Lighting the Way

During the shortened week after the bank holiday Mustang Maniac was calling to me in my thoughts. I just wanted to get down to the workshop and get going on my car. Not sure what was going to be done, but it couldn’t be much more mechanical stuff. The yard was in a bit of chaos as the cars and trucks from the Enfield Pageant were all over the place and being moved around. I had a conversation with Adam and we decided that the weekends work was going to be lights! I didn’t have my headlight bowls with me so it was now going to be a case of rear lights and side lights. I had to make a decision what I wanted, that was an easy one – LED’s. Then it started to get a little more complicated with front lights how I wanted it to look. To be honest I hadn’t paid that much attention to that part yet as I thought it was a way off yet. So Adam showed me the options and the differences and the choices were made.

That all means that pretty functional bits are going on the car! I was loaded up with parts and variations there of. I excitedly took them to the workshop.  First up was the front park lights, the fitting had a default orange lens in place but I wanted the cleaner look of white lights as the orange would clash with the blue. The park lights are also the indicator lights so I needed orange there. This is where Adams LED bulbs come into play. They are the same fittings and screw straight into the housing.

The clear lenses also have the “FoMoCo” logo, the pink arrow in the side by side comparison pic below shows the logo. Adam tells me that he has lost count of the number of people who fit them upside down! The indicator part of the bulbs has the orange LED’s the drive lights are clear white. Problem solved there then. Before we started I got out my new gadget that I had seen the guys use before. Power Probe, this is an electrical tool that allows you to check connections and positive or negative activate a part to work. In other words you connect the earth and power to the probe and press a switch and touch the item which then comes alive.

We installed the bulb and tested them out with the probe before fitting it. So far so good.

The housings have the gaskets inside for the lens to bite onto. I have just rested the lens of the orange one in place to get a comparison. Yes there will be people saying it’s not correct etc. But, I want the clean look so that is what I am going to put on.

The wires were bound up with the wire loom tape then the rubber gasket was fitted. Each of the lights will only fit left or right hand side correctly. The same goes for the gaskets that have to be located in place with a cut out.

The wires slip through the front valance and are threaded up to the main headlight area. the back of the fitting has a semi circular bracket held in place by two screws.

Repeat for the other side in exactly the same way.

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The rear back up lamps are almost identical to fit together. This time I was going to use the ordinary tungsten bulbs as the amount of time they will be on is not worth the upgrade, I could at a later date if I wanted to of course. The only difference here is that instead of a semi circular bracket these fittings are domed washers that move around to locate the best angle to the rear valance. This will then be tightened up with as small socket as you did for the front.

The drive and brake lights are little bit more involved. The reflector is an insert from the outside sitting on a gasket. The reflector housing is bolted to the back via four bolts and a pronged rear light washer to hold it in place. ordinarily the bulb just presses in and it’s a job done. But as I am having LED’s the board site on the outside of the reflector rendering that part obsolete. To make the fitting of the lights easier the rear fender end caps were removed and the gaskets replaced. Hands up how many people knew there was a gasket between the two? Not me I didn’t know, there is supposed to be a gap between them and not pulled up dead tight. A custom-made grommet was fitted in the centre of the reflector along with a sealing mastic to stop the damp getting to the LED board. If you notice in each of the corners a tine screw is put through the bezel and only tightens a couple of turns which stops a fraction short of the paint work. But over the years the tiny screws got lost a larger self tapper screws were just wound through the rear panel.

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The Power Probe was out again and the lights were tested before the final fitting. I have an impromptu video of the event that I will place on YouTube as soon as I get round to editing it. The boards all worked fine. There is a modification that needs to be made in order to make the LED’s work. An extra wire from the brake switch has to be routed to the back of the car so there are four wires and not just two or three. I haven’t soldered the switch wire yet, I suspect that will be next week. To fit the LED board in place, a thin gasket layer applied to the back to hold it in place on the housing.

A foam gasket seal is placed on the board front, the lens is fitted into the bezel and tightened up to housing, this is a bit of a tricky operation. Did I mention these are the posh “FoMoCo” logo lenses. I think I wiped Adam out of his stock of them now. Don’t worry he has more on order if you wanted some.

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Both sides fitted and it now looks like a part finished car.

Just before the Enfield Pageant last week I looked inside my car and found a little prezzie waiting for me and I just had to share it. The guys at MM and their customers who I have also got to know quite well now, they know I like a bit of cleaning and painting of old bits to look new. My blog is full of it. So as a joke one of them left this in the car with a note; “As you like painting bits I thought you would like this. Enjoy …….” Lance’s name was on the compliment slip, but I won’t mention it was him. Dohh!! A brilliant sense of humour and I thoroughly enjoyed it, to be fair I do dish a fair amount out too so it has to be expected. But I will think of a way to mess with his mind in return. 🙂

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Fits Like A Glove

It seems as though I was working all day on a single bit of the car at Mustang Maniacs and seemed to get nowhere. when I bought my car there was a bag of old bits in the trunk and there was a single item that was brand new in bubble wrap. What was it? The glove box. Yep who ever had the car before me wanted to fix the glove box and not the wire loom that they set light too. I had kept the glove box safe and sound ready it to fit it. This weekend was that day. The glove box is made of black cardboard and has to be the most awkward job going for what it is. You can’t push it through the front opening so you have to feed it up under the dash. Then I realised that you can’t get to connect the lamp up as its right by the side of the box. So I had to move it out the way again. Fitting the switch was quite easy and just pressed in the hole. with that in place the single connection attached to the new dash loom.

The next part was to work out the fittings. The latch is held in place to the dash via two screws that can move to adjust the door catch. the two screws are attached via a plate with two screw holes that align with the oval holes of the dash. For somebody with big hands this was a bad deal for me. Eventually I managed to fit both the screws in place and nip up the fitting. I could adjust this as I needed to later.

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The original glove box was riveted in place at the factory, so now the replacements have holes and a screw thread attached to the glove box which aligns up with the dash itself to secure it in place. I had to hunt around to find some self tapping screws to fit the holes. The same was for the upper two screws that held the top in place.

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The lower three screws were a complete pain as they were adjustable and needed to have a nut of some sort to fix them. In my many compartments of odd nut and bolts I found the same sized fittings and had to dislocate my fingers to hold them in place while I screwed them up. With this being made of cardboard it doesn’t take much to bend and weaken the card and looks rubbish. Having to treat the cardboard with TLC and try to move it into place was an art form in itself. I removed the hinge that I fitted last week in order to get more room and be able to see what I was doing.

With the bottom in place I managed to tighten the screws up and look to the sides. These previously riveted holes were simple fit as I only need a nice looking couple of screws small enough to fit. I found a couple in Yogi’s spares draw in his tool box and took the liberty to borrow them on a permanent loan basis. The two screws either side were followed by the support strap which fitted just above the side screws.

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The easy bit, fitting the hinge back in place and the glove box door. Fitting the door was done in two stages, making sure the hinge cleared the dash and the front closed. Three screws for the hinge and three for the door front were adjusted and on first shut the door clicked into place. The only real result I had that day so I tightened up the catch at the top. Job done.

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At this point I looked at the inside of the door and thought to myself, I need to make that look better. So I will take it of again and clean it to higher standard to make it look acceptable. I don’t want to replace it as it’s the original part of course.

The remainder of my time was wrapping wires with loom tape again that I knew wouldn’t be moved. So although the post is short and sweet, I thought it would take an hour or so ended up taking me longer to do than fitting the front suspension on the car! Is it just me or do we all have days like that?

