Engine, Transmission & Exhaust

March 5, 2013

The engine and transmission are ordered today. Looking like 10 week delivery time. It will be a 302/350HP Ford with a Ford AOD from Performance Automatics (Street Smart Package) 2200 - 2400 stall.  This is the man who will build it and test it... Norm Wilson of Fortin's Engines in Chilliwack BC. 
It will all arrive in one crate - ready to install. That's the Trans and all right down to the belts being tensioned! Look for pics and Dyno Results here soon! Can't wait to see it!

March 23, 2013

I got the pics of the engine build from Norm. He is capturing the build process for me. Here they are from bare block to long block

April 28, 2013

The Engine arrived 2 days ago. Today Andy and I uncrated it and got our first look. She's a beauty!!

Here she is in the crate at the edge of the garage

Andy hooks it up

302CI - 352HP - 329TQ - on the Motofeet stand awaiting installation.
Tranny is  Perforamnce Automatic Street Smart AOD 2800 Stall

Crate ready to be sent back to WCC

June 29, 2013

Right on schedule the engine/trans went into its new home today. It all went very smoothly except that for about an hour of the 3 that it took.... I was holding my breath. (Very stressful seeing your new motor and trans hanging from a carb plate and 4 small bolts) 

As always, many thanks to Andy for his help and support!! 

This is how I had the engine stored in the garage for the last 2 months... a little house of cardboard
Andy had the honour of opening the box! 

The best $100 you can spend in this situation is a set of MotoFeet from Century Performance with Solid wheels. They bolt into the engine mount holes with 7/16" bolts and support the motor and trans

Getting ready to lift it, remove the MotoFeet and install the engine mounts.

Easy... easy does it!
A little more... easy!!!
Just another inch or 2.... lower.... lower.... slowly!!!!
OK lift up on the tail stock!!

Some of the known issues: 

Question: Does the oil filter interfere with the power steering motor. 
Answer: Yes a standard PF8A is too big, but for now a Quaker state QS3600 will do. 
They the QS3600 on a 5.0L SVT Mustang, but I suspect and number of shorter filters will work. I'll get a WIX before we start it up!
Question: Does the power steering motor hit the pan?
Answer: Not anymore. The extra holes Factory Five put into the mount clocked the motor down far enough to more than clear a double sump oil pan.... no problem here!

July 21, 2013

On the recommendation of another F5 Forums member, I've gone with Magnaflows in place of the Factory Five cans. They are a bit shorter and I'm still working on sealing the joints up. Here some pics of the mock up. I'll update these pics when it is completed

 As you can see the Mangnaflows are shorter and wider than the F5 stuff.

July 28, 2013

Well everything done on the exhaust so far ain't gonna work. The flow of the exhaust is working against the joints and is gonna leak just as sure as I'm typing this. Thank goodness Andy has a pipe spreader. We opened each pipe up from from to back so they exhaust will flow in rather than over.

You can also see I replaces all the clamps with a considerably stronger clamp from Maganflow. They are 1 1/2 inch bands of steel with not only allows for LOTS of clamping power but also a fair amount of stiffness.

September 1, 2013

We found some more time to work on the exhaust. While we now have lots of vertical stiffness we still ne some lateral support. With Andy's help we took the stock hangers supplied by Factory Five and treaded the ends. The Boy (Kamryn) painted them up and made them ready for install.

strategicly placed the clamps and with 3/8" nuts and washers I was able to draw the exhaust from side to side. She's solid as a rock.... hell you can almost walk on it! 

Then it was a matter of making sure the lengths were the same side to side and everything in the right place them clampin' it all down.

October 2, 2013

Ok. A job I'd been putting off out of fear. Now too many of you this may seem like nothing but for me... Huge!
Tinkered all my adult life with cars, but honestly never had my fingers near an automatic transmission. There i said it. Always had a gear car and i can wrap my head around that, but the Automatic transmission has always been a mystery to me.

Today i pulled the pan to install the Lokar shift lever and shifter. To my amazement... Not so bad. Followed the instructions, watch some you tube videos and it all went well. Darn proud of myself

Next.. Location of the shifter. After much research online and in email with Dr. Ruth and Bruce H. I decided on a Lokar 6" shifter... Problem is that the mounting hardware sits forward of the tailstock which with an AOD, leaves the shifter too far forward and close to the dash. I want it to fall in hand more like a 5 speed would without a long bent shifter arm.

So I used the rear mount bracket as the rear bracket then took a trip to the hardware store for a bunch of parts and u-bolts exhaust hangers and washers and nuts and cam up with a solid way to support the rear of the mounting bracket at the back of the trans. 

