1969 Mustang Coupe

JipJopJones

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Drums aren't that bad. People make them out to be WAY worse than they are. It can be a bit freaky in the wet if they catch you off gaurd, but I have manual drums all the way around on my truck and it still stops fine. (Plus no break dust on the rims!!! :p)
 

Clegko

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Drums aren't that bad. People make them out to be WAY worse than they are. It can be a bit freaky in the wet if they catch you off gaurd, but I have manual drums all the way around on my truck and it still stops fine. (Plus no break dust on the rims!!! :p)
The only time i've had problems with 4 wheel drum brakes is if you, for some reason, have to do either multiple panic stops (IE: On the highway in a short amount of time) or on the snow/ice. Though, that last one could very well by my own fault, as i've never really had to drive a car with 4 wheel drums before an ice storm hit 2 days after my DD died.

ANYWAY, back on topic. As for mufflers, may I suggest some simple (and cheap) glass packs? Friend of mine had a '68 Stang with the 302 in it and a set of Cherry Bomb glass packs on it, and it sounded fantastic. Even at highway speeds, it was comfortable. Not too loud, but loud enough that you could hear a mild burble. WOT was a bit... overwhelming, however.
 

Spectre

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Drum brakes also suck if you have to go through water that's axle deep or more - you have no brakes until the drums drain out.
 

Nabster

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The drum brakes are fine. They are very easily capable of exceeding the traction of the tires on the road. The driving I do doesn't require heavy braking, so they are just fine for the car. Years down the line when I go through and update the suspension and steering they'll get upgraded to discs anyway.

As far as the mufflers, when I get those switched, they'll either be Flowmatser 50's or Magnaflows. I do not want glasspacks (although mother has mentioned more than once "Let's get some Cherry Bombs on it"). It sounds now like it has 3 times as much power as it does, so I'll be fixing that next year.

And for recent developments, I'm putting out feelers for a full engine rebuild, the shop I'm probably going with now is saying they can easily get it to 290+ HP at the wheels while keeping it fairly stock and not doing any crazy modifications (original factory rating was 220 HP crank). Sounds good to me. :mrgreen:
 

Nabster

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Not really. One of the trim pieces on the window has started to have its spot welds break so it needs replacing. I'm also looking at switching to 70 style bolt in window glass instead of the current glue in style that comes unglued and just doesn't stay properly adjusted in general.

Assuming my grandmothers' estate gets settled in a reasonable time this year we'll get the engine pulled and either rebuilt or replaced with a crate engine depending on what it will cost, and replace some wiring harnesses up front to fix the mess and occasional quirk in behavior.

Otherwise still the same car, I'll be toodling around town in it, perhaps make a trip down to Denver or something later in the summer. Not planning on going to any big car shows this year since I'm going to Texas for school in the fall.
 

Nabster

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And suddenly it's a game of Name That Noise!


Yes, it's the power steering pump!

I suppose 40 years of life out of a power steering pump isn't bad. Going to be annoying to replace it though.
 

argatoga

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Manual steering rack time. :p
 

JipJopJones

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Is it just making noise or is it actually leaking/not functioning.

Because every ford I've ever seen (heard) has had a noisy PS pump. Coinsidence, I think not.
 

Nabster

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Not leaking, full of fluid (although the previously clear fluid is now a lovely shade of yellow with a bit of brown), and still works. It never made that noise before though, it started a day or two ago.

Every day just pulling this engine and replacing it with a brand new crate engine with all now accessories and wiring looks so good.
 

airmenair

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Every day just pulling this engine and replacing it with a brand new crate engine with all now accessories and wiring looks so good.
DO IT! :mrgreen: Make it a screamer.

Also, if you want to tackle the suspension and make it handle a bit better you should talk to John over at OpenTracker. He knows what he's talking about and they do very good business. I'll let you know how the car feels once I've got all the new stuff on.
 
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Nabster

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I'm really not bothered with how the car handles, right now it drives fine and I've got no issues. That being said, it drives fine with the wheezy old engine and low power, drop a new crate engine in there and I imagine I'll be able to see real fast where it needs improvement. I need to get with someone who has already done a good suspension upgrade and drive a car to see and make my decisions from there.

