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A '70 sportsroof Grabber pack gets some love in Australia

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I have that sump gasket; I think the issue is the sump profile around the rear main. The front and sides are good.

I also have Moroso studs in the pan so plenty of clamp there. I'll drop it and see what's doing. I have a Ford sump on the old motor so I can pull it if I need to.

I have good locking bolts and multi layer gaskets. The issue is the rear pipe has pulled out from the head about 1/16" and nothing will fill that gap. Hopefully my man up the road has either milled the flanges flat or bent the pipe in and milled it to keep it all even. Cutting the flanges helped a little bit, but not enough.

The timing I think is an issue with the requirement to develop a timing map. I have a Pro billet distributor (#8479) with all 6AL electrickery.

I've had nearly a week away from it so I may find I see things clearer when I work on it again in a few days.

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Regarding your bump steer:

•What are the symptoms?

•Have you done the 1 inch Shelby/Arning drop of the upper control arm?

•Is your suspension lowered?


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On 6/16/2023 at 2:11 PM, RPM said:

Regarding your bump steer:

•What are the symptoms?

•Have you done the 1 inch Shelby/Arning drop of the upper control arm?

•Is your suspension lowered?


The issue is on the rough roads we have locally, it is moving about. I'm not an expert on bump steer, but that is what it feels like - the wheel/s is moving under bumps.

Prior to the Borgeson instal, the car drove, I thought, very well for a 50 year old car. Sat flat, cornered nicely, etc.

Before the Borgeson;

New idler arm and rebuilt control valve

A steering box with literally 1/2" of free movement at centre (found that one on teardown)

The upper control arm has not been dropped, but I have used local Falcon XF front suspension. The spindle is taller, effectively doing a Shelby drop (so they tell me) and all bolts in. Mustangs are 2 door Falcons and this is common over here.

King springs which are heavier than standard but are not as heavy as the correct springs for the car, and also brings it down about 2" at the front. That's a poor description, so they are Ford TE Cortina 6 cylinder heavy duty springs from King Springs

1 1/8" front sway bar

Polyurethane bushes throughout

Junk el-cheapo shocks all around

No wheel alignment done at all except for eyeballing it.

Now, keep in mind prior to the Borgeson conversion this did drive well. It was fitted with an all-iron 302 and auto gearbox and in this setup I was very happy. Apart from some bottoming out it turned in well, sat flat and was great. Even with a poor wheel alignment, it didn't track left or right.

For the conversion, this is the recipe;

Borgeson box

Manual drag link which is not genuine Ford, some random brand I found on ebay. This is a potential problem as the tie rod ends did not fit well, the tapers were too big. Leave that one for later.

ACP repro manual pitman arm

Road & track manual roller idler arm

Roller bearing spring perches of some unknown brand

New Koni classic shocks all around, basically adjusted to halfway both ends

A wheel alignment, which shows it's not square as the passenger control rod is bottomed out and the drivers is about halfway. The shop could only get about 2.5° of castor, not the 3-4° Borgeson want. The car is still LHD, and our roads camber the other way but that has been dialled out in the alignment and the car drives straight as you can expect.

The new motor combo will be lighter, as it has alloy heads on it and steel headers, loosing all the cast iron top end.

Driving it now, it is 'edgy' and nervous. It seems to be only the drivers side that twitches and feels like it is moving. Big bumps do upset it but little ripples also give an uncomfortable feel through the wheel. I feel that when turning to the right, the right hand front wheel is 'falling over'. What I mean is when you turn the wheel it feels ok, but give it a little bit more inward turn and the wheel feels like it is tipping in. I really feel it is only the driver side and the passenger side is not affected. Slightly difficult as we are driving on the left but I don't think the LH side is a problem.

Maybe unrelated, but the previous engine was a dead 302 and I never pushed it. Now I have a stonking 347 and stick shift I am pushing it harder and I feel the car is moving on the suspension under good power. No, it's not wheel spin but more like something is loose, and also more to the rear. Is it related? Dunno.

I've had a quick look, but not indepth as I need some time away from it, is that possibly I have not centred the pitman arm. The driver side inner tie rod end is not in alignment with the lower control arm pivot, where the passenger side does look to be. Also, up on stands the drag link is not level but does come back to level when the car is on the wheels. It does seem to have better lock when turning left as opposed to a right turn.

The other possibility is the drag link. Being a 'no-name' brand it may be suspect but I would have to question that. I do recall thinking the tie rod ends bottomed out before the nut fully locked in but that may be poor memory. I cannot feel anything loose in the steering and can't hear or feel any movement. Being a '70 this has the bigger tie rod ends, so the drag link cannot be a '69, even if they were to differ. 

I think I have 2 potential causes;

I have read on the interwebs, and tis may be false, that the Borgeson box has a 1/2" longer pitman shaft. When I put the repro manual pitman arm, it did not ride fully up the shaft so I suspected that was the problem: I had a roughly .500-.750" lower drag link on the driver side. That in theory would confirm it; as the suspension droops, the drag link comes down and kicks the wheel out. On the ground it looks flat but perhaps that is the tie rods taking the slack up.

Second, the actual drag link is not centred and the tie rods have been adjusted to fit (the suspension shop were scratching their heads over what settings to use, so maybe they just made it fit).  Due to the roads around here being typically rough on the edges and smooth in the centre maybe I am getting a false positive by only hitting undulations on the driver side whilst the passenger side remains flat. (Not sure how I test that theory, hard to drive on the wrong side of the road I've found).

It's a strange one, most Borgeson converters rave about the change and how good it is. Maybe rather than posting on a forum I get under the car with a ruler and check it but with leaking headers and sump on top of this, along with Holley Sniper running issues I need a little lie down.

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Bump steer on our cars is actually bump toe in and out. On older cars with a straight axle the wheels would turn left out right when going over a bump. You can measure for toe change on your suspension by taking out the front springs, moving the spindle thru its arc, and  measuring the toe at ride height, compressed, and extended. 

The only time my car was squirrelly was when I had too much static toe out.

I agree that a taller spindle will result in a Shelby drop effect. 

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Update on this bump steer. Borgeson stated they had not found an issue in all their installs. They did suggest to pull the pitman arm and see if any paint was preventing it form sitting higher up on the sector shaft, which was going to be plan B.

Whilst thinking about the steering I pulled the sump to fix the rear main seal leak. Half a tube (literally) of Dow Corning black silicone later it was back on. It don't leak so far, fingers crossed. Looked up and the p/s pump had a weep from the pressure hose. Reefed on that fitting to tighten it.

Whilst under there I had a look at the tie rod ends. Found out that I had been supplied 1969 items, not 70 which may not have helped the steering issue. I replaced them with new 1970 ones.

I thought I'd try another shop for a wheel alignment, so I went to one recommended by another Stang owner, which luckily was 20  minutes away. An hour later, the new shop had pretty much dialled out the problem. It's not *perfect* but it is much better than it was. I'm glad that is sorted.

Last, found a helpful person on the Holley Sniper forum, who gave me some tips and provided a new configuration file. The PCV valve was the older flapper style so I spent 28 bucks on Amazon getting a fixed orifice one, and plumbed it into the front vacuum port of the Sniper. The oil breather cap was also puking oil out when I gave it a Big Rev, so I replaced it with a Cleveland (uurrgghh) style cap with the hose into the air cleaner. It still leaks, but only slightly.

The new tune was pretty wild - lit up the rears in first and second on power, and rolling in second it would light them up at will. (I had some fun with a sports bike behind me, showing him the side stripe at will). Not really practicable but, so I pulled the timing back a bit which has toned it down. But I miss the sideways action so I might stick a couple of degree's more timing back in (insert evil emoji here). But it sounds alright I think.

After all that, I finally washed it after 10 months of shop dust got to me, and hit with a random DA polisher and some Poor Boys EXP paint sealant. It's a good looking car from 10 feet but the paint is crud and I have managed to put all sorts of chips and marks in the paint. Lucky I prefer drivers not show queens.



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Nice progress. Ya, don't worry too much about those paint chips, they're badges of honor that show you drive your car. If we can just get  @Caseyrhe over his fear of getting a paint chip maybe he'll drive his beauty.


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New parts fitted and new parts failed.

After my trip to the US, I arrived home with a set of FPA headers. I have to thank Stan - he built these in about 8 weeks and shipped them to my motel 2 weeks before I got there.

Before I fitted them I made up new, solid rear mounts for the mufflers. They are not pretty as I'd like so no shots, but they have 2 insulation rubbers each side and oth to the floor pan so I am hoping that issue is fixed.

I elected to go with the dark gray ceramic coat and grabbed a spare set of exhaust gaskets. Total cost in local $$$ over $2,000.





The quality is nice - neat welds, mandrel bent bends and thick flanges that have been dressed.

Only question I have is why the join on the #1 pipe.

The old set had been leaking on the #8 port on the drivers side. The RH bank never leaked at all so I'm stuffed why the LH one did.

The design of the pipes is also much better for access; all of them go down where the Patriot set went across the top on the driver side.IMG_1385.thumb.JPG.3bb83e77bd78c3790e027d358ac9bedf.JPG

Resulting in having to bash a huge dent in the lower pipe to clear the Borgeson box.



Fitting the new ones - super easy. Both had to come up from underneath but they fit in well.

Cleared the Borgeson box no problems. But, I have concerns about the proximity to the clutch cable, steering idler and starter.IMG_1404.thumb.JPG.017b6c9a3ccab31c7d6a25bae23e2410.JPG IMG_1398.thumb.JPG.423de714b14d6e70959c08e79f261888.JPG


The clutch cable is $146 from MDL so I will have to wrap it pretty well with decent wrap (my Chinese sourced stuff failed on the speedo cable and it has melted through). The idler is a roller bearing unit so all I can do is grease it regularly. The starter although it has wrap and is a small one (no way you'd get a standard one in there) will need to have the wires wrapped as well. 

As promised, the bottom of the headers are level with the frame rails, so scraping might be gone for the future.

Next steps are to do the pipes from the headers to the X pipe.

When I jacked it up, I noticed an oil stain under the LHR wheel. Having a good look, the axle seals are leaking and have spat oil all over the drums and inside of the wheel. Both are like that so I will need to pull the axles and check the seal, and probably replace the brake shoes. Dammit, you get stuff supplied that should be correct and it's not. Or, I fitted the seals wrong.

Also when looking underneath I found the reason for the banging on the floor when giving it some gas. Initially I thought it was the exhaust as the previous owner made a hash of the mounts and one broke. But, the driveshaft has been hammering on the floor due to axle tramp. I need some advice here - I have adjustable Koni on it so will ramp them up harder to try to stop it. I have fitted 1350 uni joints and yokes to the 8" so I wonder if the 9" cars had a longer diff snubber rubber off the body. I can't see any marks on the rubber so it seems the diameter of the yoke is allowing it to hit the floor before the snubber is reached. Can anyone advise if the 9" car snubber rubbers are longer?

Last, the old headers also were too close to the speedo cable and it has now melted and jammed. Only 26 bucks in US, $85 over here. I tried buying one in the US but no shop had them and I didn't go past a Summit or Jegs.


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