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Clutch Poppers "Project X" is done!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jalopy Kid, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. For those of you who follow our weekly Clutch Popper Wednesday thread, you may remember a few weeks ago we were stripping a 79 Ford pickup to use as a donor vehicle for "Project X". Well tonight we finished Project X.
    So many of you maybe wondering, what exactly is Project X?

    This is Project X.

    Yeah? thats that ugly ass 59 International Johnny bought earlier this summer? Where is the project part? Well let me explain a little more.

    On August 14 there was drag races at the Vegreville airport. Johnny and his son Liam came out to help me out as I raced my dragster. It was Liam's first time ever at the races, and Johnny's first time in 15 years.
    It was hotter than hell that day and my 64 F-100 has no A/C, so during the one hour drive home, both windows were down, vent windows wide open, and my little 223 6 cylinder screaming away as we towed the dragster behind. Needless to say there no conversation happening due to the noise. This allowed plenty of time to think, and review how the day at the drags went. This is when the light bulb lit up and I got the "Stupid Idea".
    As we pulled in to town, and the noise level quieted down I said to Johnny, "Hey, I've got this dumb idea!"
    "What kind of dumb idea?" Johnny asked.
    "Lets put a big block in your 59 International and see how fast it will go" I responded.
    Johnny thought about it for a few seconds and then said, "Yeah that is a dumb idea. Lets do it!"

    So over the following week we came with a game plan, and decided to build an extreme low buck drag truck. We decided we were going to try and hit 13 seconds with a budget of $3000. We mentioned it to the rest of the club and asked if they would be willing to donate parts and time and partake in this optional Clutch Popper project. Fat Dave, and Big Dick Dave both supported the idea, but could not spare the extra time and cash to help out. Charlie however was fully on board!
    We searched the kijiji classifieds and found a 79 F-150 with a running 460 and a C6 transmission for $700.

    Johnny found a buyer for the International drivetrain and sold it for $400. The offroad tires that were originally on the 59 went on kijiji and within an hour they sold for $250. We used this cash to buy the 79 F-150 (with a little spare pocket money thrown in to make up the difference) and we were on our way.

    We fired the 460 to make sure it ran good and then stripped the 79 of anything we could use. Afterwards we took it the crusher and scored another $200 for the scrap value.

    With the 460 out we cleaned it up, gave a fresh coat of paint, and dropped it in the 59.




    For motor mounts I just fabbed up a crossmember out of 1" X 3/16 wall tubing with a few gussets for good measure. The stock IHC frame is 3/16 C channel.


    This is Day three of the project. Day one we stripped the IHC and cleaned it up. Day two was mock up and fab, Day 3 the 460 went in for good.

  2. Johnny, Charlie and I tinkered on it for the next few days after work with the idea of getting it going for the next Vegreville drags on Sept 10.
    This was Sept 9 as we pulled an all night thrash trying to get it done.

    At 3am on Sept 10 we got it fired up and ready to go. A few friends came out and helped us, and we were all ecstatic to hear it roar to life! Charlie backed it out of the shop in to the parking lot, gave it a good shot and then quickly shut it off. The oil pressure went from 50psi to 0psi! We pulled it back in the shop, and at 4am decided to call it a night, get up early, and start diagnosing it.

    Charlie met me at the shop at 7:30 AM (after a short nap) and we tried a different oil psi gauge. Nothing. We decided to leave the truck, and went to the drags anyways with my Dragster. Johnny met us at the track later on.

    We left the truck sit until this Thursday, when the three of us tore it apart again to see what went wrong. We pulled the oil pump to replace it with a new mellings pump, pulled the timing cover to check the oil gallery plugs hadn't come out, and pulled the cam to see if it maybe spun a cam bearing.
    Checked the rod and main bearings, they checked out good. Cam bearings were good, and the gallery plugs were still intact.

    Of course while it was apart, the stock cam and timing set were ditched in favor of a Comp Extreme Energy Cam and lifters, Comp Timing set, titanium valve springs, chromoly push rods and chromoly oil pump drive.
    Friday night we started assembling everything with high hopes of hearing it roar to life again. Charlie was changing the valve springs and he asked me to roll it over to TDC. It went half a revolution and stopped! Rolled it back and tried again, same thing. WTF!! It was around 11:30 at night so we decided to call it a night and start fresh in the morning. We knew it had to be something simple, and with a good rest, finding the problem should be simple. Not when were all tired and frustrated.
    This morning I woke up around 11 am and came straight to the shop to figure it out. 15 minutes after I tore in to it I found the problem. Seems a chunk of the timing cover broke off while bolting it back on, and a small chunk of aluminum fell on the timing gear stopping it from rolling over.


    I called Johnny, who had to work today and told him what the problem was. He was happy to hear it was something small and simple, and very happy knowing we caught it before any damage was done.
    Charlie stopped by the shop and him and I spent the afternoon putting it all back together.
    While Charlie was changing the valve springs, I made a robot out of the old ones for Johnny to put on his desk at work. This way he will always be reminded of the time Charlie and I fixed his broken truck while he slacked off at work.

    Johnny and his son Liam came over after work and we had it back together in no time. We backed it outside around 11:30 to fire it up and break in the new cam.



    With cam broke in, and the timing set, it was play time! We each took turns ripping around the block enjoying the monster we had created!


    We missed the last Vegreville drags, however there is still two street legal nights at our home track, the first one being this Friday. We have a week to get her all dialed in, and then we can see how close to our 13 second goal we are. I still have to add up a few things here and there, but last time I checked the budget, we were at $2200, including buying the truck (truck was $1500)!

    So there you have it, "Project X". I hope you enjoyed it, we sure did.
    It's a fun truck!
  3. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,914

    from Michigan

    The only "'Project X" I know of is a certain yellow '57 Chevy done up by Popular Hotrodding magazine...
  4. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,717


    That turned out really good. Well done guys!

  5. I prefer this 'Project X', very cool and what a way to get into racing!

  6. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Neat them 460's. So what did you determine was the cause of zero oil pressure? I read the text a couple of times and you mention the oil pump, but was that it?

  7. Grommet
    Joined: Oct 24, 2008
    Posts: 532

    from South GA

  8. Were still not sure. We put it back together and primed it with a drill before putting the intake and valve covers back on, the gauge read 60psi and there was lots of oil flowing to the top end. During the cam break in the oil psi was at 50 - 60 psi for the whole 20 minutes.
  9. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    Still the "best bang for the buck"...........put the biggest engine you can find in whatever happens to be parked close by (the lighter the better) and go have some fun. Unless your traction limited your goal of a 13 sec . ET should be just a matter of driver technique and a little fine tuning.

  10. MercMark
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 50


    Cool truck guys!
  11. What a great project! You guys sure know how to have fun!
  12. LostHope
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 687


    Very cool! i was wondering what "project x" was! I always look forward to reading your guys projects, but this one could of used some supper updates some info on what fred was doing, and was looking forward to what antic's big dick dave was gonna come up with in this thread that guy cracks me up......keep up the good work!
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  13. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,445


    I woulda gone with an International 392, just cause I'm like that.
  14. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,950


    Project "X" looks "X"celent !!!!!
    Nice job.
    Hope is runs fast like you expect.
  15. Excellent!!! I love to see folks tinkering.
  16. fordsteel
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 490

    from Elkland PA

    nice project looks like fun

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