Tag Archives: Restoration

NEED A LIFT

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There are certainly times when every shade tree mechanic could use a big commercial lift. It sure was on my wish list as I crawled around under the mustang trying to install the new dual exhaust. I just can’t help wondering how much easier it would have been with the car more than 2 feet off the floor.

 

Anyway, I had the parts for the new dual exhaust and the job had to be done. The old exhaust came off without too much trouble. I wanted to paint the new kit but first it needed to be test fitted and marked.

H-Pipe

I started with the H-pipe naturally since it bolts up to the stock manifolds. Yes, I still have the factory cast iron manifolds. Why, you may ask. Because you don’t need headers unless you’re building an engine with all the power in the upper RPM range. For a little street V8 the stock headers are fine and they give you nice low end torque. So, no need for headers on a 225 HP 289 v8.

You might also be wondering why I didn’t paint the pipes first and then install them. Firstly because I wanted to weld all the connections and I hate having to try to sand off the paint to get a good weld and secondly I wasn’t sure how much modification I would have to do to this kit. So I test fitted and marked all the pipes before painting them.

Connectors

Then the connector pipes were fitted and marked.

Muffler

Then the mufflers and tailpipes were fitted. Then it was all removed for painting.

ExhaustKitPainted

Above is the exhaust kit being painted with high temperature paint. Stainless pipes would have been nice but they were just too pricey. After the paint dried I put everything back on the car and clamped it up and took it for a test drive. It sounded good and everything seemed to be in place.

Overall the exhaust kit fit very well and the only problem with it was that the tail pipes were a bit too short for the stainless tips I was using.

ExtensionWelded

I had to weld some extensions on to bring the tips out far enough. No big deal, just a little more time crawling around under the car. I also welded up the other joints to eliminate leaks.

TailPipeTailPipes

The exhaust looks nice and sounds nice. Although after a test drive the tail pipes shifted just a bit so I will have to go back and sort that out to keep the tips centered up.

 

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SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe week started off with the usual wet sanding process. It went pretty well and most of the time I was in a good frame of mind for it. I actually finished a little ahead of schedule so I decided to paint the trunk on Thursday night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe trunk turned out OK. Eventually it will all be covered and carpeted anyway.

I spent Friday night getting stuff masked off and ready for the final painting. The prep work always takes way longer than I expect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs usual the first step is getting down the base silver for the stripes. It was going splendedly until I dragged the hose through the wet paint on the roof. That set me back an additional half hour. It’s always something though. Just like life’s little problems that pop up and you have to figure out how to deal with them and get back on track.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter repairing the little mishap on the roof I turned my attention to laying out the stripes. I remembered to photograph it this time so I’ll take you through the simple process.

First find the total width of of the stripes. In this case 15″. Then find the center of the panel and mark it. Measure out the 15″ and mark that on the edge of the panel using your center mark to keep everything aligned. Next lay out the outer stripes with blue striping tape to the inside edge of the 15″ marks. Next lay down the 1/4″ green masking tape to the inside of the blue tape. The green tape is simply a spacing guide for the next masking step. Then lay down the blue tape exactly along the inside  of the green tape. Then pull the green tape off. And lastly, just mask off the center section with masking tape and plastic. What could be simpler? Oh yeah, make sure you lay down the tape straight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove you can see the finished masking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is the cowl all masked off. I’m kind of liking that blue and orange on silver. Maybe I’ll use that color scheme on my next project. By the way, how about that cowl design? Too bad they don’t make them like that anymore.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s hard to see but this is the car with the body color sprayed over the masked off stripes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere it is with the masking removed.

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And here’s another view of the unmasked stripes ready for the clear coat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShiny at last! As you can see the clear went on without a hitch. I wish I could spray more often. I think with some consistent practice and a little professional guidance I could get good at this. As it is I’ll have to do some wet sanding and polishing to make this look really nice.

So it’s basically done – although there is some assembly required.

You’ll have to excuse me now. I have to go out in the garage and look at it again. I just can’t believe it’s finally shiny.

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FEELING ALRIGHT

I was feeling alright but now I’m not feeling too good myself. I had this entire post written up and then somehow I managed to delete the whole thing. So this is my second attempt. At least I’m feeling alright about the mustang.

As we last saw it the quarter panel patch had been tack-welded in place. I’m happy to report that the welding is now complete.

Now before you look at those welds and say, “That doesn’t look like the nice welds they do on TV. Chip Foose’s welds look way better.” let’s remember a few things. First, this isn’t reality TV. This is reality, reality. Secondly, I don’t have a super expensive TIG welder, I just have a MIG. But the main reason the welds look so sloppy is because of the process. You can’t just start at one end and lay a nice continuous bead all the way down the seam. If you did the panel would be ruined due to warpage from the heat. So you have to weld one little spot, move to the middle and weld another spot, move to the end and then go back in between. It’s a long tedious process but it works and it does leave you with a messy weld. But that’s OK. It’ll get cleaned up with the grinder later.

The next step was to patch the massive hole in the center section of the trunk. I didn’t have a piece of sheet metal long enough to cover the whole thing so I did it in two pieces and then butt-welded them together. It wasn’t too difficult and it turned out fine.

Here is the center section welded into place.

This is the center section cleaned up and ready for epoxy primer. Can you tell what else is different in this picture?

The next task was to patch up a small hole in the  inner wheel well. It was a pretty simple fix.  I just cut a patch and welded it in place inside the wheel well.

I'll have to go back in after it's in primer and clean it up with some body filler.

Then there was the hole at the bottom of the wheel well that needed patching. This one was a little tricky due to the contours and the limited working space.

It’s the same process of making the cardboard templates and then cutting out and forming the metal to fit. The contour on this one was such that I needed to make the patch in two pieces. (Only the first is shown in the photos.

This is the view from inside the quarter panel.

This is the view from inside the wheel well where I would be working on it.

Here is the metal cut for the upper section of the patch.

This is the patch formed to fit inside the wheel well.

At this point the patch doesn’t have to fit perfectly. It just needs to fit well and be able to be clamped in place to get the welding started.

The patch is clamped in place and ready for welding to begin.

Once the patch was in place I started welding on the right and worked my way to the left. I was able to make adjustments with the body hammer as I went to get a great fit. The only difficult part was working in the confined space. The welds on the inside left had to be made blind as there wasn’t room for my head and helmet and welder in the wheel well. I had to set the gun in position and then back out of the wheel well and pull the trigger and weld by sound. It worked but of course my aim was off a few times so it’s a bit messy on that side.

This is the patch after completion and primer. I will have to go back and clean it up more before the entire wheel well is cleaned and then painted and undercoated.

It looks pretty good on the inside. I'll be going over all the seams with seam sealer to ensure everything is water tight.

With the trunk all patched up it was time to get it ready for a final coat of epoxy primer. After grinding all the welds, and sanding and cleaning all the surfaces it was ready for primer.

The first step was to take a brush and go over and into all the seams. There are a lot of patches with flanges and they all need to be primed as well as possible to prevent rust later. All the seams will also get filled with seam sealer before painting. I will do everything I can to see that this restoration lasts as long as possible.

Shooting the epoxy primer was pretty straight forward except for the part where I got it all over in the hair on the back of my head. (That stuff is tough to get out of hair.)

Don’t even ask how I did it. It just happens. Hey, it’s not as bad as being on fire.

Anyway, I got it all shot and it’s looking nice.

The remaining task for the weekend was to get the tail light panel welded in place. After a shower, a little rest, and  a Caroline Special hamburger I got back in the garage and went to work. An hour and half later and no accidents and the panel was on.

Here's the panel clamped and ready for welding.

It's starting to look like a car again.

The tail light panel is welded in place.

So there we have it folks. It’s lookin good and I’m feelin’ alright.

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