Progress Thread Exorcising a '76 Coupe

IICrew

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Mar 29, 2020
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Currently working on a '76 V8 auto coupe. Someone along the line had it repainted dark blue. The chassis was Rhino lined and is in pretty good shape. There are rust bubbles scattered here and there under the paint but all in all it's in fair condition. We picked it up missing the engine and trans. PO pulled the running 302 engine after the trans failed. He was going to put a bigger engine in it. Then he tried and realized the problems when trying to go bigger engines/trans. By that time he had already sold the original engine along with the oil pan and motor mounts.

The plan for this car is an automatic with a/c that is easy to drive. Turn the key and she fires reliably. Drop in gear and go. With those goals in mind we picked up a complete low mileage '89 roller 5.0 for it. I have the computer, entire vehicle wiring harness as well as fuel injection items. For now I am going to go with a carb. Once we get the bugs worked out and see what else the car needs I will pull the engine. Paint the engine compartment as well as replacing whatever else we find lacking during mockup. By then I will have remaining items for fuel injection and will install that.

I have several c4's so I am going to use one of them. I had the machine shop re-balanced a II flex plate. It took multiple calls and chasing leads to find someone willing to try the re balance. He used the 50oz flex plate off my 5.0 engine with a 5.0 crank to setup his misbalance numbers. Then installed my II flexplate to the 5.0 crank, added 120+ grams, drilled out the opposing side. This matched the 5.0 flex plate numbers.

The engine is out of a 1989 grand marquis with 56,xxx miles. I removed the smog pump otherwise I am attempting to use the accessories as is, a/c, p/s ect. With the radiator in place I only have 1 7/8" between the water pump and radiator. Thus the fan had to go. Otherwise it all fits as is. Since it's an a/c car I cannot use a pusher fan. I ordered a 12" and a 10" electric fan in an attempt to get maximum coverage in a 1 7/8" space. The slimmest 16" fans are 2 3/8" deep with a 4" diameter at that thickness. Even offset it wont fit. The 2 fans should move the fan motors off center giving me just enough clearance in theory. The 16" fans provide 2000 to 3000 cfm. The slim models are closer to 2000. The 10 and 12 give me right at 2000cfm. I imagine it will run warm with a/c on at idle on a hot day. Otherwise I am hoping it can cool itself.

I will swap in a 3g alternator at some point as the 2g is known to start fires. For now I am going to attempt to use the '89 p/s pump. I think it runs at a higher pressure but am not sure. The rack is probably going to leak and need replaced anyway as it appears original. I just want to know if I can use the p/s pump as is. A rebuilt pump is only 25 bucks and will be used if/when replacing the rack.

The a/c compressor is close to the hood when closed. It may hit if engine moves too much but the mount rebuild kit should stop that.

Get an engine leveler for your hoist. They are under $50. I always jacked up the car and stood on the tailshaft when installing an engine/trans assembly. The leveler made it so easy to install. I left the car on the ground and the engine/trans dropped in smoothly. My feet stayed on solid ground!

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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Since I know you have a plethora of IIs, how many oil pans do you have? Do you have enough for all of the cars you're working on?
 

IICrew

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Here is the last one I have. It's in the coupe now. It came out of the blue cobra which had a rod cap loose. As seen below that doesn't end well. I had it brazed to seal it up. I will need another pan for my sons car when we get to it.
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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Glad to know that front dress fits, tight but fits.
 

IICrew

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Dropped in the headers, trans and engine assembly. The engine leveler made it a breeze. I wish I knew what brand these headers are. They are the same as my 80's era headers which I think are the old Blackjacks. They fit perfect and are much easier to deal with vs the Hedmans.

The dipstick is my biggest current issue. I will swap front covers or drill this one when it comes back apart. For now I will just watch for interference with the crank then see if I can get a reading from the block dipstick. I cut the flat part of the header flange between cylinders 7 and 8 to clear the dipstick tube.

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IICrew

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Progress has been slow but.. She runs!!! Idles smooth. Goes though the gears. Now to deal with the rust in the master cylinder and she is ready for a road test.

I also have room for the factory fan and shroud!!! These accessories work fine when the mounts are correctly installed.

When I rebuilt the motor mounts I mixed up the frames which had the engine sitting about 1.5" forward. The instructions say be careful to not do that. I burnt, de-rustified, primed, painted them knowing I WOULD NOT mix them up. I had a fool proof system! HA.

Had to weld the core support. The lower welds had broken loose. It appears someone ran over a curb smashing the core support. They then backed up breaking the core support loose in the process.

Using a roller motor I needed to change the distributor. Had a plan to use the steel gear from the 5.0 dizzy and put it onto a '79 duraspark dizzy. The shafts are a different diameter. All my duraspark dizzys have the smaller shaft. I have a new points dizzy from one of the cars we picked up. It has the larger shaft so we will temporarily use it. I know they used a resistance wire on points but my understanding it was to make the points last longer. Anyone running 12v to a points dizzy? Any issues?

I am using an Eddy carb and performer intake. Wtf is up with kickdown linkages? I have the kickdown linkage addon from Eddy. Now I have to fab up a throttle cable bracket. Cannot find the appropriate brackets that have the right shape for our throttle cables. I ran an eddy on my old II with c4 years ago and cannot remember having alignment issues. Is there a simple solution I am missing?

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MustangIIMatt

I need something stupid to play with
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I usually ditch the kickdown altogether and shift C4s manually. :shrug:
 

IICrew

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This car is going to be the easy to drive car. The one the wife can easily drive to work. If you look close at the orange piece behind the carb you can see my solution for throttle and kickdown linkage. Basically cut a c channel mounted to stock bracket location. Then mounted the stock bracket to the side of the c channel at a 90 degree, flipped backwards and about 2 inches further back. The cable itself is shot but the kickdown just clears the bracket and the throttle cable is level.

