Stopping With The Times

First post of the year so I wish you a Happy New Year, also hoping that you had a great Christmas and well-earned break too. This year my wife and I decided to ask each other what we wanted for gifts and that we would stick to a reasonable agreed budget between us. The simple reason is that we have spent most of our cash trying to sort our house out and trying to pay some bills off for the materials we used. The wife’s list was around the usual girly pampering lotions and potions as expected. Mine revolves around the Mustang with its own lotions and potions for its pampering. My list only had a couple of bottles from Auto Finesse I wanted to try out, which I will review throughout the year with the other products I have to review, around twenty in fact that I haven’t as yet reviewed. To make up my options for the list I wanted to update the garage and a little gadget for the car, both of which she bought for me. 😀

As my Mustang just fits in the garage with about an inch at the front and just a few inches to the rear. I can park the car pretty well, but I am paranoid about hitting the back of the garage wall for obvious reasons. To try and protect the car from such an event the wall now has foam pipe lagging stuck on the wall with a large Snap On floor pad on top of that. To stop in the right place I normally rely on the good old-fashioned hanging ball to touch the windscreen and works perfectly every time, but it doesn’t look pretty.

I have been looking on-line for parking aids; tyre ramps, laser, twin lasers and ultrasonic variations. Lasers looked like to much of a hassle and didn’t give much of a visual aid. Tyre ramps would get in the way and could be moved when the car wasn’t on them, so that left ultrasonic. There are so many variables on the market, traffic light style or single red LED varieties. I liked the look of was the twin sensors and a box mounted at eye level that gave a count down to the final position.

The set up needed a flat surface or bumper to work correctly. The mustang has very little in the way of a truly flat surfaces. The only relatively flat surface I could think of was the number plate. Some of the other sensor styles need a minimal distance of 12″ or so. This particular model needs a minimum of 6″ inches and takes the closest of the two readings. The sensors will activate when they detect movement and the count numbers display. So you park the car where you want and a number will be displayed. You then drive to that number and stop. Simple.

I made a few test locations and pushed the car out and back in again a few times. Each time the box did exactly what it was supposed to do, counted down. From the back of he car I pushed the car forward and stopped at the mark ’07’ (inches). Perfect. It doesn’t look neat at the moment as I want to make sure the positioning is correct before I tidy it up properly.

How close do I have to park to the wall? This close!

I have written a review of the product and installation here. Or it can be found under the Accessory menu.

Now my sense of direction is legendary, it’s so bad I get lost going home! Honestly it’s true. With that in mind, the other item I wanted was a something quite common in modern cars which is a bluetooth connection, but not that common on a classic Mustang. There are multiple ways around my little issue, a new technology radio made to look old – an expensive option. A new modern replacement radio that needs a hole cut into the dash – a lot of damage to the original dash, but can be cheaper. Or a halfway house that I have; an original Mustang radio adapted. My particular radio was sold to me as working when I bought it from the USA via Ebay. By the time I got the radio and was able to test the unit it certainly didn’t work anymore. 😠 Anyway, a contact of Mustang Maniac helped me out by connecting an input from a 3.5mm jack plug wire. This means that an ipod or phone needed a physical connection. It worked fine, but I wasn’t a lover of having a wire from the dash, blame my OCD for that. Then a friend of mine then told me about this gadget that connects a bluetooth dongle receiver and then inputs that signal into the radio, a similar setup to what I had, although he had a modern radio. This means that I could connect my phone for music, or more importantly, a Sat Nav turn by turn prompt. I already have a great Tom Tom Sat Nav which I could stick on the window, again my OCD didn’t like it and so I had it mounted on the centre console, the trouble with that is that I had to look down at it now and again as I couldn’t hear it over the engine noise, not exactly safe. With this new option I could have my radio on connected via bluetooth to my Samsung S9+ phone using Google Maps with voice turn by turn. The built in dash speaker is much louder than the Tom Tom unit so I would be able to hear what direction I needed to now. I could have speakers in the door, in the kick panels or in the rear parcel shelf. Again all of which my OCD won’t allow of course. Now I have a tiny receiver hidden in the glove box that just needs to be turned on and off I go.

