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1973 Grande Build


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Ok, so this is my first of what I hope will be the string of post on my 73 Grande. As soon as I can figure out why my pics post upside down, I’ll post my very few, so far, series of pics of my old ride. I purchased this car in January 21 with the original 351c but no trans, and most of the front of the engine was in the trunk. So, my plans were to exchange/swap a newer model driveline to take advantage of newer technology, EFI, 4 sp auto, etc. I was lucky to purchase a complete 1987 Thunderbird with a 5l SFI with 4sp auto as the donor for this rebirth. On Friday, I was able to move the Bird to AZ where the stang is, so now the hard works begin.

Looking forward to advice on those who have already done the same swap. I’m hoping having a running, drivable donor car to start helps me avoid issues. I’ll be looking for someone to buy the original engine, in case anyone knows someone who needs one.

And advise on the picture posting would be appreciated. 😃

Steve

 

image0.jpeg

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Good luck and enjoy! Looking forward to read about your adventures as I am restoring  73 Grande myself :-)

Cheers,

Vincent.

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Posted (edited)

Congratulations!  It sounds like you have a good project on your hands.  My advice: Take your time and don't get discouraged!  Walk away from it for a while when you get frustrated.  Ask lots of questions of the experienced folks on this forum. Finally, enjoy the accomplishments as you go along.  There is a lot of satisfaction in restoring individual parts or finding parts needed for your project.

The 5.0L / AOD swap should be pretty straight forward.  You can buy conversion parts - crossmember, shifter, throttle cable, fuel lines, etc. - or you can fabricate your own.  Connecting the EFI will require some fabricating and wiring, but has been done before. 

Post your progress here so we can all follow along.   

Edited by Sheriff41
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Thanks Sheriff. Do you know anyone who has a book or website to integrate the two vehicles wire harnesses? Any info would be a better starting point. I need to acquire both wiring diagrams to start. Or, is there someone/vendor who does it for you?

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Not sure about books, though the instruction pamphlet for the Ford Performance Parts M-12071-A50 is one option https://www.jegs.com/InstallationInstructions/300/397/397-M-12071-A50.pdf .  I think Painless Performance may make a harness also.  I used the old Ford Motorsport version 15-20 years ago on a friend's 65 and it worked out well.  We used a 5L and AOD out of a Lincoln Mark VII.

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  • 1 month later...

E34A2F61-8F6D-47FC-9BAF-FC6411679429.thumb.jpeg.29017f7197d15aaccdb316c1c60b9b06.jpeg

 

So, I’ve started the wire harness extraction from the donor 87 TBird. The first photo is day 2 of the process; trying to remove system components I know I’ll need to transplant, while allowing me to remove the harness without any cutting.

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This photo is day three, got the harness all the way to the firewall.  Have all of the connectors to components labeled and my wire board is coming along too.

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I know it’s difficult to see, but those red labels are the principle components (coil, distributor, water temp sensor, etc) and in relation to the under hood arrangement, where those components go (the masking tape are the temporary labels unit I can add the fancy red ones). My plan is to lay the harness on this board and build the minimum system from it. Next step is extracting the computer, and gonna use the fuel pump relay and component elements from the TBird too. That will be a separate simple harness board.

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Well, am update. I am getting close to installing the 87 TBird engine into the car; I tried to layout all of the component system without the engine, but it proved to introduce too much uncertainty; uncertain in that, I wasn’t sure the parts would clear the engine, etc. So, as soon as I get my timing cover dowels (for some reason, they were not there when I pulled it apart OR, I lost them). 😳

I was able to fix the bent core support and install the hood latch support parts. Once I have the engine in, I’ll post a pic. My plan is to use this month, Nov, to layout the systems. I’ve also decided to delete the EGR system. Mostly because of the number of components required to make it work. I am keeping the air pump. I know I read somewhere that I need to add some sort of shunt in the system so it can receive a response and not throw codes.

