Sunday, August 29, 2010

Underdash Wiring Removed

I spent a little over an hour today removing the underdash wiring. I documented each connector as I removed the wiring with my digital camera. After removing the harness, I reconnected the door pins, flashers, ignition switch, and headlight switch. The purpose of the various wires is easily to determine with these items connected.

I'm tempted to replace the fuse block with one produced by Painless Wiring. This aftermarket fuse block uses the newer style fuses. Additionally, it would contain three extra circuits to run the constant power for the radio and other accessories without taxing the stock system.

I'm also tempted to use the aftermarket fuse block because of some damage to the stock item. The wires which led to the back of one of the fuses were cut at the back of the fuse block. They were then wires together using an inline fuse from an auto parts store. I'm not sure yet if this is because of something wrong with the block or just ignorance of the previous owner.

In addition to the wiring, I removed the defroster vent, fresh air vent, and a few other small items. I plan to remove a few more items so that I can soon start to strip the underdash area.

I was able to check the driver side cowl and it looks in acceptable condition also. This will allow me to use the plastic replacement cowl hat on the driver side without the need to replace the entire cowl panel.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Interior Parts Order - Shopping Therapy

I'm not one to go shopping to feel better but today was the exception.

I've been wanting a new steering wheel for the Mustang since I purchased the car. The steering wheel I'm currently using is the stock wheel which is cracked, large, and looks horrible. I passed time on Saturday looking at steering wheels on the Summit Racing website. A LeCarra Mark VI Elegante steering wheel caught my eye. The steering wheel looks great and is 14" which works well with my manual steering configuration.

I've also been thinking about how I'm going to handle the gauges in the Mustang. I need a better oil pressure and water temperature guage. Since I'm restoring the dash, I'd like to go ahead and decided how I want to mount these new guages. Ideally, I'd replace the two outside guages in the stock cluster. I've tried working with a cheap 2 1/16" guage I have to see if I could get it to look good in the stock bezel. Unfortunately, I've not had any luck.

I posted about it on and they suggested using a 2 5/8" guage. The guage could be mounted from the back or from the front. I searched Summit Racing and found two nice Pro-Sport series guages which would work well. I consdered buying one to see if I could make it fit properly but then started worrying how it would look next to the other stock guages. The lighting, guage faces, and lenses would look entirely different.

I'd love to have a 5" tachometer and speedometer. Since I was day dreaming, I decided to look at them also. I found the same Line Pro-Sport Autometer tachometer for $150. If you purchase one now, you can get a $100 rebate from AutoMeter. Additionally, Summit will give you $50 in Summit Bucks.

I was feeling down about recent events at work today and started thinking about the Mustang to brighten my day. I then decided to just go ahead and buy all of these parts. I'll test fit the guages to see if I can make them work. If it does not look good, I can always return them to Summit.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beginning the Dash & Firewall Restoration

I recently purchased a new hood, driver side fender, front valance, and trunk lid from Mustang Mania in Katy, Texas. The parts were available at the price charged by other Mustang Suppliers but I could pick these up and not pay any shipping charges. This was at a considerable savings considering the size of the items and the potential for damage in shipping.

I'd like to work from the front to the back of the Mustang repairing the sheetmetal problems. I don't want to work on the hood until I'm certain no work is needed on the cowl. As a result, I've decided to start working on the firewall and undersdash restoration. Since I'll need to take all the dash panels off and wiring out, I'll be restoring the dash during this phase.

I removed the glove box and dash bezels from the Mustang this afternoon. I checked the passenger side cowl vent. The cowl hat is badly rusted. Fortunately, the rust did not extend beyond the cowl hat. A plastic replacement cowl hat is available which I should be able to use to repair this area.

I'll need to remove the fresh air vent and some wiring to inspect the driver side cowl. What I can see seems to have more rust than the passenger side. If only the hat is rusted, I'll be relieved as both can be repaired simply using the plastic replacement cowl hat kit.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Procrastination and Planning

I've been intimidated by the metalwork needed on the Mustang since the beginning. There are several areas with rust which need attention. I have a welder but don't have the needed gas tank. Instead of purchasing the tank and practicing, I continue to focus on small projects leaving this task until the end.

I'm going to force myself to focus on the bodywork needed. The basic metal structure of the car needs to be addressed. I'll start at the front and begin working my way to the rear. I'd like to be finished with this part of the project by next Summer. If I don't set a timeline, I'm sure I will drag it out forever.

I've started considering painting the car myself. If I pay someone to paint the car, it will cost a couple of thousand dollars. I'm sure I would be very critical of all the work done. I'd be concerned about small areas which would be missed. If I did it myself, I could ensure everything is painted as I would like. However, I don't know that I could handle a metallic paint.

I'm considering painting the car a matte black color. While black is not an easy color to paint because of how it shows issues with the bodgy panels, I like the sinister but understated, minimalistic appearance. I'll obviously need to research this a great deal more before I could handle this type of project. I'd like to do this soon so I can paint parts as I move towards the back of the car.

If I go with the matte black color, I plan to remove all the stock emblems. This would have a cleaner appearance and save a little money. I keep stating how certain things are going to save money. This is partly the budget part of my mind at work. However, I need to save money as I plan to do a little more with the performance of the car than originally planned. The money I save in these areas will allow for a 347 stroker engine, a very nice set of heads, and a 5 speed transmission.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Slow Return to the Mustang

I've had personal matters diminsh the importance of working on the Mustang for about five months now. During this time, I've thought very little about the Mustang. I lost all interest in driving the Mustang or doing anything for that matter. While this tough time is not over, my interested in the Mustang has slowly started to return.

The time away from working on the Mustang gives me a little bit of new perspective. I've been watching every dime I've spent on the Mustang since the beginning. I've treated working on the car as something like a job. The goal has been to maintain the budget in case I ever need to sell the car. I've since decided focus on this as a hobby as it is certainly not an investment.

The goal of the restoration remains the same. I want a very clean, well constructed vehicle which offers fun and driving comfort. I should enjoy the car so much I want to drive it every day. Overall, the appearance will be simple and understate. Care need s to be taken in constructing the car so it does not ride or sound as if it were thrown together with little money or attenton to detail.

I'm not sure where I want to start. When I left off on the project, I was ready to start on the floorpan replacement. I could still start at this point but need a gas tank for my welder. I'll also need a significant amount of practice. I plan to put some thought into my next steps and will update this blog again soon with my thoughts.