Pretty Bits

The car was loaded up Friday night, full tank of gas and I was ready to rock. The weather was supposed to be nice so it wasn’t going to be a case of layers on layers again I’m glad to say. The trip to Mustang Maniac was uneventful and I couldn’t settle on a mood of music for the radio. I arrived and was greeted by Adam walking through a new gate that he has just had put in to make it easier to get to the yard from the offices. It has only just happened this week after a couple of years of nagging to get it done.

Anyway, I knew what my task was I was chomping at the bit to get going. The wires and dash need to be tidied up and the pretty bits fitted to the dash. Yes, I say pretty bits but what I meant was the essential bits. The wiper and light switches, ignition switch, cigarette lighter and heater controls. The first part was the lights as a big block that clamps on the back of the switch so it needed to be located and fixed in place before fixing it to the dash.

Dead simple to fit as the dash ring locates into a groove and the light switch is held to the dash by a centre screw in part. Once that part is fitted the long bar with the knob on the end just pushes in and clicks into place.

Next up was the windscreen switch, now this is an aftermarket switch and had to have an extra fitting screwed to it make sure the spacer cup was in the correct position and the knob didn’t stick out from the dash by about two inches. Again the dash ring is screwed into the middle to hold in place via the lugs at the bottom. While fitting the connections to the rear I remembered that there has to be an additional wire that runs to the washer pump from the switch. The Newport Wipers kit does not come with the wire nor did the AutoWire kit except for the washer connection due to the many configurations that there could be at the time of manufacture. To get round this I found a wire for a Variable Speed Sensor that would not be used for my car. I reallocated that wire to the washer pump and followed it back to the inside of the car. The VSS wire runs to the dash gauges so I cut the wire and again rerouted it to the wiper switch. A female spade connector was fitted and pushed in place on the back of the wiper switch, job done. The wiper switch is a pain because unlike the lights that have a large cross in the middle, you have to tighten wiper switch centre tube up with a pin in the way. To get round this I made a tool that fits over the top with two legs that twist the locking centre tube into place thus holding it to the dash. The pics here are outside the car to make it easier to see.

The tool was made from an old wiper blade not the cheap aluminium ones now days, but a real old solid one I had laying about. Anyway it worked although I bent it a bit still. The knob for this was a tiny 5/64ths Allen grub screw, having the correct key is important not to damage the fine flats inside the head.


The next part was the heavy wires for the ignition switch. This is again held in place by a spacing cup behind the dash and a set of locating lugs for the dash ring. There is a special tool that holds this in place while you locate the back of the switch. But I found that by thumb wedged in the hole and then twist the back to the dash ring via the spring, it clips in nicely with a reassuring click. The plug from the wire loom pushed onto the back and the tiny nut to hold the accessory feed and the plug in place is tightened up. The final part was simple cigarette lighter. This is a twist into position effort with a female bullet connector for the thread at the back for the live feed.

Now for the heater controls, this plate is located via two holes in the dash and two clamps at the back. The trick is to thread the control cables through the opening and direct them to the top of the heater box. Clamps at the top of the heater box hold the cables in place so that the levers can pull the wire freely in and out to operate the flaps on the box. This was a much quicker process that I thought it would be and was fitted in about fifteen minutes flat.


The ash tray was is slightly broken and if you pull it to hard from the mount then the it will come straight out. But, as I don’t smoke I wont be using it, so it’s there just to fill a hole and still be part of the original car. Two bolts on the side of the recess holds the bracket for the ash tray and two at the top hold it flat. Again another ten minute job. The ashtray slid in and looks a awesome colour matched to the dash. I will take it out and fix it at a later date when I have nothing better to do.

dash9While I was inside the car I took the courtesy light wires to the door jam switches and pressed them into the A pillars. A bit of a fiddle job making the wires disappear, but I will tidy that up a bit later once I know all is well.


That’s the inside done for now at least anyway. I decided to fit the washer pump into place with just two self tap bolts, but not connect the wires up just yet. I must say it looks quite good against the satin black.


While I was at it I thought I would screw a voltage regulator onto the inner front panel where they are supposed to be. Those that have been reading my blog from the beginning may remember that the American AutoWire kit requires a One Wire Alternator so the voltage regulator is not needed. As this is blown one that Adam had lying around he gave it to me. Just for show of course and the wire loom pig tail that goes with it will be a dummy set of wires into the main loom to give it that more stock look, all be it polished chrome. But shhhhh – don’t tell anybody as it’s a secret!


Time was drawing to a close so I fitted the two horns to the front of the car, just to free up some more space that don’t have to laying around in the way anymore.


I know I have more to do under the hood, that can be tidied up later as there is no rush right now. Next week I am not sure what I will be doing. All of a sudden the car seems to have moved on a big step forward. Perhaps it’s just the chrome going on blinding me for just how much work remains to be done. But for now I am well chuffed. 🙂

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A Little Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning during the winter, in the man cave.

Another weekend left to my own devices and I was able to get on with the seats that I had no intention of starting this weekend. Not sure why I started the seats but it’s probably something to do with the fact that the passenger seat was in the way on the work bench. The original drivers seat had collapsed and a good mechanic friend of mine (Will, from Park Garage) done me a big favour and welded the bits, literally six or so bits back together again for me. A quick lick of coloured paint was applied but I wanted to do it once more fully as I don’t intend to take the seats out again if I can help it that is.

