Needing A Lift

A quiet week by design as we are looking to relocate the ‘boys club’ tea area to a temporary tea hut just out the back of Adam’s workshop. A lot smaller and not quite as comfortable, but we’re sure it won’t hurt for a little while. The old building needed a little TLC before we started to get any problems, once we have sorted that out we make it a more efficient working space us. Quite what we will do with Adam’s prized cars stored in there at the moment will be a bit of a head ache. Simply put we’re running out of room for car storage, again. The more space we make the more cars Adam adds to his fleet of vehicles.

Customer Engine:

This 302 has been taken out of a car as it was “using a bit of oil with an odd noise”. We had the go ahead for a strip down to see what was going on. We had a rough idea it wouldn’t be good news from the descriptions we had.

With the heads of we could see it was badly coked up from the oil burning.

We got to the lifters and found that one was broken (arrowed) with the retaining clip missing. Where it has gone we will find out soon enough.

The engine is ‘a bit worn then’ was an understatement from the guys as they were stripping it down.

Our Cars

The ’65 Ranchero is starting to look a little happier with Yogi fabricating some patches that were needed in the bed area.

Considering the trucks age and what it has been used for, it’s in pretty good condition. The front end has been ground and rubbed down from the welding fixes and new metal.

Working towards the back nobody would ever know about the patches.

Adam’s is hoping to get the shop truck ready for some shows this year. Depending on work loads it may not happen as we only use our car projects as fillers of course.

WebShop:

Adam had a delivery late on Friday for some glass we had on order. We do know that some of these windscreens are already reserved for customers, and couple for our own projects. Check here for our stock levels.

It made a nice change to open the shipping crate and find that none were broken. That had to be a first!

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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Hangin’ Around

Things are starting to liven up a little in the work shops and we have a few scheduled customer cars in. The majority being they get a service, the Mustang Maniac magic once over before the car show season starts. Then the off to the MOT which we always recommend, even though by UK law says that cars over forty years old don’t need it. You really should.

Customer Cars

Lurking in the shadow is this ’67 that needed some hood hinges. Getting these right can be an awkward job as the gaps can be way out from the cowl end to the bumper end when shut. The worst part is where we have seen the fender positions altered try and help out when only the hinges have been changed.

This little lady has had some electric fans fitted to a custom radiator as well. More often than not, this can give a few more horses to the power output as there is no fan blades causing parasitic drag on the water pump. Also you could do some clever things with the fan cut in curves for the cooling too.

WebShop

We promised last week that we would show you the Dynamic C4 transmission Valve Bodies and that is exactly what we are going to do. They come into us well wrapped with some transmission fluid within the wrapping. The reason being they are all dyno tested to make sure they work exactly as they should. Adam is here unwrapping them.

There are variations of dates for those who want date correct or Green Dot or Non Green Dot depending on the model of car/gearbox of course. These valves are the ‘brains’ of the gearbox, the seals and machined parts have to be right or you get all sorts of shifting problems. That’s why they get tested on a dyno.

Borgeson Bracket – upgraded

We have heard of the Borgeson power steering bracket cracking on some forums. We took that problem away and designed our own 12mm bracket and had it powder coated to stop that from happening.

It’s not an officially on the WebShop just yet, but if you are interested in an upgrade drop Adam an email. We plan on using these for our own projects going forward.

We have had a delivery of some prefabricated transmission lines with us this week. They have been given a new place to hang out of the way so they don’t get damaged.

Last week we have had a number of enquiries about the Autolite and Rotunda oil filters, the later of which is now out of stock.

We even had a couple of people email us ‘trying it on’ by asking us if they could have these concours correct filter(s) at the same price as the standard ones, or pay just a little bit extra. Really? Adam didn’t even respond to those emails to be honest. We could hear him uttering a few comments from the packaging room. (If you know, then you know!)

