Getting a Handle On Things

A scorching hot week at work and I’m glad to say that he weather was gorgeous at Mustang Maniac. I arrived to find that the guys were shunting cars to a local school where they displayed old in the shape of the Shelby GT500KR and new being the UBB Mustangs, their F350 truck and the Falcon pick up were also on the list so the kids could take pics of them sitting inside the trucks. When Adam had a chance to breathe we discussed the plan of action for my car. A bit of a no brainer really as we wanted to get the glass in. First of we needed to connect the remaining door bars up, all of which you can’t see and are inside the door. So I’m afraid it’s another short post from me, but all you can see is two handles fitted and it took all day! Some days things go well, yesterday was a slow day.

The door locks were back in place previously and we opened the doors by pulling the latch inside the door. So now we wanted the door handle connected to the bar. The mechanism on the driver’s door had to be replaced as the spring had broken. Not a major problem as it didn’t take long. Previously the fittings had worn so the prior owner had bent rods in order to make things work. The down side is non of it was now working. Adam was helping with the adjustments and we locked the door only to find we couldn’t open it again on the driver’s side. It turns out that in straightening the bars out now showed the issues on the door catch itself. We had to dismantle the bars inside the car and manual move the levers around to unlock and open the door. We took the inside of the door mechanism apart again and had close look.

It turns out that the spring had been bent out-of-the-way for some weird reason on the locking side of the catch, then the cams were all bent out of shape too. This all meant – new door catch. Epic! We fitted the door catch and could see just how much things had been butchered inside the door with regards to the operating bars. The new lock was an incredibly tight fit for the new door lock to be fitted, with some “enthusiastic” persuasion it eventually fitted into place. We straightened the bars out, then put the correct curves back in them and refitted the lot back together. Perfect. The bends to the cams on the old catch were hardly noticeable, but it was enough to jam up enough to stop the tumbler turning as the bar had not returned to the correct position.

The next job was the door handle itself. One screw and a stud with a nut in place to hold it to the door. We fitted the handle and started to do it up only to find out that the metal on the new moulding was catching on the inside of the door. So when it was tightened up it was being pulled upwards of the door instead of backwards into the door for a tight fit. The gap was a bout 2mm that needed to be sorted out, we moved the door housing over a fraction on the screw and it still wasn’t enough. So out came the handle again. This time we had to get ingenious, we re-aligned (OK, bent)  the housing inwards a fraction and the button hinge mechanism by a corresponding amount. This actually sounds worse than it was, the clearance was greater on the drivers handle than the passenger one when we compared them side by side. So once the gaps were made the same all worked perfectly with the rods connect back up.


The passenger door had its own issues. There was a bar missing for the door handle button release, so Adam let me go and rob a bar from the inside of a one the cars in the Graveyard. This was no easy take as the years of weather had rusted the clips to the bar and took some patience to tease the clips off. The door catch itself was missing the spring grommet so Adam got a new one of those and we had to take the door catch out to fit that again. Once all the parts were back in place the handle screwed on no problem and took only a quarter of the time from the driver’s door.

So now I have a car that can be opened by handles and can be locked. All slightly irrelevant as there is no glass so you can climb in any way.

That’s it for this post, so much work that took ages and nothing to show for it except a couple of handles. Next week we should be able to get the glass in as everything else in now in place. Hopefully there will be more visual updates, but the adjusting of the doors and glass can be painfully slow as well.

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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.


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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Through The Looking Glass

The longest day today in the UK and it seemed like the longest week ever until I got down to Mustang Maniac. I turned up in good spirits apart from the cycling event due to take place around the country lanes of Braughing area due to start in a few hours. The reason is cyclist’s complain of not giving them respect on the road, but I am sorry respect is earned not given. I came round a corner and there was three of them side by side down a narrow country lane obviously warming up. As I was sort of expecting something like this I was ready for it some sort of selfish riders which I regularly see on a Saturday morning. The only thing warming up was my blood – almost to boiling point. Did they move over? No, for about 1/2 mile while I was in second gear. When the road widened I expressed my displeasure to them with the window down. Grrrrrrrrr. That is a real pet hate of mine, selfish cyclists.

