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April 30, 2012


This 330FT mill will be a real torque-monster when we're done with it. After breaking the glaze on the cylinders with my hone tool, I chamfered the edges, oiled them up and flipped it over to install the camshaft.

With plenty of Melling Lube I installed the camshaft.....

....then checked the camshaft endplay. Barely 0.001 - a real tighty!

Tomorrow I'll install the crank and button up the bottom.

Back on the Cougar, I prepped the left side inner apron for installation. It took quite a bit of shaping, trimming and some brake-work to get 'er much closer. These 2 parts will go a long way to making the engine compartment the perfect backdrop for a well-detailed engine.

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

April 27, 2012

Front apron and inner fender sheeet metal...cont'd

After the spots are drilled out, I separate the panels (and whatever is left of the spot welds) with an air chisel. Key here is to only beat up the panel being replaced. The ones staying do get a little damage, but nothing a little hammer and dolly work can't fix.

Out with the old...

In with the new....

When you remove panels like this, it's critical to be sure things aren't going to end up in different
places after welding in the new pieces. A panel like this holds a lot of structure together - the surrounding structure can move when you remove the old piece and when you fit and weld in the new piece. One way to be sure things don't get too bent out of shape is to take before and after measurements of the front end, especially cross-ways as I mentioned previously. Another is to only do one side at a time - cut, fit and weld - before going to the other side. If you remove a who lot of structure at once, you could end up with a pretzel after all the welding heat is put in. Also - take a look at your jack-stand placement....I had mine at the front, near the rad support so they  wouldn't be in the way when I did the floors - but that puts a bunch of upward pressure on the front end - which would close this gap and make the new piece fit tight....I moved the stands back behind the repair and checked my measurements.

Below - someone over at GarageJournal.com asked if I found any other "mods" I'd have to fix....
Well, here's some major holes that where cut into the side cowl ostensibly to install some speakers. Once removed the holes where where patched with pieces of galvanized metal and secured with pop-rivets...not the worst repair, but we'll do it properly by fitting and butt-welding in solid pieces.

Even with the speakers in the hole I can imagine the driver and passenger always wondering why their feet where so cold when they drove this car!

Another anomaly are these holes torched into the shock towers front and rear. Apparently mechanics would cut the holes in the shock towers to access the A-arm end plugs, pop them out and install the grease fittings so the upper control arm pivots would stop squeaking and cut down on wear. Guess they hadn't invented hole saws yet....

Don't forget to check out the website at

April 26, 2012

Gettin' busy with the Cougar.....

Dropping the rear End, exhaust and gas tank....

That's one big hole! Interesting how Stangs and Coug's used the tank as an integral pieces of the trunk floor pan. Wouldn't see that today!

These inner fender splash shields need to be replaced. Lots of dirt, mud and goop sat in there over the years...

To replace spot-welded sheet metal parts, I go around the edges with some 80 grit paper, which locates the spot welds. Then I mark the centres with a punch and drill them with about a 3/8" bit, being careful not to drill through to the next panel. Some spots need to be drilled with a larger bit, which cleans more of the spot weld out.

After drilling, I use my air chisel to separate the 2 panels. You have to work carefully so as not so beat up or cut the metal that is remaining.

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

April 24, 2012

Today my ultra-new BFF Julie stopped by with a whack of WD-40 products including WD-40 in the Smart-Straw can, Regular can and even in a bulk can! She also gave me some of their 3-IN-ONE oils, some 3-IN-ONE Silicone and Lithium lubes and some of the new Spot Shot cleaner. Thanks Julie!!

Perfect timing too -  as I was continuing the disassembly on the 67 Cougar.....

Of course no amount of lube will work when someone WELDS the hood hinges to the inner fender!

Stay tuned - metal work starts next!

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

April 22, 2012

The owner of the '67 Cougar dropped by with some sheet-metal parts yesterday so I can finally get started on the metal work. If there's one thing you learn quickly in this business is that you don't want to start cutting out metal before you have your replacement metal in hand!

