Knock Knock…

We start this week with a Park & Pic of a unique car a genuine Shelby GT350R, a race car owned by our friend and customer Larry Tucker. This is not your usual add a few stickers effort like so many do and think that it adds 100bhp or something. This is a fully stripped out Shelby FIA inspected race car and goes just like it looks!

We wish every success to Larry with his little trips around the track, just bring her back in one piece with a few added bits of silverware maybe. 😀

Epic Engine Fail

It can be said that the Ford V8s are a tough cookies and they are pretty bullet proof as long as they are maintained well. On a rare occasion we get an engine in that has a major problem. A customer had bought his car into us saying that there was a “knocking” noise from the engine. The 302ci engine was running, well sort of, but it didn’t sound too good that’s for sure. Yogi was eager to get on with the diagnosis and he was pretty sure what it was, but to what degree? His first job was to have look at the oil which was a messy mixture that resembled gravy more than oil; a bad sign. The “oil” was drained and a total of three gallons of gravy came out. Slightly more than the normal oil quota and was left to dry out. The engine was taken out the car and put onto one of our stands for a close up look. It was decided to video the removal of the oil sump pan as there was a rattle and a tinkling of falling metal when the engine was turned upside down; now a very bad sign.

You can see a smashed piston and connecting rod fall out in the video. Something as catastrophic as this would entail much more damage than a new piston. Inspection showed that the block had a hole punched through it and was now a nothin’ more than scrap. The picture here show the hole in the block:

Damage to a spark plug where a piston has slammed into it.

Some of the shrapnel that was pulled from the depths of the engine.

There was nothing that can be done except for Yogi reading the belated mechanics “last rites” before it goes to the great scrap yard in the sky.

R.I.P 302ci.

Customer Cars:

The black convertible is now back together again and ready for her last road test before we hand her back. She looks a real head turner again and now leak free from the replacement cowl.

The new carpet was laid and our ever popular LED dash bulb upgrades fitted.

Cast your vote time:

Our friend Spence (the other half of the Bully Brothers with Yogi), bought his car “The Grinch” in for a little once over and a treat for his lady. The trouble is we were undecided on look and Adam is asking our readers what they think; Black or Alloy rims?

Please vote it will make Adam happy and it only takes two clicks. 🙂

A Two Week Reminder

In two weeks time is our local Mustang Maniac car show at Enfield, which is always popular. Come and visit us and see some of best Mustangs in the country on our very own stand.

Tops Off

We like to pride ourselves on being one of the best in the country if not “The Best” for Mustang restorations, our customers are loyal and return on a regular basis whether for a standard service, repairs or upgrades. A number of our customers have more than one Classic Car and not all them are Mustangs. So on the odd occasion for the good customers and friends of ours we will make exceptions. This week was one of those “Chevy” occasions.

’63 Corvette 

This little lady is the a beauty and in great condition. Obviously for the parts we have to source those in unless it’s a generic part, like bulbs etc. It will be a shame to see her go back home as this car drives as well as it looks especially with the roof down in the sun shine and the crackle from the side pipe exhausts. Oh yes!

 

’73 Convertible

The Ford connection is here with this car, the guy who owns this lovely original condition car also worked for the Ford Dagenham plant in London. A seriously well looked after car and pleasure to see them looking this good in the sunshine.

Adams ’73 Convertible

Not to be outdone by the customers topless cars, Adam got his ’73 out for a road trip out, as he would say “it’d be rude not to!” Somewhere in the countryside he stopped to take a few pics, we’re not sure if this was just a picture break or a combined “comfort stop”. Adam was gone a while and had been drinking lots of tea before he left, just sayin’. Nice job of the pics though.

Earlier in the week Adam was trying out his new wheels and tyres combination. He settled for this look, a good choice it was we would say, he is also using his Mustang Maniac red Hub centers to match the car paint, and the white wall for the roof.

WebShop

We had a brand new item in stock is our ’64 to ’69 Mustang trunk sound proof mat. We sold one to Mart with his ”66 Coupe and he kindly sent us some pics of the install for us. We checked with Drake and the Black side does indeed go down on top of the tank. This mat will help protect the fuel tank and mask some noise that resonates from the truck area.

Before fitting you can remove the protective plastic on the black side to help stop the mat slipping around on the tank surface. The Black side has a very slight tack to it but not sticky so can be easily moved around if needed.

The fit of the mat is inside the drop off sections.

With the truck mat refitted and all back in place.

