Jay's 66 Miller-Meteor build

Caddylackn

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Get rid of that fuel filter and get a metal one, those cheap clear filters are fire starters unless they are made of all metal parts.
I would separate out those spark plug wires, you are asking for a misfire zip tying them all together like that. The HEI puts out a lot of juice. If you want to do it with zip ties do it like this
zip tie wires.jpg
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Good looking out, I wasn't aware that type of filter was problematic. I'll get that changed before I fire it up (was hoping to use the clear one as a sight glass to see if the carb was getting fuel, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.) As for the plug wires, I've seen that type of wire separation done before and I think it's a great idea. Planning on replacing the plug wires soon since who knows how old these are, and just wanted them out of the way for now. Funds are kind of limited at the moment (so far I've spent over a grand installing a $450 engine in a $1400 car lol) so I figured the wires could probably wait until it's running. Although now that you've mentioned it, next time I'm in the garage I'll probably be looming the shitty old wires because OCD lol.
 

Caddylackn

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I bought one of those same filters but didn't realize the barbed ends were chrome plated plastic or cheap pot metal and are prone to breaking off if there is any stress on them. Somebody warned me, so I am passing it on. Good enough to use while building and troubleshooting and "cleaning the tank". Once you are up and running get an all metal filter and you can put a fuel pressure gauge on the fancy chrome inlet line that is attached to the carb now. There should be a 1/4" NPT plug in it for that reason.

Don't feel bad, tons of guys spend $2000 or more putting in a junkyard $350 LS motor in their $2000 car or truck. If you have running and driving hearse doing burnouts for around $3k, you are still well ahead in my book.
 

PSYKO_Inc

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So I had to go out of town for a couple days, but kept researching Cadillac stuff... Any thoughts on the "small cap HEI" (MSD clone) distributors? Something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/233380945578. It would solve the belt clearance problem that the standard (large cap) HEI presents. I know that the later crank/PS pulleys work with HEI, but I think it uses a thicker belt, which might make finding the correct a/c clutch a challenge (looking to use a Sanden compressor.) The large cap does have the advantage of having the coil in the cap so I wouldn't have to find a spot to mount the coil or find a longer coil wire. I'll be running an MSD box (6A or 6AL) with whichever distributor I choose, so I could probably just slap a points eliminator in my stock distributor and get the same performance, but I want whatever I choose to look clean and have service parts available (would I be able to find a replacement distributor cap at any given chain store in West Bumblef*ck Iowa?)

I'm back in town now so hopefully I can get this thing running this weekend...
 
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5one9

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I have one brand new for my F100 build. They look good. However I had one of the caps on my 518 Caddy MSD distributor with a 6AL and it smoked the carbon button in the cap in about 500 miles. I guess I'd suggest not using any type powerful ignition box with it. Not that it needs it anyway.
 

PSYKO_Inc

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That's exactly the kind of input I was looking for. Probably going to stick with factory points distributor or HEI in that case. You're running a Sanden on the Malibu, right? What kind of clutch/belt did you end up running? Also need to figure out the hoses/fittings for that conversion (car uses a unique dual a/c setup so no off-the-shelf hoses available.) Wonder if I could adapt the system to use AN hoses/fittings. Would look cool with braided hoses and I have a bunch of fittings already...
 

5one9

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My MSD cap looks new after 2500 miles of use. The carbon buttons didn't really look of the same caliber when new. There are online stores that make custom hoses and the prices aren't bad at all. You choose the ends and the length.
 

