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Topics - Aerocoupe

Drivetrain Tech / Pinion Angle - What Should It Be Set At?
I am in the middle of setting up the pinion angle in the ’83 and have a question with regards to the direction that the pinion needs to point.  I have read all kinds of differing opinions on the degree that the pinion angle should be set at and whether or not the pinion should point up or down.  The car has adjustable LCA's (Griggs) and UCA's (Global West) so I can adjust how the rear end sits in the car from front to back and in rotation or pinion angle.

I took my handy Craftsman analog angle indicator with a straight edge and measured off the lower pulley on the crank.  It read 7.0 degrees of downward angle (the front of the motor is higher than the rear of the transmission).  I moved the angle finder to the drive shaft and it is measuring 4.0 degrees of downward angle (the front being higher than the rear).  For me this gives a net angle of 3.0 degrees difference between the output shaft of the transmission and the drive shaft (DS).  I measured the pinion angle on the back of the pinion flange using the straight edge and came up with 1.0 degrees.  This also gives me 3.0 degrees of difference between the DS and the pinion.  So what I have is the engine centerline going downhill from the front of the car to the output shaft of the transmission, the DS centerline going downhill from the transmission to the rear end, and the pinion going uphill from the pinion flange to the rear end cover.

My question is should the pinion centerline and the motor centerline be running in the same direction or should they be opposite like they are now?  I went here:

and found on page 9 a diagram that shows the center lines running in the same direction and the angles needing to be the same.  This is on a Mustang but I would think it would be the same for our cars.  I also found this article on which was a good read and also states that “Ideally, the operating angles on each end of the driveshaft should be equal to or within 1 degree of each other, have a 3 degree maximum operating angle and have at least 1/2 of a degree continuous operating angle.”

I am pretty convinced that I need to rotate the pinion flange upward but I am not 100% sure.  Any input would be appreciated.

Engine Tech / Valve Train Noise - How to Measure Correct Pushrod Length?
My Coupe has some noise in the valve train and I just always assumed it was normal from talking with a couple of guys that build a few engines a year. I started reading Vinnie's new thread on his 88 getting a new motor and the issue came up again. Well, after searching and reading a few threads on noisy valve trains I am beginning to think that it is not common to have noise and something is up with the motor in my Coupe.

I have ran the valves on this car about a dozen times and it still has noise. From what I am reading here the noise the Coupe has is more than normal. The motor has Edelbrock Performer heads (2.02/1.60), Edelbrock Performer RPM II upper and lower intakes, Jomar Ultra-Lite stud girdles (, the Motorsport tall aluminum valve covers, Manley severe duty valves, Manley titanium retainers and keepers, Isky 8005-A valve springs, Ford Racing M-6500-R302 lifters, Crane Cams 11746-16 Energizer roller rockers, and a 35-518-8 Comp Cams camshaft (

With all of that said I followed the Comp Cams valve adjustment process that I got with the cam that is in the motor. I continue to get noise even after several attempts to adjust the preload. What I noticed in several of the threads was having to correct push rod length. I went on Comp Cams website and found these:


I am pretty sure the stock length for a 85-96 5.0 HO is 6.272" so I would assume I need to get this one:


I did not check the pushrod length as another person built the motor and I just assumed they would have measured them. This is starting to look like the problem but I wanted to know how to measure for the correct push rod length once I get the correct adjustable checking pushrod. Any help would be appreciated.

Suspension/Steering / Rear Control Arm Center to Center Lengths??
I have been searching for a bit and cannot find this information.  I know they are longer than Mustang units but how much longer is varying from post to post.  What I would like to know is what is the exact measurement from center to center on both the upper and lower rear control arms?  I am pretty sure that the lengths are all the same from 83-88 but if not please correct me.


Body Repair/Metal Work/Painting / Paint or Powder Coat Sway Bars?
I have and Addco front sway bar on my T-Bird and want to have it recoated as it has some slight surface rust.  With the twisting motion of a sway bar I am concerned about the kind of coating that one would apply to the sway bar so it does not crack.  Any suggestions?

Body/Appearance/Interior / Price for 86 TC Front Clip???
I have a line on a complete (fogs, head lamps, etc) 1986 TC front clip.  I have asked the guy to give me his best price and he is going to call me back.  What is the average price for clip like this?  The sheet metal is in good shape but naturally the paint is below average.  I don't mind paying a fair price but don't want to get hosed either.

T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars FOR SALE / F/S: Lakewood 15202 Safety Bellhousing for 302W & 351W
I am selling the Lakewood 15202 Safety Bellhousing that was in my T-Bird. The bell was behind a 302W and had a Tremec TKO behind it. It will fit other transmissions and here is the to Lakewood's site with data on the bellhousing:

I have the safety block plate and the 5/16 bolts that secure the plate to the bellhousing and the 7/16 bolts that secure it to the block. It also comes with the correct pivot ball and clutch fork for a Tremec TKO. $250 shipped via UPS to the lower 48 states via UPS. This is half of what these bellhousings sell for new. It has been clearanced but ever so slightly for MAC 1-7/8" LT headers. The bell looks almost new as there are less than 10K on the car since it was installed.


T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars FOR SALE / USed KYB KG556 Shocks for T-Bird, Cougar, & Lincoln
I pulled these off of my '83 T-Bird after I went to coil overs.  I would like to get $40 which includes shipping to any of the lower 48 states via UPS ground.  These shocks are in good cosmetic shape and work great.  They list for $33.95 each on Summit Racing ( so I am selling them for half of new which I think is fair for used.  I am not making a lot of money here but I figure if someone can use them and is on a budget these should fit the bill.  You can see the vehicles they fit on Summit's website by clicking the "Application" tab.  Here are a couple of pictures and they do come with all of the mounting hardware: