All Change

This week we have had the start of the car show season vehicles in. The general once over and service that is unique to Mustang Maniac. In fact it has been mentioned that we look after each Mustang that comes into us as if it’s our very own first born!

Customer Cars

The ’67 Coupe is having the rest of the front end suspension swap out which requires a lot of new parts. Some of those parts were in our heavy parts storage unit. To save carrying them about we have our very own cross yard transportation method. As we are environmentally friendly where we can be, we found this shopping cart in the middle of nowhere, by the side of the road. We picked it up, repaired it and cleaned it up. What it was doing there we couldn’t begin to guess why to be honest. We could return it, but we don’t know who owned it. We would obviously have to charge for our time, recovery, storage and effort to fix the cart if it was to be claimed after all these years that we have had it! The parts were then transported into Yogi’s cave ready for the work to be done.

The old parts were taken off and carefully inspected to see if they could be reused. More on that a little later.

The springs and shocks were replaced, new upper and lower control arms along with new perches which were fitted the correct way round.

The steering was our ever popular Borgeson swap out and is a very much worth while upgrade for these old ladies. The old power steering and brakes before the swap outs.

The mater brake cylinder was removed which allows easier access to fit the new steering box.

The steering centre link, idler arms, Pitman arm, the tie rod ends were all swapped out for new parts.

The sway bar was replaced with our 1″ upgrade while we were at it for body roll control.

The brakes were going to be upgraded to our own slotted and vented disc set up. We mentioned earlier that Yogi checked over the spindles, they surprisingly had little wear so he refurbished them to look as good as new.

The bearings were greased and prepped ready for installation.

The new brakes now fitted and in place.

Back up to the top end of the engine bay, the new master cylinder and servo were fitted along with the new power steering pump.

Of course the new master cylinder was bench bled before fitting and then the time consuming task of the full system bleed. Next task would be into the Geo room where we set up the steering and suspension before the road test. After the road test we would recheck the Geo to settle down and then re-bleed the brakes just to be sure.

When the owner gets to drive this car they will think that it’s not even their car, such are the differences.

Before anybody emails us to ask for the geometry set ups – we won’t tell you. We have trialled and errored the setups for the optimum stability and control over the years and we have done the hard work to find that Mustang sweet spot.

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Seal Of Approval

Our normal workload you can pretty much guarantee we will end up fixing somebody else’s problems. This week we have a little selection of the basics being fitting incorrectly or not even fitted at all.

Customer Cars

We were asked to do a few jobs on on this Fastback, one of which is to fit the trunk rubber in the correct place. In other words on the deck lid and not on the channels of the rear quarters. This would trap water and cause rust issues as well. Not only that it’s a quick way of doing it. AS to do it properly the truck lid has to be removed and stuck on correctly, then the alignment has to be done. The other thing is that it looks a little messy as well if it’s not stuck on with perfectly straight lines.

The next job was to sort out the window regulators, which usually involves the rollers and replacing the grease or the mechanism depending how badly they are worn.

First thing is the membranes was missing which causes all sorts of damp issues. We removed the entire mechanism in order to see what the problem was. The usual springs had lost tension, pretty worn and the mechanism had a lot of play. So we couldn’t save these ones and new ones were fitted. We also checked the door mechanisms while we were at it too.

The fitting of the water shield is often left of as it can me a little messy with the gasket seal for it. All back together again on this side then we check the other side as well. As there is significantly less where on the passenger side we suspect this wont be as bad. We won’t know until we dig it all out again.

Starting Issues

Another car that had some pretty random starting issues was left with us for a few ours. Starting from the starter motor is a good place as any to find the problems, we didn’t need to look much further. The wrong starter motor was fitted, and in order to make it fit some spacer was used.

Surely the time and effort it takes to fabricate something like this would have cost more in time and effort than to just fit the correct part. Needless to say the correct starter was fitted and the customer drove away happy a few hours later.

