Oh Balls!

Easter weekend and I have lots of days on the car, well that’s what I was hoping anyway. I had promised to help to wife around the garden over Easter and the day we were hoping to have away in London didn’t happen for various reasons. But, I was still allowed a day pass to go work on my car so I was happy. I arrived at Mustang Maniac tools and food at the ready to last me the day. I managed to grab some time with Terry who kindly showed me how to change the main seals in the C4 transmission with me.

The first part was to remove the kick-down and gear lever on the side of the gearbox. This was a case of undoing the gear selector pressure plate on top of the valve body and removing the brains of the gearbox. The brains of the gearbox is a series of pipes and valves that operate in certain pressure conditions and should not be played with unless you know exactly what you are doing. A single thread from a cloth will be enough to damage the valves inside.

The bolts being removed from the valve body or brain.


Lifting the brain out and exposing the intricate pathways of the transmission fluid.

With the valve body lifted carefully out-of-the-way, it allowed access to the gear lever and kick-down mechanism. Remove the bolt from the outside and the two halves of the lever will separate the smaller part inside the outer sleeve.

The two rubber seals need to be replaced at this point, one on the main gearbox housing where the larger outer sleeve fits through on the outside casing, the other is on the end of the lever bar itself and will need to be pressed in with help of a vice as it’s a tight fit.

A rare glimpse at the inner workings of a C4 transmission.

To fit the lever back into place was simple enough, but locating the position of the gear selection lever to the valve body kick-down mechanism is tricky. The lever has to sit inside a cam and the kick-down connection sits just behind that. The horizontal bar at the top of the picture below shows where the lever cam must be located.


With the valve body in place it’s time to tighten the valve body back down in place, make sure the body does not lift of or move from the gear arm.


The next part would be to fit the filter back on, then the transmission sump. This is where my problem started. When the filter was first removed we also removed the spring but there was no steel ball bearing or valve plate sitting in the pressure relief channel. We were going to check if this model need it. It does.


The spring locates just where you can see two half-moon parts of casing just below the end of the spring. This is in fact a pressure regulator for the two half’s of the gearbox. So not only was it put back together with a pressure valve part missing, but there was also a bolt missing from the gear selector arm sprung plate as well. John hunted high and low all over the place for a ball bearing that size, he even opened up some scrap parts that may of had a bearing in them. Do you think we found one? No. We even split open a couple of old used spray cans to get the ball bearing(s) out. In today’s world that bearing has been replaced with a glass marble so it seems. Now it’s at this point I need to apologise again to John who punctured a can I gave him to get the (potential) bearing out. The tin of black spray paint gushed out, (even though no gas was coming out of the nozzle after I emptied it), and proceeded to spray satin black paint over his overalls and neck. Sorry John. John to his credit managed to remain calm, but the air did go a little blue if you get me. So I was going to have to try and buy one as the search was not proving to be successful at all. I was not a happy Easter Bunny at this point because some herbert didn’t put the gearbox back together properly, and it makes me wonder even more now about the health of the gearbox in general. The only good thing is that the fluid is clean, which can be a good sign of health for an auto transmission gearbox. But, these setbacks do happen in restoring old classic cars and I dare say there will be more. The guys at MM see it all the time where things are put back together with bits missing or not even secured where they should be, such as brake pipe valves, fuel lines, engine parts etc. Anyway in the mean time I cleaned up the back of the gearbox, fitted the seal gasket and re-attached the rear of gearbox and tightened the bolts up.

With the two halves back together again I fitted the new rear seal that protects the prop shaft from leaking when located in the gearbox. This particular seal is an upgraded version as these new seals have a collar rather than just the ring on the inside. I found a very large socket to fit over the end of the collar and tap it back into place.


The governor valve was next up to be fitted to the side of the gearbox, this is held in place by a sprung loaded clip and a bolt. Make sure the thin rod that fits into the end of the governor is in place or the gearbox will not change gear!

With the parts in place it was time to prep the sump and gasket ready to be fitted to the gearbox.

Now there wasn’t a great deal I could do so I just tinkered around. I said my farewells to the chaps at the end of the day and thought all the way home where I could get a single ball bearing from. Once I arrived home I went to my man cave and looked through my odds and ends tin. As a creature of habit when I finish a can of spray I cut it open to get the ball bearing out.

Note: Please be very careful if you are mad enough to attempt this at home as it could explode if any air pressure remains in the tin, if in doubt don’t do it.

In previous posts I have used the bearings to seal up fittings when spraying or to stop the area being contaminated. They do come in handy. So I opened the lid and tipped it out onto my bench, I found the perfect size!



I have now packed the spring and bearing away very carefully ready for next week. Not only did a find a bearing, but I found two balls, now I was a happy bunny again. It’s amazing how a single tiny part can stop an entire days plans. I was hoping to get the box fitted back on the car last week, but it will have to be next week now. Something to look forward to now.

Happy Easter to you all.

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Freshen Up

This will be a short(ish) post as I spend a whole day busy but not seeming to get very far. Saturday arrived and I arrived at Mustang Maniac to an eerie quietness. As Adam is cruising the Route 66 on holiday at the moment not much was happening at the offices obviously. I unloaded my car and took the refurbished bits and tools down to the work shop. The c4 transmission gearbox was still there leaking transmission fluid like it had been shot. The task for the day was to clean it up, degrease it and spray it to match the back section of the gearbox. John was on hand to sort out the heating for me in the workshop to get the ambient temperature up in order to allow me to spray. I managed to clean up the outside, dry it all off and mask up the areas not requiring any spray.

