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.

Knock Knock…

We start this week with a Park & Pic of a unique car a genuine Shelby GT350R, a race car owned by our friend and customer Larry Tucker. This is not your usual add a few stickers effort like so many do and think that it adds 100bhp or something. This is a fully stripped out Shelby FIA inspected race car and goes just like it looks!

We wish every success to Larry with his little trips around the track, just bring her back in one piece with a few added bits of silverware maybe. 😀

Epic Engine Fail

It can be said that the Ford V8s are a tough cookies and they are pretty bullet proof as long as they are maintained well. On a rare occasion we get an engine in that has a major problem. A customer had bought his car into us saying that there was a “knocking” noise from the engine. The 302ci engine was running, well sort of, but it didn’t sound too good that’s for sure. Yogi was eager to get on with the diagnosis and he was pretty sure what it was, but to what degree? His first job was to have look at the oil which was a messy mixture that resembled gravy more than oil; a bad sign. The “oil” was drained and a total of three gallons of gravy came out. Slightly more than the normal oil quota and was left to dry out. The engine was taken out the car and put onto one of our stands for a close up look. It was decided to video the removal of the oil sump pan as there was a rattle and a tinkling of falling metal when the engine was turned upside down; now a very bad sign.

You can see a smashed piston and connecting rod fall out in the video. Something as catastrophic as this would entail much more damage than a new piston. Inspection showed that the block had a hole punched through it and was now a nothin’ more than scrap. The picture here show the hole in the block:

Damage to a spark plug where a piston has slammed into it.

Some of the shrapnel that was pulled from the depths of the engine.

There was nothing that can be done except for Yogi reading the belated mechanics “last rites” before it goes to the great scrap yard in the sky.

R.I.P 302ci.

Customer Cars:

The black convertible is now back together again and ready for her last road test before we hand her back. She looks a real head turner again and now leak free from the replacement cowl.

The new carpet was laid and our ever popular LED dash bulb upgrades fitted.

Cast your vote time:

Our friend Spence (the other half of the Bully Brothers with Yogi), bought his car “The Grinch” in for a little once over and a treat for his lady. The trouble is we were undecided on look and Adam is asking our readers what they think; Black or Alloy rims?

Please vote it will make Adam happy and it only takes two clicks. 🙂

A Two Week Reminder

In two weeks time is our local Mustang Maniac car show at Enfield, which is always popular. Come and visit us and see some of best Mustangs in the country on our very own stand.

Objects In The Rear View Mirror…

We have been busy the last couple of weeks with lots of cars ready to be picked up, once they were taken back to their rightful homes we could get a couple back in. So it was all about logistics this week. The gold convertible needed some brake work so Adam & Yogi teamed up on a car in the Yogi Cave. So in case you wonder why the phone doesn’t get answered sometimes – it’s because he is working on the cars which is his passion, not the call centre scenario answering questions and giving advice to people who are not customers. Adam is thinking about the hotline number again where you can pay a premium rate number for advice, it’s been one of those type of weeks. Anyway I digress, the guys like to work old school on the brakes and that means bleeding properly with a jar. They do have the vacuum pump gadgets and all that modern stuff for a single person use in the back of a cupboard somewhere, but they don’t like them. So Adam got in the car and Yogi raised it up so he could get underneath and do the necessary with the new rear wheel cylinders and an all round check up. Adam kindly “volunteered” to do the “pedal bit” inside. Expertise and experience of how the brakes feel is important factor for a cars drive-ability. During a lull in proceedings with his foot down, Adam looked in the rear view mirror out the workshop to see this;

The ground the view is just as impressive.

Customer Cars

A lovely ’65 has come in for a few little bits to be done including a replacement aerial and some new fender emblems. The old school aerial was replaced with a modern billet piece. The emblems are often overlooked, but they can make a huge difference to the look of a car when parked up. This little lady now lets everybody know she is a proud 302 as well.

Black Convertible

The car has now returned from the paint shop after having the cowl section completely replaced. We are now in the process of putting all the bits back under the dash and the wiper components.

