Face Lift

A hot sunny day was promised for my weekend and I was looking forward to doing some work at Mustang Maniac. What we had planned was to fit the rear bumper, that meant that the car was loaded up with my big shiny bits that had been hanging on the wall for the last two years. I arrived all nice a cool as the Aircon had been on full whack all the way down there. You may have noticed that I am in a different workshop now. I have been promoted! I am now in Adam’s finishing workshop where there is more room to have the doors open and not worry about the sides.

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A conversation with Adam about the plan for the day changed slightly. We decided it was time to put the lights into the front of the car and tidy up the wire loom. Of course the wire loom work means that there is virtually no difference to look at except the people who know. I mentioned to Adam that the wire loom wasn’t long enough to go to the right hand side of the car for the lights. Adam looked at the routing I had done for the wires which was lovely and neat and tidy by the way, and said they were in the wrong place that’s why. Originally I had ran the light loom through the chassis under the radiator to keep it all neat and hidden. Trouble is that the depth to go down the lower front chassis and back up again behind the battery meant I  was about eight inches to short to meet up with the side or park lights. The main headlights would be fine as the wire was plenty long enough, so as I didn’t want to cut into the wires a re-route of the cable was the only option. I replaced the loom tape with the much nicer cloth loom tape to match the rest of the loom now, oh by the way – I seem to have shares in wire loom tape company now, the shares have shot up since I started on my car. With the routing in place where it originally should be the cables reached fine and I could actually cut them down a bit to the correct length.

Replacing the Head Lights

If you need to replace the parts like I did as most had gone to the great scrapyard in the sky then there are complete packs for the headlight assembly.

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The headlight bulbs are mounted behind the headlamp door which in turn exposes the retaining ring which is nice shiny bit of chrome, if you’re lucky. To replace the sealed beam is a fairly quick process, four screws on the headlight door and the three on the retaining ring. The bulb will fall forward and pull the loom plug off the back of the three spade connections. To refit, repeat the process in reverse. The bulbs I would be using are the H4 sealed unit bulbs to retain that stock look on the glass lens. There are modern alternatives that can be used in place but could require the bowl to be cut to allow them to be fitted correctly. As I have LED’s at the front so I will use them as daylight running too.

What I aim to do here is to show the complete headlight rebuild with the Scott Drake hardware kit. Attach the four new clips to the outside of the headlamp assembly making sure they are the correct way round with the threaded part to the back. Once these snap into place they can moved around by a couple of millimetres to enable the headlamp door to align to the fender correctly.

The next part is slightly more tricky as the adjustment studded threads have to be fitted. The retaining clips for the studs has a white washer/nut in the middle. These clips are pressed into the holes at the top and side for the adjustment. The legs on each side stop the fittings falling through the to the back of the buckets. With the legs on the front side the backing part of the fitting needs to be pressed behind the headlamp bucket assembly. If these are to tight bend the legs slightly forward to enable the fitting to sit further back into the hole and allow it to slip behind the back plate into place. There is a small amount of movement here to allow the bowl to fit.

There are two long threaded studs that have a recessed groove at the top. Screw the two studs into the nylon washer/nuts a few threads.

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Next it’s the headlight bowl itself, the only tricky part of this is the spring which I will explain in a couple of mins. Around the outside of the bowl there are two cut out lugs and a rectangle cut out. The lugs will locate in the collar of the studs. This will enable you to wind the stud either way to adjust the angles of the beam now.

The bowl is a loose fit at this point, so a spring is required to pull the tension against the studs and to stop the lens itself moving around. The spring is located into a hole at the back of the bucket and pulled through the bowl opening at the bottom to create the tension. Previously I had made one of the spring tools, but as I had left it at home it was the old school way of a fitting, a good ol’ pair of pliers. If you are going to use pliers, I would strongly recommend a long nosed pair of pliers with a very good grip. The spring itself is quite strong and needs a little bend just to get the hook of the spring over the edge of the bowl into the retaining eye.

With the bowl now in place you can add the bulb. Attach the loom connections to the back of the bulb and massage the wires into place at the back of the housing. (I couldn’t get pictures of this part as I didn’t want to drop the bulb).

