Braking news… NASA American Iron Javelin update

Man… that took a lot longer than I thought it would but I finally have the front suspension and brakes ALMOST finished. I had a major problem trying to get the power rack in. First I found out that the IFS mounting tabs are 16″ on center (for the manual rack which is the standard option for this setup). The power rack is 15.5″. Found out I needed offset rack bushings. So I have to wait a few days to get the offset rack bushings. After installing them I still can’t get it to fit. The rack bushings were offset about as much as you could go but it wasn’t enough to get the 16″ spread I needed. I finally ended up having to grind down the welds holding the backing nuts on the IFS rack tabs so I could oval out the mounting holes a bit. Once I did that I was FINALLY able to bolt the rack in. Amazing how something I thought was going to take 10 minutes (bolt in the rack) winds up taking a couple of days plus waiting for parts to finally get sorted.

Another issue that came up was the wheel bores didn’t fit over the rear one piece rotor/hub. and after checking with Wilwood to see what the diameter of the front hub I ordered was I realized they wouldn’t fit over the front hubs either… sigh. Luckily I was able to get the wheel centers bored out. With the bores enlarged I could finally put the rear wheels on!

Yesterday the Wilwood brake kit finally showed up. So today I took off from work and went to the shop with the intention of getting the damn front end as done as I possibly could. I unpacked everything and went to work installing wheel studs, attaching the rotors to the hats and greasing the bearings. Before I started bolting everything on I had to torque all the IFS bolts to spec. I hadn’t done this yet so it felt good to check that off the list. The brake kit went on smoothly. I did hit one snag (of course). The kit does not come with a damn spindle nut?! And the AMC spindle nut doesn’t fit on this Mustang II spindle. Just ordered some spindle nuts from Summit. I also didn’t safety wire the rotor/hat bolts yet. I’ll do that tomorrow here at home (didn’t want to spend shop time safety wiring). So, once I have the spindle nuts and the the safety-wired rotors I’ll be able to mount the hubs and the wheels for real.

Where’s the engine? I’ve been saying “next week” for the last 3 weeks and I still don’t have it. I think it may actually be ready this week finally but I want to got to the NASA race on Saturday at Infineon so, once again, I’m saying I’ll go down and get the engine “next week”. Hopefully this time it finally, really happens.

One last thing I did today was come up with a plan for mounting my brake reservoirs. I had already mounted them on the firewall and then realized they weren’t high enough (relative to the master cylinders) and that the hose routing was going to be a pain. It’s a problem that’s been nagging me for weeks. The new plan is to mount the reservoirs in the car, off the dash bar to the right of the steering column mount. I’ll have to cut a couple of holes in the TOP of the dash for the caps to poke through. Should be easy to make the mount (although I’ll have to sand off some chassis paint to weld the mount. But this plan just makes a lot more sense. I’m going to just mount the clutch reservoir directly on the master. It’s a tight fit but I will be able to fill it under the dash (with a hose).

Oh, I almost forgot one more very special fiasco. One of the few used items I’ve bought was a ford 9″ posi center section. Found it on craigslist for like $200. I was pretty pleased. It was supposed to be a posi with 3.25 gears. We tested to see how much torque the clutch discs could hold and they were shot. Ok, so I need to get it rebuilt but it still seems like I got a decent deal. Well I took it to The Rearend Shop in Santa Rosa and found out… wait for it… it’s NOT a 9″. It’s a 9 3/8″ from a Lincoln. Just totally awesome. So now I have no center section and really no idea what I’m going to do… I did buy a cool, used, NASCAR ring and pinion (3.80) off ebay. It’s polished, deburred and back cut. Very cool but I have nothing to put it in…

So that’s where we’re at. Stay tuned.

1974 Javelin-road race, American Iron, Brakes, Suspension, Wheels and Tires

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