A Mustang Plaque Idea

This little project has been bouncing around in my head for a number of years now and I finally got round to doing something about it. When my car was restored I kept the original Mustang Coral from the grill for a while even though one of the support legs was broken. But, I repaired it and fitted back to the completed car as i wanted the original on the car, people kept saying “why the old Coral it’s a bit knackered?” Eventually seeds of doubt were sown, then I got worried that the Coral would fracture again and fall off causing all sorts of damage. It was a sad day when I took it off, but I replaced it with a nice shiny one and I stopped getting the same question. So, I still had the original Coral, and some original emblems that were on the fender. Those 289 emblems were pitted and in a poor way but I kept them regardless. To me the “Coral” was the “soul” of the car and that image was to become an instantly recognisable icon around the world. I wanted something different, this was that idea.

Firstly I bought a plinth of wood from eBay that was a few inches bigger than the Coral itself. This can be any wood you like of course, but I wanted something dark(ish) to show of the chrome.

The Coral it sits slightly higher up than the anchor points or legs that secure it to the grill. So if you want the Coral to sit in the middle you need to measure closer to the bottom. You can clearly see the step here in this picture.

In my case it wanted it to sit slightly higher up as there was going to be a custom plaque at the bottom with the car’s details, more on that little later. I measured from the legs to each side the centre point and marked the spots. I used tiny pilot holes to make sure that the holes lined up with the holes on the bottom of the Coral legs. Once everything was spot on I drilled to a larger hole for the screws and counter sunk the holes so the screw head would not sit proud of the wood.

The Coral legs were held to the grill by fine thread screws, but one of the legs had been stripped and wasn’t very good at holding anything. A self tapping screw was the way to go now with the soft metal inside the legs. The depth limit was checked and then cut down the screw had a max depth to hold it firmly in place.

The wood was untreated and would need a coat of varnish. The decision was to go for a quick drying clear satin with a couple of coats all round. Starting on the back to see how it would look and application before the front attempted. To avoid any brush marks a large foam brush was the way to go, that decision turned out to be an inspired choice. An old piece of plastic packaging was used to hold the varnish that I would need.

I have marked the area that was untreated as I was applying the varnish. Once the varnish had dried (which only took twenty minutes a coat), I applied a second coat and allowed that to dry. The process was repeated once the wood was turned over ready for the front and sides.

The front came out really well, perhaps the very fine sand paper of the surface helped with that. The wood’s grain was pulled through by the varnish and a turned a bit darker to compliment the chrome.

From the back of the wood the screws were tightened up to hold the coral in place.

Next up was the V8 289 fender emblem. This was obviously pitted from fifty years of road and weathering, which also had a broken stud on the back. This wasn’t a problem this time as the studs needed to come of anyway in order to sit flush on the wood. I used various chrome cleaners to get it as best as I could, The chrome plating was starting to go thing in few places so I had to be careful.

The emblems are cast and it didn’t take too much to break the remaining stud off with a pair of proper aggressive cutters. As long as the stud was below the surface all would be fine for what I had in mind.

I also have the old original running horse fender emblem from the right hand side that is in effect facing the wrong way when placed anywhere else other than the fender. This too was pitted and a couple of studs on the back broken. The other problem was that it is to big for the plaque so it was to be plan B. I wanted a smaller emblem and that means it was going to be the glove box emblem. This presented two choices; 1) remove the original from the glove box and replace that with a new one. This means the original wasn’t in the car, however I wanted as many of the original parts in the car as possible. 2) put the new emblem on the plaque which then means that it’s not all original parts from the car. As the car is way more important I was to put the new one on the plaque. I could have got a bigger wooden back, but then there would have been a lot of wood and the Coral would seem to be floating around in the middle.

The same principle as the 289 emblem was to snip the studs of the back. The remaining stumps were to be ground down flat with the ever useful Dremel.

Measuring up the plaque for polish plaque for the wood was simple enough, it was to be in the middle of the Coral and look aesthetically pleasing from the bottom. Once that was marked out and temporarily held in place by a little poster tack putty, I could step back and check what it looked like from a distance. Once I was happy with it, just peel the backing of and stick it down into place. Yes I did measure it three times before I marked it out, it would have done my head in being on the wonk or off centre when the OCD kicked in. The metal plaque that I used was ordered from eBay and cost me £2.50 a very modest price indeed. There was a choice of sizes, finish of the metal (brass of silver), font style and the colouring of the lettering being a choice of silver or black filled. I chose to have the simple basics of the car make and model, where it was made, and the date of manufacture or as I like to think – the day she was born. My thinking was that the silver finish would match the polished chrome of the Coral, and the lettering colour would match the metal of the Coral.

“Ford Mustang Coupe”

“Dearborn Michigan”

“11th July 1966”

The positioning of the 289 fender emblem was to be in the middle of the metal plaque height and evenly spaced from the Coral leg to the edge of the wood plaque. My hot glue gun was fired up ready to fill the back of the emblem with hot glue. This allowed me a few vital seconds to get the emblem into the position marks before it cooled and set hard.

The glove box emblem was the positioned at the same height from the bottom as the 289 emblem, but it was again located so that its “looks right” position in relation to the Coral without crowding it, the poster putty being used again. The emblem was again hot glued into place and allowed to cool.

The final result was pretty good and exactly the look that I was after. It’s not to everybody’s taste, but at least I have the “soul” my car proudly on display.

The back of the wood also has some stick on rubber pads, for the “desk tidy” option. Next I will get some flush fit brackets ready to screw to the wall when I figure out just where to display it for best effect. I do have an idea that I will put to the wife first.

Me and the wife have had a number of discussions where it will be hung. OK, it was short discussion with her response was along the lines of; “you will also be hung with it if you put it on the wall above the fire-place.” I think she feels pretty strongly about the positioning of my Classic Mustang Work of “ART” should not be the in the middle of the room!

Maybe she does have a point. But, I’m not so sure though, so back me up here guys!

Advertisements
Posted in Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Protecting The Chrome Jewels

On a recent visit to a good friend of mine who also owns a rather nice and rare coloured Mustang Convertible I was shown around his latest collection of Mustang memorabilia where I spotted in middle of his (man cave) garage a dehumidifier. He went on to explain the benefits of it and I could feel the air was different to mine at home. that was it, I was sold on the idea and set about getting one. So I done a little research from various places and found these points where I have collated them and made them a little more readable, I hope. I have since seen references to classic cars with lots of chrome like mine as the “Chrome Jewels”. I quite like that sying in fact. Many storage companies of classic cars all have climate controlled environments.

Rust will form where the surface of the steel has air and water. The first step is to stop the elements reaching the steel, paint does the job pretty well, but even better is wax or  similar coatings, or Waxoyl etc. Chrome is surprisingly porous and normally underneath the chrome plate is steel so it needs protecting. A covering of wax, ordinary car wax or Gibbs, will do the trick, it looks invisible, adds shine and protection. Don’t forget that a chrome cleaner is generally abrasive and removes any wax coating, by all means use it to clean, but it doesn’t protect the chrome.

Don’t get to hung up about the temperature vs humidity, as it’s often being mentioned to keeping humidity below 50% to stop rust, but it’s a bit more complicated than that and one of the keys is understanding about “dew” points. All air contains water and as the temperature drops that water tries to change back from a vapour to a liquid, that’s what causes rain, warm moist air pushed up by the weather cools and the water in that cloud becomes a liquid which is heavy and falls out of the cloud – rain. In your own home you see it as condensation around bedroom windows on cold mornings. It is around the window because that is normally the coldest part of the room.

There are 3 ways to fix condensation:

  1. Heat the room so the air inside can hold more water.
  2. Open the window (ventilate) in the hope that air coming in from outside will be dryer and therefore hold more water.
  3. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the percentage of water in the air.

The theory of condensation effect is to take a can of cold drink from the fridge and put it on the table or work top. Even in a warm house you immediately see condensation on the can as the water in the air rushes to the can and condenses back into a liquid. This is the same principle as how a dehumidifier works, you present a cold surface to the air, the air in turn gives up its water which is then collected in a container. The fan in the dehumidifier keeps an airflow over the cold chilled surface so as much air as possible reaches the cold surface.

Back to my Garage; heating the space to about 20c works well (in fact any heat helps) because the higher the temperature the less the water has a chance to condense back to a liquid. This is why I fitted a radiator in my garage, much to the bemusement of my wife! unfortunately it’s not the complete answer though. Another example of the condensation is that you get condensation in a bathroom after a long hot shower even if the air temperature is 25 or even 30c. You could indeed heat a normal garage to 20c, the car would sit in there and not deteriorate, but even with insulation that is expensive way of doing it. Hence why the US “dry State” cars are so popular in UK as there is not much chance of the rust taking hold in the past.