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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A Bit On the Side

The shop truck ’65 Ford Ranchero is getting some Yogi TLC in our panel shop as we strip right back and replace a metal worm, with some new sheet metal from our stock. We rolled the shell onto her side and started the work underneath which was surprisingly solid.

The only bad bits are what we expected from the floor pans. Considering this is the first time this truck has had some replacements of any kind, it could have been much worse.

Customer Cars

We took a few photos early in the morning down the yard and we think they are pretty awesome. Who can refuse a beautiful ’65 GT350?

No words are needed, if a picture speaks a thousands words, this car is a novel on its own.

WebShop

We are pleased to say that we are now stocking K&N oil filters again, nothing strange there you may think. But, there has been recent difficulties trying to get them here in the UK. We have the original and highly rated K&N HP-3001 Performance Gold Oil Filter, which is now branded specifically for Mustang Maniac. There’s no compromise on quality and they’re made to the exact standards by the same company that make the original standard K&N HP-3001 Performance Gold Oil Filters. As these filters have our unique branding they also retail at a lesser cost too. So, if you want golden-level oil protection at a lesser cost, then you want our K&N / MM oil filters.

Then there are these beauties for the concours aficionados out there, the Rotunda and Autolite.

We are waiting for a delivery of some more of our Dynamic C4 Green Dot valve bodies which have all been individually tested on the dyno to make sure they work exactly as they should. If you buy these valve bodies, they will have traces of transmission fluid on them. We will bring you some pictures of them for you next week.

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Clearance Items

We’ve been back for a couple of weeks now and it already feels like the Christmas Holidays was a long few months ago, or is it just us? First up we need to address the few emails and Facebook posts we have had over the holidays. We did post on all of our customer interactions that the WebShop would be closed for the stock take. Apologies to those that didn’t see our updates although it was on the front pages. We are now fully back up and running with all new orders back orders completed and we’re back to normal, well as normal as can be based on the Royal Fail strike scenario. The Gift Vouchers we had sold prior to Christmas have started to be redeemed which we are pleased about and so are the customers. The instant voucher print at home process has been a popular hit according to our feedback, so a big thank you for the support. Once we completed our stock take we had some odd items which have been added to our “Sale Items” page with some bargains to be had, once they are gone, they are gone. These sale items are not just the for classic first gen cars, but also all the way up to the latest 2015+ models too.

Our Cars

We have been working on the ’65 Ranchero where the front end has been repaired and given a coating of the stock red lead oxide paint.

We are looking at the floor rust worm issue either to repair or a complete replacement, we are thinking the later would be the best option. We have all the sheet metal work in stock so it’s not a case of we can’t replace the metal, we can a number of times over in fact. It’s a balancing act of our time and effort verses cost and ease of installation.

The Wolf

While the Ranchero was drying from the red oxide coats and just for a change we revisited ‘The Wolf’ project. and started to put a few more bits onto her.

Taking the cover of gave us the wow factory again and that tells us we are going the right direction with the build.

We have been asked if the car has a paint defect in some of the older pics we posted. The answer is no, what you are in fact seeing is a very subtle pair of stripes we had painted on, not vinyl. In certain lighting conditions you can see them clearly as in the pic below.

We have been experimenting with a couple of options for the resto mod parts of the car.

So parts look good, some didn’t look like what we had in mind when we opened them. But, trial and error is the way we are looking at this build.

The end result will be something that has not been done before and in a couple of instances has left Yogi to sit in solution mode for something that sounds very simple.

We have had some non Mustang cars in for a little TLC which we look after for our most loyal customers, but we won’t be posting those on here.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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We’re Back

The first post of 2023 and we wish all our readers and customers a Happy New Year, lets hope this year is an improvement on last year. Although we haven’t posted for a couple of weeks over the holidays we have been very busy behind the scenes. The WebShop has had a stock take as we have had some large deliveries which we will show you later in the post.

Customer Cars

The super charged ’67 is now completed and we’re happy with it. She starts on on the button and runs super sweet.

