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KBL's 1970 Mustang Mach 1 Build

10443 Views 104 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  RIBS
I was on the fence about starting a build thread for the Mach 1 that I purchased in February, as there are so many available already, but after thinking about how helpful it would be for me to document what I did, and hopefully help others in the process, I decided to move forward with it. I am not planning on anything more than a weekend driver / boulevard cruiser, so most of what I am doing is close to stock, but upgrading when it seems smart.

I know some about cars, but probably a novice on almost all aspects. I spent a lot of time working on cars back in the 70’s (mainly helping my brother with his GTO), but far from knowledgeable on most aspects. I shared a Mustang II and a Fox Body Mustang with my siblings while in college in the late 70’s, and have always wanted a Mach 1 as a friend of mine had one and I loved the body style. But then life rolled on, and never had enough time or a place to work on a hobby like this until now.

Once I retired, I got the taste of this when I purchased a 66 Mustang C Code back in 2017, and did a mini-restoration of the interior, an air conditioning install, and numerous other small things, but the drivetrain was in good shape so I didn’t really dig too deep into the car.

When I finished it, I wanted to do more, and I saw a 1970 Mach 1 H Code for sale in the area. When I purchased it, the PO had already stripped and bead blasted, it, replaced the quarter panels, floorboard, cowl, shock towers, and the tail light panels. It was very close for the final body work prior to painting. The doors and fenders were original, and he had purchased a new shaker hood (which is in the box in the background in the photo below).

It also came with a 351C 4V engine and a Toploader 4 speed transmission (they were not originally in the car, or ever for that matter - just part of the sale), and of course, most of the parts were loose or in bins.

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I will post more in the upcoming days that covers what I have been up to between now and when I purchased it in February.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took the body straight to a local body shop that I had used for my ’66 Mustang, and took the engine to my brother’s house for the teardown. I had checked with the body shop beforehand, and the body shop was finishing a couple of cars in the upcoming weeks, and they were ready to take it on. The good news about this place is they mainly work on older cars (right now they have 3 other Mustangs in various phases of work), and they came highly recommended. From what I have seen, they do great work, plus they are only about 15 minutes from my house.

I knew it wasn’t totally ready for body and paint work, but it was close, and they were willing to do what it needed to get it there.

So, my brother and I went and picked the Mustang up with two trucks – I was pulling the U-Haul Car Hauler behind mine (and I was skeptical of the U-Haul initially but it worked great), and my brother’s was empty. As you can imagine, with the car stripped down to the body, we filled both of the beds up with parts. My brother put the engine in his bed, and I had most of the glass and lighter parts in mine.

The car was a bit harder than expected to put into the trailer. The OP took out the steering linkage for the body work, so we guided it on roller plates. It was fine until we got it into the rails – each wheel then wanted to go its own way. It took the three of a good hour to get it into the trailer, and eventually we had to pull it into the hauler with the rear in the front. It was just as big of a problem when I got it to the body shop getting it out. The first thing they said there was – we are going to have to get the steering linkage installed, as we need to move this around, and we can’t the way it is set up. So I started hunting down the steering linkage in the boxes.

The OP provided some photos of what the car looked like before he took it apart, so that was helpful – he threw out a lot of parts, but understandable in a complete rebuild.
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It came with a 351C 4V CC (2 bolt mains) which was said to be running when pulled (like they always say 😊) and a T4 transmission. Neither were original to the car, nor date correct. The engine was built about 3 months after the car, and the transmission was from a 1965, but had apparently been upgraded to a 28 spline shaft. The date part is not important to me, as I just want to build it for weekend driving, and want to keep it close to original but update with modern technology where I think it is needed.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the Marti Report for the car. It had a 351C 2V originally and a 4 speed along with power steering. It was a Medium Gold Metallic with Medium Ginger Interior.

The dash that came out of it would make you believe it was either originally an AC car and the Marti Report did not show that, or it was added. Also added at some time was a tilt steering column. Again, the Marti Report doesn’t show that, but could have easily been added sometime in the past.

With the 351C 4V going in it, and the interior more or less completely changed out to Black sometime in its past, I am planning on going to Grabber Blue and stay with the black interior as some of the interior can be salvaged.

I am also planning to install a 5 speed (yet to be determined which one – either a TKX or T5z heavy duty). It has already been pointed out to me that the T5z may not be strong enough on the forum here, but after discussing with Modern Drive Line, they thought it would be fine.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Body Shop Catch Up:

So, we delivered the car straight to the body shop, and the trip was only 2 hours and uneventful. As I had mentioned before, the steering linkage that was missing was the biggest issue, but we were able to get the car in the shop.