As this was aluminium I needed to use some Self Etch Primer to hold the paint to the casing. I gave the case a not to heavy a coating and allowed it to dry. Drying didn’t take long considering there was a fuel powered heater that looked like the back-end of the Batmobile when it fires up and the heat is pretty instant when it hits you.

A slipped on the back-end of the gearbox to the primer in the pic below and there was not a lot of difference to be honest. The silver paint just made the case look like clean aluminium which was exactly the effect I was after.

back case pre painted
back case pre painted

Two coats of the silver paint were applied in thin layers and looked pretty damn good once it was done and dried.


With the gearbox now sprayed I turned my attention to a task I did a little while ago, the glove box. I mentioned that I had no clips on the back of the card insert which meant that I had the lip at the top inside the glove box. But as this was bugging me I found some small clips from a previous panel and slid them into place on the cardboard and held them down with tiny bit of duct tape. The clips were gripping the card fine, but I didn’t want them to turn on the first couple of turns of the screw. The duct tape was well out of sight and will never be seen. The self tapping screws were just enough to grip the clips and pull it tight to the back of the dash. Now it looks how it should do.

While the dash door was off I took the time to give it a light freshen up with a satin black on the paint. Not too much, just a light dusting from a distance that still give the door that old look but clean. The inside of the door was given a another sating black dusting and the catch was removed to give it a spray of chrome. Unfortunately you can’t see it to well on the picture but the sating and chrome look works well.

glove22All in all I spent all day cleaning and spraying but there wasn’t a lot to show for it, but I am happy with the results.

The next job is to replace the seals in the gearbox and get it fitted back into the car, hopefully that will be very soon.

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The Yin and Yang effect

Good & not so good

The weekend started of pretty poor, I had a bug which started Friday morning and stopped me in my tracks for 30 hours or so, as a result I have been busy behind the scenes with the blog, more of that in a bit. I managed to get out into the man cave on Saturday mid morning to start the cleaning of my front brake drum. This time the sun was out, and that made me feel better for a start. The birds were singing and I had time to do what I wanted. I started the ritual tidy and clean up, I looked to my side a caught sight of a tame blackbird just by the door, showing no signs of fear. Not only was he just starring at me but looked like he wanted some food, he obviously changed his mind and flew away. Do they sense you wont hurt them? Back in the man cave I spread out the shower curtain to get my make shift spray booth ready. I mounted and sprayed the brake booster on my home made jig. The results were exactly what I was after, that almost natural metal look with a little character of old age pitting showing. I have posted the pics “Photo Menu, Engine bay, Brake booster part 2” or click here. A real good days work was had and it was only and late afternoon, time to get a quick blue ray in too, this is turning into a great day. Coming back in I went to get changed and heard the toilet running, strange, as the wife was out it couldn’t be her. On lifting the lid to the cistern the float mechanism had got stuck open and over flowing back into the bowl. So now my great day was now startin’ to go down the pan literally. Now I’m not happy, I had to get the household DIY tools in to fix it as they are now locked up in the man cave. I found the spare float valve unit that I bought ages ago, but never used from another kit I had. So off came the cistern from the wall, water spraying all over the place from the remains of back pressure in the shut of valve all up the wall of my freshly painted bathroom. The contents of my tool bag now all over the bathroom floor on a damp towel. the cistern parts mixed up amongst them. Reassembling the inlet float valve didn’t take long to be honest. The front door opened and in comes my wife in a great mood and comes upstairs to see what I was doing, I think the odd naughty word slipping from my lips gave it away. Then comes my favourite question in situations like these,  “What are you doing?” The fact I have half of plumbing world all over the floor should have been a clue. Avoiding, my more obvious choice of a sarcastic remark when I am in a bad mood, I settled on explaining what had gone wrong and needed fixing. I expect we will probably get a bill big enough to fill a small swimming pool as a result just to make me feel even better about it. At this point she left me to get on with it. But she had bought me a nice cake while she was out. Once the job was done and adjusted for the water levels I took the tools out and locked up again. That cake was well and truly deserved, why? Because the spray job still looked good when I went back to the man cave!

Now here is a thought; is there such a thing as the pleasure & pain thing or Yin & Yang? I found this petrol head spin on the idea, brilliant, I just had to post this:

Yin & Yang Mustang
Yin & Yang Mustang

At the beginning I mentioned that I had been busy behind the scenes for the last couple of weeks. I have tweaked the blog a bit to make it a little more user friendly and added a couple of photos for the brake drum clean here, brake booster treatment and spraying here and a review of Granville Rust Cure here.

I have also started a YouTube Channel “One man and his Mustang”, (clever that huh?) where I will post videos, clips and reviews of what I am or have been up too. There are two videos, one for the products that I am using after I was asked that question, so it made sense to show them. The other is my Granville Rust Cure process. Please subscribe to the channel if you like what you see. or give me some feedback on what you want to see. I have moved the “Contact me” button too in order to make it easier to email me.

I have added a couple of good articles as well, on specifications and options for the 66 Mustang for all body shapes. In fact lots of stuff has been added, I hope you like it.

The best thing about my YouTube Channel? You can see a marked improvement in my video editing and techniques that took a leap forward. If only my car would move along that quick!

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