Going Loco In Acapulco

For once we can say that the weather has bought out the cars and its great to see them on the road. It makes a change from us saying a couple of months back drive carefully in snow and ice. Speaking of driving carefully brings us onto our Park & Pic this week;

Park & Pic

Our friend and loyal customer Mart D. has finally got his car out the garage to get it M.O.T’ed with us. We know that the car’s MOT had run out in early December last year and has been SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). In the mean time his car has been wrapped in cotton wool in the heated and dehumidified garage of his. Mart and his OCD issues wouldn’t allow him to bring it out in the rain just in case it shrunk apparently! Still it’s nice to see his ’66 Coupe in Acapulco blue in the sun, it’s just we are not on holiday in the real Acapulco, Mexico. We have done an extensive guide of the full restoration of his car from being a real mess of a shell, to being at the NEC Classic Car Show some four years later when it was finished. Click here for the link to see all the work. It’s a very large page so give ita few moments to load.

The car had a time slot with our MOT guys, trouble was that Mart would be driving it there. Let’s just say that he is worse than useless with directions, he has even got lost with a Sat-Nav (honestly). All of this is being said with Marts knowledge and he will be the first to admit it as well. 😀 Anyway we gave him the Sat-Nav details, we gave him verbal description on how to get there from both Adam and Morgan. With that he set off at about quarter to eleven for the fifteen minute journey. Just as he was leaving Yogi sent him a message to remind him that the MOT centre shuts at three pm on a saturday, therefore he would need to get a move on. 😀  Anyway twenty-five minutes later we got the text to say he had found it and was feeling very proud of himself! Apparently he had driven carefully watching “The other nutters on the road who were intent on trying to mash my motor up.” Again, those we only printable words we could use on a family blog.

A little while later the car had passed with flying colours and he was on the way back to us. There was a tiniest leak from the water thermostat housing that needed a little tighten up. Mart got stressed about it as he had to clean that part of the engine (again). This is fairly common as the chrome housings can go slightly out of shape causing a tiny drip now and again, which only needs a little tighten up to reseal again.

Customer Cars

The Gold Convertible has been for the initial road test and things didn’t go to plan. Yogi took her round the usual route, country lanes for handling, dual carriageway for a cruising test and round abouts and junctions for brakes.

The car was tuned to default and the road tes started. Once the car got onto the main dual carriageway there was the dreaded drone and an increasing wobble on the steering. Front wheel bearing had decided to implode. Yogi being on the ball pulled over immediately and stopped and noticed the smoke from the hub of the wheel. As LAR headquarters were only a couple of miles away now a recovery was required to prevent more damage. The car was put straight back into the Yogi cave where the strip down started to get the bearing off and this is what was left after the race and bearing had destroyed each other. Not the nice neat unit you would expect. Although it was all greased you just need one rod to fracture and it will take everything with it. Not every single road test goes to plan, That why we do them – to make sure we are happy with it before we hand it over. The good part is that it happened to us and we managed to not damage the spindles as we knew what was going on. This could have happened at any time and there is no way to predict a bearing failure of this proportion unfortunately.

Now we would have to replace the wheel bearings on both sides and the steering realigned as a result.

The car would then take another road test to check the wheel alignment and make sure all was OK once again.

As the sun was out we put the roof up! Yep UP. That way the warmth of the sun can help stretch the stiff new material into place and help the folded creases to fall out too.

Other News:

Adams new purchase is this little rarity anybody recognise it?

This is one of those rarity gearboxes; a Super T10. We found this information on the gearbox and it’s background and why it’s such a sort after gearbox. We thought we would give you a little techy article post which we found on a Borg Warner Tech spec site;