Inside the car we have the control screens and shows a complete wealth of information for what ever you need to know. Unfortunately the soft tones of the dials and screens don’t capture very well on a phone camera.

The engine bay has a lot going on under there and Yogi took some time to make it look as good as it goes!

The owner is going to love this little lady, that’s for sure.

Our Cars

Our ’65 Ranchero has continued with the dismantling process in order to see exactly what we have to work with and it’s surprising solid.

We only have a couple of little spots that can be easily patched just behind the cab. The other is the usual place in the footwell.

The panels are in great shape and have started to be de-trimmed ready for their refresh.

WebShop

Adam has started to stock up on the exhausts kits we have. Everything from a ear drum busting performance to cruiser (and neighbour) friendly kits.

Our WebShop stock itinerary is now accurate, if it the item says it’s in stock, then no reason to email asking as it will be in stock. We are constantly adding to our own brand products which are not available elsewhere. click here for the link. We have everything from rear end lowing kits, ’03 fog lamp repair, LED dual bulbs, progressive front springs, various brass brake fittings, locking 64-70 transmission handles.

The Sad Passing of Ken Block

It’s with sad news that we learned the sad passing of Ken Block the rally driver and Hoonigan Gymkhana pioneer.

Adam had meet Ken a few times, he had spoken to him at SEMA when the first Mustang Hoonigan was born. Adam like so many other people that met him confirms that he was indeed such a nice guy.

We of course were huge fans, not just because of our Ford links, but also the the creation of the now legendary 1965 RTR Hoonigan.

R.I.P. Ken Block

Keep ripping up the tarmac in the great race track in the sky.

All us here at Mustang Maniac would like to send our sincere condolences to Ken’s family and friends.

Ford have issued a tribute to Ken.

For a decade, Ken Block pushed his Fords to, and sometimes past, their limits. His legendary driving performances created some of the most thrilling pursuits ever witnessed while bringing the thrill of Ford Performance vehicles to a whole new generation of car buyers. Sadly, Ken was tragically killed in a snowmobiling accident earlier this week. He was revered by Ford employees during his time with the Blue Oval, one of which who won a signed pair of Ken’s gloves in a contest on @FordOnline. Ken also took several respected Ford bosses for a spin in the Edge ST in recognition of “National Boss’s Day.” During a visit to the Dearborn campus, he sat down for an in-depth discussion about his career.

Just visit YouTube for some stunning videos of Ken Block thrashing cars.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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Merry Christmas 2022

Thank you to all our valued customers for your continued support over the year.

Thanks to Ian Cox who took this picture at our yard a couple of weeks ago during the cold spell.

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WebShop Update

Just a quick post to update our customers that during the Christmas break Mustang Maniac will be temporarily closing the WebShop between 23rd December (today) until the 7th January 2023, that’s the first Saturday in the new year we will open for orders again. This is an unprecedented closure for us, but we didn’t want to disappoint our customers having ordered the parts and not getting them quickly.

This is home page for the WebShop:

Today we have been emailed to say that they can’t order from the WebShop. So to reiterate if this is true – Yes, The Mustang Maniac WebShop will be closed as we are doing a large stock take. We have had a big order arrive and we need to rearrange the warehouses to make even more room and the stock will be all over the place for a week or so.

This is a quick picture of some of the stock that arrived this week that needs a home.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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Hacked Off

We take great care with our WebShop and our ever popular Blog that we have a team to look after all sorts of social media including this blog for us. At the beginning of the week we had one of our page owner’s account hacked. The hacker then posted up a few pictures of jihad extremists. Hopefully it wasn’t noticed by many and nobody was offended (although we were). Needless to say Facebook suspended the account before we could get into the account to remove the garbage. Thanks to David F. who kindly alerted us of the hack first thing to let us know by sending us screen shot before the account was suspended. Within minutes we had declared DEFCON 2 – and we had changed ALL our passwords and notified Facebook that we had been hacked. Of course Facebook don’t give a flying fur coat with no response, luckily our recovery email got us back into the account. Hopefully now with all the password changes the links from various pages will work which also had to be updated. We’re pretty sure that we are back up and running again as normal now. We are not fans of Facebook at the best of times, and this has made us even bigger fans – NOT. We needed all that extra hassle like a rust bubble under fresh paint job!

