Let’s Be Seated

This week I was expecting a call to say my seats had arrived at Mustang Maniac for me. I didn’t get any email from Adam to give me a hint. The trip there was wondering what I was going to do for the day. I arrived to find carnage in the yard, the guys were moving stuff around and an old ’67 fastback was about to be scrapped, cars were all over the place and lorries littered the yard, just for the day mind you. Adam looked like he needed another pair of hands so I got to work and helped out where I could. After the work was done and time out was called for a cup of tea, Adam said I have a surprise for you.

We eventually went to his small storage area where he had carefully stacked my seats. Yep, my seats were back at long last from Trevor the trimmers. My smile fixed to my face as we transported them to the main workshop. Adam moved the car for me from the storage shop to the main workshop to make it easier to fit the seats. We laid them out in order to see what we had and what we needed. Adam picked them up late Saturday night and waited for them to be finished for me.

We needed all the hardware like the fixings and trims. All my old parts were damaged or just not good enough for the seats now. The seats have been fitted to a superb level and look amazing. The “Pony Interior” colour scheme is blue and white. I had to have the door cards custom-made as I didn’t want the matching padded “Pony” interior ones. These are bulky and have a habit of cracking and tearing by the handle of the door.  The standard door cards look cleaner and the door handles are attached better to the frame of the door. This was a sneak peek of the colour back in April this year when Adam took delivery of the door cards with the chrome trim. The seats I had  when I got the car seemed to have been changed a number of times, but things suggest that the trim level in the car was Pony style in the first place.

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The reason for the delay was the rear seats don’t have a foam kit you can buy to replace the old knackered ones I had. That meant the rear seats had to be made up from scratch using new materials that looked and felt right behind the trims. I’m glad I went to the effort to restore the seats frames and springs properly now.

This was the old seat trims and seat frames I started work on back in April of this year.

The new seats and extremely high level of finishing.

We started with the rear seats as they are pretty much done and just need fitting straight into the car. The seat backs drop onto two brackets at the top and secured with two bolts at the bottom via the brackets. The rear seats base pushed under the seat backs and just clipped into place on the floor, the top holding the bottom down firmly in place. Adam had to check the seats out to make sure all was OK of course, he beat me into the seats “as I went to get them”, that was a few funny moments scrambling to see who would get to sit in the seats first. The trouble was the Adam had declared the race was on as he was halfway in the car as he announced it. Was I bothered? Not at all. The reason is simply because I certainly won’t be the first to drive it either when she is “finished”. I want the guys at MM to drive it and set it up how it should be, and iron a few teething issues (if any) out first.

Here is the pic of a happy winner of the impromptu game of Mustang musical chairs!

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The fronts were going to be harder to complete and I was a little nervous about this bit, as I will explain in a bit. The seats had to be put together first before fitting into the car obviously. The first step was the often missing washers on the hinge pins.

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The back of the seats are adjusted by a single bolts that presses onto the rear frame. Both the bolt and the protecting plate needed to be pierced into the vinyl trim. This was the bit that worried me, cutting holes in new material.

Adam has a right-angled tool to help find the screw holes so you don’t have to keep making holes in the material. The next part was to mark out where the clips go into the frame of the seat back using this simple little tool. The locating hole was made, then a small sharp punch was used to make a neat cut in the material for the clips to go into.

The seats were put together and the hinges were levered together to make them fit into the seat back holes. An “R” clip is used to go through the hole to hold the hinges together. Chris was on hand to help out now which was a great help. The outside edges of the seats have a chrome trim which screws into the material and also needed some very careful marking out. The inner hinge has a basic plastic cover to hide the inner and smaller hinge and the “R” pins.

The seat rails are held in place by two bolts each end of the track and the corresponding frame holes. To make the lever work so you can move the seat on the tracks, there is a metal rod that clips into each side of the rails and is adjusted by turning the quite neat box section on the thread to equalise the lever adjustment.

To get into the back of the car the seats just fold forward, these hinges are also angled so that the seats fold away towards the centre of the car to give more room which is a nice touch. The backs of the seat are card covered with the same material, the clips are slipped into the card cut outs and then pressed into the corresponding holes on the seat back frame. Due to the thickness of the material the corners at the top were quite difficult to press into the frame. You must be careful to press the clips here or the clips will puncture the material and ruin it. I am not a fan of this idea, but it last for fifty years so far, so it can’t be that bad.

