Hagerty Video: Engine Swapped Ford Gran Torino hasn’t been driven in 20 years: Will It Run?

Engine Swapped Ford Gran Torino hasn't been driven in 20 years: Will It Run?

Posted: 2023-04-02 15:00:25
Author: Hagerty
It may be winter in Northern Michigan, but that won’t stop Davin and Jeff from trying to resuscitate this 1972 Ford Gran Torino with a 429 Cobra Jet. It’s been sitting for years and has definitely seen better days, but that’s just the way we like to find them. The only question left is, will it run?

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos every day! http://bit.ly/HagertyYouTube

Visit our website for daily automotive news, cars stories, reviews, and opinion: https://www.hagerty.com/media

Stay up to date by signing up for our email newsletters here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/newsletter/

Follow us on social media:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/Hagerty
Instagram | https://instagram.com/Hagerty
Twitter | https://twitter.com/Hagerty

If you love cars, you belong with us. Hagerty Drivers Club is the world’s largest community for automotive enthusiasts. Members enjoy valuable automotive discounts, exclusive events and experiences, roadside service created specifically for collector vehicles, and a subscription to the bimonthly Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. Join Hagerty Drivers Club here: https://www.hagerty.com/drivers-club

Like what you see? Watch our other series including:
Redline Rebuilds | Time-lapse engine rebuilds from start to finish http://bit.ly/RedlineRebuild
Barn Find Hunter | Tom Cotter searches the country for abandoned cars http://bit.ly/BarnFIndHunter
Jason Cammisa on the Icons | The definitive car review
Revelations | Untold Stories About Automotive Legends with Jason Cammisa

Contact us:
Suggestions and feedback – videoquestions@hagerty.com
Press inquiries – press@hagerty.com
Partnership requests – partnerships@hagerty.com

Hagerty Video Transcript

– Hey, this is Davin and Jeff and today we’re gonna get this Torino running. And you can tell, probably see the snow in the air, we’re in northern Michigan in December. Yee haa. – So we have a ’72 Ford Grand Torino and we believe transplanted in 429 Cobra Jet.

It probably lit on fire ’cause that’s what they all do. – Brakes locked up. Let’s go with brakes are locked up. – Too bad we can’t move this one. The brake pedal goes straight to the floor. – Suck, squeeze, bang, blow, that’s what makes these run.

I don’t see any fuel just running anywhere. Hey, there’s fuel in the tank. Oh yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. – That actually scared me. – Jeff, you know all the back story on this car because you’ve lived with it, so to speak. So tell me. – Yeah, this car was the pride and joy of a guy who,

I mean this car never came out of the garage, when it did, it was pampered. Last time I saw this car, it was in mint condition. And to actually see it sitting outside in this condition, it bums me out, but it’s still here. – It’s been sitting here a while.

– It’s been sitting there. – May or may not be anything under the hood, right? – Might not. (hood unlatching) – Oh, I don’t like the air cleaner being off of it. – Well, that’s because the mice ate the Edelbrock foam. – I think we should pull the plugs, check the oil,

And see if she turns over. – Okay. Okay. – Yeah, he’s still got the sticker on it. Oh, she turns. – Oh, it turns, we’re good. All right, let’s make it work. – All right, let’s do it. – She’s full. Pretty clean. Well, I mean it’s a little dark but-

– It didn’t come out in chunks. – It did not come out in chunks. – That’s the key, no chunks. No chunks and no white and creamy. That bad, bad, bad, bad. Guess what? – What’s up? – We don’t have to do points on this. It’s a Unilite. – Oh nice.

– It’s an eyeball. So it has a aftermarket Mallory distributor in it, which is referred to or branded as a Unilite. And what it is should not have any points. It’s an eyeball, electronic eyeball. So call it electronic ignition. – And it’s got an ACCEL SuperStock coil.

I wonder where the top of the air cleaner is. – It’s that foam with the cage. It’s gone. – Oh yeah, you’re right. – It’s one of those Edelbrocks. – Yeah, yeah. – It probably lit on fire because that’s what they all do. They get a little back fire

And they just light on fire and then people lose their cars. – You know, of all the places out here for this to be sitting, on this pad is a pretty good spot. I mean, you got moss growing and all, but- – Yeah, you won’t have grass wicking up in there.

– Yeah, right. Those are big plugs, aren’t they? – Yeah, it’s the big ones. How come I grab the driver’s side every time? – I don’t know. – Must be a control thing. – Must be. – I must think I’m in control of things. – (grunting) Did not want to snap a plug.

– I’ve been there, done that before. – Yep. I ever tell you about working on my Impala I had in the snow in Houghton? – No. – Actually in Chassell, but- – Pretty dark. – Underneath it. It was fantastic. – Black and sooty? – Yep. – Not going to believe it.

– What’s on the front support? – A tow strap. – Oh, brakes locked up. Let’s go with brakes are locked up. – Okay. (both laughing) – We’ll stay optimistic. – I’m gonna spray a little bit of what we’ve been using, this Deep Creep just to put something

On the cylinder walls for the piston rings. Just helps it so as that first initial rollover you got something to- – Yeah, some kind of lubricant there. – Make it easier on the starter, if nothing else. – This probably is getting low. – Put a little on the threads too going back in.

So should we throw fresh plugs at her or try to see if these will burn? – I’d like to see if we can get these to run. – Okay. – Other than just being a little black and sooty, I think they’re- – Yeah, they’re probably fine. We can clean ’em.

– Yeah, I was gonna say I can wire brush ’em. – Wire brush ’em at least, right. – What are your thoughts on the stuff on the carburetor? Should we at least pull that? – You talking about the choke and- – Yeah, I think before we try to even crack the throttle

On this, I’m gonna suggest we at least try to blow some air across it with that vacuum. – Okay. – To help put on that vacuum just to blow it out. – Yep. – At least any big, I don’t know, whatever we can get.

– I mean, I’ll just put my hand over it. No, I’m actually gonna blow in that to get that out. I’m not, not this though. – I gotcha. – I ain’t worried about that. The plastic doesn’t like the cold. I think the snow flying in is a nice little added effect. – Yeah, it is. – You know what I mean? – It is. – I mean dust is one thing- – It is. – But golly. – It’s, what do they call that?

Oh, I can’t think of the word. Production value. – Oh, there we go. – Yeah, this snow is a fake California snow machine there ladies. – Yeah. – Do you wanna disconnect the gas line if we’re gonna be cranking it, just in case there is gas in it and we’re pushing old gas down the carb? – Um, probably not a bad idea. Yeah, just disconnect, anyway, we’ll see if it is, see what it blows out.

I mean we could hook up too on the bottom and draw but I think we could just make sure we got our fresh fuel coming in. Just pop it right up there at that. – Oh, let’s see. – I’m getting a lot of mileage out of this Subaru better.

– I have no room here. – Oh yeah. That’s why I switched to this side. – Yeah, I saw that. – (laughing) You caught that move? – Uh-huh. – I didn’t push you out of the way, at least. I mean I just walked over here. – I think it sat long enough.

You wanna put the plugs back in? – I say we turn it over first. – Oh yeah, yeah. I’ll let you do the honors. I don’t know, I got the key right? You got key? – You wanna see if we can- – Let you do the honors. Spin that over.

Give it a couple pokes and see what we get. Whoops, tumble and fall. I’m ready if you are. – Ooh yeah, we have no brakes. – Okay. – Okay? – Let her rip. (engine whirring) Beautiful. Heck yeah. – We have fuel come out? – Um, no. – ‘Cause I can smell it.

– Yeah. – Nope, yeah, that’s coming out of the board. Spin her some more. That’s good. – Too bad we can’t move this one. The brake pedal goes right to the floor. – That’s why it has tow straps on it. – Just for the sake of not scratching our head, throw one spark plug in- – And see if we got a spark? – Yep.

Yeah, put it up, put it like right here. You can see it that way too. (engine whirring) – Oh yeah. – Nice. – I think this is on the Mallory cap. – Yeah, ’cause it’s one, it’s a Chevy, actually, it’s a Chevy cap is what it is. – That is?

