Lord Gruntfuttock

Lord Gruntfuttock's 1971 XY Fairmont

115 posts in this topic

And I pulled the heads the other night. Disappointingly there was no solid evidence of a gasket leak that may have been the reason for overheating. A couple of cylinders however did have dark exhaust valves, which may indicate a valve seating problem? Could be weak valve springs from sitting maybe? Anyway, will post pics later, it's valentines day so I should be able to get some quality shed-time...  :-D

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Had a better look at the old gaskets and I think I found a leak into the cylinder. This would explain the heating issue, losing coolant without any water showing in the oil (or vice versa). Just a trace of rust between the water passage and cylinder, think I expected to see something more obvious...


And a look into the water passages at the rear of the cylinders from the top revealed this. Pretty much a natural trap for any crud circulating the heads that I couldn't get at from the frost plug holes...


A $2 Supercheap magnet tool got most of it out,



and I vacuumed the rest with a bit of tube stuck into a small car vac. Looks much betterer...



So hopefully all is good with the block and I can move on with cleaning surfaces and putting bits back on soon...

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Pulled water pump and looks pretty good (only a few yrs old and done bugger all work). Really just rust from sitting, a bit of a spruce up and it'll go back on...


The cavity on lower left was full of green water however, don't think that should be there so maybe had a leak I couldn't see. A lick of paint and new gaskets should see it good for another few years...


Will look at heater hose tubes too and knock in new ones if they look a bit scody...

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Appears the lifters may have a bit of pitting, so prob time for a new cam (more $$$). Anyone got any suggestions? I'm sure cams have come a long way since this one was slid in...

- Holley 600 vac sec carb

- Edelbrock RPM air gap intake

- Edelbrock Performer RPM heads (1.90 intake)

- Hydraulic flat tappets

- 0.30 over bore. Standard pistons

- Pacemaker Tri-Y headers

- C4 trans

Bear in mind this is primarily a family cruiser. Don't want a cam that needs high-stall converter or anything, that only starts to breathe above 2000rpm.

A cruiser with a bit of a rumpty tump idle that winds out occasionally is the goal...

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OK, found this (bottom of lifter) so pretty sure I’ll slide a new lumpy-stick in…


Been reading up on cams, and my understanding is as follows:

  • Lobe separation - under 108 degrees will have a rough idle, aim around 108-112.
  • Duration and lift should operate in tandem (must balance one against the other).
  • Duration - the longer the duration the higher the rpm power range, aim for around 220 (actual) for usable power.
  • Long intake duration decreases cylinder pressure, and anything over 220 the intake vacuum starts to drop.
  • Lift - match to heads, not much advantage over 0.550 regards airflow, aim for around 0.500.
  • Overlap – helps scavenge exhaust gases, aim for less than 55 degrees for street engines.

Gotta remember it’s a street car (ie do not over cam) - It will rarely be used at 6000rpm and I do not want to have to buy a high stall converter (the accountant is getting twitchy).

So looking at cam specs, the following grinds look good:

Comp Cams Xtreme Energy

218/220 Duration @ 0.050
493/500 Lift
110 Lobe separation

Lunati Voodoo 10350702

219/227 Duration @ 0.050
499/522 Lift
112 Lobe separation

Just started looking though.

In other news, the roller rockers have arrived but have been intercepted by customs. Looks like I’m paying some gst now on things I have got in ok previously…

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No progress today, had to fix the ride-on so a day on the tools, but was chores 'stead of fun...  :(


I did order a cam however, heard back from Comp Cams with their recommendation, and went one higher, cos it's a bit lumpier.

Could bite me in the arse regards driveability but more power is good, right...  :mrgreen:


It's the XE262H grind, should really pick up around 1800rpm thru to 6, but torque is pretty flat, and it's as much cam as you can go on stock converter.




So cam and lifter set on the way, hopefully get thru customs better than the roller rockers did...

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Came down with a case of the 'while I'm in theres' and pulled grille and headlamp assemblies off for a tidy up.

Like the Hamster wheel power plant...? :)


Headlamp buckets etc looked ok, just some surface rust and a lot of dirt (I thought)...


But a clean up with the wire brush revealed more rust than I thought. Will see if I can find replacements easier than patching these up...


But apart from that I cleaned a few small bits up nicely. Would have liked to get some paint on today but not enough hrs available. Will have to try and get some on after work this week (hate leaving bare metal)...


