I've been a little tardy posting progress reports on the Maztang, but here goes. We swapped the fresh motor into the car the second weekend of November. This is the motor Geoff bought with all the machine work done. It's a 1969 .030" over 302 block with small chamber 351 heads. We installed the Federal-Mogul 9 to 1 pistons after I ground and balanced the rods to 1/2 gram, using Clevite bearings throughout. The heads were freshened up, and use all stock parts. The cam is a Crane Energizer 260H 'towing' grind that is great on the street with excellent throttle response, good low end torque and a nice 600 rpm idle. Unlike the cam in the previous motor, that was more fitting in an NHRA super stocker, the car is now a lot of fun to drive. A new double roller timing chain and Melling high volume oil pump complete the lower end. The motor is topped off with a Holley Street Dominator single plane intake and a Holley 600 cfm vacuum carb. The exhaust uses stock manifolds and the ignition is a stock electronic distributor and Wells Duraspark unit.

Now for the ugly part. Within seconds of firing the motor the first time, we destroyed the AOD transmission. There was a 'buzzing' sound coming from the tranny when we first started the motor and less than a minute later something pulled the motor down for a few seconds and then the noise went away. I made the decision to keep the motor running because the first 15 minutes are crucial to the cam and rings seating. Needless to say, after the motor run-in, the tranny was in perpetual neutral. So, we pulled the transmission and found the front pump was destroyed. Well it could be worse, as we have another pump we can put in. With that accomplished and the car back together, we give it another try. This time the tranny lasted long enough to drive around the block, barely. To say that we were pissed is an understatement, after all, Geoff drove the car around for 3 weeks with this transmission. The car goes back up on jacks and we pull the tranny again. Same problem! The front pump is wasted and the bearing is even welded to the torque converter snout. What the hell is going on here? Well, what's going on is that an AOD MUST use an AOD flexplate. We still had the flexplate installed that came with the other motor and it worked fine, but that motor also had a ton of crankshaft endplay that was apparently allowing the mismatched parts to work together. On a side note, the guy that we sold the motor to said the thrust bearing was installed on the rear journal instead of no.3, so I figured it must have been a Chevy guy that built that motor. So, after buying another AOD with a flexplate we are back in business. The tranny shifts nice and the throttle valve (kickdown) cable works good, so we will install the B&M shift kit the next chance we get.

The motor still ran hot with the stock radiator, even though the cam was much milder so Geoff did a little research and purchased an AFCO aluminum radiator, part number 80100FN. It works great, allowing us to reinstall the 160 degree thermostat and the temperature control for the electric fan. Even sitting in traffic the motor stays right at 160. Better yet, the price was only $185 including shipping, straight from the AFCO factory. We plan to install an identical radiator in the race car as well.

Now it is just a matter of applying the finishing touches, such as new paint, exhaust and maybe new rims and tires. Unfortunately, Geoff got the dreaded layoff notice from his job so he is pretty bummed right now. He has already talked about selling the Maztang but I hope he changes his mind. Once he finds another job or gets called back to the machine shop things will look a little brighter.

Of course the final test of the Maztang will be at the dragstrip, and I will post the results as soon as we get them. I didn't put up any new pictures because the car still looks pretty much as it did in the last post with the exception of the new radiator and Moroso valve covers. Next post I will detail the radiator installation and include some pics.

Well that's it for now, I think we'll take the Maztang out for a cruise and try to find a Mustang to intimidate.

You can reach me by e-mail at: wayne@350rx7.com