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4/12/21 12:42 p.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

Mustang stuff.  The big alloy bracket is a placeholder for the AC bracket and pump .


No idea what the protrusion is, but if you need a measurement from point A to point B point it out and let me know.

Shavarsh Reader
4/13/21 1:14 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Thanks, I'll send you a pm.

Racingsnake Reader
4/13/21 2:14 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I'm confused about how the wrong coil caused the fuel geysering?

5/4/21 11:00 a.m.

And the beat goes on. Have to admit that as much as I love the style and chassis dynamics of the project, the drivetrain has been a bit of a bummer. But it is what it is and the core engine seems to be healthy, so its just the aftermarket stuff that seems to be junk.

Pardon the disarray since there has been a lot of wrenching going on lately to fix running, steering and exhaust issues.


Few new items to note here

With the Fitech EFI "IN THE BIN", there is a bypass regulator on the firewall..

The engine is on its second carb after tossing the Fitech TBI. The Holley 760 Street avenger had an on throttle stumble that could not be tuned out. \after spending a year on it and tearing it to its base parts looking for a problemm it ws decided that it is most likely a faulty unit even though it is new. It went "IN THE BIN".  So on went the Edelbrock. It is a 750 because that is what was at hand. Would have preferred a 600, but the goal is to see if the stumble changes with this carb. The Edelbrock fired right up and after setting the idle seems happy. Needs a road test and that is complicated by street access being plugged by a F2 stuck in the path to the road.


There is a new header in town. The SS tight tuck is "IN THE BIN" The old one was nicer looking SS but it was so close to the steering shaft that it left a mark where it occasionally rubbed.  It also had a leak at the header flange to exhaust pipe. The new headman header required that the DS exhaust be reconfigured under the car. Yay doing exhaust work  on axle stands! But look at all that clearance between the header and the steering shaft.  No more annoying feeling of the header hitting the shaft when powering around corners!


Speaking of steering, the depowered rack is "IN THE BIN" replaced by a manual rack. The results are encouraging in that there is a noticeable difference. If I decide that I want a bit easier steering, I think I could avoid the conversion to power steering by just going with a steering wheel that is larger than the Momo prototypo

Oil pressure and water temp are now properly calibrated thanks to the GRM family. I originally did not have the proper Miata transducers for those gauges. The oil pressure was pegged due to not having the somewhat rare transducer and the coolant temp read in the top range of the gauge with the transducer I had. 

No road test yet to see if the stumble issue is fixed but the car keeps getting more developed all the time. 



maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/4/21 12:07 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Curious about the depowered rack...did you take it apart and remove the seals, or just loop the lines? 

I love my Edelbrock carb. I've had their 550 in my El Camino for 15 problem-free years, even despite the ethanol boogeyman. 

5/4/21 12:12 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I did the rack depower according to the FM instructions. At lest I thing it was theirs, but yeah it came apart for seal removal and all that stuff. I did not weld the gizmo in the middle of the pinion.

fiestafrank New Reader
5/4/21 2:13 p.m.

Blackhawk this weekend

6/24/21 2:41 p.m.

Mrs NOHOME and myself have had enough of this lockdown no travel life. Declaring it essential mental health travel, we Thelma and Louie'd it to Stratford about an hour down the road for a stroll along the river. Beautiful day to be retired and out and about. Even ran into a long lost cousin who had to stop and look at the Molvo. Did not have the heart to tell him what was done to the  1800ES.


12/3/21 10:39 p.m.

With the driving season pretty much over, decided to tackle the to-do list list on the Molvo.

Top of the list was an oil leak at the rear of the engine. Annoying because I had already  done it once. Also the T5 has a tendency to skip  out of second, so a rebuild is in order.  Going to see if I can get a 2.95  first in the T5 while I am at it.

The leak turned out to be the pan gasket at the rear. The sealant has gone hard and flakes off if you scratch it. Weird and I am not sure if more relieved that the oil seal is good and I dont need a speedy sleeve, or pissed off that now I have to lift the engine and change the oil pan gasket. Going to try the fancy one-piece version this time.


