A Round Of Golf?

Another weekend almost over but I managed to get work done on the car. I also managed to get a service done on the wife’s car, her cherished VW Golf. We purchased all the parts on Saturday morning, the air filter, oil filter, oil etc and I was left to my own devices on Saturday afternoon to do it all while she went out again. It did feel strange having to get my metric tools out from the different Snap On drawer and not the imperial sets though. The air filter was encased in a massive slap of plastic on top of the engine. There were more pipes and wires coming out of the engine than a robot research facility. To get to the spark plugs it was a performance as there was a channel of wires with their own coils attached at the top. They were hidden under another plastic trunking system, that in turn had wires attached to it all over the place. The whole thing was nightmare.

What I am getting at here is the basic principle of the engine has not changed at all. The cylinders are there, the pistons, the spark mechanism etc. OK, the engines may have gotten bigger and smaller, they may have changed shape a little in configuration, the ideal number of cylinders is still in debate. Fuel injection is squirted into the cylinders, four valves instead of two. But why hasn’t technology moved on to the principle itself? Yes we will have electric cars eventually but not for a while yet, that will be a major leap. The Mustang’s air filter sits on top of carburettor held on by a single wing nut, that sits on top of an inlet manifold with four bolts, it draws in fuel and mixes it, burns it then chucks the waste out the back. Fuel injection mixes it with the air and burns it and chucks it out the back. Same thing, OK, so it’s more efficient now, but I feel at home under the hood on the older engine. The new engines have computer this, and wire that, control box this. Are they more reliable? I don’t think so. If my Mustang timing goes out a bit, dust of my timing gun, turn the distributer and re-tighten. Done. New car, download the software, plug-in an expensive decoder, type in what you want. Reset the warning light on the dash. unplug unit and write out a huge bill. Luckily I have a great mechanic Will at Park Garage who looks after my modern cars for me when they play up, but I know he loves the classics too. I’m sure he would rather get a socket set on a v8 header than plug-in a laptop! What has happened to computers in the last forty years? Size of a building to start with, now there is more technology in a cell phone than put man on the moon.

Once tuned up a forty-seven year old Muscle Car will give a vast majority of modern cars a run for their money, even if they don’t it will give you a bigger smile while driving it than a plain old euro box! I didn’t enjoy the round of Golf as I did working on my car. There was no sense of achievement, or is it just me?

Sunday I worked on my car, well the parts in the Man Cave at least. The rain made sure I wasn’t gonna push her out the garage for today anyway. I was just tinkering around and decided to polish the chrome on my factory option aircon unit. That little polish gave me a great idea I will share with you. The front of the unit has the classic “camera case” black dimpled look. It had worn almost down to the bare metal around the dials and the nozzles. Now the chrome sparkles and the black suddenly looks wrong. I had this idea a while ago to polish it with black boot polish, it didn’t work and just rubbed straight off. Can you see where I am going with this now? Today I thought why not spray it? There is chrome lettering on the front as well as the badge. These would need to be masked off to stop the over spray. What black would I use, gloss, undercoat, primer? The original black is a matt black or a dull satin from what I can see. With the decision made I got out some plastic sheets, (ok it was a thin packaging bag), not the paper masking kind like you should use in a spray shop. I used the electrical insulating tape as that can be moved a little in place and was such a smallish area and fiddly to do. I masked it all up and done a tiny test spray with Eastwoods Under Hood Satin black on the back of the unit near the top out-of-the-way. Once it dried it looked brilliant. I completed the masking up at the front, I removed the old air direction nozzles and sprayed the front with a couple of very light spray passes. It still left the dimpled finished as the original had, but just blackened up the front. I still wanted the authentic look and I believe I now have that. All that is left to do is get some artists paints mix up the colour and paint in the colours of the badge. Try doing that on a modern car!

The best part of the whole thing is I found a date stamp on the back of the unit – 28th June 1966


 Finished Article:

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Here are some pictures of the process, the full guide of what and how I did it can be found under the Photos – Inside the Car – Factory Aircon Tidy Up. The pics here don’t really show how thin the paint was as you can see the bare metal underneath.

Quick Link:

Factory Fitted Aircon Tidy Up click here.

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Shocked & A Little Hacked off

The weekend has been busy for me again. The wife is so busy I can hardly get on my PC, so I have resulted in using my Galaxy Note 10.1 tab, bluetooth keyboard and a shared internet connection. Everything takes that bit longer unfortunately, but at least I can still work on my blog only at a lower pace. Anyway, as I hadn’t seen Adam for a few weeks I made my monthly pilgrimage to Mustang Maniac, the excuse I made was, “at least I will be out of your way!” With that the “Day Pass” was issued, gratefully accepted by yours truly and I was off. Once I arrived I was speaking to the guys who were showing me the new improvements that were going on to cope with the demands for their work. I believe a blog will be coming out about it soon. After a good few hours of chatting, meeting people coming into the office and watching a few last-minute repairs on a customers car by fitting of some nice LED bulbs to the side lights on a ’66 coupe. I had a wander round the stock rooms. I spotted some rear shocks that had just arrived so nabbed a pair of them pretty sharpish and immediately decided what was going to be my new project for Sunday.

My current shocks were a gas adjustable pair, the only problem is, there is no plumbing for the right hand side and the left hand side is seized solid. I knew these had to be changed regardless, and as the wife was still working, I took tools along with my new shock absorbers out the garage to get some work done. I have written a full process for changing the shocks under Photos Menu – Rear Shock Replacement or click here for the quick link. To cut a long story short, if you pardon the pun, I ended up having to cut one side of the old shock stem off with a hacksaw, in order for me to get it out of the bracket. Not exactly proper mechanics, but as I wasn’t going to keep the old shocks it didn’t really matter. The trouble is it just doesn’t look good with a pair of legs hanging out the front of a garage with that distinctive sound of a hacksaw on metal. The new shocks were a performance rated pair, and according to Adam they are a lot of shock for not a lot of money. On top of that they looked quite good too being all in white. The only thing I could say was that I was worried yet again by the fact that the previous efforts of the “Herbert” to restore this car were a bit of bodge job to say the least. Spanner points rounded off, nuts loose on top of the shocks and at the bottom, old parts just left in the recesses etc. What else am I going to find? Plenty I expect, but don’t worry, I will let you know when I do find something else!


After all the work was done there is nothing quite like replacing parts that look good and can be seen by somebody else for a change, and above all, these parts will do the job properly. I was well pleased with the weekends work in all. The car no longer bounces like a baby cradle one side and up on stilts the other side. In fact I far from hacked off, even though I had to do some to get the job done. 🙂

Quick Link:

Photo Menu – Rear Shock Replacement click here.

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More Fender work and another book review

Today was cold, wet and miserable. So that could only mean one thing!

Playtime in the man cave and work on the car fender. I wrapped up warm, two tee-shirts, one jumper, one fleece and one old work coat. Ok I was warm but I looked like the Michelin man! I managed to knock off the old cracked underseal on the wing, and use the drill with a wire brush attachment to remove the loose and flaky bits. The old bits of road tar came of in no time. I had fun and games trying to remove the aerial though. The previous owner had tried to remove the damaged ariel and had rounded of the screw head! cheers for that. So I had to drill the centre out to get it out. Still, out now and the prep work has been done. Tomorrow I will put the first coat of the POR15 on with any luck.

I have added another book review “Mustang 1964 1/2 – 1973 Restoration Guide”, not really a book, but more of a collection of exploded diagrams. It’s an awesome manual and one of my favorite reference guides to see what went exactly where. Go to the link button or click here.

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