B3Cat is the new project!

Bob, I had the same thought! Either that or the California owners before Glenn used it to wander around the desert. I do know a woman in AZ who used her '68 Mustang as an archaeology work vehicle and then later restored it to concours level. She eventually won enough MCA Gold awards to retire it from competition. The driver side frame rail has been similarly abused.

Fortunately, the rest of the under-structure is solid and rust-free. We just need to put patch panels in the quarters and that’s about the extent of the rust repair.

Another step has been taken in the restoration of B3Cat. Here is the progress report on the engine bay:

As the above picture shows, the owners prior to Glenn thought the engine would look better in Chevrolet orange. Since the manifold had to come off to fix the oil leaks, changing this became one of the first orders of business. With the manifold removed, Dave snapped a photo of the numbers in the valley. Assuming this indicates a 352 block, I didn’t realize the 390 used the same block. Learn something new every day…

Ford Blue puts in a much-needed appearance. The engine looks good based on the heads and what little we can see without pulling them off. It’s possible this was already rebuilt in the not-too-distant past.

An Edelbrock 1406 replaces the Holley aftermarket carburetor. One of the things Dave discovered right away is that the fuel in the car was degraded. It smelled more like varnish than gasoline. The fuel lines needed to be cleaned out, the filter needed replacing, and the engine needed a complete tune-up.

Above, the smog rails. The tips were broken off one rail, but Dave got them all out. In the following pictures, he used the original smog tips with a bolt cap braized on to plug the smog ports.

Driving home, B3Cat ran smooth and had plenty of punch under my right foot. The front end has a tendency to wander, but the alignment hasn’t been checked yet. So at least now we have a driver for the summer while we replenish the restoration fund and decide on the next step in the journey.

Looking good Bill. I’m sure someone will chime in if I’m wrong, but I think the 352 is one of those erroneous numbers that doesn’t really mean anything. At least not in relation to what block it is.

Looking good.

What’s the time frame from pic 1 to pic 5.

The time frame was about a week with Dave doing some side jobs along the way. Total time for the complete job was two weeks.

I second what everyone else says. Lookin’ good!

Finally, there is some more activity on B3Cat. I had taken it out for an exercise run and it ran incredibly poorly, so I sent it back to Dave for remedial work. It turned out that the Edelbrock carb itself had something preventing the idle circuit from working properly so Dave cleaned the carb out and got it running right again. He also discovered that the plate inside the distributor that the Pertronix mounts to was loose, so that was retightened. While he had it in the shop, he did compression testing and all cylinders showed readings in the 160-165 range.

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased one of the electric headlight conversion kits, so that got installed as well. So there is no more vacuum to the headlights. I’ll have to test the actuators and see if they hold vacuum.

B3Cat ran really well all the way home, although like BBCat, the 390 doesn’t like hot restarts. Has anyone else experienced that problem and solved it? I didn’t notice any wandering on this ride home so I think the wind was a factor last time.

This Cougar has a 3.00 traction-lock rear end and I have noticed a clunking sound from the rear during low speed maneuvering, especially when I’m turning. Is that the trac-loc doing its thing?

Anyway, I will be driving B3Cat back and forth to work for the next week to continue the shake-out process and see if anything else pops up. Come next Sunday, my wife is planning to drive it to the Mustangs Unlimited show that the New England Cougar Club is putting on, so that’s about an hour of driving each way. I want to make sure the car is in good condition to get there and back with no drama. I’ll be in BBCat, so I don’t want either car sitting on the shoulder even briefly.

The next planned improvement is new wheels and tires because I get some squeal from the ones that are on there and I suspect they may have some dry rot going on. B3Cat will likely get the 15" Cragars from BBCat while BBCat goes back to stock Cougar 14" styled steel wheels and 235/60R14 BFG T/A’s.

Other than wheels and tires, the plan now is to just drive the car and rebuild the restoration fund for the body, paint, and exterior trim.

I had the hot restart problem thing going on mildly with my 302/Edelbrock 1406, and after replacing the carb riser with a phenolic one I haven’t had any issues. The engine also now shuts off instantly when I turn the key off, where before I was having some issues with percolation/dieseling.

To be fair, I replaced the riser the same time I rebuilt the carb, so I don’t know if the rebuild helped solve the issues or if it was solely the riser. But from what I understand, the phenolic riser does a much better job of isolating the carb from the heat of the engine than the stock steel one does, so it makes sense that it solves heat related issues.

Not unless for some reason it is a Detroit Locker, a TL should not do what you describe.

Hate it when that happens… Good old heat soak…
PMGR or permanent magnet gear reduction starters aren’t affected as much by heat as the OEM style.
A quality USA made Tilton starter will work the same 100% of the time, the last starter you’ll ever have to buy for that car.

They’re supposed to be silent. Pick up a bottle of anti spin differential additive (stinks :puke:) from your local dealership and add to the differential oil.

A couple of recommendations…

Brazing the caps on the exhaust manifold plugs may be a problem. Brazing doesn’t like the kind of heat you get, and they tend to shear off if you ever have to remove them. You can use standard pipe plugs with Allen heads to fit in those holes.

You didn’t tell us if the hot start issue is that the starter won’t crank the engine over very fast, or if the carb has boiled dry. If it is the starter not spinning very fast you need to check the connections at the battery terminal, both sides of the solenoid, and at the starter. Use your volt ohm meter to measure the voltage across the connections. If the resistance across the connection was zero, then you would measure zero voltage. If any connection is hot, then that is sure sign that there is a high resistance at that point. A good wire brushing and or a file will clean up lots of things. I have also seen high resistance across the starter solenoid.

