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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Glass Prep

The sun was out, I was out on my way to Mustang Maniac yesterday. I had an idea what was going to be done today but wasn’t to sure. The glass in the doors needed to be fitted and can be a real tricky to line up. It was time to open the box of bits and bolts to try and work out where some of these bits came from. I have learnt one thing with this car, although the nuts and bolts holds things in place they may not be the correct fixings. Again that turned out to be true with the window regulators. There were bolts holding it into the door that shouldn’t be there, adjusters that should be there weren’t there and it was all very confusing. The plan was to fit sound proofing to the driver’s door, and prep the glass itself. We had to work out a plan of action, we decided the painting of the window, Dynamat then the regulators.  The main door glass is mounted on a metal frame and that had gone a little rusty on the surface. I degreased it, cleaned it, sprayed some rust proof on it then sprayed it silver. While each part was drying I worked on the door Dynamat and came back to the spraying.

The insides of the doors are coated from the factory with a thick sound proofing. On the new door it would be just the skin. To stop the resonance and the road noise a sticky matting is stuck to the metal. Pretty much like the silver matting that is on the floor of my car that I covered previously, click here. The mat was cut to the length required and the angle needed to fit under the side rail.

With the sound proofing done it was back to the main glass for more spraying. It takes a quarter of the time to dry in the sun.

Next I started to fit the front quarter windows which was where I ran into the first issue. The quarter is slid down into the top of the door where the top adjuster is fitted as soon as you can see the hole on the frame. Once that is in place its a case of tilting the glass towards the rear of the car to get it into the position you need it.

The issue was that the bolt at the bottom was supposed to be the second adjuster, it was unclear which side of the frame the adjuster would be fitted. To be sure Adam removed a door card from an old car in his “grave yard” to check. Adam was right, it was on the inside of the frame and pulled tight by a bolt. A little moving of the window around enabled me to fit the adjuster at the bottom in situ as it were. Two more bolts are then screwed to the outside part of the adjuster to hold it all in place as we had seen on the old untouched car. The second issue was that these two retaining bolts were missing, and they often are when removed. Adam had to get me a pack as I had nothing like it in my odds and ends fixings box.

So that was the passenger door and it was to be repeated on the driver’s side. Now I knew what I had to do, it took a quarter of the time. Next up was the window regulators, this is pretty uninteresting to look at as it’s all inside the door. There are four bolts that hold the regulator and a trailing section for the scissor action that hold the glass. the secret to this part is how you fold the metal up and slot it through the seemingly tiny opening in the door. Once it’s inside you have to open it out then bolt it into place. Sounds easy, but when you have new paint work it took me a lot longer than I thought it would.

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Repeated on the driver’s side it was little quicker but still a slow process. All you can really see is the bolts in place so not terribly exciting for a days work!

But, I did try to take a picture inside of the door with the mechanisms all in place.

The final part is a vertical guide that slide into place at the back of the door. This is a support for the glass at the back. The front is supported by the front quarter window glass frame. You have got to hand it to the designers, this was a cheap car at the time and everything was modular which just bolted in place, so simple that it all just worked. Fifty years later the mechanism still works fine with a bit of new grease. Not many new cars will be able to say that in fifty years time!

The plus side to all of this is that the glass that had been sprayed had dried nicely and should be cured fully when I come to fit it in place next week. A short post this week with not too much to look at as it was all hidden unfortunatly. But at least you can see a little bit of the door coming together now.

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A Promise Kept

A tired start to the day on Saturday with me retuning my radio to something soothing on the way to Mustang Maniac. Maybe it’s my age showing, but I just wanted to chill on the way and enjoy my drive. As Saturday was Valentine’s Day of course, my wife decided that it would be OK for me to spend some time with the other love of my life, my car. That was on the condition I wasn’t late home and bought the diner. Of course I agreed and made sure I would leave on time, so I just have to say “Thank you Darlin'”.

I arrived early and the slow wakeup had changed into get up and go by the time I got there. Adam and the guys were moving stuff around to make space and filling up their scrap pile. If I wasn’t mistaken I swear they were even sorting out their stores! A conversation was had on what I should be doing next, the main next job is for the transmission to be overhauled, but as the engine stands are being used at the moment we went to plan B. This revised plan was to start laying out the wiring and finish the insulation matting in the car. There was only one sheet left so I covered as much as I could for now and used the smaller off cuts to finish the gaps at the front.

As the back of the car is pretty much completed now I have added the all important iconic filler cap it would be easier to run the cables there. Yes, before you say it, the picture is of a 69/70 cap, but it was what came with the car and I didn’t know any better when I bought the car, and to be honest I quite like it. I dare say I will change it later for the correct ’66 one, but for now it will do. I have taken a picture of the stainless tank underneath, but it hasn’t come out to well unfortunatly.