Mart’s verdict of the product;

“A thick sound proof mat like the fire wall sound proofing, a great product as you would expect. Good fit which only took minutes to fit (after I had cleaned the complete trunk area). The good part; is that it has certainly muffled some drone from the trunk area and the top of the tank has a nice protection to it. The bad is that the exhaust is not as loud now 😉 But, if you put sound proofing in that’s what you expect. I’m pleased with it.”

Enjoy the sun, check the radiator fluids, keep the sun cream on and keep an eye on the pets in the heat. This is supposed to be the hottest May Bank Holiday on record. We shall see.

Objects In The Rear View Mirror…

We have been busy the last couple of weeks with lots of cars ready to be picked up, once they were taken back to their rightful homes we could get a couple back in. So it was all about logistics this week. The gold convertible needed some brake work so Adam & Yogi teamed up on a car in the Yogi Cave. So in case you wonder why the phone doesn’t get answered sometimes – it’s because he is working on the cars which is his passion, not the call centre scenario answering questions and giving advice to people who are not customers. Adam is thinking about the hotline number again where you can pay a premium rate number for advice, it’s been one of those type of weeks. Anyway I digress, the guys like to work old school on the brakes and that means bleeding properly with a jar. They do have the vacuum pump gadgets and all that modern stuff for a single person use in the back of a cupboard somewhere, but they don’t like them. So Adam got in the car and Yogi raised it up so he could get underneath and do the necessary with the new rear wheel cylinders and an all round check up. Adam kindly “volunteered” to do the “pedal bit” inside. Expertise and experience of how the brakes feel is important factor for a cars drive-ability. During a lull in proceedings with his foot down, Adam looked in the rear view mirror out the workshop to see this;

The ground the view is just as impressive.

Customer Cars

A lovely ’65 has come in for a few little bits to be done including a replacement aerial and some new fender emblems. The old school aerial was replaced with a modern billet piece. The emblems are often overlooked, but they can make a huge difference to the look of a car when parked up. This little lady now lets everybody know she is a proud 302 as well.

Black Convertible

The car has now returned from the paint shop after having the cowl section completely replaced. We are now in the process of putting all the bits back under the dash and the wiper components.

The final gaps have now been set and the car looks like she means business again.

Stock

Adam has acquired a set of retro “Slot Mags” which he is quite pleased with. These are branded “American Racing” and were all the rage back in the day on may a hot rod. To be fair they still look good and are the popular choice on many cars to this day.

When Adam had a closer look he was surprised to see where they were made.

Did you know that they were made in England?

The WebShop has a new edition of some light bedtime reading covering a diverse range of years and couple of model cars in one book.

An ideal Fathers Day gift which is on Sunday the 17th June this year. 😉

Going Loco In Acapulco

For once we can say that the weather has bought out the cars and its great to see them on the road. It makes a change from us saying a couple of months back drive carefully in snow and ice. Speaking of driving carefully brings us onto our Park & Pic this week;

Park & Pic

Our friend and loyal customer Mart D. has finally got his car out the garage to get it M.O.T’ed with us. We know that the car’s MOT had run out in early December last year and has been SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). In the mean time his car has been wrapped in cotton wool in the heated and dehumidified garage of his. Mart and his OCD issues wouldn’t allow him to bring it out in the rain just in case it shrunk apparently! Still it’s nice to see his ’66 Coupe in Acapulco blue in the sun, it’s just we are not on holiday in the real Acapulco, Mexico. We have done an extensive guide of the full restoration of his car from being a real mess of a shell, to being at the NEC Classic Car Show some four years later when it was finished. Click here for the link to see all the work. It’s a very large page so give ita few moments to load.

The car had a time slot with our MOT guys, trouble was that Mart would be driving it there. Let’s just say that he is worse than useless with directions, he has even got lost with a Sat-Nav (honestly). All of this is being said with Marts knowledge and he will be the first to admit it as well. 😀 Anyway we gave him the Sat-Nav details, we gave him verbal description on how to get there from both Adam and Morgan. With that he set off at about quarter to eleven for the fifteen minute journey. Just as he was leaving Yogi sent him a message to remind him that the MOT centre shuts at three pm on a saturday, therefore he would need to get a move on. 😀  Anyway twenty-five minutes later we got the text to say he had found it and was feeling very proud of himself! Apparently he had driven carefully watching “The other nutters on the road who were intent on trying to mash my motor up.” Again, those we only printable words we could use on a family blog.

A little while later the car had passed with flying colours and he was on the way back to us. There was a tiniest leak from the water thermostat housing that needed a little tighten up. Mart got stressed about it as he had to clean that part of the engine (again). This is fairly common as the chrome housings can go slightly out of shape causing a tiny drip now and again, which only needs a little tighten up to reseal again.

