Exorcising a '78

LILCBRA

I started this morning by knocking out some studs
10 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
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I'm still using a reman stock alternator using stock replacement components as far as the charging system is concerned, but I haven't added any kind of electrical load like a stereo amp or anything.

As far as the transmission is concerned, if you don't beat on it too hard it will probably be fine for a while. But when it comes time to rebuild it, it wouldn't hurt to upgrade everything.
 
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extra_stout

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Aug 27, 2018
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The T5 spec is with a different weight. I would not worry about the T5 tranny as long as you don't use drag radials. If you do something like this, I would upgrade first to a limited slip.
I have a pusher fan (because it is a 74 with diffrent positon of the radiator suporrt). I upgraded to a 130A alternator from a ford taurus. They are one wire, they are cheap and the should fit inplace of the old alternator:

You just have to swap the pulley. It is the same alternator that is used for all the 65+ mustang as "3G upgrade" only that it is affordable. ;-)
 

IICrew

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Thank you all for the advice. Sorry for the long post that follows.

I just have BFG's and open diff for now. Not super sticky. I will have a posi at some point but that is a ways down the road. Hoping the T5 lasts so I can upgrade the diff first. Well first in line after the front suspension. After rust proofing wheel wells. After getting the engine back in. After carpet. After alternator upgrade... ect ect. Yeah, hopefully it survives for a while.

Engine should be ready to pickup in a few days. Originally I was going to just mock everything up and drive it this summer but Covid19 and the engine coming back out for a rebuild changed those plans. The past couple weeks I've concentrated on the engine bay and chassis between the axles. I want to install the frame ties onto a finished chassis. The gas tank area is not holding up other progress so it's on hold until I pull it at a later date.

I scuffed the bottom, wire brushed the flaky rust. Then used alcohol to clean the chassis. I then applied corroseal. I was not 100% happy with my results. It did a decent job, 95% converted. I probably fudged something up prepping the surface. Even so, I never want to do this again. When I was younger I didn't mind but my body doesn't appreciate crawling around on the ground anymore.

So I did the next logical thing. I started the process over. I scuffed the surface again, hit the remaining rusty areas with the wire brush again. Purchased the $22 por15 kit. I did need a second 4oz can and the top coat. This was enough to get from the torque boxes to the front leaf spring mount. I used their cleaner, metal prep, the por15 then top coated it with their chassis black. It looks beautiful on jack stands. Hopefully it holds up for decades.

My other project was to get the rear sway bar off my doaner II. It has not happend. I hate taking anything off it to start with. It's just wrong to sacrifice her. It sits in my barn which has half concrete and half gravel floor. Anyway I found a bunch of gravel thrown near it. Looked like someone took shovels full of gravel and dug a hole next to it. I get the jack under it and lay down to assess the situation. Bolts are rusted solid. I hear a scraping noise behind me. I turned around to find why the gravel is not under the concrete slab. I have what may be a groundhog sharing my space and he was not happy with me disturbing his peace. lol He has a den under there with pool noodle fragments shredded all about. He is not in the car but right next to it. From what I saw of it he is somewhat bigger then a house cat. I only caught his eyes from inside his den. I don't want to kill him but he did not like me laying on the ground and having eye contact. He isn't hurting anything except my attempts to remove the sway bar. Which is rusted in place.

So, do I drag the car out from its hibernation, remove him or buy a new sway bar? Dragging it out entails needing my boys to come over and help after I get the red one running and out of the way. It's pinned in a corner now. I don't see the point killing a groundhog. I think he may be helping my mouse problem in the barn. If he starts causing problems I may have to remove him but for now he is safe. Being alone in the garage means I am leary of having my back to him, laying on the ground 2 feet away and using a cutoff wheel though.

Has anyone bought the Adcco rear sway bar kit? Anyone find another brand? I already have Stumpys traction bars which have the sway bar mount. Is there an advantage to going new with sway bars? The doaner has 80,000 miles. Is it likely to be worn like old springs? Can I justify getting a new one by saying the old one is worn out? Would I be justifying it or would it actually be an improvement over an ancient stock sway bar?

Ps, When por15 says wear masks and gloves they mean full head to toe tyvek suit if doing this laying on the ground. My wife laughed her ass off as I removed clothing to take a shower afterwards. It soaks through clothing very easily. Then will not come off. My back and arms look like me and the tattoo artist had a bad acid trip getting jail tattoos. My grey beard has dark black areas even with a respirator. On the bright side I dont have to worry about my arms or back rusting for a while.

Thanks again for the help and reading my ramblings.
 

