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54 Ford Mainline Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustyfords, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Yes it is Mark.

    OK....Tonight's progress report:

    - Installed the throttle cable and made the final connections on my gas pedal.
    - Installed some brake line clamps to further secure the brake lines. (I'm paranoid about brakes.)
    - Mocked up the speedometer cable and got it ready to install
    - Mocked up the choke cable and got it ready to install

    Tomorrow the dashboard goes in. I was gonna try to get it in tonight, but I was starting to get bleary-eyed around 11:30 so I called it a night.

    Once the dashboard is in, then the steering column and steering wheel go on. Then I'll give everything a once-over and consider taking it for a spin around the neighborhood.
  2. Got the dashboard installed tonight as well as the wiper assembly.....another good night.

    I did manage to nick the paint in a couple areas on the dash, but they'll touch up.

    I'm really pleased with the way it looks, especially my basic Mainline steering wheel mated up to a factory automatic steering column. I don't think you could get a Mainline with an automatic, so this will be one of those head-scratchers for those in the know.

    Here's a photo taken a few minutes ago before I called it quits for the night. There's a gap behind the steering wheel's hub because it's just sitting on the column loosely

    Attached Files:

  3. Don,that dash and wheel sure looks good. HRP
  4. Danny....that's Wimbledon White. A color that Ford used on its trucks for several years. It's a nice, soft and creamy white color....not to bright....not to dark.

    Another reason that I went with it is because it's readily available at any auto supply house and automotive paint store.
  5. I've said it before....this car has challenged my skills like none other.

    Every now and then however, something goes together simply and easily. That was the case this evening.

    My goal was to install the original choke cable and make it work with the Edelbrock carb that I have.

    Not only was the original cable exactly the right length, but it worked beautifully with the carb and required zero modifications. I was done with the "project" in less than 10 minutes but had anticipated it taking much longer and requiring some fabrication.
  6. Don,I know exactly how you feel,,these old '54's usually fight you every inch of the way but every now and then things just magically fall in place.

    Keep plugging away,,that first drive around the block makes all the long nights and weekends in the garage worth it,,,Believe me! :) HRP
  7. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    Great! There is something about an old car with a hand choke that actually works that makes me smile. I had to buy an old truck carb to get the parts for a manual choke on my particular application. Every time I start it up it brings back memories from the early 60s. That is how we did it back then. It sure is looking good.
  8. I agree Tommy. What's funny is that initially, I was looking for a 600 cfm carb with an electric choke.

    A new-in-the-box Edelbrock 600 manual choke popped up on Craigslist for less than half the price of new and the deal was too good to pass up so I snagged it.

    It was only then that I decided to make the the original choke cable work...and I'm totally psyched that it all turned out this way.

    You're right....there's something cool about pulling out the old-school choke on an old car in the morning.
  9. When I left the 54 last, I only needed to make the final connection on my shift linkage in order to have a car that would go for its' first spin around the neighborhood.

    That connection only took a few minutes to make this afternoon after work so I decided to give it a whirl....and....met with success!!!!!

    I drove it twice around my neighborhood circle (each loop is just under a mile) and then back into the garage where I checked for leaks, and misc loose things and found a slightly leaking gas line fitting about midway on the frame, which was easily corrected.
  10. Fedman
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,163


    Congrats on the first drive!
    I really like how the Steering Wheel and dash look.
    Great Colour Combo :)
  11. Car is looking good. Funny this choke conversation got me thinking about driving my '54 Ranch Wagon, stock Y block and carb. That car will not run without constant manipulation of the choke, I really enjoy that. You have to DRIVE that car, that is part of the charm of these old things.
  12. Don,I am glad you have finally reached the point that the car can make it around the block,,,,Did you rattle some windows with the exhaust?:D

    How about a photo or two of the car sitting outside? HRP
  13.'s back in the garage....getting the paint stripped off.
  14. yes I did!

    I was gonna farm out the paint on this car, but I've decided to tackle that myself too. And hell....I'll probably do the interior too. My 16 year old daughter is asking me if she can do the sewing on the seat covers, etc. and I can't say no to that.

    So....this one will end up being completely, 100% built in my garage. I've never attempted that before but there's a first time for everything.
  15. paco
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,139

    from Atlanta

    Dude ... you gotta be stoked with the progress & getting around the hood & back ... eventless!!

