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Spike Morelli

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Everything posted by Spike Morelli

  1. Unofficially, I have called my car "Mary", as that was the name of the lead character in the movie the car was used in, and she signed the glove box door.....but usually just refer to it as "the Mustang".
  2. Batwrangler, The rocker covers that Secluff was referring to, which were used on the Boss 302, are different than what you have in your photo. Yours are replacement "Ford Motorsport" embossed, while the Boss covers say "Power By Ford", and have the oil dripper fingers to help lubricate the adjustable rockers used with the Boss. those metal drippers will interfere with other than the factory designed rocker, so it is likely that the "Motorsport" covers will not have the solid cam rocker drippers. The Ford factory Boss 302/351 finned aluminum covers will also incorporate the oil drippers. Most aftermarket close copies will not. Big block Chevrolets had drippers spot welded onto the insides of their stock rocker covers for the same reasons, and suffer the same fate as Fords, in that the aftermarket BBC chrome covers don't have them, and like Ford, the drippers would get in the way of aftermarket rockers. For that matter, lots of aftermarket rocker covers have oil fill/ breather baffles that hit the aftermarket rockers on most modified engines, requiring taller, or modified covers.
  3. P.S., I just thought that meme was funny, as an engine builder, I build Chevys, as well as Fords, MoPars, Pontiacs, AMCs, etc. I like lots of cars along with Mustangs but I couldn't resist taking the opportunity to post that meme for the Bowtie guys.
  4. Sure. A few people have mentioned power or handling, not being quite to their liking. Well, I like the car, for what it is, and what it is not. I don't drive like I'm on a road course, and, at the legal speed limits, the car is completely acceptable. I am not emotionally or attentively involved, when driving a new car....they're nothing special and nobody cares. I used to drive a 1930 Model A Ford as my daily driver. It rode bouncy, no radio, no heat, no a/c, ancient steering, etc, but man, did I love to drive it. I might make minor upgrades or adjustments to my car, but it will never be like a new car, and if you don't understand the feeling, the joy of owning and driving an old car, maybe you're in the wrong hobby. Oh yeah, there's this....
  5. Regarding PAW, I'm not sure exactly why they closed. Owner Keith Harvey had a fledgling mail order business going when he first decided to have his own machine shop. Good friend, Lauren Arana and I, were the first two machinists hired there. Lauren and I owned A&A Machine for a handfull of years prior to our lease being closed, and hearing that Keith Harvey was looking for automotive machinists. I left Paw to pursue other interests. Lauren, aka "The Baron" ( the boring bar baron ) soldiered on there for years before going on to work for Ed Pink's Racing Engines. All of the guys who worked there were memorable. Imagine working with names like "Frog', "Pinner", "Wigger", "Baron", "Spike", "Big Brian", "Bubba", "Pops", etc. Anyway, the business skyrocketed and production increased to a frantic level. Unfortunately, from my point of view, so was quality. Nonetheless, after I left, they continued and prospered and moved to a huge building, that Keith bought, and housed the warehousing and large machine shop under one roof. PAW also had a couple of satellite retail parts stores around the Valley. I do remember that Keith sold the huge building just months before the 2008 market crash, I'm sure he made a killing, and the new owner probably kicked himself on his timing. About this time, PAW struck a deal to sponsor Shirley Muldowney. The first big building had a showroom with many of Keith's car collection, as well as Kenny Bernstein's, Shirley's, and one other top fueler hanging from the ceiling. Keith moved Paw down the street eastward, where , in another building, they were until they closed some years later. The story I heard, is that Keith entered into an ugly divorce ( is there any other kind?), and the divorce was at the core of liquidating the business. Other than that rumor, I don't know for sure. As fate would have it, fast forward years later, and I was the Engine Assembler at Valley Head Service, two blocks away from that original location where I first worked for Harvey on Business Center Drive. Below are photos of Baron and Me in front of our shop, A&A Machine, along with some early photos of he and I. We've been friends before, since, and still. Diggin' those sideburns huh?
  6. Yes, Glyptal. This is the real deal when internally painting engines. It's purpose is to speed oil return to the crankcase. It seals up the pores in the castings and provides a tough ceramic-like surface smoother than the raw castings. Many motorcar companies in Great Britain use Glyptal and completely paint their engines internally due to the nature of their moist climate. Sludge, which is moisture, rust, and other contaminants is kept to a minimum with internal painting due to coated bare metal surfaces. I've even seen some factory MGs and Bizzarrini aluminum oil pans factory painted inside with Glyptal. But again, for our purposes here, high RPM engines tend to pump a lot of oil upstairs at speed so this helps return it to the pan. Glyptal is in actuality an insulating enamel designed for electrical motors, armatures. windings , etc. Glyptal also carries a Mil Spec, for aviation useage. My Dad sold Pratt and Whitney radial engines parts, which used Hamilton Standard propeller assembilies, which used de-icing wiring and slip-rings insulated with Glyptal from the factory. Years ago, I was a cylinder head machinist at PAW, the one time mail order giant for engines and components. They used Rustoleum, even advertised that they did so. DON'T USE RUSTOLEUM! Rustoleum is a painting primer, not an insulating enamel or varnish, and is not correct to use, as you fear, can come loose. PAW used it because it made engines LOOK like racing engines, but mostly , it was cheap. As Don directed, you can get it from Eastwood Company, and you can also contact the Glyptal company as well, they're in Chelsea, Massachusetts ( 617-884-6918 ).
  7. O.K.now! I got off the computer and grabbed the camera, so I could download some finishing photos of those 289 heads. These will be going on my 289 Hi-Po / Cobra engine project. Over the years, I've come across almost all of the original factory pieces, some hard to find, but never a set of original heads, which I intended to modify anyway, so garden variety 289 castings are what I modified, which will run just as good without desecrating rare castings. So, here are some finished photos....I've previously posted the porting photos. First up are two photos of the oil-shedding coating internally of Glyptal. Third photo shows installation of the new stainless valves 1.880 / 1.600. Note these are larger than the stock factory Hi-Po valves, but correct for competition Shelby/ Cobra useage. Four through Seven show fully assembled and painted the correct 1965 Ford Semi-Gloss Black, correct springs and Hi-Po factory retainers. The pushrod slots were worn, so they got drilled out and a set of vintage Pro Stock Engineering guideplates now stabilize the pushrods. Rocker arms ( not shown ) to be used, are original stock Ford pieces, ground, stress-relieved, and cryo-treated for longetivity. Heads are stamped with VHS's logo. Black paintjob is nicer than the photos look. Finished product is flawless work of Toby ( porting and polishing ), and Ruben ( all seat, guide, chamber, machining, valve work, and set-up ) of VHS, while I was working there. Thanks Compadres!
  8. Rackerm, No, nothing yet to post on the Aussie head project. My departure from L.A. to Boise all happened so quickly, and directly after posting what I was getting ready to do. So for all whom have been patiently waiting for the article, I apologize for this all dragging on. The 289 heads were completed just days before moving, and the photos are still in the digital camera, and need to be downloaded to the computer to post. ( Now I just have to find where the camera is, as my wife surely has cubby-holed it and I'm not sure where. The Aussie heads are in the garage, with 4 pair of (8) 461 F.I. Chevy heads, and 3 pair of (6) 392 Chrysler heads on a cart under my garage workbench ( spare dragboat engine cylinder heads ). There's a steel cabinet which houses a spare 392 Hemi block, and crank, a spare 351c block and crank, and a 289 "K" code block and crank, and two steel 327 Chevy cranks, plus my 406 Ford ski boat engine on a stand in there too. Moving a 4 bedroom house, 4 boats, two cars, a garage/ shop loaded with a lifetimes worth of this and that, and some of those, has been a major deal. One of the dragboat trailers is going to get the tongue modified to swing-away this next Monday, and afterwards, it will be the first time to have my two draggers side-by-side in my garage since I've owned them both.....EVER. I am excited to finally get to work on some of my personal projects at the new shop where I work. Oh, by the way, when I was at the trailer welding shop last Tuesday, a candy red Mustang wheeled in. It was none other than Machattack ( on these boards). He was just driving by and saw my Mach 1 with a drag boat attached, and figured it had to be me. Machattack's Mustang is a real beauty. It's a small world, we've talked through this site but had never met until Tuesday.