I took this picture at the beginning of the paint process but I thought I would share it as little modern photography. I quite like it, even though it is of a driver’s seat frame!

frame springs
seat frame springs

Anyway, the tracks that were holding the seat in place and allow the frame to move were seized up big time. A little treatment with the Gibbs Brand sorted that out, but the old dried grease needed to be cleaned out as it was contaminated with dirt and other undesirable additives. Once that was done the frame was cleaned down of dust and the very light surface rust removed. I sprayed zinc anti rust self etch primer to the frame and the tracks ready for a black satin finish. The parts that I had taken of from the driver’s seat I also cleaned up and coated with Gibbs Brand ready for fitting back. Two of those bits ,the springs had stuck together and had to be bent slightly in order to free them up and make them flexible again. (Note the tenuous link to the spring cleaning here?) While cleaning the tracks out for the seat I used my home-made “Filler Removing” tool that I had made last week.

Note to Snap On (again): I appreciate you are busy this time of year and that you probably haven’t got round to drawing up the contracts just yet, but I am prepared to wait until the end of the year for a fat wad of cash – or just enough to cover my paint job, otherwise I may have to take my designs elsewhere, then you will be sorry. Obviously I don’t want to offer it elsewhere, but you might be forcing my hand here!

As this latest home-made tool is now obviously a multi-purpose tool, I was thinking of renaming it something more appropriate like: “Specific Corrosion Rust Extractor Workers Device, Removal, Insertion, Varying  Equipment Rod” or “SCREWDRIVER” for short! What do we think? (Ahhh C’mon, it took me ages to come up with that! lol) Any other ideas on what to call this special tool I have made?

The pictures here show the primer and the cleaning in progress before the top coats of satin black.

The second coat was applied in satin black and now looks like new. The rails were greased and now they move smoothly with a single finger.

I have a couple of weeks holiday owing to me over Christmas so I intend to tinker around on the car so I am not sure what I will be doing, but I reckon it will be nothing I have planned! I think I may topcoat the inside of the floor pan, not sure yet though. I may do under the rear seats but I am running out of the POR15 paint unfortunately. I hope Santa has at least a 473ml can for me. I have been a good boy.

Quick Link:

I have added the full set of pictures to the Photos Menu – Inside the Car – Seats, or click here for the hyper link.

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Black Friday

There is a lot of hype about the Black Friday & Cyber Monday with Pre-Christmas sales advertised all over the internet. I must admit I had a look and was a little surprised that the so-called “sales” were not as good as they made them out to be, at least here in the UK anyway or did I miss some bargains? I would love to know if it’s the same situation in the USA too, maybe the hype has worn off a little in the current economic climate? Black Friday now seems to be Black Weekend and a Cyber Monday thrown into the mix as well, almost a long weekend of sales according to most of the larger retailers to kick start the Christmas rush. So with this in mind I decided to have my own little Black Friday, the trouble is I am not selling anything or even buying anything, I am just using POR15 black paint. See what I did there? OK, it was bit (very) tenuous but I kinda liked it, it was also Saturday when I started it, but I did plan it on a Friday night so that still counts right?. Last weekend I started the front of the floor pan and this weekend I done the middle part up to the rear seat. The weather was cold, there was a snow alert from the car, but I still went out in a fleece and t-shirt to finish the rear section, ’cause that’s what real petrol heads do, I think, well that’s just before the stupid ones get a cold! Then they (me) put a jumper on when nobody is looking. I took the front seat out from the passenger side and pulled the carpet up. Yes, I knew there was filler there from when I purchased the car and looked her over, the filler was around the welding work and I thought no more of it at the time, now I decided to probe a bit further just to make sure. My home-made filler removal tool which may look like an old school screw driver that I had broken the blade on it, but don’t let this simple tool fool you. This precision engineered tool took me all of about three minutes to make and that included the thinking time. Firstly I ground the end down to a slight angle across the blade snow plough style. After making sure that the harsh jagged edges were removed, I rounded it of a little, but maintaining a little edge to dig in with. This new tool allowed easy digging out of the flexible filler and also scrape close to the metal without gouging lumps out of it.

Note to Snap – On Tools; please feel free to contact me for the full specifications of this tool, you can make these under licence from me at very reasonable rates, or any of my other home made tools come to that.

The floor pan was replaced before I purchased the car, that part restoration of the floor was a job that I didn’t fancy doing to be fair. But, knowing what I know now and the help I could have had from friends and professionals, maybe I would have had a go at it. The underside of the car has been under-seal sprayed, while the inside has been wax sprayed. The roof headliner area has also been sprayed, but to better standard than the floor pan had been done. In some places the wax spray was thick and in others areas it was almost not there. The welding of the pan is not the best or neatest I have seen, and this raised a little suspicion on my behalf. I removed a fair bit of the filler around the welds and the filler was there to patch up the uneven welding and the grinding, so it was not much of an issue apart from the cosmetics, which will be under a carpet anyway. There was however a patch of larger filler right in the corners that I wanted to investigate. Digging away (with my new tool, from the new line of, “One Man’s Tools Collection”), revealed a little patch of horrors and cover up of some rust sections. I removed all the filler from the area to expose the full extent of welding and find the bare solid rust that I could work with, Lucky enough it was all pretty solid enough but had just been covered over and not treated, done in a hurry I expect. Sloppy work. Now that the bare rust was exposed the POR15 I used on the front section was also going to be continued through to the middle section. Once I was happy with everything in the rust area and the surrounding metal area, I started the long three step process again; clean, prep, paint, sand & paint again. The POR15 was again done over the course of the two days this weekend, and todaythe weather held out enough for me to be able to push the car half out the garage to help me see better where I had been and missed between the coats. I have attached the process in photos under the menu heading Photos – Inside the Car – Floor Pan Rust Treatment, or click here for the quick link.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving on the other side of the pond.

Quick Links:

POR15 Rust Treatment Review

Floor Pan Rust Treatment

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