Hotting UP

This Week has been the hottest for a long while that we can remember, so unfortunately this is where the road tests take just that little bit longer, especially if the roof is down. We have been doing as lot of service work which has kept us quiet, except when it comes to tea breaks and lunch times where Yogi is still in denial about the drag race rigging going on from last week! The jury is still out on that one by the way. As the weather is so nice we are going to be a little bit lazy on this post as we have had a good customer of ours virtually write this weeks post for us. So a special thanks to Derek Hutchinson who provided the photos and the words. There are some great little stories here and his trips around Europe. Take it away Derek:

NDB986E ’67 Red Mustang convertible

I bought the car in July 2012 from a guy in Newcastle and shocked him by deciding to drive it home to Staines (350 Miles). His nervous smile made me nervous, but I was determined to drive it home.  It was a glorious Friday afternoon and I had the roof down all the way home. Absolutely fabulous feeling and I knew I was in love immediately.

I am no mechanic but I am the son of a very good mechanic and it is surprising how much I remembered of what my father would look for in a car.  So I bought the car after making my checks based upon just my limited knowledge.  Fortunately for me the car has turned out to a very good buy, but soon after my drive home we started to experience serious over heating issues. Fortunately a neighbour recommended Adam at Mustang Maniac. Adam collected the car and discovered the remains of a perforated timing belt in the sump that had clogged up the oil pump but luckily no serious damage had been caused. Adam corrected a number of other minor issues caused by the previous owners ‘DIY’ repairs.

Harrods Breakdown. 2014

2 weeks before setting off on our first major road trip across France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland the car stopped dead outside Harrods in London on a lovely summer’s day. The girls went shopping while I waited for the AA. 2.5 hours. I bought a coffee and had a nap in the car with the bonnet up to demonstrate that I couldn’t move it anywhere.  I was awakened by about 20 Chinese people who had stopped their coach to take pictures of my car.  I even put the bonnet down for them, but was a touch offended when one lady pushed me to one side to get me out of the picture.

Back off to Adam and a new alternator required. At this point my wife began to worry if we were safe to do the trip in my Mustang. “I think we should go in your Mercedes darling” she said. Her friend who is very risk averse had been scaring her about this foolhardy nonsense in such an old car with poor brakes, no seatbelts, roll cage etc, etc.  I am very stubborn and insisted that if we didn’t go in the Mustang then I had no interest in driving across Europe and would not go. Fortunately my wife’s niece Laura was visiting from Colombia and was very excited about this once in a lifetime dreamy trip around Europe in a classic car.  So, off we went.  (MM: loving the picture of the drink on the fender! 🙂 )

French border control Folkestone

Three of us, a full boot and a big case strapped to the boot rack (smart idea by Adam at MM). I really like the bot rack, only problem I couldn’t see through the rear window because the bag was too big.  So I bought a slimmer bag/case from the outlet village in Stuttgart.  I get sick on ferries so we always do the tunnel. Much quicker and convenient.

Quality repair on the go

Day one we drove across France heading for Stuttgart where we have friends and that would be our base.  At our first service station stop after crossing the border into Germany,  the chrome side strip on the car fell off when I opened my door.  It made a tremendous noise for such a flimsy part. Doris’s face (the wife) was a picture, full of dread and fear. This wreck isn’t safe and we are going to break down. I was having none of that silly nonsense, but had to think fast and decide what to do to repair it and keep a cool exterior, even though my stomach was churning and I was  twitching like hell. A quick scratch of the head and the mechanic in me thought ‘gaffa tape’. 5 minutes later we were back on our way with a quality repair “as good as new”.

Laura and I both agreed that the most significant and best part of this incident was that this was now an exciting adventure.  All of our many trips into Europe since have all had that exciting element of adventure. Excellent.

Inside Hitler’s Colosseum

From our base in Stuttgart we drove out to Austria and Switzerland (beautiful countryside and sights). Over a few days we saw the famous alpine castle used in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and we stayed in a lovely hotel in the picturesque town of Hallstatt in Austria where there is a great salt mine to visit and a beautiful lake for a little boat ride.

