Exorcising a '78 Mach I {Formally Warning to reinforce your chassis }

MustangIIMatt

I need something stupid to play with
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Mar 7, 2002
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I was like that in the early-mid 90s. At one point I had 5 - it's an addiction I tell ya!! :shrug: :rlaugh:
I've had three, and twice had two at one time (the gold one's time with me overlapped my first one and the current one both).
 
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IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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I have had 7 over the years. $1500 is the most I have paid for any of them. At 17 I was looking for one with a friend. We ran across a '75 Ghia which I didn't want and kept looking. A couple days later my friend owned the Ghia. I was mad because he bought the same model I was looking for. Then when I found my 2+2 a couple weeks later everyone thought I copied him.

Both were white but he had the black vinyl top and black below the trim. Mine was the white rallye edition with no options. His sister fell in love with our cars so her dad bought her a red coupe a year later when she started driving. All were factory v8 with automatic. We swapped the rad4 into his so he could beat mine which led to dissapointment. He sold me the car shortly after when he blew it up pushing past redline. That is the manual setup I had in my cobra and now resides in the t top car with a t5. A few years later his sister was leaving for college and they bought her a new car so I bought her coupe.

All were daily drivers and gone by 1998. His Ghia never ran again. It had holes all over it. I pulled the transmission and sold it to someone making a drag car. They never finished it and she was smashed. I wish I had stripped the interior. It was loaded. The red coupe was kept original and sold in the early 90's to an older gentleman. I never saw it again but hope it is still running free somewhere. It was the most solid car of the bunch by then.

By 2001 I wanted to start on another but vowed it would be a loaded special car. Enter the t top I picked up cheap. It was a roller and had no options but t tops. I needed parts so I picked up the cobra, which needed parts so we got the Mach, which needed parts so we got the coupe. Health and family made this paragraph span 19 years but alas here we are. With 3 "parts cars." None of which I can part out in good conscious.

My poor wife. lol
 

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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I might add that I meant 5 at one point in time. I've lost count how many I've actually owned. I think the number is somewhere near a dozen. :shrug:
 

Rdub6

Mustang Master
Dec 29, 2017
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They jumped it off their favorite railroad tracks,

Lets see that sun roof.

3F8ABF70-1380-460F-8F0F-B6843BEC8049.gif
 
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IICrew

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Was close to firing her up today but usps screwed me over. The motor mount rebuild kit is lost for the time being. Tracking showed it at my local post office at 7:30 am. I live in a small town without mailboxes and they don't open the post office until 12:30p. I worked on her all morning and went to pick up my mounts at 1:00. They had forwarded them to another post office for an unknown reason by then.

She has new master cylinder, rear brakes as well as pads and calipers. Old front brakes were brand new but after 22 years sitting I don't trust them. So far the old brake lines are holding pressure. Driveline is installed. Engine is hanging in place ready for mounts. Old mounts are cleaned up and repainted. Just waiting on the kit. Then radiator and fan go in. Button up fuel and ignition systems. Mount PS pump and give her a go.

I bought a new brake booster for the t top car 6 months ago. Paid 99.99 shipped. I can't find one less than $300 with core charges now. I am trying to see if the engine, trans and electrical systems are good before I spend real money saving her. So I guess leg day is back on the schedule until I see if this engine and trans run.

Saw some seam sealer loose and pulled it off. Looked better with the scabs in place. Found big seams rusted in both wheel wells.The passenger rear is about 18" long. Drivers well is about 2 inches wide and 8" tall.
 
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IICrew

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Mounts are here but I don't have urethane to glue them. Wish that was listed as needed on the website. Has anyone not glued them? It's a mockup build and will come apart again so I am thinking slap them together for now and glue them later when it comes back apart.

Fuel tank was empty when I got her. Most likely evaporated over the years. Fuel line was capped off in engine bay. Line was clear running some air through it. Dumped in a couple gallons the other day and pumped it out yesterday. It was foul smelling, dark with small particles of black crap. Put another gallon of fresh gas in her, left it overnight and pumped it out today. Smells much better. Almost like fuel again! Will keep a clear filter for now and see what happens.

IMG_20200829_101745137.jpg
 

IICrew

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A radiator away from starting. I picked one up with the coupe and never paid attention. I owned a 75 and 76 yet it never dawned on me. Even moved it a couple times. Including a couple states away. Damn cap is in the hoses on a 76. Which I do not have.

Oh well. Next update will be in a few days. Hopefully it's running! Maybe even, dare I say! Driveable?
 

IICrew

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It was used to assist these damn headers into place this time.

I have had one set of what are probably blackjack or maybe hooker headers for decades. Bought new in '86 or so. They go in as a package with engine and trans easily. They are thin walled and rub the steering shaft unless placed just right and smashed a little. They hug the bellhousing tight. They are a rusty mess but still intact. They are easy to install. They are in the t top car now.

The coupe I bought came with a new set of hedman headers. They are heavier. Flange is thicker. They clear the steering shaft easily. Feel like a better quality part. They are a PAIN IN THE ASS to install. The one tube goes under the front cross member. Even though there is plenty of room for it to follow the other 3 tubes. You can see a clear shot instead of the one goofy under tube. They fit fine once in place. They will not fit as a package. They will not fit after engine is set in place. The engine has to be lifted and about 2 inches forward to fit. They probably need to be laying in the engine bay as the engine is lowered. Once in they look nice except that one tube. Cannot figure out what they are thinking doing it this way.

Ordered a cheap Champion radiator off Ebay. Hopefully it is a quality part. I usually wind up frustrated going the cheap route but cannot justify twice the price We will find out in a few days.
 

