Thursday, December 18, 2014

Back On The Road

The new steering pump and rebuilt rack are working well. Surprisingly, the new pump and new rack servo add up to more power assist. I think the steering is a little light for my taste, but compared to a non-assisted setup, I'll take it any day.

The new Wilwood brakes work as expected. I still have a slight rub on the fenders when turning sharp while going over a bump. Next step is to roll the fenders but that is low on the list.

Over Christmas, I plan to take a few days off work and install the new top.

The next large purchase will be a set of new 30lb injectors and fuel rail along with a calibrated MAF sensor. The engine is still using the original injectors from 1995. I think I have a sticky injector because randomly I will smell raw gas as I drive down the road but I have not been able to find any leak in the fuel supply lines. If it was the tank vent, I think I'd smell gas every time I turn the car and slosh the fuel around. I am upgrading from the stock 19lb injectors because I want to replace my stock 5.0 long block with a Ford Racing long block (347?) and so I'll need the extra head room on the injectors. It will take a while to save up for that though.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Convertible Weather Approaches

Time to get serious with the required mods/fixes to get the 65 back on the road. The TCP rack & pinion has been leaking for a few years, so I yanked it out and sent it back for a complete rebuild. Turns out the servo needed to be replaced also so all the important parts have been upgraded/replaced. Murphy still bit me on the ass though. The rack was damaged in transit from TCP to me but I was out of town for almost two weeks so I did not let UPS know in time about the damage. It appears the rack was dropped off the back of the truck and both of the hard lines were bent at the point they enter the servo side of the rack.



I am going to replace these with some braided lines for two reasons:
  • They are bent now
  • They did rub the oil pan

I have to make up two lines to attach the rack to my new pump anyway so two more lines is no biggie. I've ordered a KRC pump that is a better match to the TCP rack than the stock 1995 pump was in terms of flow rate.

I have also yanked my huge SSBC Extreme brakes from the car. I have installed a smaller setup from Wilwood.

Now I hope my fender rubbing will cease since I do not have to space the wheels off to clear the calipers.

I am waiting on some more parts to show up, so work will continue shortly. I can't wait to get her back on the road now that Fall has finally seen fit to show up!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spoiled Rotten…….Even More!!

I've had the 2014 GT for a month now and I am amazed. It has been a while since I bought a new car and I am glad I did. I am thoroughly impressed with the engineering team that designed the Mustang. It is the automotive version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Driving around town shifting at under 3000rpms, the car is as docile as a Camry. Press the pedal to the floor in order to unleash the 420hp and Mr. Hyde quickly makes himself known!

Driving this car has made me aware of just how slow my 65 is. Granted, with a stock 95 GT motor, there is not much of a comparison, but I am still surprised. I plan to keep the 14 GT stock at least until the 3 year Bumper-to-Bumper warranty is up and that will allow me to spend some coin on sprucing up the 65.

I've decided I am going to remove the SSBC A120 Extreme brake kit. They have become more trouble than they are worth. My master cylinder started to leak internally so I replaced that and bled the brakes. Two days later my passenger side SSBC caliper started leaking like crazy. I assumed I had not snugged the bleeder well enough but to my surprise the leak was coming from inside the caliper. I assume one of the pistons is allowing fluid to pass. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I've written before about the huge rotors that have pushed my wheel further outboard and on top of that I needed to add a 1/4 inch spacer to clear the caliper. That has made it so the tires rub the fender if the wheel is turned and I hit a bump. I've ordered a Wilwood kit with smaller calipers and a 12 inch rotor so that I can run my wheels without a spacer and hopefully not have any more rubbing.

At any rate, having to park the 65 is not as bad as it could be seeing what I am forced to drive in its place. :-D

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Plans For The Near Future

Two weeks ago I ordered a 2014 Mustang GT. I never was interested in the Premium model since that seemed to be all about bells and whistles, therefore I got a Sterling Grey base GT with a 6spd manual with only three options:
  • Brembo Brakes
  • Recaro Seats
  • Tech Package (301A)

The Tech package has more than I wanted in it (specifically the voice control stuff) but long gone are the days where you could cherry pick amongst all the available options. I just wanted to be able to use my phone with the stereo system. Sounds a lot like a first world problem, huh?

I waffled for many weeks over whether or not to get the Track Pack. I ultimately decided against it because I would simply never need it. I will never drive it hard enough to require an oil cooler and the other neat toys it includes. Granted, it does get hot down here in Hell…..err I mean Florida…..but the cost of the package did not seem worth it for my use case. I will certainly use the Brembos ( I am very happy they are available by themselves) while avoiding the vast amount of teens who text while driving, not to mention our beloved Senior Citizens ( no jokes about how close I am to that label! ).

Since I'll be using the new GT as my daily driver, that will allow me to park the 65 and attend to the little problems that persist but are not enough to force me to park it. I still have not replaced the top and that needs to be done. Each rain storm leaks into the trunk. I also want to yank out all of the engine/computer wiring harness. I want to remove all of circuits I don't need and I want to clean the wiring up. I read an article in a recent "Modified Mustangs and Fords" that did a How-To on the Telorvek break-out board for the EEC-IV. When I saw that I jumped for joy because I had planned on doing the same thing but all on my own. There is a wrinkle though. The 94-95 harness is $839 versus $569 for the 89-93.

The 94-95 use the Constant Control Relay module to run the electric fan according to need, and power the fuel pump and A/C (if memory serves). The 89-93 used a belt driven fan. I'll need to look at the wiring diagrams but my plan is to use the 89-93 harness and simply change whatever needs to be changed. The CCRM needs a fan capable of multiple speeds and my fan is not. I guess I could buy the motor for a 95 fan but....

It is probably obvious I have not thought this all the way through yet but I'll do my research before whipping out the old tired Visa card.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Small Inconveniences

After driving 80mph for an hour, the engine started to sputter as if I lost spark in one cylinder. The sputter lasted for about two minutes then disappeared. Approximately 10 minutes later, it returned. I was not far from my Dad's place at that point so I made a detour and did some diagnosis once there.

