Basic Mechanics

Mustang Maniac is back to normal, well as normal as it can be, as I’m back from my Route 66 journey across the USA,  and I’m still a bit jet lagged. It got to Saturday and we thought it would be a quiet day, but nope, it was one of the busiest days of the week for customers. At one point it was standing room only in the office which was a lot of fun. We had Martin who picked up his Bullitt green fastback after her yearly MOT, general service and lube service. We also had a another regular customer turn up with his ’67 Convertible that he has been using to cruise around Europe. To be honest we couldn’t think of a better way to do it either. While they were away recently the brake pedal was fine then there would be no servo with brake pedal travel. This ended up making the braking a bit interesting sometimes, the car would stop, but you need to be aware there could be no assistance from the servo. Another thing was that the driver side sill trim started to come away, then the demist pipe came away from the fitting under the dash for the windscreen. As a temporary measure, Duct Tape was used to fix the trim in place and hold the pipe to the underside of the dash. Derek didn’t mind us pulling his leg a bit by calling his car the Duct Tape Mustang. We have had the “Mastic Mustang”, “Rust in Piece” now we have “Duct Tape Mustang”. Joking aside what Derek had done was fine as a work around as it was not an important or safety related fix to the car. It will be simple to fix those parts though you can’t see the temporary repairs. They are still holding up fine.

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As for the brakes Yogi started the initial investigation on Saturday and found that the servo was playing up. We are also looking at a potential issue around the plumbing of the brakes that we want to make sure is all OK too.

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We would like to offer a piece of advice for everybody who may be looking to start their own mechanical repairs, prompted by Derek and his Duct Tape. Print this out and take it with you for a quick handy reference guide. 😀

mechanics basics

Rust In Piece

The Convertible is coming along very nicely now as we have had the rocker covers and the air intake back from being sprayed their correct colours for the time. The rear seats are back in, the original centre console is back in as well as the carpet. It won’t be long before we geo set up the car and road test it for a while before we hand it back.

Question Time

Recently we had a car that was supposed to of have a rebuilt 289cid engine. The owner managed to get the car to us saying it rattles like mad and there is no power. We started it and shut it down straight away. The car sounded like somebody had put a handful of marbles in a tin can and was shaking it. We knew it was a strip down job to start with. We found out that the rebuild had not even cleaned the oil tubes to the top of the engine with no oil pressure, thus the hydraulic tappets cam followers severely worn as well as everything else that was in a bad way, now junk. We have here just one of the cam followers that should be flat and smooth at the top, they were all like this.

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Click Here” for the answer to see just how many miles this car has done on the rebuild.

Acapulco Coupe

The coupe has had a lot of work done to the gearbox and to get it ready to go back into the car. New seals, filter, sump pan and gaskets. Me and Mart cleaned up the flex plate and sprayed it, not that you will see it, but it’s all in the detail. We done a dry fitting without the engine plate to make sure all was OK before the final fitting.

We then removed flex plate, fitted the engine plate and refitted the flex plate and tightened it all up. We fitted in the torque converter into the bell housing and mounted the gearbox to the engine.

Tightening the bolts securely.

Gearbox mounted to the engine and the mounting brackets all in place.

The last part was to fit the prop shaft to the gearbox and the rear diff. And yes the Prop is white!

Route 66 – Final Day

We’ve done it!

We arrived at sunny Los Angeles, California and found the end of Route 66 sign in Santa Monica and had the mandatory photos taken with it to show the end of our journey. A sense of sadness, huge sense of achievement and wonderful satisfaction of an ambition that had been completed all at the same time. Route 66 has been completed with our total mileage being around 3200 miles or so with about ten fuel stops during the course of the trip. However the official miles of the Mother Road is a total of 2451 miles. The reason for the extra miles is that my wonderful wife Lynn, wanted to stop off at each and every shopping mall that we came across, it’s nothing to do with the extra detours that I wanted to do of course, no way. Yes, I appreciated that we needed supplies along the way, but as for the other shopping stuff such as clothes and shoes, I’m not so sure about. The suitcases are full to bursting point and the credit card has had a good battering. But hey, it has all been worth it. Here we both are at the end of the (mother) road, literally.

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We had a spot of lunch at Ruby’s Diner before we spent some time on the beach to relax and take it all in.

