Sunday, July 16, 2017

Video: summer time fun

Went out for a test drive with the latest tune recently and thought I'd post a video.  Tuner software is estimating 360HP.  Not too bad for a pushrod 5.0 ;) 

New Fuel Tank

I had a few problems with the improvised EFI pump and pickup that I installed in the original fuel tank.  I installed it in the factory pickup hole for convenience.
I had problems with a pump that started to squeal and the seal leaked more than once.  I don't get how people kept the seal from leaking over the years.  It is such a crappy and awkward fitting. The other issue was having no gauge pickup -- no idea how much gas was left.  

First attempt was to install a stock 65 mustang fuel float attached to the same mount as the pump but it leaked.  

Next attempt was to cut 2 holes in the top of the tank and mount the pick up and pump from the top but the stock opening on the bottom leaked again.  Getting tired of this. 

I went to just weld the factory pickup hole shut and saw that the inside of the tank was pretty rusty so that settled that.

Finally, I bought a brand new EFI conversion tank from Tanks Inc. along with the correct EFI pickup tube plate and gauge sending unit. The tank has a baffle tray already welded in so no more risk of starvation.  This new pump mounting plate has the pressure and return lines plus the vent fitting.  These tanks are very nice replacements and look like the original.  It comes with in a silver paint (or might be powder coat.)

Everything fits great and no leaks.  The only catch is now the fuel lines and fittings are in trunk.  Not ideal. Given the history of these trunk mount tanks, I will need to install one of those rigid safety covers one of these days.  For now, its back to annoying the neighbors and leaving posi marks everywhere. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

On the road - having fun

Last month, I finally got my Mustang buttoned up enough to drive to NY state inspection and it got that sticker.  Not all work is done but now I can drive and enjoy it which is the whole point of this project.  

I'm already having fun driving and looking forward to a fun summer.

So, some recently completed items are:
EEC-4 ECU Mount
I had to mount the ECU somewhere so I chose just behind the glove box area. I made a bracket from some steel straps and mounted from top of the glove box to a flange underneath the dash.

The battery has always been in the trunk but hadn't been secured.  I got a universal hold down and made weld-on brackets for the j-hooks. 

This was simple to install. It just presses into place around the door flange. A couple spots needed a tap with a rubber mallet. 
EEC-IV mount

Hood pins
I installed these in the front hood bumper mounts.  The pins were a kit came with tethers. The hood holes were a little tough to drill.  Had to transfer marks from the pins to the underside of the hood using a dab of paint to mark where to drill. The issue was that the pins were at an angle because they were mounted in the hood bumper holes. This is in the same spot as Shelby did it and matches the slope of the hood but the hood lowers at a different angle so the pins rubbed on the way down. Just had make the holes big enough to give some slack for closing. 

Front license plate mounting
Since I have the Shelby style front valance, there was no place to mount the front license plate.  I made a couple brackets out of some metal strapping that I had. It bolts to the valance mount at the top and the lower bumper guard hole at the bottom. Quick and dirty but does the trick.

My Mustang has a low stance so on the fist few drives, I could hear the mufflers scraping as the springs absorbed some bumps. It also didn't have a nice sound. A little too loud -- not a good loud either. I had a local shop make a mandrel bent 2 1/2" h-pipe-back exhaust and now the 40 series flowmaster mufflers are in the the correct place and the tail pipes extend out under the rear valance. Bare tail pies do not look so good but will suffice for now. 

The exhaust note is much better but I still get a loud resonant exhaust sound around 2100 rpm - the whole car vibrates.  May have to add a couple small, cheap glass-packs inline or something to disrupt the resonance. (The neighbors must love me)
Another thing is that with the triangulated four link rear having control arms attached near the center housing, there wasnt any room to go over the axle housing in the usual spot above the axle tubes so it routes underneath. It looks fine and the axle tubes do not make contact.

Next Priorities 
Tuning. I have a Tweecer and BinaryEditor software.  Its basically an external chip that mounts to the EEC-IV and lets you upload a new calibration via a USB cable.  It can also read live data like MAF volts, RPM, injector pulse, measured A/F ratio vs. commanded, etc.
So far I have roughly dialed in the fuel and timing.  With the latest tune, LogAnalyzer estimates about 340HP and feels like it.  BTW, the Tweecer and BinaryEditor is invaluable in the custom tuning process.  The engine actually idles pretty well for a high performance cam and stock ECU.

Rear differential gears
Right now, I'm running 4.11 which turns out to be way to low for my power band and T-5.  1st gear winds out too fast and I have to use overdrive around 45 MPH.
I'm thinking to change to either 3.27 or 3.55 - not sure yet.