On our way back to Stuttgart we visited Nuremberg and in particular the museum and visitor centre at Hitlers famous camp where he gave many significant addresses to his troops and their families who attended the massive official and holiday gatherings there. The Nuremberg Rally was the annual rally of the Nazi Party in Germany, held from 1923 to 1938. They were large Nazi propaganda events, especially after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933.  It is a massive site and just behind the visitor centre (seriously interesting history) Hitler’s followers had started but not finished building a Colosseum for their illustrious leader.  He never got to see it.  The security guards saw me arriving with my car and ushered me to drive my car away from the visitor parking area and asked me to park my car slap bang in the centre of the Colosseum.  I was a little nervous at first until Doris’s friend who lives in Germany interpreted that they want to take pictures of your car in the Colosseum.  They took pictures of themselves and allowed us to take our own pictures, but they wouldn’t allow us to take any pictures of them.  I guess they were worried about getting found out.  Anyway it was very exciting for us and we have a very unique picture as a result.

At one point on this day we got caught in a big storm and even though the roof was up Doris and her friend thought it necessary to put their umbrella up in the back seat of the car to stop the rain getting them wet. Wish I could find the picture. We drove back home through Belgium and stayed at Antwerp. Very nice.

Calais UK border control

This is us on our way back sporting our new low profile case on the boot rack.

Home from first trip safe n sound

This is Doris, Laura and me popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate our fantastic adventure. Notice how that quality mechanical repair lasted the whole adventure. Adam should be proud of me.

We did a trip round France in 2015 but whilst we have lots of pictures from the places we visited we have no pictures with the car in shot.

2016 adventure

In 2016 we had another niece visit from Colombia and she wanted an adventure in the Mustang so we organised another trip in which we covered some different parts of Germany predominately cruising round the Black Forrest (tons of lovely little towns and villages). We had a lovely time but in the middle of the holiday we got caught in a nasty traffic jam on the Autobahn and the auto gear changer became seriously hot, so much so that I was worried that we would get stuck there. So I made the decision to pull into the hard shoulder and drive down it getting off at the next junction.  Getting some cool air circulation seemed to solve the problem. Unfortunately we have since had a number of instances of transmission heating up and loss of drive temporarily.  Adam is on the case and it looks like we need to schedule a new transmission this year.

Going nowhere fast on the Autobahn is a picture of us at a point when the traffic completely stopped for almost an hour without movement.

Crazy gang on the Autobahn is a snap of the group once we got moving again. Me and Angie in the front, Doris Paola and Silvana in the back.

Seriously overloaded.  Doris insisted on buying some garden pots (reasonably heavy) and we also brought Silvana back to England for a weeks break with Paola. I knew we were a bit heavy but it wasn’t until we stopped and got out at the Calais crossing car park, that I realised just how low the rear suspension was (and this was without us in the car). Even funnier, we locked the car and went in for a Starbucks and it wasn’t till we came out again that I realised I had locked the keys in the ignition (over tired).  Luckily it is relatively easy to break into an old convertible.

2018 Hamburg and Lubeck trip

Just one picture from our March trip this year. This one is outside the hotel we stayed in at Munster as we drove over to Hamburg and Lubeck. Sadly the transmission when cold couldn’t engage drive so I had to choose gear 1 or 2 to make a connection before it would engage with drive. We really need that new transmission. Pity we don’t have any pictures of driving in snow at Lubeck. It was a bit scary but also funny.

Some great stories there and well told, we had to make a little adjustment to a couple of little bits as this is a family blog at the end of day. 😉

Thanks again to Derek for taking the time and effort to get all this over to us. 

Customers cars

But before we let that happen here is a lovely ’65 with a beautifully done custom-made red leather interior.  We have serviced the car and give her the now famous Mustang Maniac once over.

Do you have any road trips with your Mustang that you want to share with us? You know what to do – send the details over to us and we get it on the blog for you.

We hope you are enjoying the world cup where ever you may be.

Bearing Down

Last week report on a pretty epic engine fail which has now been addressed and the car is back on the road again. To soften that shock to the system we have given pride of place for our Park & Pic series this week. In fact it’s a double Park & Pic so it’s a first there for us too. We have a pretty big post for you to cover yet another busy week at Mustang Maniac.

Park & Pic

This ’69 convertible is a rare original colour of “Black Jade”. There are now two options for the pic, the front of house shots.

Or, the Yard shot with Adam’s stainless steel laser cut MM logo.

We can’t make our mind up for the best set of pics, but we thing the steel horse shots are pretty cool.

