Build Thread 1978 Fairmont: No nitto NT 555 G2’s, No Nitto NT 555 RII’s….Hello Toyo Proxes TQ

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Damn Mike you just cant catch a break can you? This is the reason why building everything yourself can be so darn frustrating if it does not work you have no one to point at... on the other hand the car was never meant to have a clutch pedal installed in it, I wonder if the firewall is weaker in that area because of that or if its from all the modifications you made to the transmission tunnel.
If anyone can get it figured out its you, do you have the assembly through bolted? or are you going to have to weld the support plate into place? In my mind I imagine a 10g plate with a gusset to the frame rail or even a bar, it would be nice to make it removeable.
Fairmonts could be had with a manual transmission. It uses the same quadrant type operating system that all foxes do. But, As hard as it is to find a manual pedal assembly for a mustang..finding one for a fairmont would be damn near impossible, and the fact that I’ve modified the existing pedal mount to support the EPS system, my decision to fabricate a custom piece was about all I could do.
The firewall is weak there because I made it that way. When I cut out the tunnel, I dramatically removed structural integrity with regard to the firewall. Despite the fact that the section that I cut out is now bolted back in, there is still a cut line at the firewall with nothing holding the firewall to that part of the tunnel.
Secondly, when I mounted the clutch master cylinder, I cut out another piece of structure behind the firewall that triangulated the steering/brake mount assembly to the firewall…It interfered with the master cylinder pushrod.

It’s no wonder the firewall is flexing there.

I’m well on the way to solving that though. At lunchtime, I went home and starting the rough-in for a piece of 1”x .125” round tubing that spans between the firewall where the MC is located to the pinch weld at the front upper radiator saddle.
Additionally there is a leg tied back to the strut tower to take some of the load off of that front mount. It’s all removable.
That will probably solve this problem, but I can always run another leg off some other way to some other point to try and add back the rigidity I’ve lost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
  • Sponsors(?)


CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Did you bottle bleed the clutch system?

Kurt
No,…But I’m considering it now.

I asked the dude at Wilwood what was the best way to do this, and he said to use the second guy inside the car pumping the pedal. I have the HF siphon feed draw through system where you fill a bottle with brake fluid, put it on some little suspension tri-pod thing that suspends the thing upside down in the MC reservoir. Then you open the valve.
On the other end, there’s a reservoir with a trigger and an air hose that creates a siphon to pull the fluid through the system. I’m reluctant to use it because in my mind, what keeps that upside down bottle full of fluid from just overflowing out of the MC reservoir once you open the valve?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
10,467
6,599
214
32
Hillsborough county
Fairmonts could be had with a manual transmission. It uses the same quadrant type operating system that all foxes do. But, As hard as it is to find a manual pedal assembly for a mustang..finding one for a fairmont would be damn near impossible, and the fact that I’ve modified the existing pedal mount to support the EPS system, my decision to fabricate a custom piece was about all I could do.
The firewall is weak there because I made it that way. When I cut out the tunnel, I dramatically removed structural integrity with regard to the firewall. Despite the fact that the section that I cut out is now bolted back in, there is still a cut line at the firewall with nothing holding the firewall to that part of the tunnel.
Secondly, when I mounted the clutch master cylinder, I cut out another piece of structure behind the firewall that triangulated the steering/brake mount assembly to the firewall…It interfered with the master cylinder pushrod.

It’s no wonder the firewall is flexing there.

I’m well on the way to solving that though. At lunchtime, I went home and starting the rough-in for a piece of 1”x .125” round tubing that spans between the firewall where the MC is located to the pinch weld at the front upper radiator saddle.
Additionally there is a leg tied back to the strut tower to take some of the load off of that front mount. It’s all removable.
That will probably solve this problem, but I can always run another leg off some other way to some other point to try and add back the rigidity I’ve lost.
so it runs from the front of the engine bay all the way to the firewall? my concern is it will turn into a Mike spike in an accident....
 
