On The Road

A very special day for me today as I drove my car for the first time on public roads. Initially I was going to put up the full story of the complete nightmare it has been to get to this day registering her in the UK. But, I have decided that I didn’t want to ruin this post by having a major rant at the totally pathetic and incompetent Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) here in the UK. I will be posting a separate post on how and what went on with them very soon.

For now though it’s the good bits and positive vibes. Earlier in the week I had my number plates delivered and I was waiting to get a clear day to fit them on the car. The back of the car would be fine as that’s easy access, but I would have to roll the car out to get the front plate on. I wasn’t going to do that if it was raining.

The new plates are pressed metal with silver raised lettering. I have been given a nick-name by the Mustang Manic guys which is “Sat-Nav”. I make no excuses here – I am completely useless at directions. I am like an ant, I follow the same route all the time if shown. I get lost coming home and I have lived here over ten years now, honestly I am terrible. I have to put my sat-nav on to go to the MM yard still. When I was at their yard getting ready to fire up my car up I had to go and get petrol, they had to draw me a map of directions so I didn’t get lost on my way to the petrol station, which is less than a mile away. It’s a great sense of pleasure for the guys to take give me grief over it still. Why did I mention that? On the registration plates when your order them you can have type at the top and or bottom, I was going to put Sat-Nav at the bottom of mine. At the last minute I changed my mind as it would probably end up getting hacked of having to explain what it means to people. So I went with the standard Ford Mustang and the year, just in case people don’t know what it is.

As the plates don’t have holes they have to me drilled where you want them. I found the old USA reg plate for my car to use for the template. I aligned it up on the back of the new plates and market it with a pencil.

I placed a small piece of masking tape over the marked up areas to stop the small pilot drill from slipping. With the small hole done I took a larger drill to the pilot hole to allow the screw to go through.

There are just two holes at the top and a rubber grommet at the bottom. Screwing the plates on was really the last job on the car apart from maintenance from now on. It was a real buzz to tighten up those screws.

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The car was ready. The weather was not bright sunshine, but it was dry and bright, today was the day. I got changed out of my working clothes and slipped into the driver’s seat. I took a deep breath trying to steady my slightly shaking hands. I put the key in the ignition and pumped the gas pedal a couple of times. The engine turned over for a few seconds and eventually the fuel was pumped into the carb. The engine fired and the exhausts barked into life, I revved it a few times and sat there for a what seemed liked minutes, but was only a few seconds. For the first time I adjusted the lap belt and pulled it tight. I checked the gauges,  oil pressures were up, voltmeter was now reading just over fourteen and a half volts, petrol gauge showing a quarter of a tank. It was enough as I only intended to drive a few miles to see how she would settle down. I wound the window down, I pressed the brake pedal and pressed in the button on the gear lever to pull it into “R”, the revs died down as the gearbox engaged reverse, I released the brake and she rolled back out of the drive onto the road. I stopped the car and pulled the lever into “D”. The revs dropped and I released the brake and she rolled forwards while straightening the wheel. I squeezed the gas pedal the revs picked up and the exhaust stepped up their noise level, I was off. I smiled to myself and those few seconds will never ever be erased from my memory now. After a few hundred yards I came to my first junction, indicated and looked both ways. Normally this is second nature and I drive this way to work in my normal daily car. Today was different, I looked again and then again. I pressed the pedal and I moved into the road. The gears changed, but I didn’t feel it as it was silky smooth jus the engin note changing. I drove towards a pub where some guys where outside smoking, the group turned to look at my car. The buzz stepped up a level. People were looking at my car, as this is a narrow road the throb of the v8 and exhaust tone was bouncing of the buildings and a little girl with her dad pointed at my car, I don’t know what was said as the car soumd was my world at the moment. The road opened up into a country lane and I began to settle down a little. Sitting on the left didn’t feel strange, it just felt right and natural in the car. I drove a little more and pressed the pedal more. No hesitation, just a change in exhaust note. I checked the speedo and I was doing sixty mph without realising it. I drove around till I found a nice quiet country road and turned into it. I got out to take a couple of pics before anybody else turned into the road.

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I started to make my way back just taking in the roads and sound, oh that sound. It’s so much better than I ever imagined down a country road. I was concentrating intently. The result of over four years of love, passion and work culminated in this brief fifteen minute drive. Was it worth it, hell yeah. It was worth it and wanted to drive it more. The trouble is I couldn’t. I left my wallet in my other car and the wife had taken that car. So I had no money to put fuel in her today. I needed to keep some in the tank for that longer trip to fill her up. I pulled back onto the drive and relaxed. With sadness I turned her off and just sat there. The engine was silent, but I could still her sound in my head. I unbuckled and got out of the car and shut the door. I walked around the car and checked underneath for leaks or anything out of the ordinary. I pulled the hood and I heard the metallic little ticks of metal cooling down as I inspected for anything out-of-place. All was OK.