Steve

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Well, today I got the new engine in the car for the first time:

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It was difficult to install it because of a figment issue with the stock driver-side exhaust manifold hanging on the steering unit.

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I’m analyzing the parts to determine if I can grind the exhaust manifold to get the clearance I need. I’ll add more posts once I make any more progress.

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Well, more progress on the build. I was able to locate a place on the firewall, on the passenger side, just where the bottom of the AC unit meets the firewall, to cut the opening for the ECU harness. It will allow me to do two things: 1. Mount the ECU in the kick panel area (I should be able to keep the existing kick panel, with some minor modifications), and 2. Have the harness wire occupy the space just below the AC unit, but still be attached to the firewall, kinda tucked in that gap.

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I also have to relocate the right front brake line, as that hard to see X is where the hole goes. That shouldn’t be a difficult move, just a few bends. I also locates the TAB and EGR valves; they’re hard to see, just at the bottom of the picture.

I was also able to mock-up the location of the coil, Relay/Fuse panel, starter solenoid, MAP sensor, and vacuum tree.

A44C5D62-1149-4D98-BB18-BD1FA0060FBE.thumb.jpeg.77a646cb68491b2d4623ac1e15d63aac.jpegE67EAA29-C1CC-4676-8747-2F022ECB4B5C.thumb.jpeg.ded9aa35ecd403be43ca35ffcc5de813.jpeg

For ease in creating the wiring, I’m trying, on purpose, to put the components where they were located on the donor car. I may move them of problems arise in those locations, but it’s a start.

I know it’s not much, but it’s a week of work for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, more progress, sort of. Am working on the primary power side of the wiring before I tackle the ECU finish wiring. This has been an interesting project so far. I decided, right or wrong, to try and have a minimum integration of the electrical systems between the two vehicles. Primary reason was, I wanted to try and not do too many changes at one time. A long time friend who is an engineer once told me, only change one thing at a time between testing. While this is not a complex aircraft, I think the principle still applies.

So, I’ve had some difficulty in clearly determine, on the donor car, what the as installed wiring system is. When I removed the wiring from the TBird, I remove way more that I knew I would need to make it work; just wanted to be sure. So, I have the service manuals for both vehicles, the wiring and vacuum book on the TBird, a color wiring diagram for the TBird ECU, and a few others. But with all of this, I noticed discrepancies between the wiring and vacuum book, the color coded ECU wiring diagram, and, unfortunately, the actual car.

I did a pin by pin match of the color markings on the wires and found a few errors. Mostly from the car to the wiring and vacuum book. As I build the primary and the ECU wirings, I’ll identify when I found the mismatches.

Someone asked me why I didn’t do the MAF conversion as part of this. Same reason as above; one good idea at a time. Once I have the car running, the MAF upgrade will be next on the list. And since 1987 Mustangs already had MAF, it’s easyish with this ECU harness; of course, will need a new ECU.

So, here is my phase 2 wiring diagram. My phase 1 is being evaluated by the 7173 Genius in the Electrical Tech forum:

C5C45C04-1E97-4399-91B1-CC226D4EA92D.thumb.jpeg.4f7f9b9a8c98d38dd6bbfc9366030adc.jpeg

Sorry it’s not a cool, computer generated drawing. Maybe someone can direct me to a simple program that works on an iPad and at some point, I’ll make one that matches what I ultimately do (after I verify it worked 😃).

So now, tomorrow I start to make the Fuse and relay box. Does anyone have any tips on building one of these boxes? How about that top wiring that connects one power fitting to six fuse connections? Is there an easy way to enable that? I was thinking I’m only going to put in the wiring that I need for the two relays, since access is no issue.

Thanks in advance for the helpful guidance.

