Perfection By The Pyrenees

The best part of our job is hearing about the adventures the cars get to go once they have left our workshops. One such example of that is our friend Roger (thanks for the pics by the way), who has taken his Convertible on a road trip around France. This little lady is sitting outside a house in Pau which was built in 1880:

This last pic was taken with the Pyrenees Alps in the background.

The car has been driven for hundreds of miles now and the car hasn’t missed a beat. That is what we call pleasurable driving, a classic mustang, roof down in beautiful countryside with the Pyrenees in the background, just perfect. Do you have any pics of your cars on road trips? If so send them in to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars

We have had a car in where she was not running very well. So we needed to do some diagnostics to find out the reason. We narrowed it down to number seven cylinder pretty quickly, taking the plug lead of made no difference to the running. So we changed the basics of the plug, the lead and the checked points gaps etc. nothing was working. So we had to take the heads off to see what was going on. Yogi got to it straight away – a burnt valve was causing the issues by the looks of it. The valve seat would need to be reground and the valve along with its spring would need be replaced for a start. But, if you are going to do that for one valve you may as well do the lot all at the same time to be on the safe side, as you certainly don’t want to keep doing this time-consuming job that’s for sure.

Having that sort of work done starts to become expensive, so the plan was to replace the heads with some reconditioned ones we held in stock.

These new heads were replaced with their new gaskets obviously and when we fired her up – the problem has gone! We will need to road test more, recheck the torque for the head bolts and set up the carb and check the timing. But initial tests are exactly what we were expecting.

Seating

Many Mustangs are still driving around with the original seats in place, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all by the way, in fact its best to keep the rarer examples exactly as they were. However when the foam goes soft offering no support then the time is right to replace them, now you could replace the original covers back on, or go for an upgrade like this customer has done.

Firstly the old seats which were fine to look at but the foams inside had collapsed and made it slightly uncomfortable to drive:

The upgrade was to our Pony Interior set of seat covers. This will still match the original door cards and the interior paint job. The side chrome “hockey stick” trims were also replaced as they tend to get scratched quite easily too.

A subtly difference, but it makes the interior look much more luxurious. Not the cheapest of upgrades it has to be said, but what a difference!

Add Ons

We have seen the argument for the “independent” rear suspensions on the Classic Mustangs, there are obviously two sides to each discussion. Once the aftermarket bolt-ons have been added for a while, they are usually taken off and end up in the scrap skip. The main point is here that although you can remove the leaf springs and put various coils, shocks and traction bars onto the rear axle, however, the rear axle is hollow heavy tube in effect, so each side of the suspension will never be independent from each other, this set up is known as a “live” rear axle. Here is the setup that has been removed from a ’68 390 fastback.

The correct suspensions was added back to the ‘car which now looks neater, sits correctly and handles how they should and more predictable. The best bit? The car is pleasant to drive again without any rattle, bang or clunk or sound track, just like you are towing a crate of tin cans up the road!

We have another ’66 convertible which is in for some routine annual service. But we can see some rare options of the headlight doors having a chrome trim around the front. It give the car a totally different look.

Article:

We were sent an email (thanks Gary), to say that he had found something on YouTube that we might like, so we decided to share it with you.

We can’t take the credit for this one but the original is located here.

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model Update

Another delivery from DeAgostini has moved us to within one more delivery for completion. The build log has been updated and can be found by clicking here. or cut and paste the link here to your browser.

https://mustangmaniac.org/shelby-gt500-18th-scale-model/

So we have added a few little pics to show the progress again.

We cant wait till the build is finished now as it’s been almost two years.

Last Of The First Generation

Mustang Maniac has its own huge selection of Mustangs around the yard and their various storage locations, until now there hasn’t been a ’73 in the fleet. Everybody knows the ’71 Mach1 which was used in the bond film “Diamonds are Forever” which was a big change in design, but there is the often forgotten ’73 which was the last of the “First Generation” Mustangs. Adam has managed to pick up pretty amazing example of one of these cars, again in red to match his ’71 Mach1.  This car not only looks fantastic but also drives beautifully. Adam had the keys for only a few minutes and then threw the keys at me for a test drive. Hell Yeah!

Adam said “it’s a ’73 – not everyone’s cup of tea”.

