Prototype To Production

My last post showed my ‘homework’ for a prototype part kit I was going to install on my car. I mentioned a while ago to Adam at Mustang Maniac that on longer journeys it would be nice to have a little more legroom. He said that had been asked about it some time ago as well, but there wasn’t really anything on the market. Until now that is, those discussions with Adam have been ongoing and he has had a prototype developed by his engineers. We then discussed how this was going to be done, the original plan was to do some filming of the fitting for their YouTube channel, we decided on a slightly different approach to the original plan for now. Two reasons, the first being the UK’s protest morons that have made getting fuel difficult in some parts of the UK. The second was ‘how difficult would the kit be to fit at home without professional workshop equipment?’ The challenge was accepted, fit the rails at home and share my results with Mustang Maniac while saving myself a fist full of dollars in fuel costs and time.

The seat extension runners came from Mustang Maniac. They are designed to allow an additional 2″ or 4″ movement backwards of the seat for additional legroom while still allowing the seat to adjust on the original runners. These runners are made from a heavy gauge steel with threads and cut-outs which allow for a straightforward installation. These extensions bars will fit all Mustang models from 1964 to 1968 by the way.

From my last post here the rails are dried and already painted with satin black ready for fitting.

There are four studs provided with the extension bar kit to allow the repositioned seat to be bolted back into the car without having to cut the floor pans or seat base.

Depending on your preference of course, you could respray these bars to match your interior as they will be a little more visible from outside as the seat will sit further back on the seat base, but not noticeably so. Satin black is always a good starting point and goes with pretty much everything.

Removing the seat.

Under the car there are four rubber grommets (or should be four) in place where the seat rail studs come through the seat base.

Remove the rubber grommets and inspet the inside. If all is good the studs won’t be correded up and will be easy to remove. If the rubber grommets are missing, or there is corrosion on the studs, then you may need to spray a some WD40 (or similar) to help loosen them up and remove. Make sure to use a good quality socket, if you round the fasterners off then you are in for a whole heap of hurt.

Tip:

Fold the back of the chair forward to the seat base as if you were getting out of the back seats. This helps to balance the weight of the seat and allows the fasteners to be removed without the chair tipping back making removal difficult or even bending a seat stud.

Use a deep reach socket to undo the fasteners.

With all four fasteners removed the seat should lift directly upwards out of the car. Notice in the left-hand pic that the seat falls naturally to the rear. Keep the fasteners safe as they will be used again to refit the seat back into place.

With the seat out, now would be a good time to inspect the seat runners and clean the runners up if needed. Apply a little grease to keep the free movement.

Fitting The Extenders

The bars have to be fitted to their correct left or right hand sides and the right way up. Looking at the seat from below the right hand side has the seat movement handle and a extending bracket. This side will need the cut out sectioned runner to be fitted, as the pics below. You can either attach the studs at this point or later the choice is yours. I prefer to do it later so nothing got in the way.

You will notice that there are holes, recessed holes and threaded holes. The standard holes are to allow flush fitting of the bars to the seat rails where the rivets are. The recessed holes allow for the original seat studs to be held flush to the bar. The threaded holes are for the studs position where you want the actual length of the extension to be.

Below shows the third hole down which is recessed and where the original seat stud(s) will go through.

The top hole is the 4″ extention the second one down is the 2″ extension shown in Red.

Yellow shows the location for the seat rail rivets.

Teal colour shows the seat stud holes.

From the position above turn the bar over to fit onto the seat rail flush. Fit the rail over the original seat studs and use some nuts of the correct thread on the seat studs and tighten the bars firmly into place.

You will now need to cut the original seat rail studs flush with the top of the nut. This has to be done in order to fit the seat back into the car and be bolted back into place. Before you do any cutting, make sure that the seat can still freely move with the seat adjustment handle with the extension bars bolted in place.

You can either mark the studs for cutting and remove the fasteners and bars away from the seat, or do it with the bars still bolted in place which is easier to be honest. I used a Dremel and a thin cut off wheel. Take your time and use goggles in case the cut-off wheel breaks or sparks fly. Going old school with a hacksaw will work just as well. You can see my Dremel in the right-hand picture bottom corner. I also got pretty OCD about it and ground the studs perfectly flush with the fastener.

Fitting The Studs

These new studs have a collar a quarter of the way down. The shorter thread screws are fitted into the extension bars, the longer thread will be going back through the seat base using the original holes.

I painted the top of my studs to match the bars so they were less visible from the outside, just because I could.

