Build Thread 1978 Fairmont: The move towards manual marches forward...Pedals acquired, shifter installed.

CarMichael Angelo

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Nov 29, 1999
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It’s back together. it runs.
It’s still on jack stands.

Everything is tight, everything clears. I don’t need the wheels spacers, MOF there is so much room inboard, I could have narrowed the rear an additional inch and the tires would still clear.

But Now the issue is that the tire sits too far inward..it actually needs to be spaced outward for the sake of appearance. Adding the 1/4” spacer fixes it, but then the wheel studs are a little too short. Like I said last time, still have to change things because I changed other things.

The exhaust leaks at the crossmember union. I have to cut the exhaust to relieve the tweak that won’t let the v band flange sit flush....Bolt it back together, then weld the damn thing in place ( what I didn’t do the last time).
It was about 55 degrees today, all in all warm enough to work with the garage door open, but not warm enough to paint.
The Wheel skirts didn’t like the cold, the paint will be a do-over.

The car hadn’t been started in over a month..The battery was way down, and consequently wouldn’t start the car. I bought one of those really small emergency jump boxes several months ago and used it to boost the battery. It started immediately once there was enough current in the battery. This isn’t the first time i’ve had to use it,...it almost stranded me when I went to PC fla last November. This is an Optima red top that i’ve probably had for 5 years at least..I’m thinking that thing is on its way out.

The tail pipe is the one thing that turned out nicely...I had to completely rebuild the thing, but it fits like I want it to now..It’s far away from contacting anything, and way better looking than the previous hacked/patched/ bandaged frank-n-pipe that was there before.

Lastly,...When I started the thing, I had forgotten to reinstall the WB O2 sensor. It only ran for 10-15 seconds because it was making holy hell exhaust noise. But screwing the thing back in, and hooking it up aint gonna work...The AFR was pegged at 21.9:1 the entire time I ran it up to temp when I restarted it. Hopefully a free air calibration will fix this.

So business as usual I guess..Gotta redo the exhaust connections at the union, Gotta repaint the wheel skirts, probably need a new battery, and recal the o2 sensor. Considering this was a turbo swap, rear end narrow, axle and differential swap, and of course a new torque arm fab, the 500 mile journey this time is just about at the end.
 
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Olivethefet

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I have a red top on my fox that is at least 10 years old. Still going strong. Yours probably has a lot more use on it though.
 

TIGGER

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Do yourself a favor and go to Harbor Freight and pick up one of their cheap trickle chargers and plug your battery I when the car is sitting. Use your gift card;) My red top in my 67 coupe is over 10 years old and the leaded battery that is in my grandpas 78 Mercedes Diesel that I inherited is a little over 20 years old. It has Been on one of their trickle chargers for the last 12+ years and still starts the bitch. I am sold on those things. For $5.99 you can’t go wrong. The battery for my jet boat is over 10 years old and is on one of their trickle chargers as well.
 
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pats91

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Do yourself a favor and go to Harbor Freight and pick up one of their cheap trickle chargers and plug your battery I when the car is sitting. Use your gift card;) My red top in my 67 coupe is over 10 years old and the leaded battery that is in my grandpas 78 Mercedes Diesel that I inherited is a little over 20 years old. It has Been on one of their trickle chargers for the last 12+ years and still starts the bitch. I am sold on those things. For $5.99 you can’t go wrong. The battery for my jet boat is over 10 years old and is on one of their trickle chargers as well.
What he said. I use a Battery Tender instead of the HF charger. They keep those batteries alive, my current red top is almost 9 years old.
 
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7991LXnSHO

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At 5 years, the battery is on borrowed time. My last Mustang battery lasted almost exactly 8 years from the date of purchase, but our daily driven ones rarely last that long. A battery tender or disconnect with a full charge when stored will help extend battery life. But the booster is going to get used, even with an AGM battery.
 

nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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Out here on the surface of the sun,Nevada battery life is super short. I used to buy batteries with seven year warranty no such animal nowadays.Best they offer is 3 year free replacement and I'll usually get a free one just before the third year.
 

CarMichael Angelo

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I have been either super lucky or super frugal with my batteries. I stick to 7-year batteries and have gotten at least 8 out of each of them unless they sat in a stored car (even with a battery tender).