  • Winner
  • Like
  • Surprised
Reactions: 2 users

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
so it runs from the front of the engine bay all the way to the firewall? my concern is it will turn into a Mike spike in an accident....
That’s a valid point…I’ll try to avoid head on collisions.
Its got a bend in it to make it fit like I want it to. While I expect that it will add the strength I’m looking for for its intended purpose, I’d tend to think it’ll fold in a front end collision. if it doesn’t, and it comes through the firewall it’ll penetrate at the gas pedal area.
It’ll get me at the right foot.

* edit, on second thought my foot should be on the brake in anything remotely resembling a front end collision. It should miss me.

Wait a minute…, who am I kidding? I rarely wear a seat belt in this car, I won’t even be anywhere inside the car in a front end collision, I’ll be flying……..
Out the windshield.
 
Last edited:

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
417C9A78-FA2D-42A7-AB2D-EA64C3D85458_zpsgtggclty.jpg

5F46FB45-5184-4940-AFDD-65D8971CB44B_zpsskfl19hm.jpg

FDD449E9-D1FE-476D-920D-0654B837EB16_zpseosouotu.jpg

FD40DE82-43A9-49D8-A5E9-7C751FCE4181_zpsoqbuxoh3.jpg

462D4DEB-2AF4-41F8-BF2E-863887BE6A97_zpsi6zwpxrj.jpg

D15A2EDC-7362-4355-B1FC-89C303BAC46B_zpslfzw9diz.jpg

CAE6F9C4-B572-4C40-B1BE-3C4E85C334DA_zpswo46pe8p.jpg

784C8028-26D8-4A83-BC90-7F1F5A821A66_zpsvmrdqfgj.jpg

m
 
  • Loved It!
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
15 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
3,275
2,478
174
49
Marietta, Ga
About the "Mike Spike" and head on collisions, just be aware there is a moron out there who will try to prove you wrong on every count on how that collision could be avoided. In my case, I was the farthest lane away from oncoming traffic. And, since I wasn't completely paying attention to that side of the road, my foot wasn't on the brake as it likely would have had I seen it coming. To make this as short as possible, I'm lucky to be alive much less still walking after, presumidely, having my foot smashed by the engine that was set back into the firewall. I'd suggest finding an alternative fix as opposed to something straight back from the core support going to the firewall as you've mentioned.

I was looking at the pics of your cutout area and trying to think how I'd approach or suggest to strengthen the area. About the only thing I could come up with would be to try to tie the driver side and passenger side together somehow. I guess what I'm talking about would be a secondary crossmember that goes from one side to the other, maybe under and between the engine and the bell housing. And, if you're able to get it accomplished, maybe some sort of angle iron type piece or maybe some kind of channel or something that runs top to bottom along your cut line. I noticed you already applied some sort of framework on the underside of the pan, assuming it's meant for mounting the tunnel back into place, but it may need to be beefier to restore the structural integrity that was lost. Just my 2 cents and probably not even worth that.... :shrug:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

xecute

Eaten, greased and played with my balls
Very relevent.
Some will die in hot pursuit
In fiery autocrashes. ...


The final development of the Fox was the New Edge Mustang. Crash statistcs were not so good with the K member a critical foot impact, the real reason the S197 used the Jag S type and Focus basic McPherson strut system up front.

Back in the 70s, the development Ford USA went on with the 1978 Fox program was to use a blend of the Pinto/Mustang II tinware base for the Fox. It's firewall and hood catwalk width is almost a duplicate of the V8 Mustang II, and then Lee I. saw the Audi 80 and 100 "Fox"and decided to copy the Opel Commodore A platform as the Fox car project. It was really a GM A and B car Commodore copy, but with front mounted rack and pinion steering and a K member. The Australians didn't like the fact that Fox bodies and Opel Commodores broke in half at the transmission cross member. It was the Aussies who added the Vauxhall Ventora and Mustang Rack and Pinion Fox steering to its Opel Commodore B and added a cross member, sort of like the X shell 66-71 Fairlane/Torino board Torque box. So the Australian Commodore was a gusseted up Fox. Ford USA decided it couldn't fit the second intermediate cross member between the K member and the Trans X member. Look at any Aussie Commodore V car from 1978 to 2004 and the intermediate cross member is there.

