Fresh plant for the long haul to our South Carolina season ender.....
Photo courtesy Judge Phil's Uber gallery.
My first driver warped the brake rotors so badly, the vibration snapped the alternator mounting bolts. Despite that, we lead the race all day Saturday and half of Sunday, before the 440 let go... "Is that serious? .... Yep."
So close, yet so far. I've lost track of how many 440s we've chewed through. 4? 5?
Photo courtesy Judge Phil's uber gallery
A season to forget for that "shitbox Dodge Plymouth"....
A couple months ago, I stopped by the guy's place where we dug out the '74 NYSP Monaco. I picked up a few odds and ends, one of which was the orange air cleaner lid that was missing from the car... No decal!
My air cleaner is just an old motorhome housing with the shorty snorkel I salvaged welded on. Tack...grind...tack...grind...bondo....sand....bondo....sand... repeat... forever
In town on another cold fall day in the far northeast, I managed to sneak away for a few hours to my favorite junkyard. Apparently word has gotten out about the hidden treasure to be found here. Even the rotted-beyond-saving '68 Charger I once used as a workbench is long gone.
Since my last visit, two(?) three(?) years ago, someone scooped up the header panel, grille, headlight bezels and fender badges from the old '74. The car still has an OK set of taillights and very crusty fenders, but without the header panel and pressed for time, I decided to leave them for the next guy.
This '75 Gran Fury A38 is the gift that keeps on giving. This car donated all the HD suspension I'm currently running under my racer, but the doors were stuck closed on my last visit. I had to resort to being destructive to getting the doors open (the latches were frozen solid) but the couple hours invested netted an armful of great parts. Keep your eyes open for a for-sale thread in the near future.
Not much of her left but her fuel filler pipe and 1(ish)-piece speedo cable will be put back into service on #21. I've picked so much of this car, it was only fitting I grabbed one more part to add to mount on my wall.
As I mentioned in my last post, I'd put together a "new" engine for our 2019 season ender. Based on a minty-clean 45k-mile '77 motorhome 440; no ring-ridge, factory cross-hatch and like-new bearings. I bolted on the aluminum cylinder heads from the tired Imperial 440, threw in a big Hughes bumpstick, and dropped in an MSD pro billet dizzy. The plant hurled the Fury to 1st in class on Saturday and halfway through Sunday before my driver radio'd in "down on power, smoke in the cabin..."
After the car limped back to the paddock, I discovered the contents of the oil pan blown all over the engine bay, the pan gasket blown out from what I assumed was poor ring tension. Added to that the alternator dangling from its sheared mounts ended our weekend. Not until last weekend did I fully comprehend the scale of the situation. Remember, this engine was running and driving....
Catastrophic valve failure on the 440Source Stealth heads. Less than a year old, only a couple hundred miles on them. This shortblock retained it's factory pistons with almost an 1/8" of deck clearance. All the other cylinders are immaculate. The timing chain was new and still intact. The valve springs are all intact, the keepers on the affected valve still retaining the stem. All evidence points to a defect in the valve itself, the #2 exhaust, which snapped in half just above the head.
I took a gamble when I invested in aluminum heads that the $500-1k savings over a set of American made Edelbrocks was worth the risk, that I could live with rougher castings and a slight loss of performance; in the end I still got bit. Therefore, I can not in any way, recommend these heads. Don't be me. F*** China, buy American.
Anyway, I'm down to one *serviceable* 440, the old '74 Imperial short-block that had been in the car for a few seasons. Fingers crossed it can survive 2020...