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Cars > MoFoMan’s Garage > Blog


some small updates to the Roadrunner

By MoFoMan

So I finally got some time and money to do a few upgrades tot he RR. If you look at early pics of the car from when I got it, the car was "jacked up" in the back old school style and had large tires that would not fit in the fender well right

The previous owner had put American Racing Outlaw II wheels on the car, these are typically off-road style wheels, Jeep or Ford. They fitted 275/60-15 tires up back and 255/60-15 on front. These were put on 15x8.5- 4" bs and 15x7-4" bs wheels. Because of the incorrect backspacing the wheels stuck out in the back and would not fit inside the fender wells.

The car had Gabriel air shocks in back and the bags were blown out of the casing and one line leaked, instead of replacing these, they fitted some coilds on top of the rearend to the frame, this was great for straight line driving or drag racing but harsh on the road. Not to mention the butt being up in the air cause tracking problems and wild steering under braking.

I found a great deal on new Gabriel Air Jacker shocks in black for the back, $69 shipped, then I did a lot of research into finding the right wheels to fit these tires and under the fenders. I settled on ION Wheels model 625.

These are 15x8 - 4.25" bs -5 offset back and 15x7 - 3.75" bs -6 offset front. Most folks agree that the back has to be 4.5 for the wider tires to clear. I got them today, took them to Discount Tire and had them swapped, $75

They look great, when I got them home I quickly mounted them. The rears will JUST clear, shocks work great for setting the right height and right now I still have drums on the front and they look old, but I have a new disc brake kit for the front to go on in January and that will clean up the front for sure

The ride is not very nice, smooth and under braking tracks correctly. Check out my updated pics and let me know what you think. I know that other was Old School look and I did like it somewhat, but I like this look Much Much better

Walkaround Video

By MoFoMan

So browseing around on YouTube and such for various video's of Mopars or Roadrunners just to see whats out there, got me to thinking I'll do one as well. I have a few long distance friends that wanted to see the car and while Pictures are pretty, a Video can be so much more, the ability to get a sense of size and surroundings but most importantly the SOUND that a great muscle car makes!!

So I pulled out my el-cheapo Aiptek HD camcorder and shot a little vid of my Blue beast idling in the driveway. I noticed that when I have the cam set at the max vid quality and framerate it tends to suffer some stability issues, I've noted that and will change the frame rate for future vids.

My wife reluctantly provided the engine revving for me and well I hope it doesn't cause some NWS thoughts hahaha

Enjoy everyone. The next production will be my friends '65 Cuda walk around!!

Change is in the air

By MoFoMan

Well lots of changes happenin !!

I've decided to add another horse to the stable, my other love a Mopar!

I've picked up a 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner clone, originally started it's life a 1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring with a 318, automatic

Now it's a Petty Blue, Roadrunner clone with a stroker 360, 408 actually. With a performance cam setup, 4bbl 750 carb, TTI Long tube headers, new stainless 2.5 in exhaust into Flowmasters, 727 tranny with 3000rpm holeshot, Ralley Gauge package, electric fan and a large list of other technical details I will list out in another blog entry

I love the old school look and the power, the current papers I have on it show what should be over 400hp at the crank.

I don't want to change much about it, but I'd like to add front disc brakes for safety and firgure out the rear suspension setup, there are airshocks under there that are not connected to fill hoses, leafs and mounted on top of the rear end are some coil springs. The odd thing is there is an air compressor as you would see for an air ride system, under the hood, so I think at one time it had air bags under the rear end and were pulled out and replaced with the springs, not sure why

Galaxie Startup

By MoFoMan

Ok so the time finally came

I had everything connected, fluids filled, electricals connected and a fresh battery, it was time to start her up and see what trouble lie about....

First try........ nothin, click click, not even the starter turning....... WTF!! ok I'm an idiot, in my haste I forgot the car was in Reverse, Neutural lock out hahaha

Second try, turning over, turning over............ nothing
again, turning over, turing over, small back-fires is all....damn-it

-- we check spark, good spark at the coil, the plugs, getting fuel into the carb and at the plugs, frustrating......

Reading online at, appears to be a timing issue. We pull the cap after setting the balencer to TDC, Piston one is UP, but the rotor is pointing towards cyl 5 WTF!!

So apparently somewhere along the way, while cleaning and painting the block, the gear must have been moved dammit....

Now, I felt I had done a lot of work on older engines and knew some, not alot but some, apparently I have never "reset" the timing on an engine after rebuild and had no idea how to. All references and forum advice said the same thing ....:

" find TDC on the balancer, ensure that cly 1 piston is up, on combustion stroke and ..and the rotor can be set tp point at spark 1 after rotating to 10 degrees BTDC "

all fine and dandy, but no where is mentioned that BTDC, means from the perspective of the drivers seat and NOT from the grill, so being a computer nerd, I looked at the balance wheel, saw "0 TDC, then marks towards 10, 20, 30 ... " so to me BEFORE TDC would mean - 10 right???? NYET!! it means to set it to the 10 mark to the right DOH! After Kenny showed me the error of my ways and moved the distributor over to the correct setting, it started right up with a ROAR!!

It was straight off the headers, it was AWESOME!!

Kenny roughed in the timing by ear and showed me the proper springs to get for the throttle, plus some vac lines I needed to plug up. I'm having a small issue with the coolant, the overflow bottle I chose out of the two I have has some small leaks, they show up once temp comes up and the pressure builds, so I'll need to switch out the overflow bottles to see if that helps.

I still am getting some tranny leaks under, not sure if it's actually leaking or coming out of the overfloow line down under or the cross member which some fluid had spilled on/into previously. Will need to wait until I lift it up again to check it out. For now cardboard under the car will suffice.

