Bookings

The car show season is almost upon us now and I must admit that I’m suffering from PMS, that’s ‘Parked Mustang Syndrome’. I would like to take credit for that, but I can’t as I had seen it on a Meme and thought I would reuse it.

Over the last couple of years a source of frustration trying to find car shows and what needs to be done to get into them. It used to be a case of turn up on the day, show your car and talk to lots of lovely like-minded people. Now to get in the shows – you have to fill in forms, pay upfront, provide your insurance details and sign all sorts of stuff to say you won’t leave before a given time etc. Is it just me or have things gotten very busy? I have booked three car shows so far that are local to me and particular favourites of mine. I have a list of a few more that I want to attend so I hope I can get into them.

I have one booking which I am looking forward to very much and has taken a few emails to arrange, however it’s not a car show as such, but obviously will revolve around my car. The booking will be at the end of March this year and I hope to bring the full story on that for you shortly after. It should be a good post with lots of pics maybe a video or two.

I have not been idle in the mean time, I have been reviewing lots of car cleaning and detailing products. All have been listed under the ‘Car Detailing Reviews’ menu at the top. Snow foam, glass cleaners, wheel cleaners, decontaminate, glue removers and more all under each manufacturer’s name. As you can see, the reviews are not done just in the Mustang, but also our daily drivers. Some reviews have been great, and there has even been the odd over rated product too. Remember all my reviews are independent and purchased with my own hard-earned cash.

Hopefully the post should be more regular now the show season is ready to roll.

I can’t wait. 👍🙂

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Stopping With The Times

First post of the year so I wish you a Happy New Year, also hoping that you had a great Christmas and well-earned break too. This year my wife and I decided to ask each other what we wanted for gifts and that we would stick to a reasonable agreed budget between us. The simple reason is that we have spent most of our cash trying to sort our house out and trying to pay some bills off for the materials we used. The wife’s list was around the usual girly pampering lotions and potions as expected. Mine revolves around the Mustang with its own lotions and potions for its pampering. My list only had a couple of bottles from Auto Finesse I wanted to try out, which I will review throughout the year with the other products I have to review, around twenty in fact that I haven’t as yet reviewed. To make up my options for the list I wanted to update the garage and a little gadget for the car, both of which she bought for me. 😀

As my Mustang just fits in the garage with about an inch at the front and just a few inches to the rear. I can park the car pretty well, but I am paranoid about hitting the back of the garage wall for obvious reasons. To try and protect the car from such an event the wall now has foam pipe lagging stuck on the wall with a large Snap On floor pad on top of that. To stop in the right place I normally rely on the good old-fashioned hanging ball to touch the windscreen and works perfectly every time, but it doesn’t look pretty.

I have been looking on-line for parking aids; tyre ramps, laser, twin lasers and ultrasonic variations. Lasers looked like to much of a hassle and didn’t give much of a visual aid. Tyre ramps would get in the way and could be moved when the car wasn’t on them, so that left ultrasonic. There are so many variables on the market, traffic light style or single red LED varieties. I liked the look of was the twin sensors and a box mounted at eye level that gave a count down to the final position.

The set up needed a flat surface or bumper to work correctly. The mustang has very little in the way of a truly flat surfaces. The only relatively flat surface I could think of was the number plate. Some of the other sensor styles need a minimal distance of 12″ or so. This particular model needs a minimum of 6″ inches and takes the closest of the two readings. The sensors will activate when they detect movement and the count numbers display. So you park the car where you want and a number will be displayed. You then drive to that number and stop. Simple.

I made a few test locations and pushed the car out and back in again a few times. Each time the box did exactly what it was supposed to do, counted down. From the back of he car I pushed the car forward and stopped at the mark ’07’ (inches). Perfect. It doesn’t look neat at the moment as I want to make sure the positioning is correct before I tidy it up properly.

How close do I have to park to the wall? This close!

I have written a review of the product and installation here. Or it can be found under the Accessory menu.

