Below are a few miscellaneous final tips to get the projects out and on the road. Proper handling, proper startup, and proper run-out are all important and these pointers will help you avoid costly mistakes.
This Tech Tip is From the Full Book, HOW TO SWAP FORD MODULAR ENGINES INTO MUSTANGS, TORINOS AND MORE. For a comprehensive guide on this entire subject you can visit this link:
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Some factory assemblies weren’t installed using lift hooks; they were installed from underneath because the engine was attached to the K-member prior to installation. Clearance issues in some chassis also dictate raising the body and removing the engine with the front suspension K-member (if equipped). Gone are the days of pulling the carburetor and bolting a plate to the intake manifold. Grabbing a modular engine at the plastic intake manifold is not the way to go. Handling a Ford modular engine requires grabbing it from the proper threaded points, which means a set of lifting hooks that bend out far enough to clear the valvecovers. Try to avoid flexible straps when lifting the engine, they can damage the valvecovers.
Ford has a special tool that allows the engine to be tilted from the center mounted alternator mount point. This plate can be used once the engine is in place to tilt the engine backward for ease of installation of items such as the exhaust manifolds.
Because the modular engine does not use a distributor, there is no oil pump driveshaft to connect to and prime the oil pump. Ford recommends priming the engine with a pressure tank connected to the oil pressure sender outlet. Proper priming of the bearings and chain tensioners is important to the survival of the engine. The Ford-recommended version looks like a steel garden sprayer, and that is what many builders have retrofitted to prime its engines. A good pressure sprayer with a fitting to fit the sender outlet and hoses strong enough to handle the pressure needed to feed oil to the engine works like a champ. Ironically, when I was checking with most of the dealerships in my area, none of them had a priming system to prime modular engines (and they gave me a curious look when I asked). It should be done with a new engine or an engine that has been sitting for a long while.
Bleeding the Coolant System
On some systems the coolant crossover tube is the highest point of the coolant system, which can trap air pockets. Ford sometimes runs vacuum lines to the high points of the cooling system to the de-gas tank, and sometimes they provide a port that you can open to bleed air out of the system. Most Ford official manuals do not tell you to bleed the cooling system at this port, but it helps to perform this task. You can bleed the system by one of several methods; most are a variation of the official Ford recommendation, which is several cycles of filling the de-gas tank, running the system until the thermostat opens (but not too hot), allowing the system to completely cool, and topping off the coolant level. Filling the coolant at the cross over tube when the system is cold can help get coolant into the upper part of the engine and remove air bubbles. Proceed with caution anytime you are dealing with the cooling system.
Power Steering Priming
The power steering pump needs a vacuum drawn on the reserve to assist pulling all the air out of the system. This can be done with a rubber stopper and a handheld vacuum pump. The procedure varies, depending on the application, but before you run the steering back and forth as usual, you need to run the engine and draw a vacuum to pull excess air out of the system. Then running the steering to lock can purge the system. Be careful to not hold the steering at the limit lock for more than 3 to 5 seconds or damage can occur to the pump.
Some fuel systems have a Schrader-style valve mounted to the fuel rails for reading the fuel rail pressure to the injectors. When Ford went to the fuel rail pressure transducer, it removed the valve because the pressure could be checked through the PCM.
The Schrader valve can be used to depressurize the system, but be careful. Spraying hot fuel on the engine is very dangerous. The simpler method is to pull the fuel pump relay or fuse and turn the engine over for a couple of seconds; this releases the fuel pressure.
Electronic Checks/Startup Program
A tuner can provide you with a startup tune to initially tune the engine based on the information you provided about your build. If you have a tuner/programmer,now is a good time to run through some of the built-in PIDs if you are running a Ford computer or your PCM allows you to run individual tests. You should check items such as the electronic fan to see if they turn on and off. Check the sensors to make sure they are reading in range. This also helps find circuits that may have been missed and not connected.
Swap Spotlight: 1976 Ford F-100
Chris and Steve Donaldson of Knoxville, Tennessee, hand-built almost everything on this 1976 Ford F-100 themselves. The added kicker is that the truck was purchased brand new in 1976 by Chris’ grandfather, George Donaldson. The 81⁄2-year labor of love also blazed some new trails, as the duo decided that a little overhead cam action was a perfect fit under the hood of the project.
This F-100 started out life as a 300-inline 6-cylinder with a manual 3-speed column shift. The first upgrade to the truck was a 460 big-block transplant, but Chris wanted something with looks and better mileage than the 460 was offering. The duo acquired a 1998 Lincoln MK VIII and 4R70w automatic transmission for the conversion project, and they were on their way.
Chris reports that the DOHC engine fits the truck chassis better than the 460 does: while the heads are wider, the bottom end is the same as other Ford small-blocks, so fitment was a breeze. They mounted the engine back toward the firewall, and because of the engine placement there were no modifications needed to fit the overdrive transmission. The engine remains stock, and parts that were needed or design enhancements were taken from the 2003 Mustang Mach I platform, because it is one of the few performance platforms that use an automatic transmission. The engine remains stock except for the custom intake fabricated from leftover parts from a previous 4-inch intake project. The air filter is mounted under the fender and pulls air through one of the original openings in the truck chassis, making it a true cold-air setup. The computer is the stock Lincoln EEC-V and wiring harness, custom shortened and modified by Chris. One of the few processes performed by outsiders is the re-programming of the computer to bypass the PATS system.
The front suspension and steering is courtesy of a Fatman Fabrications Mustang II independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. The rear suspension is a custom four-bar setup attached to a Ford 9-inch rear with 3.90 gears. Braking is via a four-wheel-disc setup with MII front rotors and oversize GM-style calipers, and the rear has a custom-mounted kit taken from a 2001 Mustang. The polished master cylinder is a Corvette-style unit attached to a firewall-mounted vacuum booster. The brake pedal is in the stock position and did not require moving to clear the four-cam heads.
A stock truck fuel tank was used in conjunction with a Walbro 255-lph fuel pump mounted with a custom 3-inch mount. The original tank pickup was modified to work as the return line from the engine. The filler neck for the tank was installed behind the rear taillight for a cleaner look. Many trips to the auto parts store were required to get just the right combination of hoses to make the cooling system work. The power steering uses custom stainless lines to route the fluid from the stock 1998 pump down to the new rack. Topping off the engine is a Powermaster 200-amp one-wire alternator, which has been given a custom finish.
Because the design took a lot of cues from the 2003 Mach I, a set of Patriot full-length headers were used and fit perfectly in the truck chassis. Chris reports that the headers for Cobras had some clearance issues, but the headers for the automatic cars work just fine. A custom 21⁄2-inch exhaust flows into a set of two-chamber Flowmaster mufflers.
The cab and bed were finished in 1996 Ford Bright Tangerine and the paint cues were added to the engine and apron areas. Chris laid down all the paint.
Chris and Steve’s efforts have paid off big time, and although it was an 81⁄2-year project, it was well worth the effort. I hope that this three-generation build will serve as an inspiration to all those father/son projects that are still languishing out in the garage.
Written by Dave Stribling and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks