SEMA 2018 – Part 3

The last couple of posts about the SEMA 2018 show have been very popular and we are pleased with the number of times the pictures have been viewed. So we’ll jump straight back into the photo’s and hope you will enjoy the next couple of posts too.

We have a few pictures of these promotional ladies who are always so obliging to smile for any camera that is pointed their way.

A very popular section was this Hot Wheels display of cars made to look like the miniature versions, the amount of work involved is just amazing.

A few More Mustangs;

As promised the videos, the first here is a Mustang having a blast around the SEMA outside track.

This video is again a single Mustang having a blast, but it’s Adam’s comment that makes us laugh. Obviously said in jest and it’s not true, honestly.

The final video is a pair of Mustangs do a few synchronised drifting moves a few feet apart which is quite impressive.

Let us know what you think. 🙂

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.

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.

Along For The Ride

Starting on Tuesday until the Friday next week is the annual SEMA 2017 show which Adam attends each year. However Adam tells us this is a chore and “Somebody has got to do it” suggesting that he doesn’t really want to go to fantastic city for the night life or being at America during the wonderful Halloween time. He also says that he has to go to a motor show and look around some pretty awesome and unique cars, innovative new parts and be distracted by some very pretty ladies promoting various companies products. After a stressful day he will be in need of some serious beers, not that we are jealous or anything of course. (Much). Seriously though Adam will not be back into the UK until the 14th November, he will have limited access to emails so please bear with us during this time.

Customer Cars:

We have the 69 Mach1 being worked on this week with the brakes and steering being fitted. The worthwhile upgrade for the cars is always the Borgeson power steering, and this little lady was getting just that along with a nice new shiny dual master cylinder and brake booster.

A new set of disc brakes to the front, no corners are cut here and even the bolts are sprayed silver to protect from rust and also for a little show.

The front suspension was replaced with nice new control arms, shocks and springs.

The brake pedal installed and connected up to the booster, followed by the top quality signature work from Yogi, his bespoke brake lines that are unmistakable and unique to each car.

All of a sudden the painted shell starts to look like a car again, from the outside just for now.

Convertible: 

Another suspension upgrade on a convertible. The suspension over the years starts to degrade at such a slow rate that you don’t realise until one day you think to yourself there is something wrong here. So another replacement shocks, springs front and rear, control arms and updated sway bar. The next time the owners gets in this car it will feel totally different. First the old stuff.

Then the new parts fitted.

The great debate. (Yes – it still rages on)

It seems the next announcement from the lunatic asylum that is the DVLA is that while cars over 40 years are no longer required an MOT – any classic car (which they call historic cars) over 40 years old, but has had its power-to-weight ratio increased by more than 15% will require MOTing and then be assigned a Q plate, which will stay with the car for life and can’t be removed. The complete madness in a few examples:

Scenario 1: changed the carb from a smokey old relic to a modern more fuel-efficient fuel injection system….MOT/Q

Scenario 2: change the stock cast iron heads and manifold to a more efficient aluminium set….bingo you have a double whammy as not only have you increased the power you have also reduced the weight – seriously altering the power-to-weight ratio…..welcome back to MOT and Q!

Scenario 3: 1930s Ford fitted with a 350/350…..forget it!

It now seems since this latest “idea” was made by people in the DVLA that know about these things, (who obviously have an IQ the same as the number of wheels on their own cars), have now relented and will will not pursue the ‘power to weight ratio increase’ exclusion in the MOT exemption process. While there might be some kit cars and some heavily modified vehicles that will still require an MOT, all other classics will not. This means that Mustangs that have been “improved” will still classify as historic. About time that somebody took a long look at what they are trying to achieve. Virtually nobody wanted this to change, so “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!”

Ken Block is at it again with Gymkhana 10 Trailer. 

We have been sent this link to a trailer on YouTube (thanks Gary), for the latest instalment of the fire-breathing AWD Mustang now with 1200bhp and twin turbos. We were lucky enough to see the car last year at SEMA. We can’t wait for this next instalment!

We hope to bring you some pictures from SEMA again this year so watch this space.

Have a safe trip and not to stressful “working” break Adam.

The Jobsworth

We have been asked about a car we had with us at a recent car show, but we will get to that a little later along with a story about a “Jobsworth”, in other words, a somebody who had nothing better to do with their time other than enforce a petty rule. But we start again this week with the Park & Ride car on the post.

Park & Pic:

Derek has owned the car for a while now and has been gradually doing little jobs here and there on her. But after a look at the quality of work we do here, the car has been booked in with us to complete an ever extending list of upgrades and bit of under hood bling.

Derek67vert1

The Grinch:

This car is a real like it or loath it restoration or “Restomod” that took six years to complete by our very own Yogi including the awesome paint job, just before he joined our ranks at MM. We love this car it has to be said and is a rare and genuine S code 390GT with all matching numbers.

grinch1

The modifications to the car are subtle and obvious at the same time. Under the hood there is no wire loom. The engine is ported out via a pair of ear drum busting Flowmasters that makes the big block V8 sound like it has a seriously bad attitude. The steering and suspension are total control setup, which is certainly required for this beast of a car.

