Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pelé preached words of comfort, Zina just hides her eyes

First off, I have to show off some of the crazy cars I've seen in the past two weeks. I have a habit of taking pictures of every interesting car related thing I see. If you were to go through my phone, you'd probably see 80% car related pictures, 15% biking/outdoors/landscape pictures, and maybe 5% pictures of people. I'm not sure if that makes me an unbalanced person, but it sure beats the heck out of a phone full of duckfaced selfies. Kids these days.... 

The first is an old Toyota pickup that was on display at a lunchtime event at work. This thing was a complete sleeper and serious business. The builder had stuffed a twin turbo 2JZ and 5-speed in this old truck. It was a bit of a tight fit, so the radiator and other heat exchangers went to the bed. The owner of this craziness was not around sadly, so I didn't get any details. 

Next, I saw this Porsche 356SC up in the mountains at a gun range. I didn't know much about this model so I looked it up. The 356 was porsche's first model released in 1948. Production ran until 1965, and the SC was released in 1964. This is a rare bird indeed, and the thing I was most impressed by is the fact that it's owner was still out enjoying this car as a real car, allowed to have blemishes and character, rather than relegating it to restored museum duty. If the owner were to sell it, it would likely be worth $60K+. I don't think these cars could have been more different from each other, but to me there was an exciting feeling to both weathered machines. Neither was attempting to look perfect or pull off the show car vibe, they were something more. They were fun cars.

I have come to the conclusion that TCI's 4-link kit for the 60-65 Falcon should be labeled with an asterisk. That asterisk would indicate that this kit fits 60-63 Falcons with the help of a few good tools. A job like this will help you find the weakness in your tool collection. I was lacking a good power drill.

When I went to install the lower links of the 4-link system, I found that the links were set up for a 1/2" bolt, but the bolt in the forward mount were 9/16". It was clear that I could not replace the 9/16" bolt with a 1/2" bolt, so I had to drill out the link bushings to accept a larger bolt. In the pictures below you can see a partially drilled bushing. I found that my drill would drill about 1/3 of the way through the bushing and the battery would die, after which the battery needed about 3 hours to recharge fully. This got old faster than

I decided to invest in some quality tools, so I headed to the Home Depot. DeWalt tools have a special place in my heart. I was spoiled as a kid because my dad owns a cabinet shop, I always had access to a large number of professional grade tools. You pay a bit more for DeWalt tools, but they never disappoint.  I picked up a DeWalt 20V drill with 2 lithium ion batteries and a charger. I was thoroughly impressed with how much torque was packed into such a compact, lightweight drill. It made short work of the bushings and spacer bores that needed to be enlarged. Even more amazing was how quickly the batteries charged. In about a half hour, one of these batteries can be fully charged. As an added bonus, almost all DeWalt tools come in a high quality case.

Lithium is also a powerful antidepressant when used in batteries.
This is where we find asterisk number two. The lower links attach to the body in the old leaf spring forward mounts. I'm assuming that this mount is wider on the 64-65 than it is on the 60-63, because it the spacer was fitting into the mount about like stuffing a cantaloupe into a toaster. Ain't gonna happen. The spacer needed about 1/8" of material removed from the face so that I could fit it in the mount. Using my ghetto voodoo magic and the same technique as I used last week, I made me a vise from vise-grips (see what I did there?), a c-clamp, and a termite infested carport post. I was then able to carefully remove enough material from the face of the spacer with an angle grinder to make it work.

Third world problems.

With the lower links in place, I could now attach the axle and coilover shocks. After attaching these, I set the pinion angle to 1 degree up as specified in the instructions. I attached the upper links to the 4-link cradle and located the upper link tabs on the axle housing. Once the upper link tabs were tacked into place, I also tacked the sway bar tabs in place and then removed the axle housing for welding.

Setting the pinion angle.
This was the first actual welding that I personally did on this car. I have photographic proof, provided by the girl next door AKA my girlfriend Shanna. Most of the welds turned out pretty good, but there were a few where the shielding gas was blown away by a slight breeze and they turned out with so much porosity they looked a bit like pumice. I ended up using the grinder a bit more than I would have liked, but in the end I was pretty satisfied with the welds and very impressed with how easy my welder is to use.

Of course I'm only going to show you the pretty side!

With the rear end in, I could slide an axle shaft into the housing and bolt on a wheel to see how it looks and check for clearance.

There looks to be a little room to play with.
AWWWWW riiiight!

I only have two wheels, but I got to to thinking, that doesn't mean that I can't drive. Some dude named Achmud is probably driving on two wheels right now, why can't I? 

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.


  1. Hey, I'm up in the AV and am wondering if you've still got the old leaf springs. If you do I will totally buy them off you.
    Jason 760 769 4531

    1. You sir are in luck. I still have the springs. I'll contact you.