The weekend was a strange experience for me as I didn’t get to walk into my garage and see my car there. It is of course in the safe hands of Mustang Maniac in their panel shop. I got up and got ready to go in record time, packed some overalls and tools and took myself off to see the guys. All the way down there I had a silly grin on my face knowing full well I was going to get covered in various lubricants that were leaking from my car if any was still in it that is. On arrival I was speaking to Adam and catching up with all things Mustangs, I was shown new parts that I decided I was going to have along with other parts I was going to get a bit later on. I just have to get this minor detail cleared with the accounts manager, my wife first though. I would like to point out that I was given permission to work with the guys and this is certainly not a normal practice. I just wanted to help get the gearbox, and/or engine out, just so that I can be a part of it all. Adam knows about my blog and has made the kind concession for me. I got changed and ready to go. I was told the procedure to remove the main parts of the car; the prop shaft, gearbox and then the engine, not forgetting all the other attachments between them.
I set to work straight away by getting the car up on some nice big high axle stands, I got my tools out and started to remove the radiator, alternator and starter motor.
Next up was the prop shaft which I have started a renovation guide here, or can be found under the Photo Menu – Gearbox & Prop Shaft – Prop shaft renovation.
Working on the engine I was to remove the headers to make room for the next part I wasn’t looking forward too, the transmission cooling pipes that run from the gearbox to the bottom of the radiator. The headers were not bolted in correctly to the block and the dark black soot on the header pipe end itself proves the point. The gasket fell apart as the pipes were removed as well.
The radiator, starter motor and cooling pipes removed, the transmission pipes are now scrap due to the poor amateur installation of the gearbox. You can just about make out the rubber hose on the ends on the transmission pipes.
Terry told me what to look for and a gave me the specialist tool to get to the connections. But what I found was a common botch job, the pipes had a hacksaw taken to them and fitted with a bit of fuel pipe hose and a jubilee clip each end. The botch job is to make it easier to remove the gearbox and refit it, obviously these people didn’t know what they were doing. This saved using the specialist tool as the rubber pipes had perished and now I could see where the leaks were coming from. All the cables, such as the speedo, kickdown throttle linkage, shifter rod, neutral safety switch, hand brake etc were all removed to allow the gearbox freedom of movement. The flywheel and torque converter were undone and the converter was bushed into the bell housing to make the separation easier. The bell housing bolts and support brackets for the gearbox were removed once the weight of the gearbox was taken up underneath as the gearbox and engine were separated. The gearbox was lowered down and moved to the side away from the car.
I have a renovation page for the gearbox process too under Photo Menu – Gearbox & Prop Shaft – Gearbox Renovation or click here for the quick link. All sounds so simple or so it seems, what took me all day takes the guys a matter of hours. I think I held them up a bit!
I would like to say a big “Thanks” to Adam, Terry, John and Al for helping me out and their invaluable guidance. It was an experience and I am grateful for the knowledge overload that came my way. This type of work I couldn’t do at home as I simply don’t have the heavy gear to do these jobs. I was right about one thing though, I was smothered in all sorts of grime, so the intentions to take photos of all process didn’t really happen from the transmission lines onwards as I didn’t want to drop my camera. But, I have taken some photos under the Photo Menu and I am sure there will be many more to follow. The next time I looked outside it was dark so I reluctantly called it a day, in fact, I called it a very good day. I drove home feeling as though I had achieved something big from my point of view. I am sure there will be more days to feel like I’m sure. I was a happy chap knowing the work I was doing was being aided by the guys who really knew what they were doing.
Oh, remember that daft silly grin I had on the way down there? Well it just got a whole lot bigger all the way home. 😀