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Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/22/18 3:33 p.m.

Well my semester is finally over and I've had some time to work on the car. 

I finally started to mount the Kirkey seats.  I only have the driver's seat done so far. Im waiting on mounting the passenger seat until we do some rust repair on the passenger floor. 

I had some sliders laying around from a previous project that I was able to make work for the Kirkeys with these adapters.

Here is everything mounted on the seat. It looks like I'll save a lot of weight with the Kirkeys!

I weighed everything along the way:

Original front bench seat - 71 lbs.

Original rear bench seat  - 86 lbs. 

Kirkey seat with cover - 12 lbs.

Kirkey seat with cover and sliders - 21 lbs.


Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/22/18 3:39 p.m.

I thought it would be good to have a better seat belt in the car than the lap belts that are in it now. This led to a slight problem with shoulder belt mounting. At first I thought I would just add in a harness bar but that idea turned into adding a roll bar (there goes my weight savings from the seats). 

I figured I would buy a pre bent hoop and fabricate the rest. 

Lane Automotive is about an hour away from my house so Carl (my dad) and I brought the car down to find a pre bent bar that fit. After trying a few different bars it looked like a roll bar for a 1968-1972 Chevelle fit pretty nice.  

The 8ft. lengths of tube were $57 each and the pre bent hoop was $48. We were surprised that that the hoop was less expensive than the straight lengths of tube. 

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/22/18 4:24 p.m.

If you have been reading Grassroots for a while you know that the Heidemans are big into superchargers. We thought this car could use one as well. We autocross with part of the Torquestorm superchargers crew and they gave us a deal on one of their blowers for the car. 

The kit comes with everything to supercharge the car except for fuel and ignition control. So far we have used the stock ignition system with a little less timing advance and are planning on converting the Holley carb on the car now to a blow through. So far all we have done to the carb is add a second metering block to allow a little more tuning capabilities. A blow through system requires a boost referenced fuel pressure regulator so the boost dosen't prevent the fuel from flowing out of the carb so we added one from MagnaFuel along with a higher pressure Eddelbrock fuel pump. 

Here is a link for more info on the Torquestorm Superchargers: http://www.torqstorm.com

Here it is all mounted in the car! 

Im using a motor mount from an early 70's cougar which lets the engine sit a little lower than a V8 falcon would have originally. This came back to bite me when I bolted on the supercharger mount. Torquestorm moves the alternator below the blower to optimize packaging in the engine bay and this was a little too close to a frame rail.  We ended up denting the frame rail a little bit to add some clearance. 

Here is the boost referenced fuel pressure regulator. Please excuse the temporary "fuel line adapters".

The original radiator sometimes gave us issues on hot days. We didn't expect it to like the extra power from the supercharger so we upgraded to a larger aluminum one. 

Here is the second metering block being added to the Holley carb. Most of my tuning experience is with fuel injection so I've learned a lot about carburetors with this project. So far I can't say that I enjoy dumping fuel everywhere whenever I change the jetting.

The car is driving but needs more tuning. It runs pretty great below 3000 RPM but above it goes lean. It also randomly goes super lean (like its fuel starving) at high RPMs.

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/22/18 4:44 p.m.

The other project were working on over break is the steering.  At the CAM Challenge Gumby turned me on to electric power steering. He used it in his wicked E Mod ranger. So I thought I would give it a try. After some research I found a lot of information on EPS conversions. I plan on using a Prius power steering which I found for $85 out of a junk yard and hope to run it inline with a 2:1 steering quickener. 

Here are the columns. Carl had me pick him up a Saturn Vue column as well for a possible future project. From the research I've done a Saturn power steering setup needs an external controller and some people complain about the steering returning. The Toyota system hasn't had the steering return problem and it runs in a fail safe mode where no external controller is needed. 

All we have done so far is disassemble the column and bench test it. It was hard to tell how much it was assisting but we did notice a slight difference in turning effort with it on. 

gumby GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/22/18 4:58 p.m.

I think the guys having return to center issues with the Vue box just aren't running enough caster. As stated, however, it does require an additional controller vs the Prius bits.

I will be following to learn how the Prius unit works for you. Visually in pics it looks less bulky. Is it lighter?

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/23/18 11:19 a.m.

In reply to gumby :

It looks like the Prius unit is lighter but not by much. As far as the bulkiness goes they're about the same. The main difference i'd say is that the Vue has the computer mounted to the column when the Prius computer can be placed elsewhere. 

Prius EPS - 15.20 lbs.

Saturn Vue EPS - 16.35 lbs.



Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/23/18 11:24 a.m.

Having picked up an eps yesterday from an 09 versa for my challenge car, and thinking about usung one in my duster, im looking forward to seeing how you implement this. Y'all have good ideas and execution. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/23/18 11:55 a.m.

Also, looking back through the thread, are you guys running a manual steering box? Or are you going to depower a recirculating ball power box? 

gumby GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/23/18 1:53 p.m.
Jack Heideman said:  
Prius EPS - 15.20 lbs.

Saturn Vue EPS - 16.35 lbs.


Fantastic info, thanks for that!

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/23/18 2:07 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

As of now we are running a manual steering box but are considering changing to a depowered box later down the road

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/23/18 5:45 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

dang, those floors and rockers are solid!