American car manufacturers had to scramble in the early part of the 1960s to get a four speed transmission for their performance cars. All the money was tied up in automatic transmission tooling and production as a high profit option. The base units ran three speed column shift manuals. The torque laden engines didn’t really need a fourth gear for regular driving. Once speed became important, so did an extra gear and a floor shifter. Detroit made do with the Borg Warner T-85 which was a three speed unit. It was tough and that’s why they used it. The T-85 box was the starting place for the new Borg Warner T-10 four speed.
One of the earliest models to get the four speed was the Corvette. It appeared in 1957 and helped make it a real sports car contender along with the 283 V8. What engineers did was use the T-85 main case and add a reverse gear into the extension housing, making room for fourth gear. The main cases were aluminum on Corvettes. Other Chevrolet cars used cast iron cases until 1962. The T-10 was considered a heavy-duty transmission at the time and was issued with high performances engines of the early 1960s.  You’ll see these behind 283 fuelies, 348s, Pontiac 389s and even Mopars used them until their own unit was ready in late 1963.
The Super T-10:
Competition ended the T-10’s domination in cars. Muncie, Saginaw and New Process all developed their own four speed boxes, each capable of handling high torque and sustained power. By 1965, wide-spread use of the T-10 was easing. Buick held on until 1966 and Corvette remained the sole factory player by 1967. The story doesn’t end there. Drag racing uncovered some weaknesses in the original design and research  efforts by many racers developed new tricks to improve the basic design. This and a selection of different gear clusters kept the T-10 active. A result of all this R&D was the release of the Super T-10 in 1969. This revised transmission had an iron main case instead of aluminum. The gear sets were larger than the originals for added strength  yet were smaller than either Muncie or New Process gears. The Super T-10 gears were 9310 high nickel alloy and were coarse cut for better load capacity. You also got more ratios to pick from.The Super T-10 was sorely needed as muscle cars were very powerful by the end of the decade. More changes were made in production and an aftermarket over the counter version was offered called Power Brute.  You could order new ratios, heavy-duty synchro sleeves and generally improved parts. The GM Super T-10s were about 92 pounds while big car Ford Super T-10s came in around 101 pounds.

Ford used three versions of T-10s in their cars. The light cars used a 2.73:1 low gear, 2.06:1 second and 1.62:1  third gear. As in all other applications fourth gear is direct drive. The big block Galaxie used 2.36:1 low gear, 1.62:1 second gear and 1.76:1 third gear. The third Ford T-10 used 2.36:1 low gear, 1.76:1 second gear and 1.41 for third gear.Mopar T-10s: Chrysler used two different gear sets for their T-10s. The standard set was 2.54:1 for 1st gear, 1,89:1 for second gear and 1.51:1 for third. The close ratio set was 2.20:1 low, 1.64:1 second and 1.31 third gear.

Classic T-10 Mods from the 60s & 70s:
 The aluminum main case is a bit fragile for heavy race use. The gear shafts are prone to flexing under high loads. This is one reason why the Muncie and especially the M22 was preferred equipment and still highly desirable to this day. While Borg Warner didn’t release a high twist gear set like the M22, they did come up with a second revision Super T-10 in 1975. The Super T-10 gear shafts are tougher as they’re made from high nickel content. For a brief period it was the hot set up to install Super T-10 shafts inside an aluminum main case. You saved about 30 pounds but had to go through the expense of modifying case to fit a late-model shaft. Wear rate increased because the nickel shafts could crack the trans shift cover, then your case in that order. This mod was dropped after a few years.  Another more worthwhile tip is using the Ford T-10 shifter arms and shafts. They used a 3/8-inch stud which is thicker than the 5/16 GM shafts.  If your T-10 has the older bearings with non grooved sleeve go for an upgrade. Borg Warner has used the heavy-duty bearings  since 1975. Power Brute aftermarket bearings were available starting in 1972 and have appeared in some production cases. For GM cars, the Buick 27-spline main shaft takes high rpm launch stresses better than Chevrolet main shafts.

We finish with a couple of nice pics where Adam says make sure your dogs have plenty of clean fresh water in this heat, looks like they are enjoying the sun too.

Spring Time Your Way?

Ok so the title is a little play on words for this week’s blog, but the weather in the UK is picking up a little and looking forward to the warm weather and all the classic cars coming out to play. We said a play on words as this weeks Park & Pic is a car we still have with us after a service and a good look over. The ’65 Springtime yellow coupe is owned by our friend and customer Mick.

Park & Pic

The car is solid and the best bit? It’s up for sale! NOw Adam doesn’t “Sell” cars, he will take money for them if somebody has the right amount of cash for it. So this is not a regular feature to sell cars on our little ol’ blog, but if you are interested email us via the WebShop and they will put you in touch with the owner. No tyre kickers obviously.

The car has a great paper trail of the work completed on her over the years and always adds provenance to a classic car.

