Mustang

Progress on the Mustang was slow this weekend. I bailed on the Pittsburgh Match Tour to wrench on the Mustang in hopes of getting the car running for the New Jersey Pro, but I’ve finally accepted that the car just won’t be ready. It kills me to do it, but I’ve decided to cancel my entry to the New Jersey Pro and keep working on the Mustang instead of subbing my Miata in as my Pro Solo entry. I just have to put in new brake lines, install and bleed the hydraulic lines for the clutch, install the driveshaft, install the new seats, and reinstall the hood. At this rate, it will take me three weeks to do all of that.

Thanks to “Brad” at Tire Rack for helping me get this order put together. It’s a set of 16×8″ American Racing wheels with RE-71Rs mounted. At 26 pounds a wheel, this is also the heaviest wheel I’ve ever willingly purchased for any car. Still, I’m hoping that I can bring the Mustang out to the NJ Pro Solo, and have canceled my entry for this weekend’s Pittsburgh Match Tour in order to get some more wrenching time in on the Mustang. We’ll see if I get the Mustang running in time or not to use this sweet rubber, or if I’ll have to bring the Miata instead…

Trying to keep up the momentum by wrenching on the Mustang whenever I have moments of free time. Decided to install the rally odometer and the stopwatch to the glovebox door. Looks pretty sweet if I might say so myself. Not that this equipment will really help Brandon and I, as we’re both buffoons, but at least the car will look and feel vintage rally-ish when we’re driving around lost.

At long last, the T5z transmission is in the car and bolted to the engine! Thanks goes out to Jason Nixon for helping me out today with the install. It only took me over a year to get to this point, haha.

Who knew that a transmission swap would also require so much work on the wiring? I’m going backwards, as the instrument cluster is back out again as I remove more of excess wiring left over from a previous owner and attempt to route new wiring for all the auxiliary stuff to a new fuse box. On the bright side, once we’re out in the middle of nowhere, Canada, should there be a wiring issue, I now know literally what every wire does and where it goes…

Mustang on the QuickJack, Miata and Morgan on ramps and jack stands, and the Fiesta ST on a jack for a tire change. I am, as it is said, “going full Tipple.” Half a day is gone and I’m barely scratching the list of what I hope to do this weekend…

Today’s all about tires, tires, tires. Taking six wheels and two old Corvette tires off to the tire shop. I’ve got a new pair of whitewalls for the Mustang to replace the tires I burned up on the front axle going up and down the Pacific Coast Highway two years ago, and a new set of street tires for the Miata. I’ll burn off the old Rivals on one set of Miata wheels and replace those with 245s for the SCCA Time Trials at Gingerman. The past week was the first time that my old tire shop saw my face around for over a year — but we’re back to business as usual now.

What does $700 buy? A set of tires for a Miata? A round trip flight to some warm vacation destination? How about an electronic odometer with clickey mechanical digits? I bought a Brantz Retrotrip rally odometer and two speed sensors, one that runs off of the speedo cable and one that uses GPS. Now I just need mechanical timepieces and the dashboard of the Mustang will almost sort of look like one that one would find in an actual vintage rally car.

I’m slowly but surely collecting things for this year’s Alcan 5000. I found this Stevens Rally Indicator on eBay for $27 shipped. It’s basically a circular slide rule for calculating distances and times. It’s pretty nifty, and most importantly, lets me — someone unable to manually calculate things quickly under duress — have an easy, visually simple way to calculate splits. Now I just need to find timepieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a 60’s rally car, and figure out what I’m going to do for a rally odometer.

Finally got the clutch pedal linkage figured out. That’s one benefit of having a vendor like Modern Driveline make your swap kit and provide technical support — I spent a half an hour on the phone with a very patient man learning that I can’t read directions or understand pictures good. But the pedal works now and has the travel one would expect. Something that would take a good mechanic less than an hour to do took me eight hours. Well, on to the rest of the clutch hydraulics, once it gets warm enough again inside the garage to work on the car some more…