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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - long time lurker, but finally decided to get my act together and work on a project thread. This thread will be about a project I have been working on over the past ten years (yikes!). I've tried to take a lot of pictures over the years, so using the dates of those pictures I'm going to try and take us back in time and work my way to the present date. Then of course continue from there!

Right, so let's get started...

My wife who I met in 2002 told me her her favorite car was old Mustangs. I grew up a GM guy, but around late 2004 I get the idea to surprise her and buy a Mustang that I could work on and she could (eventually) drive. I spend some time looking at the cars out there to get an idea of price versus condition and around Feb or March 2005, a nice coupe shows up on ebay at a charity auction. I bid and win the car for $2,000. It supposedly starts and drives and it is just up the road in Antioch California!

Here's a couple pics from the original ebay listing.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
March 24, 2005

After arranging a time to go pick up the car, I take two of my kids (two boys, 6 and 7 yrs old at the time) and we head up to the car lot. After handing over the cash and getting the paperwork wrapped up, we head back to the lot. The boys thoroughly enjoy the bouncy gold cart ride to the back lot where the car is at. The car looks fine, we put in a battery and go to start it and no crank. They assure me it starts, probably just needs a new starter. So we take another gold cart ride back to my car and head to the parts store, get a starter and come back. I demonstrate to the boy the value of old American cars when it comes to maintenance - we are able to replace the starter from above the car in a just a few minutes.

Turn the key again and the car starts! Hurray! Idle is a bit rough, but it is running! One boy is up front with the lap belt, the other in the back with no seat belt and I sit in the front. I'm a short guy, so I go to slide the seat forward and it is not happening. So I grab shop towel box from the lot guys and put it behind me so I can reach the pedals. The seat doesn't have much support either, so I'm sitting pretty low and the box is digging into my back. The joys of old cars...

Anyway, we head out on the open road. I try the brakes.... um what brakes? Actually they do barely work, but four wheel, non-power drums are not great in the best of condition - so these were pretty scary. Steering has about 20 degrees worth of play in it, but at least we are moving towards home. The car doesn't sound like it will hold idle in gear so I have to keep a little gas on it when I'm stopped. Sounds fun right? For those from the north bay of California, I was driving home down the 680 from Antioch to Fremont - at about 5pm. I will never forget that drive - standing on the brakes, holding a fast idle, box digging in my back, and the boys hanging out of the hardtop fully open side windows.

For all the scariness, divine influence helped us out and we managed to make it home in one piece. I pull the car into the garage. I go inside and tell my wife I need some help bring in some stuff I picked up at the store. She was a bit annoyed because I hadn't called her back. That all changed of course when she walked into the garage. SURPRISE!

Here's the 7 yrs old in front of the car.



 

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Congrats on the purchase. My kids were about the same age when I got my similar looking Mustang.
Straight six I am assuming with the front drums?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats on the purchase. My kids were about the same age when I got my similar looking Mustang.
Straight six I am assuming with the front drums?
Yup, funny to think that little kid is now driving around in his own car!

Yes, straight six.

Thanks all for reading! I have lots to cover, I'll try not to have to many long breaks in posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
March 27, 2005

It is Sunday and time to get started on this car. Initial goals are to do some assessment and then do what we can about the brakes and engine running condition.

First though, a walk around the car. The engine is dirty, but not horrible. Signs of some leaking oil underneath, exhaust isn't tight so has some leaks (and a rattling coat hanger), the radiator hose is a bit worrisome (see picture below).

The body shows signs of taking a hit to the back and front. The front isn't bad, but the front bumper is slightly out on one side and slightly in on the other which makes me think it took a hit. The back bumper is clearly bent in the center and the valance is banged up. The fender to door line on the driver's side is too narrow, making the driver door catch slightly on opening. All of which makes me suspect a fender bender. In any case, that is a problem for another day.

All that being said, there isn't much rust other than some surface bits here and there. I haven't decoded the tag yet, but it looks like this one may have been here in the North Bay for a long time. Very different than the Ohio rust I grew up with.

