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Discussion Starter #44
Rear Fold Down Seat Restoration

Diving into restoring my back seat panels to determine if there is any rust or hidden damage. I removed all of the trim and carpet. Next, I removed paint and stripped with a Scotch-Brite clean and strip disc followed by media blasting the hard to reach corners and seams.





There were a couple of holes that I welded up in the rear most panel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the factory missed their mark during assembly.





I was pleased to discover little rust. I treated all panels with Por 15 metal prep to neutralize any rust and to etch the bare metal for paint. After soaking the metal with a sponge, the instructions say to rinse with water. Hmm, ok, can’t argue with science.



I didn’t know, but apparently 65 and 66 Fastbacks have different rear seat latches and latch covers. To the left is the 65 style, which accommodates a latch with a bumper. On the right is the 66 design, which doesn’t have a bumper stop. Currently, I think I will go with the 66 style since I will be using the 66 striker plates and fasteners.



Fold down seat hinges media blasted, primed, and painted.



I cam across two sets of 65 to 66 trap door hinges. They are identical in dimensions and stamp numbers. However, one pair has slotted mounting holes. Perhaps a small annual changeover or variation between factory assembly lines?



I found three E shim plates for rear seat. I’ve heard some Fastbacks didn’t use any shims, but have heard of some cars having as many as six?



All panels primed with a 2k epoxy primer. All original hardware that almost looks good as new. I’ll store away until its time for final assembly, paint, carpet, and new reproduction trim.

 

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Discussion Starter #46
Coyote ECU Mounting Box

Space is limited in these cars, so I have been thinking of where I could mount the Gen II Coyote engine control unit away from the elements and out of view. I had considered occupying the empty space between the RH cowl side panel and the fender. I discovered that Mustangs To Fear offered a Coyote computer box, which was exactly what I was looking for! I’m told that the engine harness will need to be and can be extended without issue.

1965-1966 Coyote Computer Box [Coy Box] - $44.95 : Mustangs to Fear, Classic Mustang Restoration and Manufactured Parts and Eleanor Body Kits

After taking some preliminary dimensions, and checking fender to cowl side panel clearance, I pre drilled the computer box for ¼” spot welds and test fit the ECU. I added some rubber backing and fastening hardware with 1.5” ¼ 20 bolts.







RH cowl side panel cut. I took advantage of the opening to address firewall surface rust and weld up some holes.



Test fitting the Coyote Control Pack Harness (to the left), which I had to trim the back of the plastic connection by about half an inch. The engine harness (to the right) has a 90-degree bend.



The box is spot welded in and epoxy 2k primed with SEM seam applied. I trimmed the fender to cowl bracket by about a ¼ of an inch for additional clearance, but I don’t think it is required. I applied Por-15 Metal Prep over the rust and sealed the RH side of the firewall and underside of the cowl with Por-15 black rust preventative paint.





I wish they made a box for the LH cowl side panel to mount other electrical goodies!
 

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Nice job, exactly how we do it 🙂 We could easily make a box for the left hand side. We actually had a customer the other day order 2 boxes, he said he was going to use one for the left side.
 

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I'll start on them come Monday. Now see what you started LOL. Now we have customer's wanting to know if we have an exchange program for extending the harness 🙂 working on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Organizing, Blasting, and Painting Small Parts

I spent more time digging through boxes, organizing, media blasting, priming, and painting parts. I apologize if these updates are tedious, but I find that the time involved with restoring and searching all these little parts adds up.

Two sets of front brake hose brackets. I may need to go with something else to work with the Heidts Pro G front suspension.



65 style rear parking brake brackets.



65-66 rear bumper guard brackets.



65-66 fastback interior rear trim brackets.







I also refreshed the 65-dash grill, windshield wiper motor bracket, glove box hinge, and ashtray bracket. I bubble wrapped and packed everything away for future assembly.








 

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Discussion Starter #52
Cleaning Up Firewall, Welding Holes, and Removing Bump Stops

Cleaning Up Firewall, Welding Holes, and Removing Bump Stops

Moving forward, I welded up a few unnecessary firewall holes. I referenced another forum thread and cross-checked with two other Mustangs. A big thank you to user Flade for their informative 65/66 firewall hole thread.



65/66 Firewall Holes Information Thread

https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vintage-mustang-forum/949505-65-66-firewall-holes.html#post7813745

Since I plan on installing an electronic parking brake, I welded up the factory parking brake bracket and cable holes. I also closed up the mechanical speedometer cable, lower accelerator pedal holes, the grounding screw hole had been stripped, and a couple other non-factory holes. I’m still debating if I will run the heater and AC lines through their factory openings or run on the outside of the apron in the wheels wells. I still have some research to do. If a car hasn’t been modified, according to the diagram, one can determine if a car came with a C4, 3-speed, or even a toploader from the factory. My Fastback was originally built with a 4-speed toploader indicated by the lower tunnel speedometer cable, clutch rod, and lack of the automatic transmission wiring grommet holes.



