Sunday, February 27, 2011

Exhaust Brackets on Rear Frame Rail

There is a bracket on each side of the car mounted to the rear frame rails. My car did not originally come with dual exhaust so I'm not sure if these were added at some point or if they are original. I'm going to use the images below to find out by posting the question on one of the mustang forms I visit frequently.

I posted about these on the VMF and found they are indeed exhaust brackets. They are the single exhaust variety. The exhaust I've purchased does not use them so I plan to remove them. I'll likely just sit them aside rather than attempt to sell them as they are likely not worth much.

Rear Frame Rails Stripped & Primed

I worked on the Mustang a little while this afternoon. I stripped the rear frame fails where the leaf springs, parking brake cable, and subframe connectors mount. While this is not the entire frame rail, I figured I'd go ahead and stip this area now as it is completely exposed.

Once I stripped the areas, I coated them with two coats of Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator. While the frame rails were not rusty, I've started using Rust Encapsulator for insurance on undercarriage surfaces. The paint serves as a primer and adheres as well as any other locally available primer in a spray can.

My welds on the subframe connectors leave a lot to be desired. I cleaned the up with a grinding disc. I then put some seam sealer over the welds. I sued tape around the area to keep the Eastwood Seam Sealer from going everywhere. The sealer does not clean up well and spreads easily. The tape gives it somewhat of a strange look but at least it keeps the seam sealer where it is needed.

I intend to coat the underside of the floorboards and frame rails with undercoating. I'll not put a finish coat on the frame rails and just wait to do the undercoating. I'd put a coat of Extreme Chassis Black on for added insurance but have found there are issues with other items adhering to it.

I'm now left with the following task list before I can move on to the floorboard:
- Fill Holes in Seat Pan
- Seam Seal Rear Torque Box
- Create Tab for Front Subframe Area
- Strip Transmission Crossmember
- Strip Front Frame Rails & Prime
- Weld Driver Toe Board
- Finish Work on Underside of Toe Boards

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Parking Brake & Drive Shaft Complete

I finished coating the driveshaft with Eastood's Extreme Chassis Black this weekend. I then installed the Precision u-joints (#429 front / #430 rear). I'll end up placing the driveshaft in the attic most likely until I need to reinstall it in the vehicle.

I visited my family this weekend and used my dad's media blasting cabinet to clean up the parking brake assembly. I then painted it with some Krylon Satin Black paint. I need the cable for the assembly before I completely bolt the assembly together.

This is not a great deal of progress or anything from the list of things I need to do to install the floor. However, it is a few more tasks off the long term to do list.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Remaining Tasks Before Floor Install

I've had my car apart for a while now for the floorboard replacement. As with all projects, you take it apart and find several other things which need to be done in order to do the job "right". Those take a little more time than expected and next thing you know it has been a few months more than you thought.

I've been procrastinating the driver toe board for over a month now. I laid in the replacement and formed it to the stock panel as I did the passenger side. I marked where I needed to cut the stock floorboard and then made the cut. However, the replacement panel does not fit exactly the same. Once I put it in place, I realized I cut more off the stock panel than needed.

I now need to add some metal to the replacement panel, trim it to fit, and then start the process of welding I expected to start more than a month ago. I don't look forward to it so I've just been finding other things to do instead.

The following things need to be done before I can install the floor:

- Strip & Prime Rear Frame Rail

- Fill Holes in Rear Seat Pan - Seam Seal Rear Torque Box

- Create Tab for Front Sub Frame Area

- Strip Transmission Crossmember

- Strip Front Frame Rails & Prime

- Weld Driver Toe Board

- Finish Work on Underside of Toe Boards

Some of these items do not take much time while others (driver toe board) are going to take me a little longer. I'm still learning to weld which adds some time due to all the extra grinding. I'll work on these over the next weeks. Unfortunately, I plan to be out of town for the next two weekends.

Patriot Header Order & Garage Clean-Up

I've researched various headers for my Mustang for a while debating the best option. I'd like to not compromise on performance.

I've researched the Hooker Competition and Heddman Elite long tube headers. I've found pictures on them installed on vehicles similar to mine. With each, they tend to hang about an inch below the front sub-frame. The reason I've heard is they make them so they will also work for a 351 engine which has exhaust ports and inch higher.

Many of those I asked on VMF and StangFix stated they wished they had gone with shorty headers. This avoid problems with ground clearance. Additionally, there is more room in the engine compartment to work and they don't need to be removed to remove the starter or transmission. Unfortunately, most of the shorty headers I looked at would not fit with a stock clutch linkage. The Heddman Elites would fit but the primary tubes are only 1 1/2" instead of 1 5/8".

