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November 28, 2011

A couple months ago, I purchased a complete, running, 390 FE FORD engine, which I removed from the '68 F150 truck it was residing in. My plans are to do a full rebuild on it, then add some sort of power-adding kit and stuff it in my 1967 Galaxie 500XL convertible. I'd like it to be as reliable as is the 390 that's in it now, but get about 500HP by 5000RPM.

The current mill in the Gal has really turned me into an FE believer. It has NEVER balked in the 8 years I've owned it and for who-knows how long before that. It's only a 2 bbl, but runs as strong as any 4 bbl motor I've had. I'm guessing it only pushes about 250hp right now, maybe less, so my goal of 500hp would make a healthy difference, even in a 4000 lb land-yacht!

One tact would be to go with Edelbrock's Performer RPM package. The heads/Intake/Cam combo will   easily meet my power and reliability goals, but is rather pricey. Below are the Edelbrock-recommended parts needed to turn a base 390 FE into a Vic-stoked powermill:

Edelbrock 7505 - Edelbrock Performer RPM Dual-Quad Air-Gap Intake Manifolds   $43

700CFM HolleyCarb  $400
Total = $2001, which, as we all well know, will be closer to $3000 minimum once installed!
All in, I could see this build being in the car for about $3000.
The other way to go, would be a reasonably stock rebuild, with a cast crank and pistons, but then adding a universal T3/4 Turbo kit. These kits sell for about $1000 online, but require a LOT more fabrication work. This work includes making up an exhaust manifold/turbo intake flange system, plus routing and connecting of the various inlet and exhaust tubes, intercooler parts and oil lines.
All in, the smoke would likel clear somewhere around $2500 with this method of adding power.

The debate continues!

Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !

November 27, 2011

Today, being Sunday, was reserved for family time, as well as some clean-up and organizing in the shop. My son Colt came in (in his PJ's!) and decided to do some work on his project, the 1971 Datsun 240Z. Of course it's up on the rotisserie, so he has to step in through the sunroof....

Having several engines that need rebuilding in the shop, I needed more shelving for storing the parts. As anyone who's taken apart a car or engine knows, as soon as you take something apart, it's space requirements expand exponentially. If you don't a lot of empty space to put all the parts, fasteners and new stuff, you'll end up piling parts on top of other stuff, making a mess and you risk becoming totally disorganized. 

I save everything.  to make the shelves, I took a bunch of scrap wood from a deck I dismantled about 5 ears back, as well as some bi-fold closet doors that came out of our bedroom for the renovation. Now re-purposed, I have an extra 15' of shelf space to store the engine parts!

Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com ! Special thanks to www.Eastwood.com and www.CarCraft.com !

November 26, 2011

Details and parting shots

The owners son and grandson spent the day here today. This beautiful truck, with it's important family lineage, will be handed down through these generations and it was a thrill to have them here to photograph while it was being put together. As a restorer, I find it very satisfying to bring any vehicle back from a wreck to a show-stealer, but when there's a story behind the vehicle, especially one that involves family memories, it makes my work all the more special.

While the kids played in the yard, inside with the Lego-Batman Wii game, or in the shop (carefully!), I layed under the truck threading nearly a hundred nuts on the bed's carriage bolts. It was a tedious two-man job so it was nice to have someone to help me out by holding the tops still.

Warren also shaved some clips we needed for the front Windshield moulding, by running them against the grinding wheel. Unfortunately, although these replacement plastic clips looked like the would work, they still wouldn't hold the moulding as tightly as did the original clips. Below is the clip, in it's receptacle (without the moulding):

Back to the drawing board with this one!

The side rail bolt holes still needed to be drilled through the bed wood pieces. After drilling, I brushed in some clear lacquer to provide protection to the wood. As you will sometimes find, the supplied bolt kit came with some incorrectly included fasteners. In this case there where carriage bolts of a larger size, which didn't fit anywhere, necessitating another trip to the bolt supply store - thanks Warren!

As is often the case with car/garage guys, the next generations get indoctrinated into the car and truck culture early! Even though the owners of this beauty don't have their own garage, memories will be forged by having them come in and take part - or play - while this one is being restored. I know first-hand what it's like to have fond memories of seeing vehicles built my Dad and plaing in the shop, so I always encourage people to bring their own kids  - and family members - around as the project progresses.

The owner's grandson Alex has the red hat, while my own son, Colt is in the blue jacket. As you can tell by their attire, it's winter in Saskatchewan!

Checking lug nuts....

As I've said before - it's all in the details. Can you spot the addition?

We put it back on the hoist to get the last items buttoned up. I still need to bleed the brakes, tighten a few more fasteners, wire up the taillights and get the engine broken in - all the fun stuff! One thing is certain: it's easy to rush it out at this point. The customers are excited, it looks finished and I have other projects to move on to. But it's imperative to take some time here and get everything done and done right. The last thing anyone wants (especially me!) are minor annoyances, like a tailight that won't work or a loose trim piece, that detract from the 300 hours of hard work that went into the build.

Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com ! Special thanks to www.Eastwood.com and www.CarCraft.com !

November 24, 2011

OK, here she is - EVER CLOSER to being completed! Sure, there's still many details to attend to (like bleeding the brakes!), but what you see now is a 1956 Chevy Truck, as it appeared new (OK, likely a little better than new!)

