way for now.

Have been told output shaft bushing feels tight, pinion angle is correct, pinion feels tight. I raised the engine 3/4 inch to compensate for saggy mounts with no change. This flywheel and clutch worked fine with a stock rad4.

Not looking forward to the day I have to crawl back here embarrased once it gets sorted out. At least it will have been sorted though.
 
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IICrew

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It may be time for an intervention. No progress to mention on vibrations but....

We have been on road trips the past 2 weekends. Two weeks ago it was for the Red Mach I from my other thread. This weekend was in pursuit of "parts out the ass" as the message claimed. I didn't spend what the new t5 will cost between the two weekends. I also hooked another person to the ways of the II's.

The Mach I was abandoned 22 years ago over motor mounts. It jumped railroad tracks or drove into a ditch in it's previous life. The chassis is bent up a little. The pillars are cracked. Yet it is almost a complete car. Only items missing are block plate, fluids, radiator and hoses as well as functioning motor mounts. It also needed a carb and headers so we made another road trip for a good deal on some used parts.

We ended up with brand new headers, MSD dizzy, a couple cams, 3 engines, one a roller block disassembled, Rebuildable D2OE Police Interceptor heads and running '68 351 heads. All kinds of little :poo:. Ps pumps, ac compressors. Two supposedly working carbs, a used Holly 600 and a freshly rebuilt Eddy 600, 2 performer 289 intakes. 4 C4 transmissions including one that supposedly is good and the one that originally came in the car. A truck bed, trailer, trunk and floorboards full of stuff. I think everything but some bolts to reassemble the car.

Oh yeah I said car. We got one of them too. It's a dark blue '76 coupe. Repainted years ago. She is a nice 20 footer. Has a couple rusty spots but was a texas car and the bottom looks like it was rhino lined. Someone had the interior redone probably 20 years ago. It's so so today but may clean up. It has a 3/4 vinyl top I am not super fond of in pics but it does work ok in person.

The story as I understand is the transmission went bad on the then owner. Car was left at a friends house which is the gentleman I bought it from. After a few years of sitting they pulled the engine to drop in a roller 351 and drag race it. Time elapsed between the removal of the old and the new engine being ready. The old running engine was sold to help fund the project. See where I am going here.

He didn't realize the oil pan problems these cars have. They sold the running engine oil pan and all. I saw 7 F150 or F250's's from the 50's to 90's at his place. Some gorgeous and some with patina. He knew them in and out. These cars not so much. None of his trucks have windsors so he gave me everything he collected in pursuit of turning the coupe into a drag car. As well as the running 302 engines he had taken out of his trucks for bigger engines. My trailer was so heavy I had to turn down E7 heads he claimed were low mileage. He just kept pulling out stuff. Anything windsor related. My trailer was so low I had to stop him.

The absolute best part of the trip was my sons wife fell in love with the coupe and was not happy when I said even if we had to part it out we made out like bandits. I have since been informed that parting out is not an option. Turns out it appears to be in really good shape so she is safe. Besides when the wives encourage the insanity what are we to do?

Today we started prepping to install the engine and trans into the Mach I to see how she runs. We turned an older block plate into a II block plate. Had the flywheel turned and mostly cleaned stuff. Hopefully the Mach is running in a few days depending on weather.

Here is the Mach I next to Christine with a couple pics of the coupe following. I will get more once my kid finally sends them to me. He took some after she had a bath with his phone since it does better pics.

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IICrew

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Me too. It works well. Even considering putting the side trim back on the t top car and see how it looks wearing slots.

The only true fact I know of these cars is nothing was set in stone. Seems several times I've been in that situation where your questioning if it's factory or masterfully butchered. I believe they came off the line with whatever piece was in stock at the time.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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I've been trying to remember what the Mach that I had had for trim since it was mentioned about having thinner trim. It seems I had the normal "door bumper" trim as opposed to just a chrome strip. But it's been over 30 years since I've had it, so I couldn't say that was fact. When it was brought up about having thin trim, I figured that's what it had and my memory was playing tricks. But I still think it had the thicker type trim. :shrug:

In any event, that's the ONE car I wish I woulda kept. I still kick myself for letting it go..... :doh:
 

IICrew

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The Coupe is burried in the barn with the Mach I in the work bay. The engine and trans are sitting in it. Waiting on motor mount rebuild kit and some other bits. Hopefully by next weekend it rolls under it's own power. Stopping as well as going in a straight line are entirely different story.

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IICrew

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I have not worked on Christine lately as the other II's are taking up my time and funds. I drive her anytime I can keep to slower roads. The vibration is still there. Otherwise she is running great.

Mach I runs. Drives. And STOPS!! It still needs a bunch of little :poo:. Plus exhaust, tires and an alignment. Those will have to wait as I collect parts over the winter.

The blue coupe is next in line. I have a 79 302 short block as well as 2 sets of used heads. Picked up a Cobra with a blown 302 that was supposedly freshly rebuilt. We needed the oil pan, mounts and old school headers. The PO claimed the trans was freshly rebuilt as well. The hope is to raid the parts bin and make the coupe run. On the Cobra I found a nice hole in the oil pan, a rod cap with a bolt loose. Also found another cap and bearing destroyed in the oil pan. Engine looks very clean. Well except for metal shavings in the pan and shrapnel marks inside the pan and on the crank. My amateur sleuthing indicates they reused hardware or more likely failed to torque the rod bolts during the rebuild.

