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.
clamps in place
exposed braket to diff
prop in back of gearbox
full prop removed
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.
chassis bracket bolts & gearbox
gearbox out 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. 😀
I am going to slightly bend a little unwritten rule I have set myself on my blog, I was never going to talk about religion or politics. The reason being I will invariably upset somebody which is not my intention at all, and I am trying to remain neutral, but this story needs to be told. Is the story good enough to warrant the bending of my little rule? I hope so, but you can tell me. Take this little story in the good nature it’s intended.
Before I get going I must say; I couldn’t care less about what religion you are or not as the case may be, and I couldn’t less care who you vote for. Your opinions and beliefs are yours, and it’s not for me to judge.
The date was a Saturday, the wife has taken the mother-in-law out shopping, and I am happy, time with my car. The weather is cold, but I have that sorted; t-shirt, jumper, coat and a Snap On winter hat (this hat looks a little like a dear stalker, or a WW2 fighter helmet). The hat is warm and even has little flaps by the ears that you lift up so you can hear better! (Make a mental note here about this hat.) Ok, so I may look like a tool, and I don’t mean like the tools in my Snap On tool chest either. But, my head stays warm and I couldn’t care less about what anybody else thinks about it. If you don’t like it – don’t look at it. Simple, yes?
So there I was I took out my tools to the car that’s in the garage and had lots in mind that I wanted to do. I was going to remove the brake booster, reservoir pot, as the bad weather has caused some surface rust to reappear again. After that I would take the slow punctured wheel off to get it repaired. As the car is in nose first and tight against the wall it’s a job to move around it. The situation was playing havoc with my mind, I wanted to push the car back, but I can’t because the tyre is flat, I can’t get the wheel off as it’s close to the wall. Not ideal but I will think of something, I usually do.
The brake booster is located in the back right hand corner of the engine bay as you look at it, directly in front of the driver on the fire wall. The sockets, spanners and ratchets were taken to the corner of the garage and I shoe horned my self between the gap of the fender and the wall. I’m not a little guy, 6′ 4″ tall and best part of 18 stone, such manoeuvres require military like planning to make sure that once I am in place everything is to hand and wont have to keep getting in and out. Spanners all lined up like soldiers, socket tray and ratchets all placed on my fender covers. An old towel was placed on the cowl to stop damage to the paint and rolling around. I undone the main brake line that comes out from the booster to main splitter, and the vacuum hoses. Two bolts hold the reservoir in place, this was removed with little effort. I was bending over and had a little torch to see what I was doing, as all good mechanics will tell you the way to hold a torch is in your mouth when in tight places. The brake booster is held to the firewall by a bracket that in turn is held in place by four screws behind it. To get to this bolts require yoga type positions where your wrist has to be virtually dislocated to get to one of the bolts at the bottom, it’s always the last one as I found out before, so I done this one first. The other three are fine to get off and easily accessible. Bolts off and stored on the fender guard. The next part is awkward. The brake pedal linkage is connected to the back of the booster via a small shaft and a safety clip at the end. This is slid between the mounting bracket points that has holes cut out in order to remove this bar and pin.
Picture the scene, I am now bend right over the car, the hood is up and I am wedged in the small gap that I can get into. The torch is in my mouth, the long-nosed pliers are in hand and the brake booster is in the other hand. The hat is on, I am gently maneuvering the booster around to take the weight off the locking pin, there is crunching on the gravel driveway. It’s the postman I assume, I am expecting a magnetic torch to be delivered for the very reason. I’m OK for now, it can wait. The pliers move in for the kill, they grip the exposed end of the clip, I start to pull it up. I’m murmuring to myself about how the clip does not have a father at this point, it was particularly difficult at the time. More crunching on the drive, the postman is going. I pay no attention. The pin is free and I am taking my time. “Heeellooooh, are you there” and a banging on the trunk of my car with a hand.
