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Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:23 p.m.

So, my first car was a '67 Mustang.  Picked her up about 4 hours away from home for $1500, Dad and I drove her home with no issues.  Paint was horrible, body was fairly terrible, but I fell in love with her fairly soon.

Drove her throughout high school until the rear-end started to crap out.  Bought a '68 Mustang with a 302 that had been totaled when someone hit the front right.  Was planning on rebuilding the 302 and swapping it in, but the hood was open and air cleaner was off, so water got down into the cylinders and locked one of them absolutely solid.  So with the help of Dad and my friends I stripped everything I could off of it.  Stripped it enough that we had to pay the junkyard to pick it up as there was nothing usable on there.

Got a lot of stuff from it, an 8" rear end with a locker was the best part.  Wanted the front spindles to swap the whole car over to 5-lug, but the passenger was hit hard enough to warp it, so I eventually did the Granada swap. Went through the rear end with a friend of mine, then I joined the military before I could install it.

Spent a couple years in the military and decided I needed to get her.  By now I had bought my truck, so I drove down from DC to Tallahassee to pick her up from Dad's place.  Loaded up, grabbed most of the parts from the '68 and headed north.  Got up to the base, got her off the trailer and went straight to bed.  Woke up the next day to find out some shiny happy person cop on base had given me a ticket for having an unregistered car parked on base less than 4 hours after I had got her off the trailer.  That was a huge clusterberkeley that I won't get into right now, I will say that it almost ended my career.

Almost immediately my friends and I started to change out the rear-end.  Some retired field officer that was touring the states in his RV with his wife gave me all sorts of E36 M3 for doing that in a parking lot when there was an auto hobby shop on base to work on.  I pointed out that the hobby shop wasn't open at 6PM on a sunday and he got all huffy.  Got the rear end in with no issues.

 

Didn't have too many things to do for a while, so I futzed around with some appearance crap

 

In the middle of my Granada swap I was getting E36 M3 from the people on base for having an eyesore vehicle.  When I wasn't driving my car there was a cover over it, and it was parked properly. Despite this I, and I alone kept getting E36 M3, kept getting told that my car would be towed off base, that it would be impounded, and on and on and on. There were cars there that had not moved in months (the owners were not deployed either), tires were flat, E36 M3 was broken on them, they leaked fluids, etc etc etc.
It got to the point where I expected to wake up one day, find my car gone, then see it one day being driven by some jackass that had bought it from an impound lot. I finally ended up visiting base legal to see if they had any leg to stand on. I submitted pics of these other decrepit cars, there was some back and forth, and finally they started to leave me alone.
Wouldn't you know it, midway through the install of the Granada brake swap and some suspension bits I ended up needing to take something to a machine shop as I had borked a set of bolts (cross-threaded them I believe). I knew I couldn't leave the car sitting there on jack stands as the dorm managers would flip. It was the weekend so I wouldn't have the parts back until sometime during the week. I thought I was SOL for a little bit, then I ended up thinking of a novel solution.
What they wouldn't know, wouldn't hurt them. I put the suspension on this jackstand, with some help from a buddy I lowered it down onto it, then finished everything up and cleaned up for the night. Midweek I got the parts back, finished it all up and was hunky dory, then never knew.

 

 

Couple months go by, I swap in a DuraSpark II system to great results.  While I'm doing that I also swap the valve cover for the painted one I did above, I find the barest hint of coolant sitting below the rockers.  I kept an eye on it and plan to address it in the future if need be.  Drove to a friend's place to help setup for a halloween party and on the way back the temp gauge just rose and rose.  Ended up blowing a head gasket.  Ordered a new head and some shiny bits

 

Unfortunately before I could do something about it, I got deployed.

 

Kuwait wasn't bad at all.  Made a decent amount of money, poured almost all of it into parts for the car and the truck.  Stupid damned two-striper that I was.  I did get a T5 swap out of it, though.  Post office on base was not happy with me when I got back.  I took up a quarter of their storage room cause I had ordered such large parts.

