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Old 04-12-2018, 10:18 AM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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Default Holman Moody Ford Cowl Plenum Air Cleaner

Long story shortened- I like mid 60’s big Fords, especially 1967 Ford Galaxies. When I had my first 67 decades ago, actively trading musclecar parts led to a NOS factory 1966-67 Chevelle Cowl Plenum air cleaner assembly. That got me thinking. Along with many old pics and an article about John Vermeersch’s 1961 Ford Starliner showing a Holman Moody Cowl Plenum (some called them “batwing” but to me that’s a tri-five chevy part term) air cleaner on his car, I soon had an unused Holman Moody unit from the Thackston Brothers in Woodruff, SC- a local NASCAR privateer shop- hanging on my wall next to the GM unit. Both breather and then car were sold before coming together.

John Vermeersch's 1961 Starliner with 427 SOHC and original HM Cowl Plenum unit

After buying an original 428 1967 Galaxie in 2012, I decided that this one would have a real cowl plenum breather. Used original cowl plenum units basically are not available and current NOS asking prices are more than I paid for my Galaxie. So I would make an accurate one.

There are a number of variations to the original versions. I’ve been collecting images for years. Accurate profile measurements from NOS and used cowl plenum units came from the remains of nearby NC racing legend Banjo Matthews’ parts inventory. Since my 428 is on the stand beside the car right now, another friend provided engine vs engine compartment measurements.






NOS units from Banjo Matthews' inventory

These dimensions facilitated full size 1:1 scale pencil & paper drawings of the cowl plenum assembly parts. Drawing included three cross sectional profiles- one for lid, top half and bottom half- across the common midsection of each part. Renderings with elevations clarify how they fit each other and allow accurate rotation parts/drawings as needed while keeping all properly justified. No CAD- I enjoy old fashioned drafting by hand, using old equipment I've collected for years.

The original versions use a now-expensive & harder to source 16” diameter pleated filter measuring approx 3 1/4” tall with a unique wider top rubber to help locate and secure the filter in use. A nearly identical filter is available for approx $10 to fit a 1959 Cadillac air cleaner, which is popular in the custom car scene. It measures only 2 7/8” tall, so the design was amended to accommodate this difference and couple of filters to help guide the project. The rear dimensions were also narrowed slightly. The widely flared versions can interfere with both the wiper motor and VIN tag on firewall. Not cool.

After an experiment with a radial hammerform (coming in separate build thread..) for the lid effort worked, it was time to make the buck. New 1” maple plywood quickly turned into a top, bottom and height spacers before being screwed together. #10-24 Hanger Bolts area used for the center pivot on all pieces.


Using a plunge router with trammel that I modified for a past sculpture project, parts were quick to make accurately and entirely without a lot of additional finish work.










To achieve the proper height measurement and leveling in studio, I use wedges alone or in pairs. For this job, I cut matching pairs of long thin wedges to adjust simultaneously. Once I had the right height, make sure they are both the same to assure the top and bottom are parallel. Without moving them, take a pair, pinch them tight and use them to adjust your table saw fence. Then cut a stack of extra long spacers. Measure, mark, pre-drill and screw everything together with the spacers protruding.
















Once together, excess was removed with band saw followed by a japanese-style pull saw to accurately cut a faired edge in two planes- both top to bottom and front to back- on each spacer. Very fast, very simple. These pull saws have no outboard kerf, so can be laid flat against the work. For <$20 at Lowes, they’re hard to beat.Minor sanding with a quick coat or two of urethane helps keep the buck clean and manage slivers.













I didn’t open up the center of the top & bottom pieces of the buck (yet). The bottom of the originals were expected to be modified to fit whatever carb/intake is used. But I did produce each indexed to a common center pivot and installed the same size hanger bolt. This allows some transfer of parts between hammerforms and buck during production to monitor fit and I didn't want to lose that center pivot.

The rear portion of the bottom half has some taper, so additional work was needed to develop the contours. Plywood is not as agreeable to shape and carve as real wood but the plies do allow an easy visual guide to balance and symmetry of shape.





The trailing edge of the bottom piece was left long to better allow the shaping in plywood. At the end, I trimmed off the excess flush. The buck is approx 1" longer than needed but figured it should be simpler to trim the part to fit the car than add to it...









While paint was drying, I made a quick basic spacer to fit upon the intake in place of the carb to check the fit the buck on the engine. The distributor was a little crowded on the shorter original stock cast iron “S” intake on my 428, but the scheduled C7 428PI intake is approx 1 1/4”- 1 1/2” taller so all is good. Very cool, especially with original Ford 427 pentroof valve covers. It will look even better with the correct long 427 cast iron exhaust manifolds waiting on the shelf…







The project is ongoing and well under way. The buck was the second stage of the project, done after the radial hammerform-lid experiment worked. Another pending thread or two will cover the hammerforms and overall build.

This is my first buck and major metal shaping project. It comes after literally 30 years of reading, studying and following this work while building my shop & studio doing other work. Lots of the big names, as well as many here who have generously shared information and threads about their projects, had a part in motivating me. No matter, I give the most credit to both RockHillWill and MP&C Robert McCartney for lighting the proverbial fire under my feet. Otherwise, this project would still be being planned instead of started & well under way.

Thank you, sirs.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:32 AM
steve.murphy steve.murphy is offline
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I don't see any pictures Cliff.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:17 AM
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I would love to see the pictures too.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:29 AM
RockHillWill RockHillWill is offline
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Very nice work there, Clint. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:46 AM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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it looked like all was showing before I published it. Then I only saw a few of the pics just now so I changed the album from private to public- maybe that will fix things? It looks like they're all showing now.

Let me know if they're still absent.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:19 AM
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A stone carver? an artisan? who would have thought they held a desire for a FE big block and a top-loader (I had not read you introductory post) ? You surprised me Clint. I have to share a pic of one of my (at 16 yrs old) "Dream" cars. I never got around to painting the roof gold, and unfortunately had to let it go to finance a race car.
20180411_115759 (800x600).jpg
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:29 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprint Relic View Post
A stone carver? an artisan? who would have thought they held a desire for a FE big block and a top-loader (I had not read you introductory post) ? You surprised me Clint. I have to share a pic of one of my (at 16 yrs old) "Dream" cars. I never got around to painting the roof gold, and unfortunately had to let it go to finance a race car.
Attachment 46654
Thanks, Skip. I tell people I make everything except money.... but when you can find money in a stone to pay the bills or buy cool FE and bike parts, it's hard to beat.

Very cool GT. Hardly ever see them on the road now, but they had magic dashpads. For some reason, the 68-69 Torino-Fairlane dashpads were indestructible compared to all the other Fords of the era. They were never cracked. A friend restored a formal roof Cobra back then. That was a rocking machine. These are my Galaxies- kinda, sorta...


My first one looked identical to the white car in the background. Bought it two days after tuning 18 for $295.00 to pull the 289 to put into my 67 Mustang. Never did. Parked the Mustang and drove the Galaxie into the ground for the next 15 yrs. Redid it with a full 428PI driveline, lots of fun until it was sold when I headed north to cut stone. After selling all my 428 & 427 FE parts & most of my old Italian motorcycles funding the studio, I realized putting a wife and daughter on a bike with me was less practical than doing another Galaxie.

This unrestored original Q code 428 red on red Galaxie with 60K miles turned up at the right time and I got it. The white car is Michigan rotten, but was parked in 72 with only 40K miles so is donating a very nice old original interior & parts to the red car. Couldn't resist a $1 can of spray paint to put stripes on it so I could still have my "old car" around for a while...

I've been collecting the parts for this red car to mechanically build much like my white car, except this will have a toploader with the bench seat instead of the PI C6. Metal work on it is practice for the remaining bikes and Triumph TR3B that's now mine & been in the family since 64. The red Galaxie is pretty solid, just rusted from water leaking in around the back window instead of salt and such. It will be a fun driver, not a $$$ resto.

It's pretty serious Ford country around here. David Pearson literally lives across the pasture from me. Growing up on the dairy farm about 5 miles away, my neighbor did head work for Bud Moore here in town until the late 80's. I've got an old rusty chevy truck, but FE Fords are where it's at..

But the stone carving started with me being titled a "Studebaker Mechanic." My sculptor had just started a 55 Speedster President's Coupe and claimed me as a mechanic while trying me out before going full union with me. So I have a Studebaker mechanic's patch on my stone apron. The Speedster was a lot cooler than the Golden Hawk that came next.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:21 AM
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Can see all the pictures now. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:33 PM
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Any update to this project? And, it looks as if the front and sides of the housing buck has a sharper angle than the Banjo housing in picture. Is it just a line of site thing or did you do change for some reason?
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:59 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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This projects plods along with others. When I'm busy in studio with stone work, there is limited amounts of energy left over after hours for non-essential physical labor. My Guzzi Corsa project is pretty irresistible so I'm trying to get the breather wrapped up before I start any bike-related metalwork.

I have made another lid, improved quality and edge detail compared to the first one. I have the metal laid out to mark and cut for another bottom half and am close to cutting it to start shaping.

I wasn't happy with the folded seam of the first one, with top half having the long portion to fold over the bottom lip. Didn't make sense, even though there are spot welds shown securing the pieces together. That's what the pics seemed to show. Finally found a good enough pic to see the seam is reversed from what I had made, with the bottom half being long to fold over the flange on top half.

There is some difference in the angle of the front portion of the bottom vs the original units. My pattern uses a readily available 3" tall filter element that's approx 1" shorter than the original $$$$ and hard to source 4" filter elements. Those original units typically ran on taller intakes than mine, so afforded more drop over the carb to still fit under the hood. My top half is the same approx dimension as the originals, so the bottom is shorter. Depending upon what engine configuration, many of the originals are either clearanced significantly to clear the distributor or they press against the cap & wires. Maybe not a big deal on a race car running only in decent weather, but not practical on a street car used regularly. Slanting the bottom half front wall was a concession to height, clearance and what I thought I could make well with few tools.

These radial hammerforms were an experiment- no idea if others have done this, but I couldn't find any mention or info about such things. I wasn't sure I could effectively shrink that tall vertical front wall of the bottom half by hand. So I made it more tapered. The first try worked better than expected, especially after reading about doing such flange-related shaping in the mentioned Barton Book.

I'm anxious to get back into the shop for this project. Maybe now that the lawn mowing season is done, I'll have a chance to get back into it.

That is, after all my thanksgiving feast is cooked and this house full of inlaws go home....
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