Pretty Bits

The car was loaded up Friday night, full tank of gas and I was ready to rock. The weather was supposed to be nice so it wasn’t going to be a case of layers on layers again I’m glad to say. The trip to Mustang Maniac was uneventful and I couldn’t settle on a mood of music for the radio. I arrived and was greeted by Adam walking through a new gate that he has just had put in to make it easier to get to the yard from the offices. It has only just happened this week after a couple of years of nagging to get it done.

Anyway, I knew what my task was I was chomping at the bit to get going. The wires and dash need to be tidied up and the pretty bits fitted to the dash. Yes, I say pretty bits but what I meant was the essential bits. The wiper and light switches, ignition switch, cigarette lighter and heater controls. The first part was the lights as a big block that clamps on the back of the switch so it needed to be located and fixed in place before fixing it to the dash.

Dead simple to fit as the dash ring locates into a groove and the light switch is held to the dash by a centre screw in part. Once that part is fitted the long bar with the knob on the end just pushes in and clicks into place.

Next up was the windscreen switch, now this is an aftermarket switch and had to have an extra fitting screwed to it make sure the spacer cup was in the correct position and the knob didn’t stick out from the dash by about two inches. Again the dash ring is screwed into the middle to hold in place via the lugs at the bottom. While fitting the connections to the rear I remembered that there has to be an additional wire that runs to the washer pump from the switch. The Newport Wipers kit does not come with the wire nor did the AutoWire kit except for the washer connection due to the many configurations that there could be at the time of manufacture. To get round this I found a wire for a Variable Speed Sensor that would not be used for my car. I reallocated that wire to the washer pump and followed it back to the inside of the car. The VSS wire runs to the dash gauges so I cut the wire and again rerouted it to the wiper switch. A female spade connector was fitted and pushed in place on the back of the wiper switch, job done. The wiper switch is a pain because unlike the lights that have a large cross in the middle, you have to tighten wiper switch centre tube up with a pin in the way. To get round this I made a tool that fits over the top with two legs that twist the locking centre tube into place thus holding it to the dash. The pics here are outside the car to make it easier to see.

The tool was made from an old wiper blade not the cheap aluminium ones now days, but a real old solid one I had laying about. Anyway it worked although I bent it a bit still. The knob for this was a tiny 5/64ths Allen grub screw, having the correct key is important not to damage the fine flats inside the head.

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The next part was the heavy wires for the ignition switch. This is again held in place by a spacing cup behind the dash and a set of locating lugs for the dash ring. There is a special tool that holds this in place while you locate the back of the switch. But I found that by thumb wedged in the hole and then twist the back to the dash ring via the spring, it clips in nicely with a reassuring click. The plug from the wire loom pushed onto the back and the tiny nut to hold the accessory feed and the plug in place is tightened up. The final part was simple cigarette lighter. This is a twist into position effort with a female bullet connector for the thread at the back for the live feed.

Now for the heater controls, this plate is located via two holes in the dash and two clamps at the back. The trick is to thread the control cables through the opening and direct them to the top of the heater box. Clamps at the top of the heater box hold the cables in place so that the levers can pull the wire freely in and out to operate the flaps on the box. This was a much quicker process that I thought it would be and was fitted in about fifteen minutes flat.

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The ash tray was is slightly broken and if you pull it to hard from the mount then the it will come straight out. But, as I don’t smoke I wont be using it, so it’s there just to fill a hole and still be part of the original car. Two bolts on the side of the recess holds the bracket for the ash tray and two at the top hold it flat. Again another ten minute job. The ashtray slid in and looks a awesome colour matched to the dash. I will take it out and fix it at a later date when I have nothing better to do.

dash9While I was inside the car I took the courtesy light wires to the door jam switches and pressed them into the A pillars. A bit of a fiddle job making the wires disappear, but I will tidy that up a bit later once I know all is well.

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That’s the inside done for now at least anyway. I decided to fit the washer pump into place with just two self tap bolts, but not connect the wires up just yet. I must say it looks quite good against the satin black.

waterwash

While I was at it I thought I would screw a voltage regulator onto the inner front panel where they are supposed to be. Those that have been reading my blog from the beginning may remember that the American AutoWire kit requires a One Wire Alternator so the voltage regulator is not needed. As this is blown one that Adam had lying around he gave it to me. Just for show of course and the wire loom pig tail that goes with it will be a dummy set of wires into the main loom to give it that more stock look, all be it polished chrome. But shhhhh – don’t tell anybody as it’s a secret!

votage

Time was drawing to a close so I fitted the two horns to the front of the car, just to free up some more space that don’t have to laying around in the way anymore.

horns

I know I have more to do under the hood, that can be tidied up later as there is no rush right now. Next week I am not sure what I will be doing. All of a sudden the car seems to have moved on a big step forward. Perhaps it’s just the chrome going on blinding me for just how much work remains to be done. But for now I am well chuffed. 🙂

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Fifty Meters & Counting

Weekend trip to Mustang Maniac was greeted by the cold dark damp air but it didn’t quell my enthusiasm to get there, but I was a little nervous about the task that awaited me again. This weeks update will be a fairly short post as a result of that task, there would be a lot of trial putting bunches of wires here or there and making sure no cross overs or snags, in other words a lot of work with nothing to show for the hard work. It was going to take at all day and then some. Wires are in my dreams now, yellow, red, green, blue, black, white, purple and all colours in between, thick and thin all with type written on the side. I eat spaghetti and I see wires, I look at the gaps in the pavement and I see wires. Trying to make wires look neat is therapeutic and frustrating all at the same time that’s for sure. Reaching up under the dash holding things up made my arms ache like mad. While wrapping all the ugly wires into their respective branches it was at this point is where my second roll of wire loom fabric tape ran out. Yep, that’s two full rolls of twenty-five meters by nineteen millimetres of fabric tape used so far, and it only looks like a few meters have been taped up. I just don’t know where it has gone, it’s not the cost as it’s only a couple of pounds as roll, it just goes nowhere.