A worry note from our tech savvy behind the scenes wizards;

With the current super fast PC graphics cards hitting the market like the Nvidia 4090, the hack rate is frighteningly fast for a brute force password attack. Our advise is turn on all the security you can, especially any two-factor authentication where possible, change and create new strong passwords regularly.

The most worrying fact about this new breed of graphics card?

Their cryptographic performance can break into an 8-digit password in 48 minutes!

Our Cars

We have managed to clear the customer cars as we had hoped in time for the Christmas break. this has allowed us to move our own project into the workshops. Our much loved ’65 Ford Falcon Ranchero needs a little TLC. However Adam’s idea of “a little a TLC” is “go to town on it”. So that is what we are doing.

Then we started the body and trim strip down.

The engine and gearbox was taken out ready for a refresh, to what degree? Adam hasn’t decided yet.

With the engine out we get a good look at the engine bay.

We shall bring more updates as we go along with this project.

WebShop

This time next week it will be the big day itself. With more Royal Fail strikes scheduled towards the end of next week, time is getting very tight for deliveries, no matter who you order from. The ideal prezzie for the petrol head is still our vouchers. Download and print at home – job done.

Instead of sitting there watching recycled crap on the TV, what better way is there to spend the afternoon than browsing our WebShop for your Mustang goodies ready for the nice weather again?

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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Stuck For Ideas?

As we approach Christmas we are trying to complete the projects and cars we have with us. Not that we are expecting Santa to bring us GT350 or anything, but it’s an ideal time to rearrange the yard a little as things quieten down for us, by choice. Then on the other hand we see an increase in the WebShop sales as customers treat themselves to a few goodies from Adam’s cave(s) of awesomeness.

Customer Cars

We have now finished the Mach1 which has had a fair bit work on to her. The engine has been refreshed and is now back in the car and looks amazing, even if we do say so ourselves.

All plumbed in and powered up ready to go. We just had to put the hood back on and final road test.

Here we have the glorious 428ci running after all the default timing and carb settings are applied from our little black book.

Then last, but not least is a set of Galaxy boots all round on the iconic Magnums.

’66 Coupe

This coupe came in for a set of Hi-Po rear springs and shackles as the back of the car was sagging a bit. The new springs will also improve the handling of the car. We also replaced the exhaust hangers while we were at it. They were doing the job, but we had to remove them in order to get the springs and shackles in place. As the exhaust hangers were off now was the ideal time to fit the correct ones. The exhaust is sitting correctly again with the correct clearances as they should be.

With the new parts in place

WebShop

Adam has been having a tidy up of the stock and has put a number of items in the “Sale Items” section in order to make space. There is everything from car mats, door hinges, oils to suspension bushes for all sorts of years. This page changes all the time so keep popping back to grab a bargain.

About this time of year we get a common question – “What can I get <name> for Christmas?” There is so many options, but we point them to the nice to have goodies. We have picked a couple of examples for you here:

We have a nice selection of Fender Protectors in stock. An ideal gift for that Boxing Day workout when that petrol head in your life goes out to get away from rubbish TV and work off some of that Christmas pudding!

Always good sellers is the Trunk Compartment with the nice to have items and always great gifts.

Then if you really can’t find anything (which we doubt), then there is always the good ol’ fail safe; our Gift Vouchers. Print at home option now for instant delivery, or you can still pick them up in person from the offices if you want to pop in.

Article

Growing up in Tijuana, Mexico, Ricardo Garcia – as well as customers, media and the rest of the automotive industry – was awed by the 1986 Ford Taurus. His father drove one, and its futuristic aerodynamic shape inspired Garcia’s artistic passion.

“I was sitting with my jaw open when he brought it home because of ‘Robocop,’” said Ricardo Garcia, Mustang Interior Design manager, of his father’s car, several of which were used as police vehicles in the 1987 film. “I was so excited about it. I used to draw it a lot. I used to sketch it and say, ‘I’m going to work at Ford,’ and here I am. It’s been a dream come true. Ford has always been good to me.”

While Garcia admired and sketched the car relentlessly, the company also gave him an assist when it came time for him to take his talent to the next level academically. He initially took night classes at city and community colleges in California. He later attended ArtCenter College of Design, where he received a Ford scholarship that covered tuition and supplies.

“That was the first indication I wanted to work for Ford,” he said. “I’m always very grateful for the company and happy to be at Ford.”

Garcia started at Ford in 1999 as a product designer with the components team and would go on to work on the fifth-generation Mustang. He left the company in 2004 but remained in the automotive industry before returning to Ford in 2016, when he would go on to serve as interior components manager on the Mustang Mach-E. Recently, he worked as the interior design manager for the all-new, seventh-generation Mustang.

Inspired by a jet fighter cockpit, the interior of the Mustang has been completely redesigned. Customers were invited into the research phase to examine the new interior, moving items around as they saw fit.

“Ultimately, the exercise showed they were more engaged with the cockpit-style interior,” said Garcia. “It’s the fun part of the design process for us because it’s like having a canvas, but we also had to consider the essence of Mustang. It was very challenging for us in design to disrupt an interior in an icon.”

Garcia called the new Mustang’s interior a modern interpretation that retains the essence of the Mustang, as evidenced by elements such as the new flat-bottom steering wheel. Offered for the first time outside of Ford Performance Mustang models, the wheel retains traditional design cues such as three spokes and a deep dish. It also has an improved grip.

“The flat-bottom wheel has this performance feeling, and when you grab it, you’re feeling really engaged,” said Garcia, “The team lobbied to make the wheel standard on all Mustang models.”

Garcia’s team also looked for inspiration from the car’s exterior to help create a cohesive design, such as with the register vents in the car’s center stack.

“We wanted it to look sharp, but we didn’t want to make it overly refined because we’re trying to retain the American icon in Mustang,” he said.

The car’s interior also integrates today’s technology and connectivity, creating a gaming-like experience as part of what Garcia called “the most technologically advanced interior in Mustang’s history.”

“It had to adapt to our new ways of using technology,” he said, “These changes will make the Mustang more competitive in the marketplace. We didn’t want to just have a big display, we wanted to design it according to what we wanted to achieve.”

Other updates include a shift away from Mustang’s traditional “double brow” on the dash. Moving functions closer to the display freed space to create a more open center console and a storage bin that includes a phone charging mat.

“Our changes open up the interior for the driver and the passenger,” said Garcia.

The Electronic Drift Brake, developed in conjunction with professional drift racer Vaughn Gittin Jr., blends well with a performance approach to the interior. Also helping disrupt the Mustang’s interior, Garcia’s team also engaged millennial and Gen Z designers and engineers in 2020 for their input.

“We wanted to bring Mustang to a new generation,” he said. “It really helped us a lot to design from their input.”

That feedback emboldened the team to move on from the “double brow” to an angled and curved display. The younger designers and engineers appreciated the new approach, calling it driver-centric and engaging, Garcia said.

Garcia is very proud of his team and acknowledged all of the design updates would not have been possible without the collaboration of the Mustang engineering team, which led to the brow-less display cluster.

“This Mustang is a dream come true,” he said. “This is the bridge to the future of design for Mustang.”

Source: https://m.at.ford.com/en/homepage/news-and-clipsheet/news/2022/12/ricardo-garcia-mustang-interior-design-manager.html?cid=BOC-2022-12-09

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It’s All In The Maths

Something a little different for you this week; we have asked our engine rebuilder to give us a taster write up of the technicalities of his work. Obviously we will leave out some of the trade secrets, measurements and settings, but this will give you an idea of what is actually involved in the engine rebuild process and why it costs what it does.

