Making Headway

Looking forward to the long weekend as I could get to Mustang Maniac on Saturday and rest for a day on Sunday then do some homework which I had in mind on the bank holiday Monday. Saturday morning I loaded up the car and went to the garage to pick up my sockets and tools bag, I walked in picked up the stuff and put them in the boot and shut the garage door. Realising I forgot the ratchets I went to open the door Again. Locked. I searched my pocket, no keys. I went to the back of the car and checked the tool bag, no keys. I then had the cold sweat feeling, I put the keys on the service trolley in the garage. Now I always unlock the garage, lock it again and put the keys in my pocket. That way when I shut the door it’s already locked and so I don’t forget. Get the spare key, there is no spare key! When we bought the house there was only one key for the garage and I have been meaning to get one cut ever since for a number of years now should we say. At this point it’s dilemma time, do I try to get into the garage or leave it until Sunday? I decided to leave it, and went to say goodbye to the wife who could hear me havin’ my own little rant to myself out the front. She didn’t laugh (yet), but used some of the words that I was using previously to describe my stupidity back to me. Her stifled laughter didn’t last to long as I got in my car with the right hump. All sorts of things were running through my mind, locksmith? Replacement door? I just didn’t know what to think, all the way to the yard I was fretting and nothing on the radio calmed me down, cyclists two abreast down country lanes gave me the hump, getting stuck behind a bus down country lanes gave me the hump. Eventually I got to MM and bumped straight into Adam and Chris. I explained what I had done with my garage, they explained the best way to “re-gain entry” back into my garage when I got home. How do they know these things? Anyway, Sunday I tried their techniques to open the door. Now I needed a replacement part, I took the old one with me and took it to place I know who stock all that sort of stuff. Got home and replaced the handle and lock with a stronger quality one. All fixed again and now I have two keys.


If you need another key, get one cut before it’s to late!

I unloaded half the tools I normally take to the yard and went to the workshop. Where Adam showed me the head liner that had been fitted. It looks great and gives it new lease of life. There were a couple of fold marks near the edges that would drop out shortly under the pressure of the headliner bows. I was well pleased and decided to go for a celebration Cherry Bakewell cake with the guys in the boys club.

Next was some exhaust work, as the parts had been sprayed last week and they were waiting for Yogi who didn’t get a chance to re-hang the exhaust as he was busy on other cars. So as I watched him last week I had a go myself, I soon realised it’s not as easy as he made it look. I eventually got it all back in place and aligned it up best I could get it. Just in case Yogi wanted to move bits I didn’t clamp it up hard, but just a tiny pinch to hold the brackets in place. There was not a lot of room to manoeuvre under there but it’s hanging in place and ready for Yogi to do his thing with the three-inch headers to the main pipes. I know they are not aligned up square and neat, but they will do just for now.

The next part was the carburettor fitting, I removed the old tape from the inlet port that kept the area clean. I rubbed the area down clean ready for the gaskets to be fitted back in place. John joined me and we worked out the sequence of gaskets to be fitted. The first gasket was to seal the intake to the carb spacer.

Then comes the carb spacer, not essential but these give extra torque and power to the engine and make things run that much nicer. This spacer sits on top of the previous gasket.

The next part is the gasket for the bottom of the carb and then the car itself.

The sits on top and is bolted down for bolts each corner.


With the carb in place the throttle linkage was connected to the butterfly controls of the carb and the vacuum advance line. I’m not sure I like the pipe and may change that to look neater.

Adam joined me late in the day we got to grips with the pipe work. We fitted up the new black silicon pipes with my new clamps which turned out to be a real pig to fit in position due to the bulk of the T-bar fittings at the top. We eventually got there but I needed to order two more clamps for the top hose. The clamps should have fitted, but they wouldn’t fit over the pipes and the ridge at the end of the water pump. I will order the next size up they should be with me by the time I get to MM next week.

Feeling a little worse for wear at 7.30pm we decided to call it a day. I had forgotten all about my locked up key, that was until I got on the dual carriageway, put the car in cruise control and reflected on the day, what a stupid boy I had been I thought to myself. OK I didn’t use those exact words but it sort of means the same thing.

My homework? Well that was to bring home a wheel and tyre from my collection. Adam tells me I had different steel wheels from different cars and only one of which was a Mustang wheel. The wheels were welded on some, riveted on others, different sizes and slightly different designs all that I hadn’t noticed. The only good bit about it all was that the Mustang wheel had the best tyre of the bunch on it. I will clean up the wheel and use that for my spare should I ever need it that is.

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Exhausting Work

So glad to get last week out-of-the-way and looking forward to a long hard days work down at the Mustang Maniac yard. My car was loaded up to the brim to take stuff down there, more so than usual this time. There was four tyres, two front seat bases, two front seat backs, rear seat base & back, tools, a change of clothes and not forgetting my all important nosebag (lunch). Two pairs of tyres strapped together, I thought I was going to get them both in the boot, but no. I had two in the boot and two on the front seat next to me. The weight of the tyres set the seat belt warning alarm of so I had to plug the seat belt in. I got some strange looks going through the little villages by MM when they see tyres strapped in.

