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    71 Mach 1


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    DC Metro

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  1. What's the best way to build a $100k car? Spend $250K on a car... "flipping" a car is not like flipping a house. With a house all you have to do is find something undervalued that needs some work, fix obviously bad stuff, dress it up a little and collect your money... and then something will still go wrong. With a car, you either need to find one of the rare cars that are really worth something for nothing and restore it or find whatever car is hot in the restomod market for next to nothing and figure out the mods that someone will want on the car for it to sell well. EVERYTHING else is going to cost more to restore or modify than it will be worth when it's done. Honestly, for most of the car market, the cheapest way to get what you want is to find something as close as possible to what you want that someone else has already spent their money on and buy it from them at a loss. The problem comes in when someone believes that the car they spent $50K on is worth $70K when the nicest possible example of that car is only worth $25K.
  2. I have wrenched professionally (I used to do installs and custom fabrication for a speed shop), and I own a bunch of different brands, more Craftsman then anything else (the polished ones are much better than the standard ones, worth the extra price), followed by Snap-On, a few Mac and Cornwell as well as tons of others. I'm going to recommend something surprising: 90% of the time my go-to rachet is a harbor freight composite (not the pro ones, I've never tried the pro ones): https://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-heavy-duty-composite-ratchet-66313.html They feel better in your hand so you can push harder and not end up sore at the end of the day, they don't slip, they don't get icy cold in cold weather and too hot to pick up if you leave it sitting in the sun. I've never broken one, and honestly, they just feel right to me (now I have very large hands, I kind of borderline fit in XXL work gloves). They're my first choice for most jobs when I'm in the shop, they're my first choice when I'm throwing something in my tool bag to go to someone or to take to the JY (honestly, they're dirt cheap, use one of HF's perpetual 20% off coupon on top of that, if I lose one I can buy 5 or more for the cost of replacing most of my other ratchets. To take that a step further, if I had to get rid of all but one set of ratchets, this is the one I'd keep. Yes, they're that good. The only thing negative I have to say about them is if you use the head to whack something (don't lie, we've all done it), you will ding it up since it is composite (plastic). Second place is one that would be fussy to use as your only one (it could be done, I've done it), but gets me out of more tight spots than anything else is a low profile, Kobalt pass-through socket/ratchet set. Even crazier, the sockets cover both SAE and Metric with the same sockets. It looks like the current ones are not the same but I found someone selling them (I doubt it will be long, looks like they don't make them anymore): http://ratchetingwrenchset.net/en/kobalt_xtreme_access_extreme_14_pc_pass_through_tool_set_3_8_ratchet_socket_set.php Similar to the HF composites in feel, but they have a flat, low profile pass through head with an angled handle that can be used right side up or upside down. This thing is a miracle for getting into tight spaces. I've used it in places that I couldn't get a ratcheting box end to work and if anyone has done spark plugs on a small block chevy with tight-fitting headers (the plugs are under the tubes, there are cases you can't get any kind of regular wrench on them), this setup turns what could be a multiple hour oreal into a 10minute job. REALLY This looks very similar with a different case and brand name: https://www.grainger.com/product/CHANNELLOCK-3-8-Drive-SAE-Metric-Chrome-38UU83 3rd place, this craftsman stubby flex head: https://www.craftsman.com/products/craftsman-3-8-in-drive-full-polish-stubby-flex-head-quick-release-teardrop-ratchet-a010313779 It has a REALLY nice feel, gets you real socket sizes in a space that you'd normally have to resort to a 1/4" drive. This was my go-to ratchet for years before the HF composite ratchets showed up. I used it on anything that didn't need the torque of a full-length ratchet. I often grab a couple of sizes of the HF composites and this one and use this wherever I can because the small size/short length lets you go REALLY fast. It's my go-to for things like bodywork, spark plugs where there is good access... Finally, an honorable mention, this HF flex head: https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-drive-professional-flex-head-ratchet-62321.html I wouldn't want to get stuck with this as my only ratchet (it's longer than normal and the flex head can get annoying if you're trying to go fast), but there are places where this thing is sweet, and if you're taking your time you can get to most fasteners with it and the longer handle lets you get even stubborn ones loose. A friend of mine had a snap-on one like this but with a slight bend in the handle 25years ago (and I think he said it was his dad's before it was his) that he called his secret weapon for getting out stubborn, stuck, and hard to reach fasteners (I've never run across the snap on one on myself). None of my high $$$ ones even make my list. I don't remember the last time I had one of my snap-on ratchets in my hand. The polished craftsman ones come out when I'm doing things that need 2 rachets (say suspension work where you have access to the bolt head and nut, or if you're going back and forth between sockets constantly). The standard craftsman ones rarely do, I don't like the feel and they break too easy.
