Ready To Rock

I’m back!  

I know I haven’t posted for a while, but there was and still are very good personal reasons why. So far it has taken me a few days to create this post on and off, that’s when I can even get round to doing it. Rest assured though, I am still here and I will continue updating my little ol’ blog as and when I can, hopefully things will slowly get back to normal then I should be posting more regularly and then back normal. Thanks to those of you that have kindly taken time to email me to ask how things are, I apologise for not posting sooner and disappearing without any warning, but the circumstances prevented me from do so, it was all rather sudden to say the least.

I could have named this post “New Shell” as the car is at a point now where she is ready to go to the paint shop within the next week or so. Compared to the original rusty or distorted metal work, this could almost be classed as a new shell. The Mustang Maniac guys have been keeping me fully updated while I haven’t been able to get down there to do my duties and help out. Thanks very much guys for the updates.

The last piece of work I had done was the hood which took an age to complete. The guys assembled the front of the car and the hood was re-fitted up. Now there was a problem, the leading edge of the hood had been bent down and was hitting the headlight buckets preventing the correct alignment and closure. The hood was adjusted but the fenders and cowling looked very strange regarding the gaps. The hood was taken off and the guys tried to straighten out the bend with partial success, and on the odd occasion it was quite brutally adjusted to align it all back up. But the hood was now sitting to high and it turned out to be quite obvious that the hood was distorted beyond an economical repair. When you are at this high level of restoration you want it to look right especially on such a large panel of metal that you will be looking at all the time you are driving. So a difficult decision was made – it was a new hood to be fitted, it’s a shame the original couldn’t be used. But I fully understand that these things happen during classic car restorations, the guys did try to rescue the hood before it was replaced.  Yes I could have kept the original that sort of fitted and I doubt that many would have noticed, but it would have played on my mind knowing that it didn’t fit 100% correctly with the gaps, I just knew I wouldn’t be happy with it. Like the driver door, it was an awful lot of hard work, but at least I am happy nothing more could have been done to make it fit perfectly. Come to think of it I have seen the odd restored car with worse looking alignments, I dare say some other restorers would have been happy with it. I now have a rather large bare metal piece of scrap.

However, on the plus side it means that my car is now ready to go to the paint shop with new metal that has already been protected from rust. Adam is now just waiting for the paint shop slot to become free in order for my car to go in and be transformed over the next month or six weeks before I see her back. Such an exciting time. I have potentially got the last set of pictures of the car in bare metal before she gets her new colour scheme.

As the car stands the filler work is pretty good, but has been left in a state where the body shop can see what has been done and what needs a final filler coat. Standard practice for the Mustang Maniac guys who seem to do just that little bit more to make sure all the gaps were correct. When the car is back from the paint shop I will then Red Oxide the inside parts that need doing over the black floor pans and the rear chassis legs before the work starts in earnest to put her back together again. I seriously just can’t wait to see her in the new colour.

Photo Menu:

I have tidied up the photo menus to group them together in order to make it more logical to find stuff.

I have added the following these large photo step by steps under the Photo Menu – Bodywork Section:

  • Rear Quarter Panel restoration work, click here for the quick link. (A very detailed step by step)
  • Hood Restoration Work, click here for the quick link
  • Trunk & Tail Light Restoration, click here for the quick link (A very detailed step by step)

I have also updated the Fender Work sections under a single heading to bring it all right back back up to date.


I have added a review of a Neilsen Slide hammer tool, or click here for the quick link.

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Adding Metal

What a difference a week can make at Mustang Maniac, my car seems to have gone from a shell to a recognisable car in a mater of days, it even has bolts back in it. I have been sent little teaser photos by Adam and John over the last couple of weeks and it seriously wetted my appetite to get down there as soon as I can to start work on her. The car was packed Friday night, the alarm was set a little earlier on the phone and wishing the hours away to the morning. I arrived to find that Adam had been invited to Goodwood Revival so I was left in the very capable hands of John and Yogi. I was taken around to see my car and my jaw hit the floor as the car has a rear end and sides now. Terry has been adding the panels, welding up and doing a fantastic job and his attention to detail is second to none. The pictures here are of Terry working on the quarters with old school techniques rarely found in this Mustang restoration business. Firstly clamping up the panels and the wheel arches to each other for a dry fitting, the trunk lid rested in place for quarter gap positioning. Once everything is place then the top joints welded and brazed in place just like they were from the factory. Many people will just weld and leave it as it will be covered with filler and paint, not these guys though and that is quality of workmanship that they have become respected for. (Please on the pictures to see the full sized versions.)

