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I am Nick Lang
Tue 26 May 2020

Engine Rebuild

Back in February I decided that it was time to take Melisandre in for a check up. Not because anything was wrong, but because I wanted to feel comfortable with the car and the status of the engine for a long drive or a road trip. One of these days I'd like to put Elwood in the car, and go for a road trip. Maybe do the [Power Tour[(https://www.hotrod.com/events/power-tour/). But, before I would really feel comfortable doing something like that I wanted to look inside the engine and understand how things are looking.

I made an appointment with Jason at Fast Track Auto Repair and he did a leak down test and a compression test on the engine. Turns out the engine was a leaky mess. Almost every cylinder was leaking through at least 1 valve, and cylinder 8 was leaking through the bottom of the engine. What all this meant was that the engine was running at about half power and the next step was to do a complete engine rebuild.

An engine rebuild is not a cheap process, but as a result I'll have an engine that's more powerful, and more reliable (well should be).

After the engine got taken out and shipped over to the machine shop we went into a nation wide lock down and everything got slowed down.

In May, the engine finally was finished and sent back to Fast Track for installation. The dyno results came in and we double the horse power and almost doubled the torque.

  • 427 hp
  • 526 lb/ft

Along with a total rebuild of the engine we added new:

  • hardware kit
  • clutch
  • alternator
  • starter
  • electric radiator fans
  • re-did the wiring in the engine bay
  • water pump
  • battery

After all these upgrades everything in engine bay and under the car is new. The only parts of the mustang that are original is the interior and the body. I'm pretty excited about this car.

The bad news. A couple days after I got the car home I was taking my sister for a drive for mothers day and the car developed a nasty knocking sound. This was a result of a lifter breaking.

I had the car towed over to Fast Track and Jason took the head covers off and we noticed that one of the rocker arms was loose. Upon inspection we could see that it just snapped. Jason was super awesome and took ownership of the issue. He worked with the machinist and they were able to order a whole new set of rocker arms, which ended up not being the right fix. After the new rocker arms were installed, and the car started up another rocker arm broke!

The new rocker arm breaking was kind of a big blow to me. I was really really hoping to have the car back for Memorial Day weekend so that I could do some cruises with the wife.

The guys went back to the drawing board and at this point the rocker arms couldn't be trusted and it's possible that the geometry of the engine is too aggressive or there's some calculations that are wrong when the engine went back together. The machinist feels pretty certain that going to a beefier rocker arm will solve the issue. So new rocker arms have been ordered and I'm hoping that they'll get delivered this week and the car can be returned to me by the end of the week.

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