Friday, March 26, 2010

lights and electrical

When I took the back up lamps off, the housing was filled with forty years worth of dirt and grit. Somewhere under there is a lamp housing!

Like everything else on the car, the exterior housing was covered with red over-spray.

After a bit of work with the wire wool, I was able to get a real nice shine on the lamps.

I am packing all my cleaned up parts into boxes for reassembly sometime in the future.

The housing on the front marker lights was in real bad shape: covered in rust and splattered with something that looks like tar.

I may be able to clean up the housing brackets with media blasting....but will probably end up getting some replacements in better shape. We'll see what happens.

Although the car is a Sprint Promotion A model, it did not come from the factory with GT fog lamps - these are recently installed repros which I may swap for the OEM amber bulbs when I rebuild.

Plug connectors for the fog lamps were squeezed through an adjusted gap in the grille. A few other minor modifications have been made to the grille to accommodate the support brackets, but since I will be putting the fog lamps back anyway it doesn't matter.

There was an incredible amount of grot in the areas behind the headlamps. I am hoping to have the car torn down and the body washed before I got to the INDY 500 at the end of May.

As with so many other things, the retaining rings in front of the headlamps were covered with over-spray.

It is vitally important to properly label all the electrical connectors, even if you are planning to use a replacement wiring harness.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

gas tank

The gas tank is theoretically easy to remove, but for me it was a real PITA! I started by siphoning off the gas and transferring it to one of my other cars, and then I ran the car for a few minutes to get rid of the last bit of gas. It's best if you do the last bit outside of the garage unless you want to get CO poisoning.

Disconnecting the fuel line and sender unit underneath the gas tank is easy.

I didn't need to look at the filler-pipe-to-tank connector for long to work out that it was a repro.

The fuel filler pipe should be fitted with a cork gasket. This one is a recent replacement and is good enough to reuse. The filler pipe looks like it may be original.

I cleaned up the filler pipe with a wire wheel. If I decide to get this plated later, I will need to do a better job of the polishing. 

The fuel tank is held in with a dozen or so bolts...and a mother-lode of what looked like rubberized gasket sealer (?). After I removed the bolts, I tried prying on the edge of the gas tank but it was stuck fast. The trunk was already pretty well scratched up, but I still did not want to go in with a crow bar. In the end I tried an idea from one of the guys on VMF. I basically put the floor jack under the gas tank*, lifted the car up until the wheels were off the ground, and then let the car sink back down. It took about 20 minutes, but then the gas tank lifted straight out. *If you're going to do this, you need something to spread the load out over the whole of the gas tank. I used a three foot section of 2x12 lumber I had in the garage.

Getting the goop off of the tank and the car was a was slightly soluble in penetrating oil, but even so, it is a really messy business getting rid of it. I must have used a million shop towels...but eventually it was all gone and I could stash the gas tank in the basement.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

parts inventory

Everyone I've talked to in the hobby says the same thing: you can't take too many photos when you're tearing down your project. And another thing that we're all agreed on is that you must have a parts inventory; simply put, you need to know which bits of your car go where when it's time for re-assembly. With the availability of digital cameras these days, there's no excuse for not photographing every part as you remove it from the vehicle. It's a good idea to clean each part as you go.

I have been sorting my cleaned parts into piles, depending on what they need (blasting, painting, replacement etc). I already have quite a few things in the media blasting pile.>

Like almost all the trim I have removed, the headlamp retaining rings were covered with over spray (below right); fortunately most of it can be removed with wire wool.

The tail light assemblies were a bit rusted. It is actually quite an effort to get this thing apart as it was originally glued together.

I managed to get most of the rust and debris off the assembly parts by scrubbing with wire wool and a kitchen sponge. All these parts came out nice and will be reused. For now, I am packing all my cleaned up parts into boxes so they will be ready for reassembly later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

oil pan gasket

Changing the oil pan gasket was the first "real" job I did on this car in November 2009. It was the first time I have ever put a car up on jack stands - and I needed some help* doing that as I was very nervous about what to do to make sure it was safe.

There seemed to be an awful lot of crud on the inside of the pan:

I cleaned up the pan a little bit and painted it with some ford engine paint I got from California Mustang. I could have done a better job here, but it came out ok. This was my level of aspiration at the time.

*Thanks to James W of BAMA for taking time out to show me where and how to position jack stands and what nuts and bolts to undo.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ponies and Snakes 9

Ponies and snakes IX in June 2009 was my first car show, a couple of months after I joined BAMA. (you can check out the P+S website here). I spent the best part of four weekends detailing my car and replacing some small parts (shifter boot, hood trim, fog lamp bulbs etc).

This show was where I learned the difference between show car and nice driver.... I'm pretty sure my car came last in the judging....there were some very special cars out that day:

polished photo shoot

These pictures were the main inspiration behind a proper restoration of this car. My car is a red-on-red coupe, built at the Ford plant in Milpitas, California, completed on March 1st 1968 and ordered/sold through the Ernie Majer Inc  dealership in the Seattle sales district. The car was one of just 6,218  produced in 1968 with this combination of paint (candyapple red), interior (red standard bucket seats) and trim (white C-stripes; not sure what else). The car currently has a '78 200 cid Ford inline six from a Fairlane and the original three-speed manual transmission.

The car was ordered with the following options: 6.95 x 14-4 Ply rated tires with white sidewalls, Sprint Promotion A wheel covers and 3.20 axle ratio. The Sprint Promotion A also extends to a flip-open gas cap, the same as on the '67 cars. I am not sure what other features came with the Sprint A option, but I do know it did not include the GT fog lamps which were only available with the more common Sprint Promotion B.

Most people who are not car show visitors think the car looked pretty nice to start with...and I did too at first, especially as it has hardly and rust. Look closely though, and there are plenty of faults...and that's just on the bodywork.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the beginning

I had never worked on any type of car before I bought my Mustang. Apart from some experience of basic welding and fabrication after I left high school, I began as a novice in this project. I needed a lot of help to get started, most of which came from members of the Bay Area Mustang Association, BAMA

I started properly working on the car over new year 2009/10, but at that time I had no intention of writing a blog about the restoration. As I got more into the tear down, I began to rely more on the Vintage Mustang Forum, VMF and other blogs like this one for help with getting things apart. Eventually, I decided to put my own blog together. I will be going back and capturing the work I've done, and then there will be irregular updates as the project drags on...

Currently I am taking my car apart so that I can do all the paint and body work at once, instead of in stages like I first planned. I am removing all the parts systematically, and taking my time. A lot of parts will probably be replaced eventually, but for now I am keeping most of everything.

I began the tear down at the back, as I had previously been doing some bodywork repairs in this area and had already taken of the bumper and the reflectors (my car is the later '68 version with the bolt-on rather than recessed rear reflectors). At the point of starting this blog - middle of March 2010 - I had removed most of the rear trim from the car as you can see below: