Saturday, September 27, 2008

The A/C Mystery

The air conditioning installed in my Mustang is a bit of a mystery. The car was not originally equipped with an A/C. At some point, someone installed an A/C system but I'm not sure where all of it was sourced.

The person who installed the A/C, took the dash pieces from a 1968 Mustang to get all the dash vents. The A/C box appears to be original to a Mustang along with the blower assembly. The fan is a 6 blade fan but I'm not sure it is a Ford piece. The condensor installed is definately not a Ford piece but there are no identifying marks. The crank pulley for the A/C belt has AMCE on it so it is no doubt an aftermarket piece.

I've not decided what to do with these pieces. Once I decide to install A/C, I don't plan to make it look original as it did not original come on my vehicle. Additionally, original components are expensive and do not perform like the complete kits currently available. I might choose to sell some of these items on eBay to help offset the cost of an A/C system in the future.

Here are a few pictures of the A/C items I've taken off the car:

Removal of A/C Box

The heater and A/C do not work in the Mustang. As you can tell by the following picture, the unused tubing is a bit of an eyesore in the engine bay. To clean up the area and give me more room to strip the firewall, I removed these A/C box this morning.

In the first picture, you will notice there is a panel which attaches around the hoses and tubing. I plan to restore this piece and replace the rubber gasket behind it with one which covers the holes. I will then leave the A/C box out until I am in a position to rebuild and buy the needed parts to put it back into operation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Suspension Component Painting

I'm attempting to perform a little work on the Mustang each night. This week, I was able to accomplish the following:

Monday - Sanded & Painted Shock Tower Caps
Tuesday - Painted Upper Control Arms & Roller Spring Perches
Wednesday - Sanded & Painted Engine Crossmember
Thursday - Second Coat on Engine Crossmember
Friday - Sanded and Painted Lower Control Arms

Some of the items painted are the suspension items I recently purchased. While it is clear they were never used, the previous owner seemed to just have them laying around his shop for a while. They were a little scratched and some had a light dusting of yellow overspray. I figured I would paint them because the details count and I'm a little OCD.

The engine compartment is being painted with Krylon 1613 Semi-Flat Black as it is known as the closest match to the factory finish. I used this paint on the shock tower caps.

The suspension components are all being painted with Eastwoods Extreme Chassis Black. I chose to use this paint on the suspension as is more resistant to chips. The only difficult part about the paint is it takes 72 hours to completely harden and requires 24 hours before recoating.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Refinishing Gas Pedal Assembly

I removed the master cylinder and brake lines for the front brake system today. The fittings were tight from 40 years of grim and surface rust. I was able to remove all but one line without damaging the fittings.

I also removed the clutch pedal rod and discovered the bushings were bad and the equalizer bar had begun to wear away at the bar. I'll likely purchase a new one but I could put another bushing on it and run in for a while as a new one is $20 at NPD.

I removed the gas pedal assembly and throttle bar from the firewall also. This cleaned up much of the first wall so I decided to refinish the gas pedal assembly. I stripped it down and painted it the semi-flat black as original. I'll put it away for installation in a few months.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Removal of Engine Compartment Components

In the past week, I've been removing some of the engine compartment components in preparation for stripping the firewall. The items removed include the following:
- Carburetor
- Strut Support Bars
- Heater Hoses
- Fan & Pullies
- Fuel Pump
- Coil & Wiring
- Alternator & Brackets
- Steering Parts (Except Steering Box)

I've included a picture of the current condition of the engine compartment.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Restoration Plan (Part 2)

My plan has always been to handle larger restoration projects during the heat of summer and during the extreme cold of winter. Without an A/C or functional heater, I would not be driving the car at these times and would not miss out on driving around.

When I first planned this portion of the project, I intended to reuse the drum brakes and just replace the main suspension components. After I found the deal on the suspension and disc brakes, it now makes more sense to complete both projects now. The new spindles require new outer tie rods which make updating the steering components a logic step as I would minimize alignment cost by doing all the work at the same time.

With these thoughts, it is becoming clear this project will take longer than I expected. I hoped to have the car ready to drive by late September or early October. Since this is not possible with my original deadline, I will shift my focus to completing this project by January 8th. This will be the one year anniversary of the Mustang purchase. This will give me time to complete the project properly.

Part of the brake replacement involves switching the master cylinder and brake lines which run along the firewall. The new deadline allows me to strip and paint the upper portion of the firewall before installing these new components. I'll also remove the accessories from the block and paint it just to clean the engine bay up a little more. It will not be a complete repaint as the motor will eventually be removed, rebuilt, and repainted completely.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Restoring Wiring Harness

I restored the wiring harness I removed from the engine compartment today. I cleaned all the plugs and wiring with a Scotchbrite pad and Fantastic cleaner. A special tape is then used to duplicate the factory appearance. The tape is similar to electrical tape except there is no adhesive. Regular electrical tapes is the used at the ends of this special tape (friction tape) to ensure it does not come undone.

There were two damaged wires which needed repair. The main feed from the alternator to the battery broken in two with little to no pressure. Additionally, the voltage regulator feed wire was almost entirely broken in half. If I had not gone througth the wiring, either of these could have left me stranded on the side of the road. They would both also be difficult to locate. Since I have a soldering iron these were easy fixes.