Taking Out A Pedal

A very busy week with lots going in the yard and we will bring you a story of a behind the scenes pieces of work that is taking the best part of six months to happen, but more on that a little later. We have had a lot of interest in the John Wick car as we always do when she is in the yard. Unlike the film this little lady is not mashed up and sounding like a bag of nails being kicked down the stairs. She was in for quite a big change or upgrade depending on how you look at it.

Customers Cars:

John Wick

The car in the films transmission was an automatic, the car we built was a manual as we were asked to build. Now after a little deliberation the owner, he has decided to swap over to an automatic like the car in the films. What people don’t realise is that swapping over the gearboxes is just the beginning.

So out it was out with the old manual gear box;

Then out with the pedal box, as you just can’t cut a pedal off as such, then remove the old gearbox linkage and centre console.

We reused the original centre console to fit a bespoke Hurst Auto shifter in place instead of the stock build auto gear box lever.

Yogi made up a template for the Hurst shifter and its relevant position to the new gearbox linkages. We had a strip of wood grain trim to match the original factory trim option, the template pattern would be laid and then carefully cut out the new openings.

The console was strengthened with our own little secret process then replaced back into the car. Once everything was secure the shifter was properly mounted.

A new starter motor was fitted as the linkage to the gearbox was fabricated, adjusted and fitted. New transmission cooling pipes were routed to the front for cooling as would have been on the original specification.

Next up was the new pedal box and the throttle linkages to the carb which also had to be swapped over from the manual one.

Once all that little lot was done the finished result is very simple looking, but a lot of work behind the scenes, The neutral disconnect wiring to be integrated to the wiring and ignition loom, the speedo cable, kickdown operation, carburetor settings, brake pedal height all have to be adjusted and set to defaults before a road test, then we tweak the adjustments once or twice more to get to the optimal performance set up for the car.

Apart from the stress and aggravation of the manual gearboxes the autobox will now be smooth effortless and correct to the film now.

Time for yet another road test – just to make sure all is OK of course! 😉

Our Cars

Adam has had his ’66 Hertz Shelby in storage for a long time, after Cleo Shelby had signed it for him he decided to do a little work on her. The car runs but nowhere near how it should, so like most of these things start with the carb which has been sitting there for a for years getting gummed up and rusty. So the man or bear for the job Yogi stepped up to the mark for a strip down and rebuild. The dark art of a carb rebuild, jetting and mixtures will all be required on this 800CFM (yes 800) double pumper.

Before – with the moving parts removed, gaskets removed and all to be restored and checked for any wear & tear before refitting.

After – the carb rebuilt and put back together ready for the refit.

A very special favour for a ‘Boss’ using the world wide Mustang Maniac contacts. 

We have touched on this type of story a few times in the past, but we must stress that this is NOT something that Adam and Mustang Maniac does on any sort of regular basis. In fact this is a very good friend (within the very small close-knit Mustang Maniac inner sanctum as it were), as well as being a loyal customer who need some help. The conversation was had with Adam and he responded. We shall be covering this story as it happens to take you on a documented journey. It may go well with no problems, or it could be a nightmare. We haven’t documented this before but we thought we might share it with you this time as it was customer lead.

‘Thank you Adam for the very special help’,  this customer as he has asked (me) to pass along.

After the loss, well sale of his ’65 coupe, the search for a ‘new mistress’ (as he would say) has been eventful and fruitless for a while with every advert, paper, social media and website had been scoured and trawled over looking for the replacement.

This is the sorry sight of a much-loved car being driven away by somebody else! Rumour has it there was a tear in his eye as she left. (It wasn’t a rumour by the way).

This Mustang Maniac customer was looking for a certain style for his next car, and nothing was standing out, after seeing many in the Uk over many months, the cars over here were just not up to scratch (well there were some with scratches on the paint), or on the other hand just not what he was looking for. Frustration grew and Mustang Maniac steped in and give this customer some exclusive contacts that we use in the USA. The word was put out to Adam’s contacts to look for a likely candidate for the customers spec he had in mind. A couple of weeks later that word was returned with a few pics the new potential ‘mistress’ was found.