The worst part was trying to get the fuse panel mounted onto the dash area. The original long screws were just self thread into the firewall. Yogi when doing the brake lines used one of the holes to hold a bracket up and cover the ugly hole which was a good move. But, on the other hand this meant that I had nowhere to fit the fuse box and some of the lengths of wire they give you aren’t that generous, moving it to another locations wasn’t going to happen. So a change of plan was to use a longer thin diameter nut and bolt through the firewall and into the fuse holder. The only trouble is once I had drilled out the holes to take the bolts they would just push back out the other side as I tried to mount the fuse box up. This is where I could have done with a third hand inside the car, one to hold the bolt, one to hold the fuse box and one to put the nut on the bolt. Not easy but I managed it, not sure how but I did. At one point the air turned a little blue as the colour of my car when the bolt fell out the firewall onto the floor and I had to put it all down and re-bunch the wires back up again. The branches that were in immediate view were wrapped up and cable tied neatly, just for now at least. Yes I do know that this is a gamble as loom should be tested before it all gets put away tidy. So fingers crossed is all I can do for now.

The only oversight with this American Autowire loom is a simple one – where do you put the relay boxes. The bank of four relays need to be mounted somewhere and the kit does not give you any idea on how to do that for you. I will have to have a word with the Yogi to see what he thinks and what ideas we can come up with. The rest of the wires were pulled through to the places such as the lights, ignition, dash, wipers radio etc.

Next week I will be hoping to put the new sparkly new switches onto the dash to make the loom live capable as it were. Then it will be more tidying up and putting the wires away.

Pretty bits – Ohhh Yeeeah!

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The Key

Another good weekends work on the car with an added bonus of a trip to see the guys at Mustang Maniac on Saturday. After looking around the cars again I can see the KR replica is looking like a serious motor now, and I love the lights at the rear, in fact I want it! I believe they will be posting the updates for that soon. I have seen a sneak preview of the new website which is almost ready for launch and it looks pretty damn good I must say. It will be a huge leap forward for them as the parts ordering will become automated with online ordering with photo’s and stock availability etc. You won’t even have to call them to order the parts, just checkout, pay and wait for the order to turn up. It was great to see the guys again and have a laugh in the boys club. After speaking to Adam about my car and what to do next, I was advised to get the rear loom out and all the “shiny bits” from the dash. So I did.

First job was to take out the heater controls and the non-original cigarette lighter that had been fitted. The fact I had to be double jointed to get to the two nuts holding the heater control face plate in place didn’t help. More thought was required and produced the solution by removing the ashtray mounting, then trying again made life so much easier. Next up was to get the heater matrix and motor and pulled out through the firewall. The only tricky part was going to be making sure the pipes didn’t leak any water onto the inside and make everything sticky as antifreeze tends to do. The whole process was simple enough and no spillage I’m glad to say. Once the motor and matrix was out-of-the-way the next job was the rust treatment which was going to be a pain, just because of the places I had to get to now that I could get to due to the clear space. Two brushes were used, sorry, destroyed during the process, one softer for all the curves and tight places, the other harder brush for the larger areas that were visited later after I got my head out of the way. A few missed patches from an earlier attempt were spotted and were linked up so all the surfaces are now treated. The ultimate position should be entered into the yoga handbook for men. In order to do it was on my back with my head jammed up against the cowl, with the centre tunnel under an arm pit, not ideal but my long arms helped. Note to self – next time I must tape a thick cloth to the top of the shifter as I managed to draw a little blood on the back of my leg as a result of a sharp plastic fitting that has the skin shredding capability of a golden eagle talons. In fact if I Pulled myself right up, I could look out of glove box. I tried to take a selfie but my arms just weren’t quite long enough, shame though. Removing the loose rust and all the dust produced a couple of nice surprises as I was brushing it all out clean. But more of that in a bit. The idea was to paint right up inside the dash into all the nooks and crevasses that I could get a paint brush into and work down towards me. For once I wore some safety goggles in order to stop any splash backs of the anti-rust liquid getting in my eyes. I looked like I had just borrowed Buddy Holly’s specs as they are a bit old, but do the job. However, I needn’t of worried as none splashed on me for a change. But of course, if I hadn’t of had the safety glasses on, the brush stroke would have flicked the lot in my eyes, with a handful of rust dust to make it worse – guarantee it! The pictures here are quite unique as they are inside the dash looking towards the truck, I personally haven’t found many of these on-line to be fair so I thought I would share them, just in case anybody is interested.

I mentioned earlier that I got a little surprise as I was brushing the dust and rust out. Well, this key fell out and landed on the floor pan. I have compared it to the other keys that I have and I looks like a single sided ignition key. As there was no ignition tumbler in the car when I got it I don’t have an original key to compare it too. The ignition key I have now is almost the same from the shoulder of the key to the tip of the key. The shape at the top is a little odd though and doesn’t look like the standard keys I have seen. Can anybody give me an idea of what it is or what it would have looked like? Strange place to find it on the back of the dash where the gauges would have been. Or is it not even a Mustang key, I don’t know. I also found a Dime as well  which I think the date says 1964 or 1984 I can’t quite tell.

key

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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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