My 1987 Fifth Avenue Build

Projects & Restorations

  1. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    This thread is just a chronicle of the car thus far (going to be photo intensive)...

    Here is my 1987 Fifth Avenue. I bought the car my junior year of high school and couldn't tell you the difference between a header and head when I got it. Interest in the hobby only grew after my buddy's father gave me a 360 to take apart and rebuild. Mods started out small with your typical 4bbl swap and carried on with an axle swap, two transmissions and four motors - learning a bit more with each step.

    As it sits right now:
    • Motor
      • 400 low deck block with a 4.25" stroke 440 Source kit, bored .035"
      • Forged H beam rods
      • Forged Icon pistons - 10.5:1 compression
      • Factory main caps with ARP studs
      • Edelbrock aluminum 84cc closed chamber heads
      • Comp Cam XR280 roller cam with retrofit lifters
      • Comp Cam Magnum roller rockers
      • Edlebrock Torquer 383 intake
      • Custom 1 7/8" stainless headers
      • Milodon Road Race oil pan with windage tray, 1/2" pickup
      • Holley Sniper EFI
      • MSD 6AL ignition
      • MSD Pro Billet distributor
      • Champion CC374 26" three core aluminum radiator
      • Power Master 150 amp alternator
      • Ford Contour V6 electric fans
      • Dakota Digital two speed fan controller
      • Shumacher poly engine mounts
    • Transmission
      • 518 over drive
      • Ultrabell conversion bell housing
      • MP cast aluminum deep pan
      • Turbo Action 17809ST converter
      • Shift kit
      • B&M stacked plate oil cooler
    • Axle
      • 8.75" diff
      • 489 case with SG
      • 4.10 gears
    • Chassis
      • Five leaf rear springs
      • Edelbrock IAS shocks
      • ISO eliminated using B Body shock plates
      • 3/4" rear sway bar
      • Frame ties
      • Drive shaft loop
      • Firm Feel Tubular Upper control arms
      • Firm Feel aluminum K frame pucks
      • 1 1/4" front sway bar
      • Firm Feel 300# torsion bars
      • Bilstein front shocks
      • Moog parts throughout
      • Borgeson power steering box with Bergman AC column adapter
    • Tires
      • Front: Nitto 555 255-45-18 on an 8" rim
      • Rear: Nitto 555 285-40-18 on a 9" rim
      • Wheels: American Racing Torque Thrust VN515

    Notes:

    I do have to go to a slightly smaller tire in the front and rear. The fronts will rub on the K frame and torsion bars at full lock and the rears rub slightly on the inside fender wells towards the front. Will be going to 245-40-18 on the front and 275-40-18 on the rear when it comes time to replace the tires.

    The car handles well, but I noticed a difference from going SB to BB with the additional weight on the nose. Will be upping the sway bar size to 1.25" front and 1.0" rear when the budget allows.

    The overhead console in the interior was pulled from an '89 car. Also hooked up the temp sensor. Wasn't hard to do and I added an auto dimming mirror at the same time.

    The driver's seat is actually a passenger seat from another red leather Fifth that I adapted the rails to. It will actually bolt to the driver's power bracket, but sits too far over to the left and will hit the B pillar. Made brackets out of angle iron to shift the seat two inches.

    The K frame needed a lot of clearancing for stuff to fit. Once the driver's tower was modified per the motor mount instructions the gusset on the driver's tower needed trimming to make room for the oil pump and filter. When test fitting your motor be sure to do so with the filter in place.

    Where the firewall meets the floor pan there is a considerable lip that can interfere with bell housing bolt access. Slice this in three or more spots and pound it flush with the pan.

    The Milodon Road Race pan fits with minor trimming on the inside of the K.

    The throttle cable if left in the factory hole in the firewall won't clear the head as the BB is quite a bit taller than a SB. There is another hole already in the firewall I was able to utilize. Just make an extension for the peddle to hook the cable up on the inside.

    Forget trying to find headers that will fit with power steering. I stopped just short of traveling to the ends of the world. Ended up having a set made, and if going through that expense might as well use stainless and never worry about it again. Found a shop that did it for $1400. Went with a shorty design for ease of working on the car. Both headers can be removed without screwing around with the motor.

    The 8.75" was pulled from a 66-70 B body. It's the perfect width and requires no modification to fit. You can use the spring perches as it sits by drilling out the holes with a 1 9/16" hole-saw to reuse the ISO clamp setup. I ran it this way for a number of years, but this is not advisable. It pulls the spring a 1/4" inboard on each side - you can actually see it from the back of the car. You really should have new perches welded on, dump the ISO setup and go with B body shock plates. If you have a factory rear sway bar Firm Feel sells a plate that goes between the axle and the spring with mounting tabs for the bar.

    I'll probably have more to add later on, this build has taken place over 15 years and has been through four different motors. Kind of a never ending project...

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  2. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    More photos...

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  3. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Even more...

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  4. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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  5. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Spring clearance isn't the issue though. Here is where the tire hits.

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  6. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Same on my F body with 30 x 10.5 slicks but more severe, time for a BFH.
    And some genital massaging.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  7. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad to see that Moroso pan fit, I had contemplated putting one on my 500" 440 but didn't know if it would fit...
     
  8. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how a genital massage with a BFH will help my tire clearance issues, but shit, I'll try anything at least once. :eek:

    The Milodon pan fit really well. Didn't expect it to fit as well as it did. Mancini sells a pan rail reinforcement kit so you can actually torque the bolts down without dimpling the pan rail. I used those with 3/4" long stainless bolts with lock washers.
     
  9. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    Man; This just gave me some goals. Great build man, car looks awesome.
     
  10. Trey

    Trey Well-Known Member

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    Nice fab work! That's a good looking car.
     
  11. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    ...is this you?
     
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  12. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Burnouts don't impress me but a good stab and steer can tell a lot....
    As in if your still doing a burnout at 50 mph you might have something!
     
  13. Opticon77

    Opticon77 Well-Known Member

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    They're BFG Radial T/As. I could burn those off with a riding mower through 4.10s. Get some real tires... Mark.
     
  14. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Heh, yeah, that's me....from 11 years ago. Haven't updated the channel in a long time. Car had an aluminum headed 360 with an 8.75" and 4.10's back then. It's a bit more of a handful now.
     
  15. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Old video, old motor, and yeah, God those tires sucked. Car wears Nitto 555 285/45/18 now.

    That was pretty pitiful back then. Needed a little brake to get it going. Now it'll that off of a 45 MPH roll with less gear.
     
  16. Opticon77

    Opticon77 Well-Known Member

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    AHA! It WAS him! Now you just have to recreate the burnout with the slight "tweaks" you've made since.
     
  17. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    I knew it was an old video when I saw it on YouTube earlier this year. Was reading your build thread and your, user name stood out in my memory; Amazed by how small the internet can be sometimes. Your couple videos on your channel are what made me pull the trigger and buy my 89 Fifth Ave. you should for sure do an updated video post.