What are the tyres? 205/60 R15 BF Goodrich with raised white lettering, I wanted the old school muscle tyres look.

All last week when I got home from work, I got changed and went out for two or three hours manual work into the evening on car stuff. I was busy stripping of the old seat covers of down to their frames and cleaning them up again. The seats were covered in glorious ’70s velour upholstery with buttons. It may have been all the rage thirty or forty years ago, but it’s certainly ain’t my taste. The fabric was torn, rotten and smelt of damp dogs and doesn’t go with the image of the car now.

The first step was to remove the old covers, the hog rings which were rusty and sort of gave me an idea of what I was getting myself into. This was a job that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to and I have been putting it of for a while, but it has to be done of course, and Adam was looking to have them soon for the upholstery guys to get going on them with my new interior.


When pulling out old hog rings, use the best quality pliers you can get your hands on. Cheap ones slip of all the time and cause your hands to ache, they are more trouble than they are worth. I used a sort of good set for one seat base, then promptly went and got my Snap On pliers, it seriously made life so much easier and took half the time – trust me!

The front seats were the first job and the velour was the first plan of attack. I cut down a corner and started to peel the covers back as I went along pulling out the hog rings every few inches or so. After a couple of minutes I got the right hump, the simple reason was the seats were covered on the cheap, in other words straight over the top of the old original vinyl covers, the original seat covers were torn, so a re-cover was probably the option at the time to make the car look trendy. What that meant was that I had to remove the velour hog rings then do it again for the original covers, doing the job twice over in effect.

When peeling the corners back at the bottom I got the smell of dampness come through and the foam fell apart on touch. Under the foam was a soft covering of padding laid over the hessian. Of course this was all stitched to the springs at the rear to hold the buttons in place and pull the covers tight.

To get the shape of the seat there are wires that are also hog ringed into the seat foam to give it shape. These have to be removed as well. The padding was marked up with water stains and rust from the wires. When this was removed the hessian was exposed with wires to hold it in place with hog rings as well. The hessian disintegrated and sent dust clouds everywhere. My shed now smells like an old potato storage shed by the way. The hessian irritated my skin which wasn’t very nice to say the least, as a result I decided to change plan and remove the hog rings for the hessian and try to remove the hessian and wires as much as possible in one go.

The frame itself was now exposed and I could see the extra seating shape wires and the rusty ends of the wires that had discoloured the material. The process was repeated for the other front seat both backs and bases.

The rear seats were going to have to be done in the garage due to the size. Exactly the same process was used again but this time the seat back corner was particularly bad at one end on the passenger side.

The hessian again was held in place with long wires this time, some of the hooked ends had rusted away and so some could be pulled straight out. The rear base smelt the worst of all of them, and peeling the velour and vinyl out of the way you can see why.


The padding was rotten though and rust was everywhere, I suspect that the car had water in it at some point as the under dash was also rusted to a similar extent. The hessian on the seat was in three parts, the larger wires for the seat area and the smaller wires for the tunnel section in the middle. This took forever to take of In sections. with the hessian now removed from all the seats it was time to remove all the wires that I could, some were broken in the middle which were no good, some had broken ends. I collected them all up and kept them in their piles for later. The exposed frames were wire brushed to get rid of the loose rust and sprayed with rust encapsulator to stop it, once dried a couple of coats of satin black to make them look like new again.

The seats are now in Adam’s capable hands ready to go of to the fitters to re-upholstered with the new interior. Do you want to see a sneaky peek at the colour scheme? OK you talked me into it!



I must apologise at this point if some of the pictures look familiar if you have been reading the Mustang Maniac blog, I have used some of their pictures as I wasn’t there at the time of course.

I arrived excited as I was going to put the radiator in. Adam had other ideas and told me about the dry fitting of the exhausts. The pipes had come back from a mate of his who bent the pipes to what was mapped out for my car being a bespoke setup from my 3″ headers we fitted back on last week.

The pipes they were using was the largest recommended size of 2 1/4″ on a classic Mustang. The special order Flowmaster Series 40 Delta Flow boxes had arrived and I was told it was final dry fit time and to help Yogi.

The exhaust pipes need to hang from two large brackets from the seat back panel, so holes had to be made to take the stud fixings.

The pipes have been bent as I said before and I wondered to myself do you really need all these little bends? When it is all dry fitted up you can see that you do need it.

The pair of mufflers have an inlet and outlet ports as the baffles inside are designed to soften the noise, create an area of low pressure inside the box as well as accelerate the gas from the pipes as quickly as possible. The mufflers were hung from their brackets in order to make it easier for the tail pipe fitting.


At his point we discovered that the fitting of the mufflers here meant that the hand brake cable would be resting and possibly rattle on the top of the boxes. Yogi made me up some brackets and fitted them in place for me to stop that problem.


The dry fit was going well, but as I was holding pipes I couldn’t take pictures at this point. Yogi measured up the location where the turn down exhaust tips would need to be fitted. Then we took the whole lot of again. The end sections were taken to Adam’s work shop where the exhaust cutter was kept. Like a giant plumbers tool in some ways I was shown how to use it then I could have a go to cut down the excess pipes.

