Raising The Standards

The weekend was a strange experience for me as I didn’t get to walk into my garage and see my car there. It is of course in the safe hands of Mustang Maniac in their panel shop. I got up and got ready to go in record time, packed some overalls and tools and took myself off to see the guys. All the way down there I had a silly grin on my face knowing full well I was going to get covered in various lubricants that were leaking from my car if any was still in it that is. On arrival I was speaking to Adam and catching up with all things Mustangs, I was shown new parts that I decided I was going to have along with other parts I was going to get a bit later on. I just have to get this minor detail cleared with the accounts manager, my wife first though. I would like to point out that I was given permission to work with the guys and this is certainly not a normal practice. I just wanted to help get the gearbox, and/or engine out, just so that I can be a part of it all. Adam knows about my blog and has made the kind concession for me. I got changed and ready to go. I was told the procedure to remove the main parts of the car; the prop shaft, gearbox and then the engine, not forgetting all the other attachments between them.

I set to work straight away by getting the car up on some nice big high axle stands, I got my tools out and started to remove the radiator, alternator and starter motor.

Next up was the prop shaft which I have started a renovation guide here,  or can be found under the Photo Menu – Gearbox & Prop Shaft – Prop shaft renovation.

Working on the engine I was to remove the headers to make room for the next part I wasn’t looking forward too, the transmission cooling pipes that run from the gearbox to the bottom of the radiator. The headers were not bolted in correctly to the block and the dark black soot on the header pipe end itself proves the point. The gasket fell apart as the pipes were removed as well.

The radiator, starter motor and cooling pipes removed, the transmission pipes are now scrap due to the poor amateur installation of the gearbox. You can just about make out the rubber hose on the ends on the transmission pipes.

Terry told me what to look for and a gave me the specialist tool to get to the connections. But what I found was a common botch job, the pipes had a hacksaw taken to them and fitted with a bit of fuel pipe hose and a jubilee clip each end. The botch job is to make it easier to remove the gearbox and refit it, obviously these people didn’t know what they were doing. This saved using the specialist tool as the rubber pipes had perished and now I could see where the leaks were coming from. All the cables, such as the speedo, kickdown throttle linkage, shifter rod, neutral safety switch, hand brake etc were all removed to allow the gearbox freedom of movement. The flywheel and torque converter were undone and the converter was bushed into the bell housing to make the separation easier. The bell housing bolts and support brackets for the gearbox were removed once the weight of the gearbox was taken up underneath as the gearbox and engine were separated. The gearbox was lowered down and moved to the side away from the car.

I have a renovation page for the gearbox process too under Photo Menu – Gearbox & Prop Shaft – Gearbox Renovation or click here for the quick link. All sounds so simple or so it seems, what took me all day takes the guys a matter of hours. I think I held them up a bit!

I would like to say a big “Thanks” to Adam, Terry, John and Al for helping me out and their invaluable guidance. It was an experience and I am grateful for the knowledge overload that came my way. This type of work I couldn’t do at home as I simply don’t have the heavy gear to do these jobs. I was right about one thing though, I was smothered in all sorts of grime, so the intentions to take photos of all process didn’t really happen from the transmission lines onwards as I didn’t want to drop my camera. But, I have taken some photos under the Photo Menu and I am sure there will be many more to follow. The next time I looked outside it was dark so I reluctantly called it a day, in fact, I called it a very good day. I drove home feeling as though I had achieved something big from my point of view. I am sure there will be more days to feel like I’m sure. I was a happy chap knowing the work I was doing was being aided by the guys who really knew what they were doing.

Oh, remember that daft silly grin I had on the way down there? Well it just got a whole lot bigger all the way home. 😀

Share my Content

She Moves!

Epic news from the garage.

Today was a great day. I pushed the car out of the garage and poured yet another gallon of premium unleaded into the tank. Turned her over for thirty seconds and let it settle. Turned the key again and she fired up. I let the car run for a few minutes with a little blip of the throttle now and again as you do. It was great to hear the sound again. The car has had the all the brakes done, the single master cylinder converted to a dual system and bled twice. I got in the car nervous, I put the foot on the brake, now it wasn’t as hard as it was. I Put the auto into “R” the revs dropped and I released the brake. She rolled backwards under her own power. Foot on the brake and not a lot until it was almost on the floor, but it stopped. I put the car in “D” and the revs dropped. I released the brake and she crept forward a few feet and sort of stopped going up the kerb onto the drive. A touch of the throttle and the rear wheels snapped into action and off we went. Ohh sh….t, I hit the brake and not a lot. I pressed hard and knocked into “N” I stopped. My heart was pounding and my heart was thrilled and my head was a little sad. I would like the brakes to have been a bit more, but, the brakes are new & not run it yet, rust on the faces of the brakes and the pedal probably needs adjusting a bit more. All these things will get better as time goes on and I guess I am expecting too much to start with. The car is just an animal to take of like that, I loved it! After I pulled up and got out with a smile I was pleased to see that the usual petrol heads had come round to see me while she was running. We had a catch up on the latest bits gone in and the next project to do.  A new neighbour who just moved in down the road followed the noise and came up to me to say hello, another petrol head likes the car. A quick hello to David – a pleasure to meet you and talk cars for a while. 🙂

Over the course of time I have told people about this blog and they say they will look it up. When I bump into them again the first thing they say is “What is that blog address again as I forgot it by the time I got home?” This prompted me to do something a little fun, I got some business cards made up with the details on of the blog, email, Facebook and Twitter. The people seem to like them and I have had a few more hits after I gave them out. What do you think?

business card

I am delighted with the day so far but I still can’t find that stupid brake flare adaptor! I was hoping it was going to drop out, but no that was too simple.

Today was a small drive for a  classic Mustang, but huge step for the project.

Share my Content

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.

Share my Content