The trip to Mustang Maniac was as long as ever, in fact it’s a sixty mile trip each way for me. It’s feels like it takes longer to get there because of the anticipation to get there. On the way back home it’s a gentle trip with the cruise control on, I just take my time thinking about what I am going to write about on Sunday and the time flies by. This week’s post is going to be a bit of a mixed bag. The under wings and out-of-the-way splash guards and the other was going to be the centre piece (literally) of the dash area, the radio.
I will start with the splash guards, of which there are four in total, smaller one behind the headlight and a longer one that sits at the back of the fender.
Each of the splash guards can be purchased with or without the rubber edging around the fender facing edges. To be honest by the time you buy the cheaper splash guards and the rubber edging and you fit them, it’s just as cheap to buy the “deluxe” version with them fitted and the cost is hardly anything. I got the deluxe versions and started on the front sides under the fenders.
It took me about five minutes to realise that it makes life so much easier if you take the wheel off. I started on the right hand side and offered up the guard. The first thing I noticed was that the fittings will only go on one way round.
The edging faces towards the direction of the splash, in other words the rubber faces inwards towards the wheel coming from the back of the guard as it were.
I went to screw the guard on behind the headlight mount and found that the original screw holes had been made bigger than they were supposed to be.
This meant that I had to use the biggest fattest metal screws that I could find. A few weeks ago I realised that this was going to be the case in a few fittings so far that I tried to fix, so I went out and bought a wide selection of imperial screws and technical bolts (which has the self tap threads, and a hexagonal bolt head). I found the three largest bolts I had and they were just enough to grip the original holes. The splash guards have quite large holes that allow for adjustment during the fitting o allow the rubbers to git into the contours of the fender.
Some people prefer to fit the splash guards to the fender and the rear splash guards to the body before the fenders are bolted on. There is room under the fender to do the work either way, but I would prefer to align the fender gaps correctly, then fit the splash guards to the those gaps and fender positioning. I have heard that some after market fenders had been fitted and the splash guards had to be moved to allow the correct gap alignment. I also fitted the splash guards with a larger stainless steel washer and filled the hole with a gasket sealer to prevent the water getting to the holes. The edging is cut so that the corners will overlap and form the water barrier.
The rear and much longer guards are in an inverted “L” shape which fits on top of the main body frame and secured via a single self tap bolt from inside the engine bay, the vertical fittings are also from inside the to the outside so that a small socket and wrench can comfortably tighten the fasteners.
The left hand side was much easier as it was a new fender and the holes were the correct size and the correct bolts were perfect fit.
The only extra that thing that I done was to fill the metal to metal gaps with a generous bead of silicon beading to stop any water ingress. All this seems a little irrelevant in some ways as the car will not be driven in the wet, but any protection provided against rain or water can only help.
The radio on the other hand is a key central part of the dash and is seen all the time you are in the car basically due to its location. The story behind my radio is that I didn’t have one when I got the car. The whole in my original dash was butchered like most were at the time and cut wider to take a modern and the new fangled gimmick stereo radio. My old dash with so common “conversion”.
Reverting back to the original radio size involves welding in a replacement patch and grinding it down, prepping and filling with a colour spray match up. Here I was looking at how the patch would fit on my old dash.
My dash was completely replaced due to the damage and rust so I had the correct the sized hole, but without the radio.
I had been looking around for a while now for an original or period correct radio. I found plenty of radios the were either broken or in a pretty shoddy state. I did of course have the option of a modern radio with the old style shape, but that didn’t interest me either. Fussy I know, but I can’t help it. Anyway I found a radio in the USA and it was listed up as an original and working radio. I had to wait for five days for the auction to end before I found out if I won it or not. It turned out I did win it and for a reasonable price. The import and shipping costs to me were more than the actual radio cost in the first place. The radio arrived with a tiny cracked plastic front, not a good start but you can’t really see it. Although my new (old) or replacement radio was not a genuine Ford part, (thanks to Chris for checking this out for me), it was an aftermarket radio from the correct time period. The general opinion is that it was from a Ford Falcon, based on the numbers and make. The genuine Mustang radios had chrome dials at the time, but the radio I now have has black and chrome fittings. This was what I was after considering I had a black gauge dash and black glove box it would blend in the middle quite well, so I would hope anyway.
I originally cleaned up the radio and stored it away until this point in the restoration where I could fit it back in. Yes, before anybody comes back to me, I do know that would be about nearly four years later on then! I gave the radio to Mustang Maniac to have their magic worked on it, as the band was only AM and the USA spec version at that. The mod the MM guys offer is to have an additional MP3 player circuit added inside the original case. The MP3 player functionality is engaged when you press the far side preset button. The guys at MM informed me that although the radio turned on, the inside radio tuner was dead. The option was a new radio again, or make it a single MP3 player. I was happy with that option as it was only a single mono speaker and I wasn’t going to listen to the single radio station that I might pick up if i was lucky. The simple reason was that I had a 289cid orchestra under the hood with Flowmaster exhaust so that everybody else can enjoy it too. Anyway Adam has kindly let me use the photo’s of the radio being worked on.
They mentioned it on their blog last week as well. The only give away is that there is a quite a long 3.5mm jack plug lead that emerges from the same hole as the speaker cable and power at the side.
This cable will plug into any MP3 player or the phone in my case. Perfect scenario as far as I was concerned, and I threaded the cable up to the glove box just for now.
The fitting to the dash was done with a tiny mod of an exact washer to nut size. This would stop the retaining nut marking up the paintwork. Yes I know it wouldn’t be seen, but I know I might possibly replace it a later date for a Ford model, I will see how it goes in the mean time.
I have no intention of fitting front kick panel speakers or rear speakers so Adam provided me with an updated middle speaker, just like the originals that I didn’t have. The radio was spliced into the existing loom so I could remove the in-line fuse as that was supplied on the main fuse panel now.
The speaker was connected to the new bullet connectors and dropped into the dash space. There are no pics of the speaker in place as some daft plank (me then) hit delete instead of copy during the transfer process.
The radio turned on and a single soft warm glow appeared in display, I plugged in the phone and randomly selected a tune. What started to play was Fats Domino with his classic – Blueberry Hill, and what a song that is. The first line “I found my thrill….”. I sure did, I had sounds and a classic radio in a classic car. If I didn’t know any better and hadn’t of watched John Carpenters classic film “Christine”, I think the car was trying to tell me something.
Amazing sound and just so cool that it looks stock too.