Wheels, Tires
The rear tires are 245 45 17 and rub a little on the fenders. I rolled the metal lip a little but they still touch on bigger bumps. They should fit but the wheels I have now have an odd offset so the are a little too far out toward the fenders -- there's plenty of room to the inner wheel wells. I may have to run 235 in the rear until I get the new wheels.

The TCI front coil-over suspension is nice and handles well.  I can tell that it is not aligned right so I need to find a shop that can do a real alignment - not just set the toe and let it go.  

Have some sanding and filling to do on that left front fender.  I did a test with Plastidip a while back and it sticks well to the primer and peels off cleanly. I thought about vinyl wrap in the past but it may be too expensive and I'm not sure how well it will stick to primer.  Plastidip will protect the metal since primer is porous and may have to do until I can afford a good paint job. Anyone have an extra paint job laying around that needs a good home?

Still need to paint some of the rear interior pieces before installing and clean the old rear fold-down seats -- the vinyl is in great shape.

So far so good.
Videos coming soon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Windshield and rear glass roped-in

With the headliner and dash complete, I could install the windshield and rear window. 
I did a lot of research on this and learned about the rope-in technique. It turned out to be fairly easy.   

For my Mustang, I left out the calk since I will eventually remove the glass to paint.

The hard part was getting the rubber weatherstrip around the windshield. The slot for the glass is very tight and the rubber is stiff so my hands were pretty sore after. The first step is flipping the weatherstrip so that the short side is at the top edge of the glass and laying the strip out over the glass.  

Next I pried open the glass slot at a corner and worked it on the corner of the windshield a few inches in each direction. Then moved to the next corner on the short side and then the opposite corner and the remaining corner, trying to keep the weatherstrip stretched evenly. I finished by working each of the sides in place.  I had to use a plastic strip to pry open the rubber in places. It helps to pat the strip in place as you go along.

To install, I used a length of thin nylon rope and tucked in into place around the full length of the perimeter and overlapped a little at the bottom center (It may be easier to install strings overlapping at the top). I found that an old silicone tube tip worked to quickly pull the rope along the edge.  

I started rope-in by carefully placing bottom edge of the weatherstrip and windshield into the bottom flange making sure it is centered and down all the way.  With the windshield laying in place, begin pulling on the rope ends equally, slowly, straight out. I found the corners to be the hardest part due to stiffness of the rubber.  After, there were a few places where I had to press the weatherstrip in closer to the flange.
I repeated the same for the rear glass -- the rear glass was thinner so the seal went on easier. 
Be careful with the rear glass, I know first hand that it can easily explode into thousands of tiny pieces.
There are lots of videos on this.  I thought this video was the most useful

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Refinish Dash

The dashboard was looking a little pitted and had a few dents.  Also the ignition switch hole was mangled likely due to a previous owner not knowing how to remove the switch.

I started with a little glazing compound over the pitting and dings followed by progressively finer sanding, alternating coats of high build primer and wet sanding. This work included the A pillars too.

For the ignition switch hole, I straightened some metal and welded a little steel to fix the notch.  I added a little glazing compound to smooth things out. Then more high build primer and wet sanding.

I finished the job with basic rattle can black semigloss. I know there are more concours compatible finishes but I dont really need that.


I had already fixed the wiring harness issues a while back so there wasn't much to do.  This harness was for a basic mid-year 65 Mustang so there were wires for the charge light, oil light, and single turn signal indicator in the cluster. 

The cluster I have is a 66 round gauge style. Its in rough shape and the fuel gauge is fried. I gave it a basic cleaning and had to trim plastic off the bottom of the center circle to fit the straight dash metal -- the plastic bezel was already cracked so no biggie there.
I had another leftover donor harness from a 66 and swiped the left and right turn signals, and the oil gauge connectors. For the turn signals, I just spliced the bulb wires to an existing left and right signal wire.  
Conveniently, the main power wire from the trunk passes right through the amp meter loop on its way to the fuse panel. 


Another task before the goal of passing NY state inspection is the headliner. This has to go in before the windshield and rear glass. 

I researched how most people install headliners and ended up using lots of small metal binder clips to keep the vinyl stretched and hold while the glue dries.  

The headliner I purchased (TMI I think) came with a sound deadener/insulation pad and also bought the headliner glue.  I was worried it would be a huge mess and end up loose and full of wrinkles but it turned out fine.
The key was to use lots of clips to hold it and stretch evenly and carefully.

I started by placing the bows in the car to make sure they are in the right order. Then sprayed adhesive on the mesh side of the insulation and on the roof underside.  This holds it in place while installing the liner. Once tacky, pressed the insulation onto the roof underside, making sure nothing hangs down. Fatmat would probably have been nicer but I didnt have room in the budget.

