March 22, 2012

Finishing Touches

After 3 years of working on other peoples projects I took a short break to work on my own summer ride, our 67 Ford Galaxie. Over 10 years of ownership I had been making a list of repairs and upgrades and it's nice to finally have them all done!

The torque boxes and custom exhaust was a lot of work, but well worth the effort. The suspension bushings, KYB shocks and Addco sway bars will make a HUGE difference in the way she rides and handles and the stereo and Air/Fuel meter will go a long way to improving drivability. Tomorrow I'll warm it up outside and post up initial A/F readings, then make some carb adjustments to see how close to optimum it can get.

Like a lot of gear-heads, I watch all the car shows on TV, including Two-Guys Garage, Powerblock and Gears and it's always amazing at how talented those guys are and how quickly they get stuff done. Seems every time I do something similar - like custom exhaust - it takes me days or even weeks to do what they do in 30 minutes! Couldn't just be the editing now - could it? ;)

Of course a true custom exhaust system - where the pieces are all cut to length, the splices butt welded and the welds finished takes a ton more time that does sliding pre-made pieces over each other and bolting them in with U-bolt clamps. For example, on the hangar in the photo on the right I tack-welded it from behind -  to do away with the U-bolt clamp and so you can't see the weld from the rear of the car. 

Once it was all completed and tucked up close to the floor without a U-bolt in sight, it's all worth the effort involved. Even more so, when you light it up and hear the growl a 2.5 inch free-flow system gives up at idle, you know you did the right thing!

The rear sway-bar setup was not as elegant as ones I'd seen in a magazine as of late, whereby the bars bolted directly to the trailing arms, but they sure do look like they locate the rear end solidly. This bar bolts to a plate, whcih then bolts to the trailing arms. I can't wait until Mrs E-tek tried to get away from me and the Galaxie in the corners in her Mini-Cooper this year!!

Lastly, I made up a bracket to hang the A/F meter under the dash and wired it in such a way that it was easily removable should I want to move it to another car. I'm not sure if I've seen one, but they really should be available as a hand-held tuning tool.

This preliminary reading of 14.9 was taken before the Gal was warmed up today. An optimal reading is supposed to be 12.5, and over 14.7 is said to be lean....which doesn't make much sense right now, as with the car not warmed up the choke would be on resulting in a rich mixture. Oh well, tomorrow we'll figure it out!

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