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Thread: Engine choices

  1. #1

    Engine choices

    Hi,

    Wanted to get your opinion on which engine to put in the MK4. I live in Aruba and will be building and driving here. Since resources here are nearly zero I definately want a new crate engine, plus I don't have the knowledge to build one up myself.
    So basically, I want to minimize the risk.

    I will not be racing with it but would still like at least around 400hp. My thoughts were going towards the Blueprint 306 or 347 but I would like to hear your thoughts. I also would like to know if you advice carburated or fuel injected (and why).
    I will be attending build school in August but want to order my complete kit by next month, and I know most mentioned to order after the school but its a time issue for me.

    Realy would appreciate any feed back, thanks in advance,

    Tim

  2. #2
    Senior Member cgundermann's Avatar
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    You will get a lot of varied opinions/experiences/preferences. I have a fuel injected 347 using multiple injectors managed by a Pro-M racing computer. Fuel injection obviously is more complex and has more components, especially depending on the type of system manufacture. But can offer more driveability and diagnostic capability once dialed in correctly. Central point "Carb looking" fuel injected systems allow you to use a traditional Cobra air filter and have evolved to the point of almost being "plug & play". Carbed motors are not as complex, easier to install/set up and can be reliable enough if tuned properly. Since you are not going to race it and shooting for 400 horse, a hopped up 306, a 347 or a even a 351 will get you there (and lots of great parts and resources that are readily availabile from the Web). Crate engines offer different warranties and it was mentioned on a previous thread, that Blueprint's warranty begins at first start, versus one year after receiving it. If you are not on the fast track (I was a slow poke) your first start can be after your warranty expires. If I'm lucky enough to do another build, I would consider a Ford Racing Coyote package (more difficult, but a lot of great Forum member advice/info). The great thing about this Forum, is the amount of information and willingness of members to assist. Whatever you choose, you have great support and informational resources available.
    Last edited by cgundermann; 03-18-2017 at 07:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mcwho's Avatar
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    I would recommend a 302 based engine for the simple fact that they are prolific, parts are easily available, and they almost always run well. The 331 and 347 variants are also great to keep in mind.

    Some of the bolt on FI systems may also be a good choice, I did a lot of research on those years ago, but then went with a carb.
    Last edited by mcwho; 03-18-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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  4. #4
    I recommend you speak with Mike Forte; he's a vendor here. He's been supplying engines, transmissions, lots of other parts, and expertise specific to these cars for 20 years. His prices are VERY competitive, and he's always willing to talk. Let him know how you intend to drive the car and he'll get you headed in the right direction.


    John
    MK IV Roadster #8631
    Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

  5. #5
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    I would recommend a 302 based engine for the simple fact that they are prolific, parts are easily available, and they almost always run well. The 331 and 347 variants are also great in mind.

    Some of the bolt on FI systems may also be a good choice, I did a lot of research on those years ago, but then went with a carb.
    I agree with McWho regarding going with a SBF between 302 and 347 cubic inches since you'll have adequate power while taking up minimal space in the engine bay, plus you don't have to fabricate or modify anything.

    If you want to come over to the Dark Side, then consider the LS-3 because they come in all sorts of configurations, including a couple of carburated versions and one that even has a front drive distributor for an almost Ford look.

    Check out Pace Performance because they have all sorts of engine combinations (Ford, Mopar & GM) so it can't hurt to look.

    Good Luck!

    Steve
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 03-18-2017 at 02:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cgundermann View Post
    You will get a lot of varied opinions/experiences/preferences. I have a fuel injected 347 using multiple injectors managed by a Pro-M racing computer. Fuel injection obviously is more complex and has more components, especially depending on the type of system manufacture. But can offer more driveability and diagnostic capability once dialed in correctly. Central point "Carb looking" fuel injected systems allow you to use a traditional Cobra air filter and have evolved to the pont of almost being "plug & play". Carbed motors are not as complex, easier to install/set up and can be reliable enough if tuned properly. Since you are not going to race it and shooting for 400 horse, a hopped up 306, a 347 or a even a 351 will get you there (and lots of great parts and resources that are readily availabile from the Web). Crate engines offer different warranties and it was mentioned on a previous thread, that Blueprint's warranty begins at first start, versus one year after receiving it. If you are not on the fast track (I was a slow poke) your first start can be after your warranty expires. If I'm lucky enough to do another build, I would consider a Ford Racing Coyote package (more difficult, but a lot of great Forum member advice/info). The great thing about this Forum, is the amount of information and willingness of members to assist. Whatever you choose, you have great support and informational resources available.
    Thx for your side of the story, this helps. I think the carburated engine will be my way to go. Does Blueprint also have a "turn key 351" for the mk4? And do you know if Blueprint has those original Cobra airfilters??

