New Part Exchange Service

We return to a little normality this week after a flurry of quick services in the early part of the week. Now we can settle down a bit and start working on the existing projects we have on the go with ‘The Pear’. We have another poor installation feature for you at the end of the post and this one’s dangerous.

Customer Cars

‘The Pear’ is having the engine worked on before a refit and a couple of coats of Ford blue engine enamel paint. The engine had a new water pump and timing chain.

The inside is taking shape with a little extra sound deadening and ducting for the Air Con.

Under the hood is now having some of the brake and fuel line work finalised and the AC unit now fitted, but not plumbed in yet. Like we have said before we have reused what we can to keep cost down and the car as original as possible.

Our Cars – ‘The Wolf’

We have been asked if there is a stripe on ‘The Wolf’. The answer is yes, but it’s really subtle. In normal light the car looks like this:

But in the sun or bright light the stripe shows up. It’s a matt black metallic twin that changes colour. Notice the rear bumper is already fitted and de-chromed. We haven’t seen anything like it before and we dare say it will be copied.

The rest of the car while it was up in the air.

Front bumper is the same as the rear, de-chromed and painted to match the body.

Part Exchange Service

We have been asked a few times if there is a part exchange service on offer. Simple answer is yes, there are some things that the USA offers for a swap out. But, by the time we ship the items back for replacement it will cost twice as much as a new one.

So we have had a word with our engineering team who are now going to do a few projects for us. The first we have to offer is the power steering valve. These are fully reconditioned, tested and look better than the originals. Check our WebShop for the details of the parts that are under our new Part Exchange scheme.

The cost of the units are around half the price of a replacement. Already we have had a couple of customers asking if they can buy the half priced ones without an exchange. Erm, it don’t work like that, so when we say ‘Part Exchange’ that is exactly what we mean.

Dangerous Install.

A customer ordered a a set of rear brake shoes from us. He fitted them and said the car doesn’t stop very well. We asked for a couple of pictures of the install.

The customer did just that and we could see instantly that it was fitted wrong. The customer told us that he fitted it exactly as it was removed.

Adam responded with, ‘they weren’t fitted correctly either then’. The pictures below show show BOTH leading shoes on one side of the axle and BOTH trailing shoes on the other side. The give away is the gaps at the top by the anchor pin. The best part is the shoes are packaged as pairs for each side of the axle.

PLEASE, please don’t take anything for granted when doing a swap out. What was already there could be wrong.

In this case heavy braking this could have caused a nasty accident.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in projects, Repairs, Restoration, Sales, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Simple Instructions

We catch up with the post from a few weeks ago and show you some rather staggering “Mustang Expert” repairs was how it was put to us. You won’t believe that set of pics a bit later in the post! First we start with a little known service that we offer (at our discretion of course), to those regular customers who contact us.

Customer Cars

That extra service we offer is that we put sellers in touch with buyers that we have on our books. An example of process was this little lady that we had in a couple of weeks ago, and we teased you with on the VIN Number.

Those that ‘know’, knew we had a something special in; a “K” code Mustang or a genuine Hi-Po model. These genuine “K Code” cars are few and far between as only 13,214 were made. This ’66 Fastback example is in Wimbledon White.

We have a good friend of ours and long time customer who has been looking for a genuine K Code for a while now. We arranged to get the car into us, road test it, check it over and notify the potential buyer that it was here in Adam’s workshop.

The car is in the ever popular red interior which just looks right with the white over coat. The original dash has been swapped out with this aftermarket version.

At the time buyers of the GT Equipment Package on their Mustangs could add the K-code option to their new ride for an extra $276 back in 1965. The cost to add this engine to new Mustangs without the GT package was $328.

Why was it called “K-Code?” The “K” stood for the engine code on the VIN number of these Mustangs. The K-Code engine was first introduced by Ford in 1963 and was featured in many cars such as the Fairlane and the Comet before the Mustang.

Each K-Code Mustang had a special badge on their front fenders that read “HIGH PERFORMANCE 289”. It was indeed all performance at the time producing a pretty impressive 271bhp. The K-Code Mustangs were not available with air conditioning or power steering. You couldn’t buy K-Code with an automatic transmission until the 1966 model year. Prior to that, the K-Code Mustangs had only four speed manuals. The car also came with a shorter warranty than the typical Mustang; K-Code buyers were looking at a mere three-month or 4,000-mile warranty instead of the standard 12-month or 12,000-mile warranty plan.

The entire driveline of these cars was designed for performance. Things were upgraded like a high-performance clutch, drive shaft, rear differential, and suspension. It was inevitable that Shelby put these engines in his racing performance GT350 Mustangs. The first Shelby Mustang, ‘GT350R’ also featured a modified K-Code engine.

With the car up on the ramps we got to have a good look round the underside. The car has had a few repairs that were not the quality we expect now days. There were additional parts added like, chassis stiffeners and the rear shocks. These are non standard parts on the K code but are usually added to track race cars.

So what’s all the fuss about with the K Code? Well it’s this bit under the hood, mostly. The engine here has had a trick fuel flow upgrade, but most of it remains unmolested.

The K-Code engine was different from the other 289 engines that fell under the D, C and A codes produced from 1965 to 1967 Mustangs. These engines featured upgraded pistons, cylinder heads, carburetor, lifter heads, and connecting rods. In addition, one look under the hood and you’d notice the chrome air cleaner and valve covers. There was also lettering on top of the air cleaner that read “289 High Performance.” As many of these changes were inside the engine it was difficult to tell if it’s real or not and there are many fakes out there claiming to be a “K” code.

There are those buyers out there that just want a K code no matter what, and there are the connoisseurs that want a “K” Code in stock condition.

The potential buyer for this example was going to think about the cost of the vehicle, and take into account the cost to take off all the trick bits and put it back to ‘stock’ and re-restore it again.

Even in this condition this car is still a highly desirable due to the “K” designation alone and the obvious rarity. But, modified like this can limit the market for some future sales.

Repairs.

This next example of a repair from another Mustang ‘specialist’, and we use that term in the loosest sense of the word. Just left us a little stunned.

The strut rod bush kits have a couple of rubber bushes and a couple of specially shaped washers each side. The kits even come with clear instructions on how to fit them.

We took a kit out from our stock just to show you how simple it is. These washers should only be fitted one way and even state on each one; “This side to rubber“.

It’s not hard to read or understand, we will leave these pictures here with you for a moment to see if you can work out what is wrong! (We will give you a clue: read the washers…..)

Which part of “This side to rubber” didn’t they understand? Would you trust these guys to work on anything else in your car?

Unfortunately this sort of thing is not uncommon. So you get what you pay for, somebody to fit them incorrectly and then pay us again to refit them correctly.

FYI – we didn’t actually charge the customer for changing these washers round. It’s a only a couple of minutes job at the end of the day that we did along with a couple of other jobs we had to do.

WebShop

We would like to say a bit “Thank You” very much for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on our new Website. There will always be a couple that hate change and want the old site back. However, in this case it looks like that customer is in a minority of one. We have had a couple of extra ideas to help improve even more and we aim to take those on board too, so thanks for the additional feedback.

Take Care & Stay Safe!

Posted in Classic Cars, Customers' Cars, Repairs, Service, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Professional Feel

We had some good stuff for you this week and we decided to swap things around a little bit. Those items we had planned will be next week or so as we decided this was more important. Mustang Maniac has launched their new WebShop still the same address; www.mustangmaniac.co.uk This now has much easier browse function but more on that a little later in the post. 🙂

Park & Pic

We have Mart’s ’66 Coupe back into us with a suspected problem. The car was brought down to us with “Somethin’ ain’t right with the steering, I also have a squeak that I can’t get rid of and it’s driving me nuts.”

This car was with us many moons ago for a Full Restoration over four and a half years, which we featured quite heavily on our blog at the time for the full process. Mart is still a long standing loyal customer of ours and good friend and part of the exclusive ‘inner sanctum’ of friends. He likes to quote; “I won’t let anybody near my car unless it’s Mustang Maniac. They are the only ones who know what they are doing”. We’re sure he won’t mind us repeating that.

As a precaution he wanted us to take a look at his car and let him know what we thought. The upshot of which was Adam took the car to the round about and back, less than a mile test drive. There was indeed something wrong. Adam explained; ‘if you drive a car all the time and things get worse over time you tend not to nice it, as you just get used to the degradation that comes with it. That’s what the MOT’s are for too, to make sure stuff hasn’t fallen apart’.

We dropped what we were doing and Yogi came up from his cave to have a look with Adam on the ramp. There was a fair bit of car swapping around first though to make space on the ramps. The car was lifted up and Adam & Yogi got to work checking things out and spotted that there was play from the idler arm. Mart asked ‘do you have them in stock with the shortages going round?’ Adam replied; ‘nope – we don’t have one. We have about twenty to choose from!’ 😉 Here’s the proof:

Over time these bushing perish and this can happen when the cars aren’t used. They then collapse when driven after a long time. Below are the new on the left and old arms on the right of each picture.

The idler bracket was checked for damage and wear and the arm itself was swapped out, before grease and adjustment.

This would cause the play or vagueness in the steering. As for the squeak this may help. Mart took it up the road and couldn’t believe just how bad it had gotten and was ‘OMG, it’s a different car, what an improvement.”

But, he reported that the squeak was still there. The next step was to take the left side front wheel of and investigate. Adam had already noted where the noise was coming from earlier.