I have done all the usual things; The heating and water boiler is in my garage and gives of heat to the room as the hot water passes through the pipes. I have insulated as much as possible, the walls are cavity filled, the ceiling has plenty of insulation up there and the all important plastic floor to stop the cold coming up through the concrete. The up and over door has brushes to keep the draft out and the back of the door has heat insulating sheets. That way I should then be able to keep the space at least 9c throughout the winter with no additional heating and that is obviously a big help.

On the other hand, when you open the garage door the same thing can happen on a warm moist day, the air rushes in and condensation forms on whatever is coldest part in there, that is mostly going to be your prized possession, your car. I found this rather good chart to show the relative ranges of humidity and what I am trying to explain:

So I have bought myself a dehumidifier. I have reviewed it here and is also under the accessory menu on the main bar. I wanted two things from the non-negotiable options. An option for constant draining and the low-cost of running it over 24/7 scenario. The options were a little limited for my modest budget.  I managed to pick up a well rated PureMate PM412 for a modest cost of £120 reduced by sixty pounds from the recommended retail price. I also purchased a digital humidity gauge and left it in the garage for a couple of days to get a reading. There is a max and min scale for both the temperature and the humidity. The gauge is on top of the car in the middle of the garage.

The unit is compact and neat looking with a capacity of twelve litres a day. There is a digital read out and super simple to work and set up. The gauge above shows the first night was 45rh to a max of 50rh which I was super happy with.

The unit has a castor wheels and a recessed handle which is so easy to move around. There is a one meter length of tubing they even supply for the constant drain should you need it which I will of course. The ease of movement makes it ideal to shove out-of-the-way in the corner of the garage when working on the car.

The collection tray can hold one and half litres of water, and over night I think it was up to about a little under a litre. So I am having to empty it morning and evening now until I plumb it in. But, that is the unit settling the environment down then they should reduce considerably after a few days. It doesn’t matter if I forget to empty it as the unit will shut down when the tray is full.

The power consumption os a max of 245w on full power, but as I only ran mine on a low setting it should work out quite economical to run especially as it will be on all the time. Has anybody else got any tips or tricks they would like to share storing their car over the winter? Please post a reply and we can all share the knowledge.

Roll on the spring so I can take the car out for a drive. I have an itch I can’t scratch when I can’t drive my car.

Posted in Car, Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

My Misplaced Post

I have to confess that I scheduled a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year post to be scheduled for the relevant big day so I didn’t forget. But, as I kept thinking 2018 to myself in my mind so that I didn’t make a mistake as I was scheduling the post, the opposite happened and I actually set the year for 2019 thinking that was in fact the next year. So my resolution for this year is; learn how to work the calendar function on WordPress. I appologise for that.

Resolution completed! Apparently I just have to put the correct year, simple really. Obviously not for a doughnut like me though! So I had time off over the Christmas break and went back to work on the Tuesday as did most people and by the afternoon I had filtered out the emails and got myself back to where I needed to be – thinking that I needed a holiday and asking myself; just where did the time go?

For christmas my wife spoilt me rotten and bought me a vast array of lotions and potions for the cleaning and maintaining of the Mustang. The selection was taken from a list that I had made for her in order to pick something from it. As she didn’t know which one to get so she bought them all, as well as an Auto Finesse Crew Bag to fit them all in. I must say that the “Crew Bag” is like a black hole with handles, it has so much storage space and easily the best bag I have, and I have a few now, trust me.