Lastly for this post, I wanted to mention my car background. My dad taught me a lot while working on the 1977 Chevy Impala Wagon he had since I was about 3 yrs old (and I still have now!) and then as a teen I did lots of book reading on carbs, turbos, car audio, and just general car repairs. Books are those things we had before the internet. :grin2: Also, in high school I took Auto Body Repair for two years, so although I never worked in the field professionally, I was trained in professional methods. Of course things have changed some since the 90's but shrinking metal and welding a new panel in are mostly the same now as then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
March 27, 2005 (continued)

Moving to the inside of the car - things are pretty rough. The seats are worn out and some time later I'll figure out that these seat covers aren't even correct for a 65. The back of the driver seat is from some other Mustang also. Interestingly, the front bench seat seems to be relatively rare in proportion to the more common front buckets. I'll check into that later on when I decode the door tag.

The dash has been hack sawed for a radio so I'll need to fix that. There are some gauges added on and those will go as well. The dash is pretty boring, so I'll need to do something else with that. I'll be resto-moding this car so some of these things are not going to stay original, although I don't want to change things up too much.

Dash is cracked and old and will be replaced. The interior quarters need repainted as do the doors which have some light rust and a ding or two in them. Over all the interior just needs gutted and redone.

One bright spot is the headliner - although not gleaming white, it is in good shape and I'm inclined to just leave it as is. Maybe I'll clean it up someday, but over all it looks very nice still.

Today's side note: Pictures - I have lots of pictures. I am trying not to overload these posts so I do leave a fair amount out. If there is anything you want to see in more detail just give a shout and there is a decent chance I have a picture of it. Likewise, if you all think I am posting too many pics, just let me know and I'll scale it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
March 27, 2005 Continued

After the general inspection it is time to get to work on the things that will make this car somewhat easier to drive since my wife won't put up with the same degree of challenges I would.

So the first order of business is to get the car up and take off the brake drums so I can get them turned and put in the new shoes. While it is up, I go ahead and flush the radiator, change the radiator hoses, change the oil and change the transmission fluid.

After a day of doing those tasks I jump on the computer. Today's digression is about buying stuff. When I was younger, I didn't have much money. So I became pretty creative at finding ways to keep cars running with a $2 Radio Shack toggle switch and an aluminum can. So now, with a real job, it was tremendously new and exciting to be able to jump on the internet and buy new/repro parts. If something is dirty and gross, I don't necessarily need to scrub it for hours, I can just buy a new one! Wow! Well, I can get a bit carried away with that. Sometimes I don't always think about the timing of when some shiny new thing (or NOS/used thing) I buy is going to be put on the car. So - with that in mind, here are some things I think I bought that first night on the computer.

New master cylinder assembly with a vacuum power booster
New proportioning value (the stock one was just a 50/50 split, no accounting for the extra weight in the front)
New Flaming River steering box (this one I think: 1965-66 Mustang Long Shaft Steering Box: 1" Sector - 16:1 Ratio - FR1497Q - 580 - 5427 )
Carb rebuild kit for the Autolite 1100

And somewhere around now I bought a used trunk lid from ebay. Why would I buy a trunk lid? Well, the current one had some funky wrinkles and dents to the metal around the lock cylinder and I was thinking it would be hard to straighten out, much less safe for filler since that is right where it hits the striker. I had heard horror stories about reproduction body panels so I just went and bought an original one. It was so easy to buy! Now you can take a guess about how long it was in the box before I did something with it...

Pictures below - Feline assistant #1, aka Cleo, inspecting a brake drum and the proof that I do work on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
3/28/2005 - 4/1/2005

Not much to see from these few days other than a greasy hub, a dirty carb and nice pretty drum pads and components. If memory serves, I managed to remove the carb so I could get it into the house and rebuild it.

Around the same time I put the brakes back together and picked up the turned drums from the machine shop. The drums would have to sit for a bit longer since I couldn't bleed the brakes yet. I was waiting for the new vacuum assisted master cylinder to show up.
 

