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!

Don’t take their word for it!

This week has been mainly focused on diagnostics of problems. Yogi is still on his well-earned break in a cave somewhere in Canada. Adam has some new stock and has had to make space for all those parts now too. So without wasting any more time let’s get to the first issue.

Customer Cars:

A car had been brought into us to be put back on the road after it had been standing for twenty-five years! The guy who sold it told our customer that the Engine was fine and managed to fire it up for a minute or so then switched it off. the gearbox and the rear axle were both fine. What happened we put the car back together on the instructions of the customer. After a couple of hundred miles of the restored car the rear axle seized and needed replacing. The gearbox is difficult for third and fourth gears and just about usable once you get the “knack” of it. and the most recent issue,  big over heating problems. To work out the problem with the engine was a bit of a mystery. The new aluminium radiator was flushed out and some muddy residue was seen at the drain point. Water pressure test was done and found the flow was not consistent across the radiator itself. The problem was still there. So we had not other choice to check the waterways and took the heads of to see exactly what was going on. We soon found the problem:

Blocked water ways was the cause. We had to clean them up and reconditioned them.

We even took a quick video of the blocked waterways both on the block and the heads, in fact it was one of the worst we have seen. the video is only a few seconds long but you get the idea.

We managed to clean and flush the block out – with Adams own secret concoction. The radiator was re-plumbed and filled back up with water and flushed again. After all that – the car runs smoother, and runs slightly cooler than normal now. Success, but would have been a lot easier if the engine was checked by us before fitting. So if somebody says it’s fine after sitting around – get it checked out first. That is a lot of man hours gone into this fault-finding which all could have been avoided if little work had been done first time round! But you can take our word for that piece of advise though.

We have another returning for a little Mustang Maniac magic and a service. We just managed to get her under cover as the heavy rain fell.

This car has some rather nice wheels on just like the Eleanor in 17″.

WebShop

We have some upgrades to the WebShop which are now up and running. The upgrade is a now a video section on the item page in order to show you what the item. This is things like the sequential LEDs for the 2015 Mustang click here for the link or past this to your browser https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/8996/15_sequential_front_led  this allows you to see the items working before you buy. Another first for Mustang Maniac!

Complaint? 

We sell many of these suspension control arms, we fit them and use them. The last two weeks we have two sets returned for the same reason with a complaint.

The reason is that they had seized up straight after fitting and a test drive. Adam took them straight to the workshop and found the “problem” straight away. This is a very simple answer, the joints had NOT been greased before use. The ball joints need to be fully loaded with grease and that is common sense and the grease nipple is a bit of a clue. The rubbers were pulled back to expose the fitting grease was there only, and not been filled with grease.

So, the parts are NOT faulty at all. Adam has refunded the money out of the goodness of his heart, but he now will be careful about supplying parts to these customers in future. As these parts are now technically used, they can’t be sold as new obviously, it’s just as well that  Adam has a couple of project cars that they will be fitted too now. If in doubt about these sort of parts – please seek professional help before blaming the parts.

Storage

Adam has now had to create storage for his expanding part lines. The new racking is for the clutches that are bulky and heavy. In fact from what we can tell here at mustang maniac – these clutches are the only ones “In Stock” in the UK.

Adam has also had some bespoke racks made for the more delicate parts such as the window trims that can easily be dented as well as storage for the more awkward items like the radiator shrouds.

Fender Guards

Adam has a new line of fender covers, which are already in use in the workshops and we love them. They cover the complete area around the engine bay.

As Adam says “They ain’t cheap, but it’s a lot cheaper than a respray!” We agree and the part can found by click here, or paste the link to the browser.

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/1/8959/65-70_fender_gripper_cover

Weddings:

Thanks to Paul for sending us in a couple of pics of his car used for a wedding:

The Office

Adam has put up his sign in the office for the “quoted” receipt. A couple of Adam’s lady customers were a little put out (said in jest by the way), that they couldn’t have the same. So Adam is now looking to get one done for the wives to match. And yes, they do accidentally underestimate – just like the men do! 😉

In case you can’t remember:

In fact Adam didn’t charge for the first request to make use of this new facility!