Suspension Issues

A ’67 coupe with us has needed a bit of an overhaul all round. This suspension would need to be stripped down and fitted back together again properly. The big problem was that the spring perches were on the wrong way round.

We haven’t finished the tear down yet but from the looks of it the bushes in the perches are shoot so a new pair is on the cards at least. We will need to get the springs out to see if there is any damage as well.

The brakes are needing a once over as well. With such fundamental errors on the suspension there is no way we will leave the brakes unchecked.

Once we have that little lot sorted out we will need to check the steering as well then of to the Geo workshop for alignment.

Keeping It Stock

Some customers want to keep as much of their car original as they can. One of those requests came with a leaking power steering pump can. More often than not it’s far easier to swap out. Yogi likes a little challenge and started to do a little fine brazing on the original can. The leak was small but enough to make a mess under pressure.

The working innards were removed from the can to see if it could be saved. Which of course Yogi managed to do. Obviously time consuming but the original was saved.

A rub down to remove the old paint, undercoat and top coats it will look as good as new again. A nicely restored power steering pump can.

As you can see, the basics are essential, if they are not correct, then we get very suspicious of the rest of the car. Cutting corners, lack of knowledge, laziness we don’t know the history of course. But what we do know is that if the car comes to us, it will here how it should be, often better than the factory builds!

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Under The Weather

This week has seen a second storm to hit the UK and the country starts to grind to a halt, again. To make things worse both Adam and Yogi have had a virus – no, not the Corona Virus before anybody says anything. It’s much worse – Man Flu. This is a deadly form of a cold that only men get and can only be understood by men. It’s a much more potent form than anything a woman can get it should be noted. This type of virus can only be cured by favourite meals, copious cups of tea during the day, watching car racing on the TV with their feet up when they get home, beer for medicinal purposes, as well as being waited on for their every whim by their respective wives. To ensure a speedy recovery, it has been noted that buying them loads of car parts will speed up the recovery process. Seriously though both of them have had a rough time, but still manage to ‘power through’ the week. As latest storm causes chaos to the country, Mustang Maniac carries on business as usual.

Get well soon guys!

Customer Cars

We have had ‘The Onion’ in this week for a bit of special attention. The polished exhaust was to be test fitted, ready for the final fitting later on.

This is another bespoke, one off and hand crafted pipe fitting. Made extra tricky due to the fact this is a convertible model. Yogi cut, bent, welded, a little swaging and fitted the whole thing together. It always take a little longer to get the parts to fit perfectly on a hand made system, and make it look good enough to be in keeping with the overall presentation of the car.

The all important finish for the exhausts was the tips. these can be twin ports, wheel barrow handles, sides or what ever you want. This little lady was having just the turn downs showing. Nothing to shout here I am, as you will hear it anyway.

While the car was up on the ramps the back up lamps were to have our bespoke LED kit fitted. hidden behind stock parts these make a serious upgrade to see where you are going.

The only down side is that the exhaust will have to come back off again soon when the EFI sensors need to be fitted. As we have just banded it together for now this won’t take long and refit will only take a quarter of the time. We suspect just enough time for the owner to get very OCD about it an polish the fabricated parts. 😀

We will bring you more when the EFI gets fully fitted and the tuning takes place for the carb, engine and the management system.

Project Resto Mod

Yogi has been fitting the front bumper to the car, de-chromed, de-bolted it and attached to the front end. There has been many applications of filler to smooth out the imperfections in prep for the paint stage.

To make the ‘Eleanor’ style mouldings fit with no overhang or gaps, the moulds were rubbed down, filled, rubbed down again ready for the fine filler.

The guys are quite pleased with the results so far, and have already talked about a couple more ‘bits & pieces’ they want to do, which hasn’t been seen on Mustang yet. The bear loves a good Resto-Mod.

