Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty Employee

Will it run? Starting up a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for the first time in 30 years

Last week you saw us pull this 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 out of a pull barn it had been sitting in for nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, she didn't start up on the first attempt, but that didn't deter Davin as he set to work gathering a few parts to get her back up and running.
New Driver

Liked the video on 69 Mach 1
I had a new 69 in the same color
351 4 brl, 4 spd
Wish I still had it
Pit Crew

Not too bad, but I would have expected a bit more in way of engine protection prior to firing it up.

First, I don't understand why you took the oil filler cap off... and left it off. That's a good way to let debris get in. Not to worry too much because you took the valve covers off later anyway. Other than to replace a leaky gasket, why bother with that at this point?

Second, you talk about how to put an oil pressure gauge on the oil sending unit output, but then proceed to crank the engine dry in hopes of getting oil up. Maybe I missed it, but I saw no oil at the rockers. A -much- better way to do this, is to get a high-torque drill, remove the distributor and spin the oil pump shaft with either a socket taped to a good extension, or using an old distributor shaft that's been removed from it's housing (my preferred method). This gives the advantage of spinning -just- the oil pump without spinning the crank, cam, lifters, rockers, valves, etc. saving them from what could be a bad fate. And -if- it is working properly, you'll see pressure on the gauge, -then- you know the pump is working -and- you have oil circulating prior to start.

Had the oil pump been shot, or the dizzy gear worn through such that the cam didn't turn it, you'd have essentially smoked the bearings and would probably be into rebuilding the engine now. Yes, I know, "ran when parked." but -how- was it running? Good, or poorly. Best not to take chances. Then again, as in all things automotive, anything in between could have happened too.

Now, with that little gripe out of the way... the engine sounded pretty good in the video. I know it's a great feeling firing up something that hasn't been run in many years. A little clean up, some clay bar, a little elbow grease (check the brakes) and it will be a head-turner again without the need for a restoration (yet).

Asa Jay