A Proper Rub-Down

We are coming to the end of the year and we have now worked out the last opening time for the Mustang Maniac offices; they will be closed from midday 21st December until the 2nd January 2019. The good news is that the WebShop will be running as normal as far as we are concerned, but the rest depending on the post and other services etc. If you need any last-minute purchases or gift vouchers, make sure you order within the next few days to be sure of Christmas delivery. If you try to call us after the 21st December there will be nobody there to answer the phone, honestly there won’t be anybody to help you. But, if you email Adam he may respond when he gets a chance over the Christmas Break.

Customer Cars:

The Onion

This week has been all about Yogi getting the Onion ready for primer and paint.The huge amount of work being done for the prep of welding has now come together. The bear has been in the body shop with the welding equipment and we have gone old school, just as the car would have been built. More red oxide paint is used to cover the metal inside. The front of the car has an engine in place, it’s not the actual engine to go in the car, it’s a rare and a very much sought after 351ci Cleveland 4v 4bolt, that Adam said ‘I just found it laying around’!!!

The dash area also red oxide and prep ready for welding in.

The dash section is a critical structural element of the car and needs to be done properly to help the chassis rigidity especially on a convertible.

With the spot welds in place it looks totally original as per the original builds.

We mentioned above the ‘Old School’, We are sure you have seen this before from us, but we will show it again to you as well as the customer. The traditional brazing we use is like what the original cars had when they were first constructed. It’s a small detail, but it shows the attention to detail we give to our restorations and another skill set.

With the sections in place and final painting, the seam filling begins. A process often overlooked by some, but not us.

The engine bay to the body of the car welding.

With the panels fitted at the back of the car and trunk in place, it now means that the bear can body prep to remove any minor high or low spots on the body work, also making sure all the parts are flush and even to each other. A true skill to get right.

With the car suspension being fitted last week, a couple more bits have now been added.

The attention to detail includes some zinc plating to the pedal bracket which looks amazing, but nobody will see unfortunately.

John Wick

The car is now fully back together and has a quick road test, we need to do a little more to give it the Mustang Maniac feel then she will be back with her owner.

WebShop

Adam has found a rare part pipe from the USA for a Cleveland engine. Adam doing what he does best decided that he could do little better and make it more widely available.

The original;

The bespoke made Mustang Maniac Mod;

The new mod pipe is thicker and stronger than the original. The new part features a knurled end that goes into the engine block, the other end has ribs to hold it in place onto the heater hose clamp. The coating has also been zinc plated. All small changes but will make a huge difference.

We will have a break on blog as well until the New Year.

Mustang Maniac wishes all our customers, followers & readers;

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Taking Out A Pedal

A very busy week with lots going in the yard and we will bring you a story of a behind the scenes pieces of work that is taking the best part of six months to happen, but more on that a little later. We have had a lot of interest in the John Wick car as we always do when she is in the yard. Unlike the film this little lady is not mashed up and sounding like a bag of nails being kicked down the stairs. She was in for quite a big change or upgrade depending on how you look at it.

Customers Cars:

John Wick

The car in the films transmission was an automatic, the car we built was a manual as we were asked to build. Now after a little deliberation the owner, he has decided to swap over to an automatic like the car in the films. What people don’t realise is that swapping over the gearboxes is just the beginning.

So out it was out with the old manual gear box;

Then out with the pedal box, as you just can’t cut a pedal off as such, then remove the old gearbox linkage and centre console.

We reused the original centre console to fit a bespoke Hurst Auto shifter in place instead of the stock build auto gear box lever.

Yogi made up a template for the Hurst shifter and its relevant position to the new gearbox linkages. We had a strip of wood grain trim to match the original factory trim option, the template pattern would be laid and then carefully cut out the new openings.

The console was strengthened with our own little secret process then replaced back into the car. Once everything was secure the shifter was properly mounted.

A new starter motor was fitted as the linkage to the gearbox was fabricated, adjusted and fitted. New transmission cooling pipes were routed to the front for cooling as would have been on the original specification.

Next up was the new pedal box and the throttle linkages to the carb which also had to be swapped over from the manual one.

Once all that little lot was done the finished result is very simple looking, but a lot of work behind the scenes, The neutral disconnect wiring to be integrated to the wiring and ignition loom, the speedo cable, kickdown operation, carburetor settings, brake pedal height all have to be adjusted and set to defaults before a road test, then we tweak the adjustments once or twice more to get to the optimal performance set up for the car.

Apart from the stress and aggravation of the manual gearboxes the autobox will now be smooth effortless and correct to the film now.

Time for yet another road test – just to make sure all is OK of course! 😉

Our Cars

Adam has had his ’66 Hertz Shelby in storage for a long time, after Cleo Shelby had signed it for him he decided to do a little work on her. The car runs but nowhere near how it should, so like most of these things start with the carb which has been sitting there for a for years getting gummed up and rusty. So the man or bear for the job Yogi stepped up to the mark for a strip down and rebuild. The dark art of a carb rebuild, jetting and mixtures will all be required on this 800CFM (yes 800) double pumper.

Before – with the moving parts removed, gaskets removed and all to be restored and checked for any wear & tear before refitting.

After – the carb rebuilt and put back together ready for the refit.

A very special favour for a ‘Boss’ using the world wide Mustang Maniac contacts. 

We have touched on this type of story a few times in the past, but we must stress that this is NOT something that Adam and Mustang Maniac does on any sort of regular basis. In fact this is a very good friend (within the very small close-knit Mustang Maniac inner sanctum as it were), as well as being a loyal customer who need some help. The conversation was had with Adam and he responded. We shall be covering this story as it happens to take you on a documented journey. It may go well with no problems, or it could be a nightmare. We haven’t documented this before but we thought we might share it with you this time as it was customer lead.

‘Thank you Adam for the very special help’,  this customer as he has asked (me) to pass along.

After the loss, well sale of his ’65 coupe, the search for a ‘new mistress’ (as he would say) has been eventful and fruitless for a while with every advert, paper, social media and website had been scoured and trawled over looking for the replacement.

This is the sorry sight of a much-loved car being driven away by somebody else! Rumour has it there was a tear in his eye as she left. (It wasn’t a rumour by the way).

This Mustang Maniac customer was looking for a certain style for his next car, and nothing was standing out, after seeing many in the Uk over many months, the cars over here were just not up to scratch (well there were some with scratches on the paint), or on the other hand just not what he was looking for. Frustration grew and Mustang Maniac steped in and give this customer some exclusive contacts that we use in the USA. The word was put out to Adam’s contacts to look for a likely candidate for the customers spec he had in mind. A couple of weeks later that word was returned with a few pics the new potential ‘mistress’ was found.

Everything was now down to the customer to fine tune the deal, if this was indeed the replacement. The car in question happens to be a 1970 ‘Boss’ 302 clone fastback. The vehicle is quite rare for being a genuine two owner car from new, lime metallic green paint, luxury Ivy green interior, Mach1 package, a rare tilt column and fold down rear seat, factory rear louvres etc. Underneath, she sports a 331ci stroked aluminium headed motor, mated to a TCI reverse manual shift C4 gearbox, hooked up to a 8” rear with 4:11 gears and a posi traction diff.

After many phone calls with the owner, hundreds of detailed pictures of the good, not so good, the bad and a video to help with the decision, the trigger was pulled to release funds for the new car.

It’s well known that importing a car can be a daunting prospect; there are hundreds of shipping companies willing to take your money and bring your beloved car over by any means possible, not all of those options are good ways to bring a car back we might add. So again the customer asked us for some help and we pointed him in the right direction by giving him some reputable shipping companies to contact for quotes.

The process for shipping is from Indiana to Miami docks. Then from Miami to the Uk, we wish him the best of luck in getting it to her new home. We aim to follow this customers journey, regarding transportation, shipping, insurance and registration and how it all goes for him. Once all the paper work and costs have been paid, it’s a case of then getting his new pride and joy to or to us for the Mustang Maniac safety check (see last weeks post) before we let him loose in it on the UK roads. Watch this space for more updates.

WebShop

It’s that time of year where our new delivery of the Limited Edition Mustang Maniac Calendars are in stock for 2019 year. There is a very limit run of these and to get one you just need to order anything to, or over the value of £200 and we will pop one in the order for you, free. Here is a quick preview of the calendar.

If you order the Mustang Maniac Gift Vouchers for £200 or more you will also get the calendar, remember only while stocks last, once they are gone, there will be no more!

The vouchers are available in £10 and £20 and can be used in the WebShop.

The links for the £10 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

The links for the £20 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

There are only two more weekends before Christmas, just saying! 

R & D?

The heading suggests this week that we are talking about Research and Development, however in this case it means Restored and Dangerous. So we start with a really serious note, in fact we were shocked to such a level that Adam has made a video of it. An unprecedented move, but Adam felt that this really warranted a video to show our readers exactly what is out there. The laws in the UK have changed (a bad move in our opinion), for the MOT (Ministry Of Transport) tests for road worthy vehicles, the rules state that you don’t need an MOT if;

  • the vehicle was built or first registered more than 40 years ago
  • no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years, for example replacing the chassis, body, axles or engine to change the way the vehicle works

As we have said before in a blog; we can pretty much say that all our customers still go for the MOT even though they don’t need to have it, why? To make sure the vehicle is safe. That’s safe to drive and safe to other road users, the last thing Classic Car owners want is their pride and joy have a failure resulting in it getting smashed up somewhere. A vehicle that was ‘fully restored’ in Europe (that’s all we are going to say), was shipped to the proud owner in the UK. The owner of this vehicle paid some strong money for this car at the time and was expecting a top quality car. After the car was imported to the UK the car was taken to a well-known Mustang ‘specialist’ restorer (whom we know of by the way), where this car was given a full UK MOT.

As with all new cars that we haven’t seen before in our care, we always give them a safety check and full once over. The reason is we want to be sure that we are not going to crash and die in the vehicles, and to also get a baseline of what needs to be done if anything.

We are going to respect the owners privacy on his Mustang, understandably he is not impressed as some serious work needs to be done before he can even think of driving it again. Even after the restoration has been done.

The video of Adam’s inspection comments is here and will be posted on YouTube as soon as we can get to the account and upload it. The sound on the video will show just how bad the mechanical parts are, the idler arm, geometry, ball joints, grease points valance are all covered here, that’s before we inspect the brakes, engine, electrics etc.

These worn suspension parts are not supposed to move in the manner that they are.

Yep, Adam on video!

The moral of the story here is to make sure you know what you are getting. Ask other people who have had work done by other specialists to get an idea of their reputation. Lots of people claim to know what they are doing, but letting a car on the road like this is just dangerous and potentially lethal.

The blame is two-fold here, the restoration in the first place and then the person who gave the car an MOT afterwards.


Customers Cars

The Onion,

Last week we promised a big update on ‘The Onion Mustang’, and here it is. Yogi has been busy getting the panels together and wanted the car on her own wheels to get the weight right ready for gaps. Most of the parts have been powder coated to a high standard and we have had them for a little while now. Yogi and Adam inspects the new parts;

Yogi and Adam seen here fitting some very special suspension parts to this little lady;

The suspension on this car is made up of some rather clever movable parts called roller bearings. This allows the suspension to move much more in a controlled way, unlike the video above.

We have a couple of video that show what we mean;, and the movement here on the suspension is supposed to be there!

The car has also been treated to a ‘Shelby Drop’ using our own template which can be seen here with the suspension mounted below the original holes. Before you ask – no we won’t sell you one!

In order to get the correct geometry settings these car’s suspension on this year are adjustable via a cam and not use shims like the 64 – 66 cars, thus making it much quicker and a lot nicer to set up correctly.

As these parts are adjustable they did have a tendency to move on the odd occasion, to get around that we have some special parts to stop that.

These rather clever upgrades should enable the tyre to be in full correct contact with the road at all times. We must admit that we are looking forward to the road test on this suspension set up.

With the suspension in place and the rear axle bolted in the car sits on a set of (borrowed) wheels. In order to make the gaps correct Adam and Yogi placed a couple of engines in the car and a little trick the guys don’t want us to show you as it’s a Mustang Maniac secret. Now the car is a rolling shell, Yogi can set the gaps correctly and weld them up properly.


The Dreaded “C” word; yep it’s Christmas time!

At Mustang Maniac we try not mention Christmas untill December and as this is the first post of December we decided to mention it. We have already had a few early purchases of our very popular Mustang Maniac Gift Vouchers. We have had some more made up for us and are now back in stock. So if you want to buy something for that lucky person who owns a Mustang, and don’t know what to get them – then this is your dream come true to let them get what they want. They are available in £10 and £20 and can be used in the WebShop. during your purchases.

The links for the £10 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

The links for the £20 voucher is here or click on the picture below.


Exciting News from the WebShop that starts in the New Year:

Adam will be running a special offer once a month, for one week only where he will be having a promotion of a particular product. Once the product have gone, that’s the promotion done, even if it lasts for a day or two, so be quick. What will the promotional items be?

We can’t say at the moment so you will have to watch this space – or bookmark the WebShop  or copy this link to your favorites to find out!

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/

Don’t Forget your Gift Vouchers!

John Wick Chapter 2

What a week we have had, some of which we can tell you about, some of it we can’t, not just yet anyway but we are very excited about it all. At one point so much was going on we don’t know where to start on it all. So this week we have a large post to cover some nice updates on work we are doing, some great new items in the stock and a recent project returns for a big update. We shall start with the Park & Pic we havent had for a while.

