|Project 1 - How it all began|
|The engine compartment with the transmission cooler installed as well as the [evil] headers. This was before the Edelbrock manifold and Holley carb. Picture circa 1987.|
|Shortly there after the radiator came out and I replaced the water pump. While I was at it I replaced the various radiator hoses. That cured the overheating problem.
Then came the meticulous cleaning. I cleaned and polished every piece of the car inside and out. The faded green paint came to life and the black interior began to shine.
It was at this point in time I discovered Armor All - and the interior was never the same. One interesting thing I found with Armor All on vinyl seats was that it made them slippery. It was fun to take a corner and watch the folks in the back seat slide around!
|The Montego then started to take shape. The front seats were re-upholstered, the hubcaps were replaced with chrome rims with gold centers, transmission cooler was added, a Sun tach was fitted in the dash, and chrome traction bars were bolted underneath. And, of course, there were two "No 55" stickers (back when the national speed limit was 55 mph) stuck on the rear of the traction bars.
The Montego's interior accommodations were getting more comfortable, with a lay (from a restaurant I worked at) hanging from the rear view mirror and an "In n Out Burger" stuck to the rear window with the 'b' and 'r' cut off. I had to fly to LA to get that dang sticker!
The 302 was running good, but it needed more power. On went a Holly 650 with an Edlebrock manifold. I soon learned that you can't mix stock and aftermarket performance as the factory Teflon coated timing chain gave way and skipped a couple of teeth. On went a new steel chain and sprocket - and almost burning my friend Harry's eyebrows off with starter fluid and a backfire through the carb!
I also experimented with a set of headers I bought from an auction company I worked for. That was one of my biggest mistakes - headers are evil! It took days to get them installed, then they leaked and generated a ton of heat. Plus they interfered with the power steering. Off the headers came, along with the Cherry Bomb 'mufflers' with turn downs under the passenger compartment.
Virtually everything else that broke on the Montego was my fault.