We would like to send our thoughts and best wishes out to all the people who are having to deal with the aftermath of the recent Hurricanes.

 

It’s A Bloke Thing!

During the week we have been asked what has happened to the Park & Pic posts, so not to disappoint we have one today for you. We have to admit we have been slacking a little in this area as not all the cars are collected from the front of the office, most are picked up from the yard to be fair. So we start with that this week:

Park & Pic:

This genuine 67 390 GT  is owned by Ross and is a beautiful Concours correct car.

The car was brought to us as she was running a little lumpy at speed so Yogi got to work on it and first things first, the timing. The timing was out enough to cause the problem so that was adjusted to the correct settings. Then Yogi worked his dark art magic on the carb for a tune up which again was running a little rich. Now the engine idled nicely and revved up smoothly.

While Yogi was doing what he does best, Ross mentioned that he had visited a show hosted by a well know Mustang Owners Club based here in the UK. He then went on to explain that he was docked a point for an “incorrect HT (spark plug) lead”. Pointed out here by the arrow.

Yogi said this was in fact correct.  Once Adam had finished dealing with customers in the office, the same point was raised again, Adam also confirmed this is absolutely correct and went on to explain why. This was backed up by a Concours Correct part that Adam got from the stores, just to prove the point. Adam also took the inserted label out of the sealed part bag in order to photograph it.

The insert confirms what Adam had just been explaining. “During the production line process a number of engines had a miss fire straight from the line. Ford launched an immediate investigation and it was later found that the workers had swapped the fifth and sixth cylinder leads around the wrong way. Needless to say this caused Ford multiple delays on the production line as well as having to fix the relatively simple error. Like all things, the simple answer was to identify the correct wire. So the Orange boot was created to cure the problem, which it did instantly with the very first cars with the new system rolling of the production line, no more misfires.”

So we have a couple of questions for the judges of the Mustang Owners Club in question. Firstly; how come you didn’t know this fact? Secondly; can Ross have his point back again?

WebShop:

Oils

Adam has had a request in to stock a particular brand of oil called “Driven”. Adam investigated and has spoken to them and now is a stockist for their products. Adam has stopped selling the Kroon product now, but still keeping the popular Kendall products. These oils are a premium product and their slightly higher costs reflects that, so if you are running down the Santa Pod quarter-mile or you inadvertently leave some large rubber trails when leaving the lights, these oils will protect your engine, gearbox, brake fluids, break in oils etc.

Wheels

A new line of  wheels for the more “resto mod” look. These Magnums are 17″ x 7 ” or 17″ x 8″ in Satin black. We have already sold a set within the first week and has generated some keen interest.

Water Pumps

Adam has purchased a huge stock of multiple water pumps, and as far as we know, Mustang Maniac has the only supplies of i6 classic mustang water pumps. The rest of the stock has yet to be bought to the stores and a shelf is expected to go up and hold the additional pumps.

2015 – 16 Mustangs

Not to leave out the newer Mustangs, Adam has a new line of roof spoilers for the 2015/16 models. This simple to fit accessory creates a nice finish to the roof lines of the car. This spoiler also shields the high level brake lights from the sun (when we get it in the UK that is), and makes them a more of a contrasted to see.

Before:

After:

To finish up with we have a strange title for this post? No not really, about sixteen years ago Adam bought his new Ford truck with the Harley Davidson livery, at the same time there was a strictly limited edition of Harleys made to match the truck. So Adam bought that as well. Since Adam has owned it he has only done one hundred miles on it.To keep it in ind condition he had an idea!

Yep, this is now part of the BBQ chill out area. So, if you’re lucky enough to be at one of Adam’s little curry nights, you too could get to stare at a pristine limited edition Harley. Adam has to finish the case build yet, with the addition of LED lighting and some rather fancy ideas about pop up electric and phone charging points!

Is it just a bloke thing? We could of course be wrong!

Under Cover

We’re back to posting on our normal Sunday slot again, hope you didn’t miss us too much last week. We thought we get straight into today with updates on the customers cars and where we are with those.