It works and I love it. I have also written a review of it here.

So my old school Mustang still looks stock, but now the media function has been upgraded into the modern world again. This latest upgrade goes with the other modern goodies like my LED lights front and rear, modern wire loom with blade fuses, electronic ignition, LED dash bulbs, voltmeter etc.

Any other good gadgets out there I need to know about? Please let me know. This List idea works great as you get what you want and not a pair socks to go in the draw with the rest. In fact I got a pair of socks as well – but they had the Shelby Logo on them so they are acceptable. 😀

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Bright Lights & Chrome

After a long week at work I didn’t think the weekend was ever going to get here. I had the car packed the night before to get to Mustang Maniac without any delays. Well that was apart from me dodging, rabbits, pheasants and any other form of livestock that decided that it wanted an early death by car! I managed to avoid all of them and my horn got used more time on that trip than the previous ten trips I reckon! Anyway I arrived to sea of people at the offices with Adam’s desk surrounded by customers at one point. I waited my turn to even say hello and discuss my plan of action. The plan was simple, rear bumper! This sounds like an easy task, but they can be a real pain if the bumpers are out of shape or don’t fit to the light panel. As the rear end of the car had been rebuilt this was going to be a moment of truth. I decided to take some pics of the process as I went along. I did get a helping hand from Yogi and Adam who popped in to see how I was doing. Apparently I was being a bit of wimp when it came to tightening the bolts up. The chrome bolts were sitting slightly proud and looked OK. The guys said that is not good enough and give it proper tightening up which pulled the bolts into the bumper and sat flush. The second side was a bit easier as I knew what to expect. I call it a learning process for me.

The whole set up comprises of a set of deluxe chrome bumper bolts, bumper irons (which I never had), mounting bolts and set of mounting pads to go between the bracket and the rear light panel.

The rear number plate fitting was screwed in first and only held in by two self tap screws. The wire will need to be long enough to get through the rear light panel to be connected to the rear side lights part of the loom.

Next up was the bumper irons, these will only fit one way and are shaped to the bumper itself with the angles.

The bolts are pushed through the squared out holes and the sprung washers are fitted over the bolts. Again these will only fit one way up due to the collar on the chrome bolts.

The bracket has to be massaged into place to fit the irons and to try to get the bolts to sit flat. This a bit of an art that I didn’t have before. Yogi loosened it all off and readjusted the positions and cranked on some pressure, this was to collapse the bumper washers to the irons forming a good fit, and to also pull the bolts down into the bumper itself. rbump11Both sides are exactly the same and there is no left or right hand sides on these parts. The mounting bolts are put through a large washer pushed out the light panel, a mounting pad made of dense foam goes over the bolts. The pads are tight around the bolt and will hold it in place to the light panel. The two-man job to align the bumper to the bolts goes without question, and the top bolts are tightened finger tight to hold the bumper in place. At this point Chris was extra set of eyes sitting further back behind the car to advise, “up a bit, down a bit, over a bit, wooo – too much” etc. This turned out to be a great help. We needed to move the bumper over a bit as it wasn’t exactly central so Yogi give it little nudge to adjust it up before the final tension on the bolts was done up. From underneath the bumper you can see the bolts into the irons. The two bolts each side are able to move inside the slots for the bolts to allow some movement to align them up. A trick of the trade was used to help align the bumper, but I have been sworn to secrecy on that one. I will say that it’s a great trick though.

rbump12

The down side is photo’s couldn’t really be taken as we were holding the bumper. The result was brilliant, a fantastic fitting bumper, as good as I have seen anywhere. Well chuffed with it.

rbump16

The rest of the day was involved in me completing the wiring at the back of the car and wrapping it with loom tape. As the LED light board had its own wires I soldered the connections in place to remove any opportunity for a poor connection. Heat shrink tubing was used to seal the soldered wires and then the full loom wrap. All of which you won’t see because it hidden out-of-the-way. Just a minor detail that nobody will see or notice except for the people who know, such as the MM guys who won’t let me get away with shoddy workmanship! Adam wanted to check out the rear loom was working fine and he used the Power Probe to make the LED boards in place.