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(Saturday, November 27). Well, more progress, sort of. Am working on the primary power side of the wiring before I tackle the ECU finish wiring. This has been an interesting project so far. I decided, right or wrong, to try and have a minimum integration of the electrical systems between the two vehicles. Primary reason was, I wanted to try and not do too many changes at one time. A long time friend who is an engineer once told me, only change one thing at a time between testing. While this is not a complex aircraft, I think the principle still applies.

So, I’ve had some difficulty in clearly determine, on the donor car, what the as installed wiring system is. When I removed the wiring from the TBird, I remove way more that I knew I would need to make it work; just wanted to be sure. So, I have the service manuals for both vehicles, the wiring and vacuum book on the TBird, a color wiring diagram for the TBird ECU, and a few others. But with all of this, I noticed discrepancies between the wiring and vacuum book, the color coded ECU wiring diagram, and, unfortunately, the actual car.

I did a pin by pin match of the color markings on the wires and found a few errors. Mostly from the car to the wiring and vacuum book. As I build the primary and the ECU wirings, I’ll identify when I found the mismatches.

Someone asked me why I didn’t do the MAF conversion as part of this. Same reason as above; one good idea at a time. Once I have the car running, the MAF upgrade will be next on the list. And since 1987 Mustangs already had MAF, it’s easyish with this ECU harness; of course, will need a new ECU.

Sunday, November 28. Got on a roll and was able to finish identifying all of the TBird wiring. Only had a few cap and store for potential, future uses. This car had 8 fusible links on it, so that was a sorting out function. Luckily, 6 of them are positive battery feeds. Beside those, there were 11 wires that needed their purpose understood and where they needed to terminate. Also, as I have indicated, I wanted to add two addition relays, one to handle the HEGO power and one for the coil, TFI, and ECU relay signal to avoid putting pressure on the ignition switch (the ignition switch in the TBird handles it, but it is a hefty unit).

So, after two weeks of work, here’s where I am:

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The drivers side is where the TBird’s wiring was, so it made it a bit easier to keep it that way.

0038AAD1-5BE5-4C2B-B632-EF4C6F3EF553.thumb.jpeg.9fa16989e6c723526def5a74987a0e0b.jpeg

The space in the middle is the fuse/relay (FR) panel, which I started to mock-up. The wirings up the middle are the FR power feed, the run signal, the HEGO feed, and the coil/TFI/EEC signal feed. I was able to scavenge a 6 wire connector to make the FR panel removable.

Now that I’ve got it where I want it, at least close, now I’ve got to cut the hole through the firewall, below the AC plenum, near the passenger kick-plate, to build a ECU/EEC relay removable panel. Once I have the hole cut, I’ll post that next step. So far, so good. Much thanks to 71fast, Kilgone, and RC92234 on the absolutely indispensable help on the wiring issues and questions.

 

 

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Monday, November 29: Cut the hole in the firewall for the ECU harness to pass through, just under the A/C box, and close to the passenger kick panel. Mocked up the ECU mounting bracket (from cardboard) and test fit the ECU and EEC relay. I will have to modify the kick panel some. Does anyone know if someone make a kick panel that would allow for speakers? I wonder if the ECU would fit better if that was available?

I also built my fuse/relay panel. Only using two relay of the six circuits for now, since the 87 TBird system I’m trying to integrate already had 2 (EEC and fuel pump) and these adds were recommended by the TBird guys.

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Now, I’ve got an issue I would like to see if anyone has some advise. I want to use the vapor recovery system from my 73, since it fits the install, and the TBird system is plastic and I can’t find a suitable location for it. Now, here are the two vapor recovery “receivers?”:

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The only difference between the two, 14 years later, is the addition of a purge valve system:

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That hose connects to that extra fitting at the top of the plastic charcoal box, where the 73 didn’t have that. All of the other outlets have the same purpose. My question is, do you think, while I’m refurbishing my 73 vapor can, I can just add a fitting at the top to add this purge function to the old system? BTW, that valve in that last photo, opens at the command of the ECU and connects the can to manifold vacuum. If my information is right, it’s only under light loaded cruising and for about 5 seconds.

