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Old 07-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 1965 Mustang - How to Start After 30 Years?

So my wife inherited her dad's 1965 Mustang project car from Florida. Apparently, she remembers him buying when she was a child somewhere in the mid 1970's and sticking it in the garage. After her parents passed away, we transferred the car to our home. This Mustang has literally been sitting in her parents garage for 30 years before we pulled it out. The body and interior are in need of restoration (pretty rough). The car holds sentimental value to my wife. That's the background.

Now, the questions. If you wanted to see if the engine runs after 30 years of sitting, what in the world would I have to do get to that point? Other than change the oil/filter and bypass the gas tank to some clean gas? Oh yeah, we don't have the key to the ignition either. It has the original inline six cylinder engine.

Thanks for your comments/suggestions.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Theres quite a few threads on this- but heres how I started mine after 28 yrs. Remove plugs- spray cylinders with wd-40, Marvel mystery oil (your choice), replace plugs with new ones. Bypass fuel line to the carb (fuel lines likely stopped up and fuel pump maybe bad) so rig up temp tank with gravity feed. Clean battery contacts,starter connections, and bypass ignition switch (or remove and take to locksmith to have key cut.) Change oil/filter then build oil pressure (most important) Your call- spin engine over (easy way but not good) Better way pull distributor and use a drill to spin oil pump. replace distributor (but while its out at least file/set points but maybe better to install new ones) Now try to start- maybe your lucky- if not- rebuild carb as it may be sludged up. I bet it starts- most of these old motors if running when parked will start and run- just need tinkering to get restarted. Oh you will get smoke when started due to oil you sprayed in the cylinders- a lot; so warn wife prior to starting.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Where in Florida are you at?

You are on the right track by bypassing the fuel tank with fresh gas.

The Carb is probably a gummed up mess at this point. I would probably remove the carb and fuel filter. At a minumum clean out the carb with a can of carb cleaner. Get it rebuilt if thats feasible.

Check you coolant and belts. Thermostat is probably frozen shut and will cause it to overheat. Its probably ok to start it up with old belts as long as they are there and intact. just expect them to howl and make a lot of noise. Draining and replacing the coolant might not be a bad idea either. If there is any in there.

A new battery. (probably obvious)

Without the key, you have a couple options. You can swap in a new or used ingnition cylinder (with a key). Or you can hotwire the car from either the ignition switch or the solonoid switch on the fender apron. A remote starter switch is only a few bucks and will clip on the the solonoid and act as a starter switch. (you will want to get some help on this if you are not comfortable with auto electircal circuits) FYI: solonoid switches often go bad, so be prepared to replace this $20 part.

I would say you need to decide how committed you are to getting this thing running asap. If you committment level is high, you may want to bite the bullit and start putting in some new parts before starting it. ie: belts hoses thermostadt etc.

If you just want to 'see if she starts' before spending a lot of cash, you can take a few shortcuts. ie: jump start or swap in a battery from another car. Just go with the min investment of clean fuel, clean out the carb, new oil and hotwire it from the solonoid switch. If you go this route, and it starts, just don't take off on a road trip without further attention. The brakes are almost guaranteed to be shot and tires will not be reliable, even if they hold air.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Removing the ignition key cylinder without the key will destroy the switch. Take the lock cylinder from the door to the locksmith.

I agree with the oil in the cylinders, and pulling the distributor. That, and an oil change, the engine will likely be just fine.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Removing the ignition key cylinder without the key will destroy the switch. Take the lock cylinder from the door to the locksmith.

I agree with the oil in the cylinders, and pulling the distributor. That, and an oil change, the engine will likely be just fine.
Good advice. but...Removing the distributor to prime the pump can be tricky. Especially if you don't have the proper drill adapter. Some people will try a socket and long extension, but your could drop the socket into the engine and that will cause big problems. Getting the distributor reinstalled and lined up correctly is not that easy either if you have never done it before.

Some may disagree, but if it was my car, I would leave the distributor in place. Fresh oil change. Make sure you fill the oil filter with as much oil as you can get it to hold. squirt the oil into the cylinders (as described earlier). Remove the coil wire and turn the motor over until you build oil pressure. I don't think you have a guage on that car, so you would wait for the idiot light to go out. If the light does not go out, then you have either a bad sender, light or an oil pressure problem.

You are probably getting info overload. Don't worry too much about trouble shooting until you run into your first problem. There are plenty here to help when that time comes.

Depending on where you are.... You might get a friendy VMFr to stop by and give you a hand.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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One last tidbit: put air cleaner ON for startup. If it backfires (good chance after 30yrs) you're gonna have a fire going on without it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
Some people will try a socket and long extension, but your could drop the socket into the engine and that will cause big problems.
That's why God invented duct tape, to secure the socket to the extension.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This same question comes up regularly on the old Ford Tractor forums and the most common reply is to soak the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO) or Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). Remove the spark plugs and using either a funnel or a pump squirt gun fill each cylinder with MMO or ATF and let it sit for a week. MMO and ATF both have lots of solvent in them that will break down gum and sludge, freeing up stuck piston rings. They will also lube the cylinder walls. Engines that were completely stuck (the crankshaft wouldn't turn) have been freed up with MMO or ATF. After soaking the cylinders try to turn the crankshaft with a breaker bar and socket. If it turns easily you're in luck. If it doesn't turn easily don't force it as you will break piston rings. If you can move it at all work it back and forth a little at a time until it frees up.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
That's why God invented duct tape, to secure the socket to the extension.
As much as I love duct-tape...... I have found Murphy's law to be much more reliable!
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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first i would try and turn motor by hand to see if its froze up by grasping fan and try to turn motor and see if bottom pully turns when u turn fan blade. if engine doesnt turn-remove spark plugs-all six and squirt about 1/2 oz of transmission fluid in each cylinder with a squirt type oiler and let sit for a few days. in the mean time you can remove gas cap and screws holding gas filler pipe and clamp on rubber hose below filler tube thats connected to gas tank.then take a strong flashlight to view into gas tank and see what the inside of tank looks like-if its all rust then u need a new gas tank-not really a huge job as most of the job can be accomplished from the trunk area. u may pm me with any questions and ill reply with my email and phone # if u have any questions. wes
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments so far. The car was from Florida, but I live in Raleigh, NC.

I tried to turn the fan blade and it is pretty stuck. I will try the method of removing the plugs and squirt MMO into each cylinder. I will attach a picture of the motor later so you guys can have a laugh!
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You are probably also going to need to fill the carb with gas before attempting the start, there's a good chance that after 30 years the diaphram in the fuel pump is as hard as a brick or deteriorated and not likely to pump any fuel.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I sprayed some Blaster on the plugs this morning. The first plug came out easy, but the other 5 are super tight. Going to let the Blaster sit on there until tomorrow and see if they break loose.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Here's what I'd do - since you've got a long road ahead of you and you're just wanting to "see if it runs" and decide if a rebuild is eminent...

  1. Since it's stuck at this point - pull the belt off - you don't need it to run it for a short period of time and you won't be fighting if there is a bad water pump or alternator bearing...
  2. Pull the plugs out and load cylinders FULL with MMO, ATF or your favorite rust penatrant
  3. Use a breaker bar on the crank bolt to turn engine. If the bolt starts tightening up stop turning! If that didn't work - pull the starter or inspection plate and use a pry bar or flywheel turner on the teeth of the flywheel/flexplate and see if you can break it free - Once you can get the crank to turn then you can move on from here - if it doesn't turn and you can't get it 'free' you've not wasted a bunch of time and money so you just chalk it up to needing a rebuild. You might play the patience game and see if it'll loosen up - it took 30 years to rust up - give it a month or two continually topping off the cylinders with lube - you might plug the holes with shop towels or something to keep junk out of the engine while you're doing other stuff...
  4. Now that it's free - turn the engine over several times by hand - that will distribute the oil in the cylinder as well as push excess oil out the plug holes.
  5. Drain oil (note condition or if there is excess water present). Remove filter. Pull valvecover (somewhat optional but it helps below) Flush about a quart of oil through the system and then replace drain bolt. Fill with a good zinc-rich oil (easiset to find is usually valvoline 'racing' oil) and pre-fill the filter as much as you can.
  6. Pull the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump.
  7. check radiator and fill with water if low.
  8. install a good battery that has a full charge
  9. jumper the starter solenoid and let the engine spin over until you have oil flowing to the top end - if you had keys I'd say just watch the oil pressure gauge and spin it for 5-10 seconds past getting pressure - if you've got the valvecover off you'll see the oil coming up to the top. As the engine spins - it will spit excess oil out the plug holes - be prepared for this (don't stand in the way and/or cover with a rag...)
  10. Put the valvecover back on if you've removed it. Put in the spark plugs (cleaned and gapped if you're re-using them or new ones if the old ones were beyond saving temporarily - remember this is just to get it running - they don't have to be 'perfect' just functional)
  11. pour about a shot of gas down the carb throat (about an oz-1.5 oz)
  12. Run a wire from the batt to the "+" side of the distributor - a wire with alagator clips on both ends works great here since you don't want it perminantly wired up - just connect it long enough to test then disconnect.
  13. Jumper solenoid - engine should fire up for a second or two with the fuel you poured down the carb. Once it stalls disconnect the coil wire.
  14. hook a hose from the inlet of the pump and drop it into a gas can with fresh gas. Prime carb with fuel down the vent tube and about an oz down the throat and then hook up coil wire and jumper starter solenoid and start the engine - you may have to prime it a couple times before the engine runs long enough to suck fuel in - but I'd say there is an 75% chance the fuel pump diaphram is shot or the valves are stuck and you'll be replacing it... If it doesn't pull fuel then stop, replace pump and continue.
With any luck the car starts, pulls fuel and actually runs - if it doesn't file the points and use an ohm-meter to ensure they are making good contact - if it pulls fuel but doesn't stay running then a quick carb clean is in order - you can pull those 1bbl carbs apart, clean them and slap them back together temporarily without replacing the gaskets. You can start and run it for about 3-5 minutes with no load (i.e. no driving) and without the water pump hooked up and the engine will barely get up towards temp - that will be plenty of time to determine if it's got a rod knock, had damage or needs major work. If it 's an auto - Check the trans while it's idling - top off with type-F. pull the coil wire to kill it and let it cool down, if it's got brakes still and you can prove it holds the car re-start it and see if trans goes into reverse and drive - but don't drive it until you at least check the brakes over, get the fuel line flushed and tank drained/cleaned. Also you don't want to run a long time on the jumper wire to the coil because the factory used an external resistance to drop the voltage while running - and the jumpering simply replicates how the factory bypasses the resistance wire for the start cycle - the coil will be fine running 2-4 minutes at a time on full voltage - just don't want to overheat it...
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks again for all the replies.

I removed all of the spark plugs and then removed the main belt. Once I removed the main belt, the fan spins freely, almost too freely.

There appears to be some major Mickey Mouse wiring going on in here as well.

Here are a few pics of the rust bucket engine....





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