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Father/Son 66 Coupe Restomod

18418 Views 71 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  rbtconsultants
My son is 15 and he really wanted a vintage mustang as his first car. I didn't want to deal with a rust bucket, but I didn't want to buy a "finished" runner either. I wanted something he and I could restomod and make it look vintage while having it modern under the skin. I wanted him to have something safe and reliable, with some of the creature comforts his friends cars have, while still having it be a muscle car that would stand out above his friends tweakers and beemers.

So, we looked around a bit, and found this on craigslist for $2500. We started on it November, and we've made quite a bit of progress. I've been taking pics all along the way, and he's been bugging me to blog it somewhere, and this forum has been my favorite resource, so I decided to blog it here.

In coming posts, I'll add the pics of our progress. The metal in the front and interior was pretty much replaced when we bought it, so good floors, new toe pans, firewall, cowl, aprons, shock towers, fenders. As I'll show upcoming, there was rust in the trunk/quarters/framerails but we have since dealt with that.

One thing I liked was that it was partially disassembled, interior was out and engine was out so a lot of that hassle was already done.

So, more to come, but for now, here are the original Craigslist photos.

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That's a hell of a loop in the SS brake line. It may work ok, but flop around and rub on things.
Must be a great feeling to have her rolling under her own power!!! congrats.
What an awesome project, I'll be reading your future updates since I hope to do a similar restomod someday.
Looking good
Just went through your build thread. You guys are doing an awesome job. My son and I are currently in process with building a 66 as well, so I can relate first hand to the joys (and difficulties) of the father son project. I would not trade the experience for the world. I never did end up creating a build thread, but often use VMF for many references and ideas.

My son turns 16 in July, so we are in the final push to complete the new motor build and drop it in.

BTW - What made you decide on the CPP LCA's? We are also running the UCA's and perches from John at OpenTracker, but we kept the stock LCA's and strut rod as well. I will need to do some research on them.

That's a hell of a loop in the SS brake line. It may work ok, but flop around and rub on things.
It is at it's least extended position. I'll have to get pic when it's fully extended with the wheels turned the opposite way. Much less slack.

Rob - you're right. Father/son time together is priceless. We bark at each other like brothers :) but I wouldn't trade the time for anything.

Honestly, I liked the cpp subframe because it seems to tie everything together and stiffen things up a bit. Plus I'm hoping I can minimize shim needed for caster, and the price seemed right compared to an adjustable strut rod setup. I might go a different way if I was doing it again since I'm not overly impressed with cpp as a company, but overall I'm very pleased now that we got everything sorted.

Rob - you're right. Father/son time together is priceless. We bark at each other like brothers :) but I wouldn't trade the time for anything.

Honestly, I liked the cpp subframe because it seems to tie everything together and stiffen things up a bit. Plus I'm hoping I can minimize shim needed for caster, and the price seemed right compared to an adjustable strut rod setup. I might go a different way if I was doing it again since I'm not overly impressed with cpp as a company, but overall I'm very pleased now that we got everything sorted.

What did you end up doing where the CPP LCA mounts to the existing bracket (where the stock original LCA mounted)? Do you have any adjustment capability at that point? Did you need to add the camber kit to give you the ability to adjust at that mount point or did the CPP come with something to enable it?

The A arm is adjustable for caster. The mounting point for the lca is just a bushing. They claim some sort of superior material for the bushing, I guess time will tell. With the A arm adjusted to max caster there doesn't seem to be any binding. We haven't aligned it yet so I don't know much more than that. It's currently installed with no shims. You can use a welded in camber kit, we might end up doing just that when we get around to aligning it.


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WOW, you guys did a lot. My wife and son are getting in on our 66 project. He's pretty eager at 11 yrs old, which is great, I believe I learned around that age. Haven't had too many problems, but the only thing I've seen so far is new front floor pans and battery area is rotted as I was clearing away grease/grime/paint/ etc.
So, it's time to update the blog.

Here are the brake lines in the engine bay. Note that after I wasted $ on two cheap brake line flare tools as well as money on a roll of brake line and a bunch of fittings, I finally just ordered pre-made straight brake lines from Amazon. Trying to flare my own brake lines sucked and I was wildly unsuccessful at it. The lines I made for the back ended up being leaky.