  9. Hey! I made it! Got the keys to our new house on July 1, today is August 31. The new digs are great, got a job at a racing engine shop 2nd week we were here. We're mostly moved in, still looking for various things in boxes. The Mach 1 was shipped on a car hauler with a half a dozen other cars, and made it here fine, save for the shipper broke the radio antenna, so I had him take $100 off the balance to cover a new antenna. The install wasn't too big of a deal. I joined the local Ford and Mustang Club here too. Now, there's a flow bench at the new shop that I may be able to access on a weekend, and possibly get some numbers on the 289 heads and the Aussie heads to go along with some pictures that I keep promising. On top of all that, this coming weekend ( Labor Day Weekend ), of all things, the National Mustang Owners Association ( may have the name wrong, but it's a national club ) is holding it's annual show right here in Boise, and it's literally just blocks from my house, so guess where I'll be Saturday. Maybe I'll run into Machattack there, it's a big show though
  10. Tomorrow I move, as in my wife and I get in the Ford Edge, and drive to Boise. The entire house's contents were picked up 3 days ago by the moving company. Eight guys wrapped, humped, and had the truck loaded in 2 1/2 hours. My wife and I had already boxed everything we could. All of the garage/ shop went on the truck too, so everything is gone as I sit. On the onset, I was thinking that moving 3 custom boats two states away was going to be a cluster___k of an ordeal....wrong. I found a guy with a 40' tilting flatbed who took the two flatbottoms without a problem. The 3rd boat, a drag hydro, was towed there on it's road trailer by a friend who offered to tow it there, since he was visiting here, and lives there. The fly in the ointment, has been shipping the Mach 1. After having made arrangements weeks, almost a month ago, the driver didn't show up and the transport company didn't call to let me know they were scattering to get a driver. So now, less than 24 hours until I'm "wheels up", and numerous phone calls later, I finally got it scheuled ( knock on wood ) for tomorrow. I will already be gone, but my Realtor said he'd stay here to be here when the transporter gets here around noon. Speaking of my Mach 1.....The very subject that I started here.......Australian Heads, are traveling in my trunk, as well as the 289 competition heads, which were finished last week. The 289 heads came out beautiful. As soon as we get stuff into the new digs, I'll be posting images and tech on the 289 project at least , for this blog, and continue on with the Aussie build up from Boise. Interesting.......this is my final entry from where I've lived for 30 years....but it's only going to get better. We'll talk soon....
  11. If unsure of installation a 3rd time in, why not simply have the transmission shop install the trans. At this point, it would seem that time and money would be saved, and of course, the shop doing the install and repair would warranty it to function properly. I myself, feel confident of much of my mechanical skills, but that doesn't stop me from out-sourcing those who do it every day, to which there is no shame in doing.
  12. Interesting topic, of look what I found in the trunk. At one time, I worked at Nick's T-Birds, we had a large car lot of donor T-Birds for odds and ends, and I aquired a treasure trove of random junk from in the trunks and under the seats, while working there. Of which, I found a large assortment of can openers ( church keys), with the beer company's name or logo stamped on them. Coors, Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, etc. I eventually mounted them all in a shadow box to hang on the wall. I think there's 12-14 of 'em. Of course, I found lots of old coins. I even found a 76 Union credit card from the late 60s or 70s, the kind that you used to hand to the attendant and he'd swipe a carbon receipt over it, embossing your name and card number onto the receipt. ( Gas was 36.9 for regular and 39.9 for super leaded then). I myself worked in a 76 Union, so I remember the cards well. I even found a professional billiard player's cue stick, in it's protective case, it unscrewed into 2 or 3 pieces, and was balanced. Weird what gets lost in a car huh?
  13. Nothing wrong with Thomas Dolby. Actually, "science' wasn't all that bad when I first heard it. Boy George I thought was just B.S. But who am I to judge, as I have found DEVO to be more of interest. Still, I think I'm turning Japanese and eating Iguana in Tijuana on a Mexican radio whoa-whoa.....
  14. I first saw a '71 Mustang walking home from High School in '71, brand new, sitting in a neighbors driveway. Compared to what I had been used to seeing in the muscle car/pony cars of the day, the new '71s struck me as ugly. The one I saw was Medium Yellow Gold.......kinda "American Cheese" looking, and I didn't care for the color either. Today, after owing a '66 GT-350, a '65 Hi-Po GT coupe, a 1970 Olds 442 W-30, a '69 GTO Judge, several assorted vintage hot rods,.....I've changed my opinion from when I was 18. I dig my '71 Mach. It's been very dependable to me for a good many years now and is sort of my buddy. How in the hell did I end up with a Medium Yellow Gold car too?? Well, I think my '71 has an agressive look to it. Most new Hondas are faster than my car, I think, but I don't care. Most people who see my car think it's cooler than a new car ( probably because it is!) Oh yeah, no offense to Chevrolet fans, but, the magazines are full of Camaros, Novas, Chevelles, so having one of those doesn't really stand out, as often as you see them. The '71-'73 model Mustangs are fewer between at car events, even at Ford car events, making the cars different from the "me too" crowd. Saginaw steering is a definate improvement over the early push-pull steering system, and a 9" rear end is never out of style. I'm sure there's something about the cars I don't care for, but then again, I don't tend to dwell on it. Funny how things appear with time. I remember just hating the 80s New Wave music. Now, with all the Rap B.S., "She Blinded Me With Science" feels rockin'........