Do I apologise for such a large picture post? No way!

The other workmanship revolves around the bottom of the roof to the quarters themselves. These are normally butt welded up by some people or even cut around the lead work. But here the lead has been removed, the spot welds removed and the rotten sections removed and re-plated with the original contours. This allows for the full quarter to be to be fitted to the roof section and welded where it’s supposed to be. Terry welds into the original places and then it will be ground down to allow for the full leading to be applied where it will all be covered over and the strength is retained in the car. Many other places will not do the lead work as it’s a fine art and some modern garages don’t use it for daft health and safety reasons.


With the quarters in place and fully welded up the next big panel was the trunk lid. With the freshly painted hinges and inner wheel arches they were lightly bolted into place and the trunk lined up to the quarters, once in place its all tightened up. The trunk will lay down under its own weight to allow final positioning of the trunk. Once that is done the tricky and dangerous (if you get it wrong) twisting of the sprung bars into place to keep the trunk open once the key has released the catch.

The next section was the filler and light panel to be fitted. The new rear quarters have alignment holes that need to be located to the light panel to ensure the light housings fit into place as the two halves form both the openings. The panel is then welded to the chassis brackets to give the rear strength.



Next is the rear quarter links that join the rear panel which are positioned and welded into place. With everything in place Terry then completes the trunk and quarter areas he has done so far with the traditional brazing.

Forward thinking at this point see the guys dummy fit a rear bumper to see where the quarter end caps will sit in relation to the trunk and the quarters. These original fittings are notorious to fit correctly to new panels, but these went on like a dream and only small adjustments needed. The bumper will be able to be moved into the final correct position at a later date. The final panel for the rear section is the back up rear valance. My original was well and truly mashed up on the right hand side as if it had been backed over a rock. It could have been repaired but for the sake of £60 it was decided to replace with a new panel and there is no rust worries either at this point now.

Remove the bumper and then screw the rear valance into place after aligning all the sections up together.

With the welding all completed the seams were sealed up like they were in the factory and it was really was quite brutal in those days and nothing fancy. Terry then added the boot catch to the inner panel and welded it all up. Rear section done.

What does she look like from the side? Pretty darn good I would say. The next stage was to add a little filler to the panels to smooth out any imperfections and apply flexible sealer under the quarter to the sill.

During all of this you may be thinking well what did I do Saturday? The answer was simple, I was prepping the other panels and removing the paint in order for Terry to be able to weld up properly. My tasks this week was to strip the fenders the “A” pillar posts once I had removed the doors, and then start on the roof. A large amount of work, but it all needs to be done so I left very late into the evening, I was physically hurting at the end of the day. The same old story, strip, scrape, strip again wire wool and strip any remaining last bits before a final wipe over with thinners.

The roof tuned out to be a big task. The car is on the jig I couldn’t reach into the middle, even at 6’4″ tall my long arms didn’t make. So I had to balance on the sills hold on and apply stripper and scrape. Now I’m no gymnast and it was quite tricky at times to be honest and I think this is where the fatigue kicked in. But the results were good and the roof came up pretty spotless.

Sunday I have spent most of the day editing these pictures ready for the blog plus the afternoon nap too. Next week – I know what I will be doing, stripping the hood back to bare metal.




