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Rich Ackermann

Have an engine bay clearance issue and need advice

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Hi All,

I could use some advice. I have a 1970 Mustang Mach 1 M-Code 351C 4v. The car originally had no Power brakes or P/S.  I added after market four wheel discs brakes and a CPP GM style steering box. I have a set of Sanderson Block Hugger Shorty Headers and the valve coves are a pair of Ford Racing covers.

That said, I dropped the engine in for the first time and everything looked real good. No header clearance issues, not even around the obnoxiously large steering box (See pictures below). What surprised me was brake booster is in contact with the back edge of LH (driver side) valve cover. Hard to say how much but I am guessing i will need to gain about 1/2 to 3/4 inch between the cover and the booster.

A smaller booster may be the best solution, but is possible to dolly the rear edge/side of the valve cover inwards about a 1/2" without creating internal interference, and also can I do the same to the outer edge of the brake booster without creating an issue?  I don't want to break the booster. I just don't know the booster internals.

Anybody have a similar issue?

Appreciate any insight and advice.

Thanks,

Rich

 

Valve Cover to Brake Booster clearance issue.jpg

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For the factory system,  there is a spacer plate between the booster and the firewall.  It adds 3/4 of an inch to it.  Maybe you could modify this to reduce it?  But then you need to reduce the pedal throw lever also, which is easy with an adjustment screw.  It looks like you have an aftermarket booster, and maybe that is the problem. The original boosters might have a lower diameter, it is 7.3 inches.  They were also longer, so the master cylinder was further away from the firewall.   Check the diameter on your booster. 

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30 minutes ago, rwcstang said:

looks like an aftermarket booster. I would suggest finding a Midland or Bendix booster. I had both and they cleared my 351w with no issue. 

That would be my first option as well.  If there is no success finding an OEM booster, maybe a different set of valve covers.  The Ford Racing valve covers are fairly large.

Also, think about later down the road if the booster or master cylinder needs to be removed when putting together the combination of parts.

Getting to the spark plugs will probably be fun with those tall valve covers.  I had Ford Racing tall valve covers on my 351W.  Everything fit okay but I got tired of the struggle to get to some of the spark plugs.  I switched to short valve covers.  They clear the roller rockers and spark plugs are much easier to reach.

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7 hours ago, Mach1 Driver said:

Is it a stock rebuilt boost or a replacement?

Its a replacement unit, I bought separately when I bought the brake kit. Its a 1967-1970 Mustang power brake booster kit for front disc brakes with MT.

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6 hours ago, danno said:

For the factory system,  there is a spacer plate between the booster and the firewall.  It adds 3/4 of an inch to it.  Maybe you could modify this to reduce it?  But then you need to reduce the pedal throw lever also, which is easy with an adjustment screw.  It looks like you have an aftermarket booster, and maybe that is the problem. The original boosters might have a lower diameter, it is 7.3 inches.  They were also longer, so the master cylinder was further away from the firewall.   Check the diameter on your booster. 

Yes its a aftermarket 8.0 inch diameter.  If the factory diameter was 7.3 inches then that could explain it.

clp-67pbu-at_xl.jpg

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5 hours ago, RPM said:

If you don't need the valve covers for roller rocker clearance, I'd use some stock ones.

RPM Thanks. I think I can use the factory covers without an issue. I may end up going that way.

I don't have the trany installed yet, so I noticed that the engine, which has the clutch and the heavy Quicktime Bell housing attached,  is tilted backwards pivoting on the motor mounts. If I lift the bell housing up an inch or two, which by eye looks like thats where it will be when trans is mounted, I maybe okay (barely but okay).

In the picture, the top shows the gap with the bell housing up 1 1/2 and the bottom with no bell housing support/lift.

 

Valve Cover booster clearance issue.jpg

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6 hours ago, 1969_Mach1 said:

That would be my first option as well.  If there is no success finding an OEM booster, maybe a different set of valve covers.  The Ford Racing valve covers are fairly large.

