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volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/19 8:13 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

I'm fairly comfortable with saying that, in this gang, there's no such thing as "too much detail". Love reading this stuff.

Norma66-Brent Reader
12/28/19 9:04 p.m.

Yes. I'm in the midst of wiring as well and appreciate any small detail to make it look better 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/29/19 10:44 a.m.

It's probably time for the blower story.  While I've liked the car's look, it's always been a dog.  I never dyno'd it, but I'd be surprised if it made much more than 100 WHP.   0-60 times were high 7 second.  I'm a big fan of blowers and have them on my MGA, MGB, TR6, etc., so I thought this car should get a blower too.  And like I said earlier, I thought a 4-71 would be the right choice because it would give enough boost, package well, look right for the period, and work well with a single carb (less $$ too).  And if Tom McMullen could do 150 mph in the drags with his '32 roadster, I could get a mid-5 second 0-60 time.

So I went on the hunt.  This was in a more analog time period, so I made a lot of phone calls to blower shops that advertised in Hot Rod, Rod and Custom, Street Rodder, and the other magazines.  Almost every call had a "listen, kid" (I wasn't so old then) speech in it where they'd tell me I needed a 6-71 because that's what people do these days.  Maybe I am an idiot, but they weren't listening to me--my reasoning was a balance between practical, nostalgic, and emotional choices to build the car I wanted.

After about six months, I found an ad in Hemmings Motor News for a partial Dyer's 4-71 blower kit on a Weiand SBC manifold for $400 in Texas.  Sold.  I sent him a check and paid an extra $30 or so for shipping insurance.  I asked the guy to pack it really carefully (I'm sometimes a very nervous person) because these things are pretty rare.  A few days later a pretty beat up box arrives and I pull the blower out.  It was still mounted on the manifold.  Not good as the shipping turned it into a two piece manifold.

At least I paid extra for the shipping insurance, so UPS should give me some of my cash back to buy a new manifold, right?  Except the guy who shipped it needed to make the claim, and for whatever reason, he just didn't send in the paperwork I had filled out for him.  Oh well.  The hunt for a replacement manifold went on.  I also had friends telling me about a guy they thought could weld it.  His name was Denny Lesky and he took a buyout from a long and successful fabrication career with GM to open Ionia Hot Rod Shop.  So I visited Denny and he said he could weld it, but he thought he could turn me on to some other people who might have a manifold.  Denny and I have since had some good times together as we started our businesses at about the same time and feel the same pressures.  Denny built the chassis for my '32--he is an artist.

Anyway, I'm about 35 at the time, so I am a kid to these hot rodders.  I visited several of the guys Denny introduced me to, broken manifold in hand.  Each trip came up dry, but they were now all on the hunt too.  Each trip also netted me a new friend and resource who wants to help keep the "youth" into hot rodding.   Most of these guys were retired and had tons of experience.  They also had strong opinions on the difference between a "hot rod" and a "street rod" as this was during the height of the billet trends in street rodding.  They loved that I was building a nostalgic car--a hot rod, not a street rod.  (I do like street rods if not overdone with billet but please don't tell them.)

I also called all the blower shops again asking if they had 4-71 manifolds and one of them said they could sell me a 6-71 with an adapter to go to a 4-71.  That was my backup plan.

A few months passed, and one of the guys I'd met called me with a lead from an ad he'd seen somewhere.  Sure enough, someone had a Weiand 4-71 manifold with a core 4-71 blower from a truck.  I can't remember how much it was, but it was fairly cheap, maybe $200-300.  So I drove to get it and I was back in business.  I put an ad on some early internet classified site and sold the 4-71 core for $100, so now I was maybe into this 4-71 set for about $5-600.  At the time a new 6-71 kit was about $1800.

All this time, it never occurred to me that Dyer's was still in business, because they don't advertise.  Someone told me they were, so I found a phone number and called and Gary Dyer himself answered the phone.  I said I was looking for the rest of the bits for the blower drive setup (mainly the crank pulley), plus I'd like the blower looked over.  He asked me what I was putting it on and he offered a quick affirmation--that's the perfect setup for that car.  It was so nice that he didn't give me the "listen, kid" speech.  He said he generally preferred 4-71 setups for street cars but they had gone out of fashion.  

Dyer's is in Chicago, three hours from me, so Nick and I took the trip down to deliver the blower.  Nick knew much more about Dyer than me as he had followed drag racing in the '60's.  Dyer drove the "Mr. Norm" car and was involved with the "Chi-Town Hustlers" that were very successful, showing that the mid-West could keep up with California.   I only knew about those cars from the 1/25 plastic models of them.   We spent about 3 hours talking to Gary and hearing his stories.  It was a really cool experience.  He had a stack of unopened, new "Mr Norm" models so he gave one to Nick.  Nick immediately unwrapped the model and had Gary sign it.  Later, Nick got someone to plastic wrap it again.  Nick gave the model to a guy who collects vintage drag racers and they guy was fascinated that Dyer had signed the model under the "original" wrapping.  Nick is a fun guy.