 

Moved off base after I got back, was able to swap the head.  Was too lazy to find a shop for a full exhaust, so I wore earplugs when I drove her for a while.

 

Got out of the USAF, moved back home for about a year, decided I wanted back in so I got into the Reserves, ended up spending the next 8ish years in the Reserves, while there I actually spent more time on active duty orders than I had while actually in active duty. (there's a program called man-days, or an MPA tour.  This is where they bring reservists onto active duty orders in order to fill slots where people have deployed.

I had fun during this time.

 

Strangely enough, while doing man-days, you still had to do your "one weekend a month and two weeks a year" that the Reserves require.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:26 p.m.

While I was on my two weeks a year, something happened that changed my life for the worse.  I'll quote something I've written previously


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the fourth of June 2006, while I was working with a fellow Reservist for my “two weeks a year” at Naval Support Activity Panama City, my father called me just as I was leaving work. He told me that he was sorry to ruin my day, but that Chuck Sparks, my mentor, the first person to ever teach me anything about turning a wrench, had died of an abdominal aneurysm


I've included this here because Chuck is as much a part of this build as any nut, or any bolt that I've ever turned on any vehicle. He taught me almost every trick I know and I'm sure he knew more than I'll ever figure out. He was also as into this build as I was, and the last time I saw him (about two weeks before he died) he was very excited that I almost had the T5 installed, and couldn't wait till she was running so that he could see how it all turned out and how she drove.

He had gone everywhere, and done everything. He was a Marine who lied about his age to join up, he ended up fighting in the Pacific during WWII and turned 16 or 17 shortly afterwards, later on he was sent to Korea. He worked as (I believe) the crew chief of the Triumph factory team at the 24 hours of Daytona, raced his own vehicles in SCCA, and has owned more unique vehicles than I've seen in any museum.

He could make the most obstinate motor of any English or Italian brand spin like it was new off the factory floor and beg it's forgiveness for having the nerve to run poorly. He had an answer for any possible issue, or a way to think around any problem that showed that he had been in a similar situation before (and considering my clutch linkage issues with this car, I'm still not sure if he was joking about using a solenoid to activate the clutch or not.)

He could bullE36 M3 any cop so thoroughly that they would be unsure of where they were, much less what he was doing wrong when he was stopped by them, and those few times he actually was not able to do so, they were so impressed by what caused him to get stopped that he got off without even a warning. I remember him telling me that in the 70s he once (legally) passed about half a dozen slow drivers while driving a Lotus through the Dragon at Deal's Gap, only to have a Deputy who had been following him pull him over "because if any of them tried to do that, they'd run off the edge and kill themselves." The Deputy let him go as soon as they all had passed

He never stooped to cussing, not even when bit by an ignition coil, or when he slipped on a pool of oil and bruised his entire side for weeks after. Instead he knew the mostly forgotten art of cursing, eschewing mere four letter words for such convoluted phrases of damning mien that Shakespeare himself would have scratched his head in befuddlement.

But mostly, he was the friend of a young man who had unwisely chosen a car over twice his age for his first car, with more problems than any three Hollywood starlets. He was the man who taught me the value of being smarter than what you're working on, and the tools you're working with.

He was one of my best friends, and now that he's gone I feel that the best tool I had access to is gone
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berkeley I hate reading that. Any time I post it I always have to go over it, see if there's anything I need to add (such as how, when Chuck was in Korea, he met Chesty while Chuck was wearing the uniform of an Army Captain who had stolen Chuck's Marine uniform because the Capt wanted to be in the Marines so much more than the Army), remove, or change anything. I never do change anything, but I always have to check,and it always hurts.
One thing I didn't mention was that my dad and Chuck were both Marines, I'm still not sure if that's how they met each other, or if it was from the fact that dad used to do Auto-X and Chuck had such a strong racing presence in that area.
I don't have any good pictures of Chuck, and it kills me sometimes.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
1/17/20 9:31 p.m.

Excellent. Following. Thank you for your service 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:34 p.m.

By now I had the T5 installed, and I had realized that the pedals and z-bar linkage was for a '66.  I got some parts from Bob's Mustang Village in Pensacola (which, sadly, I find is now permanently closed.  I guess Bob passed away as well, he wasn't a young guy when I went there.)  I needed ore than he had, though and craigslist delivered.

Another '68 was found, also hit in the right front, I pulled the I6, the trans, all linkages and it hung out at Dad's with Julie dog until I sold it for what I bought it for.

 

Had a driveshaft built and found some second-gen Supra seats in a local yard, installed the driveshaft, have yet to install the seats.

 

Rear leafs were sprung, so they needed changing out.  Again, Julie dog was a huge help.

 

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:50 p.m.

More life stuff happened.  Gf at the time, now my wife, graduated her Master's program.  Got a great job offer in Tampa, so we moved.  After we got settled I went to Dad's and picked up Susie.

 

She had sat for a while, all the connections on the starting system were nicely corroded so there was a decent amount of troubleshooting to figure out I just didn't have a good ground

https://youtu.be/Ft4jk0nA2T4

 

Got new wheels, made 'em purdy

 

Old Bumper, Old Headlights

New bumper, new headlights

 

 

She had sat long enough that there were issues with the brakes.  Bled them, rebled them, changed wheel cylinders, finally got it fixed.   Finally got an exhaust on her. Test drive

https://youtu.be/ihhj4ZW6JJ8

 

At this point we moved to a new house.  Happily I could drive her, so I did.  Unhappily something crapped out and I ended up pushing her into a parking lot while I figured it out.  My DuraSpark II system had a crappy heat sink on the GM HEI module I had driving it, so once that was cooled off I was able to finish the drive.

 

 

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
1/17/20 9:53 p.m.

I knew there was a reason you were cool. Always nice to run into another Airman. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:54 p.m.

Started school for mechanical engineering, learned CAD, bought a 3D printer.  Started making car E36 M3.  Mock up, then a test print for fitment, painted the final version so it wasn't visible.

 

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 9:56 p.m.

About now I started to work on teaching myself casting, I started to work on a twin Weber 2bbl conversion

A lot of pictures for that, so I'm going to just leave the album here.  That pretty much brings us up to today

https://imgur.com/a/JgHx3

Still a work in progress.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 10:07 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

First enlistment was as a network systems tech, hated it, hated Andrew's AFB, but I loved the people and DC.  In the reserves I was a heavy equipment mechanic and was at Eglin for most of it. Where did you end up?

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
1/17/20 10:20 p.m.

I was GAC 2A451. Was at Hurby for my first base then spent my last year at Osan in Korea.  

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/17/20 10:29 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

About now I started to work on teaching myself casting, I started to work on a twin Weber 2bbl conversion

A lot of pictures for that, so I'm going to just leave the album here.  That pretty much brings us up to today

https://imgur.com/a/JgHx3

Still a work in progress.

E36 M3 just got real. 
Outstanding. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 11:12 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

Casting has a semi-steep learning curve with a fairly nice plateau after.  I would highly recommend that any serious gearhead give it a shot, especially if you can incorporate 3D printing for the positives.

Worked glass installation between active duty and the reserves.  My instructor was this mean, bigoted little man, but despite that he had a few nuggets of wisdom.  One such, he was talking about glass, but it applied to most blue collar work and it definitely applies to casting; "You can learn 80% of what it takes to do this in one day, the next 10-15% will take a year or two, the last bit will take the rest of your life."

It is definitely a good skill to have if you have the space to cultivate it.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/17/20 11:15 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

I always wanted to work flight line.  Didn't really want to go to Korea though.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
1/18/20 9:07 a.m.

Always cool to see Inlines in the atypical V8 car- which one is it? How much power do you think you have with the twin carbs? And how does it "feel" driving the T5?

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Reader
1/18/20 11:09 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

It's the 200, I have an Oz 250 waiting for a rebuild one day. 

The twin Weber's aren't ready yet and I haven't really sat down to figure out HP numbers.  