Take it away Dave, the blog is yours;

We were recently speaking to a valued customer regarding his very sorry sounding engine. It was agreed re-building his unit seemed the best solution and he asked if during the rebuild we could achieve more power. This is no problem, but the whole engine project needs to be planned from start to finish. Simply buying go faster parts and bolting them on can lead to a severe mismatch of parts and a disappointing end result.

The extra power was to be gained via some very nice alloy AFR cylinder heads and an up rated camshaft, then we have to consider modifying a lot of the remaining engine components to compliment these new parts.

For instance the AFR heads we used came with larger inlet valves which are great for airflow, but would almost certainly have hit the standard pistons. The piston valve clearance cut outs are machined to clear the standard diameter valves and a standard camshaft. With the extra lift from the performance cam, sufficient cut out depth needs to be considered.

The completely bare block casting was re-bored and chemically cleaned so new pistons could be fitted along with a new crank and camshaft bearings.

The engine is then dummy built to measure many clearances – especially the piston to valve clearances, it was evident the piston cut outs needed machining to clear the valves, also piston crowns were machined to desired height spec and then balanced as a set.

The AFR heads as lovely as they look were completely stripped down and all valves were checked for proper seal, also valve springs were checked for coil bind at full valve lift as without enough coil clearance they will break or damage camshaft etc,

The combustion chamber volume was checked and heads machined for desired compression.

The engine is then finally assembled with all new seals, core plugs etc , the rods are matched in weight as a set and ARP rod bolts fitted, new oil pump and performance pump drive, new timing chain set and front engine damper and camshaft timed as required.

Finally an often overlooked detail is the rocker arm contact point on the valve tip, if the roller doesn’t operate centrally on the valve tip the valves and valve guides can suffer. We used roller rockers to suit the AFR heads and after applying engineers marking blue, the engine is turned over to watch tip contact point – different pushrod lengths affect the position of the contact point and via an adjustable length pushrod a suitable pushrod length was chosen.

Then after the engine is fitted to vehicle it’s down to ensuring all the ancillaries are working correctly to cool and feed the motor harmoniously – then a lot of steady miles to bed everything in.

All this work and calculation is still only for a modified road engine, but must be done to ensure all parts work harmoniously together.


Thanks to Dave for taking time out and writing that up for us. If you want to know the cost, “then you can’t afford it”, as Adam would say. This type of engineering is an old school precision art form and not many can do it properly and that all comes at a price.

As ready built crate engines are becoming harder to get in the UK, this engine rebuild process is the only option. On the other hand, going down this route you know exactly what you are getting and the power you want is only determined by how deep your pockets are.

WebShop

We have had a number of emails regarding the prototype seat extenders we featured a while back. We are satisfied with the results and we now have them in stock to buy here.

The prototypes were fitted by Mart D and this is what he had to say about them; “They are one of the best upgrades I have fitted to my car, they made such a difference.”

We have already shipped two pairs to customers who have been waiting patiently waiting for them. We wanted to make sure they were good to go after a season of car shows.

Christmas Gifts

We have waited until December before we mentioned Christmas. We sell lots of accessories for the petrol head in your life. Everything from little stocking fillers to full engines, gearboxes, axles, wheels, shocks etc. (Although we would like to see Santa bring a nice new shiny C4 transmission down a chimney!)

If you don’t know what to buy, give them the choice with our Gift Vouchers. You can buy them online and print them from home, no waiting for Royal Fail to deliver them (when they aren’t on strike that is). Click on the images below to take you to the WebShop.

Something we sold a number of last year was service kits, oil, oil filter, spark plugs, air filter, all tailor made for the particular model of vehicle. Drop us an email if you would like something similar or maybe a “petrol head hamper”, what would you want to see in it? Help us to help you.

Stay Safe & Take Care!

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