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Discussion Starter #1
I've started several threads over the years with various questions, but never a build thread, as I've never been very good about documenting projects as I go with pictures - BUT, I'm going to try this time. This coupe was my first car, bought back somewhere around 2000 or 2001. At that time I knew nothing about old cars other than I wanted one and I wanted to learn how to work on them. Without knowing much, my dad and I found this car locally and it all began. It's a 65 coupe, originally Rangoon/standard red interior, C-code with a C4 and 2.80 8". The most significant options included AC with console, although the AC was not in working order at that time. The car was originally sold in South Carolina; however, it quickly made its way to Oklahoma where it was stolen and in a small accident (passenger side quarter took the brunt of it). After the wreck, it sat in a garage in Oklahoma for over 20 years. The guy we bought it from in Kansas had recently bought it to restore, but found his dream car (GTO) and so was moving on from the Mustang. It didn't run (broken flexplate) and was still wrecked.

We got it home, stripped it, had the body/paint work done, rebuilt the 289 and C4, freshened up the brakes, and I drove it like that for my senior year of high school. The picture is how the car sat at that point. We ignored the electrical, interior, brake/fuel lines, gas tank, and all the other little odds and ends that make a car truly "done". I always hated the red on red, and as much as I begged my dad to let me change it at that time, he was adamant that the car stay red, but we painted it Ford Lemans Red, apparently a Ford Probe/Mercury Capri color. It definitely is bright. Honestly, at that point, the car was probably a 6/10. It looked great from 5 feet away, but once you got up close anyone with any kind of knowledge could see that all kinds of things were left unaddressed. But, it was a great learning experience for me and the car definitely turned heads.
 

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Fast forward about 7 years to 2011, and I was out of college and had finally bought my own house with a nice big 2 car garage. So, a little older and more patient (and a little more knowledgeable, but not much), I decided to embark on a project to address all of the "hidden" things that my dad and I had never addressed. That included:

* Rebuilding the rear end - eventually decided to swap a 9" and found a 57-59 housing, axles, and pumpkin local to me.
* Cleaning and painting the undercarriage that was full of undercoating and grime, but very solid (I got lucky).
* Replacing all brake and fuel lines.
* Upgrading to disk brakes.
* New electrical.
* New suspension and steering.

Again, I don't have as many pictures as I should, but here are the ones I do have. First I pulled the tired 8", gas tank, and lines/electrical in the rear of the car. Then, I started the miserable task of taking a heat gun, wire wheel, scrapers, and other miscellaneous tools and proceeded to clean off all the junk that was under the car. What I was left with was an incredibly solid and clean starting point. There wasn't a bit of rust anywhere underneath, which is almost unheard of it seems. Even the front leaf spring bolts, which I had been warned would be seized, came out like butter. I then sprayed a couple coats of primer followed by a couple coats of Eastwood's chassis paint in satin black. It's not perfect, and I didn't expect it to be, but the car is night day cleaner and easier to work on now. In the first primer photo, you can make out in the bottom right hand corner what the undercoating/grime looked like when I started.

I then got to work replacing parts. Installed the housing (which I had blasted and powdercoated), axles, and rebuilt/detailed (as good as I could) differential. The diff was rebuilt with 3.25 limited slip gears, as I was planning a T5 swap at some point and I thought those would go well with the trans. Even with the C4, they woke the car up. I then installed an Opentracker front suspension (OEM style arms, GT350 springs, roller perches, etc.), OEM steering with Shelby quick steer kit, 4.5" mideye rear springs, Cal Tracs, and Bilstein shocks. The car also got a new stainless gas tank and fuel lines. Finally, I installed Street or Track 4 wheel discs. The fronts are the now-discontinued 13" kit, and the rears are 11.65". At that time I also installed a Street or Track master cylinder and proportioning valve. The last picture is after everything, with the car on the trailer getting ready to head to Denver, where I was moving at the time (shows the final stance and look).

At this point, I was thrilled with the handling and braking, as it was like driving an entirely new car. Eventual plans were for a new motor and T5, along with an interior refresh, but my living situation (tiny garage in a rental) didn't really allow me to do any work. So, I drove it like this off and on for the next several years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And this brings us to today. Last fall, I decided I was tired of the red interior (which had never been touched) and embarked on an interior project. As I got going with stripping everything out in preparation for paint, my dad told me to hold off on the interior and explore the idea of repainting the car. At this point, the paint was about 15 years old and despite looking great, was starting to show its age. Plus, he had always felt bad about forcing the red on me, and now that I had gone this far stripping it, he decided to fund a repaint project for me. So, I laid out a new plan of attack to finally address everything that needed it once and for all, and finally get the car to 100% completion and at a point where I could drive it and not worry about a major area needing work. Here's the plan, as it sits today:

