1969 Mustang Coupe

And inspection passed with no issues, though the low tone horn seemed to cut out a bit, I'll have to check the connection. Cost me all of $7. Now I have to find time to get to an office to register it so I can get my plates ordered. I may have to take a "sick" day for that part since the offices seem to run bank hours.

I hear you are importing a German to set up a work camp to accomplish the wiring swap. :p

Well if we can set up some shop time and perhaps have a small work camp party with a few people while he's here that may be a possibility. How hard could it be? :shifty:
While I'd love to work on the car, my initial time in Dallas is very restricted, and the rest of the trip will be figured out mostly on the fly.

I'm flying in on the 3rd late, unless magic happens, I will be fixing the Caddys window rollers on the 4th, and with the crack of dawn on the 5th, I am cannonballing towards Atlanta. After that weekend there I'll be in the Austin area, and the rest between that and my return flight on the 30th from Dallas is filed under TBD.
While I'd love to work on the car, my initial time in Dallas is very restricted, and the rest of the trip will be figured out mostly on the fly.

I'm flying in on the 3rd late, unless magic happens, I will be fixing the Caddys window rollers on the 4th, and with the crack of dawn on the 5th, I am cannonballing towards Atlanta. After that weekend there I'll be in the Austin area, and the rest between that and my return flight on the 30th from Dallas is filed under TBD.

I'll just pop out the bed in my couch and lock you in the apartment with a new wiring harness when you get back from Austin. When the car's all rewired it can drive you to the airport :lol:
Nice to see the '69 being brought back to life, it's always been my favorite year of Mustang.

As for the wiring, it's not that bad as long as you have good information about what wire goes where.

The only reason my own re-wire project went as well as it did was because I spent a morning looking at every factory diagram to determine each wires ID number, color code, and from/to information; followed by a week of doing the same for every wire required by my aftermarket addons.

I wouldn't recommend re-wiring exactly to the original diagrams though.
If your '69 is anything like my '67, then odds are, not much of it is actually on a fuse. That should be remedied.
I'll just pop out the bed in my couch and lock you in the apartment with a new wiring harness when you get back from Austin. When the car's all rewired it can drive you to the airport :lol:

Wait, you mean I can stay longer in Texas? Sounds good! But don't expect the harness being done anytime soon :p
As for the wiring, it's not that bad as long as you have good information about what wire goes where.

The only reason my own re-wire project went as well as it did was because I spent a morning looking at every factory diagram to determine each wires ID number, color code, and from/to information; followed by a week of doing the same for every wire required by my aftermarket addons.

I wouldn't recommend re-wiring exactly to the original diagrams though.

I think when I finally go ahead with it I'll end up using this harness. Prebuilt and accommodates just about every thing I could need, plus factory style connectors so minimal modification and fabrication if any. I already have electronic ignition and a modern alternator, no tach, and my ammeter has never worked so just about every "con" listed there for this harness doesn't matter to me. I could also go with a Painless harness, which should work just as well but I think I'd like the additional relays, especially for the headlights, the American Autowire one provides. Cheaper is also nice, too. I don't have the time or energy to attempt making my own harness from scratch.

If your '69 is anything like my '67, then odds are, not much of it is actually on a fuse. That should be remedied.

I've got a fuse block with like 5 circuits :lol:


I did previously add a small additional fuse panel for running a few additions on switched power with a relay, but yeah, the factory setup is definitely lacking by modern standards.

Wait, you mean I can stay longer in Texas? Sounds good! But don't expect the harness being done anytime soon :p

You're certainly welcome to crash with me if you'd like. There's just a serious lack of food in the apartment so you'd probably have to fend for yourself on that front ;)
I know some guys at Painless - they can modify the Painless harness if you want, I think.
Spent about an hour doing a bit more thorough adjusting on the carb tonight. It's been running quite rich, so the aim was to lean it out some, maybe eke out a few more MPG. Pulled the top half of the carb off and found one of the floats was hanging down way further than it should have been, so I made a few small tweaks to both of those to get them to factory specification. I'm hoping that corrects the occasional stalling out on a hard turn with low throttle issue I've had, though if not the next thing is a fuel pressure regulator as I suspect mine is a bit higher than the 6PSI recommended maximum. Both of those are the commonly cited causes for that sort of issue as far as I've been able to find. Also noticed a bit of fine sediment in the fuel bowls, so I'll have to pick up a new fuel filter as well.