I also welded up some holes near the shift tunnel and throughout some other areas along the trunk.





I don’t know why, but I have seen a number of 65-66 fastback trap door frames with rough triangular cutouts? Some other fastbacks do not have them? The fiberglass panels cover the cutouts, but I decided to weld them up.







I moved onto removing the bump stops with a 3/8 spot weld cutter and air chisel. I was surprised to find that the rear frame rails are much thinner than one would expect. I had to weld and touch up a couple of frame rail blemishes. The IRS saddles will cover all of this, but I still wanted to fix them.





Moving onto stripping the rear floor and trunk with a wire brush and silicon carbide stripping disc.

 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Stripping Floor, Trunk, and Underbody

The trunk and rear floor cleaned up nicely with a minimal amount of surface rust.







It looks like someone didn’t know how to properly remove the bottom half of the rear seat due to the welding around the seat brackets. I cleaned it up with some spot-welding and sanding, but it’s hidden so I’m not making a big deal out of it. You can clearly see the tunnel damage that was most likely the result of a broken driveshaft u-joint. I removed the welded in patch and tried my best to smooth the tunnel to the correct contour using the dual exhaust panels for reference.

Classic Tube 1965 Dual Exhaust Floor Pan Reinforcement Plates

https://www.cjponyparts.com/classic-tube-dual-exhaust-floor-pan-reinforcement-plate-pair-1965/p/6511161P/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAgMPgBRDDARIsAOh3uyK6QH8XOFxbKxfc5T5anOFjyUA9D4JpsmIrbAHZUDG2rS54fE85at0aAuuhEALw_wcB



The rear underbody of the Fastback looked to be in decent condition. I decided it was best to strip black paint, undercoating, and any surface rust. The factory red primer has been there for over 50 years, so I didn’t see any reason to strip beyond it if the surface looked good. I think the plan will be to eventually epoxy prime, paint black, and then apply Upol liner.



I still have more stripping to do, but the California shell is cleaning up nicely.

 

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Discussion Starter #54
Metal Prep and Welding in Dual Exhaust Hangers

I applied Por-15 Metal Prep to neutralize the rust and etch the metal. Once dried, it creates a foggy coating that also prevents flash rust.

Por 15 Metal Prep
http://qr.por15.com/QR-assets/downloads/POR15/MetalReadyDescription.pdf

I plan to eventually coat and seal the entire interior floor and trunk with Lizardskin.





I will apply POR 15 paint on the lower pan since it appears to have the most severe surface rust. I’ll do this after I weld in the roll bar plate and mounting bracket.





The tunnel straightened out pretty good. I went ahead and pre drilled the dual exhaust reinforcement plates and sprayed some Eastwood etching weld through primer.



The reinforcement plates are plug welded in. I drilled four 3/8 holes for the exhaust brackets. I may drill and add rear seatbelt hardware later.



I found a lucky 1965 quarter tucked beside the LH B pillar and wheel well. This made my day.

 

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Discussion Starter #55
Smoothing The Cowl

I plan on installing an aftermarket evaporator box and remove the LH under dash fresh air vent, so the cowl vent openings would become essentially non-functional. With this being a restomod build, I prefer the aesthetic of a smooth cowl vent. I purchased cowl cover patch panels from Mustangs To Fear. One could certainly make panels, but this saved me time since I have been doing everything on this restoration by myself.

1965-1966 Cowl Cover Patch Panels [PP-Cowl-65-66] - $39.95 : Mustangs to Fear, Classic Mustang Restoration and Manufactured Parts and Eleanor Body Kits







I was cautious to not apply too much heat and warp the cowl. I probably welded too much. Learning. Sanded with 80 grit sandpaper, cleaned, and applied a heavy first coat of Evercoat Rage Ultra sanding body filler.

 

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Discussion Starter #56
Wire Brushing and Sanding Interior Structure

I resumed wire brushing and sanding the A, B pillars, and support structure around the trap door.







I removed any remaining surface rust and sprayed some 2k epoxy primer. I used what leftover paint that I had on the rear floor and dash top. Making slow progress one step at a time.

 

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Discussion Starter #57
Repairing and Restoring My VIN

As shown in an earlier post, I repaired the front clip with the exception of the frame rails, which means I need to address my VINs. It is completely legal for me, the owner; to make the restoration and required repairs to my vehicle according to both Federal and CA State Law (California Vehicle Code Section 10750 VC). I have a clean title of ownership and have kept the proper documentation to prove the repairs are necessary as required by all of the vehicles that I work on as a hobbyist/owner builder.

I have removed the towers, the original two-piece aprons, and have installed seamless single piece aprons along-with the Pro G cross member. The original factory public VIN was missing on the LH front apron due to a poor collision repair made by a previous owner. I needed to make the required repairs to my vehicle by cutting out one of the remaining private VINs from the original aprons and move it to the OEM public VIN location on the front of the LH single piece apron. I will move the second remaining private VIN from the RH two-piece apron and place it on the RH single piece apron. Prior to cutting the aprons, I verified visibility and placement by fitting my fenders.



