Preparing the Engine

In order to run a cradle under the motor, I decided to use a Mustang Fox-body oil pan that has a front and rear sump, with a valley between the two. I purchased one new from Summit racing. I also bought the matching oil pickup from them. They offered a plug for the sensor in the pan, but it was expensive and I figured I would have one in the junk drawer. After I got the pan I found out it was an odd plug and ended up buying the one from Summit anyway.

The pan looks like this after applying some trusty Old Ford Blue paint, rear to the left:

The Summit oil pick-up was a little bit of a problem. When I took it out of the box, the flange was welded to the tube crooked:

I filed it flat and installed it, but found that it was difficult to get a wrench on one of the bolts since the crooked pickup tube was in the way. Later, I worried about not being able to torque down that bolt, and decided that I would take the pan back off and get another pickup from Summit. I sent the above picture to them, and they told me to trash it, they would send another. Well, that one was the same way. Next time, they said somebody would hand pick one from the warehouse. Sure enough, it was the same way. In the end, I used allen bolts to secure it since they were accessible with a torque wrench.

I decided to use motor mounts that Ford pickups used from '69-'86, since they were at a good angle for the type of mount I would build, and also since the rubber was near the motor so it would give better isolation than some of the outboard type mounts such as used in Broncos. However, after picking up several of them different parts stores, I could see that not all were the same. Some had differently shaped bases, some were at different angles, and some even had the bolt in a different spot! Some couldn't be bolted on without interfering with the oil pan.

Look at the difference in these two which are both for the same application:

I found one that was an original Ford part, and used that as the gold standard for mount design:

Interestingly enough, it was 50 degrees rather that the expected 45, and would probably work at either angle, but I designed the mounts to be at 50 degrees since I like to have rubber mounts as unstressed as possible when bolted together. About half the mounts I bought were 50 degrees.

I purchased a set of Patriot hugger shorty headers from Summit. I decided to get them unplated since I didn't know if I would be modifying them, or could use them at all. When mounting them on the motor, it was necessary to grind away a little material from one of the motor mounts so that it wouldn't interfere. This is the driver's side.

The Patriot headers won't work with a stock starter, so I bought a Ford Motorsport mini-starter. Not only is this starter lighter, smaller and more powerful than the stock starter, it also incorporates a solenoid which makes it directly compatible with the Datsun starter wiring. Not the case with original 289 starters that employ a separate solenoid.

The last change, while the pan was off, was to knock out the plug where the dipstick installs. Since this is a rear sump motor, you can't use the front dip stick. You can see where it comes out in the picture above, right behind the motor mount. Obviously I haven't installed it yet when this picture was taken. Later, I had to make a little L-shaped bracket at the top to secure it to one of the header bolts.

I was pleased to find that the original front dip stick tube was stainless steel tubing under the paint. I bent it slightly for this application and shortened it.

If your motor doesn't have the dip stick hole in the block, another alternative would be to weld or braze a flange into the oil pan. I found this pan in a '69 Econoline at the junkyard, it would be a good donor for a flange:

At this point, the motor is looking something like this:

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