The car would not restart once I turned it off. After cajoling Dad to take a break from the White Sox game, he came out and took a peek. As I cranked it, he noticed quite a few sparks emanating from the coil and dancing over to the coil mount. Seems the casing of the coil had a hair-line crack. Plastic lives a hard life under the hood of a car. Eighteen years was all it could muster.

Once I obtained a replacement coil from the neighborhood auto parts emporium, the old Stang fired right up.

This has got me thinking about what will be needed in terms of a new engine wiring harness. I've found some for 89-93 and the ones that say they are for 94-95 require you to change over to an 89-93 distributor and TFI. If I do that, I won't have a 94-95 anymore! Perhaps I just need to do some more searching on this new fangled Internet thing.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dare I say, trouble free driving has arrived?

It has been a while since my last post, mainly because the car has been working great. It seems I have all of the kinks worked out and it has become a great daily driver. I still have to put the new top on it, but the old one works, it is just no longer white. Twenty years of dirt and use has left it well worn and dingy colored.

I drive it every day and enjoy it thoroughly. I have no regrets at this point with all of the modern updates and changes I have made to the car.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Big Brakes, Pedal Play and Trans Rebuild

Finally had some time to install my Stainless Steel Brake Corp A120 Extreme kit. The install was not simple in that I had to use a grinder to get parts to not crash into each other. I had hard contact between the huge caliper and the spokes on my wheels.

I have 17 inch American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels on my car. These wheels are pretty popular with the Mustang crowd so I was surprised when the A120 kit did not just bolt on. I ended up having to install a 1/4 inch wheel spacer and round off the corner of the caliper plus grind a small bit off each spoke. I could have used a 1/2 inch spacer along with longer studs and not grind at all, but that would have made my tires rub the fender. Or I could have bought new wheels with increased backspacing to allow for the 1/2 inch spacer. Using my spacer/grind approach, I have 1/8 inch clearance between the spokes and caliper now.

I've ordered some caliper paint to hide the grinding I did on it.

One new problem has come to light though: I don't have enough horsepower to truly test the effectiveness of my new monster brakes.



The Mustang Steve pedal bearing kit worked as expected. I simply drilled out the old bushings and welded on the bearing keepers and reassembled everything. That said, I did deviate some from the instructions. I moved the pedal spindle toward the rear of the car 1/2 inch. This was to allow some wiggle room for my hydraulic clutch master cylinder. Before, the adjustable push-rod was set at its minimum size and I still had to shim the MC off the firewall 1/4 inch to get it to work. Now, the MC is flush on the firewall and the clutch works great.

The old bushings were worn out and I had substantial lateral pedal movement. Now, the pedals only move in the plane that they are supposed to move in.



My Tremec 3550 had slightly less than 10,000 miles on it before its rebuild. Tremec transmissions enjoy a well deserved reputation for being solid transmissions. My friend at Mr. Transmission was skeptical that my shifting problem was transmission related since I have a custom clutch actuation setup. After all, it is much more likely that I messed that up than getting a faulty 3550.

Note: I do not abuse transmissions. I am past the age where street racing and power shifts are fun.

Once they tore it apart, it was apparent that I was not the guilty party. I was told that the run-out for second gear was twice the maximum called for in the specifications. That led to the dogs being able to pass each other which ground them down, or at least that is my understanding of what they told me. Also, 5th gear was missing one of its needles in the needle bearing, and it was not found in the case. I guess my transmission was the last build on Christmas Eve at the factory. With the fresh rebuild, the trans works great.

Winter in Florida often makes for perfect top-down driving, so I am once again thoroughly enjoying driving the car.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Exhaust Modifications

This weekend was all about exhaust. I was not happy with the patch job I did to the Midas installed system, so I cut that out. On large bumps, the axle would contact the tail pipe on both sides because the dog leg that goes over the axle was not centered over the axle. I moved the muffler and tailpipe forward two inches to allow the axle to move without contact.

I also took the opportunity to install a pair of V-band clamps just ahead of the mufflers. This allows me to remove the mid-pipe with ease, and there are no leaks like I had before with the old-style clamps and sleeve.

I ordered a couple of 2.25 bends, and a cut-off blade for my mitre saw and went to work piecing together the mid-pipe. Welding is not like riding a bicycle from my point of view, since it is a skill that gets rusty quick. I took a few scraps of pipe and made some practice welds to get my MIG set right and to knock some of that rust off my skills. I use the word "skills" in a very loose manner here. :-)

In the process of reseting the muffler/tailpipes, I removed them from the car. I found a rather large leak at the top side of the pipes going into, and out of the mufflers. Seems Midas did all their welding with the mufflers on the car, and whatever they couldn't reach, they skipped welding that.

Once all of this was complete, I took the car for a test spin, and was happy with the new "leak free" exhaust note.

Next project is a Mustang Steve pedal bearing kit.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Never Ending Stream of Issues

I made a trip up to see my Dad last week, which is about an hour away. When I arrived, I noticed my electric fan was not making its usual noise, so I opened the hood and took a peek. It was turning, but nowhere near the speed it usually turns at.

Once I turned off the engine, I turned the fan blades by hand and it spun freely. There was the familiar smell of burned electrical components in the air, so I knew I had a burned out fan. This was not a cheap fan. Back in 1999, it cost $245 for the fan and integrated shroud.

After hearing good things about Flex-a-Lite, I decided to get their model 118. It was just slightly bigger than my radiator, but the brackets that held the old fan on worked with the new fan after a little bit of modification.

Once I wired it up, everything worked, so I took it for a test spin. I have an override switch so I can manually turn on the fan before the computer does, so I can keep the temps a little lower than what the EEC-IV was programmed for. That switch just activates the relay that the computer uses to turn on the fan. I just added a new ground path with a switch to the switch leg of the relay.

The biggest difference is the amount of air that flows through the fan without it being turned on. It seems I can now drive at 40mph without the engine getting above 185, whereas before, it would slowly creep up, even at highway speeds, unless the ambient air temp was under 80. What this means is that I'll need to run the fan less than before. I had been considering going to a Shelby front valance to allow more air to get to the radiator. Now that may be unnecessary. Cooling is a constant problem here in Florida, but it seems to not be for me anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Backyard Engineering Strikes Again

My emergency brake setup seems to be a success. When I pull the lever, the rolling car stops rolling.

