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My '54 Customline build

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  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    ENGINE UPDATE:

    The last 2 months have been all about the 5.0. Tore into it and was pleasantly surprised! I was expecting a well worn, 200K mile motor. Turns out, it really was owned by a little old lady who had only driven it 100K, serviced it regularly and was very gentle with it. Pulled the pan and heads and was greeted by this.....







    No sludge build-up and barely any ridge at all. Had the bores mic'd and the worst one was .005 out which meant I could get by without boring it and buying new pistons! I pulled the rotating assembly and put fuel line over the rod bolts so as not to nick the crank journals.



    Once it was down to a bare block, I chased all the threads.
    Tip: Autozone and O'Reilly's tool loaner programs have thread chaser kits for free!


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    Next, I went over the decks with 80g on a piece of exhaust tubing, in two directions, to check for low spots or any warping. The scratches were evenly distributed indicating a flat deck.





    Another issue was I needed to plug the center mount dipstick hole since the dipstick was now in the front timing cover. I simply tapped it, spread some thread sealant on an 1/8" pipe plug and filled the hole.





    Next task was cleaning up the cylinders. Got a 240 grit ball hone off of Amazon
    and went to work. 45 passes per cylinder and the last 10 very quickly to produce the 45* crosshatch. Lots of 30wt oil as lubricant. Came out rather nice!







    Addressed the lifter bores too. 220g taped to a stick of 1/2" PVC fit perfectly. An up and down twisting action cleaned them up nicely without removing any material.



    Now that the block was more or less prepped, I wanted a good bite for the engine paint to stick so I reinstalled the pan, heads, covers, etc and plugged and sealed all holes and gave the block a good sandblasting.





    This is the paint I used. Primer and Ford Red.



    Tore the motor back down, removed all oil galley plugs and gave it a thorough washing with hot, hot soapy water. Used a high pressure nozzle to rinse everything out then blew it dry with compressed air.





    Ordered a re-ring kit for a '93 5.0 HO from Northern Auto Parts

    I also replaced the oil pump, shaft, timing set and a whole bunch of other superfluous stuff.

    I checked the end gap on the rings by installing them an inch or so into the bore. All between .018 and .022.



    After I wire wheeled the tops of the pistons (don't wire wheel the skirts), I cleaned out the ring lands with an old broken compression ring then installed new rings (well lubed) with a ring expander.



    Ford 5.0's are notorious for leaking rear main seals. I want to prevent that at all costs. Installed a Fel-Pro #16250 crankshaft repair sleeve and ran a thin film of Loctite 518 Flange Sealer on the inside before I tapped it on.

    I also used a Ford Racing #M-6701-B302 rear main seal, bought on Amazon to button it all up.

    When I install the flywheel I'll slather thread sealant on the bolts and that should prevent any RMS leaks.



    I thoroughly cleaned the crank and all oil passages and hand polished the journals with fine steel wool.



    Next, I set the crank in the block, torqued the caps and Plastigage'd all the mains. All within spec.



    Re-assembly was pretty straightforward.
    Tip: Install the cam first, before the crank/rods/pistons! This allows you to grab it from both ends, facilitating installation so you don't nick the cam bearings. Lathered it up really good with cam lube.





    Next, I lubed up the main journals with Lubriplate and installed the crank.



    Installed the rest of the rotating assembly and started methodically putting everything back together.





    Slapped on some Ford Racing valve covers, cleaned everything up.........and she's 'bout ready to go!







    I've got exactly $900 into this motor.
    Head and machine work was $450 alone, the rest was parts and materials.
    Sure beats a couple of grand for a crate motor!

    Next up is some Firemist Green single stage on the firewall and door/trunk jambs.
    Once that's dry, I can bolt up the trans and slide the combo in.
    Getting closer!
    Last edited by 2.3Turbo_T; 12-08-2021, 12:20 AM.

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  • Old Stuff
    replied
    Geez that is looking great. Can't wait to see some color! Top shelf work cool dude.

