Another delayed update. I replaced the entire exhaust system back in June. I had a couple leaks around the muffler, all the pipes were really rusty, and the exhaust manifold was starting to crack, so I figured it’d be best if I went ahead and replaced it all.
I decided to pretty much put a ‘68 I6 setup on it. I used: The “improved repro” ‘65 manifold, with a thicker casting than stock and a 2” outlet ‘68 200ci headpipe, intermediate pipe, and tailpipe (2” pipes) Flowtech Raptor muffler Fel-Pro exhaust gasket * Various universal hangers, clamps, etc
I was able to get the front part of the system (to the muffler) on by myself in the garage. However, the bends were off in some places just enough that I couldn’t get the tailpipe to go on as well without hitting the gas tank or something else. The way it ended up without the tailpipe, I also had the headpipe hanging at slightly the wrong angle and it hit the steering linkage, preventing me from turning the wheels all the way to the right.
I went ahead and drove it around for a couple days like that while trying to figure out what to do with it. ‘Twas rather loud, but sounded kinda cool. I ended up taking it to a Meineke, who ended up adjusting the bend in the headpipe to clear the steering linkage, and tweaking the intermediate pipe so that the muffler outlet was in the right spot for the tailpipe to work. It came out mostly okay, it took me awhile to get all the leaks from the clamps and gaskets to go away and I’m not a fan of how low it hangs down. It’s normally okay, but I do scrape it on curbs sometimes. After having to take it to Meineke and buying all the parts, the whole thing ended up more expensive than a custom setup would’ve been, so that’s rather annoying. Live and learn, I suppose.
I also went ahead and changed out my battery tray. The 1965 battery tray uses a hold-down that clamps to a bottom lip on the battery. My battery doesn’t have this lip, and apparently a bunch of other brands don’t have it either. So while it’s been fine just sitting there for all this time, I found there’s a hybrid style battery tray. This is designed so it’ll bolt into a ‘65 in the stock location, but it uses the ‘67+ style hold-down that goes across the top of the battery (like Ford used for quite some time). It was an easy change, not worth talking about much. I did have to bend the new tray so it’d be at the correct angle—it’s pretty obvious when you compare the new and old trays. I apparently didn’t take any pictures of the installation, but you can see the new tray and hold-down in the pictures below.