There was nothing touching or dragging on the wheel, no stone in the brakes pads, no scoring etc. The guys listened intently as the rotor was spun and they decided to check the bearing. Yogi removed the outer bearing and by experience alone, Adam didn’t like the ‘feel’ of the bearing and Yogi concurred.

The guys checked the tracker for damage and that was all fine. The inner bearing was still fully packed with grease.

Yogi repacked the new outer bearing and refitted everything back in place. Yogi went round and checked that everything had grease in it and was pleased that it did.

A second test drive confirmed that the ‘squeak had gone’. Mart was a happy bunny again. Adam rechecked the old bearing and still couldn’t see anything wrong but just ‘felt wrong’. Adam filed in the storage area marked scrap. Now it was time to perform a little magic on Mart’s wallet. LOL. We have given Mart the pictures we took at the time and we suspect you will see them on his blog soon as well.

Moral of the story: Get the MOT done even on these old cars even though you don’t need one. If you think something isn’t t right get a professional to check it. We know exactly how these cars are supposed to drive. On the other hand the owner has nothing to compare it to. A two minute road test (literally) could help you avoid an accident or some big bills. The saving grace is that this owner drove it to us carefully just to check it out with us.

He went home happy and messaged us to say all was good in the world with the car on the trip home. Those that know him, he said “I had to clean it before I put it away and cover it back up. It was filthy by the time I got home!”

Customer Cars

‘The Pear’ has had some work doing to it and and we are now starting on the parts we can put back on it. The owner want to reuse what he can and is not precious about new parts, he just wants to drive it. The headliner was refitted from the donor car and went back in very well.

We are waiting for our glass guy to come and fit the rear and front windows.

The door glass has gone in now, but yet to be aligned fully, that will be done once the weather strip is fully fitted.

Work has started on refitting the wire loom. The old one was checked for damage and then re-wrapped to give it that OEM look (not that Ford bothered in the first place). This helps to keep everything neat when re-fitting.

The engine is now undergoing a strip down to see what is going on. All waterways look good, but there is a tiny leak on one of the core plugs. So we will replace the whole lot while we are at it.

The oil pump will be changed as a matter of course. The filter had some debris in it and will also swapped out as well as standard practice.

WebShop

All New WebShopWebsite has been upgraded

We have listened to more customer feedback and redeveloped the website.

We are still making changes behind the scenes on how you can find your parts much easier. So you will have to bear with us while we fine tune things and make it better and better.

Hopefully you will enjoy the new look and feel of the new website and hopefully make life just that little bit easier and slicker. There has been some massive changes behind the scenes to improve performance and stability. The upshot is that front end user interface has been simplified and cross referenced to other sections which may help you.

Where the manufacturers have supplied a set of instructions for the fitting and parts, we are now also adding those the stock item in the form of a PDF document download. Hopefully that should help everybody if you lose the ‘book of words’. Not that most men read them anyway! This will be an ongoing process and we will add them as we go along.

We dare say that some of our fellow suppliers may well be downloading the documents from us going forward and passing them of as their own. We will be able to tell 😉

We have recently seen some comments on various media that Mustang Maniac is not showing sheet metal for the general public. We can confirm that this is correct by intention. Unfortunately these people hadn’t noticed that we have for the best part of this year advised that sheet metal is only available to the trade and is in very limited supplies. It even says it on the front pages of the WebShop.

Yes, we have plenty of our own sheet metal in stock which we are using for allocated projects. We had mentioned in the past that we are now fully booked up for two years for a full restoration service. A good amount of our sheet metal stock has been allocated to what we know is coming up. Yes, we are getting additional sheet metal as we posted last week. We will be notifying those customers as and when we get their items.

For all our friends across the pond:

Happy 4th July – Independence day.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Customers' Cars, Mustang Maniac, Park & Pic, Repairs, sheet metal, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Double Trouble

A few posts ago we mentioned that we had a drive in gearbox swap out. This week we we had all hands to the (fuel) pump, gearbox, carb, wiring, exhaust etc. to go one better for a customer.

Customer Cars:

The customer drove into us with a gearbox issue and he already knew that we had a a selection of C4 gearboxes on the shelf and wanted a one day swap out. We were prepared for it after being given the diagnosis of what was happening during a drive. While the customer was with us he asked if we could look at his engine while we were at it. Sure, no problem.

We took the valve covers of for a proper look and found the ‘black death’ as Adam likes to call it. If the top of the engine looks like this then you can pretty much guarantee the rest of the engine would be in a bad way too. We explained the options and what we could do to cure the problems. The customer decided that a replacement off the shelf engine would be quicker, cheaper and easier.

The image on the left below was the choked up oilways on the his original engine, on the right our reconditioned engine ready to go.

What was the one step better we did this time? Well, we did a gearbox AND and engine swap out in a single day!

