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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A Big Milestone….

Eight and a half years ago, way back on October 28th 2012 I wrote my first post on my little ol’ blog. I had nothing planned other than to share with a few friends what I was getting up to and how I was getting along with my Mustang restoration. Ultimately I could look back in a few years time and take a trip down memory lane with the photos I had taken a certain points of the restoration.

Delivery of my project car 17th September 2011, before it went to Mustang Maniac where I had professional help & guidance on my restoration over the years. Those guys have become some of my best mates of mine as a result.

When I attend car shows or via my blog and emails etc. I often get asked how I clean and detail my cars;

Some of the Car Shows and photo opportunities;

I get asked how I fitted things, how I upgraded this or that, I even get asked for advice on their own restoration projects.

That got me to thinking about adding extra sections like the tools (a selection of them here), that I used on project and since use, considering that I’m just a weekend warrior with a spanner.

Products that I used to keep our daily cars clean and the Mustang fully detailed.

My merchandise I bought over the years or have been given since I started my journey with the Mustang.

I even get requests to review items, all of which I buy if I think I could use them myself. As a result of all these things, my blog has evolved into an entity of it’s own.

Fast forward a number of years to 2021 where I my little ol’ blog has reached a massive milestone. This is not intended as some bragging rights by the way, but more like myself being proud of the result. Somebody within the USA this morning 15th May 2021 made my day:

My blog has just passed 1,000,000 hits!

I am absolutely amazed to think this could ever happen, I remember getting excited about getting ten hits in one day!

I value every single one of you that has followed me or just pops in for a quick read, like or even the odd comment. I would like to say a massive “Thank You” from the very bottom of my heart.

I don’t actually get anything from my blog/website on WordPress, other than some add money that goes straight to the hosting and my domain fees. It’s sort of self sufficient in a way. If anything I’m out of pocket, but reading the comments and seeing the views more than make up for it. Hopefully I can help somebody, somewhere with something.

My first follower was Debbie Nuessle (click here for her latest venture), from across the pond. We both started blogs within a few days of each other, both revolving around our love of American Muscle cars, especially Ford Mustangs of course. We keep in touch outside of the Blog circle and have become good friends.

I have a number of followers who ‘like’ the posts I put up after even after all these years, thank you all, it means a lot to me. I have such a range of followers; a very talented and well-known Soprano opera singer; Charlotte Hoather (click here for her blog), mechanics, engineers, oil rig mover, artists, photographers, builders, wildlife photographers, fellow classic car owners, writers, product manufacturers, shops, brands, a few younger bloggers, students, world travellers, petrol heads, gear heads, car clubs, writers, novelists, journalists, teachers, photojournalists, professional bloggers, social influencers, religious followers, the list just goes on. (There is even ‘ahem’ some adult orientated content following me!) The full list makes for some amazing reading.

Just in case anybody is interested in some of the more selective stats;

I have a total of 2,700 followers, of which 871 are on WordPress, 2,300 on social media, just over 2000 on Facebook, which is not my favourite of all the platforms I must admit.

I have been visited by 199 countries and the top ten countries in order are; USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, China, France, Netherlands, Finland and New Zealand.

There are stunning islands that have visited me, Mauritius, Seychelles & Maldives. Some of those Islands are so small they wouldn’t be able to fit a Mustang on them! My bucket list is to spend a few days on these islands to chill and take in some sun.

The more obscure countries with a single visit are: Burkina Faso, Falkland Islands, Kosovo, Tonga, Northern Mariana Islands.

To date I have posted 340 blogs including this one over the eight and half years I have been posting on this blog.

These figures are quite low compared to some of you mega stars out, there with you super popular blogs I know that. But for me, like I said earlier, I’m honestly humbled and grateful to every single one of you who wants to look at a blog all about one man and his Mustang!

A huge “Thank You” to you all.

Here’s to the next one million!

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A Sticky Situation

Looking for things to do and decided that it was time for a little update again. A few posts ago around Christmas 2020 I replaced my chrome 40,000v coil to a black version. The reason then was that I had erratic starting issues and decided to change the coil just for the sake of it to see if it helped. It didn’t and the coil turned out to be fine and is now a spare just in case.

