Thursday, January 21, 2010

Devil-May-Care Jockeys

It pains me to see the destruction of such beautiful metal, but it would have been great to see in person. There is a funny line in the second one, "Don't call 'em hot rods. Hot rods are home grown conglomerations of this-a and that-a; for amateurs." How no one died in the wreck at the end is beyond me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Rock Crusher

I was going to through some photos on my phone for the last post, and I found some photos of the Muncie M-22 that we installed a few months back.  If your not familiar with that transmission, it is pretty rare to find one in good condition.  It is a heavy duty transmission that has been run in race and drag cars over the years.  In 1963, GM began using Muncie four-speed automatic transmissions, favored for its ability to handle the torque in high-performance cars. The Muncie manual transmission came as the wide ratio M-20, the close ratio M-21 and the heavy-duty close ratio "Rock Crusher" M-22, which was produced from 1970 through 1973. An earlier version of the M22 was used in 1965 Corvettes and in the Z16 performance options in the Chevy Super Sport models.

So, needless to say, I am pretty pumped to have it in the Pickle.

The way the gears are cut are unique to the Muncie. This transmission has a distinct whine that is specifically identified with it. You can really hear it in a scene from Two Lane Black Top. Turn up your volume, it is a little quiet.

Here is another great clip from about 30 years after the movie.  You can really hear the whine in this near the top end.

Ok, for the last picture, I have to post one of my new valve covers the folks got me for Christmas. While I love everything about Ron's engine, these valve covers will give it that vintage feel that I want.
I lied, here is the last photo. It is of the Indian head lit up. Pretty cool.

Back On Track

Well, now that it has cooled off, a decent amount of progress has been made.  It is great to be back on track.  The battery box was hand made by Ron and welded into the trunk.  The battery cables were grounded into the trunk and the the other was run up to the engine.

A steel-braided fuel line was run back from the fuel pump to the rear end where the tank will be re-installed.  There are still some small dents that need some massaging.

We initially were going to go with a 10-bolt rear end, but we were able to locate a '57 Pontiac rear end that was a 17- spline as opposed to a 15-spline with the 10-bolt.  Now, I had no idea what that meant until Ron explained it to me.  I still walked away scratching my head.  But when he said it makes the rear end stronger, allowing me to "light the tires up" if I wanted...that made sense to me.  It is strange to me that I started this project with the desire to have a cruiser, not really caring if it went fast.  But the longer I hung out with Chris Parese (my buddy who helped me yank the original engine) and Ron, the more excited I am about the first time I have to back off the throttle because the back end is getting loose.

In this last photo you can see where we let the exhaust end with just a couple of turn-downs just past the Flowmasters. We left it like that so that we could run the exhaust over the rear axle once we lower it. I will throw a set of 3" lowering blocks on the back, then decide if we need to de-arch or remove some leafs. Then we can run the pipes over the top. But if it sounds cool, I may just leave it.