Monday, October 10, 2016

5 months later

There remains quite a lot of body work to be done before the frost and snow comes so it is about the time to find the motivation to epoxy prime the interior, test fit and finish the doors, front fenders, trunk lid and the hood. The dark comes earlier day by day and soon I will not be able to ventilate the shop or work outdoors. To get started with that Snowback was hauled back home. I would like to proceed with engine, brakes and other mechanical areas but probably I'll have prioritize the body work and paint because that will become harder and harder as we are moving towards winter. And if I succeed to be effective with this the car could be sent to paint shop by the end of the year or early next year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Summer break

Now the car only needed wheels to be able to roll and steer. Some more paint was applied in the trunk before it got loaded on a trailer and off to storage for the summer. Not much of body work left for the next winter season. Don't you think the hauler is up to it's task ? It is an Opel Astra with 100hp 1.6 liter engine.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Steering Box

ID tag on the steering box says:


According to the documentation found in the internet

ApplicationTag Code  TypeRatio Turns
65-66 MustangHCC AWPower16:13 3/4
HCC AXManual16:13 3/4
HCC ATManual19.9:14 5/8

And the interpretation of the date code is:

1st digitYear41964
2nd digitMonthKOctober
3rd and 4thDate088th
5thShiftB B(the second work shift of the day)

Based on the dates, this might be the original "slow-ratio" box installed by the factory.
The basic reconditioning took place with the steering box. Cleaning, painting and greasing, that is.

Steering box

Idler arm
Good instructions how to lubricate the box can be found on Stangers' site. In brief it goes like this. 
1) Turn wheels all the way to one end 2) Remove fill plug and the farthest screw 3) Press grease in until it squirts out of the screw hole 4) Turn wheels to the other end and repeat the steps.

Fill Plug removed

Grease squirting out of the far-most screw hole

Tie rod

More detailed adjustments for camber, caster and toe will be done later as well adjusting the steering box for which instructions can be found here.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Front suspension

The front suspension had been prepared for Arning drop by drilling the new holes for upper control arms. Except for reconditioning all of the parts I do not plan any changes in the structure at this phase. So once all the replacement parts had been gathered, usable parts cleaned and painted, the installing of the front suspension in pretty straight-forward task to do. The front suspension will consist of the following equipment.
  • reconditioned upper control arms (UCA)
  • new upper ball joints
  • new spring saddles
  • 1" lowering coil springs
  • new Scott Drake lower control arms (LCA)
  • new spring insulators
  • standard sway bar
  • new sway bar end links
  • standard strut rods
  • urethane strut rod bushings

Here is presented as a picture show what was done to get the car rolling.

Reconditioned UCAs and new ball joints

New spring saddles

Scott Drake lower control arms

Control arms bolted in the shock tower

Strut rods cleaned and painted.

The new urathene bushings compared to old ones.

Strut rods and sway bar attached

New insulators for the 1" lowering springs

Spindles and springs installed

Drum brake shields will be replaced later

I did not pay any attention to the brake parts as they will be replaced with disc brakes. I only cleaned the rotating assembly and bearings and bolted the necessary parts back to get the car rolling without brakes.  The steering box still needs to be installed before the car can be dropped from the jack stands.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rear axle assembly and installation

The rear axle got sand blasted and painted black. The reconditioned 3rd member came painted red oxide which is the color used by the factory as well. Here is a short slideshow of the assembly and installation.

Axle tube on a specially designed stand

Silicon sealer applied on both gasket surfaces

3rd member installed and bolted

Axle stand is helpful

New oil seals and precision punch tool

Oil seal punched in

Sealer on axle tube flange

Studs, gasket and more sealer

Brake shield and nuts

More sealer and outer gasket

Axle pushed in the tube

Both sides done. Ready to go under the car.

