Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stripping & Painting Engine Mounting Area

A few years ago, I stripped and painted the engine compartment.  I could not reach the entire shock tower as I didn't remove the engine.  Since the engine is out, I'm stripping and painting these areas while I have the chance.

I stripped the passenger side yesterday which was not a fun job but not overly difficult.  I handled the driver side today.  The driver side was a little worse as the oil extension and sending unit leaked when I purchased the car.  While I cleaned all the oil up years ago, there was still some hiding under the engine mounts. 

I stripped them both with a wire wheel and coated them with Eastood Rust Encapsulator.  I've some of the original Krylon paint which I'll put on the area after waiting a while for the Rust Encapsulator to dry. 

I also need to strip the motor mounts themselves.  I'll save that project for another day.  I'm stopping early today to enjoy my last day off for Thanksgiving.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another Day of Random Projects

Today was another day of small, random projects.

I'm expecting a call stating the engine is ready any day now.  The gaskets for assembling the motor arrived in the mail yesterday.  I stripped the oil pan and put a coat of primer on it today.  I'll want to seal up the motor with the oil pan soon after it arrives to avoid anything finding it's way into the motor.

I worked on the alternator brackets which had paint chips and bolt marks from constantly working to keep the belt from squealing.  I sanded them smooth and repainted both of the brackets.  I also worked on the bracket which is used to hold the speedometer cable to the driver frame rail and painted it as well.

I removed the underdash wiring so I could fix the damage I caused the other day.  When I wire something, I use yellow for constant, red for ignition, and black for ground.  Somehow, I managed to splice in the stock black/green wire with all the grounds from the gauges.  I suppose I did not see the green strip and this wire is a powered wire which caused the issue.  It did not cause any damage to speak of so it will be an easy fix.

When I stripped and painted the engine bay three years ago, I did not pull the engine.  I stripped and repainted everything except where the motor mounted.  With the engine out now, I'm working on those areas to finish off the job.  I did the passenger side today and will hopefully do the driver side tomorrow.

The last thing I did was put the front valence, bumper, and grill molding back on the car.  It looks strange with the black reproduction valence and other original blue painted panels.  I don't care.  I'll get to that later but for now I'd sure like to get it in running order. 

This is a picture of how the Mustang sits today in my garage.  I'm trickle charging the battery just to make sure it is charged up as it has not been used in a year.  You can make out the oil pan sitting on the top and the transmission crossmember hanging up in the background.  The radiator is on the ground by a little work bench.  I'm sure ready to get all these parts back on the car and drive around!

Random Projects

After my last experience working on the Mustang, I decided to take a few days off.  I also placed a few part orders and am at a standstill on some of the projects.  However, I decided to take care of a few small things today.

I started by building a new rear speaker deck for the Mustang.  The previous over installed 6 x 9 speakers by bending the openings in the rear deck larger.  I straightened the metal and made a new rear deck so the speakers would fit without altering the metal. 

I then installed my fuel line, cleaned out the trunk, put on a new set of license plates, installed the rear seats, seat belts, and window cranks.  I repainted an alternator bracket, center link, and engine crossmember.  Finally, I cleaned up and painted my water pump and it is ready for the motor when it is done.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Day for Things to Go Wrong!

What a horrible day!

The day started off simpy enough with me installing the parking brake lever.  There is a pin which is inserted into the portion you pull to hold it onto the braket.  I installed the lever facing the wrong direction on accident and had a tough time switching it to be correct.

I then carried out the seat for the Mustang to go ahead and install it.  It is a bit early but I need it out of the spare bedroom since we will have visitors on Thanksgiving.  Somehow, one set of threads on the seat bolts were damaged.  It was the last bolt after I'd put a nut and rubber plug over all the others.  Go figure

I then tried to install the windshield wiper arms which are under the dash.  This is obviously a project I should have done earlier in the project.  It was near impossible and required a large number of cuss words to finish up.

I then turned my attention to the instrument cluster with my Autometer gauges.  I wired them up and then turned my attention to the oil pressure gauge.  The glass face of the gauge broke somehow but I'm not sure how.  Autometer sent me another face so I used some SuperGlue to put it on.  I did this with the others with no trouble so that I could mount them without the bezel.  This time, the SuperGlue vapors inside the gauge coated the inside of the gauge face with a white fog.

Suprisingly, Autometer sent me two gauge faces.  I decided I'd use the plexiglass one and after much trouble, I was able to get it to look decent.  I then painted and assembled the entire dash cluster.  Before I had it completely together, I heard a pop and flipped the cluster over to find another gauge face cracked.  Seems the gauge is being put under some pressure and I did not notice.  This puts me back to where I was at the beginning of the day.