I have my OEM Caddy battery (2012) installed in my camper/office (rediculous reserve capacity). I replaced it with another just like it when starting began to slow down this winter.

Have you tried one of these on your current battery?

Amazon productView: https://www.amazon.com/XTREME-CHARGE-XC100-P-Maintenance-Desulfator/dp/B001JSTM8I/ref=sr_1_18?crid=13DF6R23FQ1ZW&dchild=1&keywords=battery+desulfator&qid=1609781586&sprefix=battery+desulf%2Caps%2C196&sr=8-18


There's a ton of different models but this is the one that I own.

Most (not all) of what I find with battery issues is that the water level is low or contaminated and that the plates are sulfonated. I have on rare occasions, added acid to a battery where the plates looked near immaculate (rare because they can be really hard to see on many car batteries).
A red top has no maintenance that can be performed.I actually have a charger that has trickle charge capability..I just never use it. ( I guess I will start now).
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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Well..Ive committed myself to the spring Emerald Coast Cruzin in PC fla. again. Between this one in spring, and the Ms gulf coast cruisin in October, my " large event" itinerary is booked. I dont like the PC event as much as the MS event primarily for the diversity, but I built the car to drive to these things, and given that there is one that just happens to be 4 hours to the south, ill take it. There still is an amazing assortment of domestic vehicles to be seen.
March is spring break season in PC as well..an unfortunate coincidence, given that that will just add to even more people all jammed into this city. Im sure that we will still be mired in the reality of Covid 19, and its second more communicable version..Maybe that will add some degree of deterrence to some families that might've been there under other circumstances.

All I know is that me and the Monster are planning on going..I have masks for both of us.
 
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KZGUNS

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No Good Guys shows around you? They put on great shows, at least the one we go to in columbus ohio is pretty amazing. 6000+ cars
 

CarMichael Angelo

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No Good Guys shows around you? They put on great shows, at least the one we go to in columbus ohio is pretty amazing. 6000+ cars
Not that I'm aware of. If there was one w/I 300 miles I'd consider it but the summer shows are brutal. I've been to a couple of MW's in the past, and won't be going again. Sitting on blacktop in the south during the dead of summer surround by nothing but Mustangs......:suicide:
Meh......
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Goodguys show in Tampa is at the fair grounds, grass with a paved road making squares and several large buildings and even some trees in one area. Great show. I would recommend it.
Correction: Street Rod Nationals not Goodguys
Sorry, too many associations, not enough brain space.
 
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KZGUNS

I can swing up to 11”
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Not that I'm aware of. If there was one w/I 300 miles I'd consider it but the summer shows are brutal. I've been to a couple of MW's in the past, and won't be going again. Sitting on blacktop in the south during the dead of summer surround by nothing but Mustangs......:suicide:
Meh......
I can see how the summer shows would suck in the south but i will say that mustangs aren't as common as you would think at GG shows. Lots of custom stuff though.
 

pats91

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Does Goodguys still have age restrictions for cars? When they still came to the KC area, cars newer than 1972 could only get in on Sunday. Not sure if they still have that rule, I quit being interested when they stopped coming here.

Mustangs aren't all that common at the goodguys shows I went to. Maybe 5 Fox Mustangs out of several thousand cars.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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Its that way at these pc fla cruizins. 1990 and older domestics, with mustang, corvette, camaro, monte Carlo, and ss pick ups being allowed to go newer. I go to these things to see stuff you never see anymore driving around, and there is usually thousands of cars in attendance.
The Monster was the only Fairmont in attendance last time out of the 5k cars that were registered
There has been issues with the monster in Both of the shows I attended last time,the first in MS was with the old engine, and I was concerned that I would hurt it and get stranded 300 miles from home, and this last time, the front end vibration had me worried I was loosing a wheel bearing.
The old engine is gone, the vibration is solved, all thats left to do now is to drive this thing.
 
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KZGUNS

I can swing up to 11”
Jul 23, 2018
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Does Goodguys still have age restrictions for cars? When they still came to the KC area, cars newer than 1972 could only get in on Sunday. Not sure if they still have that rule, I quit being interested when they stopped coming here.