Now my sense of direction is legendary, it’s so bad I get lost going home! Honestly it’s true. With that in mind, the other item I wanted was a something quite common in modern cars which is a bluetooth connection, but not that common on a classic Mustang. There are multiple ways around my little issue, a new technology radio made to look old – an expensive option. A new modern replacement radio that needs a hole cut into the dash – a lot of damage to the original dash, but can be cheaper. Or a halfway house that I have; an original Mustang radio adapted. My particular radio was sold to me as working when I bought it from the USA via Ebay. By the time I got the radio and was able to test the unit it certainly didn’t work anymore. 😠 Anyway, a contact of Mustang Maniac helped me out by connecting an input from a 3.5mm jack plug wire. This means that an ipod or phone needed a physical connection. It worked fine, but I wasn’t a lover of having a wire from the dash, blame my OCD for that. Then a friend of mine then told me about this gadget that connects a bluetooth dongle receiver and then inputs that signal into the radio, a similar setup to what I had, although he had a modern radio. This means that I could connect my phone for music, or more importantly, a Sat Nav turn by turn prompt. I already have a great Tom Tom Sat Nav which I could stick on the window, again my OCD didn’t like it and so I had it mounted on the centre console, the trouble with that is that I had to look down at it now and again as I couldn’t hear it over the engine noise, not exactly safe. With this new option I could have my radio on connected via bluetooth to my Samsung S9+ phone using Google Maps with voice turn by turn. The built in dash speaker is much louder than the Tom Tom unit so I would be able to hear what direction I needed to now. I could have speakers in the door, in the kick panels or in the rear parcel shelf. Again all of which my OCD won’t allow of course. Now I have a tiny receiver hidden in the glove box that just needs to be turned on and off I go.

It works and I love it. I have also written a review of it here.

So my old school Mustang still looks stock, but now the media function has been upgraded into the modern world again. This latest upgrade goes with the other modern goodies like my LED lights front and rear, modern wire loom with blade fuses, electronic ignition, LED dash bulbs, voltmeter etc.

Any other good gadgets out there I need to know about? Please let me know. This List idea works great as you get what you want and not a pair socks to go in the draw with the rest. In fact I got a pair of socks as well – but they had the Shelby Logo on them so they are acceptable. 😀

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Season’s Greetings

It’s Christmas Eve and I thought I would send everybody a little card I made!

Have a great holiday and prosperous New Year to you all.

All the very best for 2019,

Mart.

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It’s All In The Details

It’s pretty much common knowledge that I am a bit OCD when it comes to my car and cleaning it. In fact I go a level above car cleaning and it’s called ‘detailing’. It means you go the extra mile to achieve excellence where ever you can. I am not at the ridiculous levels of Concours cleaning with cotton buds etc. But, I do have a selection of brushes to make sure I get in all the little places that I need to. I buy all my own products at retail prices and don’t get them given to me by anybody. If I did, I would say so and it certainly wouldn’t change my opinion when I get round to reviewing the product either. My reviews are always honest and unbiased. I mention all this because I get  a few questions now and again at car shows, along with the odd email asking me what I use to clean my car. I have one or two products in my stash to choose from. However, this little lot doesn’t include all the various types of micro fibre cloths, glass cloths, drying towels, application sponges, hand pads, brushes, sponge brushes, tyre applicators,  gloves, buckets with different types of dirt collectors, wash mits, snow foam lance, Karcher pressure washer or my Meguiar’s MT320 Dual Action polishing tool as I couldn’t get any more in the photo.

My favourite brands at the moment are Chemical Guys, Auto Finesse and Meguiar’s. I’m always open to using other brands as long as they work, an indeed tried some random brands with great results, such as Dat Wax.

I review my products and rate them on a score out of ten with two follow-up questions; ‘would I recommend it?’ and ‘would I buy it again?’ Both of these questions adding to the depth of the review when parting with my own money.

My reviews can be found on the main heading under ‘Car Detailing Reviews’. This is a section that gets added to regularly, even if I haven’t done a main post as such.

What I do have trouble with is giving a product a top score, then I get another similar product that I like even more and that gets a top score as well. That’s not to say I would go back and mark the score down for the other product. Indeed I would have no problems in going out to buy the top scoring products again. An example is that I love DoDo Juice Red Mist Tropical as a quick detailer, but it takes a couple of applications to remove any streaks if applied on top of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax. (I did have a conversation with DoDo Juice themselves about this very issue, and they told me that they are aware of the problem). Auto Finesse Finale on the other hand doesn’t have that issue, but I don’t like their bottle spray mechanisms. Both are great products, but have their own quirks as it were.

There are numerous tutorials online and good ol’ YouTube on how to clean your car or detail your car properly, so I won’t bore you with that side of it all. However within my reviews I try to explain the price, the product’s sales pitch, product description, process, application, instructions, results, rating and conclusion all with photos. In fact I am still going through the process of working out what works for me and what doesn’t and in which combinations. I currently have got more than a dozen products that I need to create reviews for, but I just haven’t got round to doing them yet. It’s all a financial minefield and I would hate to think how much money has been spent on my car cleaning products, just one little pot of show wax I have costs £75 and it doesn’t look much different to Meguiar’s Ultimate after application, but I love the usability of that expensive wax, and that goes a long way to being in my preferred list of products as it were.

