New Member: 1978 M II Mach I

351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
Hi, shiny new member reporting for duty! OK, I'm not really new and shiny, but I am here. :) We bought our car from my wife's brother in 1987 for $1,800 and are the third owners of it. He had bought it the year before for $3,600 but quickly got tired of it because of the weak 2.8L engine and the canyon between third and fourth gears in the RAD-4 tranny. The engine had been rebuilt at 100.000 miles shortly before he had bought it and he put about 3K on it before tiring of it.

627786


Same here, the car was for me (my wife drove a '77 Celica) and in 3K miles I decided that the engine and trans had to go. One part of my trip to work had a long hill that I had to climb that was 45 MPH. I was constantly rowing between third and fourth going up that hill and it got old real fast. I scored a deal on a '75 Mercury Monarch (Granada) with a 351W/C4 setup for $100 and decided that I was going to stuff that in to the Mustang. The engine had been rebuilt but wasn't running very well. I noticed that the firing order was wrong, switched it up and drove it home. The guy I bought it from wasn't too happy about that! He needn't have worried that he lost out. I pulled the engine apart and found:

The Good:

- C9OE-G heads w/ 1.94 - 1.6 valves (nice!)
- Erson HiFlow II Cam (.504/.504 - 306/306 - 108 CL)
- D2AE block
- Factory crank at .010/.010

The Bad:

- D2AE block at .040 over but is a fresh bore
- Top ring in #8 cylinder was broken

The Ugly:

- Cylinder wall in #8 has heavy scratch, decided to sleeve
- Rod journal surface on #8 has a huge rod bolt-shaped gouge out of it, replaced crank

I put it back together with a high volume oil pump, double roller timing chain (degreed and set cam to 4 advanced), slapped an Edelbrock Performer with a Carter 600 AVS carb on it and called it good. The trans is a 157 tooth housing but I got it to fit by keeping the V6 frame mounts and using two passenger side motor mounts. That placed the engine about one inch forward but it worked. Since then I have changed to the Hedman engine plate and under-crossmember headers, centering the engine in the frame. I have since ported, polished and cc'd the heads, installed 7/16" screw in studs, guideplates, hardened push rods and Crane roller rockers. Here is a picture of the engine bay as it currently sits.

627787


The car has been gutted and completely rewired with a custom electrical system I designed so there isn't a single factory wire in it. One of my former jobs was designing electrical systems for a boat manufacturer and they let me buy wire for the car at cost. Same with relays, circuit breakers, connectors and everything else, so I went whole hog on it. All marine grade stuff too! :) You will notice that the battery isn't under the hood, instead they (dual) are in the back. I also have dual ignition systems (MSD and dual point) and dual alternators. The headlights are on an adjustable delay timer when you shut them off and the interior lights have a 30 second delay when triggered. When the parking lights are on the sidemarker lights will flash when the turn signals flash (alternate off/on - on/off). Instrumentation is factory speedo, AutoMeter tach and vacuum gauge, and VDO everything else. As I said, I went whole hog.

It's a fun car and as time has passed, the thumbs up and impromptu 'car shows' at the store and other places I go have gone up. We have never shown the car (we are asked that all of the time) because I built this for us to have fun with. My wife calls it her chariot...lol!

Current plans are to install the '94 Mustang T5 that I'm rebuilding and planning that job for this fall. We need overdrive for road trips!
 
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429MII

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Mar 10, 2019
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Welcome!, and very nice car...I might be partial to white MII's though heheh..
The engine bay looks really clean and well thought out. I have several of those air cleaners myself. People used to not like them because they said they would catch fire, but I never had any issues..
How are the t-tops on these cars for fit and leaks? I have never had one with t-tops..
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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Wecome on board to you, our shiny new member.
Oh she's a looker! I like hearing about the success in rewiring, every m2 owner needs fresher wiring it seems.
Ever run em at the track? Dual alternators? I'm guessing big stereo? Arn't '94 T5s 5/8 longer than 92s?
Sorry lots of questions.

We want more pics Engine plate being one of them.

I imagine with the name 351Moosestang you seen this pic before.

s-l1600-6.jpg
 
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351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
Thanks for the welcome! As far as T tops leaking, they're T tops, of course they leak! :) Actually mine seal well except for a gap that always develops where the window seal and front A pillar gaskets meet. It's not too bad as it actually seals when the window is up but if you crack it a bit it'll start dripping. We live on the south Oregon coast but it's garaged and while I drive it just about every day I try to avoid rainy days when I can. As far as the air cleaner goes, I have an extinguisher in the car so if it backfires, blowing fuel in to the filter element and it catches fire then I'm ready.

It happened one time in the early 90's when the distributor gear pin sheared and the ignition went off time. I stepped in to the carb as the engine started slowing down and all of the sudden I had a fire and no marshmallows! I quickly pulled over and put out the fire with a short shot of the extinguisher. Luckily a Washington State Patrol pulled right in behind me after putting out the fire. He called a tow truck and I had it hauled home. One distributor pin, carb kit and new filter element later and I was back on the road. No problems since!

Regarding the dual alternators and stereo, yup... it has Kenwood head unit, four amplifiers and lotsa speakers! The alternators are 70A marine units, one a Motorola (OMC) and the other a Valeo (Volvo Penta). They are new take-offs that my boss let me have for $25 each back in the late 80's. I've rebuilt them twice since then and it's nice to have a backup when needed (as it has once already). Also, since both alternators drive the water pump, if I lose a belt I'm still good to go (happened once late at night about 120 miles from home).

I've never taken the car to a track but I didn't really build this to race, just for my wife and I to have fun cruising around in. While the (95 actually, typo) T5 is longer I haven't picked up the bellhousing yet as I haven't determined where the shifter is coming out and whether or not the 95 bellhousing clutch cable hole is clocked too low with the engine positioned the way it is. Once I pull the C4 this fall I'll get my measurements and go with the input/bell that fits best. The Hedman header collectors are flat and I might be able to run the 95 bellhousing because of that. Either way, I'll figure that out when it's time to do it (as usual!).

I'll try to get a good pic of the engine plate setup and post it up soon. Again, thanks for the welcome! :)

ETA: Regarding Moosetang, no I have not seen that before but it is funny as hell...lol! I use nym because my oldest sis once said that the car bellows like a moose when I jump on it. She also happens to like everything about the huge animals, thus her reason for saying that. So the nym... :)
 
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extra_stout

Active Member
Aug 27, 2018
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Germany
Also welcome to the forum from my side.
I have a 74 Mustang with an 5.0 and T5 with 95 bellhousing. The engine sits in my car also about 1 inch in front direction compared to the stock position (i' using a normal front sump pan, not a MII specific). My engine and trans sit 1 inch higher. I can take some pictures for you, when I'm the next weekend under the car (have to do brake lines and hydraulic clutch bracket). The bellhousing will in your case (1 inch lower than on my car) be very close to the bracing thats behind the front suspenison crossmember. But perhaps some clearance work on the bellhousing in the area where the clutch cable is attached (or the at the brace) would solve your problem very easy...
I also can take (and measure) where the shifter comes up exactly. All I can say: it sits more to the front and i have to cut the opening bigger...
 

351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
Thanks, extra_stout! Your engine/trans position sound similar to mine. I did some guesstimating at where the shifter would come up in the tunnel by measuring off of the end of my C4 and it comes up as you say, at the forward edge of the hole in the tunnel. The ifo on the 95 clutch cable mount on the 95 bellhousing is welcome news to me, thanks! While I do have my setup 1 inch forward of the OEM 302 location, I still have the engine angle and crank/trans center line in the stock position but offset 1/2 inch to the left (driver) to center the engine/trans in the frame. One advantage of the engine plate is that I can move the engine/trans to wherever I need so I am going to mock everything up with the empty T5 case and bellhousing and figure it out at that point.

Regarding the engine plate, I really don't care for how the use of the front timing cover bolts means that they are holding the engine in shear. I had to Loctite the four bolts because they kept loosening but now I'm making something to tie the bolt holes on the engine for the motor mounts in to the front plate, which will then solidly secure the engine plate to the block and the front bolts would only hold the engine centered in the engine plate. Here's a pic of a chunk of aluminum I'm going to have machined:

627916


I'm going to get these mounts machined this summer so I can do the trans and install them at the same time. It's going to be a busy winter!!
 
