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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all!
I've been on here for a couple months now and thought it might be worth compiling my Mustang "project" into a single build thread as to not spam the other discussion pages. Here's the story thus far - Moved to the USA a bit over 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia. Ever since I was a little boy I used to cut out pictures of old Mustangs, but never thought I'd have the chance to own one. No other classic car as ever appealed to me like the 65/66 Mustang. As a young guy in Australia growing up, spent most of my time wrenching on Japanese imports which are big in Australia. Previous ride was an R31 Skyline, RB20DET ... that thing was my first love!!!!

Fast forward to a couple months ago and I came across a 6 cyl, 66 Coupe in the local Craigslist for what from my research was a good price! In my mind I had decided a while ago that a 6 was perfectly acceptable as I knew that even if I had found an 8, most likely it'd have 60 years of wear and tear and still require a lot of freshening up, which I can do all that on any base. Also, I don't feel so bad "modding" a 6 cyl Mustang as they are typically less "collectable" than a V8, so I don't feel so bad :)

Here's how she looked the day I got her home - My youngest son caught in the back seat!



There was a few things that weren't working that needed attention straight away. Temp gauge wasn't working, fixed that by reconnecting it under the engine bay. Fixed a dodgy power connection for the aftermarket head unit to get that working again...there was a nasty misfire being caused by a spark plug jumping out of a spark plug lead...

First order of duty was to do some basic maintenance. Replaced the plugs with a new set of Autolites, new leads, new distributor cap, converted from points to Pertronix while I was in there. By now things were running pretty well. Haven't yet done an oil change and flushed the fluids... getting there!

There was a few suspect areas that I knew will need some attention -

Drip rails.....


Under the rear window.....


Passenger lower door.... (Kinda hard to see but there is a bit of a lump)


Started driving it on weekends here and there, and about 2 weeks later was driving it to church and a young uninsured driver in a Camaro pulled out without checking and this happened -





Nursed it home and pulled off the broken bits. Fortunately the front damage was isolated to the front quarter, headlight extension, bumper, front valance etc.



I replaced the parts with some new Dynacorn bits, although I have quickly come to realize that things don't always go back together as they came off. I need to spend some more time tweaking and tuning. Body work is not my forte. I did have something odd though... the Dynacorn front quarter "appears" to line up well with the other body lines, but as you'll see in this picture, the spot under the window just doesn't seem to tuck up tight like the factory panel did... anyone have any ideas on if this is typical on these panels?





Once that happened I thought "What the heck, she ain't looking so pretty any more so I might as well start investigating these other areas"

Passenger door....


Drip rails..... (need to take some better pics)


It appears that previously these were rusty and were treated with something to the likes of POR15 or something as there was actually no "rust" that came off as I wire wheeled away on these areas. All the bumps and lumps were actually the paint that had gone lumpy over time. I'm a bit stumped as to the best way to approach this without it becoming a full scale restoration. Open to some suggestions on that.... In my mind, if there were no holes, I'd be treating and smoothing with some sort of filler... I'm fine with that approach as my intention is not a show car, and as long as it doesn't continue to rust or bubble, I'm down.

Just had a CSRP Granada brake kit delivered. Went the 2.3 but with a 4 lug option. Haven't yet had a chance to mock up the sizing, but the goal was to avoid having to change out the wheels this time round. Looking forward to the disc brake upgrade.

The end goal is to have something that looks clean, rides smooth and has some modern reliability. Here's the immediate shortlist of what I am planning on doing -

Replace the exhaust manifold gasket...just waiting on the man to deliver it from CJ Pony Parts. Its currently leaking from the top.
Do an oil change, and flush the coolant etc. There are a few drips under the car that need addressing. I think one spot is the diff where the uni joint exists the housing (not sure what its called). There's an oil leak out of the motor somewhere, need to get it up and take a good look.
Fitting the disc brakes on the front
Have the steering box rebuilt (currently has a couple inches of play in the steering wheel)
Grab a few goodies from Opentracker starting with a 1" sway bar to try and get the front tightened up and less of a Russian roulette on the LA freeways.
Do the UCA drop
Take a little off the front springs. Currently the front sits 1 5/8" higher than the rear. The rear may have sagged a little, but for now I am happy with where it sits so would like the front to match. The UCA and LCA appears to be pretty fresh, along with the shocks. No leaks in the shocks at all.
Get a proper alignment done.