Park & Pic

We couldn’t help but throw in a tenuous link to the films, but the John Wick ’69 is back with us for a project update – an automatic gearbox to be fitted and all the associated changes that goes with it. Before we took her down the yard to the work shops, we couldn’t help ourselves to a photo or two under our stainless horse logo. Now it has to be said that this is pure, unapologetic, automotive erotica for car lovers everywhere. It has been said that if you don’t agree with us – then you are wrong, simple as that. Yes we are slightly biased as we built it, but just look at it!

Customers Cars

’66 Fast Back GT;

This car belongs to a good friend and loyal customer of ours Tony Pook who had brought his car into us for a grease service and once over. The car was making the odd creak and groans and wanted us to sort it out for him.

We replaced some sway bar end links and other bushings, then they were all re-assembled with a high quality lithium grease. Once it was all ready to go we took the car for a quick road test and all is good in the Mustang world and quiet again, except for the wonderful sound of a v8 that is.

To top it all, this car has been featured in the Mustang Owners Club Of Great Britain calendar for 2019.

Another ’66 Fastback GT;

This little lady is in for a front end suspension rebuild. The suspension on the front is a bit to low and needs to be lifted to the right height as it has affected the handling now. Hopefully that shall start that bit of work this week.

The Onion

The car has been worked on intensively for a number of days and not a lot seems to happen, then the next day panels are put on and all of a sudden we have a shell in the shop. The secret is our secret how we can build a car from ground up with no pre-marked points as they had rusted through. In this game millimeters is a considerable amount to be wrong. However our skills are obvious and this weeks piece of work shows just that. Obviously we have some small tack welds and clamps in place where the car was taken from our jig. As a convertible the body will flex a certain amount and can’t be welded when it’s up in the air as the gaps would be very wrong. That final gap work will have to be done when the car is on the free standing on the floor under her own weight.

But for now at least you can get to see the long hard prep work and endless measuring has paid of because we almost have a rolling shell.

We can tell you that Yogi has some very special suspension to go on this little lady and we will have a couple of videos of it next week for you. As Yogi and Adam are working on the car we waited for them to have a tea break and sneaked in for a peak and sneak peek of the parts. So here is a little taster and there will be a lot more on this piece of the project next week.

Watch this space!!

WebShop

We have two new products in stock;

The first product is brand new into our stock which is a brake grease which can be found here on the WebShop.

The second is a rather special component and only Mustang Maniac has access to the parts. This is the unique thermostat which was only made for the Cleveland 351 engine. There are a few not ideal work arounds for the issue, but this is the concours correct part you will need. Click here for the thermostat link on the WebShop.

This thermostat must be used with the correct restriction plate (gold colour) for the 180deg thermostat which can be found here.

If you wish to continue to use the small block thermostat you must use the restrictor plate mod, (silver coloured above). Click here for the link on the WebShop.

Did you know?

Following from last weeks post about the BMW Museum, did you know the first BMW was the English Austin Seven base design.

Come back next week for a big update on The Onion project.

Tenuous Link

We like to think that all our posts are Mustang related of some sort. We have a very tenuous link this time which could be fun as well. As Adam has arrived back in the UK we have some details of the last leg of their holidays. Just before Remembrance Day Adam & Lynn landed in Munich Germany for a few days stop over.

While they were there they popped into the BMW Museum for a look around to see the German engineering and heritage of their cars.

At the entrance they had a display of some cars that BMW have absorbed into their empire. That being of course the huge scalp of Rolls Royce and the ultimate cult icon car of the ’60’s, the Mini. Subsequent revisions of the mini have seen it turn into a Euro box with not as much character as the beloved original.

The rest is all BMWs as you would expect.

Two wheels;

Their racing pedigree featuring the infamous M3 and dipping their toes into the money void of F1;

The future?

We mentioned a tenuous link earlier and here it is. This picture was in the museum and has a mustang within it. Can you find it? (I personally think there are two in there).

To finish up the couple of days in Germany? You need to have a beer!

Editors note: I’m just glad it’s not Adam in those leather shorts! 😀

Customer Cars:

We have been asked to see more pictures of the inside of the Hertz clone with the windows kit fitted. As requested those inside shots.

The Onion Mustang

Yogi has been rebuilding The Onion Convertible and things have started to take shape. Adam had a pleasant surprise when he saw the car after a few weeks away. There is a lot of temporary work to get the full picture. Once the tiny adjustments have been made the proper welding will take place. Starting from the back;

Then to the front;


Next week we shall be back to normal with any luck. But over the last few weeks has anybody spotted a pattern with the batches of photos?

America?

Cuba;

Germany;

Answer: Not once did Adam suffer from the frizzy hair syndrome like Lynn did!