I located some of the parts needed in the bins that came with the car, but it was missing some major parts like a gear box, power steering cylinder, numerous bolts, pins, etc. It took a couple of months to get all the parts rounded up and installed, but they were working on other parts of the car so it didn’t delay anything. Only one part was not available as a repro - the pitman arm for power steering - I ended up getting an OEM one on ebay.

Hood fitment was an issue – it came with an ACP shaker hood, which I believe did not fit properly because it was probably leaned against the PO’s wall for awhile and “squatted” a bit. Had a pretty big bow in the middle. I posted about this in the forum a few months back and it can be located here, so won’t elaborate more -> 1970 Hood Fitment Issues and Options to Replace

I ended up going with the NPD original ford tooling shaker hood, which fit much, much better. Although it was more expensive, it made for an easy fit. We will have to cut the holes for the twist locks, as they did not come with it.

The next issue were the doors. Both doors were original, but they had some rust issues at the bottom, and one of them would have to be skinned due to a wreck and repair before. The body shop was very up front that they could get these doors to work, however, the cost to make them work would most likely be higher than purchasing a new door. I was comfortable going the repro route, and they recommended Dynacorn, as they have had the best luck with those on other Mustangs. There were very few in stock at my normal go-to places, but I did find some in stock at Kentucky Mustang. Unfortunately, they showed up damaged. They were happy to replace, and send the replacements out before I had to send the others back, and the return shipping was all covered. The Kentucky Mustang rep said its an issue because of the size the box they ship it in doesn't have as much packing material but allows them to be shipped via UPS, otherwise the price would go up dramatically with truck freight. They are at the mercy of the handling that the delivery services provide. I had the replacements shipped directly to the body shop, and they inspected them before the truck left, and they had a couple of shipping dings, but easily fixable.

Fast forward to now, and they have everything put together – still putting some of the trim on prior to finishing the body work, they have epoxied the interior and it is looking more like a Mustang.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
351C Engine Catch Up - Teardown

We started tearing apart the engine over at my brother’s house. He ended up taking most of it apart when I wasn’t there, which I was okay with at the time, but looking back, I wish I would have been there to see how it came apart, which would of also helped when putting it back together.

The engine would only make a ¼ turn and get hung up. Once we got the heads off, it rotated without any issues. The “pulled from a running engine” was possibly true, but the nice square hole that was blown through the #7 piston might lead you to believe it was leaving a bit of a smoke plume while it was running.

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The photos he sent over made me think it had OC heads. I posted the photos here, and was quickly corrected that they were CC heads. I did chuckle a bit as the first replies to my post were from Windsor enthusiasts saying I should move on to a Windsor, then the Cleveland guys came in later in the replies and said it was worth rebuilding.

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Advice Needed on Way Forward with 351C that came with 70...

The engine was mostly stock with the exception of a Crane Blazer 292-2H cam. We decided to get the engine inspected, and make any decisions based on what that revealed.

We got it stripped down to the block, and took the block and heads to a local machine shop for inspection and/or repair. The crank had already been ground 10/10, and the pistons were stock. They cleaned the block/heads and after inspection, there was no damage. We went 20/20 on the crank and .030 on the pistons. They also installed new cam bearings, milled the head, ground the valves and pressed the new pistons onto the rods. I thought the price was very reasonable at $750.

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I will cover what we have done in the engine build in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
351C Engine Catch Up - Rebuild

As I had mentioned before, going with a mostly stock build, with Headers, electronic ignition, and perhaps an EFI down the road, but for now going with a new carburetor.

We made a few mistakes along the way, but fortunately the VMF crowd put us back in the correct direction.

We came up with a parts list to build the engine, again focusing on a mostly stock build. I did more reading than I care to remember on cam selection. I decided to go with a Summit SUM-5201. Definitely not a performance cam, but does give more low-end torque, which from one article I read, said that is where you need to focus as the 4V heads provide everything you need at the higher RPM’s.

I also went with Speed Pro Forged Pistons, a Pertronix Flamethrower III distributor/coil, and I decided to stay with the stock intake manifold as I read that it will perform okay with my street setup.