Changed out the jets for a more stock size than what I had in it previously, which were smaller to run it leaner from the much thinner air up at altitude back home. Seems a bit counter intuitive to move to bigger jets with the goal of ultimately leaning it out, but what I've done is return the carb to a very close to stock configuration, which is intended to be on the leaner side with the carb I've got. As a result of changing the jets I was able to play with the idle mixture adjustment screws and was able to turn those down quite significantly to lean out the mixture from what they were previously, so I think that will end up making a decent difference all things considered. Back and forth with those idle mixture screws and the main idle speed screw and I got it dialed down to ~900 RPM (as indicated by my optical non-contact tachometer) which I like the sound and feel of and doesn't pull the car along too much in gear at idle- it seems to still cruise around at ~15 mph with no throttle input at all in the parking lot here. I think there may still be some fiddling here as I'm not 100% sure if this is ideal or if there's a better way to go about it yet.

In any case, it appears a side effect of this adjusting is it now feels a bit more peppy than before, which is nice. On the whole I'm not sure if the adjustments I made helped much to lean it out, but they did seem to make a difference in the seat of the pants feel. I also completely smell like gasoline and exhaust now, so I can't really gauge the richness by smell at the moment, we'll see tomorrow how it runs after sitting up a while and letting my nose clear out.

Other previous small things I've done since the last update include finally sorting out the door latch issues I was having intermittently. When Thomas was down here a few weeks ago and I met up with him and some of the other locals it started acting up again and became ridiculously stiff to operate. I got it home and got some aerosol white lithium grease and worked it into the latch area of the door after pulling back a bit of weatherstripping. That almost immediately smoothed it all out and made it nice and easy to operate. No issues since, but I did manage to get a bit of overspray on the window glass which worked its way onto the old tattered window felt, so since that needed replacing anyway I now have more reason to get around to that.

I repainted the rear windshield trim, as it was getting very faded and looked quite bad. I'll have to see if I can find a good picture of it before, since I don't seem to have taken one directly before I started. There was some pretty bad paint flaking and a bit of rust hiding under the trim, which I cleaned up best as I could with what I had laying around, then primed, coated in touchup paint, and cleared before putting the trim back on with some fresh silicone around the screw holes to hopefully help prevent further water damage to that area. I went with what was supposed to be a black hammer tone paint, but it came out a nice dark grey instead which works better as it's a closer math for the original color they were painted from the factory. The trim itself has a camera-case like finish stamped into the metal, so I figured the hammer tone paint would complement it well while also helping to hide any little dings from age.


There's also some new rattle. It's coming from inside the car. Literally inside. Between myself, DerStig, and Thomas all crawling around trying to locate it we weren't very successful in figuring out what it was so much as it seemed to be coming from behind some of the interior panels in the back. It doesn't always do it, it comes and goes with speed and seems most apparent around 35 mph, so there's some harmonic part to it. I'll have to find some time to pull out the rear seats and some paneling to drive around and pinpoint it to see if I can remedy it. My hypothesis at this point is that the rear quarter window regulators are hitting the inside of the rear seat side panels, but honestly that's just a guess based on the metallic sound it makes.


Other than that not much else to report. I think I'm about to the point I need some additional eyes and hands to get the car on a lift to assess condition of the undercarriage and drivetrain to see what's most important to start work on next. Brakes, suspension, steering, engine, AC, etc.... Hopefully nothing major pops up.
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That annoying rattle... distracted me from enjoying that glorious noise it made when driving it.. and I'm annoyed that we couldn't locate it even with literally crawling inside..

^ This is priceless. :D
Are the floats brass, plastic, or foam?

