May 2005

5/07/2005--Anna was out of town, so I spent the entire day doing many things that I have been putting off. Yesterday, I made the "backseat" for Tuesday. She was starting to wear into the foam in the stock back seat, and had already torn a hole into the fabric, so I removed the seat and put it into the attic, for safekeeping, until I decide to have them recovered (with leather?). The floor of the back area has some mounting brackets and exposed bolts and screws, and Tuesday kept sliding around, and I was afraid she would get cut on one of them. Also, she couldn't reach the window to stick her head out. So I bought 3/4" plywood, and a few other little odds and ends and made the seat. I will not add to the price of the car, since it is temporary and not really part of the finished product. Just comfort for the dog. It was less than $25 anyway.


Today, I started with taking off the traction bars, cutting the squared back plate off into a trapezoidal shape. The square was ugly, and when I first put on the 245/60r15s, the edge of the square cut a line into the sidewall of the inside of one of my tires. I then reinstalled them, making sure they were squared and even. I cut the u-bolts down so there isn't so much extra hanging out below the nut. There was about 3 inches, now about 1/2".

Then I went to a guy's house in the neighborhood who has two mavs in the backyard. He caught me in town last night, and we talked cars, and he asked where my chrome was on my front window. I explained that it blew off while driving on the highway, and I didn't recognize it until that night when Anna pointed out it was gone. I went back up the highway to find it, but it must have blown into the high grass. I was going to ride my bike up the highway and find it, but the mowers ran this week, so if it was still there, it would probably be a mangled mess by now. I found an entire set (minus one piece) at Autokrafters used parts for $75. The neighbor said to come to his house and take the piece I need. When I asked his kid how much I owed him, he said $10, I gave him $20. I also took 2 of the clips off his car, since I noticed that his piece was held on by four, and mine only had two. That may be why I lost it. And, the two I had left were both broken, and only worked halfway, so now I have two halves and two good ones holding it on.

After that, I got the old rock guard from the big bumper setup, and cut it down to fit the small bumpers. Looks pretty good. I was afraid it wouldn't work right, because it was rubber and not metal like the small bumper guard. I installed it loosely, then drew a line on the bottom where it sat on top of the bumper. When I took it off, I measured out two inches, so it would ride under the top lip of the bumper. By chance, there was a long thickened "lip" running the length of the rubber guard, that roughly coincided with right where I needed to cut, so I cut in the lip to keep the leading edge thick and heavy, to (hopefully) prevent flapping at high speeds. Put it all back together, and it fit nearly perfectly.

Next job was to straighten the bumper mounts and put in 3 bolts per side, rather than the one I originally put in. The small bumper only had one hole (on each side) that lined up correctly, so that is the one bolt that has held the bumper on for the past year. Today, I drilled 4 new holes, tapped two of them, ran a bolt into the tap to keep the bumper pointing straight up and forward, another bolt to hold the bumper mounts (4 of them) all together and tight, then tightened up the big bolt that originally held the bumper up.

Other than that, I had to top off the transmission fluid, as it still leaks at the linkage, and has finally leaked enough out to need replenished. I was going to go to the track and see if the low fluid was the reason for my poor performance last week, but as I was heading out the door toward the track, Anna called and said she was heading home and would be home in an hour.

I have determined that my slow racing times are due to larger tires and the slow 2.79 rear end. I got on the internet and did some research, and found a 3.80 for $250 that a guy in San Francisco is taking of on Monday, since he didn't like the 3200 RPM highway driving with it, and wanted to swap out to a 3.55. I think I will install it, if I get it, and try it out. Then take it apart and put in a mini spool to lock the rear axles together to give me REAL positraction. I hear that it is a little tricky to drive on wet roads, and if you give it gas around corners, your tailend will come around to meet you. On dry roads, it will squeal the tires, or "chirp" around tight corners as the outside wheel is not permitted to go faster than the inside wheel. But, on the straight-aways, it will grab with both tires. I expect my 1/8 mile times to drop from 10.5 to somewhere around 9 seconds. Maybe even better if I put in the spool. I should hear from the guy on Monday or Tuesday to see if the deal will come through. He says they are very new, used only enough to realize he didn't like the highway RPMs. I figure I would use the current tires for the track, and then buy some taller tires for highway use to get my RPMs back down for cruising. Throw these tires into the trunk, put them on at the track, lay down some 9s, put the big tires back on, and cruise back home.