So, the only prebent brake line on the car is the front to rear, but all the other brake lines were preflared and we just ordered the lengths we needed and bent them. Easy and (really) cheap. Unless you are going to make a lot of brake lines over time and can justify a good (expensive) flaring tool it's just not worth it.

Hre's a pic from above showing the adjustable proportioning valve setup

Had a hell of a time bleeding everything, with all new brake system. Used a pump from the bleeders, than a vacuum from the bleeders, finally a pump from the reservoirs.

Pedal is still a little squishy. If I clamp the hose in the rear that goes to the distribution block, the pedal is rock hard. So, that wants to jump to the conclusion that there is air in the rear lines along the axle or the rear calipers. I am not getting anymore air out, so a bit baffling.

My working theory now is that the pads are too far from the rotors. I need to get the e-brake hooked up since that is how the calipers are adjusted. I'm hoping that gets rid of the last bit of squishy, too much pedal travel.

As you can see in the video when we drove it that we had welded in the radiator core support and installed the radiator so, at this point, the car was basically mechanically done.
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On to starting to get body parts on. Before we did that we decided we wanted to weld torque boxes in because we decided if we didn't do it now it would never happen. My son says that this was the most brutal part of the build so far. Installed two piece boxes and it was a lot of hammering, cutting and welding to get them in and fit properly. But they are in and look good.

Here is the driver side with the first piece welded in. We coated the inside of the boxes with rust encapsulator before we got them together, then sprayed anti-rust inside after.

Passenger side box installed:

Once the torque boxes were in, we prepped the wheel wells before putting the fenders in. We discovered the passenger side did not have the headlight bracket welded in up at the front of the apron, so we ordered one of them and welded it in.

Then, two coats of rust encapsulator, lots of seam sealer, and two coats of Chassis black.

The doors are mounted now. Over the winter, we completely rebuilt the doors. Lot of work. Bought good door shells off of a guy on Craigslist. Sprayed the insides with two coats of rust encapsulator, then two coats of Eastwood flexible sealer and sound deadener. Started transferring things over from old to new.

Moved the latches over. Cleaned them up, lubed them, added all new bushings for the rods.

Ended up buying new vent window frames and weatherstrip and installing the original vent windows.

Got a complete weatherstrip kit, so that came with new tracks on the vent window frame, as well as new beltline weatherstrip.

Installed new "felt" in the tracks in the rear of the door. That was a horrible experience and I would not recommend it. Ended up ordering one new track because I was so unsuccessful in getting that felt installed because it is pre-adhesived and impossible to get installed in the track. Ended up tearing it as soon as I ran the window in it. I think the side I didn't get a new replacement for also tore, but not enough to snag the window, so I left it. I have another thread on here about that.

Also, another thread I wrote about the fact that the bottom frames of our windows were completely rotted out.

So, I ended up getting replacements from Glazier Nolan. Very nice used ones. You can see one in the pic above with the window track.

Then, we installed Power locks. Here is the actuator installed inside the door:

Also installed Power Window regulators from A1 Electric. Using the Window Crank switches and two relays in the door to run everything. Also added a wiring pigtail so the alarm system can roll the windows up automatically when the system arms.

Here is a pic of door installed, working on aligning gaps. The door was a bit high here. We ended up having to remove the striker and grinding down the opening in the jamb a bit to allow the striker to go a bit lower. That fixed this problem.

Aligning the doors wasn't too difficult. We bought new hinges so it was really just about sliding things about a bit until we got what we needed. The little bit of grinding of the striker was about all the tricks we needed.
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We were getting ready to install the windshield and noticed that the cowl didn't seem right.

Turns out the top of the two piece cowl was just bolted on, and never got welded in by the PO.

So, we took care of that.

