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My 67 Fastback Thread - The Fun Begins!

16640 Views 60 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  Israel
So I have wanted to start one of these threads for awhile now, share the fun that has been my restoration, but I wanted to wait until I got her back from paint before doing so. With that, here is my story thus far!

My wife surprises me!

In December 2009 my wife surprises me with my dream car, a 1967 Mustang Fastback she purchased on Ebay, sight unseen so it could be a surprise. She bought it for me as a Thank You with her inheritance money from her Mom passing away back in the summer. Her Mom was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in early 2008 and it was pretty tough on my wife so I would go with my mother-in-law to her doctor appointments and so on. We were on a two week ( badly needed ) vacation, 3 days in when I received a call from her Mom's doctor urging us to get home. We rush home to find out her cancer went terminal with 2 weeks to live, she was put into hospice at home and I was the only one she trusted to take care of her. I took 3 weeks off of work to care for her 24/7 right until the end. We were then stuck with her house in my wife's name which I spent 6 months doing a full renovation so we could rent it out. Needless to say it was a rough 9 months and my wife wanted to repay me.

The car was meant to be a fun driver for a few years, while I saved money up to repaint it and do whatever work it needed. It was advertised as, "Fully restored, only needs front alignment before it is completely road worthy. New paint job, newly rebuilt engine ( 351W ). Missing some interior pieces." When she showed me the Ebay listing I was blown away and so geeked, could not believe she did this for me!

The car arrives after a month wait. Not bad looking at all!!

It ended up having to be pushed off the hauler due to a dead battery. I had to get some friends over to get it started since I was having trouble, we get it started, up the driveway and into the garage. This is when I found out the brakes did not function as the only thing that stopped it was my snow blower.

At this point I start to dig into the car, and the lie that was the advertisement starts to unfold...

In the end, this "fully functional" car had the following problems :

- No brakes
- No steering
- Engine barely running
- Paint bubbles
- Rust everywhere
- No functional electrical system
- AC not even in the car!

So at this point I have decided to pull the engine, freshen it up and fix some of the mess. I wanted to do the T5 conversion anyways, it was winter, so I had the time. I have been communicating to the seller with not much luck and had a complaint into Ebay.
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The Tear Down

I will say I pretty much HATED this phase of my project... Every day working on it was not enjoyable in the least as every day I found something out that pissed me off beyond words. I have little tolerance for laziness, people being half-assed, and that is all this car ended up being.

Engine pulled, let the horror begin...

Metal shavings belong in the oil right?

Mmmmm, sludge!

Newly rebuilt huh?

So upon measuring the engine I come to find it is .71 over which the max for the 351W is .60 over, plus all cylinders had 80% compression loss. I scrap the block and save the parts that I could, planning to use a 351W rebuilt short block.

At this point I am still planning on just fixing the mechanics of the car and then driver her. As I continue through the cleanup I find out this "newly restored" car ended up being made up more of filler and rust than of steel. The worst day came when I made an accidental scratch with a screwdriver by the cowl and A pillar.

I decide to chip away all of the filler. Yes, your eyes do not deceive, that is a piece of sheet metal screwed in place at a major structural point of the car.


Pass side not much better...

Now at this point I am seeing red, I have about had it with this latest discovery and I called the PO and demanded some kind of restitution or this was going to court. He was located in Texas, which my wife has two cousins that are lawyers so I warned him I had free legal council in state and I wasn't bluffing. In the end, he sent me a bunch of spare parts, a newly rebuild ( from a real shop ) 351W short block, and 1000 in cash. He was supposed to pay me another $1000, but ended up in prison before he could. Real winner huh?

This was the point I decided the car was a complete tear down and needed a full restore. Having never done any car work before I was very nervous and overwhelmed with the project, but I was determined to see the gift that was in the end from my mother-in-law rolling again. I always wanted a 67 Shelby, now is the chance to make it.

With each day there was a new mess found...

Heater box separated from the cowl, but the rodent that decided to chew through it and make a home.

Floor pans are swiss cheese

Cowl is utterly destroyed

This is safe! Cause you know that screw is going to complete keep that shoulder belt in place.... *facepalm*

Quarters and completely made of filler, they hammered them in and layed a 3/4" coat of it to remake them. I just took my grinder to it till I hit metal.

Tear down complete and off to the media blaster we go. I was going to do acid dip, but I was worried just the roof would come out!

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Blasting & Complex Body Work

Next step was to get the car blasted, which I have to say the company did a phenomenal job of. Sadly though there were quite a few more grim discoveries to be had post blasting.

During this whole thing I come to find out my brother-in-law's, brother-in-law owns a body shop and has done restorations for a very close friend of mine's father. Small world! Due to the complexity of the cowl and quarter replacements, I take it to him for the work and priming. During this also found out the car had been in two accidents, one on the driver side front that crunched in the fender apron and core support. Then a major hit on the pass rear that forced the replacement of the rear trunk rail and a quarter patch. He threw it up on the frame rack and straightened her right out.

