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Finding Help on the Internet to Finish your Ford


Several years ago, the 1955 Ford Club Sedan went pretty deep into the teardown phase.


Help in the Modern Era

Everyone knows that I am a heavy proponent of printed material, from shop manuals, books about rebuilding sub-assemblies, specification sheets, owner's manuals, and even three-ring binders as a means of keeping records. I even go as far as creating full-color printed pages just for the wiring harnesses I have built and placed into the car. The printed page can be a tremendous help when troubleshooting or getting your Ford back together. A few years ago I wrote a blog post that highlighted a number of my recommendations. You can read that blog entry, "Manuals Every Ford Fanatic Should Own" by clicking the link.


Keeping printed schematics of systems like AC is just good, sound practice.


But let us not kid ourselves - modern, digital technology makes the crafting of such pages like the one above readily available. And, to be fair, the wonder of the internet can supply the most ignorant of mechanics a wealth of journeyman knowledge... if he knows where to look. Of course, I am speaking of websites. Do not make the mistake of confusing websites with social media. In the past, I have often warned about the perils of quick, off-handed social media posts that confuse and mislead the most sincere of would-be DIY guys. Very little fact-checking ever takes place, posts can be flippant, and the answers to meaningful questions can be downright wrong.


Why are websites a much better source of information? There are several reasons, but allow me to name the most prevalent. First of all, social media costs the user (or the one who makes the post) just about nothing. There is no money inolved, no time in managing the group or the app (like Facebook or Instagram), and very little-to-no time spent in formulating an answer. But websites are a different animal altogether. The owner most often has spent quite a bit of money in purchasing the website or the domain name. Usually, there is an annual or monthly fee by a company like Wix, GoDaddy, or some other business that offers hosting plans at a premium. When things cost money, people care more about what they post and the information published. Secondly, people who post information or write articles for websites take their time with more carefully thought out material since there is such an effort placed to provide the end user with help. For those who know me personally, I can be found on such social media groups like the Y Block group or the 1949-59 Ford group on Facebook. I do not think it wise to abandon the medium entirely, but logging on and reading the answers to otherwise simple questions can be quite hilarious. From the so-called "experts" to the "trolls" who make negative comments just to start arguments it can all be a circus.


Personal Experience

HotRodReverend.com itself is a testament to the fact that people frequent such sources of technical information to help them along their way as they either get their ride back on the road or turn a few wrenches in the garage. Well over 1,000 visitors are on the blog pages here each month. Even though things are somewhat organized, I still believe as though I could do a better job in making information more readily accessible. What began as a series of posts in an online Ford forum has turned into a website that gets quite the traffic. Just about 365 days a year I receive email's, text messages, phone calls, or social media messages inquiring about parts or other technical help for the mid-50's Fords.


Top 10 Websites

Even though I have learned a lot over the years and have helped many along the way, there is a list of websites I visit that are a tremendous help to me. After all, the next best thing to knowing the answer is knowing where to go to find it! Bear in mind I am receiving no kick back or financial benefit from these listings; these are just sites that I recommend. Since I am a gearhead and like the Y Block, we will begin with the engine and running gear first.


Engine and Drivetrain

This website has been around for 20 years. For the Y Block enthusiast, we owe a lot to Jim Culver who got it going back then. Online forums use to be all the rage before social media hit the internet and smart phones became available. Thankfully, this website has no annoying advertisements like some other sites insert to finance their pages; and we have Mr. Culver to thank for his continued effort to keep it that way. There is a world of engine information in the forum section. You do not even have to be a registered user to access the search function, just use this link. Over the past few years there have been multiple cyber attacks by hackers and spammers, so the registration process to post on the forum is a little involved but well worth it. If you want to register to post a question on the forum, simply send an email to my friend Ted Eaton at eatonbalancing@yahoo.com and tell him the Hot Rod Reverend sent you!


John Mummert has made great strides in the R&D for Y Block performance over the past two decades. Taking on the project of developing, manufacturing, and putting aluminum heads in the hands of the general public is work belonging to living legends. His website has quite a bit listed as far as parts as concerned, both stock and high performance. John still runs a small machine shop, so do not expect an online shopping experience like Summit or Jeg's. An old-fashioned phone call is your best bet to reach him in the shop. The hidden gems on the website concern all of the Y Block technical and specification pages. Pictures, diagrams, part numbers, etc are all available with excellent explanations. Take this page for example. Mummert provides a very thorough listing of engine heads, complete with part numbers, valve sizes, cc measurements, horsepower, application, etc.


YBlockGuy.com @mctim64

Tim McMaster holds the record for the fastest Y Block powered vehicle. Period. He is very near the 200 mph mark and over the next year will most probably break his own mark set at Bonneville. Tim runs a vintage engine machine shop in Hanford, California. (He works on modern stuff, too.) The website contains digital copies of magazine articles where his cars and trucks have been featured, and such pages as the Tech Tips archive very valuable information. You would be wise to bookmark the site as well as visit his YouTube page that is linked on Tim's site. Hopefully very soon I will be able to take a trip to meet him personally and tour his shop. We have talked many times over the phone, messaged each other, and swapped parts over the years. Tim knows his stuff.