LILCBRA

I started this morning by knocking out some studs
10 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
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I had a similar problem when I sprayed the underside of my car with POR15, though it sounds like I was covered a little more than you were. And I didn't have a beard back then. But I did have black freckles for a while. :rlaugh:

As far as sway bars go I wouldn't imagine a new one would offer any more of an advantage over an old one provided they are the same diameter. I wouldn't think that whatever torsional loads it receives would really weaken it like how a coil or leaf spring fatigues. If anyone knows more than that by all means correct me, but I think you'd be fine with an old one vs spending money on a new one. Now the end links and bushings are a different story..... by all means replace those. :nice:
 

IICrew

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The wife laughs and takes a pic of the top of my head yesterday. 3 Days post por15 debacle. Then shows me a pic of some guys bald spot with a huge black blotch of what looks like por15 on it. I am not sure what she is getting at by showing me some other guys bald spot but.... Ahh. :poo:. Morale of the story. Wear protection when using this stuff.

Looks like sway bar is back burner for now. The Addco one for cars without it from the factory says I will have to drill the chassis. I don't want to do that when the holes are already there for the factory one. Eventually I will take it from the other car.

Engine is back from builder and in my truck bed as I write this. Once the ground is dry enough I can get to my barn and temp gets back to a reasonable number final assembly and install begins. I am waiting on a couple odds and ends but hopeful it runs in the next week. It looks gorgeous in my red truck wrapped in a green tarp with a silver chain over it. Only missing the bow. Like Santas sleigh it even includes an old guy with a grey beard behind the wheel.

Engine guy said cylinder walls are sketchy. They turned out okay but he was not thrilled with the scratches that remained after honing. Already being .040 over boring was out of the question. Besides I wanted to save this block if possible. He was confident enough to put it together but said he wouldn't recommend another rebuild. Otherwise he was happy with the combo chosen. Everything went together nicely and he estimate well over 300hp. Said 350 or a little over was possible.

Inspect everything. I found the pilot bushing has wear marks like it's spinning in the flywheel and sticking on the trans input shaft. I was about to replace a new throw out bearing because of an occasional squeak when using the clutch. Now I think this is the cause. I used the pdf for the t5 swap specs and had it made of oil-lite at a local machine shop. Test fitting it now its looser in the flywheel vs sliding over input shaft. It should have been slightly bigger outer diameter and slightly larger inner diameter. Not sure where I am going with this or a fix yet but keep an eye out for it if you did the same swap.

IMG_20200508_160949131.jpg
 
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IICrew

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Engine is in place. Still needs plumbed, intake and water pump ect but the block is in place! I could not lift the damn trans myself or it would be bolted in too. Usually I do these as a unit but this time I was lazy and didn't turn the car around. I only have side access with the hoist so I planned on installing the trans and engine separately. Next time it's going in as a unit. Headers and all. That way is so much easier. This t5 is considerably heavier then my old f150 4 speed trans or I am just getting old. Tomorrow I will get the jack involved. After I clean the mess I made tipping the trans on its side.

Disregard the pilot bushing. I think it was installer error. I thought it was seated but after using the proper tool this time and smacking it firmly she is now seated.

I am doubting the hp estimate. The heads are nice but they are not ported. I should have asked him to gasket match but money was tight. The ports are nice and square but definitely could use some massaging for best flow. I am going to show the intake some love but I think 300 to 325 is probably closer to what it will have.

Didn't realize how blurry it was until just now but here is today's progress shot.

IMG_20200509_140446018.jpg
 

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
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Sucks getting old...I used to lay under the car and raise the tranny up and into the bell through the clutch into the pilot by hand.
Now I wouldn't even think about it. I'm using a jack for removal and install.
Cool to see you reviving another II.
 

IICrew

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It's mothers day so I only played around for a bit this morning. Trans is still sitting on the floor.

I have to say that fittings just suck. Change one thing and you need all kinds of different fittings. The fittings are as much as the bolts which are as much as the actual go faster parts. Then they are boxed wrong. I could get it running tomorrow but I discovered my 1/8 gauge adapter I ordered and waited a week for is actually a 3/8 in the 1/8 package so oil pressure gauge is inop for now. Can't start a new engine without that. None of the 4 heater hose barbs I have fit this intake. I don't want to reopen the cooling system and make a mess on the new intake so waiting again on parts.

Here is a clearer progress pic.

IMG_20200510_110607766.jpg
 

IICrew

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Transmission is in. One problem I had is the fill plug on the transmission is frozen. It was empty when I got it so I just poured in the right amount via the shifter. Since I spilled a moderate amount I wanted to top up and check level. That plug is so tight I'm afraid it will rip out the threads so I guesstimated and topped up via the tail shaft with a cardboard funnel.