The other side to all these products is where to keep them, I have multiple bags of various types and sizes. In fact I have reviewed some of them, what they hold, how user-friendly and are they worth it etc. Some reviews will surprise you from the big names.

I hope my opinions help and save somebody some money on rubbish products out there, yes I have wasted my own hard-earned money on products reading other reviews that must have been written by the company employees. That’s the reason I started reviewing products, tools, equipment etc. My reviews are from a normal bloke that buys and uses them on his pride and joy. My goal is simple; to get a paint job that still looks wet and above all is protected. When you get to buy quality products, most of the time you get what you pay for, sometimes you don’t.

I get nothing for my reviews and I’m not on commission either, hopefully the reviews will help somebody one day.

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More Memorabilia

During the last car show of the season a couple of weeks ago I decided that I should spend my ‘pocket money’ on a couple of goodies to prop up my fledgling memorabilia collection. Each show I allocate myself a certain amount of money to take with me for things like memorabilia and car cleaning products etc. If I don’t limit myself I would just spend it on loads of stuff that I really didn’t want in the first place, or on dubiously prepared junk food. I have my credit cards with me just in case I need something worthwhile of course, but cash is king at these shows and you can do a bit of bartering for the best prices.

So my first purchase was the sales brochure for all the ’66 Fords’. I have attached a link to the full brochure here, or can be found under the Articles Menu/Press & Promotional Items on the header. This is an original brochure in fantastic condition with no creases. The staples have gone a little rusty, but what do you expect for fifty-two years old?

The pages are vibrant and full of the classic sales talk of the time like, ‘Stereo sonic Tape System’ and ‘Automatic Speed Control’. This is just little selection of a couple of pages from the brochure to give you a flavour of stepping back in time.

My next item was this great little ‘Ford ’66’ lapel pin. It looks old and feels old, but I’m not sure it’s vintage though. I got myself a nice little deal though as I am now starting to see the same guys selling the memorabilia a bit more often now.

 

At another show I purchased some Ford tie/hat pins that started my collection of which was these three. I mounted them into a little piece of cardboard to stop the pins getting damaged and keep them together for now, until I find a better storage solution that is.

I have tried to research these lapel/hat pins without much luck so far, so if anybody can point me in the direction of some information or history about them I would be very grateful.

When I was very young I remembered some adverts by Esso. Those ads featured a nameless Tiger, with the slogan that started in 1959; ‘Put a tiger in your tank’.

The various ads run for many years up until the oil crisis in the ’70s where Esso also changed its global name to ‘Exxon Mobil’. There was a set of six tie pins issued and this is the full set.

That ‘Tiger’ campaign remains close to my heart as my dear ol’ Grandfather always used to take me on his rounds then to the Esso station and fill up his lorry on the way home. Some of my earliest memories when I wasn’t even in double figures of age. He would often come out with something cool with the tiger on it, and some tokens to save up for a toy, key-ring or poster of some sort. I just loved this poster at the time.

A little bit of trivia for you;

Exxon Mobil contributes $1 million a year to support the Save the Tiger Fund, which helps conserve Asia’s remaining wild tigers.

My memorabilia is around Mustangs and ’60s Fords for obvious reasons. But, I find myself being drawn back to the things I once had as a kid! There is no logic to my collection strategy, even that is the wrong choice of word I feel. Who knows what I might buy from eBay next!

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Clocking Alternators

When I first started the restoration of my car back in 2011 I had no working electrical parts at all when I bought the car. Firstly there was a fire under the dash were the nutter who owned the car before me had wrapped a fuse with tin foil for some reason. Secondly the original alternator had rusted up and I didn’t trust it. So the only option I could see was a replacement wire loom from American Autowire for the Ford Mustang. Their recommendation is to use a one wire alternator. The choice was limited at the time as a result, so the best option I found was Tuff Stuff. I purchased a standard v belt in chrome with a 100amp rating at the time.

However there was a problem with the terminal for the single positive wire. The stud it connects to sits about 1/4″ away from the block even at the maximum distance on the standard alternator bracket. These pictures of the stud in the normal position for Tuff Stuff alternators.

Initially I had my alternator bracket custom-made to move the alternator much further away from the block with a longer belt to make it work and be safe.

This was fine at the time, but the step for the belt clearance was now in the wrong place which meant that the bracket was just a millimetre away or so from the edge of the belt. This occasionally rubbed as you can see below. I kept a very close eye on the belt for signs of fraying or any damage to the belt. None of which has happened as a result of this modified bracket I might add.

