Ford i6 vs Ford V8?

We reached a bit of milestone this week where our ‘favour’ project that had turned into ‘big bodywork’ project for us was completed. The car was taken out of the body workshop and moved her into a different workshop. Now that she is in her new location the car will be prepped for paint, and then gets to be put her back together again when she returns. We will bring you the story and the pictures in a future post once the owner and a very close friend of ours has collated all the details, history and of course the photos.

Customer Cars

Last week we showed the suspension being overhauled and the Borgeson steering being fitted. Next up was the engine which had a few issues all of which when added together can cause problems. The engine was not warming up correctly simple investigation showed no thermostat in place.

The fluids were checked and didn’t show any cross contamination, always a good sign. We replaced the thermostat and the housing in order to get the car up to the correct operating temperature. Only then can we look at the running and tuning of the engine.

Next up was to sort out the fuel lines, they were swapped out for some nice braided versions to match the theme of the engine bay.

A nice glass slim inline fuel filter fitted high enough out the way from road damage was used instead of the usual plastic replacements we so often see. This gives the first indication of the quality of the fuel flow to the carb. Stock filters are fine, but you can’t see the fuel or flow when trying to diagnose problems.

Next up was to check quality of the sparks, all basic stuff so far. We found a mixture of plugs, not an ideal combination, they were different makes and clearly of varying ages should we say. The plug gaps were different which would have an effect on the detonation of the mixtures in the cylinders. The plugs were replaced with correct heat rating and gapped for the aftermarket MSD ignition which was already installed.

Timing and carb tweaks and a little Yogi know-how sorted her out and now runs well and we are happy. Just the road test before a little final tune up.

Project Resto Mod

We have been posting some pics of Adam’s Resto Mod project built from the ground up with only a shell to start with. Ideas come and go, and many ideas are tried out on the car to see what works. The car has now been moving into the body workshop where Yogi can get his teeth into the build. The hood already fitted is one of three that Adam had made just for Mustang Maniac.

The big choice for this project is the engine, potent power from a V8 or from a six pot ‘Ford Barra’ engine. Yep – we did say an inline fuel injection ‘6 pot’. These are not the standard 200Ci from early Mustangs and the like, oh no. These engines are Australian spec and renowned for their build strength and power handling capabilities without anything being done to the block itself. So strong are these engines that you can change the valve springs, a little something else (our secret for now and bit of know how), then bolt a turbo to it. Without opening the engine up you then have a 700hp engine just from off the shelf parts that cost not a lot – from a stock Ford inline 6 pot! These ‘Barra’ engines have been known to run a standard quarter mile in the high 7 second range, and that’s super car territory! They have been dyno’ed with a proper built cams to just over 2000bhp – yes, two thousand BHP! Will it, would it be enough to tempt Yogi to drop two cylinders in the eternal quest for power?

Some mysterious badging has appeared on the project, instead of Mustang – ‘Barra’?

We will be talking about these pretty incredible engines in another post. But for now, Adam has three of these engines, all awaiting their respective projects. As far as we know, these are the first Ford ‘Barramundi’ engines to give them their full name to arrive in the country, let us know if we’re not. Very little is known about these engines in the UK, but it looks like they are not going to be our little secret anymore as we have just told the world via the internet. Yes, these engines will fit in the Classic Mustangs, we have researched and spoken to ‘various’ people about them. With a little Mustang Maniac Modding they will fit.

Those with a sharp eye for detail will notice the bumper. This is not fibreglass, it’s a genuine steel bumper, de-chromed and de-bolted, but fitted as normal to the trunk area via bolts. How? our little secret. 😉 The tops of the bumper have been filled in to give a solid piece look. [Note from the editor: lots of secrets goin’ on here].

This is going to be one amazing project, subtle but very different to anything we have done before. Exciting times. 🙂

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A Game Of Cards

We have often said that a key to our leadership in the Mustang restoration business is our exquisite attention to details. Even the details you don’t see. We have a car with us where corners have been cut, either through lack of knowledge or for a little cost saving. This can be cosmetic, hidden or mechanical. The latter being the biggest cause of concern.

