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post #16 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Got to work on the Comet a little this weekend. I moved on to the rad support. Started with the pass side.


The 4 slots were to cool batt??? battery will be in trunk so I don't need them. I am going to conceal all wiring and not mounting anything on the inside of rad support but rad. The only things on front of rad support to be mounted are grill and bumper filler. So there were 7 or 8 holes on pass side I no longer needed, I cut out the slots first.


Then made patch to fit, had to fit inside cutout because I wanted both sides of patch to be flush.


Tacked in in place.


Then welded solid, repeated with the other pair of slots, then welded the holes. Used piece of copper for backing when doing the holes. after welding pass side looked like this


Moved to other side. it had 12 holes I no longer needed.
Before


After


Rad Support Before


After


Couple pin holes to take care of then will start on driver side aprons.
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post #17 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

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Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
Toploader is much stronger that a T5 (or can be.) A T5 is a nice shifting transmission which has OD--Just what you need when cruising down town Jennette.

Seriously, if you are going to cruise the highways for an hour or more (and often) the T5 is a good tranny behind a small block. They can be a hit or a miss at the track as some hold up great and others seem to break just thinking about going down the strip with sticky tires. I have an Altoona friend who has one behind a 408w and granny shifts. Runs low 12's and a few high 11's with lots of .02x 60'ers. So far he has averaged one breakdown every season so now he keeps a fresh spare. Parts seem to be reasonable and I believe he buys only Tremec original parts.

Toploader parts are reasonable too and 100% of everything is reproduced and can be gotten in a day or 2 in most cases. Mine takes some serious abuse (5K launches on slicks) and only wimpers every once in a while. I also keep a fresh spare around because they are a little time consuming to tear down. I also keep a small stock of critical parts, just in case. They are practically bulletproof on the street, but then again, no overdrive.

Raystown lake?
Bulletproof sounds better than overdrive to me. Not going to go on many long trips. I think I will look at toploaders. any advice on which one I would need/want for my comet??

I have been to Raystown lake a few times but, I actually go to Yough Lake. Been going there since I was a kid. Love it. Might be floating more than running, skiing, boarding this year though, Boat gets about 3.5/4 hours of run time on 30 gal fuel.
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post #18 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 05:06 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Very nice cleanup of the radiator support. Well Done.

I asked about Raystown in that my friends with boats generally go to a cove, tie up together, and enjoy beverages. Not much boating other than that.

A 65-73 toploader is indeed near bullet proof for a street car (and can hold up at the strip too if built to big block specs.)

My choice would be one with a wide ratio (2.78) low first gear. Good for acceleration, street and strip. With a 306-347 in a light car you could get away with the 1 1/6" small block input and 28 spline output shaft for quite a while. The big block ones are stronger (of course) and use a 1 3/8" input, 31 spline output shaft. Unfortunately factory big blocks were only built as a close ratio. The aftermarket stepped up and they can give us a good replace big block input type input in wide ratio form. Because I was twisting small block transmission's input shafts week after week at the track once I got my suspension working, I updated it with the that adapter big block input and it holds up just fine. Later I swapped to the 31 spline output too.

Lots of good reading about the conversion here: https://www.fordmuscleforums.com/tran...placement.html

and here:

https://www.fordmuscleforums.com/tran...onversion.html

You will want a toploader with the long pilot shaft stub to fit a small block:



You have to be careful of the 390 as it has the small diameter input shaft/output shaft AND the short pilot bearing stub. The input can be swapped to a long one if needed though.

You want the wide mounting 8 bolt case used in late 65-73', not the narrow 4 bolt case used only in 64':






Avoid the late 70's OD 3 speed like the plague for performance use. It looks very similar to a good toploader 4 speed but uses a puny gear for OD. They are common and often cheaper than a normal toploader. Not a good source for parts either as the guts are pretty much unique. The case will be cast with at least a D7DR and maybe a D8 which signifies late 70's.

I do not know which output housing you would need for a Comet, but assume that the one from the 64/65 Falcon would be correct because it locates the shifter forward. The housing is 14" long and would require the common 24"' output shaft that is used in the Mustang/Cougar. David Kee sells a universal tailhousing that covers most applications by having multiple bolt-on locations, as seen on the bottom of this photo:



The top one is typical Mustang with the shifter at the rear.

This sounds like a lot of info, but the good thing about the toploader is that parts are very interchangeable in the factory case. Change 2nd, 3rd, 4th (then input shaft) gears and the cluster out and you can make a close ratio into a wide ratio and vice-versa. For this reason, don't automatically assume that the ID tag on the side of the case is correct in this respect. It is common to find a mis-match and the only real way to know is to remove the top cover and count the # of teeth on 2nd gear.

If you want some very good reading on the toploader I suggest visiting David Kees website: David Kee Toploader Transmissions, Inc.

I have bought stuff from David and have no complaints. I also get stuff from other vendors too. Getting any part for the toploader is really easy thanks to good vendors and Egay.