Customer Cars

The Gold Convertible has been for the initial road test and things didn’t go to plan. Yogi took her round the usual route, country lanes for handling, dual carriageway for a cruising test and round abouts and junctions for brakes.

The car was tuned to default and the road tes started. Once the car got onto the main dual carriageway there was the dreaded drone and an increasing wobble on the steering. Front wheel bearing had decided to implode. Yogi being on the ball pulled over immediately and stopped and noticed the smoke from the hub of the wheel. As LAR headquarters were only a couple of miles away now a recovery was required to prevent more damage. The car was put straight back into the Yogi cave where the strip down started to get the bearing off and this is what was left after the race and bearing had destroyed each other. Not the nice neat unit you would expect. Although it was all greased you just need one rod to fracture and it will take everything with it. Not every single road test goes to plan, That why we do them – to make sure we are happy with it before we hand it over. The good part is that it happened to us and we managed to not damage the spindles as we knew what was going on. This could have happened at any time and there is no way to predict a bearing failure of this proportion unfortunately.

Now we would have to replace the wheel bearings on both sides and the steering realigned as a result.

The car would then take another road test to check the wheel alignment and make sure all was OK once again.

As the sun was out we put the roof up! Yep UP. That way the warmth of the sun can help stretch the stiff new material into place and help the folded creases to fall out too.

Other News:

Adams new purchase is this little rarity anybody recognise it?

This is one of those rarity gearboxes; a Super T10. We found this information on the gearbox and it’s background and why it’s such a sort after gearbox. We thought we would give you a little techy article post which we found on a Borg Warner Tech spec site;

American car manufacturers had to scramble in the early part of the 1960s to get a four speed transmission for their performance cars. All the money was tied up in automatic transmission tooling and production as a high profit option. The base units ran three speed column shift manuals. The torque laden engines didn’t really need a fourth gear for regular driving. Once speed became important, so did an extra gear and a floor shifter. Detroit made do with the Borg Warner T-85 which was a three speed unit. It was tough and that’s why they used it. The T-85 box was the starting place for the new Borg Warner T-10 four speed.
One of the earliest models to get the four speed was the Corvette. It appeared in 1957 and helped make it a real sports car contender along with the 283 V8. What engineers did was use the T-85 main case and add a reverse gear into the extension housing, making room for fourth gear. The main cases were aluminum on Corvettes. Other Chevrolet cars used cast iron cases until 1962. The T-10 was considered a heavy-duty transmission at the time and was issued with high performances engines of the early 1960s.  You’ll see these behind 283 fuelies, 348s, Pontiac 389s and even Mopars used them until their own unit was ready in late 1963.
The Super T-10:
Competition ended the T-10’s domination in cars. Muncie, Saginaw and New Process all developed their own four speed boxes, each capable of handling high torque and sustained power. By 1965, wide-spread use of the T-10 was easing. Buick held on until 1966 and Corvette remained the sole factory player by 1967. The story doesn’t end there. Drag racing uncovered some weaknesses in the original design and research  efforts by many racers developed new tricks to improve the basic design. This and a selection of different gear clusters kept the T-10 active. A result of all this R&D was the release of the Super T-10 in 1969. This revised transmission had an iron main case instead of aluminum. The gear sets were larger than the originals for added strength  yet were smaller than either Muncie or New Process gears. The Super T-10 gears were 9310 high nickel alloy and were coarse cut for better load capacity. You also got more ratios to pick from.The Super T-10 was sorely needed as muscle cars were very powerful by the end of the decade. More changes were made in production and an aftermarket over the counter version was offered called Power Brute.  You could order new ratios, heavy-duty synchro sleeves and generally improved parts. The GM Super T-10s were about 92 pounds while big car Ford Super T-10s came in around 101 pounds.

Ford used three versions of T-10s in their cars. The light cars used a 2.73:1 low gear, 2.06:1 second and 1.62:1  third gear. As in all other applications fourth gear is direct drive. The big block Galaxie used 2.36:1 low gear, 1.62:1 second gear and 1.76:1 third gear. The third Ford T-10 used 2.36:1 low gear, 1.76:1 second gear and 1.41 for third gear.Mopar T-10s: Chrysler used two different gear sets for their T-10s. The standard set was 2.54:1 for 1st gear, 1,89:1 for second gear and 1.51:1 for third. The close ratio set was 2.20:1 low, 1.64:1 second and 1.31 third gear.

