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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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Exhaust finished.

Spent a day re welding the pipes into the existing system. As the FPA are long tube it was a matter of cutting off the down pipes, shortening the S bends and welding. I will be glad once I have a lift, crawling under cars trying to deduce angles to make cuts is hard.

I also bought better lap clamps for the joins. If y'all are not using these already go and buy them now from Summit. 11 bucks each, so easy to use and clamps well. These cost at least 40 bucks each over here so we are getting ripped.


Pretty happy with the result - the headers just come under the rails and sit nice and high. I went through and re-did the rear muffler mounts so they sit higher as well.

IMG_1461.thumb.JPG.286dff59af3049fd9c4ef9fdf3729a0a.JPG  IMG_1464.thumb.JPG.e4697e6fee8c8e4da8208aa86ab36819.JPG  IMG_1465.thumb.JPG.8fc3286b6f1d44997db600f1122a2bcd.JPGIMG_1466.thumb.JPG.fbaa7169f1ec754f37a8f82b7e3a46db.JPG

The sound to me seems different inside (although, I also fitted sound mat under the rear seat to try to kill some drone).


NO CHUFFING which makes the darn cost worth it.

The only beef I have is the clutch cable is too close to one pipe. I had some left over header wrap so I wrapped both pipes all the way up to near the curve near the port, and also wrapped the clutch cable too. At $146US + shipping and taxes, no way I am melting that bad boy intentionally. The positive is they are further away from the speedo cable and rail.

 IMG_1402.thumb.JPG.ee4bf3b4f3d1e0bda421ee641b2bb8fd.JPG  IMG_1403.thumb.JPG.1396923eca9f93914763c9b5d58688f9.JPG

On the other side, the starter is touching the pipe so I may have to see if I can rotate it a bolt hole to clear


The service FPA gave was outstanding. He was super helpful, did what he said and most of all the headers fit the heads and the car and I hope not to ever pull them off.

Today Fedex delivered me a new speedo cable and axles seals from Rock Auto. It's sad when I can get all this stuff delivered to my door cheaper than I can buy one speedo cable here.    

The no-name cable came without the rubber grommet and o'rings, but for 11 bucks I ought to just shut up.

EDIT; I will not be shut up. The end to the speedo head is a natch too long and it won't clip on. I should have bought the 17 dollar cable not the 11 dollar one. And I have a spare, as I bought two of them.

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Bad news and good news.

Bad news? The clutch cable started to melt. I took it for about a 40 minute run, stopped at the shops and when I jumped back in the clutch was all sticky and shuddery. Thinking the worst I took it straight home.

Next day, pulled the cable and yep, the wrap was burnt and the outer cable had started to melt. Dammit.


Hard to see but the white discolouration is the area.

As luck would have it I was recently in a parts shop up the road and they had silicone sleeving. Looked it up, rated to 250F so I went down and bought some 5/8" and 3/4" lengths. 

I put the 5/8" stuff on first (I had to split it and wrap it as it would not go over the end, then I put a length of the original silver stuff over it, then the larger silicone sleeve over that, and finally wrapped it with heat wrap.


These are the 3 stages before wrap. If this thing melts again I am going to go nuts.

When I put it back in, the cable still hit the headers, so employing my inner McGyver, I put a spring off the pan stud and tie-wired it to the cable to give it an air gap:


The result? A tiny air gap but one that will not melt the cable.


On the drive, I found the speedo wasn't working. So a quick check identifies that the clip on part to the speedo head is too long, the clip isn't engaging and the inner cable is not hooking in. So I had to trim back the steel part to get the clip to engage, the end result a working speedo but a heck of a noise from the cable as it is hitting something. Dammit again. I'll buy another one from MDL and pay the expense.

