I'm starting at the front and moving toward the back. I'll finish removing the panels and hood from the front and pull the motor and transmission.
When my father passed away, the car was used a few times then sat stored for the next 10 years. I recovered the car in 2010 and brought it back to my shop awaiting retirement and the time to restore it for my son to fulfill his grandfather's promise.
Back to Work on the Mustang
I stripped down the engine to prepare it and the transmission for removal. All the accessories, wire connections, hoses and linkages should be removed.
Don't forget to bag and tag everything you remove from the car. Most restorations take several months and some take years. Bagging and tagging parts keeps them organized so that the reassembly goes smoothly. Also take pictures of the disassembly. It's easy to forget how something goes back together.
Inspecting the Engine
After removing the transmission, torque converter and flex plate; I mounted the engine on a stand. I'll clean as much sludge as possible and start the teardown. With the engine disassembled I will inspect the block and rotating assemble to determine if the engine is worth rebuilding or if it is more economical to replace it with a crate engine.
Restoring the 1964 1/2 Mustang
The data plate shows that the car was manufactured on the 23rd of April, 1964. As an early production Mustang, it was equipped with the 260 V8 engine, automatic transmission, and a 3.00 to 1 differential. The blue paint code is a one year only color (Skylight Blue) and was limited to the 1964 1/2 production cars. It was built in Detroit and shipped to the Louisville distribution center.
After removing the valve covers it became obvious that regular oil changes and proper warm ups weren't part of this engine's history. There will be sludge build up on most old engines but this looks excessive.
Loaded up the Mustang and trailered it to the Roadster Shop to be digitally scanned for one of their SPEC chassis. I also visited Midcoast Performance in Pacific, MO for their advice on an engine and transmission combination. Because the restored car is for my son in Dallas, TX and I am in southern Illinois, I need the car to be as reliable as possible, easy to maintain, with good parts availability. So, I am now considering a Ford Coyote engine/transmission package with an electronic controller. The problem is that adds a lot of expense to the build up front.
I picked back up the disassembling process to get the Mustang ready for media blasting. I also visited the Roadster Shop in Mundelein, IL to looked at their SPEC chassis. My thinking is; the chassis has the improved suspension, brakes, steering, and body stiffing already installed rather than weld in subframe connectors, cut out the original front suspension and install an upgraded IFS package, install disk brakes, install a 4 link rear suspension, etc. and will cut a significant amount of time out of the restoration process. My goal now is to completely finish the restoration by June 2020.
This is a closeup picture of connecting rod journal on the crankshaft . It shows the scaring where the base material on the insert has damaged the journal. For the crankshaft to be reused, it would have to be reconditioned by resurfacing the damaged journals and undersized inserts which match the amount of material removed from the journal used on the rods and mains. If the crankshaft had only normal wear, the journals could have been cleared by polishing with a fine abrasive.
This is a picture of the rear main bearing journal on the crankshaft and the number 4 and 8 connecting rod journal. It shows excessive wear where the base material on the insert has scared the formerlly polished main bearing journal and rod journals. .
Evaluation of the Engine
This is a picture of the number 3 main bearing insert which is the thrust bearing on the Ford 302engine.The thrust bearing controls the fore and aft movement of the crankshaft and keeps it centered in the block. While the main bearing part of the insert is not excessively worn, the thrust areas on the sides of the insert are worn down to the base material showing excessive wear.
This is a picture of the number 1 main bearing insert. It shows excessive wear. In fact, the bearing material is worn through and the base material is exposed.
One of the first signs of wear you'll see when disassembling an engine is the ridge left at the top of the cylinder where the rings top out at the top of the piston stroke. If there is excessive wear, the ridge will be tall enough that the pistons cannot be removed without cutting the ridge down due to the top compression ring hanging on the ridge. The picture on the left show a cylinder after the ridge was cut to remove the piston. The picture on the right shows the combustion chamber side of the head with the valves exposed. There is quite a bit of carbon buildup which occurs when oil is drawn into the combustion chamber. This can be caused by the rings being worn to the point that they lose tension and allow oil to pass by the compression rings. Another cause can be worn valve seals which allow oil to be drawn in on the intake stroke around the valve stems. Valve stem seals don't usually fail all at the same time, so this appears to be caused by poor ring sealing.
My father was a used car dealer in Georgia. He bought this '64 and 1/2 Mustang convertible in 1972 out of a junkyard with no engine or tansmission for $50. He installed a Ford 302 engine and transmission from a later model Fairlane and drove it for the rest of his life. When my son was a small boy he couldn't pronounce "convertible" and call the Mustang the "vertical". My father the used car dealer was on the verge of selling the Mustang and called to tell me what a good deal he was getting. My son got on the phone and told his grandfather, "please don't sell my vertical". He kept the car and promised to give it to my son when was old enough to dive which he never did.
A good shop crane or overhead hoist is necessary. Because I am doing this alone, I used a crane with an adjustable sling that allowed me to tilt the engine down in back and remove the engine and transmission as one unit.
This is a picture of the number 1 main bearing journal on the crankshaft. It shows excessive wear where the base material on the insert has scared the formerlly polished main bearing journal.
The end result of an evaluation of an engine for rebuilding depends on several factors, foremost of which is the value of the engine and its contribution to the value of the car being restored. If the car being restored is numbers matching and the original engine is still with the car, it is economically feasible to go to extraordinary measures to preserve the integrity of the numbers matching car. In some cases the engine may be a very rare type that adds value to the restoration in its own right even though it may not be the original engine. In this case, the Ford 302 engine is not the original engine and the Mustang is not a numbers matching car. I will put together a spreadsheet with the cost of all the replacement parts required to rebuild the 302 engine and the cost of the machining of the block which will be extensive...then compare that with the cost of a crate engine. Crate engines can be attractive in the case where the original engine is not available due to the guarantee most come with and the labor savings due to their ready to install state.
I finally retired, got the shop set up the way I want it and was able to start the restoration. The car was put together with junkyard parts over 45 years ago and was kept running with cheep aftermarket parts and more junkyard parts...everything about it is worn-out. So, this will be a complete restoration and will take a little time. The good news is it was never out of the South and has not ever been on a winter snow covered or salted road. It does have all the normal rust spots that the convertibles are vulnerable to due to rain and washing water pooling in some of the body areas.
After the transmission tail shaft cleared the firewall I was able to level the engine and lift it over the core support.
Copyright © Jack Pledger