I've put my major projects on hold until I can get a new garage built over the next year or so. The extra time has allowed me to get a few odds and ends done around here like finishing up a couple engines and breaking in the cams on the test stand.
The first was an LT1 from a wrecked 72 Corvette. I had traded labor on a frame swap for the car and sold what was left of the body and kept the engine. The engine had been rebuilt about 5000 miles before the car was wrecked but someone had stolen the intake, carb, valve covers and distributor. With the top end open for a year or so I went ahead and took it apart (it looked great on the inside, but the lifters had a bunch of crap on them so they got replaced) put new gaskets and seals in and threw on and old Edelbrock intake, carter AFB point distributor and cheapie valve covers. The new lifters broke in without a problem and the engine is waiting for a car to put it in.
The second engine is an old 331 HEMI from a 55 Chrysler. I finally got it all together and on the stand. It's slated for my 37 Dodge pickup, the picture is from when the truck was in mockup.
At the time (1992) the engine was a decent deal at $500 and I traded out labor doing an engine swap for it.
I traded a pair for $50 swap meet AFBs and set them up on a friend's engine for a lot of the machine work.
I got a deal on a bunch of early HEMI parts from a guy that was moving ......$50 for: a 53 Hemi extended block, bare heads, industrial valve covers, 392 dual point distributor, Tri-power intake (now on the 57 Plymouth) and set of new Jahns .060 pistons (in the 331). I then sold the block, heads and dual point to a friend for $160. So a $110 net profit?
I sold the original intake from the 331 on E Bay for $110.
I picked up the 6 X 2 intake at a swap meet 12 years ago before they were popular or E Bay was so big for $100 and the carbs were either free take-offs or $3-$5 swap meet units with $15 dollar kits in each one.
Chroming the original valve covers was only $130 vice the $400+ a set of aftermarket units cost.
It also uses the stock timing cover and long BBC waterpump instead of the aftermarket cover and short pump which saves a couple hundred bucks.
The windage tray was free....... the guy I got it from didn't know what it was (it was laying behind a 52 (?) Chrysler that had been a Hemi car and was parted out). Even after I told him what it was he said just take it.
As it sits on the stand right now (less the 4 speed adaptor) it figures out to right at $2500 out of pocket or $3200 if you add the labor trade for the engine and don't subtract what I sold the spare parts for.
Specs on the engine are:
1955 Chrysler New Yorker 331.
.060 NOSR JAHNs pistons (341 CI final displacement)
Triple 5 heads
Weiand Drag Star Intake
6 Rochester 2GC carbs
Stock dual point distributor converted to Chrysler Electronic
Stainless steel shorty headers
BBC water pump conversion
For now its got my spare 833 four speed stuff on it 37 (that was built in my shop and I have about $100 total tied up in it) but I'll eventually be running a 727 automatic in it.
At this point the engine compartment is done and the AC Charged.
It's also been to the local upholstery shop and the sun visors recovered and a headliner stitched up for it (another non original touch) and installed so the interior is also officially done. It's down to the stripping and window tint to finish it off.
The truck was aligned Friday so I finally got a chance to drive it. What a slug!!!!! It idled great but when you gave it some gas it would hardly get out of its own way. I know it's high geared and has a pretty tall set of tires but damn.
I played with the timing a bit and it helped very little, so I figured this morning I'd play with the jetting on the new 750 AFB I bought. I pulled the step rods and guess what I found......one of the rods had not been machined (stepped) at all. It was like a big cork in the jet. That made a bunch of difference.
I did manage to get the bed cover on. After looking at everything that was out there this is what I decided wanted. A regular tonneau cover only lasts a couple of years out here and I didn't want all the screw holes on the bed rails. A hard cover is too much of a pain, if I find something I want but that is taller than the bed, it's take the truck home, remove the cover (by myself) and then reverse the process when I get home. This one powered coated aluminum and rolls up into the canister at the front of the bed, I lose a bit of bed room but for most of the stuff I'll haul it's not big deal.
The outfit I bought it from did not make one that was specifically for this truck but with some mixing and matching parts from a couple of different applications I was able to put together something that will work. It's about 5" short but making a filler plate is no problem. It was one of the more expensive ones out there but I figure that I'll be keeping the truck for a long time and if I didn't do it I'd always wished I had.