Starting Restoration…For Real, This Time

Tonight I finally started the arduous task of inspection and disassembly, the first step in starting restoration of the Disgustang.  The main objective today was to drain the crankcase, transmission, and radiator of their respective fluids in preparation for removal.  Draining the radiator was amusing, since the drain petcock squirts coolant out at varying angles depending on how far you open the valve.  I didn’t quite guess the angle correctly the first time…or the second time…

I expected to find the transmission fluid low or badly burnt; given that the trans won’t go into park, I’d assumed someone had done some damage to it at some point.  But in defiance of that, the transmission was full of cherry red sweet-smelling Type F fluid.  The pan was coated with a very thin film of friction material, but there wasn’t any indication in the fluid or the filter that the transmission had previously been cooked or was operating erratically.  I’m planning to remove the transmission from the car at the same time I pull the engine since it’s much easier to divorce the transmission from the engine when they’re both out of the car, so draining the fluid is a necessity.  I dropped the pan (and only spilled a little fluid onto my drop cloth), having smartly left two bolts in so that when the gasket let loose, I’d only get seepage from one side until the fluid drained to below the gasket line.  I’m proud of myself for thinking of that, though I’m sure anyone with any experience would know to do that.

Yucky OilThe crankcase oil is a different story.  I pulled the drain plug, and out came the most disgusting-looking opaque gray engine oil I’ve ever seen.  It did mix with the small amount of Mobil 1 left over from changing the oil in my other car to create a cool marble effect, though.  After seeing that oil, and knowing the mileage and that the engine hasn’t been rebuilt, I feel a rebuild is mandatory, so there’s no point in wasting any more time diagnosing the engine.

Now comes the first decision: do I go with a rebuild to stock, or do I add a little go-go juice and have someone build in some more power?

 

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