If you use a water pump on a Chevy engine that does not have the "recirculation connection" near the top of the water pump from the intake manifold, you need to drill the thermostat with three 3/16 inch holes so that there is always a small amount of water passing through the thermostat back to the radiator. This solves two potential problems at once. You will avoid an air pocket in the return hose/radiator tank, and the thermostat will always be sampling the water temperature right after startup so there will not be a "spike" in block temperature until the thermostat reacts.
383 stroker cam clearance verification. The best and fastest way to check preliminary clearances between the top of each connecting rod and cam is to do the following: Cut a piece of cardboard about 1.5 inches by 3 inches. Normal cardboard boxes have a thickness of about 0.100 inch. Use a "small parts grappler" type pick up tool to hold the cardboard and give it a bend just below where you are holding it. See next picture.
Insert the cardboard, holding the cardboard in the center of the 1.5 inch side between the cam and connecting rods and rotate the crankshaft (TWO REVOLUTIONS) enough to pass the camshaft. If the cardboard touches but does not bind then you have probably over .050 clearance, which is sufficient. If you feel any binding at all, proceed to the next step using a clay strip.
After rotating the crankshaft TWICE past the cam, remove the clay and inspect it. This one shows the impression of the connecting rod bolt head. Reach under the connecting rod and press the clay onto the "bottom" of the connecting rod and rotate the crankshaft so that the rod passes the position of the camshaft. IT IS IMPORTANT that you make TWO rotations of the crankshaft, as the cam turns at half the speed of the crankshaft, so in any given "pass" of the crankshaft, the lobe may be 180 degrees from the closest point.
Remove the clay and inspect it for any deformation of the clay on the back side. If the clay has come close to the cam, it will have a "pressed" area on this side of the clay. If so, cut the clay in two - down the center and measure the thickness of the clay. The measured thickness will be the clearance between the connecting rod bolt head and the cam.
SECOND UPDATE! ! ! All I said below was BS.... and wrong.. the "vapor lock" problem was not vapor lock ultimately... it was a bad HEI ignition module. New MSD "Heat" module fixed it........... now you can keep reading if you really want to.....ahahaha... UPDATE: The following after the two slash marks was my original post.. But I had to change things again due to VAPOR LOCK issues. So I removed the electric fuel pump at the firewall (first error), reinstalled the mechanical, and all was well until VAPOR LOCK caused a LOT of problems. So I added a Carter fuel pump in the area shown in the above picture to the underside of the trunk and wired it with a momentary push button to clear the vapor lock at start-up, a check valve in the fuel line where it's tied in, and a return type GM secondary fuel filter near the carburetor with a return line to the fuel filler neck, and pressure regulator (See the gallery named (Fixing Vapor Lock). // This really is not an appropriate picture, but it shows where I will have to move the electric fuel pump to. It will be mounted right behind the rear end to the left of the fuel line connector. I learned that electric fuel pumps don't like to be a "sucker", and work better as a "pusher". The pump was mounted on the inside of the passenger side fender well, about 18 inches higher than the tank pickup. After experiencing engine shutdowns after about 15 minutes of running, and feeling the pump getting quite hot, I decided that the fuel was cavitating inside the pump, stopped pumping, then would get hot, which made it worse. Added to that elevation problem but the "flow loss" through the suction side of the pump. UPDATE: I did not do what I just said - I reinstalled the mechanical fuel pump and tossed the electric one. All is well.
