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Author Topic: The Brakmobile  (Read 8414 times)

Jacques

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The Brakmobile
« on: September 21, 2007, 07:12:47 AM »

My car is a 1973 Imperial LeBaron 4 door hardtop. Its supposed to be a (more or less) rolling project. The engine was rebuilt some 20.000miles ago (the car was not mine at that time) and is running smooth. I bought it in June 2005.
 
Its a lot of fun to drive this huge luxusaurus in Holland (where I live), its scaring for other traffic
 
So far, I did the following to the car, the very short version (some stuff caused a lot of headache, like the brakes, non-AC conversion, and making the carby fit):
- rebuilt PS pump + new hoses
- rebuilt the propane convertor
- new high performance probane carb (it was a lot of work to find all parts to make it fit under the hood)
- Edelbrock Performer intake
- MSD Probiller dizzy + MSD 6AL box + MSD Blaster SS coil + MSD adjustable timing control
- new aircleaner casing (dual snorkel, adapted to fit the propane carb)
- removed all emissions-cfrap. AC stuff and other non-funtional underhood components (a.o. alarm)
- finding & mounting new pulleys and brackets for crank/PS/waterpump/alternator for a non-AC-configuration
- removed almost all gasoline parts (the tanks still there, will be dropped soon)
- hi-torque starter
- rewired part of the engine bay
- blocked of heatriser crossover in the intake and removed heatriser valve from the exhaust
- rebuilt front disc calipers
- new master brake cilinder and new power brake booster
- new stuff in rear brakes
 
A big help is that I got a 1973 Imperial parts car, which has proved invaluable, not only for the parts I already used, but the dismantling of a similar car is very ineresting to learn how stuff works on the Brakmobile.
 
I am now facing a tranny rebuild (more on that will follow), and I purchased a set of 915 heads with NEW 1.81 exhaust and 2.14 intake stainless steel Manley valves for only 300 euros (US$ 420!!). The car still has the very sad 8.2 compression ratio combined with a broomstick-camshaft. With a thinner headgasket and the 915's, it will get to approx. 9:1. I still can go a lot higher, but the crankcase/rods/etc are in such a good (almost new) condition that its a waste to tear it apart again. The heads still need to be reworked, it will need larger valve seats and hardened exhaust valve seats (the combustion temperature of propane is a lot higher than on gasoline).
 
I'll post some pics later on.
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ex-Mopars 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom Coupe, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 2dr hardtop, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 4dr Hardtop, 1971 Plymouth Sport Fury 2 door hardtop

Jacques

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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 01:28:47 PM »


OK, now some pictures...

the engine bay like it used to be:




And a few pics from the parts that went into it:
















the car itself:










O, and last week, I found a really nice spare tire cover in the parts car, its now in the Brakmobile's trunk





Sjak Brak2007-09-21 18:31:08
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ex-Mopars 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom Coupe, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 2dr hardtop, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 4dr Hardtop, 1971 Plymouth Sport Fury 2 door hardtop

Arlen Vander Hoff

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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 04:16:51 PM »

Sweet Sjak!!!
What is the Imp running on propane???? Why??
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Herman

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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 12:26:12 PM »

Propane costs about 1/3 of gasoline  in the Netherlands
And with 1.40 Euro per liter what this "parts-degreaser" costs overhere, it adds up pretty fast!




Mike

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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 01:08:54 PM »

I think thats awsome and a testement to the degree of engineering that
went into the 440, also thats a really nice Imp The cream one in that
picture reminded me of Mobby's NY.

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Jacques

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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2007, 10:42:53 AM »


Quote from: ardog
Sweet Sjak!!!

What is the Imp running on propane???? Why??
Well, partly because of fuel prices, as Herman said. But also for the technical side. Propane systems are so much easier to work with. And also to try something different, propane performance is virtually unknown overhere, but it is possible. My car now runs faster and gets better mpg than the original 73 specs.

