Exorcising a '78 ( and '78 and now '76")

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IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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She has been on 3 alignment racks in 3 different shops and although a little better the vibrations are ever present. The pinion angle is correct according to 2 places and my gauge at home. The first place couldn't check it. The last shop found the thrust angle off and brought it back to spec which definitely helped some but the pinion still hops when above 45mph. Just a little less violently now. They blamed the wheels and needing hub centric rings but it does it on jack stands without the wheels mounted.

I can feel a little play at the tailshaft bushing so I am pursuing a rebuild or replacement transmission. I don't think it will change the vibration but don't know what else to do. I don't see how a bad trans can cause the pinion to hop unless the bushing was destroyed.

The only other thing I am wondering is door gaps. Both my current cars have narrow gaps on passenger door vs drivers side door. The t top car has no gap at b pillar. The paint has rubbed off near the latch it's so close. I previously found the left tie rod end bent. Maybe the whole car is bent causing the rear axle and engine to be out of line side to side vs up and down. Them adjusting the thrust angle made a bigger change then anything else I have done.
 
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IICrew

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Had it at a frame shop this week. Doghouse is out of square 1/8" or so. That should not cause drivetrain alignment issues. I have that much adjustment in the mounts and shoving the trans and/or engine left and right doesn't really change the vibrations after the thrust angle was adjusted.

I did notice when running it to different body shops that the vibration gets more pronounced the longer the drive. This implies it's something heating up. Could be the u joints being stressed but I've ruled out pretty much everything except the used T5 at this point.

I have one more shop going to go over my work this week. They will triple check pinion and drivetrain angles. They do this type of work and actually seem interested in my problem. The alignment/suspension shops I had it at did their part but I don't think either were actually interested in dealing with the vibration. Reading others just needed shims I don't want to spend a couple grand for a new trans and find out it was $100 worth of shims coupled with not being able to use an angle finder.

Received a crazy estimate to paint it from the body shop. In my mind I have already completed half the job. Would love to have a fresh coat of...... maybe a Kona Blue. For what he quoted I can learn to paint and then restore the rusty Cobra as well.
 

429MII

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I find a lot of body shops quote based on "what they can get" vs "based on cost of the job and a mark up". This inflates the price and makes prices sometimes unreasonable.
If the body shop is at all good, this only means they are busier, and with an abundance of work they don't have to be pricing fairly.
They do this for a number of other reasons, least of which is to cover costs from botched jobs, re-do's and mis-quotes.
 

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Or there's the scenario that they don't want that kind of work so they price the job pretty high with the expectation the customer won't go through with it with them. Kinda goes along with what @429MII says about pricing if they're busier.
 

IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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With the new pony in the stable little progress has been made on this one. The Mach I is in my work bay currently. This car was checked at a local shop and they found I had the wrong u joint caps. The driveshaft place put the smaller caps on and I did not catch it. Neither did the other shops. I fixed the u joint but nothing changed in the vibrations. I am going to take the wheels off my trailer and see if the vibrations change. Several places say my new bfg's are out of round. I cannot argue that but it vibrates on jack stands without the rear wheels on the car.... I have had great luck with bfg's in the past and cannot see 4 new bfg tires being bad. At this point it's a rule out situation so I will play along.

One thing I did notice, I removed the shift boot and stuck my hand on the transmission while car was vibrating going down the road. The trans felt smooth. Maybe tires will help although I am doubtful.
 

IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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Something stupid I am missing. In my mind it's the trans. I was about to get one from modern driveline in the next month but the other II got in the way for now.

Have been told output shaft bushing feels tight, pinion angle is correct, pinion feels tight. I raised the engine 3/4 inch to compensate for saggy mounts with no change. This flywheel and clutch worked fine with a stock rad4.

Not looking forward to the day I have to crawl back here embarrased once it gets sorted out. At least it will have been sorted though.
 
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IICrew

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It may be time for an intervention. No progress to mention on vibrations but....