Pile of parts in the foreground is the Honda engine for the Mid-engine Morris that has gone to live at my friend Pete's house. He is making great progress on the chassis now that it is under his care.

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/4/21 7:10 a.m.

So, is it running pretty well with the edelbrock?

12/4/21 8:28 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

So, is it running pretty well with the edelbrock?

It runs well and it feels lot quicker, but we all know a 750 cfm carb is too big and a single plane intake is not plan A for the street, along with the new cam,  we made a much faster drag car. Shame that drag racing is not what I want. Mileage is worse  dipping into single digits so that is not a great thing with fuel well over $6 a gallon here in Canada. 

So, the Fitech is still on the shelf and now that I have solved the cam and ignition and exhaust issues, it MIGHT work as advertised?  I still have to check for a well-known MAP grommet issue that is endemic to Fitech, but it is there and it is paid for. As a bonus, for street or track, TBI seems to work better with a single plane manifold such as the one that is installed on the car now. It is tempting to try.

I do have the dual plane air gap manifold that was on the car before I did the cam change, and could put it back on the car but we seem to have decided that air-gap is bad. 

After I put the Edelbrock on, found a blown power valve in the 670 cfm Holley.  Probably going to put that back on just cause it is not a 750 cfm. Still looking for a dual plane manifold that will not cost $500 by the time it arrives in Canada.

Also looking for a 500 cfm Edelbrock if one pops up. I am somewhat impressed with how easy the Edelbrock was to install compared to the Holley. Bolt on and drive. I know that the big carb and single plane intake make for bad fuel atomization at low rpm so it has to be the eventual answer.

For the short term, it runs and is fun to drive in a hooligan fashion. Will leave well enough alone until next driving season and revisit. Its a project car eh?

12/4/21 8:43 a.m.
MuSTANK said:

In reply to NOHOME :

Saw that you were reverting to the points-style distributor. I'm in a fix as to what distributor to use on my 5.0 conversion, I was hoping to run an old school points-style distributor in spite of all of the info and comments to the contrary. Could I ask what distributor are you now using? Brand? Where you got it? Who makes it? Points alone with a coil or a "box" involved?

I'm almost ready to just run with the HEI, but would MUCH prefer the points-style if I can find the one that will work. 

Thanks !

I tried to go back to points but it failed.

Bought a new distributor but it comes with the wrong gear for the roller cam. Should have been easy enough to swap cam gears but the chinese make their distributor shaft a thousands or so larger than the factory so the new gear ws too tight to push on and galled the shaft in the process, so in the bin went the brand new distributor. Rummaged around in my friends parts supply and pulled out an MSD box and distributor and plugged that in. Not a fan of MSD stuff caus I think it is too complicated and brings nothing to the party, but it is working.  

I really liked the big ugly GM style HEI distributor that was on the car originally, but in the end it's chinese origins turned out to be the cause of a lot of my problems, so in the bin it went. The HEI size also brings a lot of challenges to stabbing the distributor and clearing other engine components so a bit of a PITA to use. 

Plan A if the budget affords it would be a "ready to run" distributor that is essentially a factory made  Pertronix .  

In all cases, do be aware of using the correct drive gear for the cam. Using the wrong combo will eat the distributor gear and flush all that metal into your engine. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
12/4/21 9:00 a.m.

Pete, is this the kind of manifold you're looking for? I'm not up on V8 stuff.....(1) Marketplace - Edelbrock Ford performer RPM intake | Facebook

vNo photo description available.

12/4/21 9:40 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

I believe that would work. That one seems to have some damage or I would be on it now. Thanks!

ps need more updates on your challenge build.





DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
12/4/21 9:47 a.m.

No damage on this one, just used.....Marketplace - Performer 289 for 5.0/302/289 | Facebook........no corolla updates until spring. It's cold out there.

vNo photo description available.

12/4/21 10:15 a.m.

Why is it that you can find two a day when I have been looking for months on this side of the border. Will see it that one will ship to Canada.