I wasn’t expecting to much from the car as I am quite biased to the ’64 – ’69 cars. Opening the door and I was greeted by an original plush interior which had moved away from the all vinyl seats.

A turn of the key and the 351 fired up and there was a burble and that was it, shutting the door and the noise was almost gone, thinking to myself that this makes a nice change. Disengage the park brake and select drive, release the foot brake and we crept forward. No rattles or vibrations, no moans or groans. A little gas and we were at the gates to turn right, the power steering more positive than the earlier models. Pulling out onto the main road a little more gas as I was propelled forward without any fuss or excessive noise, you just knew there was a big engine in there. Now I am not going to say which route I took for the test drive, but an accelerating BMW was a little further back than he was expecting to be before I even got into top gear should we say. The car just cruised effortlessly at 70mph and there was no noise from the convertible roof, no wind drafts and all was how it was meant to be in the ’73. Reluctantly I turned to make my return back to the yard and I wondered what she would be like on kick-down. So with a nice clear road, very slightly damp peace of tarmac and nobody about – I stamped on it. The quiet had now dissipated and the cabin was filled with an angry 351 wanting to get up and go, the tyres lit up from 20mph, traction gone and the car snakes up the tarmac leaving a nice set of 11’s behind, this car shifts. The smile on my face returned to sensible concentration again as I lifted of the gas after a couple of seconds. I had grown to love this car by the time I back to the yard about ten minutes later. Going around corners it was no hassle and just drove like a good Ford Granada used too. I think I want this car, OK – I have thought about it and I do want this car. The paperwork Adam has with the car is the Marti Report, the original purchase slip and documents from the original owner, the options sheet and huge wad of receipts for services and the import sheets.

It may well not be every-bodies cup of tea, but this is a great car and I would love this car as a daily driver. Opinion changed – I also like the last of the first generations too. This has to be one of the best examples we have seen of this model within our yard!

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model Update

We are only a couple of issues away from the completion now. We have updated the build page, click here for the link or cut and past the link below to visit the page.

https://mustangmaniac.org/shelby-gt500-18th-scale-model/

The icon rear light clusters have been fitted now along with the rear LED boards. The windscreen is now in place and the trunk in place.

 

The Great Debate again.

We have had a number of conversations in the office with the customers about the no need for MOT’s for cars over forty years old. The poll is still a huge 87% against the ruling now. One conversation was around the “Hot Rod” scene. Many of the cars are heavily modified of course and could lose their date related plates. Would they need to have a specialist to inspect them before allowing them on the road? We still can’t believe this government wants to play around with a system that works and virtually nobody wants to change. Absolutely ridiculous. Please leave any thoughts or comments for us about this or anything else you want to mention.

SEMA 2017

Adam is getting ready to make his yearly trim to Las Vegas for the SEMA show and looking forward to it. We are hoping to bring you some photo’s again from the event, but probably not on the scale as last years coverage.

Tilt Away

Last week we had posted about the proposals for the UK to stop mandatory MOTs for cars over forty years old. Well our poll has told us that a massive 90% of people thought it was a bad idea! We agree. We have had a few emails in to us and they have all been along the same lines as this quote below which sums it all up, along with the frustrations.

“I guess the bigger issue for the classic car scene and Mustangs in particular is the issue of modifications….and the way the DFT (Department for Transport), will treat it. They still haven’t issued any guidelines and are saying that any modified car will possibly need MOTing and may need to be identified by a “Q” plate. The issues this raises are enormous…does that include a Holley carb rather than the standard Autolite, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, LED rear lights and the list goes on and on.  My car is pretty much stock, but I have added a servo and dual line brakes and LED lights so does that make me liable for a MOT and Q plate?”

