How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Timing Cover and Water Pump

Posted 6/29/2015 by Landan Durham

Install a timing cover, water pump, and harmonic balancer onto your 302 or 351 based pushrod Mustang engine!

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , 94 04 mustang , engine , 5.0resto , sve , timing cover , water pump

Timing Cover and Water Pump Install

Water Pumps and Accessories

First, you’ll need a water pump. Which will be available in either a stock flow or high flow configuration and manufactured by either Ford Racing or Edelbrock. Gaskets needed for this application will come from industry leader Fel Pro. Which will include the timing cover gasket, front main seal, three different gaskets depending on water pump application, and varying front oil pan gaskets if you didn’t go with a one piece gasket.

Timing Cover and Accessories

Covering the front of the engine will be a high quality timing cover from 5.0 Resto. There is two offerings available covering either carbureted or EFI applications and will fit 302 or 351 based engines. To bolt all of that up, 5.0 Resto offers an EXCLUSIVE timing cover and water pump bolt kit. This is by far one of our top sellers and is manufactured by ARP and features a black oxide coating.

Harmonic Balancer and Accessories

Lastly, you’ll need a harmonic balancer. 50oz or 28oz options will be available as well as a Ford Racing balancer which will feature a removable counter-weight for applications requiring a neutral balance. If your engine was custom built, you’ll definitely want to check with your machine shop that did the balance work.


Required Tools

  • 3/8" Drive Torque Wrench
  • Socket Set
  • Harmonic Balancer Install Tool
  • Black RTV Silicone
  • Dead Blow
  • Utility Knife
  • Engine Oil
  • Blue Loctite


Install

  1. Before you begin, it is in your best interest to have a clean working area and to clean all of your parts prior to install.
  2. Assuming your short block already has the timing chain, cam gear, crankshaft sprocket, and camshaft installed; start by positioning the timing cover gasket over the dowels in the engine block.
  3. If you need to install your timing chain set, our detailed install is in the video description.
  4. With the engine upside down on your stand, place a small amount of RTV behind the dog ear on the gasket and on the engine block where the timing cover and engine block mate together.
  5. Carefully position the front main seal into the timing cover.
  6. This can be done using a two by four and a dead blow.
  7. Be sure you evenly tap the front main seal into place.
  8. Take this time to clean the inside of the timing cover with quality brake clean to insure it is 100% clean.
  9. Position the timing cover over the crankshaft and lightly tap it into place using a dead blow.
  10. We are first going to show you the correct locations of the timing cover and water pump hardware without bolting it to the engine block.
  11. Starting with the two short timing cover bolts, place them in the two bolt holes directly behind the water pump boss on the timing cover.
  12. Align the dowel on the timing pointer with the bottom left bolt hole on the timing cover.
  13. Place the three medium length timing cover bolts in the following locations.
  14. Place the timing pointer stud at the bottom left bolt hole.
  15. This will be the smaller stud with the smallest thread diameter.
  16. Next, position the water pump gasket and water pump.
  17. Place the two short water pump studs in the following location.
  18. The medium length water pump stud will go here.
  19. The long water pump stud will go in the following location.
  20. The two longest water pump bolts will go here.
  21. The short length water pump bolt will go in the following location.
  22. Finally the water pump three water pump nuts will go as shown.
  23. Don’t forget the nut with the smaller thread diameter; this will go on the timing pointer.
  24. Now that you know where the bolts, studs, and nuts go; position the timing cover onto the engine block.
  25. - Remember, our video representation shows the engine upside down.
  26. Torque the timing cover bolts to 15 ft/lbs.
  27. Position the water pump gasket, water pump and the hardware.
  28. Hand tighten the hardware and then torque to 15 ft/lbs.
  29. If you still need help, refer to the video description to download or print our detailed installation illustration.
  30. Apply a decent amount of fresh engine oil to the timing chain and crankshaft sprocket.
  31. Trim the gasket flush with the engine block and timing cover.
  32. Lightly oil the outside of the harmonic balancer that will slide into the front main seal.
  33. Apply a small amount of oil on the inside of the crankshaft.
  34. Now apply a small amount of RTV in the crankshaft key way located on the inside of the harmonic balancer.
  35. Carefully position the harmonic balancer onto the crankshaft.
  36. It is highly recommended that you purchase or rent a harmonic balancer install tool.
  37. - Avoid using a hammer if at all possible.
  38. Lightly oil the harmonic balancer to crankshaft bolt at the threads and underneath the head of the bolt.
  39. Hand tighten and then torque to 120 ft/lbs.

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About the Video

How To Install 302/351 Mustang Timing Cover & Water Pump (79-93)

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Published on 2015-06-22
In order to have a complete motor, you need a water pump, timing cover, and the related parts to finish the job. This video covers the needed components and the general installation procedures.

First, you’ll need a water pump. Which will be available in either a stock flow or high flow configuration and manufactured by either Ford Racing or Edelbrock.

Covering the front of the engine will be a high quality timing cover from 5.0 Resto. There is two offerings available covering either carbureted or EFI applications and will fit 302 or 351 based engines.

Lastly, you’ll need a harmonic balancer. 50oz or 28oz options will be available as well as a Ford Racing balancer which will feature a removable counter-weight for applications requiring a neutral balance.

Mustang Fitment: 1979 (79), 1980 (80), 1981 (81), 1982 (82), 1983 (83), 1984 (84), 1985 (85), 1986 (86), 1987 (87), 1988 (88), 989 (89), 1990 (90), 1991 (91), 1992 (92), 1993 (93) 5.0L/5.8L, 302/351