'66 Monaco Resto-Mod

fury fan

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Nah shouldn't be. There's a lot of stiffening that was done to begin with because I was planning on a 512 stroker at some point. The engine will be significantly heavier, but we're not talking orders of magnitude heavier, just a couple hundred pounds. With how tall the T444E (7.3) is, It'll be above the hood line, so I'm talking with a buddy of mine that owns PFC here in Kansas about modifying the hood into a wide cowl, induction hood.
I discovered this thread and read all teh way thru. Congrats on your success in such ambitious modifications. :thumbsup:

Although I do think @LocuMob brought up a good point on weight.
I knew a T444E and E4OD are a lot more than a couple hundred pounds heavier than a 4.6 SOHC and 4R70W. Googled it and T444E alone is 920 dry vs 485 for an iron-block 4.6. (I didn't bother on the trans, but I'm confident it's heavier also)
Plus you've got that large boxtube + pillowblocks + swaybar arms: that is surely +50lbs over a factory swaybar?

That's a lot more weight on those Vic suspension pieces and joints. Does that extra weight equate to the abuse and rigors of what the P71s were designed for in police use? Perhaps, but there's no way to know, this is uncharted territory.

Also, the wheelbase of the Dodge is 121", and the Vic is ~115", so your Ackerman is off a bit and you might get tire scrub in tight parking-lot turns. When most folks attempt a R&P steering mod, they seem to use the C-body LBJs and swap them side-side to use a front-mount rack, which destroys Ackerman. But you've used the Vic steering arms, which is a huge benefit to correct geometry. But the longer WB of the Dodge means your Ackerman point is now further forward (assuming the front track is at Vic spec). Chrysler saw fit to use the same Ackerman with 119" or 121" WB, so there's obviously some flexibility, but this is ~5" further away. Will it matter? I don't know.

Anyway, that's just some stuff to think about during your shakedown driving. Likely all will be OK, and you'll still be within the safety factor of all teh OEM pieces.
 

thethee

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I discovered this thread and read all teh way thru. Congrats on your success in such ambitious modifications. :thumbsup:

Although I do think @LocuMob brought up a good point on weight.
I knew a T444E and E4OD are a lot more than a couple hundred pounds heavier than a 4.6 SOHC and 4R70W. Googled it and T444E alone is 920 dry vs 485 for an iron-block 4.6. (I didn't bother on the trans, but I'm confident it's heavier also)
Plus you've got that large boxtube + pillowblocks + swaybar arms: that is surely +50lbs over a factory swaybar?

That's a lot more weight on those Vic suspension pieces and joints. Does that extra weight equate to the abuse and rigors of what the P71s were designed for in police use? Perhaps, but there's no way to know, this is uncharted territory.

Also, the wheelbase of the Dodge is 121", and the Vic is ~115", so your Ackerman is off a bit and you might get tire scrub in tight parking-lot turns. When most folks attempt a R&P steering mod, they seem to use the C-body LBJs and swap them side-side to use a front-mount rack, which destroys Ackerman. But you've used the Vic steering arms, which is a huge benefit to correct geometry. But the longer WB of the Dodge means your Ackerman point is now further forward (assuming the front track is at Vic spec). Chrysler saw fit to use the same Ackerman with 119" or 121" WB, so there's obviously some flexibility, but this is ~5" further away. Will it matter? I don't know.

Anyway, that's just some stuff to think about during your shakedown driving. Likely all will be OK, and you'll still be within the safety factor of all teh OEM pieces.
Your discovery led to my discovery, what a great thread!

It's hard to pick my favourite part, but that wiring job is exceptional
 

Jack-Stand

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I discovered this thread and read all teh way thru. Congrats on your success in such ambitious modifications. :thumbsup:

Although I do think @LocuMob brought up a good point on weight.
I knew a T444E and E4OD are a lot more than a couple hundred pounds heavier than a 4.6 SOHC and 4R70W. Googled it and T444E alone is 920 dry vs 485 for an iron-block 4.6. (I didn't bother on the trans, but I'm confident it's heavier also)
Plus you've got that large boxtube + pillowblocks + swaybar arms: that is surely +50lbs over a factory swaybar?

That's a lot more weight on those Vic suspension pieces and joints. Does that extra weight equate to the abuse and rigors of what the P71s were designed for in police use? Perhaps, but there's no way to know, this is uncharted territory.

Also, the wheelbase of the Dodge is 121", and the Vic is ~115", so your Ackerman is off a bit and you might get tire scrub in tight parking-lot turns. When most folks attempt a R&P steering mod, they seem to use the C-body LBJs and swap them side-side to use a front-mount rack, which destroys Ackerman. But you've used the Vic steering arms, which is a huge benefit to correct geometry. But the longer WB of the Dodge means your Ackerman point is now further forward (assuming the front track is at Vic spec). Chrysler saw fit to use the same Ackerman with 119" or 121" WB, so there's obviously some flexibility, but this is ~5" further away. Will it matter? I don't know.