The old engine was removed and we discovered the cracked header as well.

Now a double swap out is what we call a proper service. A well oiled machine that is Mustang Maniac goes to work on the car and swaps out the power unit and the gearbox. We have the right tools, the right parts, the knowhow of the little tricks of the trade, and we can do it in our sleep too.

WebShop

As we have been saying for a while now some back order parts for customers have again arrived this week, in addition to the other special deliveries! As we predicted the base cost of the parts is going up stupid money and many suppliers are saying so. Although we note a few other sellers are taking advantage by charging a little more on top of that too.

Adam will be contacting these customers to let them know that their parts are in ready for dispatch or pick up. Is anybody else getting in sheet metal deliveries?? 😉

We also had another delivery of our Leeds Brake Kits. The kits have been selling well and we have had some good feedback as a result. We suspect that we also have the largest selection of these kits for all makes and models of Mustang and Falcons. We don’t stock a couple of the more common kits, oh no. We stock a full range of kits with multiple instances of each item, just to prove that point.

Next week we have have an update on ‘The Pear’ which is coming along nicely. We have a story of yet another expert not knowing what they are doing fitting parts. Even if you are not a mechanic – this one will be blatantly obvious.

The Mustang Name.

There are a few explanations where Ford got the name for it’s new car ‘Mustang’.

You can take your pick, the Mustang was named;

1) The legendary P-51 Mustang that helped win World War II and establish America as a post-war superpower – the perfect name for an all-American car.

2) The wild mustangs that roam the American plains introduced by the Spanish are the perfect symbol of American freedom, just like Ford’s new car would be.

3) Lee Iacocca is actually quoted as saying it was named after a college football team that inspired him with their athleticism, just like his new sports car would inspire America.

Adam thinks that it’s a number 2. As these cars are quite powerful with lots of horse power, when in the wrong hands they can be quite lethal.

Adam says that if these ‘Pony’ cars (which makes sense for the horse references), were named after the Spanish descendant of Mustango which is ‘wild horse’, you need to treat these cars with a bit of respect. If you don’t then this happens! This car was heard going past Mustang Manic at a rate of knots should we say. A few minutes later LAR was called out to recover a Mustang that had been in an ‘accident’, or was it that they were unable to drive properly? We will let you make your minds up on this one.

A teaser for another post coming up!!! Those that know – know.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Brake Kits, Ford Facts, Mustang Maniac, Original Reconditioned Parts, Parts, Repairs, Sales, sheet metal, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lurking In A Trunk

This week we had a car in one for a little rectification to fix some ongoing issues. The owner didn’t want the car on our little blog today, that is of course absolutely fine with us and we respect his privacy. The simple reason being is that another Mustang ‘Expert’ had ‘fixed’ it before it came into us. We will just leave it at that, we’re pretty sure that you can work the rest out.

While all that was going on Adam had a little move around of some cars and opened the trunk on one of his old cars with only 6,500 miles on it. In the trunk he found an original, still inflated and unused spare tyre.

This tyre is a concours car owners dream, not only does it have the markings on the tread, it still has the original 1965 Detroit air in the tyre too. Although this is not a rare tyre tyre in itself as millions were fitted at the time, but it’s very rare to have survived is such amazing condition with all the original factory fitted markings. This really brings a new meaning to NOS; New Old Stock. Although we suspect that Adam wont be putting it into ‘stock’.

Even the white wall strip still has the protective blue coating on it.

What did Adam say when he found it? “I forgot I had that!” He then took it to a little known storage area where he keeps some real rare goodies, Like the original set of wheels and tyres from the same car. They aren’t in the amazing shape as this tyre of course, which hasn’t been out of the car’s trunk for 55 years, until now!

Remember, Adam never sells anything. However, if you make an offer and have the cash to back it up, it could be yours! We do suggest that you have have some deep pockets with long arms that can get to the bottom of them as well.

While we are on the subject of old nostalgic things we found this.

Article:

Quadricycle 125th Anniversary: Henry Ford’s First Vehicle Takes Maiden Voyage on Detroit’s Streets.

In 1896, the founder of Ford Motor Company built his first car and took it for a spin on the streets of Detroit. In the early morning hours of June 4, Henry Ford made a trial run in a small, four-wheeled vehicle he called a Quadricycle, later described by historian Allan Nevins as “strikingly small and light – the lightest vehicle of its type yet produced.”

With his wife Clara and a helper, Jim Bishop, anxiously watching, Ford put the clutch in neutral and spun the flywheel, then slowly drove his Quadricycle along the streets of Detroit, with Bishop on a bicycle ahead and a few passersby staring incredulously. A spring actuating one of the “ignitors” failed on the short run, but it was quickly repaired, and the two men returned triumphantly home, got a few hours rest, then reported for work at Edison Illuminating Company.