The “Q” plate issue raised here will make a lot of unhappy classic car owners who will not be able to use the correct date plates for their cars. So if you improve a car’s safety by adding LED lights instead of the poor standard bulbs that is a modification and will need a modified reg plate! The government doesn’t seem to have thought this through. Some criteria for “Q” plates are listed here: Self-built constructions, Key Q-plate insurance points, Ex-military vehicles, Radically altered vehicles, Self-imported vehicles, Any car that doesn’t have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Single and Individual Vehicle Approval. The other point is here that the insurance for a “Q” plate car will go mental and we have found similar descriptions for most insurers;

Insuring a Q-registered vehicle:

Insurance coverage still poses more of a challenge than insuring a regular ‘off-the-production-line’ vehicle. This is because all insurance is about quantifying risk, and risk is much harder to determine with any Q-plated vehicle. Obtaining cover is by no means impossible, though. While some insurers refuse to cover any Q registrations, there are a number of providers who specialise in this side of the motor market and have a detailed knowledge of all types of Q registration (even tanks!). In order to assess the risk of any individual vehicle and calculate an appropriate premium they need specifics on every single aspect of the vehicle. We like to think that this will not be the case, but this last sentence in blue could make a huge difference to owning a classic car. 

We have seen petitions on the forums to pass to the government to stop these mad proposals. If you see it, sign it and pass it on.

News:

Adam has added to his Mustang collection again, this time with a very nice virtually untouched ’67 Convertible.

Adam is particularly pleased with this little lady as there is a nice option extra that he has seen plenty off in the past, but not working properly. The “Tilt Away” steering wheel. We have taken a short video of it in action.

Customers Cars:

BRC has been worked on by Yogi and has some parts put refitted. The engine, the rear axle, Borgeson steering box and rear brakes are back in place. the front suspension needed new upper and lower control arms and then the brakes can be fitted.

Please keep your comments coming about the MOT debate. As we were preparing this post we have some more DeAgostini parts arrive for the Model, so we will have that updated for you soon.

A Great Debate?

We start this week’s post with a debate, it’s well worth the read and please vote and leave your comments or thoughts for us, we want to know what you think.

News:

The Department for Transport in the UK has announced that classic cars more than 40 years old will be exempt from MOT testing as from May 2018, with owners voluntarily electing for an MOT if they feel their car needs one. Currently, only cars from before 1960 are exempt, which represents 197,000 cars on UK roads. The new rules will exempt a further 293,000 cars from MOTs, (Ministry of Transport Test). The thinking behind the decision, according to the Department for Transport, is that these cars are “usually maintained in good condition and used on few occasions”. The decision also eases concerns that garages may not be adequately testing cars over this age, as the modern MOT applies less to cars of this age. The new date would also bring the age of cars exempt from MOTs in line with the exemption of road tax. The Government dismissed concerns that these cars pose a greater risk of failure than modern ones; cars registered in the interim period between the old exemption and the upcoming exemption have a substantially lower rate of failure than the national average. “We consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small. The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all time.” Passing of an MOT is defined as “Vehicles subject to the MOT test will normally
be considered “fit for service” when they have passed the test and have been issued with a pass certificate (VT20/VT20W) dated after the date of the prohibition notice issue. ”

We have been trying to find an exact definition of “Roadworthiness” and found this: Roadworthiness or streetworthiness is a property or ability of a car, bus, truck or any kind of automobile to be in a suitable operating condition or meeting acceptable standards for safe driving and transport of people, baggage or cargo in roads or streets, being therefore street-legal.

Yet that still does not define what roadworthy is and is rather vague to say the least. We know our police constabulary will make something up to if they want to pull you over anyway. If you are pulled over for this reason ask the exact reason and get them to write it down. Perhaps they know something nobody else does!

The best we could come up with for the full definition is this from the governments own website:

“For the purposes of subsection (1) above a motor vehicle or trailer is in an unroadworthy condition if—
(a) it is in such a condition that the use of it on a road in that condition would be unlawful by virtue of any provision made by regulations under section 41 of this Act as respects-
(i) brakes, steering gear or tyres, or
(ii) the construction, weight or equipment of vehicles,. . .
[F2(b) it is in such a condition that its use on a road would involve a danger of injury to any person].” This last section proving the most interesting. Yet is is still not definitive!

Of the 2217 respondents consulted for the proposal, more than half supported the suggested annual or biennial roadworthiness test for 40-year-old vehicles, checking the cars’ identity, brakes, steering, tyres and lights. The DfT has rejected this approach, saying: “Those owners who feel an annual check is needed will be able to submit their vehicles for a voluntary MOT.” A stronger majority voted against exemption of vehicles aged 30 years or older from MOT tests; the DfT sided with the consultation on this proposal, citing accident data as well as the strong negative reaction from the public to this suggestion.