The other thing you'll learn is that not all parts are created equal. There's way more crappy parts made in back-yard shops or overseas "craptories" and then passed off to unsuspecting restorers and repair shops than there is really good stuff. But because there's a market for replacement and patch parts, guys will try and make parts out of all sorts of homemade dies and jigs -  or even without - and sell them as re-pop (reproduction) parts. Over the years I've seen stuff that looks like it's been beat over a tree stump with an old boot passed off as "quality" repop parts.

Going over and evaluating re-pop parts can can take a bit of time. One needs to compare them against the original parts (which often times is no longer there), with each other and with the parts they mount to. Often they can be the wrong size, have the wrong cuts or worse, have the wrong contours - these parts had a bit of all three.

Here's one of the parts on the Cougar that needs replacing. It's part of the inner apron and is also the hood hinge plate. On top are two square holes for the insertion of captured nuts, to which the fender bolts to.

The people who sold Trent these parts said they where different because they source the best parts from various suppliers. Too bad the "best parts" are missing those square holes for the fender attachment bolts. The closer one, a very good reproduction part, has the square holes and also the three round holes where the shock tower cover attaches to - the one on the right is missing both.

In addition to the missing holes, the quality of the pressing is poor, as shown by this wrinkle. Spots like these are clues that the part is likely off in other places and that contours will not match the original. You can see what I mean if you look at the photo above again - the poor repop on the right in  not bent at 90 degrees.

Looking at the rear lower quarter patch panel, one can see it's far from correct. I'm actually holding it tight to the body at the bottom. The piece hasn't been bent enough so the top will meet the quarter at the top. In addition, the contours at the rear, where the bumper fits, are not even close - and it will need to be trimmed and re-worked to fit. They company told Trent these where made on "original dies", which is a claim that now just raises red flags when I hear it!

The large parts, including the toe/firewall panel and the left floor section, "look" much better - at  first glance....but I have yet to take real close look at them...which will happen tomorrow.

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

April 19, 2012

Cougar work

As there are few replacement panels for a 67 Cougar, the rust on the Dutchman Panel (between trunk and back glass) will have to be cut out and new pieces fabricated. It'll be time consuming for sure. In order to be sure any remaing surface rust is made inert, I maximized the effect of the Phosphoric Acid solution by sealing it under Saran-wrap.

Front End Removal:

Hidden damage on inner apron.

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

April 18, 2012

End of the holidays - Lots of work piling up....

Getting started on the 330FE. These heads must flow pretty well as the valves actually measure a little bigger than those from an LS7 engine. Of course the valve pockets and openings would be the limiting factor.

The entire engine was pretty clean - in and out. The worst part of it all was the head gaskets. Either they used some adhesive to seat them or the motor got good and hot a few times!

Breaking out the measuring tools, I found that all the cylinders where reasonably fresh. No scoring, very little lip and runout measured 0.004" at the most, with most landing at about .002". Duw to the excellent shape it's in, everything is going to get a thorough cleaning, I'll hone the cylinders, replace the main and rod bearings, install rings and replace the freeze plugs. Along with the rebuilt carb and cleaned up intake vacuum lines, it should run very well.

I bought this dial bore gauge from Eastwood. A decent set for a reasonable price.
Here it is in action:

Lastly I chased all the head and crank threads. All that's left is to run the hone through the cylinders and replace all the rings and bearings. This engine will be set aside until I can decide which mill the rod will get, or someone I know needs it.

Would look good in something like this:

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

April 15, 2012


In San Diego last week, my brother got us on to the San Diego Naval Base to meet his friend, Lt Cmdr Chris. He's the senior pilot for the Black Knight Squadron, a long-famous squadron that picked up 5 of the Lunar SPace Capsules after they came back to earth. Lt Cmdr Chris was piloting the first helicopter to touch down after the massively destructive Japan Tsunami last year.

