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Discussion Starter #223
Like what you did with the seat mounting. You bend the L brackets or use angle iron?
Thanks. I cut and drilled some angle iron that I pulled from a scrap pile. The setup feels plenty strong, but I may reinforce the back of the seat plate adapters where they extent out about 6" behind the seat platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #224
AC Vents, Mounting Console, Door Seals, Interior Quarter Panels, Seat Belts.

Taking care of a few more interior components. Mounted the Vintage Air under dash AC vents. I found it easier to drill out the sheet metal screw holes on the plastic housing about 3/8 of an inch and use washers to allow for some adjustability. I’ll probably epoxy and paint the plastic housings prior to the final install. I mounted the MTF console to the tunnel by modifying an OEM console bracket. I used a structural brace and drilled two holes under the removable cup holders.





http://www.joshuareis.com/VMF_Conv/IMG_33h_ConsoleMounting_2hd.jpg[IMG]

Installed door seals. The RH door didn’t have any guide holes, so drilled my own using the seal as a template.

[IMG]http://www.joshuareis.com/VMF_Conv/IMG_33h_DoorSeals_1hd.jpg

I ordered a second set of convertible inner quarter panels to create cutouts for the roll bar. However, I quickly discovered that the new pair of plastic interior quarter panels are significantly different from the first set of reproductions that I purchased about two years ago. So, the good news is the reproductions have improved. The bad news, I feel it is best to start over using the new pair. Such is the life with reproduction parts. I installed and tested the rear Electric Life power window motors. Due to limited space, the motor must be first installed set at about ¾ height, followed by the window rail assembly, and glass third. I also had to grind some of the power window bracket to gain some clearance. The rear Electric Life power windows use metric 6mm thread bolts, which are not included. The front motors came with bolt hardware. So I ordered a set of 6mm x 1.0 threaded bolts with 12mm underhead length and 10mm wrench diameter.





I also mocked up the three-point seat belt and welded in a pair of seat belt bungs onto the roll bar for 7/16-20 bolts. I need to get a tig welder.



Originally, I had hoped to use a factory style window crank switch, but I didn’t see how there was going to be enough room between the electric motor and interior trim panel. This might have been easier to do with the Nu-relic power windows, I don’t know. So I determined that the best way forward was to mount a billet push button switch (same used in the console) into the interior quarter panels adjacent to the factory ashtray. I ordered a pair of Dynacorn interior quarter trim panels so that I didn’t have to modify my original panels. They took a little trimming to match the OEM metal panels, but the stamping was really good. I figured I might as well keep a stock set of interior quarter panels and then modify the aftermarket stuff to accommodate the roll bar and power window switches. Once I had my second pair of rear interior quarter panels assembled, I plugged the factory crank hole. I will smooth and eliminate the wrinkle finish with surface primer. It has been a bit of trail and error customizing these parts to work for my application.
 

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Discussion Starter #225
Installing Power Door Lock Actuators



I opted to go with the Electric Life 5-wire door actuators. The 5 wire actuators have built in switches that can trigger an alarm or communicate with a module. Also, turning the key or triggering the lock knobs in one of the doors will cause the other to lock or unlock in parallel unlike a 2-wire actuator. I fabricated a pair of mounting brackets to reduce the offset between the actuators and pull knob rod.





 

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Discussion Starter #226
Door Wiring Harness

With the actuators mounted, I modified the 5-wire harness and worked on the door electrical wiring. Each door has two harnesses. For harness #1, I modified a factory style pony door harness #C6ZZ-13A769-A. The black and blue wires on the 2-pin Deutsch connectors are for the reverse polarity power window. Black is the ground, second black wire is for the mirror negative, the factory 2-pin plug is for the pony door courtesy light, and the capped red wire is a spare.

For harness #2, both pairs of 2 pin Deutsch connectors are for the door lock actuator, red is for the mirror turn signal hot, a pair 16 AWG speaker wires, and a black shared ground that ties into harness #1 for the door lock actuator fifth ground wire. The stainless door loom is made by Keep It Clean and has a ¾ inch OD like the OEM factory wiring loom. I referenced a 1966 OEM Mustang shell for loom positioning.