At Mustang Maniac we STRONGLY suggest that your classic car is tested, for peace of mind and safety. We know that our customers are all conscientious owners and drivers and will still get their cars checked.

What do you think, were they right or wrong?

Trophy Time: 

A couple of weeks ago a car show The A602’s Autorama was attended by most of the Mustang Maniac supporters and it was a good turn out. To cap it all Lance won a trophy for the “Stock as a Rock”. Needless to say he was happy even though the weather got worse as the day went on. Well done to lance, that cleaning made all the difference. 🙂

Heads Up:

We continue from last week’s post about blocked water ways. Adam has had a set of heads reconditioned and have been stored away.

these heads will be of interest for concours guys out there with these codes.

Clearing Out:

Adam found this “Y block” and two-speed Powerglide transmission on a pallet. This was removed from a 1957 Country Squire.

Adam only “found” the engine and drive train after moving this part car out of the way.

We think the scrap yardcould be getting a visit soon!

Don’t take their word for it!

This week has been mainly focused on diagnostics of problems. Yogi is still on his well-earned break in a cave somewhere in Canada. Adam has some new stock and has had to make space for all those parts now too. So without wasting any more time let’s get to the first issue.

Customer Cars:

A car had been brought into us to be put back on the road after it had been standing for twenty-five years! The guy who sold it told our customer that the Engine was fine and managed to fire it up for a minute or so then switched it off. the gearbox and the rear axle were both fine. What happened we put the car back together on the instructions of the customer. After a couple of hundred miles of the restored car the rear axle seized and needed replacing. The gearbox is difficult for third and fourth gears and just about usable once you get the “knack” of it. and the most recent issue,  big over heating problems. To work out the problem with the engine was a bit of a mystery. The new aluminium radiator was flushed out and some muddy residue was seen at the drain point. Water pressure test was done and found the flow was not consistent across the radiator itself. The problem was still there. So we had not other choice to check the waterways and took the heads of to see exactly what was going on. We soon found the problem:

Blocked water ways was the cause. We had to clean them up and reconditioned them.

We even took a quick video of the blocked waterways both on the block and the heads, in fact it was one of the worst we have seen. the video is only a few seconds long but you get the idea.

We managed to clean and flush the block out – with Adams own secret concoction. The radiator was re-plumbed and filled back up with water and flushed again. After all that – the car runs smoother, and runs slightly cooler than normal now. Success, but would have been a lot easier if the engine was checked by us before fitting. So if somebody says it’s fine after sitting around – get it checked out first. That is a lot of man hours gone into this fault-finding which all could have been avoided if little work had been done first time round! But you can take our word for that piece of advise though.

We have another returning for a little Mustang Maniac magic and a service. We just managed to get her under cover as the heavy rain fell.

This car has some rather nice wheels on just like the Eleanor in 17″.

WebShop

We have some upgrades to the WebShop which are now up and running. The upgrade is a now a video section on the item page in order to show you what the item. This is things like the sequential LEDs for the 2015 Mustang click here for the link or past this to your browser https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/8996/15_sequential_front_led  this allows you to see the items working before you buy. Another first for Mustang Maniac!

Complaint? 

We sell many of these suspension control arms, we fit them and use them. The last two weeks we have two sets returned for the same reason with a complaint.

The reason is that they had seized up straight after fitting and a test drive. Adam took them straight to the workshop and found the “problem” straight away. This is a very simple answer, the joints had NOT been greased before use. The ball joints need to be fully loaded with grease and that is common sense and the grease nipple is a bit of a clue. The rubbers were pulled back to expose the fitting grease was there only, and not been filled with grease.

So, the parts are NOT faulty at all. Adam has refunded the money out of the goodness of his heart, but he now will be careful about supplying parts to these customers in future. As these parts are now technically used, they can’t be sold as new obviously, it’s just as well that  Adam has a couple of project cars that they will be fitted too now. If in doubt about these sort of parts – please seek professional help before blaming the parts.

Storage

Adam has now had to create storage for his expanding part lines. The new racking is for the clutches that are bulky and heavy. In fact from what we can tell here at mustang maniac – these clutches are the only ones “In Stock” in the UK.

