After a week off work spent with family and friends over Christmas and New Year’s, it’s time to get back to the reality of everyday life. This past week has been very cold as an arctic air mass has covered much of Canada and some parts of the USA . There is no doubt that winter is set in and here to stay. Here in the great white north, driving a classic car during this time of year is just not a viable option. I have grown up with the tradition of putting a car away for winter to keep it away from that nasty salt and snow. It is disappointing to not live in a climate where I can enjoy a classic car year round. However, looking on the bright side, it is also a great time of year to do projects on a car to help pass those long cold winter days.
I have been lucky enough to have a large heated attached garage, so working on my Torino through the winter has become an annual practice. Every year I will do a little something on the car, some years it might be just a little upgrade or detail job and other years I will do more major projects. Well this year it falls into the major overhaul category, maybe my biggest yet.
After years of setting aside money I have finally decided that it was time to pull my original engine and have it rebuilt. While it still runs fine and doesn’t show any significant signs of oil consumption, after 150,000 miles and 46 years of service, it’s time to freshen things up. Why you ask if it runs fine? Well, I have always been a bit of an engine nut, and this is finally my opportunity to build my engine my way. It will give me the opportunity to freshen up worn out parts, while increase performance and efficiency. Ford didn’t exactly put its finest engineering into the 1972 400, and now is my opportunity to remove some of the design compromises that Ford did. These include the excessive piston to deck clearances, low compression, mild camshaft and oil system improvements.
So about a month ago I removed the engine for the first time since it was placed there almost 46 years prior at the Oakville assembly plant. I decided to have my engine built by one of the finest 335 series engine builders, Tim Meyer owner of TMeyer Inc in Fairmont Minnesota. He is in my opinion the best and most knowledgeable Ford 400 engine builder and has been responsible for some pretty amazing engines builds from an engine most consider a boat anchor.
While the engine is out of the car, I plan to remove the front end sheet metal to clean up and detail the engine bay. While it has no rust, the car was undercoated when new and has seen numerous Rust Check and Krown rustproofing treatments over the years. Anyone who has used these oil spray based rustproofing can attest that they work, but they also make a huge mess. I also will freshened up and overhauled my C6 transmission. While it still is solid as a rock, with a new stronger engine going in, now is the time to have it rebuilt to match the new engine.
I plan to do a detailed post about all the engine build and other work later in the year when I have the car back on the road. In the meantime though, tell us about your winter project? What project, car related or otherwise, are you doing during these cold winter months?