* Dark blue exterior - either Caspian ('65 correct) or Presidential Blue. I keep going back and forth on this one. Nightmist is too purple for me.
* Parchment interior. Couldn't have it in '65, but I love tan interiors, and well...it's my car.
* Keeping the original sweep style gauges, but adding a Rally Pac.
* Stock-size replacement radio with 6.5" fronts in the kick panels and undermounted 6"x9"s in the rear. Nothing too fancy.
* The original 289 will be looked over by a local engine builder to ensure it's in good shape, then freshened up. Plan is to run HiPo manifolds, so we'll port match everything. Also planning on a roller conversion. Hoping for 325-350 horsepower (builder thinks that will be easy - we'll see).
* 2 1/4" exhaust out the GT rear valence, like I had before.
* C4 will be replaced with a T5. Since it's going to be a relatively mild car, I'm going with non-Z spec, as I think the 3.35 1st will match up better with my 3.25 differential. Going with a hydraulic clutch.
* Likely adding original-style fog lights.
* One piece export bar and straight Monte Carlo bar.
* Cleaning/freshening up everything else as needed. Plan to finally correctly relocate the rear brake line for dual exhaust, although I've never had an issue with the setup as it is (I run braided hoses). Basically will be takin the time to ensure that every line, hose, and wire is clean, well-secured, and organized. Since I've had the car the engine bay has always looked like crap, so hopefully I finally have something respectable to show off.

So here's where I'm at today. The interior is stripped, the rear is stripped, and I'm about to move to the front and then get to pulling the motor and trans. Then I'll start mocking up the hydraulic clutch and fog light holes so I can get those drilled before paint. It goes into the body shop in the fall, and I'm not expecting it back until early spring. While it's there, the motor will go to the engine builder and I'll start prepping the T5. I'll do my best to keep updating this thread as changes happen, but I expect it will really pick up steam at that time.
 

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Small progress this weekend - dug the original console and air conditioner out of storage to do some cleaning/painting. I consider myself lucky that a PO when they removed the console didn't throw anything away, so at least it was complete and not in too rough of shape. Someone had drilled a couple holes in the side at some point, so I filled those with plastic filler (not perfect, but good enough for a driver), cleaned, and painted the console body. I tried to save $150 and refresh the main trim piece, but it looks horrible next to the new shifter plate and ash tray (speaking of console ash trays - do they really sit in there that loosely? I tried forever to figure out what I was missing, but all I could see was that the one tab in the back is the only thing holding it in. Good thing I never plan on using it, but the fit isn't great with the main trim piece). Here's a before pic and a pic of the painted body. Once I get the new main trim piece in I'll update with an assembled pic. Also including a shot of the AC unit pre-cleanup.
 

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Made some good progress on the disassembly today, focusing on the interior firewall. Got the pedal support, wiper assembly, heater core, and fresh air vent out of there. Also removed the firewall pad (probably not worth saving, unfortunately) and took a look at the cowl. I continue to be amazed at how solid this car is. Both cowl hats look to be in amazing shape with only light surface rust and no pinholes or other rot. I'll probably just clean it up and throw some paint in there best I can and call it good since the car won't be driven in the rain anyway. Pics show each cowl and the interior firewall, which is also in great shape and will require only minor cleaning/painting. Plan is to disassemble, clean, and repair the various systems now that they're all out.

Engine hoist and stand should be here this week, hoping to pull the motor and trans in the next couple weeks and really get the car to where it needs to be before going to paint in several months. Then I can focus my attention to the restoration of all the various components.
 

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1965 2+2 Vintage Burgundy A-code C4
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I’m liking the car, the progress the stance, the whole thing. Mostly I like your thought process on this. Thanks for sharing, this is inspiring.
 

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Thank you for the kind words - I am about the least knowledgeable or capable person on here, so anytime I can provide value to someone else is a huge positive in my book. I've learned so much (everything I know about these cars, basically) from this site so it's good to give back when I can. It's pretty liberating to not feel a rushed feeling to get the car on the road, but rather to be able to take a calculated, careful approach to making sure it's done right as opposed to always fast.

A couple of the plans have changed already though since I made my first post on this...going with a roller Z-bar setup for the clutch instead of the hydraulic (also converting pedal support to roller), and I think I am going to step up to a Z-spec T5. I'll run the 3.25s that are in there and if I find it miserable, upgrade to a 3.50 or 3.73 setup. I actually prefer a more usable first gear, though, so I'm expecting to not have any major issues.
 

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Well, as I warned might happen, I forgot to update this thread over the last couple months. Been working on getting the car ready for the paint shop, as well as focusing on freshening up the motor. As of yesterday, the car is as stripped as the shop wants it and is ready for body/paint, which is scheduled to start now in August/early September. I believe the only thing left for me to do is drill/punch the holes in the radiator support for the fog lights and firewall for clutch/fogs. Since the last update, I've pulled the motor/trans, removed all brake lines/components, and various other disassembly work.