On the rebuild, probably the biggest issue we had was with the crank / piston installation. We did it on my brother’s recollection of how it was done, and we ended up mixing up the rods / caps, and didn’t torque the crank caps in the proper order. This caused a very tight engine (+/- 70 ft-lbs of torque) without the heads. I posted a question here -> 351C Build - What is Expected Torque when turning by hand

Some interesting discussion on tolerances, but I was using the 1970 service manual and everything was within their tolerance range, so I didn't change anything to the looser tolerances that some recommended. I ended up pulling the pistons, getting the caps matched with the rods, and also matched with the piston location. I also checked all of the tolerances again, made sure we torqued the main caps in the order that the manual had, and the torque was reduced to 20-30 ft lbs.

Once we got that problem resolved, we started on the heads. I used the recommended springs that Summit recommended which required them to be replaced. It took us 2 different spring compressors to get one that would work (spring rate was 302 lbs). Summit was good with allowing us to return the compressor that didn’t work.

On the intake manifold, oil pan, and valve covers, they were rusty with lots of peeling paint. (see post #6) Based on a discussion here on VMF, I did the electrolysis using a battery charger and sodium carbonate on those items, with what I considered good results. The paint on both of them came off easily with a pressure washer, and after degreasing, coating with Ospho, and painting with Por-15, they turned out good. I probably should have sprayed the oil pan and valve covers as they had some brush marks, but didn’t. ( maybe for another day). I also did all of the brackets (alternator, P/S, A/C) along with the pulleys. Those cleaned up well, but decided to send those to the body shop as they have a sand blaster to get all of the paint out of the grooves and could paint them properly as well.

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I decided to eliminate the exhaust flow that circulates under the carburetor with a small piece of thin aluminum epoxied down on each side as the carb I will use will have an electric choke. I also decided to eliminate the valley pan and gasket, so hopefully that all works out once I get this running.

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I went with the stock rocker arm configuration, but ran new push rods, hydraulic lifters, oil baffle/diverters. I looked at the Scorpion rocker arm setup, but it was hard to justify the cost knowing that the performance gain would be minimal.

We finally got the engine back together, and went ahead and moved it to my house to fit the miscellaneous parts on the engine. The rest of the work will be here.

I painted the rest of the engine that I hadn’t painted before, and thought it turned out good.

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I did get the Pertronix Flamethrower III installed, and have received the Tremec T-5Z from Modern Driveline. After discussing with Bruce at Modern Driveline, he agreed with me, my driving plans did not warrant a TKX.

So this gets me caught up with everything my brother and I have done on this build since we took delivery on February 1, 2021. I will continue to update moving forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got the Summit Carb and the aftermarket Speedmaster PCE106.1007 hood scoop / shaker assembly. The shaker was discussed in detail here -> Reproduction Shaker Assembly

I am planning on taking measurements to see the fitment, but figure it will be fine with the proper carb spacer. I still need a PCV spacer if I decide to not use the Summit PCV location. (It is in the front of the carb and will require a few elbows).

As a novice, I am amazed at all of the items needed on the engine. VMF has been a great resource to getting the answers. And of course, being a Cleveland, the aftermarket parts availability are limited on a lot of things unless you are willing to pay a big price for a used product. (Example - 3/8" NPT one port front vacuum fitting for manifold - $50 minimum).

The body shop is working on the accessory brackets and pulleys (clean, blast, and paint), and that will be my next job to get the engine setup completed.

I have installed the harmonic balancer since the photo below. Still waiting on some wire looms and other things, but getting closer.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You always expect some setbacks when doing restoration work, but this one was not one I expected. I purchased a new Harmonic Balancer (Pioneer), and it installed on the crank without any problems. When I went to install the crank pulley, I said "You know what, I need to make sure the threads are clean", so I used one of the ARP bolts to be used for installation and just made sure it would go in easily. On the first 3, all of them screwed in about 3/4 of the way and I used a 7/16" wrench to make sure they would continue - all 3 continued with little resistance.

Well on the 4th bolt (of course), it screwed in by hand about 5 or 6 turns, then tightened up, I used the wrench shown below to continue, maybe a 1/2 turn and it stopped. I said at that point, I need to back it out and see what's going on. To my amazement, the bolt would not move either way. I got out a 3/8" ratchet, to get it to come loose, and as you can see below I twisted off the ARP bolt. I have no idea why it did this. I usually use thread chasers, but figured a new part would not need it. Lesson learned I guess. I am going to send this back, but don't have confidence that a refund will be made. I am 100% positive that I did not tighten it up enough to cause it to lock up and seize, so either it was a malformed thread or something was in the hole.
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Wrench and twisted off portion of bolt is shown in the photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well I got the new harmonic balancer, and there were no issues with the removal of the damaged one and the install of the new one. The pulley bolts all went in by hand, so that was a plus.