  3. The thing is that we don't know what you're looking at and how much off it is. In theory, the stock mounting points are reinforced "hard points" in a stronger part of the pan that should be better than choosing other points even if you reinforce them. In some cases you'll fail a safety inspection by moving where the seat is bolted to the pan. Do you care? Probably not, most areas don't do detailed safety inspections of older cars. Can that change? Sure. I'm tall enough that I have problems with quite a few cars and have moved a few driver's seats. I have always used the stock floor mounts and moved them by changing how the top rails mount to the bottom of the seat. In most cases the bottom of the seat has a couple of steel pieces on either side and there's quite a bit of space for moving stuff around. I would likely look at that, swapping the stock rails to the bottom of the seat first, and then possibly making some sort of adapter plate. But again, I'm not looking at what you're looking at.
  4. I would guess it was a rebody - The M code 4 speed was probably wrecked / rusted beyond repair but had a good title - the 71 automatic convert was good but boring. Take a weekend and BAM! You now have an M code convertible. Why change the color from green to pastel blue? Who has ever changed over to a blue interior on purpose? Why get rid of a 4 speed? Especially on a low mileage car. If it is not a rebody then they did an outstanding job recreating a factory correct tired pastel blue paint job. LOL I have a 71 M Code Ram Air C6 Convertible / Numbers Matching / Marti Report verified that we are working on this winter. FUN! Son of Paul I think you might have hit the nail on the head there. I was looking at the pics and thinking "why would someone fake this car, I mean shots in the trunk and things make it look like it was originally pastel blue, and nothing else about it is exceptional. If the Marti says green/green this doesn't make any sense." Of course if that's what it is there has to be more to go by then the tag and vins aren't that easy to swapj on these things... right?
  5. I actually have (have had for a long time, I think mine was one of the first ones produced) the same exhaust sitting in my garage waiting for me to get to it. I'm guessing I'll have to modify it to get it past the staggered shocks (or move the shock). I'm interested at what you have for the crossfire setup. That is my old username on a bunch of the f-body groups. I no longer have that car but have my crossfire setup that I'm saving for just the right project. I'd love to get an '82 corvette with it on it... as much as people hated that setup I think that there is some real charm in it when you understand it and get it working correctly.
  6. Geoff, Helmholtz equations apply to all sorts of tuning situations in cars, but in this case it's a simple "if you want to make it sound lower you need to make the pipe longer or smaller in diameter. There is Helmholtz tuning in the case of header primaries and collectors, but typically a crossover in a dual exhaust or a good muffler is the end of the power tuning and anything after that is just trying to get it to sound like you want. Take a look at modern sports/muscle cars for good examples. Very few of them (really very few even not all that modern ones, going back to the 90's) gain anything from a "performance exhaust" at anything close to stock power levels (you'll see like <5hp change and sometimes losses on a dyno). They are tuned to sound like the manufacturer wants them to sound (ford mustangs have a distinct "mustang" sound going back to the 80's/early 90's 5.0, even with different engines under the hood), meet sound restrictions and not restrict power. If you want an extreme example of this, I had a '97 WS6 Trans Am that with some minor mods and a lot of N2O would run mid 11's @117 mph. I had the stock exhaust rigged up with a flange so I could just unscrew 3 bolts and drop the whole thing off the car, and at that speed/power level, I could not document any change between full factory exhaust (even manifolds and cats) and open exhaust.
  7. Steering not returning is the front suspension not having enough caster or too much toe out (it should have a little toe in). Loose/worn out steering/suspension components can cause either of those. It could be a steering box problem but doubtful unless you've overtightened the preload (in other words not worn out, but the opposite), if you haven't messed with it it's doubtful.