This is the kind of thing that drives me CRAZY ! I found a used instrument cluster that had a perfect chrome ring, but a bit dusty. Took it all apart, cleaned the insides and it turned out looking brand new. Got some 12 volt miniature base lamps, and new sockets. Wired it all up, installed in the dash, wired the entire car, (the wires and air conditioning ducts behind the instrument cluster totally filled up the space). Then I noticed that even at night, I could not see/read the instrument panel, because it looked like there were no lights, or that they were off. Checked for power - yup, checked for good ground, yup, reached up in the tangle of wires and pulled one out, and yup, it was lit when the base was grounded - conclusion - nothing wrong with the lamps, base, voltage, grounding, etc. Here is what I just found out from the internet. When Ford decided to specify/install the "lenses" for the instrument panel, they chose a blue tinted glass lens for the lights. The idea was so that the dash markings and needles would look iridescent But they probably didn't know that over time, the blue glass would become opaque, and virtually NO LIGHT would shine through them. Not only that, but I read a posting that said the dang lenses are RADIOACTIVE !!!! Holy Cow!... so now, the instrument cluster has to come out. The lenses are held in place with a little tiny tabbed ring-the only way to get them out is to disassemble the gauge cluster.... Just ordered new ULTRAVIOLET LED lamps to go back in without the lenses....grrrrrr (Note: this lens came out of my "original" cluster that is all rusted up on the chrome ring).
Be sure to mark all disconnected wires. I'm not using the "ammeter"- the little loop sensor on the right. UPDATE: I have decided to use the ammeter after all. Will run a huge wire from the trunk to the dash and back, fused on both ends. UPDATE..August 25, 2015..I decided to use the ammeter after all. Wired in a 4 gauge welding cable from the battery terminal through a 30 amp fuse to the dash, through that little loop on the right side, and back to the alternator terminal in the trunk.. tested..and it works juuust fine.
I have read nearly all the discussions and tech-tip about the dash light problems in shoebox Fords.. I just decided to throw in my two cents about how I got mine fixed. The suggestion that you can straighten the tabs with your fingernail will NOT work - unless you have some sort of bad a*s fingernails. FIRST, disconnect the battery ! 1. Leave the speedometer alone, but disconnect the drive cable. 2. Two screws (one each side of the instrument panel) hold the entire assembly in place. Remove those. 3. Pop each lamp socket out one at a time and label them. You will have the two bottom sockets for the directional signals, with a dash lamp between them. At the top looking at the back of the panel, on the left is the high beam indicator. The remaining four lamps are for lighting the dash panel. 4. Pull the instrument panel back and squirrel it around so that you have the face of it pointing down. Then you can access the Temperature, Oil Pressure, and Fuel Level gauge wiring nuts through the front of the "hole" where the panel sits through the front of the dash hole where the instruments were mounted. 5. Label each wire as you remove them and note that the ground wires go on the terminals that have the stamped nuts on the little studs of the instruments. 6. Twist and turn the entire panel and pull it out (mine came out on the passenger's side of the steering column). 7. Using a screwdriver, pry the pinched parts of the case out just enough (you only have to pry two of the four locations out) to separate the housings. You then have full access to the guts of the panel. 8. I used a sharpened (fairly thin, but very strong) pointy nail file to straighten the tabs to remove the lenses. 9. I just bought two ultraviolet LED lamps to put one on each side of the panel (CORRECTION - Two lights are not bright enough and makes the top and bottom of the panel look darker - just ordered two more lights (https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-vehicle-replacement-bulbs/ba9s-led-bulb-1-led/4/40/). 10. Put it all back together ! NOTE: My shoebox is a total rebuild, and I already had the A/C ducts in (easy to disconnect and get out of the way), and fully wired (with some slack in the wiring) Painless Wiring kit for everything. Still was no problems getting the panel out. And by the way, this is a perfect time to clean the guts of your instrument panel. Use q-tips and alcohol. If it gets "smudgy", roll up a small piece of paper towel, with alcohol, and "rinse" the surface. Painted the needles, including the speedo with pink fluorescent model paint too. Looks like NEW ! CORRECTION - The Hobby Lobby paint is not really fluorescent - I'm taking it all apart again to paint with "Wildfire Lighting and Visual Effects" PINK that appears to be truly fluorescent. http://49fordcoupe.smugmug.com/Tips-and-Tricks/i-kwQcC8s
Just got my new "ultraviolet" lamps (I thought two would be fine, but you can see that it's brighter on the sides and not so bright on the top and bottom), and just ordered two more for the top and bottom sockets. I'm rather disappointed that the Hobby Lobby "pink fluorescent" paint does not show up as I expected - I don't think it is fluorescent at all, just a bright pink. So I googled "true fluorescent paint", and think I found what I need at Wildfire Lighting and Visual Effects.. Just ordered - and will take it all apart again and repaint the needles....see the next picture for what it's supposed to look like...
YES !.. Four UV lights and REAL fluorescent paint (Wildfire Lighting and Visual Effects - I have plenty left for sale - 6 oz. is the smallest they have available)...... done...reflection in the glass..It was a good thing that I took it all apart again, as I noticed that the speedometer had a little "hitch" in it when turned by hand. Luckily, I still had my original speedometer, but it had a tiny hitch too, so after oiling it up with silicone lubricant (there is a tiny oil hole in the top of the bearing on the back), it turns oh sooo smoothly... jumping needles aren't good...In addition, I was going to convert the ammeter to a voltmeter-ordered a 2-1/16" voltmeter, took it apart and planned on cutting out the housing of the ammeter and trying to install the voltmeter. But....the lettering would be upside down, needle looks different, and soooo I decided to make the ammeter work. To get it to work, I will be running a #4 welding cable (barely fits the little loop on the back of the ammeter) from the trunk (battery feed connection ONLY - not including the power from the alternator) to the dash and back to keep the voltage drop around 2%. HUGE (3/8" diameter welding cable-more flexible) wire, as it needs to be rated for about 30 amps, and it's 35 feet total from the trunk to the gauge cluster and back. You can go to the Interior Gallery on the second page to see what I did for the digital voltmeter.
Painted the clock pointers with the fluorescent paint. Removed the green tinted "filter ring" and wired in a 12V/6V converter. Temporarily hooked up to battery for a few days to adjust the accuracy of the clock, plus sprayed silicon oil into the clock (at first hookup, it would stop from time to time.) In addition, you may notice that the face of the clock apparently does not have a tab to keep the face from rotating. (The 6 does not line up with the time adjustment knob.) A dab of gasket sealer on the back of the face fixes that. Also in the next few pictures, you can see that I decided to cover the entire interior of the clock housing with glued on aluminum foil. That black ring didn't help with the lighting of the clock.
The dang clock quit working after I got it installed, even though I had already tested it and ran it for a couple of days before installation. I decided that since I didn't get a "spark" when touching the wires, that the little bitty momentary contact that winds the spring may have an "arc burr" on it. So I took the clock apart, and if you look closely between the two springs you can see a "Tab" and an "arm" that are in contact with each other (this condition is only momentary, as soon as they touch, the armature is kicked back by the electromagnets, opening the contacts again). What happens is that the "arm" rotates slowly (about 5 minutes between "kicks") with the clock running, and when it touches the "tab", the two electromagnets (you can see one of them) are energized, and the armature (the little bit of shiny metal just to the right of the coil) is yanked back, stretching the big spring in the center of the picture (furnishing the stored power of the stretched spring), and a ratchet is engaged to hold the tension (torque) on the mechanism that keeps the "tick tock" going back and forth. Pretty wild. See the next picture, where the clock is wound, and the tab and the arm are separated and the armature has been pulled down and back. ADDED TIP: Get some silicon spray oil and spray down the innards of the clock then blow it out with compressed air (not tooo much)..
Check the previous picture and you can see the difference. The tab between the springs is clearly visible, and has a point on it. I sanded it down with 1000 grit sand paper (Hint: wrap a 1/2" square piece of sandpaper around your smallest flat screwdriver), as well as the contact on the "arm".. notice the armature is now in a different place (clock spring - the larger one on the right side - is "wound") than what you see in the previous picture. UPDATE !.. I reconnected the dang thing and it has run for about 18 hours and still on correct time.... Yippeee!
The trunk lid didn't even look like it came off the same car. It is/was too wide for the fender opening. So I adjusted the new 1951 hinges to one side so that the gap on the right side was pretty good, then cut the top of the fender to make the size adjustment. Sliced open, adjusted, and welded.... feels good to finally get this done. Still a lot of work to be done here.
