|Asa Jay's 351C Rebuild
The Mach I, ready for it's trip to the Shop.
So Why Rebuild?
A 1971 car is a thing of the past, it's hard to find parts for, they
never pass emissions, you always see them breaking down, your last engine
didn't last, what makes you think this one will?
All of us at one time or another have heard these things said to us,
or felt this way ourselves. The fact is, my 1971 Mustang is one of the
most reliable cars I've ever owned. Parts are readily available, the car
passed emissions every time it was due, and whenever I did have a breakdown,
it could easily be fixed and I would be back on the road within a day
or two at the most.
The 1971 Mustang was the beginning of a short lived period in Ford's
history. A small brief period lasting only about three years. The 1971
through 1973 model years saw the last of the large bodied Mustang. The
massive 351C (Cleveland) powerplant was shelved due to rising gas prices
and a perceived gas shortage. The Japanese auto makers jumped on this
opportunity to push smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. In 1974, Ford's
answer came as a re-fendered Pinto, badged as a Mustang. It was a sad
day for many.
The 1974 and later "small bodied" Mustangs were not that bad
and I'm not here to bash them. My purpose here, is to talk about the 1971
to 1973 Mustangs.
The Mustang Mach I was even more unique and desireable for it's higher
horsepower engine and interior/exterior styling. The low roofline gradualy
sweeping back to the rear tailights in a manner that made one wonder where
the roof ended and the trunk began, was a trademark of the popular Mach
I's of the day. The rear window was a massive 2½ feet long front
to back, yet provided only about 8 inches of viewing area through the
rear view mirror. Side mirrors were a must, and the adept driver could
rely upon them religiously.
Many Mach I's came with a manual transmission and I won't talk about
those since the one I own came with a C6 automatic. For me, a transmission
has always been a personal preference, and for this largest of the breed,
I felt very comfortable with the C6 provided. With the technology available
today, the C6 could easily be replaced by a good C4 or C5, or even an
AOD. For me, the C6 has proved to be a very powerful conduit to get the
power from the engine to the rear wheels.
What I've tried to relay here, is the sense of passion I have about this.
The Mach I is no off the shelf car, it's a piece of American History.
I'm not the restore it and show it type. Though I do make it to car shows
and am an active member of the Inland Emprie Mustang Club of Spokane,
Washington, I enjoy my car as a passion. For more on that, visit my Mustang
home page, which you may have already been to.
Since 1997, I've been unable to drive the car. After almost 100 thousand
miles on my first rebuild, the engine finally gave up. Since then, I have
collected parts, purchased new parts, and generally got ready for this
project. It's taken a couple of years, and I've had to wade through another
engine/tranny project for my Jeep, but I'm now ready. The Mach I as it
is now, requires what I have lately referred to as a "heart/lung
transplant". The engine has had it, and while I'm in there, I might
as well replace the transmission.
I've collected a few spare engines, and I've had a spare tranny for quite
some time. I'm now putting them into the plan.
So enjoy what you find here, provide feedback if you like, and ask questions
if you desire. Welcome to my current project.