Don’t Be Negative

After last week’s post I had some great messages left for me and couple of nice emails too, so thank you. It was pointed out that I hadn’t actually posted a pic of the Krooklok in the car. Yep, I missed out one of the main points of what it looked like in the car. So to make amends here they are;

I don’t think it looks out of place either. Those with eagle eyes will spot that the pedal end of the lock is not shiny. Correct and this is something I eluded to in the last post. The metal end will damage paintwork on the pedal so i wrapped a little wire loom tape around it. This is a cloth tape and will cushion the metal on metal. On modern cars where the pedals are pretty much out of sight I wouldn’t need to do that. But as the Mustang pedals are clearly visible from outside the car chips in the black paint would look rather nasty. Also the cloth tape blends well to the pedals too.

While I was in the garage I had a little clean up under the hood, nothing special just a quick detailer wipe over to get some dust off. While I was at it I decided to change something that has been annoying me for quite a while now. This was the Negative battery cable terminal.

OK, so it doesn’t look wrong considering this isn’t the original wire, but a replacement cable for some reason or another. But, it looks sort of period correct so I left it, until now. I sourced a much more stock looking terminal and set about swapping them over.

The old terminal was a simple two screw squash the cable idea, simple enough to remove and will allow for corrosion for the exposed ends of the cable.

The cable separated easy enough and I cleaned it up with a wire brush to get it clean as possible. With the cable cleaned up I got my gas powered soldering iron out to prep the wire ends with some solder. As I was dealing with solder I put the heat resistant pad on the battery to stop any hot drips marking the plastic. The “Tinning” (a pre applied application of solder to aid in the final solder), had to be build up until a nice coating was all the way round the wire. I even cut back the sheath of the cable to expose some fresh wires. I slid a heat shrink tube over the cable which I would use later to give the finish a much cleaner look.

The next step I had to skip a little as I had one pair of hands to take the pics and do the work. I inserted the cable into the new terminal and clamped it in place with the two nuts on the top. Some stray long strands of wire were snipped of flush to the end of the terminal. With the cable in place I used some long nosed mole grips to hold the terminal up so I could fill the gap in the terminal with more solder.

This would give that neat finish I was after and make a great connection to the battery. My Dremel mini sanding discs were used flatten down the end as solder is a soft metal. With the end nice and flat the heat shrink was moved up to the terminal to cover any any gaps from the terminal and wire. Now the cable looks much nicer and neater and more importantly, the original stock look I was after.

I was able to refit the tightening bolt to the terminal and reconnect back to the battery.

The only remaining part now is to put the battery tag back on. I really am looking for things to do on the car now that don’t really need doing – just so I can do it. It only took about two hours from start to finish with the whole thing being cleaned and polished up. Well worth it as the wife was writing lots of lesson plans for her school. I was best out of the way! I think I may tidy up the other cable as well now. Also clean up the mats as they are pretty dirty too.

One of the simple little jobs was to swap out the interior bulbs for the LED equivalent. These included the footwell courtesy lights, and the rear centre console lights. They had the standard tungsten filament bulbs which gave out a warm glow. Not that I disliked it by any means, in fact that was the stock lock, I just wanted the more modern subtle look of a bright crisp white illumination.

The interior LED’s give out about three times as much light and shows of the internal colour scheme a bit better too. The pick above right was taken inside my garage and not outside in the sun.

What’s the next little job? I will think of something. 😉

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Eye Candy

I knew what i was going to be doing this week at Mustang Maniac and the week dragged by until I could get there. The task in hand was the interior dash area and see how we would get on with the rest of it. For a change I got there early as the traffic wasn’t bad at all the way i decided to get their avoiding the air show chaos that was bound to happen.

Adam decided the gauges were going to be the first in, so we tested them on the dash panel and they didn’t move. The result was that my voltage regulator for the dials that steps the voltage down to 5 volts was getting red-hot. Then it got no hotter and nothing worked. Adam and Yogi were now having a discussion on the issue. They tested the gauges and found there was an earth issue. Yogi undone the back while Adam held the dash to see what was going on. immediately they noticed that the oil gauge was touching the back case causing an earth out, which was shorting out the voltage control. Adam got one of his new and not mentioned on the WebShop electronic voltage regulators that he has custom-made. These units have a small LED built-in to show they are working to the correct voltage and a heat sync to keep them stable and an additional earth lead. Not an off the shelf part from anywhere else.

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The gauges were realigned and tested with the Power Probe and they now worked with the new voltage regulator. Yogi declared that he had “saved the day” as he put it! 🙂 The next thing they noticed was the speedo was not working correctly and returning back to the “0” needle. Adam said we needed to change it and got me a new one and he left me to it after instructions on how to change it that is.

Changing the Speedo:

Undo the case screws around the outside and the whole back will lift off. This will expose all the very, very delicate dials on the inside that need a lot of respect due to age.

The back of the dial case has two screws that hold the speedo in place, remove the screws and gently lift out the speedo.

I undone the speedo and compared the parts just to see if there was any difference.

To fit is a reverse of the above and dead simple. I did have a conversation with Adam in the mean time on how to wind the clock forward to match the current original miles. He did tell me and show me how to do it, along with the possible issues it could cause by taking it all apart. I decided not to do it and fit the part as it is as these things aren’t cheap. I then placed the old on top and took a photo to prove old and new miles just in case anybody wanted to know.

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Replacing the back case was careful procedure to make sure everything aligns up properly. The speedo was checked, all the lights and the gauges once again to make sure all was in order. The very observant ones will notice that the second from right gauge should be an Ammeter and not a voltage dial. I change this over as the Ammeter is very old school, they often blow, and my one wire alternator didn’t support it in the American AutoWire loom either. I have done a tutorial on how I converted this by clicking here for the quick link. All was OK and now it was time to mount the gauges back into the dash. Make sure you cover the steering column as the dash WILL scratch the column as you can’t maneuver it without doing so. Even if you can it makes it safer and peace of mind that’s all.

Fitting the retaining clips was main job and needed to be aligned correct to the main dash as the screws go in at a strange angle of about forty-five degrees. My volt meter needs an additional switched live feed and a separate earth that I attached before I fitted the quick disconnect to the main wire loom.

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I changed the insulating tape from the above picture by the way as it looked horrible, but I didn’t take another a picture at the time, too much was going on and didn’t want to take my eye of the gauges or the dash. The worst part of all this is to attach the speedo cable, this is a small hand job to reach behind and insert the square centre and the retaining collar nut. I managed to do it while getting in a panic that I would scratch the paint around the dash.

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The speedo cable is quite inflexible so I found that by moving the cable under the dash you can angle the dash into the correct position. I inserted the retaining screws only to grab the first turn to allow any movement that I may need.

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With all the screws in place I could complete the tighten up and made sure not to over tighten the dash for fear of cracking the mounts, as my old dash had done. The completed job was amazing and Adam checked, passed it and we checked the gauges again. All was good.

The next job as I was on a real roll now was the steering wheel. Adam took me up to the stores and showed me his overwhelming collection of original and aftermarket wheels, all different colours and styles, big and small. I picked the one I liked and a horn button to go with it. We went down to the car and we undone the protective wrapping around the steering boss and the horn ring.

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The centre nut was tightened in place once the wheel was mounted over the spline, then the three screws that hold the boss to the wheel and the column. Adam threaded the wires through the wheel and only nipped the bolts up as it would inevitably need to be moved to centre it all up in the geo workshop.

The horn button was fitted to the centre and we tested that it was working fine. Again a job that was a lot quicker than I was expecting it to be. All of a sudden I can now imagine what it would be like looking at equipment driving along. A true piece of eye candy! Maybe not to everrybodies taste, but it is to me.

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The grin on my face was difficult to hide and Yogi now popped in to see what I was up too. I decided to push my luck and ask him how the console would be fitted. This console was part of the original equipment in my car when it was first ordered. He grinned and aligned it up where it should be, under the air con and around the selector lever. He started to drill the holes for the screws and screw them in before the console moved and we lost the holes. The dynamat had made the screws a difficult to locate in the first instance, but with a patience we managed to gently pull the console down.

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We took turns to drill the holes and the first attempt I used the drill I managed to break the drill bit! So I had to confess my sins to Adam who just laughed and said “You learned how not to do it then!” We had to use slightly longer versions of the screws at a couple of points due to additional matting. The “T-handle” for the shifter was re-fitted and again tested all was OK.

The console has a set of lights at the back under the ash tray that work of the courtesy lights and looked pretty good.

You will notice that the wooden wheel had changed to black. This is because I was talking to Adam about the wheel and he said cover it. He told me he was getting some budget parts and stock in he was going to call “Enos Range”. He had a cheapy 15″ cover that would fit over the wheel just while they were moving it around and the MOT. I decided to get one and fitted it over. It was good quality and not what I was expecting, it didn’t even look out-of-place either

Last job of the day was the front kick panels. These simply clip to the side of the “A” pillar and are held in place by two simple screws. The carpet had to be cut a little to stop the overlap and allow the panel to sit flush against the chassis. You can see the holes have now gone and looks a lot neater. The carpet is now held in place but the panels area real tight fit to head light dip switch. But after a little levering around a bit, it’s all in place where it should be.

