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Australian Falcons Discuss the australian born and bred models here. Includes the 80's 90's and present day Falcons offered by Ford Oz.

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Old 12-05-2005, 20:52   #1 (permalink)
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XB Coupe Upgrades

Greetings to all, I am a newcomer to these forums. I have been reading them avidly for the past few months and the info I found on here helped a great deal in making my decision to buy an XB Coupe.

As I have mentioned on a post I found on a thread about the car I ended up actually buying (small world!), I am now the proud new owner of a 74 XB Fairmont Coupe in silver with orange GS Stripes. It apparently was a 'Continental Pack' with the vinyl roof but that has since been removed and painted although the chrome surround remains (see attached pic). Given the car has a GS dash and stripe, I thought I would get a GS grille and driving lights to replace the dodgy ones it has currently and a GS bonnet.I have also just bought an XB front spoiler.

The interior is in great condition, having been almost fully restored it seems to its brown glory, save for some staples in the driver's door (not sure why they are there!). It is now a t-bar auto instead of the factory column shift.

The car has its matching number 302 which is pretty well standard save for upgraded valve springs and cam (no idea what it is, Pracy may be able to find out??). It has an 8 inch borg diff.

The car currently has no power steering, but I have sourced original XB power steering and all the hoses, along with air con from an XF I think, both of which I am yet to install.

Seeking a bit more speed off the line (more torque rather than high revs).

From my reading, I am going to get some extractors, they seem to make a noticeable difference from what you guys have experienced.

My questions are : Should I paint the scoops on the new bonnet black? Should I use a separate switch for the driving lights (currently rigged to the high beam)? What colour should I paint the spoiler (if any, currently black).

The following may well be sacrilegious, so please let me know if this is the act of a moron and I should leave well alone! Should I upgrade the current 302 in the search for some more grunt and risk damaging the block or remove all the running gear and put it in the shed and put in a nine inch diff with 3.5 gears and rear disks to replace the current drums, convert to a manual toploader with single plate 11 inch clutch and put in a worked 351?? Would I be better off sticking with the C4 and the 302? I'm a bit worried about frying the diff and the C4 with a worked 351.

Lastly, has anyone had any experience with putting 351 2v heads on a 302 block? Is this worthwhile and what would the best way to do this? I ask this as I may have found a set of heads that have been already done?? I've read quite a bit about mating windsor blocks and cleveland heads to make a Boss, but couldn't find much about mating 302 cleveland blocks to 351 2v cleveland heads? Is this going to achieve much improvement in hp?

Sorry for asking so many I'm sure ignorant questions, but I'm very excited about the car! Cheers.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:40   #2 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

welcome to the world of XBs mate.

thats a great looking car. you have done well.

Q1 - personal choice but i think that the full silver look is good. everyone has black scoops. silver would retain the smooth look your car has now.

Q2 - i think you should have the driving lights on seperate switch for roadworthy( do on this side of the country anyway.) i would be fitting a switch. see if you can find a genuine switch, the wires are proberly already in the loom to fit.

Q3 - spoiler , i would go for black i think. ( depends on the style ).

Q4 > engine - the main differance between stock 302 and 351 heads is that the 351 has an open combustion chamber which lowers the compression. stock in good condition you would be better off with the 302 heads.

you could fit a 351 crank to your engine and get more power and still keep matching numbers.

keep the c4 and tuffen it up.

change the diff if that one shits itself. that way you have more time to colect the parts at the right price.
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

I think I saw that car in Woy Woy, NSW about 2 months ago?
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

Thankyou 351cid, greatly appreciate your help, that seems like great advice. I'll find a switch then for the driving lights, I've seen a couple on EBay...

I must admit to being still tempted to convert to a manual though as I like changing gears and the associated noises! The car doesn't sound like a 302, the twin exhaust sounds evil! I can't wait to get some extractors on it to see what difference they make. I'll stick with the original block then, try and find out what cam its got and get an alloy single plane manifold like an Edelbrock, some new shorter forged pistons to go with a 351 crank and get my current 302 rods peened. Will I have to do any work with head to lower the compression and are roller rockers really necessary? Should I get a bigger carby than the current 350 Holley (almost new)?

Is it worth changing diff gears in my existing diff if I can get a nine inch with disks for a couple of hundred dollars? Might it not be better to get all of the changes done in one hit ie - power steering, air con, engine upgrades, gearbox and diff?? I've been quoted $700ish for a recon toploader and about $200 for the rest of the parts. How much is it going to cost to beef up my C4?

Sorry for all the questions, I think I may be getting addicted to XB's..

I like the look of your XB too! I have 351 and toploader envy!

You may well have seen it in Woy Woy xcgxl, I only bought it a month or so ago and it came from NSW... Small world! Should I put up some more pics? Cheers.
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:17   #5 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

You've done well there that's a Nice and Tidy Coupe mate.
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Old 12-06-2005, 13:52   #6 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 351cid
welcome to the world of XBs mate.


Q2 - i think you should have the driving lights on seperate switch for roadworthy( do on this side of the country anyway.) i would be fitting a switch. see if you can find a genuine switch, the wires are proberly already in the loom to fit.
The wiring for the spotlights in the twin headlight grill was a seperate loom so it will not be there unless the car came with a factory GT/GS Grill. But I agree fit a factory switch and run new wiring.

