10/22/2005--Finally got home from Guam and Hawaii, and needed to get those shock towers finished so I can install heads, headers, and get the car running again. Used a Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 wirefeed welder. $36 per day from Home Depot Tool Rental. It took a little over 2 lbs of wire, .035 core-flux. I also burned up my cheapo angle grinder when I was almost done with the tops, so when I took the welder back, I bought a Dewalt to replace it. To rent the angle grinder would have cost me $18 per day, but I found the Dewalt for $64. When I got it to the register, it was on sale for only $32.
Just a little more grinding to clean up some of the slag, then a coat of primer and paint, and put the heads back on. Despite the rough look of the "clean" picture, it is actually much cleaner. The flash shows many rough areas that are not really there. The weld in the middle is still a bit rough, but I will leave that just for extra strength. I will grind just a little under the fender just to knock off the high slag-spots. I don't care if it is rough under there, since nobody will see it, and any extra slag/weld will only add strength to the tower.
10/31/2005--Finishing up this month...Bought 8mm 90* HEI distributor boots to top off my spark plugs, instead of the straight spark plug boots. These snap onto the top of the plugs, but are very low profile to clear the headers. Also bought 8 spark plugs Accel P526S at $13 each. Shorter plugs to clear the headers. Power steering drop bracket to clear the headers (this is getting repetitive!), 2 1/4" pipe plugs for the rear end, and the calibration kit for the carburetor, finally.
Headers were a bitch to install. Had to loosen the engine mounts, jack the motor up about 2-3 inches, take off the starter and the steering arms on the passenger side, run the header up from the bottom, then use shorter header bolts (to clear the headers!). On the driver side, it went in quite easily from the bottom, after moving the power steering ram, which had to be moved anyway and attached to the drop bracket. When finally installed, they touch the shock tower on the passenger side, but fit loosely with about 1/2" clearance on the driver side. The play on the driver side is needed, as the headers need to be moved out of the way to install and remove the spark plugs. The plugs on the passenger side can be installed without moving the headers.
The shock tower cuts make all the work in the engine compartment MUCH easier. The best thing I ever did for the car...wish I would have done it first thing when I got it.
Currently working on cutting down a 5/8" spark plug socket so it will fit better around the headers. I am working with Barry McDaniel on the Forum to cut it down, and cut a window in the side so it will slide in at an angle around the plugs. I will post a picture when I get it done. It is going to be a weird looking tool when finished, but will make swapping plugs much easer.
Had to remove the 2" spacer, and will put it on the "For Sale" page. The Torker is pretty tall, and the spacer made it so I could not close the hood.
Note the leaking tranny fluid...I need to replace the seals at the linkage, still, and I torqued down the pan bolts too tight when it first started leaking, causing them to bind and leak worse. I have the new seals, but am debating on doing a rebuild with a shift kit soon, and am not sure if I want to do a quick fix or the whole thing at once. If I don't make a decision soon, I will end up going broke by replacing tranny fluid!
sub w/tax = 209.86
-169.99 for intake swap
-$55.00 for sale of quarter panels
total = 5490.54
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