Everything was now down to the customer to fine tune the deal, if this was indeed the replacement. The car in question happens to be a 1970 ‘Boss’ 302 clone fastback. The vehicle is quite rare for being a genuine two owner car from new, lime metallic green paint, luxury Ivy green interior, Mach1 package, a rare tilt column and fold down rear seat, factory rear louvres etc. Underneath, she sports a 331ci stroked aluminium headed motor, mated to a TCI reverse manual shift C4 gearbox, hooked up to a 8” rear with 4:11 gears and a posi traction diff.

After many phone calls with the owner, hundreds of detailed pictures of the good, not so good, the bad and a video to help with the decision, the trigger was pulled to release funds for the new car.

It’s well known that importing a car can be a daunting prospect; there are hundreds of shipping companies willing to take your money and bring your beloved car over by any means possible, not all of those options are good ways to bring a car back we might add. So again the customer asked us for some help and we pointed him in the right direction by giving him some reputable shipping companies to contact for quotes.

The process for shipping is from Indiana to Miami docks. Then from Miami to the Uk, we wish him the best of luck in getting it to her new home. We aim to follow this customers journey, regarding transportation, shipping, insurance and registration and how it all goes for him. Once all the paper work and costs have been paid, it’s a case of then getting his new pride and joy to or to us for the Mustang Maniac safety check (see last weeks post) before we let him loose in it on the UK roads. Watch this space for more updates.

WebShop

It’s that time of year where our new delivery of the Limited Edition Mustang Maniac Calendars are in stock for 2019 year. There is a very limit run of these and to get one you just need to order anything to, or over the value of £200 and we will pop one in the order for you, free. Here is a quick preview of the calendar.

If you order the Mustang Maniac Gift Vouchers for £200 or more you will also get the calendar, remember only while stocks last, once they are gone, there will be no more!

The vouchers are available in £10 and £20 and can be used in the WebShop.

The links for the £10 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

The links for the £20 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

There are only two more weekends before Christmas, just saying! 

R & D?

The heading suggests this week that we are talking about Research and Development, however in this case it means Restored and Dangerous. So we start with a really serious note, in fact we were shocked to such a level that Adam has made a video of it. An unprecedented move, but Adam felt that this really warranted a video to show our readers exactly what is out there. The laws in the UK have changed (a bad move in our opinion), for the MOT (Ministry Of Transport) tests for road worthy vehicles, the rules state that you don’t need an MOT if;

  • the vehicle was built or first registered more than 40 years ago
  • no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years, for example replacing the chassis, body, axles or engine to change the way the vehicle works

As we have said before in a blog; we can pretty much say that all our customers still go for the MOT even though they don’t need to have it, why? To make sure the vehicle is safe. That’s safe to drive and safe to other road users, the last thing Classic Car owners want is their pride and joy have a failure resulting in it getting smashed up somewhere. A vehicle that was ‘fully restored’ in Europe (that’s all we are going to say), was shipped to the proud owner in the UK. The owner of this vehicle paid some strong money for this car at the time and was expecting a top quality car. After the car was imported to the UK the car was taken to a well-known Mustang ‘specialist’ restorer (whom we know of by the way), where this car was given a full UK MOT.

As with all new cars that we haven’t seen before in our care, we always give them a safety check and full once over. The reason is we want to be sure that we are not going to crash and die in the vehicles, and to also get a baseline of what needs to be done if anything.

We are going to respect the owners privacy on his Mustang, understandably he is not impressed as some serious work needs to be done before he can even think of driving it again. Even after the restoration has been done.

The video of Adam’s inspection comments is here and will be posted on YouTube as soon as we can get to the account and upload it. The sound on the video will show just how bad the mechanical parts are, the idler arm, geometry, ball joints, grease points valance are all covered here, that’s before we inspect the brakes, engine, electrics etc.

These worn suspension parts are not supposed to move in the manner that they are.

Yep, Adam on video!

The moral of the story here is to make sure you know what you are getting. Ask other people who have had work done by other specialists to get an idea of their reputation. Lots of people claim to know what they are doing, but letting a car on the road like this is just dangerous and potentially lethal.

The blame is two-fold here, the restoration in the first place and then the person who gave the car an MOT afterwards.