The final gaps have now been set and the car looks like she means business again.

Stock

Adam has acquired a set of retro “Slot Mags” which he is quite pleased with. These are branded “American Racing” and were all the rage back in the day on may a hot rod. To be fair they still look good and are the popular choice on many cars to this day.

When Adam had a closer look he was surprised to see where they were made.

Did you know that they were made in England?

The WebShop has a new edition of some light bedtime reading covering a diverse range of years and couple of model cars in one book.

An ideal Fathers Day gift which is on Sunday the 17th June this year. 😉

Turning Up The Wick

This week we get straight back to the popular John Wick build and as the old saying goes, we “turned up the wick” and moved her on leaps and bounds. We have pretty much finished the outside now with the front lights being fitted, badges and the rear spoiler added.

wick110

The engine is now being built up with the air filter now decided and fitted which really suits the car, the sparkling new radiator and grill plate complete the look retro look. The steering has been upgraded to the brilliant Borgeson power system which makes a huge difference to the directional control.

wick118

The interior has had the custom made rear shelf and rear seat fitted. To complete the movie car look we have the wooden steering wheel for that quality feel.

The front interior takes more work obviously to fit in the upper dash to complete the wiring installation. The front seat will be one of the last things to go in so we have room to work. All of a sudden the John Wick car is coming together very quickly.

Customer Cars

We had a poorly sounding car arrive for our attention on a ’68. The old engine had no compression which could be for a number of reasons. We have said many times before, the cost of a rebuild is more than a straight forward crate replacement. This was the case on this little lady where a new 302 was prepped on the stand before being installed into the car.

new3024

Our Cars:

Yogi has decided that it’s time his super fast Mach1 got some of that attention our customer cars get. He has decided to de-trim the car and take some of the insides out. We are not sure what he is up to yet, but we are looking forward to seeing what he does with her. Yogi has turned down a very kind, but cheap offer from Lob Monster to buy his engine as “its second hand now!” As this is a family blog we couldn’t possibly repeat the response, it did resemble something that Chewbaccha would have growled.

Other News:

There is the annual trip to the USA for the SEMA show 2016 which we are all seriously looking forward too. There will be quite a few of us going this year and it could be that Mustang Maniac will shut for a week or so. The blog may well have to wait for any updates until we get back, depending on how it goes while we are all there. More updates nearer the time; Flights – check, Accommodation – check, passports & ESTA – check, minimal clothes and lots of empty space in the suit case to bring back stuff – check!

SEMA logo

Short Weeks

Easter week for us has turned out to be very busy and we are trying to squeeze in 5 days work into four for the next couple of weeks. That is often easier said than done unfortunately. We have had nearly all the parts delivered for some of the cars. We have had new stock in as well as an unusual newer generation Mustang for some minor work to be done on her. We have decided that we are going to recommend that when we do an engine rebuild or restoration we would like to have aluminium sprayed exhaust headers used. This will protect the exhaust, they don’t discolour and look amazing even after a year. For the relatively small cost and the big difference it makes, we think it’s worth while. We have added them to the 302 – 350bhp we will be fitting into our convertible project car.

We detailed this engine and fitted the aluminium coated headers, and after a year they look as good as new. Of course we can fit the polished stainless version, but they will go blue and require a lot of cleaning to keep them looking in top class condition.

Cars:

We have had the seats arrive from the upholsterer and the full leather seats look perfect in the car and the smell on new leather in a classic car is really an amazing smell. The seats are black but the flash on the camera has lightened them up a little. We have also sent the centre console away now to match the seats as we wanted it to all match. Although what was there was fine, but we wanted that little extra special touch. The scuff strips will be fitted once the inside seating and console are finished. That’s it. she’s as good as done.

Stock:

We have had some great looking parts in this week. For those who want to detail their engine then we have some nice air-filters for you.

We have had some nice fill chrome rocker covers come in as well, we have a variation of these in black and chrome which also looks fantastic on the car.