I decided I'd put the cluster in the car and admire the appearance (while ingoring the new crack).  I plugged it in and turned on the key to see how the gauges lit up.  Instead of seeing them light up, I saw a little smoke come out from behind the dash.  I turned the key off and seems the black/green wire was shorting out.  I don't know why but I'm stopped today before I tear anything else up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reinstalling Dash Components

I worked on reinstalling the dash components over the last few evenings and today.  I put the pedals, fresh air vent, wiper motor, pin switches, radio, glove box, ash tray, headlight switch, ignition switch, and all of the wiring.  I've even started on the dash trim and A/C vents but do not have all the hardware I need to finish the job.

I noticed today I never finished the wiring for the gauge cluster.  I'll need to work on this soon so it can be installed.  I'll then need to install the parking brake, wiper linkages, steering box, column, and steering wheel. 

I'd also like to make a rear deck out of MDF.  The openings for speakers in the metal are not large enough for the 6 x 9 speakers which were installed.  If I can space them up 1/2 an inch or so, they will fit much better.  I'm going to save this towards the end of the interior project.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Installation of Dynamat Extreme

Several years ago, I installed some Dynamat Extreme in my wife's car with excellent results.  In order to keep the interior a little quiter (and cooler) I decided to use some of the product in the Mustang.  My focus was primarily on the firewall.  With the all the underdash components removed, the job was straightforward.

The underdash and toe board area required about sixteen square foot of Dynamat.  I had four square foot remaining and a few rectangle scrap pieces of Dynamat.  I used the larger piece to cover the areas of floorboard above the mufflers.  The pieces cover from the edge of the framerail to the drive shaft tunnel which should be more than adequate.

I used the smaller rectangle scrap pieces in the rear floorboard area.  You don't actually have to cover the entire floorboard to hear the benefit.  While these sections are not much, I could tell a difference in the tone of tapping the floorboards.  The alternative was to throw them in the trash so why not.

 I'll wipe down the floor in the next day or two and put the carpet back in the Mustang.  It will be nice to have something a little soft to sit on as I reinstall all of the dash components.  Additionally, I'd just like to see the interior start to take shape again as the carpet was last in September 5th of last year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dash & Behind Dash Painted!

On Wednesday night, I checked the area behind the dash and the Rust Converter had done its job.  The rust had all turned a dark black color indicating it was neutralized.  I went ahead and painted the area behind the dash with Eastood's Rust Encapslator. 

Today, I painted the entire area behind the dash today with two additional coats of Krylon Satin Black.  The finished product looks much better than I expected when I started.  Once the paint dried, I installed the new plastic cowl hats.  The next step is to install the Dynamat Xtreme on the firewall to cut down on heat and noise.

I painted the face of the dash with the same Kyrlon Satin Black.  I then top coated it with a mist coat of Black Metallic from NPD.  The dash looks nice and I find it hard to stop myself from working all night to reassemble the dash.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Edelbrock Heads Arrive!

My Edelbrock E-Street heads (#5025) arrived in the mail today.  These heads have me really excited to get the engine back together. My first impression is that they are very nice for the price and the exhaust ports are huge!

I called the engine shop today and requested they zero deck the block.  I'm really glad it is not too late to have it done.  The guy building the engine (Eric) was married this weekend so the block has not been assembled.  Since I'm having this done, my compression ratio will be at exactly 9:1 without milling the heads at all.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Timeline to Start-Up!

I'm really ready to get the Mustang back running again.  I've about finished all the painting which is the final restoraton step.  The best part is installing all of your new or newly restored parts and watching it all come together.  I expect to finish around Christmas as there are so many weekend commitments and holidays coming up.

I took some time today to clean up the garage and the car a little today.  I swept up some, cleaned up some parts, and then wiped down the outside of the car.  Everything was so dirty and it is nice to start off the reinstallation of the parts with the clean work area.

I took out the brace which holds the pedals when I stripped the area under the dash.  I cleaned it up today and coated it with Rust Encapsulator.  I also removed the master cylinder which has rusted some since I installed it two years ago.  I cleaned it up, sprayed it with Rust Encapsulator, and then used some VHT cast colored engine paint to get it looking nice again.

I've the following to-do list to finish this project up:

- Install Cowl Hats
- Install Dynamat
- Paint Dashboard

- Install Gas Line

- Install Pedal Brace
- Install Master Cylinder
- Install Dash Wiring
- Connect Electric Fan
- Install Pedal Assembly
- Install Clutch & Throttle Linkage
- Install Gauge Cluster
- Install Steering Column and Wheel
- Finish Interior Installation

- Repaint Throttle Linkage
- Touch Up Engine Bay Paint
- Install Engine Mounts
- Reinstall Engine
- Install Transmission
- Install Driveshaft
- Install Exhaust
- Install Parking Brake

There are many, many small steps between all of these which need to be addressed.  I'm glad I don't expect to just get incredibly dirty or greasy for the remainder of this project.  I've come in covered in dirt and pieces of gound metal so many times.  It starts to get old after a while.

My Ever Expanding Engine Project

After contemplating if I should reinstall the engine or replace the bearings.  I searched the Internet and posted questions on a few message boards and about decided to leave it alone.  I then decided to go ahead and remove the heads in preparation for the camshaft swap.  This would allow me to get them upgraded to screw in studs.

