Saturday, April 25, 2009


Drew and I hit the New Braunfels swap meet today and there were a lot of cool parts to be had.
I was specifically looking to find a bell housing, a good four-speed shifter with linkage, and perhaps a clutch. I ended up meeting vendor named Kajun Jon, who had all sorts of 4-speed parts and best of all, knowledge.
After telling him what I was building, I seized the opportunity to pepper Kajun Jon with all my 4-speed questons.  Should I get an 10.5" clutch or a 11" set-up ? Jon's answer? 10.5" less rotating mass for quicker revs. Should I go with an aluminum flywheel? "Absolutely!" Light cars love aluminum flywheels!" I'm thinking of going with a CenterForce clutch, what do you think. "Overkill, a single will work fine."
After bleeding him dry of info, I did the only thing a decent human being would.
I bought a zoom clutch with throw-out bearing, disk, aluminum flywheel and chevrolet passenger car bell housing from the dude.
The next step was to track down Jeff,  a guy who I'd talked to who had a 327 shortblock for sale on Craigslist. We'd arranged for me to look at his short block at this meet.
I'd already talked with him at length about the engine, which had only a matter of hours on it before he'd grenaded an Art Carr Trans. He'd already sold off the aftermarket heads. I'd balked at going to see it for three good reasons: he was a couple hours away, it was expensive and I figured it was way more motor than I needed.
As it turned out, the short block was in super condition and the internals were clearly new.
He provided the cam card, and had brought along a full set of roller lifters, ARP bolts and push rods, which all appeared new and were included in the sale. The engine also had a Fluidamper dampener .
We ran the numbers on the block itself, a 64-67 327 truck, corvette or passenger car motor. It was packed with high end goodies and the block appeared to be everything Jeff had previously described.
Despite the fact that it was more than I wanted to spend, I was mightily impressed by how tidy the engine and all the parts looked. I agreed to pay a little more than I wanted to and Jeff took a a fair share less than his original asking. I can't wait to hear it run in the roadster, and I'll likely be changing out the cam to something less radical and sousrcing some vintage heads in good running condition or rebuildable.
It was a great day out with my son, and the parts pile is getting higher. I did find a shifter but it was more than I wanted to spend and the seller wasn't budging, so I let him keep it.
I'll keep you all posted as the momentum builds.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The parts pile is coming together nicely for the '29's drivetrain. Not sure whether I mentioned it before, but I sourced a 9" Ford Detroit locker rear end with a 3.50 rear ratio. I also found a Muncie M-20 4-speed tranny, the one with the 2.52 first gear. Next decision is the engine. Do I run the warmed over 425 Buick Nailhead that I bought it with, or put together a stout little small block chevy for it. I'm leaning towards the small block chevy, figuring the weight savings would make it handle a bit better. I figure a sixties era 327 with one horsepower pure cube would do quite nicely, given the car's weight of 2,000 lbs. Plus, I've got an Edelebrock 3X2 intake with Holley 94's all ready to go should I opt for the 327. If I go with the 425, I'll need to get the transmission adaptor kit from Bendtsen's. Fun times.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Thanks to a gentleman in Minnesota, my '65 Riviera has a new owner and that means I now have a build budget for my roadster. The body will be headed back out to Marty South for mock-up on the custom frame he's constructed. I've decided to keep the 425 ci nailhead for another project and we're going to set-up the 29 for a small block chevy, preferably a mildly built 327 with a 3X2 intake with a 4-speed backing it up. I also found a 9" Detroit Locker rear with 3.50 gears we're going to put out back. We're going to set-up cowl steering to free up room in the footwell for three pedals. We're just now gathering up the parts and I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, we're off to vend the Lone Star Round Up. Hopefully, I'll be able to peruse the swap meet area. More details too follow.