I will be reviewing them once I get to use them on here under my “Car Detailing Reviews” menu above. However the biggest surprise was the fact that my better half had listened to a conversation I was having with some retailers here in the UK for a classic looking fire extinguisher. Not any old fire extinguisher, oh no. I wanted one that looked old school but also did the job without additional damage. CO2 extinguishers can freeze electrical components with thermal shock, powder gets everywhere and creates a huge mess, water you can’t use on flammable liquids etc. So over the later part of the year I had been doing my homework. The best seemed to be HalGuard which is made in the USA, unfortunately not readily available over here in the UK. If anybody knows any different can they please let me know? Some of the benefits of this fire extinguisher are; no thermal shock, liquified gas gets to hard to reach places, no mess, rechargeable, recommended by aviation and many motor sports governing bodies, five-year warranty, oh it also comes in chrome! Nobody in the UK stocks or makes anything similar that has such good ratings or looks remotely like it should be from the ’60s. In the end, due to costs, I had all but given up on the idea. My wife had other ideas and picked up where I left off and ordered one from the USA. Inevitably there were all sorts of issues trying to get it past our wonderful HMRC customs people who obviously had nothing better to do other than check on fire extinguishers, maybe the could concnetrate on illegal immigrants a bit more like the ones hiding in the back of lorries maybe? Anyway, import duty, standard charges, handling fees etc. were a joke which added significant costs to the item. They had it impounded for a couple of weeks before they eventually released it to my wife mid December, by which time she was starting to panic a little. But, she got it and all credit to her. Once I had opened it and I asked “how?”  I was told all about the horror story and the customs episodes.

Between Christmas day and the New Year’s day I wanted to fit it. There are additional brackets you can buy like, roll over cage mounts, under seat, quick release flat mounting etc. I already had an idea where it was to go; in the footwell on the passenger side. I waited for a clear dry day and got my car out into the cold air where I started to look for the best place to mount the new (essential) accessory.

The extinguisher needed to be off the floor, but low enough for the fresh air vent door to be fully opened just under the dash. The kick panel is made of a fairly thick plastic and the bracket has lots of holes for various mounting positions. I decided to use them all in order to spread the weight of the extinguisher so the screws don’t pull out of the plastic or distort it. Using the larger slot I held the bracket in place while I finalised the position and made sure it was straight.

The Dremel was the tool of choice as it was small and neat in order to create a small pilot hole ready for the screws, two larger style ones at the top that are also polished which would be seen, the remaining screws were smaller headed ones also polished. Once the holes were marked up I could fit the bracket properly.

The extinguisher was put into place and the belt clamped up then I took a step back to admire a fire extinguisher that I think looks good and will do the job should I ever need it, which I hope I never will.

The car was cleaned up, the mat was put back down and then I polished the chrome extinguisher to remove any finger marks and refitted it. I think the look goes well with the car, it can be easily accessed, it’s easily seen from outside and I can relax a little when I’m out on the road now.

Something that I hadn’t considered which is an added bonus, it looks good when the interior lights come on too.

I hope you all had a good well-earned Christmas break and I hope you all have a prosperous New Year.

P.S.                                                                                                                                                                Another resolution: I must blog more regularly!

Posted in Car, Car Detailing, Projects, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Writings On The Wall

It’s not often I get an idea late at night and remember it the next morning. Last week was one of those days where I picked up my phone in the middle of the night, and made a note of it. In the process I managed to keep myself awake for ages and regretted it the next day at work. So what was my idea?

I have been looking around for literally years now trying to find a cleaner for my BF Goodrich white lettered tyres. To be exact it’s not the tyres, but the actual raised white lettering on the tyres. I have tried all sorts of cleaners and even read about using a fine grade sandpaper to rub the surface of the letters to remove the old dirty coat and leave the clean underneath. Then I thought of “toothpaste.” I have seen people clean old plastic headlight lenses with toothpaste to bring them back to life. After all up to fifty percent of toothpaste is in fact abrasives, all be it in a mild form of course. My thought was around the “whitening” sort of paste. My tyres are pretty clean and protected, but the tops of the letters and some of the letters have gone a brown tinge over time and not the sparkly white that they once were.

As my toothbrush was wearing out I decided to have a go and see what happened. I used Meguiar’s degreaser first to remove the old tyre gel and treatments. After that it was a wipe over with some Auto Finesse “Citrus Power” Bug and Grime Remover. No I’m not on commission before you ask!

As the toothpaste was almost empty I took it out to the garage before the wife noticed it had gone along with my toothbrush.

With most of the dirt and grime removed I sprayed some more citrus on and used that as the lather agent for the paste and got to work scrubbing.

It made a nice little mess but nothing some more Citrus Power couldn’t cope with. Once messy mixture was removed I found that it had actually worked and brought some white back to the letters. The final step was to re-coat the tyres with some AutoGlym Instant Tyre Dressing and allowed it to dry.