You will need a locking pair of grips to screw these replacement studs into place tightly, or a strong hand grip an pliers. I also used a little thread locker to keep them in place. The left-hand picture shows the correct stud fitting.

As I said earlier, if you want the full 4″ extension use the top threaded holes, for the smaller 2″ extension use the second hole down. Fit the second stud at the bottom of the rail extension use the threaded hole just above the larger hole (for the rivet) for the 4″ extension, and the 2″ threaded hole is below the larger hole. See the marked up image earlier on the page. If you are in any doubt measure the original seat stud gap and apply the same gap to the 4″ or the 2″ stud holes.

Refitting The Seat

Take the seat back to the car and drop the studs through the original holes in the seat base and carpet holes. From there screw on the fasteners from underneath the car to hold the seat in place. Refit the carpet spacers and then tighten up the seat properly.

Replace the rubber grommets and the job is done. I sat back in the car and was amazed at the difference that the extra few inches of leg room gives you. For a 6’4″ bloke like me I was always a little crunched up on leg room, that little bit extra makes it so much nicer to drive. Also as the seat base actually slopes down towards the back of the car, in effect I have also gained a little more headroom too. Win/win all round then. 🙂

The fitting was straight forward and I reported my work back to Adam with the photo’s. He has now decided to go into production with the current design. Their measurements were spot on so no need to make any modifications. I suspect they will be on the Mustang Maniac WebShop Soon, along with some of the photos and description of the fitting.


The second part of the my little upgrades I promised was the hood springs. There was nothing wrong with them at all, except that Adam showed me a set he has just fitted to the project car they have in a workshop. I see them, I wanted them it was a simeple as that. Not the cheapest replacement part just for looks, but why not? These springs are super strong and will have the Devil’s bite on you or the car if you get it wrong when replacing them. I packed an old duvet cover around the hood springs and levered of the springs carefully and under control with a large screwdriver come crowbar. They were replaced in a matter of seconds. I was so worried about the springs pinging off and damaging the paint or parts under the car, or flying up and removing part of my jaw that I forgot to take pictures. I do have the before and after pics for you. Most people wont even notice the change and think they are stock parts, but I think they just add a little bit of something extra to look at.

Right hand side:

Left hand side:

The last part of the day’s work was the annual oil and filter change. I tend to do around two thousand miles a year at most. But, I would rather pay £35 for fresh oil just to be on the safe side each year. The K&N gold oil filters I use are a bit bigger than the standard Ford oil filters, which means that I have to put in more oil in than the standard recommend five US quarts to get the levels right.

Now I’m all set for the car show season, apart from a quick wax and once over that is! Lets hope the weather stays fine for the shows. I will let you know as the season goes on.

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Prototype Parts!

Over the last few weeks I have been having a few trips down to Mustang Maniac where they have been developing a part which is aimed at people like me. It’s obviously going to be a mustang part, but more for my own pleasure of driving the car.

These heavy gauge steel bars have been black zinc plated for longevity and a good base for some proper coloured paint. A touch of déjà vu transporting me back ten odd years to when my car was being restored; Adam said ‘Take these back with you and satin spray them for your homework’, so that’s exactly what I did the next afternoon.

Preparation

First of all was the prep to make sure a good paint bond where I cleaned the bars with a little isopropanol alcohol to remove any greasy or oil spots from being handled. I set up a line to suspend the bars and started the little and often undercoats to allow faster drying. The same for the satin black top coats to give a nice even coverage. The weather was sunny on and off, warm with a light breeze. Spraying from a rattle can in the breeze is all about timing and technique, the later from me being a little ‘rusty’ from not having done it for a a good few years.

The wife wasn’t to impressed with the new style grey and black patched grass I managed to create for her. The completed articles are mow ready to be taken back to Mustang Maniac for fitting and couple of other little bits at the same time where it would make things a lot easier with a car lift.

There are specific threaded bolts with a mid shoulder that are made specifically for the bars and will replace the originals when fitted.

Some may have an idea of what they are, if you know or think you know drop me comment. I hope to drive the car to Mustang Maniac next week sometime and I will obviously document what they are for then and bring you part two and a review. 👍

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Hedingham Castle

This car show took place in 2nd August 2021 on the outskirts of Colchester which is the oldest town in the UK. This was a new show for me and I was looking forward to it especially as I hadn’t been there before.

The weather apps said there was a round thirty percent chance of rain later in the day. When I got up the sky looked grey but felt dry, so I decided to go for it. I got the car out and set up the Sat Nav for a scenic route and set off for an unknown journey.

