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Sterling #130 (aka American V8 ~ Chapter 2)


Forgot to account for the suspension drop once the car is down on the tire and the typical angle of where one would be viewing from. I think the turbo muffler in black would practically disappear.
true...the car is only sitting about 16" higher than normal right now! lol
an issue with the turbos: the exhaust outlet will be at Centerline of the muffler, at best. kinda low... the glasspacks are up tight against the body.
but I'd much rather have the turbos for actual MUFFLING.

right now, I'm working on a way of building the exhaust pipe that connects to the manifold so that i can clamp either a turbo OR glasspack muffler in place. NOT welded connection between the two! for the turbo, I'd just have to add a shiny exhaust pipe/tip from the muffler to the back of the car.


Been busy working on making a connection between the exhaust manifold and flanges. I couldn't buy a pre-made connection anywhere, so I bought 1.75" exhaust pipe, made my own spherical pipe end with a 6 ton press and a 2 5/16" stainless steel Convert-A-Ball hitch, and found a 1.75" flange (for UTV applications!) and modified it so the spherical joint sits flush like factory.



Been a while, eh? Got busy with Spring projects...landscaping, sprinkler repair, and running a new gas line from my garage to shop.

The original builder of my house/shop direct-buried two 1/2" copper lines - and never capped them. So they sat outside, open to the elements for 20+ years before I tried to use them for gas. Well, one line was corroded thru somewhere underground and the other line held pressure, but has worried me for the last 5 years of use. If the first one corroded, how long until the second one did too? After all, they're buried right next to each other. So I decided to replace it with a poly line before the heat of the summer hit.


And then I decided to make the side of the shop a little prettier. It was bad enough looking at the 4 conduits, but then I added a bright yellow gas line.



But, I FINALLY got back into the shop to work on the exhaust - last Monday...the record-setting hottest day of the year so far. Ugh.

I cut the elbows out of my bent stock pipe and adjusted them to fit, then tack welded them, checked fit, and welded them solid. After grinding and sanding, a coat of high-temp silver paint made them look pretty. The mufflers are attached to the pipes with a clamp, so unlike the original mufflers, these could be replaced in the future.



Not as pretty as I would like, but it'll be low to the ground and behind the tire, so hopefully not TOO noticeable!


So...To Heat or Not To Heat, that is the Question.

Last night I started filling the cooling system. I got 2 gallons of water and 2 gallons of pure coolant into the system before it started backing up. Looking online, that may be normal for a vehicle. (With all my pipes running the length of the car, I'm not sure exactly how much capacity my cooling system has.)

But I've had a big concern for a long time: the heater core location. The HVAC unit is mounted above the gas tank - ABOVE the coolant tank reservoir with the pressure cap. Neither the HVAC unit, the heater core or the coolant tank can be relocated. My concern is that with the heater core being the highest point in the system, that is where air will gather and potentially cause problems. I don't like problems - I have enough of them pop up unexpectedly already! Another concern is that if I leave the heater core in and pop the pressure cap on the tank, that all the coolant in the heater core will "fall out" and overflow the tank and let more air into the system.

If I were to bypass the heater core completely, then the coolant reservoir tank would be the highest point of the cooling system. But I obviously wouldn't have heat. But for how often I'd drive the car...does it matter? I live in Minnesota, so yeah it's colder here in the Spring and Fall than in say, California, but will I be driving it on cold enough days where I NEED heat? Hmmm... the biggest issue I can think of would be lack of defroster heat.

Keep in mind though that I would still have VENTS - foot, dash, and defrost. But are those good for anything without heat? Also keep in mind that while I have the AC plumbing in place, I don't plan on charging the system - nor do I plan on installing the side windows for now! Nor do I plan on driving the car to a show when it's 90F+ outside!

Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery? lol


Site Owner
Staff member
I like how you’re approaching the problem.

My gut vote is for you to find a way to keep a functional heater.

I know I’ve heard various builders strongly recommend to install at least a little bleeder valve at any point that might be a high point in the system. So at least do that. But you’re right: The system could never be filled from the lower point unless you had some pressurized way to do it (which I’m NOT suggesting.)

The actual pressure cap to fill and vent the system doesn’t really care where it lives. Is there any way you could fashion an adapter at the current location of the cap and then plumb a hard or soft tube from that adapter to some new, higher location for the cap? (…and then plumb a little soft line back down to your reservoir.)

I have a commercial mower in which the overflow reservoir is actually more than three feet away from the pressure cap. I think it’s a little lower as well. It works flawlessly.