  15. Today is April 26, almost 3 months since I started to post on the Aussie heads, and the 289 Hi-Po clone engine. My garage is all torn apart and boxed for the move, Aussie heads are packed un-finished. The 289 heads are just about finished with the porting.( Our porting crew is doing my heads on the side, in their spare time, hence, the long time waiting.....worth being patient though). The 1.880 intakes have been machined from 2" blanks. I'm not sure if I will be able to finish them up and post photos before I move. Apologies about the dragging out of this post, hopefully, I will move and stay in that house the rest of my days, as moving is such a royal pain in the arse!
  16. Getting out and driving your car is really the where the fun is. Now and again, I will attend a car show/gathering which happens early on a Sunday morning in a parking lot and dissipates by 10 AM ( due to businesses opening then ). Another car owner, a Shelby owner who attends, organized a drive afterwards, so now, after showing, we drive over to the beach from the valley for a "brunch". It's a gas to tour through the canyon to the beach with a line of neat cars.
  17. When I first bought my Mach, lo some 30 years ago, the Ammeter wouldn't move either way, charge or discharge. I was working at a shop, and the owner had a look at it and told me , wiring-wise, it was hooked up correctly. I guess it's just a bad guage, but I've never replaced it since I bought the car. I'd really like to replace the whole 3-guage set-up with some matching AutoMeter red-orange pointered , factory appearing guages. To do so will require some adaption, and I just don't want to stop driving it to do the adaption , just because of that. The Oil Pressure and Temp guages , in that trio, work fine. One of the advertisers converts the Amperes guage to a factory looking Voltmeter. I kinda like that simple modification.
  18. My computer is telling me that I can't send any more messages because my Message box is full. So......How do I dump all of the previous messages to clear it out? Make this easy on me, I may not comprehend Technical Terms, but I can follow directions.
  19. Mudbilly, I am aware of a few window adjustment points inside of the door, that can affect the "lean-in", and "lean-out" of the glass where it meets the roofline. Perhaps you've already been through all of the window adjustments, but if not, they're worth a try. Whistling air sounds can really drive one nuts. I believe, the shop manual regarding the body shows all the different adjustment points, if you have one to look through. If your "Roof Rail Weatherstrip" has dried up, and that's the culprit, it's not that difficult to replace. The biggest part to that on mine, was to drop the rear ( stationary) windows to get the weatherstrip in and out, which required removing the rear seat and rear quarter interior pieces. It sounds worse than it really is. It was a two Pepsi job, maybe three.....
  20. I was a passenger in a friend's 69 Camaro when, on the freeway, the right rear wheel came off. The cause was that he was missing one or two lug nuts, possibly broken studs. My friend had been driving the car this way and didn't think it mattered. The moral of this story to ALL of you, is don't drive if you are missing any lug nuts or have a broken stud. Fix it, or get it fixed. You will save money in the end, and maybe even save a life.
  21. I just thought I'd enter a tongue and cheek entry to what I've done recently on my car. In a nutshell.... a whole lot of nothing. As I have posted before, I drive the car everyday, to and from work. My wife and I went to a Mexican restaurant tonight in my car, met another couple, but that's common for us. Very Common for the useage of the car. Point is, although there's a few items I need to attend to on the car, It keeps going day, after day, month after month. My car seems to be comfortable getting used as the factory intended. When I work on the car, It's to drive it, not to store it, and make no mistake, I need to do a few maintenence items......and I will. In the meantime, I keep driving and enjoying the Mach 1 . I use it a lot more than I ever work on it. It's like the DuraCell rabbit.....it just keeps going, and going........Knock on wood.......
  22. Today is March 30th, 289 heads should be finished with the porting pretty soon..........hold on
  23. Continuing on here, out of sequence, bronze the K-Liners show here, but were installed prior to any seat and chamber work. First two photos show heads and chambers, ready to undergo porting and polishing. Second photo shows top side of head, with pushrod slots drilled open ( done for guideplate useage ), stud bosses milled and tapped, and guides trimmed for PC seals. "4M2" casting equates to December 2nd, 1964
  24. Next photo here, shows machine blending of Intake ( 1.880") and exhaust ( 1.600"). All seat work is held to the exact same depths, making spring set-ups and chamber CCing accurate. Shelbys never ran 1.940 intakes in 289s, as some people foolishly attempt. Don't even consider it. Breathing with those intakes is no better and the valve margin hangs over the spark plug recess.
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