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Rear End Moment

After a few weeks of not seeing my car I couldn’t wait to get down to see the guys at Mustang Maniac. Friday night arrived as soon as I got home from work I went out to the man cave and packed what I thought I would need. I had a rough idea and so I packed brushes gloves and the change of clothes. I was up and about, dressed, fed and ready to go by half eight in the morning. The trip was pleasant and I had the added bonus of seeing some classic cars going to where ever the show was. I spotted a couple of Mustangs, a GTO, couple of old Chevys, a few old trucks, a Charger, Stags and even an E-Type Jag etc. Seeing all those lovely old cars just made me squeeze the gas a little more to get there a bit quicker. Once I arrived I was greeted by a pack of dogs that must have forgotten who I was. Adam greeted me and we had a chat to catch up with all that has been going on with Mustang Maniac and my car. We walked in and it was one of those OMG moments and I was speechless, those that know me will realise that is a rarity. The back of the car has been rebuilt! The left quarter has been taken off and roughly aligned. The right has been prepped ready for removal and the replacement parts all lined up. The quarter will not be welded up just yet until the trunk has been finished and the outer wheel arch has been fitted correctly.

The trunk panel was a little thin on the main panel where the curves meet the fuel tank which I knew about, and thought I might get away with. The guys decided it was a little to far gone to save. The replacement panel they were going to use had angled fittings to it rather than the gentle curves it should be, so they were not happy with the part and rejected. As a result the guys unpicked another part to get the curved panel and weld that into place from the previously cut away section. Terry has done a brilliant job of reconstructing the trunk and has added the trunk flooring both sides on top of the chassis legs and the side drop off panels too. The welding has been ground down and doesn’t show at all, impressive stuff as always. The trunk is not fully finished yet, but it’s looking pretty damn good.

Once I had caught my breath back I asked what need to be done. Adam told me to remove the paint from the visible trunk area ready for primer and the car colour, that consisted of the inner wheel arches and the drop down main panel which goes over the shock fitting holes and into the back of the car behind the seat. I had guessed right with what I needed, gloves on and stripper poured ready for use. To do this bit of work I climbed under the car into the trunk and worked from there. The usual story, stripper, scrape, stripper, coarse wire wool and thinners to clean it all up. The end result was pretty good as there was no filler in place at all which was a major bonus. It did uncover a couple of little sections what will require a few spot welds and little plate inserted, nothing major or structural.

That leaves the overall view of the trunk which is amazing at this point. The front of the car is also being worked on quite heavily, but I will get the full pictures before and after next week. I have been spoilt and so has my car. Thanks guys.

rear end - Trunk13

I ached all over on Saturday evening bending in weird positions to remove the old paint. Sunday I visited an old friend which was just as well as I was still aching not that I got any sympathy mind you. Monday being a bank holiday in the UK gave me an extra day to finish up in the man cave. The task was to reassemble the steering section back together. I applied a very fine dusting of clear lacquer to the silver and allowed it to dry. Once the final layer of paint had dried I carefully removed the masking tape and the plastic carrier bags to get the overall effect of the paint work which I think works quite well. Of course nobody will see it but hey, I know it’s there.

The pipe work was refitted back to the relevant points, but none of the fittings have been done up tight yet.  The reason for that is just in case some of the pipes have to be moved around when its all refitted back up together again.

Just for comparison if you didn’t catch the original condition.

A bit of a large update, but I think it was worth it, me – I am ecstatic with the work.

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To The Scrap Heap

Well it’s the second week in succession I haven’t managed to get to my car and it feels very strange now. But things have not been allowed to stand still at Mustang Maniac, the guys have been turning bits of my car into scrap! Of course I knew what they were going to do it and why. The left side rear quarter panel which was in the worst condition and the outer wheel arch have been cut away to leave an exposed rear chassis. The full quarters have to be unleaded from the rear roof supports. Once that is done then the “B” pillar posts spot welds are drilled out along with the spots for the outer wheel arch. The panels were cut away in small easier to manage sections and thrown unceremoniously into the scrap bin.

Considering these were the original quarters then it’s hardly surprising they have gone rotten in the usual place around the arch itself.

To remove the quarters correctly the car should be bolted to a proper jig to stop any movement, if anybody offers to do it without a jig beware! The panel was removed then the outer wheel arch.

The lead has to be removed, cleaned up, preped ready for the full quarter to be re-fitted. In these pics you will see the lead being worked by Yogi.

I replaced the hinge pins a while ago (click here for the link) so there is no movement on the doors which is always a good idea when doing this type of work in order to avoid the door dropping on the hinge. You will also notice that the doors are still in place for a good reason, with the rear quarter removed from the car, the door is now the only constant to work from at this point, you will need as little movement as possible, hence the hinge pin replacement I completed a while ago because I knew this work was coming up. The full replacement quarter panel would need to do the same obviously but in reverse, matching up to the door now. Any misaligned panels at the rear will be multiplied considerably due to the length of the door and the fenders themselves. By the time you get to the stone bumper guard and the bumper itself, depending how bad the misalignment is, it could be enough to stop the panels being bolted back together again. The very common mistake is to take everything of the car and then weld the quarters on. The panel alignment should always be worked from the back going forward, the fenders and hood will have to line up correctly with the doors and hence the rear quarters. This is a very timely and tedious but critical part of the process, get it wrong and the car will look very odd. Or even worse, if this type of work is done without a purpose-built jig, beware!
Once the arch and the quarter were out-of-the-way, the old rotten section of the chassis rear left leg was to be cut away at the point where there is plenty of good metal.

A butt weld is not acceptable due to the stress on this part of the chassis so the guys make up a heavy plate which is to fit inside the original chassis leg and the new section of replaced chassis. The new section of rail was welded to the plate and the joint welded together to give the support for the welds and new rear rail.

With the chassis rail now in place the trunk cover panel section was placed over the rail and welded into place to offer more support and look a lot nicer in the trunk area.

I dare say I will have more red oxide painting to do when I am down at Mustang Maniac again to match it all up.

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Seeing Red

Every four years my life is made a misery so I am going to drop the “F” word – Football, there I have said it. All around the world people are going mad, they take days off work to watch football, they attach things to their cars like cheap plastic flags or vinyl stickers of their world cup team. People have football match parties, the television is infested with it, newspapers are riddled with it and the radio is full of it. So you may or may not have noticed that I don’t like football, I don’t want to see football, I don’t want to play football and I don’t want anything to do with football. Now I do appreciate that football is a passion, it’s even patriotic and this particular event thankfully only happens every four years. But, for people like me it’s horrendous, I just can’t get away from it, it does my head in. There should be a least a couple of channels on the television that are football free, not on the news, not in adverts, nowhere, nothing, zilch. My Bluray collection is getting a few re-runs that’s all I can say. Like all things, there is a silver lining to this very dark cloud that hangs over me, I can go out when football is on and I can park in a super market that is now occupied mainly by ladies getting away from the football I guess. I get funny looks as if to say, does he know the football is on? The roads are quiet, restaurants are not very busy, but the pubs are full. Before every man threatens to unfollow my blog and the ladies get the hump because I suggest they don’t like it, I just want to say; please spare a thought for the people who don’t like it. However, I wish all your football teams the best of luck. Does the fact that I am a male and I don’t like football make me weird? Come to think of it, don’t answer that!!

It’s Sunday night and I am writing up my blog, what happened to Saturday and today? Saturday I went to Mustang Maniac to do some more work on my car. Their yard has been cleaned up and looks a lot better and that was the general opinion of the few people I was talking to there as well. I can say that my car is starting to progress a little. The welding is still to be done when they get some time. In the mean time Adam told me to I could clean up the panels on one side de-grease them and get some red oxide paint on there. The trick is to stipple it on, the stuff does not want to be painted on and looks odd if you do. I have done a few bits and it looks so much better. The rear right side wheel arch has been half done as we may need to replace the outer arch but we need to get the quarter panel off to check. The painting took me ages to do and was strangely therapeutic! I could even see the red changing colour as it dried. So I really did watch red (well sort of dirty orange in fact) paint dry! Next week I suspect I will do the other side.

Sunday I went to put stuff in the man cave and it was a real mess. As it (football), was on I decided to tidy it up. Now I can get in there and even have more storage space. Well, that is until the wife puts some more gardening stuff in there!

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