With the pipes cut the turn down tips needed to be test fitted. They were too tight and needed to be expanded, like a swaging tool this specialist tool expands the end to allow it to slip over the exhaust pipe final section.

That was the exhaust done for now until the step down has been made for the headers. Amazing to watch it all take shape like that. During the week the guys had sprayed the main hanging brackets as they were bare metal and didn’t want to take them of from rusting.

My next job was to clean and paint the exhaust clamps along with the smaller mounting brackets.

As these were left in the afternoon sun they soon dried out and should be fine to use by the time they want to fit them.

What I thought I came down to do was my final job of the day, the radiator. I gave it a bit of a clean over and got the bolts out along with the cowl bolts. As I was on my own not much chance to take pictures again trying to hold it in place needed two hands. But basically there are four bolts in each corner that go through the front panel opening into the corresponding holes on the radiator with a nut to hold them all in place.

My fan was re-sprayed again a while ago as it got a bit damaged moving it around, but this time I detailed it bit with the chrome tips. This should also give a visual guide that the blade is turning.

The radiator sits nice in the black engine bay and I am pleased with the look. The pressure cap on the top is a generic rubbish one and I will replace it. But for now I sprayed that black while I was at it with the brackets just to make it blend in.

Lastly last week I forgot to take pics of the fuel filter and the fuel sender unit in the fuel tank. So as promised here they are.

Next week I have no idea what I am doing. But I should image it will be brilliant what ever it is. Thanks again to Yogi for the crash course in exhaust fabrication and to Adam for storing all my stuff short term of course, now he can’t get a couple of his cars out.

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Have I missed the point?

A little confused by what is being achieved!

Everyday I drive to the train station and I get on public transport to get me to work. Most of the time the trains are late according to my watch. But in their book they are only late if it’s over 30 minutes. I don’t know who agrees this is the definition of late but they need to sort it out, as all they are doing is falsifying the figures. Every month I have to sell body parts to raise cash for the unfair fares they charge. Get people off the roads and into public transport say the government. But the fact it is so expensive, late, dirty and overcrowded is not an issue for them, how comes they never travel on it?

On to my main point, I was walking to work from the station and I spotted some kid who thought he was the dogs dangly bits. Now he had a baseball cap on sideways, a t-shirt on while it was snowing, a pair of jeans that didn’t seem to fit or he needed a belt. The jeans were around his thighs, the jeans were so tight that he was walking like a penguin in a plaster cast. His underpants were on show, I dare say they were from a Wal-Mart own brand and to top it of with a pair of trainers with the biggest tongue ever. I watched as he was having a conversation with his gangsta mate on the other end of the phone that was stuck to the side of his head. His other hand being used to give it the “massive like innit” hand signal, you know the one, where the flick of the wrist as if they are trying to free their fingers from the contents of the freshly cleaned nostrils. Anyway he waddled to his car and unlocked it. No central locking but it did have a large set of rims and a rubber band wrapped round them for a tyre. The car was the good old 10 year old Vauxhall Corsa 1.0 12v It only has 3 cylinders and 59bhp & top speed of 96mph, (I looked that bit up, figures correct when it was new). Ok, economical little town run around, but when it started up it was a treat. Firstly the white smoke signalled the engine was firing up, then there was mandatory revving of the engine to see if he could make more noise. Yep he could, the pea shooter of an exhaust was cleverly disguised as dustbin opening by the addition of the screw on tail pipe. I suspect he was running illegal exhaust as the noise was the sound of one hundred six inch nails in a washing machine. But I wasn’t to worry as the mobile disco sub produced enough noise to try and set the car alarm of behind it. Then when he had enough revs on he dumped the clutch and it sort of juddered away building to an impressive walking pace where he was now at full revs grabbing second gear, just in time to brake hard for the pedestrian crossing. Now what was that all about, dangerous driving as well? Perhaps he thought he looked cool, he did, it was minus 3 when I got out my car. Now, in my day it was how to make the engine run smooth, get more bhp and tune it up, improve the handling and give it a nice clean to look the part. Maybe evolution resulted in a newer generation of drivers that enjoy looking daft and driving like a nutter. So my question is, am I getting old (which I know I am), or is this a one off teenager that Charles Darwin would also be confused over?


I have written a review for the VHT Satin Black Caliper Paint under the Reviews menu, Consumables or click here for the quick link.

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First Tool Review

I have updated the tools sections with a Blue-Point Flaring Tool TF5A review.

Go to the button for the review or click here.

Let me know if you are finding these reviews helpful or there is something you want to see. This site will continue to improve and become a good source of reference. Well, that’s my plan anyway. Above all though, this will be a documented journey of one man who knew very little about classic car restorations and his Mustang. The learning curve is more like running into a brick wall it’s that step. All the little things that should be simple turn out to be more difficult than you think. I am learning all the time, and each little job I complete is a step closer to her being road worthy. Am I looking forward to smokin’ those tyres? What do you think? 🙂

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