A few weeks later we went back to pick up the blower and bits--$920--I love the informal invoice I got:

Gary then gave me three pages of typed setup instructions and told me to use a Holley 750 double pumper and to not listen to anyone who says I need more--it will wreck the driveability.  Obviously I haven't driven this car with the blower yet, but I know a lot more about blowers, Holley's, and making power than I did back then, and I think Gary's advice is going to be just right.

If this hasn't bored you too much, here's the moral of the story for me.  If I had just bought a 6-71 blower it from Summit Racing, I probably wouldn't have met all these cool guys and learned so much from them over the years.  So that's why I'm sticking with the 4-71.  

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/29/19 3:56 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Best reason I've read all day.

wawazat HalfDork
12/29/19 7:19 p.m.

Thanks for the details on this build Carl.  I appreciate the stories too.  I bought my TKO-600 trans for my ‘69 Cougar restomod from D&D Transmission close to Detroit.  Don Walsh Sr. took my call and advised me on the purchase.  I followed he and his son during the Fox Mustang drag racing era and told him I owned an ‘89 Mustang LX 5.0 back in the day.  We spent a long time talking about that car and the Ford tip loader 3 speed in my car now that he worked on while at Ford then helped GM use on their cars back in the late 60’s!  It was awesome!

Thanks for the wiring notes.  Forum member Mezzanine did similar wiring on his X/19 and it looks great.  

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/30/19 6:43 p.m.

In reply to wawazat :

Mezzanine did a great job on his X/19!

In other news, I was checking my notes and it turns out everywhere I said "650 Holley"  I should have said "750 Holley."  So I've edited the previous posts to be correct.  Stupid old memory.  I'm glad I keep a file on each car. 

And it still other news, I took the $27 flexplate back to NAPA today and one of the countermen asked me which way I installed it.  I told him the way in the pictures on the flexplate post, with the inner lip and raised spots toward the trans.  He told me that was backward and he's done probably 50 of them.  I didn't argue with him, but it shook my confidence for sure.  So I called TCI again, my engine shop, and even stopped at the neighboring shop a friend of mine owns that does a lot of SBC work.  They all agreed that I'd installed it correctly.  It seems pretty obvious to me which way a flexplate should go, so I'm a bit confused about all the confusion.  Any of you have some wisdom on this?


Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/30/19 7:51 p.m.

I really liked the 4-71 story, I have always been a proponent of building cars the way you want them, not the way the "experts" say you should. 

There is an 8-71 on my 392 Hemi not because we wanted a bigger blower but because the 6-71 didn't look right. It took a far amount of effort to make it street able, under drive the blower to limit the boost and making a progressive throttle linkage but the end result was the looks we wanted with the drivability we needed.

This is a great project and the detail you are sharing makes it feel like we are in the shop working with you, keep it up.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/30/19 7:57 p.m.

In reply to Fladiver64 :

I agree the 8-71 looks the best on the 392.  Glad you made it work!

I'm also glad you feel like you're in the shop--that's what I'm trying to do.  It's pretty strange to me to be giving this play by play on an unfinished project.  When I write for GRM or CMS, I finish the project, then write the stories and everything ends up tidy.  And there is a copy editing process and a proofreading process.  So I feel a little like I'm writing a tightrope without a net.  

On the other hand, I've written for a lot of magazines and know a lot of other writers and you'd be amazed at how many magazine projects that look like they went perfectly barely worked and got shoved in the corner after the stories were done.   

I think build threads are cool because they can tell more of the story and be a little more approachable.  I've appreciated so many build threads on this forum over the years, I thought I should give back.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/30/19 8:12 p.m.

Okay, here are some random details:

1.  As I've mentioned, the engine seemed like a run of the mill, stock rebuild.  We did pull the pan and it's got 4 bolt mains.  The internet seems to argue about how much better 4 bolt mains are.  I doubt it will make much difference in my case.

2.  I'm glad we built the new crossmember.  Look at the backside of the top part of the original crossmember.  Welds on top of welds with cracks still showing up.  I MIG welded most of the new crossmember because my TIG welder isn't water cooled.  Jack did TIG the center part where the spring attaches.  MIG welds are so much more brittle than TIG welds, so I hope the more malleable welds in the center will help avoid cracking.  I'm also using 3/16" steel for the crossmember instead of the original 1/8" so I'm not particularly concerned.


Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/30/19 8:40 p.m.

How about some radiator and hose details?

