Mustang Restoration Project

 

My dad has had a 1967 Mustang since he was 16. It was his daily driver car back in the 70s and early 80s. It had been on and off the road up until 1999. That year he dropped insurance on it and it sat in the garage for 4 years. It will crank up and run, but it runs very rough because of the lack of driving it gets. We really only crank it up to move it out of the garage when we need to work on another car.

 

In early November 2003, my dad and I were out trying to fix an exhaust leak in the exhaust manifold. We pulled the manifold off and sandblasted them. I got to thinking, “if the exhaust manifold was this easy to clean up, how much trouble would the whole engine be?” I did some research on the Internet and came up with an idea of what would be involved.   http://links.vintage-mustang.com/FAQ/engine_compartment_detailing.html. was a helpful web page. I presented the idea to my dad, and he said go ahead.

 

I intend to get the engine restored as close to showroom condition as possible. I am trying to retain all original parts where I can. I also would like to clean up the interior, which after four years could use a little work. The only thing that needs replacing seems to be the instrument cluster trim where the chrome has come off and been repainted gray. Everything else is in good condition. Also, the whole car needs to be compounded and polished.

 

The following will be a detailed chronology of my work on the mustang. I will include pictures when I remember to take them.

 

 

November 9th, 2003

 

My dad and I headed out to the garage to take a look at the exhaust leak. He noticed it a few weeks ago when we backed the mustang out of the garage to bring another car in. We took the exhaust manifold off and figured out that we should clean it up before putting it back on.

 

Hours: 3.0

 

November 10th, 2003

 

I took the manifold to his office and we went into the machine shop and used the sandblaster to clean the rust off. I was surprised at how easy all the rust came off. That evening I emailed him to talk about the possibility of restoring the engine.

 

Hours: 1.5 (4.5 total)

 

November 12th, 2003

 

After class I rushed home with permission to detail the engine. This would involve stripping everything off of the engine and repainting it. Anything that came off and needed to be replaced would be taken care of appropriately. Gaskets, fuel filters, etc would be replaced, but all the major components will just get cleaned up, painted and put back on. I started stripping pieces off that afternoon. By the time he came home from work, I was about halfway done. I don’t think either one of us really realized what we were getting in to. Every time I took a part off, I would say, “just a few more bolts, and I can have that piece off too.” Here is a picture of what the engine compartment looked like when he came home:

Notice the rust on most of the block and the water pump.

 

 

Looking from the passenger’s side.

 

I kept taking parts off until I thought there was nothing left that could come out. Here is a picture of my pile of parts.

 

Finally around 11pm that night, I headed back to Raleigh.

 

Hours:  8.0 (12.5 total)

 

November 15th, 2003

 

Next weekend I came home to do some more work. Friday the 15th was a cleaning day. I had 3 cans of Gunk engine degreaser. This stuff did wonders on an engine that has been collecting grease and grime since 1978. In 1978 my dad rebuilt the engine in his basement. This was 25 years ago so it was about time to do a little work on it. Though I am not doing a complete job like he did, I am perhaps making some sort of improvement. I got home around 7pm and proceeded to degrease what I could using some lights. I figured the next day I would wake up and be ready to prep and paint.

 

Turns out I was wrong. When I woke up the next morning, I got a better look at the engine. Next time I degrease an engine I think I need more light. There was still a decent amount of grease on the engine. I took it back out of the garage and proceeded to get it cleaned up a little more. In the process, I found a few more parts I needed to take off to make painting a little easier. Finally around dinnertime, I was ready to begin prepping the surface of the block for the paint. My plane was to paint the block first, then cover it and paint the fender wells and firewall. I spent about an hour prepping the surface of the block with a wire brush on a drill. This did a nice job of removing the rust. I then used a Dremel drill to get into the small nooks and crannies. Finally an hour later, I was ready to mask and paint. I got a plastic drop cloth from Lowe’s that I used to mask everything but the engine. The last thing I wanted was blue paint all over the beautiful candy-apple red paint job. The whole car was stripped down and repainted around 1998, and it was still nearly perfect since the car has been garage kept under a cover since then. After making, I applied my first coat of engine paint. I used special 500 degree paint especially designed for engines. The color I used was called Old Ford Blue, which according to my research was the same color that was on the engine when it rolled off the showroom floor. Here is a picture of the engine after the three coats of paint have been applied:

 

 

 

Here is the workbench ready for part cleaning and painting:

Notice the high voltage solenoid hanging from the ceiling in front of the radio. Its drying.