Anyway of the rant and onto the good bits, Adam was in his office with his Grandson Jack who was helping out with the stock order that was being put away. Adam is still waiting for the trimmers to complete the upholstery so we went to have a look at the car to see what could be done. As we walked into the workshop I could see the new windscreen had been fitted in place. The guys tried to salvage my old screen but it was so badly scratched and stone chipped they decided against using it. So I have a new shiny screen with a tint bar at the top that blends well into the paint job. The guys fitted the trim and it all clipped together really well and tells me that is a pretty good result I have. 🙂


Once I had stopped grinning like a silly school kid we decided on the plan of action, the trunk lock. The trunk lock was a relatively short process consisting of the barrel, grommet, sleeve, washer, nut, and the trunk catch.

The first step is to fit the grommet to the barrel which can only be fitted one way due to the key way. Then carefully pass the mechanism through the trunk so the key way sits in recess.

With the barrel in place make sure the grommet is spaced evenly around the barrel on the paint work. holding the barrel in place there is an inner sleeve that is a tight push over the inner barrel that will hold it all in place. IT goes without saying that the angle of the sleeve matches the inner profile of the trunk and needs to be fitted the correct way up. If you are unsure the sleeve gap should line up with the barrel key way at the bottom.

Now you can let go of the barrel and add the washer then the nut to the thread of the barrel. You will need a large socket to tighten the nut.


Now comes the only tricky part, fitting the catch. The catch only has two bolts one either side to hold it in place. The catch will need to be aligned up to the barrel bar which is flat on either side. Make sure the latch is over and vertical. I previously sprayed the catch a metallic silver for detail before I started any fitting work.

With the catch in place fit the bolts and tighten up. The adjustment is made on the fitting in the trunk. In theory you shouldn’t have to touch it, a simple job that finishes the back of the car.


About this point as I was finishing up Adam popped in and said that he was taking Jack on a well deserved trip to the local fun fair. I volunteered myself to start on the rear quarter windows. The only thing Adam advised was don’t do anything up as it will need to be adjusted regardless. I opened up the glass and the main frame that bolts inside the rear quarter. The multi compartment box that I keep my nuts and bolts in from each section suddenly looked daunting. The sides were marked up left side and right side obviously, but dozen bolts and brackets. I checked the fittings of the bolts to the winders and that accounted for four of them. The three larger bolts would hold the frame, that still left loads. After fitting the frame and bracket in place my memory wasn’t good enough refit the rest without a prompt.


Hang on a minute I am working in an Aladdin’s cave of cars here. So I took the torch and scouted for a car with the inner quarters exposed with the glass in place. I didn’t have to go far as there was a convertible without the side panel in place. I could get a good view of the parts where they went. The only trouble was, in what order did they go? I fitted all sorts of things to the window fitting itself and tried to slide it into the rails. Nope, it don’t fit. So I had to take the bits of then fit the window and try again. Numerous trips to the convertible later I started to come back to me. Adam as ever seems to have this sixth sense of the Calvary arriving when you need them. He told me the rubbers needed to be replaced and told me to remove the old one. A single screw that allowed the rubber to slide along the edge retainer part of the window. Once refitted we tried the glass and in it popped. Adam then noticed that the runner wheels were the old style and told me they were brittle and need to be replaced. Only two each side so that was not a problem. Except the pins, these had to be pulled out to release the rollers. a good pair of long-nosed pliers sorted that out. I removed the pins from the news ones and Adam started laughing. He told me to put the pin back in. I protested that “the pin…”, he cut me short and just said press it over. The leading edge chamfer of the pin would open the clip and allow it to clip in place at the bottom recess. Two seconds later “click” it was in place. I held my head in shame and laughter. ALL this time I had removed the pins and refitted the pins like a good boy, I didn’t need to. Why doesn’t anybody tell you these things in books? Still we managed to get the windows in and fit the remaining rails pretty pain-free after that. Then it was repeat the other side. By the time we had finished it was about time to go home. I was well chuffed (here’s that word again Debbie!) with the days work.