We have been on road trips the past 2 weekends. Two weeks ago it was for the Red Mach I from my other thread. This weekend was in pursuit of "parts out the ass" as the message claimed. I didn't spend what the new t5 will cost between the two weekends. I also hooked another person to the ways of the II's.

The Mach I was abandoned 22 years ago over motor mounts. It jumped railroad tracks or drove into a ditch in it's previous life. The chassis is bent up a little. The pillars are cracked. Yet it is almost a complete car. Only items missing are block plate, fluids, radiator and hoses as well as functioning motor mounts. It also needed a carb and headers so we made another road trip for a good deal on some used parts.

We ended up with brand new headers, MSD dizzy, a couple cams, 3 engines, one a roller block disassembled, Rebuildable D2OE Police Interceptor heads and running '68 351 heads. All kinds of little :poo:. Ps pumps, ac compressors. Two supposedly working carbs, a used Holly 600 and a freshly rebuilt Eddy 600, 2 performer 289 intakes. 4 C4 transmissions including one that supposedly is good and the one that originally came in the car. A truck bed, trailer, trunk and floorboards full of stuff. I think everything but some bolts to reassemble the car.

Oh yeah I said car. We got one of them too. It's a dark blue '76 coupe. Repainted years ago. She is a nice 20 footer. Has a couple rusty spots but was a texas car and the bottom looks like it was rhino lined. Someone had the interior redone probably 20 years ago. It's so so today but may clean up. It has a 3/4 vinyl top I am not super fond of in pics but it does work ok in person.

The story as I understand is the transmission went bad on the then owner. Car was left at a friends house which is the gentleman I bought it from. After a few years of sitting they pulled the engine to drop in a roller 351 and drag race it. Time elapsed between the removal of the old and the new engine being ready. The old running engine was sold to help fund the project. See where I am going here.

He didn't realize the oil pan problems these cars have. They sold the running engine oil pan and all. I saw 7 F150 or F250's's from the 50's to 90's at his place. Some gorgeous and some with patina. He knew them in and out. These cars not so much. None of his trucks have windsors so he gave me everything he collected in pursuit of turning the coupe into a drag car. As well as the running 302 engines he had taken out of his trucks for bigger engines. My trailer was so heavy I had to turn down E7 heads he claimed were low mileage. He just kept pulling out stuff. Anything windsor related. My trailer was so low I had to stop him.

The absolute best part of the trip was my sons wife fell in love with the coupe and was not happy when I said even if we had to part it out we made out like bandits. I have since been informed that parting out is not an option. Turns out it appears to be in really good shape so she is safe. Besides when the wives encourage the insanity what are we to do?

Today we started prepping to install the engine and trans into the Mach I to see how she runs. We turned an older block plate into a II block plate. Had the flywheel turned and mostly cleaned stuff. Hopefully the Mach is running in a few days depending on weather.

Here is the Mach I next to Christine with a couple pics of the coupe following. I will get more once my kid finally sends them to me. He took some after she had a bath with his phone since it does better pics.

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IICrew

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Me too. It works well. Even considering putting the side trim back on the t top car and see how it looks wearing slots.

The only true fact I know of these cars is nothing was set in stone. Seems several times I've been in that situation where your questioning if it's factory or masterfully butchered. I believe they came off the line with whatever piece was in stock at the time.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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I've been trying to remember what the Mach that I had had for trim since it was mentioned about having thinner trim. It seems I had the normal "door bumper" trim as opposed to just a chrome strip. But it's been over 30 years since I've had it, so I couldn't say that was fact. When it was brought up about having thin trim, I figured that's what it had and my memory was playing tricks. But I still think it had the thicker type trim. :shrug:

In any event, that's the ONE car I wish I woulda kept. I still kick myself for letting it go..... :doh:
 

IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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The Coupe is burried in the barn with the Mach I in the work bay. The engine and trans are sitting in it. Waiting on motor mount rebuild kit and some other bits. Hopefully by next weekend it rolls under it's own power. Stopping as well as going in a straight line are entirely different story.

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