sub w/tax = $0, I used all old parts except for a couple bucks worth of nuts and washers

5/11/2005--My deal on the rearend fell through, the guy sold it to a local guy. So, I bought a new Richmond 3.80 gear set, Richmond rebuild kit, and Auburn mini spool from Jegs. Took the rear center section out today, and it was a bitch! Took the drive shaft off, then the axles completely out, then took off all the center section bolts, but it would not break loose. There was 35 year old silicone and gasket that had gotten quite used to being where it was, and it did not want to budge. Plus, there were some brass washers on each bolt that had embedded themselves between the bolt and center unit, so it was quite stuck until I worked out the washers with a screwdriver. Got on the Maverick Forums and read about a guy who used an air-hammer, so I pulled mine out and within minutes had the center section removed, and differential oil all over the floor. Exactly where it needed to be, not in the rear end.

The gears and spool should be in Friday, as I paid extra for 2nd day shipping, $21.98. $179.99 for the 3.80 gears, 89.99 for the rebuild kit, and 62.99 for the spool.  Got a fun job for the weekend...

sub w/tax + shipping = 384.94

5/14/2005--The gears came in early on Friday, around 10:00. I had much work that I was doing at home, and it was hard to stay on task knowing that the gears were in the kitchen calling out to me. I spent Friday from about 4:00pm to 9:00pm taking the old 2.79 rearend apart. It was in good shape, looked pretty much new and had no wear.

I am pretty sure it was still running on the original oil. There has been a slow leak at the yoke, and it would spin drops of oil out all over the bottom of the car, so it was probably ready for a rebuild anyway. Finished the rebuild around 11:00am Saturday, but I was unsure about my work on this, my first rebuild. Dad came over and looked at it. He has rebuilt quite a few, but mostly on diesel cement trucks, but he says the basic configuration is always the same. I had a marking compound on the teeth and had been running the gears by hand, and he was very impressed with the meshing of the gears. I had backlash set at .010, when it was allowed to be .008-.012. There was a .023 play in the pinion gear, in and out. I worried about that. We rechecked the backlash with the pinion pushed all the way in and all the way out. It went from .008 to .014. The Richmond instructions actually suggested .014-.022 for circle track racing, so I figured that my range was still safe.

Before reassembly, I drilled a tapped a 1/4" pipe threaded plug into the bottom of the rearend, for future draining. Ford reareneds force you to disassemble the entire unit to drop the lube and replace. Nice fill hole at the side, but no drain.

Break in was suggested as run at regular driving speeds for 10 miles, stop and let cool down for 30 minutes, repeat 3-4 times. Actual break in was highway at 60mph for 10 miles, cool for 30 minutes. Highway for 5 miles, a nice burnout with BOTH tires leaving a small pile of black ash on the road, then 5 miles back home, cool for 30 minutes. After both of these runs, I touched the rear and checked for leaks. No leaks, but it was hot to the touch, but not so hot that you had to take your hand off, but a little uncomfortable. As it cooled down, I drove the truck to Hi-Lo and bought another quart of oil, since the 2 quarts that the book called for came up high enough that if I stuck my finger in and down, I could touch it. I like to overfill it so that it is actually coming out the hole when I plug it up, so I added another 1/3 quart to top it off. This also gives some leeway if I ever spring a leak. Next run was 10 miles highway, following Anna with the cellphones on, to the racetrack. I had her drive steady at 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 mph and I documented how fast my speedometer said I was going. It said 40, 55, 65, 80, and 90. I am not sure at this point if I can buy a new speedo gear or if I will have to fabricate a new faceplate for my speedometer that shows these numbers where they currently are.

After arriving at the track, I let it sit and cool down for about 30 minutes as I talked with the locals and got myself a track "coach," Tommy.  I have seen him at the track before, and he has always approached me with Maverick stories, as he apparently has owned a few. His nephew is the kid in the neighborhood with the two mavs in the backyard, who keeps donating parts, Jordan. I asked if he could watch my tires for spin at launch, and he says he know the owners and they will let him onto the track so he could stand right behind and beside the car as I take off. He reported no spin, just grab and go at launch. He also encouraged higher RPM shifts on each run and we noted that my ETs are actually better with 4500-5000 shifts than with 5500 RPM shifts. 4 runs in about 30 minutes, then 40 minute cooldown. Last "break-in" run was home at 65mph highway.