My donor engine has an intermittent lifter tick now. Frankly I am surprised the engine has performed so well seeing that it sat for 6 years.

The brake light switch has died. I don't remember the last time that was replaced, but NPD came to the rescue again. When I went to order the new switch, I was surprised to see that I was replacing a 67 style switch. How I got a 67 on it before, I do not know. Anyway, it worked for years so I ordered a new 67. I was glad to open the shipping box to find a real Motorcraft box containing the new switch. It is hard to go wrong using original parts. :-)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More On Headlights

I had to redo my headlight wiring last week. Seems using the original headlight harness was not a good idea with modern lamps. I had a wire get hot and break.

That gave me the opportunity to replace more of the original harness. I moved my relays that control the headlights from under the dash to the radiator support so my wires that handle the high amp load will be a short as possible. The switch wires for the relays are now the longest wires in that circuit.

I've learned a lot wiring this car, so maybe one day when I have time and impetus, I'll remove all of the wiring and start over WITH a plan and diagram instead of "adding as I go".

Monday, January 30, 2012

Got Some Pics

Here are a few pics of what I did over Christmas.

I pulled the trans three times adjusting the height of the clutch fork pivot so I am pretty sure that is secured in the proper position. I cut out about three feet of the exhaust starting at the headers and welded up some new bends to give me more clearance. And finally added a pivot point for the E-brake lever to the trans crossmember.

As I posted before, the 2nd gear syncro is toast, but if I bump into the 1st syncro, it shifts fine into second. A rebuild is in the not-to-distant future.

I need to finish the E-brake setup too, but I've got other things to do now, so onto the back burner goes the Mustang. :-(




Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Usable Again

The car is back on the road, but not at 100%. I've confirmed my 2nd gear syncro is toast. I pulled the transmission two additional times in order to fine tune the height of the clutch pivot so I don't have under or over travel of the clutch fork.

I can still drive the car since I have figured out a way to use the 1st gear syncro to get me into 2nd during a downshift from 3rd. I simply bump into the 1st gear syncro and the lever slides easily into 2nd. This is just wearing out the 1st gear syncro, but since I have to replace the 2nd anyway, I figure that is not a big deal to replace all of the syncros when I rebuild the trans.

The exhaust modifications turned out well considering my novice welding ability. I tucked both pipes up a full 2 inches from where they were so they no longer scrape on the taller speedbumps around town. The low points on the car are the bell housing and the sub frame connectors.

I have no regrets with the decision to modernize the car. While it is not as reliable as a new car, it is much better than it was in terms of drivability.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mea Culpa......

Seems my inattentiveness has come back to bite me square on the ass.

I dropped the transmission and was amazed at the pristine condition my clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel were in. I was stumped at what the problem could be until I looked at the clutch fork pivot I put in. It was loose.

Stepping back in time, I had a SFI bell-housing I wanted to use instead of buying a new one so I could use my Tremec and not the T5. The problem was the SFI was set up for a push-style clutch fork and I needed a pull-style for my new hydraulic clutch slave cylinder. The solution I came up with was to weld in a support for a pivot so I could use the pull-style clutch fork out of the donor 95 Mustang.

All worked well until the pivot screwed itself away from the clutch, which led to my slowly worsening clutch performance. Each time I pushed down on the clutch, it would turn slightly, and become shorter. The reason for this movement? I neglected to install a lock washer with my jam nut. :-(

The pivot now has a lock washer along with LocTite.

I have taken the opportunity to replace the rear main seal, and I dropped the oil pan to fix a slow leak. Tomorrow I am going to be cutting out the bad parts of my exhaust and replacing them. I had posted previously that the shop that did my exhaust did not do a good job, so I am fixing that.

The horns are now wired to allow for my 1964 steering wheel with a 1965 wiring harness. I just added a relay which the horn switch gives ground to. I also built a new subwoofer box that is a full cubic foot in volume and will fit behind my seat. It is tall, but once I cover it with black carpet, it should not be as noticeable.

Finally, I welded a bracket onto my transmission mount for a vertical emergency brake cable puller. The stock 1965 E-brake uses a horizontal arm which is the lowest point on the car. I decided to move all of that stuff up into the tunnel and out of harm's way. Once I get it installed, I'll snap a pic and post it.

A project car is never complete. Especially when I build it. :p

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parked?

I had to park the Mustang. I think my clutch is coming apart, which is unexpected since it has never been abused. Over a two week period, the symptoms got progressively worse.

Suddenly, I could not downshift into second in order to navigate a 90 degree right turn. I was able to get it in once I bumped the lever a few times. At this point I thought my 2nd gear syncro was toast. I dismissed the clutch as the cause because all other gearbox functions were unaffected. I could even get into reverse without a crunch, which eliminated the clutch as the cause in my mind.

At the end of the two week period, suddenly all the gears were tough to get in-out of and reverse crunched like crazy.

I put the car on the lift and confirmed my hydraulic clutch mechanism was moving the fork far enough for complete disengagement. This leaves dropping the trans as my next step, but time is in short supply until the second week in December at the soonest.

It is a disappointment to have this failure, but I've got something clunking in the front suspension when I reverse and turn out of a parking spot, so I've got to troubleshoot that too. I've put a few thousand miles on the car, so I should take the time to give it a once over and check for loose stuff that should not be loose. I need to get the horn working, along with a few other odds and ends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Computer and A/C are now friends

Today I was able to mark another thing off my list. I was successful in getting the computer to know when the A/C was on. I literally spliced in an 8 inch long piece of wire so pin #10 on the computer received a 12v signal to alert it to compensate for the A/C. Now when I turn the A/C on or off, the idle stays the same.