I do have a long term plan for this car, once I finally get my own house with a decent garage and a good enough income to support it, I'm going to redo the car fully, strip it completely apart, redo and repair anything that needs it, fully sound deaden and insulate, new wiring, '70 bolt in windows, new modernized suspension, LSD, fresh paint (of the same color), the whole shebang and it will be good for another 40 years. Whether or not that second resto happens after my Factory Five cobra I don't yet know :mrgreen:

It sounds crass when I say this, but the money isn't a problem, I've got that coming, it's the time line that I don't know about.
 

airmenair

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Yea I'm in the same boat really. Money isn't the big issue, it's time and space. I only am able to work on it maybe twice a week. I originally wanted to do a complete modern suspension, coil overs in the front and possibly IRS in the rear. The cost to do that with any COTS kits is insane though and I'm not sure if this car or me is ever going to need that degree of an upgrade. Maybe if it was a flat out race car but I don't think my driving skill will ever warrant needing it. So I've elected to to rebuild the suspension using stock based components that are improved. I'm very anxious to see what the improvement is. John has a history of racing these cars around a track and uses the same components he sells so I feel pretty confident in his recommendations.

Once mine is together you can come test drive it and see how it feels, ya know if you feel like driving to Texas. :lol:
 

Nabster

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Once mine is together you can come test drive it and see how it feels, ya know if you feel like driving to Texas. :lol:
I'm moving down to Texas in August for watchmaking school. My grandmother lives just north of you up in Grapevine as well, so that part isn't much of an issue ;)
 

Nabster

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Jesus, nearly 3 year bump? :?

Anywho, went for a drive earlier as the weather is quite fantastic today. Went from mid 70ish? here and down to Colorado, back up to Wyoming and across Snowy Range pass at around 50? still with 2-5 foot snowpack along the sides of the road.






And here's why it's called the Snowy Range. Be warned, 3.5MB image.

 

Nabster

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OK, time for another super necro-bump. Shallow grave, construction workers, etc.

This happened recently:



I've finally taken possession of the car and have it down in Texas with me now. For the first time in more than 20 years the car now lives inside a garage! Hooray!



For the last ~4+ years since I've moved down in Texas the car has been up with my parents back in Wyoming, where it's spent basically all of its time outside since they don't have a garage to fit it in. Unfortunately it's a bit worse for wear after all that time, there some new paint damage and a spot of two of rust popping up, but nothing terrible and frankly, the car is 50 years old now anyway, you can't expect it to be perfect. There's no rotisserie concours restoration in the future so it's just going to be a pretty decent condition driver, and I'm fine with that.

Seeing as I have it in a garage now and I'm able to do some work without having to deal with being outside I've started to tackle a few jobs. Ultimately on the short term list I'd like to get at least a swap to disc brakes from the drums, which may require new wheels and tires (I need new tires on it now anyway) to accommodate extra space needed for the discs. I also need to address the engine, it's been tired for a long time. It runs fine now, although the carb definitely needs some tuning and adjustment with the drastic altitude change from Wyoming to Texas. I think I managed to leave my jets and rods kit back in Wyoming in the chaos of transporting it, so that will have to be sent down to me to make some good headway there. Depending on cost the next few years may see the engine kept basically as is, a good rebuild, or perhaps just changed out entirely for a new crate engine. There are details in the thread in the past about this, I won't rehash it all here. With that engine work comes rehabbing the A/C system, it's damn hot here and I don't like that.

I also want to upgrade/change out the wiring harness for the car to something modern, frankly the age and condition pose certain risks I don't like now. It works fine now, but I'm not sure I trust it fully. I can get a good prebuilt harness for ~$700 which comes with a proper relay setup for headlights and other modern wiring needs, it just then becomes a matter of labor and space to do this as it's going to require some decently involved deconstruction and I don't have enough space in my garage to do that easily and I'd really like some additional hands to help out on that one, so no idea when I'll be able to get it done.

In the interim, so satisfy a bit of my safety needs now I've decided to replace the seat belts and change to a modern 3-point system. In 69 the cars started to come standard with an early version of a 3-point setup, but instead of a single lap and shoulder setup like we see today they simply used two separate belts- one on the lap and one across the shoulder. This was two separate things to buckle and tighten, and frankly the shoulder setup was awkward and annoying. Here's the original belts in the front, two receptacles on the seat, one for the retractable lap belt and one for the shoulder.