Today I finished up the doors: trim plates, seals, mirror and outside handles. as well, the bed wood was trimmed to fit and now it all goes together like butta'. Warren (the owners son) and I bolted up the fenders and bolted on the steps. Then I re-installed the spare tire carrier and put some clear rock gaurd sheets on the step sills to protective those areas from wear (again, a great idea attributed to Warren!).

Tomorrow there'll be a lot of nuts and bolts to tighten and check, the Tailgate will be hung and the doors rechecked.

Luckily, the temperatures have warmed, so I can get the Galaxie off the lift and put the truck back on.  That'll allow us to bleed the brakes, do a lot of undercarriage work and even work on getting the engine broken in. Keep watching!

About the only things I'm still waiting on are the front marker lights and front shocks. They should show up soon I hope. Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com - lots of How To, Why to, Who to and absolutely  no doo-doo!!!

November 19, 2011

Doors and more!

Went motorcycle shopping with Mrs E-tek today. She likes the softtails.  The day may end up costing me $30K.... So, back to work!

After motorcycle shopping, I got a little more done on the Chevy prior to the owners coming to check it out.  With those adjustments, the doors close very nicely. (Not Acura nice - but 50's Chevrolet nice.)

The gas tank line - from the cab to the rail -   needed to be hooked up in order to get gas for the next start up. Of course, as go most things in the resto of a 60 year old truck, one of the lines had a seized end on it, so after first trying several spray-lubes, heat and knocking the fitting loose, I ended up cutting the end off and flaring on a new fitting. Once the end was free I was able to hook the parts up so fuel will once again flow to the pump and engine.

The truck is looking the part once again. Here's a photo of the front end, nearing completion.

As with so many things, it's the details that make the whole. The hubcaps, with creme colored centers, with white-wall tires, really give a nice contrast to the trucks robin-egg hue.

After a couple months in this position, I cleaned up the shop, got a 390FE engine I'm working on (for the Galaxie) onto a stand and out of the way and swung the '56 over. This way there will be enough room to get the box done without danger of being too close to anything else in the shop.

Here's that 390 I put on the stand. One day it'll be as clean as the truck (with twin turbo's too)!!

Stay tuned!

November 18, 2011

Doors, glass and paint protection

After so much work went into paint, the owners decided that - while paint protection was paramount -
they didn't want to see undercoating covering so much of it. So, instead of attaching the rear fenders and coating the box sides with rubberized undercoating, I sourced clear rock guard film from a vinyl graphics and sign company (Trimline in Saskatoon) for the box sides under the fenders. Now when you  look from the side, you won't just see black undercoating. Expensive, but definitely worth it!

After it's cut to fit, a soapy water is sprayed to allow time to place the film and work out the air.
Once all the water is worked out the film is nearly invisible.

As I was applying the clear film, the front and rear glass where being installed. It was my first time using Showtime Glass and the owner, Chase really impressed me with his expertise, care and attention to detail. He'll definitely be our glass vendor of choice fro now on!

A suction cup is used to pull the glass into the truck so the rubber seal can be manipulated into place. It takes some wiggling and a little slapping, but he got it in and it really completes the "look".

On a side note: one of the trucks' owners was over, helping me get the doors mounted and he took a couple photo's with his BB Phone - basically the same device I use to take all these blog photo's. One look at his photo's however told us there was something wrong with my device. His photo's where SO much more crisp, with WAY more depth, contrast and clarity! Was it maybe my lens? Could it just be dirty?

Sure enough, he cleans it out and the next photo's where like day and night. So, if you're using a digital device(especially a phone), remember to clean the lens regularly. It makes a HUGE difference:

The doors also went on today. It's nice to have two guys for this job, even just to get them hung. Of course hanging them is barely one-tenth the job. If you've ever done this, you'll know how many times you have to loosen and tighten the hinge bolts while moving the door -  in, out, up and down -  to get it to fit right. A real time-saver is to drill a small (1/8") hole in the hinges - on both the body and door sides. This gives you a "close-enough" point when first bolting them up, then final adjustments can be done when the door seals are installed.

Next, we'll tackle the bed wood install, then the rear fenders and steps!

November 15, 2011

Bed wood and chrome trim

The bed wood was delivered by one of the owners. It looks spectacular! Several coats of marine-grade Epoxy where used and they look like glass was glued to each piece! This is really going to be a crowning touch.

What should be a fairly straightforward install was thrown into disarray when I noticed some fitment issues. The rails that where replaced on the box sides where giving me grief. Although a lot of measuring and fitting was done - there doesn't seem to be enough room to get the wood under those pieces. Everything else fits well and it should go together well, as soon as I figure out this issue!

Anytime I run into a "problem", I generally think it through for a while, then go on to something else before going back to it. Next up was installing the (now black) trim pieces. To further protect the fenders - and ensure a tight fit -  I cut out some rubber washers to act as cushions behind the nuts that attach these trim pieces to the body panels.

They look great - if I do say so myself!

The hood trim is like the crowning touch! I think it looks great either way: black and red or red and black. After more research I found examples of both styles, so I'm sure it's a matter of personal taste.

Next, the  Front and rear glass gets installed, then I can install the doors!

A few other things that where done today include getting the taillights mounted, a front tire was removed for resealing and I spent a couple hours getting my 390FE engine onto a new engine stand.
If you're interested in a 390FE rebuild, plus the custom installation of a turbo to it, stay tuned to this blog!