  8. Flowmasters drone at that rpm. It's not just in these cars, it's not just this kind of exhaust configuration. It's a problem with the design. Flowmaster has tried a number of things to fix that over the years, the big thing was the deltaflow version of their mufflers, but nothing entirely eliminates it. If you like the sound of their 40 series mufflers (the basic "flowmaster") and if you want your best chance of getting rid of the drone then try the super 44 with deltaflow. Those usually sound pretty good and don't drone on most cars. That said, flowmasters are not the performance mufflers people think they are. People associate the sound with performance but there have been OEM mufflers going back into the 90's that have flowed better than flowmasters. If you like the sound go for it, but be aware that you aren't getting the best performance. Personally they have a metallic, tinny quality that I don't like. What size wheels and tires are those? That's a perfect old school muscle car look with a great stance. None what so ever, then again I've always designed my systems to eliminate drone. The biggest problem is people put too big of a pipe on for their application. Most people don't want to believe what size pipe will handle X amount of power. The bigger is better thought transfers over to pipe diameters way too often. The amount of times I've seen twin 2 1/2" systems on 350 even 400+ HP engines then complain about drone is laughable. I've even met people that don't even realise what drone is as they think that's how it's just meant to sound. Nothing better than having the top down on the vert and hearing that proper V8 sound and tap the pedal,and it just sounds like a V8 should. The old mufflers were some Turbo thing as that's all it had stamped on it and sounded fairly good, but the aero chambers are something better again. As for exchange rates it's something I know all too well about for the last 25 years and on top of that the shipping costs to Australia aren't cheap either. Not much we can do about it but to just grin and bear it and either buy what you want or don't. Or there's always buy the same parts here from our stores and pay at the very least 20% more than bringing it in. It's a no brainer to me Ok my friend, sounds like a plan on those mufflers. I've been very impressed with your comments and opinions as you obviously know your stuff. It's good to know that there are people out there that care and give honest input. If we relied on what the vendors say about their products, sorry, but we'd all in trouble. As for the exchange rates and shipping, I hear you brother, it hurts! For us in Canada, there are a few vendors, but we mostly have to rely on buying in the US. For me, I'm somewhat lucky as there is a NPD outlet only 1 1/2 hrs drive across the border. Geoff. What you can get away with vs what makes the best power is very different. For that matter, on the street people can't really tell a 10hp or more change and react more to a sound change. That's why flowmaster's sell, they make your car sound more like a race car, and even though they might hurt performance in many cases they sound better so people feel like they made their cars faster. Putting a smaller diameter pipe on an exhaust increases velocity and lowers tuning frequency (If you're interested look up Helmholtz tuning), so typically a smaller pipe that is the same length will sound lower and will have less objectionable qualities at partial throttle (less droning, gurgling...), that doesn't mean that it's better matched to the engine or that the engine doesn't need more flow, it's just taking advantage of helmholtz tuning and increasing exhaust velocity at light load(forcing exhaust to flow straight through, turbulance/funny flow is what causes droaning and other weird noises), and likely killing performance at heavy loads/wot. If you want a perfect example of this, if you want a great sounding exhaust on a v8 (especially trucks) you Y the pipes together into a single 2-1/4" pipe, put a glasspack in that and then split it off into 2 tailpipes with some nice chrome tips. It will sound deep, powerful and still mellow and not annoying inside (trucks tend to have a boxy cabin without a lot of sound deadening making droning and other maladies worse). 2" or 2-1/4" duals sound great on most musclecars with any loud performance mufflers, and if it was built since the late 80's probably flow less than the stock exhaust and measurably hurt performance. The solution for most people if they care about performance is to size the pipes accordingly and then use a straight through style muffler (my choice tends to be the dynomax ultra flow welded, but hooker max flow, magnaflow, borla... all have stuff that works). With larger exhausts this sometimes means living with a loud exhaust, but there are tricks to tame that down without hurting performance. If you're looking for a more classic muscle car sound then look at a turbo muffler like the dynomax super turbo (they have "hemi" mufflers that have larger flow tubes inside and have almost the flow of a straight through muffler). One of the best sounding mufflers out there that still has good flow and a design that tends to eliminate most droning/popping... is the Hooker Aerochamber, I've never seen one installed that didn't sound great.
  9. Absolutely and incredible job! I know how to do most of this work and I'm still impressed enough that I keep thinking about talking to you about sending my '71 Mach 1 up to you (originally an Arizona car, it's been in a garage or under a car cover since the late 80's, the body is in pretty good shape rust wise but missing a few parts and most of the interior is junk, but that's a separate problem), but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford you. How many hours do you think you'll have in it by the time you're done? You said you're at 400 now, and based on that I probably couldn't afford me if someone wanted to pay me to do this kind of thing...
  10. Huh, interesting... are they removable once installed? FWIW, going through the reviews I saw this one: 2.0 out of 5 starsNot ok for older cars. ByWoodson April 16, 2016 Verified Purchase It really didn't fit my '66 Mustang because my mustang had a larger fuel intake hose. I really wish they would warn you that it wouldn't help for classic cars.
  11. That's turning out looking incredible! I'm pretty sure you've said it before but I can't find it, what kind of paint are you using?