Customers Cars

The owner of this vehicle wanted to have the door quarter light windows re-chromed. Nothing wrong with that what so ever. But, when you take the door cards off you expect to see a moisture barrier. This protects the door cards from getting damaged and sagging, protects the inside of the car from extremes, quietens the cabin etc.

This membrane is virtually never seen by customer, not fitting it saves a little cost, time and effort, but can have long terms effects. We will obviously install it when get to refitting of course. When people ask why we are little more expensive than “so & so” down the road? Simple, we do it properly and we know how it should be.

With the cards removed we can get to the glass, remove the main window, check the mechanisms for any damage or wear and tear. We will clean and lubricate to make sure there shouldn’t be any window issues going forward. The quarter windows are notoriously awkward to fit and remove, but we have a couple of little tricks we like to keep to ourselves for obvious reasons. With the quarters out, the glass is easily removed ready to be sent away.

When this gets put back together again new window seals fitted, and the little black window tip with the rivet and not a good old self tapping screw that we have seen before.

Suspension Issues

These older ladies require a little more maintenance than the more modern sealed for life type components. One of the most overlooked areas is the regular grease service. This is things like the suspension arms, steering linkages, prop shaft yokes etc. This car has not been serviced correctly and there is a little give away. That little giveaway is the grease nipples!

These had to be cleaned and flushed through with clean grease, not the cleanest of jobs but it has to be done.

The front springs also showed issues as well. The perches had worn, no perch pads, and the top of the springs were missing the rubber tops as well.

When the spring tops are fitted we apply a coating of copper grease. This makes sure there are no little annoying squeaks when the springs move under load. Our attention to detail.

All back together, moving correctly and greased.

We were asked to fit a modern Borgeson steering upgrade, which is a standard swap out for us. While we were at it we decided a good check out was required based on what we had seen. We found a bolt not seated correctly to add to the list.

The original steering removed.

The car was also fitted with exhaust headers. Again standard stuff and nothing new by any means. More often than not, when a car is fitted with large headers the steering ram mount has to be lowered as it sits to close to the exhaust. Bearing in mind that this long ram mount is not an expensive part and is a straight forward swap out part. So why would anybody want to fabricate a part and do this? The correct part for this modification also known as the ‘steering drop bracket’ is located here in our WebShop.

We simply don’t need to explain the dangers here. apart from the obvious packing of the bolts but there should be three bolts as well to stop the bracket moving sideways. We think the card handed out here was the Joker!

If in doubt NEVER do this sort of thing. In a worse case scenario it could fail, you loose steering and who knows what would happen in a crash, maybe your beloved car is mashed up or bent a bit. But this could also turn out to be fatal! We don’t know who did this, but this is more than just details, this is dangerous.

The good news is that the car is now at Mustang Maniac, we will sort this car out, it will be safe again and driving how it should and more with the new steering upgrade, and the suspension working correctly.

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Yogi’s On a Short Fuse

We’re back to normal now and Christmas seems like a distant memory. The project behind the scenes is still going on and taking up plenty of Yogi’s time, but it’s progressing well all be it slowly. The amount of panel beating needed has put the skills of Yogi to the test. Not that it phases him, he just grabs some metal and bends it a bit, cuts a bit, shapes a bit and all looks a real mess until the metallic mosaic just falls into place on the car, in fact a we would go so far as to say that it’s a work of art from our very own Mustang Monet. 🙂

Customers Cars

We have a ’67 in for the interior to be put back together, any problems the part gets replaced. So far so good.

A few little wiring niggles we’re not surprised about and then the interior gets screwed back together. It’s amazing just how much a car will change with the dash gauges going back into place.

The seats are now out and with our upholsterers to be re-trimmed in black. These seats shouldn’t take to long, but the seats are not the standard style, but work well.

