The Mustang is Getting a Mani-Pedi…

…or new shoes, or is at the blacksmith’s.

New Brakes

New Brakes

Translation: it’s in the shop getting new brakes, as well as getting work done on the power steering and replacing the U-joint. Unfortunately it has taken a few more days that expected, as they discovered a bent hub and a part they ordered turned out to be wrong. Hopefully now my leg won’t get as much of a workout every time I try to stop the car.

When it comes home, I’m going to install the door speakers and finish mounting the radio inside the dash. After that, it’s off to the paint shop.

I wish I could be getting my hands a little more dirty in the mechanics of it all, but due to the time constraints of the project, there are just some things that I don’t have time to do, i.e. the mechanics and paint job. Thankfully I’ve been able to get in and photograph this process, so I’m still learning a lot.

Inside the new brake

Inside the new brake

 

But, when all that is done, I will strip the interior and replace everything from the carpet to the steering wheel…myself.

 

Radio is Almost Done!

This past weekend, I successfully made all the electrical connections for the radio to function. There were three connections that needed to be made between the radio and the car itself – a source of constant power, a source of power when the ignition was turned to “accessory,” and a ground. Each proved to be its own source of complication and frustration.

The ignition power was an easy connection, but the wire that was shipped had the wrong end to it. I didn’t want to drill any new holes into the body for the ground, so I found an existing ground screw behind one of the kick-panels and decided to use that. The problem was it was located farther away than the wire could reach, so an extension needed to be made. After finding a source of constant power – something that took too much time itself – it was obvious that the wire would need to be extended as well.

Modifications to the Wires

Modifications to the Wires

A trip to NAPA followed, to pick up wire, an electrical multi-tool, solder-less crimping connectors and ringed wire endings.

After all the modifications had been made, the wires were ready to be connected to the car. Removing the ignition assembly was the hardest part, as it required twisting and pushing behind the instrument panel in all these awkward ways. Since my speakers had not – and as of this writing still have not – arrived, I tested the radio using a makeshift connection out of one of the pre-amp outputs in the back and a small portable speaker. The connections were made, the car was turned on, and the sounds of Eric Clapton finally came over the small speaker. Success!

Connecting Everything

Connecting Everything

All that is left to do is mount the radio in the dashboard, and to connect the speakers …. when they arrive.

Running Lights are Running

New Door Switch

New Door Switch

I spent a good portion of last weekend working on the electrical system, and it’s coming along. After blowing several fuses and a few bulbs, I got all of the interior running lights working, with one significant problem – they didn’t turn off when the doors closed.

I ended up replacing the switches that are supposed to turn off the lights when the doors close.

I have also started to work on replacing the sound system, and it’s proving more complicated than I originally thought. The wiring for the old radio and speakers was so jumbled and poorly done that I need to start from scratch and replace everything. That’s a work in progress.

New radio waiting to go in.

New radio waiting to go in.

This week, we got an estimate for the paint job – $5K, and we’re just waiting on the parts to come in to repair the brakes and power-steering – hopefully next week.

 

Indiegogo Campaign Has Ended, But You Can Still Give

Because Indiegogo campaigns can only run for a finite amount of time, mine has now concluded, but it is still possible to contribute via PayPal.

The Indiegogo campaign raised $5,271, and direct donations to date have raised another $3,510. I am just $1,219 short of my goal of $10,000, and optimistic that I can get there before the project ends.

I am immensely grateful for all the support!

Experimenting with a Logo

I’ve been spending time, probably too much, designing a logo for the project. It’s gone through a few iterations and I’m not sure which is best. They might all be useful for different purposes as well. First below is the original image, next is the first pass at the logo (the one I think looks the best), then there is the cropped and straightened version, and finally the straightened version in the larger picture.

The Original Image

The Original Image

The First Pass at a Logo

The First Pass at a Logo

Cropped and Straightened

Cropped and Straightened

Straightened Large Version

Straightened Large Version

 

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Another Estimate

Carl Zeh Auto Repair

Carl Zeh Auto Repair

A few days ago, at the recommendation of Joe Frizell at Joe’s Garage, I took the car in to Carl Zeh Auto Repairs in Watermill, NY.  Carl Zeh specializes in “rear end” work that Joe prefers nor to deal with. I wanted to get a diagnosis in terms of what the car needed mechanically, as well as an estimate of what it would cost.

What I learned was that the brakes are in worse shape than I thought. Two of the four brakes are not even functioning correctly, and the rest are worn down and starting to go. The car also needs work on the power steering and differential. I’m bringing it back in over the weekend to have the work done on the brakes, power steering, and to have the universal joint replaced. I’m going to skip replacing the spider gears in the differential, as it is not 100% necessary, and I’ll save over a thousand dollars.

The right, rear brake was seized from rust.

The right, rear brake was seized from rust.

One other area of concern is that the wheels and lug nuts are worn down to the point of there being a possible risk of them flying off, if the car goes around a corner too fast. I think I will take this opportunity to replace the current wheels – plain steel rims with plastic hubcaps – with some nice steel reproduction rims.

First Delivery

The First of Many Shipments

The First of Many Shipments

The first delivery of interior parts came in the mail today – the new instrument panel, glovebox door, trunk underlayment and radio. Can’t wait to get started.

 

Rear End Scheduling

Dad and I took the car to Carl Zhe’s Auto Shop this morning to meet with them about doing the work on the rear end. We scheduled the work to be done the first week in September, right before school starts back up again. They said I would be able to stop by when they were doing work to take pictures and document it. Also, there were a few interesting cars like a 1930’s Ford Model A, a 1929 Fargo Truck and an ’88 Gruman LLV – a.k.a. a USPS mailtruck.

A Second Opinion

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The Showroom

A few weeks ago, my Dad, Mom and I all took the Mustang to get another “inspection,” this time by Dean Silvera, owner of Aventura Motors in Southampton. Aventura specializes in restoring classics, from British Austin Heelys to German Porsches to American Mustangs. Before even taking a look at the car, Dean took us on a tour of the showroom and the shop in the back. The restored cars on display were just beautiful. There were E-Type Jags, Mercedes SLs and even a Ferrari worth over one million dollars. I would’ve happily pitched a tent and lived there.

Under the Engine

Under the Engine

Then, Dean took us into the back and introduced us to Tony, his Irish master mechanic. Tony brought the Mustang in and put it up on the lift. I wasn’t expecting that. After all, we were surrounded by cars worth more than ten times the value of mine. Tony took a close look at the underside of the car and glanced sideways at me. “Where’d you get this car?” he asked. I told him it was originally a California car, and he nodded. “I could tell it wasn’t local,” he said. “Not enough rust.”
It was very gratifying to have the purchase affirmed by yet another experienced eye. Dean offered his help when it came time to order parts, and persuaded me to go all original with the replacements, like the interior wood paneling and hopefully the original color, if the paintjob happens. I’m so lucky to have such a great support system in this project.

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