When we left off, I had told you about buying my long-time buddy's parents' 1962 Ford F-100 longbed. They purchased it new and it had been in the Newton family ever since. No longer used every day, it moved into an Old Trucks Retirement Home a few years back, and I was hoping to catch it before it went completely to seed. After a long and protracted negotiation ("Hey, Dan, how much?" "Oh, I don't know. Couple hundred bucks?" "Yeah, sure."), we loaded the little guy on the back of a Jerr-Dan-equipped Dodge Ram 5500 Heavy Duty, and dumped it onto my mechanic's driveway.

I decided to get my new project running reliably and fix up the well-worn interior, plus I wanted to make a few minor mods. We covered most of that in the last installment (Truck Trend, January/February 2010). I previously mentioned that the stock single muffler was about the size of a Civil War cannon, it leaked, and the exhaust note coming from the 1.5-inch pipe sounded nasal.

My old 292 Y-block V-8 used an odd crossover exhaust system where the driver-side manifold dumps out the front, toward the radiator, into a crossover pipe that joins it to the passenger-side exhaust manifold, then onto the single exhaust that exited just aft of the right rear tire. To switch to true dual exhausts, you have to use headers or get manifolds from a Y-block-powered Ford (like a Thunderbird) that originally had dual pipes. Dan had found a set in the boneyard and given them to me with the truck. My mechanic recommended not doing the change at that time, as the studs holding the old manifolds to the engine looked pretty rusty; if we broke one, we'd have to pull the heads, something I wasn't ready to mess with at the moment. My local muffler guy had a single-inlet, dual-outlet Flowmaster on his shelf, so we cut the old single system off, welded up the new muffler, and fabbed up a cool set of side-exit pipes with two-inch chrome tips, which exit just in front of the right rear tire.

The leaks were gone, and in their place, a modern, throaty burble -- not too loud, with the sound of an American-V-8 all the way. This was money well spent, until I'm ready to swap the manifolds and build a proper dual exhaust system.