XA GT-HO Phase IV - The 1991 Engine Rebuild
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Who: Steering & Tuning Centre
Where: 250 Mulgoa Road Penrith NSW 2750
After the initial restoration of the Phase IV where the body, paint and mechanical's were restored, the car was used sparingly over the years. Then in 1991 the car was transported to Rob Fitzpatrick’s workshop for routine maintenance checks where it was found to have a leaking brake master cylinder. The fluid had leaked and run back along the cylinder and dripped down onto the steering box and chassis rail.
Wanting the paintwork repaired properly The Dentist decided to have the engine removed from the car to facilitate this. Whilst the engine was out he gave them the go ahead to check over the engine as well. The engine was pulled down and rebuilt by Peter Healey who was a mechanic at the shop.
It was found to be in great condition requiring no major work at all so again (the same as in 1985) it was chemically cleaned, a fresh set of bearings, rings and gaskets were all that were required and it was reassembled, painted and refitted back to the car once the paint repairs were completed.
“When word got out the car was in the shop, we had all sorts of people dropping in to take a look, and turned them away for the owner’s sake”. We ran the engine in by driving it up the Bells Line of Road to Putty several times,” says Peter. Since then the car has had routine oil changes, brake and registration checks performed by John Komorowski and Julian Hutchen.
Taking a look at the photos on this page you can see that the block has two bolt main caps. The myth that the Phase IV was to have four bolt main caps from the factory is exactly that, a myth.
Even though the early Ford manuals do list a four bolt main block for the XA GT-HO it’s obvious that it never made it into the production car. The 250 units that needed to be built for homologation rules, may have had the four-bolt blocks fitted, but we will never know. The connecting rods have super duty connecting rod bolts as fitted to Boss 351 Cleveland Mustangs.
So the confidential dealer bulletin that was released on the 20th June 1972 was correct on that account at least...
In a future post I will go through the engine in much more detail along with the specifications of the entire drive line, suspension and much more. So stay tuned to the page for a whole lot more Phase 4 :)