1965 Mustang Preparation for Startup

My Mustang has been sitting idle for five or six years. The carb is rebuilt and a new waterpump is installed.

Does anyone have a checklist of things to do before attempting to bring it back to life?

Disconnect the fuel line, remove the plugs, squirt a bit of oil in the cylinders, and crank it some before putting the plugs back in and restarting it. You want to get some oil spread around again before subjecting it to the forces of firing cylinders, and you want to do it without washing down the cylinders with gasoline.

I’m assuming, of course, that you’ve verified that the thing turns over readily by turning the crank by hand.

Remove the gas cap and take a sniff down the fill tube. Does it still smell like gasoline? If not, the tank will have to be drained and cleaned of the bad gas.


After 6 years, remove the gas tank, have it cleaned out, see if there’s any rust. Flush out the gas lines, fuel pump, new fluids (all fluids), check that brakes work, wheel cylinders don’t leak. What kind of shape are the tires in?

I’d follow Mountainbike’s advice on putting oil in the cylinders and cranking the engine, etc.

When you are ready to try firing up the motor I’d suggest using a known good auxilary gas tank with fresh gas. Just hook it up to the where the inlet is for the fuel pump.
This way if the motor runs or not, at least you know the gas was good.

Once you have the motor running well on the known good gas; you can disconnect the auxilary gas line and hook up the normal gas line. Draining the tank of the old gas and refilling with fresh is definately needed. Still the fuel screen could be clogged at the tank, or rust could be restricting the gas flow, or any number of other items could stop the fuel from flowing. If the car won’t run with the standard fuel lines then you’ll have to drop the fuel tank, take it apart and make sure everything is clean and free of rust and corrosion. A messy job.