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


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


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.