The outing was a success, but Ford was not satisfied, so he practically rebuilt the Quadricycle over the following months. He and his helpers replaced many wooden parts with metal, installed a cooling system in the engine, and fitted sturdier wheels. Ford then built other cars and, on June 16, 1903 – seven years after his trial run – he launched Ford Motor Company in a small converted carriage factory in Detroit.

For the 32-year-old inventor, the Quadricycle’s successful first outing was the result of the inventiveness, determination and hard work that later earned him the title of “genius of the automotive industry.” In the early 1890s, Henry Ford began tinkering with a tiny vehicle in a small workshop at the rear of his home at 58 Bagley Avenue in Detroit, a few blocks from the plant where he worked at the Edison plant.

At that time, any man experimenting with “horseless carriages” was considered something of an oddity. An elderly Detroiter said Henry Ford – no exception to this prejudiced rule – was regarded with some suspicion around the neighbourhood. The young inventor was supported by his wife, Clara, whom he had married in 1888, and by the help of friends and colleagues from the Edison Company – David Bell, Bishop, George Cato and “Spider” Huff.

The Quadricycle had a 49-inch wheelbase and was 79 inches long overall. It was only 45 inches wide – but still too wide for the door of the garage where it had been built, forcing Ford to expand the opening with an axe – and 43 inches high. Apart from the motor, wheels, axles and steering tiller, the vehicle was constructed of wood and weighed only 500 pounds without fuel. It had a buggy-like seat and ran on bicycle-size wheels with pneumatic tires.

Ford’s “horseless carriage” had two speeds – 10 and 20 mph selected by twin drive belts. It had a neutral gear, but no reverse. Gear changes were made by a clutch lever mounted on the floor to the right of the driver. Final drive was by a single chain. Perhaps the most worrying thing, there were no brakes, but Ford did make up for it by including a doorbell as a horn. During the two days before his invention was finished, Ford hardly slept at all. Finally, in the early morning hours of June 4, 1896, the vehicle was ready.

Henry Ford sold the Quadricycle later that year for $200, though he repurchased it in 1904 for only $65, and it still survives today in a permanent display at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.

Source: https:/www.at.ford.com/en/homepage/news-and-clipsheet/news/2021/6/quadricycle1.html?cid=BOC-2021-06-04

WebShop & postage:

We would like to thank everybody who has messaged us, left comments or just spoken to us about our ‘case studies’ and how to improve our service for you. People are taking notice we think and we are still here to help.

We have sent out some sheet metals to a few customers and they have been very please we could help them out. We will continue to provide what we can when we can of course.

We have also noted that other Mustang suppliers are putting up their prices too regarding their parts. Remember we still have a huge selection of parts in stock on the shelves ready for you, pre-price hikes!

Short & sweet post this week, due to the fact we can’t show you what has been going on as we explained earlier.

Enjoy the rest of ‘Father Day’ in the UK, and yes are still taking the vouchers that have been purchased for the lucky recipients – Mustang Maniac WebShop awaits your order. 🙂

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Articles, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Are You On The List?

The WebShop has seen some new stock, not everything that we had hoped for, but much better than some other suppliers who have none at all.

As we predicted a number of posts ago that the Mustang parts are starting to dry up especially the sheet metal. However, Adam has his fingers in many pies or foot in the factory doors and has managed to procure some much sort after Mustang sheet metal!

Adam has a waiting list on his desk that has a list of names and their build requirements. He will then go down that list match up what he gets. The deliveries to us are on a drip feed and we are not sure what is coming till the last minute. If two people are after the same thing, and we have one – the loyal customer will get the first option, they will get an email to see if they still want the parts, if they do then we will get their delivery out to them. If not the next on the list gets the option. We will try to be as fair as we can. The back orders are still their with our suppliers and we will get those in addition to these little ‘extra’ deliveries. 😉 If you have asked Adam specifically and he has your details then you could be getting a phone, just maybe!

Last week’s post we highlighted some issues that can be easily avoided with your deliveries. We have had an overwhelming support from customers during their orders and the odd random not so good comment on the post. Yes we even allowed the comment to be shown and we responded. As a result we are going to be something else around this in a future post with Adam’s steer and input. Not a case study like we have just done, but more of a business insight why we do what we do, it should make for interesting reading even for our most loyal, returning and any potential new customers. Watch this space.

Moving on we have had a week or gearboxes for different reasons. We start with an old favourite returns for our Park & Pick.

Park & Pic

Roy decided he wanted a little bit of the Yogi gearbox trickery. So he bought his car into us to have a Gear Venders fitted. This upgrade gearbox was taken straight from our stock off the shelf into the Yogi workshop and fitted.

With these gearboxes the prop has to be modified and rebalanced to fit the gearbox to diff length.