^ This is priceless. :D

Ethan has one from his perspective in the shot there.. I have my arm inside of the quarter panel all the way to the C pillar (partially open as it turns out and just covered by the headliner).. couldn't find anything rattly or even loose though..
Are the floats brass, plastic, or foam?

Brass. It's an Edelbrock 1406 carb. Easily adjusted (Haha, an Edelbrock carb "easily adjusted") as the process is in the manual for the thing, just a matter of correcting the bends in the support tabs to ensure correct distances when held at rest with either side up.
More things have been done, mostly minor. Oil change. More carburetor adjustments- I think I leaned it out too much to the point it was too hard to start in colder weather so I've backed that off some and it now seems to start much more reliably.

While messing with the carb to dial it in I also installed a fuel pressure regulator to make sure that wasn't getting too high- Edelbrock carbs are not really designed to operate on much more than 6 psi of fuel pressure so I wanted to make sure I wasn't having issues related to this. Luckily there was a spot on the passenger shock tower which had two little dimples in the metal that exactly aligned with the holes in the mounting bracket for the regulator, like it was meant to be, so I installed it right there and it's out of the way.


I think I managed to get a bit of gas on the lens for the gauge which caused the blurriness, at some point I'll get out my acrylic polishing compound and fix that.

Also put in new rubber fuel and vacuum lines, and replaced a few old degraded rubber caps on some vacuum ports for the carb, and a new fuel filter when doing the regulator.

In a similar vein, it had been more than 10 years since the spark plugs had been changed, so I went ahead and did those too.

Pulled one just to check the condition, and really it seemed to be fine.


Gap was a bit larger than necessary I think.

They were basic stock style copper plugs I put in last time. This time I decided to "upgrade" to platinum plugs, so I just went and got 8 of the platinum version of the same plug- Autolite 104s to AP104s. Gapped the new ones at about .040.

All the plugs pulled, never mind the excess antiseize, I pulled them out and then temporarily threaded them partially back in while I had to run out for something.


Some of them have a slight bit of buildup, but nothing I see as excessive, especially considering they're 10 years old.

Upon installing the new plugs I managed to crack the ceramic on one of them, I think as I had a slightly wonky angle on the wrench working under the previously installed fuel pressure regulator. So at that point I had to run out and grab another pair of plugs just to be sure I had enough to finish the job. No problems from there.

I figured I'd also go ahead and put on some new spark plug wires as well, since the old ones had been there as long as I've known the car, and the red wasn't something I particularly cared for.


New ones in, I think I may adjust the routing a bit more, especially around the oil dipstick, but no problems with them like this yet. I went with Ford Racing wires this time (to go with my cheesy Ford Racing valve covers), slightly thicker, and in black which blend in a bit more. I will note the new wires came labeled for which cylinder they go to, and the lengths on the 1 and 2 cylinders were a bit inconvenient for my initial routing so I switched the two and the lengths worked better then.


You can sort of see the fuel pressure regulator peeking out from behind the intake on the air cleaner on the left there as well.

I also took a peek into the distributor during this. Things were a bit fuzzy on the contact points, so I took the liberty of wire brushing them to clean them up and just a whisp of dielectric grease on them to hopefully keep them from oxidizing quite so much in the future. I may end up replacing the rotor and cap in the future, but for now it works, so it's not high priority.


So after all that, with everything cleaned up and connected I gave it a go:

Apologies on the resolution, I had been chatting with the local FGers during this process and had it in phone message size.

And just for good measure:

So great success there. No problems since. Still takes a couple tries to start up when cold, but that's basically always been the case. Maybe eventually I'll get it perfect, but probably not with the engine in the current state anyway.

