The massive Ford Performance 427 Cobra FE motor—the engine powering the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback being rebuilt by eBay Motors this summer—was fired up for the first time this past weekend.
The setting for the inaugural revving of the engine was the Goodguys 31st West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, Calif., where the eBay Motors pop-up garage drew crowds of gearheads eager to see the fastback and hear it roar. “It was way cool to hear 530 horses gallop simultaneously underneath the hood,” said celebrity car-builder Rutledge Wood, who is leading the rebuild. Rut was behind the wheel for the first firing with Randy Allgood of Kenwood Rod Shop presiding over the engine.
“It’s a great feeling to hear that sucker,” Rut said. “The sound from those headers and the Magnaflow mufflers is a thing of beauty.”
The event in Pleasanton was the last stop on the “On The Road with eBay Motors” Tour before the Mustang Fastback is unveiled in its final form at SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas on Oct. 31. “This is the furthest along the Mustang has been,” Rut said. “It’s exciting the first time you hear an engine turn over on a car that you’ve been working on for a long time.”
Rut believes the West Coast Nationals was so far the highlight of the “On The Road” tour. “A lot of people have been following the Mustang build,” he said. “It’s cool to meet them and hear their thoughts about the project. There’s a ton of Mustang-heads out there.” Rut was impressed by the level of expertise in the crowd—people with hands-on experience building their own hot rods.
The engine break-in procedure that commenced in Pleasanton will continue in the coming weeks. That process is crucial for a long engine life. The oiling system, cooling, fuel delivery, and ignition systems must be properly prepared for that first start-up—and monitored during its early life. Those duties will go to Randy Allgood.
Here is Randy’s checklist:
- On a new or rebuilt engine, the system should always be primed with oil prior to starting.
- The initial prime should be done before installing the engine. Oiling issues are easier to discover and repair while the engine is out of the vehicle.
- Once installed, with transmission and all pertinent parts, the oiling system should be primed for a second time.
- Check oil after priming and before initial startup.
- Always prime through the distributor hole with an electric drill turning counterclockwise.
- Watch the oil pressure gauge for oil pressure. Never prime an engine by turning over with the starter.
- The ignition system must deliver a properly timed spark. Improper timing can damage internal parts such as pistons, rod bearings, and head gaskets.
- For the Mustang’s Ford Performance 427 Cobra FE motor, the initial timing was set at 14 – 16 degrees—and total mechanical advance timing at 4,000 rpm was set at 32 – 34 degrees total. Set the total timing as soon as possible after engine fires up.
The West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton was the last pit-stop before the final resto-mod is showcased at the SEMA 2017 show in late October. The “On The Road with eBay Motors” nationwide tour brought the ’67 Mustang Fastback to Carlisle, Penn. in June; Columbus, Ohio in July: and Detroit, Mich. in August. During these months, crowds of auto enthusiasts gathered at major car events to see the car undergo a transformation—using parts exclusively purchased on eBay Motors.
Now it’s a race to the finish line—the debut of the car at SEMA, where the car will be sold for charity. Stay tuned here for coverage of the final engine work, interior design, and all the finishing touches.