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Chasers 66 408 Restomod / ProTouring Coupe

Discussion in 'Member's Build Threads' started by chaser012001, May 4, 2017.

  1. stangg

    stangg Active Member

    You should also pre-fit the lower windshield trim since the fender tucks under the trim. Probably not an issue, but you don't want any interference issues to deal with after paint.
  2. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    WAY better than the repop fender...i'm a believer
  3. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Blocked the e-coat on the new door and fender since I was going to have to scuff them anyhow. They were really good...I'm pretty surprised.

    Coated them in epoxy and did some more blocking on the body. After the epoxy settles (24 hours according to the tech sheet), I'll run 2 coats of SS on the fender, door, and a couple other spots that need a recoat. While that's settling I'll continue blocking what's already been sprayed. I like to wait at least 24 hours from the spray time with SS. They say you can sand it 2 hours after spray but I feel better waiting.
    I also need to final set the fender and check the windshield molding as recommended above (thanks).
    With any luck, I'll be on to urethane primer and 400 blocking...aka...the last step for me.

    I also touched up the engine bay paint. I had to make some modifications to account for things I moved around.

    I also received the first stack of boxes from MDL including the clutch, master, slave...basically everything except the trans and bell housing.
  4. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Right or wrong, I've decided to break from body work for a little bit and play around with the engine and trans. The scattershield arrived Friday which was the last part I needed before getting down to business on setting the engine and trans in.

    So far, I've mocked up the flywheel and clutch outside the car to check specs, runout, etc. Also verified headers would clear. I then set the engine into the car. I'm going to have to move the motor mounts around a little to get things to ride where they need to when it comes time for the transmission. It looks to be sitting a little far forward at the moment. I think I'm going to have to roll it back about an inch to get it into the sweet spot.

    The tasks for this week is going to be to remove the tunnel support because, according to MDL, it's going to have to get moved back about 2.3" to make room for the top of the TKO even with the low profile kit. I've thought about using the RM lowering mounts to drop the engine down and see if I can get away with not having to move the support but I'm a little concerned it's going to set the engine down on top of the TCP rack. There is also the concern that lowering the engine is going to change the geometry on the transmission since the MDL kit is designed to work at the stock location. Although, from my understanding, as long as the drive angle is < 3 degrees I should be ok (also verifying the angles on the rear end and driveshaft)...the rear end is lowered 1" and will probably be lowered another 1" as well when it's all said and done.

    Oh yeah...before I can really do any of that, I also need to get the headers installed. It's going to be a super tight squeeze on those guys.

    If anyone has experience shoving a TKO in a 66 with Ron Morris mounts and a RnP I'd love to hear it. My google-fu was a bit weak on finding definitive answers from within the last few years. The ones I was finding were the pre-low profile kit where you had to modify the tunnel slightly.
  5. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    Despite what anyone says (including MDL who have changed their tune from years ago) getting a TKO into a 65/66 is no small task. I understand (have read) there is a TKO with a shorter top piece which will certainly help but that is still a very big trans compared to what the tunnel was designed to accommodate. Glad you are taking the steps now to figure everything out. I can foresee more cutting and hacking than you probably expect but its all doable at this stage. I think you are wise to be leery of lowering the engine onto the rack. That has been a problem for more than one build I have seen. As long as you are moving the cross bracing why not install the convertible structure as well? As it goes top side it shouldn't cause trans location issues and the added structural strength is pretty significant especially if you include the full inner rocker pieces.

    It's only metal. Cut and weld it back up how you need it.
  6. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Already have the vert inner rockers, front torque boxes, and one piece seat riser installed :)

    I think no matter which route I go, I'm going to cut out the tunnel support and plan to move it. Worse case I put it back and it's not that hard to get out.
  7. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I went with the RM lowered mounts, I needed a custom crossmember made by Zray to clear the lowered engine with the canton pan. I fully intend to use a TKO of sorts with the low profile top but I'll be putting it in a 68 so I have more room to work with.
  8. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    You lucky SOB...

    The engine is lowered as far as it's going to go. As it sits now it's tight and that's with the stock height mounts. To keep everyone abreast of the setup, this is a Canton pan over a TCP rack. Anyway, putting the transmission into place, the tunnel support needed to go. Then there are the headers but that's a battle for another day.

    So tonight I cut out the tunnel support...after staring at it for about an hour trying to figure out where the spot welds were amongst PO garbage I decided the easiest way to get the thing out was with the plasma cutter. A little while later and it's out. The transmission looks like it's going to fit well without it. It's still tight...but it'll work. I have some cleanup and I'm probably going to smack at it to give it a little more clearance.

    The support is still usable so I'm going to reset it...or maybe buy a new one...jury's out there. However, I dont think I'm going to use the existing trans mount in favor of making a new one out of some tube steel. Depending on how the exhaust routes I may bind the outside of the frame rails to the inner rockers for some added rigidity...probably overkill though.
  9. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    Do you have subframe connectors under the car? Those and the convertible structure pieces you have will be more than adequate. Everything welded in place to the body creates a very solid framework.
    I would make sure you have plenty of clearance around the trans and bellhousing...they are going to move with the torque of a 408. Have you considered "shaving" the face of the towers? There is room to do so and even keep a stock coil spring. Plus while you're at it you can weld in additional support so you don't tear loose any spot welds of the stock motor mount metalwork. Whole lot better than denting up nice big header pipes.
  10. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    I do not have subframe connectors, just the vert inner rockers. I've also gusseted a few of the corners for additional support. It looks like I have lots of room on the sides of the trans. I still need to get the flywheel and clutch in before I can mate everything together and get a sense of what I'm really working with but mock up looks like there's enough room in there to account for torque shift. The scattershield has plenty of room at this point. I am going to have to shift the engine backward at least a 1/2" to get the trans where I want it but, at it's current state, there's well over an inch worth of space.

