All in the Prep

With paint, they say, the quality is all in the prep work. I’m beginning to think that’s true for most projects, not just finishes.

The distributor is just too tall for the original-style air cleaner.
The distributor is just too tall for the original-style air cleaner.

I went to assemble all the bits and pieces for me carburetor swap this afternoon. There were a lot, and I came up one short–the compression fitting for the heat riser tube. A small piece, mislaid somewhere no doubt. I decided not to plunge into the project without everything I needed at hand.

Instead, I took another look at the air cleaner assembly. I worrying about the orientation of the air horn on it, I had overlooked that it bumps into the taller-than-normal aftermarket distributor.

Clearly, more preparation was in order. No original-style air cleaner is going to work as long as I keep the distributor, so I modified my aftermarket air cleaner to work with the choke heater system the Autolite carb requires.  Now–I’m sure–everything is ready for the carb swap–probably later this week.

Air is drawn into the choke--via the exhaust manifold--from this nipple attached under my aftermarket air cleaner.
Air is drawn into the choke–via the exhaust manifold–from this nipple attached under my aftermarket air cleaner.

Since I didn’t swap out the carb, I finished a few smaller jobs under the hood: replaced the PCV valve and the vacuum hose to the brake booster. On a test drive to the hardware store (for the compression fitting I need), the motor ran smoother than normal. It’s likely the old vacuum line was leaking.

A week ago, I found someone advertising miscellaneous interior T-Bird parts the same color as mine. It was a nice find–lots of usable trim pieces that will come in handy when I start the dashboard rebuild later this summer. I also scored an entire back seat in better shape than my own.

1 thought on “All in the Prep”

  1. If interested, I have a 64 Bird that is complete but the rear end body work is beyond my skills. I can send you some pictures and a list if you are interested. Cheers. Michael.

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