A Refreshing Look?

Yesterday I had tried to add a couple of items to my menu bar and I ended up breaking it. 🙁 I managed to get it back again to a normal state but’s not how it was. I was getting constant ‘gateway errors’ and the menus wouldn’t update. I have since been in contact with WordPress Help a couple of times, and they informed me that the theme that I had been using is now eleven years old. I nearly fell out of my comfy office chair when that flashed up on my little chat window.

The task for today was to hunt through all the themes that are out there to see if I could get one to work. I had a priority list of must haves; the image header, custom text colours, post options and of course how it looks and feels.

I found a few but settled on this one. I have been able to edit everything I needed with a the help of a couple of plugins that I need in order to make it all work. So far so good.

Except the header image which is playing me around. 😡

The image I’m trying to use is this one from the pro shoot in Cambridge, which has my blog title and tag line on the picture. The heading space wouldn’t allow both a picture and site tittle for some reason.

The heading looks fine on a couple of browsers Chrome/Firefox and the occasionally on Edge. It works on the mobile phone with the menus via a drop down so it’s much cleaner look too.

If you look at the new design can you please let me know if you have any issues with it, either half showing or heavily cropped like this;

I got a nasty feeling I may have to change this all again. I hope not.

Why did I mess with it? Well, I wanted to add a little ‘For Sale’ heading as I have a little supply of some parts. The addition of the extra menu tab was just to much and the theme had a bit of a frothy fit and wouldn’t play ball anymore.

What I have for sale is a little supply of the genuine Summit Racing Universal Engine Lift Plates. These are aimed at the carburettor guys on any make of engine. at £14.00 + P&P its a right steal. Click here for more pics and details.

In the very near future I will be selling something quite unique for classic Mustang owners. The prototype works and I’m now in collaboration with Mustang Maniac to get them made in volume. It’s all very exciting so watch this space!

Back to this post, I think this is much needed update and clean modern look now. The menu bar should be at the top on a PC so it’s easier to navigate around. There area few little tweaks to the side bar and social media buttons to like and follow.

If ANYTHING doesn’t work or looks rubbish let me know and I will amend it. I’m still playing with some of the settings and I may need to change bits around.

Please let me know if you like it or you want the old back. I can take criticism and take it like a man.

I do have two car shows to post and I haven’t forgotten them, it’s just that I have been busy trying to sort the theme mess out. Funny how a hour or so has turned into nine hours already!

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Pro Shoot – Cambridge

I mentioned a couple of post ago while I was at the Culford car show I got talking to a photographer who wanted to use my car as part of his port folio. I agreed as he would also send me the photos to use too. I got them a few days ago and I’ve just got round to posting them up.

We agreed to meet up early in the morning when the sky would be moody and even more important, it wasn’t due to rain. I was to arrive at Cambridge before six in the morning or earlier if possible. That meant I had to get up at four in the morning as I had to get some fuel on the way. The best part was our two little dogs decided that they wanted to get me up at half twelve and then again at two in the morning. So when the alarm went off I was literally running on a couple of hours sleep. So it wasn’t just the sky that was moody! I was Mr bear with a sore head who had also sat on a cactus. As the sun started to creep up and I arrived at Steve’s house well before six, all was good again. I gave him a quick call and he came out straight away and we drove of to the little lane to catch the sky and ambient light just about a mile away.

The road was a single track road which gets busier than you would expect. On a couple of occasions I had to move the car out the way. People were very patient with us and we got a thumbs up or ‘OK’ hand signals now and again.

I’m so happy to share these pictures with you which were taken last week in Cambridge by a self employed pro photographer called Steve Armon. He has a great Instagram account called “trigpointpictures” where you can see a lot of his work, and not forgetting his website where you can book his services www.trigpointpictures.com. His accounts have some amazing and very varied pictures which are well worth checking out, and they include my car. Before you ask – no I’m not being paid by Steve to say these things or on any commission. I wanted to give him a shout out in these difficult times as he has done my car proud and me very happy. don’t forget to mention me when you discuss your photo requirements, so he knows where his traffic is coming from.

these are most of his pictures and they are amazing, I haven’t even managed to pick a favourite yet as I love them all. I think this first one has to be up there though.