Cuba, Cars & Cigars

The last part of Adam & Lynn’s transatlantic adventures has been a trip to Cuba. We have been sent some amazing pictures and Cuba isn’t quite what we expected. The classic fifties cars have been there before the revolution and have nursed with some serious TLC ever since. As a result these old cars or ‘Yank Tanks’ as refered to over there have been a legacy as other makes of car remain very expensive to buy. Due to the Russian influence at the time there is also a lot of old Ladas and in some parts can looks very Russian. We don’t think that many people want to ride in an old Lada when the choice of classic Chevy is park next to it. The main income for Cuba was and still is sugar cane, although Cuba and especially Havana are also well-known for the tobacco products, (more of which later). Their ride for the day was this wonderful ’56 Chevy with a twist, the car had a Mercedes five pot diesel engine in place instead of the Chevy block, the up side is that the car now has the all important air con.

Some useful tips from their travels included a private tour and ride for a ten-hour day will cost you around £200. There is no wi-fi as we expect it to be out there, so you need to get connected, a purchase of a wi-fi card is required and that will last you one hour. Speaking of cards, the important point is that credit cards don’t work out there, so make sure you carry enough cash for what ever you think you will need.

The weather is hot and humid and plays havoc with your hair according to Lynn, Adam didn’t appear to care about that at all. The locals are very friendly and they felt safe wherever they went. Getting out of the car for a look around is no problem but remember that there are a lot of cobbled street out there and the flat shoe tourist thing is the order of the day. While out of the vehicle you may encounter some of the many stray dogs on the streets, most of them have an ID tag around them to show that the locals are looking after them.

Havana has a strong Spanish orientated area with a few French buildings as well.

Adam & Lynn both used these exotic forms of transport and managed to snap a few pictures while going along.

Some amazing architecture suites the old beautiful classic 50’s cars that are just work horses over there, but here they would polished and cherished.

Adam was interested to see some real horsepower out there, we don’t think this is what he had in mind though!

A trip to the cigar factory has shattered a myth for me, that is that the cigars are not rolled on the inner thighs of virgins, but by some stubbly bloke rolling it on bench! Why do people have to ruin it for others? All be it I knew it wasn’t true, but kinda hoping it was. As a result of the facts; those cigars won’t have the same appeal or taste quite the same now. 😀

After the tour of the noisy cigar factory? A beer and cigar of course!

Although the local music was a little different to what they were expecting.

Later in the evening rumour has it that Lynn was out on bender, we can’t confirm if that was true or not, but circumstantial evidence does suggest that could be the case.

Adam decided that he too would get involved with the night life with this character.

An unusual tourist attraction.

More evening adventures and a train in the middle of nowhere.

A little bull riding in this video.

On their travels they managed to find a local wedding with a pink bridal car.

It appears that local health and safety is not to much of an issue on a bridge fishing by the looks of it.

Ernest Hemingway is very famous and popular character there with many bars and restaurants having photos and memorabilia of him all over the place.

I have learnt something about this country and I think I want to visit the place as well now.

As for the Mustang yard? Well that is going strong and we will be back to normal showing you what Yogi has been up to in the mean time. Adam should be back soon and we suspect he will be enjoying the influx of emails via proper wi-fi that he hasn’t been getting while in Cuba.

SEMA 2018 – Part 4

This is the last post from the SEMA 2018 show in Las Vegas. Again a mixture of cars and in no particular order, apart from a batch of Mustangs first of course.

Moving back inside to another hall;

SEMA wouldn’t be SEMA without the beautiful ‘Eleanor’

Adam was interested in this stand and spent a little time looking around.

Bonus Pictures

These pics were taken over the few days of the SEMA show when it was time to relax.

Something a bit fishy goin’ on here we think.

Adam managed to catch up with an ancestor of Yogi’s from Canada while he was out there.

Adam came up with an idea from this jar, Lynn replied with ‘anymore talk like that he would be taking a ride in one of these!’ 😀

She didn’t say that really, she just did that ‘woman thing’ with the eyes that say it all.

Adam has decided that he needs an office down the back of the yard and this was just the thing, He also decided that new office work attire would be in keeping as well. Adam tries his camouflage technique in case somebody wants him while he is working on the cars. He also said something about ‘going tactical’.

We hope you enjoyed the pictures from SEMA 2018 in Las Vegas as much as we did. Thanks to Adam & Lynn for taking the time out to send them to us at stupid o’clock in the morning, just sayin’!

Before anybody asks – Adam will not be back in the office until the 19th November as they are taking a well-earned break while they are in the USA. Adam will still have his emails of course, but will be limited availability.