The other wheels followed a similar technique and used a tiny splash of water to activate the toothpaste and seemed to work a little better.

Before shots of the dirty letters than can clearly be seen:

The cleaning process:

The after shots:

I am well chuffed with the results. I suspect that next time I will use a white toothpaste which is a little more coarse. As this is still a working idea in progress I will tweak and modify the process until I am fully happy with the results. The best part of all this is that a tube of unbranded toothpaste is cheap and will last forever and a day. I’m not sure that I will need to carry a tube with me to a car show though. Only when I need to clean the writings on the (side) wall of the tyres. Let me know if you have tried similar ideas or have a better idea for the white letters, or indeed the full white wall tyres themselves.

In case you are wondering; yes the wife did notice the toothbrush and paste had gone and asked me where it was. Once I had explained that I cleaned my car tyres with it, she didn’t speak, instead I got another one of those “looks” of disbelief. You know the sort of “look” that women have perfected when a man does something daft. Me on the other hand, I know that I have done something pretty cool using just a little outside the box thinking.

Remember before this goes viral all over the internet – you read it here first. 🙂

Posted in Car Detailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Was It Worth It?

My last post was all about how my replica Autolite battery had dies a very sudden death without warning. I managed to recreate the battery with a top cover from Mustang Maniac and battery from Toyota of all people. That page can be found here. I promised that I would take the old one apart to see just what was inside. The project took me a lot longer than I thought it would and you will see why as I go along.

The old battery case I wanted to keep, and possibly place a similar battery inside it at a later date maybe? So the work was going to be slow and careful so I didn’t destroy the case. As I knew there was another battery in there I wasn’t sure what to expect either. So the battery was taken into the shed for a plan of action.

When you undo the cell caps on this replica it’s quite obvious that there is a smaller battery in there and a large cavity at one end. By deduction that would mean that the terminals for the inner battery would be connected to the to top posts via cables.

I could see that the top was fitted originally there was a gap at the back corner where it hadn’t seated correctly, from the left corner of the pic below. So that was going to be my starting point.

side (top left of the picture shows the slightly raised corner)

The Dremel was out and a cutting disk will be used to go around the seam.

The dust from the battery was incredible. The closest I can put this to is a laser printer black toner cartridge powder. Rub it and it stains what it touches. Just the back cut had created a black cloud and difficult to breathe.

So the face mask when on and ventilation made better. The battery was turned over in turn for each side that needed the cuts. Some parts needed to be cut a little deeper as the mould on the inside hadn’t been cut through completely.

Once I had freed the lid I could see one wire that was holding it in place. That wire would have to be cut, then I could get to the other side which was tucked into the corner.

This corner cable was difficult as the battery was holding the cable tight against the case. I think during assembly the gel battery was attached to the lid and then lowered into a resin that held the battery in place and set hard to hold it in place. There would be no other explanation from what I could see.

The resin at the bottom had set like hard plastic and couldn’t be pulled or peeled out-of-the-way. This was a problem as I couldn’t see any other option only to cut the bottom out as well. I managed to bend the cable to the lid out the way to make the cut to remove the top completely. Now I could turn the battery upside down and cut the bottom out. Now I had to be extra careful so that I didn’t cut through the inner battery causing untold problems I wasn’t prepared for. I had lots of old towels to hand and thick gloves at this point to mop up any spillage.

With the bottom of the case cut through the battery was still not coming out. Closer inspection down the side I could see the resin had gone up the side of the battery too, yet another issue. I had various steel pallet knives that I use for filling in holes on walls with plaster etc. The plan now would mean gentle taps to try to crack the resin away without cracking the case itself. I did manage to keep breaking the thin blade to a jagged edge. This actually helped to cut through the resin, like a saw tooth. Those gentle taps turned into more force as I realised I was not getting through the resin.

After what seemed like hours the battery started to loosen and cracks could be heard when the resin was starting to separate from the case and the bottom panel with the battery still attached. Eventually it all came free and I could see why I had such a problem.

Now I had an “L” shape to separate from the battery itself if I wanted to keep the bottom, which I did. The same process would need to be applied again, tap into the narrow space between the battery and the bottom of the case. This stage took a lot longer than taking the bottom out due to the significantly more resin in place. After a lot of hammering and two palate knives later it was all apart and looking a mess.