One other electrical consideration: The most commonly available reproduction battery cable set is sized for the 289 / 302. The FE cars need a larger gauge wire, so you have to make sure that you are getting the FE product. Most vendors will say that the small block kit “fits”; it does but it doesn’t work very well.

The plate under the Pertronix is important and so is the little ground lead. Always be sure they are both tight and clean connections.

I am with Art on the friction modifier, but most clunks come from bad universal joints. Check that first.

Bill, the hot start problem is more fuel related. When the car is hot, it wants the gas pedal floored to fire up without flooding the carb, so I suspect it’s the heat soak problem others mentioned. BBCat is the same way, so the phenolic spacer may be the fix I need.

I’ll check the u-joints in the next day or so; if those are worn, the car will have to stay home Sunday.

Okay, I have the same problem with Edelbrock carbs, but I thought that had more to do with our weather here than the carb… I have been using alternating layers of aluminum and standard gaskets with good results if height restriction is a consideration. I am sure that phenolic will do fine.

OK, so I stopped by my friend Dave’s tonight on the way home from work. After some discussion and another test drive, we concluded that B3Cat has a shift kit installed and the clunk is the transmission dropping back into 1st gear at times. I had noticed that the shifts were very firm on this car and it will chirp the rear tires on a 2nd gear shift without even trying, so it makes sense. There is a lot that was done to this car that we don’t know and Glenn didn’t know so we’re discovering it as we go along.

I also learned that Dave experienced the slow cranking on a hot start while the car was in his care last week, so Bill’s information above is very relevant. Now that I’m driving B3Cat, I’m starting to get some front end squeaks from the control arm bushings. A new to-do list is taking shape very quickly but that’s what this summer was intended to be about so I’m not at all unhappy. Even in its present condition, B3Cat drives straight and solid and runs like a scalded ape!

It does appear to have a drinking problem, though. Today’s commute was about 65 miles round trip and the gas gauge suggests that half a tank of $3.99 premium gas was consumed in the process. I guess I’ll know better when I actually fill up again tomorrow.

The hot restart happens with my Autolite in the SS. If I shut the enigne down after an extended drive on the highway on a hot day, it will exhibit the same symptom. You have to hold the throttle open while cranking to get it to restart. If you look down the throttle bores right after shutting off the engine, you will see fuel dripping out of the boosters into the manifold. I have a couple theories in mind. First is due to the fuel in the float bowl boiling during the initial hot soak. Or second, if the fuel in the pump and fuel line is hot soaking and boiling where it develops enough pressure to blow the needle off the seat and thus over flowing the bowl. A phenolic spacer will help the first senario, but, may not be a total cure. In the 2nd senario, my idea is to put a type of return line. It only has to connect the output side of the pump to the suction side of the pump. The idea would be to have a very small oriface in there that would allow excess pressure to be routed back to the tank versus being trapped in the pressure line to the carb. The oriface would have to be small enough that when the engine is running it would not reduce volume to the carb. This would be the most discrete mod to combat this symptom as any new piping would be down behind the pump. The ultimate solution would be to have a 3 port regulator with a return line to the tank. A way to tell if the line is getting over pressurized would be to put a fuel pressure gauge on the line before the carb to see if it goes above 6 psi. I believe anything over 6 psi could lift the needle off the seat.

p.s. FYI: you wouldn’t have the hot soak problem on Columbus Day weekend.

My wife has decided that B3Cat should have a white interior like Scott’s XR-7G. So that means (ideally) I need a set of white XR-7 door panels, a set of XR-7 rear panels, a set of white kick panels and a white console. Seat upholstery will be replaced anyway with new, as will the headliner. I can buy outright or include a trade of the dark blue interior pieces (console and kick panels) that are in the car now. The door and rear panels may not be any good; they are covered with trim shop panels at the moment.

I’m looking for Grade A, as Don would say. I don’t mind having to refresh but I’d prefer not to have to restore. I also have a complete set of black panels but I prefer not to have to dye them white.

So if you have something that fits the bill, please PM me. Thanks!

The plan for B3Cat is now pretty well set.

The color will be changed to Madras Blue with a white vinyl top. The interior will be parchment with aqua carpeting. I just ordered a full set of new vinyl upholstery from JCC in parchment and previously purchased all the other interior bits from Randy. The interior bits are at Seamless Customs, where they will be completely refurbished to look new again.

Once I receive the upholstery from JCC, those will also go to Seamless Customs, where aqua running cats will be embroidered into the top front of each seating position. I still need to order the headliner, and will need to find a parchment console/clock pad but there is still plenty of time for that. Worst case, I’ll have the existing pads dyed parchment.

I may wait on doing anything with the console until we’re able to put the interior together in the car. Another idea I had was to use the center console as another aqua accent point and I can judge how that might look by leaving the blue console alone until that point. If it proves to be too much accent, then we can change the color to parchment. If not, we can dye it aqua.

I’m hoping to have the car ready for Carlisle 2015, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Sounds like a good plan Bill. Personally I don’t care for aqua, but it should blend nicely.

i would of gone parchement interior, black carpet , black vinyl roof,

a little fe 101, ALL fe blocks post 63 were stamped 352 in the valley and on the front of the block just below the left head. the one that matters is the one inside the bellhousing area,