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Discussion Starter #61
More Engine Bay Madness Continued


48407



Since the slots are unmarked I have to remove this and measure them to determine maximum centrifugal advance. Turns out the wide slot measures close to the normal 13L slot. This should yield 26 degrees of advance. This plus initial timing of 8-12˚ should be in the range of happy for this worn out old slug.


48408



Glad I had to take this out to measure as the shaft was bone dry, they never lubed this. This is why you have to examine brand new parts very thoroughly. You are just setting yourself up for failure if you just install them out of the box.


48409



I put the light springs in and that should give full advance around 2600 RPM.


48410



Now there is a problem with the Wells (WVE) brand pickup in the Worl Parts distributor and that is it's a bit loose on the fulcrum. The extra play could lead to the reluctor wheel rubbing on the laminated core on the pickup coil. I use a shim to take up the slack. I use a shim from the rocker shafts. Ignore the 0.060" package, the shim that works is a 0.015" thick shim. I do have to enlarge the centre hole a bit.


48411



Everything installed.

For giggle-snorts I decided to take apart the distributor the car came with.


48412



This had the aftermarket Pertronix thing that died.


48413



There's not much of a heat sink on this. I bet it runs on the hot side, especially sinking current from big aftermarket coils.


48414



When I removed the vacuum advance I tested it. The diaphragm is blown, so it didn't have any vacuum advance. Then I went to see how hard those springs were and the mechanical advance will not move. All the lube is gone and it's tarred into place. So it had no mechanical advance either.

Let's just recap here, the camshaft was 20+ degrees retarded, there's no mechanical or vacuum advance and there were/still are vacuum leaks. Well no wonder why it had overheating problems..... What a joke.


48415



The wide cap adapter set.


48416



I am going to use for now the GM 4 pin module as it auto adjusts dwell time to keep the coil from overheating at lower RPM's. I'll see how well this works, if it don't like I'll buy the red grommet (California emissions) Duraspark controller as it requires no resistance wire, unlike the blue grommet ones because the red one also varies dwell. I'm relocating the controller to the wing so I am making a long harness. The twisted wire is the coil pickup signal.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
More Engine Bay Madness Continued


48417



I thought I would try a different brand of wire set. I also bought reproductions Ford rocker cover plug wire holders that snap on to the top as the old ones shattered.


48418



I had to shorten two plug wires but other wise they fit ok.


48419



Here's the ignition controller and RFI cap to use.


48420



It'll go over here somewhere.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #63
And Now for Something Completely Different - Clock

I thought a change of pace would be nice so I've been working on the clock as well. Here's that. This is a 1968 clock, which is visually a little different than the 1966, but has mostly the same innards.


48421



I forgot to take a picture of it before I took it all apart.


48422



I liberated the clock from this pile. Interestingly it was disconnected when I removed it and I thought that odd.

These clocks are usually just dead, the failure modes I've seen are the points are so worn and sputtered material all over the gear set it seizes the gear set. The points can break from fatigue of getting slapped hard every 20 or seconds on the electric winder. Another failure point is the winder coils self burn up on a low battery. So the coils are meant to be very intermittent, they draw a fair amount of current to produce a strong magnetic field. When you leave the car unattended for long periods or leave a light on and the battery drains, the battery voltage gets to a point where the winder can slap the mainspring to wind it and the coils stay on. Even on reduced battery voltage they burn up.

This clock however had an interesting failure mode. I connected it to the lab supply and it instantly started chattering away and the minute hand was racing around the face. Kind of amusing actually.


48423



The gear that couples the mainspring to the flywheel and hairspring broke the shaft and the gear cocked over and let the mainspring bypass the time keep and it just rocketed the hands around on the electromagnet winder.

The gear set on the bottom are the bad ones. The shaft broke on the left one but it rubbed on the teeth of its mating gear and deformed those.


48424



Times like this you need another parts clock. I have collected several of these.


48425



You can tell the suns been at the minuted hand and somewhat the hour hand as they are faded.


48426



No problem :)


48427



Easy to paint in the bowl, some lacquer thinner cleans the paint right off the glass.


48428



I've covered this in greater detail on my other posts on the 66 gal 500 XL and the 66 LTD posts I have but I build the point contacts back up with silver solder and file flat best as I can.


48429



Same with this side.


