Monday, August 22, 2022

More on the Mustang

Time for the re-build...well, not so fast! As I mentioned in my previous post, there was nothing obvious wrong with the clutch. But there was something obvious wrong with the transmission: it was totally seized, which makes sense, given the symptoms of the breakdown. I also discovered that an oil leak at the rear main seal is/was responsible for the huge stain on the garage floor.

Still, neither of these discoveries was going to stop me and one of my BAMA friends from installing my sparkly new MDL clutch and remounting the bell housing:

The following weekend...or more specifically the day before yesterday, at the time of writing, I expended much effort to put the Mustang back on the ground and push it out of the garage. Well, as far out of the garage as I could manage on my own given the driveway slopes upwards. I only got it this far by bending down and physically turning the front wheel a few inches at a time while nudging the wheel chock forward with my knee. If this operation sounds incredibly dangerous, then I have described it accurately. 

Next job: power wash the garage floor. I was totally fed up with rolling around in oil-impregnated concrete dust...

Much better:

Installed my new rug which came from the living room - the light patch in the middle used to be under the coffee table. Give me six months, and there won't be any light patches!

I couldn't run the engine because I haven't put the starter back in yet, and I've heard it's not the smartest thing to do inside a garage anyway. So I pulled the drain plug, and left the car overnight.

The next morning (or yesterday), I pulled the crossmember and most of the steering so I could get to the oil pan. The very first thing I ever did on this car was change a leaking oil pan gasket, although that was back when the car had a six-cylinder engine. 

With the pan out of the way, I could remove the main bearing cap and change the seal - the seal comes in two (2) pieces, so it can be changed without taking out the crankshaft. The photo below shows the main cap with one half of the replacement seal installed. It is deliberately proud by about 3/16 on the right side so that the seal and the cap do not meet in exactly the same place.

All back together and topped up with fresh oil. After 24 hours, there is no evidence of oil leaking from the pan or anywhere else. If I can say the same after driving a few miles, I'll be quite happy, especially as I did this all on my own with having an accident or breaking anything. Or having to make a second/third trip to the auto parts store.

As I mentioned above, the cause of the original breakdown was a seized transmission. It takes a lot for this to happen under normal use, but apparently it is quite common when the transmission does not have any fluid inside it (!) I know this because I have a friend that is retired but still builds and rebuilds transmissions in his home shop. After he took my T5 apart he said the only reusable part was the case. I went by and picked up one of the destroyed parts so I could keep it in my garage. This is a reminder for anyone who is thinking of running their transmission without enough (or without any) fluid:

It turns out that the labor and parts cost to completely rebuild a transmission with new parts (minus the case) is not far away from the cost of a new one, even when you know someone "in the biz." So, the next time Sam and I can work on the car we will be installing the little monkey below. This time, we might even fill it up with transmission fluid. 

To be continued....

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