If people had crystal balls in the '60s, things would be so much easier for a Mustang enthusiast today. Many times, the normal act of maintaining a Mustang resulted in dire consequences 30 years later. Even Ford dealer technicians weren't any better. We constantly witness Mustangs with dealer-installed A/C or other options that required holes to be made or parts cut. These modifications could have been made with a holesaw or other tool for a clean, professional installation, but you have to remember that these technicians and gas station mechanics worked in an environment where time was their enemy. Flat-rate labor was how they worked (and still do). Flat-rate meant they were paid a certain time for a certain job-no matter how long it took.
Let's use the A/C installation for an instance. If the job paid the technician 2.5 hours, then by the book he would have to finish the job in that time or less to break even or "beat the book." This necessitated shortcuts-nothing unsafe, mind you. But if the A/C installation called for a hole in the core support, a blow torch or "hot wrench" would be used to make short work of the opening needed. The technician made some money and the owner had A/C. But now-30 some years later-those ghastly torch holes make for a poor-looking engine compartment.
This particular Mustang, a '68 hardtop, has dealer-installed underdash air with some bad holes made during the installation. But before we fix these, we wanted to fix another common torch job found on Mustangs-upper control arm blow holes made to allow greasing of the upper control arms. This is another common problem that is brought on a few years into ownership when the upper control arms begin to squeak. The local garage may have said the cheapest fix was to cut holes in the shock towers and install grease fittings. Thus, the squeaking stopped-but at the cost of shock tower integrity and possible future rust damage. This is what we will tackle today. Danny Gaydos and Matt Simmons of Classic Creations of Central Florida walked us through the simple steps.