Speaking of Timing & Hookers…..


I ordered a pair of replacement speakers for the radio a couple of weeks ago.  I bought them from Turnswitch whom I have purchased speakers from before (for my 1960 Brougham).  Their quality is great and prices are pretty reasonable; most importantly they know what they are doing!

IMG_3495  IMG_3496

As the rear speaker was totally missing, I decided to install the new one and worry about the front one when I have the crash pad out again (it currently works OK).  When the rear shelf was trimmed, holes were drilled for the speaker, which is fantastic.  All I had to do was install the crimp terminals and earth the negative terminal to the body.

IMG_3497  IMG_3498


The result (and sound improvement) was excellent.  Unfortunately there is not a lot of choice on the AM band, but it is nice to have tunes when required!


As I have now improved the idle quality, and have been able to reduce the idle speed it was time to readjust the timing.  Although the standard timing is 5 (single carb) or 10 degrees (tri-power)  BTDC, it seems that the real way to set timing is based on total advance at 3000rpm.  Everything I read suggests between 34 and 38 degrees advanced with the vacuum advance bypassed.

I marked up the harmonic balancer by measuring the distance between 0 and 10, and then spaced it out to 36 degrees.


I started the engine and checked my set up.  Timing at idle was 12 degrees BTDC and yet I found that it was only getting to around 25 degrees at 3000rpm.

You may remember that I installed new springs when I rebuilt the distributor, and picked the middle strength ones.  I changed them over for the lighter springs in the kit and checked again…much closer.  I adjusted the total timing till it was was pretty close to 36 degrees which equalled 10 degrees at idle.  Everyone’s a winner!

Hooker surgery

The metallic rattle from the Hooker Maximum Flow mufflers is already unbearable.  I have been talking to Hooker (Holley) Customer Service this week, and aside from asking lots of questions they have not offered any solutions.  I don’t expect them to offer any either as they are acting a bit dumb, like they aren’t aware that this is a known problem.

I decided to try and fix the problem myself with a bit of keyhole surgery.  I first cut an opening on the top of the muffler so I could access the internals.


I peeled it back to reveal the perforated pipe with the solid pipe inside it.  I then drilled a hole through both and inserted a steel pop rivet to lock it all together.

IMG_3504  IMG_3502

While I had them open I stuffed in a little bit of fibre glass ceiling insulation in as I found them to be mostly empty with only a dense 2 layer mat which is maybe 1/2″ thick all that was installed in the muffler.


I then closed up the flaps and welded them shut with the MIG welder.  I followed this by a quick coat of exhaust paint to stop the outside corroding.


Once I modified the inlet and outlet on both mufflers I installed them and started the car.  For the first time all I could hear was the exhaust note.  I drove the car both yesterday and today, and managed to clock up some miles.  Total odometer is now 255 miles.


Next job is to think about changing the oil.  The current oil is Amsoil Break In Oil, and has been in since I changed the oil after breaking in the camshaft.  I believe it is too early to fill it with synthetic, so I am considering filling it with a quality, non friction modified mineral oil for the next 500 miles or so.  After doing some research, I am thinking Valvoline XLD 15W40 might be the go, however I might talk to Valvoline first to make sure it has enough zinc to protect the lifters.


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