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Gatormc9's 1971 Vert Adventure

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Looking at what you have found I will advise based upon my preferences, there are other courses of action that make equal sense


Pull the heads-they need to be either replaced or rebuilt. If the pistons or bores are damaged pull the motor. If not,

Rotate engine over by hand and check cam lift at each lobe-odds are you have cam damage and will need to replace it.

If the cam has to come out pull the engine and replace all gaskets and the oil pump. Inspect the main bearings, if they are okay, odds are the rod bearings are okay-if anything feels funny when turning the shortblock over, tear it all the way down and either rering and replace the bearings or go forward with a complete rebuild.



"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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So, against the sound advice I've received here on this forum...I decide to just slap it back together and roll with it for now. LOL. Last weekend I torqued all the rocker arms back up, installed the new Eddy Intake and rebuilt 4 bbl carb. I re-installed the freshly rebuilt C4 transmission, and swapped the old manifolds for the new Hooker headers. The summit exhaust gave me some trouble, partially because the driver side header comes out at a steeper angle than the passenger side. I had to do some persuading to get that side to straighten up...and I'm not super happy with the results. At the end of the day, I was able to get it hung back to the mufflers so at least it sounds OK. I can now get it to a muffler shop in the future and have them make it right...but it will work for now. I would really just like to get 6-12 months more out of this engine and rebuild either a roller 302 or a 351C on the side while the car is still a driver. If it breaks before then I'll just yank it and deal with it.


After putting it back together, I was able to get it started but it was obvious that I had carb/timing/vacuum/etc issues. The previous timing mark (yellow mark on the balancer) was around 6-7* BTDC, so I silver sharpied it and set it to that initially. If I punched the gas in gear it would just die, and I couldn't get it to idle properly,and it seemed to be surging. I bought a new timing light with tach and a vacuum gauge kit this week. Today I moved the dist. advance vacuum hose to the full manifold port, changed where the accelerator pump bar was connected on the carb, and bumped my timing closer to the 10-12* mark. What a difference! She is idling much better (although still high around 980-1000rpm) and when I punch the gas in gear, my tire spins! :D This is huge difference from before the intake/exhaust swap.


Unfortunately, after a quick run around the block, I was stopped, put it in reverse, and a horrible rattle started. It happens any time I'm stopped but in gear. No issues in neutral or park. Once the wife got home I was able to look underneath and at the engine mounts. I think I just need to adjust and tighten down the exhaust hangers because the passenger side is beating against the under body.


Pictures coming soon, for now I will leave you with just one. The former owner found some pictures of the car from years ago after it was rear ended. It wasn't driven much after this accident, even after it was fixed. I am guessing the transmission failed soon after the car was fixed up and then it sat for 15 years. I wonder if this accident actually caused the rocker arm problem, could that be the case???



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  • 2 weeks later...

The car is running pretty good now. I adjusted the brakes and got the engine idling nicely at 850 rpm and ~21 inHg vacuum. I can spin my one tire with the best of them. Now it's time to start building confidence in the car. So far I haven't had it out of my neighborhood, but I'm hoping for a longer ride today. It's beautiful weather here in FL and I'm planning on taking the wife out for a lunch run here shortly. There is still work to do for sure, the power steering seems a little lazy, and the top/interior need work. Overall, I'm pretty happy with where it's at right about now.

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I was a little nervous last weekend to take the car on it's first "long" drive outside the neighborhood, but we made it back! :D Went across the causeway to the beach and we could not have had better weather. My wife's only complaint is the seat covers...lol! I added the rear sway bar tonight and I think it helped with the "over steer" that I was feeling coming out of corners. It felt like I needed to counter steer because the rear was (for lack of a better term) swaying. Tomorrow I'm taking it in for an alignment. I'm hoping that fixes the front end wobble that I'm getting around 45-50 mph. It smooths out some around 55-60mph. Considering all the suspension work that was done, it is driving OK without an alignment. I also got a Monte Carlo bar with the LMM kit, so I may try to install that tomorrow before the alignment. I'm not sure how much difference it's going to make, but I have it and I think it will clear the distributor, so I might as well put it in. I've been slacking on uploading pictures, but I do have a bunch coming.

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Thanks for the updates. Sounds like things are going well. If it were me, I would find a 351C and start rebuilding it "just in case".


Good work so far! ::thumb::


Project started 8-7-10

Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system

Current "mini-project": interior upgrade :-/

[button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=76]Doc's Garage[/button][button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-mustang-convertible-restoration-and-modification]Doc's Wiki[/button]

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  • 4 years later...