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Got some more work done today. Put the water pump on, then discovered that the 500 water pump hose connection is 1.5", but the 66 lower hose is 1.75". The shape was perfect otherwise. Looked up a later model hose and it's 1.5" on both ends, therefore it wouldn't connect to my radiator. Did some searching and found out a Dayco 81231 flex hose should work. Advance carries it, but I had to make a trip to the hub store 20 mins away to get it today. After installing it, I'd probably go with a 81241 if I were to do it again (15" vs the 18231 at 13.25".) It works but it's a little bit tighter than I would like. Still don't have a fan yet, so since the water pump pulley uses 5/16 bolts, I figured I'd just slap a couple bolts in for now. Nope. The bolts I had were 5/16 NC, and the pump takes 5/16 NF. Cue another trip to home depot for 40 cents worth of bolts. Got the pulley and belt on, fuel plumbed up and torque converter bolts in. Last piece of the puzzle is the exhaust. Headers are a super tight fit. Had to loosen the motor mounts and jack up the engine yet again to get them in position. Drivers side hits the steering box at the collector. Fired up the torch for a little heat and beat, ended up with this...
20200926_213037.jpg
Went to try again, and it seems like nothing has changed... Crawl under the car to check it out... Oh FFS, I clearanced the wrong damn side. Fire up the torch again and clearance the correct side. It's tight but it fits. Hold your computer up to a mirror with the last picture up to see what it looks like. Only installed a couple bolts for now, since the headers will probably have to come off and on a dozen more times in the process of welding up the exhaust.
20200926_221203.jpg
Now for the passenger side. Had to put the header in from the bottom side with the engine lifted up on the jack. There's also a huge pile of factory heat and a/c hoses in the way, and all up on the header. After fighting with it for probably an hour, I finally got one bolt in. Had to seriously fight the urge to grab the Sawzall and hack out everything in the way, or just douse the whole thing in gas and strike a match.
20200926_221212.jpg
Going to try again tomorrow to finish up the passenger side header. Hopefully I can disconnect enough of the hoses so that I can actually fit my hands in to install the bolts. With as old as these hoses are, they're most likely no good, and will need to be replaced anyway, so I can modify routing as needed. Only thing keeping me from starting it up is the header, and filling the oil. To be drivable, add in sway bar mounts, radiator fan, and trans crossmember mounts. Add in lights and seat belts to be street legal (ish), and rear brake hose, floors, and gas tank to be safe-ish. But for now, it's time for a beer...
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Another busy day in the garage today. Totally didn't spend an entirely unreasonable amount of time making wire separators for shitty old wires that will be replaced soon anyways...
20200927_183459.jpg
Cut away some heater hoses and bent some ac lines out of the way, then applied plenty of brute force and ignorance to get the header in.
20200927_192459.jpg
Installed a new set of NGK plugs and added 5 quarts of 15w40 HD diesel oil. I like to use diesel oil in flat tappet engines. It's got extra vitamins and dinosaurs (and zinc!) in it that seems to do well in these older motors. Added a gallon of gas to the 5 gallon can in the back that's serving as a gas tank right now (original tank has a rust hole you could put your head through) and poured a couple ounces of gas into the float bowls through the top vents in the carb. Hit the key and it turned over but only popped a couple times and never caught. Thought timing might be 180 out. Turned the crank over until the timing mark lined up and pulled the passenger side valve cover and verified #1 had both valves closed. Pulled the cap off and verified rotor position. Turns out that I had the plug wires off by one terminal on the cap so it was like 50 degrees advanced. Connected the wires to the right terminals and it lit right off... At like 1800 rpm because the throttle linkage hits the intake right before it can fully close lol
20200927_210859.jpg
I thought it was good, but apparently it's just a hair off the idle adjustment screw. Carb spacer ordered. But I'm calling it a success. Only ran it for a few seconds since there's no coolant in it yet and it's loud (open headers) and there's neighbors nearby. But it ran smooth and no foul noises. Still a lot of work to do, but I feel like tonight was a major victory.
 

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It isn’t a success until you post a tire smoking Hearse video
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Soon... I do need to find somewhere nearby where I can let it rip without getting the cops called on me. "Repair quality checks" were much easier when I lived out in the sticks...
 

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How are you running your heater hose? For that year motor the heater hose came off a fitting on the back of the cylinder head. Cadillac did that so the heat would come to the heater core quicker. Did your motor have a fitting here or a plug?
 

PSYKO_Inc

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I have the earlier setup with the heater hose on the passenger side just below the thermostat. Works out well since that's pretty close to where the 429 heater outlet was. For now I just have it capped off since I'm going to have to replace a bunch of heater hose (I tried to move hoses out of the way and they just crumbled due to age.)
 

Caddylackn

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You have come along way in your swap in a short amount of time. From your pictures, it looks like an HEI distributor cap would clear your pulleys. Do you have an HEI cap to check?
That green is growing on me.

What I think would look good: is scuff sand your chrome valve covers and air cleaner and paint them gloss black. Then new black plug wires. That would look good with the green.

Next time your motor is out, replace your upper control arm bushings. Yours are pretty toasted. Your hearse will handle so much better. You may even want to make a little sheet metal heat shield to keep the header heat off the bushing.

Those Sanderson headers need to be hammer clearanced even in the cars they are listed to fit, so don't feel bad.
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Thanks! I do have an HEI cap in the garage I can check with, but I think the clearance becomes a problem once the ac compressor is mounted (belts hit the distributor.) I do have the A6 compressor off the 429 that I might be able to sit in place and use a yardstick as a "belt simulator" to see what happens. For the valve covers, I kind of thought the same thing. Once I get my air compressor plumbed up (still getting the garage set back up after the move) and the beast can move under its own power (so I can access the sandblaster) I'm tempted to bead blast the factory Eldo valve covers and paint them black to see what it looks like.

That blue box on the left is the sandblast cabinet, not exactly accessible right now lol.
20200719_025250.jpg
Another future project I've been considering is to CAD up an adapter to mount the original 429 valve covers on the 500 heads, then have a friend of mine CNC it out of some 3/8 AL plate. There used to be a company that made these, but best I can tell they've gone out of business. Thinking of having the valve covers powdercoated gloss black and then filling in the "Cadillac" script in silver or green paint. I was actually a little iffy on the green paint in the beginning, but seeing it assembled and inside the black engine bay, it's definitely grown on me.

Bushings are definitely on the to-do list, along with pretty much every soft part (seals, hoses, weatherstripping, etc.) since it's all dried out and pretty much shot. Ideally I'd like to get poly bushings for the UCAs, (always use rubber for the lowers on a street car though) but I'd have to research to see if there's another more popular chassis that uses the same bushing, since I doubt many folks are autocrossing '66 Cadillacs lol. The headers actually fit surprisingly well considering they aren't even for this car, the JBA headers on the S10 were a bigger job all things considered, and they were made for it lol.
 

48Austin

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Thanks! I do have an HEI cap in the garage I can check with, but I think the clearance becomes a problem once the ac compressor is mounted (belts hit the distributor.) I do have the A6 compressor off the 429 that I might be able to sit in place and use a yardstick as a "belt simulator" to see what happens. For the valve covers, I kind of thought the same thing. Once I get my air compressor plumbed up (still getting the garage set back up after the move) and the beast can move under its own power (so I can access the sandblaster) I'm tempted to bead blast the factory Eldo valve covers and paint them black to see what it looks like.

That blue box on the left is the sandblast cabinet, not exactly accessible right now lol.
View attachment 25400
Another future project I've been considering is to CAD up an adapter to mount the original 429 valve covers on the 500 heads, then have a friend of mine CNC it out of some 3/8 AL plate. There used to be a company that made these, but best I can tell they've gone out of business. Thinking of having the valve covers powdercoated gloss black and then filling in the "Cadillac" script in silver or green paint. I was actually a little iffy on the green paint in the beginning, but seeing it assembled and inside the black engine bay, it's definitely grown on me.

Bushings are definitely on the to-do list, along with pretty much every soft part (seals, hoses, weatherstripping, etc.) since it's all dried out and pretty much shot. Ideally I'd like to get poly bushings for the UCAs, (always use rubber for the lowers on a street car though) but I'd have to research to see if there's another more popular chassis that uses the same bushing, since I doubt many folks are autocrossing '66 Cadillacs lol. The headers actually fit surprisingly well considering they aren't even for this car, the JBA headers on the S10 were a bigger job all things considered, and they were made for it lol.
I think CadCo has the valve cover adapters.
 
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