The Patriot Clippsters however are 1 5/8" primaries and fit. The Clippster's are sold for $322.95 with $14.95 shipping through Summit. I received an email yesterday that CJ Pony Parts was running their 15% off discount again this weekend. It applied toward these exact headers. The price after the 15% discount was $285.55 and the shipping was free. This placed it at about $52 below what it would cost through Summit so I purchased them. ... I only worked on the Mustang a little today. I put the first coat of paint (Extreme Chassis Black) on the drive shaft. I then cleaned up all the dirt, rust, and metal particles from the garage floor. I saved the floor using cardboard but it is still fairly dirty.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Transmission Removal & Passenger Toe Board

I spent a little time in the garage this morning.

Removing the transmission makes the remainder of the floorboard replacement easier. Now that it is removed, I can use the hammer and dolly around the transmission tunnel, I can clean up the toe board welds, and obviously it needs to be out to apply the undercoating. The transmission was very easy to remove without the floor as there was nothing to block just sliding it out.

I worked a little more on the passenger side toe board this morning. There was an alignment problem with how it mated up to the front frame rail. After working on the toe board with a hammer and dolly, I was able to put about eight plug welds to hold it together perfectly. I'm much happier with the toe board replacement now that this has been corrected.

I stripped most of the driveshaft yesterday and finished the job today. I wiped it all down with mineral spirits and put a coat of primer on it. I've a set of new u-joints I received last Christmas so I plan to install those after I refinish the yoke.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Exhaust & Driveshaft Removal

My daughter was sick today so I had to stay home from work. However, I managed to spend a little time working on the Mustang.

I started by cleaning up the interior side of the rear fenderwells. There was a little surface rust I removed with a wire wheel followed by sand paper. I then painted these areas with the Krylon Rusty Metal Primer.

After the paint dried and we returned from the doctor, I removed the exhaust system. The exhaust system consist of 2 1/4" non-mandrel bent tubing and Pro Sound mufflers. The mufflers are a three chamber design and are actually for a 2 1/2" system. I measured the bent sections and they are reduced to about 2" in diamter. The system fit horribly, I've very glad to have it out of the vehicle.

I've shown the "headers" before but today I took out the passenger side. They are both shorty headers which were cut at the collector. The primaries are 1 5/8" and the collector is just a mess. plan to replace these but have not decided on the style.

I then removed the drive shaft as it is in the way and needs to be restored. I hit it with a wire wheel a while and then started smoothing it out and getting it ready for paint with some 100 grit sand paper. I did not get to finish the job on the driveshaft before I ran out of time for the day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Exhaust System Purchase

I've mentioned before my exhaust system is in bad condition. The previous owner used what appears to be a shorty style header designed for a different vehicle. Since it did not fit properly, it was cut at the collector and then welded directly to the exhaust tubing.

The exhaust tubing then runs back to two Pro Sound mufflers. The tubing is 2 1/4" and the mufflers appear to be 2 1/2". The gap around the mufflers was then just filled in with an abundance of weld. The tail pipes appear to be slightly slmaller than 2 1/4" but they are welded just as horribly. The passenger side was cut for some reason about 15" from the tail pipe and then welded back together. Each of these welds has a small pinhole in it somewhere.

Since I need to take out the exhaust to paint the underside of the vehicle, I thought now would be a good time to replace everything. I've been looking for a few days and there are some very nice systems but they cost a large amount of money.

I found a Flowmaster American Thunder set which was not too expensive. I'm concerned it is going to be too loud as it uses there Super 44 mufflers. It was the only FLowmaster system I found for my car using 2 1/2" exhaust. There were other kits but they were all much more expensive. The kit is normally $420 but I found it on sale at C J Pony Parts for $350. This is the same as the cheapest price I found on a Pypes tubing only (no mufflers) kit.

I decided to order the Flowmaster kit this morning using a gift card I received for Christmas which put the total kit at $300. Not bad.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cleanup of Rear Frame Area

I had to take a couple of weekends off due to illness and my grandmother passing away.

Last weekend, I was able to get in the garage for a few hours. I worked on cleaning up the rear portion of the passenger side frame rail. I welded up any damaged aras on the frame rail flange. I then sanded inside the frame rail by hand with some 100 grit sand paper. Finally, I stripped the entire area down to bare metal and prepared it for paint with mineral spirits.

I first covered the area with Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator. Since most of this is exposed to the elements, I wanted a good base. I then covered it with some Rustoleum paint which is similar in color to the original primer.

This weekend, I worked on the driver side rear frame rail area. I did all the same work as I did on the passenger side. I've not covered it with the Rustoleum so this is the look with just the Eastwood Rust Encapsulator.