1979 F100 EFI Todo List
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This is the Big Todo Listtm I am keeping while doing the EFI conversion on this truck. Other work got lumped in with it, since I did some custom wiring work at the same time, and I was in the middle of adding AC to the truck as well. If repeating for yourself, drop any steps unrelated to your work.

Work Already Done

  • Disconnected the battery and prepared to work on the truck.
  • Removed the fan shroud and drained the coolant.
  • Disconnected the power steering pump from engine and pushed it aside - it's nearly brand new and works well.
  • Removed the driveshaft from truck and stored it in the garage.
  • Removed the shifter assembly from the transmission and stored it in the garage.
  • Removed the clutch linkage and stored it in the garage.
  • Removed the transmission and stored it in the garage.
  • Removed the bellhousing, pressure plate and clutch, flywheel, and engine plate and stored them in the garage.
  • Mounted the new engine on a spare engine stand for easy storage until it's time to install it.
  • Installed a working smog pump on new engine - I used a spare one I had in the garage, the one that came on the new engine was seized.
  • Removed the exhaust system from the truck and set it aside - it won't be reused.
  • Removed the air cleaner and carb from the old engine.
  • Tried to install an engine lifting plate onto the old engine and the threads in the intake manifold pulled out on one bolt (*grumble*).
  • Installed a lifting chain onto the old engine (with some creativity).
  • Removed the radiator and stored it.
  • Removed the fan and fan spacer from the old engine.
  • Disconnected the heater hoses from the old engine and pushed them aside so they'd be out of the way.
  • Disconnected the engine ground strap.
  • Disconnected and plugged the fuel line from the gas tank.
  • Disconnected the charcoal canister hoses from engine (vacuum hose + vent hose).
  • Disconnected the engine wiring from engine and moved it out of the way.
  • Disconnected the alternator wiring from alternator and moved it out of the way.
  • Hooked up an engine crane to the lifting chain and snugged it up to be sure it would hold.
  • Unbolted the engine mounts from underneath.
  • Removed the old engine from truck and mounted it on another engine stand.
  • Cleaned the engine compartment with degreaser to make future work on the truck a bit easier and a bit less grimy/slimy.
  • Removed the EFI gas tank, pump, and lines from the 1989 F150 parts truck and from the 1987 F150 parts truck and set them aside for use here.
  • Removed the existing gas tank.
  • Verified that the fuel level sender in the existing tank was busted beyond repair - that's why the fuel gauge was not reading correctly. See pictures way up above for details.
  • Tore 1987 Mustang engine down to the long block, cleaned it up, and re-assembled it with new gaskets, a new timing chain, and a new water pump.
  • Installed front accessories from 1985 Mustang engine onto the new engine, after cleaning them up.
  • Installed the original SROD engine plate onto the new engine.
  • Cleaned the new flywheel of packing grease and any fingerprints I might have put on it.
  • Mounted the new flywheel to the new engine.
  • Installed the old clutch and pressure plate onto the new engine - I had replaced them not too long ago for John and they were in good shape.
  • Installed the SROD bellhousing onto the new engine.
  • Mounted the SROD transmission onto the new engine.
  • Installed the original starter onto the new engine/SROD transmission combo - it was working fine so I reused it.
  • Tracked down a working fuel sender that was compatible with the existing fuel gauge - Craigslist is an awesome thing.
  • Installed the new engine + original transmission assembly into the truck.
  • Installed the existing power steering pump that was still in in the truck onto the pump bracket on the new engine.
  • Temporarily installed Mustang fuel rails w/injectors and a Mustang upper intake onto new motor. This will seal the motor from any errant water drips from the hood or firewall, or any blowing debris until I can get back to working on this again.
  • Installed a new serpentine belt onto new engine.
  • Reinstalled the original driveshaft.
  • Reinstalled the shifter assembly onto the side of the transmission.
  • Hooked up the reverse light switch to shifter assembly from underneath the truck.
  • Installed a new shifter boot and reinstalled the original shift knob from inside the cab.
  • Stored the truck in my side yard on a trailer while work was focused on the 1989 Ford F150 and other various and unrelated projects.
  • Picked up a replacement fan shroud via Craigslist. It came off of a 1978 F150 with a 351M, and it appears to work just fine.
  • Mounted the fan shroud to the radiator (which was off the truck at the time). It required light pressure to get the bolt holes to line up, but it worked without too much trauma.
  • Sat the radiator roughly in place in the engine compartment to keep it safe from damage until I could get back to this project.
  • Picked up some replacement seat belts and some other minor interior bits for the truck.
  • Picked up a Deluxe Hi-Lo Heater system to install on this truck. It was advertised as a partial AC system, but it turned out to not be. It's close enough to let me start the AC conversion and to know where I should NOT be running any of the EFI wiring. I also picked up some replacement door panels at the same time.
  • Picked up a set of brand new door seals from a fellow on Craigslist who was getting rid of parts he didn't use when restoring a similar truck. They were never installed and still in the original packaging, ad I got them for a fraction of the cost they would be new. Sweet!
