|Winding Road Classics, LLC|
|Building cars you love to drive|
|We have had the privilege of working on two of these classics in 2014, the fiftieth anniversary year of the Mustang introduction. |
The first one was a red with white stripes car with original 289 and C4 that needed the interior finished and a disc brake conversion installed. This included a new dual reservoir master cylinder and proportioning valve to make the whole system work together safely. We got the headliner in first, then installed the windshield and rear window, all the chrome trim, and then the carpet, seatbelts, and seats. We really enjoyed working on this little car and it sounded awesome with the work the owner had already done.
The engine has been rebuilt by the owner before we worked on the car, and sounds good with an aggressive rumble and spirited performance.
This shows the headliner in the first stages of installation. The bows are installed and everything is in place, ready to start pulling into place and gluing along the edges.
After carefully pulling everything tight, the edges are glued in place. The windshield and rear window seals secure the front and rear edges, and the sides are secured with windlace. It has a spring center wrapped in vinyl and does a good job of dressing the edge and holding the headliner in place.
After the glass, carpets, seatbelts and seats were installed, it looks like this.
A picture of the new brake booster and dual master cylinder installed with new lines on the front. You can also see the proportioning valve tucked down under the master cylinder. This regulates pressure to the rear drums so that they don't lock up prior to the front brakes. Dual master cylinders are highly recommended on regularly driven cars. If one half of the system fails for any reason, the other half will still be functional to help you come to a stop.
This is a shot of the bracket, caliper, and rotor that came in the kit the customer supplied. It was a very complete kit including a stainless braided hose. I packed the bearings with grease, secured the rotor properly and everything worked great. The car stops well and feels more secure in the pedal. Most of us are spoiled to modern disc brakes with ABS and traction control. A classic car can not easily reach that sort of performance, but upgrades like power front disc brakes can give you a comfortable and confident driving experience.
The second one is still in the shop and has a 200 inline 6 and a c4 transmission. The engine was running rough and we have installed a new distributor with electronic ignition. This set up matches the replacement carburetor that was already installed. New custom fit spark plug wires really make this engine look clean. Next up for this car is a power brake booster and dual reservoir master cylinder and to flush the lines and bleed the brakes. We are also going to replace the seals in the rear axle as they are leaking, which makes a mess and could lead to premature failure of the bearings and gears in the rear end.
The loadamatic system was installed on many Ford vehicles and is generally despised by anyone wanting snappy performance and reliability. It was good for economy; when everything was working correctly. However, the carburetor and distributor are designed to work together, and when either is changed, it causes problems with idling, driveability, and power.
This one barrel carburetor is almost identical to the loadamatic system carb, but it doesn't have the proper spark control valve which is a vacuum sensitive device that changed the advance in the loadamatic distributor. The main problem with the loadamatic system was that it had no mechanical advance. This resulted in a retarded spark at times when you really want more, like full throttle acceleration to pass another car.
This is a durapark II distributor from a 1978 Ford Fairmont. It was used on many cars in the late 1970s with a 200 cubic inch six cylinder. It is an electronic distributor with an external coil and spark controller that gets rid of points, allows for a bigger spark plug gap, and has mechanical and vacuum advance. New spark plug wires were cut to length and installed, and the engine now runs much better.
As an alternative to the front disc brakes, on this car we installed a new power booster and dual reservoir master cylinder. This gives us a little more braking pressure and also the safety measure of the split system should a brake hose or fitting experience failure.
This is the original rearend for a six cylinder mustang. Also prevalent in Falcons and comets, the 7-1/4" rear end is not known for it's strength, but it's a reliable performer for a six cylinder car. A lot of these got trashed in favor of a bigger 8" or 9" Ford with V-8 swaps or simply to upgrade to five lug wheels. This owner didn't want any of that though, and we simply had to put new seals and gasket on it to stop the leaks. Pinion and axle seals were located as well as a differential cover gasket and hub retainer plate gaskets. Most of the parts stores have the wrong gasket listed for the hub retainer plate gaskets. They are FelPro 4978 and you need two per side. After that, new differential oil was added and the rear end is leak free and pushing the Mustang down the road.
The last thing we did was diagnose why the gas gauge was not working. We verified that the gauge was active by removing the wire at the fuel sender and grounding it to the car. This doesn't prove its accuracy, but tells us that it is receiving a signal through the wire and that the problem is in the fuel sender. We then drained the tank and removed the sender only to discover that there was no float on the sender at all. The inside of the tank looked clean, so we bought a float, installed it on the sender, and then verified that the sender was working by hooking it up to the wire and holding it at empty, quarter, half, three/quarter, and full while another person watched the gauge. Just a few minutes assured us that the gauge was accurate and I reinstalled the sender into the tank and put the gas back in. Now the owner has a working gas gauge.
After these few upgrades, this little six cylinder Mustang is a pleasure to drive. It pulls away from a stop with authority, but without squealing tires and attitude, and cruises at 70 MPH without a hiccup. I love inline sixes of all sorts, and would be proud to have this one as mine.