23 August 2013

robbing horsepower

The Ventura Nationals car show is coming up this Labor Day weekend,
the perfect deadline to get the green "june bug" 40 running,
even though I'll most likely be driving the hot rod.
Bottom line is at least it will be closer to becoming a driver again.
1940 ford coupe

First off here's a word of warning.
What you are about to see here is not going to be pretty!

Breaking out the STD (shit to do) list,
the one big $$ expenditure that I shouldn't afford is exhaust.
I've been calling this a low-budget street rod,
but really it's a no-budget street rod!
1990 lincoln town car exhaust flange

While deciding on whether or not to bite the bullet for pipes,
I scrounged around and found the original flathead exhaust.
trusty band saw

Every fiber of my being as a hot rodder said no.
The tubing is really skinny at 1-3/4",
and the Lincoln exhaust stub I had was a 2".
The thing was the old flathead exhaust was a slip fit into the lincoln piece.
How would this effect performance?

I searched online and every 5.0/302 ford mustang forum said to use 2.25" or 2.5".
This seemed a bit excessive,
especially as I've been de-tuning this engine,
with the stock 2-barrel intake and carburetor and stock Lincoln headers.

Out of curiosity I snaked the original pipes to the header flange,
and it was too easy to cut and weld the pieces together.
For a mock-up I hose-clamped the front tubes to the existing mufflers.
A quick start and the engine didn't sound too restricted like I thought.
It actually sounded like a normal car!
slip fit

Years ago we had a 1964 nova with fat exhaust,
and I've got to say the low rumble was annoying after awhile.
Sure it sounded like a hot rod,
but as a commuter it was hard to even hear the radio.
brick lift

With this in mind,
I figured what the heck.
Get this on the road with the puny exhaust,
keep it a cruiser and hot rod it later.

This may sound like an excuse for being a cheap-a$$,
but there is some fun in slowly upgrading a car down the line.
It's cool to compare the changes of adding an intake, exhaust or distributor, etc.
I've found some upgrades aren't worth the hassle.
tight squeeze

The meeting point of the two pipes was just shy for a butt weld.
I scrounged up two short pieces for a coupling to fill the gap,
and proceeded to weld up the double seems.
mirror rig

Man what a pain in the butt!
The bottom part is no problem,
but I needed to rig a mirror to get at the top part.
A stainless steel IPOD holder worked perfect!

This was one of the harder things I've welded in a long time,
one as there was no access or visibility,
and just enough room to squeeze underneath.
Table welding is for girls!
self portrait - travis perich

I started with a blind weld,
hoping it would fill the gap,
but the little crack was obvious in the reflection.
If this car was gonna be quiet,
the last thing I wanted was a bunch of whistlers leaking out.
fakey mirror

Welding to a mirror is tricky,
as the movements are the opposite,
and doubled as there's both the filler rod hand and the TIG torch hand.
Basically it took all my concentration.
The most important thing is to have the AMP setting right,
so there's less of a chance to blow holes in the metal.

I got the hang of it after the first side,
and lost count of how many times I had to sharpen the tungsten!
Up and down... up and down...

The last part was filling those nasty muffler holes.
One thing I'm good at is welding patches to paper thin rusty sheet metal!
I know at this point you're shaking your head going WTF!
Since these pipes are so long,
it may be fun to cut out the glass packs and go straight pipe,
so doing a hack repair is worth it.
Also this thing is low enough that only you guys will ever know!
Again more ugly welds but everything is sealed up.
perich brothers

What a difference with exhaust,
especially after listening to open headers for the past couple months.
I really like the mellow sound with the repaired glass-packs,
and hope the pipes don't rob too much horsepower.
I'll think about saving up for stainless tubing and a pair of Porter mufflers...


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