Customers Cars:

Jacqui’s ’69

With the car back from paint work has begun on getting the car back together again.

Work has started on the sound proofing on the inside, a good upgrade, not cheap and nobody will ever get to see it as it’s covered up under the carpet!

With the parts being taken home by Roy for some “homework” they are then returned restored ready to fit back on the car, providing Adam and Yogi are happy with them first of course.

We tend to use our static dust cover sheets for short-term storage that clings to the paintwork when she is covered, lightweight and easy to remove without damage to the paint. Ideal solution ready for the next working session.

We had a little play with the colour filters, which changes the look and feel – any particular one you like best, the original, black and white or the moody low light version?

BRC (Blue Racing Coupe)

The engine on this little lady was given a check over and the first lick of paint ready to go back into the car.

The engine was put back together with the re-coated headers, and new rocker valve covers.

428 Super Cobra Jet

We didn’t take long to discover where the leak was under the dash. We could smell the antifreeze in the car so that can only point to on thing, the heater matrix. We removed the matrix and confirmed it was the cause of the leak. With the part replaced and fluids topped back up again it was time for a small service and check up underside. The oil and filter were changed as part of the standard service. With all the fluids where they now should be, it was time for a tune up of the carb to make her run smoother and more responsive. Job Done!

Work Shop News:

Adam has been on spending spree, (again). This time it was an expensive upgrade to the workshops as we are getting more and more requests to geometry alignment to the suspensions on these classic Mustangs. We use our own tried and tested specifications which are a slight tweak from the recommended book setups, but don’t ask the guys for the details because they won’t reveal it! Feedback from our customers is very positive after the fine tuning suspension set ups, word of mouth has got around that this really can make a difference to the car’s overall handling. There is still a Geo unit in Yogi’s work shop and now Adam has the very latest laser technology from Snap-On in his workshop. The logical reasoning behind the purchase is that it’s not always possible to Geo the cars when one is on the ramp unable to be moved, because it’s in bits – for now. Adam will also use it for the other vehicles in his LAR and SMR fleet vehicles too.

Book yourself into the workshop for a geometry suspension check up, it will also save your tyres wearing unevenly, unless you do lots of accidental burn-outs that is, then we can’t help you there! 😉

A little Rattled

This week we have the usual influx of the annual MOTs and car services we expect. We are always glad to see our loyal and returning customers back to us, and the customers know that they will get a top quality workmanship and quality service from people who care about their cars with no-nonsense advise. We pride ourselves here at Mustang Maniac on the fact our customers are always happy.

Park & Pic

Continuing from the above a long-term customer Bob who called in to pick up his car after the MOT and a general service. Unfortunately we forgot to take a more formal picture under the Mustang Maniac sign. So we managed to grab a few last-minute pics of Bob leaving, also the pic with his hand up was the wave goodbye, and nothing to do with hiding his face!

Sad News:

We have received some very sad news from our friends at the Ford Heritage Workshop. Colin Gray, a much respected team member has sadly passed away after a short illness. Colin’s knowledge of ‘all things Ford’ was truly outstanding but he will be remembered, by those fortunate enough to know him, as a great person willing to help anyone and a true inspiration. He will be sorely missed.

The team at the Ford Heritage Workshop are very good friends of Mustang Maniac and we are extremely proud to have been able to help them with parts and advice when they restored the Ford Motor Company 65 Mustang Fastback.

Mustang Maniac would like to send our sincere condolences to Colin’s family at this very sad time.

Customer Cars:

We have in the workshop a nice ’68 390 GT which is a nice resto-mod as Yogi likes to say.

The car was brought in with the customer saying there are some annoying rattles and knocks etc. So we were tasked with curing the issues. These are often more difficult than it sounds as it’s a long process of elimination; road test, adjust or fix, then more checks and repeat. This little lady has been modified with what looks to have been a race car set up, a very unusual set up as there are no leaf springs, instead just supports, bars and linkages!

Front end with no shock towers and the adjustable suspension.

The rear end with adjustable suspension and the four point suspension.