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    I would recommend a 302 based engine for the simple fact that they are prolific, parts are easily available, and they almost always run well. The 331 and 347 variants are also great in mind.

    Some of the bolt on FI systems may also be a good choice, I did a lot of research on those years ago, but then went with a carb.
    Yeah I will also stay with the carb. I found out my budget has a bit more space so am thinking about the 347

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post
    I agree with McWho regarding going with a SBF between 302 and 347 cubic inches since you'll have adequate power while taking up minimal space in the engine bay, plus you don't have to fabricate or modify anything.

    If you want to come over to the Dark Side, then consider the LS-3 because they come in all sorts of configurations, including a couple of carburated versions and one that even has a front drive distributor for an almost Ford look.

    Check out Pace Performance because they have all sorts of engine combinations (Ford, Mopar & GM) so it can't hurt to look.

    Good Luck!

    Steve
    Thx Steve...and the dark side sounds kinda nice too :-)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by phileas_fogg View Post
    I recommend you speak with Mike Forte; he's a vendor here. He's been supplying engines, transmissions, lots of other parts, and expertise specific to these cars for 20 years. His prices are VERY competitive, and he's always willing to talk. Let him know how you intend to drive the car and he'll get you headed in the right direction.


    John
    Hi John, yes I will contact Mike Forte for sure. Saw him name fly around a few times already, and always positive!

  10. #10
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timsmitaruba View Post
    Thx Steve...and the dark side sounds kinda nice too :-)
    While I'm glad my car is different (383 SBC & ZF/6-Speed Transmission) it has caused me to have more than a few bumps in the road along the way and a lot head scratching so be warned if you go to the Dark Side.

  11. #11
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    Just curious, but what are the registration requirements in Aruba? Do you need wipers, back-up lights, emissions, etc?
    FFR #8833 289 FIA
    1965 289, TKO600, 3-Link
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  12. #12
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    Never been to Aruba but been to Northern Holland many times and never seen an American built Ford with small block power. However, if I recall, you said in an earlier post that you have a friend that runs a Ford dealership on the island. That should pretty much clinch it on the engine choice -- go with a SBF as you should have lots of technical support for the little Ford. Perhaps not direct experience with the SBF but I suspect they have stateside Ford technical contacts for anything SBF specific their mechanics have questions on. And a carb should work well for you once it's tuned for your engine and the rich sea level air y'all have there in Aruba. Just remember to order a good selection of jets, squirters, accelerator pump cams, & power valves so you can tune it. For a light car I'd suggest you go with a Holley or better yet, QuickFuel 4150 style carb rather than one with vacuum secondaries. Have fun, you'll surely have a very unique ride when you're done -- probably not another one the island.
    Last edited by NAZ; 03-18-2017 at 08:25 PM.

  13. #13
    I'm probably biased but if you are already looking for a crate motor I'd suggest a good 408. It's not that much more expensive than a 347 but is stronger with the 351 based block, has tones of torque and does not have to spin up as much to make power. I agree with a carb, especially given your climate/temperature which I'm assuming doesn't change that much. I'd invest a few bucks more and go with a top quality carb such as Quickfuel or Holly HP.
    Here are a couple of videos that might help. Have fun! Scott
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COsl5u5LfaA&t=4s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPBs_QB6ubI&t=626s