The brief was it has to be subtle, we spent a day fitting the gearbox then half a day making it a stealth installation inside the car, we did something a bit different for him. We just love this bit of James Bond esque tech. Totally stock look, but with serious upgrade hidden out of the way.

Some people want the upgrade on show, some don’t.

This is simply sub zero cool.

Customer Cars

We had another customer come into us with his beautifully kept ’67 Coupe which had some C4 transmission issues.

The found the reported problem and we diagnosed that the gearbox had made it’s last shift and needed a replacement. Not the best of news to hear anytime, but sometimes you are just better of swapping out.

The customer left the car with us in the morning and picked up some short six hours later and drove it home! Now that is service for our customers!!!

Not only was the gearbox a direct swap, it was also a ’67 date correct replacement. We went into our transmission store, got the rebuilt gearbox and rebuilt torque converter off the shelf and fitted it straight in. The usual things like the mounts were sort of OK, but while you are at it we changed them and any other peripherals making it another a fit and forget installation from us.

We have another happy customer who has a date correct original replacement taken from a choice off the shelf and he drove it home as well. How many other Mustang specialists can provide that sort of quality part, level of expertise and fitting within a day?

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Customers' Cars, Mustang, Mustang Maniac, Park & Pic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sometimes We Just Can’t Win

On our blog we have mentioned a number of times about the postage options we offer and try to help our customers. This week we have seen a number of emails that have given us the run around and not our fault. Have this little flurry of emails been saved up for the first week of June?

WebShop

This week we are going to give you a little insight to what we are dealing with last week. One of which has cost us a fair chunk of money at the same time.

Context: let us paste a little bit of information from Parcel Force’s (or should we say ‘Parcel Farce’?) own website;

Source: https://www.parcelforce.com/help-and-advice/sending/saturday-parcel-delivery

“A Saturday parcel delivery service is available to the majority of UK destinations for an additional fee of £9.00 per consignment (for non-account customers). Deliveries are typically between 7.00 am and 1 pm.”

Note the word; “typically“. Although you pay for a service it’s not guaranteed by the provider that offers the service in the first place. We can only do what we can within the guidelines that are given to us for the services we offer on their behalf. Reading through many courier and mail delivery companies they say things like, ‘due to covid……’ to explain some of the possible delays.

A few case studies for you, worryingly for us these are genuine cases.

Case 1.

Cause: a customer wanted a set of service parts for his car, nothing special just the usual spark plugs & filters on a newish Mustang (without giving to much away and keeping this customer anonymous). So he orders the parts the day before for a 24hr delivery. We packaged the parts and they left us within a couple of hours as the parts were ordered before the cut of point. The parcel was delivered around noon. The customer was on email hammering us to say it wasn’t good enough as the car was at the garage waiting for the parts! He even tried to get us to give him the parts for free for compensation.

Response: the fact that this was a 24hr service once it leaves us – it’s really not our fault as we use a service in good faith. We called the customer and asked why he didn’t order the parts earlier to make sure this didn’t happen. He had now answer and parts were a couple of hours ‘late’ to the garage.

Result: this customer is just a messer, and never used us before and will not be using us again – “C” button applied. (Remember “C” button is for ‘cancelled’, not anything else as it has been suggested!) 😀

Adam’s response. ‘Please order your parts in good time to avoid this happening in the future. It’s a simple case of common sense and forward planning.’

Case 2.

Cause: a regular customer ordered £300 worth of parts to be delivered next day (Friday). Nothing wrong with that and all was fine. The parts were ordered on time and picked up on time. We then emailed the customer with the tracking number for his reference. Late Friday afternoon we got an email to say the package had not arrived.

Response: the tracking had not entered the system and was technically ‘lost’. We eventually found out that the collection driver was not doing his job and didn’t scan the package at collection from us, even though we had the stub from the label. This means that we could not prove the package was even picked up from us. Parcel force refused to accept responsibility for a) the parcel being lost. b) The driver not doing his job. We could wait 16days to see if the parcel turned up. This is totally unacceptable to us, let alone the customer.

Result: we picked another £300 worth of the same parts to fulfil the order and paid out of our own pocket £35 to have the parts delivered before 9am on a Saturday service as this was clearly not the customers fault. The package turned up 9 am on the following Monday. We again complained to Parcel Force who gave us £14 in compensation and nothing else what so ever. We had an unhappy customer (who fully understands now that it wasn’t our fault). we are down £321 in total due to the Parcel Force driver not doing his job properly. Now we have to stand and watch the Parcel Force drivers scan every parcel before it enters their van to make sure that they are doing their job correctly. That is obviously not a waste of our time!

Case 3.