Cowl, qtrs, and deck lid extension installed. Now off to my house for more sheet metal work I felt comfortable with doing.

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Sheet Metal Work Part 2

I decided that I wanted to do all of the sheet metal work myself that was "non-visible". I have never picked up a welder in my life, but I wanted to learn, be apart of the restore process, and in the end save some money! Unfortunately the waves of finding new and screwed up things on the car continued through this process.

Front fender aprons. The pass side was rusted out at the battery box and the driver side was all jacked up and showing metal fatigue from the hit and pull out. Since they were cheap, decided to do both. This being my first real sheet metal work, was pretty happy with how it came out.

Next it was the floor pans. I decided to do two half pans plus toe pans on both sides. It was a little more than needed ( at first ) but I figured it was easier and cheaper than a full replacement. I then started to cut into the passenger side and I had a question immediately answered.

When I was cleaning out the car I found a tube of JB Weld that was empty and I just found where it was used. The floor pan was JB welded to the front frame rail extension, or so they thought. As the panel literally pulled right off of it and as you can see the bead below, they never actually made solid contact with the glue for it to stick. On top of this, I come to find the front rail extensions and complete crap and need replacement as well.

Driver side is just a bad, along with the torque box being a mess and needing replacement. At the same time I decided to add a second torque box to the passenger side.

So after pulling all of that out, replacing it and adding two Global West weld in sub-frame connectors we are starting to make some progress.

Then floorpans and toe pans go in.

Now the car needed a TON of misc patching. There were problems in the firewall, the quarter drop downs, A pillar, B Pillar, and so on. So now I started to attack those various places. While the worst was the A pillars inside of the chrome where they tacked in thin metal and covered with filler.

Now we are off to the paint shop for final paint and fitting

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While Waiting for Paint

While I was waiting for the car to be painted I decided to rebuild the engine along with do some misc part restoration work. Once again, all of this stuff being new to me, I was a little hesitant to do things like the engine, but have to learn sometime.

I am doing a resto-mod, while the outside of the car will be all original, inside of the body panels I am doing 100% how I want it. In that case I hate chrome in engines, want things blacked out, plus I never liked the Ford blue.

I took the heads to a local engine builder to have them rebuild and cleaned up since I didn't want to jack them up while I built up the shortblock.

While I was on a road trip to pick up a guy selling a Branda Shelby nose at 60% of the cost I went through his parts pile. I found these valve covers ( believe to be original ) and he let them go for $50. He had done 6 Shelby restorations and was burnt out, was looking to dump everything. Here is a before and after shot of my restoration of them.

In the end I am very happy with how the engine came out and I am dying to hear her fire up for the first time.

I also decided to take the time to restore the gauge cluster. It was pretty badly beat up and in need of some love.

Some fresh paint on the housing, cleaned up gauges with repainted needles.

Good as new!

Added LED lighting for a brighter touch, love how it came out.

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The Long Wait for Paint

So with the body / paint guy being family he offered me a crazy deal. Final body work, fitting, and paint all for $3500 ( Crazy cheap! ). I told him to take his time and to have his guys do it inbetween day to day jobs. He said it would be a few months and that wasn't a problem at all at the price he was giving me. Though in the end it was 2 years, 1 month, and 1 week before she was painted.

I visited a couple of months in and they were making progress. This was late summer 2011.

That is where progress ended and it got stuck in a corner of the shop, with me hounding him to get it done. During 2012 little work was completed on the car, which kind of worked out for me as we had to move under crappy circumstances, so I got free storage out of it. Come late 2012 I told him I wanted it back in the spring so I could start working on it and was told it would be done in April.

April comes and goes... So I offered to come in and help to finish it. While I enjoyed working on it, had a lot of fun learning how to do body work and paint prep, it was probably 120+ hours I put in not including my hour drive each way to the shop. In the end, glad I did it as it made me feel less bad about the price he gave me.

Here she sits come May 2013

So while the car was getting some attention to detail from me, there was an issue with the painter. He ^*$*ing sucked and I was not happy about him painting my car. He had actually screwed up my friend's Dad recent 37 Caddy paint job so I was being quite the pest about it being done right. He goes to cut the car in, engine bay in black with the inside being done with POR15 and the dash in black.

I come into the shop on a weekend to find this...

Painted over masking tape......

Painted over clips

Let's just say I lost my composure and I have never in my life been SO angry. Granted yes I am getting this job on th cheap, but THIS cheap... I don't think so. Shortly thereafter the painter is fired and a new painter starts. The guy is really quiet but we end up spending a lot of time working on the car together and getting to know one another. After working with him on it for a bit, love the guy... His attention to detail and amazing and I can feel this car is going to come out awesome.

