Project Pony Up has been progressing a little slower than I’d like. Largely because of time. Unfortunately that is how car projects nearly always seem to go. A job you figure will only take an hour to complete often times ends up taking most of the day. This is an important thing to keep in mind when starting such a project. I was hoping this project would only take about two months. Here we are nearly a year later and it is still far from done! In the past few months a lot of progress has been made. In the last update you may remember the donor motor and transmission had been removed from the donor car. In this update we will cover what we did to clean it, what gaskets we replaced, installing a front sump oil pump, installing a windage tray and t-pan, and restoring the valve covers.
When prepping an engine it is a good idea to do some detailing before you start dismantling it too far. This will help you inspect the condition of various parts on the motor as well as helping keep all your new parts clean. In this case it also helped pin point where the oil leaks were, and they were pretty much every where that they could come from. On this motor there was so much oil and grime on it I spent several days scrapping it off in chunks. After I got all I could with a scraper I used a foaming degreaser to coat the engine and let the chemicals in the degreaser soak for a while. Sometimes as little as 5 minutes and other times as long as over night depending on how caked on the oil was. This was done several times for several days before finally getting it all off. The upper and lower intake manifolds were sent to a machine shop to be hot tanked and media blasted. Since they will be front and center, they should look as good as new. At this point I removed the water pump, harmonic balancer, timing chain cover, and the old oil pan and covered the bottom of the block and timing chain with plastic bags as well as masked off the heads so I could paint the engine block. You can paint it what ever color you like but be sure you buy paint that can withstand high temperatures. I used black engine paint from Walmart. The same paint I used to paint the rest of the engine bay back in Part One.
Now that the block is painted it is time to convert the oil pickup and install the windage tray, both of which are easy to install. First you need to remove the old oil pickup by removing the two small bolts that attach it to the oil pump. With that out of the way you can install the windage tray. This install requires more attention to detail and following the directions exactly as they are printed with the tray. There are several different brands and styles of windage trays. A windage tray is one of the easiest power adders you can do. They are designed to keep oil from sloshing around in the oil pan and splashing on the crankshaft. With less oil splashing on the crank it has less resistance and it turns easier thus giving you a slight bump in power. Don’t expect to see huge gains though. To install this Canton windage tray its as simple as un-bolting four of the main cap bolts. Your tray should come with new main cap bolts designed for installing the tray. It is VERY important to keep things clean during this step. Torque the new main bolts to the specified amounts. The tray then slides over the new bolts and also gets torqued on. Before you tighten the tray make sure it clears the counter weights on the crankshaft by turning the motor over by hand (this may be difficult for some). Mine did not clear so we used some grade 8 washers as spacers. You can then install the new oil pickup in the same place you removed the old one. Make sure to use a new gasket.
Now you’ll want to replace the front main seal before putting the timing cover and water pump back on, both receiving new gaskets as well. You will also want to plug the old dipstick hole. Do this BEFORE putting the oil pan on. I learned this the hard way. There are several ways you can plug the hole. I tapped the hole and used an oil drain plug.
Installing the new oil pan is also an easy task. Using new gaskets and a gasket sealer (I used one called The Right Stuff) torque the bolt down to their proper specs. This Canton T-pan holds 7 quarts of oil, has baffles inside it to keep oil near the pickup at all times, as well as its own dipstick hole. You can also use a stock 289/302 oil pan but that would require drilling a new dipstick hole for the front sump pan.
The valve covers were then removed to inspect the valve train which looked fine and I actually found a nice surprise hiding under the covers in the form of Ford Racing 1.6 rocker arms looking pretty in blue. The old valve covers were in desperate need of attention. The black paint on the was wearing off and they too were coated in oil. After cleaning and sanding them they were painted using the same black engine paint used on the block. Once the paint dried, I elected to sand off the ribbed area of the covers so you could once again see the aluminum accents. They were reinstalled with new gaskets and gasket sealer. The lower intake manifold was also installed with new gaskets. The engine is now nearly ready to be installed in the car. All that is left to do is replace the rear main seal which cannot be done on the engine stand. Then the flywheel and clutch will be installed and paired with the transmission. The transmission and clutch will be the topic of the next update very soon and currently the plan is to install the drivetrain this coming weekend which will be the topic of yet another update! So keep in tune and watch for those in the near future, hopefully.
Photos by the Author