Before & After

I have had some emails saying why don’t I do a before and after photo set of the restoration? Then I got to thinking as to why I hadn’t up till now. There was no reason, so this post may be cheating a little as there is nothing new here. But what is new is the fact they have never been compared side by side before.  As I didn’t start my blog until a year after I bought the car, some of the earliest pictures don’t exist as such, during that time I had re-wired the car for the first time, managed to fire the car up, got the locks working (sort of), painted the trunk section and interior floor pans. Obviously if I had of known I would be doing a blog at that time, I would have documented it all much better than I have done. However my early work was re-done once the car had got to Mustang Maniac. Under their supervision and help it would be done “Properly” as Adam told me. So in effect you are indeed seeing the restoration from scratch, all be it not as bad as it was. I suspect that I would be playing catch up to keep on top of the car all the time to keep it looking good, especially with the original route I was going to take, ie; the amateur way.

Body Work:

 Rebuilt Back End:

Underside:

This was the old underseal, dirt and what ever else was squirted on there. Welded, ground down, filled, sanded down, painted with red oxide and painted with proper underseal and satin black paint.

Doors, Roof and Sides:

Rebuilt Front End:

Interior:

Inside was originally treated with POR15 for rust protection. This was later removed and proper sealant applied at paint and then primer and top coats. The last step was the Dynamat sound proofing, before the carpet that is.

Engine:

The story here was that I wanted to go sort of modern with the silicone look. As I knew I wanted a blue look to the car I went for the blue silicone and the blue spark plug leads. I went of the idea and eventually swapped them for the revised black and chrome look. The spark plug leads were changed at the last month as was the valve covers. The cable routing went through a number of variations until I was happy with it at that point. Rewire of the car was the first job as I had to see if the engine started, which it did on the second turn of the key after twelve years of standing years. Pretty impressive.

Transmission:

Steering and Suspension:

Brakes:

Even the brakes look as good as the outside of the car. The front drum brakes were replaced with disc brake conversion for stopping power and safety. The brake servo was original from the factory but was upgraded to dual system, again for safety.

Electrical:

All electrics have been replaced and the bulbs converted to LED where I can.

Glass and Bright Work Trim:

Paint Process:

There are hundreds of photos I could add here but I have kept it to the more key stages of the process.

Transportation:

These were some interesting shots of the car coming and going to different places.

Driving Her:

Special Thanks:

I have mentioned this before, but none of this would have been possible without the help and moral support from Mustang Maniac and their associates; Adam, Al (Yogi), Paul (Lob Monster), Chris (Careful), John, Paul (the paint), Lance (OCD from Marketing). I have learned so much from them all, above all I have gained some great friends who have all helped me realise a life’s ambition and dream come true.

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Face Lift

A hot sunny day was promised for my weekend and I was looking forward to doing some work at Mustang Maniac. What we had planned was to fit the rear bumper, that meant that the car was loaded up with my big shiny bits that had been hanging on the wall for the last two years. I arrived all nice a cool as the Aircon had been on full whack all the way down there. You may have noticed that I am in a different workshop now. I have been promoted! I am now in Adam’s finishing workshop where there is more room to have the doors open and not worry about the sides.

finishingshop1

 

A conversation with Adam about the plan for the day changed slightly. We decided it was time to put the lights into the front of the car and tidy up the wire loom. Of course the wire loom work means that there is virtually no difference to look at except the people who know. I mentioned to Adam that the wire loom wasn’t long enough to go to the right hand side of the car for the lights. Adam looked at the routing I had done for the wires which was lovely and neat and tidy by the way, and said they were in the wrong place that’s why. Originally I had ran the light loom through the chassis under the radiator to keep it all neat and hidden. Trouble is that the depth to go down the lower front chassis and back up again behind the battery meant I  was about eight inches to short to meet up with the side or park lights. The main headlights would be fine as the wire was plenty long enough, so as I didn’t want to cut into the wires a re-route of the cable was the only option. I replaced the loom tape with the much nicer cloth loom tape to match the rest of the loom now, oh by the way – I seem to have shares in wire loom tape company now, the shares have shot up since I started on my car. With the routing in place where it originally should be the cables reached fine and I could actually cut them down a bit to the correct length.

Replacing the Head Lights

If you need to replace the parts like I did as most had gone to the great scrapyard in the sky then there are complete packs for the headlight assembly.

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The headlight bulbs are mounted behind the headlamp door which in turn exposes the retaining ring which is nice shiny bit of chrome, if you’re lucky. To replace the sealed beam is a fairly quick process, four screws on the headlight door and the three on the retaining ring. The bulb will fall forward and pull the loom plug off the back of the three spade connections. To refit, repeat the process in reverse. The bulbs I would be using are the H4 sealed unit bulbs to retain that stock look on the glass lens. There are modern alternatives that can be used in place but could require the bowl to be cut to allow them to be fitted correctly. As I have LED’s at the front so I will use them as daylight running too.

What I aim to do here is to show the complete headlight rebuild with the Scott Drake hardware kit. Attach the four new clips to the outside of the headlamp assembly making sure they are the correct way round with the threaded part to the back. Once these snap into place they can moved around by a couple of millimetres to enable the headlamp door to align to the fender correctly.

The next part is slightly more tricky as the adjustment studded threads have to be fitted. The retaining clips for the studs has a white washer/nut in the middle. These clips are pressed into the holes at the top and side for the adjustment. The legs on each side stop the fittings falling through the to the back of the buckets. With the legs on the front side the backing part of the fitting needs to be pressed behind the headlamp bucket assembly. If these are to tight bend the legs slightly forward to enable the fitting to sit further back into the hole and allow it to slip behind the back plate into place. There is a small amount of movement here to allow the bowl to fit.

There are two long threaded studs that have a recessed groove at the top. Screw the two studs into the nylon washer/nuts a few threads.

headlight6

Next it’s the headlight bowl itself, the only tricky part of this is the spring which I will explain in a couple of mins. Around the outside of the bowl there are two cut out lugs and a rectangle cut out. The lugs will locate in the collar of the studs. This will enable you to wind the stud either way to adjust the angles of the beam now.

The bowl is a loose fit at this point, so a spring is required to pull the tension against the studs and to stop the lens itself moving around. The spring is located into a hole at the back of the bucket and pulled through the bowl opening at the bottom to create the tension. Previously I had made one of the spring tools, but as I had left it at home it was the old school way of a fitting, a good ol’ pair of pliers. If you are going to use pliers, I would strongly recommend a long nosed pair of pliers with a very good grip. The spring itself is quite strong and needs a little bend just to get the hook of the spring over the edge of the bowl into the retaining eye.

With the bowl now in place you can add the bulb. Attach the loom connections to the back of the bulb and massage the wires into place at the back of the housing. (I couldn’t get pictures of this part as I didn’t want to drop the bulb).

Holding the bulb in place fit the chrome ring around the outside of the bulb lens and to the bowl, screw lightly into place on the bowl to stop the bulb falling out. Repeat with the other two screws.

The bulb is now in place and needs to be aligned up correctly. If the bulb is just a replacement then it should not need to be an adjusted. Adjust the beam with the studs to angle the lens on two axis points.

With the ring screws now in place, in future you should be able to unscrew each retaining screw a few turns so that the chrome ring will twist a little and lift over the head of the retaining screws.  This obviously makes it much easier for replacing the bulbs at a later date.

Once the bulb is aligned the last job is to refit the headlight door. Screw into place lightly and align the headlight doors back up with the with the fenders bevelled edges. That’s it – job done, quite simple.

headlight18

 

The wire loom took up most of the day and to route the cables nicely. The bulbs on the other hand didn’t take long and have given the car a complete facelift and now it looks like a mustang again, even without the grill. We connected the battery up and checked the park lights and they worked fine. The main headlights didn’t work yet as they needed to have an earth connection under the dash for the relays. But, it was exciting to see the car spring to life with the lights, almost as if she winked at me!

Thanks to Adam & Yogi who showed me the tips and tricks of the trade fitting the headlights.

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A new game called “you dare!”

MM door sign

I will explain my new game towards the end but it is all relevant to what I got up to on Saturday. I usually have my little comment above where the logo sits just now, but it’s for a good reason that I break my little habit. This is a sign on one of the doors that greets you as you go in. Just a little sign that hides the Aladdin’s cave inside of automotive riches beyond belief. To somebody who has a modern car this really doesn’t seem logical, but trust me – it IS!