66 Wiring Issues

Speaking of wiring we had an unusual request to get the read dome lights working on a ’66. First things first we grabbed a new bulb just to see if that was the issue. Of course it wasn’t but its worth a go. We checked the voltage feed – nothing. So Yogi worked his way forward to check the A pillar switches. Pulling out the switch unravelled the start of a problem that needed to be sorted out. Something got a little hot should we say.

Yogi pulled out the rear domes and they were corroded and not looking good. so a new pair of the shelf to be fitted.

Yogi tested the wires back looking for a safe place to splice into replacing the damaged wires, easier said than done as it soon showed a potential cause of the problem. The fuse box was corroded too. These fragile fuse boxes share multiple connections for wiring based on the same amps as there are only five fuses in total. We suspect that the fuse blew as the interior dome lighting circuit to get hot and start melting. A potential fire risk to the car. Yogi was not happy with it and decided the best thing was to rebuild the fuse box and keep this little lady stock looking.

Some random wires were cut into the loom, left exposed and things not looking as they should shall we say. The fuse holders were rusted with some new fuses replaced which always gets the alarm bells ringing. Yogi disconnected the wires from the fuse box, the correct wiring diagram was consulted and the new holders sourced from a our secret supplies. With a fair bit of soldering skill and a lot of patience and the fuse box was up and running again looking as good as new.

With the fuse box now sorted a short interior loom for the rear dome lights was routed through with the interior partially taken apart ready for the domes to be fitted.

The bulbs now work as a test fitting via the replaced loom. We just need to tidy up and put the little lady back together again. Funny what a blown bulb or fuse can expose when you dig into the root of the problem.

WebShop

We spotted Adam in the forklift with a grin on his face driving his forklift to the storage areas at the back of the yard. We can’t say what is in it, all should be revealed soon enough once we get the OK to let you guys know.

All oil has been removed from items in crate! Very cryptic. 😉

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First Post Of The New Year

Happy New Year although we’re almost half way through the first month of a new decade. We had a relaxing time enjoyed the alcohol we were supplied and ate to much as we all do. What we wasn’t expecting was to have a couple of emails from customers asking us about stock levels. A couple of points to note here; 1) the WebShop clearly states that the item is in stock or not. 2) It’s Christmas day they should be enjoying time with their families. To make things worse, yes we looked at the email and yes we did respond! How’s that for customer service?

Since our return we have not been sitting idle, Yogi has been working on a project which are not blogging the details about. Not that we are hiding anything, it’s just that it’s not our normal remit of projects and we are doing this as a special for a very close friend of ours and exceptional customer too. If we show the project we will no doubt be getting requests to do similar work on other cars. Which we won’t be doing of course.

Our bread and butter is Mustangs of course, but in some cases it can be Beluga Caviar if you have the money, like $3.4m to be exact. We are talking of course about the ’68 Mustang hero car of the film Bullitt, which Steve McQueen drove. The car was owned by Sean Kiernan who’s father Robert bought the car in 1974 for a grand total of $3,500! He saw the car advertised in the magazine ‘Road & Track’ and has been in the family for 45 years, and was even used as a daily driver up to 1980 when the clutch gave out. The auction for this iconic car was held at Mecum Kissimmee, Orlando Florida on 10th January 2020 and reached an astonishing $3m within the first minute. Total time for the sale was eleven minutes with the highest bid going to an unknown bidder via telephone. We borrow these pics from the Mecum auction house.

Customers Cars

We have been asked about the “Onion Mustang” over the Christmas holidays so we thought we would give a nice update and things have suddenly moved up a gear. This is going to be stunning car when it’s completed. The levels of detail applied we have seen before with a few of our very own OCD driven customers, and this car is way up there too already.

Work has been slow and used as a filler work, but at a steady pace (as it’s not a priority at the moment from the customer), since the last instalment on the onion a good few months ago. Much of the work such as wiring you can’t really see anyway.

The interior of the car was thoroughly covered in sound deadening material then it was rewired using our standard off the shelf solution of the American Autowire kit.