Well...they're solid for Michigan, but they weren't perfect.  There was a pretty big hole in the front passenger footwell and the rear passenger footwell had a lot of pinholes.  We looked around for replacement floors, and the few sources looked poorly made and too thin.  So I offered to make up a set of patches while Jack's working on the steering.

Here's the front footwell:

Here's the rear footwell:  

So I made up some paper patterns:

Copied them to some 18 gauge steel:

Ran them through my Pullmax:

And then did some bending and folding to get the rest of the details in the panels:

That finished the fun part of the floor project.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/23/18 6:04 p.m.

With the panels done, it was time to do the nasty part of the project--cutting out the floors.  After about 30 minutes of work with a cordless grinder with a 4" cutoff wheel and an air die grinder with a 3" cutoff wheel, the front and rear footwells looked like this:



I've got a couple of details to finish, but the test fits are very good.

Here's an old vs. new picture of the rear panel:

You may have noticed the ugly transmission cover.  The last owner had swapped a Mercedes turbo diesel in the car and was using small block Chevy oil pan as a transmission cover and cupholder.  We quickly fabbed up the ugly cover awhile back.  We'll make a nicer one sooner or later.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/26/18 4:34 p.m.

While Jack continued work on the steering (spoiler alert--it's installed and working--update coming soon), I got the floors welded in.

We'll be dressing the welds and coating the inside with POR-15 once Jack gets the rollbar and 2nd seat mount worked out.

We used rubberized undercoating on the bottom side.  We haven't decided whether we'll clean up the whole underside and undercoat it, or just leave it as is.    


Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
12/29/18 1:30 p.m.

Torquestorm dyno data!

We had a fairy successful dyno day yesterday. We were able to fine tune the carb and picked up 30 HP by the end of the day! We have three pulleys for the car and were using the middle one which gave about 6 psi. It's not a ton of power but were pretty happy with the numbers due top the fact that we still have the cast iron truck cylinder heads. Unfortunately the car is still going super lean at high rpms. We're guessing its the carb not liking the boost its getting. Maybe fuel injection will be the answer here. 

The red line is the car with the headers and the 4 barrel. The blue is with the supercharger.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/29/18 2:47 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:

You may have noticed the ugly transmission cover.  The last owner had swapped a Mercedes turbo diesel in the car and was using small block Chevy oil pan as a transmission cover and cupholder.  We quickly fabbed up the ugly cover awhile back.  We'll make a nicer one sooner or later.

We used rubberized undercoating on the bottom side.  We haven't decided whether we'll clean up the whole underside and undercoat it, or just leave it as is.    

Yikes! on the console.

I vote for undercoating the rest of the underside, it will look a lot nicer.

12/29/18 3:52 p.m.

And be safer in the long run.

klodkrawler05 Reader
1/2/19 6:40 a.m.

Well that's a pretty healthy power gain! I'm assuming it sounds way more awesome now too.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/2/19 6:54 a.m.

An oil pan console it pretty genius if you ask me. 

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
1/2/19 10:07 a.m.

In reply to klodkrawler05 :

The supercharger makes great noises!

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
1/2/19 10:34 a.m.

The power steering is finished! 

The plan was pretty straight forward. We were going to use the Prius power steering with a Howe 2:1 steering quickener. 

The first step was to connect the steering box to the quickener. Since the Toyota had a unique spline I made my own coupler using a Sweet manufacturing spline and parts cut off the Prius steering shaft. 

From there I had to mount the steering quickener to keep it from turning. Packaging this mount and the quickener between the pedals was a nightmare but I made it work. I did have to trim a bracket off the clutch pedal and slightly increase one of its bends to make everything fit.

The stock steering shaft was cut and a double D was machined on the end to mate up with the U-joint off of the steering quickener. 

I fabricated this mount out of angle iron to bolt the Toyota column to the stock Ford steering mount. 

Instead of using the stock steering wheel spline I added a quick release. 

Here it is all finished.

Just driving it around on the street the steering feel awesome! It's light and quick. Also the whole steering unit weighted just under 20 lbs (stock was around 10 lb).





mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/2/19 10:39 a.m.

That is the most glorious Frankenstein column I've ever seen. 

bentwrench SuperDork
1/2/19 12:58 p.m.

Please consider building a 3 link rear suspension.

You won't regret it.

Plus you will loose a significant amount of weight of which a significant amount is unsprung.

Installing a watts link instead of a pan hard will make it turn the same both directions.

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
1/3/19 10:51 p.m.

In reply to bentwrench :

I am not quite sure what my plan is for the rear axle yet. It needs some sort of limited slip and if I end up changing axles it's possible there will  be some geometry changes. 

Jack Heideman
Jack Heideman New Reader
1/3/19 10:58 p.m.

I finished up the roll bar today. It weighed in at 66 lbs.


flyingmonkeybus New Reader
5/3/19 10:31 p.m.

This build thread is awesome!  I also have a 1967 Falcon wagon which I have been thinking about autocrossing for some time, so it’s good to see you have had some success (or at least a lot of fun) with yours!

I was wondering if you can share what tire sizes you settled on? Looks like the fill the wheel wells out nicely.  Any rubbing when you lean into them hard?

Anything you can share would be great, and save me some measuring, thanks!

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