Also, think about later down the road if the booster or master cylinder needs to be removed when putting together the combination of parts.

Getting to the spark plugs will probably be fun with those tall valve covers.  I had Ford Racing tall valve covers on my 351W.  Everything fit okay but I got tired of the struggle to get to some of the spark plugs.  I switched to short valve covers.  They clear the roller rockers and spark plugs are much easier to reach.

1969_Mach1,

Yep, I noticed that the covers make it tougher to get to the plugs. Not to mention the Moroso rubber spark plug covers are obnoxiously large too. Does not look much better than it was in my old 1969 428CJ. Especially with the P/S lines running along the shock tower. I am spoiled by the space i have in the engine bay on my 1973 vert with a stock 351C H-code.

I may need to find a OEM booster with a smaller diameter.

Thanks

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BTW: I am using an Edelbrock Air Gap intake with a Holley Sniper EFI on my Cleveland. I know everyone says it wont fit under a shaker (too high), but I think I have that solved. Once I get the trans mounted and the engine tilt set, we will see if I am right.

 

 

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On 6/18/2021 at 8:22 PM, Rich Ackermann said:

BTW: I am using an Edelbrock Air Gap intake with a Holley Sniper EFI on my Cleveland. I know everyone says it wont fit under a shaker (too high), but I think I have that solved. Once I get the trans mounted and the engine tilt set, we will see if I am right.

I'll be interested in seeing your results on your setup.

 

 

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In my 69 I am using a booster from tuffstuff, it is a non concourse version of the boss429 booster.

it gives a bunch more room in that area and gives a stock feel just like the original booster. 

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Well as some of you suspected, once I installed the Tremec TKO 600, which by the way I had MDL machine the top covers on the TKO to provide more clearance on top to better match the stock alignment, my valve cover was no longer in contact with the brake booster....What a relief. Also my Sanderson Block Hugger shorty exhaust headers clear everything, including the obnoxiously large GM style steering box I got from CPP. The next test was to install the shaker stack on top of my taller than stock Edelbrock Air Gap intake and hope it it fits under the hood. I used a (repro) 428 shaker base which is about 3/4" lower in height than a Cleveland base. First I had to re-clock the base to align the concaved area with the distributor. This turned the base from a 6:00 position on the 428 to about 7-8:00 o'clock on my Cleveland. With the Shaker stack in place, the height of the shaker scoop was perfect with the hood closed. Apparently the Cleveland sit farther back in the engine bay than the 428, so I needed to shift the plenum and scoop assembly forward on the base to fit thru the hood hole. Once I had it positioned and clocked correctly, I drilled new holes in the plenum for the mounting studs on the base. The most difficult part was fabricating two crescent shaped sheet metal filler pieces to close up the gaps between the base and plenum created as a result of shifting the base forward. these filler pieces were attached to the front and back between the base and the plenum. This created an offset ring on top of the base in a way like the factory Cleveland base has. Finally, I made a bracket to bolt to the back of the base to an existing mounting hole on the back of the Edelbrock intake to ensure the whole thing can not rotate on the carburetor since it is held only by the center stud thru the air cleaner lid. No clearance issues with my Holley Sniper EFI, or the Hyperspark Distributor. or with the throttle cable, which I had to add a small plate to the stock throttle bracket to extend it to align better with he Holley throttle linkage. I fabricated a mounting plate and mounted the Hyperspark Coil to the Edelbrock intake under the air cleaner base. Here are some pictures....

 

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On 7/16/2021 at 4:51 PM, Rcodenewf said:

I was going to mention that the engine looked tilted way down on the rear. When you level it out with the trans and crossmember you might not have that clearance problem.

..John

Thanks

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13 hours ago, Rsanter said:

In my 69 I am using a booster from tuffstuff, it is a non concourse version of the boss429 booster.

it gives a bunch more room in that area and gives a stock feel just like the original booster. 

Thanks. Fortunately, once I installed the Trans my booster clearance issue went away.

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