The final stage was to put it all back together again. The inside was cleaned up to remove any dust and debris to make a clean surface for the jointing glue. I used a sheet of plastic under the battery and placed the bonding glue in the gaps around the base and the inside of the case. The plastic would peel of no problem and leave a gap that was filled with a black mastic again.

The top was cleaned up and the cables cut flush. If I wanted to fit a cable back in there I would have to use a tap and die set to create the anchor points.

The top was held in place with a tiny bead of silicon so that I could remove it if I needed to, but wouldn’t fall of if handled. Now that the uneven top had been cut flush, the battery top was now sitting flat on the bottom case, just how it should have been.

So what was inside? I have no idea what the battery was after all that. apart from the fact it was a gel battery with the following sticker details. Google hasn’t given me any more.

Can anybody else help me out with it? I think it was a golf cart type battery, but I could be wrong!

Related pages are the original battery review click here or cut and paste this link:

https://onemanandhismustang.com/imported-autolite-replica-battery/

Making a new Autolite Group 24 battery click here, or cut and past this link:

https://onemanandhismustang.com/making-an-autolite-group-24-battery/

So the question is now, was it worth it? The answer for me is yes. My inquisitive mind wanted to know what was in there.

I now have a very lightweight antique car battery that is nicely cleaned up and sitting on a wooden shelf in the garage. It just looks so wrong that it shouldn’t be there! The amount of effort to get it all part is not really worth it, perhaps a battery in the middle and not stuck to the side of the case would be much easier. But, thinking of the safety aspect with the battery sliding about, that wouldn’t have been good at all.

Posted in Projects, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Taking Charge

When I first got my “project” Mustang that needed a little attention should we say, one of the first jobs I done was to wire her up. the reason being was I needed to know if the engine would fire up. To do that I needed a battery. At the time my wife decided that I should get what I wanted and do it properly. With that we decided to go mad and splash out on the replica Autolite Group 24 Battery.

Before I new Mustang Maniac it was a little difficult trying to track down parts I wanted, so I used a rather rubbish company in Essex. I won’t name them, but it took them almost four months to get the battery for me. Needless to say I used them once and never used them again.

I had done my research about the battery and found out it was based around a gel battery or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). These batteries are naturally more expensive and don’t hold anywhere near the amount of acid as a normal wet lead cell battery. In fact if it splits there should be no acid escaping. The battery needed a specific trickle charger as they don’t like to run low on volts. I reviewed the CTEK MXS 5 charger here.

After five years of owning the battery and using it for just two years it died. There was no warning it was about to go to the great scrap yard in the sky. The only warning was that the trickle charger showed an error instead of the normal charged status. I tried to start the car and there was just enough power to put the interior lights on. Turning the key gave me nothing, just a faint click of the solenoid. It was dead, I tried the charger on deep cycle to try and recover it thinking it need a little TLC. Checking a day later it was still the same, no charge what so ever.

Why did the battery die so quickly?

I researched this again, and it turns out that the AGM or Gel batteries have a limited life cycle for recharging. So if it’s down by 10% that means you have a remaining 90% for a single cycle. Bearing that in mind these batteries are estimated to have approx two hundred cycles life span. That is not a lot of use. Over five years it has been on constant trickle charge and only “used” when the car is taken out. So I’m not convinced this is the correct answer, I think it was a lot less than that in fact!

Anyway, I was gutted. I didn’t have my nice old school battery which looked the part. Now I would have to have an out-of-place new style battery. There are plenty to choose from of course with various power options. I was not going to pay that sort of big money again for another replica car battery when it didn’t last that long, maybe when I am little more flush with money? I had a word with Adam at Mustang Maniac and he said I could go for a replica cover for the top of the new battery to make it look more retro. The problem is that the top cover is the correct size and needed a battery to fit it. To small and the top would overhang the battery looking stupid, to big a battery it wouldn’t fit anyway. The other issue is that the positive and negative poles needed to be the right way around.

The part you need is the Autolite replica top, with caps and warning tag. Click here for the link or copy this to your browser:  https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/1791/autolite_battery_cover_64-73

Now I needed to search the net for a battery to fit the dimensions. I found out that sizes were limited for the power I would need, and then the terminals would be the wrong way round. After what seemed liked days of looking I eventually found a battery with the correct sizes, a flat style top, the terminals correct and enough amps for the Mustang to start.