The bodywork modifications are obvious at the rear with the well known Shelby look. The front cowl section has been removed and replaced with sheet metal to give the continuation of the hood to the glass. The rear vents have also been removed and plated up to give a smooth flowing line to the trunk lid.

Inside the quarter stick shift is automatic with a racing setup and it needs it. The sound system matches the engine and looks like the car.

Petty Rules?

Ken is Adam’s dad and still owns the very first Mustang that Adam restored before Adam’s passion had evolved into the trade leading Mustang Maniac company. The start of the story is that Adam bought his dad a set of number plates with the classic Playboy logo on them, after a bit of in joke while they visited Las Vegas over twenty years ago. The plates have been on the car ever since without a single problem.

Ken bought the car back down to Adam to have some new wheels on her along with a service at the same time. On way down from the Midlands, the local police constabulary decided to pull Ken over for his number plates. Obviously said individual had nothing better to do, like catching terrorists and murderers, oh no. They chase people for the serious crime of a logo on a registration plate. Nobody in the twenty years that they had been on the car has ever mentioned them before. So now the plates have been changed and Ken was left to feel like a criminal at the time. It’s not as though the car is driven for hundreds of miles everyday!

So we now have Ken’s official mug shot!

KenMustang3

The wheels look great and he went for the classic styled four stud look, but in the modern alloy, which is part of the new range on our WebShop.

WebShop:

We have uploaded a new video to our YouTube channel for the new stock for the 2015 – 2016 Mustangs for the front LED sequential indicator lights.

The link for the new sequential lights click here, or paste the link to your browser.

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/8996/15_sequential_front_led

Another Prototype:

We have a one-off, bespoke, custom-made pair of smoked rear lenses. We had some clear ones made a little while ago and the reader poll showed us they were not as popular as we thought they would be, even though we sold the small stock we had. So now we now have something the opposite way around – smoked.

The question would be what do they look like in use? The video here shows you just that:

We have another poll for you, would you buy them if we got them made and kept them in stock?

Please vote and let us know.

Cunning As A Fox

The week started of very well with the arrival of the freshly painted ’69 back from the paint shop, the down side is we needed to make room for her as all the spaces we had lined up were all taken with mostly service type of work this week. We promised last week that there would be an update on the Fox body LED conversion we have bespoke, one-off, custom-made from the ground up, or perhaps we should call it the mark 1 version for now.

Park & Pic.

This ’66 Coupe is owned by Adam D. who has only had this little lady for a number of weeks. Adam bought this car in to us the previous weekend for a look over as he wasn’t sure what to make of her. So both the Adams took her out for a road test and the verdict was made. She was booked in with us during the week for a good old sort out and little loving care that ONLY Mustang Maniac can provide.

The car was running a little rough on her very first visit, so we had an impromptu air filter change and a default setting carb tuning, all on a Saturday morning while the mandatory cup of tea was to be had. So if the phones were not being answered – here is a perfect example why.

Once we had the car in this week, we could have another good look over her, the car is not in a too bad at all and quite clean underside. The main concern was that the front drum brakes had been converted to a discs, nothing wrong with that of course. But, there is a problem when the conversion was left with the original single pot master cylinder and booster in place. As a result there was not enough back pressure to keep the pads from dragging on the discs. As a result this was slowing the car down, using more fuel to get going and making things hot. You can see the old single pot master cylinder here at the back right which should be a dual version with disc brakes.

There was a smell of petrol from the back and it was obvious that the fuel tank had a crease in it, from what looks like it was backed over something, which was in turn seeping fuel slowly, and certainly required a new one. The car was up on the ramps fuel tank was swapped out, and the work started on the master cylinder change over to the correct dual cylinder that should be used, the brakes were bleed and properly adjusted all round. The brake pedal was adjusted to the new cylinder push rod. This in turn highlighted the hand brake that was also needing adjusting correctly now too. The car had a little quirk where the gear shifter needed a little wiggle to start and the transmission lever would not stay in Park. The safety cut out and the transmission selector lever connected correctly and adjusted, tested and all was now fine. Next up to be sorted out was the engine running, starting with the spark plugs out and the new ones gapped and refitted. Holley default settings were dialled in and the fine tuning started from there. The timing was out and needed resetting which helped a great deal for the initial running and idling. Next was the air/fuel mixture carb settings, Yogi demonstrated his dark art of engine tuning by feel, response and sound. It’s OK setting the mixtures to “what the book of words says”, but, “if it doesn’t run right what’s the point? All engines are different,” said the bear. Once the engine was now the best it could be for the garage setup, it was time for a full road test. The car came back with a small list of final tweaks for the carb setting under load, and that the speedo was reading 10mph to slow which required a new speedo gearing to fix that. The brakes were now spot on and bedding in nicely, but now we had a little wheel balancing to do to get rid of the wobble at speed. Another road test and all was good in the retest.

In fact the Owner Adam D. sent us a pretty awesome email, as he was well pleased. I’m sure he won’t mind sharing this little clip with you;

“The work that you guys at Mustang Maniacs have done on the car was phenomenal – differences you have made since you got it and did a couple of days work, pulls and accelerates noticeably better – absolutely beautifully and even sounds better.  The brakes also seem to work so much better and it handles and steers so so much better in the bends and straight – no more steering wobble or unnoticeable !!! Petrol consumption is also so much better – really very noticeable indeed.”

