Wayne Cook
August 1, 1998
Photos By: Miles Cook

Step By Step

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Here’s the 600-cfm Holley four- barrel carb. A carburetor very similar to this one was original equipment on some extremely potent ’60s-era musclecars.
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Weiand has us dialed in above and below the carb with the Stealth aluminum-intake manifold and open- element air cleaner.
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Off comes the distributor cap. You may wish to disconnect one bank of plug wires so the whole thing will be out of the way to one side.
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Remove the distributor. Notice the piece of tape next to the radiator cap. This gives us a line-of-sight reference to aim the rotor when the time comes to re-install the distributor.
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Remove the intake manifold bolts and be sure not to drop any of them into the engine. We should have stuffed a rag into the distributor port.
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Disconnect the throttle linkage and other connections to the carb and the manifold, such as the fuel line and vacuum hoses.
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Drain the radiator before removing the heater hoses and radiator hose. You’ll lessen the mess and reduce the amount of coolant that’s liable to go into the engine.
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The moment of truth arrives as we pull the stock intake off the engine. Watch your back ’cause that iron manifold weighs a ton.
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A complete cleaning of all old gasket material is mandatory. Failure to do this can result in coolant leaks, vacuum leaks, and no end of headaches. Also, you’ll have to do the whole job over again.
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We use Permatex Blue sealer on our end seals to hold them in place. Be sparing with the stuff. Use a little dab in each of the four corners. We use nothing under the main gaskets.
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Now the fun begins as the Weiand Stealth intake goes into place. Make sure you have cleaned the new manifold carefully and inspected all the passageways. Occasionally, some casting slag may remain. Aim carefully, as you don’t want to shift the manifold around once it’s down. This is really going to spruce up the looks of our mill.
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Install new ARP intake bolts. You’ll need to latch on to a set that is 1/2-inch longer than the stock bolts. Now is a good time to install your temperature sending unit and any vacuum fittings needed. Plug the remaining holes with threaded plugs. Use Teflon pipe tape on anything with threads when working with aluminum components.
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We cleaned up our old thermostat housing in the sandblaster, and it looks like new. While everything was open, we replaced the thermostat also. Remember to use a new thermostat gasket. We used a little Permatex here.
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We are moving right along as the distributor goes back in. We eyeballed the rotor to line it up with our tape, and the distributor went in on the first try.
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Here we’ve already rewired the distributor and installed the hold-down. The carb studs are also in place, so now we’re ready for the carb.
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The Holley 600-cfm four-barrel goes into place.
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Everything fit just right; even the stock throttle linkage needed no adjustment. Installing the Holley carb was a cinch, and the vacuum lines all have their respective fittings. Connect the fuel line, heater hoses, and so forth. Refill the cooling system.
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This is the finished conversion, complete with the Weiand open-element air cleaner. We put our stock valve covers through the sandblaster and dusted them with a little flat aluminum paint. We’ll add some Ford Blue Oval stickers and go for that factory experimental look. We think the engine looks great. We took the Fairlane out for a little spin and couldn’t believe the difference. The mill pulls a lot stronger, making a very cool sound as the secondaries open up. We’re well on our way to great performance, and we will keep you posted as more performance upgrades occur.

In a previous story, we began work underhood on our ’64 Fairlane’s 289ci engine with a great ignition upgrade performed with help from MSD. The 289 has about 50,000 miles on the clock, so we are going to stick with this engine until further notice. No doubt about it, it’s time for a little improvement on the induction side. With lots of help from the folks at Holley and Weiand, we planned a nifty upgrade of both the manifold and the carb.

With the stock cast-iron manifold and two-barrel carb still in place, there’s plenty of room for improvement here. We chose to go with the venerable 600-cfm Holley four-barrel carb for our mill because it’s the perfect size. There’s a little extra cfm capacity up top, but not so much that the engine is overcarbureted. Vacuum secondaries will be perfect for the street and will add the additional intake capacity at just the right time.

In the intake manifold department, we went with the Weiand Stealth 8020 manifold. This is a dual-plane intake that will be just right for our anticipated rpm levels. It’s rated between idle and 6,000 rpm. With this manifold, we get the best of both worlds in that there will be a smooth idle, yet the intake is good all the way to six grand. This is far beyond the range of our mill. The stock cam should say bye bye at about 5,000 rpm. Given our application, this Weiand Stealth manifold should be a great street setup and perfect for our needs. The Fairlane awaits our attention, so let’s get started.