  12. Because the car is an original 4bbl Mach 1. To me it feels like a windsor is just half assing it. Going completely different engine family is "I decided to experiment with something else." I've owned a bunch of later model f-bodies, and those specifically in my mind follow the sheep following... deal, any f-body really. Everyone LS swaps them and there are plenty of good choices that will accomplish the same thing without LS swapping them. With the original Cleveland engine in these cars there aren't as many good parts choices out there if you want to build something really trick, at least not without a ton of looking for $$$ and rare parts. Honestly I like to tinker with my cars, and I REALLY didn't want a car that was worth anything in original form. I stumbled on an original 4bbl 71 Mach 1, mostly complete, mostly straight, no rust besides a little surface rust arizona car with 60some K miles that had been stored since the 80's for VERY cheap, like as in cheaper than ANY car I've ever bought (and I've owned some beaters). I figure that when I get around to messing with the drivetrain in this car I'll pull it and store it properly, since it being with the car is what gives it value. When I get to messing with this thing whatever goes in it will be done to be bolt in. Things that have gone through my head have been the a crazy cleveland build using nascar style parts and maybe aussi aluminum heads, LS swap, Ecoboost (I own a 2012 SHO which is loads of fun and fast for a 4600lb car), convert to electric, a big block of some sort, a late model mod motor (almost a non starter, they're physically enormous, bigger than a big block and I worked on too many of them when I worked at the speed shop, I don't like them)... out of that list the cleveland and LS would be the easiest to do as a bolt in, the rest I doubt could be done without cutting the car up some. The crazy C build would be a real PITA to get parts for, and I'd likely want to find another block to start with... the LS will have the much greater flexibility WRT to available parts to do my tinkering with. I could care less what others are doing or not doing with the cars and whatever engine. I build oddball stuff that people tell me is impossible anyway (my other big project right now is a Trans Am with a 30y/o stock bottom end 305in it, with a completely custom converted LT1 headed top end and valve train making 481hp to the tires... no one believes you can make LS crushing power with a 305, no one believed I'd get the LT1 heads working on it, or get the flow numbers that I did with the small bore, or make this kind of power out of a low compression turbo build without a turbo on it... what do you think it will be like turbocharged?)
  13. It's funny, I know and have heard all the "you'll sand gooves into your bodywork if you don't use a block," but to be honest, sometimes i do, sometimes I don't and I've never had a problem... reading your post it became clear that instinctively I do what you just outlined there.
  14. You know, I belong to a few groups that "LS swap" everything, and it annoys the heck out of me for some reason. Like I have a few 3rd gen f-body (camaro/firebired, originally came with chevy V8's in it), and I'm not sure why an LS swap in those bothers me. OTOH, I have seriously considered an LS swap in my '71 Mach 1 and it doesn't bother me as much. If I did it I would make it all bolt in (I've done a few swaps like that, the one that was the biggest hassle to build mounts was a Cadillac 500 in a '67 Lemans, the mounts were almost 8" off the original Poncho mount location and the block is significantly wider), likely use a 4L80e or TH400 transmission (they can be built pretty much bullet proof, and I have a long history of having engines that last forever and constantly replacing transmissions/axles) and probably use Megasquirt or similar engine managment (I've done 3 'squirted cars). I'd probably turbocharge it also, though a high winding LS could get you into the 10's or even the 9's reliably if you want to build something fast. For those of you saying that there are Ford options that can be done cheaper I'd like to know what. I'd feel as weird putting a windsor in my Mach as a LS, and a serious Cleveland build is $$$ (My car is an original 4bbl/C6/track pack car, so I'd save the engine if I did and oddball swap). If you shop around you might be able to find a whole LS drivetrain for $1000-2000 (at worst you can buy a beater work truck for that kind of money, steal the drivetrain and part out the rest). I have an extra Megasquirt and probably everything I'd need to build the fuel system sitting around, but if I didn't you could find a megasquirt and comble the fuel system together for $400-600. Power adders will run roughly the same on either engine, packaging will be harder on the Cleveland, so that's a wash or slight advantage LS. So I'm pretty sure I could have a running LS drivetrain in my Mach for well under $2000 (about $2000 with some horse trading if I had to buy the parts that I already have), and I'm pretty sure I couldn't build a comparable Cleveland for the same. You can get into haggling about converters/clutches, OD... but the costs will be about a wash doing the same stuff ford/chevy, until you get nicer stuff where the ford stuff will cost way more than the chevy (until you get to the top shelf stuff which again will be a wash). FWIW, there's a few easy ways to get odd engine/tranny combinations bolted together, one of the slicker ones is that mcleod has a modular bellhousing system, and then you just need to work out a clutch spline/input shaft/bearing combination. There are existing adapters to go ford/chevy or chevy/ford engine/trans... I know someone running a cleveland based engine with a chevy auto trans behind it in a Firebird...
  15. As far as what to do to make these work well with wider tires, here is something that I did with some firebird rims: The original rim was a 15x7 (in the middle of the second pic), I sectioned all 4 with different back sections cut off and put them back together swapping them around so I got a 15x9.5 and 15x4.5 (perfect for drag tires). In this case I would cut the back hoops and find a donor rim to get a new back half widening it and increasing the backspacing and offset, but how much would depend on what the current rim's offset is.
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