What do you think or what more do you need to know to have an informed opinion? Thanks, Steve.

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Thanks. One thing I noticed, as I dissected the TBird’s vapor can, was the two small lines at the end, are at the top of a cavity that is walled-off from the charcoal chamber. They meet at the bottom of the canister. So, both the vapor line from the fuel tank and the vapor line that goes to the manifold vacuum, via the purge valve, draw from the bottom of the charcoal chamber. So, since I’ll be modifying my existing 73 can, I’ll add an additional 3/8” tube that goes to the bottom of the can. I think that should allow it to work. Thoughts. Thanks, Steve 

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I honestly would not sweat this too much, as it is just a really primitive emissions system to just keep the fumes from the fuel in the gas tank going to the atmosphere. As long as you have the canister connected and the fumes go to the intake, you should be fine. I found this schematic of how that vacuum canister worked, it seems that both big outlets from it are vents, and that you have one line going to the intake manifold, and the other line that comes from the fuel tank. From what I can tell, that canister should work the same as the old steel one you have except that it has 2 vents. The main difference is that in the old system it was just connected to the air cleaner and no vacuum was used to pull fumes. In the new system they use vacuum to pull fumes, so they have to connect a solenoid of some sort to only pull vacuum at certain times, or you would just have a huge vacuum leak. Look at this schematic:

 

B4E1F860-40C5-413A-B9D1-37096AADB3A6.gif

Edited by 71ProjectJunk
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I think I could use the 73’s 1/2” outlet as the line the purge valve connects to for one reason: it’s the only line that when you put manifold vacuum, it would pull the vapors through the charcoal filter. Otherwise, when the purge valve opened, you would just have a big vacuum leak at the vent on top of the metal canister would be the closet to the vacuum draw. So, if I can create an adapter to connect the 3/8” purge line to the 1/2” line that would normally connect to the air cleaner, I think that would function like the original system, and placate the vacuum leak issue.

What do you think? And yes, I’m an Engineer.

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9 hours ago, Steve McMahan said:

Like this. Of course, I’ve got to make a bracket to attach the solenoid to the canister. 

855F4007-44FE-4B48-9037-6341537354FF.thumb.jpeg.355ccebd76c17f4ed687d06907da7212.jpeg

The center port is the vent, the other big port is the one that used to go to the air cleaner. I would imagine that the vent would end up staying as a vent, and that the side that originally went to the air cleaner would now go to the solenoid that goes to the intake manifold. Please remember that this is in fact the fuel tanks ventilation, there is no other vent in a Mustangs fuel tank. The fuel tank has to constantly vent or you will loose fuel pressure and eventually the tank will collapse inward. I have no idea what that canister looks like on the inside, so I can't comment on if you should install it backwards from the way it originally was, and I am certainly no engineer :-)

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9 hours ago, Steve McMahan said:

Sorry, another question (see attached photo): I have 7/8” from the top of the rubber cowl to hood seal to the top of the MAP sensor. Will that clear the hood? I’m not able to get to the hood to verify. Thank you, Steve.

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From what I can tell you should be fine there, at least if you are going to be running the Mach 1 NACA hood with the dual snorkels. I have no idea if the standard flat hood is different in that area, but with the Mach 1 hood you will have a ton of room. On the Mach 1 hood, right after the cowl weatherstrip the hood goes up about 3 inches. Here are some photos:

Cowl 1.jpg

cowl 2.jpg

Cowl 3.jpg

Cowl 4.jpg

Cowl 5.jpg

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The second photo is from the bottom of the hood where the weatherstrip sits, there may be 1/16-1/8 of an inch from where the weatherstrip sits to when the hood starts going up, and as you can see on the last photo it goes up 3 inches. It does not go up at a 90 degree angle, there is a slight angle there, but you are far enough ahead of this that you should have a ton of clearance, at least with the Mach 1 hood. 

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