Saturday I took the drive down to see an important man – Adam from Mustang Maniac. This drive to my Holy Grail of Mustang offices is always a great day out for me, I get to see Mustangs, lots of Mustangs in fact, I get to buy things for my Mustang and I get to pick the brains of one of the few people I trust when it comes to my car; What more could a man ask for? If you have been following my blog and the progress I am making so far you will know that I have progressed to the brakes. Yep, the scary bit. Why scary? ’cause if you get it wrong its gonna hurt. Not only will it hurt in the wallet department to fix the damaged car, but also in the chest area. Reason for the chest pains is that in the sixties these cars came out and thundered down the roads, they owned the quarter-mile strips but not everybody gave them the respect they deserved, there were no airbags and the steering column is a metal shaft that has no collapsible sections. When people had accidents in these cars the lap belts didn’t really do much to be honest, so the result was they got what was called the “DROF” injury. I had heard this a few times before but never got to the bottom of it. My other trusted friend of mine Will, went on to explain (when I first got my car), that when they used to crash the drivers slammed their bodies into the steering wheels, if you had a particular embossed logo on you steering wheel it left an imprint with the massive bruise if you survived! What is “DROF”?? Again he said it quite simply, what is FORD backwards? Damn it, so simple and then the penny dropped. So now you know too.

Anyway, I digress, I had taken the front brake backing plate off in order to treat them and replace the shoes on them. I sent pictures to him and he said I should bring it with me so he could have a look at it with me to make sure all was OK. I arrived one hour later after I set off and parked up. I had my brake parts in hand, I went to the door like a kid going to the sweet shop.  As if by Magic Adam opened the door and said “Make a cup of tea if you want, I’m just taking Ruby for a little walk”. Ruby is a gorgeous dog that sits with Adam in his office, if your lucky she will sit with you. We chatted and put the world to rights for a few minutes, all the time Ruby was making sure she had her fair share of my attention. Then we got down to some serious stuff, the brakes I had taken off.  We looked and decided to go and compare with a set of drums that had come off for a disc brake conversion, they had not been touched other than that. I don’t trust anything the previous owner has done on this car. As we weren’t certain what was required for the moment, we decided to get the rear parts ready that I definitely needed, that’s new rear shoes and couple of cylinders, I already had the hardware for Christmas from the wife.  We got them sorted and then I was up for a tour of the latest developments and the cars. I was shown the new storage areas that were going on, being in the middle of a move is never good, but I took the photos anyway. I’m sure it will be sorted out – funny thing is, you ask Adam for anything, he will go straight to it. It’s rather uncanny how he can make sense of the new stores even in the middle of the move around. Not all of it is even labelled up again yet.

We were going outside to the yard, I made sure I was walking with Adam through the yard as we were greeted by the other six guard dogs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, I liked these ones too. But, there is no way I would even walk near the gates on my own, they sort of look at you as if to say, “If you weren’t with Adam, we would eat you”. I’m sure the dogs licked their lips when they saw me coming! Quite frankly I got the vibes loud and clear thanks guys and girls.  There has been a new dedicated storage area built for the body panels, and a little further along there was a decent sized storage that could hold about eight to ten cars, Adam opens up to reveal benches stacked with engines, gearboxes, drive trains and axles. We find the brake drums comparison we were after, and then we move onto a dedicated area where there is a rather special car that is being built in its own workshop. I say being built as the engine is going to be a 5.4 modern v8 engine under the hood, with the brake horse power to rival most super cars, to top that it has bespoke independent suspension being added to the front, I have never heard of that modification let alone see it. There are no towers or firewalls in the engine bay, the metal is all being fabricated just for this car, a real one-off . Nowhere near finished yet but it will be something else when it is – lucky bloke.

We looked around at some other cars and I got the background on them too, then we wandered back to the gates along with my four-legged furry escort. We sat back down in the office and talked more cars. At this point more customers came into the office to see Adam and we all chatted for a bit,  we were shown his latest design for the 66 rear lights, LED versions behind the original lenses that looked epic. I will be having a set of them when I get to that point. I also managed to get a leaflet on the Evans Coolants. As I am a little worried about the over heating issues this is perfect timing, I have a PDF version here that you can read all about the Evans Waterless Coolant, or go to my “articles” section. It’s an impressive read that’s for sure. Again I will be having this in my car too when I get her going properly, if you have a Mustang that overheats, this will cure it. I have been doing my own research on this coolant as well, it looks impressive I feel the need for a review once it’s added. Lets face it, if Adam is selling this gear with the clients that Mustang Maniac has, then it has to be good.  Sadly time continued to march on, and like all good things it was time for me to go home, but hey, “I’ll be back” as Arnie would say. That you can bet my car on!

I will be producing an interview article with Adam soon that I will put in my articles section. I’m sure it will be an interesting read when I get round to editing it that is.