Customers Cars

The Onion,

Last week we promised a big update on ‘The Onion Mustang’, and here it is. Yogi has been busy getting the panels together and wanted the car on her own wheels to get the weight right ready for gaps. Most of the parts have been powder coated to a high standard and we have had them for a little while now. Yogi and Adam inspects the new parts;

Yogi and Adam seen here fitting some very special suspension parts to this little lady;

The suspension on this car is made up of some rather clever movable parts called roller bearings. This allows the suspension to move much more in a controlled way, unlike the video above.

We have a couple of video that show what we mean;, and the movement here on the suspension is supposed to be there!

The car has also been treated to a ‘Shelby Drop’ using our own template which can be seen here with the suspension mounted below the original holes. Before you ask – no we won’t sell you one!

In order to get the correct geometry settings these car’s suspension on this year are adjustable via a cam and not use shims like the 64 – 66 cars, thus making it much quicker and a lot nicer to set up correctly.

As these parts are adjustable they did have a tendency to move on the odd occasion, to get around that we have some special parts to stop that.

These rather clever upgrades should enable the tyre to be in full correct contact with the road at all times. We must admit that we are looking forward to the road test on this suspension set up.

With the suspension in place and the rear axle bolted in the car sits on a set of (borrowed) wheels. In order to make the gaps correct Adam and Yogi placed a couple of engines in the car and a little trick the guys don’t want us to show you as it’s a Mustang Maniac secret. Now the car is a rolling shell, Yogi can set the gaps correctly and weld them up properly.


The Dreaded “C” word; yep it’s Christmas time!

At Mustang Maniac we try not mention Christmas untill December and as this is the first post of December we decided to mention it. We have already had a few early purchases of our very popular Mustang Maniac Gift Vouchers. We have had some more made up for us and are now back in stock. So if you want to buy something for that lucky person who owns a Mustang, and don’t know what to get them – then this is your dream come true to let them get what they want. They are available in £10 and £20 and can be used in the WebShop. during your purchases.

The links for the £10 voucher is here or click on the picture below.

The links for the £20 voucher is here or click on the picture below.


Exciting News from the WebShop that starts in the New Year:

Adam will be running a special offer once a month, for one week only where he will be having a promotion of a particular product. Once the product have gone, that’s the promotion done, even if it lasts for a day or two, so be quick. What will the promotional items be?

We can’t say at the moment so you will have to watch this space – or bookmark the WebShop  or copy this link to your favorites to find out!

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/

Don’t Forget your Gift Vouchers!

John Wick Chapter 2

What a week we have had, some of which we can tell you about, some of it we can’t, not just yet anyway but we are very excited about it all. At one point so much was going on we don’t know where to start on it all. So this week we have a large post to cover some nice updates on work we are doing, some great new items in the stock and a recent project returns for a big update. We shall start with the Park & Pic we havent had for a while.

Park & Pic

We couldn’t help but throw in a tenuous link to the films, but the John Wick ’69 is back with us for a project update – an automatic gearbox to be fitted and all the associated changes that goes with it. Before we took her down the yard to the work shops, we couldn’t help ourselves to a photo or two under our stainless horse logo. Now it has to be said that this is pure, unapologetic, automotive erotica for car lovers everywhere. It has been said that if you don’t agree with us – then you are wrong, simple as that. Yes we are slightly biased as we built it, but just look at it!

Customers Cars

’66 Fast Back GT;

This car belongs to a good friend and loyal customer of ours Tony Pook who had brought his car into us for a grease service and once over. The car was making the odd creak and groans and wanted us to sort it out for him.

We replaced some sway bar end links and other bushings, then they were all re-assembled with a high quality lithium grease. Once it was all ready to go we took the car for a quick road test and all is good in the Mustang world and quiet again, except for the wonderful sound of a v8 that is.

To top it all, this car has been featured in the Mustang Owners Club Of Great Britain calendar for 2019.

Another ’66 Fastback GT;

This little lady is in for a front end suspension rebuild. The suspension on the front is a bit to low and needs to be lifted to the right height as it has affected the handling now. Hopefully that shall start that bit of work this week.