Of course this left the supplied shifter rod too short, so out i went to pick up some aluminum 1/4" rod to thread with my trusty tap and die set... Mission accomplished. Once i make a few cuts in the tunnel should be good to go.

October 9, 2013

Now the shifter is in and I replaced the aluminum road with a steel one (feel safer) I 
tackled the kickdown cable. It will need adjustment once we get the car fired, (see video I found on youtube below) but for now here are the pics (below video)


February 2, 2014

First Start - Watch The Video Below!!

To be honest it went a lot better than I'd hoped. The darn thing fired on the first attempt after priming the fuel pump (as learned in build school). It kinda startled me a bit because after watching all this the"Car Warriors, Overhaulin', Chasing Cars, and Counting Cars episodes, they always are cranking and cranking and adding fuel to the carb before things get rocking... Not so here... take a look!

June 30 , 2014

This post is being made to on November 16, 2014... catching up on this blog but want to document this issue. You can see the reason this post is so late by going to the Time Line Gap Page (click) 

Ok... I'm an not sure what happened. I just got done the AC/Heat and needed to refill the rad and burp the cooling system. I was also hoping to set the Kickdown (Throttle Valve) Cable and adjust the throttle cable itself as the floor at the gas pedal was just installed.

Anyway, the car started as usual and as I was waiting for it to come up to temp so the thermostat would open, i heard a "pop". It sounded like a piece of aluminum "ker-plunk"... if that helps. The car was at about 160 degrees and running fine but with that noise it stumbled and then recovered with a blip of throttle.

About 30 seconds late it did it again. This time it just quit! NO F*&%ING WAY IT STARTS AGAIN. WTF???

This is not a complicated thing... or so I think. Gotta be spark or fuel; Right? Well there is plenty of fuel squirting, pressure is good all seems well there, but the car won't fire. Now i read somewhere that oil filled coils don't like to be on their side and of course mine was. Could it be the coil over heating? I check for spark... Nothing at the plug. 

Next stop summit online for a new MSD Coil. Installed... still nothing. Clean plugs try again. Still nothing. Check Spark... Nothing!

I know the wiring is correct (checked it 10 times) so I call Norm the engine builder... he says "well it could be the pick up or the distributor (both were new of course). So I ask him to send a new MSD to replace the PowerFire. It comes, installed, clean plugs and we are back in business... of course this whole process goes over the entire summer. I'm fearing rather defeated and so the last and successful steps do not happen until October 2014 . 

Good News - It runs and as a bonus the new MSD Distributor is much shorter and allows the use of the Cobra Air Cleaner - Yippee!
Again... check the the Time Line Page for all the reasons why so long here

November 30, 2014

Ran the car with Andy today. Cooling system burped. We got heat from the heater and she sits and idles at 800 RPM with nice crisp throttle response. Temp hovers at 175 with the fans on. It ran for 30 minutes while we checked the vacuum for Power Brakes - Mint... Tranny fluid level - light one liter I think... all systems PERFECT!!!

November 15, 2015
Before the tunnel can go on and the interior wiring bundled up, I HAVE to get the TV cable adjusted.

The Ford AOD transmission has a high pressure kickdown and because I have a Holley Carb, I used the Ford AOD Hi-Tech Kickdown Kit from Lokar.

When we put the car away for the summer I could not get the damb thing adjusted. If you watched the video above it needs to be set at between 32 and 35 psi when in neutral with the spacer installed and 0 psi without. No matter what we did, the gauge always showed at least 15 psi and as much as 55 psi... no bueno!

The return spring on the Lokar cable is too weak to push the arm all the way back, so even with no tension on the cable it always had some pressure. Solution (as per the Lokar rep at SEMA 2015) add a simple carb spring that pulls the arm at the trans rather than just pushing the arm (see pics below)

Notice the small spring added. It connects the TV arm to the front of the oil pan with a small hole drilled in the flange of the pan

And just like that, presto 1-2-3, I get 0 psi with no spacer...
,,,and was adle to adjust the cable to 32.5 psi using the fine adjustment nuts up top near the carb 


  1. Hi Nick,this is Brian,Gary's friend you just sold my son a Ram Larime Long Horn Saturday.I'm impressed with this 33 Ford hot rod build as to the way your going about it,documenting and taking pics of the build and blogging.Reminds me when I used to work on my 70 Chevelle.When it's all done I'd luv to come down and take pics of the 33 Hot Rod with my camera gear.
    Keep up the great work I'm very impressed with what you've done so far.


    1. No Probs Brian - Any time.... and thanks for the kind words!

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