Modify your crossmember for clearance - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Modify your crossmember for clearance

I have a 1964 Fairlane with a 289 and C4. The car has had a 6 cylinder and a few V8's in the past for power. There has been two sets of modified headers in this car. They were 1.5" primaries into 3" collectors. This is the last set up that was a little tight but all the header bolts could be reached.


That is 2.5" pipes into a 3" exhaust. It worked well but then I added AFR heads and a larger VOO DOO cam. The headers restricted the ports in the heads. The engine compartment has been modified to fit 1966 and later headers but that is another story. The 1.5" headers were Dynomax. I bought 6901 Hookers to get the larger 1.625 tubes and a little more equal length. Remember these are 1966 on up headers on a 1964 so this is not a Hooker fitment problem.


As you can see the headers do not align with the cross member. The old ones didn't either but these collectors are longer so they almost hit. I may have gotten by but I have the tools to make it better. First lets take some measurements. Measure to all parts and take notes. I had an emergency brake cable that also needed clearance. Look at it awhile and picture what to do.


The next step is to secure the points that will not change. That would be the side mounting points and the transmission mount. You can weld it down or make a fixture to hold it securely.


These are some readily available parts. It is strut, threaded rod, and perforated angle. This is what I made but you can use what you have. Just make sure the points are secure enough to not move.


Now that we have a secure mount it is time to mark where material needs to be removed. I cut this with a portable band saw but a cut off wheel or reciprocating saw will work fine.


The pieces were mad with flat bar stock. It needs to be bent to a radius that will work. Here is a 3" pipe in the vise with the metal bent over it.


Needed a tighter bend on one end so I used a smaller pipe cap.


Now that the metal is bent it is time to test it in the fixture. Since the mounting points are secure we can test the fit one at a time. I would suggest tacking the parts one at a time and not final weld them until all are in place.


Next are the side or vertical pieces. Use paper or card board and label all the pieces. This is not Ford Motor Company so they will not all be the same. Accept that and recheck all the parts.


If all the pieces of the puzzle are in place it is time to weld. Weld all you can while it is in the fixture. That way when you put it back in it will fit just like the original.


Almost done. My car gets used and abused. I don't want to break this part. If in doubt weld in a second piece of metal at the vertical cuts. The edge of my part was getting narrow so I felt it was worth the time.

Time to see if it fits and offers more clearance. Well it looks like I can get my socket in there now to tighten those bolts. Nothing will be hitting and rattling either.

The exhaust is finished with 2.5" pipes into a 3" Y pipe with a flex connector into a Heart Throb Velocity muffler. That is Krylon BBQ Grill paint on the exhaust. 1200 degrees and half the price of header paint. Not sure if it will hold up on headers but it will not burn off at this point. I have used it for years.


So what is the point?
I might have squeaked by but now it is the way I want and every thing fits. The idea of this is to show that with basic tools you can make things that you dream. There was a point I would not have done this. I want to encourage you to try some of these ideas so you get the itch or the confidence to do it your self. Remember to use paper to test fit your pieces, anchor parts that you want to modify and bolt back in and have them fit, and remember you can do it.
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Last edited by Mikelonis; 04-29-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 05:38 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Awesome jig, very thoughtful.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 08:21 PM
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Smile Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Very well engineered and presented.
Bill Bailey
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 09:36 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Damned good writeup.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 07:38 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Great job! Very good write up! Why not run duels?

The crows be pickin at your flesh if you ain't got control of the situation!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

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Originally Posted by galaxastang View Post
Great job! Very good write up! Why not run duels?
Thank you for the positive comments guys. Thinking I might actually help someone else is nice and I know I learn from others here. Duals is a good question. Every one does it so what can I do to be different? Some reasons on this car. The early Fairlanes had the gas tank to one side and the muffler next to it. They were not set up for duals. You can go next to the tank or behind the wheel but it is a little tight. A single 3" pipe has more area than two 2.25" pipes but not quite as much as two 2.5" pipes. I have a 289 and a 3" has a lot of flow. I actually kind of like the sound of a single large muffler. I think it sounds like the motor is spinning another 1000 RPM over duals. I also mounted the 3" velocity muffler in the stock location next to the gas tank. Guys look under the car and tell me I am not running a muffler because it is not where they expect to see it.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 05:31 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Cool!!

The crows be pickin at your flesh if you ain't got control of the situation!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 10:16 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

awesome job mate,makes more sence than chopping up your headers...

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 02:23 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

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Originally Posted by steharz View Post
awesome job mate,makes more sence than chopping up your headers...
I would have thought that it is easier to modify the collectors, rather than the crossmember. Last fall on my car we went the route of turning the collectors to clear the trans crossmember. I had never had headers on anything before, but my friend built race cars in a previous life and he said my car was about the easiest header install he'd ever had.

To me, that looked like nice fabrication on the crossmember. It looks like a lot more work, but it turned out well, and it looking good and working well is all that matters.

1970 XL, 351W originally 2V, now 4V
670 Street Avenger, Edlebrock Performer intake, Comp XE262H, Flowtech Headers
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 05:26 PM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

If you look under a 91-93 Thunderbird or Cougar with the 5.0L, check out the tranny crossmember. All you have to do to make it fit, with the humps where you have them now, is to cut off about 1" on each end and redrill the mounting holes. They are virtually the same as one for a Fairlane but with the exhaust humps out further.

Steve 64 Fairlane S/C 306 roller motor. lentech AOD 8.8 rear, self designed and built coilover strut front suspension, big brakes
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

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I would have thought that it is easier to modify the collectors, rather than the crossmember. Last fall on my car we went the route of turning the collectors to clear the trans crossmember. I had never had headers on anything before, but my friend built race cars in a previous life and he said my car was about the easiest header install he'd ever had.
To me, that looked like nice fabrication on the crossmember. It looks like a lot more work, but it turned out well, and it looking good and working well is all that matters.
That is a good observation and I think you are correct that cutting and turning the collectors would be easier if that was enough to clear and it probably would have been OK. Let me give a couple things I was thinking at the time. The other headers were closer and it was tight getting a hand in there to adjust the shifter so the added clearance was nice. This is the third set of headers on the car and if I ever did decide to sell them they would have more value uncut. Not sure about an AOD trans in the future so extra space would be good for that.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Quote:
Originally Posted by stvrrr View Post
If you look under a 91-93 Thunderbird or Cougar with the 5.0L, check out the tranny crossmember. All you have to do to make it fit, with the humps where you have them now, is to cut off about 1" on each end and redrill the mounting holes. They are virtually the same as one for a Fairlane but with the exhaust humps out further.
Now you tell me. Any one doing a swap this is good info from stvrrr. I will say part of the reason for the post was to just give some ideas on how to get started in a modification like this. Thanks for another option on cross members though.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 12:49 AM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

I have a need for this type of modification. Thanks for posting it. No offense but is there a aftermarket supplier for this?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 12:53 AM
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Re: Modify your crossmember for clearance

Now that could save me some time! Thanks
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