I primed the oil system using an old distributor with the gear removed and hammering an impact socket and copper tab to the shaft. Then electric drill. Engine builder said it wasn't necessary but it was ohh so beautiful watching nice fresh oil pour out the sender hole. I had it hand tight waiting on fittings. The push rods having oil was nice too but making that first mess on a new engine is priceless.

I apparently have changed pulleys over the years. This engine spent some time in the 1990's powering my F150 and I'm guessing it was then. The new water pump and harmonic balancer had my belts out of alignment. Luckily I was able to find the old pulleys. Now my belts don't fit. Explains why I was having a hard time getting the right belts before. lol

Down to reinstalling rear shocks, mufflers and waiting on a new oil pressure gauge. I'm done with this one. I've ordered the 1/8 to 4an adapter fitting for my old oil pressure gauge 3 times from 2 different places and each one sent a 3/8 to 4an fitting. Two were packaged wrong and the last one was just wrong. This pandemic and living away from a decent hardware store sucks. It's ready to fire if I had an oil pressure gauge. I just don't feel comfortable firing it with just the idiot light. But..but... I ...Am.....Sooo.....Close...Yet Soooooo Far Away!!!
IMG_20200512_180947693.jpg

I just noticed the scratch. Haven't even gotten it off the jack stands. Damnit.

IMG_20200512_181004350.jpg
 

IICrew

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Still stuck in her stable but she is rattling the barn door trying to get escape her confines. I really like the idle of the xe268 cam. She sounds mean even with 25y/o el-cheapo mufflers. Timing was jumping all over according to the new timing light. It flashes anytime the clamp is closed. Even on vacuum lines, any wire or even just nothing. It's just flashes constantly anytime the clamp closed. Alas the new timing light is fubar so timing is a guesstimate at this point. grrrr.

Thought I was ready for a short test drive. Alternator doesn't line up yet but everything else was ready. Battery fully charged. Went through the gears. Dropped her off the jack stands. Rolled forward, all was well. Put in reverse to back out. Let off the clutch pedal and it stayed on the damn floor! I pulled the cable loose at the pedal but it's jammed. Hoping it's the cable but fearing it's the pressure plate. I had just dropped it off the jack stands after testing the clutch a couple times. It felt good then poof. Story of life though. All is well....then it isn't. lol

Tried to post a 22 second video of her idling but keep getting an error. Here is a consolation pic.

IMG_20200514_140518048.jpg
 
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LILCBRA

I started this morning by knocking out some studs
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You'll probably have to create a YouTube account and upload it there, then you can post the link. I don't think you can post a video straight to stangnet. :shrug:
 
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IICrew

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I think the defective timing light is the root of this round of problems. I replaced the clutch cable and clutch works. Old cable is frozen solid. Lasted 45 years but one engine breakin killed it. Looking around I found 3 spark plug boots melted. Brand new wires. Only ran for breakin and had a shop fan in front of engine. Temps climbed to 210 during breakin but I expected it to be warm sitting still and running at 2500 ish rpm for 20 minutes. I'm guessing the timing was too far off using the defective light and caused excessive heat in the exhaust? Which melted the clutch cable and wires? I ran these headers for years without spark plug boots melting.

I made it to the stop sign and back though! Ran okay but plug boots are already arcing. Timing still isn't right since I am doing it by feel. But it made it under it's own power!

I just placed an order for ceramic boot plug wires and a double grove alternator pulley to correct belt alignment and I may be set. Well until I actually drive it further then the stop sign to see what else is broke. lol
 
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IICrew

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Anyone installed the T top weatherstrip from Classic ? I just ordered it but wanted to get insight before it arrives. It replaces the chrome felt lined trim and I was curious if anyone here has experience with it.
 

IICrew

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Ran around the country block yesterday. Really nice to get her out but the to do list grows. It rides like :poo:. It puts off extreme heat. Trans pops out of 2nd. Brakes are perplexing. Exhaust scrapes the crown in some roads and all dips in the road. But man was it nice to finally drive her.

Real exhaust is first on the to do list. That doesn't fix the ride though. It is so harsh. It would be brutal for any trip. I have new kyb shocks all around but otherwise original v6 suspension. I've taken 160+ lbs off the front axle so I should be under the weight of the v6. The ride height is perfect. The ride itself is horrendous. The control arms are still on the to do list. It doesn't pop or klunk. Bushings are dry rotted but everything was tight. I replaced inner and out tie rod ends. None of my other II's have been this harsh. Do traction bars kill the ride quality? Frame ties make it stiffer but shouldn't destroy the ride. Correct?

