Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Parts

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant continues slowly. This week I received two shipments of parts. Just like opening packages at Christmas, it is exiting to rip open the boxes and see what is inside.

On Wednesday, I received the shifter, electric fan and controls, emblems and some miscellaneous stuff from Summit Racing. Today I received the headers from L And L Products. The fuel pump was also suppose to arrive in the L And L order, but it has been back ordered. Last week I received the radiator and remote oil filter kit from Advance adapters. This is all good stuff, but I cannot proceed much without the oil pan and transmission adapter from Summit Racing. These are not scheduled to arrive until early November. Oh well, I still have some small projects to take care of.
Everything fits easily within one box. The cat loves to jump into these boxes!
I really like the headers. They are electroless nickel plated and this right side one is routed above the starter. Some of the other manufacturer's headers had interference issues with the starter. Hopefully this one will clear the firewall when I install it.

Hurricane Ridge Motorcycle Ride/Hike

The weather is suppose to get rainy starting tomorrow, so today was a good day to ride the motorcycle to Hurricane Ridge and hike up Hurricane Hill.

I left early at 0700. It was foggy and cold all the way to Port Angeles. My breakfast stop at Port Angeles was chance to drink a couple cups of coffee and warm up. Soon after I started up the road to Hurricane Ridge, I broke through the fog layer and into the sunshine.

I have never ridden a motorcycle up the Hurricane Ridge Road. It was fun carving good turns through the corners while maintaining the speed limit of 35MPH. The road is smooth, clean and was devoid of traffic.

From the parking lot at the end of the road, it is only a 1.6 mile, 650 foot elevation gain hike to Hurricane Hill. It is not real challenging, but on a clear day, the view is spectacular. Unfortunately, the Strait of Juan de Fuca was covered in fog so I could not see Victoria or Vancouver Island. The view to the south was great with the Bailey Range visible and Mount Olympus barely visible over the ridge.

I made a quick lunch stop at the visitors center and then rode back down the road and into the fog. As I got closer to Hood Canal, the fog was gone, but a strong breeze was blowing against me for the rest of the ride home.

Some of the permanent residents of Olympic National Park.
Hurricane Hill. If the winter conditions are good, I ski to the top of Hurricane Hill.
The Bailey Range with Mt Olympus peeking through.
The path on top of Hurricane Hill.

The south flank of Hurricane Hill.

I took a side trip over a small hill on the return. In the winter, I ski over this hill.

From the parking lot looking toward Hurricane Hill.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Small Projects

A week ago, I removed the engine from Ms. Granada. Since then, I have been working at small projects to prepare the engine for transplanting into Mr. Bronco.

I removed some of the accessories and brackets that I will not be needing. Also the exhaust manifolds went away. The big job was working at cleaning the caked on oil and grime off the engine. Using a "eco friendly" cleaner, I worked for two days cleaning the muck off. This left me with a much cleaner engine, but now some rust was showing. So today, I used a wire wheel in the drill motor and scaled much of the rust off. I then painted the engine with three coats of high temp paint. I will be curious to see how well the paint holds up. I could not get to all the rust off nor could I get every bit of oil off.

Also this week, I received one parts order. The radiator and remote oil filter kit arrived on Thursday. This coming week I should receive packages of parts on Tuesday and Thursday. These are big orders and include most of the parts that I need. Unfortunately, the two parts I need the most(oil pan and transmission adapter) are not scheduled to be here until mid November. That's OK. A friend tells me that a project like this is a marathon and not a sprint!

I still had time in the morning for a bicycle ride to the boat where I worked on a couple of small rigging jobs. While waiting for more parts, I will have time to do other things. There is always something going on!
Three coats of "Old Ford Blue" paint.
And before I removed it off the valve cover to paint, I took this picture of the tuning data. Important stuff I will need.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Harvesting Parts

The great Bronco engine transplant is underway! This week I spent about 8-1/2 hours over 4 days removing the engine from Ms. Granada. I worked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday disconnecting everything and then went for an overnight cruise with the yacht club on Saturday. When I returned this afternoon, I could not leave it alone and spent the last 1-1/2 hours lifting the engine out. This time did not include the time spent travelling to Tacoma on Friday to buy the engine hoist and leveller.

As hard as I tried not to, I spilled some oil and transmission fluid on the floor. I hope the cat doesn't mind me using his cat litter to soak it up.

