Driving Us Nuts

This week as we had a random call with a customer who wanted some wheel nuts. Nothing odd there you might think, but this is a mine field when look into it, and to cut a potentially long blog post short, we didn’t send any out to the customer as he didn’t know what he wanted. Needless to say the comments were not flattering and we were deemed as awkward. In actual fact it was the exact opposite, let me explain. We could have sent a set of standard nuts out, charged him and thought no more of it, but we will not have it on our conscience that he had fitted the wrong ones fitted to his wheels or studs then had an accident, or damaged his wheels. Yes, you did read that right – accident. Think about this for a moment, in each corner of a car there is a wheel, that wheel is held on by 4 or 5 nuts or bolts, that’s it. If they come off then no wheel and you have an accident, or damage to the wheel which could crack it, fatigue it, uneven wear and tear all sorts of issues. In fact would you believe that most of the restorations we see imported to us, from various places around the world with after market wheels, they have the wrong nuts fitted for that wheel! Yes, everybody knows there are steel wheels, alloy wheels, mag wheels, carbon wheels, one nut does not fit all.

So here is an attempt at trying to explain basics without getting into too much technical detail, this will apply to new cars as well as Classic Mustangs.

There are 3 basic type fastener seats;

  1. Conical Seat – cone shape
  2. Spherical Seat – round or ball shape
  3. Flat Washer – commonly known as Mag Type

lug4

Different seats for different nuts or fasteners, the angles of the seat must match the wheel in order to centre it correctly.

lug2

There are several different thread sizes used today by vehicle manufacturers;

  1. 12mm X 1.25
  2. 12mm X 1.5
  3. 12mm X 1.75
  4. 14mm X 1.5
  5. 14mm X 2.0
  6. 7/16″ X 20
  7. 1/2″ X 20
  8. 9/16″ X 18

When I mentioned about accidents here is an exaggerated view of what could happen. The wheels could get damaged as a result with movement, under acceleration or braking loads the holes on the wheel may elongate causing some serious issues should we say.

lug3

Two other things to remember;

1) do not put oil or lubricant on the threads of either the stud or lugs nuts/bolts

2) re-torque the lug nuts/bolts after 25-50 miles.

Proper Thread Engagement

This is critically important. Make sure you have a minimum thread engagement of the diameter of the vehicle stud (as recommended by SAE – Society of Automotive Engineers). An example is, if the stud size of your vehicle is “½” then you will need a minimum of “½” of threads into the lug nut. If for some reason you do not have this minimum then it is recommended that you use an Extended Thread  Type nut (see illustration above).

Proper Torque (tightening)

This is also very important. Over tightening lug nuts/bolts can fatigue the vehicle studs or lug bolts. Use the SAE recommended torque listed below as a guideline for passenger cars and light trucks;
12mm, 7/16″, 1/2″ = 85 ft/lbs (+/- 5 ft/lbs)
14mm, 9/16″ = 115 ft/lbs (+/- 5 ft/lbs)

Mustang Specific Now:

We have a little table below that should help with the basics as fitted from stock.

lug

At Mustang Maniac we stock a large range of wheels, stock, after market and specialist even racing, we stock an even larger range of wheel nuts, hopefully we will have everything you need for your wheels. The various guides above only scratch the surface, an example is that some washer based nuts also have the correct way round to fit them too, then there are the offset washers to enable various fittings that could be a generic fit wheel or custom wheels or where space is tight to the centre hub. Here we have a selection of our range of our chrome nuts where we try to show the differences side by side.

nuts1

There are open-ended nuts, closed nuts, short nuts, long nuts, chrome nuts, steel nuts, alloy nuts, black nuts, left hand thread nuts, right hand thread nuts, long shank, short shank etc. ALL of which make a crucial difference to your wheels.

nuts4

nuts5

nuts7

So as you can see when we ask what sort of wheel nuts you want – it’s a sensible question not us being awkward at all, we are looking out for you. Simple reason is that we do have a conscience and won’t just sell you anything, but we can’t validate what you order from our WebShop of course. So please make sure you have the correct fasteners for your wheels.

We will plan to copy this post as an article shortly too ready for easy access. Was this any use to you out there, please let us know.

Customer Cars:

Acapulco Coupe has taken some leaps forward again this week. Yogi has finished fitting up the custom exhaust and made a good job of the step down from the headers to the pipes. The only thing to be careful of here is the lowest point of the car is the flange fittings for the exhaust now.

The rest of the exhaust has now been aligned up correctly and fastened up. We are going to wait and see how she sounds and performs if we need to add a cross flow pipe.

exhaust6

We have also used something called copper-nickel for the transmission lines and fuel lines. Although they look copper now they will tone down and look more like steel as they age nicely. We use our own custom-made and design brass fittings to the bottom of the radiator.

She even has a new set of boots we have just fitted and balanced.

Magnum1

We even got to the point where we have filled her up with fluids to check for any static leaks before we fire her up.

Classic Or Modern?