 

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Discussion Starter #227
Door Latch Reinforcement



Cracking along the door latches is very common on these cars. I explored a few options to reinforce the metal along the door as a preventive measure against future damage. I decided that I could slightly modify a couple of repair plates and weld them to the inside of the door to increase strength. It is my understanding that they are originally designed to bolt onto the exterior of the door as a quick fix solution, but obviously that doesn’t look too great. I tested the latch operation prior to welding and the latch operated without issue. I’m not sure if I am going to use the washers, but if I do, I will probably paint them the body color. The countersunk screws included with the Scott Drake latch repair kit are much longer than the OEM latch screws. There are probably a dozen of different ways to do this, but the doors now feel much more solid when closing.



 

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Door Latch Reinforcement



Cracking along the door latches is very common on these cars. I explored a few options to reinforce the metal along the door as a preventive measure against future damage. I decided that I could slightly modify a couple of repair plates and weld them to the inside of the door to increase strength. It is my understanding that they are originally designed to bolt onto the exterior of the door as a quick fix solution, but obviously that doesn’t look too great. I tested the latch operation prior to welding and the latch operated without issue. I’m not sure if I am going to use the washers, but if I do, I will probably paint them the body color. The countersunk screws included with the Scott Drake latch repair kit are much longer than the OEM latch screws. There are probably a dozen of different ways to do this, but the doors now feel much more solid when closing.



SHOOT! Why did you have to go and post this? Now you have me thinking.....
 

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Discussion Starter #229
SHOOT! Why did you have to go and post this? Now you have me thinking.....
Glad I could help. The driver side OEM doors on both my 65 Fastback and 66 Coupe have cracks so they will be getting this upgrade. I would almost consider it a design flaw with these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #230
Coyote and Electronics Computer Boxes

Cut and welded in LH and RH MTF computer boxes. The RH (passenger) box is for mounting the Coyote ECU behind the kick panel. The Ford Performance control pack harness does need to modified and extended as the harness is only a couple of feet long, which would limit the ECU to be mounted around the battery tray within the engine compartment. I like the idea of placing the ECU hidden from exterior road elements. I’ve seen builds where the Coyote ECU was mounted up in the cowl vent or within a custom compartment in the battery tray area.

Mustangs To Fear ECU Box



I installed the LH (driver) box which could be used for mounting a CAN Bus system, alarm, door lock module, or aftermarket fuse panel. I still need to clean up the welds, epoxy, and seam seal, but installation is relatively straightforward.

 

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Discussion Starter #231
Convertible Interior Quarter Panels



I spent some time revisiting the interior convertible quarter panels to accommodate the roll bar. I ended up going with a two-piece design so that the interior quarter panels can be removed and installed with or without roll bar. This also allows access to the rear quarter power windows and any wiring without removing the roll bar. I think I will vinyl the bottom half and maybe wrap the top removable piece. It’s something a little different for a restomod. Moving onto finishing up the three point seat belts.

 

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Discussion Starter #232
Finishing Seat Belts and Welding Firewall Holes



I finished working on the seat belts fitting the retractable base behind the interior quarter panel. Space is limited between the convertible top cylinders and the quarter glass. I drilled into the inner rocker frame rail and welded a weld-on nut with a 3/8-16 bolt thread. A slotted angle bracket bolts to this anchor point, which allows for some adjustment so the seat belt can run centered through the rear interior quarter panel ashtray cutout. It took a few measurements, but I got everything to play together. To finish the interior quarter panels, I modified the stock ashtray and chopped up a brush door sweep that I purchased from the Home Depot.



Moving forward smoothing the firewall welding up unnecessary factory holes for the gas pedal linkage, under dash AC lines, mechanical speedometer cable, parking brake, clutch rod, stock electrical plugs, and heater motor. I will use AC bulkhead fittings for a cleaner aesthetic to link up with the AC lines that I have already made. Welding slowly as to not warp the metal. However, as you can see in the photograph, the firewall stamping is pretty wavy so it will ultimately require some bodywork to look good. I tacked the patches on the dash side for additional strength.





 

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Discussion Starter #233
Introducing “Crusty Ivy,” My daily driver 1965 Convertible



“Crusty Ivy” is my southern California, fair weather, city daily driver, which is pretty much most of the year here. Last summer, I started looking for a mechanically sound 65-66 Mustang convertible with a V8, automatic, and with minimal rust. I set a budget within the 15-20k range keeping an eye on Craigslist and Ebay. Working within this limited price category, I knew I was going to be looking at cars that were going to need some work.