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Next week who knows, right now I don’t mind. I am still grinning stupidly at the awesome corner my car has just turned, and I haven’t even got it on the road yet.

Thanks to Adam and Yogi who took time out to give me hand again. 

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Four Years later

I can’t believe that it has been four years since I bought (well the wife did actually), took possession of my ’66 Mustang Coupe, 17th September 2011 to be exact. Two of those last four years have been down at Mustang Maniac getting the best attention to detail that any Mustang could ask for. I was looking forward to the day ahead to get things done, I wasn’t too sure what it was going to be, but I was about to find out. I arrived to see sitting on the side where I put my tools was a nice new super shiny gas gap. Adam smiled and said “There’s your first job”. The old gas cap was from a 1970 model, I didn’t mind it but it was starting to wind Adam up as we hadn’t changed it yet. There is a larger hole at the bottom of the filler where the retaining wire is held. This is a multi purpose idea, one you don’t lose it and two, it stops trophy hunters trying to steal it. Undo the bottom screw and slightly drill out the hole in the body panel. Screw in the cable and attach the locking bolt inside the panel. The difference was instant, and looks so much better now.

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Old gas cap from 1970

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correct ’66 year gas cap

The next job was now at the front, mounting the front bumper. The irons had already been bolted into place and through the stone guard. The bumper was a two-man job to avoid scratching my nice paint job. Yogi and me laid the bumper in place and the collapsible washers were placed on top of the irons. The bolts were lightly placed through the bumper and not tightened up just yet. The side mountings to the fender needed to be jiggled around a bit to make it fit on the driver’s side by pushing the bumper into place to meet the fender hole. Once they were all in place the tightening could be done. Yogi tells me I’m a lucky guy again as these can be a real pain to fit if the car is slightly out of alignment after an accident or similar. A job that makes a total transformation of the car. I even managed to get a reflection of the Corral in the bumper too.

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I moved to the interior now and a piece of equipment I have been moving around to avoid damage is the aircon unit. The car is a genuine factory option aircon car, but i didn’t want all that under the hood. But, I do love the blower unit. I decided to use the blower unit in the car and make it work as a fan, if that makes sense. Yes there are going to be people who moan that’s not a aircon car as there is no “this, that or the other” under the hood. Well, all I can say is that if I want it, I still have the brackets to put it all on if I wanted too, but I don’t. These aircon units are held under the dash by two brackets, and held on the tunnel in the middle by an adjustable bolt. This looked pretty basic and I wanted something with a little more finesse should we say. I had kept the old hood stops and I was going to take the rubber of the top of that of and weld it to the bottom of the bolt. As it turned out the trunk bump stop is exactly the same thread as the support bolt for the aircon. I screwed in the bump stop and it looked like it was menat to be there. Next up the unit was carefully offered up the to the dash for a dry fit.

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The power feed cable had been cut, this meant that there was no wire long enough to power the unit. So I had to extend the wire. There is never any crimping to extend a wire at Mustang Maniac, ever! I would have been thrown in the scrap bin if I had of done. The wires were stripped back about twenty millimeters and twisted together, heat shrink placed over the cable, flux applied to the cables. The (gas-powered) soldering iron was fired up and after thirty seconds it was ready to use. A lot of old cloth was placed under the solder area to avoid dropping any hot solder on the carpet. Once the soldering was completed and allowed to cool, the end of the soldering iron attachment was swapped to the hot air nozzle that shrank the heat shrink to the soldered area.

The aircon unit was now able to be connected to the power. The brackets were padded out with a little foam pad to stop any vibration or rattles. The bolts were threaded through the dash and bolted from the inside.

I could then adjust the bottom stop to take the pressure of the bottom of the dash and equalise the weight distribution out. The end result was brilliant and I am glad that I made the choice to keep it in the car. The centre console will complement the aircon unit down the length of the tunnel.

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Four years later and the car is not completed just yet. There is the trim for the seats, steering wheel, centre console, dash trim, gauges, rear quarter window rain felts etc all to be done. I can’t see it being ready just yet. but it’s oh so close now, I can almost taste the petrol! 🙂 Hurry up next week I have work to do.

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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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