The Onion

The car has been worked on intensively for a number of days and not a lot seems to happen, then the next day panels are put on and all of a sudden we have a shell in the shop. The secret is our secret how we can build a car from ground up with no pre-marked points as they had rusted through. In this game millimeters is a considerable amount to be wrong. However our skills are obvious and this weeks piece of work shows just that. Obviously we have some small tack welds and clamps in place where the car was taken from our jig. As a convertible the body will flex a certain amount and can’t be welded when it’s up in the air as the gaps would be very wrong. That final gap work will have to be done when the car is on the free standing on the floor under her own weight.

But for now at least you can get to see the long hard prep work and endless measuring has paid of because we almost have a rolling shell.

We can tell you that Yogi has some very special suspension to go on this little lady and we will have a couple of videos of it next week for you. As Yogi and Adam are working on the car we waited for them to have a tea break and sneaked in for a peak and sneak peek of the parts. So here is a little taster and there will be a lot more on this piece of the project next week.

Watch this space!!

WebShop

We have two new products in stock;

The first product is brand new into our stock which is a brake grease which can be found here on the WebShop.

The second is a rather special component and only Mustang Maniac has access to the parts. This is the unique thermostat which was only made for the Cleveland 351 engine. There are a few not ideal work arounds for the issue, but this is the concours correct part you will need. Click here for the thermostat link on the WebShop.

This thermostat must be used with the correct restriction plate (gold colour) for the 180deg thermostat which can be found here.

If you wish to continue to use the small block thermostat you must use the restrictor plate mod, (silver coloured above). Click here for the link on the WebShop.

Did you know?

Following from last weeks post about the BMW Museum, did you know the first BMW was the English Austin Seven base design.

Come back next week for a big update on The Onion project.

Last Call For A Flight To Vegas

Things have been a little busy this week with Adam making preparations for his annual ‘Business’ trip to SEMA 2108 and has been out of the office a fair bit. Although we give Adam plenty of grief over his ‘Business’ trip, it’s a good chance for him to meet up with business partners and make some new ones, not forgeting his friends out there in Shelby and Scott Drake too. This is also a time to catch up with the new developments for the world of restoration and innovations for the LAR / SMR recovery businesses too. Can we just reiterate again that you don’t need to call us for making a parts order, the WebShop is up to date with the stock lists and is real-time updated. If the WebShop says it’s in stock – then it’s in stock. We mention this yet again as we have had a few emails saying that they are frustrated that we can’t provide support for fitting parts while they want to order them over the phone.

Customer Cars

Yogi has been busy with the secret project that we can’t say too much about just yet, but we will bring you the full story of this build once it has moved on a bit. The rest of the week Yogi has been working on the Hertz clone and getting that ready for customer pick up. The dash pad has now been swapped out with our top quality branded stock. The instrument cluster has now been refitted and complete.

With the pad in place we can add that all important Shelby rev counter.

The doors have had new damp papers added, insides windows greased, and new handle gaskets and the door cards fitted.

The gear shifter was looking a little worse for wear so we fitted a new leather boot to smarten things up there again. The glove box card was also not much use either and received a replacement with the hazard switch installed in its correct position.

Moving to the back of the car Yogi has finished the hand riveted inner trims for the back windows and have now been installed, water proofed and the outside trims added. The rest of the lower trims have been refitted so it all matches and looks stock.

Under the hood has also seen a fair amount of work being completed as well, and we hope that you can’t see it to be honest. If you can’t see what has been changed then it’s a job well done yet again. This time we are going to tell you what we done; the hood hinges had become bent and can cause issues with the gap alignment and opening the hood. We replaced them, and as with all these jobs it take a while to re-gap the hood to the cowl and then to the fenders properly. This invariably means an adjustment of the closure and latches.

A Yogi speciality is his signature brake line work that were replaced along with the obligatory brake bleeding, and brake adjustments that all comes as part of the process.

The car needs a final road test and recheck the levels. Once that’s all done then she should be ready for the owner to collect. 😀

As you read this Adam is at the airport ready to go. He will have limited access to emails while over in the States, but he will endeavour to get back to you if you email him.