My Car:

Well I now have the new set of brakes shoes all round and I took the front brake assembly apart, and added the pictures here, or go to the “Front Brake Drum Rebuild (part 2)”, under the photo’s section “Wheels & Brakes”. I have treated the backing plates with the Granville anti rust treatment. During the week I will add the second coats, this will leave me in a good position to reassemble them next weekend ready for more pictures. I have ordered some extra treats to my self from Frost, some VHT brake calliper spray in black to make the drums look nice, along with some Eastwood under-hood black spray which I will review later on as well. I may even get to put the booster back in next weekend too. That is if the weather holds out. As i need to use the Rust Cure today it was to cold outside. I prepared the backing plates outside and brought them inside to finish on the floor in the utility room. My ears are still ringing from the verbal slapping I got. Apparently you can’t put dirty car parts on a clean floor. In my defence I did clean them in the utility sink, which again is not acceptable either as I got the clean sink dirty. How is a man supposed to clean car parts if he can’t use the sink? I was then gonna take them into the kitchen instead to clean them, it was at this point I was offered a game of “you dare”. I had not heard this game for a while, last time I played a variation of this game called “just you dare”, I didn’t win that one either. Bearing in mind the wife lets me have my pocket money each month for my car, I decided to finish the clean outside and not attempt to play, “you dare”.  Apparently this latest version of “you dare” with car parts now starts with the slow deep voice with hands on hips. I will look for these signs next time.

Hot tip for you, if you want to play “you dare”, don’t attempt to play it after your wife buys you parts for your car; this seems to tilt the odds against you.

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What Have I learned?

What have I learned about Christmas 2012?

Just what did I learn? Bearing in mind that I have already been given my Chrome Bumpers for Xmas, I wasn’t expecting anything else for christmas. I had accidentally gave a few presents a prod under the tree, just as I happened to be turning the tree lights off. It was all a big coincidence really 😉 Anyway, Xmas morning we sat down to open our presents, I opened a few items, like new pliers, club hammer and a spirit level (make a mental note 1. at this point). Then I got a Fuel cut of clamp, Interior trim screw set, Headlight Trim kit, Headlight mounting kit all from Scott Drake. I also got a full Brake hardware kit, Radiator shroud with mounting bolts and a Monte Carlo bar.  All awesome stuff. (Make mental note 2. at this point). How did she know? Well I have a spread sheet on my PC of everything I have spent so far, what I intend to spend in the way of parts going forward and a wish list. I know it’s sad, but the blog is a visual and a written record of what I am doing and then the spread sheet is for the finance manager, my wife.

Ok, so it goes like this, (mental note 2. to be recalled here), while I was at work and working on the car (parts) in the shed, it appears that the missus, my better half, has been studying my spread sheet. I have been so particular about it all, I have a hierarchy of projects I need to do and what I need to do them. I have noted down who has the parts and from where. Mostly from one place, but I will get to that in a moment. So, as I was saying, she has contacted my good mate Adam at Mustang Maniac, who she has been in contact with and arranging things with for a while. Adam was kind enough to open up especially for her to pick the parts up from him so I had them in time for Xmas. Now me, being daft as a brush, I hadn’t twigged any of this until I got to the second or third present, thinking to myself – this is all just what I wanted. It was after I realised what had been going that she told me the full story of what had been going on. So, if you’re reading this Adam – Thank you for looking after her and sorting out my most excellent Xmas presents.

The not so good bit, (mental note 1. required now), as I was in a moment of weakness admiring the new parts for my beloved classic, she slipped in the immortal words, “for the rest of my Xmas present you can paint the bathroom for me.” Before I knew it – I had agreed. As Homer Simpson would say, and I had just said – Dohh! To be fair it does need it. So there you have it. I have given up valuable Mustang time, while still full of mince pies to paint a bathroom. Considering what I got and the effort she had gone too – it’s more than a fair deal. 🙂 The silver lining of this darkest of clouds that looms heavy above me, it’s not a to big a room to paint so it shouldn’t take to long.

So did I answer the question? I don’t think so. To re-emphasize the point, the wife is a lot smarter than me at playing these secret games than I am, or ever will be! To top that she knows how to play me. Women, who would have ’em? as long as they were all like my wife – ME!

The car:

My car now has a new radiator shroud to go in, new headlight hardware, mounting kits for the headlights, full set of brake hardware to go on, a set of interior screws to go in and a front end strengthening Monte Carlo Bar. I cant wait to get out there and put it all on. I can feel a review of  shroud coming on! The car has had a good Xmas, as have I.

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