  14. #14
    Senior Member R Thomas's Avatar
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    My two cents. Since you live in Aruba it would seem one of your bigger concerns would import requirements. Once those hurdles are cleared something to keep in mind its easier to make horsepower with cubic inches as opposed to engine mods. I would almost always advise fuel injection over a carb, but if you want to mess with the engine yourself, or if you are lacking for modern mechanics in Aruba and carb would be a better choice. Another thing that works in your favor using a carb is your island location your altitude and temperature are relatively consistent. Biggest advantage of Fuel Injection is it adjusts to changes automatically but you won't be seeing the variety we see here. Also back to simplicity the older pushrod V-8's are much easier to work on if your inclined to do so yourself.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgoode View Post
    I'm probably biased but if you are already looking for a crate motor I'd suggest a good 408. It's not that much more expensive than a 347 but is stronger with the 351 based block, has tones of torque and does not have to spin up as much to make power. I agree with a carb, especially given your climate/temperature which I'm assuming doesn't change that much. I'd invest a few bucks more and go with a top quality carb such as Quickfuel or Holly HP.
    Here are a couple of videos that might help. Have fun! Scott
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COsl5u5LfaA&t=4s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPBs_QB6ubI&t=626s
    While I did go to a 408 a year ago, I would stick w/ a 351. My 10 yr old Engine Factory 351/400hp had stock rods, stock crank, and normal style hypereutectic replacement pistons that bumped the compression a little. A Performer RPM heads and intake and a mild cam made that 400hp drive just like a stock 302. The 351 internals are all much stronger than the 302 stuff so that is why they were all stock. No forged parts needed for 34000 miles and 18-20 autocrosses per summer over 8 years. The 351 needs different headers and intake because the block is a little taller so, if you start w/ that, you can later go all the way to a 427 if you get the itch for more.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  16. #16
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    The 351 internals are all much stronger than the 302 stuff
    Hey CragS,
    > I heard that the 302 blocks were a tad weak; however, being a Chevy Guy puts Ford mills outside of my Wacky Wheel House.
    > If the 302 block is weaker, then your suggestion of going with the 351-Windsor really makes sense, especially since there is no replacement for displacement.


    Timsmitaruba,
    > I retract my earlier statement about the 302-347 engine.
    > Having ridden in an earlier FFR MK-3 that had a healthy cam, aftermarket top end, and good tune really surprised the heck out of this Chevy Lover!


    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 03-19-2017 at 07:42 AM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cnutting View Post
    Just curious, but what are the registration requirements in Aruba? Do you need wipers, back-up lights, emissions, etc?
    Its not that hard. I can get it registered via the chassis number. I do need wipers and a backup light though (Most Dutch laws apply here since everybody has a Dutch passport and most Dutch laws apply...allthough they like to bend it here and there).
    Cars older than 3 years need to get a yearly inspection.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NAZ View Post
    Never been to Aruba but been to Northern Holland many times and never seen an American built Ford with small block power. However, if I recall, you said in an earlier post that you have a friend that runs a Ford dealership on the island. That should pretty much clinch it on the engine choice -- go with a SBF as you should have lots of technical support for the little Ford. Perhaps not direct experience with the SBF but I suspect they have stateside Ford technical contacts for anything SBF specific their mechanics have questions on. And a carb should work well for you once it's tuned for your engine and the rich sea level air y'all have there in Aruba. Just remember to order a good selection of jets, squirters, accelerator pump cams, & power valves so you can tune it. For a light car I'd suggest you go with a Holley or better yet, QuickFuel 4150 style carb rather than one with vacuum secondaries. Have fun, you'll surely have a very unique ride when you're done -- probably not another one the island.
    Thanks NAZ, yes I have to use my Ford contacts for sure. I know my mechanical limitations and just want to have fun with as little risk as possible. And I also know I will be the only guy having this car here so should be fun. Too bad not too many good roads here but any mile driven in a car like that is a good one ;-)

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by R Thomas View Post
    My two cents. Since you live in Aruba it would seem one of your bigger concerns would import requirements. Once those hurdles are cleared something to keep in mind its easier to make horsepower with cubic inches as opposed to engine mods. I would almost always advise fuel injection over a carb, but if you want to mess with the engine yourself, or if you are lacking for modern mechanics in Aruba and carb would be a better choice. Another thing that works in your favor using a carb is your island location your altitude and temperature are relatively consistent. Biggest advantage of Fuel Injection is it adjusts to changes automatically but you won't be seeing the variety we see here. Also back to simplicity the older pushrod V-8's are much easier to work on if your inclined to do so yourself.
    Importing is very simple. If I would buy a "normal" car in Aruba I would have to pay a staggering 50% import tax. There is a small loop hole in the law that allows chassis and parts plus crate engine to be imported with them charging 22%. Still money I would rather spend in a bar but I have to be honest, with the 50% they try to prevent the locals from flooding the road with cheap cars, so it works out ok.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post
    Hey CragS,
    > I heard that the 302 blocks were a tad weak; however, being a Chevy Guy puts Ford mills outside of my Wacky Wheel House.
    > If the 302 block is weaker, then your suggestion of going with the 351-Windsor really makes sense, especially since there is no replacement for displacement.