Checking placement for the hidden VIN restoration.





I tacked the public VIN into place, being cautious to not warp the metal during repair. After two passes of welding and smoothing, it was looking pretty good. One more pass and it should be close to smooth followed with a very little amount of bodywork. I have heard of people creating their own stamps for repair, but I prefer to use the OEM stampings. I am not a lawyer, but the following information is a summary of what has been communicated to me by classic restorers, builders, automotive specialists, lawyers, and industry marketing material.

Bolts, fenders, hoods, roof, complete floor assemblies, and even entire body shells are all legal replacement parts. In which case, an owner with a clean title (not a salvage) can take the VIN tag off a now discarded body part and attach it onto the same as original replacement repair part. However, if you are building a car from mixed parts, particularly a pile of parts that don’t have a VIN assigned to a vehicle anywhere, a builder may apply for a new State assigned VIN. In California, you can build a kit car, which has an assigned VIN from the kit manufacturer, which is typically attached to the licensed body shell (licensed by the OEM manufacturer) of that kit. If your car is undergoing restoration, has a clean title, and has been disassembled into a pile of parts, you may legally reassemble your pile of used and new parts into that specific vehicle again. As far as I know, there is no restriction on the quantity of repair parts used in fixing a vehicle in California. However, if someone has two Mustangs, each with a VIN, one titled and the other not, swapping the VIN plate to and or between the two would constitute fraud. There is a clear difference between a restoration/build and a fraudulent VIN swap.

I also bring this up because my Fastback is an “original” Mustang, but the floor, aprons, and radiator support have been repaired. Also, it looks like the RH rear quarter was replaced from an accident and perhaps both doors were swapped by a previous owner, since they look to have had factory pony door lights even though this is not a pony interior car. There are other remnants of collision repair on the RH rear quarter, LH front frame rail and who knows what other parts have been swapped. I guess this is the reality with some vehicles that have been on the road for over fifty years. Factory panels have date stampings, but how do you really know what you have? Still, I guess the key is to honestly represent what you have to the best of your ability if you were to ever advertise or sell your car. I’m not a lawyer nor expert in this subject. However, I hope this help provides as piece of mind for the hobbyist restorer or owner whom needs to make the appropriate repairs in order to build a safe and roadworthy vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Notching The Front Floor Crossmember

Squeezing a T56 into a 65 tunnel with the Heidts Pro G (Gen II) front suspension requires notching the front floor crossmember for additional vertical clearance. The Heidts T56 crossmember attaches to the floor supports, so it reinforces the tunnel.





Dynacorn Front Floor Crossmember Extended For 6-Speed Manual Transmission 1965-1970


Dynacorn offers a 65-70 floor crossmember that is supposedly made for the 6 speed transmission. It is wider, like the 67-68 factory crossmember, and does have a taper on one side, but it looked to be the same height as the 65-66 factory crossmember. I took some measurements and decided it was best to notch my existing tunnel support as it would probably be less work for my application.







I have more paint stripping to do. Looks like I need to address the shift hole plate.

 

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Discussion Starter #59
Left Hand ECU Mounting Box and Seat Belt Anchors

The LH ECU box arrived from Mustangs To Fear. I will use the added space for potentially mounting electronics such as a speaker amp or CAN bus system.







There is more to grind and I need to apply some rust converter to clean up the LH backside of the firewall.



The front factory seat belt anchor plates along the tunnel had seen better days. The RH plate threads were nearly stripped and it looked like the LH plate was barely hanging on with one weld. I decided to replace both and plug weld new anchor plates. I checked and the outer seat belt threads within the rocker panels and fortunately those looked good.





It is my understanding that rear seat belts were not mandatory until 1966? So I figured it would be a good time to add rear seat belt anchor plates for the back seat in my 65. I checked online and it looked like some cars had the plates mounted vertically while others had them angled? I will hold off on installing the outer plates until the mini tubs installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Assemble Front Rotors, Hats, Safety Wire, and Hubs



I decided to change gears for a day and assemble my front rotors. Up front, I have a pair of Wilwood Superlite 6 piston calipers with anodized black 12.88” vented rotors 140-9803-D. I assembled the rotor and hat, torqueing the ¼-20 bolts to 13 foot pounds with a dap of red Loctite 271.



Installing safety wire definitely pushed my patience, but I got the hang of it after a couple of failed attempts. YouTube was my teacher on this one. I used .032” Allstar Performance stainless steel wire #10121. Last, I assembled hubs and studs. It is my understanding that this setup requires a minimum of 17” rims. I’m sure the increase in thermal mass and contact surface is way overkill for this vehicle, but I love the aesthetic and design language implemented by Willwood.

 
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