Later on while browsing the net I didn’t realise that the case on these alternators could be adjusted by ‘Clocking’ or ‘Indexing’. Basically this means that you can move the body case around to where you want the stud to be by moving the front fittings. Nowhere could I find a step by step guide on how to do it.

Note: not all alternators can be ‘Clocked’ and you should check before you try doing it.

The only thing I found was these instructions from Tuff Stuff. Note ‘point 7’ mentions the use of torque settings for tightening the centre pulley nut. Interestingly Tuff Stuff use both terms ‘Clocking’ and ‘Indexing’ in the same document.

Nowhere is this ‘torque’ setting documented on the Tuff Stuff website, so I contacted Tuff Stuff for their ‘help’ and advice via their message process, for what good it was. Their automated response said I would ‘get a response within twenty-four hours’. After a few days nothing, so I tried again with a different email address. They responded the next day where they just sent me the instructions above with no words within the body of the email. My response was immediate back to them, stating that I already found the document on their website and asked again specifically for the torque settings. Their response with the following:

On 4 Oct 2018, at 14:12, Matt Oliver <matt@tuffstuffperformance.com> wrote:

We use an air wrench to put on all of the pulleys here. Thank you for your business. Have a great day!

Matt Oliver
Tech Manager

Hardly helpful when they say you should “torque to settings” which they obviously don’t do themselves. Not exactly confidence inspiring by any shape of the imagination, not to mention poor documentation.


So, with the lack of information I decided to do it myself!

As I had already fitted the alternator, the process below also shows the removal. If you have a new alternator you can skip these first few steps on removing the alternator and go straight to the ‘Clocking‘ process below.

  • First things first is to disconnect the battery.

Disconnect the single wire from the back of the alternator. Remove the tension bolt for the alternator which fits inside the bracket’s slot gap. Then loosen the hinge bolt at the top for the alternator. Unhook the v belt and remove the hinge bolt fully, taking the weight of the alternator remove it to a work bench.

Figure 1


My research and a warning;

If you read some of the forums out there on this subject, they say that you can undo the four case bolts and move the back around then retighten. This saves the hassle of undoing the rotor nut. WRONG. This could damage the springs and brushes internal components within the rear housing. You should only clock/index the alternator by moving the FRONT housing part of the case only.


‘Clocking’ process – also called ‘Indexing’

With the alternator on its side we will need to lock the cooling fan in place. I used a long-handled probe between the fins and resting on the bench surface. A screwdriver could also do the job.

The fins are not evenly spaced, and you will need to find the best place to wedge your locking tool in place. This should be on the same side (left) looking from the front of the alternator when you are undoing the rotor nut counter-clockwise.

The best way to remove the rotor nut is to use an impact wrench. I used my cordless Snap-On 3/8 impact driver with a 15/16ths impact socket. It’s for this very reason that people incorrectly move the back part of the case around, just because it’s easier.

Holding as much of the unit still as you can, buzz the nut until it’s undone. Once the nut has been removed take out the locking bar you have used.

With the nut fully removed depending on your pulley type, (remove the parts one at a time, taking note of how they fitted together). Remove the spring washer next, then remove the v pulley from the face plate, followed by the polished face plate.

The final part is to slide of the fan itself. You will notice it has a key way cut out, but there is no key way on the rotor shaft itself, just a plain round shaft as shown. You can clearly see the uneven fan spacing here that I mentioned earlier.

There are four case bolts 5/16th which need to be loosened from the back of the case, I used a ratchet to break them free before using a cordless screwdriver to undo the rest. The bolts are quite long seated into the front half of the casing.

Once the four bolts are removed, hold the case together while resting the alternator on its back with the rotor facing up.

Gently separate the top from the stator (the black plates between the top and bottom half of the case). Lift up the top part of the case to a max of 1/4″ without disturbing the stator. Turn the front case by 90deg increments to where you need it to be. The pics I have marked below showing the gaps between the case during the indexing process.

Re-align the two halves of the case again and lower the top part of the case back down.

With the top is in place, hold the case together to stop it moving and turn the alternator onto its side again, finger tighten the four long case bolts back up. Spin the shaft to make sure that there is no snagging and spins freely.

Check that he rear stud is where you need it to be, perhaps do a dummy fit to the engine if required. Once you are happy with the location, tighten the case bolts back up. Do not over tighten the four case bolts, I recommend using the manual ratchet for the final tightening.

Spin the shaft once again to make sure it’s all still free spinning.