In more exciting news (and what will be to the great relief of everyone who's driven it in the last few months) I finally figured out what the mystery obnoxious rattle with no source was! I was crawling around under the car checking the suspension to find all the grease zerks to get some long deserved fresh lubrication under there and noticed this:


Unbeknownst to me at the time the hangers for the mufflers are mounted to the bolts used for the rear seat belts. When I had installed the new seat belts after bringing the car to Texas there must have been some nuts holding things together under the car, and since putting the new bolts in the hangers for the mufflers had sort of been hanging loose. That would be the rattle. I stuck on a couple nice nyloc nuts on there and tightened them down and the rattle has disappeared completely. The car was instantly 40% more fun to drive without that rattle. I've probably put another 50+ miles on it this weekend just going around the metroplex enjoying it.
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Oh my God, finally... And what an odd solution... But that's why it appeared to come from the seat belt/rear seat/side panel area.. just not on the inside..
The wallet is quite a bit lighter as of now, but 310+ lbs of things have arrived. Still a couple more boxes to come as well.


Next month will be fun and very productive.
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Those wheels. <3
Sweet Jeebus.

Zee German arrived, labor was done, many cursings were shouted, much mess was made, dozens of dozens of shop towels were used, and a pile of old parts was disposed of.

And now the car has a braking system consisting of approximately 95% new parts.

Unfortunately I sort of failed at taking adequate pictures, however Thomas was there taking a fair number, so many of these are his. I'll try and put them in some semblance of order, but no guarantees. Other people present may have corrections or additions to add as well.

Cue 5 minutes before work starts, backing down into DerStig's garage where the work would be happening:


Skipping right into it, old front drum assemblies removed and pitched:


I had decided that rather than spend a bunch more money on one of the multiple available rear disc kits which requires a fair bit of modification and fitting to make work (none available are direct easy bolt in according to everyone who posts about them on the classic Mustang forums) that I would just stick with the rear drums. They got completely rebuilt with all new components save for the backing plates. The old driver side wheel cylinder here had been slowly leaking for who knows how long, so it was especially messy once opened up.


Once the old brakes were off we moved on to removing the old master. Goodbye manual brakes!



Once that was out we started with installing all new brake lines. In hind sight, this was one of the mistakes I made. I ordered an all new set of stainless steel lines. I should have gone with mild steel. The stainless lines, while quality, were not perfect fits and since we were doing this job with the rest of the drivetrain in place, trying to fit the new stainless lines in around the engine and drivetrain was not fun. And once the lines were roughly in place the bends had be corrected and beat into submission massaged into place. The lines were incredibly stiff near the ends and we had little room to work in and around them while trying to get them to line up. This was hugely frustrating and took up the better part of a day. Mild steel lines would have been pie to work on as they would have been extremely easy by comparison to fix the bends with. At some point I stressed my wrist a bit much and smashed it into something while working on this and I still feel it now. There is probably a nice set of line bending hand tools which would have helped, but we didn't have anything that helped really, so we just struggled.

Here's fitting the new lines up to the distribution block. 3/8 and 7/16 fittings for the flares all around. Except for one fitting for the front from the new master into the distribution block which was 10mm. That fitting can go screw itself, which actually would have very helpful as we didn't have a 10mm flare wrench.



There was some pause and discussion about order of operation for installing the new power booster (and bracket) and master cylinder. The instructional videos were conveniently glossing over many of the steps here, as well as demonstrating the install process on a cutaway car with no engine or cross bracing to be in the way. Ultimately we got the booster support bracket installed securely to the firewall, and then discovered there was literally no physical room to fit a wrench or socket down back behind in the corner to tighten the last nut to attach the booster to the bracket. We were *just* able to thread the nut on with fingertips stretched behind and working by feel alone. A generous application of loctite on the thread and some hopes and prayers are holding that nut on, but at least the other three nuts are good and truly tightened, so it should be plenty secure.


Master fit on without any issue. There's an adjustable proportioning valve mounted on the underside of the master to limit the power sent to the rear brakes as they're staying drum. You can see the adjusting knob on the right side of the master inside the hard lines. Vacuum for the booster fit up conveniently to a vacuum distribution block on the rear end of the intake manifold. Thomas was the first one to have blood drawn after breaking the old plug free from this fitting and bashing the back of his hand into the stud which holds the air cleaner in place and putting a nice bend into it.