While the car was on the lift, I also planned out my next task which is the emergency brake. The stock system used a horizontal lever that multiplied the force that the driver pulled on the in-cabin handle with. I plan to replace this with a vertical lever mounted left of the transmission. My exhaust system forced me to abandon the stock setup. I'll attach a new lever to the bracket that holds my clutch slave cylinder which should allow me to pull the brake cables with enough force to engage them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Skimp On Sensors

I mentioned earlier about the car not running well. I took it to a friend who has a SnapOnBrick and that was used to determine that both the O2 sensors were reading lean, and my ECT sensor was returning garbage data.

According to the Brick, both banks of cylinders were receiving as much extra fuel as the computer could give them to correct for a lean condition. Obviously, this points to bad O2 sensors or a big vacuum leak.

The Brick is able to show data in real-time so we were able to determine the ECT was bad even though it was not posting a code. Seems the ECT was giving a constant reading of 154 degrees to the computer. This was in stark contrast to the Autometer gauge in the dash that showed 200.

I went to Napa and got their premium Bosch O2 sensors, and the best ECT they had. While at the counter, I thought about my 16 year old IAC, so I got one of those too.

I also recently replaced the distributor to fix a bad PIP. Once everything installed, the engine ran like new. Looking back, I should have replaced all of these components during the engine swap. That said, I don't like to replace things that aren't broken.

I wonder if there is a way to make my car NOT sound like a modern 5.0. I have the same "hollow" drone while cruising that all Fox based Mustangs have. Perhaps a cam replacement will take care of that.

Are these Classic projects EVER finished?

All in all, it would be hard to be more pleased with how the car has turned out. The rack & pinion, good brakes, and modern FI motor have transformed the car into a wonderful daily driver.

I'll be hooking up the A/C to the computer sometime soon, but with Fall setting in on the Florida peninsula, I feel the urgency fading. Sometime during the Christmas break, I'll replace the top. I've got all the parts, just not the time. I've still got to design a new emergency brake cable system, and get my horn working. I've got a generator style steering wheel, and an alternator car. I could replace the wheel, or just switch to a relay actuation setup. I'll probably go with the relay.

One final note, I am amazed at the number of Mustang convertibles (of all years) I see down here with their tops up. Often they will pull up beside me at a light and comment on my car. I invariably ask why their top is up. Most common answer: "I don't know". I my humble opinion, if you have a drop top, and you are in Florida, why not enjoy it? Perhaps they take the sun for granted. That or they don't want to arrive at their destination a sweaty mess like I do. :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Daily Driver.....

I've been enjoying being able to drive the car whenever the opportunity presents itself. The constant use of the car has exposed several things that I've needed to address. Nothing huge or expensive.

I kept losing spark whenever I parked the car for a few minutes. Traced it to a bad PIP, so I just got a remanufactured distributor and the problem was solved.

Got the A/C charged once a new condensor was installed. My old one was plugged up. This has exposed a poor choice on my part. In an earlier post, I described wanting to keep the VintageAir system separate from the car's computer system in the name of simplicity. This has turned out to be the wrong thing to do.

From the Computer's point of view, the idle will suddenly drop for no apparent reason. Why? Because I turned on the A/C. So the computer compensates by opening the IAC valve to raise the idle, then makes a note to refer to from now on. So when I turn the A/C off, the IAC valve stays in the same spot, resulting in a 2000rpm idle speed. Over the next 10 minutes, the Computer realizes that it has the idle speed too high, and makes another note, lowering the idle to normal. This repeats each time I use the A/C.

Therefore, I am going to have to have to allow the computer to at least know the A/C is turned on. I'll probably go a bit further with the integration so I can be sure that the computer will compensate for the A/C without any negative side effects.

Overall, I am thrilled that I have the car back.

Happy Motoring

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Been a LONG time.....

I have spent the weekend doing something I have not done in a long time: work on my Mustang!

I have finished installing the QuietRide and have moved on to the new carpet. I have ordered a new fuel sender so my gauge will work right.

I think I am running on only 7 cylinders. On the drive home from the shop, the car had no pep at all. I'll investigate this soon.

I am considering a rather large purchase: GT350 fiberglass hood. My current hood is damaged, and was not painted, so I am thinking about this. Have not made a decision yet.

It has been so long since I have driven the car so I can not make a proper judgement on how effective the sub-frame connectors are. I can say that the car felt as stiff as I have ever felt it.

I have re-routed the fuel lines. I made a mistake with my first route.

I am tired, so I am going to relax now. Seems I started almost every paragraph referring to me. Kinda self-centered, huh? Gotta work on that. :)

Tomorrow I'll finish installing the interior.

I have posted a few more pics on the Picasa site related to this blog. Look at the upper right of this page for the link.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Car is Ready!

Below is a pic the body shop sent me. As you can see, it is finally ready for me to reinstall the interior. I plan on getting it Friday, so hopefully by Sunday night, I'll be back on the road!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kinda Shiny and New

Here is the latest pic of my car. I should get it back next week.



I've got to deliver a passenger floor patch to him so he can weld it in. Seems I had quite a few pinholes in my floor on that side. The floor was not rusted through, but it was on the way to be.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Progress

Work is progressing well on my car. I am pleased with how it is turning out. I hope to be posting some pics shortly of the new paint.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Body Shop Visit

A few days ago, I stopped by the shop to take a look at my car. As I walked up, I could see my Bodyman with his hands actually on the car, so I took this as a good sign.

After the greetings, he walked me around the car, explaining what he was doing. The car had a few rust bubbles here and there, so that was the main reason why I am having this work done. He did a little bit of grinding on the spots and found previous patch work which had not been done using best practices. Therefore the rust had spread. Compared to some 46 year old cars, my car has precious little rust and I am thankful for that. Credit that to spending half of its life in San Diego.

He cut out a saucer sized section of the passenger front fender and welded in new metal. I saw it after it had been primed and was quite impressed with his work. It has taken FOREVER to get to this point, but after the walk-around, I am certain I'll be happy with the car once he is done.

The old antenna hole has been patched, and the work continues. Both splash guards in the rear of the front fenders are in bad shape, so those will be replaced too. I am having him fill the holes in the windshield frame that the chrome convertible top mount screws in to. These hole have become wallowed out over the years and the mounts would rattle. Now I can drill new holes and mount the mounts securely.

