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February 18, 2014

Modifying Ford AOD trans for reverse linkage

The 1940 Ford rod, with its 1996 5.0L engine and AOD trans on my BP lift. With a custom-made trans jack holding the trans steady, it was unbolted from the engine using a ridiculous variety of extensions and swivel-sockets, then the car lifted high enough to slide the trans out.

Once transferred to the tear-down bench, the pan was drained (from the corner), then removed and the linkage-reversal operation commenced -

Of course what should have been a 10 minute operation turned into an hour long exercise in frustration, due to a stuck roll-pin...

The old roll pin was drilled out and although it didn't take too long for the part that was stuck to be released by the drill, unfortunately it started to spin in the shaft. With some careful angling, holding my tongue just so and a bit of luck, it began to pull out -

Once out, I re-inserted the shaft 180 degrees to it's original placement and then checked that it would bolt back up like that. As well, I measured the throw - to find out where I would need to weld the male piece of the attachment shaft to ensure it would go though the gears as the shift lever went though its ROM.


Once it was determined that the throw was going to be nearly the same as the stock set-up, I welded the male pin to the linkage arm. Here I'm using ColdWeld heat blocker to lessen the chance of heat damage to the rubber insert -

 Having odd-ball stuff on-hand pays off sometimes, saving having to make a run to get a appropriate sized roll pin.
Re-inserting new roll-pin - 


Double-checking everything is where it should be -

Then everything was tightened back up, the pan filled with enough ATF so as to minimize how much we'll have to pour through the trans fill-tube and the linkage was run trough it's ROM several times -

Back underneath, re-installing should be much easier than was the removal. Here you can see the flange I cut and modified to clear the top of the bellhousing -

Once again, I made sure to have everything lined up with the factory markings, as well as the converter being LIFTED and PUSHED all the way onto the shaft until it was seated well behind the edge of the bell housing.

Second to having the converter seated back into the housing and onto the splined shaft, I made sure to get the bell-housing right up to the engine before starting bolts on either side. This is the tricky part, because you need to have the converter studs lined up with the flywheel holes so they come in without binding and you need to resist the temptation to pull the tranny to the engine with the bolts, which can allow the converter to move and thus bind, as happened previously.

Now the engine and tranny/converter turns easily by hand - except where you can feel a compression stroke - a very good sign.

Next up - connecting the shift lever rid and fabricating a bracket to hold it all in place -

I re-welded the cross member plate the owner had made which serves the purpose well. The only other change I'll make is to swap out the fasteners for Grade 8's.

Starter re-installed. Owing to how close it is to the exhaust - it was wrapped in a heat protective shielding.

Unfortunately, with the rear-end having been moved back again to accommodate the largest rubber out back possible - the drive shaft may have ended up too short. It'll be close though, as there's still nearly 4 inches inserted, so we're hoping for the best once full weight settles the shaft and it inserts even more.

Fabricating a bracket for the shift linkage began with measuring the slot in the coupling -

This was transferred onto a piece of 1/16" plate and shaped to fit -

With everything lined up, I drilled a couple holes through the bracket and frame and bolted it up!

I jumped up into the cab and ran it through it's range and was greeted with a satisfying run from Park to 1st and back again.

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

February 15, 2014

1968 Camaro Roof Skin (panel) Replacement Please support me by clicking on the ads to the right!!

The original roof panel on this 1968 Camaro was rusted at the front and rear glass channel edges, as well as pitted at both the front corners. Upon removal, there was evidence of heavy rusting caused by many years of humidity developing between the headliner and roof panel. 

After removing and safely storing all the glass, the spot welds were located and drilled out.

Even though the spot welds had been drilled out, I find it makes the operation easier to cut the largest portions of these panels away so as to allow access from both sides. A 3/64" cut off wheel makes short work of the removal.

 Note: Although specialized spot-weld cutters are now available, they are expensive, prone to failure and don't always do a great job. 

After having tried many different brands over the years I have since reverted to good old drill bits, which do as good a job, can be re-sharpened many (many!) times and therefore end up costing a fraction of the cost , not to mention being less of a hassle to use over all as well.

Some of the sins you'll find when removing panels:  
filler crammed into a rust hole along the front upper edge..... FAIL!

Heavy rust scale had developed between the inner structure and outer panel causing pitting and perforations in the roof panel. Not only is there no way to repair this with patches, for a proper repair the rust needs to be stopped and sealed as well.

 And below is the underside of the roof panel. This rust could perforate and bubble new paint at any point:

                       What's left after drilling and chiseling the spot welded flanges:

Rust scale scraped and wire-wheeled prior to rust treatment stage.

Underside of original roof panel. Note the rust along every edge -  

This is the front, right corner, above the A-pillar, or windshield post. The rust was heavy enough here to warrant complete replacement of these panel-sections:

As always, the entire inner structure has been treated with Phosphoric Acid to neutralize ("fix") any remaining rust, then permanently sealed with Rust Bullet, a single-stage, air/humidity cured epoxy:

As above, with the rusted bits cut out. 

Patch panels cut, formed, drilled for plug-welds and treaed with Rust Bullet epoxy -

                          And now welded, dressed and re-coated with Rust Bullet -

Roof fitment. The panel will be on and off several times, plus propped up in sections to adjust edges and match up corners as well as drill plug-welding holes and grind edges for welding:

                              Looking good?  Nope -  
                                                                    LOOKING GREAT!

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

February 12, 2014

OER reproduction parts from CamaroDepot.ca - AVOID!

So.....the second set of "OER" hinges finally showed from www.CamaroDepot.ca.

I thought "Great, I can't wait to install them and set the gaps on the door and quarter!"

But let me just make a quick check first....

Uh Oh....

Look at how different the front flange is sitting on the two OER hinges vs the OEM/original hinge (painted red, in the middle):

Check the height difference.

That height difference makes up the part that butts up against the inside door shell, which sets the door in/out from the post/fender, making it impossible to align the door to the fender -

In my 30+ years of doing this kind of work, I can't recall seeing parts so different than originals, then the supplier saying how they found the issue and will send a set from another production run - and they be just as bad! Of course I didn't bother installing the latest set - and CamaroDepot.ca didn't bother trying to correct the problem with me....

Instead I did what I wished I had done right from the start - which was to bush the original set of hinges and install them (check the original green paint after a quick stripping) instead:

And here - minus about 6 hours of wasted time - is how the door SHOULD fit:

With the original hinges, there's enough room that I will actually have to adjust the door out:

 And finally, the side looks like a Camaro again

So, 'thanks' to CamaroDepot.ca and OER for wasting nearly an entire day of labour, not to mention an hour on the phone having the "Customer Service" gal tell me I couldn't return them because I had "modified" them....along with MUCH frustration!

Customer service indeed....

Arrgghhh!   ; \