With plumbing pretty much done at that point we moved back to more fun activities. Had to lube up that spindle shaft real nice.


And don't forget to lube up that hole either.


Just squeeze the lube all up in there.


Phew... going to need a quick break to recover before round two with mounting the new disc with new bearings. Torque the nut down gently to fit everything in place, then back off a bit before re-torquing again. You know you're on the right track when the lube squeezes out just a bit around the nut and everything feels nice a smooth.


OK, maybe I got a little carried away there. Back to business. Calipers! Brakepads! New brakes on!




At some point when I wasn't looking Thomas must have installed a Mr. Fusion blender because the car was floating with no wheels.


Anyway, also to be done was to install the new brake pedal and parking brake mechanism inside. Going to power discs meant the need to switch to a new pedal with a pivoting point in a different spot to ensure proper leverage. This was not particularly fun either as even with the front seat removed the ridge on the floor was in a perfect spot to dig into your back. And the lower dash was just perfect to limit your ability to get your arms up under there where you wanted them. It was sort of like being forced to work with T-Rex arms. I believe one of the other guys has a picture of Thomas in the same position as I am here.


One of the discoveries made a bit too late was that the new reproduction parking brake lines are about 2-3 inches too short for all the stock hardware to fit. More on this in a bit. So in the mean time we had a properly German engineered fix.


So after that it was on to bleeding the system. We "bench bled" the master in situ (DerStigs garage was suspiciously lacking of a bench vise), that seemed to go well. On to bleeding of the full system we started to try just vacuum bleeding, but whether it was the vacuum bleeder, the fact that the system was completely dry, or the DOT5 fluid used that was taking too long and making what seemed like no progress, so we went to the tried and true traditional two person bleeding method, which worked much better. Surprise! Only 1 small drip from a rear fitting from the hard line into the soft line/rear distribution piece as we assembled that hand tight and forgot to come back and fully tighten it. Everything else was leak free.

As a side note after driving for a week or two I should probably crack open the bleeders again just to check and be sure any residual air bubbles that may have settled out in the system are flushed. The pedal is still a bit soft, but not in a dangerous feeling way. After quite a bit of reading it seems the DOT5 silicone fluid I went with does have a tendency to retain tiny air bubbles longer than older DOT3/4 fluids and just in general feels a bit softer as it compresses a bit more. By now I would expect that if there was a bit of air still in the system it would have settled accumulating up under the bleeders and would be simple to let out.

At this point we were all anxious and excited to get the car down and moving under its own power. DerStig here reinstalling the shock tower cross brace.


And at that point the wheels were put on, and I went to open the driver door and the latch button on the handle promptly broke. Of course.
In any case the car was lowered down and a quick few tests around the block were made to ensure brakes were working. Cue a late night celebratory meal. Thomas insisted on a very Texan picture. DerStig and I weren't quite as gung-ho as him.


After food and while driving back I immediately noticed something was off due to a strange noise and some handling weirdness, only for me to quickly realize we had only hand tightened the lug nuts back on before leaving. We were too excited and we forgot to properly torque the nuts on after dropping the car down off the jack stands earlier. Oopsie. Luckily I was able to quickly pull into a parking lot and we only had 1 nut decide to go for a quick vacation. No harm done, a torque wrench was retrieved and the nuts properly tightened and all was good again.


So, after 3 12+ hour days of work the job was basically done, and most everything went quite well with not serious problems.

Cutting ahead slightly Thomas has gone further south for more racecar activities and I'm back in my garage having a fit with that broken door handle.

Not fun. Turns out you have to dismantle the entire door and pull out the glass to get up into the mechanism to find the problem.


And here it is. I suppose nearly 50 years for a small plastic fastener on the driver's door handle isn't too bad.


Since I had the whole thing apart, and I've been needing to fix the loose window glass I went ahead and ordered some replacement clips and a few more parts and started that process.