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Steve

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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2007, 12:21:48 PM »

That's because it is a vapor, not a liquid.  Will burn more evenly and completely
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Jacques

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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2007, 12:41:18 PM »

Well, there's a lot more to the story, but the fuel being gaseous makes a big difference, no worries about heatrisers, fuel droplets in the manifold, vapour lock in the carburettor, etc.

Also, its harder to ignite, so ignition problems will show earlier on propane than on gasoline. Besides, the advance curve for propane is completely different. Thats one of the reasons to make my car a single-fuel vehicle, since dual-fual will always imply some compromises.


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Johnny D.

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2007, 04:25:04 PM »


Well,  I LIKE IT!

Where/How do you fill the tank? open the trunk or did you adapt something for behind the plate?

Its nice to be able to stretch out on your hood!

Propane must be workin' good since your running nice at the track!
MobStaffCar722007-09-23 22:20:27
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Jacques

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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2007, 11:31:33 AM »


Well, both propane and gasoline have their own specific advantages and disadvantages as a fuel, and both can perform very well, as long as the whole setup is OK.

There's indeed a filling adapter behind the license plate, next to the orginal tank filler. I'm gonna remove the gasoline tank sometime during the winter, and possibly, I'll fit one or two extra propane tanks instead.

Here's te link from the car at the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7gF9nKMSyI


Sjak Brak2007-09-24 16:32:51
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ex-Mopars 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom Coupe, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 2dr hardtop, 1973 Imperial LeBaron 4dr Hardtop, 1971 Plymouth Sport Fury 2 door hardtop

Jacques

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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2007, 11:51:33 AM »

And to show how bad the tranny is, these donuts are in 2nd gear because the damn thing wont downshift properly  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv0dq41OtnQ

And 2 days ago, the car met a real challenge, it got a cleaned and waxed

A friend offered me to clean it, I thought she was joking so I said OK, Saturday the 22nd, and she agreed I think she really under-estimated the job

But here a few shiny pics:







and the lady's reward:




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Johnny D.

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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2007, 05:41:44 PM »

Those doughnuts are rippin man!

What kinda distance do you get on a full tank of propane... i assume with multiple tanks they all feed together. you must get miles like crazy.


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Steve

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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2007, 05:46:54 PM »

Forgeet Mobby. . You can't afford the conversion and there isn't a filling station on every corner
 
Brak
That Imp looks menicing sitting like that. . .It sort of imtiminates you looking at it.
 
Your wife?  She looks like quite the lady.    I'm willing she can be allot of fun to be around. . .   It's her smile
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Jacques

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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 05:55:37 AM »

@ Steve: I'll pass her the compliments! she's a good friend, and a total car freak; she owns a beautyful 65 Bonneville. And she liked the way the Imperial drives (better roadability than the poncho), so maybe sometime in the future, she's going to buy one as well, who knows.
 
@ Mobby: the tanks are linked together. I have 2 tanks with a total capacity of 28 gallons, which can only be filled for 80% for safety, so 22,4 gallons. (see the pic of my trunk, with the 2 tanks on the left and right side; there are other possibilities to place them). I can drive some 200-250 miles with that, depending on driving conditions and my driving mood. I guess I could make much more miles if I drove slower on the highways, but the car just behaves so well at 100mph, which is my fave highway cruisin speed with it.
 
The initial conversion itself is quite costly, as Steve already stated. If you dont have much filling stations around, I wouldnt even consider it.
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Johnny D.

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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 10:54:04 AM »


it is harder to get propane around here... and while gas is expensive, I'll stick with it till theres none left.

Still however it is a really cool endeavor that you took up, and I like the thinking and planning that went behind it. Your 22ish vapor gallons is yielding way more mileage than my gasoline gallons... by almost about a 100 miles.

Also must be nice to not get stopped by a bubblegum machine everytime you put your foot in it.

MobStaffCar722007-09-25 15:56:26
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