For example, I was informed by my wife that our pergola was literally coming apart. This was while I was in Canada for the summer. I knew that I would have to tackle that ASAP when I got home. The question was what do I replace it with? The existing pergola shielded us when the sun was high in the sky, but had no weather protection.
|This is the old pergola I built when we finished the house. It served us well for 15 years.|
|The mostly completed new pavilion|
A friend of mind has a relative that runs his own shop, Legacy Motorsports in the Indy area. I finally connected with them and discussed potential work on the engine, transmission, and rear differential. I got a ballpark estimate for the engine which was reasonable considering the work they would be doing. However, I knew the engine was locked up after sitting outside for years with no hood or air cleaner. My concern was whether this numbers matching engine was any good. So I decided to open it up before to find out if it was beyond repair.
I took a bunch of documentation photos that I'm not including here just to save you from the boredom. But as you can see, the engine was in better shape than anticipated.
|This is a top view before the teardown. It is the "J" code 10.5/1 compression 302.|
|I pulled the water pump and bypass hose before removing the intake.|
|With the intake removed, I could see the lifter valley was in good condition.|
|I was surprised to see shiny metal on the lifters but pleased.|
|The valve stem ends looked good with no visible wear.|
|The lifters are in excellent shape with no dishing at all and no corrosion!|
|The cylinders are rough but the cam and lifter galleys are in great condition. Hardly any ridge at the top of the cylinders!|
|The heads are in OK condition with the valves looking good.|
|Both heads and valve train laid out in order|
|The top end of the engine is apart.|
After the crank is evaluated, I'll need to decide what to do next. I can take it all to Legacy and get a complete engine back for around $2,500. I could do the legwork of taking it to the machine shop and buy the internals if the shop doesn't. I could do the assembly as well. I'll need to work up a spreadsheet of costs and see how it comes out. It may be worth the bucks to let them do it all. I'm not looking for a 500 horsepower ripper. I want something that I can drive anywhere without breaking the fuel bank and yet have some fun when I step on the gas.
On other Mustang news, a friend of mine will be helping me gap the panels this week so bodywork can start in earnest. I need to keep the Mustang work going so that it's at least on all 4 tires by June of next year. That's when my wife will retire and we will be ready to move to where the kids are closer.
Speaking of retirement, that's what I "officially" did January 31st. Then I got on a plane to Canada for the first 2 weeks in February to help mentor my replacement. I'll be going north a couple more times to continue the mentoring, but should be done by the end of July. I also became the maintenance officer for our flying club. I have 5 aircraft to look after including all maintenance, upgrades, fixes, and paperwork. Then I agreed to do senior shut-in ministry with one of the area churches. As you can see, retirement is anything but that. I have drawn a line as committing to anything else. After all, the Mustang has waited too long to get done. Now it's time to git-r-dun.