Next, install a small throttle extension lever I had ordered and installed which lifted the cable and made the arc longer, but it gave a 50% improvement in throttle response - without it you could not give it a little gas when starting (this is a stick remember) and you either had 2,500 revs on or you smoked it out of there. Holley p/n 20-16 for reference. All good, but now the cable hit the air cleaner base. The expensive K&N 14" drop base air cleaner I bought especially to clear the hood when using an RPM airgap manifold. Another Dammit (I have plenty, I won't run out). So, off to the speed shop I go to buy a 1/4" air filter spacer. And then as the filter sits higher I need a new centre stud. Of course, you can't spend just 10 bucks at a speed shop so I walked out with a new rocker adjusting spanner and allen key, so I now look like one of them pro-fess-ional in-jun builders. Except no one see's me working on the car.

I had preciously been emailing a bloke in the US about getting the Sniper working properly. When I changed to timing control it was all out so he was sending me updated GCF files (GCF is the data the Sniper uses to run and sets timing, fuel, and all sorts of other electrickery I don't get). Luck would have it, he was awake and reading emails, so therefore ensued about 20 emails going over the set up and tweaking it. The end result is the car starts and does not stall, does not have a massive air sucking issue at idle and doesn't stall as I drive to a stop. The tweaks were actually very simple, but having read and acted on internet 'experts' I had the settings all over the shop. To fix the idle air control (IAC) you have to increase the idle screw. But, because it has a TPS you turn the thing off before you move the idle screw and when you turn it back on again, the computer says, I'm at 0% throttle opening and therefore I will idle at my electronically set rpm. Kinda reverse to carbs which don't got no brains.

Coupled with the lever and his tweaks, it is driving real nice again and is something I want to drive. And that was the good news.

I still have to tweak the driver side exhaust pipe, as I put it too close to the rail. It's hard lying on your back by yourself trying to work out angles to cut pipes, the length to cut pipes and see clearances. It just needs a cut and a turn of about 1/16" but that will put the join angle out and I will need to trim and muck around. Or I just fill the gap with weld and not let anyone under there to look.

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It's Hammer dyno time!

The story so far. Engine in, all systems go but still having issues with the tune. I tried a few changes, emailed back and forwards to my man in the US but I realised I was wasting my time.

So I made a booking with a tuner that had previously tuned a carb'd car years ago and he got results. Not cheap but - $1,350 AUD which would be about $1,000 USD.

First up he checked the settings, then spent about an hour running the engine and playing with the ignition and fuel maps. Really not much to see, just sitting on the dyno running at light loads.

Finally, the time came to do power runs. I had decided to put a 6,500 rev limit on as I wasn't sure how much revs the standard roller block could take. I'd been told 6,500, 7,000 and 7,500 but none of them were going to pay for a blowed up motor, so 6,500 it was. Another factor was the cam was rated to 6,600 for power.

First run: 325 hp at the treads. He made a total of 8 runs, with all but one increasing power as he tweaked tables and numbers. The final run gave up 355 hp and about 330 ft/lb at the wheels. But more importantly, it had a fat flat torque curve and the fuelling was much cleaner. Driving it revealed it was back to how it was without the timing and fuel management and basically drove like a modern car - no snatch out of third gear corners and 1,200 rpm, hauled the mail when it needed to. And the idle has come down about 100rpm and it is much cleaner.

Hopefully now I just drive it and don't worry about it not starting, idling, or going. Yesterday was 37° C or about 98 F° and the engine temp stayed steady at 90-91°C (195) in traffic and came quickly back down to 84° C (184) whilst driving. Have to be happy about that.



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The engine is a late model 8.2" roller block, 347, Dart Pro 1 heads, scat rotating bits, 10.5:1 comp, Lunati 231/239 @0.50, RPM airgap, FPA 1 5/8" headers, all running on 98 octane gas (no corn fed stuff) with a TKO600.

Sniper is the 600Hp 4 injector thing through a MSD 6AL box and billet distributor.


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Impressive results.  Nice work on putting together that engine package, it all seems to work together well!

Did they have any estimate of horsepower at the flywheel based on the measured rearwheel results?

Your 6500 rev limit was right on based on your power curve.  The dual plane intake isn’t much good above about 6,000 rpm anyway.




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The man said 20% loss was typical so I’m guessing 420 at the crank. The cam is rated to 6,600 and it drops power at 6,000 so at least I have a reasonably low-stress engine. 
Never built a small block so I don’t know if this is ok, awesome or out of the ballpark for power. 

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