Prototype To Production

My last post showed my ‘homework’ for a prototype part kit I was going to install on my car. I mentioned a while ago to Adam at Mustang Maniac that on longer journeys it would be nice to have a little more legroom. He said that had been asked about it some time ago as well, but there wasn’t really anything on the market. Until now that is, those discussions with Adam have been ongoing and he has had a prototype developed by his engineers. We then discussed how this was going to be done, the original plan was to do some filming of the fitting for their YouTube channel, we decided on a slightly different approach to the original plan for now. Two reasons, the first being the UK’s protest morons that have made getting fuel difficult in some parts of the UK. The second was ‘how difficult would the kit be to fit at home without professional workshop equipment?’ The challenge was accepted, fit the rails at home and share my results with Mustang Maniac while saving myself a fist full of dollars in fuel costs and time.

The seat extension runners came from Mustang Maniac. They are designed to allow an additional 2″ or 4″ movement backwards of the seat for additional legroom while still allowing the seat to adjust on the original runners. These runners are made from a heavy gauge steel with threads and cut-outs which allow for a straightforward installation. These extensions bars will fit all Mustang models from 1964 to 1968 by the way.

From my last post here the rails are dried and already painted with satin black ready for fitting.

There are four studs provided with the extension bar kit to allow the repositioned seat to be bolted back into the car without having to cut the floor pans or seat base.

Depending on your preference of course, you could respray these bars to match your interior as they will be a little more visible from outside as the seat will sit further back on the seat base, but not noticeably so. Satin black is always a good starting point and goes with pretty much everything.

Removing the seat.

Under the car there are four rubber grommets (or should be four) in place where the seat rail studs come through the seat base.

Remove the rubber grommets and inspet the inside. If all is good the studs won’t be correded up and will be easy to remove. If the rubber grommets are missing, or there is corrosion on the studs, then you may need to spray a some WD40 (or similar) to help loosen them up and remove. Make sure to use a good quality socket, if you round the fasterners off then you are in for a whole heap of hurt.

Tip:

Fold the back of the chair forward to the seat base as if you were getting out of the back seats. This helps to balance the weight of the seat and allows the fasteners to be removed without the chair tipping back making removal difficult or even bending a seat stud.

Use a deep reach socket to undo the fasteners.

With all four fasteners removed the seat should lift directly upwards out of the car. Notice in the left-hand pic that the seat falls naturally to the rear. Keep the fasteners safe as they will be used again to refit the seat back into place.

With the seat out, now would be a good time to inspect the seat runners and clean the runners up if needed. Apply a little grease to keep the free movement.

Fitting The Extenders

The bars have to be fitted to their correct left or right hand sides and the right way up. Looking at the seat from below the right hand side has the seat movement handle and a extending bracket. This side will need the cut out sectioned runner to be fitted, as the pics below. You can either attach the studs at this point or later the choice is yours. I prefer to do it later so nothing got in the way.

You will notice that there are holes, recessed holes and threaded holes. The standard holes are to allow flush fitting of the bars to the seat rails where the rivets are. The recessed holes allow for the original seat studs to be held flush to the bar. The threaded holes are for the studs position where you want the actual length of the extension to be.

Below shows the third hole down which is recessed and where the original seat stud(s) will go through.

The top hole is the 4″ extention the second one down is the 2″ extension shown in Red.

Yellow shows the location for the seat rail rivets.

Teal colour shows the seat stud holes.

From the position above turn the bar over to fit onto the seat rail flush. Fit the rail over the original seat studs and use some nuts of the correct thread on the seat studs and tighten the bars firmly into place.

You will now need to cut the original seat rail studs flush with the top of the nut. This has to be done in order to fit the seat back into the car and be bolted back into place. Before you do any cutting, make sure that the seat can still freely move with the seat adjustment handle with the extension bars bolted in place.

You can either mark the studs for cutting and remove the fasteners and bars away from the seat, or do it with the bars still bolted in place which is easier to be honest. I used a Dremel and a thin cut off wheel. Take your time and use goggles in case the cut-off wheel breaks or sparks fly. Going old school with a hacksaw will work just as well. You can see my Dremel in the right-hand picture bottom corner. I also got pretty OCD about it and ground the studs perfectly flush with the fastener.

Fitting The Studs

These new studs have a collar a quarter of the way down. The shorter thread screws are fitted into the extension bars, the longer thread will be going back through the seat base using the original holes.

I painted the top of my studs to match the bars so they were less visible from the outside, just because I could.

You will need a locking pair of grips to screw these replacement studs into place tightly, or a strong hand grip an pliers. I also used a little thread locker to keep them in place. The left-hand picture shows the correct stud fitting.

As I said earlier, if you want the full 4″ extension use the top threaded holes, for the smaller 2″ extension use the second hole down. Fit the second stud at the bottom of the rail extension use the threaded hole just above the larger hole (for the rivet) for the 4″ extension, and the 2″ threaded hole is below the larger hole. See the marked up image earlier on the page. If you are in any doubt measure the original seat stud gap and apply the same gap to the 4″ or the 2″ stud holes.

Refitting The Seat

Take the seat back to the car and drop the studs through the original holes in the seat base and carpet holes. From there screw on the fasteners from underneath the car to hold the seat in place. Refit the carpet spacers and then tighten up the seat properly.

Replace the rubber grommets and the job is done. I sat back in the car and was amazed at the difference that the extra few inches of leg room gives you. For a 6’4″ bloke like me I was always a little crunched up on leg room, that little bit extra makes it so much nicer to drive. Also as the seat base actually slopes down towards the back of the car, in effect I have also gained a little more headroom too. Win/win all round then. 🙂

The fitting was straight forward and I reported my work back to Adam with the photo’s. He has now decided to go into production with the current design. Their measurements were spot on so no need to make any modifications. I suspect they will be on the Mustang Maniac WebShop Soon, along with some of the photos and description of the fitting.


The second part of the my little upgrades I promised was the hood springs. There was nothing wrong with them at all, except that Adam showed me a set he has just fitted to the project car they have in a workshop. I see them, I wanted them it was a simeple as that. Not the cheapest replacement part just for looks, but why not? These springs are super strong and will have the Devil’s bite on you or the car if you get it wrong when replacing them. I packed an old duvet cover around the hood springs and levered of the springs carefully and under control with a large screwdriver come crowbar. They were replaced in a matter of seconds. I was so worried about the springs pinging off and damaging the paint or parts under the car, or flying up and removing part of my jaw that I forgot to take pictures. I do have the before and after pics for you. Most people wont even notice the change and think they are stock parts, but I think they just add a little bit of something extra to look at.

Right hand side:

Left hand side:

The last part of the day’s work was the annual oil and filter change. I tend to do around two thousand miles a year at most. But, I would rather pay £35 for fresh oil just to be on the safe side each year. The K&N gold oil filters I use are a bit bigger than the standard Ford oil filters, which means that I have to put in more oil in than the standard recommend five US quarts to get the levels right.

Now I’m all set for the car show season, apart from a quick wax and once over that is! Lets hope the weather stays fine for the shows. I will let you know as the season goes on.

Share my Content

Prototype Parts!

Over the last few weeks I have been having a few trips down to Mustang Maniac where they have been developing a part which is aimed at people like me. It’s obviously going to be a mustang part, but more for my own pleasure of driving the car.

These heavy gauge steel bars have been black zinc plated for longevity and a good base for some proper coloured paint. A touch of déjà vu transporting me back ten odd years to when my car was being restored; Adam said ‘Take these back with you and satin spray them for your homework’, so that’s exactly what I did the next afternoon.

Preparation

First of all was the prep to make sure a good paint bond where I cleaned the bars with a little isopropanol alcohol to remove any greasy or oil spots from being handled. I set up a line to suspend the bars and started the little and often undercoats to allow faster drying. The same for the satin black top coats to give a nice even coverage. The weather was sunny on and off, warm with a light breeze. Spraying from a rattle can in the breeze is all about timing and technique, the later from me being a little ‘rusty’ from not having done it for a a good few years.

The wife wasn’t to impressed with the new style grey and black patched grass I managed to create for her. The completed articles are mow ready to be taken back to Mustang Maniac for fitting and couple of other little bits at the same time where it would make things a lot easier with a car lift.

There are specific threaded bolts with a mid shoulder that are made specifically for the bars and will replace the originals when fitted.

Some may have an idea of what they are, if you know or think you know drop me comment. I hope to drive the car to Mustang Maniac next week sometime and I will obviously document what they are for then and bring you part two and a review. 👍

Share my Content

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!

Share my Content

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.

1
Share my Content

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. 🙂

Share my Content

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!

Share my Content