Since swapping from a six-cylinder to a 351 Windsor, Team Mustang Girls has gone through 3 sets of motor mounts in their 65 Mustang. Initially, some of the boys proposed that the car is out of tune, however, the shake is not the engine misfiring. Driver and TMG mechanic Courtney Barber just likes to hammer down on the gas pedal, why else would she have upgraded to a bigger engine? According to Barber, when the problem occurs, the first symptom is the car starts to shake a little bit when the mount cracks. Then, after about a week she says you might as well be riding a sawzall when you’re idling!
Not content to keep throwing cheap auto part store replacements at the car, Barber started researching a solution for her problem rather than a band-aide. She found numerous online posts suggesting chains around the mounts like some race cars use, or grade 8 bolts going through the entire mount with rubber to keep them from separating. While these suggestions were intriguing, they still seemed to be temporary solutions. Eventually, she came across Total Control Products poly-urethane motor mount.
Replacement starts by raising the car up so you can work underneath it, and then jacking the engine up a few inches.
Still a little new to the performance world, Barber recognized poly-urethane from her research as a good thing. So she called the tech line and spoke to Carl Ogren. He told her “The original bonded rubber factory mounts are notorious for breaking or separating, and are generally not up to handling performance applications. TCP motor mounts use a captive-bushing and through-bolt design to greatly increase the performance limit and eliminate the possibility of motor mount separation. The polyurethane bushings are also less sensitive to heat and chemicals than traditional rubber and will last much longer without degraded performance”. Satisfied that she’d found the solution to her engine mount woes, Barber ordered the parts from TCP.
Repairs begain by putting the car up on the lift and then raising the motor up with a jack about three-inches. Which was all the room available before hitting the cross bars. The old mounts were then removed from the car and replaced with the new ones from TCP. The new parts fit the car perfectly, a testament to the design work and quality construction.
In the seven years of owning the car it’s one of the few times that Barber remembers installing a new part in the Team Mustang Girls ride that fit without having to do some custom fab work. Ogren from TCP had assured Barber these were an easy upgrade, “Our mounts are a direct replacement for ’65-70 small-block or ’67-70 big-block engine applications. More specifically they are modeled after the later, taller mounts which most aftermarket headers have been designed around. Shims on either side of the bushings also allow the fore/aft position of the motor to be varied within a ½” range, centered at the stock position.”
Often when modifying a car things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes creating new challenges. While the new mounts were an ideal solution for the Team Mustang Girls ride, installing them moved the engine forward about a half inch. This may not sound like much but it can change history. (That’s what she said!)
Left: The stock style engine mount. Right: The new Total Control Products mount installed on the car. Not only is the TCP design more durable, but it also allows for improved header clearance.
The engine mount replacement caused Barber to realize the engine was probably never in the proper place since swapping it from a six-cylinder to the Windsor. In the past, any time she swapped out broken mounts there was a fight to get the engine back in the mounts on the car. This may have contributed to them breaking so easily. With the TCP mounts the engine slides in and out of position easily.
Barber is not only the driver of the Team Mustang Girls 65 ‘Stang, she’s also the mechanic.
Having everything in the proper place required adjusting the neutral-safety switch as well as the shift linkage. The mechanical fan also had to go since that small amount of forward movement placed it perilously close to the four-core radiator. Luckily Barber had already installed an electric pusher fan on the front of the radiator for those long rally excursions, so the loss of the mechanical fan is negligible.
Barber has recently put new headers on the engine and it was the first time no motor mount struggle was involved.
The final adjustments for the engine mounts took about one hour making the entire project about two hours total for the whole swap. Now the car isn’t shaking, no more chances of seizures at stop lights, or wondering if the person next to her thinks she’s going through withdrawals because her hand is shaking with the steering wheel The motor is happy and staying where it belongs! Thank you Total Control Products.