One of the things ordered was a parking brake cable coupling from a period Mercury Cougar. The Cougar and Mustang were very similar cars at the time, and the Cougar had a wheelbase a few inches longer than the Mustang, so as a result they used a coupling a few inches longer than the Mustang. I found several other people had run into the new parking cables being short issue, and one of the quick fixed suggested was to just use the Cougar coupling, so I ordered an original one up from West Coast Classic Cougar and it got here a couple days later. It spent overnight in a vinegar and salt bath to strip off the rust buildup and then received a couple coats of fresh paint.




And it all fit and now I have a working parking brake. I'll probably continue not using it since I never used the old non-functioning one and just don't think about it. :lol:

Another problem I noticed while we were doing brake work was that my throttle cable passing through the firewall was comically bad. As in the steel cable was literally sawing a notch sideways because it wasn't fit properly through a grommet. Not sure how I hadn't noticed or fixed this before, but it needed done now. In addition, the cable sleeve itself was beginning to fray and was a bit kinked, so it was due for replacement. I can't find a good picture of the bad routing before, unfortunately.

But I went and got a new Lokar cable to install, and fit it through the firewall properly. Old vs. new:



Now look on the right side of the washer and see the little notch in the metal? That was where the old cable was slowing cutting through.

And yes, I know the wire pass throughs need to be redone with some grommets as well, that's on the list and well be dealt with in the future, but they've been there for years without issue so far.



And up on the inside hooked to the accelerator pedal:


Going back to the window glass now. In an effort to prolong the adherence of the glue between the brackets and glass I went and got some glass etching compound and etched the glass around where it glues in, so hopefully give the glue a better surface to stick to. You can see my nice cleanly taped off line from the etching below.

I had gotten everything all cleaned up and ready to glue the brackets onto the glass, and then in the process stupidly forgot the glue only had about a 5 minute working time before it really started to set up, so while I was taking my time to make sure I got enough glue in the right spots for the rear bracket I realized after I went to slide it on that the glue was already hardening and so I couldn't slide the glass quite all the way down into the bracket. So the result was a bit of panic and mess made while forcing it together. Didn't quite get it as deep as it should be, but it does still work and the adjustability of the window seems to be enough to counter it. If I end up having more problems in the fututre I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and convert to '70 style bolt in glass which is a much better system and doesn't really have any problems. It just requires all new glass on both sides, and rear quarter window glass, and new brackets and trim, so it's not really a cheap conversion.


Front bracket glued, this time I was ready and did a much cleaner job.


Then there was more cursing as I had tons of fun struggled to get the window back into the door, hold it in place, and bolt into the regulator by myself.

I found a few people mention that part of the problem for the design of the 69 windows is that the bottom stop actually pushes on the middle of the glass when the window is rolled down, which over time will help to push the glass out of the brackets if the glue loses strength. So people have found that taking a piece of coolant tubing and wrapping it around the window guides at the bottom just taller than the glass stop sticks up will stop the window on the bottom by stopping the brackets instead of the glass, hopefully preventing the glass from being pushed out. We'll see if it helps.


And I also replaced the outer window weatherstripping since the old stuff was cracked and broken.


Now she's all back together, everything seems to operate correctly, and I can go back to enjoying driving it! And I can drive on the highways without constantly thinking "what's my escape route if I have to slam on the brakes and slide sideways when the wheels lock up?"

Lessons learned, in no particular order:
  • I need a properly sized garage for doing work.
  • Don't try to run new stainless steel brake lines unless the drivetrain it out of the car.
  • I'm no longer at all interested in trying to troubleshoot and potentially repair/replace the air conditioning system myself. I'll pay someone else to struggle with that.
  • Metric wrenches and fittings have no business on a classic American car.
  • I'm not excited about my AmEx bill after all this.
  • FinalGear members are the best. Seriously, I could not have gotten this done without the help from Thomas and DerStig, and input from some others along the way.
Nabster;n3548130 said:
Lessons learned, in no particular order:
  • FinalGear members are the best. Seriously, I could not have gotten this done without the help from Thomas and DerStig, and input from some others along the way.


But seriously, good job! Glad to see you keeping this car alive and in top condition.