Before pushing the axle under the nuts were tightened in two phases to the torque specs. The pass side leaf spring was installed to body on both ends. The driver side was left loose in the rear shackle to leave space for the install. There is enough clearance for the brake shield to go between the spring and frame rail. Once passed through, the stand was removed while supporting the driver end of the axle with a jack stand. Then the driver side leaf spring was attached and the axle lowered on top of it and secured with new U-bolts. This way I managed to install the axle safely and all on my own quite easily.

lb ft Nm
Carrier to housing 25-40 34-54
Axle shaft bearing retainer 20-40 27-54

Sunday, April 17, 2016

52nd Anniversary paint job

I am aiming for having the car rolling before the 1st May because that's the date I've set for starting my 'summer vacation' of the hobby and clearing the garage for Destiny. I scheduled an April weekend for heavy painting as my wife would be on a business trip and not complaining the odors of reducers and stuff.

I chose to use epoxy primer (Tikkurila GPL-S primer) which I've worked with earlier and some polyurethane top coat (Tikkurila Temadur 50) for the engine bay and the underside of the floors. Between the layers some polyurethane seam sealer (Sika and Dinitrol)  was applied. This time the top coat followed the primer so soon that I avoided sanding the surfaces between the layers. 




The following weekend the weather was sunny and warm (and wife home again) so a good door-wide-open ventilation could be applied when giving the floor a good cot of epoxy in the morning and a top coating in the afternoon after the epoxy had cured long enough.  By the 52nd Anniversary of Mustang the project looked like this.

Next Saturday

I love my sub-frame connectors

Rear frame rail

A shot of my paint booth. My spray gun is a budget model which cost 29,90 EUR when I bought it years ago. Works fine, though, and easy to disassemble for cleaning. The air compressor is also something you could call 'a beginner's model' but manages to produce enough air for the spray gun needs. 

Professional level paint shop, isn't it.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

More body repairs

Once again it has been verified that the time spent in the garage effectively reduces the time spent blogging. So here is a catch up of what has been done during the dark evenings of the passed winter.
The body metal works with big replacement panels were done the previous winter before the summer pause. In the autumn the the car was transported back to my home garage.

Autumn leaves fall and Mustangs return home

I intended to have all the remaining patches and minor body work done by the Christmas but, as usual, things do not go as planned. This time it was my back that had other thoughts. So it soon was Christmas time until I was able to start the work.

The car was lifted on the jack stands and the axles and suspension were removed. What I now had on stands was the basic unibody, the single piece of Mustang steel. 

The rear support of the gas tank was heavily rusted and needed to be replaced. It was easier to work with the tail light paned off so that was replaced as well. With the car came a new (made in Taiwan) trunk lid, which was test fit. The shape of the lid did not match at all the shape of the transition area arc between the lid and rear window so I will stick to and recondition the original lid.

Rear support for gas tank

Tail light panel replaced

Reproduction trunk lid

Original trunk lid
The lower edge of the rear window frame got half of dozen patches. The braces by the trap door had been rusted due to leaking rear window seals. I am not sure if replacement panel are available, but a friend of mine made them for me. The upper edge of the opening will still require some hammer and dolly handling.

Trap door opening

The rust had eaten it’s way through the front frame rails and the lower areas of the shock towers. Someone might have seen these as a justified opportunity to make a conversion to different type of front suspension, like Mustang II –type of solution. I didn’t.

Keep clean to avoid this

Arning drop underway using template as guide

The frame rail was repaired first with a 2 mm thick piece of steel. Then the lower areas of the shock towers were patched with same stuff. I loved welding these as it was able to use high current as there was enough metal to take the heat.

In order to increase the rigidity of the front I welded my own application of the additional “Boss 302 supports" for the shock towers. These changes, along with the fact that I added an angled reinforcement brace to the firewall and that the shock towers were prepared for export brace and Monte Carlo bar, should give the front enough triangular structure to make it stiff. At the moment the body surely is rigid. Any of the four stands may be removed and the body position remains.

The rear ends of the subframe connectors were designed to conform with the shape of the rear frame. I am quite happy with the looks of the end product of my subframe connectors. Shouldn’t they look that good, you might even think that Ford designed them.

In addition to these more visible repairs, there must have dozens of smaller patches welded and almost endless hours of grinding, grinding, grinding down the welds with angle grinder, sanding disks and by manual scraping. Finally, after the first week of April, the unibody was good to go with some painting. But that's worth for another post.