Goldberg in the process of removing the right-side valve cover so it will clear the framer
Goldberg and his assistants surveyed the engine compartment and noticed that the engine was awfully tight to the firewall. An attempt to install the righthand valve cover failed because of a lack of clearance to the firewall. The attempt to install the steering column also failed. In 1965, Chrysler used a unique cable shift mechanism for the TorqueFlite. Attached to the lower end of the steering column is a unit that contains the mechanism for the cables. This unit contacted the cylinder head and prevented the connection of the steering shaft to the steering box. Too many things didn't line up! Some adjustments were tried but it was apparent there was a mismatch of components. The scene soon looked like a reality TV program with lots of swearing, yelling, and wrench throwing. It was clear that while the engine "fit," it would not work in its current location.
That night several calls and e-mails went out to ask advice from builders and owners of '65 Hemi Mopars. The responses all centered on the questionable use of the '66 K-member. everyone said they never knew of anyone using a '66-and-later K-member. A call was placed to the source of the original "use a '66 K-member" information, and he said, "I knew it moved the engine back a little." According to Schumacher, the distance is actually 15/8 inches. Nice for a drag racer who wants the rearward weight bias, is willing to hack the firewall, and who will not be using the original column cable shifter, but totally impractical for a street-driven car that is being built to resemble a factory A-990.
As the body came down over the engine, Goldberg realized there was a lot of room between
Goldberg made the decision to take a step back and use the original '65 V-8 K-member with Schumacher's Hemi mounts. That meant the tti headers would either have to be replaced by custom headers or be modified to fit. Because of the engine position, the '65 K-member needed to be notched for oil pan clearance.
The engine, mounted on the K-member along with the tti headers, was taken to Warner's Muffler shop in Oceanside, California. The owner, Jim Warner, has been doing exhaust systems and making custom headers for 25 years. After looking at the situation, he decided it would be easy to modify the headers as opposed to building an entirely new set. To build a new set would require the engine to be in the car. The unmodified shape of the tti headers defined the basic envelope in which any modifications must fit. The right side was easy with only one pipe that needed to be rerouted. The left side required more work and was complicated by the steering box. Warner cut, fitted, and welded, and in a short amount of time, successfully modified the headers. Once complete, they were sent out to be Jet-Hot coated. Warner also reinforced the factory welds on the K-member, and for additional strength, added a boxing plate to the lefthand side motor mount stanchion, again for more strength. Then back to the powdercoater with the modified '65 K-member.
The engine, with its accessories bolted to the K-member, rests on a heavy-duty frame with
With the engine, headers, and transmission assembly mounted on the '65 K-member, Goldberg went back to the lift for another shot at mating the body to the engine/K-member. Having done this operation a week before made this installation much easier. With the engine in place, only a few minor tweaks were needed on the exhaust for tie-rod and pitman arm clearance. This was done with a 3/4-inch socket held on a long extension and impacted with a 5-pound sledge. Not elegant, but it works. Clearance in these areas should be at least 1/4 inch.
Goldberg also added a complete set of Right Stuff Detailing disc brakes. While these A-990 cars were originally equipped with drum brakes, it would be foolish to build a car like this without adequate braking power. The kit includes all the properly bent lines and a dual master cylinder. More exotic conversions are available, but Goldberg liked the simplicity of the Right Stuff system and the fact that replacement parts (calipers, master cylinder, and pads) can be bought at any local parts store.
The driver side wasn't quite as easy. The number one and three pipes had to be removed so
The modified left-hand tti header looks like a factory piece. It was easier and less expen
The red arrow points to the notch required in the '65 K-member flange for oil pan clearanc