Complex & A Simple Swap

We decided to swap things around a little this week and we started pick up work again on the ‘Onion Mustang’. We work on this little lady when we have time as this is not a time critical build so far. The body shop where the car sits at the moment is cool and out the back of the yard so Yogi can just get on a do his thing, the dark complex art form of making Mustangs from bits of car, old, new or reconditioned. The car is far from being finished properly for the basic body work yet, a lot of this is temporary especially at the front end. The cowl is a serious and critical part of the front end strength, however the lower cowl has been paint prepped ready for fitting. Yogi will measure this cowl a couple of times, clamp it, measure it, tack weld it and dummy panel fit for the front, all before he even starts the proper welding.

Parts for the middle section and the rear are coming together well and the rear running gear is in. The rear axle is from a later Mustang which has been shortened specifically to fit this car. The results should be a well handling car as a result.

The wall of parts are ready and waiting, you have to smart and always be a step in front of yourself, especially when the car is on the jig and being assembled to this degree.

WebShop

We have been asked a number of times if a little bling makes a difference? That choice is yours alone, but we can give you a couple of examples for a simple swap out with our stainless steel upgrade. These parts fit all the ’64 – ’66 models under hood, subtle but very effective.

Stainless Steel Hood Pin can be found here

Stainless Steel safety Latch can be found here

The original car hood is obviously painted car colour as they were at the time of build.

Replacing the parts is a large nut for the hood pin and a couple of bolts for the safety latch. The replacement bolts are not your standard bolts though, these are our new in ‘Ford’ branded Stainless Steel.

The replacement is straight forward swap out but make sure the pic is set correctly for opening and closing.

The difference brakes up the large expanse of under hood colour and compliments the hood leading edge strip too. These top quality parts made of polished stainless steel are a lot cheaper than you think! As Adam would say, “it’s all in the details”.

Adam has had a few of these Mustang Maniac laser cut key hooks made up, this time with five hook pins. If you are a good customer and make regular orders, you may find one of these in the next order as a little thank you, or if you are at the yard you ask Adam ‘nicely’ you may get one while the limited edition stock lasts of course. But, if you try to call him up to ask for one – you can pretty much bet your car keys you won’t get one!

Keep putting the sun cream on and enjoy the hot weather, it will be winter soon!

Got The Hump?

The pace has calmed down a little in the yard we are pleased to say, and we concentrating on the general servicing on the cars we have waiting for us. We have also been working on a pretty unique car in the mean time which has brought with it its own problems for us to sort out, and we have learned from it all in the process. You will have to wait a while until we bring that story in another post soon. Last week we posted a little early about Jacqui’s fully restored ’69, as we predicted the car was completed with no problems a few days later. Here we have a quick snap as the car was picked up and taken home with Roy in the driving seat and Jacqui riding shot-gun. (What – still no sunglasses Roy?) 😂

The interior needed the finishing touches and then another final road test. It was an excuse really to drive this lovely lady. The steering wheel was the last decision and what a great choice it was too.

The door cards were ok, and could have been fitted back on, however there was a small tear on the driver’s side by the handle, a common place to show wear. When you have gone to this much trouble, it’s all down to the details. The carpet on the doors looked ok, until you compare them to the new carpet. The looked positively grey next to the black carpet in fact. So to keep as much originality as possible we transferred as many parts as we could to the new door cards. The result is we have a restored car that looks as though it’s being used and retains the original character of the car.

The centre console was fixed in place and final trim fittings added. Then the final drive to check for rattles and squeaks but all was good and Jacqui got the call. “She’s all done and ready for you.”

Enjoy the car, she’s a beauty.

Customer Cars

There were so many options available on the early Mustang when you ordered one, that all the combinations reportedly “ran into the millions”. A fairly expensive option at the time was the centre console. This was either full all the way up under the dash or had the even more expensive factory air-con option under the dash and the alternative console fitted under that with different fittings. To get genuine original parts are rare, fragile and can be silly expensive unless you “go repro”! The long transmission tunnel can be a large expanse of carpet, so if you want the best of both worlds there is an answer, Hump Hugger. The Hump Hugger fits all cars from ’64 to ’73 and comes in a wide range of colours to match your interior. The best part? It’s held in place by velcro that won’t let go when you drive around a corner, so there’s no drilling or extra holes to be made, which means it can be removed at any time. We have some pics of the unit in place courtesy of our friend Lance who treated himself to one.

What more could you want? A compartment to hold your old 8 track cassettes and a couple of cup holders for your caffeine fix. These are special order items from us, click here for details, but with our regular deliveries it won’t take long to get to us. Copy the link below to your browser for this colour:

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/59/7316/64-73_humphugger_console_l_blue

As  Father’s day is on the 17th June next weekend. We have lots of stock, from a few washers all the way to a complete body shell all online from our WebShop, no need to call us. If in doubt what to spoil that special man in your life with; Mustang Maniac gift vouchers are the way to go and you just can’t go wrong.

