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Hagerty Employee

"Ran when parked" 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 uncovered after 20 years in storage

There are project cars that require major time, effort, and finances, and then there are project cars that can be up and running in just a matter of weeks. In this latest Redline Update, Davin is thrilled to be laying his hands on one of the latter.
New Driver

Oh my, no you did not do that, maybe it’s because of your excitement, enthusiasm, the love of working on cars. So I have been a fan of yours since day one with the beginning of your post on Hagerty. And now my first disagreement…. I’m Heart broken.

First…. It was stated the Mach 1 Mustang has been sitting for 15 years. And you try to start it.
Oh no…. we drop the gas tank and flush, make sure no Contaminants and and fill with nice clean fuel. Eliminating the possibility of adding additional contamination’s through the fuel system.
My guess you later on fine the fuel pump is weak because of sitting and rot.

And the frustration of trying to start the Mach 1 Mustang and your words were first we replace all the electrical components as you said. Then we go for a start up……

Ok, I forgive you…. Take a deep breath and do what you say.

My Best to you… old man Danny Bisson
Pit Crew

Refreshing to see that someone had the common sense to throw a cover over this car at some point early in its storage. Amazes me how many valuable "ran when parked" cars from the Tom Cotter videos are left uncovered by their hoarder owners in a leaky warehouses and pole barns, and are now covered in a thick layer of dirt and animal excrement.
New Driver

Geez you mentioned, some clean gas before you try and start it and how about you drain the oil and put 20 bucks worth of clean oil in before you try and start the poor thing! You guys aren't Roadkill for Pete's sake!


it's going to wind up with an LS anyway
Intermediate Driver

BLASPHEMY!!!!!! it's probably why it won't start! Shame on people like you who should never be allowed to bastardize a vintage car like this!
Intermediate Driver

Several years ago I found 7 cars in a barn in Florida. One was a 1969 Mustang Mach 1. Yep, a 4-speed original car like this. All cars had been driven into the place and parked. After carefully removing and assessing all the cars. I then had a plan to move forward. I'll talk about the Mustang only. First thing was to see if I could rotate the engine by HAND ONLY. No Luck! Second was to pull spark plugs squirt a mixture of ATF and Acetone into each cylinder and let is set for a few days. Next pull valve covers and see if it looked like condensation or corrosion had been there.. All Clean! Now with a socket on the crank pulley, see if it would turn after it had soaked. NO LUCK at all! More soaking and after a few more days-- still stuck.. So NOW, into gear and rocking back and forth-- Still stuck! Keep in mind the guy I got these from and his family all told me about these cars and when and why they all were placed in storage. I had more than one person confirm this Mustang ran great. Well, it was not budging, So I pulled it out of the car and opened it up. What I found was the heat from the ground inside that metal building with a "sugar-sand" floor had been so hot over the years, the crankcase oil vapors had "glued" the pistons to the cylinder walls. Had I put a battery to it or trying pushing it, I am sure I would have broken pistons! Of course the valve guides were also so dry, valves would have clobbered pistons and the engine ruined! My patience paid off! A very through cleaning of all parts, lubing it all up and reassemble was what it took to get the engine running. The rest of course is all the fuel system brake system tires -- on and on.
Intermediate Driver

My 1970 Mach 1 fired right up after sitting without being started for over 25 years. It runs like a top and does not use any oil.

If this were in my garage - step 1 would have been to sand the points - good. Step 2 would have been to find the missing vacuum advance line and plug it in. Step 3 would have been to disconnect fuel line from carb and run it to a clear container. Step 4 would have been to run a lawnmower gas tank to the carb - at which point I would have verified if/that the carb is taking fuel and accelerator pump works. After cranking and failed start - I would have verified no spark - then check to make sure I reinstalled the rotor after cleaning the points
New Driver

When I saw you cranking the engine and the high voltage wire from the coil was ungrounded, I thought "He's going to cook the coil!"
This is so basic that I was really surprised that it wasn't done. In this situation, the high voltage impulse shorts over to the low voltage side or to some ground that it finds within the coil totally frying the coil.