IICrew

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Fired up today! Have the wrong spacer for the Eddy carb causing a massive vacuum leak. The ancient holly wont idle. She did spit, sputter, shoot flames, smoke and roar with the open headers. Without a radiator or working carb that's all we got.

But she did fire up today!

The dome light wouldn't shut off. Traced to the hatch switch. The bracket that holds the trunk latch is torn from the body. Not the welds, the actual metal is torn where it meets the body on both sides. This body had a very rough landing. I want to get it inspected for the title then torn down and put off to the side for the time being. My son is not taking it well but the previous owner did a number on her.
 

MustangIIMatt

I need something stupid to play with
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Mar 7, 2002
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It was used to assist these damn headers into place this time.

I have had one set of what are probably blackjack or maybe hooker headers for decades. Bought new in '86 or so. They go in as a package with engine and trans easily. They are thin walled and rub the steering shaft unless placed just right and smashed a little. They hug the bellhousing tight. They are a rusty mess but still intact. They are easy to install. They are in the t top car now.

The coupe I bought came with a new set of hedman headers. They are heavier. Flange is thicker. They clear the steering shaft easily. Feel like a better quality part. They are a PAIN IN THE ASS to install. The one tube goes under the front cross member. Even though there is plenty of room for it to follow the other 3 tubes. You can see a clear shot instead of the one goofy under tube. They fit fine once in place. They will not fit as a package. They will not fit after engine is set in place. The engine has to be lifted and about 2 inches forward to fit. They probably need to be laying in the engine bay as the engine is lowered. Once in they look nice except that one tube. Cannot figure out what they are thinking doing it this way.

Ordered a cheap Champion radiator off Ebay. Hopefully it is a quality part. I usually wind up frustrated going the cheap route but cannot justify twice the price We will find out in a few days.
I've had Blackjacks and I've had Heddmans. I prefer Blackjacks for how they fit, hands-down, I prefer Heddmans for still being available?
 

IICrew

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The heddman headers will be in the coupe eventually. I will install them in a different order which will reduce frustrations. I am going to see about having the one tube re-bent. Other than that I like them. They sealed up pretty well. Definitely a better fit around the steering shaft. Much heavier construction although that may be from 30+ years of rust on my blackjack headers.
 
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IICrew

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I cannot decide what to do with this basket case so progress has been slow. In anticipation of stripping this car we picked up a cheap v8 chassis in much better shape. It had been stripped of interior and drivetrain as well as having a hodgepodge of body panels. It is straight except for an impact in the drivers footwell which bent the floor and put a small hole in it. It has minor surface rust here and there but was rustproofed and the chassis looks great. It was going to be the recipient of the Mach I parts.

I just cannot take any parts off the Mach I. I keep looking at the black ac dash and deluxe interior and wishing it was in my t top car. Damnit. I just can't bring myself to do it. Sigh. I think we are gonna put it back together and just cruise it around. One day it can be on a frame rack and have the tears repaired. For now it's gonna be made whole and able to putt around as a wounded survivor. We will just be gentle with her.

I primed it by hand. And primed by hand. And primed it by corded drill. Burned that drill up and tried another drill. It was struggling. All told this was over a few days to let the MMO work. I only have flow to 3 rockers though. I have 2 other long blocks that sat for years and they both primed fine by hand under a minute. I pulled the intake and timing cover to check for missing oil gallery plugs. They are intact. Oil is flowing to all lifters.

Engine is clean as a whistle though. Heads do look like they were redone. All the gaskets look newer. None I have taken off are stock gaskets. There is Ford blue overspray inside the heads. Timing chain is really stretched though. Lifters look like they have minor wear and appear newer. Cam gear looks like it has no wear at all. I think they replaced the cam and redid the heads. Then put them on an existing long block? Just doesn't make sense to reuse the timing chain.

I gave up priming and did a no-no. Put it back together and ran it to see if hot oil under pressure would help. I hand oiled the rockers without flow. Engine has good oil pressure. 55psi. It sounds great. Idles smooth. No unusual noises. I started panicking when it got to 160 degrees and shut it down. So off with the intake again. New lifters will be installed. Fingers will be crossed. Probably be a week or so to get it done. Maybe next week she can be test driven.
 

IICrew

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I wound up replacing the lifters. I took a couple old ones apart but could not find any blocked passages. I could not get them to oil correctly. I installed a used lifter from another 302 laying around here and it oiled up fine via priming. I did notice the used lifter did not pour as much oil around the lifter bore though. The hole in the side was slightly lower on the replacement as well.

So I picked up a new set of them. Oil comes out the bore but not nearly as much as old lifters. Oil is flowing up to the heads as it should now. Could these lifters be undersized? Were they the wrong ones from the rebuild? The oil hole is about 1/16 inch lower on the new ones. Would make a difference?

Supposedly the engine was rebuilt and broken in but never driven. The timing chain was stretched so I am doubtful. It does have a mild lope so maybe they replaced the cam and heads but reused the rotating assembly and timing chain? Who knows.

Performed the break in procedure. Changed oil again and ran her around the block. It runs good. Kept rpm's low due to open headers and neighbors. Speed was kept down due to tires and alignment. She pours p/s fluid. Heater core leaks. Don't have vacuum booster hooked up yet. Bounced over bumps. Rattled like a gaggle of witches on Halloween.

But.... It rode nice and smooth. Shifted through all the gears. Stopped when I applied the brakes. And... And.. Made it back home !!!!!!!!!
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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Thats good stuff, the videos are fun thanks for sharing.