A rare look at one of the Helicpoters in the Black Knight Squadron.

See the gun in the photo below:

We got a very a close-up look at these guns, as well as some Self-guided missiles used on these copters:

Thanks to my brother Dave and his friend, Lt Cmdr Chris!
Here are some links to some great CANADIAN businesses providing support to the automotive hobby:


CASWELL CANADA - Electroplating Kits, Rust Proofing systems, Buffing....

RESTORATION AUTO -  Carpet and Flooring

BootHill Automotive - All kinda parts

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

April 7, 2012


The 1956 Chevrolet Truck that we restored over 18 months took 1st PLACE in it's category, at the DRAGGIN'S CAR SHOW today! On behalf of E-tek Restorations - WOO-HOO!!!

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

April 6, 2012

More Easter fun...

Before I could get to the fun stuff I had to make a trip to the landfill to empty a ton of garbage that has been sitting in the "Old Man" (our 46 Merc truck) for a couple of weeks - which you think would be a chore, but when you're yard truck is a vintage piece of iron that everyone loves to see, it's not so bad!

The 390 as it came back to my shop in the Dodge mini-van. My FORD guru Morris and I got it into the van at his place yesterday and then it came to the E-tek shop and waited on the shop floor while I emptied the Merc truck.

With the engine loaded up in the Merc, I sprayed it with an entire can of Engine Gunk and took it to the Wand-Wash. I was a little worried someone would tell me "no greasy engines!" but that didn't happen. After spending $8 there, and getting a face full of greasy, soapy water, it was back to the shop to dry and unload it.
After drying it up with compressed air, I sprayed it down with WD40, just to ward off any moisture and to hopefully loosen up any remaining crud, grease and dirt. Luckily, these WD40 Bonus Size cans where on-sale yesterday at Peavey Mart!

Mmmmmmmm - fresh oil......
The 4 barrel Holley Carb is the crowning jewel. I've heard many times that the difference between a 2bbl - 390FE with stock manifolds vs. a 4bbl with headers can be nearly 100HP! We'll see.... I'm still debating whether to also put in a cam - but these things have enough power as it is and although it's great for bragging, more power is not very useable unless you're on the track all the time!

If you've followed along for any length of time here, you'll know the Galaxie has seen a lot of upgrades and repairs this winter. With this "new" 390, I'm also setting myself up for a transplant over the next year or so. In the photo is one of the many engines awaiting rebuild....

Engines in-wait include this 1971 2400CC in-line 6 with twin-SU carbs. These are great engines, never go bad and give the very light (2400lb) Datsun lots of go!

The 6 is from my '72 Datsun/Nissan 240Z of course, which currently resides on the rotisserie I built. I have all new floors, rails, quarters and rockers for it....but it's on the "back-burner". I bought this car in Vancouver some 200 years ago, as a driver and parts car for the E-tek IP2 racer. I got towed to Saskatchewan and has sat around for the last 15 years!!

Next to that is a flathead-8 - one of two blocks I purchased last year from some farmer and the one that looks like it MAY be good enough to rebuild. The other block turned out to be rusted right through due to laying in water for many years.....
....of course the flatty is to rebuild the original engine from my 46 Merc. The original engine developed a HUGE crack mere months after I got it (I'm guessing it was starting to go prior), but otherwise all the other parts where in great shape and will all go into this replacement block.

Lastly is this 330FE, which I bought thinking it was a 390. I pulled it out of an early 70's vintage "Camper Special" F150 who's owner swore  (and likely believed) it was a 390. There was even a lot of paperwork in the glove compartment saying it was a 390! Of course, after 40+ years and who knows how many owners, it could have been swapped out several times. Even at that point they may have thought it was a 390, as there's only one (pain in the ass) way to tell what these FE's are until you actuall tear it down and check the casting numbers on the rods and crank.