 

The next day, Sunday November 16th, 2003, I woke up satisfied that I had done a good job the day before on the block painting. I was determined to continue with my superb quality work the next day as well. Today was the day I was going to paint the firewall and fender wells. I know right away that most of the day would be spent sanding, prepping, and masking. I was right too. I ended up masking everything off with two plastic drop cloths, two days worth of newspaper and about ½ a roll of masking tape (a big roll, not a small one). After I spent nearly two hours masking, I found a few more pieces I could take off, like the horn and some wire harnesses. Next I started prepping the surfaces. I used the same wire brush, drill, and Dremel drill to remove rust and old paint. This was a long tedious process, but I knew that it would be worth it to do the job right. The only area that I didn’t do a perfect job on was behind the brake master cylinder and steering linkage. The areas were too cluttered, but I did the best I could. I applied one coat of paint, barely. I ran out right as I was getting the last bit covered. I tried to run to Wal-Mart, but of course the Wal-Mart in Durham never has what you need. Since I didn’t have any more paint, I was forced to only apply one coat. I will have to come back next Friday to apply a second and maybe a third coat. Here are some pictures of what it looks like after the first coat has been applied:

 

 

 

 

 

After the paint was applied, I called it quits because I had to make it home in time to catch the special 2hr episode of CSI.

 

Hours: 16.0 (28.5 total)

 

November 21st, 2003

 

I came home from work at lunchtime (I was working at Duke, so it wasn’t too far to drive. I threw two more quick coats of Low-gloss black paint on the firewall and inside fenders. It only took about 15 minutes to get two good coats on. I am finally done painting under the hood. All the rest of the painting will be done outside of the car.

 

After work I came home to do a few things until I left for UVa on Saturday. I was going to get the distributor put in, but we ran into a problem. I couldn’t get it to sit all the way down into its hole. My dad and I both struggled with it for a little while. We finally realized that the problem was with the oil pump. It sits in the bottom of the oil pan and there is an eight-inch long hexagonal rod connecting the oil pump to the bottom of the distributor. This rod had come loose during the disassembly of the engine. We got it set right, but then we got to question whether or not we had gotten the timing off when we were moving the distributor all around. To be on the same side, we decided to turn the engine to top-dead-center with the distributor out, and then put it back in. BAD idea, I turned about 1/10th of a turn and we heard something fall into the oil pan. It was the hexagonal rod that we had so much trouble lining up before. We were up shit’s creek with no paddle now. We figured we were going to have to pull the oil pan and just about everything else off the engine to get it out. We tried fishing for it through the drain plughole, but no luck. Finally my dad got the good idea to just take the timing cover and water pump off and try to fish it out. With the help of some special grabbing tools, we managed to get it out. This saved us from having to pull the oil pan off. Turns out the problem was a retaining clip had slid down and allowed it to slip out. By this time we had even more of the engine off. The water pump and timing chain cover were off, and you could see the timing chain. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture. Doh! We did manage to get the motor turned to top-dead-center and got the distributor back on. However, we had another project ahead of us putting the water pump and timing cover back on.

 

 

Hours: 4.5 (33 total)

 

November 23rd, 2003

 

I came back from UVa Sunday, went to a family birthday party for my favorite uncle/boss and finally got into the garage around 9pm. My dad had picked up the new gaskets we needed for the water pump and timing cover. We spent most of the evening putting those two pieces back on and just getting back to where we left off on Friday before I FUBARed the operation. This part went pretty easy, just a lot of messy gasket sealer all over my fingers.

 

Here is a picture of the water pump and timing cover with their brand spanking new gaskets. Notice we managed to strip all the paint off the bolts. I will have to repaint everything once the gasket sealant dries good. The ugly brackets are on there just to keep pressure on the gaskets until the sealant can cure. I will take them back off and repaint them eventually.

 

After we got that all taken care off, I got to make forward progress for the first time since last Sunday. I tried to go ahead and get all the little stuff under the hood taken care of. The only thing I noticed that needed to be painted was a little vacuum tube coming off the manifold I painted it black. Kinda hard to see in the picture though.

 

Next I did a little rust removal and painting on a few small parts. Here they are hanging, freshly painted:

 

Here are two pictures of the current state of things as of Sunday night, Nov 23rd right before I left to come home. Notice the gaskets are Carolina Blue –yuck!! Don’t worry, Ill get them painted once everything cures.

 

 

 

 

Next up is some sandblasting. Here are some parts I am going to take to my dad’s work sometime before Thanksgiving to sandblast.

 

Hours: 4.0 (37 total)

 

November 25th, 2003

 

Tonight after classes I went to my dad’s office and sandblasted the above parts.

 

Hours: 2.5 (39.5 total)

 

November 26th, 2003

 

First day of Thanksgiving Break. The boss-man let us go home around 330pm. Of course, I went home and got right to work on the car. I painted the water pump and timing cover that I had previously taken off. After that I started sanding and painting a bunch of little parts. I also got all the parts painted that I sandblasted last night.

 

 

Here are two pictures of what the whole car looks like, for those of you who have been asking me.