Putting the windshield was messy, but it wouldn't have been too bad except my son made a small mistake. He had put sealer in the gasket for the glass, then got the gasket completely installed on the glass, and got the rope in for the install, and we were picking up the glass getting ready to put it in when I noticed he had the gasket on backwards, and the rope channel that was supposed to be on the inside of the windshield was on the outside. So, he had to take the gasket off and turn it around and put it back on. Made quite a mess and he was not a happy camper, let me tell you.

Ended up using over two tubes of the 3m bedding coumpund glass sealer because of that, but I guarantee it won't leak :)

Once we got the windshield in, we installed the hood. Trying to get it aligned was a problem, and it turned out our hinges weren't in great shape, so we ordered new hinges.

Got the new hinges and found an interesting problem. When installed the hood had a good gap with the cowl, but it was shifted a half inch to the driver side. Center line all the way from Cowl to latch. Our diagnosis was that when the passenger apron was welded to the firewall it was a little off. We ended up "persuading" it a bit to angle the passenger side hinge out a bit more, added a shim to the bottom bolt of the hinge, and added a shim to the top bolt of the driver side hinge. Now it's aligned perfect.

Then got the fenders bolted on and aligned with the cowl, doors and hood. Got nice gaps all around. I'll need to take some pictures of the gaps.

Dry fitting:

All tightened up, headlight buckets prepped:

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So, interior. This was actually done before the doors went on, as you can see.

First thing was to get it prepped, then sprayed. Two coats of Rust encapsulator, two coats of epoxy primer.

Here is Bobby welding in the seat pans. Rust encapsulated the floor and inside of the pans before welding.

Taping and getting ready.

We bought one of those "trees" to hold the rolls of paper and tape, that thing is awesome. Roll the tape paper out and the edge is already taped. Very convenient. You can see it in the background of this picture:

Here is the boy and his friend Mike getting ready to spray the interior. We bought a 4-stage turbine HVLP sprayer on EBAY that we are using. It worked GREAT:

Here is the interior after spraying, with the wiring harness starting to go in:

Here is the interior with the dash painted and steering column installed. Wiring harness is still going in. You can see the door inside here with the electric window regulator installed and the crank switch.

Next will come Eastwood butyl/aluminum sound mat, then a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl, then carpet. That comes soon, after wiring is done.

Over the winter, we reupholstered the seats. Here they are. The fronts are from a Fiero, the backs are stock. Upholstery from Mr. Mike. Custom console made for us.

That's about it for now. We're up to date. Our hope is to have it road ready in the next 3-4 weeks. I'll update further in a week or so.

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i like those seats ! are you guys match door panels with the seats ? might look cool
We have white deluxe pony door panels. Door will be black. Black carpet, black kick panels and interior quarter panels, white one-piece tmi headliner. You can see the black dash pad in the pics. Should be awesome.

So, been a couple months, made a lot more progress.

If anyone wants more detail on anything we have done, PLEASE holler. There are a lot more pictures and details of things that I'm not trying to overload this thread with unless there is interest. I am working on posting everything on a web site, but that will take a while longer.

So, mushing forward with the interior, we decided to weld in the rear seat reinforcements for the dual Exhaust brackets, as well as weld in a steel trunk divider (for safety, rigidity and sound insulation).

Put some epoxy primer on that , and now here is the interior with the Eastwood mat down:

We are putting down 1/8" closed cell foam on top of that, followed by 1lb/sq. ft. Mass Load Vinyl, followed by carpet. That's all going in tomorrow.

Here is a pic of the dash with the new gauge set being dry fitted . Note the blue button on the dash where the ignition switch would be. That's the "push to Start" button. The car has Passive Keyless Entry now (more pics and details on that later):

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I need to get some pics together of the under dash wiring now that that is almost done.

In the meantime, here is the progress on outside of car.

New headlight buckets installed, ac condensor and drier installed, horns:

Stone guard and grille support in, everything epoxy primed:

Finally, whole front end together:

And the rear, tagged and registered :

I need to get some underneath pics of the 2 1/4" dual exhaust setup, but we did do the GT valance exit with some nice 3" stainless tips rather than the trumpets.

The plan is to get the the interior installed this weekend, and get it PA State safety inspected next weekend, and the boy can start driving it (as soon as he learns how to drive the stick).
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