The original look was a chrome coil with the original Ford coil clamp in black.

On the coil was the Ford sticker to say what it was and add a little bit of authenticity.

I went to visit Mustang Maniac for a replacement as the pics above. I tried to peal the old label off and reuse it. But it rolled up like a toilet roll and just wouldn’t stick again.

I started to undo the clamp for the coil and lifted out the coil.

The old bolt was fine, but as my new bracket is chrome I wanted to polish the bolt with the Dremel, some nylon brush wheel and some final metal polish.

The supplied clamp was a screw head with a nice zinc finish.

My old bolt was a chrome Allen headed style and would look better.

The polished result was quite good and looked better than zinc and chrome. The new bracket was a direct replacement for the old one and bolted straight in.

The coil just drops back in and and then you can tighten the thin clamp bolt to hold it still, and then the single bolt for the bracket to the engine.

The new look is black and chrome, the old style was chrome and black.

The new sticker just needed to aligned up properly and then stuck on.

So the silvery coloured text on the black finish is more visible than the former silvery lettering on chrome.

Although the old bracket was restored and looked OK, I can’t bring myself to chuck it out now. Yes it’s old, it’s worth nothing, it’s the original, it’s pitted and not ageing very well.

The bracket will now be stored with the other old parts that have been replaced, either at the time since then. Will the chrome bracket last fifty five years like the old one? Of course it won’t, but I like the new look of black and chrome.

Bring on the car shows. We need the fresh air and to get out and about.

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What Goes Up Can Stay Up

I admit it, I’m so bored of the lockdowns, no car shows and there is talk of longer lockdowns again. To cheer myself up I decided to do a bit of upgrading that I have been thinking about for a while.

The stock Mustang aerials are usually on the right side fender and cant be retracted. Not a problem most of the time, but if you are out and about there could be some jealous vandal who wants to bend it. Then 1) you lost signal for the radio, 2) it’s a whole heap of hurt to swap out for what it is. Hence often wire coat hangers are jammed in the hole after.

In my case it’s more the fact that I want to cover the car and not have to make holes in the cover. Plus I can raise or lower the mast as I see fit.

There are lots of styles of aerials, standard mast, push down mast, stubby aerials, rubber aerials, rear window integrated, shark fin, fully automatic, semi automatic etc.

The fully automatic aerials works via a pulse signal from the radio when it turns on that in turn activates the aerial up, and another signal to lower. This needs a radio outlet to work it, and once the radio is on, you can’t listen to a cassette or blue tooth without the mast being raised.

Semi Automatic runs of a positive and earth via a manual operated switch which will raise the mast, then reverse the poles on the motor to lower the mast. This way I can have the radio on, without the mast up, or only half up, a bit up almost up or any variation in-between.

Let me explain why I wanted the semi auto option; my radio is an original stock item for a ’66 from the USA. But, I had it modified to take a 3.5mm jack point when I press a certain radio pre-set. That means that I can run an mp3 player, my phone for sat nav or a blue tooth dongle to the radio.

I’m going on the assumption that you already have the hole in the fender. If you don’t have a hole, work out where you want the aerial to go and make that hole.

Removing the old aerial;

I managed to do this with the car jacked up on axle stands and with the wheel off. How you get to the fender aerial is up to you and what works for you.

We need to remove the old aerial from the fender. Unplug the aerial lead from the back of the radio and make if fall loose into the footwell.

Under my fender are the splash guards that I fitted during restoration. If you don’t have them then your task is that much easier.

There are four bolts that hold this splash guard in place. One from under the hood at he very top. Then there a two at the sides on the middle picture, finally one at the bottom that also holds the fender in place too.

To remove the splash guard undo the bolts and will pull towards you and free of the chassis. On mine there was a layer of silicon to stop water ingress between the gaps. I managed to scalpel the silicon away and the guard broke free.

Here the guard is removed and the chassis behind it on the right pic.

The rubber on the sides of the guard were still supple and could be refitted and they had not torn. On the right pic you can see the aerial mast and just to right where the grommet goes into the chassis which protects the wires.

On top of the fender undo the hexagon nut and the mast will fall away from the fender.

That’s the mast out, now you should be able to pull the aerial lead through the grommet from inside the car.