Anyhow, yeah, I wonder if you could keep everything else almost exactly as it is but plumb the filler cap up to someplace high and convenient. Nothing major ever has to “flow” through there. It just acts as a filler whether by you or by vacuum siphoning from the reservoir. I think it could be located anywhere as long as it’s at the height of or higher than the reservoir.

As for the reservoir cap at the reservoir, it would never have to be opened. All of the filling would be through the relocated cap. Or…if the cap at the overflow had to be opened, nothing should instantly drain into it because the only thing connected to it is the little hose from the pressure cap and, if that pressure valve is closed, nothing would drain even though the reservoir is lower.

I’m thinking out loud here. Feel free to point out any flaws or mistakes in that line of thought. I’d at least be tempted to experiment with it.


Active member
I was just thinking the same farfegnubbin. If you can add a filler to the top of the system that would alleviate the issues - wouldn't it?


Honorary Admin
I was just thinking the same farfegnubbin. If you can add a filler to the top of the system that would alleviate the issues - wouldn't it?
Yep. You have to have a hose to the heater core, right? Cut in a cap or relief valve as high as you can get it at the core. I think you can even get cores that have purge valves in them.


Site Owner
Staff member
Bonus thought: I was originally going to suggest just one big fill cap at the highest point in the heater circuit BUT this circuit is closed to the engine block until after the block is warm enough to open the thermostatic valve. Depending on how everything is plumbed, it might work but be aware that that could be an issue.

Whether or not you do a big fill cap in the heater circuit (which could be convenient,) I’d still extend a filler hose up from the original engine fill point so that the thermostat definitely isn’t an issue (unless you can verify that the engine will back-fill around the thermostat.)


Slow day at work, so I might as well post an update...

There is no room under the louvers to add any fill port higher up than it already is, so instead I added a bypass valve to the heater core. When its in bypass mode, the overflow/fill tank will be the highest point in the cooling system. when it's open...well, it won't be the highest point anymore. meh. I also took the opportunity to wire brush the corrosion off the heater core flanges and give them a coat of POR-15.

So I added more coolant and ran the pump using a lawn mower battery...only to discover the pump is leaking along the impeller shaft. after removal and disassembly, I'm confused how the designer ever thought the "seal" was a good idea - two pieces of plastic push against each other. And neither one is very giving or pliable. ?!? So I ordered another pump...and broke two tools and wasted an afternoon trying to get the heater bypass plug out! After a few chat exchanges with Summit and some more searching online, it turns out that the bypass plug on that model isn't removable! Huh, maybe you should state that on your web page! So back that pump went and now I'm waiting for another pump to show up via FedEx (this time from Jegs...Summit pissed me off). I suppose a person could argue that this new pump will be an improvement - same GPM rating, but this new pump has 1" NPT inlets instead of 3/4" NPT inlets, so about 80% more flow volume! Granted, that meant I also had to order new inlet adpaters in 1" NPT.

Also while working on removing the pump, I noticed a puddle of coolant in the valley below the intake manifold. Turns out the thermostat gasket was leaking. Tightening it didn't help either. sigh...pulled it off and inspected it without finding anything obvious. After cleaning up the bolt threads though, I discovered that the tapped hole in the manifold for one of the bolts was about 1/16" short for the bolt I was using! So what I thought was "tight to the flange" was actually the bolt bottoming out in the tapped hole - the thermostat flange was still a tiny bit loose and not sealing tight. It was such a small difference that I couldn't see, and it "felt" tight, but it wasn't. So I swapped to a shorter bolt. And now I"m waiting for a new thermostat gasket - funny how the local auto store doesn't stock a gasket for a 1963 Buick intake manifold! ;)




After discovering the leaky coolant pump and ordering the new pump, I took the opportunity to install the interior panels and the driver's seat. But first I had to assemble the seat from parts...after narrowing the seat 4" about 15 years ago! suprisingly, everything went together pretty smoothly with only a handful of "extra parts"...mostly related to the upholstery.



yep, that's driving position! and yes, there will be some basic seat covers to cover up that ugliness! mother-in-law is doing some sewing on them for a better fit...
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GODDAMMIT! pump just showed up...with 3/4" NPT threads. the online catalog says 1" NPT threads. the adapters I bought are 1" NPT threads, so useless with this pump.

Brett Proctor

Well-known member
I guess you have a few options.
Send the pump back and get the right one. You shouldn't have to pay anything since the company has it listed wrong.

Get 3/4"-1" adapters so the adapters you have can be used. You didn't mention if you already have the 1" lines

Get 3/4" adapters