The wires have been carefully stored and were in a box all neatly coiled up when I took them out of the car. When I put them away I placed them in the box so as not to get them knotted up. As I went to lift them out they were knotted and all entwined. Just how does that happen? I found the rear loom and took it to the trunk, laid it out for each side lights, once I was happy I threaded them through, but not made it final. I spent most of my time re-taping the wires up and making them look presentable as time just flew by. I used a little tape just to hold the light pigtails in place.

The next part was to unravel the spaghetti mess that had been created for me. It seems as though the gremlin that plagues me at home has been squatting in my wiring loom box! I managed to sort the wire loom into their particular junctions and placed it in the car ready for next week.

By the time the loom was laid out roughly, it was time to keep my promise and leave early afternoon to go home to my wife.

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Stainless Tank

The weeks are dragging now as I can’t wait to get to Mustang Maniac and do more to my car, things that are done now are very visible. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but a conversation with Adam and Yogi soon had me focused on the plan of action. The fuel tank I had with the car looked OK, all be it painted a little tired looking, but on full inspection using their internal camera showed some rust around the sender fitting and internal lower seams. To be on the safe side Adam ordered me in a special fuel tank. Not sure what to expect I was sent of to go and pick it up from the stores, oh boy, I was not disappointed. A full polished stainless steel tank was my new bolt in part.

We had to clean up the trunk from light dust to allow the sealer to stick the paint and that in turn would not allow any fumes into the car and stop vibration.

Yogi applied the sealing strip around the edge and we both removed the plastic wrap from the tank. Now at this point we were both very careful as the inner stainless edges of the tank are razor-sharp. The tank was eyed into position and laid onto the sealer strip, the holes were lined up ready for the bolts.

The next step was the filler tube, gaskets, screws, clips and rubber. Previously I had cleaned up the tube, clips and rubber. Adam had a look at my cleaned up rubber tube and chucked it in the bin with a laugh. He was of course right, although it looked pretty good but not brilliant, I would always thinking to myself that it should have been a new one. We fitted the gaskets onto the filler pipe and feed the tube through the rear panel, the rubber was slid up the pipe and the clips roughly fitted. The screws to the back panel were tightened only as a rough guide to stop it turning. The rubber was slid down the pipe to the tank and clamped in place and the pipe screws fully tightened up.

The next job of the day was a slow process but brings this classic Mustang back into the twenty-first century. The task was a specialised stick on matting that will stop any road noise and metal resonance through the car. This particular matting was a special order via Adam, the matting is only a couple of millimetres thick with a very sticky backing. It’s applied like sticky back plastic and heated with a hot air gun to make it easier to mould the mat into place. Yogi showed me the first steps and left me to get on with the task in hand. I found this very therapeutic with instant visible results.

First step make sure the floor holes have the correct plates in place with a little sealer around the edges to stop water ingress.

Second step was to lay the matting. We started from the centre and worked our way out to the edges. Peel a little of the backing and position in place then roll the matting across the surface smoothing down as much as you can.

The hot air gun softens and allows the mat to be pressed into place with the idea to make as much surface contact as possible.

Like laying a complex carpet the pieces should fit together and form a complete coverage, this set of pictures shows my thought process. I started with the front foot wells, bulk head or fire wall up to the insulating matting, then moving onto the rear foot wells. The seat platforms were covered each side and the last parts was the remaining section of the centre tunnel.

Under the rear seat will need to be completed as will the door panels and inside the kick panels, but as the time was getting late (very late), I decided to call it a day (or night) for now. The results so far look amazing. OK, so this matting is not cheap and weighs in a little, but the benefits are well worth it for a weekend cruiser.

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been asked what was used to get the effect of paint job. Well you need somebody who knows what he is doing, in this case that was Paul who had patience and dedicated time to complete such a fantastic job. The ingredients he used are listed below, but this does not include the cleaning chemicals, rolls of masking tape, rolls of masking paper or surface wipes etc etc.

The paint colour was Acapulco Blue with a slight twist of metallic, the amounts used are as follows:

Etch Primer – 2lt

Surface Primer – 15lt

Rubberised Underbody Coating – 6lt

Thinned Base Coat – 7lt

Mixed Clear Coat – 8lt

2k Black Primer – 1lt

2k Satin Black – 3lt

2K White Semi Matt – 1/2lt

Matt Clear – 1/2lt

Brushable Seam Sealer – 1lt

As you can see Forty Three litres of sprayable materials in total and one litre of brushable seam sealer.

I was thinking last night that as the trunk now looks so good, there is a very good possibility that I wont put carpet over the whole trunk floor, just so I can see the fuel tank and great the paintwork. The stainless steel fuel tank will visible from behind the car of course. What do you think I should do, carpet or not carpet the trunk?

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