Really just trying to keep making progress while waiting for bits to arrive. I was going to strip and paint the headers, but I think I'll leave this till things are up and running so I can cure them the right way (don't want to compromise the cam run-in etc) and these are just cosmetic so can wait...

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Brushes arrived from China, slightly large so had to file them down a bit to fit (before and after here). Also shaped contact surface with a small half-round file. Hardest bit was filing the metal base down to fit in the brush holder as there is bugger-all to grip...


And held them in place with a small drill bit while I slid in the rotor...


And assembled it with bit of copper-slip on the main screws for next time. Feels really good when I spin it, only needs the fan and pulley painted and fitted to be complete...


And these arrived from stateside, went for the steel version which is higher spec than I need, but they are smaller than alloy jobs and I'm hoping to fit them under the stock rocker covers...


And had a look for suitable headlamp buckets. I 'think' 65-66 or 70 mustang units will fit, and they're making repos for around $20, so just gotta work out if it's worth gambling they work, vs modifying some generic 7" buckets, or patching up my ones...

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Well that was a frustrating weekend.

Decided to get a lot of the dirty stuff out of the way, stripping and painting parts while the weather was kind. Saturday spent ages cleaning up random bits, started at 7am as I was going for a cruise/beer in a mates Leyland around 12, and I'd planned to get the first coat on before I left then get another one later on, with a final coat on Sunday. I'm no painter but I've used a bit of durepox on bikes, and have found 3 decent applications on clean sturfaces works bloody well as a primer/top coat, and it is a nice satin black.

After cleaning up all parts (sanding, wire brushes, elbow grease) and degreasing, masking, sorting out hangers/compressor/gun/mask/gloves and degreasing again, I popped the tin and the bloody stuff had gone off, just a gooey, rubbery mess. Arse...

Shot into town but automotive/industrial shop was closed, so tried the domestic branch. The nice lady listened to the sweaty, filthy, deranged bloke's sob story and rang around to see if they had any. They DID have a 4l tin out the back, but at $180 it was too rich for my use - I don't use a lot and I just had visions of this tin going off as well, so I called it quits, and thought of all my prepped shiny surfaces rusting until I could get some paint on Monday at the earliest... :-(

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So Sunday, another cracking day so decided I may as well paint some other bits as I had a tin of light grey durepox primer. Set about prepping the sump, air cleaner lid and water pump, planned to get a good epoxy primer coat on these bits and finish with Ford blue. Rolled the engine over and pulled sump...


Looks pretty good up her skirts, although I noticed the rubber on the harmonic balancer is koozed, so another thing that needs replaced...


Lots of rust to remove from the sump, big job but cleaned up ok after about an hour of toil in the sun...



Air cleaner parts much easier, a couple of slaps of of tergo-strip and the old enamel just bubbled off, and a quick sand had it ready. Mixed paint and prepped and set to...



Seems my supercrap gun has an issue, couldn't get a decent pattern flowing, despite several attempts at cleaning it. Eventually got it spraying but shit it was painful. Only bonus is I got a nice dimple effect on the last thing I did (alternator fan) that actually looks pretty trick... :-)


Anyway, got a couple of decent coats on and should look good with a light sand and some colour, definitely an improvement on what I had. Probably my fault for not cleaning the gun properly previously, but this is how you learn eh (piss-poor preparation and all that)...


Shopping list:

  • Paint
  • Cone strainers
  • Gun cleaning brushes
  • Decent gun (future)
  • Skill (will be a struggle)...
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So looks like the cam/lifters have sneaked through without attracting customs. I was nervous as, cos depending on the exchange rate the total (incl postage) came to either just under or just over NZ$400 (literally a dollar or two either side) and anything attracting more than $60 gst is liable for costs. Thought I'd be well under, but postage came to higher than expected ($79) and the added 'high value surcharge'  (cough :|) nudged it right on the balance point. Would have been gutted to have been hit with extra costs again.

In other news, tried out my bargain tools. Got a rattle gun for $19 at supercheap last weekend and a set of sae impact sockets for $19 (delivered free) via the tard. :)
The harmonic balancer retaining bolt came out beautifully using them, wish I had one yrs ago now.

New toys = Happy shed bloke...

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Cammy goodness has arrived, Joy...






Currently fighting with nz post regards redress. They are insisting it is a courier issue and I (after speaking to a disinterested foreign lady on the courier post help line) see it as me taking a contract with Youshop to deliver my goods undamaged.

Gah. Could do without this. Biggest fear is any replacement incurring customs charges...

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Lady Gruntfuttock is away to watch maradonna, or someone, so bit more kid-time than usual this weekend. Did get a little done today between child minding and rain showers though. Gave the bits I had previously stripped a week or so ago another clean...


Then it got a bit rainy, so I cleaned up the water pump and sump bolts. Lot of silicone on the sump ones...



And used the engine paint spray bomb on some bits. Debating curing these in the oven while home alone, or just letting engine heat/time do it...


Until it cleared enough to use my outdoor spray booth. Having a clean gun made a HUGE difference, learned a lesson there. Actually learned a couple, as I had neglected to replace an o-ring in the air trigger system so had air pissing everywhere till I stripped and assembled the gun again...


Think the driveshaft is the biggest thing I've painted... :-)


And quite pleased with the spring stretchers I cobbled up to get paint in...


So a lot of little bits got their first coat, weather permitting tomorrow I'll get another couple on, and they'll be ready to go back on the car in a week or so. Good to make some progress while waiting to hear what's going to happen with that snapped camshaft...

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Busy day on the paint.

As the kids were being brilliant (amazingly playing nicely together/not fighting) I made the most of the weather by stripping down lots of bits that could do with a smarten up (mounts, pulleys, cross member, starter motor etc) as well as recoating the bits I did yesterday. Again, no easy way of doing this, just hard, dirty graft...


There were so many parts I tried hanging them on the washing line, but had visions of it snapping and biffing my freshly painted bits on the (overgrown) lawn, so I have thirty-something bits hanging off any available point in the shed...


Plus resting on what looks like granny's old duvet. I tried fitting the sump in the oven incidentally, not even close, so will let it cure without baking...


Anyway, a good days work, and reckon I've broken the back of this task... :)

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OK, cam update.

This was the message I left NZ post last week:


I have a package that arrived damaged today from the Portland US Youshop warehouse. This is a camshaft, heavy steel and it is snapped in half, so completely useless.

The damaged goods enquiry page seemed to direct me to courier post, I have talked to them but am not happy with this, as my contract is with NZ post/Youshop and I expect to deal with them (you) to deal with any issue.

I have attached photos.

I have used Youshop many times without incident, I trust this will be resolved quickly and with no cost incurred by myself.

Regards, etc…

Heard nothing from courier company (as expected) but did hear back from NZ post yesterday:

Thank you for your enquiry.

On behalf of New Zealand Post I apologise for the situation that has occurred.

In order for us to assess the damage to your item, we require you to take the item and all of its packaging material to your local PostShop and send it to the address below:

That’s fine, but I told them I needed this part asap, and I wasn’t happy with the lack of information.


I will return the package to a NZ post shop tomorrow.

I am still unsure of the process however. It is disappointing I have had no explanation of the process to follow or likely timeline. This is a part I need urgently, the engine is out of the car awaiting this part, and I had intended to fit it over the weekend.

As I cannot afford to wait for an assessment and bureaucratic delays, do I proceed with ordering a replacement and deal with redress later?

As of this morning the package has been returned and I am none the wiser as to what happens next. I asked for a tracking number so I know when they receive it (which cost ME, despite my protestations, so I am already out of pocket) and I’m a bit grumpy knowing it will probably be a fortnight before I can get a replacement... :|

I have also contacted Comp Cams just asking if this has happened before, and what kind of force it would require to do it, just out of interest…



I was sort of hoping pics would be enough evidence so’s I could add the snapped cam to my pathetic ‘OFFERINGS TO THE GOD OF SPEED' shelf


Which, at the moment, consists of a slightly scuffed FA50 piston.

Burt Munro I aint… :-)

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Oh, and it appears my replacement headlight buckets have arrived. I'll call past my mum's on the way home to pick them up...

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Being time-poor (as well as poor-poor) I was up at sparrows this am getting some time in. Was dark and almost frosty when I started but was rewarded with this about an hr into it...


Made up a harmonic balancer puller (the benefit of welding on cold mornings is you get nice warm hands, wifey wasn't so pleased with me using a cut-off disc at 6am) Just a simple pulling bar pressing against the partly threaded in main bolt. I used heat gun on balancer and a lot of grease but had fears my main bolt was a bit girly...


It was, stripped out almost immediately so upped the ante a little...


And great success...


Timing cover off and the chain seemed really loose, but was still within spec, go figure...


And ready to slide the old cam out...


Might try to mask off and paint the block today if I get the chance. Nice to make some progress by 8am...  :)

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Oh, and found this number on cam (CTRV1A). No idea what that means, was a 351 grind and was supposedly mildly warm, but can't recall where it came from...

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