A Little Padding

This week things look as though they have moved on quickly at Mustang Maniac, when in fact the process took a little under a couple of hours for the main project. What am I bangin’ on about? My new dash pad of course. Adam had some of these in stock, but he has pulled the stops out to get me in a Ford tooling dash pad, I have been spoilt. I saw the box and realised that the project was going to take a big leap today. Lots of pictures this time to make up for the previous weeks where I couldn’t take to many as I had my hands full.

The new metal part dash itself has been painted and as yet there is no further hints of the colour scheme inside. Me and Adam have had some long conversations and eventually sorted the colours out and the style. Some of it has been custom-made which have already arrived, but won’t be fitted just yet until all the adjustments have been done.

The Dash itself in place by two threaded studs, two in the middle and one on each end of the dash. The washers supplied are quite small so they were replaced with a larger set to spread the tension around a little more evenly.

The dash pad is not very heavy at all but care needs to be taken when fitting to make sure that the pad bolts don’t scratch the metal work. The pad is pushed over the upper supports of the dash to take the weight.

The two centre studs locate just above the radio space. a slight pull down on the pad to open it up a little allows it to slide over the top part of the metal dash. The two end studs will need to be pulled down slightly as well to locate into the holes.

The windscreen part of the dash will need to worked into place under the rubbers to make sure it lays flat. With the studs in place it’s a case of fit the washer and bolts and tighten them up to pull the dash into the metal dash itself. Do not over tighten the nuts.

That is basically it, the next part is to fit the demister vents, these are held in place by two clips each side which are sprung loaded. align the loose material from the dash over the holes for the vent and press into place.

dashpad18

The large hole in the centre is for the original speaker which I will fit. I am not bothered about a noisy sound system, I will have a v8 symphony at my beck and call. On top of all this there is a metal grille, the flutes each side direct the air to the screen. I have not had this colour coded just yet, so it’s still bare metal with only a coating of Gibbs Brand to stop it rusting. The grill was lightly pressed in place not all the way in just o give an idea of the look.

The Ford tooling part fitted like a glove, the before and after comparison.

dashpad16

Next on the list was the cowl to hood rubber seal, this is a simple clip in place with two screws each end on a bracket to hold the rubber up. Offer the strip up and apply a screw to hold it in place. Space out the rubber to the other bracket and make sure it’s even.

The clips have a little movement once in place but could damage the paint work if you are not careful. CLip them into place and add the other screw and tighten up.

cowltohoodseal7

Moving to the back of the car there needs to be a sealing strip to the trunk. This has two purposes, one for the rain, two for the fumes that could be vented back into the car. With the trunk in place and the gaps spot on Adam told me to mask up the location of the brackets on the truck. This would be top and sides on each bracket. Chris gave me a hand to undo the bolts and remove the bolts and flip the trunk onto a the ready-made work table.

The special weather strip adhesive is applied like a contact adhesive. The rubber can only go on one way which is a “c” shape looking at it from the end on. This should be fitted with the opening facing inside each of the contours. Adam advised to mask up the paint work before applying the glue. This will stop the mess getting onto the paint and save many careful hours of removing it without damage to the paint. I had my doubts as I was going to be careful.

A thin-film was added to the rubber and the paint and allowed to go tacky. Chris was holding as I was squeezing the tube onto the rubber and smoothing it out with as gloved finger. No matter how careful you are this stuff goes all over the place. Adam was right the masking tape was taking a bit of a battering at this point. Make sure the adhesive does not get inside the “c” or on the outside as this should be allowed to move to make the seal correctly. At this point as we were working quickly there was no time for the photo’s here. But the rubber was applied from the front to the back following the curves of the trunk. While we were sticking the two together we taped the corners down to stop them moving around until the glue had a chance to set a little.

It was at this point that I started the cowl to hood trim fitting while the glue set. It’s all about the forward planning! When the glue had set a little the masking tape was removed from the paint and re-applied to the corners again just to hold it in place. The rubber is longer than required by around six inches or so, so I cut the rubber as a dead butt fit and glue the ends together to form the seamless join.

While waiting again for the glue to go off again I fitted the door rubbers from a replacement pack.

doorrubbers

Last week I mentioned that I would get some pictures of the weather strip seal around the doors. So as promised here they are.

Next week I am not sure the plan of action, but the Trunk will go back on then mess around with the gaps again. The dash will need the glass to dash trim fitted. which will require some drilling! Slightly nervous about drilling so close to glass and on top of my new dash.

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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.

