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 Back in the Fairmont saddle again.

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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:35 pm

Hi Gang,

I'm back in the Fairmont saddle again. I bought back a 1980 Fairmont coupe I built in 2005 with my son. Sold it to his friend, Brian in 2006. Then 3 weeks ago he sold it back. It was one of those "shouldn't have sold it" cars. BUT...In the end I think I made a mistake. I remember the car as it was when I sold it to him. I let my emotions rule over my head. Turns out Brian didn't take as good of care I had hoped. The coupe started out as a old lady 6 cylinder automatic car. I swapped in a Mexican block 302 and T5 that I salvaged from my 83 "Meximont", that met with an unfortunate fate at an intersection.

Coulda shoulda taken a closer look before handing him the cash. Rolling Eyes Gonna have to go through the whole car. Blown head gasket causing over heating, needs a clutch, harmonic balancer. Everything short of an overhaul. He added some rather loud Flowmasters, that will come off. The kind of loud that tends to attract uniformed attention. The only panel that doesn't have a ding or dent is the trunk. Interior is begging for a restoration. New front seats to replace the worn Mustang units. Even the console was broken in half, glued back together, and re-broke a few days after I got it back. The plan now is to pull the drive train, assess the needs, hoping I have everything figured so far. Re-gasket the motor, new timing chain for good measure, harmonic balancer, clutch, etc. The one thing I am not sure of is the right harmonic balancer since it is a Mexican built engine. Pull it check part number and hope, I guess. The T5 might need a rebuild or just go for a good condition used unit. There are some wiring issues to contend with as well. I'll have to get a new heater core, and a few A/C components replaced. I found a 3' patch of JB Weld on the condenser in a attempt to plug a leak. Some people! The list of needs is long, but the potential for a nice ride is there. Already the car gets attention at Cruise Night, so that's something. I now work at Auto Zone, so the employee discount will help.
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Stymees'mont

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Age : 44
Location : Minnesota

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:25 pm

Welcome back ! Still kicking here and looking forward to following your old/new project.
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ZephyrEFI

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Posts : 859
Join date : 2008-11-10
Age : 41
Location : Shakopee, MN

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:10 am

Cool to have a car with some history, though! Welcome back!
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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:02 am

Gathering parts for some major work on the coupe. Have a new clutch kit that I got through work ( Auto Zone where I am a parts sales manager). Finding the right harmonic balancer was a bit of a challenge since the engine came from a Mexico built Fairmont. I lucked out, through Facebook, I got in touch with a fella south of the border who has a Mexico built Fairmont boxtop much like the one I had , and my motor came from. ( he offered to sell me his boxtop..figures...just after I bought the coupe..) He managed to dig me up a part number. Seems the Mexican block 302 uses the same harmonic as most everything else Ford put a 302 in down there. Same as the late 70's, early 80's 302's in Mustang, Fairmont, E150, F150, etc. I also learned through my research that the Mexican block 302 was used by Shelby in the GT350's from 68 through 70, since the casting has a higher nickle content and had beefier main caps.

So now I just need to work out some cooling issues. The car currently has a 2 row. I don't remember what radiator I used when I built the car 7 or 8 years ago. But it warms up to normal running temp, then starts creeping into the higher end of normal. Haven't driven it much since, not wanting to risk burning up the motor. Although the kid I bought it back from says he'd been driving it that way for quite a while. I did a compression check, all cylinders are 140+. No coolant smell or fluid in any cylinders. No coolant in the oil. There's no antifreeze in the motor where it isn't supposed to be as far as I can tell. My worst fear was a blown head gasket. Now I think just need to get a better radiator, maybe even add electric cooling fan. I happen to have one left over from another project. Thinking of a 3 row radiator, shroud and electric fan(s). I have heard that a Taurus shroud and cooling fans will fit. I would very much appreciate some input from anyone of you.
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ZephyrEFI

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PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:23 am

I did the electric fan swap. Pretty easy. I think mine is from a SN95 Mustang. Not hard to make just about anything work unless it's bigger than the radiator, I guess, haha. Just have to get creative.