We did a few drive-by to get some movement in the pictures.

I parked up and we took a few interior shots.

I opened up the whole car for a unusual set of photo’s that you don’t see very often.

We decided to do a few under hood shots.

To finish up I love this picture of me in the car looking back at Steve in the rear view mirror.

An hour or so later we had finished and I dropped Steve back home and took a leisurely drive home. Parked the car in the garage, took myself into the house and plonked myself on the sofa for some much needed shut eye. I need to mention that the dogs were fast asleep until I got back in, the tables had turned in my favour now. But, not for long as my little guy jumped up on me for a cuddle there we stayed for the next couple of hours. What a great way to start a day.

The photo’s are a bit out of sequence from the day itself where I thought that I would try to group them up. I have also taken some of my own pictures at the same time as Steve trying to learn from him. Obviously they aren’t as good as his pics, but I will post some of mine up soon. There again I sort of expected that his would be so much better than mine as I only have a smart phone, Steve had a big camera with all sorts of bolt on bits and pieces which were all way beyond me! My idea of an ‘F-Stop’ is to shout out ‘F-ing stop’ to somebody I think might crash into me. Apparently it’s not the same thing. 😉

Thanks again to Steve from ‘trigpointpictures’ we had a great morning.

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Bearing Up

This year I have taken my car out for a couple of shows and I have developed a rather annoying squeak from the drivers side front wheel. I have taken the wheel of and greased everything that had a nipple on it. I squirted, white grease, silicon spray, Würth Water Dispersant, WD40 everywhere I could. Nothing. It was still there.

I spoke to Adam a couple of times about it and he advised me to bring it down and he would have a look at it. So I did just that.

The photo’s in this post I’m using have been given to me by Mustang Maniac and saved me taking the pictures; big thanks to Mustang Maniac for that. They told me they were probably going to use them this weekend. It looks like they beat me to it by posting first. So we have a little overlap although they have a couple of different pictures on their post.

Adam was walking to the yard and heard the squeak as I was turning into the yard’s driveway. I explained that I think the steering doesn’t feel right either. He listened intently and promptly jumped in my car and took it for a test drive up the road.

We swapped places for the driving seat as Adam need to swap a few cars around in order to get a clear run for my car onto the ramps in his workshop and I drove it in. Reinforcements arrived in the form of Yogi who had emerged from his workshop to help out with the diagnostics which is a two man job.

First thing they noticed was that the idler arm had some play. It looked like that over time standing in my garage the rubber had perished and broken down when the car came out for some shows this year.

You can see them when compared just how much the old one had broken down. The new one is on the left of each picture.

The guys checked everything else over on the suspension and I received my bollocking for a couple of other nuts that were loose. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Probably down to the play in the idler arm making things worse. Adam and Yogi both worked up and down under the car to check everything was tightened up as it should be. A couple of rear axle nuts were not as tight as they should be and Adam again tightened them up. I would like to say that in my self defence Adam does have a two foot long Snap On 1/2″ fitting breaker bar, to make sure things were properly tight.

They fitted the new idler arm and checked that the the locating bracket had no play with the arm fitted in place. Once they were happy I was sent out on another road test. Both Adam and Yogi told me that the steering would feel very different. The picture below is the new idler arm being fitted before full greasing.

I got out the main gate and and immediately the car felt different. I couldn’t believe just how bad it had gotten over a course of couple of years. You just get used to it and think no more of it.

I turned back into the yard happy, the squeak was still there, although not as bad now. Straight back onto the ramps and up in the air again. The guys decided that the wheel was to come off and have a look. They did all sorts of play checks and listened to the rotor spinning.