So far we have sorted the obvious creeks and groans out but, as there are so many bushes and connections we need to make sure they are all within tolerances and just keep testing until they are all fixed. So far the bear is happy!

Shelby GT500 1:8th scale DeAgostini model update. 

Here we are with an update we have been waiting for; the actual body shell. The parcel was large and guessed this was the shell.

The other three issues are the two fenders and the front radiator panel which holds them together across the front, in turn the fenders are screwed to the body shell by the cowl section.

We think that once the car is completed that we are going to actually wax and polish this paintwork. We would go so far as to say it’s better than some of the past efforts we have seen on the much larger real thing!

With the fenders attached this pretty much gives the overall appearance of the model.

We know it’s only a model, but this is a point for the build. There are just two screws each underside of the cowl section to hold the fenders in place. It took a total of fifteen minutes to build but what a massive step forward all of a sudden. We have updated the main page for whole model build.

We finish with a selfie photo-bomb by the Yogi, Adam even found time to play with some filters on his phone too, we kinda like it cartoon style. 🙂

Cunning As A Fox

The week started of very well with the arrival of the freshly painted ’69 back from the paint shop, the down side is we needed to make room for her as all the spaces we had lined up were all taken with mostly service type of work this week. We promised last week that there would be an update on the Fox body LED conversion we have bespoke, one-off, custom-made from the ground up, or perhaps we should call it the mark 1 version for now.

Park & Pic.

This ’66 Coupe is owned by Adam D. who has only had this little lady for a number of weeks. Adam bought this car in to us the previous weekend for a look over as he wasn’t sure what to make of her. So both the Adams took her out for a road test and the verdict was made. She was booked in with us during the week for a good old sort out and little loving care that ONLY Mustang Maniac can provide.

The car was running a little rough on her very first visit, so we had an impromptu air filter change and a default setting carb tuning, all on a Saturday morning while the mandatory cup of tea was to be had. So if the phones were not being answered – here is a perfect example why.

Once we had the car in this week, we could have another good look over her, the car is not in a too bad at all and quite clean underside. The main concern was that the front drum brakes had been converted to a discs, nothing wrong with that of course. But, there is a problem when the conversion was left with the original single pot master cylinder and booster in place. As a result there was not enough back pressure to keep the pads from dragging on the discs. As a result this was slowing the car down, using more fuel to get going and making things hot. You can see the old single pot master cylinder here at the back right which should be a dual version with disc brakes.

There was a smell of petrol from the back and it was obvious that the fuel tank had a crease in it, from what looks like it was backed over something, which was in turn seeping fuel slowly, and certainly required a new one. The car was up on the ramps fuel tank was swapped out, and the work started on the master cylinder change over to the correct dual cylinder that should be used, the brakes were bleed and properly adjusted all round. The brake pedal was adjusted to the new cylinder push rod. This in turn highlighted the hand brake that was also needing adjusting correctly now too. The car had a little quirk where the gear shifter needed a little wiggle to start and the transmission lever would not stay in Park. The safety cut out and the transmission selector lever connected correctly and adjusted, tested and all was now fine. Next up to be sorted out was the engine running, starting with the spark plugs out and the new ones gapped and refitted. Holley default settings were dialled in and the fine tuning started from there. The timing was out and needed resetting which helped a great deal for the initial running and idling. Next was the air/fuel mixture carb settings, Yogi demonstrated his dark art of engine tuning by feel, response and sound. It’s OK setting the mixtures to “what the book of words says”, but, “if it doesn’t run right what’s the point? All engines are different,” said the bear. Once the engine was now the best it could be for the garage setup, it was time for a full road test. The car came back with a small list of final tweaks for the carb setting under load, and that the speedo was reading 10mph to slow which required a new speedo gearing to fix that. The brakes were now spot on and bedding in nicely, but now we had a little wheel balancing to do to get rid of the wobble at speed. Another road test and all was good in the retest.

In fact the Owner Adam D. sent us a pretty awesome email, as he was well pleased. I’m sure he won’t mind sharing this little clip with you;

“The work that you guys at Mustang Maniacs have done on the car was phenomenal – differences you have made since you got it and did a couple of days work, pulls and accelerates noticeably better – absolutely beautifully and even sounds better.  The brakes also seem to work so much better and it handles and steers so so much better in the bends and straight – no more steering wobble or unnoticeable !!! Petrol consumption is also so much better – really very noticeable indeed.”

We are pleased that we have another happy customer who can really enjoy their car which is just how it should be.

Fox Body LEDs

We promised this last week so here it is; A new acquisition Fox Body Mustang was bought into us, the requirement was to have some flashing amber LEDs to make it UK road legal keeping the stock look of the lenses. Now we don’t have a ready-made kit for that, so it was time for Adam and Yogi to design and make a bespoke set of LEDs. The guys are keeping this one a secret on how they done it for now, so there is no circuit boards allowed to be shown, but we can show you the results.

The rear assemblies were taken apart to expose the lenses. We think they look great.

Before the custom Mustang Maniac Fox lights were fitted they were tested off the car and here is that test.

The owner is one very happy chap too.

’69 Rebuild New Paint

We have had a bare metal respray back from the paint shop and now ready for that rebuild. There is just something magical watching a car unloaded with her new paint. This is going to be a cracking looking car once she is done!

But before we can start work on her – we need to clear a couple of cars out first. We are looking forward to this build.

Ripping Up The Rule Book

This week we can’t fail to mention the weather, which has seen a promise of more to come in the UK. We are happy to see a period of nice weather for a change instead of the normal rain, with the on set of the nice weather we have managed to convert the old car storage areas into a new “large and heavy parts” dispatch area. As a result of Mustang Maniac needing more space and storage areas for a slightly different car! More on that later a little further down.

Park & Pic

This week we had a very nice rare car come into us with a minor leak on the steering. We fixed it with no problems as normal, and the customer arrived to take her away. We give you the legendary Shelby GT500, nothing else needs to be said!

 

More Stock

It’s a well-known fact that for your Mustang parts, Adam is your man with is ever-expanding WebShop. But, what is not quite as well-known is that Mustang Maniac stocks an ever-increasing rage of ’64 – ’66 Falcon parts too, so much so that Adam is now “stock piling” Falcons cars now to match the stock levels.

The latest set of Mustang parts in stock are these performance strut rod parts which have now arrived in the latest container. They are super high quality and an awesome racing part upgrade or just for bragging rights.

Drag Racing

Another known fact is that Yogi takes his Mach1 down the Santa Pod 1/4 mile drag strip, wrecking a set of tyres each time, but the bear was not happy with his last eleven second run. The reason was the will spin being unable to get all that power down to the tarmac. To stop that Yogi bought himself an over drive and under drive unit. Yep you read that right “Under Drive”. This gearbox allows you to select the lower gear to launch of the line that much quicker. The gearbox will allow you to change gears for each of the main gears which gives you in effect six main gears now. Yogi has fitted it and loves it, so much so that he has melted his speedo cable, we need to think of a way to fix that, we have a plan. Here we have some instructions for the unit to show just how it works. The new AutoDrive is able to handle up to 1200bhp! Yogi has been heard to say, “That will do for now”!

The inside is so subtle to work the overdrive, fully automatic with indicators via a switch on the console arrowed here.

For race, there is a switch on the console that controls the normal operation, and another he operates with his foot for “only for racing purposes, on specially designed track with proper supervision for all health and safety purposes” should the need arise at Santa Pod.

The funniest part of all this is that we found a page “removed” from the instructions. Rumour has it that Yogi “accidentally ripped it” or tore out the page called; “Drag Racing do’s and dont’s”. He is also rumoured to be growling “nobody tells the bear how to drag race”.

Yogi has changed out his livery on his car too, subtle but very effective. Thanks to Linards for these.

The gearbox is working fine, but his interior is now apart thinking of a way to stop the speedo cable getting so hot. But this is what the completed fit looks like underneath.

He has put some of his stickers on the car too;

If you see this car don’t bother to try racing it! Honestly, we have road tested it and we can confirm – it’s quick.

Next week we have a special report on the Fox body lights. Keep cool in the sun and be sensible with the heat.