    Timsmitaruba,
    > I retract my earlier statement about the 302-347 engine.
    > Having ridden in an earlier FFR MK-3 that had a healthy cam, aftermarket top end, and good tune really surprised the heck out of this Chevy Lover!


    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
    Got you :-)

  21. #21
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Yes 302 blocks have a rep for splitting down the middle at > 500HP but I was really talking about the crank, rods, oil pump shaft, main cap bolts, head bolts. The crank and rods are definitely stronger although they are a little heavier. But trying to do a budget build, that strength allows using them w/ just a bit of machining. No need to buy new ones unless you will be over 425 or so and >6000. The shaft and bolts are all 1/16 larger diameter than the stock 302 parts. While there are many companies that sell similar products I always use Edel as a reference. look here and scroll down to the 351 kits. Note the >400hp made w/ just 9.5 compression.
    http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/...end-kits.shtml
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Yama-Bro's Avatar
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    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your interest in BluePrint Engines. We can build a 408 or a 347, with EFI or carbureted. We do not have the 408 setup up as one our standard Factory Five builds, but we can most definitely do it for you. We had a contest on this forum awhile back where we gave away a FFR 347 BluePrint Engine. The winner of the contest decided to upgrade from the 347 to the 408. It was a real nice package.

    We'd love to visit with you about your plans. Give us a call at 1-800-483-4263 and we can discus your build options.

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  23. #23
    Don't write off the Coyote. It is hard to beat the reliability and driveability of that modern engine management system. Over 400 horsepower and is as nice to drive as a Mustang Gt. Especially if you don't have many good roads to drive on. I have a carbureted 408 Windsor in my Coupe.

    Glen

  24. #24
    There are two questions for engine / induction type. 1. How will you use the car? 2. What kind of personality do you want your car to have?

    I think a 347 is a great engine for these cars. Light weight, power, and torque, all in a small package. They are easy to work on. There is also endless parts availability. The stock block is good unless you are doing 550+HP and/or hitting a bottle or boost. If you want 400HP, a 302 would be a little snotty, a 347 would be milder.

    351 gets you a little more power compared to a 302, but a little tighter in the engine bay. You can stroke it out more, 408ish stock block. They cost a little more. The bigger bottom end components are a double edge sword. A stock 351 bottom end is "stronger" than a stock 302, but heavier. Those big bearings don't like RPMs.

    There is nothing wrong with a Coyote. But they are physically HUGE and are not easy to work on in these cars. They also knock the "old school" right out of the car. More expensive. Lots of wiring.

    Carb vs EFI. Do you want old school or modern? Do not let anyone tell you that EFI doesn't need to be tuned or that it is more reliable. A carb or EFI take about the same amount of tuning. It is just done differently. EFI is more efficient, you will likely get better fuel mileage. As far as reliability, read the forums and you will find that EFI and MSD boxes are the top two things that put Cobras on flatbeds.

    I went with a carb. The last thing I was looking for was comfort and convenience when I decided on a Cobra. I wanted an old school car that was like........a Cobra. I have to warm up for a minute or two before I roll out. It is snotty for 10 minutes or so. It smells like gas and exhaust. It is loud. PERFECT!... for me. (maybe not so much my wife )

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSides9 View Post
    Don't write off the Coyote. It is hard to beat the reliability and driveability of that modern engine management system. Over 400 horsepower and is as nice to drive as a Mustang Gt. Especially if you don't have many good roads to drive on. I have a carbureted 408 Windsor in my Coupe.

    Glen
    A crate Coyote is plug and play. FFR have done a great job with install instructions. And if that isn't enough, there's a few guys who have re-written the instructions in the form of a build blog. These things are bullet proof and so much fun to drive.

  26. #26
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Old School Ford Like Look / New School Dark Side Chevy Power

    Pace Performance / GM LS3 Crate Engine
    GMP-19301360-CHX - LS3 533HP
    Carbureted with front drive HEI distributor & Cast Valve Covers.