A decision was made fairly quickly. Yogi dropped the outer bearing out to check the look and feel of it. He wasn’t happy with it. Yogi then cleaned it up and Adam had a second look under the big lighted magnifying lens on his bench, nothing visibly wrong with it to look at. He stuck the bearing on his fingers and felt it, spinning it fast, slow and twisting it etc. Adam said “although it looks fine, I just don’t like how it feels, nope, I’m not happy with it”. With that he went of to the shop to go and get a new one.

In the mean time Yogi cleaned up the track of the bearing and made sure it wasn’t damaged by scoring or pitting. Luckily for me it was OK. The inner bearing was still fully packed. While we waited Yogi then proceeded to grease everything he could see, upper arms, lower arms, steering, bushes the lot.

Adam returned with the new bearing repeating his feel tests as he walked back to the ramps. “That’s better” he announced handing it over to Yogi. He repacked the new bearing with grease, rechecked it and fitted it back into the hub and adjusted it up correctly. He then replaced the retaining washer, split pin and the bearing cap. The wheel was put back on and retested for play and feel before letting the car back down.

I was then sent back out on the second test run to see how it was. I arrived back with a smile as big as my front grill. The noise had gone. Sorted 👍

Before I set off for my run I was told that if all was OK, to park out the front of the offices. Which I duly did as i was now well chuffed. They asked me if it was OK to use on the their blog posts. Of course I had not objections at all, they then took a number of pics of my car for their ‘Park & Pic’ section on their forth coming blog. Www.mustangmaniac.org

I love this picture as there is an early Falcon convertible, which of course was the Mustang’s immediate predecessor that shares the same chassis as First Gen Mustangs, and also a later Mustang all in one shot.

I sat in the offices with Adam and we had cup of tea, well he did and I had a cold can of pop. We put the world to rights, sorted out the bill before I left for home. The journey home was a pleasure until it started to rain. I was not impressed that my car had now gotten wet of course. But, considering the car was now in a another league, I wouldn’t mind.

I arrived home some hour and half later after filling with fuel (again). I just had to clean my car before I put her away and cover her up. I then plugged in the battery maintenance unit to keep the battery in tip top performance.

Again a huge thanks to Mustang Maniac (Adam & Yogi) for fitting me in and sending me home all on the same day. That is what I call “proper customer service.”

Before I sign off I just need to wish my friends on the other side of the pond;

Happy Independence Day.

Have a great day and have a beer for me. 🙂

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A Big Milestone….

Eight and a half years ago, way back on October 28th 2012 I wrote my first post on my little ol’ blog. I had nothing planned other than to share with a few friends what I was getting up to and how I was getting along with my Mustang restoration. Ultimately I could look back in a few years time and take a trip down memory lane with the photos I had taken a certain points of the restoration.

Delivery of my project car 17th September 2011, before it went to Mustang Maniac where I had professional help & guidance on my restoration over the years. Those guys have become some of my best mates of mine as a result.

When I attend car shows or via my blog and emails etc. I often get asked how I clean and detail my cars;

Some of the Car Shows and photo opportunities;

I get asked how I fitted things, how I upgraded this or that, I even get asked for advice on their own restoration projects.

That got me to thinking about adding extra sections like the tools (a selection of them here), that I used on project and since use, considering that I’m just a weekend warrior with a spanner.

Products that I used to keep our daily cars clean and the Mustang fully detailed.

My merchandise I bought over the years or have been given since I started my journey with the Mustang.

I even get requests to review items, all of which I buy if I think I could use them myself. As a result of all these things, my blog has evolved into an entity of it’s own.

Fast forward a number of years to 2021 where I my little ol’ blog has reached a massive milestone. This is not intended as some bragging rights by the way, but more like myself being proud of the result. Somebody within the USA this morning 15th May 2021 made my day:

My blog has just passed 1,000,000 hits!