We are pleased that we have another happy customer who can really enjoy their car which is just how it should be.

Fox Body LEDs

We promised this last week so here it is; A new acquisition Fox Body Mustang was bought into us, the requirement was to have some flashing amber LEDs to make it UK road legal keeping the stock look of the lenses. Now we don’t have a ready-made kit for that, so it was time for Adam and Yogi to design and make a bespoke set of LEDs. The guys are keeping this one a secret on how they done it for now, so there is no circuit boards allowed to be shown, but we can show you the results.

The rear assemblies were taken apart to expose the lenses. We think they look great.

Before the custom Mustang Maniac Fox lights were fitted they were tested off the car and here is that test.

The owner is one very happy chap too.

’69 Rebuild New Paint

We have had a bare metal respray back from the paint shop and now ready for that rebuild. There is just something magical watching a car unloaded with her new paint. This is going to be a cracking looking car once she is done!

But before we can start work on her – we need to clear a couple of cars out first. We are looking forward to this build.

Slow Processes

The week has been busy, but full of slow process with attention being paid to details. We have done some time consuming work Customer Cars, and some work on our YouTube Chanel. We will start as we always do with cars:

Customer Cars

1972 Lime Green Mach1

The car we are talking about here is the ’72 Lime Green  Mach1, or give it the correct colour name “Medium Lime” which was a 1972 only colour. The car has been put mostly back together now so we can drive her. The front end wire loom for the front lights was wrapped and installed. The difference is amazing as soon as the lights and grill are in place and working.

The engine bay was wired to the dash and the all important turn of the key spun her over and fired up. The starting is a little temperamental at the moment as the carb has not been adjusted properly yet. The point here was to make sure the electrics were correct and live as they are supposed to be. With the confirmation of the engine running the hood was bolted back in place, a two-man job as the hood on these cars is the best part of 6ft long and weighs accordingly.

mach1painter101

This second pic we like as it’s slightly darker with a different front angle later in the day. The Sun was going down so we got a more moody or atmospheric looking Mach1. Sometimes these off the cuff snap shots are better than the more formal pics we take. So when we mention an “afternoon moody” we done mean Yogi being disturbed in his cave, we mean photographic atmospherics.

mach1painter102

The car was driven out under her own power and left to run a little while to make sure the sensors and gauges were all working. There are a few more things to do yet which are more cosmetic, such as the side marker lights, adjusting the trunk now the weather strip is in place, engine tuning, carb set up, tracking brakes adjusted etc. We will take her for a quick drive down the road and back to settle the suspension in place with the tyres to check basic handling. When she comes back we do it all again to make sure everything has stayed where it should be. Then it will be taken for a proper drive to make sure everything is where we expect it to be and handles how she should. The rear on this car still has the air shock replacements from a good few years ago, obviously these will be set up to how Paul wants them to be for his preference and style of driving.

This next pic shows Yogi in the background, what he is in fact doing is checking the stance and overall look of the car from a distance.

mach1painter105

Gulf Stream Aqua’ 65 Coupe

This car is still undergoing the slow exploration phase of rubbing down the problem areas to see exactly what needs to be dealt with. Here the left side top corner of the roof has been filled so it will need to be cleaned up and checked for any rust areas underneath.

gulfstmaqchip34

The lower edges of the wheel arches can be a problem area if the drain away becomes blocked. The other classic spots for rust, the front edges at the bottom of the doors and the bottom of the front fenders.

Our YouTube Channel:

We have our own YouTube Channel where we post clips and footage of various things, from new products and how they work, to a complete restoration in under 5 minutes. This is no easy task as the original 4000 or so photo’s were whittled down to still large number of 1200. Then the final collation of pics are used to make this slide show. Although this computer work isn’t working on cars, sifting through all those pictures in order for it all to make sense takes just as long.

We often get asked what is involved in a bare metal restoration. This short video is aimed at those type of questions which should give you a rough idea of the slow methodical process involved. What people don’t appreciate is the time involved to complete this particular project took four and a half years complete.

There are lots more still pics from the video show which can be found from the menu above customers Cars/Acapulco ’66 Coupe – Full Restoration. This page is a large document with lots of detailed pics, so give it a minute or so to load, or click here for the hyper link to go straight to the page. The full restoration in all its detail can be found at One Man And His Mustang or click here for the hyper link. His site will show you step by step and walk through processes he did with us. The restoration was completed with all the parts he used came from our WebShop.

If you like this video pop over to our channel and subscribe, click here for the link.

Thanks:

Thanks to Chris T. for taking the time to create the slide show for us.

We would like to thank a couple of our new followers; Leon J. & Hans L. from Germany who have started following our blog as we are building the DeAgostini 1:8th Shelby GT500 model. The guys said they have learnt a fair bit about the real cars from the blog too and they we pleased to see that we pay as much careful attention to the smaller cousin models as we do the full-sized cars. We aim to please. 🙂