Cause: (although this labelled as single case, this is comprised of multiple instances of the same thing). Customers have ordered parts for collection ‘next day’. We pick the items from stock, package the orders up and then we store them in our offices ready for their collection. At one point there were double figures of parcels waiting for customer collection.

Response: most of those packages are still sitting in our offices two weeks later. We are now having to move them out from the reception office back into our packaging room as we didn’t have enough room to deal with our other customer’s hospitality, payments and booking in work requests.

Result: if we had delayed sending the parts out for two weeks we are sure the world would have stopped spinning and it would have been our fault. What else can we do? Stopping the collection service would limit the options of customers who want to collect their parts fast, like our trade customers who can get their parts almost on a walk in service.

Case 4.

Cause: customer ordered some parts via a 24hr tracked service, wanted urgently for next day delivery. We got an irate email the next day to say he hadn’t got his parts.

Response: we checked the tracker log and the parcel was ‘attempted delivery’ on time the next day just before 10am. A card was left at the customers address to say that they were unable to leave the package and would attempt delivery the next day. This wasn’t good enough according to the customer.

Result: the customer had gone out shopping and didn’t think the parcel would turn up. Most of the time the system works, as in this case. This customer will not be using us again and “C” button applied.

Case 5.

Cause: customer orders a couple of small parts via Royal Mail to save money and used the second class postage option. Nothing wrong with that and makes good sound sense.

Response: customer emails us a day later to say that the parts had not arrived and we had disgusting customer service.

Result: we checked the automated ordering from the WebShop, the parts were indeed sent second class large parcel. We advised that the parts would be a least a couple of days due to his own choice of delivery option. Customer advised us that he wouldn’t be using us again as a result. The customer is 100% correct in this case – he won’t be using us again because the “C” button has been applied.

Case 6.

Cause: a new customer we have not dealt with before emails that he needs a part urgently.

Response; we tell the customer he can collect it today if he wanted.

Result: the customer arrived within the hour. He left with the part he needed and paid for it within five minutes. No email to say thanks or anything, not that we expected to be fair.

Please can you let us know if we are still unreasonable on our postage options. We listened that standard Royal Mail should be used; so we re-introduced it. We were asked for different courier options; we introduced them. It seems that we just can’t win sometimes which is disappointing for us. What else do we have to do to improve? You tell us.

On a positive note we are proud to say that we have a extremely high satisfaction rate for our customers. Once customers have used us they continue to do so to be fair. Perhaps these Covid lockdowns have affected some people in a negative way more than we thought. 😦

Onto the good stuff……

Customer Cars:

This week the ‘Green Goddess’ has been moved into the ‘panel shop’ for the start of the strip down. We suspect that most of it will be swept up and put into a bin.

Further investigation shows us what we expected to find; a Flintstone powered vehicle!

The rear of the car in the trunk area.

Are we worried? Nahh, considering some of the cars we have had to work on, there is quite a lot to be going on here. Nothing that we haven’t seen many times before.

This little lady will be as good as new. We will have to use a lot of sheet metal panels from our stock of course, but have allowed for that. 😉

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Blog, Customers' Cars, Mustang, Mustang Maniac, sheet metal, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing

We are really excited to have our very own Resto-Mod project back this week, ‘The Wolf’ as it shall be known. The Wolf project has been a little while getting to this stage as it wasn’t a priority for us, more of a filler for the quieter moments waiting for the next car, but more on that later with the Wolf’s first pictures in paint.

Customer Cars

The Pro Street is back with us under a new ownership. The new owner wants a few little tweaks made and some upgrades which we will bring for you as we go along.

There are few images that strike fear into other motorists, there are cars with their engines poking out of the hood exposing huge blowers, or the back end of a Mustang with big fat tyres. This just happens to be one of those cars. The Shelby lights accentuate the fact that this is a bad ass car.

It’s great to have her back where we continue to take good care of her as we know the work history of this little lady.

Our Car – The Wolf

Now the colour is revealed you may or may not have noticed the bumpers are on the car already. They bumpers both front and back were sent away to be de-chromed, subtly reshaped, shortened and we removed the bolt holes and painted body colour. Our own secret process to even make it removable if we need to.

The paint is black and the stripes are a real subtle shade of matt black which can only really be seen in certain lights. Exactly as Adam wanted it.

The whole car will be de-chromed and stealth black.

The two images below are trying to show a close up of the stripes on the paint and the bumpers.

As we said earlier, the car is going to be a full blown Resto-Mod and will be unique as we have not seen anything like what we are planning to do. 😉

Watch this space for pretty awesome updates.

WebShop

We have a new product that we are trialling at the moment to see if it’s good enough to go for sale. The radiator cap with a built in temperature gauge.

