Exorcising a '78 ( and '78 and now '76")

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
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A good timing light makes all the damn difference. Playing it by ear was better than the "new" timing light. A properly functioning timing light is where it's at though. She fires up so easily. Cold or hot doesn't matter. Check your tools boys and girls. NEW really stands for Never Ever Worked.

Here it is just after a cold start from inside the barn, then a walk around.Towards the end I crawled under to give a look at the exhaust. The pressure from the exhaust outlets is identical. It has to be open enough to equalize. My old II with seperate cherry bombs had a noticable difference between left and right. The "pressure waves" are matched with this muffler.

Following the video are some pics. Still on the ground but you can see enough to make it out. It's 2.5 through the bend upwards then 2 1/4 over and into muffler. I really like the way they did the center section for me. The back half over the axle doesn't move at all to access transmission. Just the 2 center sections come out. The rear brake line needs shortened now buts that's no big deal. It's tight when the axle goes up but I drove 20 miles or so of back roads yesterday and it seems to clear everything fine.

The owner said his first set of duals was one of these as a rookie back in the day and he has never done a harder car. Liked the car but not the gas tank offset. Not at all. lol

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQEHWKDd_sc



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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
10 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
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Marietta, Ga
If someone else is doing work on these cars you have to know the proper steps because I have found repeatedly that they do not.

Exactly why I don't trust anyone working on my vehicles. That and I've had a few different shops "find" something else wrong and try to sell the idea of your car needing more work so they can collect more money. I end up asking for my keys and not so politely tell them thank you.
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
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USA
Story time. No relevant Mustang II info in this particular post.

Asking for keys back reminds me when I bought used 1987 Daytona Z back in 1990. Had 40,000 miles from a reputable dealer here in Cincy. It was mint condition appearance wise. I was just out of nursing school and did not have access to a garage at the time. Stupid me trusted their 100+ point inspection. Within a couple hundred miles it was back repeatedly for various :poo:. Rear brakes grinding, Right CV joint was fried but had a new boot that was empty. Engine ground corroded and car cut out all the time on hard accel. You know typical stuff for a car that just went through a thorough inspection.

The last hoorah was they were to call me back if it was not done. I spoke with the advisor near 4pm and he said it was practically done. Come on by after work. He knew I would be there after service closed. I worked 8 and 12hr day/night shifts for different facilities at the time so usually only had a few hours of sleep any given weekday and limited time for shenanigans.
I get to the dealership and no one can tell me anything. I had been dropped off by a co worker after her 12hr shift and told her to go on home. It was supposed to be ready. Inside the poor cashier is clueless. I ask for help. A sales guy pops up and says too bad. Have to wait till tomorrow. I fume a minute and walk into service. See my car sitting in the first bay. I walk to it and several other persons start appearing as I check dipstick for oil. I am being told police will be arriving shortly. After looking for anything out of place I just dropped the hood and walked around kicking the rack out from under my car. As I approached the drivers door I was furious but kept my mouth shut for a change. Closing the drivers door and hit the key is when they really start screaming at me. I watched my gauges, hit the pedals to assure I had brakes and clutch and pop her in reverse. As I backed slowly into them they finally started to understand and moved out of the way.

This ladie and gentleman is the only time I have white smoked the tires across a service department. I spent several years in customers cars at dealerships and smaller shops but never dreamed of doing it. That day though. It was my car. I was beyond words. I was in the tunnel. And it was GLORIOUS!!!!!! I left varying marks all they way from the service bay to the street with the torque steer that thing had. The garage was filled with tire smoke!!! I was suddenly in need of front tires but... again.. Glorious. lol
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
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USA
Car is up on jack stands waiting on a back ordered lower control arm. It became scary to drive with the strut rod/ control arm bushings disintegrating. I tried to save a few bucks and now have to wait till 2nd week of july for an out of stock left lower arm. I have everything but that and spring isolators which should be on their way to rebuild the front end.

When getting exhaust I found the power steering pump leaking and ordered a remaned pump. The following pic is 3 days of sitting. It looks like the rack took a dump as well now. Both are original and I pretty much expected it but was hoping to get it drivable and get these things replaced over time. I guess thats still true except the drivable part but the timeline has been dramatically sped up. lol

I found the speedo cable partially out of the trans and causing it to leak as well. The gear stripped when the cable melted. I guess it had so much force it also broke the bolt on the cable retainer which is missing. I have never seen the bolt broken by a failed speedo cable before. Since the speedo gear is destroyed I have to assume the gear on the tailshaft is damaged too.

I am thinking this T5 is cursed and just needs replaced. I would rebuild it but I only know enough to be dangerous. I would pay close to a new t5 in parts to end up with something not shimmed right and still have a cracked mounting tab, broken speedo bolt and frozen fill plug. With the engine changes I am near it's max rating anyway.