As mentioned, the car had an original 1934 radiator that had been modified to work with the SBC and had patches upon patches.  I think I had it to the radiator shop 5-6 times in the past 20 years.  Awhile back, I did buy a new Walker radiator with an integrated trans cooler and have been waiting to have the time for this big refresh to install it.  It may be an easy install, or it may be a bunch of work to make the hood/grille fit again.  Stay tuned.  

In the mean time, hoses.  First off, I hate these:

When I first built the car, this hose was on the upper and I was always going to replace it.  For some reason, I never did.  There was a similar hose for the lower, and I did replace it with a respectable hose.  But I didn't record what it was from.  So I'm recording it now as I went to NAPA and hunted for a match.  The match was from a late 1970's Chevy truck with a small block, auto trans, and AC.  I cut about half of it away and had to slightly warm the lower end to fit the slightly larger lower radiator outlet.

For the upper, I first switched to a new thermostat housing that went straight up to clear the blower.  (Don't tell my hot rodder friends it's billet, not cast, as I couldn't find a cast version.)  Then I used the tried-and-true 1/16 welding rod pattern method.  Maybe some of you have your own tricks for this?  Mine is that I have the shape of the welding rod match one side of the hose, as opposed to running through the center.  For very complex fitments, I'll sometimes use two or more pieces of rod to get more dimensions--maybe one for the upper/outer part of the hose and a 2nd of the inner/lower part.   Anyway, this one was simple so I just got the upper part mocked up.  Then I took the thermostat housing and the rod to NAPA and found a 1970 Mustang upper hose (302 w/AC) could be cut down to fit really well.   Who'd have thought NAPA would have a hose for a 50 year old car in stock? 

That looks much better!

I'll tackle the transmission cooler lines in the next few days. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/30/19 9:07 p.m.

More on the front suspension:

When I bought the car, it sat really low in front, about as low as I'll have it when I'm done.  It's got a 5" dropped axle, an unknown 4-bar setup, and a Mustang steering box with a drag link.  By the 1980s, most cars had switched to Vega steering boxes and "cross steer" setup that had the pitman arm on the steering box connect to the steering arm on the passenger side.  Coupled with a panhard bar, the Vega steering tends to give less bump steer.  With my car when I bought it, bump steer wasn't much of an issue because the car was so low and the suspension was so bound up, it barely moved.  It also had about 2 degrees of caster, so it was awful to drive above about 30 MPH--like VW Bus awful.  I did a lot of tweaks to get most of the bind out of it, raised the ride height a bit to get some travel, and put in a softer spring to assist with that travel.  There still was a bit of bind because it took about 6 degrees of caster to get it to drive well and the front crossmember was closer to 2 degrees.  The spring shackles and bushings pretty much compensated for the difference, but it's not a good setup in my mind even though a lot of cars are done this way.

So with this refresh, I'm dealing with the caster issues in two ways.  First, I put 6 degrees of caster into the crossmember so now the spring will be close to the same angle as the axle. 

Second, I got a set of pivoting shackle mounts from Speedway Motors.  They're a bit belt-and-suspenders since I put the caster in the crossmember, but I want some adjustability without causing bind issues.

I suspect I'll be able to dial a little caster out of the front end and end up at 4 or 5 degrees and a little less steering effort.  Because of the mismatch before, it was just too much of a struggle to adjust, but now it's really easy.  I also suspect that I'll have to fine-tune the spring rate a bit again.  Lots of test drives!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/3/20 7:44 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:
(Don't tell my hot rodder friends it's billet, not cast, as I couldn't find a cast version.) 

Three minutes in a glass bead cabinet and that housing will be cast.  wink

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/4/20 7:17 p.m.

In reply to Jerry From LA :

Great idea!

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/4/20 7:27 p.m.

I had to take a few days to do paying work, but I'm back on the '34 for the weekend.  Big news is we fired it up and it's just about ready for a test drive.  It wasn't one of those fire on the first try startups, but we had it running within about 10 minutes of trying.   The main issue seemed to be getting enough fuel through the blower to start it.  We were just using the choke on the carb and it would fire every now and then.  Finally, I just gave it a bunch of shots with the accelerator pumps before cranking it and that did the job.  We ran it long enough to break in the cam.  I'll get some more details out soon.

It's also sitting really nice.  The four bars are now parallel to the ground.

As expected, shorter shocks are on the shopping list.


Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/4/20 8:21 p.m.

Good news on first start, couple of things I have learned with my blower motor. I am by no means an expert as this is the only blower car I have driven. Starting I use 3 to 5 good pumps of the throttle before cranking and don't have the throttle open at all until the motor catches. Opening hte throttle while cranking can result in a backfire through carb and can be hazardous to Holley power valves.

dculberson MegaDork
1/4/20 8:45 p.m.

That looks so badass with the blower on it.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/5/20 8:55 a.m.
Fladiver64 said:

Good news on first start, couple of things I have learned with my blower motor. I am by no means an expert as this is the only blower car I have driven. Starting I use 3 to 5 good pumps of the throttle before cranking and don't have the throttle open at all until the motor catches. Opening hte throttle while cranking can result in a backfire through carb and can be hazardous to Holley power valves.

