Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jason's Mustang Restoration Project - The First Ride(Part 5)


This is a set of photos showing some photos from the first day the engine ran, and my first ride in the Mustang.

January 26, 2002

Well, the final preparations for the first engine firing were finally done today. The transmisison is installed, and all the fluids have been filled, except for the trans which will need to be filled right after it starts for the first time.

We turned it over for the first time, and nothing happened. It didnt sound like it was getting any fuel. We used a special compressed air pump on the fuel line, and got the gas to finally come to the front of the car.

After a few more tries, and a little fuel dripped into the fuel bowl of the carburetor, it finally started!

It runs great. Sounds great, even with the open pipes. We filled the rest of the transmission fluid, and let it warm up. We could smell the paint on the exhaust manifolds burning away. There were no leaking fluids.

So then we shut it down, and put the car up on the lift. We installed the rest of the exhaust system, and started it back up.

For the first time, I finally hear what the car should sound like. There is nothing like that mid 60's Ford small block V8 sound.

I decided to go for my first ride. The car shifted into reverse for the first time in 20 years, and began rolling under its own power. I made it out to the street, and shifted into drive, and away I went!

I made it to the end of the block, and the car died.

Turns out that we blew so much fuel thru the lines at the beginning of the day that we ran out of gas!

So we got the first "doofus" out of the way too.

The results of the first drive were this: The car missed pretty bad when I gave it some gas, and clunked like heck on the way down the street.

It will need U joints, and a check to see if anything clogged the carb. We noticed fuel coming out of the vent over the fuel bowl, so there might be a little piece of crud stuck in the needle valve.

I will leave the car at the shop to let them work those things out.

February 2, 2002

This should have been a great day, but it turned out to be a pretty bad day.

The Universal joints on the drive shaft have now been fixed, and the exhaust system has been tweaked to keep it from clunking up against the undercarriage.

Whatever was stuck in the carb fuel bowl either dissolved, or got blown through, so there was no need to take it apart.

So I finally got to take the car for my first drive all the way around the block. The car ran pretty good, only missing slightly when the gas was pressed hard. I felt a little bit of good old American V8 acceleration down the back stretch, though I didnt really try to punch it too hard.

So I was very happy. Everything was working great!

I went back in and collected all the extra or old parts, my books, and whetever else I had there, and finally went in and paid for everything.

We got the car up onto the trailer, and strapped it down....

When I strapped down the front, I threw the loose slack from the long strap into the engine bay, and slammed the hood. I figured this would keep it from flapping in the breeze on the way home.

This was a bad idea, because after I left, I only made it about 3 blocks and the car slid right off the trailer!

When this happened, the car was still in park and it stopped right there in the middle of the street. The strap that had been in the engine bay somehow got caught on the upper radiator hose, and tore it off, along with a big chunk of the radiator. Antifreeze was all over the street.

I managed to push the car to the side of the street, and called my dad. He got there quickly, and we decided to just start the engine and drive it back up onto the trailer. It started fine, and made it back up there with no problem.

What I think happened is that the straps were just not tight enough, and when I went over the railroad tracks in downtown Des Plaines, the front hooks must have popped off. The next time I hit the gas a couple of blocks later, the car just slid off the slippery trailer (it was below freezing outside, and a little icy.)

I decided to just put more straps on (my dad had some extras at home) and just try to get the car home. I stopped 7 times in 20 miles to check the straps, and made it home with no further problems.

When I got home, I started it again, backed it off the trailer, and pulled into the garage. I cleaned up all the antifreeze, drained what was left, and checked for more damage. The upper lip of the radiator mounting panel was bent a bit from the strap getting torn out, but I was able to straighten it out for the most part.

I will probably need to readress this panel before the car is painted, to make sure it is all straight.

Since I was so bummed out, I never did get the camera out. I dont think I want to remember this day with lots of pictures... Oh well, I'm sure I will have it all fixed soon!

February 7, 2002

I was able to order replacements for all the damaged items this week from Mustang of Chicago, and picked it all up today. I reinstalled the radiator and upper hose and re-filled the antiifreeze. Nothing leaked, and it doesnt look like the fan is going to hit anything (which I was a little worried about.)

The new radiator is not quite original looking, but it is close enough for now. I will keep looking for one that is more correct, but there is no hurry at this point.

I will try to start the car this weekend when I can have a little daylight.