While in California the other thing that has to be done is see the Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee. In 1923 the Hollywood Sign is built as a huge, illuminated advertisement for the upscale real estate development, Hollywoodland. The Sign costs $21,000 and includes thirteen 50-foot high letters constructed of 3′ X 9′ panels and painted white. Using mule teams and tractors, the panels are hauled up Mt. Lee and secured to frames constructed of pipes, wires, and telephone poles. Four thousand 20-watt light bulbs are mounted on the letters and spaced 8″ apart. In late 1923 the Sign is turned on and the result is dazzling. The developers expect the Sign to last about a year.  In 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce enters into a contract with the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Parks and Recreation to repair and rebuild the Sign and remove the “land” so that it would spell “Hollywood.” The cost is estimated at $4,000. The light bulbs are long gone and the City stipulates that any new illumination would be at the expense of the Chamber. The Chamber gives the Sign a complete makeover. Over the next 30 years the Sign would require constant repairs, and sometimes the celebrities would help. In 1978 after the Gloria Swanson makeover five years previously, termites have infested the wood and an “O” has tumbled down the mountain. Arsonists set fire to the bottom of an “L.” The City decides the Sign would have to be completely rebuilt at a cost of $250,000, ten times the cost of the original. Hugh Hefner steps in and throws a lavish fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion to raise funds for the rebuilding costs. To raise the additional funds needed to restore the Sign, celebrities and community leaders sponsor individual letters at $27,500 a piece. Alice Cooper sponsored an “O” in honour of Groucho Marx. Other letters are sponsored by Andy Williams and Gene Autry, among others. In August 1978 the old Sign is demolished and for the first time in more than 50 years, “Angelenos” are without the Sign for three months. Workers pour 194 tons of concrete to anchor the Sign, and helicopters drop a massive new steel frame in place. Placing on the corrugated baked enamel letters was the final step. In November 1978 the new Sign, four stories high, 450-feet long and weighing 480,000 lbs., is unveiled on Hollywood’s 75th Anniversary celebration in November 1978 live to a television audience of 60 million. Each letter is 45 ft tall and between 31 and 39 ft wide, the sign sits just over 1,500 feet up the side of Mt. Lee.

On our way looking for a good vantage point to see the Hollywood sign we found a Ford Galaxy tucked away.

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That’s it, our monumental journey is over and we are soon to be travelling back to the UK. The memories will stay with us forever of all the fantastic places we have visited and seen, not forgetting all the wonderful people we have met along the way. We have had an amazing time yet again here in the wonderful USA, we can be very proud to say that we have genuinely travelled across America and seen some of the worlds most iconic sites. It only leaves me to say a couple of things to all the people who have followed our journey on Route 66 and left us kind messages.

Thank You & God Bless America.

r66-204Cheers!

Route 66 – part 15

We have left the bright lights of Las Vegas and heading for the last part of our journey to Los Angeles in California. The journey was a long painfully slow drive due to the Easter holiday traffic so we have been told. During the trip, we decided to stop of for something to eat at the legendary Peggy Sue’s. Peggy Sue’s is an original roadside Diner, built in 1954 with 9 counter stools and 3 booths. It is set in the shadow of the Calico Mountains and was built from railroad ties and mortar from the nearby Union Pacific Rail yard. Peggy has used her grandmothers recipes for the authentic 50’s food. The have even built their own Diner-saur park with sculptures of dinosaurs, water falls, fountains grass and trees to have a wonder through. The inside is dedicated to all sorts of movie and music memorabilia and is an essential stop of point, if only for the atmosphere.

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The rail yard with some important looking freight.

We needed some fuel after our lunch, maybe this was going to be our last stop and we were filling up on average about $30 a time. Not bad at all considering how we get robbed by the UK government at up to 60% tax per litre. Sorry had to get that little dig in their considering the UK pays the highest tax amounts on fuel in the World.

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We eventually arrived at Anaheim and caught a very nice sunset on the way in.

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Take A Seat

A double post today on the blog, one from Adam and his journey along the famous Route 66 together with a bonus dose of Mustang Maniac cars too. 🙂

The week has been all about trying to finish of the smaller jobs on some cars we have had around for a little while. Not because we can’t do them of course but because there is no rush to complete them at the moment. We are expecting another couple of cars in next week after the Easter Break where we can get back to normal after loosing a couple of days. The break has been very welcome after all the hard work the guys have been putting in recently. Poor Yogette has been swamped out with WebShop orders and has been trying to answer the phone and get the orders ready. Again thanks to everybody who have called in and been patient with us. Looks Like the Easter Bunny has come early for some lucky customers out there.

Rust In Piece

The car is coming along very well now and the engine with all the wiring is in the process of being added back into the car. A couple of small problems we sometimes encounter at this point, but nothing we haven’t seen before and was quickly sorted out without a fuss. The dynamo now in place and the loom pig-tail wired up.

Alfa Red Convertible

Its been a little while since we have posted about this car, but we are now starting on the interior. We have ordered some parts for it to come into us so they should be here very soon. The interior has changed colour a little since it was discussed and now the owner has opted for a custom-made set of black leather with a subtle red stitching. The effect is just amazing and a good choice to go with the colour of the car.

