Once you get her on the road, there are many more T-bird dreams in your future. It's simply a fun car that turns heads.
I would use a cherry picker to lift the engine from the top. You need to put the car up on good jack stands and off the wheels first. You can use just about any intake manifold or exhaust manifold bolt holes with longer bolts for your chains. Even though you are only lifting, use two chains. Some of our guys lift from the bottom by using the damper pulley. It works, but I don't like it. Either way, pay close attention to your radiator so the fan/hoses/engine don't poke a hole in it. ALWAYS raise the hood so you don't put the air cleaner or carb stud through it.
Give the car a good shake before going under there because your life depends on it.
I line the floor with cardboard first. It gets you off the cold ground and it absorbs any liquids that might leak. When soiled, simply throw it away and put down some new. Get one of those twisted bulbs for your trouble light. They don't get hot, won't 'flash out' when dropped and they put out serious light.
The bottom halves of your bearing inserts get the most wear. You will see where the tin is gone and copper is showing through. This is typical for a worn FE bearing. Look for any scoring or taper. See if little pieces of 'stuff' are embedded in your bearing. Seriously, if I saw that I would pull the engine and overhaul it, especially if I knew it was original with high miles.
I use Permatex (Black) in the big pressurized can for the whole engine. For cork gaskets, I spread a THIN layer on both sides and let it 'skin over' or cure completely. I also clean the metal mating surfaces with lacquer thinner, then a thin layer of Black, for a good seal. The idea is to fill any small imperfections but still leave that elastic coating. Many times, cork gaskets come off in one piece because they aren't 'glued' in and cleanup is much easier than the first time.
I don't mash my gaskets. The secret is in using LockTite blue (not red). 12-ft/lbs sounds light but it could distort and break your gasket in places. When you see the gasket 'snug up' and you feel a little resistance on your ratchet, I give about 1/2-turn and done. Let the sealant do it's job and let the Loctite hold the bolt. Loctite won't work on grease so clean the bolt and threaded hole. If a little sealant goes in the hole, that's ok.
Make sure you clean your pan and pickup tube down to the steel. Carefully inspect everything you find at the bottom. If you find little nylon pieces, they could be from your cam's timing sprocket. Change it before starting your engine.
Back in the day, non-detergent oil was the 'standard' and folks used shellac for gaskets. Polymers were not discovered for many years later. I have seen Y-block valve covers completely mold a huge cake of dirt when removed. Others on this forum, had their oil pickup screens totally filled with caked-on dirt which starved the pump for oil and caused a major overhaul. - Dave