She puts out some heat. I have the same headers and junk mufflers as before the engine rebuild. It's the same engine setup I ran in two other II's. One for 10+ years. Except the T5, engine rebuild, electric fan and new heads in a different body. So completely different but the same. lol.

So far I've driven 10 miles and melted the speedo cable, spark plug boots, clutch cable. The factory sound deadening on the floor under the gas pedal was smoky and gelatinous. The trans wire harness grommet was melting. Luckily I don't have carpet yet. Base timing is about 14 degrees. Engine temp never gets above 190 driving. I just installed the Accell ceramic boot plug wires but it's rainy so no test drive yet. I will get some heat wrap for the headers but am surprised by the amount of heat this combination has. I deleted the mechanical fan. The electric fan doesn''t come on until engine temp hits 190 but the floor was hot after driving and not just sitting. The speedo stoped working while doing 35 so air flow alone isn't the solution.

The T5 was $300. It pops out on decel all the time and on accel occasionally. I can hold it in 2nd on accel till it catches but holding the shifter on decel results in grinding. I will pull it again sometime but hopefully it lasts for a while.

All new brakes. 11" brake kit with calipers and rotors, Ranger drums, pads, shoes, lines, booster and master cylinder. On a previous test drive I had issues with the brakes grabbing so I made the push rod too short on purpose for now. Pedal is very low and the brakes still hang. After driving the 10 miles it stopped at the stop sign by itself. I just pushed the clutch in and she stopped. Rears were smoking once I got home. Today I ran the rear adjuster all the way in and drove another 10 mile lap. Rears were cool but the fronts are still dragging and very hot. It rolls fine when cold but even light driving for 10 miles it hangs. The pedal is so low I can't lock up the brakes but it still hangs. The only previously existing part is the proportioning valve. Can it cause these symptoms?

Probably the ghost of Henry pissed I used GM calipers. lol

Thanks again for any advice and reading my ramblings.
 

extra_stout

Advanced Member
Aug 27, 2018
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The T5 was $300. It pops out on decel all the time and on accel occasionally. I can hold it in 2nd on accel till it catches but holding the shifter on decel results in grinding. I will pull it again sometime but hopefully it lasts for a while.
I had the same issue. In my case the bellhousing was wraped. A friend milled down the plane where transmission attaches. How did I detect this? I did get a hint that the bellhousing alignment should be checked like this:
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/ctrp-0404-bellhousing-alignment/

You also need to check the parallelism (which was my problem) of the mounting surface, where the tranny bolts to. Like this:
8282359d1525789834-bell-housing-alignment-img_0073.jpg


I had a PDF where was everything described with specs, but I can't find it anymore... But all the tremec specs are similar.
 
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IICrew

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Slow but steady progress. Finally have brakes that wont overheat. I've taken 12 turns out of the push rod. It's basically bottomed out on adjustment. The pedal feels like it's on the floor but I can still get my other foot under the pedal when stopped. I can now drive without the brakes heating up and stopping the car on their own. I've adjusted the rears back up. I hate the pedal feel but they work.

What I've read it appears the 2nd gear up shift side teeth are probably damaged? I will just avoid downshifting to 2nd and make sure I am on the gas during up shifts. I am eyeing a new gear set or even replacing trans since I think first is geared to low anyway but other items are priority for now.

I still have factory front suspension other then tie rod ends and shocks. She needs control arms next. Sticking with stock I have to stiffen the springs. This is guess work and they will have to be shortened to get the ride height correct. With my luck that will be a disaster. Initially it will sit too high, then I will damage something taking them back out to cut. Then I will not be happy with ______. Then I buy a new set of springs again and start over. This brings me to my next round of questions.

Anyone running coil overs? Is the adjustability worth the cost? The uppers arms are reasonable @ $200 but the lowers are almost $400 then coil overs are $400+. That is a lot of cash for front suspension on one of these.

Here is one last clip of her before the new exhaust gets installed. As long as it stays dry here and fedex is on time that should happen tomorrow.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsViVxRu2Zo
 
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LILCBRA

I started this morning by knocking out some studs
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If you're looking to cut the coils I suggest starting around 1/2 - 3/4 coil. I ended up cutting about a coil or so out of mine and ended up perfect for what I was looking for, but it might be too much for you. In my case I had to remove the plastic fenderwell liners and had to bend the body seam that's spot welded behind the tire 90 degrees or the tire would rub. I also couldn't even remotely consider any different width of tire with my setup, it's damned close to the inner fender lip but doesn't rub at all. My fronts are 165-80/15.

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