Coming Soon

We are in the process of developing a simple, but very effective and most importantly a user easy fitting security device. We have developed a MK1 prototype, MK2 was an improvement but the quality wasn’t where we wanted it to be. The Mk3 looks to be the way to go, a little more cost and development involved, but it will be well worth it. There will be more on this as we start the production and we get stock levels up. We aim to even make it a customer’s bespoke option as a special order!

Stay Safe & Take Care!

Posted in Mustang, Our Cars, Resto Mods, Restoration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Green Goddess

This week we have our next customer in for a restoration to go into the panel shop. There is a bit of difference though. On this little lady we are only doing the sheet metal rebuild, and then we are handing it back to the customer to complete the rest, that’s the paint, rolling gear and full assembly.

Customer Cars:

Why the Green Goddess? To be honest we are not sure, Adam has named this project. Adam has this sixth sense to see past the mess and look at the end project. He can see things that we can’t – and we don’t mean ghosts. We think it’s down to the fact that these cars look great in this light green.

Here we have her being unloaded from our new covered transport truck, which is only used for Mustang Projects.

Yogi manoeuvred the shell into his work cave and took a quick pic. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, some of which we can’t possibly post on a family friendly sight.

The customer wants the bad sheet metal replaced (all straight from our stock of course), and fitted to the car. The Green Goddess has issues, lots of issue in fact with metal worm. What we can or can’t save will be decided when we get round to it.

The sheet metal replacements for this car will be quite extensive as you can imagine. But, we’re not worried about that as we have some panels in stock even though it’s not on the WebShop for now. 😉

The Pear:

Yogi has started at the front with a full kit of LEED Brakes kits witch are a straight bolt in and a breeze to fit.

The brake booster, dual reservoir and pedal are in place but not fully set up yet of course.

The donor car has now also been moved in next to the final assembly room to save walking across the yard all the time.

There are few issues with the donor car, like the rear chassis legs being welded in the wrong place by a couple of inches so the shackles can’t be removed.

In fact the welding is so bad on this car as there is no penetration to the metal parts at all to bind them together. When we lifted the car up to mount it onto the dolly, the front of the car dropped down from the welds pulling open. We had to lower it onto raised jacks to lift up the front while we positioned the dolly under it, then lower it all down again! The pictures speak for themselves.

The sheet metal was like it had been JB Welded into place, let alone Mig Welding! The rest of the car had been patched pretty badly.

It was a very wise choice by the customer to get the rusty shell and and take the good bits from it to make up the rest of the car on the new shell in our opinion, it certainly works out a lot cheaper providing that you can get the new shells of course in the first place.

A couple of nice shots of old Shells and the ‘The Pear’ in the background in the Final Assembly Room.

We have a a couple of new stock items we are trialling at the moment, if they work like we expect them to, we will let you know next week.

Take Care & Stay Safe!

Posted in Brake Kits, Customers' Cars, Mustang Maniac, projects, Repairs, sheet metal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Rare Sight Indeed

We would like to start with a big thank you for all the well wishes for Jason and his bride Pamela on their wedding, it was much appreciated. Although the suggestion that Adam should wear his suit to work on the cars won’t be happening we’re sad to inform you. But, thanks for the idea though. 🙂

We are getting ready for the next customer to have their pride and joy in our sacred Mustang Sanctuary, where all good things happen to Mustangs. On a side note, in all the years we have been operating, we have only ever seen a couple of cars go to scrap. Everything else we have saved. We have even built a car from just the convertible soft top storage panel, remember the Onion?

What we had to start with;

This was the only original main part that was saved!

The rest of the car being built from just that part!

So what’s the rare sight? That’s our panel shop being empty! The last occupant being ‘The Pear’.

We have a couple of bits still in there which have been sprayed up for our very own resto mod project, this unusual design of our own axle being a part of that project.

The next car in here may end up having the underside done, floor panels, arches, chassis legs etc. We will give it a nick name, and post the pictures of that restoration project for you. Watch this space for those updates.

Our Cars:

We have a new bit of equipment for our dry storage solution.

Response to Adam’s advice?

Adam has received plenty of emails once we let it slip that we have a stock of sheet metal stored in the yard. As we pointed out last week that requests for such sheet metal, body panels etc. will be vetted before being sold. We even had an email from somebody in the trade who was quite irate that we removed the sheet metal from the WebShop trade area. He even suggested that it should be his priority to buy them as he was trade. Well his account is a small account and so was the attention span we gave to his email to be honest.

Then on the other hand, we had plenty of messages to say thanks for the advice and have ordered their metal. One or two have even found out that the panels are on back order from the big suppliers in USA which are often mentioned in the Mustang Forums on where to buy stuff. We have even had emails from the USA to ask for a couple of our sheet metal bits!

A short post this week as we have been trying to tidy the yard and get the panel shop ready for the next little lady.

Stay Safe & Take Care.

Posted in Customers' Cars, Parts, Resto Mods, Webshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments