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Cleaning the donor 5.0 Engine

It all started out as a simple cleaning exercise - I'd not 'do' anything to the engine, just clean it up and paint the block & heads. Well once you start taking parts off it becomes difficult to stop! We took the engine down to the block and heads and stopped there.

For now we are replacing the following:

  • Timing cover - going for an 87-93 version
  • Reverse flow water pump
  • Edelbrock RPM performer intake manifold
  • Holley Street Avenger 570cfm carb - we're ditching the EFI and going 'Old School'
  • 'Cobra' valve covers
  • Harmonic balancer - the old one was trash
  • Ford racing gasket set
  • March underdrive pulleys
  • March alternator bracket

The cleanup started by stripping the engine down and discarding the parts that we were not going to be putting back on. The oil pan was looking very battered, so once I'd taken it off I cleaned all of the old oil off it and put it through the cleaning tank to get rid of the remaining muck. I then hand sanded it with 320 and then 400 grit sandpaper to get a good surface to paint on. Once the oil pan was sanded I gave it an undercoat of 'Dupli Colour' Engine Enamel primer and then a few topcoats of matt black engine enamel. The bolts were sandblasted and then painted.


The block and heads were then cleaned and painted with with POR-15'. This was a multi-stage process that involved treating the block chemically so that the primer would 'bond' fully with the metal.