– Yeah ’cause it’s got the internal, you know how the female plug instead of the male on the cap? – Yeah. – Spark plug towers. So let me guess, you want me to stop talking and put plugs in? – No, you can keep talking. – Continue my commentary of nothing.

– Of Chevy caps on Fords. – Of Chevy caps on Fords. – These hoses are like, wait a minute. Those hoses are in the way. They weren’t over here. I didn’t push you out of the way at least. I mean, I just walked over here.

Well, since we don’t have fuel in the tank let’s get our fuel jug over here. Get that filled. – My wife and I figured out last night, 27 years ago I went for a ride in this car, the only time I’ve ever been in this car.

Tim, the owner I always begged him and begged him to take me for a drive and we took it out here to Nico Lake and he did a whole shot going towards Mackinaw City. And I’ve never been in a car, you know, I was 16, 17-years-old,

I’ve never been in a car that made you have that feeling of being pinned to the seat and you can’t move. And, you know, it was an impeccable feeling and it was this car that did that. Pretty unique to actually be sitting here seeing if we can get it running.

– Am I shaking? It don’t feel like I’m shaking. Maybe. And the wires are stiff. – All right. – Remember the key is always suck, squeeze, bang, blow. That’s what makes these run. We know we have fire. We know we have good movement in the crank, in the pistons.

So we should have the suck and the blow and the squeeze, right? – It should be there. – Now we just gotta ignite it. So run our electric fuel pump off our gas can coming up into the carburetor. Kind of pre-primed it here a little bit.

I don’t see any fuel just running anywhere, so that should be a good sign. Did we even try to see if this turns? Oh yeah, she’s free. So throttle’s free. I’m gonna squirt some fuel down in the hole. – You want me to turn the key? – You’re gonna spin the ignition?

Heck yeah. And I can work the throttle out here or you can, whichever. – It’s a pretty basic dashboard. – I’ll put a little more fuel in her. – Let’s do that. – Let’s put a little here. You tell me when you’re ready. – Hit it. – Oh yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. – That actually scared me. – That scared you? – Yeah. I wasn’t ready to have the exhaust right under me. – Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Open headers, man, open headers. All right, hit her. Oh, come on, carburetor. Go. (engine straining) Oh. Go. (engine straining) – Oop. – Oh, hey, there’s fuel in the tank. (laughing) It just comes shooting out- – That’s what I thought. – Out of the gas line. – Almost got me. – It’s green fuel. – It is very green. – The fuel is green? – Oh, yeah, the fuel out of the tank. – Oh. – Oh, I’m thinking the carburetor squirters are plugged.

Like the idle air mixers are not happening. – Yeah, yeah. – When you work the throttle arm, does anything happen? – I can’t really see in there. Yeah, no. Yeah, there’s nothing there. Yeah, no pump function that way. Well, we can kind of decide what we wanna do there

But let’s take and keep trying to run it this way ’cause it might finally just kind of pick up after having some amount of fuel back in the bowl. All right, ready, Jeff? Let’s do it. Go ahead. (engine straining) Go ahead. (engine straining) Go ahead. (engine straining)

Yeah, I’m still getting fuel out of this old fuel line. I’m tempted to take the top of the carburetor off. But I wanna get what’s left of that cleaner there out of it. ‘Cause I think we may have to pull that carburetor or even just the top of the carburetor and try to blow some carb cleaner through the jets.

‘Cause I think it’s just gunked up so it won’t draw any fuel in. You have to just keep running. And as much as I’d like to think that I can pour enough in that bottle to keep it running, it’s just, it’s not. – What is that carb?

– Looks like a motorcraft to me. Did you look down the back? – As far as squirt? – Yeah. – Yeah, I looked in both. I don’t see anything coming out of it. And maybe even the inlet is just plugged and I’m not getting fuel into it. – That’s what I’m saying. – Because that’s possible too.

