1989 Saleen Mustang #50 – FIRST START

By: Bob Goodson
April 3, 2022

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It’s always a long road of uncertainty when you’re digging into a car that’s been sitting for a decade or more.  Doesn’t matter what brand, make, model it is.  There are always those little bits of unknown.  The key is taking a planned approach to try to circumvent or offset any potential issue.  

When you start a car for the first time that’s been sitting dormant you definitely want to look into the vitals of the engine and fuel system. 

With 1989 Saleen #50 we started with the motor and removed all the spark plugs. Then we took some Marvel Mystery OIl and squirted it into each cylinder.  We wanted to make sure the piston rings weren’t married to the engine block. Once we did that we let the motor sit for a week. 

The picture above shows the tool we created out of some old tubing and a carburetor feed bottle.  It worked like a charm. 

Once a week passed we threw a wrench on the crank and turned the motor.  It was smooth as silk.  No breaking loose or anything.  That was a great feeling.  

Check out the full video below. 

Once we got that all set up with the motor it was on to the fuel system.  The biggest concern was the inside of the gas tank and fuel pump condition.  What would the inside look like after sitting for over a decade.  Rust is the enemy.

So we got to siphoning the gas tank out to prep for dropping it.  There was a lot of gas in it, about 8-9 gallons, which was a good thing.

After siphoning out the gas, we removed the Saleen rear air dam.  We didn’t want to risk damaging it so we removed it. 

As you can see above the gas tank came out without issue.  We did clean it up and remove the road debris and we installed a new fuel pump.  Might as well while it is out. 

There was an issue the owner commented about in our conversations.  When a turning left in a hard corner aggressively they could smell fuel inside the car.  Check out the video to see what the issue was.  We found one. 

Also, check it out to see how it went with the first start. 


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