Mustangs, Religion & Yoga!

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Do Mustangs and religion mix?

I am going to slightly bend a little unwritten rule I have set myself on my blog, I was never going to talk about religion or politics. The reason being I will invariably upset somebody which is not my intention at all, and I am trying to remain neutral, but this story needs to be told. Is the story good enough to warrant the bending of my little rule? I hope so, but you can tell me. Take this little story in the good nature it’s intended.

Before I get going I must say; I couldn’t care less about what religion you are or not as the case may be, and I couldn’t less care who you vote for. Your opinions and beliefs are yours, and it’s not for me to judge.

The date was a Saturday, the wife has taken the mother-in-law out shopping, and I am happy, time with my car. The weather is cold, but I have that sorted; t-shirt, jumper, coat and a Snap On winter hat (this hat looks a little like a dear stalker, or a WW2 fighter helmet). The hat is warm and even has little flaps by the ears that you lift up so you can hear better! (Make a mental note here about this hat.) Ok, so I may look like a tool, and I don’t mean like the tools in my Snap On tool chest either. But, my head stays warm and I couldn’t care less about what anybody else thinks about it. If you don’t like it – don’t look at it. Simple, yes?

So there I was I took out my tools to the car that’s in the garage and had lots in mind that I wanted to do. I was going to remove the brake booster, reservoir pot, as the bad weather has caused some surface rust to reappear again. After that I would take the slow punctured wheel off to get it repaired. As the car is in nose first and tight against the wall it’s a job to move around it. The situation was playing havoc with my mind, I wanted to push the car back, but I can’t because the tyre is flat, I can’t get the wheel off as it’s close to the wall. Not ideal but I will think of something, I usually do.

The brake booster is located in the back right hand corner of the engine bay as you look at it, directly in front of the driver on the fire wall. The sockets, spanners and ratchets were taken to the corner of the garage and I shoe horned my self between the gap of the fender and the wall. I’m not a little guy, 6′ 4″ tall and best part of 18 stone, such manoeuvres require military like planning to make sure that once I am in place everything is to hand and wont have to keep getting in and out. Spanners all lined up like soldiers, socket tray and ratchets all placed on my fender covers. An old towel was placed on the cowl to stop damage to the paint and rolling around. I undone the main brake line that comes out from the booster to main splitter, and the vacuum hoses. Two bolts hold the reservoir in place, this was removed with little effort. I was bending over and had a little torch to see what I was doing, as all good mechanics will tell you the way to hold a torch is in your mouth when in tight places. The brake booster is held to the firewall by a bracket that in turn is held in place by four screws behind it. To get to this bolts require yoga type positions where your wrist has to be virtually dislocated to get to one of the bolts at the bottom, it’s always the last one as I found out before, so I done this one first. The other three are fine to get off and easily accessible. Bolts off and stored on the fender guard. The next part is awkward. The brake pedal linkage is connected to the back of the booster via a small shaft and a safety clip at the end. This is slid between the mounting bracket points that has holes cut out in order to remove this bar and pin.

Picture the scene, I am now bend right over the car, the hood is up and I am wedged in the small gap that I can get into. The torch is in my mouth, the long-nosed pliers are in hand and the brake booster is in the other hand. The hat is on, I am gently maneuvering the booster around to take the weight off the locking pin, there is crunching on the gravel driveway. It’s the postman I assume, I am expecting a magnetic torch to be delivered for the very reason. I’m OK for now, it can wait. The pliers move in for the kill, they grip the exposed end of the clip, I start to pull it up. I’m murmuring to myself about how the clip does not have a father at this point, it was particularly difficult at the time. More crunching on the drive, the postman is going. I pay no attention. The pin is free and I am taking my time. “Heeellooooh, are you there” and a banging on the trunk of my car with a hand.

Two things I have an issue with here: One, of course I am here, I am wedged in a small place with torch in mouth. Two, somebody is touching my car, you weren’t invited to do so. I could assume, that me banging on you head with my 1/2inch spanner will not cause you to complain either. My car doesn’t look much at the moment, but neither does a Ming dynasty vase look brilliant, you don’t go round banging them either.

As I was taken by surprise I jumped, my body tells me to straighten, fine it responds. My head is now slammed into the hood by the hood spring, with the expletives that our fully flowing now, just like the blood from my left hand finger which was now jammed in the booster mount. The torch has dropped and has made a few clattering noises on the way down to the garage floor, the pliers have followed suite by lack of grip and the safety locking clip has now made a gentle tinkle to somewhere in the black hole void of the engine bay. I was not happy! In the process of me trying to emerge are as gracefully as possible I forgot the spanners were there and knocked a few of them onto the floor as well. Now I am seriously unhappy. Standing up straight I now, my hat is on the skew and almost have the ear flap covering my right eye like some sort of hairy eye patch. There at the end of the car was a bloke in his mid fifties standing on tip toe swaying trying to get a good look at me, he looked like some drunken Meerkat waving a sheet of paper at me. “Can I interest you in this leaflet, have you asked yourself some of these questions?” He got a response alright, I advised him that from thirty odd feet away I can’t read his leaflet and I don’t wanna read it. I was more concerned about stopping the blood pumpin’ out of my finger so I can straighten my hat. He did look a little bemused as to why I was a little curt with him to say the least as I was straightening my hat up.  There was a cold frosty few seconds were the cold lifeless stare of man should be enough to say, time to leave. Metaphorically speaking, tumble weeds rolled across between us, he said “Oh, OK I will leave it here for you”, with that put it on the trunk, gave it a little pat like some obediant dog and scampered off. Now I am mad. He touched the car again, and I had to find the bits. The torch was easy, that fell straight down and was still on. I managed to sort of slide down the wall sideways on and reach under to retrieve the torch. There are now light teeth marks in the torch rubber, if it were a steel one I would have sent the bloke the bill to have my teeth capped, I swear I would have chipped them. So now I had to look for the bolts and most importantly the clip. I could see it, right in the corner of the engine bay on the chassis member. I couldn’t reach it so I had to go and get the magnetic extendable pick up tool.  That could wait for now. So I resumed the new yoga position (that I just invented) called Mustang Forward Crane Position, this involves said maneuver before, butt pressed against a wall, bent over at the waist, arms in some weird position and your head jammed against a hood spring, but with an additional forty-five degree body twist to one side to get the locating bar out of a Brake Booster and pedal linkage. A couple of minutes later it was out.