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351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
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18
13
59
Brookings, OR
I thought I would add some of the unique things I've done on this car and one of them is the distributor, an Accel #34202 dual point unit. I bought this piece of junk brand new and unfortunately didn't install it until it was too late to return. What a horribly made distributor. There was .001" shaft/housing clearance (spec. .024"-.035"), one point screw was long enough that it pinned down the vacuum advance arm so it wouldn't move, the breaker plate wobbled like a drunken sailor on the deck of a ship at sea and to top it off, the distributor gear was mounted too high. I have since verified that Accel improperly mounted the small block Ford gear on their distributors by looking at pictures of used distributors with no wear on the bottom of the gear. Mine was mounted .042" too high.

I shortened the screw that was jamming the vacuum advance arm, shaved the lower distributor shaft retainer bushing to get .028" housing clearance and turned the gear 90 degrees and redrilled it to properly position it (4.032"). The points plate was a whole other problem. I tried several ideas before settling on making Delrin inserts that fit under the plate, both supporting and lifting it up so that the snap ring/spring washer on the underside are a tight fit. The Delrin inserts are the white pieces next to the snap ring.

628099


You can kind of see the slots and cutouts I made to fit the pieces. I drilled and tapped for screws in the center body to hold the inserts in place. The end result is a nice, tight, smooth distributor, unlike my first attempt at running it as it was built.

I just thought I would put this up for anyone who is considering the old school points distributor. I use mine with an MSD 6T with adjustable timing control and rev limiter. I also have a secondary circuit to switch over to old school dual points w/ ballast resistor in case the MSD fails (happened once, saved my bacon in a rain storm!). It works for me! :)
 
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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the distributor, an Accel #34202 dual point unit. I bought this piece of junk
Had an older version of that dizzy (34201s) never could get it to work right back in the day, wonder how many of those problems you mentioned it has?
Was an interesting post thanks.

Yeah I still got that piece of crap.

Uobp21g7QCWJT1cVMRW5jQ.jpg
 

351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
Had an older version of that dizzy (34201s) never could get it to work right
The #34xxx is a series so probably all of them. Check the housing/shaft play, it should be between .024"-.035". Mine was set to almost none, which means that as the housing heated and grew (about .004" per inch of length so about .017") the shaft would start to drag on the bushings. Take the cap off and look at the points as you turn the gear. I'll bet they wobble up and down as the points come up on the cam and then back down. That made setting a stable dwell impossible. The Delrin inserts took care of that on mine. If the distributor has been run in an engine, check to see if the bottom of the gear has been in contact with the block pad and has worn the bottom of the gear smooth (normal). I'll bet it has never touched the block pad, meaning that the gear was installed too high on the shaft. Finally, check to see if the vacuum advance works. If not, it's one of the point screws pinning down the advance arm.

Once repaired, it's been an excellent distributor and the points have been holding steady. It's just sad that it was so poorly built.
 
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351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
Here's a closeup shot of the inserts I made. The one on the left shows the side that the points plate rides on and the one on the right is upside down, showing the cutout for the advance arm.

628203


I made them a bit tall and then sanded them thinner until I had the groove for the snap ring clearing the backside of the housing just enough to fit the wave washer and snap ring in place. The cutouts are for the screws and other protrusions from the bottom of the plate. I did smooth the bottom of the plate and lightly oiled it with mineral oil when I assembled it. Delrin is slick as heck and the points place operates smoothly. I bought a block of the stuff years ago and use it for all kinds of things.

Handy material!
 
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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Did ya do it all with a drill and a router? Or was some cnc involved?
 

351MooseStang

Member
Apr 1, 2019
12
18
13
59
Brookings, OR
I have a small garage so I don't have room for that stuff. In this case I used a small band saw, a drill press, Dremel bits, drill bits, files, a block of aluminum (flat surface to sand on) and sandpaper from 120 to 800 grits. I also used an aluminum plate on the drill press table to slide the Delrin pieces around on.

Good ol' garage engineering...lol! ;)
 
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