After looking for a couple of months, I noticed a particular car that remained listed on Craigslist in San Francisco, so I jumped on a flight to check it out. It’s a 1965(76A), San Jose (R), Ivy green (R), standard back interior (26) Los Angeles DSO (71), Axle 2.8 (6), Automatic (6), and V8 C code casr. It has a 30 footer paint job, some bubbling areas of rust along the quarter wheel wells, the interior seats had rips, carpet faded, the rally wheels had rust, missing AC compressor, and a whole bunch of minor aesthetic issues. It looked like the car was painted red at one time prior to being repainted to its factory color. The car was well equipped with factory under dash AC, power steering, front discs with power booster (added), GT fog lights, rally wheels, new tires, mint windshield molding, new black Robbins cloth top with split glass rear window, 1” sway bar, heavy duty front coils (600s I think), 42-331HD leafs, upgraded shocks, electronic Pertronix distributor, new gas tank, and dual exhaust. Barring squeaks and leaks, the car drove really well. The rebuilt drivetrain had about 30k miles on it as the car was probably restored in the mid 90s.

The convertible has a “crusty patina” and it was exactly what I was looking for in a city daily driver. I liked the black interior and ivy green exterior color combination. Unfortunately, I saw numerous small areas of cancerous rust along the RH wheel wells and RH door. However, the undercarriage looked solid. The LH fender was a repo and there was cracking bondo along the lower rocker indicating some evidence of a prior collision. However, the price was right so I purchased the car expecting that there were probably going to be more secrets revealed upon further inspection.





It took two and a half weeks to give the car a quick mechanical refresh. I replaced the nonfunctional temp gauge, flushed the coolant, changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, adjusted the carburetor, reset 2100 choke, rerouted the PCV tubing, new rear end breather tube, aligned the quarter windows, greased window regulators, tightened the shifter linkage, reassembled the parking brake linkage, realigned heater linkage controls, new under dash defroster vent tubes, and rewired the under dash AC unit with a 20 amp fuse. The floor had very minimal surface rust, which I wire brushed, applied rust converter, and sealed with Por-15. I moved forward cutting out the three areas of cancerous rust along the RH of the body and welded in replacement panels. The trunk had a very rough patina, so I stripped with aircraft paint remover, applied rust converter, body filler, epoxy primer, 2k primer surface, wet sanded, and painted with factory Du Pont 4611-L Ivy Green single stage paint. This was my first project laying down color so it was good practice. The inside of the doors were shockingly clean. The original San Jose doors don’t have lower bump stops, which is interesting.











I installed a new carpet and swapped all of the interior bulbs including the instrument cluster with new LED units. I replaced the brake lights with sequential LED units as well as the parking lamps. I also installed a Redline Lumtronix headlight relay harness and swapped the headlamps with stock looking modern Hella H4 units fitted with 4300 kelvin LED lamps. Most LEDS are 5500k -6500k, so its nice to see warmer tungsten balanced LEDs out there. All of this modern lighting is affordable on Ebay and one could customize a setup easily for under $75. All interior and exterior lighting, with exception of the GT style fog lights are LED, which is a vast improvement in safety. However, the car still looks stock to an untrained eye.

I also worked on few other electrical issues mostly associated with corrosion at ground connections. The front seats upholstery and padding needed to be replaced. Fortunately, I had a pair of decent black 65 front seats that I swapped since I am not using them for my restomod Fastback build. I added bumper guards, deluxe mirror, LH water shield, scuff plates, and a few other missing hardware using OEM parts that I pillaged from my unused parts bins. I’m glad I didn’t throw these parts away. The transmission cooling lines were a leaky situation, so I swapped them for a new pair of stainless lines. The sway bar had 1 1/8” bushings wrapped in electrical tape, so they had to be swapped with the proper 1” bushings. I greased all of the suspension grease fittings. Last, I installed a 67 style battery tie down kit with a battery disconnect switch. I’d like to swap the brakes to a tandem master cylinder someday for improved safety, but the braking is pretty solid and the brake lines had already been replaced.