I saw the car advertised for a while, nice looking beast. I'd take a step back and consider your budget before jumping in with all guns blazing. What is the end use for this car ? nice weekend driver ? daily driver ? strip beast ? etc, etc.... once you answer that honestly with a realistic budget things will become clearer, try not to do anything twice and say that will do for now I'll change that later.
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Old 12-06-2005, 15:13   #7 (permalink)
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Question Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

Thanks for your help xb351coupe, that is a very valid point. New wiring and a factory switch it shall be!

As far as the use for the car, it will probably only be driven two days a week as I'd like to make it pristine and keep it that way. I am in awe of this car and want to take good care of it. I'm just a bit concerned that it will be all show and no go once I fit the air con and the power steering as it is not exactly a rocket at present. It attracts all kinds of people and I feel a bit sheepish knowing that a stock BA falcon would easily account for it at the lights! The car sounds fantastic, just would like some more poke off the line. I'm not into racing and high rev power isn't going to get much use, I would like more low end torque.

It sounds like I might be best off starting with some extractors (2v for the 302?) and maybe an alloy single plane manifold? Should I get a bigger carbie? Is it worth getting some 3.5 diff gears for the 8.3/4 diff or is it not worth spending money on? Then down the track if I want more power I can do the 351 crank thing?

How hard is it to fit the factory style air con? Apparently I need to find another vent for the left hand side of the driver's dash (currently the plate)? I thought as the dash will have to come out (I assume) that it might be opportune to do any other changes at the same time?

Appreciate all your help guys, I'd have absolutely no idea at all if it wasn't for these forums!
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Old 12-06-2005, 16:01   #8 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by XB 74 Coupe
Thanks for your help xb351coupe, that is a very valid point. New wiring and a factory switch it shall be!

As far as the use for the car, it will probably only be driven two days a week as I'd like to make it pristine and keep it that way. I am in awe of this car and want to take good care of it. I'm just a bit concerned that it will be all show and no go once I fit the air con and the power steering as it is not exactly a rocket at present. It attracts all kinds of people and I feel a bit sheepish knowing that a stock BA falcon would easily account for it at the lights! The car sounds fantastic, just would like some more poke off the line. I'm not into racing and high rev power isn't going to get much use, I would like more low end torque.

It sounds like I might be best off starting with some extractors (2v for the 302?) and maybe an alloy single plane manifold? Should I get a bigger carbie? Is it worth getting some 3.5 diff gears for the 8.3/4 diff or is it not worth spending money on? Then down the track if I want more power I can do the 351 crank thing?

How hard is it to fit the factory style air con? Apparently I need to find another vent for the left hand side of the driver's dash (currently the plate)? I thought as the dash will have to come out (I assume) that it might be opportune to do any other changes at the same time?

Appreciate all your help guys, I'd have absolutely no idea at all if it wasn't for these forums!
A nice set of tri-type extractors would be ideal for a 302, yep 2v's. I've got a set on my coupe at the moment but I'm upgrading to 4into1's which would be to much for a 302. My 2v's have been silver jet coated which cost $360 alone but it looks the goods and is meant to keep the car cooler and actually increase power. They are 4 sale if your interested, had then coated about 6 mths ago, and the outlets have flanges fitted...I'll let them go fairly cheap.

Probably an edelbrook preformer (dual plane) would be the go, but I doubt you'd gain any performance from it, I've seen dyno tests on mild 351's and the stock manifold gave better results then the aftermarket units, save your money. A single plane would be out also.

You'd probably get away with a 600 Holley Vac 2nd's but no bigger and forget a double pumper. Don't waste any money on the old diff, hunt around for a 9" and bolt her in. 3.5 gears will bring the 302 to life.

Yep I'd say the dash would need to come out for the aircon, but if you only intend to drive it for a couple of days a week, I would not bother. Save the cash.

A mild cam change would be in order, say something with about 500" of lift and 210-215 duration a 0.50", that would certainly bring the car to life.

Good Luck
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Old 12-06-2005, 16:26   #9 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

I think the cam has been upgraded already, I just don't know what to! Trying to find out at the moment!

How much do you want for your extractors? Getting them over to Perth may be interesting? I've found a new set of Pacemaker Tri-Y's for $250, which sound like they'd do the job? They should bolt onto my GT twin exhaust without too many hassles?

Would the 600 Holley be big enough if I went with the 351 crank down the track or would I be better sticking with the 350 Holley for the time being and getting a bigger carbie later on?

How much should I be paying for a 9 inch with disks and the right 3.5 gears do you think?

Many thanks for all your help.
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Old 12-06-2005, 16:32   #10 (permalink)
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Re: XB Coupe Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by XB 74 Coupe
I think the cam has been upgraded already, I just don't know what to! Trying to find out at the moment!

How much do you want for your extractors? Getting them over to Perth may be interesting? I've found a new set of Pacemaker Tri-Y's for $250, which sound like they'd do the job? They should bolt onto my GT twin exhaust without too many hassles?

Would the 600 Holley be big enough if I went with the 351 crank down the track or would I be better sticking with the 350 Holley for the time being and getting a bigger carbie later on?

How much should I be paying for a 9 inch with disks and the right 3.5 gears do you think?

Many thanks for all your help.
I'll send you a PM on the pipes.

a 600 would be big enough of a mild 351, but believe me if the power bug bites and it probably will the $$$ are endless.

I think you'll find a 9" for around $500 but that would probably only have stock gears in it, not sure on the cost for a gear change, maybe another $500 fitted. Standard 28 spline axles will be heaps.
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