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I tidied up some things in the garage and left her outside for some fresh air. With the tools away and everything back in the tool boxes I walked back to the car, got in and started her up again, I gently rolled her into the garage until the rubber ball hanging from the ceiling just touched the windscreen. I turned her off and got out. I covered her up and realised that only now had my smile started to slip away. Less than ten miles driven and yet those recaptured memories of driving my first Mustang over twenty-five years were reignited like a firework going off. Was it what I was expecting owning my own Mustang and driving a v8 Mustang? No, it was better, MUCH better. Unfortunately I can’t explain that feeling of completing a project and realising a dream come true.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but there will be more I promise when I get more adventurous driving further afield. For now I am just so happy.

I noticed earlier today that Mustang Maniac blog posted about a ’67 390GT in Acapulco Blue. I had seen this car a few years ago and was the inspiration for my colour scheme.

What a day, what a buzz. More than that, what a truly awesome car Ford made in 1966.

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Badges

I’m back! I know I haven’t posted for a while, but it has only been one month to the day in fact, yet when I see that last post “Merry Christmas..” it seems like forever ago, or is it just me? There is not a lot of things I can post about the car at the moment for very good reasons as it’s all behind the scenes, so more of that in bit though.

As you probably remember in November last year my car was at a Classic Car show in Birmingham on the Mustang Owners Club Of Great Britain exhibition stand. The club has its own magazine called “Round Up” for the club members and they ran an article on the show. My car had a few nice photo’s taken of it and me cleaning it. I’m Sure they won’t mind me posting them here.

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I was well pleased when I saw this spread I must say. 😀

The Car Update:

Any vehicle that is permanently imported into the UK needs to have Duty and Tax paid. Unaware at the time when I bought the car this was the case I am unable to register my car for the UK roads because the car has not paid any import duty. Needless to say I wasn’t very impressed with finding this out. But, I put it down to a learning experience now, but I would like to have a conversation with the bloke who sold it to me though. It turns out that in order to put a UK registration plate on the car you need to fill in paper work, lots of paperwork. In the near future once this nightmare is all sorted out, I intend to post an article on how to do it with a step by step process as I go through it. There will be all sorts of useful links where I can find them and hopefully this will help with other people in the same situation.

The first step is to pay the Import Duty and VAT (Value Added Tax) on the car. There are literally hundreds of different categories for items to be imported and choose from. I have been given a helping hand by Mustang Maniac on how to do it all. Once the duties are paid you will get a “NOVA” (Notification Of Vehicle Arrival) certificate. This will state that <said> vehicle has had all import Tax and Duties paid on it. From there on you can fill in more forms to request a registration plate and pay more money for the plate to go on the car. So far to date I have been granted my “NOVA” certificate with all fees paid in full. This single document now becomes a critical part of the vehicle’s history for the UK. I am now waiting for the response from our Government department, DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) who are responsible for issuing the registration plates for the UK. Some time soon I will be given an official licence registration number allocated to my car. Then I can pay more money with all my paper work to get a “Registration Plate” or badge if you like made up to put on the car.

For obvious reasons I won’t say too much at the moment as it’s all ongoing. But once it has all be completed and I am able to get the car on the road legally, I will do a full update article on what and how it all works.

In the mean time I have been playing in the garage and looking for things to do apart from polishing the car again. I have many left over parts from the restoration, they were either broken, worn out, bits missing from them, burnt out or cosmetically damaged. I found in a box the right hand side fender badge. The pins on the back were broken off and the chrome was pitted and looked rough. I cleaned it up and had an idea for a use for it. Obviously it couldn’t have gone on the car as the paint had come off and I only had one of the pair. So, I bought some model enamel paints as close as I could get to the Mustang Tri Bar colours.

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I painted the badge and it came out pretty good. I could have done it a little neater but I was more interested in the colour match at the time. However, all this messing around is all for a good reason; the badge on the AirCon unit has rubbed of a bit which has the ford Tri Bar colours on it. So now this painted test piece looks OK, I paint the tiny logo in the car as well now. As always I shall bring pictures of it when I get round to doing it.

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I bought some sticky magnetic tape to stick on the back just to see how it would cope and look.

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Then I found something to stick it on, my Blue-Point service cart.

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I do believe I now have a unique Limited Edition 1 of 1 tool cart. I think it looks pretty good, and the best bit is that I can move it around and stick it to anything metal I want and it will become a 3D Mustang badged merchandise. I may even get some more of these emblems from the next car jumble show I go to.

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Good Ol’ Plan B

This weekend has been all about getting stuff off.

This weekend I am not sure what has come over me, I don’t know if it was the sunshine for most of the week and now it’s the weekend that got me in this mood. I think I have taken more bits of the car now than when I got it! The front valance is off (click here), the radiator valance is off, the hood catch is off (click here), the front drums are off again (click here) and then I started on the inside.