I also provided a pair of subframe connectors to him which he will use to help align the new rear quarters. As the car is hoisted on the lift, the gap between the door and the quarters open about 3/16 of an inch. He wants to use that flex to get a perfect fit between the old door and the new quarter. With the car on the ground, the gap between the old quarter and old door is even, at 1/8 inch. I had planned to install the connectors after the body work was complete, but now I don't have to fool with that.

The estimated time of completion is now middle to late April. Can't wait!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Short Update

I received word today that my body man is working on the car. I can only hope this is true. Word is he is close to being done.

The main purpose of this post is to update you on my stereo system. I had previously posted that I plan to use an iPod as my sole source of music and that I was going to run a patch cord from the amp in the trunk to the iPod. Well.......that worked but is was sort of a kludge. I have purchased a Bluetooth receiver and an inline volume controller for the amp. My plan now is to have the iPod push music to the amp via Bluetooth instead of a wire. This way, not only can I remove the iPod each time I leave the car, I can also be 'un-tethered' for a much cleaner installation.

I am going to mount the volume controller out of sight at the right front corner of my seat.

I am really excited about this clean solution to my audio dilemma.

Once I get the car back, I expect to only need a day to put the interior back in. Once that is done, the only remaining project is to replace the top. The current top has a couple small holes and the rear window has started to fog, but it is not terrible.

Hopefully, the car will be ready in time for spring.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Progress? What Progress?!?!

I made a trip to the body shop to check on my car. Unfortunately, the car is in the same state as it was in May. It seems I have been lied to on top of being pushed to the back burner.
My bodyman has only one thing going for him: he does great work. The problem is getting him TO work! That said, he is finishing up a an early 911 and there are no other cars in his shop. According to him, my car should be done by March. I am not holding my breath.
I now wish I had not taken the car to be painted. It is true that the body work needed to be done, and the paint was old, but I have lost a year of use of the car. That sucks.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Progress On Body

I met up with a bunch of friends the other day at a local Mexican restaurant and was pleasantly surprised to see the guy doing my bodywork & painting come strolling up. He told me that most of the body work was complete and that he would be shooting the color on soon. The car was delivered to him in May.

I would have liked the car back months ago, but after seeing several examples of his work (and he has Mustang experience), patience seemed to be the way to go. Perhaps by Christmas, I'll be driving it again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Long Time

I have resisted adding another post due to the fact that I wanted to be at another milestone before I wrote one. I must come to grips with the fact that time is moving along.

A few months ago, I removed the interior and delivered the car to a body shop. My father has had a few cars painted by this shop and the work has always been stellar. That said, this one man shop is anything but fast. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining since I would rather wait a while and get a great job than have a week turnaround with a piss poor paint job.

I purchased two new rear quarters and two trunk drops from NPD and delivered them to the body man. He reported that the fit was very good. I spent the extra bucks on the 'good' panels from NPD. Along with the new quarters, (they had some rust) I also am having the antenna hole in the front fender patched (due to iPod, no radio needed!). Finally, along the two front fenders, there is some rust bubbles showing up so those are to be cut out and patched.

The paint that is currently on the car is almost 20 years old so it is time for a fresh coat. It will remain Poppy Red (even though I have had a few people call it Chevy Orange!!) since that is the original color AND it is fairly rare.

So, this post is just to let you know what is going on. The car has not been driven in two months since it was delivered to the body shop. I miss it but I have had fun driving the 1967 Triumph TR4A.

I don't have an ETA on the Mustang so I'll just keep busy waiting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Car Is Doing Well

The header collector bolts seem to have decided to stay tight. I installed a new shifter boot from Scott Drake. I am trying to seal up all of the penetrations into the interior in an attempt to reduce the noise intrusion. The old, torn shifter boot was a major source of noise so I am quite pleased with how the new boot brought the noise volume down. My next task is the two lines leading to the heater core.

I removed the stock intake and powdercoated it. I found a set of aluminum Explorer valve covers so I powdercoated them as well. They are a bit taller than the stock steel covers so they contacted the intake at the EGR boss and at the brake booster vacuum boss. A few minutes with the grinder took care of those spots. I'll post a pic soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Problems Rear Their Ugly Head

While driving to the store the other day, I noticed a grinding sound coming from the rear of the car. Upon inspection, I determined my Currie rear had a bad bearing. The rear has less than 1500 miles on it. I was thinking about taking the car up to New Orleans to see a friend but I don't think I should until I give the car some more shakedown time.

I also seem to have magic header collector nuts. They seem to loosen at random times. I am thinking about doing a spot weld on each to keep them tight.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Impressions

I would like to take a moment and describe the driving experience. As I have detailed in previous posts, I have replaced the motor, front and rear suspension, transmission, brakes, wheels and tires. That is pretty much all of the moving parts that matter.

So, as expected the car drives completely different. Not only is it much more peppy than before, it stops with aplomb. The steering is a bit light for my taste but it has less play than before. The car tracks better in turns with much less body roll. Braking is so much better than before it is hard to believe it is the same car.

I have noticed that in hard right turns, I get a rubbing from the left rear tire. It is contacting the fender. I plan to install a Panhard Rod to positively locate the rear axle. That should take care of the rubbing. I was a bit surprised this happened given the stoutness of the new leaf springs along with new bushings. But this project has been a learning experience for me.

The mufflers were mounted too close to the rear end. The axle housings would contact the tail pipes so I moved those up slightly.

I wish that I had routed the fuel lines differently. I should have run them along the tunnel all they way. I will remember that when I build my next project.

Speaking of the next project, I was thinking about a Mod motor in a new Dynacorn 67 body. That won't happen anytime soon but it is fun to plan.

Driving Car Daily

Daily drives to the store and such have revealed a few small problems but none have left me stranded.

While driving at night, the headlights would blink off for a few seconds then turn back on. The circuit breaker built into the headlight switch was tripping. I knew that these switches are not built to last so I decided to change the way the headlights were operated. I ordered a new switch and installed it. Then I spliced the hot-out for the parking lights onto a relay. This way, the headlight switch would only see a few milliamps. I then ran a new power source to the relay input and attached the stock parking light wire to the output post on the relay. I did the same thing with the head lights. I installed a relay between the switch and the headlight dimmer floor switch. This way, both the high and low beams are powered by the same relay like the stock switch was powering both. Except I am using a 40 amp relay which is considerably more stout than the stock switch.

