Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I gotta say, I'm a huge fan

While I was in Utah visiting my family a couple weeks ago I came across something that made me a little sad. This old Falcon, the original 62 that I wanted to restore, had been crushed by a tree. This was the car that inspired my love of patina. 

a moment of silence for a rusty old economy car

One issue I've been battling, as you may know from my previous posts, like Beach Boys of old I've been pickin' up some vibrations. Unfortunately mine have not been as good as Brian Wilson's. On thing I had not done yet was to adjust the pinon angle. If the angles on both ends of the driveshaft as shown below are not equal and opposite, you can end up with some nasty vibrations

Source: hotrod hotline

After measuring, I found the front angle (transmission) to be about 5 degrees down and the rear angle (axle pinion) to be about 2.5 degrees up. That meant I needed to adjust the pinion about 2.5 degrees up. Thankfully that is an easy job with my 4-link rear suspension. All 4 links are adjustable, so it was a matter of removing 2 bolts with the rear end supported, and adjusting the link length until the pinion angle was correct.

After the adjustment, I can definitely say the amount of vibration at high speeds has reduced. I still have some sort of engine related natural frequency around 4000 RPM, but the vibration situation has improved significantly. While visting in Utah I drove my dad's 1996 Ranger with the 2.3L engine. It also had a peak in engine vibration around 4000 RPM  so I guess that's just the nature of the beast.

I finally got started on my electric cooling fan project. It must have been two years ago that I bought a large Ford Taurus (3.8L) cooing fan from the wrecking yard. This fan is the stuff that legends are made of. They say it moves 25,000 CFM and can blow away small children and ferrets, and that the Assyrians worshiped it as the wind god, bringing sacrifices of incense to it's altar.  

When I went to install it, it was way too big for my radiator core. You need at least a 17"x17 area to install this fan. So back to the junkyard I went.

At the wrecking yard, I went nuts tearing into everything, just to see what was there. The Ford Taurus really is a treasure trove of good stuff for hot-rodders. The fan I decided to use comes from a 3.0L Taurus and is only about 14" in diameter. I also found that the taurus has a pretty long length of what looks to be 4ga wire in the harness that passes above the cooling fans. It is 6-7 feet long, so it could be pretty useful if you can get it for cheap. There is also a 175 amp fuse in the power distribution box that could be useful.

While I was tearing things apart, I got  curious about the relay amperage capacity of the Taurus relays. I don't know the actual rating, but noticed that there were two types and one was heavier than the other. I popped the tops off both relays and the one that was marked with "Made in Spain" (on the right in the upper picture) had a heavier construction and the copper current paths seemed much more substantial. Again, I'm not sure if it was a 30A or 40A relay or more, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the "Made in Spain" relay would carry at least 50% more current.

left: lower current relay       right: higher current relay marked with "Made in Spain"
top: lower current relay       bottom: higher current relay marked with "Made in Spain"
The Megasquirt 2 ECU has a few spare outputs which allow you to control a relay or other medium current device. This means that if you had this ECU on your Civc you could set it to shout the words

over a loudspeaker and switch on your green underglow lighting every time throttle position is greater than 80% and RPM is greater than 3800 RPM. Yeah. That would be rad. I'll just be using this function to turn on a cooling fan when coolant temperature is 200 degrees, and turn it back off when it's below 190. Kinda boring, I know. 

With the control side worked out, I turned to the physical mounting of the fan. I found an aluminum fan shroud through Speedway Motors for a 1964 Mustang. this turned out to be far from a perfect fit, but anymore I just count on having to extensively modify any and every part I install. Mounting the fan to the shroud was actually not too hard. While at the wrecking yard, I made sure to grab all the mounting hardware for the fan. Without it, this would have been a really crappy job.

upper mount, back side
lower mount, back side
lower mount, front side
back side view
Mounting the shroud to the radiator turned out to be a little trickier than mounting the fan to the shroud. I had to give a deep tissue massage to some tabs on the sides of the radiator core with a hammer. I think I successfully bent them out of the way without destroying them, and If not, I'll know soon. I then had to trim some "wings" off the shroud, and then weld stand-offs to the trimmed wings which would hold the assembly in place. I realize all these words probably make zero sense, so I've included pictures for your viewing pleasure.

trimming the wings off the fan shroud

stand-off welded detail
Bolted in place
fan wiring harness

A few weeks ago, I found an ad on craigslist for a Fairlane in very good condition and sent it to my old roommate Vaughn (my wife doesn't appreciate a good craigslist find like Vaughn does, she's afraid I'll drag home another mistress). I've sent countless ads to him but apparently this one sent him into a tailspin and two weeks later, he came home with yet another truck. I think he's up to five now. So without further ado, meet Vaughn's 1963 International Harvester Pickup. 

It's a rolling chassis, so now Vaughn is trying to decide which low dollar V8 turbo he should install. Right now it's a tight race between the Chevy 5.3, Ford 4.6 SOHC and SBF 5.0. What do you think, dear reader? What is the best low dollar route to 450-500 horsepower? Needless to say, Grace is excited to have a cousin.

With that, I'll wrap it up and leave you with some pictures I snapped on my Sunday afternoon walk.


  1. http://ls1tech.com/forums/dynamometer-results-comparisons/1596063-engine-dyno-na-5-3-ls3-heads-9-5-1-500hp.html

    500HP 5.3 LS

    1. That's awesome! Out of budget for Vaughn I'm sure, but I dig it.

  2. Nice work as usual! I'm slightly jealous of your Sunday walks.