The engine is a nice little head turner too and runs as well as it looks.

Customer Cars

The Golden convertible has had some attention this week on the interior and has taken some great steps forward. The carpet has been fitted and the seats have gone back in. The dash area and wire pigtail have taken a little work but they are now fitted fine.

The external fittings are starting to come together and it’s amazing how a couple of shiny bits can make a difference.

The Transmission mounts were in a less than desirable condition should we say, and no we can’t use Yogi’s description of the part as this is a family blog! The replacement has been fitted in place and should make a huge difference to the driveability of the car.

Other News

We have been mentioning that we have been finding old “stuff” to share with you, this week is no different. This 1965 advert gives us an interesting insight into the minds of ford and their marketing.

Happy Birthday to….

The Ford Mustang of course, well not just yet, on Tuesday 17th April to be precise where the Mustang will be Fifty Four years old! We owe a big thanks to our good buddy Gary aka “Boris” (don’t ask), for coming up with some great little facts for us;

1) Ford US built 8160 Mustangs up to April 16, the day before launch – enough for one per dealer.

2) Ford planned to increase production through 1964, but due to the reaction at launch built another 16,000 Mustangs for the balance of April 1964.

3) Ford dealers took 22,000 orders at launch and sold well over 400,000 in the first year.

4) Ford had initially planned to sell 150-180,000 Mustang a year.

5) The following generations continued to be successful, but it was considered that the “Fox” bodied cars were somehow less successful. This is not true as they sold more than 400,000 units in the first year beating the original Mustang’s score.

6) The ‘father of Mustang’ Lee Iacocco was fired by Henry Ford 2 much later because of two reasons – he wanted to produce lots of small front wheel drive cars…and it is thought that he was becoming more prominent within Ford than ‘Hank the Deuce’.

7) Henry famously said when pressed by the Board of Directors of Ford on the firing of Iacocca; “sometimes you just don’t like somebody”.

8) The legendary “Bullitt” car now also becomes a member of the coveted “fifty years old club” too.

Bubbling Away

For the last couple of posts we have asked you to send us some pictures of your cars so we can post them for you on our little ol’ blog. We’re pleased to say that you have taken us up on our offer, so please keep them coming. We had an email from Alan Bullock. He sent us a few lines with his pictures:

“I thought I would just tell you that my 1968 302 V8 (4 barrel carburetor) Red RHD Mustang Convertible Is 50 years old today and still looks wonderful. Thank you for you help in the past.”

In fact we like to think that the people who entrust their treasured cars to us have become more than just customers, they’ve also become our friends.

Customers Cars:

At Mustang Maniac we are never afraid to show the quality of our work and how we go about it all. Obviously we don’t show every single one of our little secrets, but we do show a lot of the processes. That way you know exactly what you are paying for. Last week we posted a repair of some rear quarter panels that had started to rust from the inside out. We received an email on what that would look like. We took some photo’s before hand of the metal worm in progress. A little bubble under the paint will often reveal a lot more than you expect.

Golden Convertible.

We showed a number of months ago the work starting on a restoration on a gold convertible, that work has started up again and we are working on the inside now.

Car Shows:

We have a car at “The London Classic Car Show” in the Excel Centre. Adam loaned a car to the Mustang Owners Club stand, his much-loved Shelby KR. This is a picture of the car before the crowds all started to arrive on the Thursday this week. We will bring you some more pictures of the show. Pop along to Mustang Owners Club of GB to say “Hi” and that the Mustang Maniac blog sent you along. The guys will appreciate it.

A Chilly Work Of Art:

We had this link sent to us and we thought that we would share it with you, especially if the weather is snowing where you are:

A Ford employee and Dearborn resident Jacob DiMaria’s creative snow sculpture isn’t your average snowman. 

 His creation – a 1965 Ford Mustang – took about 10 hours to construct Sunday and Monday after a big snowstorm in Metro Detroit. The sculpture is drawing lots of attention from his neighborhood, as well as from the Detroit Free Press and Channel 4 News. Reporters came out to his house to see the creation for themselves, and interview DiMaria and his wife Lizzie.

