Cooling The Big Block

So about this time last year I told the tail of what I called the domino effect when working on my 1963 Galaxie 500 Sportsroof. Click here to read part 1 and part 2 of that saga. Here we are for part 3!

As you’ll see in the photos the car was fitted with 2~ 8″ dia. electric fans on a shroud. The couple of times that I tested them they weren’t quite enough to keep the engine cool. Before you start telling me what I need to check, it’s a new aluminum radiator, new water pump, the timing has been checked, etc. 2013 wasn’t especially hot as the previous years and I had learned to avoid traffic to keep the heating issue to a minimum.

So this winter I decided that one of the upgrades that I needed to get done was to get the car so that it would cool even if we get another scorcher summer. A quick check told me that the fans that I had were only capable of moving about 1300 cfm each. At anything over about 5 miles an hour this was enough to keep the engine cool so I knew it was close. A look around the internet and I found on Sumitt some Perma-Cool 8″ fans that move 2400 cfm each. Bingo! I raided my ailing savings account and ordered a pair up.

 The new 8" fans that I ordered were a bit smaller than the other brand
The new 8″ fans that I ordered were a bit smaller than the other brand’s 8″ fans that were on the car. So these went to my Dad who needed some and I ordered up the 10″ units. The old fans pushed about 1300 cfm each and these new ones are 2350 each.

Lesson learned, an 8″ fan from one company isn’t exactly the same as an 8″ fan from another. Since my dad needed some fans for a project he had going he bought them from me and I re-ordered some of the Perma-Cool 10″ units at 2350 cfm each, still a huge bump up from 1300 each. When they arrived I found them to be bigger than the originals. Damn. But I was able to place them on the shroud and cut the openings out larger to fit the new more powerful 10″ fans.

Here’s the fan shroud without the fans in it. I scratched some marks to show where the new openings needed to be cut and enlarged the existing openings.
Dad’s farm has a cat problem, but it has no mouse problem. Here my work was being inspected.

After enlarging the holes with an air powered nibbler I brushed myself and the bench off and started mocking up the new larger fans. New mounting holes were drilled and the fans were temporarily mounted to the shroud. I test fit them in and all was good. Next step was to pull it back out, solder up the wiring to the existing wiring harness. I reversed the bolts from what is in the pics so that the bolt heads were on the radiator side, I covered them in some rubber bumpers to keep them from chewing up the radiator and side the whole assembly back together.

I started the car and let it heat up. Found that it must have leaked something awful on the way home from Ryno Built’s shop awhile back. The driver’s side exhaust had some oil on it. After burning that oil off, no new oil was leaking (for now). I’ll re-check the manifold bolts to make sure that they aren’t the culprits this weekend. I ran the car for a good 15 minutes or so and it never got hot, the new fans kicked on and I could certainly feel the fans pulling through the radiator from the front side.

We’ll see what happens on the way to the Lonestar Roundup. 1 week until we leave. If I have time this weekend I will upgrade the headlights and taillights to make sure I’m more visable.
See you at a show,


March Subscriber Giveaway!

If you want to this blog in your email inbox each time the blog goes live, go on up to the top right hand corner of the website and enter your email address. The last day of each month I randomly pick 1 subscriber to win a prize package. This month’s prize is a prize package from Chaotic Customs (shown below), a Royboy Knit Winter Hat & a shirt from Stray Kat Kustoms!

Here's the prize package from Chaotic Customs including a custom painted bowling pin, a Chaotic Customs T-Shirt and a Harvey's Seatbelt Wallet in your choice of trucker wallet on a chain or regular. (Motor Not Included)
Here’s the prize package from Chaotic Customs including a custom painted bowling pin, a Chaotic Customs T-Shirt and a Harvey’s Seatbelt Wallet in your choice of trucker wallet on a chain or regular. (Motor Not Included)


$1000 Up For Grabs! Click here for more info!


Thank you to the first 2 sponsors of my site, quite frankly the only 2 that I’ve asked to sponsor the site so far. If you’d like to help sponsor Royboy Productions and provide the koolest car show coverage to folks worldwide, click here to ask me about it.


Tech: Ryno Built Saves My Ride

I’ve known for awhile that the transmission cross-member that was in my 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 was hanging too low. It was dragging too much and on big bumps on the highway it would slam the pavement, no bueno. So when I was talking to my buddy Ryno at Ryno Built about it he said to come down to his shop in the Joplin area and he’d get a new one fabbed up.