And the shoulder belt just kinds of hangs up by your head, in the way and droopy after the 50 year old elastic has long since perished.



One of the other things I don't like about that setup is that because the belt just sort of hangs down a bit over decades of sitting in the sun the belt has just been bleached and I don't know that I'd trust it to do its job. Here's a view from the outside you can see it hanging down.



The buckles in my car aren't fully available in reproduction modern parts, so as a result you either have to have a good set to start with and bring them to someone who will replace the seat belt webbing and properly sew it, or change them out for the "vintage style" seatbelts with completely different latch buckles that look like airplane belts. I don't care so much for those. I also don't have a fully good set of belt hardware, all my buckles and latches are fine, but the retractor on the drivers side has been broken as long as I've known the car, so the end just flops around loosely. Some people have reported successfully washing and re-dyeing their original belts to "restore" them, but while I'm sure that process makes the belts look quite nice, I don't think it does anything to improve the actual safety of 50 year old faded and stretched belts.

Here is a set of the belts out of my car.



You can see just how faded that top shoulder belt is from decades of sun.

Enter Scott Drake, with their 3-point retractable belt in a style modeled after the ones I have. Not an exact match but close enough for me. As a bonus, because my car originally came with the shoulder belts, it's a direct bolt in install and I don't have to drill and install a shoulder point down low under the rear quarter window like earlier years do.

In comparison, the originals to the new 3-point belts:




I guess the one small disadvantage to going with modern 3-point belts is that they do sort of hang in the way of the back seat a bit and show through the windows. Honestly, not a big deal though. It's so infrequent I have people going back there they can just deal with pushing it out of the way a bit on entry and exit. I guess this also puts them at risk of sun exposure over time just like the old ones, but we'll deal with that down the road if it becomes an issue.



Of note, even though the front seats had the shoulder belts, the back seats still just had lap belts.



Good news is this is a simple swap to replace those. The bench seat pulls right up and out, there's two small bolts locking the seat back in place and it lifts out as well allowing access to the old seat belts for removal and replacement.




Pretty sure there's a panel available to go behind the seat back to separate the trunk area better, but my car doesn't have it. Maybe I'll look into getting that at some point. After a quick vacuuming and some wrenching, new belts are in. And the seat goes back together as well after a good wipe down to clean off the accumulated dirt and grime for a few years of sitting.




Incidentally, here's one of the tags on the original belts. Date coded for being manufactured the 51st week of 1968. My car was built January 28th, 1969 so they were pretty fresh at the time. The new belts were made the 23rd week of 2017, so also fairly fresh.




So, this pile now goes into storage. Maybe they'll get rebuilt in the future, maybe they'll go to someone who needs a good original set for an authentic restoration, who knows.



And now all new belts installed in the car. They're actually quite comfortable, seem to go on and off well, and the quality isn't bad. I'm pleased. And I feel a lot safer. At least, as safe as I can feel with a solid pointy steel steering column directly in front of me, ready to spear me through in a front end collision. Or hopefully not with these new belts anyway.



Now, you may have seen in the back of a few pictures I also had the drivers door panel off and opened up. After a quick test drive when I got the car down here I had an issue with the door latch not wanting to open and let me out of the car. I took it apart to see if I could find anything obviously wrong, only for it to seemingly start working again. Oh well, who knows what minor part in the overly complicated latching system is out of adjustment and will present intermittent problems from here on out. I'll just be ready to exit through the passenger door in the mean time. Not looking forward to replacing that assembly if I need to.




And for your bonus today, behold the wonders of the 1969 Ford Engineering team, who decided for whatever reason this year they were going to glue the door windows into the brackets instead of bolting them in. Imagine, to the surprise of everyone, glue fails! Over time these windows are notorious for coming unglued from the brackets, at which point they begin to flop around all loose and unaligned to anything. A mechanic I know previously worked at Ford in the 70s and said they used to keep a set of 1969 door windows in the shop with newly glued brackets on the glass, that way when someone brought in a car with the unglued windows they would swap them out quickly and then clean up and reglue the ones they took out when they had more time.