We also picked up a running orange v6 rust bucket t top car. Actually drove it onto and off of the trailer. The sub frame is rotted out and the car is starting to sag at the a door. Rotted floor boards were replaced with some kind of tin. Will be a parts car as it's a 4 speed car and the interior is in great shape and roof is still good.
 
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IICrew

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Finally! The wheel of Ka has come back around to her.

Picked up new rear wheels and tires. Went with US wheels 101 model. 15x8 with 4.5 backspacing. Picked up BFG 245/60R15. They rub at the quarter panel lip over bumps. I just received a fender reforming tool and will roll them over the next few days when my kid returns my heat gun. Inside I have plenty of room. IMO the 245/60 is a little too tall for my build. Width is perfect. I think a 245/55 or 50 would be perfect but none were available. 235/60 would be my next choice but I wanted as much width as possible.

The little local shop talked me into using balancing beads vs sticky weights. Time will tell how well that pans out but....

I only drove it a couple miles since it was rubbing on compression. Ran her to about 65 mph with minimal vibrations. The horrendous vibration at 1800 rpm in 5th is GONE!!!!!!!!!

Do I paint the new wheels or try and strip old fronts? Or better yet get new front wheels? hmmm.....

Don't laugh at the lug nuts. I am waiting on new ones and used what I had laying around here.

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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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Wow the fills the wheel well nicely. I'm voting new fronts!
Are those the stock rear springs?
 

IICrew

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Yep. Stock springs. These pics the driveway slopes down. It's rainy here so I haven't gotten it on flat ground for a pic. I think I want to lower the back now. The old tires were 24.6" tall. These are 26.6. That's only an inch in actual car ride height but visually it appears to have risen a couple inches. I wasn't after the jacked up look. I will roll the fenders and drive it a bit but at the moment am thinking it's going to need lowered back down.

On the other hand..... I wonder if it's the color difference that makes the front look subtle vs the rears jumping out at me. They just look too attention grabbing for the theme on this car. hmm.
 

IICrew

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Been a while since I have updated. I have been busy with other obstacles getting in the way. Like the promise I made last year to the boss about concentrating on the house this spring if she let me play cars all last year. I did not get far enough in my exorcism escapades thus I regret that promise now. lol

The 245/60/15 are just too big. I don't like the jacked up look for this car. They also caught the quarter panel when hitting an expansion joint in a corner on the highway. I knew it was tight but I got too cocky. I had rolled the lip but not enough on the drivers side. The damage is mild to the car but the brand new tire is missing most of the outer tread now. Since I cannot get bfg's in a 50 series I went with 225/60/15 on the rear and painted the rear wheels to match the fronts. I really like the stance now. Would like a little wider tire but we can't always get what we want.

The car was just too loud. I cannot sneak around at all. So after getting tires I took it to a local exhaust shop. He builds custom rods and has an exhaust bay. He added 18" cherry bombs to the system and fixed some other leaks. It's deeper now but I only got to drive it through my little town which is 25mph to my home. My plan was to get the better half and go for a test drive but the starter was grinding when I picked it up. Being ancient it spins for about 20 seconds when the car doesn't fire. He had his son put her on the rack and I am assuming he didn't wait till it stopped and hit the key grinding the teeth into the flywheel.

I have spent the past week trying to decide which starter to get. With the battery relocated and 10.5:1ish compression the factory starter was noticeably slower on hot starts. It's was from my parts bin and is at least 25 years old and may be from 1987. Rockauto shows stock style but I wanted a mini starter. I cannot find a direct match though. From what I have gathered ford has 2 starters for 302's but our cars have unique part numbers for them soooo. I am running the rad4 bell so it's the shorter nose which I ass-u-me means it's the same as the 164 tooth flywheel. Yet every listing specifically indicates that starter is for 164 tooth only. But I cannot locate one with 9 teeth like ours. I ordered a 3/8 offset 10 tooth one and will find out over the next couple days if that fits. I have googled till my search bar hurts and cannot find a definitive answer.

The vibration improved with the new rear wheels and tires but is still there. I am guessing 50% better. I didn't get to drive it much between getting tires, the exhaust shop and now waiting on the starter but it seems to get worse as the car warms up. I am wondering if it's in the transmission. It is speed dependent not gear. Maybe the output shaft or bushings are worn out. It takes finesse to get 2nd to engage so I need it rebuilt anyway. Hopefully this winter that can happen.

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IICrew

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This car came with full trim. It's has the red rubber insert. I believe I have all the trim and was planning on deleting it. Although with the majority of bad paint below the trim line I may put it back on and paint the trim and lower portion of the car black. That leaves me with the red insert in the trim. Is there a way to replace that with new rubber? Painting/ dying it black? That would mimic a Mach I which is not my intention with this car. It would allow me to pretty the car up and keep most of the original paint though..... hmmmm.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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It's been a really long time since I've had a car with the door bump trim, but I'd think that someone would make a paint or dye to change the color on whatever kind of material it is. :shrug: