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
- 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
- Removed the air cleaner and carb from the old engine.
- Tried to install an engine lifting plate onto the old engine and the threads
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Installed a new shifter boot and reinstalled the original shift knob from inside
- 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
- Replaced the plastic clutch linkage bushings and adjusted the clutch linkage to
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Installed my recently cleaned injectors into the newly cleaned fuel
- Removed the temporarily installed upper intake, fuel rail, and
- Installed the newly cleaned smog pump crossover tube onto the rear of
- Installed the newly cleaned fuel rail and injectors onto the lower
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Removed the original fuel line and mounting clips from the driver's side
- 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
- 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
- Installed the air intake hose, MAF sensor, and K&N filter onto the
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- Enjoy the smile on my face as I realize
how much cooler and much better this truck is with EFI and more power.
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
- 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
- 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...