 

 

Messy Workbench

 

 

Hours: 7.0 (46.5 total)

 

November 27th, 2003

 

Today was Turkey Day, so I didn’t work as much as the other days of break. Again, most all I did was sand, prep, and paint. Lots and lots of little parts had to be cleaned and prepared. I was able to work a few hours before Lunch, and then a few after the family left around 9pm.

 

Hours: 4.5 (51 total)

 

November 28th, 2003

 

Again, MORE painting and sanding. I took a break in the evening to go to my girlfriend’s brother’s high school football playoff game. Other than that, I spent the rest of the day in the garage. I took the distributor apart to start cleaning and painting it. Hopefully I can get it back together. My dad splurged and got a new radiator and a harmonic balancer / vibration dampener. These and the battery were the only things over $20 we have put into this project. The new radiator sure does look nice though.

 

Here is my stand I used to paint all the little parts. I used masking tape and bailing wire to hang them. I was hanging them on the light above the workbench, but that was too much trouble dragging them in and out over and over again. It used to be a DVD rack I made, but the cats always knocked them over.

 

A good mechanic doesn’t stop working at 5pm.

 

 

Hours: 9.0 (60 total)

 

November 29th, 2003

 

Today I actually didn’t do as much painting and sanding as before. I reassembled the distributor and a few various brackets and miscellaneous pieces. I then started rebuilding the carburetor. Since I had never worked on one before, I asked my dad to go through it with me step by step. I got it all back together and on the car. I got all of the electrical stuff back on, also all the hoses and tubing. Belts and pulleys were also all back on. All that will be left tomorrow will be to put the exhaust manifolds on, battery in, and spark plugs and wires.

 

Here’s what it looked like when I called it a day. (3 angles)

 

 

 

Hours: 8.5 (68.5 total)

 

November 30th, 2003

 

The last day of Thanksgiving Break, and I was determined to have the car running today. I woke up around noon and went running all over Durham looking for the bolts to connect the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust pipes. I went to Advanced Auto and AutoZone before finally finding the parts at Lowe’s (of all places). After an hour and a half I was ready to start prepping the engine for starting it the first time. I put oil and water in the engine and new spark plugs in. I painted the exhaust manifolds with special paint that must be baked. In order to bake them, you have to run the engine at idle for an hour. The paint had to be baked within 8 hours of spraying. That meant I had until around 10pm to get the engine running. While the paint dried for an hour I cleaned the spark plug wires and went over everything one last time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. Well, turns out I didn’t have the thermostat seated properly, and after we added the water, we found the leak. My dad took it apart and reseated the thermostat while I was busy grinding away old rust from the exhaust pipes so they could be hooked up to the freshly painted exhaust manifolds. After an hour or so of drying, I was ready to strap the exhaust manifolds on. I got all 20 bolts on and went in to have dinner. After I wolfed my sandwich down, my dad and I came out and gave everything one last look-over. Now was the time of truth, to see if I was a good mechanic or not. Well, it fired up after about 5 seconds of turning over. Everything looked like it was going fine, then “glug glug” it knocked off. Damn. We tried a few more times to get it going, but it would run for about 15 seconds and then knock off. We figured that something was wrong with the carburetor so we took it apart. We were correct. The float switch in it had not been properly installed (by me). We fixed that and then tried to start it again. Still wouldn’t stay idling. Then my dad noticed I had left a vacuum hose off of the carb. He hooked it back and we tried again,. This time nothing. After a little diagnostics we figured we weren’t getting any spark. I noticed the paint on the coil was BOILING. For some reason it was getting current through it the whole time the engine was off, ever since we hooked the battery up. Eventually we determined something was wrong with the solenoid, but it had fixed itself somehow. We’re still going to replace it just to be on the safe side. So after the coil cooled down, we tried again and damn if it didn’t fire right up and purr like a kitten. Yay! We got it running for good around 830 pm, barely meeting our 8 hour paint curing deadline. Only four things went wrong! To summarize:

1)      Thermostat not seated right.

2)      Carburetor float switch not installed right.

3)      Carburetor vacuum hose not connected.

4)      Coil overheated – mechanical problem, not human error.

 

So once it got running, it was a beautiful sight. My eighty some odd hours of work weren’t for nothing. Once it warmed up, we got the timing adjusted perfectly and let it idle in the driveway for an hour while the exhaust headers baked. The whole time it sounded better and ran smoother than it had in ten years. Finally after the hour, I replaced the water with antifreeze. I cleaned up the garage a little, and then brought her back in the garage and called it a night.

 

Even though the engine is running, it is with the bare minimums installed. I still have to put the A/C, air filter, frame braces, grill, and some various little pieces back on. Another ten or fifteen hours and I will be done with the engine compartment.

 

Headers drying in the warm garage.

 

The beast is alive! Dad looking over all our hard work.

 

Heres what it looks like when its running. Timing light is laying across the top. 

 

I made a mess. It wasn’t revealed til the Mustang was backed out of the garage.

 

Nice coveralls.

 

4 Pictures of the current state at the end of November. All those spots are just water from where I topped the radiator off.

 

 

 

 

Hours: 11.5 (80.0 total)

 

December 6th 2003

 

Not much left to do. I got it running last weekend, so no major mechanical stuff needs to be done. All I have to do is put the air cleaner, the A/C, and some braces back on. I worked on it from about 10am until my family birthday party that night at 7.

 

Parts painted and drying

 

Hours: 9.0 (89.0 total)

 

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

 

Well, I let the parts dry overnight and was ready to strap them back on today. I spent from about lunch time until 2pm trying to find a belt that fit. The belt for the alternator was too small, so that pulled the alternator in some. As a result, the fan on the alternator was hitting the A/C tensioner bracket. I had to get a belt smaller than the original one. Finally got it working, got everything put back on, and took all the paper, tape, and plastic off. I washed the inside of the hood and gave everything one final cleaning before shutting the hood and declaring the engine done. Next up – the interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hours: 7.0 (96.0 total)

 

 

 

Date: Hell, I forget.. sometime over Christmas break

 

Today I spent a whole day painting wheels and brake drums. Here are some pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

Hours: 8.0 (104.0 total)

 

Date: Hell, I forget..sometime over Christmas break

 

This weekend I washed and waxed the Mustang. It really brought out the original shine of the paint. Almost ready to put back on the road. All that is left now is insurance and a good interior cleaning.

 

 

 

Hours: 4.0 (108.0 total)

 

Here is the current state of the car as of January 26th, 2004. These pictures were taken for the insurance appraisal. The interior has not gotten a good cleaning yet, but it will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

Quantity

Item

Each

Total

1

Vibration Dampener

$76.48

$76.48

1

Radiator Cap

$5.48

$5.48

1

Radiator

$128.88

$128.88

1

Timing Cover / Water Pump Gasket Set

$10.49

$10.49

1

Carburetor Rebuild Kit

$12.99

$12.99

1

Valve Cover Gaskets - Rubber

$9.39

$9.39

1

180-degree Thermostat

$3.48

$3.48

1

Thermostat Gasket

$1.04

$1.04

1

Oil Pressure Sender Unit

$7.49

$7.49

1

Upper Radiator Hose

$7.49

$7.49

1

Lower Radiator Hose

$9.49

$9.49

1

Bypass Radiator Hose

$4.29

$4.29

1

Fuel Pump

$17.88

$17.88

1

Fuel Filter

$2.07

$2.07

1

Battery

$49.94

$49.94

8

Spark Plugs

$2.14

$17.12

1

Spark Plug Lube

$0.98

$0.98

1

Exhaust Manifold Gasket Set

$11.49

$11.49

3

Exhaust Manifold Studs

$0.77

$2.31

4

Nut / Washer for Exhaust Manifold

$0.25

$0.25

1

Fan Belt

$3.89

$3.89

1

Battery Cable - Pos to Solenoid

$4.97

$4.97

1

Battery Cable - Solenoid to Starter

$3.97

$3.97

1

Battery Cable - Neutral

$8.97

$8.97

1

Hose Clamps

$7.02

$7.02

1

Battery Bracket

$9.70

$9.70

 

 

 

 

1

Antifreeze

$5.88

$5.88

1

WD-40

$1.98

$1.98

3

Gunk Engine Degreaser

$1.48

$4.44

1

Mean Green Gen. Purpose Degreaser

$1.99

$1.99

1

Quick Dry

$4.98

$4.98

1

Ziplock Baggies

$0.97

$0.97

1

Paper Towels - 3 pack

$1.44

$1.44

2

Plastic Drop Sheets

$0.96

$1.92

1

Bunch of Newspaper

$0.00

$0.00

2

Roll of Masking Tape

$3.44

$6.88

1

Carb Cleaner

$1.67

$1.67

 

 

 

 

2

Paint - Dark Ford Blue

$3.98

$7.96

1

Paint - Gloss Black

$3.98

$3.98

5

Paint - Low Gloss Black

$3.98

$19.90

3

Paint - Semi Gloss Black

$3.98

$11.94

1

Paint - Cast Aluminum

$4.99

$4.99

1

Paint - Cast Gray

$3.99

$3.99

1

Paint - High Temp Cast Gray

$4.98

$4.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBTOTAL

$507.44

 

 

TAX (7.0%)

$35.52

 

 

TOTAL

$542.96

 

 

FAQs:

 

Q: What kind of engine is under the hood?

A: The mustang is equipped with the original V-8, 289-2V. It’s rated at 200HP stock. It is still stock, with no major modifications except for a .030 bore and new pistons during the 1978 rebuild. Also, A/C was added in the early 70s.