Reviews:

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.

quarters1

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.

trunkarea24

 

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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New Paint Colour Revealed

The weekend still arrived slower than ever after a Bank Holiday at the beginning of the week. I was excited to get down to Mustang Maniac to see what had been done to my car. The lower cowl was going to be replaced as it had rotted through and that piece of work was known about. With the cowl off the guys could see the fire wall and the back of the dash clearly in daylight. On full inspection of the dash they could see it had gone a little thin underneath and rusted pretty badly all along the inside. A discussion was had to either replace the whole dash, or weld parts onto the old dash. This would mean shaping metal and replacing the radio slot that is always butchered on the classic cars. The decision was made to replace the complete dash, not a cheap option but it was going to be worth it in the long run. As ever Adam had a full dash in stock and was fitted, welded and brazed into place. It’s a little difficult to see black on the dark underside but you can make it out.

The top part of the firewall had to be fabricated as it was little thin in the top crease, so again it was decided by Terry to cut the top off the firewall and replace it with fresh metal and shape it to the new lower cowl. Metal work skills being displayed in all their glory and you can’t even tell it has been replaced.  With the lower cowl now firmly welded in place it was masked up and then given the first of a couple of layers of primer. It was at this point I was sent this teaser photo by Adam to show the primer had been applied to the cowl, this is the first piece of fresh metal to get proper paint.

lowercowlprime

I turned up very excited and itching to see the car expecting to see the cowl in primer. I wasn’t disappointed the lower cowl was painted in the colour that I wanted, Acapulco Blue. Obviously I am biased big time here, but it’s a bit different and a stock ’67 Mustang colour, I am absolutely delighted with it. This was the first time I had seen the colour on my car. A pretty special moment.

I got a bit carried away having a little bonding session with the fantastic paint job much to the amusement of the guys who followed me in to see my surprised look. Adam broke the news to me about the very busy day ahead of me. The trunk was to be removed and then strip it back to bare metal to see if there was any “little surprises” waiting for us as Adam puts it. What he means is, are there any pin holes or rust that have been covered up. I started on the top side and then worked my way to the underside. The underside took a lot longer due to all the corners and curves that made it hard work. I am pleased to say after a few hours hard work that the trunk is solid and no rust at all, except for a two very light surface areas where the paint had chipped off on the top side.

The next job was to red oxide the inside firewall as I had stripped it back to metal last week. The end results are pretty amazing I must say.

I was spoilt this week in my own little sanctuary, a nice guy Chris was given the dubious pleasure of working with me for the day. It’s normally quiet in the work shop, but last weekend it was a nice change to have somebody to share a conversation with all things cars. Chris made a great job of stripping the right side B pillar and the rear panel under the rear screen. Thanks for your hard work Chris. Throughout the day the normal visits from the guys was in full flow and towards the end of the day I was given some “homework” by Adam. That homework was to take home one of the fenders and strip it back to bare metal. Adam was right it was a busy weekend for me with a few more to come like it. Things have stepped up a notch, big time!

Sunday, I got up with a full day in front of me and the backs of my legs aching. My homework was to be completed along with the trunk hinges and sprung bars that connect them to hold the trunk open. The hinges were to be stripped and all paint removed as it has to be painted the same colour inside the trunk. I though I would try to be clever to strip and clean the parts with the sprung tension bars in place. Unfortunately this turned out to be a nightmare so I had to remove the bars.

I held one of the hinges in the vice and lever out the first bar. This was enough to start a cascade of events. The sprung bar unleashed itself like a coiled cobra and the end of the bar slapped me on the left hand at the base of the knuckle, the instant pain caused me to rub my hand as the other bar sprang away hit the man cave rubbish bin, this in turn was sent flying leaving a cloud of old sanding dust and rubbish all on the man cave floor in the doorway. After the initial clean up and the bruise on my thumb and wrist getting darker by the minute, I took the hinges back outside to complete the strip down. Both hinges came out pretty well and I was well pleased. To protect the inside of the hinges I gave a coating of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator to prevent additional rust on the inside of the hinges. The sprung bars were given an undercoat of red oxide and then a top layer of silver.

The homework was a dilemma, how to remove the paint from the fender. I decided on my Dewalt dual action sander with a 100grit discs. I intended to go down to the undercoat and then use a lighter and lighter grades to get to the bare metal. Some of it went to plan and some of the paint came straight of and I went to the metal. I will have to fine buff the tiny swirl off the metal work now this weekend. The purpose of the homework? to see if there were any little surprises waiting for me. I am pleased to say I didn’t find any on this original panel so far. I still have the top edge to complete but that could be later in the week or next weekend.

A big update again and a lot has happened, I intended to post on Sunday as normal. But, I had so many pictures to edit it was very late to start writing this little lot up. Forgiven?

Quick Links:

Right fender work to treat the inside click here

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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.

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

LeftRearArchRust
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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