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  • Gene
    replied
    When our kids were young, we took family vacations, by car, to several states. From our northern Illinois home, one trip we did was to central Florida, so we caught several states in that swing, both to and from were different routes.
    We have just skimmed across the northern edges of Mississippi and Alabama. If your driving, a long way around Atlanta Georgia so you miss it is a good plan if you can. Its just a mess to get through, and once you get near it, there is no short way around it.

    We have been talking about doing a Gulf shores cruise across the southern states, but haven't gotten the deal done yet. Other then possibly Atlanta, the route your taking will definitely be more laid back then California. Sounds like a fun trip. Have safe travels. Gene

    Leave a comment:


  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    Thanks Gene! The OP's bodywork was garbage. He literally just bondo'd over rust and rot and shot it with primer to make it look good! There was some bodywork that was done in the '60s and it held up well over the years.
    We're flying into Gulfport MS, grabbing a rental car and driving across Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Florida panhandle then circling back through the northern part of the states. Always wanted to see the south. I'll bet it's way more laid back than California.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gene
    replied
    Old body work always seems to hide a lot of stuff, at least I know it does on my junk. I hate doing body work! Your car is looking good in the primer.

    How deep are you going in the "deep south"? My wife and I love to vacation to new to us places. We have been to about 35 different sates so far, hoping to set foot in the lower 48 before I check out. The last 10 years we have done vacations in our 48 Plymouth coupe. Great times!

    Have safe travels. Gene

    Leave a comment:


  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    UPDATE:
    The last 2 months have been focused solely on bodywork and paint prep but I can now confidently proclaim 'she's ready or final paint'!
    I thought I was done with metalwork..........not! It seems the OP had a penchant for slapping mud over rusty/rotted metal and calling it good. I ground out the bondo and cut out the rotted piece on the left rocker and replaced it..........







    Then I moved on to the deck lid which looked OK but upon closer inspection.........it wasn't. Ground out the bondo and cut out the rotted metal........







    Patched that.........





    Behind the right rear wheel the OP had performed his magic. Noticed a small bubble in the primer, ground it out and sure enough........patched with bondo! I cut out the metal and the void behind it was packed with dirt and rust.....





    Repaired properly......



    At some point in the cars life the pass door had been replaced with a different model door, I guess. The body shop had bondo'd up the trim holes and they were popping out after 50 years. I welded 'em up....



    Then I started the filler work. No action pics of that but you'all know the drill. Fill, sand, fill, sand, fill, sand. I was actually able to flatten each section with no more than 3 layers. I'm getting kinda good at this! But yeah..........sanding sucks, especially at my age! In my 20's I was headed toward a career in bodywork/painting. I'm sooo glad I bailed on that endeavor!

    I stripped every inch of paint off the car. I can't say enough about BlackHawk strip discs
    Chuck one in a 4" angle grinder and you'll be amazed! It took me 4 hours to strip the entire car to bare metal and I only used 3 discs!









    Layed down 2 coats of DTM epoxy primer and followed that with 3 coats of SlickSand. Several days of block sanding got me body panels that are as flat as glass. My body aches!



    Here's my arsenal of sanding blocks. The 24" long DuraBlock is an awesome weapon as is the pool noodle (picked up at the dollar store). With all the compound curves our '50s cars have, it was invaluable!



    Once blocked, I layed on 3 coats of 2K urethane primer and called it a day.







    Ready for paint!
    I'm gonna take a little break. The wife and I are gonna take a trip to the deep south (never been) next week. When I get back, I think I'll start tearing into the 5.0! That's all for now.

    Leave a comment:


  • kberjian
    replied
    Originally posted by 2.3Turbo_T View Post
    Thanks! I'll continue updating through the completion of this car, not only to keep a record of it's progress but also to try and keep this board alive. Traffic has slowed quite a bit since Covid. Come on everyone......contribute!
    Car is looking great! The seats from a Prius look comfy, and you can show everyone how environmentally in tune you are! Should have asked the Prius owner why they changed, it is making waste and increasing their carbon footprint.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    Thanks! I'll continue updating through the completion of this car, not only to keep a record of it's progress but also to try and keep this board alive. Traffic has slowed quite a bit since Covid. Come on everyone......contribute!