48430



The points set that make contact to auto wind.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
And Now for Something Completely Different - Clock Continued

48431




The reason why the points arc so badly is the inductive flywheel effect when the high current is interrupted. It creates an arc that blows ions off the points and coats the gear set eventually. One way to stop that is solder on a high speed diode across the coil. That way it drastically reduces arcing and makes the points last much much longer.


48432



That's where it needs to be connected. Now soldering on that big brass lug takes a lot of heat and that diode is going to get too hot trying to solder so once it's soldered, take a can of air duster, invert it to get liquid refrigerant out and let it dribble on the stud to cool it quickly as possible so the diode doesn't over heat.


48433



The plastic window has seen better days, it's all hazed up and scratched.


48434



10 minutes on the polisher and it almost looks brand new.


48436



Mostly back together.


48437



Once it's assembled I apply liberally Tri-Flow oil to the parts then take the can of air duster and blow all the excess oil off the gear train.


48438



I also clean out the shell so the light can reflect properly.


48439



Back in the case.


48440



Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
And Now for Something Completely Different - Clock Continued

48441




The bulb that was in there was a #53 and the clock wasn't terribly bright.


48442



I put an #1816 in and that looks pretty darn good at night.


48443



Now with the lamp lit I let the clock run in the lab for a couple of days to break in the replacement parts and get the oil settled. I also make sure the auto time adjust mechanism works. There is a small star wheel and hook (very similar to drum brake adjuster) that every time you have to adjust the clock it ratchets the star wheel and the star wheel connects to the hairspring virtual mount. It can have the effect of shortening or lengthening the spring thereby speeding up or slower down the flywheel.

The designers of this were very clever and my hat is off to them. Every time you adjust the time, it ratchets just once and no matter how many times thereafter you fiddle with the knob, it won't notch it again until 1 hour has passed. That's pretty darn clever and it's all mechanical.


48444



I will say this, the 1966 clocks are more elegant. It's the same guts more or less just rotated -90 degrees in the housing. But these clocks are done and ready to time keep :)

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Nice work!
I have done the same with some of the clocks I have in my stash.
What are your thoughts on adding a small ceramic cap in parallel with the diode?
Do you think it would help with the points arcing problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Nice work!
I have done the same with some of the clocks I have in my stash.
What are your thoughts on adding a small ceramic cap in parallel with the diode?
Do you think it would help with the points arcing problem?
Hi galaxiex,

Thank you for the compliment.

So a small snubber capacitor across the diode will not do anything to further abate arcing. The reason why is the diode is in parallel with the winder coil and you'd be placing the capacitor in parallel with both those items. Since the winder is an inductor, albeit small, it will initially resist the current flow once the points close, so there's little little propensity to arc on points closure. The arcing would normally take place with the points opened as the inductor voltage would for a tiny moment skyrocket and cause the brief arc. The diode prevents that by allowing the current to keep flowing in the coil after the points open and stops the high voltage pulse from occurring. The diode I use is a Schottky diode and it's a high speed diode.

You may have seen small snubber capacitors placed across rectifier diodes in old audio and television gear. That's only because the early diodes, even silicon were really slow to respond and still had a fair amount of leakage current reversed biased. So they would generate noise on the B+ line.

The data sheet for the diode I use in the clocks is attached (SR-5100).

The one thing I forgot to mention is to place a 1 amp ATO fuse inline with the clock to further protect it against low voltage and reverse voltage (swapping battery cables). The fuse will blow under those conditions but under normal conditions the winder makes such brief contact the near 2 amp draw is so short in duration it will not blow the 1 amp ATO fuse.

Cheers
 

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Thanks for your reply. :)

I know that a Schottky diode is the preferred device for this purpose, but all I have on hand are some 1N4007.
Guitar amps use these a lot... so I have probably 150 or so of these. :D

I went ahead and installed them anyway and the arcing is substantially reduced.

I soldered them on in a slightly different manner. Pics below.

168482


168483


It's a little easier to solder to the thin tab, rather than the thick post.

I also have the same problem with the tiny little pin broken on the escapement shaft.

Here it is with the escapement wheel removed.
I did that cuz I attempted to drill the shaft to install a new pin.
Alas... I snapped off the tiny carbide drill (0.39mm) I was using, and now it will be impossible to extract the broken piece of drill bit without mucking up the shaft and gear.

You can kinda see the hole I managed to drill.