    Great Job.

  16. austinhunt
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 533


    Just sat down and read through. Gives me some motivation!

    Mannnnn I had the same EXACT issues with my 302. I got rid of my hei when it didn't fit with my intake man. and got a mis marked cam so I swore the firing order was right... I should not have played the "ford mix and match game"

    I gotta ask, what is the benefit of using a carb spacer? I thought carb heat was good? Is it different for me since it never gets hot here?
  17. two miles on the odometer!!

  18. One of the hold-down bolts for the cap on my HEI was rubbing on the Edelbrock intake that I have, so I just made sure that I had the wires were situated so the distributor isn't pointed in that direction.

    You're right....a lot of people don't realize that engines run best when they're fairly hot. Of course, there's a fine line between that and overheating. I'm running the spacer because my kick down cable linkage makes it really hard to get the driver's side valve cover off. By raising the carb up an inch, that valve cover is MUCH easier to remove.
  19. yep! and soon to be MUCH more.

    I'm not gonna make it to the LSR next week, but you can bet that I'll be driving the 54 there next year.

    I may even make it to the HAMB drags in the 54 this year.
  20. I ran the 302 for a long time yesterday....first time I really let it get warmed up totally.

    All went well, except for the fact that the AOD puked a bunch of tans fluid up and out of the filler tube.

    I've never had that happen before. Any ideas on what would cause that?

    Here are my theories:

    - Transmission was too full (I don't think it was)
    - The Kickdown cable may not have been fully retracting because the Lokar spring is crap and the trans may have stayed in kick down mode for a while
    - I've heard the AODs have a vent cap on top side. Could this be getting smashed down by the small clearance between the trans and the floorboard?

    Any wisdom?
  21. My first thought is trans was too full. Original dipstick and tube?
    It needs to be checked after warmed up or even hot, not cold.
  22. Yeah....original dipstick and tube.

    I'll get it nice and warm and put it through the gears and check it again.
  23. LostHope
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 687


    Looks like your getting real close "rusty" work out some bugs and youll be cruising in no time!been along time coming! super stoked for you! You and "HRP" motivated me to start working on mine again!
  24. Thanks! You're this stage in the game, it's all about working out the bugs, especially when it's a budget build and you're using what's on hand.

    I need about another $1K for tires and exhaust and I'll be running down the highway.

    Stay at that 54 of just don't see 54's around a's always great to see another one coming back to life.
  25. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,801

    from Phoenix,AZ

    There are several benefits to the carb spacer,first Edelbrock/AFB's don't like heat a lot so the spacer can also be an insulator,second the spacer will raise the Carb enough that you can run a 14" Filter(more air flow) and clear the HEI also with the carb raised it aligns the likage and TV cable of the AOD.See pics of my 302/AOD The Edelbrock and Offenhauser intakes only have a water port in the front which can mount the heater hose inlet too close and create a clearance problem,this is the intake I run check out pics and desription, it has the added feature of a rear water passage and theere are 3 water ports,the one by the HEI is blocked off heater hose goes from the rear port and temp sender is on the front drivers side port.This is an earlier picture before I added A/C because I was able to block that front port the HEI's vacuum canister cleared the compressor bracket.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  26. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,801

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Guess you will be adding this (see pic)

    Attached Files:

  27. As usual're a wealth of quality information. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out and even include photos.

    And yeah...I went to Ace yesterday and bought the spring. I'll get it installed tonight.
  28. thebugbox
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 255


    I had one puke once, and thought it would be a nightmare and expensive fix... Ended up being a collapsed filter. $30 later in fluids, gasket and filter I was on the road again. FYI, just in case the kick down doesn't fix it.
  29. I think I cured my "puking transmission" issue.

    The kick down cable from Lokar has a notoriously weak return spring and this was allowing the transmission to stay in kick down mode. I added a helper spring, jacked up the rear wheels, and let the car run in reverse, drive and park for quite a while and couldn't get the situation to repeat itself.

    So....that was either the fix, or the tranny was too full. I did have to add about a half quart of fluid to bring it back up to full, but there's no way of knowing how much fluid was on the garage floor (it was a lot though). I guess the only way to know for sure would be to try and replicate the problem, but I'm don't see any point in that.
  30. Cool...that was an easy fix.

    What's the latest on your Shoebox Woodie?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

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