Today’s featured service is AirCare Repairs to a 1979 Ford Mustang 5.0Liter brought to us by a client from Oakridge, Vancouver.
This Mustang came to us having failed the AirCare test several times for very high hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. There are many causes of high HC emissions but when they get as bad as this Mustang’s it usually indicates an engine misfire.
An engine misfire can be described quite simply, and we’ll use our Mustang’s V8 engine as an example: for every two engine crankshaft revolutions, all eight cylinders will fire once in sequence. That means that each cylinder draws in air and fuel, compresses it, a spark plug ignites it and the subsequent explosion creates power that drives the engine. If the fuel and air does not ignite we have a misfire. As you can imagine, if the cylinder is full of air and fuel and it fails to ignite, the raw fuel and air gets pushed out of the engine on the exhaust stroke as it readies itself for another charge of air and fuel. Raw fuel (gasoline) is made from hydrocarbons, and this is where we get the high HC emission.
As with all AirCare repairs we start with a diagnosis. On this Mustang we found one severely fouled spark plug as the major cause of the failure. One spark plug not firing consistently will cause the high hydrocarbon emissions that this vehicle was producing.
You can see from the compared test results the enormous reduction in HC emissions after the repair. What is interesting to note is that while this is a good result, the emission levels in this vehicle, even when running well are grossly high when compared to any modern vehicle. This Mustang is old technology and that’s just how it was.
I must admit I enjoyed driving this car, mostly because it brought back memories of a bygone era. While this Mustang is no muscle machine, it is a small and nimble car with big windows and great visibility. We see very few cars of this vintage anymore. This year and model of Mustang lacks the attributes (power and good looks) of earlier and newer generation Mustangs. It’s also indicative of just how lackluster cars were in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In the annals of automotive history it is an era that will not be missed.
For more about this generation of Ford Mustang click this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Mustang_%28third_generation%29
For more information about AirCare Repairs and testing click this link http://www.aircare.ca/