DiMaria said he and his siblings often made snow creations when they were kids and never really grew out of it. He built a little snow dog a few weeks ago on his back deck, but it was when his brother made a bear that he felt he had to step up his work. And so he turned to the Mustang. “I’ve always liked the ‘65 Mustang, plus the body lines were relatively easy to sculpt in snow,” he said. DiMaria, a technologist who has worked for Ford since July 2014, said his co-workers have gotten in on the fun, too, making many jokes. If it’s any reassurance to the design employees: DiMaria acknowledged that the car’s proportions are a little off – but it’s close. “It’s not perfect but it’s what it is,” he told the Free Press.

Mustang Manaic thinks that it’s pretty amazing, now who was it that said you can’t have fun in the snow?

Not us!

Perfection By The Pyrenees

The best part of our job is hearing about the adventures the cars get to go once they have left our workshops. One such example of that is our friend Roger (thanks for the pics by the way), who has taken his Convertible on a road trip around France. This little lady is sitting outside a house in Pau which was built in 1880:

This last pic was taken with the Pyrenees Alps in the background.

The car has been driven for hundreds of miles now and the car hasn’t missed a beat. That is what we call pleasurable driving, a classic mustang, roof down in beautiful countryside with the Pyrenees in the background, just perfect. Do you have any pics of your cars on road trips? If so send them in to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars

We have had a car in where she was not running very well. So we needed to do some diagnostics to find out the reason. We narrowed it down to number seven cylinder pretty quickly, taking the plug lead of made no difference to the running. So we changed the basics of the plug, the lead and the checked points gaps etc. nothing was working. So we had to take the heads off to see what was going on. Yogi got to it straight away – a burnt valve was causing the issues by the looks of it. The valve seat would need to be reground and the valve along with its spring would need be replaced for a start. But, if you are going to do that for one valve you may as well do the lot all at the same time to be on the safe side, as you certainly don’t want to keep doing this time-consuming job that’s for sure.

Having that sort of work done starts to become expensive, so the plan was to replace the heads with some reconditioned ones we held in stock.

These new heads were replaced with their new gaskets obviously and when we fired her up – the problem has gone! We will need to road test more, recheck the torque for the head bolts and set up the carb and check the timing. But initial tests are exactly what we were expecting.

Seating

Many Mustangs are still driving around with the original seats in place, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all by the way, in fact its best to keep the rarer examples exactly as they were. However when the foam goes soft offering no support then the time is right to replace them, now you could replace the original covers back on, or go for an upgrade like this customer has done.

Firstly the old seats which were fine to look at but the foams inside had collapsed and made it slightly uncomfortable to drive:

The upgrade was to our Pony Interior set of seat covers. This will still match the original door cards and the interior paint job. The side chrome “hockey stick” trims were also replaced as they tend to get scratched quite easily too.

A subtly difference, but it makes the interior look much more luxurious. Not the cheapest of upgrades it has to be said, but what a difference!

Tilt Away

Last week we had posted about the proposals for the UK to stop mandatory MOTs for cars over forty years old. Well our poll has told us that a massive 90% of people thought it was a bad idea! We agree. We have had a few emails in to us and they have all been along the same lines as this quote below which sums it all up, along with the frustrations.

“I guess the bigger issue for the classic car scene and Mustangs in particular is the issue of modifications….and the way the DFT (Department for Transport), will treat it. They still haven’t issued any guidelines and are saying that any modified car will possibly need MOTing and may need to be identified by a “Q” plate. The issues this raises are enormous…does that include a Holley carb rather than the standard Autolite, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, LED rear lights and the list goes on and on.  My car is pretty much stock, but I have added a servo and dual line brakes and LED lights so does that make me liable for a MOT and Q plate?”

The “Q” plate issue raised here will make a lot of unhappy classic car owners who will not be able to use the correct date plates for their cars. So if you improve a car’s safety by adding LED lights instead of the poor standard bulbs that is a modification and will need a modified reg plate! The government doesn’t seem to have thought this through. Some criteria for “Q” plates are listed here: Self-built constructions, Key Q-plate insurance points, Ex-military vehicles, Radically altered vehicles, Self-imported vehicles, Any car that doesn’t have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Single and Individual Vehicle Approval. The other point is here that the insurance for a “Q” plate car will go mental and we have found similar descriptions for most insurers;

Insuring a Q-registered vehicle:

Insurance coverage still poses more of a challenge than insuring a regular ‘off-the-production-line’ vehicle. This is because all insurance is about quantifying risk, and risk is much harder to determine with any Q-plated vehicle. Obtaining cover is by no means impossible, though. While some insurers refuse to cover any Q registrations, there are a number of providers who specialise in this side of the motor market and have a detailed knowledge of all types of Q registration (even tanks!). In order to assess the risk of any individual vehicle and calculate an appropriate premium they need specifics on every single aspect of the vehicle. We like to think that this will not be the case, but this last sentence in blue could make a huge difference to owning a classic car. 