Anyway, that's just some stuff to think about during your shakedown driving. Likely all will be OK, and you'll still be within the safety factor of all teh OEM pieces.
Many thanks! She's a labor of love, that's for sure. Part of the fun of being a machinist and fabricator prior to being an engineer is that the fab itch never goes away. And since I can't scratch that itch at work, what better way to do so than to build a family heirloom.

This is true, weight will definitely be a factor and really it's all uncharted territory, but when you consider the relative weights of the car two cars, as well as the components that I selected came off of a police interceptor (differences in lower CA materials), there's much more to consider. When you look at the relative curb weights of the cars, yes the 4.6 SOHC is significantly less in weight than the 7.3 (pretty sure that 7.3 would suffice as a ship anchor if someone was in a pinch :lol:), the "civilian" version of the CV is basically within 100lb of the dry curb weight of the Monaco. The other thing is that the PI components are all boxed steel, whereas the "civilian" models carried the car on a cast aluminum lower control arm. Originally the PI CA's were only stitch welded, but I fully welded them out to ensure that they effectively they act like a tubular lower CA. Then, like you mentioned, the factor of safety that was built into the PI components was significantly increased due to their intense service as well as the extra weight that the PI had to carry (upwards of 700 lb of armor, bumpers, weapons, road bag, etc). Then add in much of the aftermarket stiffening that went into these, and it should be well above even what the OEMs designed them to (y'know, according to my napkin sketch calcs :rofl:).

The ackerman angle will definitely be affected, and you can actually see it a bit in the wheels when she's at full lock, so there's definitely going to be some tire scrub of some sort. Believe it or not though, it's not quite as severe as you might expect. Way back when I started this adventure, I was trying to come up with solutions that would give me a decent angle, while also fitting within the frame. Cost was also a consideration, but the big deal was getting more responsive steering than stock with the suspension configuration that I was fabricating, while also centering up the engine in the engine bay. The issue I ran into was that there really isn't a solution out there for the C-bodies, without those companies wanting your first-born-child as the payment. In studying many of these systems, as well as other R&P systems, I finally came up with the solution I used for my car. I've thought about inverting the knuckles side to side and trying to run the R&P on the back side of the crossmember, especially considering that the oil pan isn't a factor anymore, but now I have an oil cooler and up-pipes to contend with. lol
 

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Finally getting around to posting pictures of my fab pics. Bear with me, it'll likely be several posts because there was a decent amount that happened within the months between my previous post/announcement and when I finally put a start in it in my previous video.

So as is a common theme with this car, everything started with cardboard. I centered up the 7.3 in the subframe and verified all of my measurements and level. I double and triple checked everything, then got to work on my arts and crafts. The first place that I started was on the actual mounting flange that would bolt to the 7.3 motor mounts. Ordinarily there's a rubber mount that bolts up to the rigid mount that's bolted to the engine. I opted to create a steel "flange" that would bolt to the rigid mount, and to let the frame side of the motor mounts carry the rubber dampening. Then came the process of developing the webbing of the motor mounts so that the engine was actually supported by the frame via the motor mount. To start, I tacked a couple of 3/8 thick tabs to the frame rail, and bolted a bushed-DOM sleeve in between the tabs. I installed a bushed DOM sleeve in the lower side of the motor mount to make a 2 point motor mount (4 mounting points on the frame between the 2 sides). The theory here was that with the torque that this engine will produce, itd have the potential to bend/damage the lower motor mounts that I fabbed previously, thus potentially compromising the cross member. By distributing the forces caused by the torque across the 4 points, it should give the engine better roll stability in the engine bay, relative to the motor mounts. Once again, more arts and crafts, and thanks to a buddy's plasma cutter, the cardboard turned into steel. From there, it was just a matter of fitting the pieces together, tacking them together for removal, and then burning them in to a completed and finished product. Please never mind some of the welds. It was cold when I welded some of them, so the weld material froze a little quicker than I would've liked and didn't fully wet out.

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Jack-Stand

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From there came the chore of actually stuffing the subframe with engine back into the car. There was a lot of cutting involved, and more arts and crafts, but effectively what happened was I recessed the firewall and cowl to accommodate the engine. Theoretically I could've moved the engine forward to avoid cutting the firewall, but in order to do that, I would've had to have relocated my sway bar and its subsequent stiffener "beam" to clear the harmonic balancer of the 7.3. The fun part here (or not fun when I found it) was that I made an oopsie, even though the bellhousing, up pipes, and turbo all fit. I know I'm not supposed to admit oopsies on a build thread, but we're all friends :). Basically what I'd later come to find (after I turned all of that blue poster board into steel), was that I didn't factor in the exhaust down pipe. So basically as soon as I finished fabricating in my pretty new firewall, I had to cut it up. lol
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Jack-Stand