168484


Working with parts this small is an exercise in patience!

168485


Oh well, it was no good before I started, so no real loss.
I'll just have to find another parts clock....

Oh, BTW I have also repaired the points on some of these clocks by salvaging some Brass? Gold plated? points out of some relays that I have.
I simply filed off the existing clock points and soldered on the points I snipped out of the relay.
The relays are new, never used and I have no other use for them.
I got them "free" in a grab bag assortment of electronic parts from years ago....
The relay points "look like" good quality as these are some type of multiple contact switching relay,
I think they were intended for speaker switching in an audio amp.

Sorry, no pics of that, tho I could take the clock back apart and get some.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Thanks for your reply. :)

I know that a Schottky diode is the preferred device for this purpose, but all I have on hand are some 1N4007.
Guitar amps use these a lot... so I have probably 150 or so of these. :D

I went ahead and installed them anyway and the arcing is substantially reduced.

I soldered them on in a slightly different manner. Pics below.

View attachment 168482

View attachment 168483

It's a little easier to solder to the thin tab, rather than the thick post.

I also have the same problem with the tiny little pin broken on the escapement shaft.

Here it is with the escapement wheel removed.
I did that cuz I attempted to drill the shaft to install a new pin.
Alas... I snapped off the tiny carbide drill (0.39mm) I was using, and now it will be impossible to extract the broken piece of drill bit without mucking up the shaft and gear.

You can kinda see the hole I managed to drill.

View attachment 168484

Working with parts this small is an exercise in patience!

View attachment 168485

Oh well, it was no good before I started, so no real loss.
I'll just have to find another parts clock....

Oh, BTW I have also repaired the points on some of these clocks by salvaging some Brass? Gold plated? points out of some relays that I have.
I simply filed off the existing clock points and soldered on the points I snipped out of the relay.
The relays are new, never used and I have no other use for them.
I got them "free" in a grab bag assortment of electronic parts from years ago....
The relay points "look like" good quality as these are some type of multiple contact switching relay,
I think they were intended for speaker switching in an audio amp.

Sorry, no pics of that, tho I could take the clock back apart and get some.

Cheers!
Howdy galaxiex,

That's a commendable try for sure! Lord knows you can't win them all, I sure wish I could. It took 7 seven clocks to make 3 good ones, plus I have 3 more in unknown condition (still in dashes or car). If it's one thing with old cars is you need a stash of spare parts and it doesn't matter if it's a clock, seat or brake booster.

On the contact replacement or building up. Gold plated contacts are usually for very low switching loads, typically 100mA and 10 volts or less such as audio & video signals. Silver alloy based contacts are for higher loads. The switching load on these clocks is close to 2 amps. That's why I use a high percentage silver tin solder. You have to turn heat up to get it to melt but it seems to work well. I bought a small roll of it years ago and the place went under and I am still looking for a supply of that. Most of the silver solder is 2% or less, this is around 50%.

Cheers
 

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Howdy galaxiex,

That's a commendable try for sure! Lord knows you can't win them all, I sure wish I could. It took 7 seven clocks to make 3 good ones, plus I have 3 more in unknown condition (still in dashes or car). If it's one thing with old cars is you need a stash of spare parts and it doesn't matter if it's a clock, seat or brake booster.

On the contact replacement or building up. Gold plated contacts are usually for very low switching loads, typically 100mA and 10 volts or less such as audio & video signals. Silver alloy based contacts are for higher loads. The switching load on these clocks is close to 2 amps. That's why I use a high percentage silver tin solder. You have to turn heat up to get it to melt but it seems to work well. I bought a small roll of it years ago and the place went under and I am still looking for a supply of that. Most of the silver solder is 2% or less, this is around 50%.

Cheers
Ahhh thanks!
Good to know about the silver contacts for higher loads.
I did not know that.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Ahhh thanks!
Good to know about the silver contacts for higher loads.
I did not know that.
Hello galaxiex,

You're welcome. If you're interested in the types of contacts and applications I would encourage you to find the technical pages of relay manufacturers, say Omron or Potter and Brumfield. It's been a while but you want the right contact material for a certain load. Whilst gold contacts are perfect for low voltage and low current, you wouldn't want to use certain silver alloy contacts because there isn't enough current to self clean the contacts. So going to heavy duty in a light duty application can cause problems as well.