    I have considered notching in the towers but wanted to keep it a last resort. I'm not going to get a chance to really dive into that until this weekend but I plan on shifting the motor a little to see if i can get the headers situated.

    Going to have to switch gears (get it...cause we were talking about the trans...i'm a dork) and work on my bike some. I had some rearsets made up for it and want to get them setup. I need to make some stuff for it and do some tuning.
  11. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Clutch, flywheel, Tilton are all installed. I dont think the clearance with the transmission is as much of a problem as I previously thought. With the trans riding where it currently is, there's still about 1/4" from the top of the tunnel. The issue I AM having is that the engine really should go up about 1/8 - 1/4 to allow for adequate clearance for the oil pan. As everything sits, raising the trans to it's highest point (ergo, hitting the tunnel), there is about 1/8" between the pan and the top bar on the TCP rack which is fine but the rack has rubber gators covering some internals that are hitting the oil pan. I can still steer but it's a noticeable resistance.

    I've dug up my other set of RM mounts just to make sure I didn't inadvertently use the lowering mounts and am using the stock height mounts. However I'm pretty sure I have the right set on there.
    Barring that confirmation that leaves the prospect of 'shimming up' the motor mount points to the engine. I could also try working the oil pan to add clearance but I absolutely HATE that idea.

    While marinating on that problem I also felt it was prudent to see what the headers were going to do. The passenger side went in first. I raised the engine a couple inches and it went in with no trouble. That side fits like a glove! All the bends are in the right places and everything clears great.
    The drivers side was not so great. The 6 and 7 tubes are bumping the tower ever so slightly. I'm going to give them a little bit of a dimple to clear that hurdle but they also appear to be hitting the motor mount. Shimming might fix that problem.

    Isnt modifying cars fun!!
  12. Midlife

    Midlife Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Don't forget the effect upon the angles of the rear end and drive shaft when you lower the engine/tranny...
  13. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    The engine is going to move quite a bit when you get on it. Make sure you have plenty of room for it to flex it's muscles.
    msell66 likes this.
  14. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Thats why I decided against a Rack. I lucked out that with my lowered mounts I only have to trim a small corner on the block on the driver's side a tiny bit. I did have ZRay make me a custom crossmember to clear the lowered engine with canton pan.

    Shimming the engine might aggravate other issues.
  15. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Talking out another option, lowering the rack itself. Doing this would have an adverse effect on bumpsteer but I have the adjustable bumpsteer kit already in. Going to google on that some and maybe call TCP tomorrow and see what they've done in the past.
  16. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Research is proving fruitful! Found several threads with the same issue. In those cases, folks lowered the rack w/ the shims TCP provided...which i still have...somewhere. They also confirmed it with TCP so that seems to be a path forward there.

    After solving that problem for sure, I'll move on to solving the header issue...which might work itself with the added clearance at the rack since I would also gain a little bit of adjustment back in the engines aft adjustment.
  17. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I've read where TCP recommends against shimming the rack down. There was something their rep mentioned about using the big block bracket with teh small block rack or something to that effect, it spaces the rack lower with no negative issues. Worth asking about.
  18. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

  19. chaser012001

    chaser012001 66 408w, TKO600 coupe...in progress

    Well...it's been awhile and I feel like I need to devote some time getting the thread up to date and sort of explain why there's been no posting.

    As evident in one of my last posts in this thread, I went to a few car shows with my dad over Labor Day weekend last year (2017). I had finished his car late summer 2016 but we had yet to get to a show together to show it off...this was the weekend. It was fantastic! We went to the Hamilton, IL show Friday night, Nauvoo IL Saturday, and hit Warsaw, IL Sunday. In between there we just drove around...him and I. We had a lot of laughs, got to catch up on a lot of time missed since I dont get a chance to get up to visit as much as I should, and just genuinely had an amazing time. Sadly, these would be the only shows we'd get to attend together. The universe is a fickle b*tch and she saw it fit to take him from me about three weeks later in a tractor accident. A couple of saving graces though; one was that weekend that I'll never forget and the other was that I was on the phone with him about 10 minutes before the accident. We had a great talk but I digress...

    The thing is...cars, motorcycles, and engines in general was something I shared with my dad. He was always tinkering on something and I was right there with him. He encouraged me to build my 750F. He helped me with my 66 mustang when I first got it and didnt have a clue why it wouldnt start and was constantly backfiring (timing was a tooth off). It was what we would almost always talk about...either my car, his, or our myriad of vintage bikes.

    The strange thing was, after he passed, I had to force myself to work on the car...I just didn't have it in me. I couldn't lose myself in the tedium of body work or disappear into my mind trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to get this TKO600 to fit right. All I wanted to do was get the body good enough to get it to my painter where it was out of my sight. I even tried putting the engine in along with all the bracing thinking, maybe the look and mean-ness of it would wake me out of this funk...it didn't. So, after about two weeks of relentless sanding...I shipped it off to paint where it's been since the middle of October.

    Anyway, the loss still stings...but I'm starting to wake back up. I've managed to get back to tinkering on my old 750...and getting back to the 71 350 Scrambler I was building. I'm starting to feel like myself again...which is good because I have to decide on a color for my car within the next couple weeks. I'm probably going to have it back late June and then I'm going to need to get after it again.

    During the visitation and funeral, the convertible was there. It was his pride and joy. Afterward, we parked it...it hasnt been turned over or uncovered since. In a couple weeks...i've decided I'm getting it out and sort out any issues it has from sitting.

    Then my Dad and I are going to go for a long drive...


    Engine and trans


    Loaded up for the trip to the paint shop...

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