This is the car that had the engine failure and the engine was swapped out with one of our in stock 302ci engines. How many other suppliers can say that? Adam has a good supply of engines he keeps and are not on the WebShop, some of the “secret stash” of engines are the “stroker” versions for plenty of power, but be prepared to get your money of those little beauties. That’s providing that Adam will sell you one in the first place!  Anyway, the engine was primed with oil before it’s started up and here we have the video of that process. You can just about make out the oil being pumped to the top of the heads. Hang on – should we be giving away our little secrets??

Once the oil is pumped around the system it can be fired up without fear of metal on metal wear for few seconds.

Customer Cars:

From the heading you probably guessed that we had another failure, but this is much more common and in some ways more dangerous. The front wheel bearing was grinding and was about to self destruct in a pretty big way. Paul had taken a video of the bearing and how bad it actually was. The first part of the video you can hear the damaged bearing and then Paul shows the movement.

Once the wheel was off we always inspect for collateral damage as well maybe on the spindles etc. the bearings was in a bad way.

The new bearings packed and ready to fit.

The shocks were not helping the matter very much so it was decided to replace them at the same time.

Like all these things they should be replaced in pairs and then the wheel alignment was to be done after a quick road test to bed down. We are pleased to say all is wheel and we now have another safe Mustang back on the road.

Ford Technical Article

We haven’t had a technical article for a while but we have been asked the question about a concours replacement cylinder heads so we can help out a little, well a lot actually here.

One of our loyal long-standing customers owns a rare and very early Mustang – one of the 8000 built by Ford as ‘launch stock’ before April 17 1964. They had planned to build one per dealer to support the launch at the New York World Fair.

We have given this precious car a lot of love and attention over the years while trying to preserve as much originality as possible. One of the first issues we found some time ago was a mysterious intermittent ‘poor running’ which seemed to come and go at will. With our best investigative heads put to full deployment we went through the normal checks – timing, leads, valve clearances and compression checks.  As an early and rare ‘D code’ car we first thought it must be the troublesome Autolite 4 barrel carb – but we had worked our magic on that earlier and it was spot on. Our compression checks proved to highlight a strange issue.  As it pays to be thorough and check… then check again, we found that on one cylinder the results from a series of compression tests resulted in wildly differing readings. We have seen this situation on a few rare occasions and it pointed to ‘valve seat trouble’. We suspected that the valve seats were worn or damaged and, as the valve turns slightly when running, it was leaking gas randomly.

“Off with the heads!” was response the from the Mustang Oracle – Adam.

Once the heads were removed and disassembled our diagnosis was proved to be pretty much spot on.  The car was needed back on the road as it was booked in for some show work so we took heads that we had ‘in stock’ and got the car rebuilt and running sweetly.  In the meantime, as this car is a really early example and after chatting to the owner, we decided to fully restore the cylinder heads to keep the original engine intact. This also allowed us to dig into the history of the Ford V8 298 – a true iconic piece of engineering;

Ford introduced the 289, a development of the 260 during 1963 with the plan for it to be fitted to certain full-sized Fords and the new Mustang. It was produced in Fords Cleveland and Windsor factories and was to become the mainstay of Fords car and performance car programme for decades.

When we looked at the markings on the heads Adam felt that they were unusual and that he had not seen the specific markings before – most of the Mustangs he had come across had 1964/5/6 date markings but these heads were different.

Both heads had casting marks of C3AE:

C: being the decade of manufacture – in this case 1960s.

3: being the year in the decade – in this case 1963.

A: being the vehicle type – in this case ‘generic’ Ford meaning they could be fitted to a number of models.

E: denoting the component type – in this case and engine part.

So these were very early cylinder head castings of the new 289 engine and produced in the earliest batch of production. The next question was when?

The date code cast into each head was different – but this was normal as the components were cast at one of two factories in batches and then machined/assembled as required later – up to 3 months later.

Head one was date stamped 3L27 and with a W so it was cast on November 27 1963 and was the 4260th to be machined.

Head two was date stamped 3G25 and with a C so it was cast on July 25 1963 and was the 5150th to be machined.

To some this might seem odd as you would expect that they would both have very similar date stamps but this is not at all unusual when you consider the manufacturing and engine building process.  Both heads were cast and machined in the first run of 289 components but at different factories – due to capacity and manpower availability. Both would then have been put into a stock pile of raw castings prior to machining as and when required.