This is a big milestone for me. Even though the parts I ordered may not arrive for nearly a month, now I can start looking into getting rid of the carcass of Ms. Granada.

Parts harvesting. The parts in the box will be reused. The parts on the ground are scrap.
Here comes the engine! The leveller was a great help.
And when it was tipped up like this, the residual transmission fluid ran out of the transmission and onto the floor.

Engine is now out of Ms. Granada. I had just enough clearance with the garage door.

And in my now crowded garage. Tomorrows task, clean up the garage!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Preparing For Transplant Surgery

A couple days ago, I wrote about my new car ( ). Last night my friend Jim and I took his car trailer to Tacoma and hauled her to my home. I will unload her today and put her into the garage. Now I can tell what I have in store for this car.

But first, a little background story. In 1984 I bought a Ford, Bronco II. This was prior to the popular term "SUV", but it had a lot of the same attributes: truck chassis, 4 wheel drive. I used it a lot as a daily driver, hauled bicycles, went skiing, camping and travelled in the hills on undeveloped roads. I still own it, but it is getting old and has a lot of miles. Although Mr Bronco has been very dependable, the drive train was not known for lasting a long time and the 2.8 liter, V6 engine does not have a good parts support system and needs additional fluids often to keep running right. Other than that, the body, paint and interior are in great shape. He has always been parked undercover. He always been a comfortable vehicle to drive. I just have not been comfortable taking him very far from home.

Something I always wanted to do was repower Mr. Bronco with a V8 engine. This is really a fairly common procedure. Recently I started studying what it would take. I found sources for the adapter parts and was looking for engines. I found a blog of a guy that installed a V8 in his 1984 Bronco II in ten days. He found a 1977, Ford Granada with 47K miles and used that as a "donor" car. As I was looking for engines, I looked in Craigslist and sure enough, there was Ms. Granada, a 1977, Ford Granada with 63K miles. Can you see where this is going?

So, I bought Ms. Granada to be a "donor" car. I did not want her for her body, but I wanted her for her heart and soul: her 302 cubic inch V8 engine and her C4 automatic transmission. The engine and transmission beat strong within her mangled body and my plan is to transplant them into Mr. Bronco.

Today, I rolled Ms. Granada off the trailer, pried the fender well farther from the rear tire and took her for a short drive. She started right up. She seems to have a fair amount of power and shifted smoothly. I have always been impressed with how quiet her V8 is. It really is quite a shame that she was wrecked. She would have been a great work car or daily driver.

Many have commented on this blog and in Facebook about the repair work that is needed on Ms. Granada. She is gone, her frame is twisted and bent and the left rear sheet metal is destroyed. But her heart should beat strong in Mr Bronco and provide a long life to him. Much of Ms. Granada's body can be reused by the right person that needs parts and after I harvest all the parts I need, I hope to get her body into the hands of someone who can distribute what is left of her. The remains of her body and interior is in great shape!

Stay tuned in the coming months as I start the transplant process. I will blog when I have significant news to report. And like the Six Million dollar man, Mr Bronco will be rebuilt to be "better, stronger, faster".

Ms. Granada on the car trailer parked in the cul-de-sac at my home.

Ms. Granada waiting to be unloaded.

Ms. Granada unloaded and waiting to be moved into the operating room, AKA my garage. Need to get her out of sight before the neighbors complain!

Mr Bronco. Hopefully by the end of the year he will have a new, stronger heart!

Monday, October 4, 2010

1-800-GO.AAMCO For Transmission Problems

Today, I headed out for a 24 mile bicycle ride. I chose the older white Cannondale road bike. It has a lot of miles, but I have kept it upgraded to newer components.

I knew something wasn't right as soon as I made a few shifts with the rear derailleur. The shifts were just not as crisp as I was used to. Sure enough about 10 miles into the ride, the rear derailleur cable broke. This is not the first time I have had this happen, so I had a plan to fix it so I could at least get home.

This bike has 9 sprockets on the rear wheel and 2 chain rings on the crank for a potential of 18 speeds. When the cable breaks, the derailleur moves over to the smallest sprocket which is the highest gear. I positioned the derailleur over the third largest sprocket and locked it in place by clamping the remaining shifter cable under the rear wheel quick release nut. Now I had a two speed bike with one sprocket in the back and two chain rings in front.

I decided to continue my ride instead of taking a short cut home. The gearing was way low, even with the big chainring, for the flats and downhills. And on the climb out of Illahee, I could have used a lower gear. But I made it home and had a fast average too.