I spend many days at the shop blocking, wet sanding, playing with final fit, but really having to push them to finish. I kind of just kept showing up and being persistent till it finally got done.

Here she sits all blocked out, guide coat on and wet sanding back down to grey before paint.

Finally in the booth!

In the end the color is Nightmist Blue with the Wim White stripes. Initially it was being painted with PPG Water Based paint but 3.5 coats in they ran out and it still was not covering fully. So they switched over to Transtar Solvent based, which covered nicely, capping it off with 3 coats of clear so I can get it color sanded later. There is a color difference between the two brands and in the end I liked the Transtar one better anyways, so it worked out.

So before the grand unveiling ( though my sig spoils it some ) here is the crazy parts recap of what had just gone into the body of the car.

- New Full Quarter Panels, both sides
- Deck Lid
- Deck Lid Extension
- Rear Quarter Extensions
- Door Skins, both sides
- Fenders, both sides
- Nose panel
- Hood
- Cowl, upper and lower
- Floor Half Pans, both sides
- Toe Pans, both sides
- Sub-Frame Connectors
- Seat Risers
- Replaced Drivers Side Torque Box
- Added Passenger Side Torque Box
- Front Sub-Frame Extensions, both sides
- Fender Splash Guards, both sides
- Front Fender Aprons, both sides

Holy crap.... I really cannot believe how much work it needed, but in the end, totally worth it.

Here she is...


Oh and I was dying to stick an emblem on it :)

Once she is on the road, her first stop will be to the cemetery so my mother-in-law can see. :)
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Looks great! So no side stripes?
That's quite a story, good to hear you at least got a little something back from the seller.

You've done some awesome work, can't wait to see the pictures (and hopefully videos) of the maiden voyage!
That does look great. I really like how your gauges turned out, often thought of overhauling the ones in my 67. My brother's first 65 coupe I think was the exact same exterior color that you went with. He used to always get compliments on that car and many offers to buy/trade for it.
Looks great! So no side stripes?
Haven't decided yet, still 50/50 on them.
I added a full gallery to my website for the car of the paint job. I had some people ask about the colors under different lighting conditions. I have a few pics of how it is under different light.

Paint Gallery
Wow man amazing job. Sucks that that guy screwed you but you are ending up with a great product. You certainly made lemonade out of your lemons
Great work, especially since you've never done anything like this before. I bet it feels good knowing you accomplished so much.

Car looks amazing! I'm falling in love with that color.

Wheels look like crap, though. Sorry, I just had to find something to nit-pick. :p
LOL Thanks! They are some rollers I borrowed from a friend that she was using to restore her Dad's 69 Firebird. Planning to put these on

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New update

Over the weekend I pulled the rest of the steering linkages and all of the front suspension. This is the first time I have gotten to wrench on the car at all since June of 2011 and it was a lot of fun, even the few surprises I found from the PO didn't foul my mood.

The good news is everything came out pretty easily, the bad news I am having to replace more than I had planned on. Just for safety reasons I had planned on at least doing all wearable parts, but I question so much of the previous owners work I do not want to compromise the safety of the car. Things like the PO leaving the grease fittings out of the upper control arms, so wide open hole to suck in all of that blasting dust. I could barely move the UCA's by hand they were so tight.

Another reason I was happy to redo the front end was the fact there was not a single cotter pin anywhere in the system. The rotors were held on my a lose nut, no locking nut, cotter pin, or dust cap.

Put in a large part order with CJ's this morning and going to start restoring the parts I intend to reuse over the next few days. The underside of the car needs some attention. This is the part of the car my painter really messed up on... Going to wire wheel at some spots, POR15 them and top coat it with a rattle can, not the best solution but it will have to do.

Front end murder scene...

Everything out, little touch up and parts ready to go back in. Itching to get wheels back on her, really don't like it up on stands.

The journey continues!
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Everything out, little touch up and parts ready to go back in. Itching to get wheels back on her, really don't like it up on stands.
I hear that! I had a Mustang married to jack stands for close to a decade. Heck when I sold it, it was still on those jack stands.
Well made some more progress towards getting the front end done today, but the weather put a damper on getting things as far as I wanted.

With the first painter screwing up my engine compartment and skipping the bottom. I went through with the wire wheel on everything, coat of POR15 and a fresh topcoat.

New suspension parts mocked in along with the freshly painted wheel wells. Also decided to put a can of 3M Rubberized coating on the back side of the fenders and around the splash guards.

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yep, if you want it done right, you almost have to do it yourself...or write really big checks-no family and friends discount prices. It looks like you are doing a great job and that will be one sweet ride when its road ready !!!!! The color turned out keep plucking away and adding the updates with more photos.
after working on bmw's for years lived by the motto put it all on new and you want be sad and blue. And your Mustang looks great.
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