Project: Pony Up -Part One

By | July 20, 2014

Project Pony UpAt the end of May we introduced the project series, Project: Pony Up.  This series will follow a 1967 Mustang getting a 5.0 V8 and T5 transmission swap among other things.  The car will eventually become a daily-driven track stallion but on a college student budget so we will be taking things slowly and one step at a time.  The first step will be prepping the car to receive the 5.0 and T5 by removing the old engine and transmission as well as cleaning up the engine bay.

photo (4)Removal of the engine isn’t as difficult a task as it seems.  In vintage Mustangs it is actually quite simple.  First, unhook the battery and remove all the accessories such as the alternator, radiator after draining the coolant, and if applicable the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor.  We also drained the oil to reduce the risk of a mess.  Next, remove the carburetor and intake manifold.  Removing these parts and accessories will give you more room to work with to get the motor out.  Remove the headers/exhaust manifolds.  Then jack up the front of the car and put jack stands under it so you can remove the starter and unbolt the bell housing.  It is possible to remove both the engine and transmission together but it much easier to do it separately.  Lower the car back down and put the jack or some blocks under the front of the transmission to support it once the engine is out.  All that remains is hooking up an engine hoist and leveler to the engine using the corner bolt holes on the cylinder heads.  Attaching the leveler to the corners helps with stability.  Unbolt the two bolts in the motor mounts and carefully lift the engine out of the car.  You’ll want to have an engine stand ready to hold the motor for you while you rebuild, sell, or keep the motor.

The next step is simple but at the same time challenging.  Now for the transmission.  Unhooking it is the easy part.  There are four bolts at the back of the driveshaft to unhook it from the differential and then it will slide out of the transmission.  It is heavy so an extra set of hands is advisable but not a must.  Remove the two bolts in the transmission crossmember and slowly lower the jack keeping it as level as you can.  This will minimize making a mess with the transmission fluid leaking.  Once you have it on the ground you will need to jack the front of the car up again to get it out from under neath the car.  We recommend placing a sheet of plywood under the transmission before removing it to make it easier to pull the transmission out from under the car.  All of this can be done in just a few hours if you are experienced but if this is your first time plan for a full day just to be safe.

Project Pony UpNow that the drivetrain is removed, it is a good time to clean up the engine bay by sanding it and repainting it.  This step isn’t necessary but highly recommended and will save you the time and hassle of not having to remove the engine again to do it.  In this car there was 47 years of gunk, crud, and road grime that had built up and needed some serious elbow grease to remove.  If you have the means to do it you can have someone professionally sand blast it for a reasonable price but we decided to do it ourselves mainly due to the lack of a way to transport the car.  If you do it yourself, a degreaser, wire brush, and a scraper will be your best friend.  Once you scrape it all off use 200 or 220 grit sandpaper and sand it down smooth.  You can spend as little or as much time on this as you’d like but just know you get what you put into it.  During this process we worked around the brake lines but removed and clips and wiring that would be in the way.  We also removed the battery tray which will have to be relocated depending on how you route the intake tubing on the 5.0.  We will be moving the battery to the back to aid weight distribution.

Project Pony UpNext comes paint.  This is another area you can spend as little or as much time as you want on.  You even have the choice of spraying yourself or paying someone to do it for you depending on the quality of finish you want.  Since painting the whole car wasn’t in the budget and this car will be used instead of being a trailer queen we did the work ourselves.  Perfection wasn’t the name of the game but we still wanted a nice looking finish.  After masking off the body, covering the brake master cylinder and the steering box we shot a single coat of good ole Rustoleum black semi gloss spray paint.  Two cans was sufficient to spray the entire engine bay.  We also sprayed the radiator support, motor mount brackets, engine crossmember, steering column, and wiper motor.  The old radiator hoses will be replaced and eventually the ugly, rusted master cylinder will be replaced with an aluminum one but more on that at a later date.  For now, the car is about ready to receive the new drivetrain.

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