Assembly:

Here is the Harada HA-50D. There are only three wires brown and white which control the motor mechanism and the black one for the coaxial.

For the most part fitting the part its a reverse of the above. I threaded the aerial coaxial cable back through the grommet and also the two coloured wires for the up down operation of the aerial.

In the kit there is a bar which is used to support the bottom of the bracket and is pliable to be able to be bent where you need it. There is a switch, and mounting bracket. To allow the the wires to pass into the body the brown and white wires have been bullet connector separated.

I made a test fitting to see where the bottom of the mechanism will roughly be. I worked out that I could re-use the bolt to hold the back of the fender in place. In the pic below you can see that loosened it to show you.

With the Aerial’s soft steel bracket I fitted it to the bolt and then replaced the nut back onto the fender’s bolt.

Thread the two power wires brown and white into the body via the grommet.

Now we can thread the mechanism up through the fender hole and randomly place the caps and hexagon fixing bolts loosely to hold the aerial in place. That way when you can move it around to the correct position and clearance a little later.

With the aerial roughly in place I loosely fitted the aerial in place and held in place with the bracket for support. The mild steel will bend so a pair of pliers twisted the strip and bent it to the aerial hole, which is arrowed above.

It says on the instructions that the aerial will ground under the fender. I’m not happy to go to bare metal in this case, so I made a small solder joint to the case of the aerial mast and attached that single wire to the bottom bracket. The smaller of the two black wires above. This will then also provide an additional ground. But not essential.

Take the aerial coaxial inside the car now and fit to the back of the radio.

The two wires will now need to be connected to the switch. connect the switch’s brown and white wires to the aerials brown and white wires.

The switch to control the aerial is a “Double Pole – Double Throw – Momentary Switch”

A live feed which is the green wire and an earth which is black will need connections as well.

I have a similar switch to this in stainless which I thought would look good. But when I trial fitted it, the switch didn’t look right in the car, but I did use one bit from it! (More on that in bit.) Below is the wiring diagram from the box. Due to the age of the box and the tape some of the diagram was missing, it had been crudely re-drawn on for the missing bits back on.

There aren’t many diagrams on the net for the wiring of these switches. If you need to change the switch out for a different style or want to know how it works here is the diagram I made.

In the diagram the brown wire is obvious, but the white wire is shown as a grey.

A point to note is that the up and down poles are reversed on the switch. ‘A’ and ‘D’ are engaged when the switch is held up to make the aerial go up and spin the motor in one direction.

When the toggle is push down then ‘C’ and ‘F’ are used to spin the motor in the other direction. They can’t be wired the same or the aerial will only go up or only go down.

To overcome this, the switch will reverse the polarity by crossing the wires over; ‘A’ to ‘F’ and ‘D’ to ‘C’. Thus the “Double Pole” part of the switch. The “Double Throw” is the up and down movement, the “Momentary” is that the switch will only work while you activate it and drop to the off position in the middle of the switch.

Power to the switch is provided by the 6A fused green wire to ‘B’, and the ground to ‘E’.

I made a temporary fitting for the power and ground to raise the aerial fully.

Adjust the aerial to the correct verticals. Then tighten up fully when you are happy. Lower the aerial to make sure that it’s full functioning.

Now we can look inside the car for the correct positioning of the switch and the power you are going to use. This is your choice where you want it to be. You could make a feature of it or just hide it.

I decided that the switch would look best under the dash as I didn’t want to drill holes in the dash facia itself. The bracket supplied has two two holes for screwing up under the dash.

I found a hole right next to the aircon blower unit which I would use. As there would only be one hole in use on the bracket the air-con bracket could be used to clamp the bracket in place.

With such a large hole I didn’t need to drill that either. I found a course threaded screw and a matching self tightening clamp to put behind the dash itself to hold everything in place. It was at this point I now used a part of my stainless switch; the wording plate instead of the up and down arrows on the plastic. Screw on the retaining ring and all was in place.

(Now take the brown and white wires and connect them back up again, if you disconnected them after the test fitting.)

I wanted a switched live from the ignition. So with that in mind I need to remove the current open connector on the end of the green wire and replace it with a piggy back spade fitting.