I had to learn this stuff on the fly in my previous jobs, esoteric information like this is not taught in colleges. It's funny working as a Metrology technician my training was precise and very in depth for a simple technician job. But as an engineer it's sink or swim. I had no mentors and had to research and sort it all out for myself on the go.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #72
More XL Shenanigans

Just more where I left off.


48477



I bought a spacer for the air cleaner since it hits the electric choke housing and rubs on the distributor HT wires.


48478



What a shocker it doesn't fit, the I.D. is too small.


48479



It's as though they forgot to cut it down all the way.


48480



This was a bear to set up in the independent 4 jaw chuck perfectly circular as it's so flimsy.


48481



Fits now, but still a bit too tall.


48482



Took about 1/3rd of its height off and now it's perfect. I used the loosely wadded aluminum foil atop the air cleaner and then lowered the bonnet carefully and measured the crush. I have about an inch and the air cleaner is of the choke and distributor wires.


48483



Although the O-ring works best down facing the carb and the regular paper gasket atop the aluminum spacer.


48484



The Optima came and that was installed.

Now it's time to start it after all that work.

1968 XL Start Video

So the charging system works a treat now, at hot idle the battery voltage was 14.10 and with the HVAC blower on high, the battery voltage was still 14.10 at idle. It didn't even change a hundredth of a volt and all the lights are nice and bright. I am very happy with that.

However I am not happy with the ignition system. So this mix-n-match system is mentioned on several popular automotive forums and I thought I'd try it since I have extra GM 4 pin modules and it simplifies the wiring for now. This still is a temporary thing so I can enjoy the car now whilst I finish those other two 66's. However this GM-Ford alliance of an ignition system does not play nicely together.

The problem is the coil overheats. The timing however is very stable. To be honest I was kind of hoping this would work as it was praised on several places. However my one suspicion was no one ever posted scope readings.

Well, here they are.


48485



This is the primary coil current. Well no wonder why it's overheating. This is at approximately 710 RPM. The coil magnetic core is saturated and the current is hitting the limiting function on the GM module of about 5-5.5 amps.

Now I'm using a Pico amp probe clamped to the (-) coil wire.

I just want to mention you do not need expensive lab grade equipment for something like this. This is a cheap 100 dollar 2 channel O-scope that fits in your pocket. I think I paid more for the Pico amp clamp. But this scope is perfect for this, plus it has a signal generator you can set up and it will output on a jack. It's perfect for audio work too.

This setup is also extremely useful for checking DC motors like blower motors or fuel pumps. You can see the commutation action and see if you have bad windings or brushes on a motor that might be on its last legs, especially a fuel pump in the tank.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
More XL Shenanigans Continued


48486



It's probably hard to see but the amp clamp is atop the engine near the coil.


48487



This is at roughly 1760 RPM and the coil dwell is happy here and higher RPM's. It's just at idle it saturates and the coil and module just dissipate heat when that happens. It doesn't take much to see that if the module limits 5.5 amps then simply put I^2 x R. Where 5.5^2 = 30.25 x coil resistance of 1.5 ohms = 45.4 watts. So the coil for the time it saturates has to dissipate the heat of a 45 watt light bulb. Add to that sitting atop a hot engine and then blocked off from air flow from that idiotic 1968 compressor bracket, no wonder why it overheats.

Now according to this website Ford - GM HEI Ignition it should auto adjust the dwell to prevent coil saturation, but it doesn't. This guy says that the controller in the GM HEI module is the MC3334. I have no way to verify that. But in looking at the data sheet it looks like the module is trying to offset the voltage at the pickup coil to alter dwell. If that's really the case, then the pickup coil in the distributor has to have a certain electrical characteristic for this dwell control to work properly. In other words at a certain RPM the pickup coil has to output a certain voltage.

I do not think the Ford pick up is properly matched to the dwell correction in the module.

It's quite clear this system does not work happily together so for anyone interested, don't bother. For giglesnorts I'll put the amp clamp on a genuine GM distributor with this module and have a look at the primary coil current.

With that I did order the California only Duraspark I module and coil. However it will not be here for a week so in order to use the car I added the resistance wire back in between the coil and module and bought a heavy duty version coil.


48488



I raided the resistance wire out of a wiring harness. I have a huge bin full of 3rd gen wiring harnesses. So I unwrapped my harness and gave myself two coil wires, one regular wire and one resistance wire. Then I taped it back up. So when the Duraspark I module arrives I can just use the other wire instead.