We have seen petitions on the forums to pass to the government to stop these mad proposals. If you see it, sign it and pass it on.

News:

Adam has added to his Mustang collection again, this time with a very nice virtually untouched ’67 Convertible.

Adam is particularly pleased with this little lady as there is a nice option extra that he has seen plenty off in the past, but not working properly. The “Tilt Away” steering wheel. We have taken a short video of it in action.

Customers Cars:

BRC has been worked on by Yogi and has some parts put refitted. The engine, the rear axle, Borgeson steering box and rear brakes are back in place. the front suspension needed new upper and lower control arms and then the brakes can be fitted.

Please keep your comments coming about the MOT debate. As we were preparing this post we have some more DeAgostini parts arrive for the Model, so we will have that updated for you soon.

The French Connection

As we posted last week all about the Duxford Car Show we are back on track again with updates on what Mustang Maniac are up to, we would to thank those of you who sent in the emails to say they were there and had the same problems. So what have we been up to?

Park & Pic:

We welcomed back an old friend Rodger Davies and his Convertible which mostly resides in France now. We had his little lady in for a rear spring swap out and a very worthwhile borgeson steering box upgrade.

The rear springs were sagging a little so we replaced with some mid range stock options. We like to be sure and replace the spring plates that hold the springs and shocks to the rear axle.

At the other end of the car the new Borgeson power steering box was fitted. This eliminates the vague centre steering position of the early Mustangs giving the driver much more feel and feedback for the car. The best part is that it all bolts into the stock location onto the original pitman arm.

WebShop:

We have more exciting news about some parts we have been waiting for. So much so that art came in and Yogi took it off the pallet and took straight down to his car. The part in question is a new Overdrive gearbox upgrade to the existing gearbox. Yogi knew the part was coming in and already had the car up on the ramp. This is double bonus in fact; the first being Yogi wanted the overdrive for more pleasurable cruising instead of blasting of the line.

Before we knew it the bear had the rear axle off, the prop shaft out and the back of the gearbox out. The overdrive is pretty special as this does not give you an extra top gear like most overdrives, this unit gives you an additional three gears, in effect making this a classic Mustang with a six speed gearbox.

That is pretty impressive.

The back of the gearbox is replaced with a new section which is a little longer that the original, so you need to have a new, made to measure prop shaft as Yogi has done in his case, or shorten and balance the old one again.

We will wait for the replacement prop then we will road test it. The other bonus is that although we have trialed these in America and liked them, hence the stock, we get to test them out on our roads before we let the public have them until we are satisfied they are up to our standards. If you are interested  these high tech overdrives, then give Adam an email on Adam@mustangmaniac.co.uk for more details until the WebShop is undated with the details and prices.

Customer Cars:

We have been promising a little while now that a car owned by Lance will soon be back from paint. We scan say that she has arrived and we love the look. The stripes were meticulously sprayed on and not just a vinyl stick on. The stripes were a pearl white on the Gulf Stream Aqua paint. There is no visible feel to the stripes. When she is completed the rebuild we will post the finished car.

Fact: it took over five hours just to mask the stripes on this car!

The Car That Started It All…

This weeks post is a first for us as we have a double-header of lead news. A car we are very fond of arrived into the yard for a little annual maintenance, and Yogi taking a bite out of an onion! But we start this weeks quite important post with the Park & Pic section.

Paul Barns is the owner of this rare ’66 “3” coded car that was built for Export only and has never been on USA roads. It is believed to have started life as a much coveted “T5” Coupe that was possibly shipped to Europe (Germany) or straight to the UK via USAF in ’67. Documentation is pretty scarce around this period of time unfortunately to confirm exactly her origins. More details on the car and the restoration can be found here or under the “Customer Cars” menu above. It took a total of two years hard work to restore it to the way she is now. As this pic was taken in our yard outside Yogi’s old work shop (cave), we thought it was a great pic anyway. So much so that if this picture was a black and white pic, you would say it was taken at a period correct time frame.

lob1

So we messed around with a couple of filters on the pic to show you what we mean.