Typically Ford would cast components in large batches – blocks, cylinder heads for various engine lines etc. in addition Ford was building components and engines for the new Mustang launch early the following year so would have been stockpiling ready for engine production early in 1964. While lengthy storage of raw cast iron does not create any real problems, the completed engines were only typically stored ready for up to three months – often it was much sooner.

Both heads appear to have been machined in the same production run ready for engine assembly.  So these cylinder heads were fitted to an engine in early 1964 and that engine was fitted to the car in our workshop on April 16 1964. It all fits nicely!

Now we knew that these heads were part of the early history of the 289 it was important to restore them carefully and sympathetically.  First the heads were completely stripped, crack tested  and then given a thorough clean and degrease – it was then that we could really see the wear and tear created over the years.  All the exhaust valve seats were damaged and recessed and the valve guides also needed replacing.  Some companies replace worn valve guides with a bronze/brass guide which works well enough, but is not as durable as the original material.  We bored out the cylinder heads to accept a specially made steel sleeve type guide which looks better (I know only a few will see them but we know it’s been done properly) and the new guides were pressed into the head.

The heads were then planned and all mating faces were machined. Once all was correct, new valves and stem seals were fitted and the heads were given a coat of factory finish black paint.

The owner is extremely pleased with the loving care and attention we have given to these important parts and they are now wrapped up in storage for fitting to the car at some later point.

We are pleased with the result for a number of reasons:

It’s nice to be able to keep very early Mustangs on the road and still running sweetly.

It’s great to be able to add to our knowledge of these cars and have a better understanding of how they were made.

It’s always good to confirm that Adam can call on his enormous knowledge to quickly spot rare and unusual Mustangs when they appear.

We have found a document about Ford Engineering numbers:

A special Thanks to Gary W, for the photo’s and the technical detail write-up for us.  

Other News:

Next week starting on the Saturday to the Monday will be the Enfield Pageant of Motoring, our local large show that we support.

We look forward to seeing you there, pop along and say hello and look at the selection of cars we will have on show, maybe even talk to the owners who will be with us. for the weekend.

Enjoy the sun while it lasts looking at great cars.

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.

Perfection By The Pyrenees

The best part of our job is hearing about the adventures the cars get to go once they have left our workshops. One such example of that is our friend Roger (thanks for the pics by the way), who has taken his Convertible on a road trip around France. This little lady is sitting outside a house in Pau which was built in 1880:

This last pic was taken with the Pyrenees Alps in the background.

The car has been driven for hundreds of miles now and the car hasn’t missed a beat. That is what we call pleasurable driving, a classic mustang, roof down in beautiful countryside with the Pyrenees in the background, just perfect. Do you have any pics of your cars on road trips? If so send them in to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars

We have had a car in where she was not running very well. So we needed to do some diagnostics to find out the reason. We narrowed it down to number seven cylinder pretty quickly, taking the plug lead of made no difference to the running. So we changed the basics of the plug, the lead and the checked points gaps etc. nothing was working. So we had to take the heads off to see what was going on. Yogi got to it straight away – a burnt valve was causing the issues by the looks of it. The valve seat would need to be reground and the valve along with its spring would need be replaced for a start. But, if you are going to do that for one valve you may as well do the lot all at the same time to be on the safe side, as you certainly don’t want to keep doing this time-consuming job that’s for sure.

Having that sort of work done starts to become expensive, so the plan was to replace the heads with some reconditioned ones we held in stock.

These new heads were replaced with their new gaskets obviously and when we fired her up – the problem has gone! We will need to road test more, recheck the torque for the head bolts and set up the carb and check the timing. But initial tests are exactly what we were expecting.

Seating

Many Mustangs are still driving around with the original seats in place, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all by the way, in fact its best to keep the rarer examples exactly as they were. However when the foam goes soft offering no support then the time is right to replace them, now you could replace the original covers back on, or go for an upgrade like this customer has done.

Firstly the old seats which were fine to look at but the foams inside had collapsed and made it slightly uncomfortable to drive:

The upgrade was to our Pony Interior set of seat covers. This will still match the original door cards and the interior paint job. The side chrome “hockey stick” trims were also replaced as they tend to get scratched quite easily too.