Shame the border thing has taken another turn for the worse  with the new improved Covid, or would have it drop shipped to Pt Huron.

Thanks for the lead.



DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
12/4/21 10:46 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I just showed you the cheapest two, there are more. A polished one for $200, for example. SE Michigan is crawling with hotrodders so there's a good supply of used stuff most of the time. If you find something you want and the seller isn't interested in shipping I can go get it.

12/4/21 10:50 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to NOHOME :

I just showed you the cheapest two, there are more. A polished one for $200, for example. SE Michigan is crawling with hotrodders so there's a good supply of used stuff most of the time.

Gives you a good idea of why it is so hard to field a Challenge car from this side of the border! 

jfryjfry SuperDork
12/4/21 11:47 a.m.

I ended up replacing our fitech with a holley sniper and so far it is waaaay better. 

Startup is better, coming back to idle after revving is better, no misses....

12/4/21 1:07 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

Subsequent to removing the Fitech, I found several issues with the exhaust and the ignition that might have been the problem with the way the car ran with the Fitech. 

12/9/21 8:33 p.m.

The fun news is that the T5  gearbox will come back as a T5Z. A taller first gear ( 2.94 rather than 3.35) and a taller OD ( 0.64  rather than 0.68 ). 




VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/15/21 8:50 p.m.

Mr and Mrs NoHome. Great story, I am only up to about page 60, although I did peak at the end after page 100. Wow and Holy Cow! I am amazed. Great job. I have a million remarks, suggestions, and questions which I will wait until I have read it all. In about another 3 weeks. :) Good Job.

12/15/21 9:35 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Took me six years to build so no need to read it in one go! 

1/16/22 5:24 p.m.

Mid-winter update.

Temps went up from -20C to a balmy -3C today and the roads were dry so I went for a drive! 



The oil leaks are gone. Turns out it was both a pan gasket AND the rear seal. So a new one piece pan gasket, a speedi-sleeve on the back of the cranks and a new rear seal and dry as a bone. Might be a first for a classic car in my care.


The T5 was tired. It worked but barely with second being a part time job for the components. Off it went to the rebuilders for all new guts. Everything but the case was replaced.  The new box came back as a T5Z. The new first gear is a pleasure compared to the original granny gear. Overdrive is TBD as I did not go out on the Hwy.


As a bonus, the shop doing the rebuild used a spare housing that Mustang had under his bench and tossed the guts of my old box into that, with a new second gear and some other bits FOR FREE! So there is actually a spare T5 in inventory.  Never know when that might come in handy. ( How do you challenge budget that kind of a bonus?)

original ratios                   New ratios

3.35:1                                       2.95:1

1.93:1                                       1.94:1

1.29:1                                       1.34:1 

1.00:1                                       1.00:1

0.68:1                                      0.625:1


Also managed to tick off a dozen or so items on the "Tp Do" do list ranging from cosmetic to the odd rattle. The one item that I really like is a Wide Band O2 sensor. That and a vacuum gauge let me stop guessing when it comes to how the carb is tuned.

Also courtesy of one of our board members finally found a panel that fills in that gap under the steering column and hides all the wiring. Thanks Collin!

Had to have the car drivable because there are two guest coming for attention, and the Molvo has to move out of the nice warm shop for the winter. It wont see any more work this winter, but is good enough to go when it warms up. That is a good feeling.

1/23/22 5:07 p.m.

Have been working my way along a list of about 50 items that need to be done before I can consider the Molvo to be "Done".

Today the job was to install this clip in the clutch pedal clevis.

Because of the fact that my Miata is a bit modified, access to the outboard side of the pedal is, shall we say, "Limited" and I have been driving around with the clevis pin pushed in from the inboard side and no retaining clip at all. Just not enough room to get up and install it on the outboard side. I allotted 30 minutes to do the job.

3 HOURS later, I finished reinstalling the wiring and fuse box on the bespoke mounts and the clip is in place. Did I mention that it never budged in the first place.

And yet somehow, I am left with a feeling of satisfaction now that I have finished 3 years of procrastination. Weird hobby.


23 items done, 24 to go.

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