Fresh Engine – Drive Car!!




Dans 1969 Mustang convertible project list
Frame Project Drivers Side Passenger Side
Remove Engine and Tranny DONE
New shock towers DONE DONE
Install new shock tower to radiator aprons DONE DONE
Install new front full frame rails DONE DONE
Install new seat pan rail DONE DONE
Install new Inner Rockers DONE DONE
Torque boxes DONE DONE
Toeboards DONE DONE
Paint Seat Pans DONE DONE
battery tray DONE DONE
battery hold down DONE DONE
Install Carpet DONE
Install seats DONE DONE
Detail Engine compartment DONE DONE
Engine Rebuild Project DONE DONE
Put Engine/Tranny in car DONE DONE
Drive Car, have party DONE!! Partied hard


Well I have been driving the car, still near the house and the idle has really been rough, surging etc. I tried adjusting the fuel mixture, timing, nothing would smooth it out so I decided to rebuild the carb. That was the best two hours an fourteen dollars I have spent on the car! The thing Puurrrrrs now. Idle is smooth, stable and has a nice deep rumble….I did not want to stop driving it tonight!

I did not rebuild the carb before as I was told it had been rebuilt before I bought it. Maybe it was, maybe it was not, it did sit for a year while I rebuilt the front end. In any case it is all straighten out now, it runs SAAAAAWWWWWEEEETTTTT. Temperature is better now too since I removed the thermostat, right where it should be.

This weekend I want to grease the front bearings, take a look at the oil level in the rear end, I never even looked at it. Now I have to force myself to stop driving it an finish up the seat pans and start making the interior nice.


I drove the car about 70 miles this weekend. Thats 50 more than my total miles since I owned the car..The short story is it drove good. I did have some issues though. I drove it for a while and it died. Turned out the battery was dead. I had never ran the car enough in the past to know if the alternator worked or not and I guess the answer is that it did not. So I put a new alternator and regulator and that fixed it up.

The car is running warm, this is expected with a new engine but it is running warmer than I would like, it is still in the safe zone but it does push the limit. I am going to remove the thermostat for a while until the engine is more broken in then put it back.

I took my son for a ride and he asked how come everyone was staring at the car, I told him it was because its a 69 convertible Mustang!!

For the first 25-30 miles I was so busy listening for any problems that I really did not focus on how the car drove, once I was satisfied that everything was working as it should I got on a straight road and took my hands off the steering wheel and believe it or not it tracked straight. Also I did some semi panic stopping to check out the break performance. It has drums all the way around but they actually work fairly well. You really dont have to apply a huge amount of pressure to stop. I had a 71 Plymouth Fury that had drums all the way around and it gave you a good workout.

I do have one tale of woe though. I had put $20 of gas in the car and figured that would be plenty to putter around my house. Well my cogitator did not take into account that gas is now $3.15 per gallon and that I was only getting about 12 miles per gallon as it was all stop and go city driving, you guessed it I ran out of gas. Fortunately it sputtered close enough to my neighborhood that I was able to pull in and park it.I then took the walk of shame back to my house for a gas can.

Over all I am very pleased, the car feels solid and drives nice. I still have details to finish and that will keep me busy for a while, Install carpet, finish seat pan installs, etc. Then I have to make it look as nice on the outside as it does under the hood. So the project continues but one major milestone is out of the way.

I put the seats in but I still have to finish the floor pan install and then put in the underlayment and carpet…then it will really come together. About 1 days work…..

I put on the new (used) hood. It was several colors of primer so I sanded it and primed it with hot rod black primer so it does not look to bad until I get to the paint job. I have a new trunk too.

Another view. I will post better pictures later.4/18/06



Engine in and DRIVEN!! Still some cosmetic work to do, Replace breather with a chrome one, replace heater hoses, clean up wiring a bit, new air cleaner ordered, engine decals. But it RUNS!!

Another view

Another view of new engine.

Picture of engine compartment BEFORE the rebuild

This weekend I buttoned up the engine and tranny started the engine and took her for the first test ride in a year!! Awesome is a good word….. Anyway to get to the details I finished hooking up the hoses, lines etc. I then primed the engine with oil by turning the oil pump with a drill for 30 seconds as per the engine installation instructions, made sure I had oil flowing out of the rockers, and the gauge worked. I then installed the distributor by looking at the rockers and making sure the #1 cylinder was at top dead center, seeing both valves were in the closed position (compression stroke). I positioned the rotor as best I could to make sure it was in the #1 position and bolted in the distributor. I then cranked the engine to with the starter to set the timing and assure that oil pressure built up so I knew I had engaged the distributor to the oil pump shaft. After that I tormented myself double checking that I had completed everything, checked the checklist for the millionth time and gave my friend the thumbs up to start her up while I monitored the engine for any odd sounds or explosions….as predicted by my 12 year old son. I put a little gas down the carb and told my friend to crank her up…..she sputtered a bit, but did not fire… I looked at things and put a little more gas down the carb, try again I told him. He cranked her over and some smoke came out of the exhaust followed by a really cool looking blow torch of fire out of the carb. Looked kinds like dragon breath. It only lasted an instant but it was cool, and was quickly followed by an I told you so from my son….