  • Got working on this project again by getting the truck back into my driveway, up on ramps (front) + jackstands (rear), and by liberally applying both the pressure washer and the air gun to blow off any accumulated junk/moss/dirt/whatever so that it was ready to work on again.
  • Installed a new clutch pedal rod to floorpan/firewall seal and in the process managed to break what was left of the plastic pushing that mounts between the clutch pedal rod and the clutch pedal arm.
  • Reinstalled the clutch linkage but did not adjust it yet - I need to replace that plastic bushing first. Getting the details sorted out after the truck had sat for so long was a bit of a challenge, but nothing that some studying of the manuals plus some careful thought couldn't overcome.
  • Ordered new bushings and clips for the clutch rod. The shipping was more than the parts - but it was worth it to have a smoothly operating clutch linkage. Since the parts were so cheap, I picked up new clips and a second bushing (for the other end of the clutch rod) to replace along the way instead of just the single bushing I broke. For reference, I got the bushings from LMC and they are LMC part #40-4424, or Ford part #7526-B D8TZ.
  • Replaced the plastic clutch linkage bushings and adjusted the clutch linkage to something plausible/reasonable.
  • Bolted the engine mounts down. Before this the engine was just sitting in the truck via gravity.
  • Reinstalled the "original" radiator (with fan shroud already attached to it) into the truck. This radiator was actually a replacement the John had installed a while back, and it was a few inches wider than the original one - and had the driver's side mounting holes custom drilled into the core support. I also reinstalled the overflow hose to the previously installed overflow tank.
  • Reinstalled the existing lower radiator hose.
  • Installed the heater hose water outlet from a 1989 F150 onto the intake manifold and installed an EFI temp sender into it.
  • Reinstalled the inlet heater hose to the output on the intake manifold. For this swap, I elected to run the heater hoses directly to the intake and water pump and bypass the Mustang heater hose pipes that run along the intake manifold to the back of the engine.
  • Installed outlet heater core hose with custom molded hose hookup at the water pump. See notes above on the heater and air condition for hose routing details.
  • Installed engine fan and fan clutch (reverse rotation style) onto new engine. Out of my stash of spare Ford fans, I found one that's 18" in diameter with 5 blades on it. I also had a 7-blade unit, but it was only 17" in diameter. Out of the need to sort out the different rotation style fans, I created a tech page about it. Unfortunately, I also found out that the Craigslist-sourced fan shroud from a 351M engine won't work on a 302/5.0L because the center of the fan is in a different place on the 351M vs. the 302/5.0L. The 351M is higher, so the fan hits the bottom of the shroud. The opening the 351M shroud was also way too large for any of the fans I had - about 20.5" in diameter. I could not find the original fan from this engine to compare against, but I think it was in the 18" range. The original shroud was split in pieces and was designed to fit the original radiator - about 26" wide on the shroud. The 351M shroud fit the wider radiator perfectly, with the shroud being about 28" wide. Back to the drawing board, I guess...
  • Installed an engine dipstick and tube assembly - I used one from a 1985 5.0L out of a Mustang, it ought to be functionally the same as the original.
  • Drained whatever residual oil was in the engine from it sitting. There was also a small amount of water (a few tablespoons) that got in through the open dipstick tube hole.
  • Filled the engine with oil and attempted to prime the oil system with a pre-lubrication tool and a drill. I quickly found out that I had forgotten to install the oil pressure sender extension and the oil pressure sender when approx 1/2 quart of oil came shooting out of the hole on the block and all over the fame, steering box, and front crossmember. Oops. That was fun to clean up...
  • Cleaned up a spare oil pressure sender extension and the oil pressure sender and installed them.
  • Hooked up a multimeter to check the resistance of the sender while I was pre-lubing the engine and I fired up the drill again to pre-lube the engine. No leaks this time, and I got a good steady 17.3-17.4 ohms with the drill at full power and an open connection when I stopped the drill. Poking around a bit, I think that equates to around 60 PSI of oil pressure with the drill going full blast, which is plenty good.
  • Checked the transmission oil level and it was low, so I topped it off with some gear oil until it reached the filler opening. There was some confusion about what oil to use. Haynes said it needed 140W gear oil (?!) and Chilton's said 85W-90 gear oil (which is more typical for a manual transmission or rear axle). After some searching online, I opted to use the 85W-90 gear oil I had on hand.
  • Cleaned a set of 8 fuel injectors using a kit from Mr. Injector and my DIY fuel injector cleaning instructions.
  • Installed a new upper radiator hose, after I finally got one that fits. The local parts store originally sold me a Gates 20868 as the "correct" upper radiator hose for a 1979 F150 with a 302 and AC, but it was not anywhere close to correct. RockAuto says that a Gates 21953 (single diameter hose) should work for a non-AC truck, and it listed a Gates 20860 (double diameter hose) for an AC truck - it turned out that the local parts store made an error in picking out the hose, so I had to go back and get the right one. The one they gave me originally was only one digit wrong, with a final 8 instead of a 0. Just my luck. Also, for the double diameter hose that I ended up using, the radiator hose has a larger hose diameter at the radiator end vs. the thermostat housing end. Any replacement hose needs to have the same difference in diameter. The hose for a non-AC truck has the same diameter at both ends, so it wouldn't work with my radiator.
  • Did an initial filling of the cooling system, at least until I got up to the open coolant ports on the engine for the heated throttle body system. Other than some dribbling there due to filling the system too fast, there were no other visible leaks, which is good news.
  • Installed the PCV hose that goes from the oil fill to the throttle body.
  • Installed the new 90 degree fitting for the heated throttle body hose onto the F150 heater hose outlet near the front of the intake manifold. There is a female 1/8" NPT outlet on the F150 heater hose outlet and you can screw the fitting of your choice to into that location - or plug it if you want to go that route.
  • Dug up the tubular exhaust manifolds from the 1985 Mustang I parted out so I can use them on this truck. They're basic, cheap, and will hook up to any Mustang exhaust. I'll save the BBK units for the Ranchero where "more power than stock" is one of the long term goals for the vehicle.
  • Dug up a spare Mustang 5.0L fuel rail assembly to clean up and install on the engine along with the freshly cleaned injectors. I pulled the pressure regulator off the fuel rail assembly so I can properly clean and flush out the fuel rails without risking having gunk stuck at/in the pressure regulator.
  • Attempted to hook up the 3/8" coolant line from the rear port on the intake manifold, and it quickly became apparent that the 3/8" hose was simply way too large to work. The fittings turned out to be right for 1/4" hose, and the NAPA catalog was just flat out wrong on this one. Judging by the fact that the 1993 Mustang 5.0 I have sitting on a stand in the garage has 3/8" hose on it, I'd say this bit of mis-cataloging has been around for a while, applies to other years of Mustang other than the 1987 I looked up, and the error is probably not restricted to NAPA's catalog. Just my luck... :-/
  • Removed the front and rear coolant outlet fittings for the heater throttle body system and installed pipe plugs in their place. The front one on the F150 heater hose outlet needed a 1/8" NPT plug and the rear one on the intake needed a 3/8" NPT plug. Luckily I had both laying around in my pile of fittings and spare parts.
  • Finished filling the cooling system and pressure tested it to verify there were no leaks. No leaks were spotted, but it did bleed off pressure slowly. This could be my ancient pressure tester leaking at the radiator cap. Since I could not detect and leaks by ear or by eye, I'm cautiously optimistic that there are no leaks in the system and all of the gaskets and hoses - and the heater core - are holding up properly.
  • Sandblasted all of the mating surfaces on the 1985 Mustang tubular exhaust manifolds so they are clean and seal well. They had been sitting out back for a bit and were a tad grungy, and the sandblast cabinet made them nice and shiny again. I also cleaned the spacer that takes the place of the exhaust valve in one side of the exhaust on earlier years. This valve was used on carb'ed vehicles to force exhaust to heat the intake up faster, and on the early CFI systems (central fuel injection, TBI for you GM readers out there) it was simply replaced with a spacer in the exhaust.
  • Attempted to get the one broken stud out of the passenger's side manifold, and in the process I boogered the threads in the mounting nut that's welded to the lower flange of the exhaust manifold. I'll have to replace it with a bolt and tack weld the bolt head in place if I want to use or sell this pair of manifolds.
  • After some thinking about the situation, I decided to use the tubular exhaust manifolds off of the 1993 Mustang 5.0 that I have sitting in the garage - they have all of their mounting studs intact and I needed to snag the exhaust manifold bolts anyway - I can't find the ones from the 1985 Mustang. An interesting note here is that the 1985 Mustang tubular exhaust manifolds have provisions for hooking up a pre-heater tube to run up to a carb system. This makes them slightly more valuable for swap purposes, so I guess I'll try to sell them someday.
  • Installed the passenger's side exhaust manifold. I even made sure to use some anti-seize compound on the bolt threads. This will help protect the cylinder heads from debris and water dripping/running around the engine compartment until I get a more complete exhaust system on the truck.
  • Dug up the right engine EFI wiring harness from my pile of parts, along with a few other odds and ends needed to get the upper intake on "for real".
  • Cleaned up a spare fuel rail and pressure regulator to be ready to install onto the motor.
  • Cleaned up/out a spare smog pump crossover tube for the rear of the heads.
  • Installed my recently cleaned injectors into the newly cleaned fuel rail.
  • Removed the temporarily installed upper intake, fuel rail, and injectors.
  • Installed the newly cleaned smog pump crossover tube onto the rear of the heads.
  • Installed the newly cleaned fuel rail and injectors onto the lower intake.
  • Installed the engine EFI wiring harness and connected the injectors, coolant temp sender for the gauge, the oil pressure sender, and the intake air temp sensor. The coolant temp sender for the EFI computer could not be hooked up because moving to the F150 style heater hose outlet moved it a couple of inches further forward than normal and the harness simply doesn't have enough slack in it. I will need to cut and extend the wires in the harness to be able to hook that up.
  • Installed the upper intake and torqued it down. I was one bolt short on the short ones that go at the front + back of the intake, so I left one of the front ones out for now so it's easy to install later.
  • Temporarily hooked up the vacuum line for the power brake booster.
  • Hooked up up the vacuum line for the fuel pressure regulator.
  • Hooked up the vapor canister purge solenoid wiring harness to the main EFI engine harness and hooked up it's vacuum hose to the upper intake.