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With the seat now assembled it was a case of dropping the seats into the four holes in the seat bases. The carpet had been carefully cut earlier into the seat bases to make the appropriate hole for the rail studs. The seats were held in place by four cupped screws under the car tightened through the floor pan.

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The finished effect (I think) is staggering. The finish is better than I was expecting it to be and the seats look right in the car with the colour scheme. Well I think they do anyway, but then again – I am biased! The door cards will be put on after the road tests have been done, in order to make sure there are no rattles of adjusting that need to be fixed inside the doors.

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Next week There are more jobs to be done yes, handles, drip rails, side sill covers, fuel tank bolted down, wire tidy in the trunk etc. But for now I am a super happy well chuffed bloke.

Thanks to Adam who had taken time out to wait for the seats to be completed and bring them back for me. Thanks to Chris for the extra pair of hands rebuilding the seats, his bad jokes and keeping the drinks flowing.

Thanks guys. 😀

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What’s Missing?

Weekend ritual to Mustang Maniac was upon me before I knew it this week. I arrived to see the Adam shunting lorries around the yard trying to make space fora few more cars that had arrived. We walked to “my” workshop (I wished) and discussed the plan of action. We made a list and got some parts from the bursting at the seams stores. We wanted to get the rear quarter panel trims in place. The common mistake here is to just screw them on without the water shield kit. The water shields are a special paper with a coating to keep the moisture out. This kit will be for the rear quarter panels and the doors behind the cards when they are fitted.

rearkick1The cars need to have some adhesive and this is like a mastic that is stuck to the paper with the wax side facing to the outside of the car.

rearkick3Attaching the paper is quite simple as long as you line it up with the rear wheel arches. Peel the protective backing of and press to the framework. The die cuts will line up with the window winder and the screw cut outs too.

The main metal quarter trims themselves have a “fuzzy” which staples to the metal. The staples holes are already there on the panel and the corresponding holes in the replacement fuzzy kit. The staples will be pressed through the panel and bent over at the back out of sight. This will make sure the staples within the fuzzy itself will not scratch the chrome surface or the glass when the windows are wound up and down.

rearkick9Drop the panels over the frame and align the screws holes up. Do not tighten the bottom ones up yet as the carpet needs to be clamped into position first under the panel. Pulling the carpet taught at the bottom and aligned with the sill top, then you can tighten all the screws up. Now the heading asked the question What’s missing? From the pictures see if you can guess (apart from the handle missing on one side, that don’t count).

Yep – the seats. These are at the trimmers now having the seat covers fitted professionaly. Hopefully these won’t be to long and we can get them fitted into place. Saying that the seats are not in place can be a problem for the progress of the car. But, not having them there has helped a lot as we can sort the interior out without fear of damaging the seats, or having to store them off the car while you work on it inside. The extra space provided by the void where the seats should be comes in very handy for the next task.

The sill scuff plates were next up on the agenda. These come in many styles from cheaper budget ones, or as Adam now calls them “Enos” range, or these full on Ford tooling beauties which are highly polished stainless steel. Stainless stell is used in razor blades and I found out why. The unfinished sides managed to cut both thumbs on the knuckle. I was more worried about the blood on the new carpet than the little chunks of skin shaved off. A bit of rag and a few swear words later I was back on the case to finish fitting them.

The sills have four crews at the top and five on the back. The scuff plates will cover the carpet and wire channels to finish of the look of the door area. The plates were dry fitted to work out where the weather lace will need to go from the interior quarter panels to the sill plate. Screw in the lightly untill everything is in place and then tighten up. Starting on the top and working to the back inside the car. The holes lined up well due to the Ford tooling and no need to get the drill out and make endless holes. Remove the protective cover from the scuff plates to expose the polished surface.

The final piece of the sill is the badge, there some various options over the course of time so I went with the correct badges for the year.

kickplate7Once it’s all complete it will look like this.

kickplate8We had another bling part to put on the brake pedal while we were at it, the polished stainless surround. This turned out to be a pain and took just as much time to fit as the scuff plates did. The rubber being new was still swollen and the trim needed to be massaged into place. Adam had the leather hammer to help speed things up a bit as it were!

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I have not put all the pictures up yet as i wanted to get the seats in place and show the full effect of the interior. So you will have to wait a little while longer for that treat, sorry. But, things are moving along nicely now and the list of jobs is getting shorter and a lot nicer. Adding the “Bling” to the car has the instant wow factor, and I just can’t get enough of this drug they call “Mustang”. What a buzz 😀

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A Little Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning during the winter, in the man cave.

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

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

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seat frame springs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Link:

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

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