Another 66 Town modification thread

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Privateer
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:50 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

Hi all, I thought I'd start a thread with the mods and mistakes I've done to my 66 428 car.
My hope is that someone else can see what I've done and improve upon it or be able to avoid the errors and mistakes I made. :razz:
My goal is to be able to drive my Thunderbird on longer trips to out of state events, for it to have decent power, better ride/handling/stance.

Anyway besides just the regular things these cars need, so far I have done the HID headlights, converted to Hydro-Boost and used an electric power steering pump to replace the stock engine driven pump. Converted to electric fan, replaced the York style compressor with a Sanden style, replaced rear drums with the rear disc Explorer conversion, and upgraded sway bar

Up next is I've got a 428 block I'm rebuilding on my engine stand, using the Holley Sniper Stealth, and I have a 6R80 adapter kit.
I'll update as things get done.

Scott
Attachments
Wilwood compact master small.jpg
Elec pwr str pump 1 small.jpg
HID Headlight_4223 small.jpg
Last edited by Privateer on Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Privateer
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:50 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

I will say so far my favorite mod is the Hydro-Boost + Wilwood compact master. I bought the 1-1/8 bore size. I have driven without the power steering pump powered up to test out and the brakes still work great without a high effort for the pedal. I used a unit out of a 1996 C3500 since it had a large flat metal plate attached. I had to make the firewall hole a little larger (still need to make a boot to seal it) then I used the factory holes in the firewall and drilled new holes in the plate after I cut it down. I had some 3/4" metal blocks I used to space out the unit. The input rod was to long and I also wanted it adjustable, though the hole size was just right for the brake pedal. I cut about an 1.5" out of the rod and then it was the right size to thread to 3/8-24 and I used a coupling nut from Leed Brakes and some thin jam nuts. Now it's adjustable to make sure I have the correct pedal travel. I will say I may be missing the last .1 to maybe .2 of full pedal travel in order to get the brake pedal height where I wanted it. As it is it's a little higher than stock but I don't really notice the extra height difference when going from gas to brake. Also buying the Wilwood master cylinder with the proportioning valve kit was a real time saver and I was able to just use all of the stock brake lines bent to fit. I did have to grind down the spacer included with the master cylinder as my boost unit was pressing in on the master about an 1/8". Also after mockup I ordered a rebuilt booster unit from Summit and I think it may be not so great.
I am thinking of trying one from Hydratech with that much better looking aluminum adapter.
Attachments
Hydro Boost 2 small.jpg
Leed coupling nut 38x24.jpeg
Leed coupling nut 38x24.jpeg (4.74 KiB) Viewed 1766 times
Hydro Boost 4 small.jpg
Hydro Boost 1 small.jpg
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Privateer
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Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

I used the Volvo Electric Power Steering Pump to try out something different. It does say FoMoCo on it so I don't feel to bad, however it's kind of an eye sore looking so new in the engine bay. I was thinking of using some black Plasti-Dip paint on it. If I liked it then I was going to see if the same unit but with remote reservoir would fit in the left fender area like the vacuum can in the right fender, then just have the remote reservoir in the engine compartment.

After putting around 200 miles on it I'm not really convinced it's a good idea.
I don't think the pump can keep up really when doing bigger back and forth turns such as in a parking lot, especially when you are on and off the brakes. I do have another unit and I'm going to swap them out to make sure it's not the unit itself. Also I was using a #6 Y block for the return, and I have separated out the two returns and I"m actually running the return from the booster unit to the fill cap, since it only has any return when you release the brake pedal and then it's not much, but I had read that to much back pressure on the booster return line can cause issues. After I made the routing change I didn't notice any difference. I'll report back after I swap out the units, but I'm begining to think a newer saginaw pump setup may be in my future when I change out the engine.
Attachments
Elec pwr str pump 2 small.jpg
Elec pwr str pump 1 small.jpg
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Privateer
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Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

I replaced the stock Escort 3G alternator I was using with a one wire Powermaster 200 amp alternator. With the electric power steering pump, the radiator electric fan on, the condenser electric fan on with the A/C turned on blowing on high, the HID headlights on, the stock 3G was lacking a little. The new alternator tested out at 142 amps at idle, and I have a strong 13.8 volts at idle with full load. I also used a Painless Performance power distribution block and Hella fuse holder for all of these add-ons. I really like the quality of the distribution block.
Please ignore my black power wire from alternator to distro block, it's all the 4 gauge the local parts store had at the time I could put new ends on and not have another 3 feet left over :)
Attachments
Alternator 1.jpg
Alternator 3.jpg
Alternator 4.jpg
Alternator 5.jpg
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TbirdIntender
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by TbirdIntender »

Yikes! I am consumed with awe and admiration, Privateer! I felt tired just reading this thread.

Very good info, which I'll keep in mind as I progress with my car. It may take me a while to get to this level (understatement alert). :smile:
1966 Town Hardtop in sapphire blue
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Privateer
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Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

Like a lot of projects, this one is definitely taking longer than I thought, with everything going on the past year, I had to reprioritize some things. Happy to say I'm back at it. I've pulled out the stock 428 and C6, and am working on fitting up the 428 I'm going to use and the 6R80 with the adapter plate. After looking at some of the other Ford forums I knew I'd be grinding down some of the case for fitment, and it looks like I will need to either move the existing transmission support, or cut the top portion to get my driveline angle where it was with the C6 (I'm only 2 degrees off now). I'm going to look at moving it as first option, which of course means also modifying the parking brake cable.

I did my first measurements with the original engine in the car, and did not realize just how bad the motor mounts were. I gained a half inch of forward and some up on the block with new mounts which were not separated and disintegrating.
Hopefully I can keep on this until everything is cleaned, fitted, assembled, painted and back in the car!
TBird 6R80 Trans 1.jpg
With new mounts
TBird 6R80 Trans fit 3.jpg
Initial Firewall fitment issues - ground these tabs off the trans and fits well now
TBird 6R80 Trans fit 1.jpg
after grinding
TBird 6R80 Trans firewall 1.jpg
Tunnel fitment as noted above
TBird 6r80 Tunnel fit 1small.jpg
Adapter
TBird 6R80 Transadapter 2.jpg
TBird 6R80 Transadapter 1.jpg
stubbie
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by stubbie »

Hi Privateer is this the Speed Gems adapter your using for the 6R80? I've been thinking of doing the same, but I may have to use a Chebby box and an adapter as the 6R80 are not available here in great numbers. When they are, they are like 7K. Good to see someone doing the ground work. Will be following.
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Privateer
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

Hi Stubbie, yes this is the Speed Gems adapter kit, which is supposed to work with the other Mod Motor transmissions as well. Nice to finally be using it as it's sat on the "to be installed" shelf for over a year now.
I ended up removing some of the factory brace, as moving it back wouldn't really work well as the tunnel begins to change shape immediately after the brace. I used some plate to box the ends of where I cut and then welded it in so I could get some strength back. Next is test fitting again and making the rear mount setup.
IMG_5801a.jpeg
IMG_5804a.jpeg
IMG_5829a.jpeg
IMG_5747a.jpeg
stubbie
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by stubbie »

If anyone else is interested in this swap here are some dimensions of a 6R80 transmission.
https://pbhperformance.com/6r80-dimensi ... yote-swap/
TBirdMan951
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by TBirdMan951 »

What brand of adapter did you you use and where did you get it from ? We are building a 427 BBM for my 66 Hardtop and am building an AOD to go with it.

Thankyou, Greg Williams
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Re: Another 66 Town modification thread

Post by Privateer »

I used the kit from Speed Gems at transmissionadapters.com I do believe they list a kit for FE to AOD though to be honest I think you'd do better with one of the AODs which have the bellhousing conversions from a place like FBPerformance so you don't have to have the adapter plate, or possibly Lentech. This isn't an option I have found for the 6R80 so I had to go the adapter route.

Made small progress on my mockup of the trans crossmember. My end goal is to have a tubular crossmember, for now though I'm starting with this setup. I'll be changing this up slightly for exhaust clearance. Hoping to place the cylinder heads and headers on for mockup of clearances this weekend.
Trans Mount 1.jpeg
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