I vote for a bolt in torque box or intermediate cross member, but I think your Aftermarket K member is probably gonna save your legs, so I call it a wash. But eveyone has a butthole and butthole surfers rock.

View: https://youtu.be/GP7R7aUYCz0
 
Last edited:

7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
10 Year Member
Sep 1, 2010
5,240
1,668
194
Kearney, NE
Why is everyone assuming Mad Mike will have a front end collision? Will it be that out of control or fast with the new transmission and the bugs worked out?

@xecute so with your reading, how much do you think sub frame connectors will help the issue on unmolested cars?
 

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
15 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
3,275
2,478
174
49
Marietta, Ga
Why is everyone assuming Mad Mike will have a front end collision? Will it be that out of control or fast with the new transmission and the bugs worked out?

@xecute so with your reading, how much do you think sub frame connectors will help the issue on unmolested cars?

I'm not assuming he'll be in a head on, and I don't think anyone else is either. But since I was in 3 of them in a 5 year period, I vote to plan for the worst and hope for the best. It'll most likely be the other guy who will try to kill you anyway - that was the case in all 3 of mine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
10 Year Member
Sep 1, 2010
5,240
1,668
194
Kearney, NE
I'm not assuming he'll be in a head on, and I don't think anyone else is either. But since I was in 3 of them in a 5 year period, I vote to plan for the worst and hope for the best. It'll most likely be the other guy who will try to kill you anyway - that was the case in all 3 of mine.
The first paragraph was teasing. The second was a serious question. I would rather not see a Mikekabob if someone runs a red light. I also do not want my car to split in half.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Rdub6

So while I wait to figure out my rear end issues
Dec 29, 2017
2,530
1,863
133
Long Island, NY
I'm not assuming he'll be in a head on, and I don't think anyone else is either. But since I was in 3 of them in a 5 year period, I vote to plan for the worst and hope for the best. It'll most likely be the other guy who will try to kill you anyway - that was the case in all 3 of mine.
God damn man! Somebody’s looking out for you! Glad you’re here to talk about it!
 
  • Like
  • Agree
Reactions: 1 users

xecute

Eaten, greased and played with my balls
Why is everyone assuming Mad Mike will have a front end collision? Will it be that out of control or fast with the new transmission and the bugs worked out?

@xecute so with your reading, how much do you think sub frame connectors will help the issue on unmolested cars?
The MM Sub frame connectors are some of the best around. Best info I have is a 25% increase in the normal 4200 to 6000 per degree figure a stock Fox Mustang has.

See http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthr...stiffening-and-other-improvements-on-bare-car
 
  • Useful
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Bird76Mojo

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
53
25
28
44
Central Illinois
The level of fabrication in this thread is just insane, and on a Fairmont no less. Bravo good sir...

Thank you for keeping content like this on the forums and not just having it on FB.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
I’ve looked at my options to reinforce the firewall at this juncture, and my best option is to go with my current plan. To put the few minds at ease regarding that pole being shoved through the floor in a front end collision, I’ve decided to tie an “ outrigger” that will angle back from the front 1/3rd of the bar, back to the driver side strut tower. That way, the unintentional abrupt stop that comes as a result of another car coming at me head on, will force that bar to bend at that point, and take the brunt of the impact at the strut tower.
It’s all I got as I’m outta options at this point.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 users

droopie85gt

Hookers and Beer for life!
Dec 26, 2016
1,001
839
143
Cordova, TN
I would vote against a javelin in front of you....Unless it's a 4 speed AMX, but that's a Javelin of a different feather.
Here's some random thoughts since I have a cut apart car, a 12 point cage, a bunch of 2x2 and 2x3 .120 wall tubing and a SFI 25.5D spec book and have all kinds of gussets and bracing running through my head.

Plate the engine side of the firewall around the clutch and brake master cylinders with 1/8th.
Bring maybe a 1 1/4 tube from either the frame rail or the shock tower....or maybe you can snake one inside from the floor/kick panel up. Anything to triangulate the firewall.

Although, I remember on my 85, without anything being cut out, the steering column moved quite a bit just by working the clutch. I'm not sure what thickness your dash frame is, but maybe you can get two points of triangulation off there.

