At this moment, my 1966 Mustang is on a slow boat ride to the southern coast of France. I sold the car during the waning days of fall, eager to get some cash and clear some garage space, thinking that the car would end up with someone local, or at least somewhere in the Midwest. I definitely was not expecting the car to go across an ocean. (more…)
Car is sold, and is in fact on its way to France!
Up for sale is my 1966 Ford Mustang. I have literally driven this car all over the United States, making a trip down to the Carolinas for the Mustang 50th Anniversary celebration, a round trip to the West Coast and back, and a trip out to Alaska and back. Between me and several friends, I’m pretty certain that we’ve put approximately 30k miles on the car in the past seven years that I’ve owned it.
The car was built to be a highway cruiser and a comfortable road trip car. I wouldn’t hesitate to hop in this car and drive it to, well, Alaska and back. That said, it is a bit rough around the edges, and is probably best thought of as a driving project car. Hopefully, I will pass this on to someone who will have the time and effort to make this car the “nice car” that I had always hoped it could be, since I don’t have the time and effort to do that myself. Otherwise, you could just buy the car and drive it as-is, and simply do the basics in order to keep the car streetable. (more…)
These are the Cliff Notes of my Alcan 5000 adventure in the Mustang. I wrote this for my work newsletter, so it’s written for a Ford audience, and it leaves out a lot of the smaller stories and adventures I had on this trip, but it gets to the heart of the fun and is as succinct a trip summary as I could write. Enjoy! (more…)
Four weeks ago, I handed my keys off to my friend Dan, hopped on an airplane, and flew from Fairbanks, Alaska back home to Detroit. Dan then proceeded to bring the car home for me, taking the car on his own adventures, driving the car from Alaska through Canada and finally back home to Detroit, pulling into my driveway three weeks ago.
“Canadian Dan,” as he is called in my circle of friends, is one hell of a wrench, a lover a beat up jalopies, and perhaps just as crazy as the friends who joined me for the Alcan 5000, and was the perfect guy to hire to “deliver” my car back home for me. When he offered to drive the car back for me sometime earlier this year, it was an easy decision to make; I wrote him a check for what I estimated would be the cost of shipping my Mustang back home via truck transport, and told him to have fun. He could do whatever he wanted with the car, I’d cover any additional parts and repair costs, and the only requirement was that the car eventually make it home. (more…)
When I got my Mustang back, the shop had installed the Maier Racing subframe connectors, z-brace, and panhard bar, and modified the OEM-type replacement exhaust I had gotten from National Parts Depot. However, clearances were tight, and in order to fit everything, the rear end of the car had to be lowered with a 1″ block in order to provide clearance for the driveshaft, and the exhaust had no clearance in several places, making contact with the z-brace.
After calling Maier Racing, I was informed that, yes, the car needed to be lowered about an inch in order to use the z-brace on the car. I suppose this is as good a time as any to go ahead and lower the car a bit and stiffen up the suspension some, with a 1″ drop all around and doing the Shelby drop for the front upper A-arm, which also nets me a better camber curve for the front wheels.
In the meantime, though, I had to do something about all of the clanking about when driving the car on the street. I finally decided that the easiest solution would be to simply remove the z-brace.
So that’s what I did tonight. Kinda sucks to spend money on a part, then more money on having it welded in, only to remove it two days after getting the car back. But I’ve got just two and a half weeks before the car leaves for Seattle, so simple and quick fixes are the name of the game now.
I’ll drive to work tomorrow and see if things have improved. I can’t imagine that they haven’t. Next up: fixing all of the electrical gremlins that have suddenly popped up on the car after the turn signal switch was replaced…
Hooray! I’m getting my Mustang back today! Drove it for the first time in about two years. There’s still plenty of work to be done, though…
Progress on the Mustang continues. Part of the exhaust has been fabbed. Next step is the installation of the panhard bar and then the routing of the exhaust through the panhard bar. And, of course, to top it all off, subframe connectors. I should be getting the car back sometime next week…
Whelp, time is up. Justin and Jason helped me button up the last couple of tasks I had on the whiteboard last night. Bled the clutch, gave up on the exhaust, and attempted to start the car. The good news: with a little bit of coaxing (and some starting fluid), the V8 roared to life after one and a half years of hibernation. The bad news: the clutch won’t disengage, so either there’s still a shit ton of air in the clutch hydraulics or I messed up the internal clutch slave installation. It’s halfway through the month, and my next three weekends are booked, so it’s time to call in the heavy cavalry: Scottie and his merry band of professional (read: not hacks like me) wrenches will have to set things right.
I’m so close to driving the car out of the garage. Brakes are all done. I still need to bleed the clutch and install the exhaust. After some more fiddling, I decided that I need to ditch my H-pipe and go buy another one. I also discovered that my brake lights aren’t working, so add one more thing to the to-do list. But once the clutch is done, I could theoretically drive the car around the block with open headers and no brake lights. (I’m sure the neighbors would love me…)
A little bit of progress tonight. I installed the driver seat, fit the center console, and tucked my auxiliary wiring behind the console. No carpet, as carpet isn’t necessary for the car to run, and I’m still deciding on whether or not I want to patch the floors before Alaska. You bet your ass I sat down in the drivers seat and did some daydreaming.
One thing that I did discover is that the Procar Rally seats that I bought sit really high. They are super comfortable, with really nice side bolsters, but the bolsters make it difficult to get in and out of the car, and my legs are right next to the steering wheel, with my hands hitting my thighs when I turn the wheel. I can lower the seat by a single mounting hole on the bracket, but that will only net me about half an inch, which I don’t think will be enough.
I don’t want to go back to the stock, unbolstered, no headrests stock seats though. Maybe if I have the floors replaced, I can have the shop lower the seat mounting boxes so I can use these seats. Or I might have to go to a different seat altogether.