What a pain in the butt.


48489



The car runs the same. But here you can see the dwell was stretched by the module not sensing current limit early. The coil still gets warm-hot, but not blistering hot like before. This is at idle.


48490



This is a higher RPM.

It'll be interesting to compare this vs a genuine GM HEI distributor then to the Ford California HEI system. At least it's drivable (well that's relative) for now.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Hello,

This is a new thread I'm starting on yet another project car. Actually I have a basket case '68 XL fastback that I was going to start after these two '66's were done. However another '68 XL fastback sort of fell into my lap that is cosmetically superior to my original XL pile of junk. However whilst this looks far better than my old one, it has many mechanical, electrical and vacuum problems.

Some have asked well if it has so many problems, why did I buy it. Good question. My XL is missing key trim and the trim that is present most of it is pretty bad and would need reconditioning. Then there is finding the missing bits. I ran an estimate of what it would take to make my old XL's body look as nice as this new XL and it would be about 3 times what I paid for this one. So whilst this XL wasn't cheap, it was cost effective in the long run and it saves me time.

Here's my old pile of '68 XL


47763




47764




47765



Oof! what a mess. It was delivered not running as it sat for decades but I did get it running and drivable. The frame is rotted and portions of the body as well including the floor pans/braces and trunk pan.

Now a word on 1968 XL's. The reason why I bought this is because it has what I call the tri-fecta of options rarely found in these. They are an FE big block (usually they came with a 302), factory A/C (expensive option back then) and bucket seats/centre console with floor shift (even though it's an XL you could get them with a bench and column shift).

In the years I've owned this I've only seen 3 others come up for sale that had all three of these options, that includes the one I just bought.


47766




47767




47768




47769




47770



This car also has one more valuable, well at least to me, option. That is a factory AM-FM stereo. The reason why this is a valuable option is I've been trying to find the clear dash lens for this for years and have been unsuccessful. You see for the 1968 dash withcidentally looks very similar to the '65/'66 dash Ford made the dash different for AM only and AM-FM stereo. I have two extra of these AM-FM stereo radios and one NOS black plastic applique but I haven't been able to find the clear dash lens either NOS or used. That begs the question how do you put a price a part you cannot get?

This car was owned for 28 years from the people I bought it from, they did try to take care of it, but the problem was plain to see that lack of research or willingness to buy expensive parts or have the correct part sent off for overhaul led to compounding problems. Also the seller was very honest and said this car has near enough 300,000 miles on it, well 291K but now were just splitting hairs

It was the wifes daily driver for all those years. I respect that.

This car actually broke down getting it off the trailer when we made it back home, so right off the bat with the problems. Actually the crappy aftermarket Pertronix ignition module shorted. When we made it back home from Arizona it was late (about 8.5 hours one way with truck and trailer) and very cold. The owner said he didn't use coolant but distilled water, oh here we go again, so I couldn't leave it outside in the teens. My better half and I were both beat and so we thought well it should take about about 15 minutes to unstrap the car and drive it into the heated garage.

HAH, 3 hours later. I started the car on the trailer and let it warm up whilst we undid the straps and chains. We laid the ramps and I proceeded to release the parking brake I set on the trailer only to find the previous people didn't use it much and it was half stuck on and the brakes dragging. Well crap, off to a good start <rolling eyes>. With that I just figured I would overpower the parking brakes with the engine and proceeded to reverse off the trailer. No problems there. I shifted from reverse to drive and it just stalled. I cranked and cranked and cranked it and not a glimmer of a light off.

<sigh>

We couldn't push it because the brakes were dragging. It felt like someone just turned the key off, so I figured ignition, so after a brief diagnostic the crappy Pertronix just failed right then and there, the driver transistor was shorted on. I remembered I had an FE distributor replete with a functioning set of points and condenser somewhere in the parts reserve in a very cold storage garage. Eventually found it and proceed to replace the distributor for my old points spare in 15 degree weather. Eventually I did and it started and I drove it into the garage.

So I thought this would be different approach to owning and driving an old car, one that isn't so bad it's not in dire need of a complete tear down but one that could be mended along the way keeping the car drivable as much as possible.

I've been driving it around the subdivision making notes of everything I find wrong and boy oh boy it's a lot.