Not only has the car got a new modern wire loom now, but the car also benefits from two auxiliary fuse boxes, both located behind the passenger dash for a special purpose. This car has a little secret, well two actually, which are not quite so secret anymore. She has been fitted with throttle body fuel injection (EFI) as well as an electronic overdrive transmission. The auxiliary fuse boxes handle their delicate electronics. All subtly hidden away behind the plain stock C-code dashboard, well except for subtle little tell tale display which shows a digital representation of gearbox’s status. The over drive can be activated or deactivated by a hidden switch.

The motor has now had all its ancillaries fitted including a later model serpentine system and a third generation higher output alternator, to cope with the additional load of the electronics now being used. The plumbing has also now been completed with a little help from a nice shiny aluminium radiator.

A new driveshaft was also a ‘one off, bespoke hand crafted’ item made to carry the power from the later model trans to a rebuilt 8.8″ axle with a 3.55 Trac-Lok differential, and some nice option rear disc brakes too. All of which are sitting below a 69′ twenty two gallon fuel tank with our new stock of an in-tank fuel pump, all plumbed in place with some custom Yogi hard line pipework up to the business end.

After the wiring and running gear was attended to, the exterior trim started to get some special attention, but no ordinary trim. The customer had taken the shiny parts away and made a few changes. All the polished stainless steel and polished aluminium trim pieces were first chrome plated for a deeper and more robust lustre, not to mention less polishing as the owner is a self confessed ‘lazy b******d’ when it comes to his cleaning. His very own words we must add, not ours. 🙂

The rear light panel was also embellished with a rather special ‘Dealer’ plaque as the “Onion” was a genuine ‘Tasca” Ford car. “Tasca” are a huge Ford dealership in East Providence, Rhode Island who played a pivotal role in Fords “Total Performance” programme of the 1960’s. They were considered to be the home of the legendary ‘Thunderbolts’ and ‘Cobra Jets’ of that era.

The owner’s original brief for the car was “try and make it as subtle and classy as possible, but to keep it recognisable as a no frills 67 C-Code convertible”. A challenge we couldn’t possibly ignore. So that means, no deluxe dash, standard seats, no GT spot lamps or even the ‘S’ code tachometer. There won’t even be a centre console fitted either as this particular car was originally ordered new with a rare bench seat option. The bench seat will be fitted back to the car after re-trimming and the carpet has had a chance to settle down from the packaging and has now been laid out permanently.

The next step was to get the 2.5″ inch stainless steel exhaust system fitted so that the motor can be started and the modern day EFI and transmission can be configured using something called a ‘laptop’, not using proper tools like a screwdriver and a pair of ears, old school style.

The owner has a self confessed ‘disease‘ as he puts it, before the exhaust could be fitted he took the parts away and done this with it! All from somebody who don’t like cleaning!

And then this to the hanging kit and some clips;

But before the exhaust could be fitted, a small modification had to be made to the reinforcement plate under the car to provide enough clearance for the slightly larger ‘one off, bespoke hand crafted’ exhaust system.

Wheels and tyres haven’t been decided on just yet, (although he has his eye on another customers wheels), but there is plenty of time for all that later. Next up the car requires the roof frame to be reconditioned and a new mohair roof made for it and then fitted, all of which will take some time.

Only Mustang Maniac can turn a green “Onion” into a “Black Pearl”. Like we have said many times before, although most of the car was peeled away, leaving not a lot to be honest, what we are now looking at is an exceptional car.

If this car doesn’t win trophies, we don’t know what will!

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2020

From all of us at Mustang Maniac we would like to wish all our customers and visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A huge “Thank You” to everyone who has dropped in gifts for us, cards and the obligatory alcohol. To those that wished us a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year already – you beat us to it! 🙂

A little note from us to all those triggered snowflakes out there that may get offended by the word “Christmas” and would like the word “Holidays” instead – we say tough! Of course celebrate what you want we have no problem with that what so ever and hope you have a great time. Over the last year the political correctness brigade have gone mad to be quite honest. But, rest assured that Adam and all of us here at Mustang Maniac will be just the same as we have always been, down to earth and totally focused on keeping these beautiful Mustangs on the road, as well as adding a few more as well. To all of the unsung members of the Mustang Maniac ‘inner sanctum’ who have helped us out, contributed or provided services, they don’t always get a mention but we appreciate it; Gary, Lance, Paul, Chris, Mark, the wizard, Roy, Barry, George.