I then knew it was a timing problem so I set the engine to top dead center by pulling the #1 plug and placed my thumb over the hole. When it gets pushed off I know I am on the compression stroke and by dumb luck the timing pointer was EXACTLY at 6 degrees before top dead center…perfect. I took off the distributor cap and sure enough the rotor was pointed at the next cylinder to #1, so that was the problem. I pulled the distributor, moved the rotor shaft over 1 tooth on the gear and it was now perfectly pointed at the #1 piston. The excitement mounts.
A little more gas down the carb and cranked her again….SUCCESS, she came to life. A quick check of timing at idle speed and then ramped it up to about 1800 to 2000 for 20 minutes to break in the cam and engine. As predicted during the break in period it did get a little hot but not over heated, any time it got close to the hot line I hit the radiator with some cold water from a hose. This only happened in the first five minutes after that she stayed cool on her own. I then put the car away for the night to let the engine settle in.

The next day I could not help myself. I threw on the fenders with a few bolts, put the front end on…ok not properly but good enough and took her for a spin. I stayed in the neighborhood and drove a few miles. Everything worked great! She drove nice, steered straight, tight steering, shifted smooth, and had a nice deep note in the exhaust…….what more could I ask for.

After I got home I checked for leaks and levels and it was all good. I was careful and did everything I could to make sure there were no leaks but it was really a relief to see nothing under the car dripping when I parked it. I drove it two or three more times and there were no issues.

So now I want to get it REALLY road worthy, finished up some details and start driving it for real. Very soon, a month or so, comes a paint job which like everything else I will do myself and show you here. It’s a good day in DanLand!

What I got done
Drained fuel tank, install fuel line
Installed neutral safety switch on tranny
Installed tranny coolant lines
Installed vacuum lines



Worked on car installing accessories. Lots of little things done, cleaning pulleys and painting them, painting steering pump, alternator, etc, etc. hooking up wiring, double checking things. Looks like Saturday will be the big day I start the engine.

What I got done
Installed power steering pump
Finished carb install
Installed radiator/fan and hoses

Drain fuel tank, install fuel line
Install neutral safety switch on tranny
Install tranny coolant lines
Install vacuum lines



ENGINE AND TRANNY ARE IN!! I put them in today with my brothers help. We got it bolted still have to hook up accessories, fuel, exhaust etc…getting there..

Fuel pump installed
Alternator installed
Carb bolted in
Oil sending unit installed
Starter installed
Pre-lubed engine by turning oil pump crank with drill to check oil pump

Drain fuel tank, install fuel line
Install Power steering pump
Finish Carb install
Install Neutral safety switch on tranny
Install tranny coolant lines
Install vacuum lines
Install radiator/fan and hoses

Engine in with carb and some other parts on,

almost there

My brother helping me put them in

Hanging ready to put in car



Went to put tranny in, unwrapped it and guess what….wrong tranny! Took it back should have new one here friday.

Installed flywheel
Painted valve covers
Installed thermostat
Tried to install tranny…..very sad…….

Engine with painted valve covers.

Another view.



Did not get engine and tranny in. Engine work took longer than I thought but I was taking my time so that I got it right. It was a full days work. Heres what I got done:

Installed Oil pump and pickup tube/screen
Installed Oil pan
Installed Timing cover
Installed New harmonic Balancer – Had to buy a new one due to my not following directions and trying to get it off with a gear puller.
Installed Water pump
Installed Motor mounts
Painted Engine

The engine with a coat of fresh Ford dark blue paint. No I have not finished re-doing the valve covers yet, that is why they don’t have any paint on them. Just put them on the to paint engine and protect rockers. Note the new harmonic balancer.


Been working on the engine install. Got intake manifold installed on new engine, Actually I re-installed the old engine in the car to make triple sure that motor mount brackets would line up properly, I rebuilt the entire front end of this car and the measurements looked good but I did not want to have the engine an tranny hanging in the air and find out the mounts did not line up…I was worried for nothing, they are fine.

New engine and tranny go in tomorrow!!
Tomorrows the big day I plan to get buttoned up he new (re-manufactured) engine and tranny and install them in the car in the car! Engine has a 100,000 mile 5 year warranty and the tranny has an 18 month unlimited mileage warranty. So my 37 year old car will have a warranty….Wont have engine/tranny running but in the car, then I have to get fuel, exhaust, accessories bolted up and start her up. By next weekend for sure. So in a week and I half or so I will be driving my car again!!! Yee Haw!!

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