This summary should give you some idea of what you want and what to avoid. If you should need help with your toploader, just let me know as I have a little knowledge of them. Due to my racing, I keep a few things around too.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]

Last edited by dennis111; 05-09-2011 at 05:58 AM.
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post #19 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Thanks for the great info. Read your tech articles they were aslo great. You really know a lot about this huh? LOL I definitly will be looking for a toploader for my car. I think it would be cheaper in the long run.

I have been to David kees site before. So I guess getting one for a small block with the correct tailhousing would be the way to go. vs getting big block one and modifiying it?

Do you know if David kee sets up at Ford Carlisle?

Not like my car will be up and running anytime soon so I do have time to hunt down parts. You post will be a tremendous! help in my search

Thank you
Lou
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post #20 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:58 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Yeah, I guess I know a little about toploaders as I thrash the hell out of them at the track.

Yes, I would probably find a good small block one that matches your car with the wide ratio gear set. A good small block toploader would probably work fine for you as-is unless you become a serious racer. Swapping to the bigger input is fairly easy if it becomes a problem, but from your intended usage you should be fine (unless you want go big in the first place.)

The output shaft would be harder as the 31 spline tailshaft requires a larger bore tailhousing. Early tailhousings (before 67) typically don't have enough meat to be bored and that is where the David Kee repo helps as it is available in either bore.

The nice thing about big block vs. small block parts is that the internal parts (except the afore mentioned input and output shafts) are the same and have the same strength. Ford built some of the toughest trannys ever found in a production car.

I have not seen David Kee at the Carlisle Ford show.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]
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post #21 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
Yeah, I guess I know a little about toploaders as I thrash the hell out of them at the track.

Yes, I would probably find a good small block one that matches your car with the wide ratio gear set. A good small block toploader would probably work fine for you as-is unless you become a serious racer. Swapping to the bigger input is fairly easy if it becomes a problem, but from your intended usage you should be fine (unless you want go big in the first place.)

I have not seen David Kee at the Carlisle Ford show.
First, thanks again for all the info.
I found a local guy with a toploader for sale. He says it is wide ratio small block, with small input shaft, with short tailhousing. he also has 2 shifters with it. He doesn't have the ID code though. It was in his uncle's stock and he ended up with it. Trans hasn,t been used in a car in 20-30 years he said.
I am going to look at it tomorrow. So from the info I got (thanks to you) I need to count the teeth on second gear to make sure it is a wide ratio, need to measure the tailhousing 14 inch, and make sure it has wide mounting 8 bolt case. Plus check for any visable damage. Anything else I should look for? If it has the wrong tail housing/shifter mount I can just change that right?

Also what are they worth in good shape. he has the trans, factory shifter (for what car don't know) and also has a vertical gate shifter for it.

He would like to get around $800 is this a fair price? If I can use it. I think he may drop $50 or so but not sure.

Thanks
Lou
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post #22 of 250 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 09:00 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Lou,800 for a used smallblock toploader is to much 500 tops keep looking swapmeets are a good place also e-bay....ED

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post #23 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Haven't posted a update in awhile, Really haven't had time over summer to do much to comet, Lot of customer work, and summer fun stuff. I did buy the top loader with the V-gate. got a bell housing at carlisle. pretty much finished up the stitch welding on front. Hood is in primer, Finished the backsides of my bumpers and in primer, Got the car on rotisserie and into main garage.
I was going to do the spring relocation and mini tub it for tire clearance. Something like Falconlovers white falcon. Love the look of his car with the big tires! I want something around 275/60/15 or 295/50/15 But seems that is pushing the limit. some rubbing and lips need rolled. plus wasn't real big on the rear shackles in kit. Decided to move the rear frame rails inward. With car on rotisserie seen that if I moved them in 5" they would line up with the front rails which will make doing the connectors easier, and give me plenty of tire clearance.


I sand blasted the area's that I was going to work with, easier to see the spotwelds and nicer to work with clean metal. here is what I started with

I cut the shock mount crossmember in the middle and drilled out a lot of spot welds. I removed the rail with the front spring mount attached and the section of crossmember with the upper shock mount attached this way when I move it in all spring and shock mounts will move inward together.

Then I cut out the center trunk drop. I am going to have to play with these later so I cut a few inches past where the inner rail flange was welded so I could move it in or out a little later. also notched all raised area's so when rail was put in it would sit flush with floor.

Took the rail and cleaned it up, ground down leftover spot weld, cut 5' off the crossmember, and had to cut off a small tab on the front spring mount that was hitting torque box

Clamped the rail into it's new location, Fits nice! Flush, mesurements are all on the mark. Should have mentioned earlier but took lot's of measurements multiple times before doing this LOL. Crossmember butts flat. I"m real happy on the fit.

I clamped in the section of trunk I cut out just to see how it would look


I still got to revamp the front spring mount and torque box. Then sandblast the inside of rail and por15 the inside. Before I weld it back on. Hopefully get a lot done tomorrow.
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post #24 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Got some more work done. When I removed the rail it was also serving as the end/side of torque box and the rail itself didn't have a inside upfront


I made templetes and cut/bent some 16 gauge to replace the torque box end and inner side of rail


I didn't really want to extend the bottom of torque box another 5 inches without some support.