Here's the list so far of problems after two days:

1.) Charging system voltage low at idle, also it has the wrong alternator
2.) Clock doesn't work
3.) Radio only has one channel working, the FM stereo light occasionally works, AM sensitivity is really poor, FM seems fine.
4.) Glove box latch sticks
5.) Hazard switch doesn't flash the rear tail lamps
6.) Hissing noise from dash, when in heat mode, some air is coming out the dash main vents
7.) Wrong brake booster and doesn't hold vacuum.
8.) Transmission has shift kit and shifts hard. I don't like that so that will have to go.
9.) Every time it shifts there is a loud clunk from the rear axle. Cardan joints and or entire differential with gears are worn.
10.) Engine has low oil pressure (that's a given with near enough 300K miles, it's not a diesel).
11.) Parking brake sticks, needs new cables.
12.) Either the thermostat is stuck open or there is no thermostat as there is little to no heat.
13.) Needs a proper OEM electronic ignition system.
14.) The seller said it needs alignment of which I grew immediately suspicious and had a look and sure enough some clown put new strut rod bushings in and flipped the cupped washers around, so the bushings move around and so does the strut rods and the lower control arms. <rolling eyes>
15.) They replaced the front springs and the front end sits to high, needs original XL springs for FE, PS, and A/C installed.
16.) The right interior kick panel vent doesn't seem to be connected.
17.) The reupholstered front seats aren't done properly and the drivers seat especially rubs on the centre console, it will need another new set of proper seat covers.
18.) Hidden headlamp assembly is missing rubber bumpers and some hardware and is painfully slow to open and close. Will do an electric conversion. That's one old thing I don't mind upgrading.
19.) Back seat feels like the springs are broken or stretched.
20.) Needs new rear package tray liner, this one is carpeted.
21.) Has some tacky aluminum radiator, needs original brass copper one.
22.) Fan shroud is cracked.
23.) Has some hideous aftermarket flex fan that is about 3" smaller than the original fan. This needs to get tossed and the original clutch fan reinstalled.
24.) Someone installed an Edelbrock carb but plumbed it horribly.
25.) The seller had a new York compressor installed and changed one hose and the expansion valve, but since it still has the original receiver drier I bet it still has some mineral oil (R12) and the new compressor came with PAG (R134). Those two oils when mixed, heated and have some moisture in the system create an acid that attacks aluminum. That entire HVAC system will have to be dismantled, the evaporator and condenser inspected and flushed and everything else replaced. Probably a new proper brass copper heater core as well.
26.) The wiring in the car is very baked, it all needs to be replaced.
27.) Both torsion springs for the deck lid broke and need replacing.
28.) The floor shift feels loose and worn.
29.) There's an Edelbrock aluminum coolant pump, or in this case quite literally water pump, and I'm wondering if it's a high flow model. Seems out of place. If it is I will convert it back to a normal flow coolant pump as it's just wasting horsepower.
30.) The harmonic damper isn't correct, it has a later year part number code on it. Need to check TDC.
31.) The A/C idler pulley looks original and probably about to fail. Need to retrofit it with a replaceable one since these are discontinued.
32.) Wrong power steering pump

How's that for a short list :)

Now I knew ahead of time what I was getting into but someone else might look at this and would never realize all the problems it has and it would be ruinously expensive to take to an expert to sort it all out if you didn't know much about these cars or had access to parts cars with the correct parts on them.

The good news is I've relegated my junky '68 XL and junky '68 LTD as parts cars. My old XL whilst missing trim was 100% complete and original in the engine bay, so loads of hard to find correct parts to be had.

The plan is rather than take a part off the new XL and rebuild it/replace it, I will take it off one of the other parts cars and rebuild/refurbish it and then do a parts change on the new XL. This applies to everything from the clock to the engine.

The last spot of good news is I've been collecting parts, new and NOS for my old XL for years. I have boxes upon boxes of parts ready for this new XL as well.

So instead of my usual long boring posts on building a car up from a bare frame, this one will more spontaneous and dealing with individual problems and mending them whilst keeping the car drivable. Thought it might be something different.

Cheers
Wow, it's great car.Very beautiful exterior.
 

