Motorama Or Bust: Part 3

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Compared to parts one and two currently the Taylor’d Customs shop is relatively empty with both the motor and body sent out to neighbouring shops Smallwood Custom Paint and Tenant Automotive respectively.

The motor, which left before the body, is a bit of a mystery machine with an interesting back story. Blair’s father Brian originally purchased it in the late ’90s long separated from the car it ran in previously. However after a few years of ownership he couldn’t find a home for it in one of his own projects so he ended up selling it.

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Around 2012 Blair heard a rumour about an interesting motor with a ‘aircraft thing on it’ kicking around Northern Ontario and decided to chase the lead down on a hunch that he might know exactly the motor in question

After banging a few doors he tracked down the then owner’s shop and slid a few bills in his hand so he could get the motor back in the Taylor family. Upon bringing it back to the shop Brian confirmed it was indeed the same motor he had sold over a decade ago, completely untouched.

Fast forward to present day and the motor is completely blown apart in the midst of a rebuild.

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During the tear down process the motor has revealed that it was hiding a few surprises.

First, it hasn’t been a standard 324 cubic inch Oldsmobile Rocket V8 for quite a while because at some point –presumably when the Latham Supercharger was added– it was punched out to 371 cubic inches.

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Supporting mods for such a large jump in displacement include Dodge pistons, a Speedway cam and custom-made roller lifters. As cliché as it is to quote The Fast and The Furious someone did indeed ‘put in the wrench time’.

motorama-or-bust-part-3-18Exactly how significant of a power jump these changes and the supercharger will make is still just a guess but I’m sure we’ll be finding that out sooner rather than later.

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Before the motor left the shop Blair had to rework the oil pan that had previously been modified for whatever vehicle the motor was last installed in.

This involved removing an oddly shaped extension and restoring it closer to the shape it left the factory as.

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Being a steel pan Blair could do this all himself with a TIG welder but it did take quite a bit of lather rinse repeat flow of welding, grinding, and light shining, to get the pan watertight.

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While Blair stared at blue light his dad gave the supercharger a good polishing before it went to Tenant Automotive to join the motor and quad Carter carbs.

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With the motor and the body out of the way chassis work has been the name of the game at the shop. The frame kick up –pictured below in a photo from part 1— was made up of multiple pieces and portions of it remained open so that Blair could weld in some internal gussets.

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Those holes have since been filled up as the reinforcing is complete and to make the frame rails look like one cohesive unit Blair put me to task with a grinder.

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After a few hours of sending sparks every which the frame rails look a darn sight better and the same will need to be done to the rear before the chassis is flipped over and repeated once more for the underside.

Then it can get some paint and should be done just around the time the body comes back.

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As I was grinding up front Blair tackled the problem of caliper position when the car was laid out.

As you can just make out from the photo above –again from part one— the brake caliper came into contact with the body at 0 psi.

To fix this issue the caliper mounts on the axle were chopped off, flipped right-to-left and left-to-right rotating the caliper down and away from the body.

This creative solution to the problem meant no extra trips to the parts shop were necessary and no custom mounts had to be fabricated, incredibly important when you’re under a tight timeline.

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As for the rear suspension a panard bar has been installed and the link bar mounts that were previously just tacked in became a little more permanently affixed.

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The next order of business was to mock-up some upper bag mounts for the rear. John and Blair tackled that together and in relatively short order slam specialities RE7 bags were roughed in and the suspension became several steps closer to complete.

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Of course there’s still lower bag mounts, shocks, front suspension, final engine mounts, fuel tank mounts…. well quite a bit left to go but there’s 30 days left until the début at the Motorama Car Show March 12th so no big deal right?

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