This one worked. The angle is slightly off but after welding, bent the plate toward the front so it is vertical. TIP: When welding a thicker (1/8") piece to a thinner (20 ga.) get the torch out and heat the thicker part up to red hot, then the weld will take a lot better than if you don't do that.
In order to assure that the trunk lid is reattached exactly in the same position (note the slotted bolt holes), I drilled through the hinge and the bracket, opened the hole up on the hinge so that it is a very tight fit on the screw shaft that is screwed into the bracket, then cut the head off. This way, when I put the trunk lid back on after finishing up the welds on the bracket and welding the old hinge holes up, the lid will be perfectly aligned when I put it back on.
Finally found the hood bracket at John's Salvage in Seguin, Tx... Unfortunately, it was SOOO stinking rusty, pitted, and pretty nasty, so I decided to use the "electrolysis" method using washing soda (NOT baking soda). The negative battery charger goes on the item to be relieved of rust, and the positive terminal goes on the "sacrificial" piece. Use one tablespoon per gallon of water, and I added about a teaspoon of salt to help conductivity. If you have an electronically controlled charger, it may not want to "get started", so try the "50 amp START" setting until you get the bubbles / froth started, then turn it back to the 10 amp setting. 12 hours seems to work out pretty well. The process will eventually just stop, when the foam disappears.
Here is what eventually happens. I have rinsed the hood bracket, but boy, look at that rust that was transferred to the "anode"....... pretty crappy stuff. This is nearly MAGIC! Will sandblast the bracket. Just made a trough 6' long from some bricks and plastic sheeting and redoing the process for the entire bracket. By the way, I just learned that this hood bracket is a '50 or '51, and is different and now I will have to get some '50 or '51 hinges, because the damned hood will not open and close properly. The '49 hinge bracket does not have the "capture nuts" attached as this one is. WROONG ! GO TO THE HOOD/TRUNK LID HINGE GALLERY FOR A CONTINUATION OF THIS SAGA.
A floor mounted gas pedal that's "stock looking" and still works with a throttle cable is just about impossible to find. So, make your own. I bought the throttle cable assembly (I think it's a Lokar) and angular adjustable pivot, with a little bitty two inch square pedal. I took the pedal off and tossed it, drilled out the pedal pivot, and installed a shower door nylon roller from Home Depot on the end of the pivot where the pedal was.
The back of the pedal had a very uneven "ridged" surface, so my trusty dremel smoothed it down and screwed a small piece of sheetmetal to the back side of the pedal so the shower door roller would have a smooth surface to roll on. The red blob is gasket sealer so the little tiny nut on the roller doesn't loosen. Works like a champ!
On a Shoebox Ford ('49 thru '51) Coupe, the rear quarter window trim frames snap over a ridge, then the window and inside window surround screw in from the inside of the car. (I traded my old tilt out windows with a guy from California who had a business coupe - since THE JUDGE is air conditioned, don't need the tilt outs - but when I got them from him, one of the glasses was broken. He denied it was broken before he shipped them LIAR (little bubbles between the glasses at the breaks-been broken a long time). These rear window trims have to be sealed to the body, as water could pass around the backside of these strips and get into the car, even though the window glass rubber is pressed against the inside of these strips. So you have to seal these strips to the body with something like 3M Strip-Calk. You tear/lift the strips from the wax paper and press it down into the stainless strips. Then when you install the strips, the sealant will be squished down and seal the strips to the body. The front windows that roll down don't have to be sealed, as water will pass down into the door anyway at the bottom of the glass. When installing these strips, the rear half should go in first, then the bottom front half and muscle the front edge and top of the front part.
The standard 1157 tail lights brake lights just didn't seem very bright so I'm adding these red LEDs that are supposed to be five times brighter than a regular incandescent bulb. However I may have to add a relay because the cruise control has to have a ground reading through the incandescent bulb filaments and these offer no resistance for this operation. As it turns out, (even though the tech helper at Dakota Digital told me it would NOT work), I added a "light bulb simulator" resistor to fool the cruise control into thinking that I had incandescent tail lights.