What an epic day down at Mustang Maniac yesterday, I was so chuffed I can’t put it into words. OK, that’s not strictly true as I’m gonna tell you all about it. So I knew this weekend was going to be a day where it could be possible to start my car in theory. I was going try to start the wiring up again in order to turn her over on the key. Adam just looked at Yogi and laughed with “don’t worry about that, it will start!” Slightly confused, I sort of guessed what was going to happen when Yogi got out his little box of tricks and made up a lead while I fitted my Replica Autolite Group 24 Battery to the tray. They said that I would need some fuel for the car and I was packed off with an old school Jerry can and my wallet. I guess I had better get used to this filling the Muzzy up lark! I was given directions on how to get to the petrol station which was only a couple of miles away, it didn’t go in so I asked again, to which Yogi just laughed. So of I went, found it after over shooting the turning. Now I am not saying this place is old school, but there was a hut between two pumps and the sign said “Service fill only.” The bloke came out and got the diesel nozzle out, “No mate – fill this up unleaded” as I gave him the loaned Jerry can. With the can filled up and returned back to the yard, all without a SatNav. Yes, I admit it – I’m useless with directions, so much so that the very first thing my wife bought for me years ago when we got together was a TomTom. To which she said to me “Now I know you’re going get home,” Yep, she can have that one, as I have genuinely got lost going home before now. Anyway, we got a funnel in the filler pipe of my car and poured some fuel in. We sloshed it around a bit by rocking the car and then lifted the car back up in the air and drained it out into a clear container to check the fuel. It was fine, clear with no debris in there. The fuel poured back into the tank. At the front of the car Yogi had now created his “Hot Wire” scenario and was ready to turn the car over. Now I could tell you how to start a car bypassing all the electrics on the car, but I won’t for obvious reasons, but it’s clever. Adam and I joined Yogi and he done his thing, the car turned over for a while until Adam and Yogi where happy there was no bad news noises on turn over. This was a very wise check to make sure the crank was not going to shatter or valves dropped on pistons etc. Adam now under the car turned the engine over by hand with a large ratchet to line up the TDC on the timing mark. Yogi then set the distributor shaft itself to where it should be, based on experience at this point of course. He then set up the wires to produce a spark and Adam pumped a little fuel in the carb and Adam now got to the front and was ready to adjust the timing on the distributor, Yogi spun the car over. The car turned over for a few seconds, she coughed and spluttered and fired up after a few seconds. The timing was adjusted by Adam and they wedged opened the butterfly on the choke to slow the engine down. She lives! The engine was shut down after a minute or so and a blur of hands worked over the engine to adjust things and tighten things up. Like watching synchronised swimming, but this was two guys saying only a few words and flurry of well rehearsed activity. The movement stopped, and the car turned over and she started up pretty instantly. This time the engine was getting quitter and was smooth, but that was the exact opposite of what was going on at the exhaust end. The burble and noise from those Flowmasters was fantastic as I now stood at the back listening to duet of exhaust notes and thunderous air vibration. The unique tone of my car was now heard for the first time, trying to take in the sounds played around my ears was incredible. The throttle was now starting to be pulsed by the guys, the exhaust note changing rapidly into a throaty bark. The timing light was now out and some very fine tuning was coming into play. Yogi was tweaking the carb and Adam was checking the fluid levels and making sure there were no leaks. The engine now slowed to an unmistakable throb of the 289 v8. Three blokes looked well chuffed as John and Chris popped over to see the action. The engine now stopped and quiet except for the ticking of the cooling engine filled the air, all I couldn’t say anything. I was ecstatic that the car fired up one step closer to driving her, and relief that my and the guys hard work so far hadn’t gone to waste. The road test will need to be done obviously, but for now – I was a little gob smacked and overwhelmed with excitement a milestone had been reached. So far so good.
The fitting of the last part of the fuel line to the carb was the “banjo”, this turns the direction of the pipe ninety degrees and an adjustable to the main fuel line. Yogi had set up the rubber hose ready for the fitting of the part. The filter from the carb was fitted into the end of the banjo.
The complete fitting was carefully lined up and tightened up to the carb, the angle of the pipe matched to the fuel hose. The hose was pushed on and tightened up.
Previously in the week the export brace had been fitted to the bulk head and the shock towers. Adam tells me that they used their custom-made conical fit bolts for the export brace, without having to file the holes square to make them fit. The bolts used are dome headed and stainless, not the nut and bolt of the original fitting and how they were then. These conical bolts fit into the standard holes and the tightening of the nut pulls the bolt into the brace tighter wedging them in so they don’t move. The result is pretty instant to look at and makes a big difference to the feel of the car. There is a common fault with fitting the export brace to a unstrengthened bulk head. The original export cars had a reinforced plate welded in place, this can be seen clearly on my car here too. The good news it that the brace fitted without need for cutting and adjusting to make it fit as some cars need. The reason is that those cars could have been in a little knock or “fender bender” and distorted the chassis. The work the guys had done on the jig was just perfect as always.
The guys left me to get on with the rest of the jobs under the hood, that was now to fit the wires to the oil sender, water temperature, electric choke and the ignition feeds to the coil, all can now be routed where I wanted them. But that was to be after a cup of tea, a few cakes and a bottle of chilled Dr Pepper. All these little jobs took longer than I thought they would, but who cares? My little lady is alive again and I still had that silly grin on my face. I have just got to say a big “Thanks” to Adam and Yogi for starting her up with me and showing me how to hot wire my car, just in case of emergencies of course. 😉
What an AMAZING day, thanks Mustang Maniac.
My car may well be at the Enfield Pageant of Motoring this coming weekend with Mustang Maniac’s other cars. It’s a great show so wander over and have a chat with guys. The details can be found at this link: