I was whining to a customer a couple years ago about how high my D100 was revving on the highway. I could barely get to 55 mph and it sounded like an indy car. Maybe I’m exaggerating.
He told me I could add an overdrive transmission to the back of my 318 with “very little work”. Those three words often accompany a lot of work, so I was skeptical. A local transmission shop (Tri City Transmissions in Kitchener) sourced the A518 out of a pre-1995 Dodge pickup, and I got to work installing it. This was happening right before my annual trip to Syracuse, and I found out by doing the swap on my own that transmissions are heavy. You’ll need to move the transmission mount somewhat, but we have some parts for that. Check out the link for a kit that will let you control the overdrive and lockup without a computer. It’s been working flawlessly for a couple years now. Make sure you have consistent vacuum (I had an arcing spark plug wire and it caused a lot of frustration during my first trip).
Let me know if you have any questions about the swap! I’ll see what I can do to remember an answer.
There are a few directions we could have gone for brakes on the D100, but we decided to use our basic Mustang II caliper brackets and a replacement S10 caliper. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and will serve our purpose well.
CPP has come out with calipers which have a 20% larger piston than the standard GM metric ones, and include pads for a very reasonable price. Here’s a link. They’re nicely powder coated black, and pretty sharp looking!
I put anti-seize on the threads, and Royal Purple assembly lube on the guide pin to help prevent friction.
Our #2125 Mustang II caliper bracket and CPP big bore GM metric caliper.
Rotors are standard Granada discs that you can buy from your local hot rod parts store. I got all these parts from Horton Hot Rod Parts in Milton, ON. I haven’t ran brake lines yet, so I’ll wait to run my flex lines. I’ll likely use a bulkhead fitting to go through the frame rail.
Here’s a quick bit of info on how we matched the rack to our 62-1/2″ Mustang II crossmember.
Theoretically, you could widen a Mustang II crossmember as much as you wanted… the key is protecting the control arm pivot points and tie rod geometry. When you’re thinking of widening a Mustang II rack, there are two ways to do it properly… outside the bushings and inside the bushings.
‘Outside the bushings’ refers to pushing the tie rod ball and socket joint towards the wheel. This has to be done the same amount as the crossmember is wider than stock – typically 2″ per side on a 4″ wider than stock configuration. Longer tie rod ends can also be used on a 58″ wide crossmember.
‘Inside the bushings’ refers to lengthening the actual rack and rack housing. For a much wider crossmember, this might be a good option… there are even racks available that are wider than stock for this purpose. Your crossmember will have to be set up or modified for a wider rack. Welder Series crossmembers are designed to use rack extenders – the ‘outside the bushing’ method.
On my 1968 D100 truck build, I used a Welder Series 62-1/2″ track width crossmember, with rack extenders from Heidts. I used two (4″ total) on the passenger side, and one (2″ total) on the driver side. Our rack mounts favor the driver side, so the steering input shaft is closer to the frame rail and will be more likely to be aimed away from your headers.
Note: the rack bushings mount with the shoulder against the crossmember, and the serrations biting in to the rack mounts. Use a bolt size washer (included in our #24410 power rack mounting kit) on the front of the bushing, and let the bushing mushroom as you tighten the nut.
After selecting the fabric from the LeBaron Bonney catalog (direct link) and giving Peter an admittedly vague description of what I was thinking for the seat, I had to accomplish one of the most difficult tasks in building a project: waiting.
I have complete confidence in Peter’s ability to interpret my muddled attempts at describing a finished product, so there was no stress over that. I was more worried about the fabric, since I was the one who picked it, not heeding the advice of even my wife who has an uncanny ability to see color. She has chosen the EXACT color swatch sample from Home Depot three times over a period of about five years. Color doesn’t initially register as an adjective when I’m first looking at a car, for example. Anyways, this seat is AMAZING. Peter used the stock frame which was supplied with the truck (the seat that came installed was from a 1970 Fury 4 door). He refinished, painted, fixed the springs, added new foam… and kept the fabric aligned perfectly. I know it looks a bit purple in the pictures, but it’s actually a nice deep blue.
This is a nice step forward… I can make vroom vroom noises now!
I always appreciate a good “reusal” of parts to either change their intended function, or to keep their original function but in a slightly different way. Using body trim tastefully from one model on a different car comes to mind. The reused part needs to fit the theme, however, and not merely look like it was used because it was 8:45 on a Sunday night, and the auto parts store workers were on strike.
In removing the original leaf spring rear suspension on the Sweptline, I ended up taking the bump stops off the frame too. They weren’t lined up with axle centerline, and I decided I could use the space outside the rails where they were sticking out. Also, they were going to be in the space I needed to remove for step notch clearance. I like the piece itself; just not where it was mounted.
After the notches were installed, I started to think about bump stops and remembered I still had the originals, so I cleaned them up, made a few tweaks, and present them to you now!
You can see where the bump stop on the outside of the rail would interfere with the area to be cut out for axle clearance.
I felt the rubber was a bit too hard, so I added (er- took away?) some holes to let the material collapse a bit.
Surprised bump stop is surprised.
The bump stop will be contacting the axle instead of the leaf spring, and since the bracket holding it to the frame was lower than the actual rubber, I had to trim it.
I also cut a little notch in the frame edge of the bracket for water drainage. The sandblaster really cleaned them up, including the rubber!
I won’t be installing them until I have the truck sitting with the Shockwaves fully collapsed so I know where it actually needs to be. They’ll be welded to the inside of the frame rails on the step notch.
When you're installing a four link, you have the opportunity to fine-tune rear axle centerline. Just because you put the tire in the stock location doesn't mean it'll look "right" when you lower the truck.