We have asked Adam to take some photos for us and you our readers. If you click on the logo above then you will be taken to the SEMA website to see what is going on.

Enjoy the trip Adam and have a safe journey. 

In Need Of A Service?

Recently we have had a car come into us that wasn’t running very well and we were asked if we could give it a ‘once over & service’, nothing wrong with that of course. Our first diagnostics was just how rich the engine was running and very hesitant through some of the rev range. So we started our look over and decided that the little lady needed some TLC. We were starved of fuel at some point and running rich on others, first port of call – filters. We started with the oil change and as that was draining, fuel lines up to the carb. The oil wasn’t to bad, but the rest had seen better days should we say. The air filter looked more like the oil filter compared to the new one, the fuel filter was clogged and silted quite heavily.

The spark plugs were replaced as they had lost their spark too, (see what we did there?) and the gaps were quite random now.

Everything was replaced with new off the shelf parts for the serviceable parts, the levels were topped up and grease applied. The turn of the key was so much better now, but not quite how we liked it, so we had a little Yogi ‘Dark Art’ carb tuning session. With everything done and a road test later, the little lady was purring like a kitten again. If your car running rough it’s worth checking your filters, it makes all the difference.

Customer Cars

The Hertz Clone is now going back together again now. The dash and doors have had their coats of paint and now the head liner can go back in place. The pics are a bit dark, but that’s what happens with a black head liner in the dark! Last time we suggested a flash – it wasn’t a pretty sight, and we have nearly finished the latest course of counselling! 😀 The dash wiring has been put readied again for the dash gauges to go back in.

Yogi was doing some final checks for the window kit and he was feeling pleased with himself.

The windows will need to be sealed and seated correctly, but at least you can see the idea as it’s coming along.

SEMA 2018

Adam is on to his annual trip to Las Vegas this time next week to see his supply partners and friends at SEMA (Special Equipment Market Association) 2018. He will be there for the four days October 30th to 2nd November at least. We are not sure what date he will be back on, he may extend his time out there if he doesn’t get round to all the meetings. So with that in mind, please send Adam emails if you need to speak to him directlyand he will reply when he can, allowing for the time difference of course. He won’t be answering the phone just before he leaves either as he will be in back to back meetings prior to leaving for the USA. The WebShop runs itself and is 24/7 shopping for all your Mustang parts. Morgan is more than capable of looking after the office day to day business, with Yogi for technical support if needed. Not that we offer a Technical Support line by the way, but with some phone calls you wouldn’t think that was the case, even when the parts were not purchased from us in the first place. As Adam says; ‘You don’t ring up a solicitors and get free advice, why should we give our secrets away for nothing?’ He has a very good point there!

Lucy The Escapologist

The pups are cute looking and cute as in clever too. They managed get out of the run when we are not looking, we couldn’t account for Lucy one evening last week, who was having a mad moment round the yard, we found her eventually:

New Kid On The Block

We are back this week with vehicle updates on a couple of cars we are working on. It’s often said that at Mustang Maniac we restore new life into old cars, but it’s something pretty special to creat one! We start with the updates on the customer cars first though.

Customer Cars

The first of which is the final touches to the convertible under the hood. There was few nice little touches added but nothing over the top and works very well.

The interior has had the beautiful leather seats and door cards we found hiding out the way a few weeks ago have now been fitted and they look amazing. The colour combo with the matching roof just works.

The money on this car has all been spent in the right places. After the final road tests and final tune up she should be back her owner very soon.

Another project that has come into us for some work is this little lady, a black ’66 fastback.

The first job is to have the rear vents replaced with some glass replacements, a kit from Mustang Maniac’s vast stock range of course.

The old vents were carefully cut out and removed;

The glass is then offered into place for fit while the inner C pillar is neatened up.

We will need to replace the headliner as a result of respray of the interior metalwork and the dash top all to be done as well. We will keep you up to date on the progress as we go.

Congratulations

We have some great news from our very own Yogi; he is now a Grandad. His daughter Beth has given birth to Hunter on 5th September weighing in at a healthy 6lb 2oz. Both mother and baby doing well. When we asked Yogi how it went he says he was, ‘stressed by it all as he had a lot of pacing up and down to do!’