I have been chasing a squeaking belt. I am pretty sure it is the A/C compressor since that is in a non stock position and I located it with a set of fabricated brackets. I continue to adjust it and I almost have it perfect but when cold, the belt still makes a little noise.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

On The Road Again....

The alternator problem was partly mine and partly Tuff Stuff. I plugged in the new alternator to the existing plug and got no juice coming out. After some investigation, two of the three wires leading into the alternator need current. One needs a direct 12v source and the other needs 12v but with a 220ohm resistor inline. I noticed in the wiring diagram that there is a 510ohm resistor run in parallel with the amp dash light. The wire from this resistor and light runs to the alternator plug and the resistance of the light is 510ohms as well. So according to ohms law, the alternator was 'seeing' a resistance of 255 ohms on that wire. So after a trip to Radio Shack, I was armed with a 220ohm resistor and I installed it in that wire and the alternator began sending 14v to the battery. I also found out that I should have received a plug and harness with the alternator which had the resistor in it, but it was not in the box. I knew the wiring would be the biggest hurdle in this process and it has been just that.

The exhaust was handled by the local Midas and they did a good job routing the pipes where I wanted them. One blemish on them was they did not install any doughnuts between the header and collector so I have an exhaust leak. I'll fix that soon enough.

The new rack and pinion from Total Control had been acting up but I found on their site a FAQ and it led me to the adjustments I needed to make so now the steering is almost perfect. It does not return to center without a bit of help but that is adjustable also.

I had an idle problem that was twofold. When I pulled codes, it said my TPS was giving too low of a voltage signal. So I replaced that and the code was gone but my fast idle was still there. The solution was simple in that it did not involve the computer. It seems I just had the timing advanced too far so I knocked it back a few degrees and the idle fell to where it should be.

I should be getting some new rear quarter panels soon and so a new paint job should follow. I'll stay with the original Poppy Red though.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Runs With Problems

I attached the hoses to the A/C and installed the serp belt. Put the key in and turned.......nothing happened. I had ran a wire to the starter relay located in the main underhood fuse box but had neglected to attach it. With it attached, the starter cranked and the motor roared to life. It was running but with terrible idle quality. I checked the codes and found out the TPS was reading a fault. I placed the multi-tester on the reference wire leading to the TPS and got a zero reading. I cut open the harness that I had just wrapped and found the culprit. I had cut out the EGR plug and after I consulted the wiring diagram, I saw that the TPS and EGR shared the reference and return legs so I had no power or signal to the TPS. Once I reattached these, the car started right up and settled into an even idle once the computer had some time to learn.

I cut and bent the downtube from the driver's side exhaust so it would clear the steering rack. I plan to take it to a muffler shop and get them to run the two pipes from the headers along the driveshaft as they pass under the seats and onto the mufflers. I noticed that the stock parking brake cables run right where I want the exhaust to go so I removed them. Lokar has a universal parking brake setup that I got and am running it up to the stock cable coming through the firewall. It is a clean system.

Now for the bad news. I had bought some braided fuel line from Summit Racing. It was a bulk roll of 25feet made by Spectre. After the lines had been connected for about a month, I noticed a leak starting on the fitting at the fuel rail. I tried to tighten the fittings with no luck. I thought I had installed the end wrong so I cut the line right at the fitting and was surprised at what I found. The rubber had started to delaminate. It was very soft and when I rubbed it with my finger, I got a black streak of rubber on my finger. The ethanol in the gas was eating the rubber. I called Summit and told them the problem and to their credit, they said they would send me a prepaid box to send the line back to them and they would refund my money. I decided to get some Aeroquip fuel line instead of a generic. Supposedly, it can handle the ethanol.

More bad news. I installed a Tuff Stuff powder coated alternator and found out it did not supply any voltage at all. I called the place I got it from (Pace Performance) and they contacted Tuff Stuff and got them to warranty it. I have sent it off and am awaiting their response.

I have the interior back together and am in the process of adding carpet to the trunk but that has stopped due to the fuel line problem.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting Close To Initial Startup

The A/C compressor is mounted where the smog pump was and the flat pieces of steel worked great as mounts. I used the mounting points of the smog pump and ran the 5 inch pieces downward to the mounts on the compressor. The pulley appears to be in plane with the other accessories.

The clutch bleeding problem was an easy fix due to a suggestion from a friend. He said that I don't have enough free play on the link between the pedal and the master cylinder. So I loosened the two bolts holding the cylinder to the firewall and placed a pair of 1/4inch shims between them. This gave me about an 1/8inch of play and the fluid flowed easily to the slave cylinder. Now the clutch appears to work properly and I really like the short travel of the clutch pedal.

The power steering pressure hose problem has been solved as well. I have a Total Control Products power rack and the hose that came with that did not match the 1995 Mustang pump. I had an idea to take the pressure hose off of the donor 1995 Stang and see if it would fit on the Total Control rack. The factory hard line end screwed right into the pressure port on the rack! I then cut the end off of the return line and slid it onto the post on the back of the pump and put a hose clamp on it. So, power steering is taken care of.

This was a productive weekend with the A/C, clutch, and power steering all taken care of. If all goes well, I should have a new accessory belt (about 92.5 inches) and oil and filter and gas so I can start it up by Wed. Then I get to start chasing the wiring gremlins. I think I have the harness all set but you know there are always wiring problems.

I found some cast aluminum valve covers that are from an Explorer I think. I plan to powdercoat them and replace the stock steel ones.

Stay tuned, more to come.....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Step Forward and Two Steps Back!

As all of you Hot Rodders know, if something can go wrong, it will. I received the new A/C compressor and tried to install it on the drivers side in its stock position (on a 1995). It still hits the shock tower long before it gets into position. So Plan B is in effect. I will use the Sanden compressor where the smog pump was mounted on the passenger side of the car. This will entail the fabrication of some pieces of flat steel to enable the compressor to use the mounts for the smog pump. I have cut off the lowest mount and plan to use the two upper mounts and tie the lower part of the compressor to the block itself. There is an unused boss right behind the smog position.