Back up lamp.

backuplight

Side Lights.

sidelights

The indicator lights never seem to show up as amber very well on these pictures, but trust me they are bright.

indicators

The Brake lights are very bright too, so a huge upgrade to the standard Mustang lights.

brakelights

All in all a great day as a major part was fitted and it looked like I done something. Next week I’m not so sure what I am up too, but I have some more under hood tidying up to do. It’s all part of the adventure of bringing the car back to life. Waiting for next week already! That moment of truth of was talking about earlier on – no need to worry, it all fitted up without any major issues.

Thanks to the Guys, Adam, Yogi for the extra pair of hands and Chris for the extra pair of all-seeing eyes. 🙂

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Lighting the Way

During the shortened week after the bank holiday Mustang Maniac was calling to me in my thoughts. I just wanted to get down to the workshop and get going on my car. Not sure what was going to be done, but it couldn’t be much more mechanical stuff. The yard was in a bit of chaos as the cars and trucks from the Enfield Pageant were all over the place and being moved around. I had a conversation with Adam and we decided that the weekends work was going to be lights! I didn’t have my headlight bowls with me so it was now going to be a case of rear lights and side lights. I had to make a decision what I wanted, that was an easy one – LED’s. Then it started to get a little more complicated with front lights how I wanted it to look. To be honest I hadn’t paid that much attention to that part yet as I thought it was a way off yet. So Adam showed me the options and the differences and the choices were made.

That all means that pretty functional bits are going on the car! I was loaded up with parts and variations there of. I excitedly took them to the workshop.  First up was the front park lights, the fitting had a default orange lens in place but I wanted the cleaner look of white lights as the orange would clash with the blue. The park lights are also the indicator lights so I needed orange there. This is where Adams LED bulbs come into play. They are the same fittings and screw straight into the housing.

The clear lenses also have the “FoMoCo” logo, the pink arrow in the side by side comparison pic below shows the logo. Adam tells me that he has lost count of the number of people who fit them upside down! The indicator part of the bulbs has the orange LED’s the drive lights are clear white. Problem solved there then. Before we started I got out my new gadget that I had seen the guys use before. Power Probe, this is an electrical tool that allows you to check connections and positive or negative activate a part to work. In other words you connect the earth and power to the probe and press a switch and touch the item which then comes alive.

We installed the bulb and tested them out with the probe before fitting it. So far so good.

The housings have the gaskets inside for the lens to bite onto. I have just rested the lens of the orange one in place to get a comparison. Yes there will be people saying it’s not correct etc. But, I want the clean look so that is what I am going to put on.

The wires were bound up with the wire loom tape then the rubber gasket was fitted. Each of the lights will only fit left or right hand side correctly. The same goes for the gaskets that have to be located in place with a cut out.

The wires slip through the front valance and are threaded up to the main headlight area. the back of the fitting has a semi circular bracket held in place by two screws.

Repeat for the other side in exactly the same way.

sidelight26

The rear back up lamps are almost identical to fit together. This time I was going to use the ordinary tungsten bulbs as the amount of time they will be on is not worth the upgrade, I could at a later date if I wanted to of course. The only difference here is that instead of a semi circular bracket these fittings are domed washers that move around to locate the best angle to the rear valance. This will then be tightened up with as small socket as you did for the front.

The drive and brake lights are little bit more involved. The reflector is an insert from the outside sitting on a gasket. The reflector housing is bolted to the back via four bolts and a pronged rear light washer to hold it in place. ordinarily the bulb just presses in and it’s a job done. But as I am having LED’s the board site on the outside of the reflector rendering that part obsolete. To make the fitting of the lights easier the rear fender end caps were removed and the gaskets replaced. Hands up how many people knew there was a gasket between the two? Not me I didn’t know, there is supposed to be a gap between them and not pulled up dead tight. A custom-made grommet was fitted in the centre of the reflector along with a sealing mastic to stop the damp getting to the LED board. If you notice in each of the corners a tine screw is put through the bezel and only tightens a couple of turns which stops a fraction short of the paint work. But over the years the tiny screws got lost a larger self tapper screws were just wound through the rear panel.