Thanks for the tips.  I suspect I'm going to have a similar starting ritual.  I have a TR-6 with a supercharger and a 2bbl Holley and it has a similar ritual as well. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/5/20 9:24 a.m.

Here are some details on the blower install.  

The intake went on like a typical V8 intake (at least for me) and the end seals were a pain. 

Just as I'd do the last bit of tightening, a part of the end seal would pop out.   With Fords, I don't even use the end seals, and fill the gap with sealer.  In this case, I used the seals, trimmed off the little part that popped out, and gooped it up.  Anyone have better tricks?

With the manifold on, it's only four studs and nuts to hold the blower down.  I used aluminum studs and nuts designed for blowers.  The theory is that they are the fuse if there is a big backfire.  Just the studs fail and the ears on the manifold don't.

The studs are 7/16-14 on the manifold side and 7/16-20 on the nut side.  

They get torqued to an amazingly low 12 ft-lbs.  I'll be checking them frequently.

The carb adapter gasket is rugged and has a screen in it. 

Like all carb and water gaskets, I greased it.  Grease seals just as well and makes gasket removal (and often reuse) very easy. 

Next, the carb adapter went on.  You'll see in a few photos that I had to change the bolts holding it down

The blower belt gets tensioned by loosening the allen bolt on the tensioner and rotating it  The tensioner also moves back and forth so it can be used to center the belt on the pulleys.  I've got about 1/8" of clearance to spare between the fan and the water pump pulley.  I think I'll add 1/8-1/4" of fan spacer to give a little more margin of error.

It's a little hard to see that detail in the picture.

When I mounted the carb, I realized that the float bowls wouldn't come off with the carb bolted down, which is necessary for Holley's crazy dump fuel and rejet tuning process.  The height of the allen head bolts was the restriction, so I switched to regular bolts.  I may even have to shave a little off of the top of a couple of them.  I installed a temporary fuel line setup.  I'll run mainly hard lines with a Holley dual-feed fuel line to the carbs when the tuning is done.  With the hard lines and the dual-feed, it's a lot more work to pull the float bowls to make jetting changes, so I always run this floppy soft-line setup during tuning.

You might notice my return spring "bracket" isn't exactly period correct.  There is a better one in the works.

The blower has packed bearings in the back that supposedly don't need service and has a self-contained gear oil system in the front.  It fills through a pipe plug up top.

And then like a gearbox or rear axle, there is a plug that oil should drool out of when its full.


Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/5/20 5:04 p.m.

Had the first test drive today and all went well.  I gave it five shots from the accelerator pumps and it started on the first try, no backfires, and ran well.  It idles pretty smoothly with a faint whine and wonderful sounding blower lope.  On the drive, I quickly found out that I can't jump on it yet as it's too lean at fast tip in.  But it felt healthy and fun.

I'll post more details in the next few days.  In the mean time, a gratuitous shot of some pretty cool cars we have in the shop right now:

I have a rule that I won't make a running car not run unless I make another not running car run.  I promised myself I'd not only deal with the issues on the '34 but also some issues on my '32 pickup.  So after the test drive, my son Chris and I tore into the '32.  It's got 110 psi in 6 cylinders, 60 in one, and 15 in one.  Since the '34 runs, I can make the '32 not run.  The heads are coming off to likely find some burned exhaust valves.  I'm also replacing the fiberglass front fenders with some steel ones I got at the AACA Hershey swap meet a few years ago, plus a dealing with a few other minor things.  It's not nearly as much work as the '34, so I'm doing it at my home shop.  If you're interested in more on the '32, I'll start another build thread for it.


Norma66-Brent Reader
1/5/20 5:46 p.m.

When you ask if I want more old ford stuff.

1SlowVW Reader
1/5/20 6:02 p.m.

More old fords please.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/5/20 8:30 p.m.

More Ford stuff yes.

The Chevy guys ditch the rubber seals as well, and use Permatex for the "china walls."

JoeyM Mod Squad
1/5/20 9:59 p.m.

I'm still loving this build.

Mad_Ratel Dork
1/6/20 5:44 a.m.

Please! I'm young dumb and dreaming!

The Ford truck just oozes cool to me. 


I wonder how much of interest dieing is the age thing or just plain lack of access.


I saw this the other day

1930 Hudson, it is literally just the body, and some of it's not even attached. 

$10,000.  I'd be interested in say 1k.  but otherwise? cool story bro. 


Sergeant82d New Reader
1/6/20 7:54 a.m.
Carl Heideman said:

There are other forums more appropriate for a car like this, but I like you guys better...so I hope you don't mind this build thread.

Hah! That's why I ended up putting my build on here, too! yes

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