Since this has happened before, you would think I would carry a spare cable..... Nah!

Here is the rear sprockets or cogs. After I positioned the derailluer at the third largest cog, I pulled all the slack out of the shifter cable and clamped it under the red rear wheel quick release nut to hold the derailluer in position.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My New Car

Today, I bought a new car. Well, it is new to me. It is a 1977, Ford Granada, 302 Cubic inch V8 with 63000 miles. Runs really good, needs a little body work. Probably will just buff out. I will take delivery on tuesday and haul her home on a trailer. She is a beaut, isn't she?

More info later.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Foulweather Bluff Race-Oct 2nd

Saturday was the Foulweather Bluff Race. This race is sponsored by Edmonds Corinthian Yacht Club. It starts north of the Edmonds Ferry Dock, rounds the government buoy at Foulweather Bluff , rounds the buoy at Schatchet Head and returns to the start/finish area. Normal length for the long course is 26 miles. There is a short course that goes to a temporary buoy at Pilot Point instead of Foulweather Bluff. This is used for the smaller boats and a short course for the larger boats if there is not much wind at the start. More on this later.

I took "Great White" to Edmonds on Friday. I arrived at the public moorage at about 1200. I was the first to arrive, but by evening the moorage was full and I had two boats rafted to me. It was a great day for a delivery and I took some time and walked up town and to the antique mall.

Saturday was suppose to have light winds and the weather forecasters were right on. We motored to the starting area and waited while a postponement was called for lack of wind. We drifted around for about a half hour before enough wind drifted in to begin starting boats. The committee also decided to send us on the shorter course to Pilot Point..

We finally got to our starting time. I had a terrible start. One boat that started five minutes after us got up to the line and got in our way. I had to slide down the line and start to leeward of the class. We opted to stay low and try to work out from underneath the other boats and their bad air, but I also wanted to get across Puget Sound first to get relief from the adverse current along the Kitsap shore. We worked forward of the windward boats, got clear air, but also got a header that helped move us ahead of some of the boats in our class. We also started getting better wind. By the time we reached the Kitsap shore, we seemed to be in the lead, but one boat("Marayui", Benetau 36.7) crossed just ahead of us. The wind increased to about 11 knots and we short tacked along the beach and made distance against other boats that went farther offshore into the adverse current.

We rounded the mark ahead of "Marayui" in the lead. The course to the next mark at Schachet Head was a close reach. Many boats went high on the course. I resisted the urge to go high especially since the current at the next mark was flowing from right to left. If we would have stayed high, we would have had to take a slower route against the current to the mark.

Again, we rounded the second mark in the lead. We set the spinnaker and headed for the finish. I concentrated on sailing hotter angles and we jibed several times. We put distance on "Marayui" and held our own on "Elusive"(C&C115) and "Uno" (Sierra 26). "Elusive" is fast downwind and "Uno" is a real downwind flyer. Fortunately they rate the same as us and all we had to do was stay between them and the finish. We owed "Marayui" a little less than two minutes.

We finished first, "Uno" was second and "Elusive" third. "Marayui" finishe far enough back that the first three finishers corrected on them. One disappointment was that the committee did not give us a gunshot for finishing first in our class. They fired the gun for "Uno". They made a mistake.

This was probably the most exciting race for me this year. Our class consisted of closely rated boats and the closeness of the rating showed that. Once the sun came up, the weather was spectacular. We had great teamwork. Thanks to the crew of Jim, Kathleen, Michael and Dave.

I left at about 1700, righ after the awards ceremony and had a nice motor home in very calm conditions. Arrived back to my moorage at about 1900.

Total distance for the weekend: 50.7 NM.

Edit: The results are posted at and it appears that "Marayui" actually placed 2nd and "Uno" was 3rd. We corrected ahead of "Marayui" by about 30 seconds.

The harbor filled with boats Saturday morning.
Some last minute work up the mast on "Dulcinea".

Some last minute work up the mast on "Dulcinea".

Light winds before the start.

Still light winds, but a couple classes started.

Our course for the day. We went clockwise.
As we crossed Puget Sound, we had a header right after the start and then a constant lift as we approached the Kitsap Shore. We then short tacked close to the beach on the Kitasp Shore(left side) to escape the flooding current. And tacked downwind to the finish on the right to keep our speed up.