That battery is made by Toyota with a part number of “28800 – YZZJG”.

The battery was rated at a powerful 75Ah which would be plenty to spin the V8 over. So I ordered it and a few days later I went to pick it. But first I needed to check that the top fitted, once it did I bought it. I parted with my £100 and brought it home.

So what did the top look like fitted close up? Well it fitted perfectly on the flat top, but the  battery case side were a little inset from the top of the actual battery top.

There was another problem that was more annoying than an issue. On the original ’64 – ’66 battery tray the battery was held down by a bracket on a lip on the sides of the battery to stop it moving in the tray. This battery doesn’t have that, but I did have a plan. There is a work around for most things, you could make it work by replacing the battery tray to allow having an over the top clamp. That would fix the issue, but it wouldn’t be correct for the year. There needed to be another way to hold the battery safely in place. Below pic shows the hold down lip on the replica battery at the sides.

The new battery has its hold downs on the front and back which were not going to be used. I thought about using 3D printing to make a bracket, but the space to fit the clamp I thought of using would have been to flimsy and I suspect that it would have broken when being tightened down. The underside of the battery had recessed areas, that gave me an idea.

Underside of battery

I could create a lip up the side if I used a “P” shape idea, the down stem of the letter becoming the anchor point underneath of the battery. I would need to attach it somehow, so screws were out of the question. Glues wouldn’t have much surface area to hold the platform on the underside. While having a look through my tool boxes for inspiration and ideas I put my hand on it; epoxy putty!

The plan was to fill the cavities with the putty and create the anchor point base for the bracket. I would then fill the newly created “L” shape to mould a ledge that would bond to the battery side and the plastic anchor plates.

I roughed up the surfaces that needed fixing to allow a good surface to for the bonding. I would do this in two stages, mix up enough for the cavity areas to bond the plates in place, then roll a cylindrical shape to squash into the newly created corner creating the ledge I would need, then allow it all to set hard. The putty is mixed 50/50 black and white compounds until it becomes a grey colour and warm to the touch, then it’s ready to apply. I used the replica battery for how a guide on how much I needed to create the ledge for the clamp.

The POR15 epoxy putty sets rock hard which can be drilled, sanded and painted. Once the putty was set for a full twenty-four hours, I could see that it had bonded very well to the hard plastics of the ledge as well as to the side of the battery case. On the underside I also used a hot glue gun with super strength glue sticks to go over the edges and any spaces to add another form of adhesion. The battery clamp itself is held down by a single bolt through the battery tray and it just applies downward pressure to hold the battery down. The clamp has a couple of ridges on the underside that help locate the clamp in place and stop the battery movement. These profiles would need to measured to the middle of the battery and marked up accordingly.

Using my Dremel with a sanding wheel I leveled of the top of the ledge flat. Then I started rubbing the clamp onto the dried out white putty which left a clear mark where I needed to match the underside of the clamp profile.

Once I was happy with the clamp fit, the underside angled profile for the tray was copied from the original battery or could be seen from the battery tray itself. This would also ensure that the battery would fit back into the tray correctly and not sit proud on the clamp side.

Masking up ready for spraying was simple enough, although this step is not essential for what I had in mind. A couple of coats later from the satin black spray can made the ledge look almost stock which could have be placed into the tray as it is.

I wanted to do more to make the battery look more authentic. As I may want to reuse the top cover again I needed a solid, but not permanent solution, that came in the form of a black silicone mastic sealer.

I applied a generous bead around the gap from the visible side and front, with slight hold blobs on the back and other side of the battery. The reason the silicone wasn’t all the way round was to allow the battery to “breath” or allow any gasses to vent out. Sealing all around would have prevented this function if needed it.

I used a thin piece of straight plastic to create the initial seal between the top and the side of the battery to scrape the excess away in a flat surface to give the appearance of flat plastic. This would make it look like a complete battery not just a top. I allowed the mastic to go off a little more before I smoothed it again properly.

The next part was the case of the battery itself. The original design had a woven weave look which I wanted to try and replicate.

I had some vinyl left over from my toolbox draw project and I decided to use that. I cut lengths that I needed to go around the battery and cleaned and dust or grease from the now clean sides.

