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Matt's 66 coupe resto-mod build

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I've been meaning to start a build thread here for a while now, but never got around to it.

First the backstory:
I've got a 66 coupe that I've had since I was 15. My dad was driving and saw it sitting in a field, found out who the owner was and picked it up for $1500 in the late 90's. It was a factory C code with a/c, p/s, and C-4. The compressor was long gone by the time I got the car, but the under dash unit was in the trunk. The engine had been replaced by a reman 302 at some point, and it had several layers of paint under the faded cracking red.

The day we got it


It didn't take much to get the engine running, just a points file, plugs, and and some carb cleaning. I redid the interior, “patched” the floor pans, tried my hand at bodywork, and my Dad painted it. It was a 50 footer, but it ran good, turned heads and I drove it like that for a few years. Then my lack of body experience started showing through, and the oil pump picked up a piece of valve stem seal and locked the oil pump up tight. I replaced the oil pump, cleaned out the pan, and drove it a little more before it happened again.

Circa 2003


It sat for a while and then I decided to drop in a carbed roller 5.0 and T5. I did a front granada disc brake conversion and installed a 3.80 trak-lock center section. Also converted the car the manual steering after lots of trouble with the control valve and wanting better steering feel. Over the years I added headlight relays, 96 GT leather seats, and Duraspark ignition along with a 4-barrel carb and intake to replace the autolite 2100. We then resprayed the car again, addressing some of the body work, but not like we should have. Again I drove the car for a few years before some rust started bubbling up. The car needed body work, floor pans, front suspension and several small things, so it sat on the back burner while I focused on family, other hobbies, and other cars.

Circa 2010


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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
In late 2016 I decided to start working on it, and to try to build it “right” this time, or at least as close to right as I can. That progress is what I'm documenting in this thread.

I have tools and a decent amount of mechanical knowledge, and just enough body work knowledge to really eff something up, haha. I've always loved the mechanical aspect of building cars, the fabrication and adaptation. But I hate bodywork, unfortunately I can't afford to have others do my paint and bodywork, so for me it's a necessary evil to do it myself. The first car I painted turned out decent, hopefully this one will be better. I don't claim to be a professional or that I am doing everything perfectly, but I am trying. And in some cases learning as I go.

My end goal is to have a solid, reliable, quick car that turns heads and is fun to drive. This will be and has been a fairly slow build as budget and time allow.

This was my starting point in December 2016.




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My son helping with teardown



The transmission tunnel and driver front floorpan were solid, but the passenger side was shot, and the driver rear had a rust hole.



The trunk pans were pretty eaten up as well


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The first thing I did was got everything sitting level and welded in Tinman subframe connectors


Then I started drilling spotwelds and cutting out the trunk pans



The replacement pans fit pretty well, here they are mocked up



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Then I moved on to the front floorpans. I did a full length on the passenger side, and just the rear on the driver side.



I decided to lap the pans about an inch instead of butt welding them.





And then primed the whole floor with Summit epoxy primer.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also cut out the old lower quarters where rust kept bubbling through, and tacked new ones in.



Then I pulled the front suspension and welded in boss type shock tower reinforcements, and drilled the holes for the Arning Drop, and epoxy primed it. Forgot to mention before that I added front Torque boxes, and I'm going to go back and add gussets.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Then i went ahead and took care of a fairly major issue. When I did the T5 upgrade, I used a Mustang Steve Quadrant and a Foxbody cable. Problem was the cable had to be routed between 2 primaries, touching each. I doubled up with ceramic protectors, but I knew it would eventually cause problems.



I decided that if I could reroute the #6 primary, it would clear the cable and still clear everything else. So I ordered some j bends from summit and set out to see what I could screw up.





I looped the tube around the other side of the #5 primary, the work is ugly, but it worked beautifully. The cable now has a straight shot. Since I had to replace the cable because the liner had started to melt from header contact, I went ahead and switched to a longer easier to route sn-95 style cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I decided to change gears a bit and work on some interior items. I wanted a console with an armrest and storage compartment, so I built one with a vinyl wrapped wooden frame and a metal top.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Next up was one of the more important things to help things along. I'd been working outside under a 12x12 popup and tarps. So I took a few days and built a 14.5'x20' carport and put in four fluorescent light fixtures with two 4' bulbs each.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I purchased adjustable strut rods and lower control arms from Pacific Thunder Performance. They were the ones pulled off the test car when they started testing the new prototype. Got them for great deal IMO and was sent all new hardware with them. They appear to be very well made. I also added Open Tracker roller perches to stock replacement uppers, and a 1" sway bar while I was at it. It's currently together with stock cut springs, but I will more than likely put 620's on it when I get closer to having it done. I plan to run Bilstein Shocks as well.