WebShop

We would like to say thanks for the interest shown in the ‘Barra’ engines a few weeks ago. Yes we have three now in stock with more on the way! We have had an email trying to buy one from us as well, sorry, they are not for sale, well not just yet anyway.

There has been a little rush of cashing in of our ever popular gift vouchers this month. We were more than happy to see some new faces in the shop to pick up their parts. We even showed a few around our yard and workshop while we were at it. The vouchers bought for Christmas last year are still valid until the end of the year, so there is no rush to cash them in, unless you want to of course. 🙂

There was such a run on the vouchers in November we had to get more printed quickly and was turned around in a day by our friends at Linards.

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That Slippery Slope

This week we unpacked a new pallet of stock which arrived with some new items that we hadn’t previously had on the shelf. One of the reasons being that Scott Drake didn’t make them or no longer making them. Our new suppliers ACP have come up trumps for us to replenish and expand the range of stock, not just for the First Generation Mustangs but also the Second Generation too. Adam was very pleased with the products’s quality and the packaging. Some even came in double box packaging, which should stop the moaning about the damaged packaging. Just saying!

Customer Cars

A car we have with us has had the front valance swapped over as it had some previous damage, through no fault of the owner.

A wheel alignment was need before we took her on a road test before we were happy.

Another vehicle needed to have the current shift selector removed and replaced with a stock one. Yep, you read that right a new stock gear shift. The current aftermarket part worked fine, but wasn’t to the owners liking.

Time to get serious now; during the removal of the shift we followed the electrics back to make sure all was OK. Then we found this;

The Neutral Safety switch has been bypassed. Often seen as a temporary measure when the switch to the gearbox becomes misaligned or (rarely) fails. The example above is not a temporary measure, its soldered. Not only that – it was exposed wires too. We can’t begin to explain how dangerous this is. You could start the car in any gear in effect. So if the car fires up, the car lurches and moves, potentially causing damage or injury to somebody standing near by. That’s without the mention of a fire risk. DON’T DO IT!

’66 Coupe Engine Swap Out

A slippery slope this one, once you start this game, it gets expensive with that quest for power. There are so many things that can be done to these early Mustangs. Carburettors, fuel pumps, filters, manifolds, ignition, exhausts etc. They, all give better performance of course, however, you get used to the power and soon you forget what you had, your current performance doesn’t scare you anymore, then you want more. That thirst for power gets you along with the thirst of the engine for fuel. Eventually there is nothing else you can do except take the beating heart out of the car and replace it with something on steroids. That’s what has happened here. Out goes the trusty ol’ 289Ci for something else.

In comes the next stage, one of our of the shelf ‘stock’ 347 Stroker engines.

This particular spec engine has an Edelbrock 289 intake manifold bolted to a rather nice and thirsty 750 Holley carb. We have KB hyper pistons, high lift cam from Summit Racing, Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, along with the usual electronic ignition taken from the old engine. The engine was fitted, wired and plumbed in, Yogi and Paul making light work of the task.

With everything in place we took a couple of videos. The first one here was the very first turn key of the new engine. Watching the video you will notice the timing is way out on first attempt with some blow back. Yogi then moves the distributor to where he thinks it should be with his left hand, without any equipment to tell him where. The engine then fires and runs. That is experience and skill. Towards the end of the video Yogi moves the timing a little more and starts to settle the carb into a state where it runs under it’s own initial settings. Next up Paul takes the car for a blast, sorry, road test. Yogi’s ear for tuning didn’t need any further adjustments apart from a little idle correction to pedal position.

After the road test and final mixture adjustments the car sounds like this on idle.

To many petrol heads out there, that’s the sound of heaven.

Other News

Adam has been bringing up his new grand daughters the right way. He has got hold of some cute tee-shirts for them. He even took a couple of photo’s to show you. The first photo’s of Maeve and Macy.

We happen to think that Adam’s taste in baby clothing is pretty awesome and should start his own Mustang Maniac clothing Range. Would there be a market for it? Let us know. 😉

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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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