OK, so it’s diagonal and a carbon look, but in the engine bay tucked in a corner it would be difficult to see anyway. The wrap started at the top down to the corners taking care to make sure they looked neat. The new ledge was covered over with the wrap to give a nice continuity. So the battery now had a carbon fibre look which was just starting to be used properly in the early to mid sixties.

Next was the battery filler caps that I wanted to modify a little in order to be closer to the original. The caps didn’t have the tiny breather holes, but had the mark in place. These caps are the same size just the one on the right was has a screw thread which means it was closer to the camera to make it look bigger showing the hole.

A small 1.5mm drill was a perfect size to drill the hole out on the cap on the left.

Fitting the caps back to the top finished the look of the battery.

The original battery also had the word “Sta-ful” painted the same colour as the “Autolite” wording which was missing from the top plate. This was painted on once the battery was in the tray and secured.

Fitting the battery back into the tray was dead simple and the clamp fitted perfectly on the matched profiled for the clamp and the tray itself. The look of the carbon fiber wasn’t to far away from the look I wanted.

The final part was that cables were to be connected and the tag applied to the battery, (which should be on the positive terminal post by the way, not the neg side as I have it here). I also have some post felts which stops the cable fittings scratching the battery top, they also cover the tiny gap around the posts.

The finished battery!

It took about three hours work to clamp and silicon in place and I am happy with the results. My original and now updated review of the Autolite Group 24 Battery is here.

My next post will show the Original battery being taken apart to see just what is inside!

Posted in Car, Projects, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Last Car Show?

The car show season seems to be coming to an end and the Autumn is creeping up on us quickly. This latest car show at Fornham was a few miles outside the main town of Bury St Edmunds. I had arranged to meet up with the Bury Retro Car Club at the local Tesco’s to get my pass for the show. As his is always a popular show entry is only via pre booked tickets. If you turn up without a ticket you will have to wait to see if there is a space to let you in or not, as that happened to me last year. I arrived at the supermarket and found an impromptu meet in the car park with cars arriving all the time to meet up with their friends and clubs. With plenty of people wandering around looking at the cars before the main show.

Out club being no exception, we left in convoy and arrived at the ground and parked up to our allocated spaces.

After everything had settled down a bit I had a chance to wander around and take in the view of some great cars.

I got to speak with a lovely family about their car that they had inherited from their Uncle who had sadly passed away after an illness. It turns out this fastback was originally an export model and the vin number seems to confirm that. The car has a huge provenance of paperwork where receipts for spark plugs had all been filed away and documented. This car has all its original panels on it. The reason for the different trunk was that there was a dent in it which was removed but just not got round to repainting it again before he passed. We were talking for ages and the more I heard about this car the more I wanted to know. The car has all sorts of additional locks on it and alarms as the uncle was paranoid about it getting stolen. I can see his point here I must say.

I hope to catch up with them all again soon.

This may well be the last show of the year for me that I have scheduled, and the others I have made a note on depends very much on the weather.

In the future I am to limit my pictures to no more than fifty of a car show or at least split it up into parts if it’s a particularly worthy show.

My Reviews:

I have writing a few reviews for the car detailing products which I have bought with my own hard-earned money.

The first is the Chemical Gus detailer which can be found here. or cut & paste below. https://onemanandhismustang.com/chemical-guys-extreme-slick-synthetic-detailer/

The Meguair’ MT320 Dual Action polisher can be found here. or cut & paste below.  https://onemanandhismustang.com/meguiars-mt320-dual-action-polisher/

The DoDo Juice Lug Nut cleaner can be found here. or cut & paste below. https://onemanandhismustang.com/dodo-juice-nutt-plug-wheel-nut-cleaner/

The EZ Car Care Wheel Armour can be found here. or cut & paste below.  https://onemanandhismustang.com/ez-car-care-wheel-armour/

I have also added a little logo to the right hand side menu bar. This is for the McAfee Secure website notification. In other words it’s regularly scanned for viruses and phishing etc. Although this aimed at retailers, it can’t hurt to be safe with all these hackers out there! So you can browse knowing full well that this site is safe and I have paid for the service from McAfee. I am trying to see how the plugin works with my WordPress plan so I will keep you updated on that.

Finally:

My thoughts go out to you ALL in the USA and Barbados who are being battered by the recent hurricanes causing untold damage. I hope it’s all over soon and you can start to get back on with your lives again.

Posted in Blog, Car Detailing, car shows, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments