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Vintage Engine Bay Detailing
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2014 Mustang Monthly Event and Car Show Schedule
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Vintage Engine Bay Detailing
Detailed To Perfection
, Photography by
May 09, 2012
Reattaching the engine bay's electrical items, such as the starter solenoid, voltage regulator, etc. with new hardware is a small yet noticeable touch. We found some zinc-plated hex head tapping screws at the local hardware store to bolt these accessories into place. Notice too that we've started to clean and wrap our wiring with black plastic split loom and harness tape.
16 Reattaching the engine bay's electrical items, such as the starter solenoid, voltage r
Painting your engine while installed can be tricky, but with a little patience and careful masking, it can look good and save the extreme hassle of removing the engine. A can of dark Ford blue gets this '66's small-block looking good in short order. We did pull the intake manifold to paint it separately for better looks (and to repair an oil leak).
17 Painting your engine while installed can be tricky, but with a little patience and car
Things are starting to take shape in our engine bay now. We have our power steering pump (with new chrome dipstick) and brackets painted and bolted back up, plus our aftermarket aluminum intake is wearing a fresh coat of aluminum-look paint and bolted down with new bolts and gaskets. We’ve also refinished the radiator with gloss paint and bolted it back in as well.
18 Things are starting to take shape in our engine bay now. We have our power steering pu
Besides dress-up goodies like new valve covers and chrome parts, now is the perfect time to handle any maintenance items that can be replaced with better parts to aid in the visual improvements. A perfect example is the blue silicone Goodyear Hi-Miler hose kit offered by Mustangs Unlimited. The chrome thermostat housing from Mustangs Unlimited features a robust O-ring seal to prevent leaks common to other chrome housings.
19 Besides dress-up goodies like new valve covers and chrome parts, now is the perfect ti
The owner purchased the car with long-tube headers already in place. They were in solid shape, but their surface was nothing to be proud of. While they were removed for engine block painting, we gave them a good sanding and a coat of hi-temp black header paint.
20 The owner purchased the car with long-tube headers already in place. They were in soli
Valve covers can be a tough decision. Flip through the Mustangs Unlimited catalog and there are easily over a dozen styles to choose from. We kept things simple with a pair of Ford Racing polished aluminum covers. They'll give our engine a great look with a minimum of maintenance.
21 Valve covers can be a tough decision. Flip through the Mustangs Unlimited catalog and
To put a bit more bling under hood, we opted to swap out the stock steel pulleys for a set of billet aluminum underdrive pulleys. Mustangs Unlimited sells March Performance pulleys and they have pulleys for just about any combination, including engine swaps, which is a good thing since this is a late '70s 302 in a '66 Mustang. The power steering pulley is a separately ordered part and will require both a removal and installation tool to swap it out.
22 To put a bit more bling under hood, we opted to swap out the stock steel pulleys for a
The remaining pulleys--water pump, crank damper, and alternator--all simply bolt on in place of their original steel counterparts. The new alternator pulley bolted right up to the Powermaster chrome alternator from Mustangs Unlimited. Note these are underdrive pulleys and shorter belts will be required (MU does offer stock size pulley kits as well).
23 The remaining pulleys--water pump, crank damper, and alternator--all simply bolt on in
We planned all along to install a new export brace, but the owner of this '66 wanted to chrome it up a bit more with a new Monte Carlo bar. Mustangs Unlimited offers several styles, including straight and curved models, chrome plated steel, powdercoated steel, and stainless steel. We saved a little of our parts budget by going with the basic chrome plated steel model. Note that to install you will have to drill a pair of holes on the inner fenders. Often raising the front of the car with a floor jack will help aid installation too.
24 We planned all along to install a new export brace, but the owner of this '66 wanted t
The '66's throttle linkage had seen better days. Instead of trying to straighten out the mangled mess, replace the linkage bushings, and paint it, Mustangs Unlimited came to the rescue with their heim joint throttle linkage kit. Due to the width of the Edelbrock carb, we had to make a small tubular spacer at the gas pedal end to prevent the linkage from binding/hitting at the carburetor.
25 The '66's throttle linkage had seen better days. Instead of trying to straighten out t
Like the Monte Carlo bar, installing an export brace is made much easier with the use of a floor jack. Raising the front of the car via the number two crossmember under the oil pan helps the shock towers flex outward to allow the export brace to slip over the shock tower mounting studs. Thread a couple of nuts on finger tight to hold the brace in place so you can remove the floor jack.
26 Like the Monte Carlo bar, installing an export brace is made much easier with the use
With the car back on terra firma, the four mounting holes at the cowl need to be lined up and hardware installed. A tapered punch or large Phillips head screwdriver helps here. Insert your line up tool into one of the bolt holes and tweak the brace in whatever direction needed to get a bolt started. Repeat as needed to get all four bolts started and then tighten them down to secure the brace. Remove the previously installed retaining nuts at the shock towers and install the shock mounting brackets and shocks to finish everything up.
27 With the car back on terra firma, the four mounting holes at the cowl need to be lined
As stated earlier, we didn't disturb the battery tray due to seized fasteners. The tray is an aftermarket part designed for J-bolt retainers. A quick trip to the local auto parts store netted us a universal hold-down kit with J-bolts, hold-down strap, and hardware. We also replaced the positive cable with a new cable with red jacketing so there's no question as to which cable is which.
28 As stated earlier, we didn't disturb the battery tray due to seized fasteners. The tra
When determining what you're going to replace or upgrade, don't forget the area immediately in front of the engine compartment. When your hood is up, this area is visible as well.
29a When determining what you're going to replace or upgrade, don't forget the area immed
Things like the hood latch, grille, horns, hood bumpers, and more should all be examined and cleaned/painted or replaced as necessary. Here we've opted for a pair of non-concours direct replacement horns along with new hood bumpers and adjusters.
29b Things like the hood latch, grille, horns, hood bumpers, and more should all be exam
It took a three-day weekend and three people working hand in hand, not to mention about a half-dozen trips to the local parts store and lots of paint, tape, and sand paper, but the end results speak for themselves. No longer is this owner ashamed of his engine bay and is ready to proudly pop the hood at his next cruise night.
Mustangs Unlimited Georgia
2505 Newpoint Parkway
Mustangs Unlimited Connecticut
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