I pulled the rear end out to clean and paint it



And added a crossover pipe to my homemade exhaust.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
That brings me up close to where I am currently. I've got the rear end back in and I also did the Mustang Steve roller pedal conversion, and am in the process of doing his power brake conversion but haven't really taken any pictures lately. I've got to finish the rear quarters, finish hanging the doors, and then start on the fenders and front end.

I also went through the harnesses and soldered places I had previously had butt connected. Then cleaned, replaced some wires, added circuits/relays and rewrapped the harnesses to cut down on the messy rats nest I had created.

I've collected a lot of parts over the last several months. I've got carpet, wheels, new doors, a shelby apron, and several small parts and weatherstrips that I'll need. Still have quite a few parts I need to get, including a heat/air setup from Old Air Products.



I also picked up a set of AFR185's that I will eventually build an engine with for this car.




It's making some progress, but it's pretty slow going as I only have a few hours each weekend to devote to it.

It wont be a car that breaks the mold or is way outside the box, but that's okay with me. I just want a fun weekend cruiser that the family can go cruising in and that I can maybe take to an open track event or make a pass at the strip with.


I'm hoping this thread will help me track what I've done, and help motivate me to make some progress on it when I'm feeling burnt out or overwhelmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spent a little time working on the car last night while I was grilling dinner. The rear brake lines are ran, and the booster/master cylinder are mocked up. Still have to trim/paint a bracket and the master cylinder, and run the front brake lines, as well as reinstall the rear brakes.





Car is sitting like this currently. Started working on a sheet metal trunk to passenger compartment divider. I would like to still be able to access the upper shock mounts with it in place, but I guess I'll see how that goes.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Also I want your opinions.

I'm painting the car silver again, and I'm going to black out the tail light panel. The bezels and fuel cap will be black as well.

Should I paint the rear bumper body color, leave it chrome, or black it out?

Right now I'm leaning toward body color. There will be a little chrome/polish on the car in the form of mirrors, wipers, fender badges and window molding. So i don't think the chrome would be out of place either. I think blacked out would be too much though.

Opinions/comments?



ETA: If I black it out it will most likely be with Plastidip, so it can be undone if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No other opinions on the rear bumper? haha :burnout:


I got the master cylinder and prop valve bracket painted, and all the lines bent and installed. Still need to clean up the labels/residue from the lines. I wish I could bend them as nice as some people can, but at least they should be functional.
Also got my wife to make a decal for the prop valve to help me remember which way to turn it when adjusting bias.



Mounted the pedal support temporarily to make sure everything works/clears with the booster. Seems like all will be good.

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
What shape is the cowl and rear window corner areas? Only suggestions I might make are to weld up the aprons more solid, add the plate under the export brace welding it on the cowl, arning drop, pull the steering gear box and get it rebuilt now... maybe weld a sheet metal panel in the trunk rear seat opening, roll all the wheel openings before you paint it. Great story line so far, thanks for posting!
Cowl and window corners and actually pretty solid, a little surface rust but no perforation. I actually welded the export brace support on this weekend, and have been working on the trunk divider panel. I did already roll the lips on the openings and did the arning drop as well. Thanks for the support and suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Didn't do much on the Mustang this weekend. Built a pallet wood bar in the back yard instead. Still have to put a couple coats of clear on the counter top.


I did get my gauges in though. I ordered Autometer Phantoms since they're the closest match to the Ford Racing ones I had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Got a little bit done on the car this weekend. Got the rear brakes on.



Also got my new radiator in. Champion 20" 2 row. Seems like a nice piece but time will tell. Also have a Pacific Thunder lower crossmember on order that should be here this week.



I also got a new amp this week as an early Birthday/Christmas gift from My wife. Marshall DSL1HR head and MX112 Cab. 1 Watt tube amp, this thing ROCKS!



I'm glad I have an awesome wife, because all my hobbies are expensive.
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Haven't had a chance to work on the car in a while with Christmas and a couple of home improvement projects taking precedence. I did get a chance to the gauges mocked up today though. I opened up a Scott Drake bezel to fit the 2 5/8" gauges, and the 3 3/8" speedo fit the center hole without issue. As of now they're just sitting in the holes, so I still have to get them hard mounted. Also have to mount the hi beam indicator and figure out what I'm doing for turn signals. I think it looks pretty good so far though.

 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Got the gauges mounted today, also installed the Hi-beam indicator and the turn signal indicators. Did a quick wire up with a 12v power supply to check function of the lights. Don't know why the outermost gauges look so washed out in the pics. The lights aren't that bright.



 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
looks good but you know your loosing 20mph off the top end right :wink:
Yeah I figured above 120mph I won't be looking at the speedometer anyway, lol.
 
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