1990 mustang treated badly, needs restore engine upgrade

Waggellum

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Oct 5, 2019
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Hi Everyone, I'm new to the forum! I bought my mustang gt in 1990 brand new in Taylor, MI when I was 20 yrs. old. I drove it 10 years and was not kind to it, lazy about oil changes, even ran out of oil once (you can judge me, was not the most responsible back then). Fyi I had an accident 1992 when hydroplaned and smashed the rear end into a guardrail, dealer did a crap job repairing it. For the last 20 years it has sat in my garage. About 10 years ago, it stopped starting and has not moved. I am now older, have more time, and think I can restore it (LOL, maybe...).So your first question will be, how good of a mechanic am i? I was a good helicopter mechanic in the Marines for 10 years, so I know my way around tools and principles, but dont know my way around cars. So, where to start? I suspect it no longer starts because of the electric fuel pump in the gas tank (it doesn't whine anymore). Should I get a new engine because I ran it without oil? The rear main seal has leaked ever since the accident...I have a budget of about 6k.
 
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Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
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I’d assess the damage to the engine once you get it started. I my youth I had buddies run their engines down without oil and just top it off and keep going.

I’d address the fuel issue (make sure it’s not the relay under seat. Test for power at the tank when you cycle the key) and get the car running. Then check oil pressure and compression.

Also post pics
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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10 yrs even in a garage I would start with removing the fuel tank, inspecting and replacing the pump and filter. Blow out the fuel lines, fresh gas, oil and filter. I would prime the engine just to get the oil circulated through the engine, fresh plugs and new plug wires if needed. But that's just me, I'm kinda weird.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Some of us were young and dumb at that age too. I did some of the same things you probably did like not changing the oil regularly - and I've always considered myself a car guy! Age and experience shows us the error in our ways.

Mechanically, your engine is probably alright. But as was already stated, you'll want to double check the overall health of it. One thing off the top of my head, since you mentioned that it's been sitting for the last 10 years or so, is you'll probably want to change valve stem seals. And you've already mentioned your rear main seal leaks. I think if it were me I'd tackle the obvious problem of getting it started again. It's most likely the fuel pump just because it's been siting so long, but the relay can never be ruled out. Also, if you haven't yet, check the safety breaker located somewhere in the rear of the car, probably behind the tail light panel. Sometimes that can be tripped and you may not realize it if it's been sitting for a while. And of course, change the oil and all of that fun stuff and see if you can get it running again. Then, after it would start and run and after assessing what it needs (rebuild, reseal, etc.), I'd tackle those issues.

And since we're basically neighbors, let me know if you need an actual hand with anything. My car projects are on the back burner for a little while since I'm in the middle of a remodel. I can usually free up some time if/when it's needed.
 

Waggellum

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Oct 5, 2019
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WOW - I am ecstatic! That's fantastic, thanks!!!! That's exactly what I was looking for! It has 145k miles on it. I'll work on those things over this month and get back to you - I'm sure I'll get stuck somewhere - thank you for offering to help as we are neighbors. This is really great - I very much miss driving this car (older and sentimental I guess, lol). PS - everything in the car is all original, except the accident damage repairs to the hatchback, resend. It is has been down south (NC, GA) since I bought it - never kept in Michigan, so rust shouldn't be an issue.
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Waggellum

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Oct 5, 2019
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Kennesaw, ga
So I have my list from Karthief, Mustang 5lS, and LilCBRA. I will let you guys know in a couple weeks where I am at and what I find. I went ahead and ordered a new tank, pump, filter, valve stem seals. Never primed an engine, hopefully it's on youtube. I did check the relay, and breaker years ago. Really appreciate all the info, if you think of anything else, please post - I will check daily. Thx!!
 

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Priming the engine with oil really isn't too big of a deal. You just need to find yourself a piece of 1/4" hex long enough to engage the oil pump while you have a drill attached. Pull the distributor, install the long hex in place of the pump drive shaft between the distributor and pump, run the drill for a bit, pull it back out and reinstall the pump drive shaft and distributor. Walla - engine oil has been primed! :nice:

Here's a quick thread concerning that subject:
 

Waggellum

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Oct 5, 2019
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Excellent - I can do that! New tank and pump will be here by next weekend - will let you know how it goes. Pretty straight forward on youtube LMR channel.
 
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