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.

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