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Interesting thread! I am looking forward to seeing how things progressed for you and the wife's new/old car! I too have my wife's old coup apart in the garage awaiting a rotisserie style restoration. It has been a lot longer than 10 years off the road though.....yeah, I really need to get on that car now that my car is on the road............
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
4/23/2005 - 4/24/2005

A productive weekend in the spring of 2005. Drums are back on the car, now they just need something to push fluid to them. So next I installed the 2 in/3 out proportioning valve to go with the new 2 bowl, vacuum assist, master cylinder. It was a bit of a tight squeeze working around the hood hinge, but I managed. Also got the carb back on the engine.

I again had some help in the garage.

First I mounted the valve and installed the valve-to-brake lines (2 front and 1 rear)


Then the master cylinder. One of the MC-to-valve lines is installed in this picture, but the finished install has two - one for each bowl.


Feline assistant #2, aka Oddball, tests the cowl for proper cat supporting strength levels. More importantly, in this picture you can see the cleaned up Autolite 1100 carburetor on the engine. The drums on the car are visible as well.


Oddball reports the hood hinges are functioning properly.


He also reports that the roof is of sufficient height for him to jump up to the rafter storage level of the garage. There are some plywood sheets up there that make a good attic floor of sorts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
5/21/2005

The weekend before memorial day, and the weather was nice and sunny.

By now I had bled the brakes, tuned up the carb, and set the timing. Car had plates now too. So I got it out and gave it a good wash. Only so much you can do with old paint, but it didn't look too terrible. My wife and I drove it over to Burger King that day for lunch, if memory serves.

Car ran pretty well for a points ignition and the brakes were certainly better. I won't say it stopped faster, but you didn't have to touch the pedal much if you just wanted to slow down a little. So in that regard it felt more like a modern car. If you wanted to come to complete stop, or stop fast, you still had to hit the pedal pretty hard.

A couple weeks after these pictures, my wife drove the car to work. That was pretty significant since she worked on the other side of the bay. She had to take the Dumbarton bridge over the bay. The drive was about 13 miles one way, so it was a pretty good test. My wife isn't a mechanic, so it was pretty impressive that she was willing to drive this old car so far from home. I think she mainly wanted to show off to her co-workers. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
July 30, 2006 - Aug 6, 2006
Well, a whole year has passed and not much was done. I finally got around to installing the new steering box. First off was the steering wheel. That wasn't too much trouble, but I think I was a bit distracted because it wasn't until another week went by that I got everything put back together.

All in all, I recommend this job to anyone. Very easy, and really made the car steer much better, without the stiffness of a rack and pinion version.



 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sept 30, 2006
After a few more trips around the neighborhood, and not liking the lack of seat support and lack of info about the engine (gauges), I decide that I will start redoing the interior.

I never intended this project to be a total tear down restoration, so my thinking at the time was I should go ahead and remove the interior, rewire the car, put the interior back together and then drive it around for a bit while doing body work before finally painting it. It has more or less gone that way with a few large delays. But I digress...

On this day, I took a million pictures so if you want to see anything specifically, just let me know. I took a lot so I could put things back together properly. Here are a couple in process, and then some pictures of everything I managed to get pulled apart on 9/30/2006. As you can see, the metal is in pretty good shape.



















 

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Discussion Starter #19
10/15/2006 and 10/28/2006

A couple weeks later and I resumed disassembly of the interior. Again took lots of pictures. The heater controls and glove box were the main thing I took out on 10/15. Lots of pictures there so I wouldn't forget how those cables are routed. On 10/28, I carefully took apart the gauge cluster.

I knew I wouldn't be reusing it, but figured I could toss it up on ebay for someone who was doing an original restoration. After that, most of the interior was cleared out. I don't have pictures but I did some wire brushing and acid treating to take care of the slight bit of rust in the floors.



 

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Discussion Starter #20
A busy job and five kids in grade school didn't leave much time for working on the Mustang. So - another year went by!

10/7/2007 - With the interior disassembled I figured I should get the most challenging task done first - the radio panel. If you look at the prior post you can see it was hack sawed at some point (such a shame) so I set about correcting that. On the first day I did the welding.



10/21/2007 - Within a couple weeks I had managed to get some body filler on to smooth things out. There is a little bit of ridge on the right side, but it will be hidden by the glove box door. Primed it up as well.

 
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