During any restoration, there's the inevitable lull in progress. While you're waiting for the paint shop to finish the paint job or the back-ordered part to arrive, you can still make progress. These baby steps in the restoration aren't monumental achievements to check off your master list of subsections, but they culminate into a finished restoration.
Perfect examples of these baby steps are such tasks as rebuilding your heater case, carburetor, or steering column. Small one-day projects such as these help to complete the total picture. When it comes time to reassemble the interior, the heater case can be pulled from a box, fully rebuilt and sealed, then easily reinstalled.
Since we plan to assemble our interior and dash areas soon, we thought we'd better complete these baby steps on the interior to prepare it for the final installation. The headliner has already been installed ("How-To: Install a '65-'68 Hardtop Headliner," page 40, Mustang Monthly, June '01), and we just rebuilt the heater case ("How-To: Heater Case Rebuild," page 35, Mustang Monthly, Aug. '01). The seats received new Pony seat upholstery in Mustang Monthly's Feb. 2000 issue ("How-To: '65-'66 Deluxe Interior Pony Upgrade," page 30), and the Deluxe steering wheel was restored in Mustang Monthly's June 2000 issue ("How-To: '65-'67 Woodgrain Steering Wheel Restoration," page 34). The gauge cluster and the steering column were all that needed assembling for the interior. In this issue, we tackled the gauge cluster, and we'll assemble the steering column when our final interior assembly takes place in the next few months.
All the gauge cluster items came from Virginia Classic Mustang. The project took only a few hours, and the new bezel, lens, and detailing make all the difference in the world now.