  • Installed the manifold upper trim piece to keep water and debris out of that area. I had one that doesn't say "Mustang", so I used that one.
  • Tried to install the driver's side exhaust manifold and found out that it hits the clutch linkage - so much for any wishful thinking of this going together without problems. If it was an automatic, it's be fine, but it's a 4-speed, so it's not fine. I can either convert to a hydraulic clutch from a later F-series truck or use a full length header setup and a custom exhaust system. If the Mustang factory exhaust fits, I will likely try to go the hydraulic clutch conversion route since I have a bunch of Mustang exhaust bits and they are readily available as "stock replacement parts" if something fails down the road. Custom bits are harder to replace if they fail later on.
  • Started researching hydraulic clutch conversions and full length headers for this truck.
  • Hooked up the PCV hose to the upper intake manifold.
  • Temporarily removed the clutch linkage and tried to install a set of Ford 302 headers I had laying around from another project - they didn't fit. The clutch linkage would have been fine,  but the header collector hit the crossmember that goes under the front of the transmission. If I go with headers, they'll have to be a set I go buy specifically for this truck.
  • Made a final decision on the exhaust layout - I'm going with headers and a custom exhaust with a X-pipe crossover. I can buy all those pieces and/or have them installed by an exhaust shop quite easily, and the price is pretty reasonable. Hunting and scavenging for the hydraulic clutch bits will take time (some pieces are only available used) and eventually it's likely to cost more, especially considering that I didn't have any Mustang exhaust bits to use from the H-pipe back - no mufflers, etc. - so I would have had to buy those anyway and they would still have needed to be modified to work on the truck. So, a custom exhaust it is.
  • Removed the Mustang exhaust manifold that I had previously installed on the passenger's side head.
  • Hooked up the starter power wire at the starter.
  • Figured out roughly where the EFI wiring needs to enter the firewall to go in to the computer and clear any existing and future things - like a factory AC system. It will be roughly centered on the firewall just under the pinch weld. This was the only reasonable place I could find to go through the firewall that was somewhat close to how the Mustang harness did things. I will still have to customize the Mustang harness, but it shouldn't be too bad.
  • Figured out that the Mustang mounting for the various vacuum solenoids will likely not work without some customizing of the vacuum harness - the factory Mustang setup would put the vacuum bits right where the F-series AC system goes.
  • Installed a Mustang vacuum distribution block on the firewall, hooked it up to the large manifold vacuum source on the back center of the upper intake, and then ran the existing power brake booster vacuum line to the large outlet on the distribution block marked "B/B" (Brake Booster). I trimmed the hose to fit nice and neat. The vacuum block has marked connections for various things to make if easy to make the hookups - from left to right the connections are labeled "S" (source, input from manifold), one marked "B/R" which I have no idea what it's for and is capped on the various Mustang vacuum diagrams I found, "A/C" (air conditioning/heater controls), "S/C" (speed control), and "B/B" (Brake Booster). The "B/R" fitting happened to be the same size as the existing vacuum gauge hose, so I hooked it up there and capped the A/C hookup for now. When I do hook it up, the A/C connection goes to the check valve, then to a T-valve to hook up the climate controls (for when I convert to AC), and then continues on to the vacuum canister. The cruise control hookup will need to be capped or hooked up to a cruise setup before I start the engine. There is an open T on the vacuum gauge line right now - I used to use it for testing and tuning when working on the truck, it's likely to get used the same way here and be capped most of the time.
  • Installed the BP sensor on the firewall right next to the vacuum distribution block.
  • Removed and cleaned the throttle body and EGR spacer plate and the four long mounting studs. After sorting through my pile of throttle bodies, I found that the one I had on the intake I stuck on the truck was about 2 3/8" (2.375" or about 60mm) in diameter which is a stock 5.0L unit, but another one I had in my pile of parts was only about 1 15/16" (1.9375" or about 49mm) in diameter - at that small of a size, it's likely a stock 2.3L unit. Apparently somebody scammed me when I was buying various 5.0L parts - so it's a good thing I have a bunch of spares to pick from. After everything was cleaned, I assembled the EGR and throttle cable bracket to the EGR spacer and installed the TPS and the IAC to the throttle body. I cleaned out the threads in the upper intake for the four mounting studs and installed the studs with anti-seize on them. As soon as I get some gaskets, I can install these things back onto the intake and hook them up.
  • Ordered the exhaust bits from Summit- headers (#SUM-G9032), Header Reducers with O2 fittings (#WLK-88314), X-pipe kit (#SUM-642122), extra straight exhaust tubing (#SUM-640025), mufflers (#SUM-630225), and some extra hangers (#SUM-630550). This should allow me to build an exhaust system at home that goes from the engine back to the mufflers under the bed and let it exit there. Later I'll have to figure out a way to get the exhaust over the axle and exiting at the rear bumper. It's possible that Mustang LX style tailpipes will work for this - they are pretty straight and about the right length. I also happen to have some spare exhaust bits from the 1985 Mustang I parted out, so I can use them as a template/test fit pieces.
  • Re-install the newly cleaned EGR spacer plate and throttle body, and hook up the wiring to the EGR, TPS, and IAB.
  • Removed the old smog pump hoses and lines from the passenger's side frame rail.
  • Installed the Summit exhaust headers - what a chore! See notes above in the exhaust section for details.
  • Temporarily installed header reducers with O2 fittings in them to check O2 sensor locations and prepare to fit the X-pipe assembly.
  • Re-installed clutch linkage and rough adjusted it. I had to shorten the clutch adjusting piece (the part with the threads on it) by about 1" at the threaded end because it was hitting one of the header tubes. I just ground it down until it fit with a reasonable amount of clearance. There is still plenty of thread left to adjust the clutch, or at least there appears to be based on the original grime marks in the threads showing what part of the adjuster was never used.
  • Installed a new fuel level sender matches the original gauge into the later model EFI tank that I got from the 1989 F150 I parted out. I bought the sender new from RockAuto.com - it's for a 1985 F150 with a 5.0L and EFI an cost about $70. Is has the EFI pump hookups and the right early-style fuel level sender - perfect for what I need here.
  • Removed all of the fuel tank related wiring from a donor harness from the 1989 F150 I parted out, and prepared it for use on this truck.
  • Installed a later model EFI gas tank and low pressure fuel pump assembly from the 1989 F150 I parted out. The wiring is connected to the tank and runs up into the engine compartment.
  • Removed the original fuel line and mounting clips from the driver's side frame rail.
  • Mounted the later model EFI fuel lines along the driver's side frame rail with the later model fuel line clips.
  • Installed the 1989 F150 fuel accumulator onto the frame rail.
  • Did some work to figure out the high pressure fuel pump and filter mounting, as well as possible fuel line routings to connect the pump the Mustang fuel lines on the motor. I will not be able to use the nylon lines from the accumulator forward, but I can re-use the original push-connect fittings with 5/16" fuel injection hose clamped over them.
  • Modified EFI engine compartment wiring harness to put power lead on the passenger's side and to allow for the main firewall grommet to be located near the middle of the firewall.
  • Installed the EFI wiring harness into the engine compartment and hooked it up to the main engine harness connectors.
  • Removed instrument cluster, dashboard, and heater system to access firewall so I could drill the EFI wiring hole and do the EFI wiring inside the cab.
  • Installed delay wiper switch and control box onto factory dash wiring while dash was out - it was easy access with the dash out, so I might as well do it now.
  • Connected the main power lead for the EFI wiring to the battery side of the starter solenoid.
  • Installed a Mustang speed sensor into the transmission and a 1987 F150 speedometer cable going up into the cab. Installed a VSS wiring harness from a 1987 F150 to go from the VSS up into the engine compartment.
  • Temporarily installed a Mustang distributor to seal up the engine. The oil priming tool has been doing an OK job, but the distributor will do a better job.
  • Installed the air intake hose, MAF sensor, and K&N filter onto the throttle body.
  • Installed the smog pump hoses and diverter valves between smog pump and crossover pipe on the back of the heads.
  • Installed Mustang vacuum harness to the EGR valve and smog pump diverter valves, and connected it to the vacuum source on the back of the upper intake.
  • Made up the short high pressure connector hoses that will go between the accumulator and high pressure fuel pump and the filter. Yes, I used the proper high pressure EFI rated fuel line, it was 5/16" diameter and I connected it using the original "push on"/"duckbill" fittings after carefully cutting off the nylon fuel line.
  • Mocked up the accumulator, high pressure pump, and filter assembly on a board to get the right spacers figured out for the accumulator, and to figure out the right holes to drill for the pump and filter mounts. I used the board as a template for drilling the right holes in the frame.
  • Mounted the accumulator, high pressure pump, filter, and their associated high pressure connector lines to the frame.
  • Connected the wiring to the high pressure fuel pump.
  • Finished and installed the engine compartment EFI adaptor harness that connects the 5.0L EFI wiring (grey + black connectors) to the VSS harness, custom frame harness, original factory wiring, a power source, and the two new firewall connectors. The includes the updated wiring for the custom wiring that was done to the truck before, with the two relays on the passenger's side inner fender. I added a new 30A breaker for the HEGO heater relay and fuel pump power relay feed.
  • Drilled holes for and installed two new firewall connectors + grommets.
  • Re-taped the original under-dash harness.
  • Installed 5.0L Mustang coil assembly onto the driver's side inner fender just in front of the washer fluid container, plugged it into the EFI harness, and connected a Mustang coil wire to the distributor to make sure it would be the right length. I had to bend one leg of the original Mustang coil bracket out at 90 degrees to make it mount to a flat surface, and drill new mounting holes, but it was otherwise easy/painless.
  • Connected the original negative battery cable to the Mustang engine block.
  • Hooked up the positive battery cable from the battery to the solenoid.
  • Hooked up the original 1979 F100 regulator and wiring to 1985 Mustang externally regulated alternator. It looks like pretty much all of the Ford externally regulated alternators used the same regulator, so the 1979 F100 regulator I have should easily control the 1985 Mustang alternator on the new engine. That makes the alternator wiring a non-issue, and stuff Just Works. I also re-mounted the regulator and connected up the various ground wires that went to it's mounting screws.
  • Re-bent the Mustang fuel line extensions (Thanks, Jon!) so that they ended at the top driver's side of the motor. I'll need to built a custom bracket to keep things from banging around, but this is the general location where I can hook up to the F150 fuel lines coming up from the fuel pump on the frame.
  • Built and installed a custom EFI adaptor harness for inside cab. Includes inertia switch, HEGO heater hookups, etc. - see section above for details.
  • Put a battery charger on the battery to get it charged enough to do basic testing and prove-out of the custom EFI wiring.
  • Hooked up fuel tank vent to vent hose along frame using hose size adaptor (3/8" hose from the later model gas tank to 1/4" hard line on the frame).
  • Connected F150 high pressure fuel line to the fuel filter and ran it into the engine compartment. Discovered I will need a custom adaptor to mate the male end of the F150 line to the male end of the Mustang hard line extensions. I'll use two Mustang female fuel line hookups (from where it jumps from the engine to the frame frail) and a short piece of high pressure 5/16" fuel line.
  • Connected F150 high pressure fuel line to the re-bent Mustang fuel rail extension using two Mustang female fuel line fittings and a short length of 5/16" high pressure fuel hose. I had one fitting laying around but I needed to order a spare fuel line fitting from Mustang Unlimited - they carry it as part # RMP20 for a pricey $18 each. Ouch. It was new a shiny and worked like a charm.
  • Connected the fuel return line on the engine to the accumulator on the frame using a F150 90 degree "duckbill" fitting at the accumulator and a spare Mustang fuel return fitting to connect to the re-bent Mustang fuel rail extension.
  • Connected the EFI engine harness ground wire to one of the engine to transmission mounting bolts - good thing I finally remembered to do this...
  • Hooked up a small battery charger to keep the battery charged while I did other stuff over a few week's time.
  • Installed the O2 sensors into the header collectors.
  • Re-worked the O2 and oil level sensor harness to fit onto the truck (cleaned the entire harness, replaced damaged/missing split loom, and made the run to the oil level sensor a bit longer) and installed it onto the truck. Originally it went under the front of the motor and back to the O2 sensors, due to the headers being longer, I opted to run it over the top rear of the motor/transmission and down the O2 sensors, with a short run of wire heading down and forward from the Z-bar mount on the engine to the oil level sensor. A few strategic tie-wraps are keeping things away from the exhaust and away from moving parts. There's a good bit of harness left over at the connection to the main harness, but that's OK.
  • Connected the main computer case ground to a good grounding point. I made a small metal tab to mount to one of the wiper pivot mount bolts, and then put a self tapping screw into that for the ground. If needed, I can jumper this to elsewhere for an even better ground, but I think this should work OK.
  • Taped up the EFI harness between the firewall and the computer so it's not loose wires. The main relay is just hanging off the harness for now; I may leave it that way if it's not going to bang around too badly. Or, I may need to tape it to the side of the harness.
  • Installed a 1985 Mustang fuel vapor canister and hooked it up to the original 1/4" fuel tank vapor line and the 3/8" 1987 Mustang purge valve. I had previously re-bent the original metal fuel vapor line to clear the headers and run on top of the frame in the engine compartment, and I had to do some more bending to get it reasonably straight so I could hook up the vapor canister with a 1/4" section of hose. The  Mustang canister has a 1/4" hose connected to a 33/8" adaptor to run back to the Mustang vapor line, but I just got rid of that and hooked up to the 1/4" vapor line that was already on the truck. The Mustang purge valve hose as a nice molded piece with a 90 degree bend in the end that fit quite nicely. A strategically placed tie-wrap is keeping the lines and purge valve tight to the frame so it doesn't flop around and contact the smog pump pulley while the engine is running.
  • Checked the transmission crossmember for clearance on the X-pipe and realized that he engine/trans are offset about 1"-2" to the passenger's side of the truck. This means that the passenger's side of the crossmember will need more extensive clearancing to make this work - at first glance it appear the exhaust header on the passenger's side is "higher" than the driver's side, but that's just because the crossmember tapers down towards the outer ends, and the offset pushed the exhaust further along the taper.
  • Temporarily undid and pulled aside the wiring around passenger's side of the firewall to check fitment on the AC/heater install. Also pulled off the air intake tubing, MAF, and air filter. Removed and pushed down/out of the way the passenger's side of the smog tube crossover (on the back of the cylinder heads) to make room for the AC/heater housing. May need to remove the throttle body and EGR as well - it's a tight fit...
  • Made a template of the hole needed in the firewall for the AC/heater housing and painted the template location on the firewall so I can make sure it fits and so I can find the proper places to cut at later on. See the pics on the AC page - it makes a lot more sense when you see it.
  • Did a full rebuilt on the donor AC/heater unit. Tore it down to a bare housing, did a full cleaning and re-rusting of everything, rebuilt all re-usable parts (blower motor wheel, internal sheet metal parts, etc.), and replaced various parts (blower motor, heater core, etc.). Created custom foam seals to replace old/aged/torn seals as needed.

 

Part Awaiting Installation

  • X-pipe kit, and mufflers
  • 1/4" heater hose - approx 3 feet - for heated throttle body hookups.
  • Four hose clamps for 1/4" heater hose.
  • Four brass nuts for the exhaust manifold hookups. Brass nuts don't rust in place quite as badly as steel nuts tend to do over time.
  • Spark plugs
  • Spark plug wires
  • Cap and rotor
  • Mustang H-pipe (factory unit w/cats) and various Mustang exhaust pieces - use these to piece together a complete and working system on the truck.
  • Various misc Ford EFI and late model 5.0L pieces. Some are Mustang pieces, some are F-series pieces.
  • Black seatbelt assemblies (used)
  • Black door panels (used)
  • New door to cab seals

 

Parts Needed

A reminder of what I need to find, buy, trade for, or otherwise obtain to complete the work on this truck.

  • 90 degree fitting, 1/8" NPT male to 1/4" hose barb
  • Straight fitting, 3/8" NPT male to 1/4" hose barb
  • New window seals (vent + roll up windows on each side)

 

What's Up Next

Some quick notes for things I need to remember to do that may not be clearly called out in the to-do list.

I need to final bend the brake line to stay away from things - it originally went right through what will now be the fuel filter area. It had a kick-out in this area already, so I just need to shape it and secure it so it does not rub/bounce/get too close to the exhaust pipes. I have a friend who is really good at re-bending existing hard lines, so I'll have to bribe him with pizza/steak/beer/whatever.

Install the MIL and CES/NGS connectors. Put a connector on the green VSS + wire for the cruise control.

Make up new custom interior harness that will connect the new 8 pin firewall connector to the extra backup light switch, fog light switch, under dash gauges connector, tach connector, oil level module connector, dash lights feed, fused ignition feed, fused battery feed, low beam feed, and start ground (prove out)

 

Stuff Left To Do

The ever-present list of all of the things that need to get done/fixed/accomplished.