This week we had a couple of real nice guys from Ford Motor Company UK pay us a visit. They were after some parts for a little project they have on the go, all of which will be revealed next year. We obviously know what it is now, but it’s not for us to say. However, we can say that the wait will be worth it. We did find it quite surreal that Ford (Motor Company UK) are getting some parts from us for their cars here in the UK. We welcome trade enquiries as it were and I hope we will be doing some more business with them too. All the best with the project guys.

Spring Clean:

The weather has remained good at the yard and we have managed to give back some cars to their loving owners. We have decided to do a bit of spring cleaning and make some space (again) for yet more stock that we had from the “Barn Finds“. We had another of our lock up garages open and spotted a similarity by accident of a picture we had taken earlier, our modern classics are a bit dusty to say the least and boxed in, literally. There are gearboxes, boxes of parts and stuff that we couldn’t find a few days ago that we put in there a few weeks ago. We decided that it will be time get the wax out and spring clean some Shelbys up, then give them a blast down the road, just because we should. They looked pretty sorry for themselves all covered in dust, they could almost be our own barn finds in fact. The photos, there is the Old School Classic Shelbys and the New Generation Shelbys and people are a little divided on the choice. Given the choice what would have?

Cars:

We have had a very nice ’71 Mach1 come into us this week for a little TLC to sort a couple of little issues out. Not often you get to see a genuine good conditioned Mach1 and we have added plenty of photos of this one on our Customer Cars – ’71 Mach1 or click here for the hyper link.

The ’66 Coupe full restoration has had another good day on her when the owner came down to work on the clean up. We told him that as he was our “volunteer apprentice”, no electrical tools allowed. I’m sure we see his bottom lip quiver and tears well up. The reason being we wanted to see exactly what we are dealing with and sometimes mechanical tools don’t always help to be fair. Towards the end of the day when the under seal and everything else had been stripped away, we did use a few tools on some test patches to see what the metal was like under the rust. Quick link here.

We hope to have a nice update on the KR Replica next week!

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.

Back to ’67 Eleanor

Long weekend for the UK this weekend, but it has turned out to be a long week instead of the long weekend. Looking forward to a few days break hasn’t gone to plan as the stock needed updating and the cars needed a bit of a move around on Saturday. The phone was going mad, the office was busy with customers too, but they all were talking amongst themselves while I eventually got round to getting everybody sorted out. I am not sure where that morning went to be honest, it was just a blur. On the plus side, I am sure there have been some new friendships formed as a result of the busy day all due to their passion for the Classic Mustangs. That sort of makes it all seem worth while at the end of the day.

Update on a popular project;

We are now back to the Customer Project Car Eleanor. We have finished making the new fire wall so we could move it back, we welded it in place and now we have enough clearance for the engine. We then dummy mounted the engine into the bay again, still going to be tight with all the other parts on it, but it was in.

What did we try to fit into that engine bay that caused us to move the firewall? This superb Genuine factory GT500 v8 5.4 straight from the factory in the USA. The nice thing about these genuine engines is this it has been signed and makes for a great talking point.

In order to try to keep this car pointing the right way, we are fitting a modern spec Rack & Pinion steering for this car. Again a bit of a custom fit, but well worth the effort. With the amount of power this will be producing, you will need to feel exactly what the car is doing on the road.

modern rack and pinion

modern rack and pinion

The fire wall needed additional work after the engine was in place. Why? We had a slight change of plan to the gearbox that was going to be used. It’s a monster alright – T56 6 Speed. This gearbox was giving us no room to work with. Again, we have fabricated and rebuilt the tunnel to take the transmission with clearance so it can be maintained. We made the provision on top of the tunnel to take the shifter in its new location. We will need to treat and finish the welding properly net week.

inside welding

inside welding and cut out for the shifter

The T56 6 Speed should make this car a superb cruiser and also leave a trail of rubber from the lights if the gas pedal is nailed to the floor.

T56 6 Speed Transmission

T56 6 Speed Transmission

On the lighter side, while the wife was out for the day, when I had a bit of spare time, could I do a bit of cleaning in the house. What a great idea I thought!

So here was my contribution!

new wheel cleaner

Am I joking or not?

We are looking at another car to add to the other little ladies we have here, I will post some pictures if we do.

Quick link to the page for the car, click here, or go to Customer Cars – Project Eleanor.

Shelby Numbered Radiator Hose Kit

New Line for the lucky ones

We often get asked for Concours Correct parts here at Mustang Maniac. Of course we can get some and people still make the more profitable items that will sell to the bigger mass market of the Mustang owners out there. Understandably these parts can be more expensive. The smaller the market the less chance to sell in bulk and make a profit. But we have a little exception here with this product. As promised I would post a picture of the Shelby Radiator Hose set for the 1965 ’66 ’67 ’68. The more common parts that perish or split over time have been given a new lease of life. High quality hoses for an incredible car.

Fort Part Number: S1MS-8286-A

shelhose