sidelight24

The Power Probe was out again and the lights were tested before the final fitting. I have an impromptu video of the event that I will place on YouTube as soon as I get round to editing it. The boards all worked fine. There is a modification that needs to be made in order to make the LED’s work. An extra wire from the brake switch has to be routed to the back of the car so there are four wires and not just two or three. I haven’t soldered the switch wire yet, I suspect that will be next week. To fit the LED board in place, a thin gasket layer applied to the back to hold it in place on the housing.

A foam gasket seal is placed on the board front, the lens is fitted into the bezel and tightened up to housing, this is a bit of a tricky operation. Did I mention these are the posh “FoMoCo” logo lenses. I think I wiped Adam out of his stock of them now. Don’t worry he has more on order if you wanted some.

sidelight31

Both sides fitted and it now looks like a part finished car.

Just before the Enfield Pageant last week I looked inside my car and found a little prezzie waiting for me and I just had to share it. The guys at MM and their customers who I have also got to know quite well now, they know I like a bit of cleaning and painting of old bits to look new. My blog is full of it. So as a joke one of them left this in the car with a note; “As you like painting bits I thought you would like this. Enjoy …….” Lance’s name was on the compliment slip, but I won’t mention it was him. Dohh!! A brilliant sense of humour and I thoroughly enjoyed it, to be fair I do dish a fair amount out too so it has to be expected. But I will think of a way to mess with his mind in return. 🙂

colouringbook

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A Confused Weekend

The weekend was the start of the winter and it looks like the first frost of the winter was on the cars overnight. The weekend on the car revolved around me messing with wires and cables in the car, in the garage. I managed to pick up a rather nice inline fuse kit that will display a red LED light if the fuse has gone, that way there is a visual guide to the potential issue instead of hunting for it in some very tight places like the back of the dash. The fuse holder itself is rated at a max of twenty amps and came supplied with four fuses, the choice was the lowest at five amps as there is no draw of current. If anything went wrong I would hope it takes the fuse out before any damage is done to the rest of the dash. the fuse holder is also splash proof so could be used under the hood for a pretty water tight fused connection. Has anybody used one of these before?

As the weather was so poor I decided to clean the main car in the afternoon on Sunday before it rained as the car was filthy dirty. As it was getting late I didn’t have time to do a full wash, shampoo, leather, wax & polish which is obviously the choice. With the time restraints I decided to use a product called “Showroom Shine” which I purchased from one of those shopping channels a couple of years ago and have been using on and off since then. They had a good deal on a couple of one litre bottles of the polish and cloths at the time. As I was cleaning I had a thought and yes it was a dangerous thing for a man to multi task as the women say. That thought was how about writing a review of it. I had no intention of reviewing it, but then again, why not? The results can be found here for the quick link or under the menu; Consumable Reviews – Showroom Shine. There are a few places that stock it now and online but Mustang Maniac have now started to stock the product on a trial basis as well. Is it any good? Read the review and find out.

front of bottle
front of bottle

 

Quick link:

Consumable Reviews – Showroom Shine

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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.

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Bonus weekend

Well I have been tidying the man cave up and getting ideas in my head in order to review or comment on. The fenders were a tiny bit tacky but workable. Not sure if that is what Carplan Tetroseal mean by dry. I removed the shower curtain from under the fender and rolled it up.

Tip: If you are going to spray I use a shower curtain that are real cheap to buy and spray on that, the spray wont go through as its water proof!

I have added the review of the Ring Solar Battery maintenance charger here and another book not a manual this time; Mustangs 1964 1/2 – 1973 review here, or you can get them from the menus to the right. Take a look and leave a comment or put in a request. I have added another forum page to enable you to put requests in for things I could review, thats if I have them of course or will be getting them.

I will probably try to get the fenders on next weekend and get the front grill sections ready for rubbing down and filling.

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