Street shakers come in many shapes and styles. One thing for sure is that you can usually pick one out in a crowd due to its venomous attitude accentuated by a killer stance and aggressive driveline. It's the sleepers, however, that keep you guessing with their somewhat demure played-down appearance. Recently, one such car caught our attention and while it may appear to be another well proportioned and expertly crafted Deuce, it actually has a far deeper tale to tell once you peel back its shiny coating.
It’s an amazing feat of engineering to fit an entire all-wheel-drive system within the con
Living in the Northeast, Steve Pierce of Gilford, New Hampshire, was far too familiar with the shortened driving season rodders were dealt, thanks to weather patterns that include snow, ice, and bitter cold. It wasn't till his 60th birthday that he finally decided to get started on a hot rod with blistering performance that could be driven year-round, regardless of the weather conditions. One of the most significant challenges to overcome would be designing a low-slung, all-wheel-drive chassis capable of maintaining an in-the-dirt stance without sacrificing the car's overall intent. In order to weave just the right elements together to create the chassis and driveline it took unwavering determination to research and locate all the pieces to the puzzle. As owner of One-Off Design LLC located in Gilford, Steve was used to taking on challenges with many of his builds and custom interiors, however the Quad-Rod (as it is known) was ready to rewrite the book.
A Frankland quick-change cap covers the Ford Explorer differential protruding from the Deu
To get started Steve ordered a set of Deuce framerails from American Stamping Corporation. He step-boxed the 'rails and then fabricated custom front and rear crossmembers as well as a tubular centersection. Determined to keep the project all Ford, his research led him to seek out just the right front and rear differentials as well as transfer case that would work well within the confines of the frame. Nothing gives you superior handling like an IRS so an 2007 Lincoln Navigator rear packed with 3.78 gears was suspended in place with custom-fabricated unequal-length upper and lower control arms supported by Ford SVO uprights and antiroll bar. A custom adjustable torsion bar suspension and Delco gas-charged tube shocks soak up the bumps while Lincoln Navigator CV shafts transfer the power. Up front the custom-built IFS incorporates an 2000 Ford Explorer differential anchored by custom-made uprights with unequal-length upper and lower control arms and 2000 Chrysler Caravan hubs. A Kugel Komponents antiroll bar keeps everything stable while a custom-adjustable torsion bar suspension accented by Delco gas-charged tube shocks handle the pavement. Custom CV shafts by RCV Performance of Loves Park, Illinois, move the power. At mid-chassis an Explorer Sport Trac shift-on-the-fly electronic transfer case was set in place and coupled to the rearend by a Mercedes rag joint. Final engineering involved a 2-1/2-inch offset of the engine and transmission placement for the front driveshaft to clear the bellhousing. The completed chassis and related components were then sent off to be galvanized and powdercoated to protect them from the harsh winter elements. For great stopping power, fluid moves through a Corvette dual-reservoir master and stainless lines to 11-inch Ford Mustang vented rotors and calipers out back and Chrysler 10-inch vented rotors and calipers up front. Nothing says classic rollers like a set of 15-inch American Racing polished five-spokes capped with big 'n' little BFGoodrich Radial T/As.
There’s nothing like the growl of a beefy 302ci Ford under the hood and United Engine Spec
To bring plenty of horsepower to the party United Engine Specialists in Wichita, Kansas, supplied one of their stout 302ci Ford V-8s packed with a speed shop full of go-fast goods. A Ford crank and rods link to TRW pistons while warmed-over 351ci heads breathe deep through a Parker air gap intake topped with a 750-cfm RetroTek Boss EFI system. To move the power to all four wheels a BorgWarner T5 gets the call from a custom shifter.
Steve contacted Rod Action for one of their fiberglass Deuce three-window coupe bodies, featuring a well-proportioned 2-inch chop. He then added custom front fender blisters, driving light pods and a Rootlieb hood louvered by Joe Stafford. Wrapping up, the interior, underside of the floor, and trunk were coated in Line-X. The body was then handed to John Fairhurst of Belmont, New Hampshire, to make razor sharp and lay down a brilliant coating of RM French Racing Blue. To create an interior that would be comfortable for the long haul Steve started with 1993 Jeep Cherokee seats and re-covered them and the door panels in black leather with vertical biscuit stitching. A four-point rollbar adds protection while a SO-CAL Speed Shop dash insert cradles Stewart-Warner Wings-style gauges and a LimeWorks steering wheel navigates the course. To kill the heat and scare off the cold, a Classic Auto Air system gets the job done. Since the car's completion Steve has run it hard through all types of elements and hopes to make a trek to Alaska with it sometime soon. To quote Steve, "There's nothing like a four-wheel burnout to make the crowds go wild," and we couldn't agree more.
COMP Performance Group Tech Tips
COMP Cams Clearance is key When Installing a Camshaft
COMP Cams always recommends checking piston-to-valve clearance whenever installing a camshaft. Modern engine design dictates a compact combustion chamber and tight clearances. Tolerance stack or installation errors can result in interference and failure. COMP recommends 0.080-inch intake and 0.120-inch exhaust minimum piston-to-valve clearance in most applications.
FAST Older Ignition Switches can Cause Problems
Older vehicles may still have 15-, 20-, or 40-year-old ignition switches with many thousands of starts worth of wear on them. It is common for these switches to have "dead" spots that drop out ignition voltage between the "run" and "crank" position. In a carbureted application, this will show no symptoms because the dead spot is too brief to let the engine actually die. When using an EFI system, however, that brief loss of ignition voltage can set error codes, and even cause the ECU to re-set itself or calibrate false readings. It is important then to either replace the ignition switch on an older car, or to make extra sure it is in good working order.
Inglese Making Vacuum With a PCV
Weber IDFs are not designed to have a PCV valve connected to the manifold vacuum connection, as there is no plenum in the intake to support it. If a PCV does need to be connected the builder can either make a vacuum box and port all the holes in the manifold itself, or run breathers on valve covers. Inglese meanwhile has developed a formula for how much plenum is needed to be consistent and includes it in applicable systems.