I really like the T5.  Due to how little I drive her there are still teething problems, and I need to mess with the linkage more, but it changes the entire character of the car.  One of the best upgrades available. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
2/20/20 6:10 p.m.

Been catching up on Roadkill Garage.  Watching Freiburger and Dulcich wrench on the Disgustang.  Some stuff he said about the handling made me start to think about how I should probably revisit my suspension plans as the last time I had anything resembling a coherent plan was maybe 10 years ago?  Figured I would check in and see what sort of insights I can glean from the groupmind.

The only motorsports I've ever done with this car is AutoX, would potentially be interested in some actual road course stuff, but I'm not at all interested in drag racing.  I also want to be able to drive her daily if I want to (although I probably wouldn't unless work's parking changes somewhat)

So, handling is the primary concern, but semi-closely behind is comfort.  With that being said, I do drive with no AC in Florida, so my comfort needs are pretty lax already.  I guess to quantify it when I talk about that, I don't want noise from the suspension, and I don't want a lot of harshness when I hit a pothole driving around on the surface streets.  Maybe adjustable shocks will be part of the solution to that?

There are fairly standard upgrades for the front end as well as fully custom stuff like welding in a Mustang II setup, but I think I want to avoid permanent changes like cutting out shock towers.  That being said, the rear end might be the biggest cost area to look at.  The two main options are a live axle with a 3 or 4 link, or an IRS from a late model Mustang or other car.  It seems like everyone is still focused on the Cobra IRS from the early 2000s, but I know the '15+ cars also had IRS.  Maybe it's not being swapped in because its too wide?  Something to research at least.

I'm also wondering about secondary help for the handling, how much stiffness I want to put into the car with underbody braces and whatnot.  I don't have any info on how that will affect any sort of harshness/comfort concerns as I outlined above.  

This feels like its petering out, so I'll leave it at that and go work on something while I think on it more and let you guys do your thing

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
2/20/20 10:21 p.m.

I know from watching Mike Musto HERE about Meier racing whom has done extremely well.

 

https://www.maierracing.com/

Professor_Brap
Professor_Brap Dork
2/20/20 10:38 p.m.

Love it, keep the updates coming. 

slowbird
slowbird Dork
2/20/20 11:07 p.m.

Inline-six Mustangs are hella sweet. I dig the custom carburetor setup.

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
2/20/20 11:58 p.m.

First time I've seen someone bother with the 200 outside of fordsix. The power to money levels talked me out of it. I'm about to pull a perfectly healthy i6 for a Facebook purchased small block and hope for the best. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
2/21/20 7:59 a.m.

In reply to dropstep :

I've got an account on FordSix old enough to buy spray paint and cigarettes. Too many of the really knowledgeable people moved on, though so I just lurk.

There are at least two other projects here that have Ford I6 stuff, one of them is a late 20s-early 30s rat rod.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
2/21/20 7:59 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

I'll look into them, thanks 

lotusseven7
lotusseven7 Reader
2/21/20 8:24 a.m.

My '68 Weber fed I-6 runs very well for what it is. Clifford Performance sells lots of Ford 200 6-cylinder parts.

 


wawazat
wawazat HalfDork
3/29/20 1:25 p.m.

Wow, sorry I didn't post here before.  I just noticed your post in the main forum and followed the link here.  I've got a 1969 Cougar that I'm doing a COMPLETE steering, suspension, and drivetrain swap.  I'm keeping the previously installed 351 Cleveland but have installed a Street or Track coil over front suspension with new spindles and control arms, Unisteer R&P, Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes, Flexform composite rear leaf springs and now wrapping up 9" rear end swap.  

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) New Reader
4/3/20 5:01 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

Started school for mechanical engineering, learned CAD, bought a 3D printer.  Started making car E36 M3.  Mock up, then a test print for fitment, painted the final version so it wasn't visible.

 

 

I need to learn me some CAD and get a 3D printer now I guess... those gauge adapters look really slick. I need this in my life!

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