When we got the car up on the lift it was obvious that things were more dire than I thought. The existing cross-member had completely broken into two pieces. One more big bump could have lost it completely, that could lead to any manner of catastrophic consequences. I’ve seen driveshafts come out and nearly slam into the car I was in behind the drive shaft’s prior vehicle. A couple of inches difference and that drive shaft would have come through the windshield. I cannot imagine if my car broke and caused something like that to happen. Best case scenario the failure would leave me stranded on the side of the road, worst case scenario could be deadly. Just another note to encourage you to make sure your ride is mechanically sound not just for your safety but for the safety of those around you.

Here’s what we found when we got the car up on the lift. one side of the transmission cross-member had completely broken. 10 ga. welded to ½” plate and 0 penetration on the welds. That’s not rust on the floor pan that’s trans fluid. Another issue I have to fix.
 Lucky for me I didn
Lucky for me I didn’t take one more trip with the car the way it was. 1 side of the existing transmission cross-member was completely separated.
 Ryno plasma cutting the existing transmission crossmember off of the frame. The AOD is much longer than the Cruis-o-matic so using the factory frame mounts would have made the mount larger and harder to build.
Ryno plasma cutting the existing transmission cross-member off of the frame. The AOD is much longer than the Cruis-o-matic so using the factory frame mounts would have made the mount larger and harder to build.
 Ryno getting rid of the remnants of the old crossmember.
Ryno getting rid of the remnants of the old cross-member.

 Then it was time to grind off the remainder of the old mount.
Then it was time to grind off the remainder of the old mount.

 Not quite done getting rid of the old one, almost done.
Not quite done getting rid of the old one, almost done.
 Ryno cutting some tubing that we thought we needed before a later re-design when I changed my mind.
Ryno cutting some tubing that we thought we needed before a later re-design when I changed my mind.
 Welding in the new crossmember.
Welding in the new cross-member.
 At each end of the crossmember Ryno added 3/16" plate gussets under the crossmember. Here he
At each end of the cross-member Ryno added 3/16″ plate gussets under the cross-member. Here he’s adding some holes at my request to make it look cooler.
 Before a coat of paint you can see the driver
Before a coat of paint you can see the driver’s side of the mount. The parking brake cable is attached to a tab that we added. We used a rectangle tubing to provide as much clearance under the cross-member as possible. There is room for a 2 ½” Dia. exhaust pipe to fit and still not hang below the frame.
 The passenger side is pretty much the same without the parking brake cable mount. Here you can see the factory mount waaaay up forward on the frame.
The passenger side is pretty much the same without the parking brake cable mount. Here you can see the factory mount waaaay up forward on the frame.
 The fluid everywhere is killing me, sorry about that. Here
The fluid everywhere is killing me, I have to figure out the leak and clean up the mess. Here’s the new cross-member and the new mount that we installed. The existing exhaust needs replaced soon so buy some photos so I can afford it!

If you need custom fabrication done for your ride, get ahold of Ryno Built and he can get your car on the road again!

See you at a show,



New Knit Winter Hats now in stock,

100% made in the USA and embroidered with the rb logo.

Photo Jan 16, 6 41 06 PM

Tech: Upgrade Your Audio

Okay folks, this is a complete experiment. This is a repost of an article that I did for the Galaxie Club of America Gazette a few years back. If you want more tech articles like this comment below or contact me here to let me know!

Upgrade Your Audio

A few years ago I decided to replace the horribly installed speakers in the rear deck of my Galaxie. The person who’d put them in had used pennies for washers among other sins of installation plus the speakers weren’t all that good. It was time to install some new ones and get rid of the ugly aftermarket speaker grills that were perched on the rear deck. Now I must say this, I am no pro installer, you’ll notice that when you see how straight my cuts are…

 Car Show

As you can see in Picture 1, a previous owner had decided to cut out the factory rear deck wood and vinyl to install a pair of 6×9 speakers. I have to say I HATE to see speaker grills in the rear deck area of a car, 9 times out of 10 they are ugly and out of place.  The older (maybe factory) center 6×9 grill is pretty ugly as well, so let’s fix that! The goal for this part of the install was to see if I could put these speakers in without leaving any permanent changes to the car.