Holding the bulb in place fit the chrome ring around the outside of the bulb lens and to the bowl, screw lightly into place on the bowl to stop the bulb falling out. Repeat with the other two screws.

The bulb is now in place and needs to be aligned up correctly. If the bulb is just a replacement then it should not need to be an adjusted. Adjust the beam with the studs to angle the lens on two axis points.

With the ring screws now in place, in future you should be able to unscrew each retaining screw a few turns so that the chrome ring will twist a little and lift over the head of the retaining screws.  This obviously makes it much easier for replacing the bulbs at a later date.

Once the bulb is aligned the last job is to refit the headlight door. Screw into place lightly and align the headlight doors back up with the with the fenders bevelled edges. That’s it – job done, quite simple.

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The wire loom took up most of the day and to route the cables nicely. The bulbs on the other hand didn’t take long and have given the car a complete facelift and now it looks like a mustang again, even without the grill. We connected the battery up and checked the park lights and they worked fine. The main headlights didn’t work yet as they needed to have an earth connection under the dash for the relays. But, it was exciting to see the car spring to life with the lights, almost as if she winked at me!

Thanks to Adam & Yogi who showed me the tips and tricks of the trade fitting the headlights.

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Smooth Lines

The weekend took an age to arrive be fore I could get down to Mustang Maniac. I have been kept up to date with the progress of my car via teaser emails from John. The car is now in a very strong position to be taken from the supporting jig and mounted onto the transporting dolly or trolley, a big moment for my car. This also frees up the panel shop and the jig for the next little lady who needs it. Now maneuverable, the car can be moved around as required, especially important when she comes to be being painted of course.

On a personal note this was a huge milestone for me as it seems to be less of a permanent fixture in the workshop and shows that the work so far is at an acceptable standard to move onto the next stage.

The car had the fenders attached and aligned up to the doors and the hood. The story as you are well aware by now is to strip down the panel(s) to see what lies beneath the paint and then make a decision on what needs to be done.

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Last week I stripped down both fenders, things were looking pretty good. The left hand side fender was inspected for the filler prep the few dents were not to bad to look at, but the metal had stretched to a point that it would pop in and out just above the wheel arch with the filler removed, the same scenario as the left hand side door. So the the decision was to replace the wing unfortunately. The amount of filler and man hours to repair the fender was possible, but the man hours to make it paint ready was not going to be viable and the results could be questionable after paint. But, on the positive side this new fender will last the test of time. The new left fender fitting was good apart from the back sculpture of the fender to the door where the gap was a little out, so the MM boys being perfectionists that they are, made a little cutting and fabrication along a little metal work magic from Terry who gently refabricated the correct shape for the door – fender gap.

Terry made the repair to the bottom of the right side fender and welded the freshly fabricated new section as the bottom was a little peppered with rust holes. The repair was ground down and a light filler applied to protect the join. The headlight recess was repaired to make the rusted out odd shaped cable hole circular again via a new drilled out plate that was welded in its place.

The rear quarters were leaded up and rubbed down properly. The rusted parts of the windscreen were repaired with new lead work as the original lead had cracked. More of the same lead and ground out rust parts along the lower water channels to the windows frame at the rear. Once the lead had been rubbed down a final top coat of filler was applied.

With all the panels aligned and fitted the next job was the look and especially the feel of the panels, any minor imperfections were not going to be acceptable by the guys as it would show in the paint, so a little filler would be required which we knew would be the case. The leaded and brazed areas were now given a coating of filler and Terry worked to fill, rub down, add more filler and build it all up again in order to meet their high standards. A spray of dye coat or guide coat, was then applied to the first batch of filler. Later on this would be rubbed down to 500g ready for the fine paint prep work to begin.

Yogi started some filler on the top of the right fender where there were a few minor dents, I was given another master class on smooth filling and rubbing down with the aid of dye coat. It’s really annoying when these guys make it look so easy. The filler was applied so smoothly the amount of waste and rubbing down was minimal. Yogi did get a bit dusty, for which I received some grief I might add, all because it was a Saturday! Sorry Yogi, but it was funny! 🙂

Once I had seen enough to realise that the pecking order had been reasserted when it came to filler work I got on with my job, to remove the last persons efforts of filler work on the hood and see what lies waiting for me under the red oxide primer. The hood was placed on their panel work frame ready to start work as I put on my gloves. I wanted to start on the leading edge of the hood where all the primer was, if it was beyond repair it would be here was it filler or holes? I was about to find out.

As more paint came off and there was only a little filler that was found, the smile on my face got bigger. That was only half the story as the underside could be a big issue. The underside was unbelievably hard to get off, the heat of the engine maybe I don’t know but I was going through stripper like you wouldn’t believe. At 6pm Adam came to see how I was doing and helped me get the last bits of paint off. All was good, except for my back which was killing me.

We flipped the  hood over and the surface had started to get a little surface rust very quickly, so we went back at the surface again with wire wool and washed it all down with a good dose of thinners and a light coating of WD40, just for now. If you look closely at the front edge just to the right of the sculpt line there is a dent, this just happens to be the size of a palm print, common when the hood gets shut apparently over the course of time. But in general I am pleased to say the hood is in good shape. it will need some mastic to bond the frame and the skin together on the underside, but that wont take to long. Chris was back with me for a little while who kindly cleaned up the headlight doors which were in a good condition, so I was happy with that. Thanks to Adam, Yogi and Chris who all helped me out today.

The last couple of bits they had done was the dash and door. As the dash will fit the ’64 – ’66 Mustangs the gauge recess was generic. But, for the five gauge GT dash from ’65 (as an option) to ’66 it would not fit so the small cut out was made to accommodate the larger speedo. I have circled it so you can see it a bit clearer.

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The right hand door was lightly shot blasted back to bare metal in order for the light contours around the door cards to be painted properly.

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Sunday was a day of dusting things off, degreasing the metalwork that had been stored in the man cave and spraying them in them in red oxide, over the top of the anti-rust paint of course. These bumper irons will match the chassis when they are bolted into place.

Yes it’s another big post, but a lot happens in a few days when the MM guys get going. Once the car gets to paint then things may slow down a little and mechanical things will need to be done! quite what that will be I will wait and see.

Note:

McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes and Hob Nob biscuits are a popular choice with the guys, so I am looking for sponsorship from McVitie’s as they go through the stash of supplies I take down every weekend! How much are the McVitie’s shares???

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A Change of Scenery

After time at work we decided to go away for a few days to give ourselves a change of scenery and a break. We booked some real nice hotels we liked the look of. We stayed in Surrey, London and Windsor. During our stop overs I was dragged around Kensington Palace, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and a couple of boat trips up and down the Thames. All were very good except Kensington Palace which I thought was a complete rip off. In fact I would say my Man Cave was more luxurious with the Mustang posters about the place than the dodgy postcards they were flogging in there. The London hotel was brilliant and I couldn’t ask for more. I was especially pleased with the breakfast for some reason; I could have what ever I wanted and however much I wanted, I got my monies worth. I was such a good boy that I surprised myself being dragged around the shops, in the hot sun not moaning and just carrying what ever was bought. It was like a camel in the desert, I got bought drinks and ice creams most of the day and I carried on humpin’ the bags about as normal again. I have taken lots of photos and thought I would post a few on here to see what people think. I’m no photographer but I like to take pictures, hopefully they look OK. And yes, I am ashamed to say that I did look like a tourist in my own capital city. *shakes head slowly*

I have been busy doing bits on the car, like finishing the wire wrapping with tape, sanding the valance etc. I have also paid a visit to Mustang Maniac to get more Gibbs Brand Lubricant and smaller bits for the car. There will be a review of the Gibbs Brand Lubricant soon, trust me you really do want to try this stuff inside the home too. I have every intention to replace the car door hinges this week, but I will have to see how it goes as I have a few jobs lined up for me from the wife, like finish the tiling in the downstairs cloakroom, finish some painting in the utility room, finish the flower beds I started etc. Notice a pattern here?  It’s funny because I don’t leave half a job on the car unfinished. But as my darling wife puts up with a lot from me I don’t mind doing a few jobs I started a couple of years ago, as long as it don’t interfere with Marts Mustang time that is. It may be a coincidence that unfinished jobs started at around the same time I got my Mustang.

I have been busy making another home-made tool, this time it’s a headlight spring tool. To hold the headlight bucket in place there is a fairly strong spring that has to be pulled to the bucket to hold the bulb in place. I have seen pictures of this tool but I have not managed to buy one. So I thought I would make one, this was pretty simple to be honest as it was a thin flat head screw driver I heated up and bent the tip over in stages with my blow lamp. I think it looks quite good! I bet the company didn’t know they now make specialist Ford Mustang tools as well!

I have added the review for the Sealey VS402 Vacuum Brake Bleeding Kit under the Review Menu – Tools, as I have had a few looks at the page under construction, so I thought I better finish it off!

Quick Links:

Home made Headlight Spring Tool – click here

Sealey VS402 v2 Vacuum Brake Bleeding and Testing Kit – click here

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What Have I learned?

What have I learned about Christmas 2012?

Just what did I learn? Bearing in mind that I have already been given my Chrome Bumpers for Xmas, I wasn’t expecting anything else for christmas. I had accidentally gave a few presents a prod under the tree, just as I happened to be turning the tree lights off. It was all a big coincidence really 😉 Anyway, Xmas morning we sat down to open our presents, I opened a few items, like new pliers, club hammer and a spirit level (make a mental note 1. at this point). Then I got a Fuel cut of clamp, Interior trim screw set, Headlight Trim kit, Headlight mounting kit all from Scott Drake. I also got a full Brake hardware kit, Radiator shroud with mounting bolts and a Monte Carlo bar.  All awesome stuff. (Make mental note 2. at this point). How did she know? Well I have a spread sheet on my PC of everything I have spent so far, what I intend to spend in the way of parts going forward and a wish list. I know it’s sad, but the blog is a visual and a written record of what I am doing and then the spread sheet is for the finance manager, my wife.

Ok, so it goes like this, (mental note 2. to be recalled here), while I was at work and working on the car (parts) in the shed, it appears that the missus, my better half, has been studying my spread sheet. I have been so particular about it all, I have a hierarchy of projects I need to do and what I need to do them. I have noted down who has the parts and from where. Mostly from one place, but I will get to that in a moment. So, as I was saying, she has contacted my good mate Adam at Mustang Maniac, who she has been in contact with and arranging things with for a while. Adam was kind enough to open up especially for her to pick the parts up from him so I had them in time for Xmas. Now me, being daft as a brush, I hadn’t twigged any of this until I got to the second or third present, thinking to myself – this is all just what I wanted. It was after I realised what had been going that she told me the full story of what had been going on. So, if you’re reading this Adam – Thank you for looking after her and sorting out my most excellent Xmas presents.

The not so good bit, (mental note 1. required now), as I was in a moment of weakness admiring the new parts for my beloved classic, she slipped in the immortal words, “for the rest of my Xmas present you can paint the bathroom for me.” Before I knew it – I had agreed. As Homer Simpson would say, and I had just said – Dohh! To be fair it does need it. So there you have it. I have given up valuable Mustang time, while still full of mince pies to paint a bathroom. Considering what I got and the effort she had gone too – it’s more than a fair deal. 🙂 The silver lining of this darkest of clouds that looms heavy above me, it’s not a to big a room to paint so it shouldn’t take to long.

So did I answer the question? I don’t think so. To re-emphasize the point, the wife is a lot smarter than me at playing these secret games than I am, or ever will be! To top that she knows how to play me. Women, who would have ’em? as long as they were all like my wife – ME!

The car:

My car now has a new radiator shroud to go in, new headlight hardware, mounting kits for the headlights, full set of brake hardware to go on, a set of interior screws to go in and a front end strengthening Monte Carlo Bar. I cant wait to get out there and put it all on. I can feel a review of  shroud coming on! The car has had a good Xmas, as have I.

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