Some of you may have seen a thread I posted in the main board asking about my engine, as this is my first time doing anything assembly-related to an engine. To summarize, instead of tearing it all down and rebuilding it since it ran fine and has only about 10k miles on it, I'm simply cleaning it and freshening it up. Other engine updates/plans:

* The original plan was to reuse the Performer 289 intake that the car came with when I bought it - unfortunately, that didn't work out due to a stubborn fitting that ended up ruining some threads when the shop tried to remove it for cleaning (I had tried but didn't want to ruin the intake, so asked the shop to remove that one). So, obviously not being charged for any of that work, I used the money for the intake cleaning and instead purchased a Weiand Street Warrior intake for the car. It's supposed to have the same RPM profile as the Performer but make a little extra power, plus I figure I still have the Performer that I can tinker with on my own time and try to clean/retap the threads and always switch back to it later if I want. Since the car is 100% cruiser/street car, I wanted an intake that would give me the most torque lower in the power band as possible.
* I have also ordered HiPo manifolds. I'll take those, the intake, and the heads to a local head shop where everything will be port-matched.
* I cleaned the pistons of as much carbon as I could, just because they were accessible and it seemed silly to not take the hour to do so when the heads were off.
* Once the heads are done, I'll get everything reassembled, throw a new water pump/oil pump and on, and paint it gloss black like stock. I have a 1.08 4100 to top it off and will reuse my HiPo air cleaner. Since it needs a new oil pan anyway, I'll probably run the Drake Boss 302 reproduction.

I think that pretty well sums up where I'm at now. Now that my work is done stripping the car, I can start moving to other small projects (finish engine, vent window rebuild, heater rebuild, AC rebuild, recover seats, etc.) while the car is in the shop this fall. I will be better at posting pics of those projects as I do them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Spent some time this afternoon reassembling the underdash unit for the AC. All of the guts/plumbing still need attention, but it was nice to see something look new and "done" at least. Because the chrome was in pretty decent condition and it's just going to be a driver, I did not get it rechromed. Just some light polishing of the bezel and knobs, repainting of the face, new vents, and new thermostat switch and blower switch. It may not be 100% perfect, but it looks a heck of a lot better. The top tray will be also be replaced. Even though it's just a few posts up, here's the before picture again with one from today. Making progress!

On another note, got the heads/intake/HiPo manifolds dropped off at the shop this weekend. They are going to do the normal porting of the exhaust on the heads, and port-match everything on the intake and HiPos. They're also going to do a 30 degree back cut on the valves, clean everything up, and install new valve stem seals. Should be done in a few weeks, at which point I'll try and find some time to reassemble the engine.
 

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This car is coming along nicely. Jealous of your efficiency :grin: seems like I'm moving at a snail's pace compared to you!
 

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Well I admit that I am trying to knock out as much as possible while I can...I just found out that I’m going to be a dad in January, so time and funds will decrease significantly then. The car will get painted this fall and then it will be a little slower from then on out putting it back together.
 

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Been delayed in posting, but work continues. Car was stripped to the level the body shop wanted and left for body/paint last Friday. Final decision was Caspian exterior and white interior and it should be done in the spring.

Also, I got the heads back from a port/rebuild. The heads were port-matched on both the intake and the exhaust sides. He also port-matched the intake and exhaust manifolds, upgraded the valve seals, added a 30 degree back-cut to the valves, inspected/refaced the valves and lapped in the valve seats, and thoroughly cleaned and degreased the heads. I added a Weiand Street Warrior (p/n 8124) intake and Hipo manifolds. While the engine was on the stand, I replaced the timing cover (old one was really pitted), harmonic balancer, and oil pump and shaft (standard volume Melling and hardened ARP shaft), changed out the rear main seal, and replaced the oil pan with a new Drake version (standard, not Boss 302). I then topped off the heads with some Cobra aluminum valve covers.

Finally, I made some good progress on the engine assembly. Next I plan to rebuild the 4100 carb and finish the mock up/install of the other engine items (distributor, water pump, fuel pump, etc.). For the engine paint, I used Eastwood's 2K high-temp primer and gloss black finish coats. It's a 2-part system that is contained in a spray can, so it allows someone like me who doesn't have access to a compressor or paint gun to get (hopefully) a harder and better finish. I was extremely pleased with how it came out, especially with my horrible painting skills. I used 2 cans of primer and 2 of color at $27/can, but the result was worth it for me.

I ordered the upholstery today (white Pony seats) and decided to go with the TMI Sport seats (not Sport II). I wanted some bolster, but I also wanted it to still look original and not too custom. Once the upholstery arrives, I'll probably be working on that while dealing with a newborn, as our first child (a boy!) is expected January 2nd or 3rd. Someday this will be his car...hopefully he wants it!
 

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I disassembled and cleaned (best I could without risking ruining anything) the 4100 that I picked up a while ago. The worst surgery required was replacing one of the vent tubes, which had snapped off at some point. Seemed to clean up pretty good...will put the rebuild kit in next and then store it until it's time to fire it up. The first 3 pics are before, last are after.
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Nice work. Love the progress on your solid car. It's great that the previous owner kept the original parts. I need to refresh my 65 AC evaporator too. I like your build plan: white TMI interior, rally pac, t5, hydraulic clutch, GT fog lights, 3.25 gearing. All good stuff.
 
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