Spring Break Work

Well since I wasn’t able to get it licensed and what not back in January, I figured I could go home for spring break, finish it up, get it inspected and renew my plates, and drive it back to school. Unfortunately, things didn’t work too well and I couldn’t drive it back.

Head Gasket:

I was still having overheating issues and I was pretty stuck, so I took it to a shop. They said it was probably the head gasket, so I ordered a new one. That one ended up being pretty bent up, so then I had to wait until the next afternoon to get another one. So I got that swapped out, and things seemed a little better. It ran a little bit smoother and sounded a bit better, but after like 5 minutes it’d still overheat.


I also noticed that every once in awhile, the carburetor would leak a lot of fuel. I thought it’d take too long to rebuild it since I’ve never done that before, so I ended up ordering a rebuilt one. That took until the next morning to come in, and it ended up being wrong. It was for an automatic and had a hot-air choke, both of which weren’t complete deal breakers. However, it ended up not being threaded for the spark control valve, which is part of the ignition advance on the ‘63-‘67 Load-O-Matic distributors. So that had to go back.

Then I ordered a carb rebuild kit and rebuilt it as soon as I got it. It ended up being a pretty simple thing to do. It was still leaking a lot after the rebuild, so I decided to lower the float so as to be out of spec. That helped a little bit, but every once in awhile it would still just flood and leak everywhere.

I did identify part of a leak on it, as I was using a screw-in filter apparently for a ‘69 Cougar. It turns out that the nut on it hits against the carb body when it’s tight, and doesn’t allow for a good seal. With a little help, I ended up removing that filter and splicing a universal clear plastic filter in the line. That took care of that leak.


The overheating issue was partially figured out Saturday morning. Since basically everything in the cooling system is new, I didn’t know where to start. After noticing that the flow through the radiator without the cap seemed slow, I decided to try pulling the thermostat. Running without it, it kept around 1/4-1/2 on the gauge and never boiled over. Success there, at least to a degree (since I do need to put a t-stat back in still). :)

Almost there…

Right after that, I took it for a drive around the block and all seemed pretty good. It turned out that some DMV’s around me were going to be open until around 2pm, so I decided to try to get it finished still.

…And Nope.

I drove it to get an inspection and it passed with no problem. Then I stopped for gas, and it wouldn’t restart. Nothing I tried seemed to help, and then the carb flooded and leaked again. After waiting a bit, I tried one more time and the starter solenoid started smoking a bit and it quit turning over. I had to get it towed back home, and I was never able to get it to restart. Back in the garage it went, and I took a flight back to school the next day.

Disappointing. :/