    Leave a comment:


  • Old Stuff
    replied
    That is just looking freaking outstanding. Engine compartment is so clean looking- love the MAS plumbing. And thanks for the battery cable link. I'm getting a bit closer to designing that out on the '30.

    Keep on pushing forward!

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  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    Well, it's been awhile. I'm still alive. Progress has slowed a bit but I thought I'd update the few things I've done over the last 6 months. Prepare to be underwhelmed!
    I found the correct water pump serp pulley but I had to fab the 3G alternator bracket. For the upper mount 1/4" flat plate and thick walled steel tube did the job. The lower mount is more 1/4" plate. It's also tied into the block at 90* for support.





    I relocated the battery to the trunk. I just used the stock '54 battery tray but I'll probably get a vented box later.



    Can't say enough about these guys.......www.batterycablesusa.com
    They have everything you'll need. It's all quality stuff, their prices are great and as an added bonus, their shipping charges are ridiculously cheap!

    For the positive lead I ran 1/0 copper welding cable from the right side of the trunk to the left side of the firewall and attached it to a power post.



    I strung the cable under the decklid, over the rear wheelhouse and through the rocker panel.



    For cable retainers, I cut some lengths of 7/8" tube, sliced them in half and welded them to the decklid bumper supports.





    The negative cable runs through the floorpan and connects to a stud welded onto the framerail.



    Got lucky and snagged a recently replated grille assembly for $400! It's in excellent condition. My local plater wants $1k to replate my crappy original. No brainer!



    Last month I decided to tuck my rear bumper. There was a 1-1/2" gap between the top of the bumper and trunk extensions.



    A couple of 2x6's secured together and placed on a floor jack makes installation and removal truly a one man operation.



    Just slotted the bumper bracket holes and it tucked in nice and tight.



    My bench seat caught on fire at one point in it's life and is beyond toast. I wanted buckets anyhow. Found these sitting out on the sidewalk 2 blocks away. The price was right, couldn't pass 'em up! I think they're out of a Prius.



    Fabbed up some mounting brackets.............done.





    I'm in the middle of bodywork and prep now. I decided to attack the roof first. In it's prior life someone decided to dance the Macarena in the middle of it. After popping it back out and doing a little metal shrinking, I took it down to bare metal with 80g. It took 3 layers of Rage body filler to get it back into shape.





    Next, I layed on a couple of coats of epoxy primer and followed that with 2 medium coats of Slicksand (sprayable bondo). Blocked that all down with 180g followed by 240g then, just today, I finished up with 3 coats of 2K urethane primer.



    Remember the roof sections and drip rail that I had to replace? I'm pretty happy with the outcome!



    All that's left is seam sealer in the gutters and a final scuff before paint. I'm gonna move on to the rest of the bodywork tomorrow.
    That's all for now. Thanks for lookin'!



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  • Gene
    replied
    Yes, that retirement thing is pretty cool for sure. Working on the toys, or not, during the day is great.
    I don't sit around and watch TV at night, but I do surf the net hot rod boards at night.

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  • 2.3Turbo_T
    replied
    I sit around watching TV at night! During the day I get to work on the car. I'm lovin' retirement!

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  • Old Stuff
    replied
    Man you ain't been sitting around drinking root beer and watching TV! The work is looking so very nice. Keep forging ahead.

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  • kberjian
    replied
    I like what you did with the Radiator area. I may be copying this concept for my Buick!

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  • Gene
    replied
    I figured you probably had plenty of clearance given the quality of the work you do, but every once in a while we all have one of those "oh crap" moments and just miss something obvious. Carry on, I'll be watching. Gene

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