Or maybe you just find out the MC hammer isn't bled enough.

:shrug::shrug::shrug:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
I would vote against a javelin in front of you....Unless it's a 4 speed AMX, but that's a Javelin of a different feather.
Here's some random thoughts since I have a cut apart car, a 12 point cage, a bunch of 2x2 and 2x3 .120 wall tubing and a SFI 25.5D spec book and have all kinds of gussets and bracing running through my head.

Plate the engine side of the firewall around the clutch and brake master cylinders with 1/8th.
Bring maybe a 1 1/4 tube from either the frame rail or the shock tower....or maybe you can snake one inside from the floor/kick panel up. Anything to triangulate the firewall.

Although, I remember on my 85, without anything being cut out, the steering column moved quite a bit just by working the clutch. I'm not sure what thickness your dash frame is, but maybe you can get two points of triangulation off there.

Or maybe you just find out the MC hammer isn't bled enough.

:shrug::shrug::shrug:
Hmmm…I never thought of it that way…Let me make sure I’m reading you right..

If I was to be able to get 1/8” plate of any significant size as a surround to reinforce the weakened area around the clutch master cylinder, and to be doubly sure, add that same surrounding metal on the other side so as to “ sandwich “ the thinner bulkhead material currently making up the mounting surface of the master cylinder, that would be a “better solution” to doing it the way I’m doing it?

Then, after being able to add the 1/4” thickness of steel total surrounding the MC mounting surface, I should then add a 1.250” bar, triangulated back to a frame rail and then weld that to the plate, virtually eliminating any possible flex/movement…

Right?

Do you think that I haven’t looked for alternatives already?
I would if I could, but There isn’t any room at this existing level of completion to do dick without completely tearing the thing back down to bare dash/ firewall.
I can barely get a drill in the space to drill the one single bolt hole that will anchor the foot of the bar to the firewall as it is, much less have the freedom to get plate and bars, and bolts up there to fix this.

As stated, I have very few options.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: 1 user

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,457
8,947
234
63
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Well, I found a way.
4915FD7D-75AD-46A5-B9E4-B98DB65D2FDE.jpeg

Running from the bottom of the clutch MC, to the driver side frame rail.
When I first looked at that route, I couldn’t see that as a possibility.
( I guess that due to the fact that my original plan had potentially negative side effects, ( as pointed out numerous times by you fine folks)..Maybe My eyes got opened a little wider in my search for an alternative to that plan)
I install the brace, and it completely solves the flex issue.
F39C99A8-C3D3-401B-8E87-717C9F27DA60.jpeg

I attempt to bleed the MC,…I bottle bled about half a qt of brake fluid through that.
I got a 2x4, and pushed the clutch pedal to the floor about 10 times, then Jammed it against the seat back to hold it on the floor.
Then slid under the car and opened the bleeder screw.
I did that about a dozen times.
The pedal feel never changed though, and after starting the car, I still couldn’t get it into gear.
I decided to measure the pushrod travel to see how far I was moving it….
looked to be about 3/4”…..not far enough.

So I resigned myself to a do over, and pulled the pedal assembly back out.
708DA179-E656-4CC3-BD8B-D7DBA13FB6DF.jpeg

Im gonna cut the pedal leg, and make it so that I can take it apart and adjust things if need be, it’ll be bolted back together.
I gotta make the other leg that actuates the MC pushrod longer by at least 1/4” to the mount point. I’ll make it bolt back together too.
Im not taking this freakin thing back apart again.
D4B9DF27-907B-4B0C-B09C-E0F4678978AD.jpeg
The MC pushrod just flops around after just this short amount of use, I pulled it off the firewall because of that to see if the things freakin broke. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but I’ll call Wilwood tomorrow to find out for sure.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Hell Yeah!
Reactions: 4 users

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,807
4,897
203
43
I hope that thing isn't broken. The geometry has to be complicated to get the right pedal feel, throw, and angle correct. All the older cars I worked on had a threaded adjustment on the rod. That doesn't relate at all to this situation.
 
  • Winner
Reactions: 1 user