I need to source an exhaust system, i want to go with 2.5 inch pipe into either DynoMax or something mufflers and out the back just behind the rear wheels I think.

I finally got a plate and title, which is cool, my license plate numbe?? YUP 64Galaxy Cool!!

Underneath it all

By MoFoMan

Progression towards getting the Gal back running I decided to spend a couple hours getting things tightened down and reconnected under the car last night.

Jacked the Gal up about 3 ft off the ground on a set of sturdy stands and set about reversing the disconnect order. Got the X mem torqued down right, the tailshaft mount bolts in. Speedo connected and the cooler lines tight. Spent some time trying to remember how all the linkages for the tranny and such connected up, had parts in a bag I didn't recall removing LOL

Pulled out the laptop and firedup the digital version of the shop manuals which allowed me to see how everything connected just right. My buddy Jeff and I figured out the plate that attaches to the black and the shift linkage from the steering box. Everything snapped together just fine.

Got the engine bolts torqued right and lastly the fuel line connected with a new piece of hose. Some items that are still stumping me is the vacuum line coming from the rear of the tranny running up to the top of the engine near the linkages. But I have not started on the top of the engine yet, so I'll deal with that once I lower the car back down and can reach the top of the engine.

Have yet to put the driveshaft back in under the car, as well as hook up the linkages, vacuum lines and carbs on top, radiator, fan, belts and electricals at the front and sides. Then comes the fluids and possibly a chance to fire her up again.

Engine rebuild and installation

By MoFoMan


So, after several tries of trying to figure it out which Cruise-o-matic tranny I actually had, FX, MX, FM sheesh! The tag on the tranny was PCE-BP, which essentially equated to and MX or medium sized pan tranny. The difficulty that threw me off was the fact that the pan I have had 14 bolts, the cast iron casing had 15 holes. So it turns out either I have an aftermarket replacement pan or the extra hole was not used as it was right next to another one, which would have been redundant. So having figured out I had an MX, NAPA was able to set me up with a kit with a pan gasket, filter, o rings and shaft seal for about $16, installed, button up and ready to go

So on Saturday, my birthday, I decided to get the tranny connected back to the block. once done I had the predicament of it being to back heavy for the engine stand I made the ultimate decision it was time to put the whole thing back in the engine bay! Bad deicsion for two reasons, one my wife was ticked I decided to do this on my birthday with friends hanging out LOL and the other was it took several hours and lots of frustration.

Mounted the nice sanderson ceramic coated headers I bought. got the cherry picker setup and strapped to the engine. We pushed the Gal into the garage more and proceeded to hoist it way up, over the cowl and cranked the leveler to get the tailshaft down. I have to say this was the most frustrating part of car work I've ever been through, trying to get the engine down in, leveled not only front to back but side to side was a miserable experience with a 700-800 lb engine. trying not to crush or nick my headers as it got very tightand I managed a small nick in the front pipe of the header dang it! But after a lot of swearing, anger and frustrations the engine finally sat down on the engine mounts properly.

At that point we stopped. pushed the car into the garage and cleaned all the tools and put them away LOL

I need to level the engine side to side then secure the tranny mount bolts on the cross member and torque the motor mounts. I need to finish the cleanup and rebuild of the carbs, figure out how all the linkages go back together, get some vacuum lines and some plumbing.

I need to figure out who is going to do my exhaust, I'm thinking I want to go with a 2.5 in stainless pipe back to the MagnaFlow/Flowmaster or Dynamax mufflers and out to the tail pipes, I haven't figured out where I want the tailpipes to exit yet, I have three to four choices in mind. Just before the rear tires, right behind the rear tires, outer corners under the bumper or straight out the back with slash cut turndowns, any one reading this have suggestions or a choice let me know in your comments

More later, will update once I get the engine ready to start. I've posted 5 or so more pictures of the recent engine readiness and installation. If you noticed the overall color theme for the car is Black and Silver.

Engine Swap in the 64 Gal

By MoFoMan

Went to work this past weekend since it was nice out, My buddy Jeff and I worked hard to pull the old smokey Merc 390 FE 2bbl w/cruise-o-matic from my 64 Gal. I acquired a good running, no smoke, good compression 64 360 FE 4bbl from a 64 T-bird to install.

I started a few weeks before, once the 4bbl 390 got home, stripped it of externals and cleaned it, painted it with 3-5 coats of correct Ford Black. Popped some old Merc tall boy valve covers on while painting. Will store the gold solid thunderbird covers for now. Once I have it painted, manifolds off and water pump painted we went to work on pulling the old engine out.

got a break in the weather here in NC and took it to my advantage. My buddy Jeff came over and we disconnected, removed everything we could from the 65 Merc 390 FE that was in the car. This engine had a comprimised head gasked between cyl 5-6, leaky valve stem seals, plus I didn't care for the anemic 2bbl carb and intake setup. I have a nice working Cruise-o-matic in the car and intend on servicing and moving it to the new motor

We struggled with the behemouth coming out, man those engines are huge and heavy with tranny attached!!!

Engines out I set to moving tranny's and an assundry of smaller items between them. The guy I bought the t-bird motor came over and well he's a huge source of knowledge on FE engines, saved me some huge mistakes. Almost ready to install the freshened lump

I'm waiting on some Sanderson shorty block hugger ceramic coated headers I bought !! Can't wait to install them and get the engine back in. While waiting I'm going to service the tranny with fresh filter,pan gasket and shaft seal.

will post more pics and info later

Cars > MoFoMan’s Garage > Blog

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