Another one of my friends, Ted Eaton, is a record-setter himself in the Y Block world, both Ford and Lincoln. I have had the privilege of touring Ted's shep in Texas - you can read about that trip and the shop at this blog post. Ted's website contains a very robust list of articles on the Y Block Ford, many of which have made their way into the Y Block Magazine over the years. The Y Block world owes a lot to Ted because of all the testing he has done via his "dyno mule" in the shop. Intakes, exhaust manifolds, carburetors, you name it, Eaton has taken a crack at them and posted the results. Ted not only builds stock engines for restorations but is also widely known for his exploits at such venues as the Engine Master's Challenge. Of course, if you go back through the blog posts and read the series on the Y Block Shootout then you know that Ted and I have had some fun together over the past few years. There is nothing like being buzzed by that altered T bucket at the finish line!


Electrical

Very few aspects of automobile restoration or fabrication work stump DIY mechanics like electrical components can. Wiring harnesses, going from 6 to 12 volt, adding relays, switching from a generator to an alternator, and all the rest of the upgrades (or even simple maintenance) frustrate have the potential to make well-intentioned owners go as far as selling their ride. The link to Vintage Auto Garage is to their resource page - a hidden gem in a sea of parts for sale such as solenoids, relays, switches, etc. This site has been very helpful to me over the years.


Body and Paint

For all of the body work I have finished on the 1955 Ford, I have no idea where I would be without the helpful advice of forum members (and products!) from Autobody101.com. I am no expert, that is for sure. However, I gained quite a bit of confidence by learning quite a bit from the members of this website. The moderator of the site also influenced my choice of clear coat brand and quality. You can look back through my posts on paint and body work in my blog series to see the results. Everywhere I drive the car the colors and finish really pop, and the clear coat is very durable. I feel as though I learned quite a bit during the process of painting the car and remain confident that the next car or truck I tackle will be even better.


Everything Else

We all know that YouTube is technically a social media website, but the channels and content available make it very similar to what Amazon.com is to merchandise availability. Just about anything you are looking for - old car commercials, swap meet event coverage, project build series, product and tool reviews, brakes, suspension, air conditioning - just about anything and everything are ready and waiting for the viewer. Since there is no cost to have a channel, there are many different levels of usefulness from "I could not have figured out without that video" to "this clown needs to stay very far away from my car." There have been some helpful channels so let me list a few.


@HotRodReverend - there is content on my channel that I have not archived to the blog

@autorestomod - corny crew with dry jokes on occasion, but a pretty good playlist that tends to be Ford product exclusive

@PetesGarage - a very knowledgeable engine builder and mechanic, Petes channel is very informative and given in a "how to" format

@Myvintageiron7512 - one of the best explanations of camshaft selection is archived on this channel, a number of videos have over a million views and rightly so

@thunderbirdray3418 - the videos are not quite long enough to be considered "how to" but Ray's video on replacing a rear main seal in a Y block is one of the best out there

@jonathanwood1984 - otherwise known as "Rusty Resurrection Garage" this channel may be young but contains quality content - look for this channel to continue to offer more

@DickShaw - how this channel only has 1600 subscribers or so is beyond me - his how to videos are some of the best

@fitzeesfabrications - very few channels on YouTube do a better job in showing body work that can be accomplished with a 110v MIG welder


This website, owned and operated by the same individual who owns and operates the JalopyJournal.com, has been a very good repository of information on all things Ford. The forum has a very active group of people who post questions about a large variety of restoration and DIY work on FoMoCo cars and trucks. Use the search box tool to look up any topic or category of work you are dealing with and quite a few posts with their subsequent answers will show up in a list. Great information can be gained by perusing through all of the threads in which registered users have participated.


I cannot say enough about the value of this website - the Old Car Manual Project. The website is funded by annoying advertising, but the wonderful repository of OEM materials are priceless. Download what you need, print off a page or two, and get into the shop. I could spend hours on this site quite easily since so much is available here.


This site is great! There is a sister site called 1956-Ford.com as well. Excellent data on options, models, specifications, photos, sales, etc are all here. There is even a page on this site that has links and information to help you decode your VIN on your 1955 (or 1956) Ford. I highly recommend bookmarking this site.



Helpful websites were critical to my effort to get my 1955 Ford Club Sedan on the road.


Conclusion

There is quite a bit on the internet these days. If you know where to look you can find some very helpful websites that can answer your questions as you research your problem or discover the possibilities. Maybe you have a website or two not listed that has been a help to you in your project. If so, join the discussion below and leave a comment with a link!


The Hot Rod Reverend

aka Daniel Jessup

2 Comments


Steve Mary Jane Fritz
Steve Mary Jane Fritz
Dec 16, 2023

outstanding recap and presentation REVERAND!

You are truly an asset to the old car hobby. Thank you so much for your dedication.

Steve Fritz

Onalaska, WI

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Daniel Jessup
Daniel Jessup
Dec 17, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Steve - glad that guys like you get so much from the site!

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