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Searching for a parts invoice brought back a couple memories on our one and only engine build. When we finally had it installed, and triple checked everything, my son and I fully expected (err, hoped for) a loud exhaust roar from the open headers.

Inside of our garage it came alive with all of the shock and crescendo of a B-52 bombing attack. The nearly flaming, and fully forgotten, tennis balls shot out of the headers, across the street, and bounced off a neighbors wall. This isn't something soon forgotten.

During car assembly we shoved a tennis ball in each header to keep dirt and dust out. I am not sure if it was a good idea.

What's your story?

Russ
 
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That is one funny story. I am rebuilding an engine right now, I'll make damn sure I check inside the header before starting it up!
Rick

[color:blue]66 Coupe 200-C4 / 250-2V Aussie Head/2150 Motorcraft /Clifford Headers /Duraspark /MSD /Disks /TCP rack /8" rear</font color=blue>

[color:red]Rick's Pony</font color=red>
 

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Talk about a wicked tennis serve! *LOL* When we started the 390 for my fastback at Christmas last year it went great for about five minutes and then we got an air blockage in the cooling system. All of a sudden, we had Old Faithful shooting up out of the radiator about 3-4 feet high. When the temperature started to redline, we shut it down to check, and when we tried to start it again discovered that the flywheel wouldn't budge. Turned out the starter was barely catching the flywheel and it was knocking the teeth off. After replacing the flywheel it started beautifully and ran awesomely.

"I love it when a plan comes together."

[color:red]1968 Coupe, "Murphy" - Original (car and owner)</font color=red>
[color:blue]1968 Fastback, "Trouble" - Restomod</font color=blue>
[color:white]1967-1968 MCA Certified Judge</font color=white>
 

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Mine wasn't so funny--is now I guess.

The intake wasn't torqued properly and water got on one of the cylinders. First crank bent a rod, cracked the block, had to start over. Luckily I made the PO throw in the extra block he had in his garage with the sale.

Have to laugh to keep from crying.

J. Boggs
 
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As a matter of fact, that was only last night for us....
after turning the key a few times and a few back fires out the tail, it finally started and then spit fumes out the carburator. Scared the H*^# outta me. Then we made a few adjustments to the timing again and all runs smooth now. YEAH!!!!

Proud Owner of a 1969 Mach 1
 

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My wife, who's deathly afraid of fire, made me roll the car outside before cranking it, saying "what if it explodes". I laughed and told her to quit being silly. "It's not going to explode". Of course I had the distributor off one tooth so as soon as I cranked it, it shot a 3 foot high flame out the carburetor and and sent her running. After finally getting the distributor indexed better she fired off and I started the cam break-in. Of course the car was just barely outside the basement door and the exhaust pipes and muffler that hadn't been fired in 8 years started expelling all matters of funky smoke, rust particles and carbon. The wife is off running for the second time, grabbing the children to save their lives and sending them up the stairs. By this time the garage was completely filled with noxious fumes, so the wife closes the garage door effectively trapping the fumes in the house since the kids have left the stairs door open during their flight to safety thereby setting off every smoke alarm we have. OF course now the garage door was closed directly behind the car and the small rust particles would hit it and bounce onto the back of the car and myself and the interior. But I had a new Performer cam to break in so I just sat there with a big grin on my face as the world as my wife knew it changed forever.

66 C-code convertible
66 C-code coupe
65 GTO hardtop
76 Nova hatchback
 

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I have a close friend that had been working (outside) to get his freshly rebuild motor in position to fire 1st time. Just prior to light off it started raining pretty hard. Not to let that stop him he decided to go ahead and start her up in the pouring rain.

Ran great, until he noticed a LARGE, RAPIDLY EXPANDING oil slick tracking down the driveway.

Shut her off immediately but too late. he forgot to put on the oil filter and pumped her dry. Never thought to watch the oil pressure gauge and couldn't here the clatter of the engine knocking over the pouring rainstorm!

"If you're under control you aren't going fast enough"
Parnelli Jones
 
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It was about 30 degrees outside when I finished my engine. We opened up the garage door so the fumes could escape and fired it up. With the combination of the exhaust fumes hitting the cold air and all the smoke from the lube oil burning off in the engine, I couldn't see a foot in front of my face. Thjis was at about 2 am too, so I know the neighbors appreciated the new glasspacks I had put on while the engine was out...hehe.
 

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Installed a new 200 in my daily driver when I was about 17... put everything together then cranked it over. Didn't start. Finally figured out I had my distributor in backwards.

Pulled the distributor - forgetting to disconnect the battery. The resulting spark lit off the gases in the sump and blew the distributor up to the ceiling.

Luckily it just missed my face and shoulder, but I did lose an eyebrow and arm hair!!!

I guess the old saying is true that God protects fools and children - and since I was both, I got lucky!
 

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I admit I would have never seen that coming either.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1575122&a=11977248&p=43129086
66 C-code convertible
66 C-code coupe
65 GTO hardtop
76 Nova hatchback
 
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Several years ago was starting my 61 T-Bird Convertible
with an M-series Tripower 390 for the first time. Fired right
up, but as we were standing at the front of the car, suddenly
heard a loud - Thunk!-Wham-! Pa-ting!... Turns out we had
the driveshaft yoke inserted in the trans, but had left the
diff end strapped up under the car and not connected. The
driveshaft started spinning and spit those bearing cups right
out under the car and bouncing off the wall of the garage!!
I was so worried I had damaged the new paint job......Little
did I know at the time, but in less than a month that car
would be destroyed by a 17 year old drunk driver with no
license who hit me in a head on collision. To this day,
I know that car saved my life as it was so well built.......

65 Mustang 4 speed Convertible
 

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The 302 kicked up on the first turn of the key & I needed an operation to get the smile off my face, but it did'nt last long.# 5 plug lead was a little too close to the header pipe & started to burn.We had to bed the cam so I grabbed a rag,smothered the fire & took the full charge of the coil right down to my boots.There was bugger all left of the wire but she kept firing!
The smile came back & its still there to this day!"G".
Regards Greg
 
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