Classic T-10 Mods from the 60s & 70s:
 The aluminum main case is a bit fragile for heavy race use. The gear shafts are prone to flexing under high loads. This is one reason why the Muncie and especially the M22 was preferred equipment and still highly desirable to this day. While Borg Warner didn’t release a high twist gear set like the M22, they did come up with a second revision Super T-10 in 1975. The Super T-10 gear shafts are tougher as they’re made from high nickel content. For a brief period it was the hot set up to install Super T-10 shafts inside an aluminum main case. You saved about 30 pounds but had to go through the expense of modifying case to fit a late-model shaft. Wear rate increased because the nickel shafts could crack the trans shift cover, then your case in that order. This mod was dropped after a few years.  Another more worthwhile tip is using the Ford T-10 shifter arms and shafts. They used a 3/8-inch stud which is thicker than the 5/16 GM shafts.  If your T-10 has the older bearings with non grooved sleeve go for an upgrade. Borg Warner has used the heavy-duty bearings  since 1975. Power Brute aftermarket bearings were available starting in 1972 and have appeared in some production cases. For GM cars, the Buick 27-spline main shaft takes high rpm launch stresses better than Chevrolet main shafts.

We finish with a couple of nice pics where Adam says make sure your dogs have plenty of clean fresh water in this heat, looks like they are enjoying the sun too.

Spring Time Your Way?

Ok so the title is a little play on words for this week’s blog, but the weather in the UK is picking up a little and looking forward to the warm weather and all the classic cars coming out to play. We said a play on words as this weeks Park & Pic is a car we still have with us after a service and a good look over. The ’65 Springtime yellow coupe is owned by our friend and customer Mick.

Park & Pic

The car is solid and the best bit? It’s up for sale! NOw Adam doesn’t “Sell” cars, he will take money for them if somebody has the right amount of cash for it. So this is not a regular feature to sell cars on our little ol’ blog, but if you are interested email us via the WebShop and they will put you in touch with the owner. No tyre kickers obviously.

The car has a great paper trail of the work completed on her over the years and always adds provenance to a classic car.

The engine is a nice little head turner too and runs as well as it looks.

Customer Cars

The Golden convertible has had some attention this week on the interior and has taken some great steps forward. The carpet has been fitted and the seats have gone back in. The dash area and wire pigtail have taken a little work but they are now fitted fine.

The external fittings are starting to come together and it’s amazing how a couple of shiny bits can make a difference.

The Transmission mounts were in a less than desirable condition should we say, and no we can’t use Yogi’s description of the part as this is a family blog! The replacement has been fitted in place and should make a huge difference to the driveability of the car.

Other News

We have been mentioning that we have been finding old “stuff” to share with you, this week is no different. This 1965 advert gives us an interesting insight into the minds of ford and their marketing.

Happy Birthday to….

The Ford Mustang of course, well not just yet, on Tuesday 17th April to be precise where the Mustang will be Fifty Four years old! We owe a big thanks to our good buddy Gary aka “Boris” (don’t ask), for coming up with some great little facts for us;

1) Ford US built 8160 Mustangs up to April 16, the day before launch – enough for one per dealer.

2) Ford planned to increase production through 1964, but due to the reaction at launch built another 16,000 Mustangs for the balance of April 1964.

3) Ford dealers took 22,000 orders at launch and sold well over 400,000 in the first year.

4) Ford had initially planned to sell 150-180,000 Mustang a year.

5) The following generations continued to be successful, but it was considered that the “Fox” bodied cars were somehow less successful. This is not true as they sold more than 400,000 units in the first year beating the original Mustang’s score.

6) The ‘father of Mustang’ Lee Iacocco was fired by Henry Ford 2 much later because of two reasons – he wanted to produce lots of small front wheel drive cars…and it is thought that he was becoming more prominent within Ford than ‘Hank the Deuce’.

7) Henry famously said when pressed by the Board of Directors of Ford on the firing of Iacocca; “sometimes you just don’t like somebody”.

8) The legendary “Bullitt” car now also becomes a member of the coveted “fifty years old club” too.

Out the Mould

This week Adam has been eagerly waiting for his next delivery of some rather special parts, this time they are not from the USA. Adam has had a set of moulds made for his next project car that we will be bringing you via our blog the full project build from scratch to being on the road. The ever popular ’67 Eleanor from the movie remake of “Gone In Sixty Seconds” has fans all around the world, and is always a popular car at shows. In the past Adam has already built three Eleanors as bespoke orders and knows all to well the issues with the kits out there, obtaining the correct dimensions and good quality parts for the body kit has been challenging to say the least. As a result a FULL set of the seventeen component parts mouldings has been made for our own exact replica Eleanor kit. We are not sure how Adam has managed to get the moulds so accurate, when we ask how, he just laughs and says, “I just know a few people; don’t ask!” We now know how he done it – but don’t ask us either! 🙂 Our new moulds have had the first prototype casting delivered to Mustang Maniac for their sign off inspection. So far Adam is very pleased with the results, they are a good thick material and not flimsy like some of the others out there, the finish is pretty much paint ready as well which means minimal paint prep. As yet Adam is undecided if he will sell the kits as a full seventeen piece kit, or individual parts of the kit. So watch this space and the WebShop for details.