A subtly difference, but it makes the interior look much more luxurious. Not the cheapest of upgrades it has to be said, but what a difference!

NSRA Show 2017

Last weekend Mustang Maniac and friends headed out to the National Street Rod Association show in Bedfordshire which is always a good day out and a popular show. The sun was out and so was the vast array of cars that turned up. So without much more waffling from us, here are some of the pics from the show:

Adam just can’t seem to get away from “that” John Wick by the car pose!

Yogi was chillin’ and says his new foot attire matches his car!

WebShop:

We have had a first sample or trial of some new ’64 – ’66 tail light lenses. These are clear and look best on the LED Euro boards we stock. Now we can imagine that you either love these or hate them. So thanks to Lance who kindly took them of our hands to try them in his ’65.

Let us know your thoughts on the clear lenses – do we stock them or not? Our customers yet again get to decide for us. 🙂

Please vote and let us know what you think.

Customer Cars:

We had a nice ’67 in the classic Highland Green in our workshops, as seems to be the case now days this was taken apart, but the rebuild was a bit too much so we were tasked with putting her back to together again.

’65 home made parts

We had to sort out an issue on a ’65 coupe that had issue with the gearbox member. We soon found out why – as it was a home-made part. not a bad effort, but hardly ideal. We suspect that the time and effort to make it would have been more than the replacement part itself.

What Adam Didn’t Say:

“Thanks” to facebook (sarcastic overtones intended, with the lower case letter as it doesn’t deserve its correct name), Adam’s well known name of “Mustang Man” has now been rejected after TEN YEARS! To say that Adam wasn’t to happy was an understatement. So we can’t actually put what Adam said about them. But, those who know Adam will know exactly what he may or may not have said! As a result Adam has now had to choose another name, a Mr. Wayne Kerr is now on facebook. So if the facebook dictatorship decides to reject this name as well, Adam will not be on facebook anymore! This change for no real reason after TEN YEARS, has also caused config issues with the blog as well. Rant over! (Did we mention that name has been in use for TEN Years?)

What Adam did Say:

That having children or grand children all need to be brought up correctly by having an appreciation of American cars:

We think a booster seat may be needed in this case though!

One Off – In The Bin

An expensive lesson can be learned when you here the words “One Off, bespoke, handcrafted, stainless steel exhaust system”. Most of the time this is music to a classic car owners ears. But, in this case the exhaust was indeed a one-off. The car was picked up and the owner knew something was wrong straight away. The car was making a horrible noise and pretty undriveable since the exhaust was fitted. The exhaust was taken to another place to be sorted and it was improved, but again it was still not right. The car was eventually brought into our workshops where we had a look at it and found the problem. Not the material itself, but the quality of workmanship and maybe a lack of understanding. So we cut it off and threw it away as it couldn’t be salvaged.

The mufflers were not a well know brand and looked similar to a very well-known brand should we say. The exhaust was made of many sections as you would expect and welded together, not very well. The mounting of the exhaust was the serious problem to start with. A right-angled bracket was welded to the rear of the chassis and a corresponding right angle was then welded to the exhaust. Now you should always hang an exhaust on straps or rubber to allow the exhaust to move with the engine and any resonance would be dispersed from the exhaust. This hand crafted exhaust was then unbelievably welded bracket to bracket at the rear. A “one off” alright, we haven’t seen that before.

handssex4

No wonder the noise was bad and that didn’t include the poor exhaust note either. To rectify the problem we could make another stainless system again and do it properly, or get a Scott Drake Flowmaster system from stock and bolt it all on with the correct brackets and hangers. We did the later as requested and here we have a full sequence of pics of another new exhaust fitted, correctly this time from front to back.

The car now sounds like a Mustang should and drives as expected. So next time you hear the words “One Off, bespoke, handcrafted, stainless steel exhaust system”, ask yourself who will be fitting it! It’s all in the detail and knowing how to fit it properly.

We didn’t get to post last week as Mustang Maniac and Friends were out to a Classic Car Show simply known as “A602 Autorama” in Stevenage. The weather was not to bad with the odd few rays of sun shine but the rain held off which is the main thing at all these shows. It was up early for some of us, no names mentioned who that was though Lance! As always there were lots of nice cars there so we thought we would focus on the Mustangs.