Two things I have an issue with here: One, of course I am here, I am wedged in a small place with torch in mouth. Two, somebody is touching my car, you weren’t invited to do so. I could assume, that me banging on you head with my 1/2inch spanner will not cause you to complain either. My car doesn’t look much at the moment, but neither does a Ming dynasty vase look brilliant, you don’t go round banging them either.
As I was taken by surprise I jumped, my body tells me to straighten, fine it responds. My head is now slammed into the hood by the hood spring, with the expletives that our fully flowing now, just like the blood from my left hand finger which was now jammed in the booster mount. The torch has dropped and has made a few clattering noises on the way down to the garage floor, the pliers have followed suite by lack of grip and the safety locking clip has now made a gentle tinkle to somewhere in the black hole void of the engine bay. I was not happy! In the process of me trying to emerge are as gracefully as possible I forgot the spanners were there and knocked a few of them onto the floor as well. Now I am seriously unhappy. Standing up straight I now, my hat is on the skew and almost have the ear flap covering my right eye like some sort of hairy eye patch. There at the end of the car was a bloke in his mid fifties standing on tip toe swaying trying to get a good look at me, he looked like some drunken Meerkat waving a sheet of paper at me. “Can I interest you in this leaflet, have you asked yourself some of these questions?” He got a response alright, I advised him that from thirty odd feet away I can’t read his leaflet and I don’t wanna read it. I was more concerned about stopping the blood pumpin’ out of my finger so I can straighten my hat. He did look a little bemused as to why I was a little curt with him to say the least as I was straightening my hat up. There was a cold frosty few seconds were the cold lifeless stare of man should be enough to say, time to leave. Metaphorically speaking, tumble weeds rolled across between us, he said “Oh, OK I will leave it here for you”, with that put it on the trunk, gave it a little pat like some obediant dog and scampered off. Now I am mad. He touched the car again, and I had to find the bits. The torch was easy, that fell straight down and was still on. I managed to sort of slide down the wall sideways on and reach under to retrieve the torch. There are now light teeth marks in the torch rubber, if it were a steel one I would have sent the bloke the bill to have my teeth capped, I swear I would have chipped them. So now I had to look for the bolts and most importantly the clip. I could see it, right in the corner of the engine bay on the chassis member. I couldn’t reach it so I had to go and get the magnetic extendable pick up tool. That could wait for now. So I resumed the new yoga position (that I just invented) called Mustang Forward Crane Position, this involves said maneuver before, butt pressed against a wall, bent over at the waist, arms in some weird position and your head jammed against a hood spring, but with an additional forty-five degree body twist to one side to get the locating bar out of a Brake Booster and pedal linkage. A couple of minutes later it was out.
I took the reservoir and booster back to the man cave, got the magnetic pick up tool and went back to the engine bay, only stopping to pick up the leaflet from the Jehovah Witness. To be fair if he had have been five minutes later there would be no issue. I would have politely declined his offer. I am not saying what I did with the leaflet, but I suddenly remembered that I must put the recycling bin out. The pick up tool was able to get the nuts and the locking pin fine. The tool seems like a luxury, but in this case I was glad I had one. The wheel came of no problem and the car is now sitting on an axle stand until the tyre is fixed. Erm, that also reminds me, I must give Will a call to let him know it’s on its way. Lol 🙂
So, does religion and Mustangs mix, not with me they didn’t, on that occasion anyway.
That was my story, I hope it was worth reading, as the whole thing is absolutely true. The hat? If it weren’t for my Snap On hat I would have had blood coming from my head as well, due to location of the newly defined yoga position.
Review of Tuff Stuff Alternator
I have reviewed the Tuff Stuff 100amp alternator and custom bracket (link here), or you can find it under the Parts Section on the header bar. I have had a few hits in the search about this so I have decided to do review it.
If I get time I will add some pictures of the Brake Booster and it’s removal. If not I will add them during the week.