I took the reservoir and booster back to the man cave, got the magnetic pick up tool and went back to the engine bay, only stopping to pick up the leaflet from the Jehovah Witness. To be fair if he had have been five minutes later there would be no issue. I would have politely declined his offer. I am not saying what I did with the leaflet, but I suddenly remembered that I must put the recycling bin out. The pick up tool was able to get the nuts and the locking pin fine. The tool seems like a luxury, but in this case I was glad I had one. The wheel came of no problem and the car is now sitting on an axle stand until the tyre is fixed. Erm, that also reminds me, I must give Will a call to let him know it’s on its way. Lol 🙂

So, does religion and Mustangs mix, not with me they didn’t, on that occasion anyway.

That was my story, I hope it was worth reading, as the whole thing is absolutely true. The hat? If it weren’t for my Snap On hat I would have had blood coming from my head as well, due to location of the newly defined yoga position.

Snap on winter hat - saved me from disaster
My Snap On winter hat – saved me from disaster

Review of Tuff Stuff Alternator

I have reviewed the Tuff Stuff 100amp alternator and custom bracket (link here), or you can find it under the Parts Section on the header bar. I have had a few hits in the search about this so I have decided to do review it.

If I get time I will add some pictures of the Brake Booster and it’s removal. If not I will add them during the week.

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Moving Home

My car comes home!

This a wordy looking post but I think it’s worth the read for the fun and games we had!

My car has been down the drive just round the corner from me, where it has remained for the last year and a bit, I can work as and when I wanted to on it so there was no real issues.

As I normally do, I lifted the bonnet to make sure everything was OK and I noticed that the Tuff Stuff chrome alternator is not so Tuff after all! The Chrome has a little pitting on it and I ‘aint happy about it to be honest. I am going to review this alternator soon, and I’m not convinced it going to get full marks, or great marks come to that somehow! The damp has started to cause a few issues so we decided that the will have to go in our garage. There wasn’t a great deal in there to be honest just my old stuff from years of collecting rubbish. The charities had a great day as they got books, pictures and old clothes etc. Hopefully they can get some money in for their causes. Anyway, the car was taken of the axle stands and lowered down, left side tyre has a slow puncture that I will have to sort out. A friend of mine Pete came round in his new car which he has only had for a few days and offered to tow her round to my garage. The reason we decided that it should be towed is because the drive is on a slope and there was no way that with me in the car doing the hard work of driving, (OK, steering the car) that the two hired hands were going to push it without booking a visit to the hospital emergency unit to have a couple of hernias sorted out. Mark was playing lookout to start with to make sure that any would be Nigel Mansell wouldn’t meet two and half ton of American Muscle in the middle of the road. After pulling her to the top there is a slight dip down to the road, bearing in mind I have no brakes at the moment so everything had to be done with care and be legal to push it the rest of the way. We managed to stop the Mustang quite well by using the back of Pete’s nice new shiny new car. Oops! Sorry about that Pete I reckon a bottle of your favourite tipple could be arranged for the trouble. Before you ask yes the car is fully comprehensive insured even though it doesn’t go on the road. I think the fact that I got out to check that there was no damage to my car first was like rubbing salt & vinegar into the wound at the time. The car was not to bad weight wise once we got her rolling of course. As the road is a no-through road we weren’t expecting any traffic, but you can never be too sure. A couple of minutes later we were pushing her onto my drive and into the garage, or so we thought. The garage was wide enough by about 3 inches each side, it will even tighter once the mirrors go on. We managed to push the car in inch by inch, Pete was directing the car to the front, Mark was doin’ the donkey at the back pushing and I was on the wheel now and again sweating buckets panicking that I may just have measured up wrong. Pete found out that car was cold as we pinned him to the wall with the bonnet while trying to clear the trunk into the garage. The garage door was lowered down, very carefully and I have about 4 inches to spare with the door shut. It was close if it was going to go in. There is no way a ’67 on would fit in there. But I was happy, she fits and she is tucked up each night now. Just need to get a nice cloth cover and a heater now to make her snug. Perhaps I should ask the wife if I can have some, perhaps not!! 🙁

So there you have it, my car is at her rightful home at long last, gentlemen I thank you for your help. Ooh, I nearly forgot Staci who collected Mark to take him home before his next shift!

The car was in the garage, so the next thing was to rig up an extension to the solar trickle charger for my battery. (A review for that bit of equipment can be found here.) Hole through the garage wall and it was job done, that’s after we spent after we spent the best part of half an hour looking for the clips to the battery so that we could use a length of good quality speaker cable to extend the wire.

A big day for the man and his Mustang it has to be said. I was out there today having a little fiddle around, as you do of course, to see what the next job is going to be. I have a feeling it will be to revisit some of the work I have already done. Such is life, but she is home! 

The next installment I doubt will be as long.

Handin' out the orders
Handin’ out the orders
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