Sunday, February 8, 2015

mounting the motor

If you remember, I put the 351W back together over the summer (with a lot of help from my buddy Chuck!), but we stopped short of adding the intake manifold and valve covers.

By November these parts were still not installed, but we were ready to install the engine in the car regardless. The main driving force for this was that once again it was time to move garage (and house) and I wanted the powertrain back in before the transfer. A few weeks before the install I acquired a pair of 351W motor mounts from my buddies at Mostly Mustangs and tested the fit with the zinc plated mounting bolts that came with the six cylinder setup.

The lower mounts were attached finger-tight to the cross-member, and the upper brackets were bolted to the engine block according to the detailed instructions from Rich at Mostly Mustangs. Incidentally, on Rich's advice I also enlarged the holes in the upper brackets by about 1/16th of an inch in order to make attaching the engine a little bit easier - this really helped.

The folks at Mostly Mustangs also sorted me out with an appropriate block plate which will replace the six cylinder version. I cleaned up the plate using the previously well-rehearsed wire wheel method.

A couple of weeks went by before the BIG day, and then we got off to a slow start when we had to chase around half of Oakland looking for a cam plug. We also had to take a detour to Chuck's shop to pick up some clutch bolts and an alignment tool (I think the original bolts disappeared with the I6). After that it was straight into the assembly, and I (mostly) forgot to take progress photos. The now-shinny block plate and my high performance flywheel were cake to install and so was the clutch. Incidentally, the clutch was donated by my BAMA buddy James, the same person that was responsible for this project getting off the ground*.

Next we broke out the Tremec T5 that I bought from Chuck about three years ago. I don't think either of us every imagined it would take this long to install it.

Attaching the transmission was actually a real pain, even with a clutch alignment tool. We tried to do it with the engine on the hoist, but in the end we had to lower the block down onto a pallet and slide the transmission and bell housing on that way. We had a minor crisis at this point when we lost one of the bell housing bolts. Fortunately, after my team of four searched every inch of the garage several times, the bolt was discovered in my back pocket. Phew!

Plenty of room in there!

Thanks to Chuck, John and Amy for helping with the install and to Amy for taking photos and somehow attaching the transmission cross-member.

(*It's actually a bit harsh to blame this project on James).