  • Find and install the last bolt on the driver's side front corner of the upper intake manifold.
  • Install a distributor hold down onto the distributor.
  • Install a new cap and rotor onto the distributor.
  • Replace the existing spark plugs with new ones, properly gapped to 1989 Mustang specs.
  • Install new plug wires.
  • Get and hook up a new positive battery cable between the starter and the solenoid. The starter cable needs to run along the oil pan rail and not follow the original routing due to the exhaust headers.
  • Extend the EFI coolant temp sensor connector wires and hook up the connector to the sensor.
  • Install the 1/4" coolant hose to the EGR spacer plate. Drain the cooling system a bit, remove the pipe plugs in the intake and in the heater hose outlet, install the correct fittings in each place, hook up the hoses, and refill the cooling system with the antifreeze that was removed.
  • Hook up or plug the open vacuum connection coming from the upper plenum. Figure out what it's for if possible.
  • Plug the open vacuum T-connection on the line to the vacuum gauge.
  • Plug the open vacuum connection on the vacuum plenum that is for the cruise control - it won't get used until later on.
  • Check all wiring, hoses, smog gear, etc. for proper hookup.
  • Reconnect negative battery cable, check for electrical problems, and correct as needed.
  • Add some fuel to the tank.
  • Activate the fuel pumps and test the system for leaks or other problems. Make sure both pumps are running and that there is fuel pressure at the fuel rails. I will need to flush out the lines by having the pumps run some gas through the high pressure part of the system and into a container, and also by placing the return line into a container after hooking up the high pressure side. The lines have been sitting outside for quite a while, so they need cleaning to be sure no gunk gets into the system and to make sure the low and high pressure pumps both work properly.
  • Prime engine using a drill and a pre-lubrication tool to give it some oil all around and allow me to check for leaks.
  • Re-install distributor and hook up wiring to it.
  • Test fire the new engine and make sure it's running properly, not making any horrible knocking noises, etc.
  • Recheck all hoses for leaks and correct as needed.
  • Recheck all wiring for problems and correct as needed.
  • Install a later model gas pedal and throttle cable and hook it up to throttle body.
  • Apply rust encapsulator to the rusty seam near the top of the firewall (both from inside the cab and from the engine compartment) and then cover it with seam sealer on the inside of the cab side to plug any remaining pinholes. If needed, paint the engine compartment side of the seam with black paint to make it appear less obvious.
  • Mock up the X-pipe to see where it will intersect with the transmission crossmember and make sure it will fit in other areas.
  • Modify the transmission crossmember to have a place for the exhaust to go through on each side. Basically, create a hoop on each side to allow the exhaust to run underneath the crossmember. Those hoops should be more or less straight back from the header collectors, possibly a bit inboard depending on how the X-pipe mock up works out.
  • Install X-pipe assembly and mufflers. Modify and create exhaust mounts as needed so that it stays up and out of the way.
  • Create and hook up smog pump outlet pipe to X-pipe assembly and to the smog pump hose along the passenger's side of the engine. The exhaust end will need to split and attach to each side of the exhaust, or possibly connect directly to the middle of the X-pipe.
  • See if the 1985 Mustang tailpipes can be adapted to fit the back of the truck and get the exhaust from the mufflers over the axle and to the back bumper.
  • Install emissions vacuum controls (EGR control valve + both smog pump diverter control valves) onto the passenger's side inner fender near the firewall. Some kind of custom bracketry will be needed. Hook up the vacuum line connector to the one coming off the smog controls.
  • Put a new heater core in the AC/heater system.
  • Install heater and AC system. Involves cutting new hole in the firewall, etc.
  • Mount computer and main EEC relay inside the cab.
  • Re-install dash, re-mount steering column, install glove box, etc. I'll need to install a different dash cover plate for the AC system, which I do not have as of yet.
  • Verify the fuel gauge is working properly.
  • Create a mount for the MAF sensor.
  • Test fire engine again and check for exhaust leaks, suitable noise levels, etc.
  • Test drive truck around block to check for problems, correct as needed.
  • Recheck for leaks and any other problems, correct as needed.
  • Test drive truck for progressively longer distances until I'm satisfied that everything is fine and it's going to run correctly.
  • Change oil and filter after a suitable number of miles running the engine.
  • Enjoy the smile on my face as I realize how much cooler and much better this truck is with EFI and more power.
  • Figure out a cold air intake system.
  • Replace driver's side seatbelt. It's frayed to the point of being useless and needs replacement. See pics above.
  • Replace weather stripping on both doors. It's half missing, half hanging down into the door opening and is worthless. See pics above.
  • Fix ignition switch. It's somehow managed to come loose from the dash and is hanging in place, ready to short out and cause an electrical fire. Hopefully it just needs to be screwed back into place. Hopefully. If not, I'll need to hunt down a replacement.
  • Make sure gas gauge if fixed and working right. It never read right before, the sender in the tank appears to be bad.
  • Move add-on gauges from under the dash to into the dash. The tach on the steering column and the gauges under the dash are functional, but cheesy. Mounting them in the dash directly will make for a much cleaner look and make them easier to read.
  • Clean up old wiring work. I've learned a lot since then, and I need to take some time and do things right.
  • Replace add-on backup lights. Someone broke one of them, and replacements are readily available for relatively cheap.
  • Do headlight relay modification. Brighter headlights would be a good thing.
  • Replace interior door panels and door armrests/handles. The ones in there right now are beat to death, cracked, and nasty.
  • Fix anything else that I find busted or in need of fixing will be dealt with.
  • Install the Deluxe Hi-Lo Heater system as a first step to a later AC conversion. The only major differences in the AC setup are the (obvious) presence of the AC pieces in the same housing on the firewall, but also a slightly different control panel and wiring. The rest of the pieces on or under the dash are the same, so I can get this going now and do the AC work later when I have all those pieces ready to install.
  • Install cruise control by using whatever pieces I have from various years. The later model cruise control would be a good starting point since the speed sensor will already be there and ready for use by the cruise control system. I will need to track down a cruise equipped truck from this era to get the proper steering column controls, relay, etc. Hopefully the AC equipped one I use for the dash parts will work...

 


Comments? Kudos? Got some parts you'd like to buy/sell/barter/swap? Nasty comments about my web page so far? You can email Mike or Debbie.

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Page last updated 06/28/2009 01:44:19 PM