1966 BARRACUDA RESTORATION

BP29D 62 625114

Cookie's Sign
Cookie's machine shop was on the west side of Pearland near the Cullen intersection with FM518. His dad bought the land many years ago before Pearland had expanded this far west. Probably before FM 518 extended past Cullen. The developing city is now encroaching from both sides and Cookie hopes to sell and move to a more rural location and specialize in old car restoration. Cookie's father owned Pearland Auto Supply on Main near Broadway years ago. Cookie did machining in the back. There was no room to expand in what was 'downtown' Pearland and he eventually sold out and retired. Cookie moved to the Pearland Airport for awhile and then to this location. Now the machine shop is gone and Cookie has moved north of Houston. He wanted to do classic car restorations, but I don't know whether he started a business or not.
Side of Block
View of bottom and passenger side of block. Front is at left. Pistons 1 through 4 and 6 and 8 are installed in this view.
Pistons in Block
This view shows the top and driver's side of the block with cylinders 5 and 7 still open. The front of the engine is on the right. Cookie keeps all the parts well lubricated as they're assembled.
Rods in new pistons.
Here are the two remaining pistons with the original rods attached. The cylinders had pretty deep ridges at the top (at the end of ring travel). The indicated enough cylinder wear that Cookie decided that the block should be bored out for 0.040" oversize pistons.
Installing piston and rod.
Cookie is tapping a piston in with the wooden handle of a hammer while guiding the rod bolts with his finger to keep them from scratching the crank bearing surface.
Installing piston and rod.
Finishing piston insertion. Next the rod caps were 'torqued' to specifications.
Inspecting heads.
Inspecting the heads.
Pistons installed.
This is the engine with the final two pistons installed. Cookie said that a couple of the pistons had slightly different diameters from the others, so he honed two cylinders to fit their actual diameters. I think these images will look bigger and better with a 600 by 800 screen size.
Reworked Head
The heads had been rebuilt as was explained on a previous page. Cookie disassembled the valves and springs and machined a little off the surfaces to take out the rust pits. He installed 'hardened' seats for the exhaust valves so they will hold up better with unleaded gasoline. He said that the cast iron valve guides and the valve sealing surfaces were still in good shape after all these years. He said that very good seals had been installed on the guides.
Crank and rods.
This photo shows the crank with all the rods attached. Sand cast holes are still open. Brass 'freeze' plugs will be installed later. The oil filter adapter 'elbow' attaches to the large cicular area at the back of the engine (right). The filter couldn't be attached perpendicular to the block because of clearance problems. The date 2-14-66 is cast into the side of the block. Also a pointer that points to 'N' instead of 'D' and another that points to the first of eight dots in a circle. The car sale date on the dealer Cirticard is 3-12-66. Maybe the block was actually cast on Valentine's Day of 1966.
Temporary parts storage.
It turned out that the back of our old van was a good temporary storage place for the rebuilt transmission. Then, to keep the parts all together as I cleaned and painted them, I decided to put them in the van, too. The air cleaner cover still has the original decal although it's a little frayed around the edges. These items are mostly black so they don't show up very well.


PAGE ONE - This page gives some details about the Barracuda and its history. There are photos of all sides of the car,photos of the short block in the car and the empty engine compartment, and shots of the greasy engine as it was pulled out. There is a photo of wreck damage to the left front fender. There are photos of the heads that have been in storage for 20 years after they were rebuilt. There is a photo comparing the original carburetor that was destroyed in storage and a NOS carburetor that someone gave me. There are photos of the automatic transmission and the gas tank. Links to other web articles are located on Page One
PAGE TWO - Page two has more detailed photos of the exterior and interior of the car. The pinstripes are shown and the dash and instrument panel. Front bucket seats and folding back seat and trunk panel. Photos of grille sections and taillight.
PAGE THREE - This pages has photos of the engine rebuilding work in progress at Cookie's Auto Machine Shop. It shows the bare short block, piston installation, and Cookie at work.
PAGE FOUR - Page four has 14 images showing the completed engine after it was painted and then after the exhaust manifolds, pulleys, fan, brackets, distributor, coil, and such had been re-installed. It seemed to be easier to install all those things before putting the engine in the car. My only concern is fitting the left manifold around the steering column while dropping the engine in.
PAGE FIVE - Page five has photos and comments of the engine re-installation. I demonstrate that I can carry the transmission (without the torque converter). There are a couple of photos of the clean engine compartment before the engine was installed and then a couple more of the engine after it was installed. I photographed the antifreeze warning and battery charge warning decals on the radiator support panel.
PAGE SIX - Page six has a photo of the Barracuda parked out in the driveway on the first day of spring 2004 and closeups of the carburetor as it is installed and the engine compartment with the engine in running configuration. It has been driven about 15 miles since the overhaul. There is a photo of the bottom of the car and of the left rear axle and brake parts with the wheel and brake drum removed.
BRAKES - Photos of complete rebuild of front drum brakes including removal of backing plate and regreasing bearings. Photos of back brakes and bearing plus back brake hose.
Alternator Wiring - Photos showing every connection from battery to alternator power output terminal and wiring through the voltage regulator to the field connection on the alternator. The wire I.D. numbers for the shop are given along with wire gauge and wire insulation color.
Instrument Panel Removal and Disassembly - This page shows photos of the instrument panel partially removed from the dash and the various connections that are made there. It also has detailed photos of the instruments and the printed circuit boards on the back and details of the speedometer mechanism.
A-Body Gas Cap Replacement - Photos of combining an old replacement cap and a new Stant 11811 cap to make a usable replacement for the original.
Original 66 Barracuda Radiator Photos - Photos of my original radiator.
1966 Barracuda Owners Manual - Selected pages from my owners manual.


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Barracuda History - This site provides an excellent brief history and description of the early Barracudas.
ULTRAJOSH - This site is an excellent resource for everyone who is working with the early Mopars. In addition to photos and details of his work on a '66 Barracuda there are links to sources of hard to find parts and instructions for all sorts of electrical work as well as mechanical. Check out this site. It may have just what you need to solve a Mopar problem! I found a source for an electronic voltage regulator that is built into a mechanical regulator case which accepts the original wiring connections!
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Page Post Date 11/20/03