On a Saturday at Mustang Maniac it’s usually reserved for catching up with the work from the week, stock replenishing, cleaning, invoices etc. and more often than not a few friends drop by for a chat. This Saturday was different and it was a trip to old school.
We had a frantic email from a customer who was in a bit of a state. Adam called him very shortly after reading it. The customer told us that his car was dropping gearbox oil and he was due to go on holiday in the car to Europe early next week. We agreed to get his car in to us as he didn’t live to far away and would drive it carefully after topping up the fluids. He informed us that the gearbox rear gasket was leaking. We hold a few variations on the ’69 gearboxes so it could be sorted. Usually they just need a little tweak up or worst case scenario replace it, not a to bad a job. The car arrived and we took it straight into Adam’s workshop up on the ramps. The problem was indeed from the rear tail housing gasket, what we didn’t know at the time is that the gearbox was from a ’95 and not a standard ’69 gearbox we were expecting, just a minor detail that we wasn’t told about at the time. We didn’t have any of those particular gaskets for an AODe (electronic overdrive) box in stock. We don’t sell hardly any of these as they are not that common to be honest. We had no choice other than to go old school and make it for him.
The car was also a convertible which means that there was bit more involved due to the additional strengthening required.
With all the bits off that we needed to get off, we could get to the bell housing and removed it along with a little cascade of gearbox oil. We were hoping to copy the gasket, but we had a problem, it just disintegrated.
We were now deep into the fix and needed to make a new gasket from scratch without a template. The bell housing was put onto an old gasket sheet Adam had laying around. We place the bell housing on the material and drew around the outside to get the basic shape and cut it out. The bell housing was then put into a vice to hold it still while the inner dimensions were crafted out. Creating gaskets this way required an additional pair of hands, a steady hand, lots of patience and a bit of trust to make sure nothing moved while the inner dimensions were being cut out with a sharp blade. The photographer was also acting as the health and safety inspector, not adding much value to the job in hand to be honest! 🤦♂️
With the basic gasket cut out the bolt holes were marked up and carefully stamped out.
With the gasket now a custom made to measure item it was cleaned up then another final test fitting to bellhousing. Once we were happy that all was good, the prep for refitting the gasket back to the car was started. Both contact surfaces had to be absolutely clean ready for the new gasket in order to avoid contamination and potentially give rise to another leak.
We have a little trick to hold the gasket in place while parts are maneuvered into place, something we would rather not share. For information though, you shouldn’t ever use a liquid gasket maker for fear of it getting into the gearbox itself and damaging it. We have seen it – don’t do it.
With everything checked and tightened up, the prop was refitted to the gearbox bell housing and the other end tightened up to the diff.
The gearbox mount and the custom made bracket for the AODe to fit in this car were up next and bolted back into place.
Everything was checked over again ready to go. The car was started up and warmed the gearbox oil as you should. We then added the oil to replace what had been dumped on the way over and into our oil bucket during disassembly.
We had an email from the owner this morning to say that he had placed a drip tray under the gearbox checking for leaks as soon as he got home. When he checked this morning there wasn’t even a single drip in the tray. He was a really happy chap and has packed the car ready for his adventures. 😀
Adam doesn’t like to be in these situations where he doesn’t have off the shelf stock to hand, He has already placed an order for a few and a couple of variations to arrive soon on the next delivery.
We pay UPS ‘extra charges’ to collect from us everyday of the week, so that the orders can go out same day to our customers. However, on Friday (6th) they didn’t turn up by their scheduled collection time. We called UPS (a number of times), to find out what is going on. We were promised that the collection would still take place, it’s just that the driver was little delayed. At 6.30pm they still hadn’t turned up and Adam was not happy. If Adam had a swear jar, it would have gone from empty to overflowing within a few hours. We pity the poor person who answers the phone to Adam tomorrow, they’re going to have a very bad morning as a result. It’s not gonna be pretty and we suggest that they should “record their call for training and monitoring purposes”. It would be a perfect training tool on how to try and calm a customer down and failing because you didn’t do the job you are paid to do. Pick up parcels and deliver them – simple.
We can only apologise on UPS behalf for their incompetence and any delays to your orders. Sorry.
We are now also stocking more and more Fox Body parts as they become available as well as our own stock which can be found here. The page gets added to on a very regular basis, we now have some of our own decals for your car just added.