Anyone have experience with the aftermarket T5 builders? It will take a couple months to afford one but unless I run across a deal on a better used one I think that's the best route to take.

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has taken
 

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
I spent quite a bit of time looking for a T5 myself this winter. With a core (you have I didn't) you can one rebuilt for around a grand. I spoke with and visited several local transmission shops and almost all of them recommended just buying a new one. Which I did.
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
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USA
Mine was only $300 including the pro 5.0 shifter, fuel injection upper and lower intake with fuel rail and injectors. So I can't complain. It has a broken mounting tab which was fine with the 200hp engine. With the rebuilt engine I don't trust it anymore. Combined with the vibration above 50mph a new one is probably my best bet.

Did you order yours online? Is it stock or beefed up? Are you happy with it?
 

LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
10 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
2,492
1,480
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Marietta, Ga
Dunno what would cause a broken speedometer cable retaining bolt, doesn't really make a whole lotta sense unless the cable caught something at some point. In any event, the tail shaft itself should be fine, so if your speedometer didn't read correctly, now's the time to order the correct setup. I don't remember which site has it now, either American Muscle or Late Model Restoration, but there's a calculator somewhere to find which drive and driven gears you need to order.

A rebuild kit runs around $500. And, as near as I can tell, you'll need access to a press for a couple bearings. It's been a minute since I've watched the rebuild videos, but a press is a must, otherwise it's just keeping everything in order and replacing what needs replaced as you go.
 

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
I called Modern Driveline in Idaho. I didn't have any of the parts needed for the swap and they had it all in a kit. The transmission is in a box sitting on my kitchen floor waiting for my car to get back from body and paint. I'm sure I'm going to like it. I drove last summer with the stock 4 speed. Not so nice.
The transmission is a 1315-251 which is the T5z. They'll set you up with the proper speedo gear.
Took a week for delivery.
 
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IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
53
USA
My timing light was malfunctioning on initial breakin and I melted a bunch of stuff including the speedo cable sheathing. The cable itself is frozen. The gear is now flat on one side and I could not reinsert the cable in the trans with the gear in place. It was sticking out about 1/4 inch. I'm guessing when the cable locked up. Something had to give and the output shaft gear dug into the cable gear and shoved it out breaking the bolt.

They are one of the places I was looking at. Glad to hear your happy with them so far.
 

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
Gotta love the warranty. The real decision maker for me was the amount of torque I'm going to be making.
 
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extra_stout

Advanced Member
Aug 27, 2018
356
360
73
Germany
If you can afford it buy the 1315-251 / T5z it has a upgraded torque rating (not only the rating, but the parts). It has a better gear ratio, especially 1st and 5th.
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
53
USA
That is the current plan. Just have to sell a kid or a kidney first. I like their specs but can't figure out why the longer input shaft is $500 more. I prefer that one but cannot justify the price difference as they appear the same otherwise.

Had gravel delivered earlier this week. After a couple days spreading it we finally have a driveway to my barn!

Now that that is done I tore the right front suspension off this morning and ready to tackle the left side the next chance I get. We will be changing from this.

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To these.

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Wait. 1..2..3.. Bummer. I am missing left lower one for now. Hopefullly it makes it sometime mid July. Gives me time to save up and get a new PS rack before it all goes back together.

For now the right spring and strut rod are cooking in my electrolysis vat and hopefully look like new in a day or two
 
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Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
I think sell the kid not the kidney. You're going to need the kidney and you can make another kid.
The longer input shaft is so it will make it to the pilot bushing which is also slightly longer...if you're going with the mustang ii bell.
 

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
I like those plug wires. The plug boots almost look ceramic. Could you show us a picture of how they're dressed up top?
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
53
USA
Only problem with the kid idea is my youngest is 23 now and the baby factory was converted to a playground long ago. Cannot sell the grand babies. So. Dialysis may be in my future after all !!

They are Accel ceramic. I melted my first set of Taylor wires having the timing too far off during breakin. I don't remember the model but they are from Summit. 45 degree boots would have been better but don't know if they make them.

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MortimerSnerd

Member
Apr 24, 2020
5
2
13
42
Dallas, TX
Car is up on jack stands waiting on a back ordered lower control arm. It became scary to drive with the strut rod/ control arm bushings disintegrating. I tried to save a few bucks and now have to wait till 2nd week of july for an out of stock left lower arm. I have everything but that and spring isolators which should be on their way to rebuild the front end.