It was a good show and some very nice cars there, far to many to take up space on a Mustang post. 😉

Customer Cars:

John Wick is proving to be the popular car and questions about the build from visitors. Over the coming week we hope to fill with fluids and fire her up. This will check the electrics out, and the fact the engine will run. Fine tuning will come later after a road test or three. The glass is all in now and has taken time to set them up correctly.

Question:

What do you do with old doors that have gone rusty?

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Answer: You make a sign out of them of course.

Building Blocks

We have had a couple of phone calls this week (from the same customer) at Mustang Maniac on how to do something once they had purchased the parts. Unfortunately, we simply just don’t have the time to walk somebody through a process over the phone and more often than not, when we try to explain this the customer sometimes takes offence! We were asked a how to change the wiper arms on a ’66 Coupe, so we thought that we could do a very quick guide to save the phone calls in the future, but we will come to that a little later in this post.

Customer Car:

Yep, the popular John Wick car has taken the imagination of customers. When we show some customers around the workshops or the yard they ask to see the John Wick car now. We are pleased that the car is proving to be popular. This week we have been focusing on the exhaust, fitting the marker lights, front lights, setting up the LED rear lights and the rest of the engine wiring. The owner of the car has even bought the number plates down for us to put on the car, even though she is not finished yet. How could we refuse. 🙂 The exhaust has been custom fitted with the Flowmaster exhaust boxes which will give this lady a real bark when she starts up and help the performance too.

Lego:

Yes you did read that right. A little while ago at Mustang Maniac secret workshop (Adam’s office actually), we build a Ford Licensed Mustang, but it was on a small-scale.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Mustang Club of America, Lego’s Master Builders have built a full-scale 1964½ Mustang at its Enfield, CT facility. The Lego car will go on permanent display at Lego’s “Legoland” Florida resort in Winter Haven, FL later this year after touring the USA. This Mustang made of bricks has been nicknamed the Brick Pony. Just like Lego building blocks, (see what we did there), Ford kept building on the success of the Mustang which was expected to sell well, but not as well as it did; original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This target was soon smashed after three months from roll out. Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year, and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built. A record that still stands to this day!

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We wonder how many actual bricks are in this Mustang? The Mustang weighs in at 1712 pounds of which 960 pounds are Lego bricks (and the larger Duplo bricks), the aluminium chassis takes up the remaining 752 pounds. This car has a chassis believe it or not. The detail on this car is pretty amazing, the headlights and tail lights work, and they have even rigged the model to sound a horn and play the engine sounds. The degree of care can be seen just by looking at the Mustang Coral and grill.

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 How To…

We mentioned at the beginning of the blog that we get asked how to do lots of things on the cars. The most recent a number of calls for the same thing, we decided to do a guide or “How To” page which can be found here,  or go to the “How To Projects” menu on the home page.

This really is a simple job, not just on a Classic Mustang, but on most cars. The process should only take a couple of minutes to do with the correct tool. The basic principle is that the spindle from the wiper motor has vertical splines (or location lugs) which are matched by the wiper arm. On the more modern cars the arms are also held in place with a screw, bolt or nut of some description covered by a cap. With the fastener removed the same process could be applied here. The very nature of the part it will usually be corroded to some degree and be difficult to remove. Some of the later cars will need a wiper arm puller if it’s corroded on that bad. We recommend a squirt of Gibbs if this is the case to start with.

Tool:

For a Mustang the tool is simply a cut out reversed set of long-handled pliers. This tool is not very expensive, wont slip and protects your paint work. The underside has a been coated with a rubber for non-slip and to protect the paint.

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Process:

Note: Always make sure that the wiper arms are in the correct resting or “park” position before removing and fitting new arms.

We have seen this being done with a screw driver in the past to devastating result. The screwdriver slips and goes across your paint job. Slip the pliers under the base of the wiper arm and squeeze the handles together.

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The pliers force will force the wiper arm upwards leaving your other hand to catch the arm should it suddenly ping off and stop it damaging the paint work.

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Here is a slightly corroded spindle and damaged splines.

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Here is what is should look like before fitting a new one.

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With the arm off clean the spline if you need to.

Align the arm where it needs to be fitted and simply press the new arms in place and it’s a job done. Simple as that.

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Let us know if there is a specific quick walk through guide you would like to see.