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Hello everyone, first time post here from Lincoln, NE. I have a '76 Cobra II, 302 that my father is the original owner with 49,000 miles. We recently restored the car about 5 years ago, minus a few of the complex components (engine, trans, and rear end.) We're starting to think about finishing the restoration and rebuilding these to make the car a little more reliable. We're pretty knowledgeable people when it comes to auto work, but have never tackled anything as complex as an engine rebuild. I know we probably need to do some extensive reading, but my question is will we be in over our heads?

We have access to a cherry picker, and will need to probably buy an engine stand. Is it necessary to have machine work done to some the components (i.e. heads, block) It seems like that might be where someone might run into spending a lot of money at a machine shop. I know it would be challenging, and fun to do, but would it easier to have someone else do it? I just hate to dish out tons of money on labor when I could have easily done the work myself. Can anyone share some of their experiences in this area of "do-it-yourself" engine rebuilding? Costs? Books?

All input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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You can do this yourself it isn't too hard. First thing you want to do is get yourself a manual and that will tell you how to disassemble and reassemble the engine and tell you what the tolerances are for different things on the engine and you can get a manual from any parts store or you can go to barnes and noble they have books on rebuilding small block ford engines. If the cylinder bores,the deck,Crankshaft,pistons etc... are in tolerance of what the book says they should be you don't have to take the engine to the machine shop just hone the cylinder bores and clean the gaskets off, re ring the pistons,do the crankshaft bearings,do the cam bearings and all that good stuff. Really the only thing you would have to get the machine shop to do is bore out the cylinders if you want bigger pistons,deck the engine if the deck is a little warped,put new cam bearings in it if you think you can't do them by yourself and check for cracks if you think the engine might have a crack in it. As for cost you'll have to do some research on all the tools and a book you'll need and all the engine rebuild parts you'll need.For parts just go to summit,jegs,competition products,autozone,etc.... pretty much anyone that sells auto parts.Trust me its not that hard just read the book and it will take you step by step good luck.
 

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see im kinda the same i have the mustang cobra 2 76 302 c4 i believe and shes been in a barn since i was four and im 20 now so shes needs some work.... it was my dads and he had bought it off some idiot... so i dont know what all is bad... it used to run very well but thanks to almost no use and sitting so long unused. i need to find out all that needs to be done to just get her up and running... i dont know the most about auto and practily nothing about mustangs... so please help...
 
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