History of the Classic Cord
Why I built my own Cord
Engineering and Design
Body Construction 1
Body Construction 2
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 1
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 2
Designed and Fabricated Parts 1
Designed and Fabricated Parts 2
Engineering Changes
Final Modifications

Final Details
MN Registration
The World Debut
More Misadventures

Final Recommendations
Glam Shots

The HBC Store
To Sturgis & Back Game

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More Misadventures in the Cord

Acceleration bog.
One of the more juvenile requirements for a hot rod is the ability to burn rubber. I remember on my maiden voyage back in 2005 (in the school parking lot) I called my dad with a cell phone and told him that the Cord was on the road. I ended the call with healthy burnout with the tires wailing. Burning rubber makes me laugh. I don’t know why.

After putting in a rebuilt engine with all the high performance gear, I was a bit disappointed with the launch. Despite being very lively and explosive from 3000 rpm to 5000, the engine seemed doggy at lower rpm. I could get the tires to break loose if I dumped the clutch at high rpm – but this is not good on the clutch and smells bad too. The performance I was looking for was to be able to loose traction from a rolling start. I wanted to have the car just creeping along in gear and, upon nailing it, break traction. The car would not do this. Instead there would be this bog, this delay followed by wild acceleration. I didn’t like the low end performance.


I wondered if the Lunati cam, which makes the engine kick ass at high rpm, reduced the torque output of the engine at lower rpm. I figured all the extra high performance goodies should have compensated at the lower engine rpm when you are in a rolling start.

Perhaps I had too much traction. Maybe having 1 inch wider tires than I had on the maiden voyage made a difference. Perhaps having more weight in the completed car made it just that much more difficult to break loose the tires.

Then I started to think it was the transmission. My transmission is a close ratio. This kind of transmission has a high first gear which effectively reduces the torque to the rear wheels – but once up to speed – the ratio between the upper gears keeps you in the sweet power band of the engine. Close ratios are good for drag racing because the engine is already at a high rpm when you dump the clutch.

An alternate transmission is the wide ratio transmission. This has a lower first gear and provides higher torque. Thinking this was the solution to my low end performance I pursued getting a wide ratio transmission. I ended up buying one on eBay that was in “good” condition. I took it to Zumbrota Gear in Zumbrota, MN, (highly recommend these folks) where I quickly learned the tyranny was pretty much totaled. After about $700 in repairs I was ready to swap out the transmissions. I did so over the winter and in the spring broke it in per the recommended process. In general the car was very quick off the line but there was still a hesitation. Let me tell you, this was a little frustrating.

To compound the frustration, on Father’s Day I took the Cord out to “blow out the carbon” and quickly got the car up to 100 mph going up hill. The car is amazingly smooth and stable. With this fresh injection of testosterone, I drove the car home with confidence. This was short lived as changing gears became increasingly difficult. I barely made it back. While backing the car into the garage the transmission completely bound up. This led to a very tall gin and tonic and general feeling of well being.

Turned out that my wide ratio transmission’s output shaft was longer than the close ratio. This difference led to excessive axial loading on the new wide ratio’s output shaft. This loading broke the snap ring that kept the shaft in place and, subsequently, shoved all the gears forward. The tyranny was fixed, and the drive shaft was shortened. I think I’ve gone through three drive shafts in this project. I guess it is better than giving my money to China.

Not giving up, I began to wonder about the carburetor. Back in 2005 the engine had factory two barrel carburetor. It worked great. Now I have a 570 cfm Holly Avenger. Could it be that all along my new Holley was out of tune?

I figured this could be pretty complicated so I started to read the posts on the internet. Virtually all the posts claim the solution for hesitation is fuel – the engine is starving for fuel. So I proceeded down the path advocated by all the pundits and increased the size of the accelerator pump nozzles. This had no effect.

Next recommendation was to install a hollow screw to reduce the restrictions in the nozzle. This had no effect.

Next I pursued changing the accelerator pump. I replaced the 30 cc pump with a 50 cc pump. The pump mechanism was so big I need to raise the carburetor with an extra thick gasket. This had no effect.

I then bought accelerator pump cam kit and began installing more aggressive pump cams. This had an effect – the performance became worse.

Then I figured I should get information from the source so I bought a used book from Amazon on how to tune Holleys. It was invaluable. I followed the directions by first adjusting the float levels of the primary and secondaries. I then replaced the accelerator pump nozzles with the original (small ones) and changed the pump cam to one that provided gradual flow. With this set up, a fine stream of fuel would be sprayed into the carburetor for a much longer time. To my surprise this worked beautifully and eliminated the hesitation.

Isn’t it amazing how much mis-information is out there?

The car still can’t do a rolling burn out. Once the engine hits 3000 rpm the tires will begin to squeal. It appears the engine just doesn’t produce enough torque at idle. With that, my thoughts turned towards more displacement - a stroked 331 cid engine with roller lifters and rockers. This fantasy lasted about 6 months but faded when I realized there is no end to the pursuit of more power. Life also has a habit of redirected priorities.


Cruise Control

My hot rod is not the most comfortable car. There is something about the placement of the throttle that causes slight knee pain on extended drives. Having a cruise control was going to be required.

After market cruise controls have been around for a long time. I installed one in my 1967 Mustang and never had any issues. Not many companies make after market cruise controls today. Perhaps it’s because most cars have them as standard equipment or because of liability. I did find one unit that appeared simple and compact. This was the Audiovox CCS-100

Installation went smoothly but the cruise control failed to engage. I double and triple checked the wiring and went through all the trouble shooting procedures. In desperation, I called tech support. They recommend me return the control module. I did and in short order received a new one. Upon installation I found the new one did not work. This started a small obsession with me. I started reading things…. things on the internet. Word had it that electromagnetic noise could be confusing the control box. I explored and experimented with adding capacitors and inductors help filter out errant noise. That failed. Then I read about bikers installing the Audiovox CCS-100 on motorcycles. They recommend adding a Dakota Digital Tachometer Interface module. This module creates a clean noiseless signal that the control module could use. I bought one for $90. I installed it with no affect – another failure.

My obsession continued to grow. Out of desperation I began to question the instructions. The manual clearly states to set the pulses per mile to 4000 for a car with a manual transmission and an engine that does not have a Vehicle Speed Sensor (which mine does not). With nothing to lose I experimented with changing the PPM to 8000. The cruise control worked perfectly. The instruction manual was wrong. The technicians were wrong.

Isn’t it amazing how much mis-information is out there?

The Audiovox CCS-100 is very well made product and has proved to be reliable. I would highly recommend it. The instruction manual ……not so much.


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