I recently had original CA YOM (year of manufacture) plates assigned to the vehicle by the CA DMV keeping with the original survivor theme. I have added a couple thousand miles to the odometer and it has proven to be very reliable driver having only to replace a failing fuel pump. I’m super pleased considering I purchased this California car for 15k, investing less than 1k in new parts and paint. I think that’s a pretty good deal in this current market. If the car gets in an accident, I’m in it for a relatively minimal investment. It’s fun wrenching, learning, and not worrying about scratching the car. It also helps having another OEM shell for reference as I build the 66 Phantom. Eventually, I would like to properly restore “Crusty Ivy.” I love that vintage vinyl smell mixed with that carbureted gas aroma. I love throwing the mountain bike in the back or having the dog jump in and take short road trips not worrying about chipping the patina paint or damaging the aged interior. It’s a daily driver, a cruiser, looks, and smells like a fifty-year-old car. Hoping for many more safe, reliable, and happy miles with “Crusty Ivy.”
 

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Discussion Starter #234
Smoothing Cowl, Doors, and Interior Convertible Quarter Panels

I worked on smoothing the cowl panel for aesthetic purposes and since the under dash Vintage Air unit caps both of the lower cowl openings. The OEM style cowl vents just don’t look right on this restomod. I welded in metal panels being cautious to not warp the metal using compressed air to help keep things cool. I wish there was a way to use one single piece of metal, but this approach worked nicely on my Fastback. I smoothed with Evercoat Gold Filler, and top coated with PPG DP40LV Epoxy. It still needs a little more work, but I think it’s about 90% percent finished.





I worked on smoothing the doors eliminating the majority of the waviness and a few dings in the reproduction panels using a dolly with hammer followed by filler. It took three coats, block sanding between each pass using the Eastwood 2k aerospray high build primer. This stuff comes in a spray can and there is a button located on the bottom of the can that releases the activator when pressed. It’s super convenient with no cleanup and I’m impressed with the nice wide coverage provided by the variable spay nozzle. It's perfect for small tasks like this. The high build primer also filled in the wrinkle finish on the interior of the doors and convertible interior quarter panels.



 

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Discussion Starter #235
Suspension Disassembly and Engine Bay

I was finally able to put the convertible up on the lift. It was time to disassemble the suspension, which I haven’t touched since the day I picked it up.







I don’t have a professional press, so I came up with this little rig to remove the bushings from the Pro G upper control arms. Nothing fancy, but it works.



I documented, cleaned, and disassembled the lower control arms, coil overs, and rearend. The scratched and damaged powder coated parts are off to a shop to be refinished. The R3PP LH two-piece apron was warped and the upper control arms were rubbing on the frame rails so I figured it was best to install new single piece aprons and radiator support to address everything. I took some measurements for reference and began surgery using a cut off wheel, spot weld cutter, and air hammer.







Fresh start.
 

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What a mess. Glad to see you getting back on track!
 

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Discussion Starter #237
New Aprons, Radiator Support, Gussets, and Shock Tower Covers

I installed new single piece aprons, rear fender apron extensions, radiator support, torque box gussets, and shock tower covers. I started by drilling ¼ holes into the new parts and mocked up the new sheet metal. Everything needed a little tweaking. I confirmed measurements using my Hilti laser range meter and by hanging my vehicles OEM fenders. I screwed in the new metal and snugged up the gaps. I also test fit a new fiberglass hood. It is a Stangaholics GTRS design with a Shelby style functional dual scoop. The gaps between the doors, cowl, and hood looked good for a mockup, so I moved forward welding.





I trimmed the front frame rails lip within the shock tower opening following the Heidts Pro G instructions to create clearance for the upper control arms. I also added torque box gussets for additional strength. They also cover up the dents from when they hammered in the torque boxes.



The previous Heidts shock tower covers no longer aligned, so I trimmed a new pair to clear the shock tower saddles. While the suspension was away for powder coat, was able to use a pair of upper control arms from my fastback for fitting.



I still need to detail a few plug welds and modify the radiator support to accept the C&R Coyote radiator that I had previously fitted to the car. The fenders now just simply hang very nicely on the car. Once I’m finished with the metal, I will be smoothing and will seal with PPG DP40LV epoxy primer. I still have a lot to do and learn, but it definitely feels good to have addressed these issues. However, the greatest reward is literally seeing the improvement and growth in confidence in my skills, which was the primary reason for taking on this automotive journey.

 
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