In Picture 2 you can see the factory rear deck metal, I have removed the rear seat bottom and back so that I could remove the upholstery that covers the rear deck. I won’t go into detail on how to get the panel out since each model of car is different. Lucky for me, Ford left 4 large openings plus the center 6×9 mount. Since stereo sound works best in the car when you have the most separation between left and right speakers, I am going to install the rear speakers in the far outside openings.

Picture 3 & 4 shows a tool that I have had for years…. And I have no idea what it’s called. It’s an adjustable curve that you can pick up at Hobby Lobby. I use it to copy complex shapes in the car. Here you can see it wrapped around the inside of one of the openings in the rear deck of the Galaxie. Simply fit the curve to the shape you desire to copy, then lay it on a piece of 1/8th masonite and trace the shape. This tool comes in very handy when making cardboard templates for patch panels when doing body work as well.

My idea to build the mounts was to use the small ledge in each opening to my advantage. I built a 1/8th masonite plate that fit into the indented part of the metal, then put another masonite plate under the rear deck and used small bolts to cinch the two pieces together tightly to hold them in place in the rear deck. The speakers will be mounted into the bottom panels. Picture 5 shows the rough shape of the panels with holes for the speaker in each panel. I have also drilled holes for the bolts in the panels at this point. The panel in front is the one that goes on top of the rear deck metal, the square-ish one behind goes below the metal and gets the speaker mounted to it. Next I painted them black so that the wood would not show through the final upholstery. I also used speed nuts to attach the speakers to the bottom panel so that I could remove the speakers from the panel without having to unbolt the panels from the rear deck.

Picture 6 shows the rough fitting. Everything is assembled and loose in the rear deck for adjustment. It should be noted at this point that if you have holes in the upholstery panel over any of the center 3 openings that you should cover the openings so that the sound waves that come from the rear side of the speakers do not come through into the passenger compartment. The rear side of the speaker produces a sound wave that will partially cancel out the sound from the front side so this is very important. I will be building a subwoofer setup that will fill these openings so it is not an issue in my case. Since the subwoofer setup will not be ready until down the road I covered the backside of the speakers with foam baskets to keep the back wave contained.

Picture 7 shows the finished project. The beginning idea of getting rid of the ugly holes and speaker grill and ending up with a clean looking rear deck has been accomplished.

The speakers sound much better and have been providing years of enjoyment now.

See you at a show,


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My 1951 Ford Custom: Resurrection Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2

In the week since the last post about my 51 I’ve driven the 63 Galaxie 13 hours round trip to Springfield, MO for the Queen City Riot and I’ve done a small amount of work on the 51. To see more about the Queen City Riot show coverage see the gallery here or the blog posts Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

All that I got done on the 51 this week was installing a new fuel pump and verifying that it was in fact working. Installing the pump shouldn’t have taken nearly as long as I took, but it’s on now. Just a hint, if the engine is still in the car, it’s easier to take off the pump and the housing that it’s attached to than to remove the pump from that housing, unless you have a special 1/2″ shorty wrench or super thin walled sockets. So after some cursing, some head scratching and using an old Cragar S/S wheel with tire as a platform to stand on, I got the pumps swapped out.

Next step was to get the pump plumbed. Dammit. On both the inlet and outlet the new pump had larger connectors than the existing lines that the car had. A trip to Salina (20 miles each way) and 3 different stores (the 2 auto parts stores didn’t have them) and I came up with a set of new hose barbs and some new hoses. I replaced the existing rubber lines with the new hoses, primed the carb, hooked up the battery and turned the key.

She sputtered for a second or two, ran out of the gas in the carb and died. The fuel bowl was still empty on the fued pump too. So I cranked it a few times to see if the pump was able to draw any fuel up from the tank. Bone dry. After a few more attempts the battery was dieing and I was tired anyways so I called it a night. The plan for the next day would be to charge the battery, and see if the fuel pump could pull gas out of a water bottle directly next to it.

The next day I ran out to my Dad’s to borrow a gas can, the 5 mile trip was better than the 20 miles to town, and to pick up my battery charger that he’d bought for me years ago. Since I’ve recently decided to actually start working on my cars in my garage it would be good to have it home. I hooked up the battery charger and went into the house for some lunch. Upon my return I filled the water bottle with gas and stuck the fuel pump feed hose into it and tried the ignition again. Again the car only sputtered for a few seconds but I could see the fuel pump was pulling gas out of the bottle. Yay! that means that the pushrod between the cam and fuel pump might work.

