Knock..Knock…Who’s There? It’s the bottom end of your 351 Cleveland!!!

After spending $$$ to get my 2v heads done right and after driving my 73 Stang for about 50 miles, the Cleveland has developed  a knock in the bottom half of the engine.

It’s not uncommon when restoring cars that an undiscovered issue pops up and changes the entire project plan.  But the dilemma I have now has multiple facets.

First there’s what to do about the engine.  Rebuild it if possible? Replace with a short block, reusing the 2v heads?  Buy a crate engine? Or set it on fire in the driveway?  Each one of these options have it’s own inherent hurdles and impacts the timeline differently.

Second there’s issue with the old conundrum “Well as long as….I might as well do the ….”  In this case it read like this… “As long as the engine out, I should, really, redo the engine bay.”  That’s has is own timeline with the cleaning and sanding and priming and painting and replacing clips/fastener….etc.

So let’s discuss the engine.

There are a few “known knowns” (thank you Donald Rumsfeld!!!):

  1. The current 351C engine isn’t original to the car – in fact the car was born with 302. Why is that important?   I don’t have to worry about the matching numbers thing,  that ship sailed sometime ago.  Basically anything goes.
  2. Not rebuilding/replacing is not an option.
  3. Budget.  Although there is no set dollar amount, there is restraint how much can be spend in a given time.

Then there are the “known unknowns”

  1. Is it the cam?
  2. Is it just the bearings?
  3. Are the cylinder walls serviceable?
  4. What do I want this engine to be?

Options:  (just a few)

Option 1:   A friend of mine suggested a crate engine – just order one from Summitt Racing or Jegs.  Make all the power I want.

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines – $8439.97

– Discussion:  $$$ (Could stop right there with this one.)  Getting a 400+ HP turn-key crate would be just awesome.  In my option that is what these Mustangs were meant to be. (ching-ching)   Getting tons of power to the rear wheels with the current  automatic C6 transmission will required a possible rebuild and an upgraded torque converter.  (ching-ching again).  But having a Cleveland in the engine bay is way cool!!  I grew up in GM family… there weren’t a lot of discussion about Ford product and anytime I heard “Ford talk” a 351 Cleveland engine was mentioned.   I do like the look of it under the hood the are wider than the Windsor family of motors.  Keeping it a 351C V2 will be less expensive and you can make good power from it if you do it right.

– Conclusion for Option 1:   Not gonna happen!!

Option 2:  Find a good used 351C and install that

– Discussion:   This is a good possibility.  That’s already happened to #ProjectSportsRoof.  The 302 was replaced with a 351 (whether it was a Windsor or Cleveland is not known) as this was the engine the previous owner hauled it out of a field with.  As it turned out that engine was seized and the current engine was found and installed (along with the used C6 trans).   It may be tough to find one.  If and when you do the mileage shouldn’t be a known unknown and you need to determine the condition as best you can by listening to it run.  If it is just sitting on the shelf,  would you perform a “trust-fall” with the seller?  Bottom line is a used engine “is like a box of chocolates”…you might end right back up where you are now.  Frankly this would be my last option.

-Conclusion for Option 2:  A weak maybe.

Coming up next – the Rebuild option.

Thoughts? Suggestions?




Preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studebaker Dealership | Hemmings Daily



Old Studebaker dealership buildings tend not to attract the attention of big-city mayors or generate headline news these days. One in Phoenix, however, has proved the exception to that rule when demolition began on it earlier this month, prompting preservationists and that city’s mayor alike to condemn the developer responsible.

Designed by architect W.Z. Smith and built in 1947, shortly after Studebaker introduced its new postwar cars, the Stewart Motors Co. building – named after the dealer that built it in the heart of Phoenix’s Auto Row along Central Avenue – incorporated a turntable in its glassed-in corner showroom along with numerous Streamline Moderne elements all rendered in brick, with nary a wagon wheel in sight. As described on Modern Phoenix, the building created “a joyful dialogue with the streetscape, which is pleasant to enjoy both on foot or by car.”

Many Phoenix residents, however, probably know the building better for its subsequent tenant, Circles: Discs and Tapes, a locally-owned record store that put go-go dancers on the turntable to attract teenagers cruising the Central Avenue strip during the Sixties and Seventies. Despite leaving many of the original features intact during renovations to the building, the owners of the record store never applied for historic status for the property before closing it in 2009.