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Wow, quite a post. Looking forward to watching your progress. It is a looker already, and the interior and exterior look great for 300k miles, but it is an Arizona car, so. Sometimes the Arizona cars roast the interior. Looks damn good for that year.
Hello,

This is a new thread I'm starting on yet another project car. Actually I have a basket case '68 XL fastback that I was going to start after these two '66's were done. However another '68 XL fastback sort of fell into my lap that is cosmetically superior to my original XL pile of junk. However whilst this looks far better than my old one, it has many mechanical, electrical and vacuum problems.

Some have asked well if it has so many problems, why did I buy it. Good question. My XL is missing key trim and the trim that is present most of it is pretty bad and would need reconditioning. Then there is finding the missing bits. I ran an estimate of what it would take to make my old XL's body look as nice as this new XL and it would be about 3 times what I paid for this one. So whilst this XL wasn't cheap, it was cost effective in the long run and it saves me time.

Here's my old pile of '68 XL


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Oof! what a mess. It was delivered not running as it sat for decades but I did get it running and drivable. The frame is rotted and portions of the body as well including the floor pans/braces and trunk pan.

Now a word on 1968 XL's. The reason why I bought this is because it has what I call the tri-fecta of options rarely found in these. They are an FE big block (usually they came with a 302), factory A/C (expensive option back then) and bucket seats/centre console with floor shift (even though it's an XL you could get them with a bench and column shift).

In the years I've owned this I've only seen 3 others come up for sale that had all three of these options, that includes the one I just bought.


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This car also has one more valuable, well at least to me, option. That is a factory AM-FM stereo. The reason why this is a valuable option is I've been trying to find the clear dash lens for this for years and have been unsuccessful. You see for the 1968 dash withcidentally looks very similar to the '65/'66 dash Ford made the dash different for AM only and AM-FM stereo. I have two extra of these AM-FM stereo radios and one NOS black plastic applique but I haven't been able to find the clear dash lens either NOS or used. That begs the question how do you put a price a part you cannot get?

This car was owned for 28 years from the people I bought it from, they did try to take care of it, but the problem was plain to see that lack of research or willingness to buy expensive parts or have the correct part sent off for overhaul led to compounding problems. Also the seller was very honest and said this car has near enough 300,000 miles on it, well 291K but now were just splitting hairs

It was the wifes daily driver for all those years. I respect that.

This car actually broke down getting it off the trailer when we made it back home, so right off the bat with the problems. Actually the crappy aftermarket Pertronix ignition module shorted. When we made it back home from Arizona it was late (about 8.5 hours one way with truck and trailer) and very cold. The owner said he didn't use coolant but distilled water, oh here we go again, so I couldn't leave it outside in the teens. My better half and I were both beat and so we thought well it should take about about 15 minutes to unstrap the car and drive it into the heated garage.

HAH, 3 hours later. I started the car on the trailer and let it warm up whilst we undid the straps and chains. We laid the ramps and I proceeded to release the parking brake I set on the trailer only to find the previous people didn't use it much and it was half stuck on and the brakes dragging. Well crap, off to a good start <rolling eyes>. With that I just figured I would overpower the parking brakes with the engine and proceeded to reverse off the trailer. No problems there. I shifted from reverse to drive and it just stalled. I cranked and cranked and cranked it and not a glimmer of a light off.

<sigh>

We couldn't push it because the brakes were dragging. It felt like someone just turned the key off, so I figured ignition, so after a brief diagnostic the crappy Pertronix just failed right then and there, the driver transistor was shorted on. I remembered I had an FE distributor replete with a functioning set of points and condenser somewhere in the parts reserve in a very cold storage garage. Eventually found it and proceed to replace the distributor for my old points spare in 15 degree weather. Eventually I did and it started and I drove it into the garage.

So I thought this would be different approach to owning and driving an old car, one that isn't so bad it's not in dire need of a complete tear down but one that could be mended along the way keeping the car drivable as much as possible.

I've been driving it around the subdivision making notes of everything I find wrong and boy oh boy it's a lot.