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Next came the very similar process of creating a new transmission tunnel to wrap around the E4OD. Once again, more arts and crafts (my mom would be so proud!), and then turning those arts and crafts into steel with a cutoff wheel, some body hammers and some metal putty. After that I started putting the front clip back on the car so that I could start adapting/mating the 7.3 wiring harness and boxes to my previously designed and wired circuits.
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Jack-Stand

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Now came the fun part of figuring out how to stuff all of the 7.3 electronics and wiring into the engine bay of the Monaco. More arts and crafts for a couple of mounting brackets, and I ended up building a bridge to mount the IDM to that would span over the bulkhead electrical connections to the PCM and main control harness in the "cab". I had to fab the bulkhead plate and french/seal it in too, but that's not all that exciting (although it is more arts and crafts! lol). One fun thing on this one too was that in order to actually clear the main harness bulkhead connector, I had to invert the fender in the area of the connectors to make sure it didn't add stress to the connectors or the wiring.
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Jack-Stand

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Finally it came time to mount everything up, wire it, and plumb it. I only plumbed a coolant loop from the inlet and outlet of the water pump, purely because I haven't purchased my radiator for the car yet. There were a few other odds and ends things that needed to be taken care of before I put a start in the car, but for the most part it was ready to go once I got it back on the ground. I did go ahead and route and bend my stainless fuel supply and return lines, and I mounted the fuel system under the car, and then I just ran the soft lines off of the fuel system into a gas can for my start. Fun story on the fuel system, the fuel filters that are on the Driven Diesel fuel system are actually too tall for my car to actually sit down, so I'm going to have to come up with a shallower solution to run in the car. Right now, Lucille is sitting on a couple of 2X4's under her lower rear link mounts to keep her from crushing the fuel filters. lol

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Jack-Stand

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And then finally, finally, here's the video of the very first start I put in the car. My little girl hadn't heard that engine run in over a year, so it was pretty special that she got to hear it run again, and that the old truck that she had ridden in since birth would be resurrected in the car that Daddy was building. It was a pretty special moment for my little family, especially in light of the divorce that was ongoing at the time. And then y'all already got to see how she sounded after I had the chance to play with her without my minions around.
 

fury fan

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Question is - does it smell like one?
Fords with 7.3s have a distinct exhaust smell, different from the Cummins ISB and Duramax.
 

Jack-Stand

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Yeah! Sounds like a 7.3L , nice progress on it.
thank you much! It’s been a bunch of test fit and repeat, but it’s still a blast. It’s actually more fun than many of the custom crawlers that I’ve built with buddies because this one presents unique challenges that fit within an envelope that is the car itself. Tube chassis you just add steel lol
Question is - does it smell like one?
Fords with 7.3s have a distinct exhaust smell, different from the Cummins ISB and Duramax.
lol oh most definitely. Even at just idle she’ll smoke you out of the garage with tears in your eyes. The 7.3 was a naturally oily engine because of the anatomy of their injectors (oil leakage from the oil passage into the fuel passage through the intensifier piston with each injection event). This one smells even different than my ‘99 though. Not sure if it’s the slightly higher compression because of the larger bore, or what, but Lucille’s engine is different in many aspects.
 

fury fan

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Oh, I wasn't referring to smoke. The one I had (an E350 box truck), and others I've been around (parking lot, gas station, etc), seem to have an odd sweetness to the exhaust, like they were burning a little baby oil or something. They didn't remind me of burned oil, although you sound knowledgable as to why they'd smell different.

So with that oil leakage - do the injectors last longer or shorter than other designs?
 

Jack-Stand

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Oh, I wasn't referring to smoke. The one I had (an E350 box truck), and others I've been around (parking lot, gas station, etc), seem to have an odd sweetness to the exhaust, like they were burning a little baby oil or something. They didn't remind me of burned oil, although you sound knowledgable as to why they'd smell different.

So with that oil leakage - do the injectors last longer or shorter than other designs?
Oh, gotcha. She definitely smells different, and actually you notice a difference in the exhaust smells when running Dino oil vs full synthetic (I think I just admitted to huffing my diesel exhaust a little too much lol). When I broke in the long block that’s now in the car, I broke it in on Dino oil, and then swapped over to full synth after the first oil changes.

It’s one of those things where it depends on how you drive it honestly, and if you let it warm up before you take off. I’m not kind to my trucks, and I like to surprise people with how fast a 4 ton vehicle can move, so I’m probably the one that would get shorter life honestly. With the 7.3 there are two sets of injector orings, one set that’s internal and one that’s external, and I’ve had both leak. The externals aren’t bad, it’s basically just an injector job, but internal you’ll be having the injectors rebuilt. When my first set of sticks went south in that engine, she was eating a quart of oil every 70 miles. I tried everything to figure it out, but after striking out, I finally reached out to my injector builder and they told me to send them in. Sure enough, the internal orings went toast, and were leaking HP oil (3,200 psi at WOT), into diesel fuel (65-70psi) through the internals of the injectors themselves. They warrantied everything, so all is well, but I learned another something.
 
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