I have continued to do the mock up on the engine. I installed the alternator, A/C and power steering pump brackets, breather hoses, fuel line, and vacuum lines, mainly to make sure I have everything I need. I am waiting on the bracket that attaches the shaker assembly to the manifold, and a PVC hose, and figure that will be good for now. I will figure out what I need to remove to get the engine installed later.

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The body shop is starting to do the smoothing process. They initially worked on the areas that needed it the most (quarter panel / roof, and some places on the front fender).

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I now need to finalize a color - I was initially sold on Grabber Blue, but have backed off on that. I want blue, but not sure I would want that color now. You see it more and more out on the highway now from cars other than Mustangs. I guess I am worried about getting sick of the color. Right now I am looking at other Mustang blue colors, which probably won't be one of the stock colors of 1970. The body shop is going to paint some panels for me of the colors I select, and I may go to some used car dealers that have blue mustangs on the lot to check those out before making a decision.

Next on the list is to install the T5Z transmission. I have everything from Modern Driveline, I just need to come up with a good stand to support everything once I get it off the engine stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since I finished the mock up on the engine, the next step is to install the T5Z transmission. I had a dolly the PO provided to move the engine around and decided to build a stand on it to install the tranny. I needed a bracket to fit on the motor mount location to be 10-1/2 in high to allow it to clear the bottom of the oil pan. I had some extra wood laying around and cut 14 - 2x4's, 9 inches long, and screwed / stacked them together, 7 on each side. Spacing between the blocks was 11-1/2 in, and the motor set down perfectly on the motor mount points and is firmly seated. . I then extended the dolly with two additional casters to support the transmission once I get it installed. This will allow me to move it around as needed once I get the transmission installed.

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I unpacked all of the components from Modern Driveline and, as I used to say when my children were young and bought things for them - "some assembly is required". They have some great videos and installation instructions, so I plan on taking my time and making sure it is right the first time.

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I did order a front disc brake upgrade from @CHOCK so I should be getting that soon. I am going to wait to order the power steering components as some of the items that need to be rebuilt are installed on the car now, and I am at least a couple of months before I get it back from the body shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As a follow-up to the broken bolt in the harmonic balancer (Post #14), I wanted to give a shout out to Jegs for making good on the return. I didn't think they would, but they did. They will definitely get more of my business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
The transmission install was done wit minimal issues. I was actually surprised at how easily it went, but Modern Driveline's instructions/videos and Andy Kruse's videos helped a lot.

The flywheel and clutch went on without any issues. I did have a question about the bellhousing cracks, which were answered here Bell Housing Cracks. Modern Driveline also got back and said not to worry about them.

Probably the only issue I had was installing the bracket for the hydraulic slave cylinder, and I did the same thing Andy Kruse did and installed it a bit too far into the bellhousing, but I was able to work one of the drilled holes just a little with a bit, and the bolts went in fine.

Stabbing the transmission took a bit of work, and the clutch fork came loose initially, but was easily reinstalled. Once I got the clutch fork centered and the transmission centered, it slid in without any problems..

This more or less concludes my engine / transmission work until I get it in the car. I am going to have to find a good location to store it in my garage because I am probably 6 mos. to a year out before I will get to put it in.

Next on the list is to look at the wiring. I will probably look at @Midlife and his refurbishment of the harness. I did receive the disc brake conversion from @CHOCK, but until I get the car back, there is not a lot I can do there. I am going to swing by the body shop tomorrow to check out their progress.


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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
After getting the engine and transmission together, I went and gathered all of the bins that I had left at the body shop to begin the process of organizing, figuring out what I had, and what I wouldn't need. about 90% of the parts were easily identifiable, but there were a good number of braces, brackets, parts, etc. that I don't have a clue. Eventually I will probably be asking here for help identifying. I ended up with quite a few extra parts (two wiring harnesses) a 1973 power steering pump that I think will work, but it came with a 428CJ bracket on it, etc. Once I laid everything out, I realized I needed a bigger garage, or a place to store it.

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I decided that I needed to get better organized, and purchased the plastic bins, sorting the parts based on their location. I also put in overhead storage in my 2 car garage (which is separate from this) to store everything. I got two of the overhead storage racks from Home Depot, and put them together to give me a 5' x 8' storage location and allow me to keep all of our cars inside. Long term, when I get the car from the body shop, I plan on keeping the hood and fenders there until I finish the steering, brakes, wiring, and engine installation.

