FEBRUARY 20, 2011 – Becky Sue’s Ongoing 302 Adventure!
This new motor gets my heart a racing! Being behind the wheel of a V8 makes me feel like a TRUE GASOLINE GIRL! The 91 Octane fuel may be a bit more pricey but its totally worth it!
For those of you who are not familiar with the history behind my 61 Comet, Gita, she was an ultra-rare all original low mileage car. Gita only had 40,000 miles on her when I picked her up in January of 2009. Even though the past 50 years had been kind to her physically, some mechanical neglect probably contributed to her throwing a rod this past December at only 58,000 miles. My Gita may not be all original now, but she does have Comet parts transplanted in her. The new motor is a Ford 302 from a 1971 Comet and the rear-end is a rebuild from a 64 Comet! It was an exciting day hoisting that in-line six out of my 61’ Comet and cramming the V8 into her!
I will admit part of me was sad to see the 6 go just because I had gotten to know the motor over the past two years, but then I reminded myself about how I hated that motor when trying to merge into freeway traffic! Out with the old! In with the new!
The photo above is of me hooking the in-line 6 onto the engine hoist. Shortly after this I nervously hooked the 302 with the C4 attached to it and guided her across the shop and over the top of the gaping hole where my engine used to be! Next I had to climb up on top of the car and do the splits on the cowl carefully making sure not to put too much pressure on my windshield. As Matt Means and an apprentice at the Department of Customz lowered the motor in I began walking up the transmission using my body weight to push it down and under. For a minute there I thought I was going to get sucked in! I hear that motor swaps take a while, but with Dept. of Customz professional help we were able to do it in just one day
Since Gita is my daily driver we had to get her back on the road ASAP. That meant having the drive shaft adjusted and balanced twice by the fellows at OC Driveline in Placentia, Ca. You see, I was moderately driving the Comet until the rear end was rebuilt. I took the Ford 8 inch that I had purchased into J&S Gear in Huntington Beach. When J&S opened it up he showed me the broken axle and the busted posi unit. After sending the rear-end through the cleaning tank the technician began taking it apart and he noticed his marking inside! He had built this rear end in the past! I thought that was fascinating. While the rear end was being repaired Gita spent a day at a muffler shop having dual exhaust installed while I was at work. She still has straight pipes because I am saving up for a set of Borla Mufflers. When I returned to pick up my re-built rear-end it it had a slightly thicker axle, repaired posi-traction, and 4:11 gear rato!!
My 61 Comet will now burn out for days!!!! Until I finish the install though I resist the urge and only burn out on Fridays as I am blowing outta work and heading to the garage to play with the Gasoline Girls! There is still a lot of work for us to do to my car to get her running great. First of all we need to tune the motor, switch the water pump, and adjust the timing. We will throw new spark plugs in at that time as well. I have my eye on a Mustang suspension coil over kit from Speedway Motors (click to check it out) so stay tuned for an install article on that as well! My personal goal is to get this car on the racetrack at Mooneyes 2011! Wish us luck!