Next up will be to see if I can get the car to run on that bottle of gas in the engine compartment. If so, then I need to replace the soft line at the fuel tank and try to use the air compressor to blow air through the hard line to make sure it’s not clogged shut. After that I’ll reconnect my new soft fuel lines at the tank and lightly use the compressor to put air into the tank to try to force the fuel up the line towards the pump. If the engine is capable of running and that line is full of fuel, we might be able to get her to move under her own power.

The tank is visibly newer than the straps that hold it into the car but I still will snake a camera down the filler pipe to see what the inside of the tank looks like. If need be I have a tank sealer kit waiting standby.

So, that’s where it stands for now, I hope to report next week that she is moving under her own power, see you at a show,


Shoeboxes shoeboxes shoeboxes!

Those of you that know me know that I’ve recently purchased a 51 Ford, affectionately known as a shoebox. I’ve loved this body style for quite awhile and I’m excited to get started working on mine later this year (after finishing some upgrades to the 63 Galaxie).

So as I was looking through my site I realized that I have a ton of shoebox photos! I started gathering them up and so far from the first gallery up through the 2012 Lonestar Roundup gallery there are over 414 photos of shoeboxes of various forms and levels of kustomizing.  You can see the whole gallery here if you’d like to look around.

I am no expert but here is some info that I’ve been able to pick up along the way. (for more detailed info you can go to the Wiki page here)

So what years of the Ford are considered shoeboxes?
1949-1951 due to their “slab side” design, gone are the bulging fenders and they are replaced with a relatively straight body shell.

Here’s an example of the side of the body.

Compared to the 46-48 style before it.

How do you tell the years apart?

Here is an example of a 49, note the single “bullet” grille, triangular turn signals at the end of the grille bar and the FORD letters on the hood.

The 50 carries on the single bullet design but moves to a  rectangular turn signals in the trim pieces that wrap around the front bumper and badge at the front of the hood.

By 1951 they moved to the easily identifiable double bullet grille design and round turn signals.

While many chop their shoeboxes, I am torn on what I will do. Speaking of roofs though, here’s an example of the Victoria model roof.

VS. the standard sedan roof

Here’s an example of the factory coupe roofline

They also came in the Country Squire “woody” version

From the factory these cars came with flathead 6’s or 8’s. My 51 came with a 239 cu. in flathead V8 “8BA” motor and a 3speed with Overdrive transmission. I have heard that there were automatics available in 51 with the Ford-o-matic transmission. Atomic Hot Rods just released a cool documentary on the Flathead last year called A Sweet Sickness: The Flathead Movie Go to the site to order a copy for yourself, click here to see the trailer.

These cars all have coil springs in the front and leaf spring setups in the back. The most common way to get them down a ways is to use Moog CC850 Variable Rate Coil Spring in the front and simple Lowering Blocks in the back. For a ton of info on that see this thread on the H.A.M.B.

Some kool kustoms that have inspired me

Clean, low and with a tricked out flathead under the hood. I’m told this belongs to Roy Fields and I need to meet him to say thanks for the inspiration.

Another very clean example this time with I believe a 53 Chevy grille, I don’t know the owners name but this appears to have been at the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS at the old location.

My buddy Jack’s 50.


Another buddy’s sectioned shoebox

With kustom work by Premier Body & Paint’s Jeff Myers in Arkansas City, KS Michael Shea’s shoebox is way kool.

Another way kustom version, chopped top, Olds grille, lots of kool touches all around.

Yaril drove his 50 all the way from Miami, FL to Salina, KS for the 2011 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular.

Here’s a clone of Junior Conway’s 50. For more info on the original go to this link at kustomrama.

2011 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular Friday

That’s it for now, I may revisit this later and talk some more about these cars.
Oh I almost forgot a silly cell phone pic of mine.

See you at a show,



9/14/13 Update: I had my buddy Chris over at Shoebox Central look through here for any errors, thanks for taking the time Chris! If anyone needs parts for their Shoebox Ford or even some Merc stuff of the era, head over to Shoebox Central.