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Centre Console Tidy Up

I’m not quite sure what went on over the weekend but it just disappeared into thin air. Got into bed Friday night with that satisfied glow of knowing no alarm clock was going to give me a brain pain. Next thing I knew I hear the alarm and I am back to getting up in the dark. Saturday was a nice drive down to Mustang Maniac and spend time with the guys and sitting in the boys club discussing all things mechanical and Mustang. Armed with a load of parts and a silly grin I came back home wondering where the day went.

Sunday was Mustang day so the parts I got ere going to be fitted. The parts consisted of replacements for the inside of the dash, new blue filters for the light bulbs, new set of bulbs, and a new shift selector plate and rear lens cover for the centre console. My shift plate had pitted badly and the plastic had a suspected fag burn on it. There was nothing really to see with the parts as they are just direct replacements and look the same, apart from them being cracked and discoloured. Once the dash was completed and wrapped up again, I picked up the centre console and decided it could do with a clean, on close inspection I new the black was faded and needed work. So I set to work with exactly the same principles as the air con unit that I tidied up last week. I was amazed at how disgustingly dirty this centre console was. So I cleaned it up inside and out with Gibbs Brand. After removing the top metal plate I masked the plate and the ash tray ready for the light spraying. of satin black. The inner bulb plate needed to be treated and cleaned which didn’t take too long. The longest part of the job was making a new loom for the console using the standard bullet connectors but insulated them up, I added a red wrap of tape to remind me where the live feed parts are at the end of the red feed cable. The end result is brilliant, I now have a nice new looking shiny centre console. Not so new it looks out-of-place mind you, but new enough to show it has been cared for. here are some of the pics of the restoration, I have also posted the full process here or click the quick links below.

Quick Links:

Factory fitted aircon tidy up: photos – Inside the car – Factory Fitted aircon unit tidy up click here

Factory fitted centre console refurbishment: Inside the car – Factory fitted centre console refurbishment click here

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Lighting the way

The weekends are short and the weeks are long, some are just to long. This past week has been one of those weeks you want to forget. Lack of sleep made me a bit cranky to be fair, so obviously a lay-in was on the cards on Sunday. As we live in a sleepy little village where the front page of the village magazine would be number 57’s cat found safe and well after being missing for 5 hours. Things are usually very quiet, during the week and weekends and I expect nothing different this weekend. 8.45am Sunday morning I was awoken by the sound of electric hedge trimmers. Why this elderly gentlemen decided to do trim his hedge at this time is beyond me. The guy is retired and he could do that any time during the week when us poor workers aren’t about. Should he have been more considerate or did he just not think of others? I would not cause bad feeling about it but it would have be nice to have had the rest. I was up early Saturday as we had things to do, so Sunday was going to be my rest day, alas it was not to be. Are layin-ins a thing of the past now days?

Earlier in the week I had ordered a light, not any old light, but something I had thought about for a little while now. Working on the car in the garage was a little difficult as the light bulb was in the middle of the garage, when the hood was up there was a horrendous shadow over was in the engine bay. I decided on a site light, this is a halogen bulb on a stand that is height adjustable. The reason behind it is that I can move the light where I want it around the car and also take it out to the man cave and work in the evening. I will review the Faithfull light and put it in the review section very soon. As I was out Saturday with the wife and my mother-in-law to get some replacement ceiling cords, we were looking around and I found a cheap wall mounted halogen unit almost as cheap as a the replacement bulb, needless to say I bought that and put it up today. Now I have a nice spot light straight into the engine bay. I have gone from a single 60w bulb to two lots of 500w lights. I’m not saying they are bright but Boeing have made a couple of detours from the normal flight path towards our house, not really but I wouldn’t be surprised. In fact I may get some lower wattage bulbs. Due to such a mental busy weekend I haven’t done half of what I wanted to do. But I have managed to put a final coat on the brake drums with VHT caliper satin black. I will review the spray soon too as it gave great results. I have taken photos and a video, which one I post I’m not sure yet.

5th March 2013 update:

I have now added the review of the Faithfull 500w Halogen light in the review section or click here for a direct link.

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