Back from the (nearly) dead
Me, not the car. The car still has a ways to go in that regard.
I have a 64 1/2 coupe. I had planned to put a fitech efi kit on it. Pretty simple swap, right? Well, the last time I had the car on the road I drove it from Michigan to Arkansas and back, fighting overheating issues all the way. The next spring when I backed it out of the garage I noticed that it was blowing out a pretty decent amount of blue smoke. I let it run for a while thinking that it might stop with the smoke, but that wasn't the case. Revving the engine produced clouds of blue smoke. Thinking it over, I figured that the overheating probably either damaged the heads, the block, or stuck a ring to a piston. Any way I looked at it, the engine was going to have to be torn down to some degree.
The old D code 289 had already been rebuilt once and was already bored .030 over and it had a .010 under crank kit in it. At this same time I had been considering installing a 4R70w trans and was trying to figure out how I'd make it work with the 5 bolt D code block. I decided that the thing to do would be to replace both the engine and the transmission at the same time.
So, I found and bought a 5.0 from a 98 Exploder and a 4R70w trans from an '01 3.8L Mustang. I tore down the 5.0 and took the block and heads to my local machine shop where they bored the block .040 over and replaced one or two valves in the heads. Now, let me just say that I wasn't looking to build a high revving screamer of an engine; I am more concerned with reliability than speed, so I kept the engine as close to stock as possible. The engine is put back together, fitech installed, starts and runs great.
The transmission on the other hand...Not knowing the condition of the trans (its a JY trans) I decided that it should probably be rebuilt. I have never rebuilt an automatic transmission before so I found a video series on Youtube and tried to follow along exactly as the videos demonstrated. I'm sure that I must have messed something up because the trans doesn't work.
This was two years ago and to make matters just a little worse, I had a heart attack at the tender age of 49 while scratching my head over why the trans didn't want to work. A quintuple bypass, an implanted defibrillator, and lots of rehab later I'm back to around 50% and I'd really like to get this car off the jack stands and back on the road. It bugs me to no end to walk out to the garage and see the old girl laid up.
At this point I guess I have a few options. I can pull the 4R70w and tear it back down to try to see where I went wrong, or I can see about rebuilding the C4 and finding either a 6 bolt bellhousing that will accommodate the 164 tooth flex plate or a 157 tooth 50 oz flex plate. Heck, at this point I'd be willing to throw a t5 in it if it wasn't so expensive.
I'm kind of on the fence about the options, so advice and opinions would be greatly appreciated.