While the alternator was apart I took the opportunity to clean the case and the front sections. I was not happy to find bits of the chrome flaking of. I used Auto Finesse metal polish to remove the marks on the chrome and then Auto Finesse mint rims wax to seal the chrome.

I didn’t clean the spring washer or the back of the locking nut too much. The simple reason is that friction is required for the hold all the components on the rotor shaft.


Refitting The Parts

At this point you could replace the pulley style if they is your intention to change the look or function to a Serpentine setup maybe.

Replace the fan onto the shaft first making sure the fins are facing backwards.

Next make sure the cover plate is fitted the correct way round with the dish section fitting inside the fan recess.

Next is the v belt pulley that will sit flush onto the face plate, again the raised section fitting into the recess of the face plate now.

Slide the spring washer into the shaft and into the v pulley recess. Finally the nut is fitted and finger tightened for now. Spin the rotor to make sure all is free and not snagged anywhere.

Now insert the locking tool you used earlier on the other side (right) between the fan blades to hold the section still once again. Now re-impact the nut clockwise back into place securely.

Remove your locking tool and recheck that the whole section spins freely again.


Refitting the alternator

Place the long pivot bolt and washer into the pivot section of the alternator and through any spacer required to align the pulleys up correctly to the lower crank pulley. Finger tighten the bolt for now into the engine block. See ‘Figure 1‘ above.

If you are mounting the alternator bracket for the first time, lightly tighten the bolt above the main crank pulleys to hold the bracket in place, but movable to locate the tension bolt.

Next insert the tension bolt and spring washer through the bracket slot into the alternator case. Slip the v belt over the pulley. See Figure 1 above.

Pull the alternator to tension and tighten the tension bolt just enough to hold the alternator in place for now. There should be 1/4″ to 1/2″ movement up and down on the belt. I prefer the twist method for the belt, twisting the belt 90deg in the middle between pulleys.

Once you are happy then fully tighten the tension bolt, Pivot bolt and the bracket bolt if needed.


At this point I took the time to clean up the cables up before refitting them. Connect the one wire back to the alternator stud and tighten up. Reattach the battery connection.

Start the car and make sure that you are charging correctly and that the belt is not slipping on the pulleys.

At this point I tidied up all the cables around the solenoid, the battery cable to the alternator, the cables for the engine block and starter motor so it all looks neat and tidy again.

That’s it, all done and took three hours in total which included the cleaning, rewrapping of cables, photos for this walk-through and tidying up of cables. I also have to clean all my tools after I have used them. It’s all part of my OCD problem regarding my tool box. I intend to get the proper bracket and belt shortly, but it’s not important right now as it still all works.

As far as I know, this is the only guide for a Tuff Stuff alternator clocking. I hope it helps somebody else out there. Apologies for the more tech styled post, but I had to share it. 🙂

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Americana Finishes The Season

Last weekend a Classic Car Show at Stonham Barns was pretty much the last car show for the year officially for me, unless I go on a winter organised cruise that is, providing it doesn’t rain of course. It seemed fitting to end this year’s season with a show just for American Cars. There was a nice mixture of classic, not so new and new with some real beauties on display. I arrived about nine in the morning I meet up with Yogi from Mustang Manic who had made a long trip for this show. We were shown into the main arena and parked next to each other, me with my ’66 and Yogi with his red rocket ’69 Mach1 that will run ten seconds down a quarter-mile!

After a quick buff over to remove the dusty road residue, we both found ourselves ‘broken down’ (in joke) with our hoods up. Yogi’s beast got a lot of attention for all the trick bits he has under the hood. Also it’s not often that he;

1) he opens his hood to the public to see his engine

2) he cleans his car

On the Mustang Maniac blog last weekend they had a rare photo of him cleaning it so I have borrowed it with their permission I might add, just to show that miracles do happen!

The other cars that followed us in the gates were parked around the main area until the area was pretty much full, then they filled the outside areas of the field.

My overheard quote of the day came from a woman who looked at my car and said to the guy walking next to her; “Look at the seats in that car, they are disgusting, I don’t like them, they should be taken out.”

To that woman; you came over to my car to look at it, if you don’t like it – don’t look at it, so kindly keep your opinions to yourself! Far from being upset by the comment, I just smiled to myself and thought; if I gave her the keys to my car, she would have happily driven it away sitting on those ‘disgusting’ seats.

Throughout the day there was ‘Uncle Sam’ taking selfies with lots of people and a beautiful bald eagle how much more American do you want to get?

There was the odd car for sale, this one for £8,000, a little bit to much of a project for me at that sort of money.

It was a good day and I even bought a couple of little bits for my memorabilia collection too. Great cars, great company and a great day.

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