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.

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. 😉

Menancing Mustang

This week has been all about tidying up the yard and there is some stuff we have been meaning to do for a long time now. We were recently asked how the new pups were getting on. We can say that Aria and Cleo are happy and have now made themselves more than comfortable in their new home with their mum Shelby in the yard area. They have already got into the pack instinct and patrol the yard very well with that natural guard dog instinct so natural to to them.

Customers Cars

We have been working on a cowl rust project for a little while now and we like to think that we are one of the few people who can do this without ruining the car. The cowl is notorious for holding water and will rust through if not looked after and the drain points kept clear.

The lower cowl has been treated and painted on the inside to match the colour of the car and the underside for the interior of the car.

The upper and lower parts of the cowl are then in effect matched together so there are no unsightly gaps before they are welded together. This process takes time to fit the lower cowl to the car, then the upper cowl has to be matched to both the parts. This is the skill and levels of dedication that you cant even see make the difference. You just know it’s done properly by Mustang Maniac.

The upper cowl is treated on the underside that you don’t see and the edges are prepped ready for the shaping and the welding. Here the parts are clamped and final checks for overall location before the welding.

There are a number of ways to weld this together that we won’t go into by some of our competitors, but we do it properly to replicate the look and feel of the time.

Here is a short video of that process.

The last part of the process is the crucial strengthening brackets for the inner fenders to the cowl. This is a critical area of the car for stability of the chassis.

The last part of the process will be the prep work for the paint and then put it all back together again.

Our Cars

There are few sounds that send shivers down your spine when you hear them, one of those is Yogi’s ’69 427ci menacing Mustang on tick over. We found this old clip and decided to share with you what we mean, a car you hear before you see it. Turn the volume up and tell us what you think, this is seriously awesome.

To complement the video we have this clip of Yogi at one of his favourite haunts; Santa Pod Drag Strip. Although he annihilated the competition, Yogi was not happy as his wheels couldn’t get grip to launch of the line properly. That was confirmed but the data print out, but he decided to trash the tyres and run again, and again just because he could. Listen to the Yogi ride on full chat again awesome.

Have you taken your car down Santa Pod or any other Drag Strip? Send us some pics and we will get them on the blog for you.

Sunglasses To Snow Goggles

The UK has been gripped in the midst of a Siberian storm that lasted a week or so, of course a little snow ground the UK to a standstill, we just can’t cope with snow. But Mustang Maniac ploughs on nevertheless. See what we did there? Anyway, just before the snow landed we had a our friend and customer Lance drop his ’65 coupe down to us that needed some more upgrades, one of which was a special order that had just arrived in for him.

Park & Pic 

Here is the process of those upgrades, all very subtle and make a huge difference.  Except that special order which isn’t subtle by any shape of the imagination!

Although Lance was posing in his sunglasses here, they were soon swapped out for snow goggles a few days later!

The side shot above shows the first set 17″ “Styled Steel” alloy rims in the country and they were fitted to a Mustang. The fronts are 215/50R17 7Jx17 and a larger 225/50R17 8Jx15 at the rears for the staggered look. In the garage we were asked to look at the lights to improve them. This was a simple upgrade with Mustang Maniac’s crystal clear headlight upgrade kit for a more modern look. You can easily see the difference between the old and new when they are next to each other.

The link for these lights can be found on the WebShop here or  cut the this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/7958/headlamp_conversion_kit   Lance’s response to this upgrade was “it’s like chalk and cheese, I can drive at night.”  The rear end also got a little upgrade with some new lenses to go with his previously installed LED’s.

Keeping on the lights theme and poor visibility we also have various colours of LED’s for the dash. Some may think it’s a gimmick but honestly they make a massive difference compared to the incandescent bulbs and filters originally fitted. Lance asked for the popular blue set to be fitted. this was fine until the blue lights didn’t look right and so the rev counter was also upgraded to match. Lances response to the upgrade – “I can see how fast I am going at night as well now!” These bulbs can be purchased from here or this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/7115/64-65_instrument_panel_led_set

The next upgrade was a special order also an upgraded special order at that. Lance wanted to hear his music and wanted a sub woofer “upgrade”. This kit contains the mounting board, 2 x 275w speakers, the 250w amp and all the wiring and fittings as standard. However the upgrade to the special order was to swap out the 250w amp with a 500w version. The behind the seat kit can be found here or this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/28/84/64-73_speaker_behind_rear_seats_

This was going to be done properly and not just drag the wires under the carpets, so panels and seats were removed, trims and all cable wrapped correctly for that much sought after stock look.