Anyway, it's great not having the whooshing sound from the belt driven fan. That's the main reason I did it, haha. Now all I hear is that sweet sound from the exhaust. I think I got my controller from Auto Zone... I think...
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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:42 am

I was going through the papers on the coupe from what I had done, and also what last owner did. I did have twin fan setup of some kind, can't figure why last owner would have pulled them off? I had bought a 2 row radiator for the coupe back 2006 when I built the car, based on a 1980 with the 4.2 V8. Wish I could find the papers on which twin fan set up I put on the car. Might have been the Taurus setup. Just don't remember. Did see a nice 3 row aluminum radiator on Ebay for $125. Very tempting. About as much as the cheapy 2 row with the plastic tanks. Just need to somehow verify the cooling issue source. Hate to just throw parts and money at it until I am sure of the cause. Warms up normally, but then it starts to creep up in temperature to the high end of normal. Did see some bubbling in the radiator as it warms up.(cap off obviously). Nothing in the oil, but oil. Pulled all the plugs, no evidence of antifreeze in cylinders. Good compression in all cylinders. Water pump is about 3 year olds. Coolant flow seems good through radiator when Thermostat opens.(as seen with cap off). Maybe I should find a radiator shop to have it tanked and pressure tested? Could there be a blown head gasket still? Open to suggestions gang!


Also Yesterday I had another hit to the budget, with having to replace the battery. Last owner put in one of those cheap-ass Walmart Everstart juice boxes. Where I work we call them NEVERstarts. This one was just over a year old and already crapped out.
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ZephyrEFI

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Age : 41
Location : Shakopee, MN

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Pretty lame he took those fans off. I think I've heard Mark VIII fans are a good choice.

As for the overheating issue, can't say I have anything to offer. I just use a cheapie radiator in mine. Could try a coolant flush maybe.
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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Did the coolant flush, new thermostat, new hoses ( had to they started leaking after the flush, LOL), new radiator cap. No change. Now if I knew someone with a thermal imager.... It has me stumped and hopeful it's not a blown head gasket.
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Stymees'mont

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Location : Minnesota

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Sun May 25, 2014 7:37 pm

Pressure test the cooling system, that will tell you if there is a head gasket issue. Could be an air lock in the system too. Not enough radiator? Fan and or shroud ?
There is some coolant additives that help drop the temps, I have a bottle of some that Royal Purple makes, but there are many other brands out there. They do work and help. My Dad uses it in his T Bird !
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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:45 pm

Well after going though the hassle of taking the top end of the motor apart looking for a blown head gasket or a cracked head, I decided to replace the water pump along with everything I had done so far, just for good measure. Then putting it all back together again, I found the problem. One of those "DOH!" moments. Can't believe I did figure it out early on. It clicked when I was putting on the serpentine belt. Now on my car I have the accessory/pulley parts from an 83 Mustang GT. The water pump is designed for COUNTER CLOCKWISE rotation. When I put the belt back on the way it came off, I realized whoever was the last "mechanic" on the car routed the belt to where the water pump was turning CLOCKWISE. See, when I realized the belt was routed wrong, and tried to put the same belt on the way it is SUPPOSED to go, the belt was short, so I had to go get a longer belt ( from a 910K6 to a 918K6). Once I had that figured out and fixed, I realized the fan blade is made for clockwise rotation. Luckily I had a 17" electric from a past project. My son Adam came up with a brilliant idea on how to mount an electric fan on my radiator. Most use the zip tie method. On my1980 Fairmont project I was going to do the same. I lamented how much hassle it would be to have to pull it off someday, and need to buy another zip tie mounting kit. He came up with an idea that was brilliant!! Use springs in between the flat side of the the zip tie and the radiator. This was the slotted mounts that hold the fan can be pulled up and twisted to release the radiator if the need arises. In my case the top part of the fan can be screwed into the radiator frame, much like the shroud mounts. I only needed to drill two holes, use the clip type screw holders for the top mounting screws like the ones that hold the top of the shroud Now the bottom “Spring Loaded” holders are in place for easy removal. Undo the 2 screws at the top, then pull up the slotted mounts, twist them away from the fan, and a simple reverse procedure to replace the fan.
Brilliant!!!.
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mlarky



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Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:46 pm

http://s1175.photobucket.com/user/mlarky1957/library/
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ZephyrEFI

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PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:11 pm

Hey, that's a good idea!
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mlarky



Posts : 17
Join date : 2008-11-09
Age : 60
Location : Pipe Creek , Texas

PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:19 am

Well looks like life has altered my plans. Not going to be able to finish the car. The Fairmont is now up for sale. Running good, no more over heating issues. $2500. It has a Mexican block 302 ( research why this engine is better than American made version), T5 tranny, ( the drive train is worth the asking price alone). Mustang GT Turbine rims, shorty headers with Mustang H pipe and Flowmasters, Ford sport steering wheel, Lately it has gotten new hoses, a new battery, a tune up, now running an electric fan.
For pics and details email me at mlarky1957@yahoo.com
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ZephyrEFI

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PostSubject: Re: Back in the Fairmont saddle again.   Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:42 pm

Bummer
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Back in the Fairmont saddle again.
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