I recommend screwing in the visor, mirror, and coat hook screws in now, before the liner, because it will be really hard to find the holes once the liner goes in. 

Next I slid bows into the liner pockets and trimmed the excess pocket material since it would make the sides too bulky. 
Installing the liner starts from the back. I hooked the rear most bow into the holes and made sure the liner was centered. This was followed by the wire hooks that hold the rearmost bow to the rear roof frame. These are really important to hold the bows as you pull from the front. The wire hooks pierce the vinyl pocket and clip onto rear the bow. 
Next, I hooked in the remaining bows and pushed each of the bows up into place. 

After that, the stretching starts from the front center, working out to the sides and placing clips as i go. Just make it very snug but not so tight as to pull the clips off or tearing stitches. Next is stretching from the back center outward then each of the sides.
It may be necessary to carefully snip excess material as you pull around the curves of the A pillars and window frames.  Look for loose spots and wrinkles and adjust at clips as you go.
Once stretched, the gluing starts. Again from the front center, remove clips and spread glue on back of liner where it meets the frame and also apply to window frame. Slather it on consistently and allow it to get a little tacky for a few minutes before stretching and clipping again, it will bond immediately. I repeated on the back and sides and let it dry with clips in place and left clips on until the windshield and rear glass went in.

Be careful to stretch and snip as you gradually pull the liner tight around the A pillars and curves to make things neat and wrinkle free. This and the quarter vent area were the hard parts.

I highly recommend watching videos and reading further.

Getting ready for the road- horn relay

It's been a while since I updated my blog and much has been completed of the past 2 years.

Horn relay.

The original 65 Mustang harness was designed to send two 14 ga. wires up the column to the horn button switch. One wire with 12 volts and one returning from the switch to the horn.

Since I had installed a Flaming River steering column and a basic Grant steering wheel, I needed to wire in a relay to get the single wire horn button working. The concept is pretty simple.  The horn switch turns the relay on with little current and the relay sends a higher current to the horns.

For a 65 Mustang wiring harness, there is a 14 gauge wire that comes from the headlight switch and is always hot. I connected this wire to pin 86 and 30 of the relay. The wire that sends 12 volts to the horns is a another 14 gauge wire,  yellow with green stripe on my 65 harness. 
 I connected this wire to pin 87 of the relay.  Lastly, I connected the black wire from the horn switch to pin 85 of the relay. When the horn is pressed, this wire will be grounded and turn the relay on which sends power to the horns.

Something to watch out for is that the relay may have an internal diode so connect the hot to pin 86.  If you dont have a diode, its a good idea to add one to eliminate flyback voltage spike. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rear Coilover 4-Link Suspension

The rear ride height of my Mustang was a little high for the look that I like. I thought about installing some lowering blocks but wanted something more modern with a little better performance.  After researching a few rear suspension options, I decided to update to a coil-over suspension and install a suspension kit. Combined with the front coilover suspension, the end result will be a classic street machine that handles more like a modern sports car. 

I decided to go with a bolt-on kit from TCI.  Considering that many vintage race cars run factory style leaf springs and lots of people race with that kind of set up and have few failures, I didnt see the need for a full on competition suspension kit.  Bolt-on works well in a factory leaf spring style setup so a beefed up bolt-on 4-link system should work well too - albeit less sexy than a pre-welded Fab-9 or Moser setup.

Weld-on brackets
Once the old setup was out I could begin mounting the new control arm brackets.

The upper control arm brackets are welded to the axle tubes at specific locations, centered between the axle flanges.  A jig is provided for exact placement. A heavy duty welder is needed as the brackets and tubes are pretty thick metal. 

 The lower control arms bolt to brackets that get bolted to the existing spring perches.  If you have Ford 9 inch with 3" tubes then you can cut off the stock perches and weld on brackets like most of the beefed up kits use.  My housing has tubes that taper to 2 13/16 (2.8125) inch diameter so there would be a lot of slop to fill in the 3 inch holes. I went with the bolt-on brackets and did a couple welds for extra insurance.  

Powder Coat
Once everything was welded and ground, I dropped the housing and kit pieces off at the powder coat shop.  At the powder coater, they cleaned and media blasted everything and applied a custom metallic gunmetal on the housing and metallic silver on the control arms, sway bar, and crossmember.  The frame brackets were powder coated in chassis black to match the existing metal.

After drilling holes in the frame rails and floor at the prescribed locations, the chassis brackets are bolted on.  The kit also provides thick reinforcement plates that bolt to the opposite side of the brackets.

With the brackets in place, it was just a matter of positioning the housing and bolting in the control arms.  This was followed by installation of the center section, the axles, and the drive shaft.