Ford Mustang Owner Swaps Transmission In Beach Dugout

Most Texans enjoy taking their Fourth Of July celebrations to the beach in hopes of enjoying a fireworks display in a relaxing environment. The coastal area provides fun for all, but also provides a lucrative playground to enjoy hooning your car. Seeing a vehicle doing donuts in the sand is oftentimes more commonplace than one might think. Beachgoers often egg these drivers on to show off their cars in an exhibition of sound and sand throwing. Unfortunately for the owner of this Mustang, the sand-slinging sideshow resulted in the loss of his transmission. Instead of calling in a tow truck to rescue him, he decided to take a non-conventional approach.


Some people require a lift, garage space, and plenty of tools to work on their car. This Mustang owner only needed a tool bag, some shade, and a shovel to get his transmission swap started. Photo Credit: Ryan Gillin

Ironically stuck on the beaches of Mustang Island, near the town of Corpus Christi, Texas, the owner of this Mustang decided to go ahead and proceed with his automatic transmission swap ambitions. I’m sure the majority of us have certainly had our fair share of trackside and roadside repairs, but I doubt many of us can claim to be the beach king of mechanics.

Pushing through the lack of a lift, proper tools, and a clean workspace, the two man crew were able to dig out a hole deep enough to climb into before removing the previous manual transmission. Safety aside, a dugout channel is one of the oldest methods to get underneath a car to perform any sort of service, so it wasn’t exactly revolutionary, however doing it in the sand adds a whole new element of danger.

They were doing donuts when the transmission gave out. Now they’re swapping in an automatic. I left at hour seven after a full day of pulling trucks and sport utilities out of their stuck location. -Ryan Gillen, local Port Aransas resident

I think we can all agree that taking on a job of this magnitude in the sand is not something we want to partake in, however, sometimes luck doesn’t allow us this luxury. While I’m no expert, I have a feeling the new transmission is going to have sand in places you don’t want sand to be, but I salute these guys for doing what they had to do to get back on the road.

UPDATE 7/3/22: Locals have started a watch party at Access Road 3, as the transmission swap is almost complete. A few people from the beach have given the owner a ride to the automotive shop to purchase some last minute items. Details on the car remain limited, but the owner has said it was a Crown Vic AOD that is now entering the car. Ford Muscle will continue to provide updates as they come.

About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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