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We have here a picture of both the front seats sitting on the floor waiting for the carpet to be fitted.

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The seat base and the backs look different colours in the pics next to the car depending on lighting and reflections obviously. These seats are a real luxury item and the soft leather feels, looks and smells amazing. An awesome upgrade.

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Just to prove they are the same colour we have a close up of the seat base and the back together with no paint reflection.

The seat base

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The seat back

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Happy Easter to you all from Mustang Maniac.

Route 66 – part 14

Today is a lazy day with some shopping around Las Vegas and not much to do with cars or Mustangs. During the evening we had taken some pictures of the classic Las Vegas at dusk instead of the usual darkness shots you see on post cards.  We  thought it would be nice to sample some more local culture rather than the bright lights for a little change. So only a short post today as California is next on our location list and I am sure we will have some photos for you from there.

We got close to the huge High Roller Wheel which is the largest observation wheel in the world at over 550ft tall!

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But just for the sake of it we had a little play with some special effects for the wheel. Any particular favourite?

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Packing soon ready for the last leg of this amazing journey so far.

Route 66 – part 12

Our travels have taken us through the Arizona deserts where the views are brilliant if not a little intimidating to get stuck out here.

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We arrived at an old gold mining town called Oatman. Some interesting facts about Oatman:

In 1863, mountain man and prospector Johnny Moss discovered gold in the Black Mountains and staked several claims, one named the Moss, after himself, and another after Olive Oatman. For the next half century mining waxed and waned in the district until new technology, reduced transportation costs, and new gold discoveries brought prosperity to Oatman early in the twentieth century. The opening of the Tom Reed mine followed by the discovery of an incredibly rich ore body in the nearby United Eastern Mining Company’s property in 1915 brought one of the desert country’s last gold rushes. The boom of 1915-17 gave Oatman all the characters and characteristics of any gold rush boom town. For about a decade, the mines of Oatman were among the large gold producers in the West.

In 1921, a fire burned down many of Oatman’s smaller buildings, but spared the Oatman Hotel. Built in 1902, the now-Oatman Hotel is the oldest two-story adobe structure in Mohave County, a Mohave County historical landmark and is especially famous as the honeymoon stop of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their wedding in Kingman on March 18, 1939. Gable fell in love with the area and returned often to play poker with the miners. The Gable/Lombard honeymoon suite is one of the hotel’s major attractions. The other is “Oatie the Ghost.” “Oatie,” actively promoted by the hotel’s current owners, is a friendly poltergeist whose identity is believed to be that of William Ray Flour, an Irish miner who died behind the hotel, presumably from excessive alcohol consumption. Flour’s body wasn’t discovered until two days after his death and it was hastily buried in a shallow grave near where he was found.

There were talks about the gold mining process, a guy who had to kiss every woman who walked past him, a mule called “Mark” who was knackered after working all day just one of thirty-five or more mules wandering around the town.

We stopped of in this fantastic little bar for something to eat and drink where the custom is to pin a $1 bill to anywhere you can. The music entertainment was as good as the beer and food, we spent a lot longer here than we intended to, but who cares as we are on holiday in this wonderful country.

We couldn’t leave without keeping the tradition going now could we?

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We got back on the road, sort of sad to leave the old place where time has almost stood still, but at the same time looking forward to the next stop. We had to cross over the Colorado River from Arizona to Nevada states to get there.

We arrived in Las Vegas for a chillaxing evening and a very well deserved beer.

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Cheers everybody, and thanks again for the kind emails and comments.

Route 66 – part 11

Our second day in Flagstaff Arizona means I got to grips with some real horse power. When it was suggested I could have a day of doing nothing but getting to grips with my pony rides, I thought it was going to be a great day. The day was slightly different to what I had in mind though. A short trip took us to a ranch where we would be spending the day.

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I was going to be a Cowboy for the day, what a great way to back to nature is this glorious country side. First I was in Jesse James’ hide out now I am following in his mode of transport.

I was shown to my horse for the day and we got acquainted, not quite the Mustang I had in mind though! Me and my ride had the preliminary discussion along the lines of “I am in charge and it would be good if you did what I say.” Setting of for the trek my trusty stead had other ideas to start with and completely ignored our discussion. But things quickly settled down and we had a great day out in peaceful countryside looking at the fabulous surroundings. We even stopped to enjoy a Cowboy lunch too. There aren’t  to many pics as I was trying to keep me and the horse on the right track, however I did try a selfie but it didn’t come out to well. 🙂

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The horses were fantastic as was the country side and all the other fellow cowboys/cowgirls we joined for the day. Great fun. I am not sure what is more scary – a single horse power or 500bhp snarling under your right foot. I do know that I have had great days with both. Tomorrow we are back on the road again of to our next adventure.