So the inside, has not got a headliner, no dash cover, no driver seat, steering wheel off, no rear parcel shelf and no dashboard again. The seat was removed as I needed clear space to get to the wires and under dash work. The seat frame had collapsed and my mate Will at Park Garage repaired it for me. The headliner, will be one of the last things I get for the inside. The dash is now out again so I can get to the wiper motor a lot easier. The wiper motor was burnt and melted, which I knew about when I went to look at the car and took a look under the dash. The bloke I bought it from said it wouldn’t take much to put right. Oh, how little I knew then. The fact this classic car restoration thing is supposed to be a learning curve for me turned out to be a reinforced concrete wall that I had run into head first just after I got the car. I now have manuals and I now have people in the know at Mustang Maniac who help me out with parts, advice I need and parts I should have but don’t even know it – yet. Sometimes it feels like trying to run up the playground slide in the wet! Don’t tell me you never don’t that as a kid. 🙂

What am I on about this weekend? I decided that the next job is going to be the wiper motor replacement, the fact the wipers are stuck half way across the screen annoys me and the fact I have not tidied up the wires since I re-wired her annoys me. The reason I have not tidied the wiring as I knew the wiper motor had to come out sooner rather than later, this weekend was that time. My research tells me it was going to be a difficult job so I put it off for as long as possible . At the Enfield Pageant I purchased some stubby spanners with this job very much in mind as well. Armed with my selection of spanners, screw drivers, pliers, various assorted ratchets & sockets, WD40, torches and just about anything for four bolts or three if I was lucky! The wiper motor is held to a bracket by three insulated bolts to a bracket. The bracket is held in place by four bolts. Two bolts at the top behind the dash and two at the bottom right up under where the brake pedal is located. Plan A: Wiper motor off, job done. Plan B: Bracket off not ideal but it won’t come to that.

So I sat down crossed legged on the floor pan and started to investigate. It was dark – torch (Snap On magnetic) sorted. It was very tight in there and I couldn’t see where I needed to go, extending mirror – sorted. 7/16ths stubby spanner to the inside of the bracket – nope! The arm of the back of the motor was sitting right on top of the nut I was trying to get too. Plan B was lookin’ ominous for implementation. Idea, Plan A/2, remove the arm then I could get to the bolts, I went to remove the nut on top, job done. Just had to lift up the arm of the motor spindle and I was in there. Nope, it weren’t gonna move. Poxy Plan B it was going to have to be. Remember what they said on YouTube – clips at the bottom and clips at the top. They will be a pain but can be done. There it was clip at the bottom, screwdriver in second attempt to open the clip success. I smiled. Then the top wiper arm pivot clip. What clip, there is no clip. So I cleaned the top up of grease and grime and repositioned the mirror. Moving the fingers to the top I felt it and my heart sank. A C-clip was on the top. It was turning quite freely and laughing in my face of concentration and patience. I tried long nose pliers and circlips pliers. No way, so I had to resort to improvised Plan B/2. This involved a weird contortion of the left arm and a small screw driver to lift the clip up on one side. But I had to have my other hand through the radio hole to hold the clip still from  spinning. So there I was hands in the dash head trying to look through a letterbox of a dash-board and a steering column jammed just under the collar-bone. Eventually after an unknown amount of efforts one side lifted up and then it pinged up into my hand. Ha, who’s laughin’ now then clip? There is no way that little swine that still has my flaring tool part is gonna have this bit as well. OK, so I bent it a bit but it was off, I straightened it with pliers and it is fine again. The wiper arms came of no problem after that, they were able to be moved quite freely once they were disconnected. Now the four bolts for the bracket top two were simple and the bottom two were a bit of a pain. To cut a long story short I have posted a guide on the process here, or go to the Photos – Inside Car – Wiper Motor 2 Speed Project. Once I eventually got the bracket out it was time to take it back to the man cave, I uncrossed my legs and then it hit me, cramp in my leg. I couldn’t stand up or get out the car, I had to spin round on my back an straighten the leg up towards the rear window with my head under the dash next to the brake pedal. The pain subsided and it was time to get out of the car. I was crossed legged for almost two hours according to my clock on the wall. I knew my legs were getting a bit numb but my concentration had taken my mind of it all.

The parts were taken back for photographing for the steps. Sunday I managed to get out the power assisted steering pump as well as this has a leak from the seal at the front of the pump, I will need a new one of these too. I have also got a set of photos for steering pump removal here, or go to the Photos – Engine Bay – Power Steering pump. So If your reading this Adam, I think you know what I need, a two-speed wiper motor, wiper under dash loom and a power steering pump for an Air Con fitting car. The wiper motor was worse than I expected, here is a couple of pictures of the damage to the wiper motor, other parts of the wiring loom were like this as well and can be seen in the original wiring pictures.

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They don’t tell you in workshop manual give yourself a break to avoid getting cramp! The do’s and don’ts of wiper motor removal.

Do take a break, and don’t sit there too long with your legs crossed. Will I get the clip back on? I hope so and to be honest a bit worried about it, this time I will not sit crossed legged for too long, but I will keep my fingers crossed!

Quick links:

Wiper 2 Speed Motor Removal – here

Power Steering Pump Removal – here

UK Registration Plates & Dates – here

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