The only way you can tell the difference  between a 330, 360 and 390 (before tear down) is to somehow measure the stroke. One way is to remove the #1 plug, get it to exact TDC and then slide something in to the #4 cyclinder (which will be at BDC) to measure the stroke. Comparing that what we know the stroke is for a true 390 will show you what's what.  The difference is only 1/4" - so your TDC and BDC have to be spot on.  Regardless of what it is, the engine will still make a good spare, can be used in a future project (rod), or sold to some needy farmer for his grain hauler!

mall Block
Medium Block
Spacing Displacement AKA Spacing Displacement AKA Spacing Displacement AKA
4.38" 239 in³ Y-Block 4.63" 317 in³ Lincoln 4.90" 383 in³ MEL
4.38" 256 in³ Mercury 4.63" 341 in³ Lincoln 4.90" 410 in³ MEL
4.38" 272 in³ Y-Block 4.63" 368 in³ Lincoln 4.90" 430 in³ MEL
4.38" 292 in³ Y-Block 4.63" 332 in³ FE 4.90" 462 in³ MEL
4.38" 312 in³ Y-Block 4.63" 352 in³ FE 4.90" 429 in³ 385-series
4.38" 221 in³ Windsor 4.63" 360 in³ FE 4.90" 460 in³ 385-series
4.38" 260 in³ Windsor 4.63" 390 in³ FE
4.38" 289 in³ Windsor 4.63" 406 in³ FE
4.38" 302 in³ Windsor 4.63" 410 in³ FE
4.38" 351 in³ Windsor 4.63" 427 in³ FE
4.38" 351 in³ Cleveland 4.63" 428 in³ FE
4.38" 351 in³ Cleveland

After putting together a new engine stand it took me nearly an hour to get the stand to fit up to the block. Y'know - one of those frustrating events where nothing lines up, not having the right fasteners and thus having to it all three times! After that I figured I'd switch gears and do something easy...

So this year I purchased a personalized plate 'Ol Man' for the Mercury truck,
based on the name my boys gave it: "The Old Man".

The truck also has a 1946 Saskatchewan Farm plate on it with it's own very special story:

About 10 years ago, we bought our home from a fine gentleman, Hubert, who built it from scratch with his wife Margy back in 1957. He was also into cars, putting a 6' deep pit in the attached garage and enjoying several different machines over the years. After selling his home to us, he moved directly across the street with his second wife. Over the next few years we got to know each other really well and I helped him with cars, his yard, whatever, and we spent many hours talking cars. At nearly 80 years old he was still buying, selling and fixing up vintage vehicles.

Hubert owned the '46 Mercury truck for some time and did the brakes, electrical work and some engine repairs, recovered the seat and basically made it a comfy driver. In the fall of his last year, he took the Merc to his cottage about 2 hours from the city to store it for the winter. On the way up there, he saw something on the side of the road and stopped to see what it was. Incredibly, it was a 1946 Saskatchewan plate! It was put in the truck as a lucky find.

Hubert didn't make it to spring and it was a big loss for all who knew him, including Shannon and myself. After he passed, I got a call from his son and his children wanted to offer me the truck. Needless to say, I jumped at it. It is now a keep-sake of this great gentleman and friend and will continue to make many great memories for myself and my boys.

So this year, I put the new plate, "Old Man", on the back of the Merc and today fashioned a mount to attach the 1946 plate to the front.

Lastly today, I put my E-tek hat back on and got some work done on the '67 Cougar. After stripping the paint and surface rust around the backlight, I treated it with several applications of Metal Ready, a rust converter from POR, but I'm thinking the entire piece will get excised for new, or a used piece with much less rust.

Tomorrow starts with a trip to the Draggins car show, before continuing with the Easter fun in my shop. The 1956 Chevrolet Truck restored last year will be front and centre in a display of "tri-5" chevy trucks!

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