Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Boyd's Mustang

I got this 1967 C-code, C4-equipped candyapple red Mustang (Click here to see the original bill of sale from 1967.) in October 1987, trading a '67 Firebird 400 convertible, which I had owned for about a month, for it. The Mustang looked bad, but ran great, while the Firebird looked pretty good but wouldn't run. A camshaft bolt had drilled a hole in the back of the water pump and pumped the engine full of water.

I was a sophmore at N.C. State at the time with no money and little mechanical ability. I worked part time at a local golf course (referred to as "the rock" by us workers, and the superintendent was "the warden"), and an assistant greens superintendent there had the Mustang. But he'd always wanted a Firebird like mine. Thus, we traded.

He got the Firebird running well, but soon discovered rust, body filler and three different colors of paint. And then a relative spun a bearing while driving it, so the Firebird is lord-knows-where now. But I still have the Mustang.


Transforming a 1960s-vintage engine into a modern smooth-revving powerplant has gotten easier in recent years with innovations such as roller lifter retrofits, racing dampers, aluminum cylinder heads and lightweight pistons.

But parts alone don't do the job. Somebody's hands have to touch every piece for them to work together.

Local race engine builder Herbie Whitley align-honed the block and bored it .060-inch over to correct damage done by a couple of broken piston rings. He also balanced the rotating assembly using the original crankshaft and rods, Keith Black lightweight pistons and a Summit Racing damper.

Parts then went to Larry Council. The son and youngest brother of mechanics, Larry's first mechanical job was welding a radio antennae onto his pedal car at around age 10. He's owned his own garage since the 1960s. He's built so many of these the only times he used a torque wrench were to secure the heads and main bearings.

Some of the parts I used in this engine are ported and polished World Windsor Jr. Lite cylinder heads, Comp Pro Magnum roller rockers, a Crane roller lifter retrofit kit and hydraulic roller camshaft, an MSD 6AL ignition box and MSD distributor, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 500-cfm carburetor, Carter fuel pump, Hooker Super Comp ceramic-coated headers, a Summit turbo exhaust system and Emerald torque converter with a 2,400-rpm stall speed.

The pistons and cylinder heads combine for a 9.4:1 compression ratio. The car runs on 87-octane unleaded regular.

Here are some photos of various stages of the engine rebuild. Click on the thumbnails for full-size images:


Cowl: a four-letter word for Mustang owners.

In the beginning, fresh air came in through these vents ahead of the windshield and through openings on the right and left and onto the feet of the driver and passenger to keep them comfortable on hot days. More or less.

But a few years later, water from rain and car washing, along with pinestraw, leaves and other gunk cnspired to rust out the cowls. Ford never painted them at the facotry, so their bare metal skins had no chance.

The accepted repair is to drill out about 200 spot welds, remove the entire cowl, cut out the rusted metal, weld in new metal, and reweld the cowl panel. My mechanic and bodywork expert, Larry Council, wanted a simpler way: Cut off just the ends of the cowl panel, make the repair, then weld the ends back on. It worked.

Regardless of how you do the repair, you need to precisely fit the repair panels to the opening to ensure as tight a fit as possible. Also, make sure to apply seam sealer to the underside of the cowl repair panels, getting to them from under the dash.

These cowl "hats" had already rusted out and were just sitting there.
We cut out the remaining rusted areas on each side.
Here's a repair panel welded in. These panels may need a bit of cutting and shaping to get a tight fit.
Below are photos of fresh paint on the repair panels and the top of the cowl panels welded and filled.
The tops of the panels are now primed.
Also be sure to apply seam sealer to the underside of the repair.
One final note: These cars are old, and rusted cowls might not be the only area leaking. Water can work its way in from the windshield opening, the holes in the cowl where the wiper arms attach and the holes where the rubber seals the hood to the cowl. So even after you repair the cowls, you might still be chasing leaks for years. But they won't be quite so bad.

Altogether, this job took about eight hours. Here are the material costs:

Part Vendor Cost
Cowl repair panel, left Mustangs Unlimited $46.95
Cowl repair panel right Mustangs Unlimited $46.95
3M brushable gray seam sealer National Parts Depot $23.50
Total $117.40


As many of you know Mustangs leak, weathered by rain, salt, leaves that trap moisture and humidity.

The cause of many leaks is worn cowl panels. Click here for that repair. The cowl houses the vents in front of the windshield. Beneath the vents, in the driver and passenger corners, are round sheet metal cylinders intended to keep water and debris from falling into the interior while allowing fresh air in. These items were not painted or even primed at the factory and, therefore, are prone to leaks.

This Web page details my front floor pan replacement in July 1999. This job was my first major panel replacement, though I did learn to weld in high school and college shop classes and have worked with auto body experts on various projects. If you've never welded before, read the welder instructions carefully and practice butt and overlap welds before beginning on the floor pans.

Safety glasses and goggles, a welders face shield, coveralls and leather gauntlets got a lot of use in this job, and I kept a fire extinguisher close at hand. As with any other job, the first priority is safety. To remove the floor pans, I used a jigsaw and a 4-inch grinder. To weld in the new pans, I used a wire-feed welder.
As you can see from the top left photo, my driver-side floor pan was in bad shape. I made the hole beneath the brake pedal simply by picking at the metal with my hand. The black overspray visible on the transmission tunnel is "rustproofing" paint I applied in 1997 during a carpet replacement. The paint was overwhelmed by the relentless water leaks as well as the age of the metal. The passenger-side floor pan was not quite as deteriorated, but still needed replacement.
After I cut out the rusted metal, I ground and brushed away surface rust and primed. The pans are spot welded in at the factory; make sure you grind down the welds and remove as much of the old pans as possible. On the drivers side, watch out for the fuel line (left of the frame rail) and emergency brake cable (right of the rail). The two holes visible in the frame rail and crossmember are normally filled by rubber plugs.
To weld in the passenger-side pan, I drilled holes in the pan approximately where the spot welds had been located on the original pan, set the pan in place, then welded up the holes. On the transmission tunnel, I overlap welded the pan to the tunnel. On the outside by the door, I overlap welded inside the car and butt welded beneath the car. Don't weld long beads; doing so will warp the metal.
Remember that a bracket that tensions the parking brake cable is on the bottom of this pan. Use the old pan as a template to mark the new pan and weld the bracket into place before welding the pan into the car.
Lots of Rustoleum should help keep the new floorpans in good shape.

A couple of notes: If you have trouble getting the pans to lie flat for welding, screw them into place with sheet metal screws, then remove the screws one by one, welding up the holes as you go. Also, you most likely will need to cut or modify the pan for your particular case; do so carefully. Lastly, add a few welds on the underside of the pan for added strength and to close any gaps. And take your time.

Altogether, this job took a couple of weekends, since I had to do it outside in my apartment parking lot. I spent a fair amount of time moving tools and materials out in the morning and back inside in the evening. Here are the material costs:
Part Vendor Cost
Short floorpan LH National Parts Depot $24.95
Short floorpan RH National Parts Depot $24.95
Floorpan drain cover and plug kit National Parts Depot $10.95
3M brushable gray seam sealer National Parts Depot $23.50
Spray primer and paint Lowe's $8.01
Total $92.36


One of the first steps in getting my car ready to paint in 2000 was removing the vinyl top.

Once I removed the windshield. quarter panel and rear window moldings, the vinyl top peeled off in one piece.

That may look like rust, but it's glue. I used a random orbit sander to clean that off, and you can see the shiny result at right.
We also replaced a quarter panel skin on the side that was damaged in a 1995 rear-end collision.
Here are more bodywork photos.
Epoxy primer tinted in nice pink seals the body with a hard shell.
Larry sprays the base coat-clear coat.


Below are photos of my Mustang's 9-inch rear end. It has a 28-spline open differential and 3.25:1 gear ratio. The car uses Currie remanufactured axles.

I recently installed Edelbrock Performer IAS shocks, Street or Track adjustable strut rods and BFGoodrich g-Force Sport tires. I'll post some photos of those soon.

Audi A8, технические данные