Eventually I want something fuel injected under the hood. I am not a carby guy at all, would much prefer to deal with wiring than set screws. (I know, why did I buy a classic car if I don't like carby's). I wish there was a solid fuel injection 6 cyl option but i keep coming up short. As far as return on investment, I think the 302 injected makes the most sense. Readily available, cheap, plenty of people have done it so lots of info. Not really looking at that until after the above list has been addressed. Get the thing stopping and turning well, and riding nice then deal with the engine part!

More info to come!!!!
-Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Opened up my CSRP brake kit today to have a little sticky beak inside....

I got the 2.5/M/SLU.M/4 ... its the same kit as on the website however its supplied with a 4 lug disc instead of a 5. To me this was perfect as it gets me ready if and when I want to go 5 lug... but wasn't quite ready to do the rear end and buy new wheels right now (see the other thread about that discussion). Hopefully on Monday as I have a day off I'll get a chance to start the install. Not sure how long it'll take though...

 

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Started driving it on weekends here and there, and about 2 weeks later was driving it to church and a young uninsured driver in a Camaro pulled out without checking and this happened -
That sucks. It's a good looking survivor car even post crash damage and the rot you found. Should still be a great starting point.


It appears that previously these were rusty and were treated with something to the likes of POR15 or something as there was actually no "rust" that came off as I wire wheeled away on these areas. All the bumps and lumps were actually the paint that had gone lumpy over time. I'm a bit stumped as to the best way to approach this without it becoming a full scale restoration. Open to some suggestions on that.... In my mind, if there were no holes, I'd be treating and smoothing with some sort of filler... I'm fine with that approach as my intention is not a show car, and as long as it doesn't continue to rust or bubble, I'm down.
Really only one way to do it right. Replace the rotted metal. That's a job.

You could mud over the damage as long as the holes weren't big with a few buts. Big buts. First you are going to be constrained by the condition of the substrate. Chances are the holes will be bigger once you tear into it more. You'd treat the metal, epoxy then mud over that. High build prime to reshape, seal and color. It could hold for a little bit or a longer while at least cosmetically. Structurally probably not such a good idea. If it were just that spot shown in the pic and not more hidden under the headliner I may mud it but I'd reckon there's more where that came from. From the paint bubbling that whole rail may be toast.

The problem with mudding it is that part of the car is integral to the structure of the roof. The spot welds that attach the roof skin to the roof frame converge about the drip rail point. At this point it may be compromised to the point you'd need to graft new metal in. To really know what you are in for you'll need to peal back the interior to get a look at both sides of the metal. You'll have to have a look and see for yourself and perhaps post more pics. Mudding it is probably just delaying the inevitable.

If this is a vehicle you want to have for a while and potentially pass to your son I see metal work in your future. The guys around here can also lead you to the spots on a coupe that are known to rot and while you're at it you may have a look-see at those places. There are some guys here that have done drip rails and are in a better position than I to show examples of replacing them.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Really only one way to do it right. Replace the rotted metal. That's a job.

Dave
Part of me feels like I just need to pull the trigger and invest in a Mig, and take the opportunity to craft a new skill.

As far as above the drip rail, there’s only two small holes where it had once rusted through, the rest looks like it was treated before it attaches the entire piece.

-Rob
 

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That door panel is going to need a patch. You could learn there. It's a great skill to have. You'll need gas instead of flux core for best results on thin metal. Any decent 120 volt mig will work if you want to learn though I'd recommend a dual voltage small Lincoln or Miller. If you are on a budget there are some import machines that would work, Eastwood, the new HF machines to name a couple.

Check the cowl and A pillars to see if it's eaten through at those spots. If it's rusted in the rail that water had to run off somewhere and while they may have treated it check it to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I replaced the parts with some new Dynacorn bits, although I have quickly come to realize that things don't always go back together as they came off. I need to spend some more time tweaking and tuning. Body work is not my forte. I did have something odd though... the Dynacorn front quarter "appears" to line up well with the other body lines, but as you'll see in this picture, the spot under the window just doesn't seem to tuck up tight like the factory panel did... anyone have any ideas on if this is typical on these panels?

Referencing back to this earlier pic, has anyone ever used a Dynacorn front quarter and found the same issue with it not tucking up under the windshield like the factory piece did? I'm not sure if I have an alignment challenge somewhere, but the rest of the lines appear to be "correct"...

Any suggestions?