Hello all, it's been a long time, but I have the fever back and it is getting close to time for continuing this build. A lot has changed in my life, and unfortunately, I no longer have the house with that awesome lift! However, I do have money to spend on this car now, and I want a reliable driver that has a wow factor. I am not going to be able to do most of the work myself, the car, my tools, etc are in a 10x20 storage unit and I travel a lot. Sometimes I am gone 3 or 4 months at a time. When I come home, I want to be able to jump in, turn the key, and drive the car (for the most part). In November I will be home and I am going to meet with at least one recommended shop that is the primary candidate to build the car for me.


In the meantime, I am looking to start buying parts. I am leaning toward a Blueprint 347 crate engine from summit. And I want EFI so I am thinking about the Edelbrock ProFlo 4 system. Other ideas for the first phase of this build (phase 1 is getting it to reliable fun weekend driver) is a new convertible top, and new rims/tires. I need to figure out if the freshly rebuilt C4 transmission is going to be ok short term for the 347, or does that have to be changed also. I expect it will bolt up fine, but can it handle the 400+ hp from the engine (I don't plan to race it, just cruising).


Anyway, I have lots of questions and I am glad to be back here on this great forum. It was an awesome experience getting the car on the road after so long, and I hate seeing it sit once again. I am determined to make it live up to it's potential.


Should I start a new thread, or just continue with this one?

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Welcome back ::thumb:: 


Nice to see that you don't lost your fever and could keep the Mustang!


Life is always changing and you never know how things can evolve. Don't ask how I know... 


I would go on in this thread!


Keep up the work and posts and never say die ::thumb::



Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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  • 2 months later...

I met with the guy that will be working on the car a few weeks ago. I was really impressed with the shop, the other projects he was working on, and his overall passion for classic cars. Because of work travel, I had to push the start date to early February, instead of January. The best part is that my wife also came along for the shop visit, and she is just as excited as I am to get the car on the road full time.


In the meantime I'm still kicking around ideas for the build. He suggested the Holley Sniper EFI, and he actually had a '69 Camaro at the shop with that system on it. It looked good, started right up, and sounded great. Reading the reviews, it looks like a quality EFI system, and I don't have any allegiance to Holley or Edelbrock, so I'll probably go with the Holley. We are also starting the search for an explorer rear end to swap in the 8.8 inch rear with disc brakes. I need to figure out which years are the best fit. Is it any early 90's Explorer or Sport Trac? Obviously, I still have plenty of research to do.

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  • 5 months later...

Things got delayed, but it is finally happening.  The car got moved from storage to begin the restomod progress!  I wish I could do more of the work myself, I just don't have the time or the place to work on it.  I can't wait to finally get to drive this car like it is meant to be driven.  Way too many years in a garage or storage.
















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That is one nice looking car. Love the color.

73 Grande H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.


- Jason





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  • 3 weeks later...

Restoration update, two weeks in to the work.  First week was slow because of memorial day and vacation things.  I am not in a hurry so it doesn't bother me.  I know I  picked the right guy to work on the car, because he immediately spotted problems with the car related to the accident and previous rust issues.  If you go back in this thread, you can see the car was hit pretty good.  It's apparent that they did not fix the car correctly, and once he pointed it out...it is obvious now.


From the shop -  " In one of the photos you can see that the rear valance pan is totally misaligned and not the correct contour to meet the quarter panel— which I believe is also a problem as it looks like it was pieced and the pinchweld seam is not right."








Bottom of the rear quarter that was improperly seamed at the curve and not installed at the pinch weld



Bottom of the front fender.  Plastic filler at the front (?)  maybe a patch piece.



Nearly a ⅝” gap at the bottom of the door to the rocker panel on both sides of the car.  


His suggestion is to order new sheet metal and doors and get the car done right, he is also going to strip all the paint to make sure there are not other issues .  I have the money to do it right, so I am taking his advice.  He is going to remove the front fenders this week and start working the shock tower rust. I also told him to weld up the antenna hole because we stream all of our music and I think the car will look cleaner without an antenna.  :)

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  • 1 month later...

Couple months into the restoration, and things are going well.  There was more rust involved than I expected, but the car is almost 50 years old and it's been around the beach it's whole life, so I guess that is expected.  We've found a lot of bad repair work from the previous accident and previous rust repair.  Here are some progress pics.


Cowl rust and repair pics

























Other front end repairs



























The front end is pretty much fixed now, all the rust has been repaired/replaced.  The new doors arrived (old ones had a lot of rust repair, done wrong, cheaper to replace).  He is starting on the rear of the car, and as expected there is a lot of bad repair work from the accident.


I'm spending a lot of money, but the work is quality, and when it is all said in done, I am going to enjoy driving this car all over the US.

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Your guy looks to be doing an excellent job. Money well spent. Look forward to more updates.

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.

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