– That filter, I’d like to bypass the filter. – Yeah. I mean we can pull the filter off and just blow fuel through it. You know what I mean? – Yeah. – Or fill the bowl. – We could fill the bowl. – Because I betcha that’s what, I betcha,

This is like we’ve had in the past. The needles stick completely closed. – Yep. – So that’s what it’s, I bet you anything that’s what it’s doing. It’s just not getting fuel down in there. Let’s pull. – Is that the accelerator pump? – Yeah. – Yeah, ’cause that’s sticky

As all can be. – Oh yeah, yeah. Well, it’s dry. – Yeah. – There’s no fuel in it. So let’s pull this. Let’s pull this top off. – Okay. – I mean it’s pretty straightforward. – And we don’t have problems with the fuel. I disconnected the fuel line coming up from the tank.

Holy moly. – You wanna stand over here to do that? – What’d you do? – He’s talking about your screwdriver. – (laughing) I wanted to get the longest one. – Here, you don’t have to be so far away. – We’re gonna have to take the hood off to get to this. – I’m just making sure we have room to film. There we go. – Yeah, she’s bone dry. That’s 100% what it’s doing, 100%. That needle’s stuck, she’s stuck. You wanna pull the fuel line off? Pull the fuel line off,

Then we can just come and flip it completely out of the way. – Maybe like, there it is. – It smokes after I blow on it. – Yeah, this thing’s stuck, it’s stuck. Can you feel it, see if it’s going through? Oh yeah, there it goes. We only got one can don’t we? I don’t think we got two in there anymore. It went better that way.

– It’s that filter, isn’t it? – Partially. I got some coming through it though now at least. We’ll be good now. I say we put fuel right in that. Let’s fill the bowls up. – Okay. – And then just with the squirt bottle. – You wanna see if the suck will-

– Well, at least we start when we put it on with fuel in the bowl. So fill that bowl. I just take that top off and pour it right in there. Now I’ll weasel this thing back in there. – So once you snake yours on. – Yeah, without pain with that.

I can get this hat on. I don’t know what you get, you have to line everything up over there. – I only got one thing right. – There we go, come up a little better. – You got these guys? – All on. – Here, make yourself useful. – I’ll make myself useful.

I’ll stop watching. – Yeah, I disconnected at the bottom. – Geez. – So it can’t draw from the tank now. – Okay. – Oh, you disconnected it? – Well, I went to disconnect it and then the line started leaking. And I’m like, nah, cutting it off

Is gonna be the same thing, so I just cut it off. – Now the next person that comes to shoot this- – Ah, some son-of-a-bitch, cut the fuel. – Yeah, right. – But now I should be able to see something. – Yeah. – Maybe. That accelerator pump isn’t working.

But I think at least now we know we got fuel in the bowl and it should, we should be able to draw something, I would think. – Round two. – Round two. – Ready. – Yep. – All right, go. – Yeah. It’s going pretty well. Oh. – Ha, got her. We got her. – Did you actually have the accelerator pump working there? – No, but that filter has got a leak so that blew fuel out. But it didn’t backfire though. – No, it didn’t. – Or it started to backfire.

– Yeah, so I don’t know that 100% we’re getting fuel in it yet. But the fuel that was in the bowl, she lit and it runs. – It does run. That’s pretty exciting. I don’t think this car would take much. – No, uh-uh. – You go through that carburetor, oil change. – Yep.

I think some rubber would probably rot, as you found. – Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. – Soft lines, replace them probably. – Replace all the soft lines on it, yep, she’d be rocking, be rocking. – Well, Tim’s probably looking down on us and laughing right now. – Yep. – And smiling.

– I would think so. I would think so. Man, that feels good. – Yeah it does, I dug it. – Another episode of Will It Run and the answer is yes, it runs. Might need a little more fuel action but hey, it’s satin purred and no knocks

And it hasn’t been running in at least two decades- – Yep. – I would guess. This episode’s wrapped up. We’re on to the next one, hopefully slightly warmer, just saying. So if you happen to be in the South, give me a yell. Until then, get out in the shop, get your work done,

Enjoy your project. See ya.