Here's the list so far of problems after two days:

1.) Charging system voltage low at idle, also it has the wrong alternator
2.) Clock doesn't work
3.) Radio only has one channel working, the FM stereo light occasionally works, AM sensitivity is really poor, FM seems fine.
4.) Glove box latch sticks
5.) Hazard switch doesn't flash the rear tail lamps
6.) Hissing noise from dash, when in heat mode, some air is coming out the dash main vents
7.) Wrong brake booster and doesn't hold vacuum.
8.) Transmission has shift kit and shifts hard. I don't like that so that will have to go.
9.) Every time it shifts there is a loud clunk from the rear axle. Cardan joints and or entire differential with gears are worn.
10.) Engine has low oil pressure (that's a given with near enough 300K miles, it's not a diesel).
11.) Parking brake sticks, needs new cables.
12.) Either the thermostat is stuck open or there is no thermostat as there is little to no heat.
13.) Needs a proper OEM electronic ignition system.
14.) The seller said it needs alignment of which I grew immediately suspicious and had a look and sure enough some clown put new strut rod bushings in and flipped the cupped washers around, so the bushings move around and so does the strut rods and the lower control arms. <rolling eyes>
15.) They replaced the front springs and the front end sits to high, needs original XL springs for FE, PS, and A/C installed.
16.) The right interior kick panel vent doesn't seem to be connected.
17.) The reupholstered front seats aren't done properly and the drivers seat especially rubs on the centre console, it will need another new set of proper seat covers.
18.) Hidden headlamp assembly is missing rubber bumpers and some hardware and is painfully slow to open and close. Will do an electric conversion. That's one old thing I don't mind upgrading.
19.) Back seat feels like the springs are broken or stretched.
20.) Needs new rear package tray liner, this one is carpeted.
21.) Has some tacky aluminum radiator, needs original brass copper one.
22.) Fan shroud is cracked.
23.) Has some hideous aftermarket flex fan that is about 3" smaller than the original fan. This needs to get tossed and the original clutch fan reinstalled.
24.) Someone installed an Edelbrock carb but plumbed it horribly.
25.) The seller had a new York compressor installed and changed one hose and the expansion valve, but since it still has the original receiver drier I bet it still has some mineral oil (R12) and the new compressor came with PAG (R134). Those two oils when mixed, heated and have some moisture in the system create an acid that attacks aluminum. That entire HVAC system will have to be dismantled, the evaporator and condenser inspected and flushed and everything else replaced. Probably a new proper brass copper heater core as well.
26.) The wiring in the car is very baked, it all needs to be replaced.
27.) Both torsion springs for the deck lid broke and need replacing.
28.) The floor shift feels loose and worn.
29.) There's an Edelbrock aluminum coolant pump, or in this case quite literally water pump, and I'm wondering if it's a high flow model. Seems out of place. If it is I will convert it back to a normal flow coolant pump as it's just wasting horsepower.
30.) The harmonic damper isn't correct, it has a later year part number code on it. Need to check TDC.
31.) The A/C idler pulley looks original and probably about to fail. Need to retrofit it with a replaceable one since these are discontinued.
32.) Wrong power steering pump

How's that for a short list :)

Now I knew ahead of time what I was getting into but someone else might look at this and would never realize all the problems it has and it would be ruinously expensive to take to an expert to sort it all out if you didn't know much about these cars or had access to parts cars with the correct parts on them.

The good news is I've relegated my junky '68 XL and junky '68 LTD as parts cars. My old XL whilst missing trim was 100% complete and original in the engine bay, so loads of hard to find correct parts to be had.

The plan is rather than take a part off the new XL and rebuild it/replace it, I will take it off one of the other parts cars and rebuild/refurbish it and then do a parts change on the new XL. This applies to everything from the clock to the engine.

The last spot of good news is I've been collecting parts, new and NOS for my old XL for years. I have boxes upon boxes of parts ready for this new XL as well.

So instead of my usual long boring posts on building a car up from a bare frame, this one will more spontaneous and dealing with individual problems and mending them whilst keeping the car drivable. Thought it might be something different.

Cheers
Great cruisers. I like this ford model
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Ford Duraspark Distributor and GM HEI Module

Yesterday I had to change the oil in my Caprice Classic and had an opportunity to take a primary reading on a complete all GM HEI system. And it's a confirmed kill. The Ford distributor and GM module do not work well together as the automatic dwell adjustment isn't electrically matched to the Ford pick up coil. It is matched to the GM pick up coil.

168522


This is hot idle. There is just a tiny hint of coil saturation and that's it. It's like this through the useable RPM range.

168523


I have the amp clamp around the coil primary wire.

Later this week the Ford HEI system should arrive and it'll be interesting to see how well that California only Duraspark I does at controlling the dwell.

Cheers
 
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