09 October 2013

FE melodrama

And now for the drama filled rush to the F100's finish...
1973 Ford F100 pickup truck

Last episode the engine was all blued up on the stand.
Days passed as the trucks owner Andy dropped off the face of the earth.
We had an old high school saying - PL Gel - (point loma)
the act of lagging,
that goes double for Encinitas!
At least he had scrubbed the engine bay of all the oil and road scum.
mini crane

I couldn't wait any longer,
and with the help of the trusty cherry picker,
it was time to get chit done.
The hood was flipped out of the way...

...and the engine nestled into place.
Thanks Aaron for dropping by at the crucial moment!

Here's a tip -
sometimes its easier to move the car back and forth,
than to move the engine on the hoist!

Bolting the engine up was a compilation of about a hundred trips
from the tool box/cherry picker to underneath the truck.
Up and down... up and down...
hood install

I may be a bit messy in my workspace,
but unlike a typical repair shop I like to put together a clean engine.
Way too much time was spent degreasing fasteners and painting brackets.
Nothing show just respectable.
ford fe 360

This looks like it was all done in the same day.
Actually I only worked on this truck during the hottest hours of the day,
over the course of the week.
That's my excuse for the following mishaps!
static timing

Andy did help out with some of this mechanical stuff for a good day.
Now he knows where that heavy starter goes,
what the numbers on the wrenches mean,
why each trip to the car parts store costs $100,
and why mechanics swear so much!
Thinking back I don't think I heard him cuss once.
I did get treated to lunch,
and got the badge of honor - the free NAPA hat for a $25 purchase!
NAPA racing hat

Well that hat came with a heavy price.
There's no badge of honor without passing a series of tests,
mainly tests of patience.
That may be why I enjoy fabrication work so much more.
With mechanical stuff,
there's no way to justify pounding a hammer on a chunk of metal,
and having the outcome be positive!
dropped FE oil pump drive shaft

Once the engine was buttoned up and started,
one of my short cuts bit me in the butt.
There is a oil pump drive shaft,
a hexagonal stick of metal that runs off the distributor.
Well on the 302/5.0 Windsor,
the shaft dropped from the top into the hole connecting the oil pump.
On the FE,
I didn't realize that the stick is attached from the bottom,
when installing the oil pump.
There is a retainer washer that keeps it from being pulled out,
if the distributor ever is removed.
But who would remove the distributor right?

I had looked online,
and there were suggestions to remove the retainer washer,
and drop it from the top.
(most aftermarkets don't come with one anyway)
Well what do you think happened when I pulled out the distributor?
The frigging thing dropped into the wrong hole,
and by a couple strokes of bad luck slid into the oil pan!
dropped FE oil pan

Holey Chit!
I was so close to getting this thing on the road.
It took a couple minutes to gather my thoughts and make a plan.
Any other engine or car this would be a nightmare job.
On these FE's,
the oil pan is dead flat with a one piece cork seal,
no half circle crank cutouts like a SBC or SBF.
Also these trucks were designed for farm use in the middle of nowhere.
So fixing them involved working in the dirt with a chainhoist on a tree,
using a crescent wrench, a worn screwdriver and little luck.

Fortunately the engine could be lifted the inch needed to get the necessary clearance.
After installing the little retainer washer,
it took about 5 tries and a bunch of loud swearing,
to blindly get the shaft into the hole from the bottom.
Thankfully Andy had cleaned up the frame!
1973 ford f100 vacuum diagram

The next test was figuring out all the dang vacuum lines.
I thought I had taken a ton of pictures to make this easy.
There were a ton of pictures but they were all blurry.
This confusing vacuum diagram helped out.
worn leak

Finally everything was sealed up and oiled.
A couple minutes running and there's this huge tranny fluid leak.
Why would red fluid be coming out near the engine?
For 40 years the transmission cooler line had been rubbing on the oil pan,
and chose this moment to break.
Holey double chit!
As usual the hot part of the day was over so it was time to go.
ford fe 360

The next day the line was repaired with a simple hose and clamp fix.
The engine really wanted to run,
so I let it idle for 10+ minutes.
It took a while for the lifters to fill up with oil,
and I was nervous for the first moments as it was a bit clickety.
Finally the sweet sound of a smooth running engine!
F100 taxi

Now time for the maiden voyage.
(Shop) Tom and I cruised it to lunch,
and we didn't get stuck.
A good sign!
Now for the real test,
picking up Macey for school on time.
thumbs up

The more I drove it the more I didn't mind keeping it around,
other than the gas gauge which dropped alarmingly fast.
As soon as Andy heard the truck was running,
it was gone!


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