The windows wind up, and windows wind down fine, and all relatively easy considering there was very little grease at this point. The right hand side will need adjustment more than the left side as it’s very close to the bodywork. Once the trims are fitted the window will not move freely. But, for now I have a car with some more glass in it and it looks like a car again and not just a pretty coloured shell.


Who knows what next week has to offer? but I am looking forward to it regardless though. 🙂

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Raise a Glass Or Two

The good lady wife cleaned out the kitchen cupboards and moved a load of things around and found some bottles of drink we were given when we got engaged. We decided at the time to keep them for a special occasion as you do, and we put them right out-of-the-way for safe keeping and we promptly forgot about them, out of sight out of mind as it were. That special occasion day was today – they went down the drain as they had corked and smelt like vinegar when they were poured away. There is a message here, if you are given a nice drop of plonk – drink it while it’s still good. The others are OK but that’s not he point. I do however plan on opening a nice big bottle of champagne once I am holding that elusive MOT certificate for my car, then I can drive it legally, not after the drink of course, but you know what I mean. Oh, in case you are wondering – now things have been moved around, I can’t find anything!

The title suggests that I have been on the ol’ vino apart from what went down the drain, sadly that is not the case, but more about getting the rear quarter windows out of the car.  For the past two weeks I have taken a complete side of glass out, which includes the frame, brackets and bolts all of which were cleaned up, then the whole thing repeated for the other side. The task itself sounds pretty easy, but the main issue is getting the glass out through the top of the quarter panel opening. Once the glass has been separated it’s not to bad a job at all, the technique seems to be unbolt the frame, undo the glass and separate it apart inside the frame. The dexterity of hand and eye coordination is put to the test where you have to hold the glass, lift it out of the frame rack itself and then guide it out the top. The glass is not heavy but I am aware of the age of the glass and I didn’t want to knock it and crack it or worse still drop it. The fact that the winding gears had dried solid grease, Waxoyl all over them and general lack of maintenance sort of explains why nothing wanted to move very much. The cleaning was a nightmare getting the guide rails clear and removing the caked on Waxoyl. All this hard work nobody will ever see once it’s fitted back into the car.  As a result, my shoulders and neck ache for constantly looking down at it all, poor ol’ soul! But here is what I have been up too:

I have added a couple of before and after pictures as well. and I have added the full process under the Photos section or click here for the hyper link.

Right side glass

Left side glass

Left side glass track and frame

Both side winder mechanisms

The other thing I have tidied up today was a couple of boxes I had in from the USA a while ago which were some replacement dash gauges. These were in small boxes all over the place so I decided to make a little storage area for them. I had a sturdy box and created a cut out for each and placed them inside for safe keeping. A nice little idea, which I may turn into plastic instead of cardboard.

Quick links:

Photo Menu – Glass Work – Rear Quarter Window(s) Refurbishment or click here

Special Mention:

A special thanks goes out to Dana who has kept me laughing and motivated over the weekend. Pop over to check out her amazing blog.

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Busy Start To The Year

Back to work in the new year was a shock to the system after having a couple of weeks of I must say. I had almost forgotten what the alarm sounded like, but I was soon reminded with a sledgehammer to the ear drums when it went off. The day I retire I will take the alarm clock outside and I will give it such a good hiding for all the mornings it has ruined my slumber. Why do you have the deepest sleeps just before you go back to work and the alarm wakes you up?

Anyway, back to the car; The new year has started in a busy fashion and I intend to continue the pace, it’s been busy getting it ready for some body work after a conversation with Adam at Mustang Maniac.  The time  of over he holidays was used to complete a project I started on the twenty-fourth on November and that was the rust treatment of the floor pan, the hyper link is here for the full story. I originally started at the front foot wells and worked my way to the back of the car. It was finished on just before the new year, what remains are the side panels by the rear seats and the side frames.

In order for the body work to be ready, the right rear quarter window was taken out and the driver’s side will come out next weekend. Once they are out I can get to the inside of the panels and treat them with rust prevention, before the outside work begins. The rear quarter window work is under the Photos Menu – Glass Work – Rear Quarter Windows of click here for the hyper link.

Quick Links:

Photo Menu – Inside the Car – Floor Pan Rust Treatment or click here

Photo Menu – Glass Work – Rear Quarter Window or click here

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