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1968 Mustang Coupe Daily Driver Repairs

Discussion in 'Member's Build Threads' started by phlegm, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    My car was originally rebuilt in the late fall of 2000.
    I bought it from a guy in Ft Collins Colorado.
    It went from this
    [​IMG]
    New passenger quarter panel, reproduction front fenders, replaced the headlight and tail light buckets on the passenger side, new stone shield, door hinges rebuilt, replaced all the front suspension parts, new carpet, had the front seats reupholstered and new cushions installed, replaced the dash bezels, replaced the window regulators, replaced the '68 window crank handles with '67 units, replaced the vent window rubber gaskets. I picked up the rims from a used rim dealership in Denver, I replaced a bunch of the chrome bits like emblems and door handles, and the whole car was painted back to its original color of Wimbledon White. I had all the body work and paint done by a retired police officer who lived in LaPort CO, and have no pictures of the paint job process.
    And ended up with this.
    [​IMG]
    At the same time I also replaced the cam, intake, and carb with Edelbrock Performer parts.
    I used the factory holes and installed aftermarket 3pt seatbelts, and swapped in a much smaller diameter aftermarket steering wheel.
    And since then, its been pretty much drive it and repair as necessary.
    This is what it looks like this Spring after 15 years of driving, and by driving, I mean my wife put on 13k miles last year alone and we have to drive on 1.5miles of gravel to get to my house.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    In 2008 I was getting the car ready for the season and noticed a small hairline crack in the passenger shock tower.
    This was the crack that started it all. Right above the front Upper Control Arm bolt, its hard to pinpoint with all the grit and grime.
    [​IMG]
    Here it is cleaned up a little bit
    In 2008 I was getting the car ready for the season and noticed a small hairline crack in the passenger shock tower.
    This was the crack that started it all. Right above the front Upper Control Arm bolt, its hard to pinpoint with all the grit and grime.
    [​IMG]
    But that wasn't even the half of it.. On the inner fender side it was much worse..
    Spider cracks running up and down as well as front and back.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I didn't own a welder at the time, luckily my neighbor brought his over and did the welding for me.
    This is what the outside of the shock tower looked like after he finished.
    [​IMG]
    On the inside there was additional work that was done at the same time.
    I could easily slide a 3/16" allen wrench between the shock tower and the factory reinforcement plate.
    [​IMG]
    I was younger and dumber back in the day and neglected to install my Monte Carlo and Export Braces before using a port-a-power to press the reinforcement plates up against the shock towers. Luckily everything still worked out ok.
    [​IMG]
    The Port-a-Power closed up the gaps nicely.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And my neighbor went to work welding it all solid.
    [​IMG]
    again, younger stupidity was in full affect, I should have cleaned off the undercoating and oil a bit better..
    [​IMG]
    All welded up, driver side
    [​IMG]
    Passenger side, along with the horizontal crack
    [​IMG]
    I flapwheel ground down the welds a little bit to smooth them down, not too much though, I didn't want to weaken any of the original metal or compromise the welds. Plus ladies think that scars are hot.. Then I hit it with a little Duplicolor Primer/Sealer.
    [​IMG]
    And eventually some semi-gloss black
    [​IMG]
     
  3. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    While I was in there doing the shock tower repairs, I decided that it would be a good time to do the Shelby/Arning UCA modification. I used instructions and measurements that I got from Daze Cars (http://dazecars.com/dazed/drop.html) using his instructions for improved Caster, I moved he UCA mount holes rearward 1/8".
    Bolted the template into place
    [​IMG]
    And drilled the 1/8" pilot holes
    [​IMG]
    These are a little close to the edge of the reinforcement plates on the inside, and someday I might want to revisit this. But when I did it in 2008, I simply drilled the holes out in stepped order.. 1/8" 1/4", 3/8", 7/16", and finally a 17/32", which was probably more steps than I needed to go through, but in the end I did it, and it worked..
    [​IMG]
    And final hole sizes..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Someday I'll really have to revisit and add in Boss type shock tower bracing.
     
  4. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    Bossing the shock towers (reinforcement plates ) is a thing you should do when repairing any cracks at the towers.
    JMHO.
     
  5. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    At the same time in 2008 I also found this little gem, apparently the previous owners must have gotten stuck and attempted to pull the car out by (I assume) hooking a chain hook over the lower radiator support, which ripped through the metal.
    [​IMG]
    By my estimation, that must not have worked and then they wrapped a chain around the driver side strut rod housing, and crimped it down a bit.
    [​IMG]
    I straightened the strut rod housing with a couple large pipe wrenches and had them seam welded to the lower radiator housing.
    And the rip was hammered shut and welded top and bottom.. sorry no pictures

    But other boring stuff happened, I sanded and painted the strut rods, as well as installed new strut rod bushings.
    [​IMG]
    I sanded and painted the coil springs
    and the anti-swaybar bushing lock down plates
    [​IMG]
     
  6. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    Bruno,
    You are 100% correct, more material should be added into those shock towers. And it was on my list of things to do this spring. But the winter was long and cold, I'm too cheap to heat the shop, and since there was no snow on the ground my wife has been driving the Mustang since March 5, already racked up 1000 miles. There is almost NO chance that I'll be doing those repairs this year either, maybe next winter..

    Back to the car, the other thing I found to be an issue in 2008 was the spring perches, the bushings were hammered out of them.
    [​IMG]
    Again, from Daze Cars, I ordered up an unfitted kit.
    I didn't take many pictures of making them, but this is the original perches, I used a hole saw to cut out the old bushing housing and a die grinder to fit the tubes into the saddles.
    [​IMG]
    Again, my neighbor finish welded these for me and we bolted them in place.

    Back on the ground before alignment
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My shop is constantly a mess, its amazing I get anything done in there.
    [​IMG]

    After reassembling the front end components, LCA/strut rods/UCA/spring perches, springs, shocks, my neighbor again came to my rescue and we used his circle track car alignment equipment to set the front end to the following specs
    After
    caster (we got lucky)
    2.25°
    Camber
    L (-.25) R (-0.5°) should help with road crown
    toe
    3/16"

    As it turns out, that camber may be a bit too aggressive. I replace front tires every two years from it wearing out the inside edge.
     
  7. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    This Spring my wife reported that the car smelled 'motory'o_O so I took a look under the hood and the valve covers were leaking. I stopped by the local parts store and got some Fel-Pro rubber gasket and got to work, pulled the covers

    [​IMG]

    cleaned them up with some raw gas and steel wool, followed that up with some brake parts cleaner, then some scotchbrite. Then taped off the original engine spec sticker and PCV rubber grommet.

    [​IMG]

    A few very light coats of Duplicolor primer/sealer.

    [​IMG]

    followed by a few coats of Duplicolor light Ford blue

    [​IMG]

    And reinstall.

    [​IMG]
    Pay no attention to that Duraspark II module black taped to the export brace, I hope to be permanently mounting that some place a little cooler in the next couple weeks.
     
  8. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    Hopeful projects this summer still
    Custom Export/Monte Carlo braces
    I have some stock type ones
    [​IMG]
    But I also designed my own.
    Template test fitting.
    [​IMG]
    This is a prototype cut, if anybody feels they want/need a set of 3/8" plates, shoot me a PM, about the only thing I can think of to use them for would be if I built my own body jig, they would probably work good for that.
    [​IMG]

    Motor Mounts -- buening design
    Plates only, fresh from the plasma table.
    [​IMG]
    And assembled
    [​IMG]
    Eccentric Eliminators -- buening design
    DIY Camber Eccentric Eliminator Plates
    Road Race Belly Bar -- based on beuning design
    I haven't made any of these yet, but these are the dimensions he provided.
    Finished my Cobra Automotive-like 70 Engine Crossmember

    Tubular Strut Rods -- again beuning design
    I just need to order up the rod end (heim joint), get the tabs bent, and a 5/8" grade 8 fine LH bolt cut and welded into the LCA plate.
    [​IMG]

    but this car is for the most part on hold for the Summer. The weekend before St Patricks Day, I brought home a 1963.5 Falcon Convertible,
    [​IMG]
    Which I will be making drivable this summer, but it may have to wait for body work and a pretty paint job..
    If I get really ambitious, I'll drag my '67 Mustang Coupe down and get to work patterning out the Boss Shock tower plates.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    While I haven't been updating here, and I thought the Mustang was on hold for the season, it has been receiving plenty of attention.

    Early in the year I found a cracked/split Radius Arm bushing.
    [​IMG]
    Up on ramps, Falcon being neglected in the background.
    [​IMG]
    The new bushings had an extra cup/washer, and they came with no instructions, so I installed them like this.
    [​IMG]

    After I replaced the bushings, I rolled the fender lips. They had been rubbing for a few years.
    [​IMG]
    They look pretty good to me afterward.
    [​IMG]
    I had this kit sitting in my spare parts collection for a long time now... years, figured I may as well install it.
    [​IMG]
    No major surprises with the installation, I sanded the headlight buckets and painted them back to black.
    [​IMG]
    The passenger headlight ring had separated at the weld/tab. I used my el'cheapo Harbor Freight 90amp welder to tack it back together.
    [​IMG]
    While I was working on the headlights, I also replaced the high/low beam indicator behind the dash. It was an easy fix. The old bulb connector had pancaked over the years.
    [​IMG]