We normally post a picture of a Mustangs with a Christmas Theme, but we didn’t find many new good ones to ‘borrow’ from the web that we liked, so we decided a little collage of a few of our favourite Christmas Tree ornaments instead would suffice.

(Note To Adam: Get some Mustang ornaments in stock!)

We look forward to seeing you all again in the new year.

Remember – don’t drink and drive, that’s a mug’s game!

🎄🎄🍻 Cheers Everybody. 🥂🎄🎄

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Seasonal Spirit

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The Sound proofing and the carpeting have gone in. Complaint: (Really?) A customer order from us a set of spark plugs from our Webshop with the link here. The ‘new’ customer ordered the Autolite 45’s and we shipped no problem. … Continue reading

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What Happened?

Last week there was no posted blog. We had an email and a couple of comments at the offices to ask what happened to the blog. The answer is quite simple, but not so quick to fix. The blogging PC decided it wasn’t going to play ball and threw a frothy fit and dropped dead. Earlier in the year it was tagged by a nearby lighting strike and it had been a little flaky and temperamental ever since. The usual tell tale signs such as; random blue screens of death, random shut down, not starting, posts not being saved and the edited pictures disappearing now and again too. We went to turn it on as normal Sunday and nothing. No bleeps, no sounds, no nothing, we were not happy as you can imagine. We removed components from the motherboard part by part until something happened. Standard practice to find a faulty part that could stop a PC from booting. Nothing happened until all the parts apart from the CPU were removed. Then we managed to get some sort of post bleep sounds from the speaker. A load of bleeps long and short signals the inevitable sounds of doom. We managed to set the board to defaults and restart to see what we got. A little life this time, plugging the parts back in to see if we got anything. As soon as the drives were plugged in the PC failed. Interrogation of the motherboard showed nothing was being detected on the drives connections. The CPU was showing some random default and certainly not what it should be. Three hours later we gave up, it was dead. Finally after eight months clutching onto twelve volts of life, the LEDs went out for good.

We ordered a load of replacement parts, as the motherboard had died you can pretty much guarantee what was plugged into it directly would have been effected too. Memory, processor, graphics card etc. Just before Christmas the expense of a new PC was not what we needed, not just the cost but the inconvenience as well. Well and truly into four figures for our bespoke system, the parts arrived midweek. It took a complete day to physically build the PC into the case and configure all the parts. The next two days setting up the operating system and reinstalling the programs we use. But due to best practice we didn’t loose the blog as that was all backed up, just a few of the latest photo’s not backed up had gone.

So in short – the PC died and we needed to build a new one and get it running again. So we hope you can forgive us for no posts. Sorry.

WebShop

We have had some bespoke back up lamp LED bulbs made for us which we are quite pleased about. A day or so before the PC died we uploaded a little video to our YouTube channel click here for the link of it working.

These are super bright and you can actually see where you going.

The link directly to our WebShop for the bulbs click here. Our first batch has almost sold out and we are awaiting for more to arrive.

We are looking to add more to YouTube of our parts working and maybe a few little demos too. Of course we will place the links here for you too.

This is a short post as the photo’s we had of the Yogi working on his cars have gone. we will need to get a few more and bring you back up to date on the next post.

Christmas Time.

It’s that time of year when the petrol head in your life can’t wait to open lots of lovely car parts on Christmas Day. But of course if you don’t know what to buy – the next best thing would be our Gift Vouchers. We can supply them up to any amount in £20 and £10 denominations.

Click here for the link for the vouchers.

Hopefully our next post will be back up to the normal standards.

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