engine rebuild


Although there is no set list or solid criteria we look for when choosing a feature car, we typically know the instant we’ve found one. Sometimes it’s a flawless paint job and subtle body mods that draw us in; other times, it’s a fully built motor loping angrily. Other times, though, we come across a car that is just plain cool—not the fastest, or even highly modified, but the kind of car you just look at and say, “Wow, check out that…” So it was at Goodguys Charlotte this year: sitting proudly in the mist and drizzle was Doug Wayne’s ’66 Galaxie convertible. At Auto Builder, we have a soft spot for large vehicles, and, realistically, Ford is not known for making many great small cars. Even small Fords are big, and if you don’t believe us, stick an early Falcon next to a Scion. But few companies do big as well as Ford, and even from a distance, we knew this Galaxie was as cool as it is long.

New Love for the Step Child

Ford fans will always have a soft spot in their blue-oval hearts for the Windsor, the Cleveland and the big 460 FE engines—and deservedly so. If you’ve ever crawled a junkyard for one of these engines, you’ve likely passed over more than a few 351M and 400 engines to find what you are looking for. Poor factory numbers and bad word-of-mouth have made these cousins to the mighty Cleveland about as wanted as poison ivy at a nudist colony, but there is power to be found in those engines—and cheap, too.


Mustangs are usually not candidates for sleepers, because everyone knows Mustangs have plenty of power from the factory for their lightweight bodies. This example, owned by Mike Skiles, looks like an original ’69 Mustang, but as soon as the engine is fired, that logic is thrown out the window.


Thirty-five years and $636 ago, we bought an 80,000-mile ’62 fuel-injected Corvette in Fresno, California. Sadly, the car had been stolen once. The fuel injection was gone as well as the T-10 four-speed transmission. A pair of bare 461-X heads was in the trunk. The engine was found to have a rocking rear cam bearing, which caused oil to shut off to the rocker arms at high rpm. At the time, the prognosis was that it could not be fixed, so the motor was replaced with a ’68 350hp 327. Since 1976, the car has been in storage, along with the original engine.  

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