I don't think I will use the cap on the rail, instead I think I will run the sub-frame connector inside the rear rail to the spring mount. after welded in I will extend the bottom of torque box out to rail.

Also got the rail itself cleaned up, spotwelds ground down, sandblasted it and masked it off for POR.


I am probally going to cut off the edge/flange of rail where the inner wheelwell is going to mount so I decided to box it. Made more templetes and cut pieces


Here's what it looks like. When welded in it should be flush with flanges. I will do the Por and then weld the pieces into rail.


I got the metal to make my connectors that is next so I can start welding it back together.
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post #25 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 02:33 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

That is going to need one skinny ass gas tank when your finished.

Nice work!!!

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]
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post #26 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

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That is going to need one skinny ass gas tank when your finished.

Nice work!!!

I am pretty sure I am going with fuel cell. 17" wide, 30" long and 7"high 17 gal. RCI Racing 2172A - RCI Aluminum Fuel Cells - Overview - SummitRacing.com On paper it will fit LOL. I should have enough room to run my exhaust between it and springs to go out the back too. The only thing is I really didn't want fuel cell (again looks) but getting tank custom made is expensive.
I am thinking of cutting up my original tank and sectioning it so I can bolt the bottom of old tank over fuel cell so when looking under rear you don't see cell. Trying to keep it looking stockish. Hard to explain, But when people are looking under car when I'm done I don't want the modifications to be "hit ya in face" looking mods, but more subtle? . Other thing will be bumper mounts, I already had the bumpers rechromed If I hadn't I would make new holes in bumper and weld up old ones then get rechromed. But I didn't so I will have to fab some new mounts.

Having a blast with it tho!
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post #27 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 10:32 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

WOW!..That is some outstanding work you are doing..I have never seen anyone totally remove and then reinstall an entire frame rail like that..The car is obviously in amazing rust free shape...The bottom of your Comet looks very similar to the bottom of my 63 falcon so I am watching this thread very closely....


1968 mustang 408W Hybrid..Burns gas and rubber!
[email protected] with a crappy 1.72 60ft.
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post #28 of 250 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

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WOW!..That is some outstanding work you are doing..I have never seen anyone totally remove and then reinstall an entire frame rail like that..The car is obviously in amazing rust free shape...The bottom of your Comet looks very similar to the bottom of my 63 falcon so I am watching this thread very closely....
Thanks Frdnut. Really wasn't very hard to do so far. More time measuring and re measuring than actually cutting off. 127 spot welds. All I used was drill with 1/8 bit and spot weld cutter, 2 panel splitters straight and 90 degree, hammer and center punch. and cutoff wheel. Drilled the pilot holes from inside car because frame rail to tall to get straight on with 1/8 inch bit in drill from bottom . then used spot weld bit with a extension from the bottom,. Was carefull when I center punched the spotwelds too, most weld came free only had to split dozen or so.
The floors have some rust and will need to be addressed but after rails and connectors are in. rails and torque box's are rust free. I was surprised after I took rail off there was no rust inside rail or on floor under where the rail was attached. was also never coated under rail...bare metal.
plesantly surprised lol
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post #29 of 250 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Got to work a little more on car. I started making my Subframe connectors. I could not find tubing correct size. So going to make my own. Bought 4 sheets of 16 gauge steel 10"x60". And found out no one local can bend to the size I want. So I will have to bend myself with hammer, angle iron and clamps. Took first sheet cleaned it, Hit it with DA 80grit, and marked for first bend


I got 2 pieces of 2.5x2.5 angle 3/32 thick 6 feet long. layed one across work bench. Then place the sheet over it and put 2nd angle over sheet. Position line on sheet to line up with edge and clamped down. I use a lot of clamps if the metal moves while your hammering it then ya really need new piece. Didn't want it to move


After a good bit of hammering here is what it look like after first bend.


I turned it 90% so that the bend section pointed in under workbench. I didn't have to measure because angle 2.5 and that was what I wanted for next bend. I positioned the bend right up against bootom edge of angle. Put a tack at each end to hold it in place. Place the 2nd angle on and clamped.


Then with hammer bent metal toward bench. the rail on left is what I ended up with. rail on right still needs one more bend. I had to put spacer on angle for second one because I needed it to fit over first.


Here are pieces after trimmed. The one on left is 1/8" taller and wider on the inside so it will fit over smaller one.


Here is what they look like together. Front will need cut to fit. but rear will fit directly inside rear frame rail. seams in rail will be on top inside car


Bottom part showing under car will be smooth and straight


I am going to try and get rear frame rail fitted and welded in this weekend. I don't want to slice floor untill I get some more support in the rear. then install connector.
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post #30 of 250 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 03:09 AM
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Re: My 65 Comet Project

Nice work and great photo how-to's! Keep up the great work!

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]
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