My 1979 Mustang L - Project Notch

October 2002 a friend of mine contacted me wanting to know if I wanted to buy another Mustang really cheap before she took it to the junk yard. She had a 1979 2.3L Mustang that she got from her ex she wanted to sell to buy parts for her Pontiac Firebird. I was told the car was driveable but needed work and she had no clue where to start on it. I had seen the car before over at her ex's house so was vaguely familiar with it, we negotiated on a price and I agreed to give her $100 for it because it was more than the junk yard would have offered her.

First picture of the 79

On the night she was driving it over to me I got a call from her that it had stopped running and wouldn't start back up. I ended up towing it home with my 87 LX. That is when she warned me that it did not stop very well and pulled to the left when braking. Luckily I got it home without getting rear ended.

The interior was your basic L level trim, vinyl interior with nothing special. The front seats of course where mostly worn out and cracking. Someone at some point had glued a felt like fabric across the top of the door panels and dash top.

The rear seat surprisingly was still in good condition.

Front Seats Rear seat

The motor was no prize winner either. A stock 2.3L 4cyl rated @ 88 hp. and 118 torque that had emissions systems by-passed and showed many signs of poor maintenance and hacks to just keep it running.

These pictures where taken at the time I was getting it ready to remove the motor from the car.

Stock 2.3L Stock 2.3L

Digging deeper into the mechanicals of the car I pulled the front wheels off to inspect the brakes. The drivers side brake showed bad wear on the inboard brake pad where someone at some point had gone metal on metal destroying the rotor. Thinking this was the only reason it was pulling hard to the left and not stopping well I checked out the right side front brake.

When I pulled the wheel off I could not believe what I saw. Someone had totally removed the brake caliper and had a machine screw threaded into the brake line to try and block the brake fluid from squirting out! I was dumbfounded that anyone would be so stupid as to drive a car around like this.

I was EXTREMELY Lucky that I did not get rear ended towing it home!

1990 Ranger rollover

While I was deciding what to do with this basket case so I didn't feel like I wasted my money I had a light bulb moment. Sitting in the yard was a 1990 Ford Ranger rollover that my Dad and brother had purchased with the idea of fixing it up for my sister to drive. When they decided it would cost too much they had started to part it out, then decided to just give it to my sister anyway for her to sell or have parted out.

The transmission had been sold but it still had the 2.3L 4cyl this rated @ 100 hp. and 133 torque.

Ranger 2.3L Ranger 2.3L

The plan basically was simple, I would buy the motor and engine control systems out of the Ranger and transplant them into the Mustang. This same motor had been used in the 1991 & later Fox Body Mustangs so should be a straight forward swap.

The execution of the plan was not so straight forward and simple.

While discussing my plans for the car with my GF at the time, she asked if I would be willing to build the car for her and she would help pay for the parts needed. At the time this did sound good to me because she lived in a non-emissions area at this time and I could register the car there making the conversion easier, so I agreed.

We are off and running. The Project Begins | 3 |

Copyright Rhapsody GT Web Design.

Last Update September 7, 2015