Rebuild ahoy!

Engine extracted

The fateful day finally arrived. Once I had finished cataloging the parts left over from our last work day, we ran a final check to make sure no mount was left secured, no hose attached, no wire plugged in. We also removed the bolts we used to secure the engine load leveler and checked that they fit their corresponding holes. After Dad and I were positive we were ready to lift, we supported the bell housing with a floor jack so it wouldn’t fall away when we removed the motor. Using the cherry picker, we raised the engine a few inches to clear the compartment mounts, pulled it from the transmission converter, and continued lifting. Dad then saw, to his complete and utter horror, that we had not only forgotten to replace one of the load leveler bolts, but the L-bracket on the load leveler was barely supporting the edge of the block. He quickly lowered it back into the compartment while I replaced the bolt. Secured once again, the engine was lifted free of the compartment.

With the engine free, we looked for the casting number to determine which specific engine model we have. After a little more degreaser and scrubbing, I found it above the starter motor: C80E-6015-A. We deciphered it using our Small Block Ford Engines book to determine we have a Cleveland-built 302, manufactured in ’68 or’69. It wasn’t the 390 that was originally installed in our S code fastback, but a great engine with lots of exciting possibilities.

While waiting for our friend Rob to arrive (who rebuilt his own ’66 289 cid. V8), we assembled 6 shoddily-constructed Chinese wheel dollies for the two three-wheelers in the TLG “Scuderia Bizzari”: Messie and Schmitty. Rather than forcing me to hand-tighten all 96 bolts to secure the casters on six dollies, Dad mercifully produced an air-powered socket wrench deep from the bowels of the Craftsman tool chest.

When Rob showed up, he got a chance to check out the motor. We asked him a few questions about his rebuild, and decided we would rebuild our engine as another part of the project.

Moving the engine, now hanging from the cherry picker, required that we move the car, but the bell housing was still resting on the floor jack.  My book recommended using coat hangers to tie the bell housing to a 2×4 across the engine compartment. Without any coat hangers at the shop we improvised with Rob, using some heavy-duty zip ties to hang the bell housing from two broom sticks. The zip ties snapped under the weight of the bell housing. Looks like we’ll be bringing coat hangers next time.