We welcome to the next in line to be destined to work on Mustangs, Hunter obviously don’t know it yet though. Well done to Beth for looking remarkably cool and calm after the birth. ‘Obviously not as difficult to have a baby as it is to remove a 427ci with the hood still in place’ as Yogi would say. (He didn’t actually say that, but it sounds good though.)

Proud grandparents Yogi and his wife Sara holding Hunter.

A few more pics taken a couple of weeks later.

There is talk within Mustang Maniac inner sanctum that Yogi has already been reading bedtime stories to Hunter, nothing wrong with that you might say. But when we notice copies of our repair manuals disappearing we had to ask. Yogi’s response was ‘We’re starting with the basics first, like general servicing and lubrication charts, then we will move onto the more complex stuff like the dark art of carburetor race tuning, engine timings and differential gearing in a couple of months time.

Spotted: Hunter’s first book bought for him by Grandad Yogi!

It was also rumoured that Yogi refuses to put a normal baby’s hat on Hunter for walks out, preferring the more macho Snap-On beanie look instead!

Seriously though, what a way to end a post! 😀

Three Stock Levels

We have managed to clear a few outstanding little jobs and get them back to their owners which cleared some much need space. We are on the final home straight now for a car which has been featured over the last few weeks, this ’66 convertible. We have now fitted and tested the Gear Vendors overdrive unit as soon as the new shortened prop shaft arrived. The first road test was very positive, we now just need to do a few little fine tuning bits on her, such as re-timing, carb setup etc. then off again for another road test. There could be a few little cosmetic changes to be done under the hood as well, but we want to get the basics right first. We think the Alloys on the car suit it perfectly, even if we do say so ourselves, and we do.
The replacement roof has been realigned after being up and down a few times so it settles in the correct position. The inside of the roof looks neat and tidy now, a step often missed by other restorers.

Hidden Stock

It’s a known fact that Adam has his all his stock on the WebShop and is accurate, but did you know that he also has a secondary stock that doesn’t appear on the WebShop. This can be anything from new parts to be tested, second-hand parts, prototype parts he has had made or parts he orders in for his own projects. For the later point he will usually order in a couple of the same item such as this awesome long-range fuel tank.
Notice how there are three holes? That’s one for the filler, one for an internal fuel pump and a top mounted sender unit. So if you needed an additional fuel pump for your motor, don’t have it buzzing away under the car, hide it in the tank for no noise solution and clean lines under the car. Before you ask to buy one of these, he had two, but one has already been sold to a customer who saw them come in on the pallet. The other tank is for a project which we will featuring from start to finish shortly, that is going to be something pretty special. These lights found in box are for a 2005 – 2009 model Mustangs, these have the popular ‘Halo’ style sidelights. These are also not on the WebShop as they are for Adam’s cars. Unless you want to offer Adam some good money for them?  Now if you wanted to know if there is anything like this and have somethig special in mind you can email Adam, if you try to call him to just ask what he has, there will be a very big “nothing” coming your way. However a nice little polite email will get you much further into a conversation. Don’t forget that Mustang Maniac has now moved fully over to the online trading format now and virtually no orders are being taken on the phones.

New Stock

We will start with the exciting news of the ’64-’66 wheel Spindles. These parts were difficult to get hold as they were not remanufactured, but now they are. Adam has the first few pairs into the country and the quality is top rate as you would expect. We have had an order in for some starter motors, we do believe that Adam had a sudden rush of blood to the head or was it fingers to the credit card and bought some, OK the lot of them. There was a few bits of pipework arrive on this shipment and have now been transferred to the exhaust area which is now spilling into the car storage area. The concours boys will be happy as we have a new line of vacuum hoses now too. These are sold in packs and just add the little extra level of detail to your under hood show piece.

Second Hand Stock

Yet again Adam was in the right place at the right time, somebody wanted to get rid of some old wheels, so Adam bought them as a blind sale and not seen. He was quite happy when they arrived! So if you are looking for parts for your Mustang, you know where to come first, we have even been known to supply other Mustang suppliers when they need parts. We finish with a cute pic time where the guard dogs Jane and Lucy pricked their ear up each when they heard the words ‘more stock’.