Adam has also had some bespoke racks made for the more delicate parts such as the window trims that can easily be dented as well as storage for the more awkward items like the radiator shrouds.

Fender Guards

Adam has a new line of fender covers, which are already in use in the workshops and we love them. They cover the complete area around the engine bay.

As Adam says “They ain’t cheap, but it’s a lot cheaper than a respray!” We agree and the part can found by click here, or paste the link to the browser.

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/1/8959/65-70_fender_gripper_cover

Weddings:

Thanks to Paul for sending us in a couple of pics of his car used for a wedding:

The Office

Adam has put up his sign in the office for the “quoted” receipt. A couple of Adam’s lady customers were a little put out (said in jest by the way), that they couldn’t have the same. So Adam is now looking to get one done for the wives to match. And yes, they do accidentally underestimate – just like the men do! 😉

In case you can’t remember:

In fact Adam didn’t charge for the first request to make use of this new facility!

We would like to send our thoughts and best wishes out to all the people who are having to deal with the aftermath of the recent Hurricanes.

 

How Much?

Things have been a little quieter this week with Yogi taking a well-earned break, on the other hand we have been seriously busy in the WebShop with the new products of the oils proving to be popular. We have had a number of emails asking where the Shelby GT500 1:8th model has gone as there has been no updates. It appears that the DeAgostini have been waiting for their shipments of the parts too. Mid week we had a delivery of the latest issues which we have updated the build page for you or click here for the quick link.

Guest Photographer:

Last week was the very local car show at Buntigford, which is only a few minutes drive away. The cars are lined up in the high street and shut of for local traffic. It’s not a bad show and Adam asked his Grandson Jack if he wanted to take the pictures for this weeks part of the blog. So here we are, Jacks photo’s:

Remember this little lady that we worked on a while ago? Here she is again being driven around and it was great to see her at the local show.

Mustangs at Weddings:

COLOGNE, Germany – It’s been a busy summer for the Mustang. Horse-drawn carriages and vintage vehicles might be the traditional choices to transport couples to and from the church on their special day, but Ford’s iconic car is proving increasingly popular. Ford followed five nuptials this summer in Germany, Belgium, France and U.K., where Mustangs from different eras played a starring role.  “A Mustang wedding was the obvious choice for us,” said Jake Batty, who, along with new wife, Lucy, chose a 1967 Mustang Coupe in suitably cheering Springtime Yellow for their big day in Stanton Lakes, Leicester, U.K. “We wanted a car that was not only beautiful and timeless, but also powerful, wild and adventurous – hopefully how our marriage will turn out!”

Even though marriage rates across Europe are declining, the number of newlyweds shunning traditional wedding cars in favour of the Ford classic is on the increase. Companies such as Ford Mustang Wedding  have driven more than 750 U.K. couples to their wedding venues since launching in 2009.  “Couples getting married today don’t want an old-fashioned wedding car,” said the  director. “They want something cool that will look amazing in the photographs as well as being comfortable. The Mustang ticks all the boxes.”

At Mustang Maniac we couldn’t agree more, in fact we have had a few of our customers that have used them for that very reason.

Do you have any pictures of your Mustangs at weddings? Send them to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars:

Chris has been busy on the rotisserie getting his i6 coupe down to bare metal for the red oxide base protection coat. This is a pain staking and dirty job, definitely not one to be done in your boxer shorts!

Our Cars:

Adam has been busy again buying more cars! Not Mustangs this time, more Falcons to add to his rapidly expanding collection. Another Ranchero in a cool black.

News:

Being in the office sorting out bills and orders can be an interesting experience to say the least. Husbands turn up with their wives to pick up parts, and when they are out of earshot to proper costs are discussed. Adam is a very discreet man where these delicate negotiations are concerned. To highlight this fact Adam has had a sign made up for the office:

 Enough said?

Shelby GT500 1:8th Model:

At long last through no fault of our own, we have updated the build page with the progress and this is a big set of issues as the main parts are coming together. The parts from part one and the hood are all brought together. click on the menu heading above or click here for the link. We won’t repeat the whole page again here but these are some of the highlights of these issues:

Poll Results:

It seems that the smoked lenses are popular and of all those that voted thank you, with over two-thirds of people liking them!