Even modern adhesives often have trouble holding up for this setup. It's an ongoing problem for many 69 Ford cars. My drivers side is currently loose and floppy again, so I need to pull it out and try my luck and getting it done. The passenger side is fine for now, but does need the window rear trim replaced as it broke off a while back, so I probably have to pull that glass as well. The one known proper fix for this issue is to change to 1970 model windows, where they went to a bolt in system for the glass. Unfortunately this fix means you have to swap both the door glass and quarter window glass, because the two are slightly differently sized between years and the trim piece moved from the door glass in 69 to the quarter glass in 70. You also need new 1970 brackets to accept the bolts for the glass and a couple other parts which have to be pulled from a donor as they aren't reproduced currently. This is an expensive fix, so it's not really on my radar at the moment unless I happen across some good donor parts for cheap.

In the mean time, I need to get the car registered here in Texas. I've got it insured now, the next step is the inspection, which is sure to be a fun experience. Any bets on what I'll end up needing to fix before I can get it to pass inspection?
 

Spectre

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Seeing as I have it in a garage now and I'm able to do some work without having to deal with being outside I've started to tackle a few jobs. Ultimately on the short term list I'd like to get at least a swap to disc brakes from the drums, which may require new wheels and tires (I need new tires on it now anyway) to accommodate extra space needed for the discs. I also need to address the engine, it's been tired for a long time. It runs fine now, although the carb definitely needs some tuning and adjustment with the drastic altitude change from Wyoming to Texas. I think I managed to leave my jets and rods kit back in Wyoming in the chaos of transporting it, so that will have to be sent down to me to make some good headway there. Depending on cost the next few years may see the engine kept basically as is, a good rebuild, or perhaps just changed out entirely for a new crate engine. There are details in the thread in the past about this, I won't rehash it all here. With that engine work comes rehabbing the A/C system, it's damn hot here and I don't like that.
I still have a license to buy R-12 - and some of us are looking at getting an R-12 and R-134a recycling and recharge machine because the current price for recharging a system at a shop is over $100. Even taking summer into account, that's starting to get silly.

I also want to upgrade/change out the wiring harness for the car to something modern, frankly the age and condition pose certain risks I don't like now. It works fine now, but I'm not sure I trust it fully. I can get a good prebuilt harness for ~$700 which comes with a proper relay setup for headlights and other modern wiring needs, it just then becomes a matter of labor and space to do this as it's going to require some decently involved deconstruction and I don't have enough space in my garage to do that easily and I'd really like some additional hands to help out on that one, so no idea when I'll be able to get it done.
I hear you are importing a German to set up a work camp to accomplish the wiring swap. :p

Even modern adhesives often have trouble holding up for this setup. It's an ongoing problem for many 69 Ford cars. My drivers side is currently loose and floppy again, so I need to pull it out and try my luck and getting it done. The passenger side is fine for now, but does need the window rear trim replaced as it broke off a while back, so I probably have to pull that glass as well. The one known proper fix for this issue is to change to 1970 model windows, where they went to a bolt in system for the glass. Unfortunately this fix means you have to swap both the door glass and quarter window glass, because the two are slightly differently sized between years and the trim piece moved from the door glass in 69 to the quarter glass in 70. You also need new 1970 brackets to accept the bolts for the glass and a couple other parts which have to be pulled from a donor as they aren't reproduced currently. This is an expensive fix, so it's not really on my radar at the moment unless I happen across some good donor parts for cheap.
Car manufacturers are still doing this today. Nissan was doing this in the 90s to my certain knowledge - I had a leftover Pathfinder window where the lift tabs are glued to it.

In the mean time, I need to get the car registered here in Texas. I've got it insured now, the next step is the inspection, which is sure to be a fun experience. Any bets on what I'll end up needing to fix before I can get it to pass inspection?
It's a safety only inspection. Lights, horn, brakes, steering, suspension not making suspicious noises on extremely short test drive, not on fire, factory belts or better, no body parts appearing to be interested in falling off soon, that's about it.

No, I'm not kidding about the not on fire part.
 
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