The board is a straight replacement with the speakers already mounted and just needed the wires routed. Paul loves a bit of wiring and made it look easy and stock all linked to the starter solenoid. The last little touch was the bass adjustment that Paul neatly mounted in the glove box out of sight. Lance made a comment about this little addition, “I can turn the bass up on my Frank Sinatra now when I’m driving at night.”

Lance’s response to the upgraded and thumping sounds? “I can hear my music at night now!” There was one last thing, his air filter was upgraded to the Edelbrock hi-flow 3″ pan with a 1.5″ drop. This allows more air into the carb and thus if tuned correctly a little more power.

As we spent a fair bit of time on the car it was “Yogi’ed” as well, a Yogi sticker was stuck under the hood by the bear himself. Lance’s comment on this was sort of predictable, “At least it can’t be seen when I’m driving at night.” 😀

Customers Cars:

’69 Mach1

This has moved along quite quickly with the exhaust being fitted, Yogi does his thing and makes it fit like a glove and made some bespoke joins as a result. What you don’t see makes all the difference as well. We have seen some “one-off, bespoke and hand-made” exhaust systems that have been taken off the car and replaced with our systems within a matter of days. Just because you can’t see it – doesn’t mean it can be given any less attention to detail.

Witht he exhaust in place we prepped the engine by pumping the oil around the engine, filling the carb bowls with fuel and added a little in the intake ready for the fire up. Default carb settings were made and Yogi’s sixth sense for a timing set up. The result was this a first time fire up of the engine. You will notice Yogi quickly moves in with the screw driver to start adjusting mixtures and settings to hold the idle while the timing was then adjusted. As per usual this will be taken for a road test and then adjusted properly.

The topside of the car got the same attention to details with the hood cables being fitting and closed the hood. Yogi walked away with another smile on his face for a well earned cup of tea.

WebShop

We have had some interest in the very limited run of stickers we had made on a few of our cars, “Born to Perform”. There was only few of them made for us, but the interest has been shown. We are asking if there is enough demand for a special order; should we get a another limited batch made?

Let us know what you think.

A Modern Touch

We mentioned last week that we had an email for a daily driver and we wanted to know if there were anymore examples out there used for a daily ride basis. It looks like there is more than just one of them out there. An email from Bob Frantzen who tells us; “I have a 1967 Mustang coupe that I have had since 1981. Hope you don’t mind my friend posing for a quick shot.” How could we refuse?

We are liking this section, but we can’t deny that it’s been a slow response so far, perhaps we were right and these beautiful classic Mustangs are only out when the sun shines? We were expecting this to be a sparse section to be honest, so why not prove us wrong and send us your pics!

Customer Cars:

It’s a known fact that our resident man bear likes a little “RestoMod” when he is let loose on a project. Recently we had a customers car in that has the classic rust spots on the rear quarters that needed sorting out, and that means Yogi dusted of his paint gun. He also made a little interior update too which was simple enough, but the care taken makes all the difference.

The old rust was rubbed down to see just how far the metal worm had gotten.

The old rusty metal was cut away and new metal fabricated in its place.

With a little sanding and that little bit of magic that happens in the Yogi cave, we have the repaired sections that will last for a good few years to come.

After the outside was repaired the interior got the modern touch with the USB power supplies. These sockets are now becoming more the norm as the cigarette lighter adaptors are dying away in favour of the much neater USB sockets. The result is subtle and it certainly doesn’t ruin the interior stock look.

The underhood was asked for a little tidy up and we obliged with a re-wrap of some wiring and the difference again is subtle, and if you can see the work – then we have done it properly as it looks stock.

’69 Mach1

Jaqui’s Mach1 has been worked on and the aircon has been fitted to the engine. Not sure it will be used any time soon as it’s the middle of winter here! But the engine is taking shape and ready for the initial stock settings tune up.

The sun visors now are in and the rest of the engine hardware fittings in place.

 

With the basics now done we have a rolling restoration. Not long now for the completion and then its the fine tuning and adjustments before we let Jacqui and Roy have her back.

The Onion Mustang:

We have been waiting for a slot to start on the “Onion” again. The floor pans and the rear chassis legs were mounted on the jig and measured out from the original dimensions we had taken and marked points on the jig. Some tack welds made and more measuring with more parts added to make sure the built up layers will fit together again. Once we were happy then the full neat welds were made so the floor pan and chassis could be removed from the jig and carefully rested on the floor. The underside was worked on to rub down the welds and seam seal the joints and finished with our red lead paint.

Special message:

We finish the post this week with all of us at Mustang Maniac to wish our good friend Jacqui S. a speedy recovery as she has recently been taken poorly.

Get well soon Jacqui.