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  • I've been driving this car for a year now. Getting ready to turn 4000 miles on the odometer. Out for a drive on a nice summer night.
    Last edited by squirrel; May 30, 2015, 08:19 PM.
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    • It's July already...and I'm getting ready to head up to the Meltdown Drags, in Byron Ill next week. Hauling Plan II up there behind my suburban, it's going to play the part of an old match racer, like it's 1966 all over again. I did a little work on it to get ready for the trip...I serviced the transmission, and decided I need to get around to overhauling it before Drag Week. I might get a new converter for it, too. Nothing fancy, just another modified switch pitch 12" unit.

      I also was looking thru some old pics, and found a few of the engine short block going together. A few months before I got the car. I was building it for my 55, but decided to change plans before I finished it.









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      • Ran pretty good at the Meltdown Drags....



        But now it's time to think about Drag Week. I got this wild notion, while towing the "race car" home, that maybe I ought to drive it to DW. It's something like 1400 miles to St Louis from Arizona. That's a long drive. And a long ways from home, if something breaks. But hey, no guts, no glory!

        I have been wanting to change a few things on the car to make it more comfy on long trips. The seats were just a little too tight, so I ordered some different ones that looked in the pics like they had more room a the bottom. They do...not much more, but enough that they don't pinch my hips. So they're in the car now. Looks the same, so no picture. I also wanted to make it quieter, the glass packs were obnoxiously loud, even with full tail pips. So I ordered some "Cadillac mufflers"...full length, regular car mufflers with 2.5" in and outlets. I put them in today, and boy did it change the car! Now the exhaust is quiet, and the engine, fuel pump, blower, and drivetrain are loud. But that's going to make it a lot nicer on the drive...and for bystanders and other motorists, too. The car was so loud that guys in other 9 second cars were bitching about how loud it was, when they were following me. No more.

        And the car has been sagging in back, I guess the springs or shackles or something settled...and then on DW we put a load of crap in it. I need to re arch the springs, or find some different ones, or something. So I decided to switch my brain into the 1970s and I ordered a pair of air shocks. They seem to do the trick, so far. I still need to load it down and see if they will support an extra couple hundred pounds.


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        • Sounds great!

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          • You can't drive 55! Oh wait, I guess you can! I'm a little disappointed I didn't get to hear the glass packs in person, but can appreciate a mellow tone rolling down the road for the long haul.

            Originally posted by squirrel View Post
            But now it's time to think about Drag Week. I got this wild notion, while towing the "race car" home, that maybe I ought to drive it to DW. It's something like 1400 miles to St Louis from Arizona. That's a long drive. And a long ways from home, if something breaks. But hey, no guts, no glory!
            Yes! My wife still isn't convinced we should drive the Skylark out to DW and back.
            Escaped on a technicality.

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            • for comparison



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              • Is that music I now hear in the background? Sounds nice and healthy Jim
                Escaped on a technicality.

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                • I've been tinkering some more. The car has been running a bit warm, it puked some water in the walmart parking lot. I decided to play around a little with the cooling.

                  first, I drained the water and put in new water, and added two bottles of Lucas stuff that I think is "water wetter". The only kind they had at O'reilly's.

                  I also put the fan shroud back on. It seems to be marginally helpful, but every bit helps.

                  Then yesterday I got my "new" distributor in the mail. It's a more modern Mallory dual point, with the normal cap, instead of the neat two piece cap the old one has. Oh well. This one has a better advance mechanism, I was able to set it up to give 16 degrees mechanical advance, so now I can set initial at 20, and total at 36. This gives it more advance at lower rpm, which lets it run cooler in traffic.

                  I went for a drive, it was around 90 out when I started, then the clouds moved in and it dropped to the low 80s. Only got up to 220 at the hottest, vs 240 last week. Noticeably better. I guess I won't worry about the cooling now.

                  My fabulous web page

                  "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                  • Strange how "water wetters" work..
                    I swear by them in our derby cars.. Not allowed anti freeze in most venues, but I do see green on the ground at some events.
                    I always try to buy it way before the event as a couple times we had to hit up several stores before finding some on our way..

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                    • I don't consider myself too much of a worry wart when it comes to engines running around 200-210F, but I'd start getting nervous at 220F and very unhappy at 240F. Are you getting the temp out of the cylinder head or the intake? Have you ever used one of those laser temp guns on the water pump body or thermostat housing to see if it matches up with the gauge?

                      Now that it looks like I won't be pulling the engine out again anytime soon I'm going to pour a bottle of water wetter in the Skylark's system, though it probably doesn't need it maintaining a frigid 184F with a 180F thermostat.
                      Escaped on a technicality.

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                      • this car has the temp gauge in the head, right next to the exhaust. I've used the temp gun on it quite a bit, and haven't been scared...seems the gauge reads a bit higher than what the gun says at the thermostat housing, most of the time.

                        I generally don't worry a lot until it starts puking...that means it can't keep it from boiling.
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                        • Sounds reasonable to me I've always said, as long as it's not boiling over or pinging, run it hot. My preference is the 195F thermostat, but I worry about detonation. Tuning in this thin air gives a false sense of security that can easily be undone by dense air, so running the engine cooler is my cushion.
                          Escaped on a technicality.

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                          • I went for a little drive today, it was around 85 out, the temp was about 205 cruising, and 215 in town. Acceptable.

                            I also had some battery issues, when we put the transmission back in, it started up the first time, but checking the fluid shut it off a couple times, and once it would not start, like not enough charge. Put the charger on it, it said it was around 85% full, and after charging a little it started up fine. Then it sat for over a week, and again didn't want to start. Since the battery is a small one, and it's 4 years old, I decided it's time to replace it...so I got another cheapy at walmart, same small size, but with reversed terminals so the cables are cleaner. I also got some new cables, the terminals were getting a bit funky on the old ones. I guess I should see if it starts now.

                            Been figuring out the packing thing for the trip. With the radials on the car, we have 4 wheels and tires to fit in there, along with the jack, jack stands, tool box, box of misc supplies, another box of misc equipment, helmet, gas can, rearend chunk, and some other stuff. Plus the little cooler, and two small suitcases or bags. I spent some time arranging stuff, and got most of the heavy stuff and all the wheels in behind the seats, leaving the trunk for the tool boxes and luggage. With the altered wheelbase, the weight distribution is funky...it's way tail heavy if I just load stuff into the trunk. And the short wheelbase makes it a little spooky to drive that way, although with the radials it's not near as bad as with the bias ply tires.

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                            • Oh yeah, I guess I never put the transmission stuff here....a little over a week ago, I rebuilt the transmission, and put in the new converter. there were some fun things going on...the converter to flexplate bolts were loose, the rear thrust bearing was shot, 2nd gear was burned up, third had got a bit hot. Spent some money on it..including the converter, somewhere around $800. ouch. But it might last a little longer this time. Maybe. I think I got 29 runs out of it, and the converter was in the 55 since 2004. the new converter feels tighter at light throttle in high stall, and with the tires that are on it, I can't really see what happens at low speed full throttle conditions, but it does feel like it flares decently when I give it some gas. It'll be interesting to see how it works. Switch pitch converters are kind of strange.

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                              • I've driven a tail heavy overloaded pickup truck once that had very light steering. Spooky and unnerving!
                                Escaped on a technicality.

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