Friday, June 22, 2007

Jason's Mustang Restoration Project(Part 1)

So why a Mustang?

I suppose it all goes back to my earliest memories of growing up in Des Plaines, IL. My father had a habit of buying cars cheap, driving them for a while, then selling them cheap just in time to buy another one.

Jason (left) and his brother Jordan in 1975.
Click on the picture for a larger version

One of these cars was a 6 Cylinder Red 1965 Coupe. I still remember riding in the car and playing outside while it was parked in the street. I didn't know it then, but the car must have made a lasting impression on me. After my dad sold it in 1975 (It was just a 10 year old rusty car at that point as far as he was concerned) I would see other 65 Mustangs on the road and think to myself "Hey! That looks like the car Dad used to have!

It took me another 25 years to finally get to the point where I could bring another pony into the family...

Auction Pictures

This is a group of photos that the seller sent me before I bid on the car.

First a little history.

This is a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang, VIN # 5F08F145434.

It was originally Wimbledon White with a black standard interior. The original 260 V8 is still in the car, connected to the original C4 automatic transmission and the original 3.00:1 Rear Axle.

It was built on May 25, 1964 and was originally shipped to the Washington DC area.

Door Tag Codes: Body 76A, Color M, Trim 86, Date 25E, DSO 26, Axle 1, Trans 6.

It appears to have spent much of its life in North Carolina, where it eventually became part of a collection in Raleigh. The car was going to be restored for the collection, but never was. Once the owner of the collection died around 1997, the car was purchased by another North Carolina resident at an auction, and then sold to me in late 2000.

It has been neglected, and does not appear to have been used regularly for more than 15 years.

Note the gas cap is in the pictures, and later turned out to be missing...

Here is an excerpt from the seller's description of the car: (which you will later see was grossly inaccurate)

September 15, 2000

Dear Buyer:

The mustang will not roll with the tires that are on it now, but I can put tires on it that will enable it to be towed short distances. I don't think the car should be towed long distances due to the grease in the rear end is old. It does run but I don't think the car should be driven until the motor is rebuilt and all fluids are changed.

As for rust, there is a small amount of rust on both front fenders, a little in each floor pan but not rusted through, very little in the trunk and no rust in the shock towers. The worst rust on the vehicle is the small strip behind the convertible top storage, which is a small strip of metal about 3" wide that runs across the car between the convertible top storage and the trunk.

It has never been in an accident; there is no bondo on the vehicle.

Everything on the vehicle is original except the trunk lid.

It has a generator not an alternator.

The interior has not been exposed to rainfall. It has never been stored outside.

I have had the car for a year and a half. When I bought it, the engine ran but it smoked a little. I was not going to run the vehicle until I rebuilt the engine and transmission because of age. Since it has sat for a year and a half, I would not recommend running it or towing it on its' rear wheels because the fluids have set-up for a year and a half.

It has an automatic green dot transmission.

Car Arrives

Below are the photos I took when the car arrived at my house.

October, 2000

My first impressions were mostly horrible.

The rust was not only worse than the seller had said, but it was almost to the point where the car was about to break in half. The doors were being pinched tight by the sagging of the center tub of the car.

Other unmentioned problems were the missing air cleaner, the cracked front windshield, the fact that some idiot had spray painted the engine compartment white, the missing gas cap (which was in the auction pictures) and the fact that there were no keys.

The generator was installed loosely, but it was from a 6 cylinder engine and could not be used.

There was also a fuel pump from a 6 cylinder engine installed, which actually did seem to work right, even if it did look weird.

The carburetor is date coded 1962 - and seems to be from a Fairlane.

All four floor pans were rusted through where you could see light coming in from the outside.

2 quarts of water poured into the vent in front of the windshield (the cowl) mostly wound up inside the car, making the carpet wet. This is probably why the floor of the car is so rusty. The cowl must be totally rusted out.

The car and the trunk were also filled with years of leaves and garbage.

I bought some fluids to use for changing the anti-freeze, oil, and topping off the brake fluid. It turns out that the engine has two of the freeze plugs missing, and all the anti-freeze just poured out onto the driveway.

Also, in another e-mail I had asked the seller if the brakes worked. He said that they did. When The car arrived, the brake pedal was down to the floor and the master cylinder was full of rust particles.

More "Before" Pictures

These are photos I took the night before the car went off to the body shop.

March, 2001

Now that the car has made the move with me to the new house, it has been cleaned up as much as possible, and I have picked a body shop to do the first round of work on it. These pictures try to show the worst spots of rust in a little more detail.

In reality, the car has turned out to be very saveable. The rear spring supports and the engine bay, especially around the shock towers, are all still in very good shape.

The floors, the fenders, the quarter panels, the cowl, and the battery area all need to be replaced though.

The last few photos here show the car on the day that it left for the body shop for the first time.

This may have been the first time the rear wheels were used on the open road in years...

1st Time At The Body Shop

These are photos taken by the guys at the body shop as they went along.

April, 2001

These pictures mostly show the progress of cutting out and replacing the inner frame rails, the floor pans, the torque boxes, and the rocker panels.

My favorite picture is of the trash cans filled with chunks of rusty metal that were thrown out. I am told there was one more can full for a total of three 35 gallon cans full of rust before they were done.

Home From The 1st Body Shop Trip

These are photos taken after the first series of body improvements were done.

May, 2001

Well, now my original chunk of savings has been used up, and it is time to put the car back in the garage to do some of the little things until I can afford to keep going.

As you may be able to see, the floors are now in really good condition, and the fenders and quarter panels have also been replaced and primered.

The cowl is a totally rust free unit taken from a junk california car, and the battery area sheet metal has also been replaced.

Small Steps At Home

These are photos of some of the smaller projects I have been working on while I save for the next trip to the body shop.

September, 2001

The first few pictures here show some of the things I managed to find for future installations. I bought a nice new set of front seats (yes, my car did originally come with an adjustable passenger seat), and a new console. The old seats are in the background of the first picture. I had to trim a new pattern into the side of the console to make this old coupe unit fit my convertible. I did paint the console parts to make it look nice. The 5th picture shows the finished console assembly.

The second picture shows the old and new radiators.

The 3rd picture shows the disassembled heater box, which is still a work in progress.

The remainder of the pictures show the progress of the disassembly, masking, ainting, and finally the re-assembly of the dash.

I am *really* happy with the way the dash turned out!

Audi S8 , технические данные