When I got to the castle there was a board outside that said “closed to visitors no entry”, I was not impressed. I couldn’t see any cars inside and and also couldn’t see any cars arriving.

I backed out onto the road to drive around and look to see what was going on. I saw a guy walking his dog and asked him if he knew anything about it. Lucky for me he did. He said that they put the sign up to stop castle visitors but the car show was on. So I drove back again and past the sign. A very slight curve and I saw the marshals and a few cars parked up. I was directed to the field that was on a bit of a slope and wet. I was having trouble trying to get traction where they parked me and said I could move over a little on the flatter part of the field. I was grateful for her consideration and said thanks, but I mentioned if it rains I would have trouble getting out.

The plus side is that I had a great view of the castle from below.

I got out to speak to the guys next to me a couple of nice guys I knew who were walking over to me who are also in the Bury Retro Car Club that I’m a member of. About ten minutes later the head marshal came over to tell me that a car club had cancelled (around 125 cars) and would not be coming due to the potential weather, would I like to move?

I said yes and pointed to the main walkway which was on a path where my two friends had just come from. She agreed I was allowed to move and parked up near them with a fantastic backdrop.

Then it happened, a few spots of drizzle! Rain wasn’t due for another three hours or so. As I stood looking up to the sky another friend who owns a newer Mustang pulled next to me.

The area where I was parked is such a nice place with walk ways and a large pond.

I decided to walk around and take some pictures before it started to rain.

I was quite taken with this truck and would be my a project I would like to do next.

Walking up the slight incline the was a little bridge over to the castle on the left.

I reckon my car would have looked good under these arches but it wasn’t being allowed from what I could see, a real shame though.

Towards the top of the incline there was a house with a few big luxury cars.

Turning to the left you walk over the bridge to the castle which was planted in the middle of a large green and the cars were parked around the outside, mainly clubs from what I could see.

Towards the back of the Alfa Romeo there was a drop and an opening where you could look down on where I was parked.

With a little bit of zoom.

By the time I got back to the car there was a few new cars arrived, this brand new 2021 Mustang Mach1. Why this is even in a car show i don’t know, I can see this in any Ford car showroom that stocks them.

A little further down I had a childhood flashback, my first bike, ‘Raleigh Chopper’. This are now holding stupid silly money like £1,000 for the early models.

The rain started to fall and I found a nice shaded area under a tree where I could keep dry. Obviously I had to close the hood.

When the rain stopped the hood went back up along with the show board.

There was the occasional spells of sun but more frequent and longer rain showers. With that in mind I decided to leave, I was only there for a few hours in the end. The drive home was getting wetter by the minute, it was a good choice to leave I’m sad to say.

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Lavenham Car Show August 29th 2021

One of my favourite car shows of the year as it’s a beautiful drive out to the sleepy little village, and it’s just a nice environment. Not over flowing with modern cars, and a real family type day out. This year there was a lot of Jags on show, I mean a lot, MK1 and MK2. I reckon the Jag Owners club turn of some sort turned up en masse.

I got up early as usual and thoroughly enjoyed the drive through the country lanes, until some idiot in a Renault (white) van wanted to sit right up my rear. It did bother me a bit as I wanted to relax and enjoy the country side, so I ignored him. I was in good mood and didn’t care about the rest of the world that morning.

I pulled into the venue and was told where to park. The same spot as last year on the end near the entrance. Where I quite like to be and can watch the cars come in 🙂

I spent a fair amount of time checking the App that no rain was forecast, but it was little nippy in the slight breeze when the sun was hiding behind some clouds. This was taken about half hour before the public was allowed in, so not all the cars were in place.

I wasn’t very hungry until I got the delicious waft of bacon and sausage baps being cooked around ten in the mornin’ just the gates were opened to the public, not a coincidence I’m sure. As I didn’t have my wallet with me, being the absent minded fool, I had left it in the garage. I went hungry, apart from the little packed lunch I took with me. Cheese and ham sarnie just doesn’t cut it, but the ham was as close as I was going to get to bacon on that day!

Parked up next to in the American stand was a Pontiac station wagon, the owner was saying that there is only one other in the country!

I decided to go for a walk about half hour after I had wiped the car over. So in no particular order, but I walked clockwise around the circular shaped format of the cars.

This lovely car was tucked in a corner,

There was a limited Super car section, where the Lambo and DeLorean combo were together again. The Ferrari was a replica of course.

I’m not into motorbikes as they scare the hell out of me, but this Subaru flat four based trike was amazing.