 

all chrome

all chrome

Lights:

It seems as though we have a theme over the last few months of custom lighting again. We produce out own custom-made LED light kits, but this time we had a request for mirror lights. Now these are nothing new and you can buy them off the shelf, but not ours. We have had these made specially for us in Amber lighting instead of the standard red. They make a difference to say the least. We understand that some people will like them and some won’t. We have them so give us a call for more details. We will putting up a YouTube clip of the lights working and a sequential bonnet set too.

 

As it’s Easter we will have observation test – it’s not hard honestly.  Last week we mentioned we were going to do a little spring cleaning and we have stuck to that. So we decided to see if you can spot the difference on these two pictures.

Yep, we pulled out the white Shelby GT350 for a blast. She responded well to a little road test where the acceleration, gearbox and temperatures were all checked. A little fact for you, did you know that the gearbox on this car does not go into fourth until 110mph under heavy acceleration! Not that you can try that on our roads of course, but on tracks etc. it’s an awesome ride. We even took a customer out for a spin in her to as he showed some interest. He needed a little sit down and some fresh air when we got back. It was a brisk road test to say the least.

Time for an Australian Convertible

1968 302ci Convertible Right Hand Drive Australian Import.

This is a very unique car we have looked after for a while now. Recently we custom fitted an interior, now that work has been completed we can show the before and after.

The owner of this car uses it for Time Trials. Not the thrashing it around type stuff, but very regulated destinations in certain times etc.

The right hand drive conversion was completed in Australia from where it was imported from. The conversion is pretty good to be fair but there are a few little things we would have done slightly differently. This is a nice example of a 302ci that runs smooth and is not all about the noise and show. The owner just loves to drive and cruise around in it which is how it should be; used and enjoyed.

When we first got to grips with her there was a requirement to make a very bespoke radio console which includes ducting for heating and fresh air into the car. There was a requirement for the turn indicator to have a unique main beam flash function incorporated into the turn stalk, a bit of job to keep it looking stock, but it works very well and we were pleased with that modification. The Time Trial equipment required special mounting and we also added a battery voltmeter to the dash itself, so it was all change for the standard dash look.

Notice the colour of the seats here.

We also fitted a nice rack and pinion steering setup to the car as he wanted a more responsive feel for his driving.

The latest requirement was to make some bespoke trim and seating for him. We relished this task and this was the end result. A superb looking car and the interior says a lot about the owner who intends to keep driving this car.

This a real head turner for all the right reasons, a true classic with a modern spin to it that doesn’t look out-of-place.

Goodbye ’67

’67 goes to her final resting place

We have got more vehicles in than we expected to have in over the last few days, so we decided to bite the bullet and get rid of a car that we had plans for. The plans were so long ago that nobody remembers what the plans were, and in the mean time the car has sort of rusted in half. We will now take of the good parts like the axle, dash area (still in remarkably good condition), steering, the engine block, glass, and the original trim work. These old parts are kept and reconditioned for customers who want the originals parts and numbers, not the modern equivalents. This poor old car’s bodywork has rusted away quite happily over the last two years or so and it won’t take much to cut up. We hate to do this to any of our cars though. We call situations like this a part donation. This will keep another car going in the future so her parts will live on. The rest of the car will be cut up into smaller manageable pieces and put into the scrap skip. Goodbye ’67.

During the process of the sort out on a hot day we had lunch, Terry was unable to eat in peace as some of the dogs realised it was food time! Who was in needed the food most we are still trying to work out !! Sorry Terry we just had to share this!

lunch1

We have added a new video to our YouTube channel of a customer’s car engine rebuild. The engine has had white aluminium coated long headers, aluminium heads, bearing valve lifters, a full strip down and rebuild of the pistons, crank, fuel pump etc. The photos are located under the Customers Cars – 302 bored to 308. The video is worth a watch to see it fired up for the first time.

electrics almost wired and starter fitted

electrics almost wired and starter fitted

Quick links:

The Customer ‘s 302 bored to 308 test run photos – click here

YouTube link for the video – click here