So I thought I would start a build thread here for my 67 base recently acquired. I’m new to working on cars (but come from an engineering background) so this is really a huge learning experience for me, and looking for your wisdom to guide me along the way
Brief story of the car :
Bought in Wyoming, been with the previous owner for 6-7 years and I don’t believe he actually had time to do anything with it, so pretty much sat in a shed for that time. Registration sticker on the plate is from 82.
It’s a 67 base, 289 2v, 3spd manual, 2 tone, burgundy red and polar white top. Interior is Parchment Comfort Weave Vinyl Bucket Seats/Red Appointments. Technically it’s now a 3 tone : burgundy, rust and white.
Here’s the list of options from Marty report
Courtesy Light Group
7.35X14-4 Ply Rated White Sidewall Rayon Tires
Door Edge Guards
Car was built in September 66
My vision :
I want to make it a fun sunny day/weekend car. I’m not concerned about keeping it original but want to stay close, just modifying things for safety, performance and comfort.
Current state :
Car doesn’t run smoothly, engine cranks over but really struggles to run. Brakes are toast, master cylinder puked its fluid all over the firewall and the rear passenger wheel is seized. Interior is cooked and has been a palace for critters.
My plan :
Trying to stay focused on the primary immediate goal which is to bring it back on the road, i.e. making it pass Massachusetts state inspection. I have a bunch of ideas/random thoughts that I categorize in MUST/SHOULD/COULD. The MUST being what is needed for the immediate goal (pass state inspection), the SHOULD is what I should do while not blocking progress of the MUST, the COULD being all the fun stuff for later (performance, …).
Here’s my current list :
○ Decided to go for a power disc brake conversion as the master cylinder is toast and worried about the condition of the wheel cylinder. Don’t want to rebuild the front drum only to change them later
Parking brake adjustment
Fuel system purge + adding filter before pump at least temporarily
In that color combo and with the painted top that would be a very awesome looking car restored to original, so I would encourage that. Curious with that early build date what the consecutive unit number is (last digits starting after the 5 in the vin)?
Brake and fuel lines rust from the inside out, so outside appearances can be deceiving. Fuel lines can be monitored via fuel filters, but brake lines not so much. When you bleed your brakes, if the brake fluid looks muddy, then you have rust somewhere in the system. One fellow I know on another forum always mashes his brake pedal before moving the car out of the garage so that if the lines break, it won’t happen on the road.
Nice project. My Shelby had been off the road since 1977. If the car has been off the road since '82 you need a tank, sending unit, fuel lines, pump and if you started it probably a carburetor rebuild at this point in addition to your current must-do list.
Don’t ever cut corners on brakes. Your vehicle has the same Kelsey Hayes four piston brake system my Shelby does. It’s a good system providing you aren’t running a high horsepower engine and an FE. If you live in an area with congestion great functioning brakes are mandatory. You’ll be much happier with power disc brakes. Your rear brakes are probbably 10 X 1 3/4. Not much in the rear. SSBC offers a factory type KH disc set up and the nice part is you can walk into a parts store and pick up parts.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and encouraging messages. Serial number is 6439 so pretty early I think.
I’m adding the brake lines to the SHOULD list as the MUST is not necessarily what is safe but only what is required to register it. I will still have work to make it a safe driver car, but I don’t want the car to be locked up in the garage. I want to at least be able to drive it legally around in my neighborhood
More history : I have a feeling someone tried to fix it between 82 and when the previous owner bought it. A number of parts are newish around the fuel system. Fuel tank is recent-ish (so i’m not changing it, just purged it, it has a purge fitting).
I have already started on some things :
First cleanup of interior, removing as many mouse turds as possible. Mouse pee did some damage to the floor pans under the rear seats, some rust there but it doesn’t like it rusted through.
Got a correct carb from WCCC (the one on the car was for a 260 falcon or Fairlane), rebuilt it with a kit from mike’s carb. Noticed it was setup with 50 jets which is more than factory specs. I have an AFR gauge on order.
Replaced the choke heat tube as the nut was damaged and didn’t screw nicely.
Rebuilt the rear brakes, I still need to adjust them.
Purged the fuel from the tank
Did a dry compression test - on cold engine, just to get a feel of the engine. it started very well with the first 6 cylinders between 135 and 125, but then the last 2 are both at 110 … so maybe a head gasket issue ? will redo the test on a warm engine, dry and wet.
While cranking for the compression test, I disconnected the fuel output at the pump to purge the line with fresh gas in the tank
Change the fuel pump and fuel filter, added an inline fuel filter on the inlet pipe of the pump
Pulled the valve covers (there was an oil leak). They were nasty. A bit worried by the blow by - but that seems better now that I have changed the oil. Cork gasket was beyond cooked. Changed the gaskets and changed the PCV valve (from NAPA, hope it’s good, it’s very different from the one that was in there) and PCV valve grommet (from WCCC). Change the PCV hose to the carb too.
I did on oil change and added a quart of MMO to try to clean the sludge.
Vacuum test at idle seems a bit high at 20" and the needle is a bit hunting around but I wasn’t able to make it look better playing with idle mixture screws. Waiting for the AFR gauge before I try to make more adjustments.
Ordered a power disc conversion kit from virginia custom mustang - it’s a LEED kit, hopefully that’s decent.
Today I installed the driver disc, having an issue with the bracket holding the connection of the hard line to the hose, it just doesn’t fit - will contact LEED see what they say. I’m leaning towards grinding the hole on the bracket and the hole on the chassis for the pin so I can slide it.
I have the week off so hoping to make some decent progress… stay tuned !
6439 meaning 06439 - was just answering @pellets4fuel’s question.
Interesting about the different brackets. Contacted LEED today and they didn’t have much to say. Ended up bending the hard line a bit by hand.
I’m now done with both sides for the rotors & calipers and moving to the pedal/booster. I must say this looks a lot harder than I thought it would (and I didn’t think it would be easy !). I’m a big guy and all the work under the dash is really worrying me. LEED’s instructions are pretty poor and gloss over pretty much everything. Frustrating as it was quite detailed with photos to install the rotor which to me was the easy part and there’s virtually nothing for the pedal/booster, not even schemas. Ugh. Sorry need to vent !
More likely the bad compression numbers are due to valves that were open for a long time with rust on them or the valve seats. No way to fix it without at least lapping all the valves. More likely you are going to find all the valves are recessed into their seats, and all the valves have bad guides, and all the valves have been ground too many times. The valve springs will be shot. The rocker arms will be shot.
It will come down to a question - do you want to spend $1200 rebuilding the stock heads, or $1200 for a set of new aluminum heads?
Enjoyed reading your info. Yep Lot of things to do. Will take time. Have fun.
My one comment would be to consider temporarily disconnecting the vacuum lines to the headlights and other unnecessary vacuum using items if you really will not be needing those things right now.
The '68 I am working on had numerous vacuum leaks., and it took me a while to realize that I should just bypass for a while and reattach later.
The vacuum to the transmission is the only line I have hooked up right now.
Engine runs better without vacuum leaks.
I can flip the headlight lids up by hand if necessary.