    My wiring from multiple ignition systems over the 15 years that we've been driving this car looked like he1l.
    [​IMG]
    So, we bought a generic DUI/HEI knockoff from Amazon.
    [​IMG]
    New distributor installed.
    Old duraspark II module removed
    [​IMG]

    And I replaced old 6.5" rear speakers with some new Pioneers
    [​IMG]

    And the original single 5x7" speaker with a pair of 3.5" Pioneers.
    [​IMG]
    The plate I made from a random 1/4" piece of plastic that I found in my shop. Its ugly, but it works.
    [​IMG]

    But the biggest problem occurred one morning around 5am. My wife had just left for the gym and the hood latch let go. The hood flew up, ripped the bolts out of the driver side inner fender that held the hinge in place, bent the heck out of the passenger side of the hood.
    [​IMG]

    You can see one of the new hinges installed in a previous picture after the distributor, but I haven't painted or installed the new hood.

    I took the springs out of the hinges, which necessitated a hood prop rod..
    [​IMG]
    While waiting for new hinges, I installed a set of hood pins from O'Reily's.
    This is still the original hood, it has a hard to see kink in the center and a sizable dent toward the passenger rear corner.
    [​IMG]
    I had a little help.. very little help..
    [​IMG]
    My wife also ended up replacing the right rear tire.
    Apparently there was an 'alignment issue' and that was the only tire on the rear that was affected.
     
  10. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    No updates.. I must be slacking..
    I rebuilt the brakes before it started on the road this spring, new shoes, new hydraulic parts (wheel cylinders/hoses/master cylinder).
    Then in early in June, I took it in for new front tires and the transmission was slipping..
    Now the transmission has been rebuilt and its back on the road again.. if it isn't one thing.. its 3..

    I tried telling my wife that having to work on "her" car so much is preventing me from working on my other projects. She should learn to be nicer to 'her' toys.
     
  11. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    right rear tire alignment? sounds like a problem with the gas pedal and a open rear-end to me!
     
  12. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    Her middle initial is "L"; which I am pretty certain stands for "lead foot"
     
    RapidRabbit and tarafied1 like this.
  13. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    that's funny!!!
     
  14. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

  15. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    B67FSTB, those tires and rims have been on there for 16 years now, mounted the same way with the same lug nuts. And there is a potential that I should have a centering ring, but in all the years and cars that I have run this sort of uni-lug rim on, I've never used anything more than the lug nuts/washers.

    And being an armchair engineer here... the lugnuts tighten up before they bottom out. Which is the same way an acorn lugnut works. The only difference being that with acorn (tapered) lugnuts the taper centers the rim on the hub, and with these universal pattern rims/long lug nuts, the outer diameter of the lug nut inside the slotted groove on the rim aligns the rim. When tightened down, the rim is still sandwiched between the lug nut and the hub.

    Thank you for your concern.
    -ron
     
  16. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    g'damn photobucket disallowed 3rd party linking.
    I've got ti figure out what I'm going to do about that.

    A couple weeks ago, my wife called and said the Mustang was overheating.
    The motor/heads were in the car when I bought it back in '99 with lord knows how many miles on it. So without hardened valve seats, it held up for quite a long time. Before this happened.

    I stacked quarters in the recessed valves to try and capture depth.
    This is the worse valve.
    IMG_8581.JPG

    There are 3 others on the passenger side just as bad.
    IMG_8582.JPG

    I found a complete motor on Craigslist the seller said it was a 1979 351W
    I didn't use this motor or trans in the '68 because I ended up finding different heads.
    IMG_8784.JPG
    Looks like an AOD
    IMG_8792.JPG
    IMG_8794.JPG
     
  17. phlegm

    phlegm Member

    I posted a want ad on a local Facebook group for Mustangs and at first I found another set of heads for $50 and then another guy gave me a set of E7TE heads (free)

    He had just taken them off when he swapped on aluminum heads, so I had a good feeling about them and I cleaned them up, painted them and bolted them down.

    I also took this opportunity to sandblast and clear coat a set of old MT valve covers I picked up last fall and the 1999 Edelbrock intake manifold.

    The car is back together now with a new radiator too, and new rubber fuel hose.

    The only issue that I've had so far is the transmission fill tube hold down bolt and the 68 pushrods are too short. The motor runs, but there is a lot of pushrod to rocker arm slap (ticking)

    The stock 68 pushrods are 6.801" long and I bought a longer set that arrived today that are Sealed Power RP3167 that are 6.876", I'm hoping that is enough length to take out the free play.

    IMG_8818.JPG IMG_8819.JPG IMG_8822.JPG IMG_8825.JPG IMG_8841.JPG
     

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