Keep your pics coming in to us for the Park & Pic, no matter where they were taken on the premises and you will be the lead car for a post.

The car that started it all….

Meet Ken Longmore, if the name sounds familiar it should, as it’s Adam’s Dad. This is Ken’s ’66 Coupe which he has had since 1971 when it was first imported to the UK from Belgium. This car was the very first car that Adam restored all those years ago, and ultimately the trigger for the company “Mustang Maniac” that commands such great respect around the world today. The best part is that Ken is 82 years old and still drives his beloved Mustang. We plan on doing an article (interview) with Adam about this car and how Mustang Maniac started as a result. We do have some of the original photos before the restoration started way back then. The problem is just getting Adam to sit down for ten minutes and tell us all about it just so we can document it, which sounds a lot easier than done. Where are the Jaffa Cakes to tempt him with a cup of tea?

ken2

Those with good powers of observation will notice the rear view mirrors are from a ’67, the reason for that as Ken explains, “I needed bigger mirrors to see who is behind me when I go past them.” Who can to argue with that. 🙂 The “J” plate registration is noted as 1970 – 1971 in the UK which was when the car was first imported to the UK, as that was the rules at the time.

So we now have a twofold question for you: 

A) Do you know of anybody who still owns their Mustang longer than Ken has?

B) Do you know of anybody older than Ken who still drives their Classic Mustang?

Yogi takes a big bite out of an onion!

Now wouldn’t mind betting that you are intrigued to know what we are going on about; the ’67 Convertible formerly know as the “Pop Rivet” Mustang has been renamed to “The Onion.”

Yogi has come up with this new name for this project and the reason is quite simple as we explain. Back on the 18th December we posted pics of the restoration project being loaded into the workshop for some work. We spotted then that there were lots of pop rivets, hence the “Pop Rivet” at the time. This week Yogi got to work on her to see what was needed after a bit more stripping down. Yogi was heard to growl “This has been welded up like an onion has layers”. Yogi likes to get his teeth into things, but even this little lady is going to be a tough project. Yogi has made a Jig for this lady as this needs to be very mobile just now.  Here are a couple of pics of her going to her new home back in December last year.

When work was started on her we hoped that new panel metal work would be enough, so we cut some of them away as we show here.

But thing never ever seem to go to plan and we revealed more than even we were expecting. The original rotten metal was repaired with patches, and then patches on those patches later on. As a result of that inspection, Yogi now stands where the back of the car used to be as it couldn’t be saved! Another pic for the Yogi Fan Club!

onion1

The back of the car had to be carefully cut away as the frame-work for the convertible is not reproduced at the moment. This will have to be cut down and rebuilt welding into the new metal work. Has Yogi bitten of more than he can chew? He told us, “Nope”. Truly a man (bear) of many words then!

onion22

The layers can be seen here in better detail with the patches on patches.

There are parts where the rust holes had just been filled and used like an oversized rivet on top of the layers.

The front didn’t fare too much better either after the structural integrity being investigated more, we suspect the front will have to come of as well.

Like all out projects they will turn out to be amazing looking cars afterwards, in fact we suggest that this car will be the sweet cherry on top of the cake, and not a sour onion at all. We are looking forward to bringing you this restoration build as we go along. At the moment there is no urgency to complete this project, but that can always change.

1967 Fastback

Yogi had to rewire this little lady and change some suspension parts, he was shocked to see that the front control arms were dangerous, they were replaced back onto the car with cracked metalwork around the bolts and with the bushings hanging out, thus allowing for a good quarter of an inch movement. They even labelled the sides up with marker pens for refitting back to the car.

So far we have done as we we asked but there could be more work to be done.

Competition:

Don’t forget the competition for the colouring in ends next week. We asked if anybody has a line drawing and Chris Tilley has sent us this as, “there wasn’t a coupe on the last drawings.”

coupe-colouring-in

Feel free to download and colour in, this has also been added to the “Download” section in the menus at the top. We are loving these so please keep them coming.