Mustangs aren't all that common at the goodguys shows I went to. Maybe 5 Fox Mustangs out of several thousand cars.
they changed to 87 and older a couple years ago
 

revhead347

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The car hadn’t been started in over a month..The battery was way down, and consequently wouldn’t start the car. I bought one of those really small emergency jump boxes several months ago and used it to boost the battery. It started immediately once there was enough current in the battery. This isn’t the first time i’ve had to use it,...it almost stranded me when I went to PC fla last November. This is an Optima red top that i’ve probably had for 5 years at least..I’m thinking that thing is on its way out.
My dad had a redtop for 22 years. It was still working when the car got wrecked. The one in my car is about 10 years old if I had to guess. I sold redtops for years too. If you keep it charged, it will last a long time. They do not respond well when you charge it with a regular battery charger. If it goes dead, you have to put it on a trickle charger you know, around 1.5amps, and just suck up that it's going to take 2 days to charge.

Kurt
 
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revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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I make less than you do, but I am considered essential personnel so I don't loose working time due to COVID19. Plus I work 5 days a week 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, no weird working hours and I get to go home and sleep in my own bed at night.
Don't be so sure. The way we get paid is messed up, and that hourly rate means nothing to the average person. Also stuck in the essential game.

Kurt
 

CarMichael Angelo

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This morning I’m shopping for tires. Ultimately, I’ll be shopping for wheels too, but hear me out.
Im gonna need the drag radials if I’m to have a prayer of handling the anticipated power.

* Anticipated power....NOT the before turbo upgrade tiny wheezer power,..the post upgrade “ soul sucker” ass pounding power I’m expecting from the current spooly boy that’s bolted onto the engine presently.

That said, I also have to consider the risk that driving hundreds of miles on drag radials pose, given that they are intolerant of even the dampest of roads, and absolutely suicidal to drive on if I was to get caught in a rain storm.
So, that brings me to tonight’s topic for my op-ed.

I was looking to see who made the biggest ( widest) tire to fit a 17” rim..It appears that every “ regular” street tire is gonna be a 315......And it just so happens that I have 315’s stacked up in my basement.
I also have an extra 17x11 wheel sitting down there that is supposed to be in-concentric. When I ordered the wheels awhile back some may remember that the first set was out of round beyond the acceptable 2/10” that American Racing deemed in tolerance. When they sent me the replacement pair, one was also found to be out of round beyond spec, the other was close enough. Because of the hassle, they told me to keep the bad wheel. The new one got here and consequently got put into service.

That left me with the one,.....lonely,...out of round wheel, and two 5 year old, but full tread remaining 315x17 Sumitomo tires,...sitting downstairs like so many cast off misfits from the island for misfit toys.

So,..I called wheel dude today. I asked them if they had improved their process to where I could feel confident that I wouldn’t go through what I did last time trying to get a round wheel from American Racing.

” Nope, the process is exactly the same. And I just want to go on record that if you’re expecting a perfectly round wheel like what you’d get from a cast wheel, these ain’t gonna be what you’re looking for. These wheels are intended to go on muscle cars, and street rods, and not intended to be driven at 90 mph.. I also want to tell you that if you buy these wheels again, we will not exchange them like we did last time”

Keep in mind that these wheels cost 515.00 ea. For 515.00 you are told not to expect the level of perfection that you can get from a set of Chinee Torque Thrust wheels that you can almost get 3 for the price of this.......one.......wheel.

What kind of sense does this make?

I take the wheel to a local tire store. I tell them to put the wheel by itself on their balancer and spin it. If it looks out of round, and you don’t think it’ll balance out, do not mount the tire to it. If on the other hand, it looks like you’ll be able to get it to balance,...mount it.

They call me tonight to tell me that everything is good..The mounted tire runs true.

So then,....I have to order another wheel tomorrow...515.00 with more or less a “ buyer beware” warning as to the quality of the end result...and 4-6 weeks to get it here.
On one hand, I’d be tempted to say fck that and cut bait, and sell off all four wheels to “ole’ buford” so’s he can put em on his Starsky n Hutch edition Gran Torino with the leaf spring shackles and air shocks...

On the other hand....For 515.00 Ill have two sets of matching rear wheels,..one with a set of street tires, and one set with drag radials.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Buford sold the torino with the hijackers and shackles, one shock blew out cutting the tire and he parked it upside down in a ditch.
True story.
Oh, and the Starsky and Hutch torino did not have leaf springs
 
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