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Project Great Pumpkin Mustang: Slow Progress Is Still Progress!


Project Great Pumpkin Mustang: Slow Progress Is Still Progress!

The 1980 Ford Mustang Ghia that is BangShift’s in-house Fox Body project has been progressing. Admittedly, much slower than we were anticipating work to move, but we aren’t a reality television show…this is a car that resides in our shop and gets wrenched on when we have the time to make it happen. So what all has been happening since our last update?

The Mustang itself really hasn’t made any changes one way or another. It’s still orange, still has tears in the floor, and still hasn’t gotten the subframe connectors or anything else we’ve been eyeballing. In fact, the only thing it has gotten is one new tire on the front to replace a very worn-out hoop. It still starts, runs and every now and then is driven, most recently to Cars and Cones so that Chad and Daphne can further question whether or not I need to be committed to a mental hospital or not. Why no progress here? One word: Taxes. The IRS put the kibosh on any three-digit purchases for a couple of months, so we’ve taken the cheap route on progress, which meant that the pile of parts that is the Rollover Explorer got the most attention.

After yanking the 302 and 4R70W at the beginning of April, the engine has been on the stand and the transmission has been sitting on the hood we dragged it into the garage with. And I’ve been busy with wire wheels, trying to dig to useable metal. Since the Explorer lived in Ohio all of it’s life, rust was a factor…as in, I’ve been in the shop with safety glasses and a T-shirt tied over my face as I wire-wheeled the hell out of the engine to clean up the block. I then used an entire can of foaming Gunk to de-grease the parts I know are staying put, taped off what needed to be taped off and hit the block with a pressure washer set to a mild level. Some air-drying with the compressor later, and the 302 was ready for paint, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t just hit the block with a rattlecan and call it good. After wiping everything down with grease and wax remover, the block was sprayed with primer, gloss black (my wife’s choice of color for the engine) and a clear coat, and I’m happy to say that the results came out far better than I hoped for.

So what progress (if any) are we planning on making in the next month? I’m hoping to get the 4R70W into the trans shop to be converted to a 2WD spec (they are also going to freshen up the trans for a very decent cost as well), and I want to get fuel side of the 302 sorted once and for all…we are still going back and forth between EFI and a simple carbureted setup. We might hold off on floor repairs until we mock up the 302/4R70W in the car, just in case we have to do some work to the trans tunnel as well…no sense in doing the same job twice!


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