I am absolutely amazed to think this could ever happen, I remember getting excited about getting ten hits in one day!

I value every single one of you that has followed me or just pops in for a quick read, like or even the odd comment. I would like to say a massive “Thank You” from the very bottom of my heart.

I don’t actually get anything from my blog/website on WordPress, other than some add money that goes straight to the hosting and my domain fees. It’s sort of self sufficient in a way. If anything I’m out of pocket, but reading the comments and seeing the views more than make up for it. Hopefully I can help somebody, somewhere with something.

My first follower was Debbie Nuessle (click here for her latest venture), from across the pond. We both started blogs within a few days of each other, both revolving around our love of American Muscle cars, especially Ford Mustangs of course. We keep in touch outside of the Blog circle and have become good friends.

I have a number of followers who ‘like’ the posts I put up after even after all these years, thank you all, it means a lot to me. I have such a range of followers; a very talented and well-known Soprano opera singer; Charlotte Hoather (click here for her blog), mechanics, engineers, oil rig mover, artists, photographers, builders, wildlife photographers, fellow classic car owners, writers, product manufacturers, shops, brands, a few younger bloggers, students, world travellers, petrol heads, gear heads, car clubs, writers, novelists, journalists, teachers, photojournalists, professional bloggers, social influencers, religious followers, the list just goes on. (There is even ‘ahem’ some adult orientated content following me!) The full list makes for some amazing reading.

Just in case anybody is interested in some of the more selective stats;

I have a total of 2,700 followers, of which 871 are on WordPress, 2,300 on social media, just over 2000 on Facebook, which is not my favourite of all the platforms I must admit.

I have been visited by 199 countries and the top ten countries in order are; USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, China, France, Netherlands, Finland and New Zealand.

There are stunning islands that have visited me, Mauritius, Seychelles & Maldives. Some of those Islands are so small they wouldn’t be able to fit a Mustang on them! My bucket list is to spend a few days on these islands to chill and take in some sun.

The more obscure countries with a single visit are: Burkina Faso, Falkland Islands, Kosovo, Tonga, Northern Mariana Islands.

To date I have posted 340 blogs including this one over the eight and half years I have been posting on this blog.

These figures are quite low compared to some of you mega stars out, there with you super popular blogs I know that. But for me, like I said earlier, I’m honestly humbled and grateful to every single one of you who wants to look at a blog all about one man and his Mustang!

A huge “Thank You” to you all.

Here’s to the next one million!

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2021 Off To A Bad Start

Over the course of the Holidays and various forms of tiered forms of lock down that nobody really adhered to, I took my Mustang out. Now to be within to rules I took the car out to place where I could exercise after parking the car up. It just so happens that the car was parked in a pretty good place to take some photos while I was out exercising. There was nobody about, the odd car now and again going past, that was about it.

The garage was opened and the dust cover removed and placed on top of my tool chests. Excited to see the car after a number of weeks I got in and started the car, well tried to start it. The car was turning over fine but it didn’t fire up. I opened the hood and had a general look round under there. Fuel filter, yep fuel in there. I took the air filter off and checked the carb was squirting fuel, yep it was. After putting the bits back on I jumped in the car thinking it was just standing time issues. Turning the key the car started to turn over again, still but no fire up. Now I could smell fuel quite strongly, so I decided to leave it for a few minutes with the hood up to evaporate the fuel a bit. As it was getting late in the afternoon it was worth one more try before I give up and look at it properly another day. Third time lucky? She again spun over the crank slowed down and “BANG”. The backfire sounded like a grenade going off in my garage which made my ears ring, timing was obviously out to ignite at the wrong time. The car was running now a few seconds of really rough idle then it settled down to a smoother choke running. I backed the car out OK and drove of fine. However, there is a lot more to this story a little later…

The pictures:

I parked up and took some pictures before my little walk somewhere different. It just so happened where I was parked up would make a good backdrop. I took over 200 pics that afternoon, but this little selection are my favourites so far. I even done a black and white variation on a few of them. The pictures are variations on angles and lighting etc.

The next couple of photos I tried to start of with colour on the right and gradually fade it to black and white on the left. I played with the contrast to make the bottom one more antique and faded too. It sort of works I think, let me know if I hashed it or smashed it! I may even do some sepia variables as well.

The Journey Home.

I got back into the care and started the car, eventually after a few seconds it did start, but it was unusual to take that long. The drive back was about ten minutes and were not right. I got a few hiccups under mild acceleration from a standstill and the odd flat spot on a 40mph straight. I can’t deny that I was a bit worried. The car was parked up in the garage and covered her up with a nagging feeling in the back of my mind.

Next day I went out to the garage to just start her up. Turn of the key and the car spun over, then over and over. I tried to start her a number of times and smell of fuel was quite strong. I had a problem that was evident.

I sent Adam a text at Mustang Maniac to ask for a little advice when he had a moment. Adam being the kind soul that he is told me to get to my tools and he would call me back in a few minutes when I was ready. To his word he called me and talked me through some tests to look at with him over the phone. We swapped out the new coil with an older one that I had with the same result of spinning over with no fire up. We swapped over the coil HT lead to the distributor after testing with my multi-meter Ohm settings. Nothing. We then earthed out the coil HT to the engine to see if a spark jumped over to the engine. How did I manage that? Simple I talked sweetly to my wife who came out for a couple of minutes to turn the car over for me.

The diagnosis was narrowed down to the Pertronix ignition sensor which has gone to the great scrap yard in the sky! I needed a new one, it was a simple as that. Adam said he would get one out to me via mail ASAP as their location was in a high tier restriction for Covid reasons.

The next day my courier turned up with the part. I took a drink along with the part into the garage, unlocked the tool chests and settled down for a few hours. The distributor cap was removed and the single screw was removed the Pertronix sensor. The downside was the wiring loom had to be cut open to expose the wires for the sensor.  The fitting of the Pertronix sensor can be found here.

I done a rough fit without the neatness of wiring loom and connected up ready for the start up. I got in the car and turned the key. The car fired almost instantly and run smoothly all the way to the choke coming off. I let the car cool down and got back to routing the wires back into the loom and neaten it all back up again. A couple of hours later the work was finished and up to my own self imposed high standards. The aftermarket part is now looking like part of the stock loom again and I’m happy. I need to take the car out for trip to make sure everything is still as it was. But, as we are in a current national lockdown that is out of the question right now.

All that remains is for me to thank Adam at Mustang Maniac for his time, even though he was officially “Closed” over the holiday season. I needed the part and I paid for the next day courier service from his WebShop. I was offered the multiple choices of delivery and the costs options. Normally I would drive and pick it up, and it’s also a good excuse to catch up for a chat with some friends. There is a an advantage of being a loyal customer and personal friend with a Mustang parts supplier, who will help go out of their way for you when you need the help.

Since I refitted the new part, I have been on a number of forums about the Pertronix Ignitor series. It seems that I was a lucky boy after all in the fact I got home at all. Most of the time these units are absolutely fine and last forever and a day. But, if you get a bad unit they just stop dead. You could go down the road, pull out of a junction and it stops dead in the middle of the road as one person reported and that’s it. The same symptoms I had – no restart. I had issues where I had a cut out which progressively got worse to the point it didn’t start again. Now I intend to get an old school set of points and condenser to carry with me as an emergency get me home kit. If the points burn out after a few miles due to the hot coil 45,000 volts with 0.6ohms I won’t mind. As long as I get home they are cheap enough to replace again.

My 2021 didn’t start very well, in more ways than one. It could have been much worse of course, I’m just lucky it was a simple problem to replace. Onwards and upwards I guess.

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A Sickening Sound

This week has been a very stressful week for me as my pride and joy has had to go and get some serious repairs. During this Covid lockdown like many of us we are finding things to do and pamper our cars. I have been no exception to that of course, with a LED upgrades going on, carb spacer swap out all of which I have to post about and will be coming soon. But this update jumps the queue. I said when I was restoring my car I would post about the good, bad and everything else. This is one of those gone wrong posts. Mustang Maniac may cover my story this weekend as well, to help each other out we have swapped some photos between us. 👍

Background is that I had a mini project to replace a carburetor spacer from the old metal 1″ style to the new phenolic spacer. This meant that I ‘had’ to test drive the car t make sure all was OK, while on my way to take some exercise of course. During the shortish journey of ten miles round trip or so the car started to make a whine noise, almost like a super charger. This annoying noise was coming from the gearbox area. The car started to make a significant thud when selecting reverse or drive gears from park or neutral. I called Adam at Mustang Maniac to explain what was going on. He listened to my explanation and said that he would open a slot for me at their yard.

I drove down on the Monday morning very gently I might add and the whine was getting worse. I knew something was wrong and hoped it was an adjustment somewhere. When I arrived and was greeted by Adam and Yogi, both said to put it straight onto ramps when they heard it. Within a couple of minutes Yogi had listened, diagnosed the problem and said gearbox was trashing itself, and probably the torque converter too. This was bad, real bad. The decision was made to drop the gearbox out to investigate after the dipstick for the gearbox was checked and was covered in foam.

The oil was drained out and the proper dark red colour was a foaming mess of pink slop.

While the “liquid gold” as Adam calls it, was draining out the prop was removed, the speedo cable, handbrake cables, and the exhaust split from the headers.

A conversation was had with Adam and I was given the option of what gearbox I would like and he went of to get it from his secret stock. The sound of expensive parts arriving in the trolley was sad sound to hear. Adam returning with the parts.

Yogi and Stuart jacked up the gearbox lift up to the gearbox to support the weight while it was lowered out.

These C4 gearboxes were clever for their time in the fact that they had cooling pipes that ran from the gearbox, up to the front of the car, which were then in turn connected to the bottom of the radiator. The pipes in the bottom section of the radiator shares the cooling with the engine block’s coolant. The cooled oil returns back to the gearbox ready to reapeat the process. The cooling pipes have their own entry and exit fittings to the radiator. It was here that the problem was caused; the internal loop of pipe within the radiator had failed somewhere. The water pressure from the radiator had forced water into the oil cooler channels because the gearbox oil is under less pressure than the engine’s coolant.

With the gearbox down on the floor the investigation could begin. Yogi had an airline on the cooling pipes which were still on the car, with a jet of air the water was expelled at a high pressure, confirmed water (and anti-freeze) was in the gearbox.

The bottom of the C4 gearbox has a removable pan that allows access to a serviceable filter to protect the delicate interior. The filter had done its job and stopped all sorts of debris and was getting near to clogged. The gearbox tension bands, seals metal on metal parts had indeed started to disintegrate. By feeling the gunge on the filter there was some swarf or tiny metal particles. Yogi was right, the gearbox was starting to eat itself, and it was very hungry.

The torque converter was removed and checked, draining the contents more swarf was found inside. With the oil pan emptied more traces of fine swarf were found at the bottom. The expense was starting to ramp up.

The water had in effect contaminated the oil and strated to break the oil’s properties down and failed to lubricate the gearbox along with the torque converter, thus unable to keep it all cool. The end result was the bands were slipping in the gearbox and the engine coolant had caused the gearbox to overheat. I was told I was a lucky boy as it could of just let go, dumping the contents of the gearbox on the side of the road leaving me stranded. The radiator was low and topping it up gave us an idea of how much water had got unto the gearbox. The top up was almost one liter.

The new gearbox was a genuine 1966 date coded C4 green dot fully rebuilt gearbox. This was a rare part, let alone to have a choice of them straight out of stock.