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32 Ford Project

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We get to see and play with all types of cars, but its not often we get access to a Hotrod in its early stages where we have a part in the design of it to accommodate the EFI wiring, the computer, and all the necessary relays and fuses etc. What better project for us to show you these stages and if you are contemplating something similar, may save you a lot of frustration and hopefully money at the same time.
Steve, a friend of ours, that owns our favourite Hobby Shop here in Perth, is an avid Hot rodder. Steve has recently sold his long time ride, a rare 48 roadster coupe, which has helped finance this project.

The body is from Deuce Customs, Steve built the chassis from a semi finished unit, the front end is an I-Beam running 4 bar link. The running gear is all Commodore. Steve has put it all together himself.

The engine is a 1989 5L V8 VN Commodore coupled to a 1995 4L60e full electronic auto, connected to shortened VN diff, running 3.7 gears and huge 760mm x 10 inch tyres. (hows that….)
One of the interesting parts of this project, is the use of the electronic trans, and this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate just how fantastic they are, and how by using Kalmaker Workshop software, how you can adjust all the shift points and pressures to exactly suit the weight and power of the vehicle.
The diff ratio and tyre size are important figures and are used in the computer, so that the transmission knows what speed it is traveling, otherwise the trans may think it is going faster than the engine (typically with low gears) and consequently changes gear way too early…….. More on this later when tuning…….

Some Purists may not like the idea of using a GM Holden V8 in a Rod. Some say, it's a Ford, use a Ford engine. Others say, its American, use an American V8, Buggar, you could even use a Toyota V8 these days…..
Anyway, this isn't about that, and I must say the Holden looks very nice and at home in there.
What we are showing here is that no matter what engine, the same principals apply, and of course the Delco computer can be used on any of these engines.

The Wiring Layout
Obviously, the first thing to consider is, where will everything fit. The 32 doesn't have much room left in the engine compartment, so this will determine where all the other components will fit.
These are the :-
Battery
Ignition Module / Amplifier
Relays and Fuses
Computer
Fuel Pump

The Battery will be located in the Boot / Trunk. We will most likely get our power supply direct from the Starter motor, as this is just in front of the Firewall, and our Harness will pass near it, giving us shortest route.

The Ignition module does produce some heat, and as the 32 will have A/C, we decided to put it in the engine bay where they usually belong. Often we put these under the Dash, so that it helps keep a very clean engine bay. Steve isn't building a show winning engine bay, but it will be neat and practical.

The Relays and Fuses will go up under the dash on the passengers side. Steve will make a hinged shelf for easy stow away access.

The Computer is going to go under the Passengers seat.
Whilst there is enough room to go in the usual location of in the passenger kick panel, it was decided that because the main harness will pass through the transmission tunnel, and not through the Firewall, the computer harness may interfere with the floor shape, so it was decided to continue the harness under the tranny tunnel and bring it out under seat.

The Cost
To keep costs down, Steve is trying to use as much standard factory parts as possible, and this obviously is a good move.
The Engine Conversion package came from Peter Harvey Holden Wreckers, and included everything as well as VR Commodore auto Wiring Harness.
This is cheaper than making new one. It will still have to be opened up and modified, but everything is there, and only requires the Relays, Fuses, Battery Connections, Ignition, and Fuel Pump to be added.

The next step will be to open up the harness and begin layout.

We plan to show the complete process here, over time, right through to tuning and final dyno.

See Next Stage 28/8/03