When getting exhaust I found the power steering pump leaking and ordered a remaned pump. The following pic is 3 days of sitting. It looks like the rack took a dump as well now. Both are original and I pretty much expected it but was hoping to get it drivable and get these things replaced over time. I guess thats still true except the drivable part but the timeline has been dramatically sped up. lol

I found the speedo cable partially out of the trans and causing it to leak as well. The gear stripped when the cable melted. I guess it had so much force it also broke the bolt on the cable retainer which is missing. I have never seen the bolt broken by a failed speedo cable before. Since the speedo gear is destroyed I have to assume the gear on the tailshaft is damaged too.

I am thinking this T5 is cursed and just needs replaced. I would rebuild it but I only know enough to be dangerous. I would pay close to a new t5 in parts to end up with something not shimmed right and still have a cracked mounting tab, broken speedo bolt and frozen fill plug. With the engine changes I am near it's max rating anyway.

Anyone have experience with the aftermarket T5 builders? It will take a couple months to afford one but unless I run across a deal on a better used one I think that's the best route to take.

IMG_20200618_104444007.jpg
has taken
I got one from CL out of a Mazda Miata. Whaaaat? Yea. Someone did a 302 swap in a miata, which had an engine fire and totaled the car. I don’t know if it works yet, but for $200, which included a very new clutch and pressure plate the prices was right. Everything is tight, no play, no endplay anywhere and nothing looks melted, so I am hopeful. So if this works I can say the T5 came out of a miata. I guess keep looking if you aren’t in a hurry. On the other hand, I’m worried that even if it is a solid transmission, it may be a weak link in the plan. I would be curious to know what the next typical heavier transmission option is.
 

IICrew

Active Member
Mar 29, 2020
180
241
53
USA
The exhaust guys at Flowtek in Cincinnati did awesome work. They quoted me 2 hours not knowing what he was getting into. It was an hour drive so I scheduled it as a waiter. They got me right in. Had all parts but it took 5 hours to get her done. I cannot recommend them enough. A lot of shops would have jacked the price up. My old boss certainly would have made me tell the customer halfway through it was gonna cost more. They skipped lunch since I was waiting and insisted I only pay the quoted price. I gave him some extra cash knowing he lost time he could have made on another car.

I started with a 200hp 302 but now have 300+ hp. I've looked into higher torque rated trans but from what I've read the t5 is the only 5 speed that fits without tunnel modifications. It looks like the TKO may fit by pictures but I don't remember reading anywhere it has fit. Plus it needs an adapter to fit the II bell or a new bell which creates other fabrication issues.

I will have this car until I die and hopefully it lives on with my son then grandson. I want whatever I do to last long after I am gone. I think the best option currently is beefing up the t5. I could upgrade my existing trans but the broken mounting tab has me leery of using it with the engine rebuild. The Modern Driveline t5 is rated for 400+ ft/lbs. Most mild built 302's without slicks would be fine.

I currently plan to finish the front end and drive it with the existing t5. Figure out the vibration issues and continue shakedown runs as I save up for the beefier t5 trans.

Speaking of vibrations. Where does the tailshaft sit in the trans tunnel on your guys builds. Is it centered in the tunnel left to right or offset to one side? In order to get my headers even with the frame rails on both sides the tail sits close to the passenger side of the tunnel. When centered in the tunnel the left header is closer to the frame rail at the rear of the engine and the passenger side is closer in front. It appears the engine is crooked. I know they sit offset towards the passenger side but it appears the trans is centered. That will cause pinion angle issues if the rear end is centered and engine is slanted to one side.
 
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Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
625
448
73
64
Minnesota
I currently plan to finish the front end and drive it with the existing t5. Figure out the vibration issues and continue shakedown runs as I save up for the beefier t5 trans.

Speaking of vibrations. Where does the tailshaft sit in the trans tunnel on your guys builds. Is it centered in the tunnel left to right or offset to one side? In order to get my headers even with the frame rails on both sides the tail sits close to the passenger side of the tunnel. When centered in the tunnel the left header is closer to the frame rail at the rear of the engine and the passenger side is closer in front. It appears the engine is crooked. I know they sit offset towards the passenger side but it appears the trans is centered. That will cause pinion angle issues if the rear end is centered and engine is slanted to one side.

I have to say that I haven't paid any attention to where the tail shaft sat in relation to the tunnel. And, because I do not have the car or the engine at the moment I can't help you on that. @LILCBRA has been deep into the vibration issue with a T5 and when he gets back from vacation he may be able to help.
My headers are the old blackjack style unlike yours but they are so close on the passenger side that when I took them out for the rebuild I heated up the pipe and smashed it down with a hammer to give it more clearance. Under heavy acceleration they would hit just below the battery. (Outlined in blue)

I'm going to have to pay attention to the centering issue now as I have rebuilt motor mounts and a new transmission/mount/cross member. AND, the pinion angle as I'll need to shorten the driveshaft with the addition of the T5. And install shims on the rear axle to get the correct pinion angle.
 

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