I can’t believe that it has been four years since I bought (well the wife did actually), took possession of my ’66 Mustang Coupe, 17th September 2011 to be exact. Two of those last four years have been down at Mustang Maniac getting the best attention to detail that any Mustang could ask for. I was looking forward to the day ahead to get things done, I wasn’t too sure what it was going to be, but I was about to find out. I arrived to see sitting on the side where I put my tools was a nice new super shiny gas gap. Adam smiled and said “There’s your first job”. The old gas cap was from a 1970 model, I didn’t mind it but it was starting to wind Adam up as we hadn’t changed it yet. There is a larger hole at the bottom of the filler where the retaining wire is held. This is a multi purpose idea, one you don’t lose it and two, it stops trophy hunters trying to steal it. Undo the bottom screw and slightly drill out the hole in the body panel. Screw in the cable and attach the locking bolt inside the panel. The difference was instant, and looks so much better now.
The next job was now at the front, mounting the front bumper. The irons had already been bolted into place and through the stone guard. The bumper was a two-man job to avoid scratching my nice paint job. Yogi and me laid the bumper in place and the collapsible washers were placed on top of the irons. The bolts were lightly placed through the bumper and not tightened up just yet. The side mountings to the fender needed to be jiggled around a bit to make it fit on the driver’s side by pushing the bumper into place to meet the fender hole. Once they were all in place the tightening could be done. Yogi tells me I’m a lucky guy again as these can be a real pain to fit if the car is slightly out of alignment after an accident or similar. A job that makes a total transformation of the car. I even managed to get a reflection of the Corral in the bumper too.
I moved to the interior now and a piece of equipment I have been moving around to avoid damage is the aircon unit. The car is a genuine factory option aircon car, but i didn’t want all that under the hood. But, I do love the blower unit. I decided to use the blower unit in the car and make it work as a fan, if that makes sense. Yes there are going to be people who moan that’s not a aircon car as there is no “this, that or the other” under the hood. Well, all I can say is that if I want it, I still have the brackets to put it all on if I wanted too, but I don’t. These aircon units are held under the dash by two brackets, and held on the tunnel in the middle by an adjustable bolt. This looked pretty basic and I wanted something with a little more finesse should we say. I had kept the old hood stops and I was going to take the rubber of the top of that of and weld it to the bottom of the bolt. As it turned out the trunk bump stop is exactly the same thread as the support bolt for the aircon. I screwed in the bump stop and it looked like it was menat to be there. Next up the unit was carefully offered up the to the dash for a dry fit.
The power feed cable had been cut, this meant that there was no wire long enough to power the unit. So I had to extend the wire. There is never any crimping to extend a wire at Mustang Maniac, ever! I would have been thrown in the scrap bin if I had of done. The wires were stripped back about twenty millimeters and twisted together, heat shrink placed over the cable, flux applied to the cables. The (gas-powered) soldering iron was fired up and after thirty seconds it was ready to use. A lot of old cloth was placed under the solder area to avoid dropping any hot solder on the carpet. Once the soldering was completed and allowed to cool, the end of the soldering iron attachment was swapped to the hot air nozzle that shrank the heat shrink to the soldered area.
The aircon unit was now able to be connected to the power. The brackets were padded out with a little foam pad to stop any vibration or rattles. The bolts were threaded through the dash and bolted from the inside.
I could then adjust the bottom stop to take the pressure of the bottom of the dash and equalise the weight distribution out. The end result was brilliant and I am glad that I made the choice to keep it in the car. The centre console will complement the aircon unit down the length of the tunnel.
Four years later and the car is not completed just yet. There is the trim for the seats, steering wheel, centre console, dash trim, gauges, rear quarter window rain felts etc all to be done. I can’t see it being ready just yet. but it’s oh so close now, I can almost taste the petrol! 🙂 Hurry up next week I have work to do.