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On the wiring, I talked with @Midlife about the restoration of the wiring harness. At the time I was thinking I had a Tach setup, but actually I only had a Tach wiring harness, and the non-Tach gauge cluster. I should of checked this closer during the purchase. After a lot of deliberation, thought, and reading, I decided to go with the Dakota Digital gauges (RTX), as they have a somewhat stock look. With that decision, along with the Pertronix 3 distributor, the possibility of power windows/locks, and EFI, I decided to go with an American Autowire wiring harness as it has much more flexibility for those additions. One note on the Dakota gauges - right now they have a 20 week lead time. Summit says 10 weeks, but I figure the guy from Dakota knows better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It's been a month since I posted anything here. Work is progressing at the body shop, and I went to look at the first set of spray outs for the colors I chose (which were a selection of blue colors from mustangs in the past). He did 3 of the 6, and is going to do the rest next - I am keen on the Deep Impact Blue and Lightning Blue which he didn't do on this spray. As far as the body, everything is ready except for one spot - one corner of the hood. As you can see, it doesn't line up well, and I got new moldings to help with their decision on whether to bend the hood a little or build up the fender extension a little. Since only the hood is a new repro, it figures it is not bent as far as the original. The other side is very close.
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The other parts of the car are ready to go, so once we get the color nailed down and this uneven edge, it will be ready for paint. I am still debating on the metallic .vs. non-metallic paint. The body shop can go either way, but of course they would prefer to paint the hood , fenders, etc. separately and they don't want to do thatt if metallic is used. I am going to get them to spray out the other two colors I want in both metallic and non-metallic equivalent and then decide.

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On the home front, I have been buying lots of things - carpet, the AAW wiring harness, the paints and supplies needed to paint the interior parts, and numerous small items to get started on updating the fold down seat, the console, and the lower dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
While I have been waiting on the car to get back from the body shop, I started working on the items that need to be repaired. My first item to tackle was the console. For the most part, the console was in decent shape, I did have to fix some minor cracks in it, which was easy enough with epoxy and then paint those areas, The one thing I knew I would want was drink holders. I came up with an idea that I think is going to work. I had a couple of drink holders I purchased on Amazon that I was using in my 66 before I moved to a TMI console, and I was able to come up with a way to magnetize them, which holds them firmly in place, but easy to remove if you want the stock look.

Shown below are photos with them installed, removed, and a photo of how I attached the magnets. I guess the real test is when I get it on the road, but for now I am pretty happy with it.
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I finished up the console and dash pad paint. I used the SEM paint system, and was very happy with the results. I ended up using both the Sand Free and the XXX Adhesion promoter on the various plastics, followed by 5 thin coats of the dark charcoal metallic Paint (All Rattle Can), and all of them turned out great.

I also received the Mustangs To Fear Headliner with the A Pillar and Sail Panels, and it is a bit darker, barely. I guess I will debate myself on whether I should paint it to match it up exactly with the rest, but figure I will be the only one that knows, and I have no plans to ever put this car in a show.

I am definitely running out of room to store everything right now and also keep all 3 cars in the garage. I guess that is a first world problem :).
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Next project is to take a look at the steering column. It seems to be in good shape, but needs to be painted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I finally picked out a color for my car after having them paint 10. I went in thinking it was definitely grabber blue only, but after 3/4 of a year in the body shop and seeing so many cars on the road in that color (or very similar) - multiple Toyotas, late model Mustangs, etc. - it just didn't seem that special. My car was originally Medium Gold Metallic, and although I don't hate the color, it just wasn't the color I wanted. Then I went down a rabbit hole with the blue colors - stock colors, stock colors from different eras, etc. I finally settled on Bright Atlantic Blue Metallic This color was available on the mustangs from 1998-2000. Thanks to Keith Deavers who posted a photo of his car on a facebook group shown below, and kindly sent me the color when I asked. I had the paint shop spray it, and definitely thought it was the best of the bunch. Never thought it would be this tough, and very thankful that my paint guy hung with me on this.

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These are the colors they painted.
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This was the Bright Atlantic Blue Metallic Photo that Keith Provided
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Here is the color in the shade, which looks totally different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Now that the color is picked, the body shop can finish up their work. They did some great work on the corner issue I had with the hood and fender extension. It lined up on one side, but was about 3/8" off on the other (and from other posts here in the forum, seems common). They ended up cutting the fender extenson and raising it to make it even, because they said bending the hood could cause issues in other areas. It ended up all working out good - first one before, last two afterward.

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