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Discussion Starter #1
Getting to spend some quality time with my 17 yr old son. Started working on a 79 5.0 I've had since I was 16 with him. Ive been into cars but never pushed him to try to get him interested. He started showing interest so we are digging in and really enjoying the time together. Car has been off the road for more than 20 years. Its was the usual story, life gets busy, other cars come and go. The engine in the 79 was rebuilt in 1987, but I suspect crank snout where harmonic balancer pilots was not to spec and allowed balancer to wobble and broke the bolt in the end of the crank a couple of times through the years. Have a replacement crank at the ready so getting the engine ready to pull. The starter on the 79 5.0 is not an easy drop like the vintage stangs. We plan on pulling the engine and trans as a unit. Anybody ever leave the starter on when pulling engine and trans together?
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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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Nice to hear about father/son projects. Your car has held up very well over the years. I don't see a whole lot of the 4 eyed versions around these parts anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I bought it in 1985 and only drove it one winter before getting a winter beater to drive. Didnt drive it in the rain either because the factory sunroof already leaked in 1985 lol. The underside still has orange paint on it. My son was amazed at how the paint is still there after wiping off some grime.
 

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My best friend's first car was a '79 and I have some awesome memories of riding with him in it. We painted it with rattle can primer and spray paint one weekend and it looked pretty good ! I called it the Silver Fox.. He got a 90 model a little further down the line and it was super nice, I called it the Red Fox. Those were the days...
 

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67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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My particular habit is to pull engines and transmissions separately so I've not ever tried it with a starter installed. Many people prefer the "junkyard pull" where you yank everything out in as big a piece as possible. In certain situations than can indeed be more expedient but it's just personal preference really. I tend to work alone and find the engine all by itself much easier to guide in and out solo.
On our '86 I use two long extensions and go from up by the radiator and back through the motor mount to get the top bolt. Key is to use two extensions as it gives you a bit of wobble in the middle where a straight and solid one can't be worked into the space given. Using three gives even more wobble but it depends on what you have. Too much wobble and it gets difficult to keep the socket on the bolt. Some extensions are actually made to allow a bit of wobble where the socket snaps on. They are the business for such situations.
Second trick is to use a 1/2" wiggle socket. The bolts are supposed to take 13 mm sockets but the heads are very shallow and often difficult to get a grip on. 1/2" is just a tiny bit smaller than 13mm and with a quality socket it gives it just a bit more grip on the bolt which can make all the difference.
If you've ever replaced the motor mounts, the new ones are by default the shorter "convertible" mounts. Which make access even more difficult. But they add a bit of hood to engine clearance. If you have original mounts they actually have a bit more room to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The starter will clear everything if left on when pulling engine and trans together.
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I just have to say that I love those headlight covers.

I know they're not helping the headlights light up the road at all, but they just look cool on that car.
 

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Awesome! I have a soft spot for the old four eyed fox. Had an 83 that was so much fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just have to say that I love those headlight covers.

I know they're not helping the headlights light up the road at all, but they just look cool on that car.
I always liked the look of the dark covers, looked a little more aggressive. And you are so right about the night driving being worthless with the covers lol. I added the Mustang running horse to the front years ago also as I thought Ford should have done it from the start.
 

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If you haven’t already, www.foureyedpride.com has a ton of 79-86 Fox tech...

Nice 79 BTW... you don’t see many Orange 79’s, even though it was a factory color choice.

The black plexiglass GTS headlight covers bring back memories... I had a set installed on my prior 1986 GT w/t-tops... Early Fox Saleens had the same covers but in clear.

What else are you doing to the 79?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Besides the crankshaft replacement, will be looking at 4 barrel carb swap, dual exhaust, either rebuild and keep auto trans although son pushing for T5 conversion, maybe swap 7.5 for 8.8 rear end, new tires at a minimum, but may have to look for different rims since car has 14" rims now and 14" tires may be difficult to find. Brakes need freshening as well. All the fun stuff of awakening a car from a 25 year slumber. Thanks for the heads up on the four eyed pride site, another resource is always helpful.
 

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Keep us apprised of the progress and post plenty of pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
17 yr old really enjoying spinning wrenches and learning about the pushrod engine. Found our first problem. The cam can walk so there is something up between the cam and thrust plate.
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You might want to upgrade to the newer mini starter while you have it out. They put out more torque and they take up less space. I think they became standard around 1990.
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14s are still available. My favorite local tire store had 3 brands in a dozen sizes and I bought Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP for one car, and Cooper Cobras for another. They cost less than BF Goodrich, wear longer, have great traction in the little bit of rainy weather they have seen, and look great.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
You might want to upgrade to the newer mini starter while you have it out. They put out more torque and they take up less space. I think they became standard around 1990. View attachment 759370
Good tip. I did this on my 66, but with this starter being a little more difficult to get to this would be the time to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
14s are still available. My favorite local tire store had 3 brands in a dozen sizes and I bought Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP for one car, and Cooper Cobras for another. They cost less than BF Goodrich, wear longer, have great traction in the little bit of rainy weather they have seen, and look great.
That's good to know. My son brought up the fact that the aluminum rims I put on the car back in the late eighties still look good so keeping them would help with the budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Unfortunately not much progress to report between my schedule and my son's tough to get together time to wrench. Only been scraping gunk out of engine compartment and looking over underside. Still alot of orange paint left in engine compartment after first pass wipe down. Not sure what I'm finding on the underside of the car. While there is orange paint, there is also black but it is smooth and not rough like typical undercoating.
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Discussion Starter #20
Planning on replacing the steering rack as it had a sizeable leak. I see two different replacements listed from both NPD and Rock Auto. One says Ford design and one says TRW design. Anyone know how to tell them apart, or are they completely interchangeable? Rock Auto actually has option to send rack in and they rebuild and return original rack. Anyone have a good experience going that route?
 
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