    Just mill Chevrolet off the valve covers or get a generic looking set and tell folks it's a NASCAR engine.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by avalanche325 View Post
    the last thing i was looking for was comfort and convenience when i decided on a cobra. I wanted an old school car that was like........a cobra. I have to warm up for a minute or two before i roll out. It is snotty for 10 minutes or so. It smells like gas and exhaust. It is loud. Perfect!... For me. (maybe not so much my wife )
    amen
    Aerodynamics are for those who can't build engines - Enzo Ferrari

    FFR33 coupe #997, ordered 2/20/17, delivered 4/15/17, build thread
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  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRacer View Post
    amen
    Amen part II

  29. #29
    Senior Member 2FAST4U's Avatar
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    Why not go with a 427/428 FE for period correct look, sound, and feel?
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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by timsmitaruba View Post
    Importing is very simple. If I would buy a "normal" car in Aruba I would have to pay a staggering 50% import tax. There is a small loop hole in the law that allows chassis and parts plus crate engine to be imported with them charging 22%. Still money I would rather spend in a bar but I have to be honest, with the 50% they try to prevent the locals from flooding the road with cheap cars, so it works out ok.
    I'm a strong believer that you can buy a finished roadster for about 75% of what it cost to build a comparable car. Not to discourage you from building because that is most the fun. However if you just want the car to drive the lower cost of buying one already built would go a long way towards offsetting that 50% vs 22% tax. Just something to consider.
    MK4 #8900 - complete kit - Coyote, TKO600, IRS - Delivered 6/28/16 First Start 10/6/16 Go cart - 10/16/16 Build completed - 4/26/17 - 302 days to build my 302 CI Coyote Cobra - Registered and street legal 5/17/17
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  31. #31
    Ok guys...I decided to go with Mike Forte. Will be getting a Dart 427 with a TKO600. The street sounds in Aruba are about to change.
    Got a good feeling about Mike plus only heard good stuff so thats what made me pick him as my engine builder.

    Thx for all advise, truly appreciated. If anybody decides to visit Aruba don't hesitate to contact me.

    Tim

  32. #32
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Good Choice On Mr. Forte,

    He built the 427 for my Build Mentor & Pal (Mr. Smithbks) and the sway bar for the GoDadGo Chevy Cobra came from Mike as well.
    Super Nice Guy With A Great Reputation!

    Steve

  33. #33
    Nice combo. If I was doing it over again I would go with the Dart block. In for a penny in for a pound! Scott

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgoode View Post
    Nice combo. If I was doing it over again I would go with the Dart block. In for a penny in for a pound! Scott
    Good to hear johnnybgoode!

  35. #35

    Aruba regular

    Quote Originally Posted by timsmitaruba View Post
    Ok guys...I decided to go with Mike Forte. Will be getting a Dart 427 with a TKO600. The street sounds in Aruba are about to change.
    Got a good feeling about Mike plus only heard good stuff so thats what made me pick him as my engine builder.

    Thx for all advise, truly appreciated. If anybody decides to visit Aruba don't hesitate to contact me.

    Tim
    I will take you up on your offer on our next trip. We've been vacationing in Aruba for at least 20 years. Long ago there was a biker club behind the La Cabana. It cranked out a lot of noise when all the Harleys were cruising along a boardwalk of sorts. I have not heard anything like that on the island for years.

    Rob

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by RobW View Post
    I will take you up on your offer on our next trip. We've been vacationing in Aruba for at least 20 years. Long ago there was a biker club behind the La Cabana. It cranked out a lot of noise when all the Harleys were cruising along a boardwalk of sorts. I have not heard anything like that on the island for years.

    Rob
    Hi Rob,

    Yeah I know what you mean, that place is long gone. Got replaced with a huge European style supermarket (actually pretty nice to be honest).
    But next time you plan to visit let me know, would love to have a beer with you and, if I received my kit already, turn some wrenches with you.

    Tim

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by timsmitaruba View Post
    Hi Rob,

    Yeah I know what you mean, that place is long gone. Got replaced with a huge European style supermarket (actually pretty nice to be honest).
    But next time you plan to visit let me know, would love to have a beer with you and, if I received my kit already, turn some wrenches with you.

    Tim
    Sounds good.
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  38. #38

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