After a week or two, I decided to go ahead and take out the cam.  The first few lobes slid from the block with no problem.  The cam then stopped and would not come out any further.  It took me a second to realize the back side of the first cam bearing was damaged and would not allow the cam to slide out.

I inspected it for a while and strangely, the damage did not impact the cam.  It looks like someone was aggressive with installing the distributor and ended up tearing up the cam bearing.  In a  moment of poor judgement, I used the cam to hammer out the front bearing.... nice, right?  Anyway, it came out and did not damage the block or anything else.

Since I was without a cam bearing and worried about the condition of the rest of the motor, I decided I would take the block to have it checked by a Vila's Motor Works.  The charge was only $60 for the block and $30 for a set of heads to clean and determine exactly what work was needed to get them into great running condition.  I dropped them off on the morning of Monday, October 24th.

On Halloween, I received a call from the machine shop stating the block did not need to be bored and could just be honed and reused.  I was glad as I don't know if it could handle a boring to .060 over.  The deck did not need any work as it was perfectly flat.  The block needed new cam bearings, new crank and rod bearings, and freeze plugs.  The only machining needed was to cut the crank .020/.020 under.

I was told the 351 heads would need a large amount of work in order to use them.  The guy who worked on them, Mark, was a bit pessimistic about using them with an aftermarket cam.  He made a comment more than once when I spoke with him about needing new valves to run aftermarket springs.  This made me question his thought process.  In the end, I was told the total price to refinish them was $800.  I quickly told them I did not want to mess with putting that much money into those heads.

The cost for the block work was $270.  I decided I'd go ahead and get different pistons which would allow me to get a higher compression ratio.  I purchased a set of Keith Black flat top pistons (KB115), KB moly rings (4000AM8.040), Cloyes Timing Chain (9-1135), and Comp Cams XE256H (31-324-3) cam and lifter set which arrived on November 3rd.  I dropped them off the next morning with the 289 heads hoping they could be used at a cheaper rebuild price.

I did not question rebuilding the shortblock for a minute when I heard the cost.  However, the cost associated with the job started to hit home when I spent $500 on the parts shown above.  Unfortunately, the shop called stating the 289 heads were worse off than the 351 heads as the 289 heads did not have hardened exhaust seats.  This is when it really started to snowball out of control.

Last night, I searched for heads on the Internet and started considering options.  I thought of going with some GT-40 heads or just some stock style.  I could just use the 289 heads as they were working when I pulled them out.  However, I know there are at least four leaky valves based on a test I did at home.  It would be nice just to have a solid motor and not have to worry about it but all the heads I found were about $300 and they still needed screw in studs, milling, or were just questonable in general.

I started looking at the Edelbrock E-Street heads again.  I took a look at them at the GoodGuys meet I went to in March.  They are the exact same casting as the Performer and Performer RPM heads.  They just have different valves and springs.  I found they were on sale at 10% off until today and decided to buy them tonight.  I'll now need hardened push rods and roller rockers.... it never ends!

I'll need to have these heads milled a little in order to get to 9:1 compression ratio.  If I mill them down about .012, I will have a 58cc combustion chamber and 9:1 compression.  This is not outstanding but it is not bad either.  If I went further with the milling, each cc I decrease the heads by, I end up with another .1:1 which is not much of a gain.  It now occurs to me I probably should have gone with dome pistons but oh well.

As I spent some time cleaning the garage today, I thought about how different it will be to drive the Mustang again.  Since I drove it last, I'll install an electric fan, headers, full 2 1/2" exhaust, new pistons, cam, and aluminum heads.  I'm sure it will be quite different.  I'm ready but I'm thinking I'll need to ask for valve covers and a few other things for Christmas to be able to afford putting it back together.

Painting the Interior Floorboards

I started off today with spraying another coat of Rust Converter under the dash.  It will take 48 hours to dry and then I plan to put on two coats of Rust Encapsulator.  I'll follow that with some Krylon Satin Black to match the floor process below.

I spent time this evening sanding down the interior portion of the floorboards.  I used 220 grit on the entire floor and then wiped everything down with mineral spirits.  I used masking tape and taped off all the seams for the application of seam sealer.  I know this might sound crazy but it sure looks better than smearing it everywhere.  The Eastwood Seam Sealer I use is like tar and you don't want to get it anywhere you don't want it to stay permanently (including your hands).

The seam sealer can be painted in 30 minutes so I did just that.  I put about three or four coats up to the top of the toe boards.  I coated everything with Krylon primer but ran low at the end.  I used some Rustoleum primer which I had laying around which was a mistake.  The few spots I sprayed with it did not adhere as well.
The paint has more sheen than I would like as it shows too many imperfections but I'm not going to beat myself up over the appearance as I'm the only one who is going to see it.  I've ordered some Dynamat Extreme for the firewall and then the carpet will be installed in about two weeks and I'll likely never think about it again.