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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to begin to work on my mustang this winter, but don't know where to start. I am going to redo the engine and engine bay. The interior and the exterior of the car.

What is the most logical place to start? I would hate to have the paint done and then be trying to reinstall the engine. Something is bound to get messed up.

Just curious where you guys started on your cars and what steps you followed to get it all done. Not that it ever gets all done.
Thanks, Barry

PS. Sorry about the size of the sig. pic. I will resize it soon.
 

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Strip all the parts off the car.
Paint/Rust Removal and Bodywork.
Prime and Paint.
Install Suspension, Engine, and Trans.
Replace Fenders, doors, etc.
Replace Interior.

This is my plan. Your plan may vary :)

Good Luck and Have Fun
 

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1st.... lots of digital pics
 

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Well....judging by the picture in the sig...you need to start by deciding what you want to do.

You seem to have a solid base judging by the pic. It sits level like it has newer suspension on it. The paint looks decent enough and it has upgrade wheels and tires.

You 'could' start by writting down what is needed to make it a safe, driveable, reliable car and then work out.

I prefer to try and keep my car driveable and chisel away. Which of course means that people think my car has been virtually undriveable for 3 yrs since everytime they come over I had just taking this out, or broke that, or done something to make the car immobile ;)
 

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How far is the restoration going? Are you going for a nice driver or full blown concourse car. The finished product will dictate which route you should take. A concours car needs to be stripped and rebuilt similiar to assembly line process Ford used. This will allow the finished product to be as close to Ford perfect as possible. If the car is leaning more towards a nice driver then look at the budget and work on the projects that make the most sense. I usually don't recommend people disabling the car for long periods of time. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to have your pony in the garage in a million pieces and no end in sight.

Do the restoration in smaller steps and keep your car driveable and enjoyable. Any way you go there will be things to work around. I usually prefer to fix the sheetmetal of the car first and make sure the car is structurally sound. Then either paint or mechanical as the budget allows. If the car is going to be modified then I would recommend mechanical first. Get all your bugs workes out and get everything in the car. If you paint first, the front fenders and such can be removed during the engine install to prevent damage. Interior is usually last. Plan carefully and don't bite off more than you can afford. Budget, Budget, Budget.
 

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I stripped mine, media blasted the inside, having floor put in now and the trunk area primed and painted. New Tailight panel, and rear valance. This weekend we are doing the undercarige, and January 2nd it goes back to the body shop for the new fender aprons (engine compartment) Then will install new doors, fenders and shelby hood. Line everything up. Find all the dings and welds that need fixed. Fill in areas with marglass, sand prime, sand prime, sand prime and paint. That the order we are doing it. Engine is almost done now and we are also building rear end and new AOD tranny. Then windows, chrome, and interior good luck.
 

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I forgot, Put a few VMFM's to work. I have a few of them giving me a hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply. Yes the car has had the rear leafs and front coil springs replaced and new shocks on all 4 corners. It is a solid car that is very fun to drive, but I am to the point where I am ready to start trying to get some of my ideas completed. But as stated by many, I don't want to have it down for any long period of time.
I was just wondering if it is best to start outside and work in or the other way around. We have replaced all the wiring from the firewall to the engine also, due to me trying to change the alternator in the dark :horror:
I appreciate all advice and look forward to learning as I work on my car.

Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You make a good point. The car is going to be a better than average dailey driver and weekend cruiser. Some slight mods to the engine and probably some stripes(maybe?) With no I.D tag on the door, I thought this would be the perfect car to do some mods to.I think the doors were replaced at some time, because the door keys and ignitions key doesn't match up.
Barry
 

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I guess my first question would be what do you mean by doing the exterior? Is that full body & paint or just replacing brightwork, etc? If it's the former, do that first - it's the messiest and will give you a clean slate to work on. If it's the latter, just do that as you go.

In terms of redoing the engine and compartment, if you really want to do it well, IMHO you should pull the engine and tranny. That will save you a lot of aggravation and will allow you to hit every nook and cranny and work on both much more easily. Don't worry about having to drop an engine back into a painted compartment, just use blankets/pads and be careful - you won't mess anything up.

Unless your interior is just horrendous, I would do that after the engine. To me, its much more fun to drive a car with a strong, clean engine and a rough interior than have a sweet interior while driving a dog.

I personally went 1) suspension/steering, 2) engine compartment/undercarriage 3) engine and now 4) interior. But I think the effort and attention to detail you provide will make more of a difference in your overall resto than the particular order you proceed.

Good Luck!
 

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It looks great in the pics, so I'd go brakes/suspension and horsepower first. While the engine is out I'd do the engine bay detail.
 

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I think the doors were replaced at some time, because the door keys and ignitions key doesn't match up.
Even more likely, the ignition switch has been replaced.
 

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First thing you should do is go buy about 5 boxes of Ziploc sandwich bags and a couple of felt tip pens. As you dissamble, put your small parts and fasteners in these bags with a detailed explanation of where they go. This will save you tons of time.
 

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the door keys and ignitions key doesn't match up.
Well that sounds like a good place to start :D

You can pull out both door locks and the ignition cylinder and take them into a locksmith and have them all keyed alike. Estimated cost: $20. Less if two out of three match. Alternatively, you could buy a replacement kit with all three pieces.

The door locks are the tougher to take out cuz you have to pull the door panels. A PIA the first time, much easier after that.

As for the longer term projects, I'd do any structural/rust reapairs first, then the drivetrain, then the external bodywork, then the interior. Dirtiest to cleanest.
 
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