-Rob
 

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^^ I agree, I think you can move the fender closer to the door. Loosen all your bolts, then open up your door and use the bolt straight ahead to draw the fender back. If that looks better, then adjust the lower part of your fender with the door and rocker panel. Next just snug the bolts along the hood so you'll be able to bump the fender into alignment when the hood is closed. Also I'm assuming you had to buy a repro headlight bucket and fender extension? If so wait until you get the fender sitting a little better with your door, hood and cowl. Your going to need to save some patience for that task. Some of them can be a bugger to fit but they can be tweaked as well. Cross that bridge a little later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Bit of an update...

Having been really busy lately with work and other stuff going on, I haven't really spent much time on the car since I last updated. However a while back I discovered that there was a bit of an exhaust leak at the exhaust gasket. I went online and ordered a replacement gasket. Having a few hours up my sleeve the other day, I decided to take on replacing it.

Every single bolt was pretty rusty and many needed some WD40 to get them going. Everything was going well until I got to the second last bolt and it just twisted right off.... sheared just proud of the head casting. Every single bolt was a different length and had at least 3 different sized washers behind it to make it work.

The gasket came out and was pretty much disintegrated. So just need to work out how to get that bolt out so I can get that new gasket in there.



I'll take some pics shortly and hopefully get some advice on how I can approach that. I tried drilling a hole down the middle as previously I have been able to relieve the inside of the bolt and crush it in to get it out, but I couldn't even get a start on it.

One step forwards, one step back!

More updates to come...
 

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I happen to like the wheels... You can still buy them. They are Ansen Sprints. American Racing sells them in either polished or Natural Aluminum...

Summit sells them the cheapest I think....

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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Part of me feels like I just need to pull the trigger and invest in a Mig, and take the opportunity to craft a new skill.

As far as above the drip rail, there’s only two small holes where it had once rusted through, the rest looks like it was treated before it attaches the entire piece.

-Rob

Do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Time for a bit of an update. Been chipping away at this brake upgrade as time permits. Removed the entire drivers side spindle assembly, and decided to mock up the steering parts on the table before putting it all together. Way easier to work it out sitting in a chair then on my back under the car.

Looks like I may be missing the outer tie rods which is a bummer....

Not really sure the order to do any of this but I guess much like eating an elephant, just taking a bite at a time

 

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Discussion Starter #18
How did you make out with the broken bolt?
Currently, i have one less bolt holding the exhaust manifold on. I don't have any leaks, so the plan is that down the road I'll take the car somewhere to someone with the expertise to repair it, probably install headers at the same time maybe. Or not..... currently its a non issue and I have all sorts of oil and coolant leaks that need addressing so I'll probably get back to it down the road.

Thanks for asking though...
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I have discovered doing the brake upgrade that I need to hard brake line where it meets the flexible brake line behind the front wheel moved forwards a bit. Sooo... apparently that looks like I need to manufacture a new brake line. (I thought buying a kit ........ nevermind).

Ordered some 3/16 nickel copper tubing, and some tools...

So for anyone that may have had the chance to put the pieces together, a friend of mine offered me a 5.0 and AOD out of a '90 LX. This was always the long term goal, but this opportunity presented itself and I knew I had to jump on it. I had been researching this type of swap for a while and feel like I have gathered a good amount of information around it. I believe we are pulling the engine and trans from the donor next week. I get the computer, loom and anything else I need to make it run from the donor.

I knew that I needed a stronger rear end than what my Mustang has to even entertain that, so I picked up an 8.8 from a 97 GT for $90 off the local classifieds. (It turns out I dont have the option of the rear from the Foxbody). Its limited slip, disc brakes. How can I go wrong. I found a place somewhat local that can weld perches and get it all setup for me to install into my car for pretty cheap. I have some grinding and cutting to do to clean up the junk I don't need on it.

It is wider on the sides than what a lot of people would consider "normal" so I know I am going to have to take that into consideration with my wheel selection, but the previous owner actually mocked it up with a bunch of different wheels he had with different offsets, and I think I'll be OK. If it becomes a problem, I can always maybe look at the Fox 5 stud conversion axles which will give me 3/4" back on each side (making the rear 1" wider on each side over standard).

So far towards the swap, i've sourced a Champion radiator with 2 1" rows, a Walbro fuel pump, obviously lots of other bits too, so shopping for some engine mounts and a transmission cross member currently. Also scouring the interwebs for a drive shaft that could work. I can get the slip yoke with the trans, so just some odds and ends here and there.

Photo's to come...
 

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I haven’t done a EFI swap but if you can, get as much off the Fox. There’s a inertia switch for the fuel pump in the trunk I believe. In general it’s usually not the big things that stall a project but the little things that nickel and dime you to death. That’s why I was saying get what you can even if you don’t think you’ll need it at the moment.
 
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