In an effort to preserve the building, the city’s Community and Economic Development Department and local preservationists began to negotiate with Empire Group, the developer that intended to place a 19-story apartment complex on the site. According to Downtown Devil and Robert Graham’s City Views, Empire had earlier in the year proposed a design that maintained the street-facing facades of the Stewart Motors Co. building, meanwhile asking the city for a tax break for its project, but threatened last month to tear the entire building down as a negotiating tactic.

“While the developer denies that they have any plans to demolish the building within the 30-day life of the permit, they made clear in a public meeting… that they would seriously consider complete demolition of the building if their request for property tax incentives from the City is denied,” Graham wrote.

See the rest of the article:

Source: Despite preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studeba | Hemmings Daily

This isn’t the only dealership left.  The A.E. England Motors Inc. (1926) was remolded and is now part of the ASU campus and had a few other business operation from there. Like wise with C.P. Stephens DeSoto Six Motor Cars (1928). $250K was spend on that and it’s now called DeSoto Central Market and has bar and restaurant housed there. The old Lincoln Mercury dealership (built in 1947) has a automotive repair conducting business there.


Thanks for reading.


old studebaker dealershipsold studebaker dealerships

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Four

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof.   I’m about the finish the cuts and fitting for the  right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!!

Final Fit for foot-well.

Final Fit for foot-well.

This video is pretty comprehensive so I’m just going to just let it roll.


A couple of things worth noting.  The “flap” what was clearly not going to work and leaving the sheet metal running up the side of the transmission/drive shaft tunnel was going to give too much flex in that panel, as the welds would be pretty high.  It’s important to have that solid because as most must guys and gals know the Mustang of this vintage only have sub-frames which lease the floor as the most important body stabilization part of the car.   I will eventually put sub-frame connectors under this beast.

In case you are wondering what that electrical wiring is to the right of foot-well that is for the seat belt switch which when pressure is applied to the seat bottom there must be a connection completed by the seat-belt male end and female end to turn off the “Seat Belt” light and or buzzer.

I have a lot more coming up on the floor pans so stay tuned!!!!

Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof






vintage muscle car | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …

Ford Mustang Shelby – Remote Controlled – LEGO Like

This pretty cool.  I found it on Reddit r/Mustang sub-directory.   After I finish #ProjectSportsRoof – I may just build one of these!!!

Check out the well constructed LEGO ‘Stang:



These are the construction instructions:


Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof



1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Three

I know, I’m getting slow at getting these posted for the 1973 Mustang, but here is the next part.   I’m beginning the cuts on the repop floor panels.



Like I mention in the video, I”m doing this all in my driveway and garage – it can be done!!!!   Unlike my 1970 Mustang (which started out in better shape) which most of the work on the body was complete, thanks in part to a careless young driver plowing into the back it at a stop light, in a body shop.  While it was there I had the entire car painted.

I’m using a dremel to make the necessary cuts and the Work-Mate table allows a lot of angles to clamp down the sheet metal while I am cutting it.  The painter’s blue tape works great as marking off the cuts and you don’t have to be ‘too’ precise, but you have to be close!!!

Here you can see the first cut.  Now eventually I realized that I didn’t really need the ‘flap’ and I cut it off.

The ‘humps’ are actually where the seats bolt down and you have to keep clear of those with your sheet metal and welds.

More floor pan goodness for #ProjectSportsRoof.


Thanks for reading.



restorable classic cars | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. ….. You can see my 2007 C6 and the 1973 Mustang (#ProjectSportsRoof) and my son’s 1991 Chrysler Le Baron vert and …

1973 Mustang 351C Vacuum System Part II – YouTube

Feb 6, 2016 #ProjectSportsRoof Floor Pan Rust Removal Video 2 – Duration: 2:07. Tim Sweet No views. New. 2:07. 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for sale with …

Driving a 1929 Detroit Electric Model 97

It’s not often that the normal day in the life of a Director of IT includes an opportunity to drive a 1929 Detroit Electric. But this is exactly what one of my days included just this week.

The car has taken years to restore and is period correct in almost every aspect. As you can see in the video it might need a few tweaks and I am finishing up the clock for the interior.

Check out this video.

Thanks for reading.

1931 Detroit Electric Model 97 – Conceptcarz

The Detroit Electric Model 97 (1931); Electric cars represented a significant part of the automobile market in the earliest days. As today, electrics suffered from a …