I expected a good one second improvement in my ETs, but only got around .5 second and 2 mph in the 1/8 mile. I shared this with the Maverick Club Forum, and they say that is about right for my setup. I think the intake/exhaust flow is restricted by my heads and exhaust manifold. I really need new heads and headers. I should be able to do better than this with the current 220 or so HP.

The car ran a little hot last night on the way home. After sitting in line for the races, and having to turn my car off a few times, it got hot, around 210, and stayed up there. The air was cool, so it should have cooled down quickly when I started back up. On the drive home, it got to 220, which is typically a safe temp, but I don't like to run that warm. I should be at 190, so I may put in a cooler thermostat to bring the temps back down. I think that my slower runs may have been attributed to the warmer temps, also, so I might be able to pick up some time with a cooler thermostat. I think I currently have a 180 in there, and may drop to a 160. Especially with the Texas heat we will have this summer.

I might get out and have Anna take a picture of a nice burnout. Should have had the camera at the track last night where it is legal to burnout.

Sunday will be bodywork. I have a couple patches of fiberglass on the hood, and then the hood will be mostly straight and ready for paint. I filled in the holes where the old mirrors used to be. Since I moved the driver side mirror forward 6", I filled in the old holes and need to sand them down and put the mirror back on. Also thinking about putting in a stereo....

5/15/2005--I got tired of the A&M sticker on the front of the grill where the Maverick badge was supposed to go. I decided to find a flat iron cutout of a bull head, that would look similar to the head in the MAVERICK "V" as in the background of this page. Instead, I found a star that would cover up the circle and a iron head to fit on it.

I may have to shoot fake chrome paint on the two pieces to make them standout better. It was cloudy outside when I took the picture, and they show up better during daylight.

Also notice that the hood is solid gray now. I have started doing the bodywork, not perfect, but enough to shoot primer gray on it so Anna will feel better driving around in it, and not complain about the spots and multicolors.

5/17/2005--I got a trans cooler, put it on, still runs hot, but not as hot as before. Looks like time for a complete overhaul and replacement of the cooling system. Everytime I do an upgrade, I heat up. So, I better build the cooling system to handle 500 HP, so it will work for a while without problems. ($43.29)

Bought axle bearings a while back, never put them on because one never came in until recently. Will add price now ($41.57)

sub with tax = 84.86

5/21/2005--I took the mav to work a couple days ago, and when I got home, noticed that the front tires were wearing very badly. I think I lost over half the tread in the 200 miles or so since I had them. Luckily, I bought them used, and didn't like the fit anyway. Took it in to Advance for an alignment ($59.95), and asked Louie to look at the suspension to find the source of the "clunk" I hear when going over bumps, or off the driveway. He said it all looked tight, but to try to swap out the shocks, since they are probably 25 years old. Bought the cheapest things I could find, Gabriel Guardians (30.29). Put them on this morning and the "clunk" is gone.

As for the heat issue, the Forum guys say I may be running too lean, so I adjusted the mixture screws on the carb. Found out later, after no improvement, that they are "idle mixture screws" and do not affect richness during driving. My very clean spark plugs suggest that I am running a little lean, so I may have to invest in Edelbrock metering rod kit, at around $40. I still want to focus on the cooling system first and foremost, since overheating will be an issue again the next time I upgrade something.

sub with tax = 90.28

5/30/05--Lots of stuff going on. Put in a 2" carb spacer and re-set all the cables to work with it. The kick-down lever still does not work, but I think I might leave it that way. I can always downshift when I think I need to be in a lower gear. It idles a bit rough when cool, but runs great on the road. ($20.00)

Bought some bucket seats out of a 1988 Honda Accord. Beautiful seats found from a junk yard (U pick U pull). I tried to get the matching seatbelts, but they wanted to charge me $12.50 each, after the $3 each admission, and $25.00 each for seats. I took the seats, left the belts, and good thing, since the belt retract mechanism wouldn't have worked without mounting it in the middle of the doorway.

Spent a good bit of yesterday mounting the driver seat, not too impressed with the mounting brackets that I had to fabricate, and am trying to find a better way to mount before installing the passenger. But, it is mounted straight and level at front and back. Need to move the B&M shifter now, but will wait until I decide what kind of center console I will use, or make. Also, found carpet on the internet at $109, haven't bought yet, since I am not sure what color to get.

sub with tax = 74.71

Total = 4851.80


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