Anyone used an aftermarket throttle cable? Any recommendations?
 

MustangIIMatt

I need something stupid to play with
Mod Dude
Mar 7, 2002
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This car is going to be the easy to drive car. The one the wife can easily drive to work. If you look close at the orange piece behind the carb you can see my solution for throttle and kickdown linkage. Basically cut a c channel mounted to stock bracket location. Then mounted the stock bracket to the side of the c channel at a 90 degree, flipped backwards and about 2 inches further back. The cable itself is shot but the kickdown just clears the bracket and the throttle cable is level.

Anyone used an aftermarket throttle cable? Any recommendations?
Lokar's stuff is pricey, but works well. Spectre's throttle cable kit works, but it looks kind of sketchy (I put one in an old F150).
 

IICrew

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Had some steering shaft / headers clearance issues. Added 1/8 shims to left engine mount which worked fine alone. Adding same to passenger side made it touch again so I removed them. The engine is now 1/8 off level but that shouldn't affect anything.

Went for a test drive. Car ran great. My temporary p/s line really was temporary! Also the metal in the trasnmission pan really did indicate a problem. Slow to engage. Harsh shifts and no 3rd gear in this case. Luckily a friend of a friend is hooking me up by rebuilding the original c4 from the car. Should be done this week.

This weeks plan is pulling the engine back out. Painting engine bay and buttoning up some loose ends. Reinstall rebuilt trans. Should bring it close to being road worthy. Tires and exhaust will be obtained over the winter for this and the Mach I. By spring they will be good to go!
 

extra_stout

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You are making progress on your cars very fast. I had in two weeks no possibility or motivation to finally get my MII running.
Good that you are bringing so many cars back to roadworthy.
 
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IICrew

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Three steps forward...

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Two steps back...

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Easier to pull the engine to replace the transmission. I don't think you can do the trans in car with headers. From running to cleaning up in under 2 hours with my son doing all the laying on the ground work!

While it's back out I am prepping to paint the engine bay. Waiting on a new rack and transmission rebuild to be finished up. Hopefully she will be back together in a week or so.

I was terrified the flex plate weight was gonna be off. It seems way out of proportion. Appearance is backyard may-chanic. But as they say... If it works...

She runs smooth. Much smoother then the other cars although they both have bigger cams. This engine is a stock roller converted to a carb and points dizzy.
 
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extra_stout

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Aug 27, 2018
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She runs smooth. Much smoother then the other cars although they both have bigger cams. This engine is a stock roller converted to a carb and points dizzy.
That is the same on mine. Incredibly calm. But it will pull better better than the others for sure.
 

IICrew

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Yep, He was zip tying the spoiler. It's torn but original. He has better pics with his phone. Being my kid he is very slow to send them to me. lol

Here is the bullpen.

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T tops is a running v6 4 speed. Nice interior but rotten underneath. The front fender is bent and sagging d/t the subframe being rotten and cracked. Seats are bolted through a thick piece of plastic posing as a floor. This drivetrain will end up in the coupe wearing primer. If that rich uncle ever gets out of the poor house my dream is to put a 6 speed rear transaxle in it. As is she is a parts car and that hurts my inner II ness.

This coupe is another failed swap. It came with a fresh engine and trans but being a 302 and large bell c4 it was not fitting. Especially using the v6 frame mounts and those cheapo motor mounts that do not fit. Nice interior. All kinds of misc parts came with it. I want to return this to a survivor. The chassis is in great shape. Hardly any rust. The roof is the scariest. It has a few small holes from the old vinyl top.

Blue Cobra is a conundrum. Nice dark blue interior. Chassis is in very good condition but paint was redone 20 years ago and they failed to prep it right. It has rotted doors and rust in quarters. Hatch and hood are shot. Most rust starts at seams and trim. The title is up in the air. The title matched the dash pad but not the hidden vin. Door jamb sticker is long gone. It's in limbo until I sort the title. Have to yank the fender to get the vin #.

The frankenstein in front of the rv is my sons car. No interior or engine. Chassis is in great shape. One hole in driver footwell from an impact. Appears it ran over something. Otherwise it's in great shape underneath. It wears mismatched doors and panels yet he loves it that way for now. We have a roller block and rad4 for it but I have been thinking I need forced induction for my car. I may give him my engine and build a forged and stroked block for me. Besides he cant be faster then me. Can he?
 
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IICrew

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Replaced wheel cylinders, master cylinder and rubber brake lines. Booster worked so it was treated for rust and repainted. It had "new" brakes on it but sat for several years prior to me buying it. The metal lines appear fine so far. Miraculously the hose fittings loosened easily. Caliper bleeder screws were left open by previous owner. Hence the half dry and rusted master cylinder. Wheel cylinder bleeders were frozen and stripped, hence their replacement. The calipers broke free after hitting the pedal a couple times. I am going to upgrade to 5 lug rotors at some point so I am leaving rotors and calipers in place until then.

The rack was pouring fluid on our short test drive. The other racks leaked at the tie rods but this one is leaking at the steering shaft. I don't know if it was just failed seals or the ps pump being from an '89 and maybe putting out higher pressure. Considering the cost of a rack I ordered a rebuilt pump as well just in case.

Here is the "Low Gloss Black" Engine paint as an engine bay paint. I scuffed and primmed after a thorough degreassing. It was cold that morning and I ended up with some runs. It went on well enough but I don't recommend using it when it's close to freezing temps. Not the products fault that I am impatient.

If you look at left frame rail you can see it was hit in it's past. They did an okay job making it straight but the frame mount is slightly askew and explains me struggling getting the bolts through the motor mounts and them.

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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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You need a green and yellow one to round out the collection.
Jus saying
 
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