Adam inspects the first mould of the Mustang Maniac Eleanor Kit:

How cool is that? If you want a full kit for a GT500 Eleanor, or just a part of the set – let Adam know, he may start to stock them if he gets enough interest.

Customers Cars

The storage area is looking quite full at the moment, from early Ford Cortina to Ford LTD.

The cowl has been fitted to the properly now and any smoothing has been done ready for paint. The rest of the inside is starting to go back in ready for the dash pad later. The engine bay is now ready and running and can be driven again. We are expecting the pick up for paint to be done this week.

The Falcon Sprint

The general inspection of the brakes turned up a worrying, yet a common fault. Leaking brake cylinders can appear from nowhere especially after the car has sat for a while. The leak doesn’t usually happen when the car sits there but rather when they start to get used again, the rubber can perish and the pistons can rust a little and wear away the seals a little then they start to leak. Here we see a single side leaking and has soaked the brake shoes with brake fluid, there will be no braking this side at the rear. As a precaution you should always change both sides.

We suggest if the car has been standing, check the brakes before you move the car, apply the brakes a number of times before you drive it. Take it for a gentle drive and bring back home. Check the brakes again but remove the drum to inspect carefully. If in doubt, don’t mess about – take the car to somebody who knows what they are doing. That brake pedal is probably one of the most important things in your car.

Here we can see the removed shoes and the damage from the fluid leak. Replacing and bleeding should also be done at the point of changing the cylinders.

We expect to see a few more of these now the show season is almost apon us.

Be safe – Check your brakes!

More Finds

We often get ask to do a quick service, as far as we are concerned there isn’t really such a thing as a “quick service” at Mustang Maniac. We can do a speedy oil change, but not a quick service as the reason is fairly simple; Pride. When we do an oil change we automatically look under the car and get nosey as it were. We like to look out for things that need to be done, or will need to be done soon. It’s not that we are trying to push for repairs – far from it, as we as very busy and would need to allocate the proper time to repair what ever we may find. The point is that we look because we want our customers to be safe and enjoy their cars. More often than not we don’t find anything that needs doing, but we still look – just in case. That’s difference between changing the oil elsewhere and changing the oil with us. Our loyal customers know all to well that we often try to talk customers out of changing parts just for the sake of it, or spending money when it’s not required, such is our honesty. Adam will advise what you do or don’t need for the car. As a result of our solid work ethics and honesty, we got our regular customers returning to us along with a growing list of new customers after their visit with us. Whether you are a celebrity client or a not, the service is still the same.

Customers Cars

First this week was a Falcon Sprint in for a service for this little lady and full once over. An unusual colour and in great condition too.

Next up was a 66 Fastback that needed a service, minor tune ups, and a carpet replacement. This is an ideal time to take a look at the important floor pans from the inside out, looking for the usual places of rust, if they need any attention we will advise the customer. We are pleased to say that so far all is well with this little lady too.

More Old Photo’s

We mentioned last week we found some old videos of Yogi and his car, well we also found some pictures from Adam’s winter break in Barbados. As you would expect the scenery was superb, the beaches breathtaking and with cocktail drinks to die for. As always Adam did not disappoint us and came back with great pics from that holiday – pics from a cars museum! Yep this is from Mr Mallalieu’s own private collection of cars and some rare beasts in there too. Who wants to lay around on a sun soaked beach when you can look at cars in Barbados?

DeAgostini Shelby GT500 1:8th Scale Model

We are receiving a number of emails from collectors who are following our build guide of the Shelby GT500. Some of the emails are from people who are asking us for replacement parts, and even the odd complaint about not getting their issues or missing issues. In fact one subscriber to this piece build program even wanted to send their issues back to us for a refund as they were still waiting for missing issues. We also had to subscribe to the whole two-year build process too, just like the rest of the world.

We are in NO WAY affiliated with DeAgostini. 

If you have any issues please contact the directly with the details in the magazines. Any email response from us will only point you in their direction anyway. We had the odd hiccup here and there and nothing that couldn’t be sorted out with a quick phone call or email. We hope this saves you time in the future by contacting them directly.

Have a great Easter and don’t eat too much Chocolate – save some for us when you visit next time.