Have you ever been working in your garage and had a friend look at a problem you were puzzling over and give you the exact solution? It always seems to come out something like this: "You know, if you had moved the whozzy-whatzit behind the flibber-flobber, you could have removed that doomaflotchy an hour ago." Stunningly, they are right. We hope that some of these tips will do the same thing for you as your friend. Certainly, some of them did that for us.
Along with the new tips, we had to include some old ones as well. These are for the newcomers to our hobby and are such staples that we can't help but put them in year after year. We also thoughtfully included icons that let you know what the tip is for. The Resto icon deals with such things as keeping the pedals clean before a show or how to attach mudflaps. The Shop icon shows some tips that will help keep things neat around the barn. The Tuning icon will give you tips that may help you tune or work on your steed. And finally, the Safety icon deals with things to keep you and your Mustang safe, whether on the road or in the garage.
Let's just say that you have a bulb that is no longer in production or is difficult to locate. We ran into this recently with the Lazarus Project. The 1187 flasher that Ford used on the brake warning light portion of the Convenience Group was not locally available, and we were at that stage where the dashpanel needed to be reassembled. This posed a problem. After years of being bashed around, the bulb's electrode was worn out. Contact with the power wire was sporadic at best; however, we tested the bulb and found it to be good. What to do? Simple. We just pulled out our soldering iron and soldered a new tip on the bulb, then ground it down to the basic shape of our good bulbs. We now have the correct flasher bulb at the cost of some solder.
Fuel system safety is a big issue for classic Mustang buffs. But there is much you can do to make the ride safer. Mustangs assembled prior to the summer of '67 suffer from poor fuel line routing where the fuel line travels close to the left, front wheelwell, making the line vulnerable to injury. A stray stone or an accident can damage the fuel line and potentially start a fire. If accuracy is less important to you than safety, we suggest retrofitting your '65 to early '67 Mustang with a late '67 Mustang body fuel line.
In the late '67, Ford rerouted the body fuel line behind the left-hand framerail extension and through the torque box to the framerail. This can be accomplished on '65 to early '67 Mustangs with minimal effort. For '67 Mustangs, you will have to bore a 31/44-inch access hole at the front and rear of the torque box in line with the body fuel line. For '65-'66 Mustangs, simply run the line along the framerail extension and join it to the forward framerail line with a 51/416- (six-cylinder or small-block) or 31/48-inch (big-block) fuel hose. In the interest of safety, we suggest you use a braided fuel line hose that will tolerate today's harmful fuel additives. You can even install a narrow inline fuel filter in this location for added measure.
Tune For Performance
For years, most of us have been using a timing light to time our engine's ignition system. But did you know that an engine can be timed without the use of a timing light and with better results? Your engine's timing mark is located on the harmonic balancer or crank pulley. Harmonic balancers consist of a hub and an outer ring separated by rubber. Over time, the rubber deteriorates, allowing the ring to slip, thereby disturbing the timing mark's position, which leads to an erroneous reading when we use a timing light. This is where the value of becoming at one with your engine comes into play.
Resto Cap It Off If you have...
Cap It Off
If you have center caps identical to these on your wheels and you want to keep them on your wheels, try bending three tabs over onto the wheel itself. This will ensure a tight fit.
Shop Gun 'Em Down If you own...
Gun 'Em Down
If you own a Mustang, you probably own a grease gun. These little jewels are handy when it comes time to squirt some goo into the control arms or our tie rod ends. However, we have often picked up the gun by the handle and been forced to squeeze out more grease-when we don't need it. A simple solution to this dilemma is to get a head of broccoli that is held together with a rubber band. Discard the broccoli, and use the rubber band to hold down the handle and flex hose as shown.
Resto The Flapper Mudflaps...
Mudflaps are great. They keep your Mustang looking pristine and stone chips from damaging that paint job. But they are also an eyesore at the show and can cost you points in Mustang Club of America Street-Driven Concours competition. What to do? Old-timers know this solution well, but it bears repeating. Go to the store and buy the best Yosemite Sam Back Off mudflaps you can find. Then go to an office supply store and get some of the binder clips as shown. Clip the mudflaps to the car using these, and voil, you have the convenience of mudflaps, the threat of Yosemite Sam, and no stone chips. Cool.
Resto Got Milk? If you get...
If you get your vitamin D from a plastic jug like most of us (we won't tell anyone that you drink straight from the jug), you can set three or four of these aside and use them at reassemble time. Oh yeah, you might want to wash them out first. They're good for preventing you from marring the paint when you adjust the fenders. The plastic acts like a gasket that keeps the sharp edges of the bolt away from the nice, clean paint of the fenders. Use two at each end of the fender and two at the hood latch area. You'll be glad you did. Simply discard them when finished.
Safety Trippin' Parts If you...
If you are driving your steed to a show, you might consider taking some basics. Tools, for one thing, are a must. A basic box (such as the well-worn one shown) can be purchased from Kmart for approximately $89. A fuel pump is another item that can be a saving grace, particularly on the 428 or 351 Cleveland engines, where the pump is more specific than the more common 289/302 pump. While we recommend a new pump for the Cleveland, AMK offers a rebuild kit that can be applied to the 428 pump in a pinch (while you're parked on the side of the road).
Other Items To Bring:
* Water pump fan belt
* Cell phone
* AAA card
* Good jack
* Blanket or beach towel
Resto Pedaling It All If you...
Pedaling It All
If you are going to a show and have cleaned the car prior to leaving, you can wrap the spouse's dishcloths over the pedals to keep them nice and clean. Use some masking tape to hold the dishcloth to their task and the pedals will still look like new when you get to the show. Oh, you might want to give a gift of new towels to your better half before the show.