I was able to finish the installation of the new fuel tank and AN braided lines. I should not have any fuel problems due to rust or age since all of the parts leading up to and from the fuel rail are new.

The ceramic coated Sanderson headers are in and there is barely enough space. The exhaust system is going to be reworked. Not only does the tail pipes physically contact the gas tank, but with the x-pipe configuration, I have no ground clearance. So, once I get it running, I plan to take it in for a new 2.5 inch exhaust from the headers to the mufflers and have the tail pipes bent so as to not touch the tank.

I tried to bleed the hydraulic clutch and had no luck at all. I can't get the master to send anything down the line to the slave. I plan to pull it off and bench bleed the whole thing and then reinstall.

The Tremec is in and ready to go. Starter installed. New alternator installed. Steering column reinstalled.

All in all, progress is being made, just too damn slowly!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A/C Shenanigans

After the engine was installed, I noticed that the A/C compressor was quite close to the driver's shock tower. So close that the hose block that bolts onto the rear of the compressor would not fit.  I had touched on this subject in an earlier post. Anyway, since I don't want to cut into the shock tower, that leaves me with a need for a new compressor. The 95' Mustang uses a York compressor mount. A friend told me about a Sanden compressor that has the hose in/out ports on the top. There is also an adapter plate that allows the Sanden to bolt onto the York mount. This seems like the best way to go.

I powered up the PCM and started testing circuits and relays. So far, each sensor plug and relay has the expected voltage. Now I am waiting for parts to arrive so I can continue the work.

More to come...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Too Quick To Give Up

Once I had pulled out the Tremec, it was just sitting on the floor like a discarded Snickers wrapper, when I decided to pull the trans off of the scattershield. Once it was off, I noticed a hole on the spacer plate (between the bell and the trans). I placed the clutch fork from the '95 so that the pivot point was over the hole. The throwout bearing was precisely over the center hole in the scattershield! I had assumed that the scattershield was for the old style push linkage only. Anyway, I was able to weld a scrap piece of steel on the inside of the scattershield at the mounting point for the pivot, and then drill and tap the hole. This allows me to use the Tremec with the hydraulic clutch so I am back in business!

Got the wiring 95% ready for the initial startup of the motor. I am waiting for some parts to come in so I will focus and getting the A/C ready and tie up loose ends with the stereo system. There is no package shelf to install rear speakers in so I am at a loss of where to put them. Maybe some surface mount woofers will work. I have some investigation to do.

I will post pics as I go at     http://picasaweb.google.com/bradh.fb/MustangEFISwap#

As I continue to make progress, more will come!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Oh how quickly plans can change. It has been a while since my last post due to many things. Some of the goings-on follows:
-There was an SFI scattershield on the Tremec. The clutch release fork was a 'push' style for use with the original '65 clutch pedal linkage. I did not notice this until after I drilled the firewall for the hydraulic clutch kit which is designed to replace the 'pull' style cable on the 1995 Mustang. So, no problem right? Swap out the scattershield for the 1995 bell housing. The Tremec has a different mounting pattern than the T-5, so it won't bolt up to the 5.0 housing. SVO sells a bellhousing to work with this setup but it is another $200. So, since I have a perfectly good T-5, I will install that in place of the Tremec. When the T-5 explodes, I will drop the $200 on a new bellhousing and install the Tremec.
-Integrating the donor harness into the existing harness has been an exercise in.......thought. Much of the new harness is not needed and it is easy to just start cutting it up. I decided to plan carefully my cuts and splices so as to avoid problems later and at the same time, reduce the clutter of the donor harness. If we start at the computer and come out toward the radiator, most of this portion of the harness will be retained. I plan to use the Constant Control Relay Module. This controls the fan, fuel pump, EEC, and A/C. As we continue counterclockwise, the harness comes to the Underhood Fuse Box. I am going to use this. It feeds the harness and with the circuits I won't be using (such as the ABS) I can use this 'extra' capacity for other things. On my harness, the Low Speed Fan Control relay does not seem to be used. The main power feed out of it dies at a connector before it reaches the fans. So I will attach the High Speed relay to the fan so that it will be controlled by the computer. The Starter relay is a no brainer as is the Fuel pump relay. I don't have ABS on the '65 so I plan to use that circuit to feed the Vintage Air system so it won't draw power from the old harness. I spliced in a relay into the headlight feed so the headlight switch will last as long as possible. They tend to burn out switching the high amp draw of the head lights. So, the old headlight feed is now on the switch leg of the relay and I have run power from the headlamp circuit on the new harness.

I removed the old gas tank and plan to install a new tank with an intank pump. The pic below shows the hole where the tank was and the new fuel filter which is installed on the bent down lip of the trunk floor.


From this pic, it appears I have placed the filter too close to the exhaust pipe, but there is plenty of room there. I will use AN fittings and braided line to feed fuel up to the fuel rail. I installed the Inertia Fuel Pump Shutoff switch in the trunk next to the amplifier along the forward wall of the trunk.

Here is the engine with most of the acessories in place. The stock A/C compressor's hose output hits the shock tower hard. I am currently looking for a compressor that has the outputs on the top and still has the serpentine pulley. I don't want to cut the shock tower.



There is still much to cover in this saga of old and new. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rough Harness Layout



I have roughly laid out the wiring harness with the fake foam block. Rough is the key term here. I had cut the hole in the firewall and pulled the harness through. The grommet was much to close to the end so I slid it down, away from the PCM plug. If I had it to do over, I would have done the motor swap before installing the A/C since it would have been cleaner to run the PCM harness over the plenum than under it like I have here. Hindsight is always 20/20.
I am going to cut large portions out of the '95's harness. But, to keep things simple, I want to get the car running with the harness as close to stock a possible so that I can limit the number of  'unknowns' if any problems arise. I figure I will run the A/C circuits separately from the engine harness to keep it simple. The Vintage Air setup is able to run by itself without any 'computer' control, so I want to keep that separate.
That leaves the fuel solenoid and pump. This should be straight forward. Just a line from the PCM back to the  solenoid powering the pump and Inertia Fuel Shut Off switch.
More to come....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cleaning and Prep and Painting of Block

I have disassembled the motor as far as i plan to go. I rotated the block so that the intake and exhaust ports were not exposed to my cleaning. I used Gunk and a stiff brush and removed most of the old dirt and oil from ONE side of the block. I broke up the cleaning and painting into sections so that I would not get crap into the ports. After the Gunk, I wiped the block down and then used Oxysolve to remove the rust from the cleaned side.

You can see the Donor '95 in the background

After the Oxy had done its work, I again wiped the excess off and then broke out the mineral spirits to clean the oxy off the block. Finally, with the block clean, I sprayed that one side with black engine paint.

I have powder coated the accessory brackets and alternator housing, along with the timing chain cover. When I pulled the timing cover off, I noticed a bunch of slack in the chain so I found an extra double roller chain and installed it along with a new seal. I also put in a new water pump since everyone knows Fords water pumps are a weak link. After sitting for a few years, the extra $50 for a new pump is cheap insurance.

I obtained a billet steel SFI harmonic balancer. Slipped right on, no problem.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Removing the Donor Engine

The 1995 GT had sustained a drivers side front impact that tore the floor pan and pushed the front wheel into the drivers compartment. This damaged the exhaust manifold on the motor and nothing else. (Besides the body of course!)

The car had an alarm and stereo system installed by the previous owner. It was not a pro job. The speaker wire used as power was the first clue. Fortunately, the main harness was not butchered in this process.

I used a SawZall to cut the exhaust away from the motor and removed the wiring and plugs and pulled the motor. I should have labeled each plug as I pulled each apart. That would have saved me some time later. I used a wiring diagram to trace the circuits so it was not a big deal.

Once the motor was out, I started to disassemble it to check for any obvious problems. I pulled the intake and accessories off. The valve covers and oil pan quickly followed. I knew that the stock 5.0 pan would not clear the steering rack so that was discarded. I used a stock 65 front sump pan and pickup.

With the covers and pan off, I could see that the 6 years that the GT had sat, had not done much to the innards of the engine. No sludge or rust. The coolant had turned to ooze though. I am putting a new water pump on just in case. With the spark plugs removed and some oil squirted in each cylinder, the crank moved smoothly.

This motor is just a place saver. I am going to use this car as a daily driver and in my spare time, I will build either a 331 stroker or maybe a 410 stroker. I am leaning toward the 331 since the shorter block will make it an easy swap. Anyway, this is for a future blog.

The wiring harnesses were pulled out and unwrapped. They were in good shape without any detectable breaks. I plan to put the computer in the glove box. The only thing I put in there is the registration and insurance cards, so this seems to be a no brainer. Also, I am putting the stock AM radio back in the dash since I have moved up to iPods. I will run a patch cord up to the console from an amp in the trunk. This will plug directly into the ipod. I never listen to the radio so why not go stealth?

More coming....

The Beginning....

This blog will document an engine swap. Specifically a 1965 Mustang Convertible will receive an EFI 5.0 from a 1995 Mustang GT. The '65 will become a mild restomod with the main exterior clue being a set of larger wheels and tires. Underneath though, some go fast goodies have been installed. This blog is starting mid stream in the project. I will endevour to detail what has taken place up to this point and then, give a play by play on the future developments.

Some History:

The car was purchased from a used car dealer in San Diego in 1987. It was then driven across country to where I was living at the time, Washington, D.C.
It led a normal life of going to the store and school. It was and still is Poppy Red with a white top and interior with black carpet. A stock 289 2barrel and 4spd provided motion.
In the late 1990's a mild restoration was begun with grand plans. During this time, the following parts were installed:
Currie 9inch 3.50 with large drums
Aluminum driveshaft
Tremec 3550
CenterForce Dual friction clutch
Total Control Coil Over front suspension
13inch SSBC front discs
347 stroker motor from a builder in FL
Total Control Rack and Pinion
Sanderson Headers and Flowmaster exhaust
VintageAir A/C
Three core radiator

These parts were installed and some problems immediately arose:
The steering rack rubbed on the Cobra T oil pan
The SSBC calipers rubbed on the wheels
The exhaust had minimal ground clearance so it rubbed
The motor overheated

The steering was fixed relatively easily. The exhaust was tucked up as high as it could and it remains too low for my tastes but there is only so much space to work with. The big brakes were removed and put on the shelf. The motor was a completely different story.

A crate motor builder, with a good reputation, assembled the 347 with aluminum heads, good cam, roller rockers, all the goodies. It had a 4bbl carb ontop. The motor overheated so badly that the ceramic coated headers started to discolor. All the causes were investigated. Water pump, okay. Thermostat, okay. Radiator, okay. Collapsing hoses, none found. Heater core, okay. We did a compression check and found that two cylinders were at 60psi. Finally, the decision was made to pull the heads off of the block and look. Remember, this was built by professionals. When the heads were pulled we saw that on the head gasket, the embossed word, "FRONT" was toward the rear of the car. The cooling passages were completely covered up by the gasket. But the story does not end here. In the search for information, we went back to the paperwork supplied with the motor. A dyno sheet was included but the date on the sheet listed a day when the engine was not even assembled due to the lack of needed parts. So, we got a bogus dyno sheet, and head gaskets that were installed wrong. A call to the builder said that the guy who built the motor had been fired but since we pulled the heads off, he was not liable for any quality control issues. I can understand his point, but with the gasket snafu, and the 'liar' dyno sheet, I will tell all of my friends to stay away from that builder. An easy way to avoid this builder is not to use anyone from northern FL.

With a bad compression test, the mustang was parked and left for dead in the garage. That was 2002.

A few years ago, a totaled 1995 mustang gt was purchased from a salvage yard. The plan was to take the efi motor and put it in the '65. Along with the wiring nightmare this would entail, a new underdash wiring harness was purchased. Along with the new harness, a JME billet gauge cluster was obtained. All new gauges and a tach!!!