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New Owners And Greenhorns read this!

You have an interest in old Mustangs, congratulations. Feel good to know that you belong to a diverse group of people who enjoy the icon which stands as a representative from a bygone era. Ah, the good old days.....

Let's dispense with the semantics and dive right in to the object of this article.

So, you obtained, or hope to own a classic Mustang, now what are you going to do? Options include doing nothing and letting it set and all the while your passion deteriorates as your dream car does too!

Another option could be to have over-realistic aspirations for your fixer-upper without a plan of attack or adequate resources . Tear it completely apart and be overwhelmed by the mammoth task at hand.

One could just drive but maintain it, and slowly make improvments by incorporating the ''ala carte'' method, or maybe it's a show car already. Many people buy and sell Mustangs just for profit without any sentiment whatsoever, the possibilities are endless.

You just might want to build a dragster, vintage racer, modified custom, or your own personal interpretation of what the ultimate ponycar should be. That kind of thinking is exactly what has always made Mustang a popular choice for motoring pleasure. Mustang was designed to accommodate an expansive host of options that was available through Ford as a special ordered vehicle or with dealer add-ons, so a buyer could personalize his pony to fit their particular desires. Aftermarket accessories flooded the market, giving Mustang owners even more ways to customize their cars, or to make them unique.

Many people prefer the ''bucks up'' method of restoration whereas you bring your car to Shasta Mustang, open up the flowing wallet and about a year later you have a fully restored show car, prices vary. This article will help explain the process. And HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST?

The first step in any major project is to fully assess the project and decide what your ultimate goal will be for your ponycar. Be realistic, plan your strategy, but realize the magnitude of the undertaking that is about to unfold. Vast quantities of Mustangs have been hap-hazard attempts by inexperienced owners with limited resources, yet lofty goals that ultimately led to the vehicles demise. Avoid setting yourself up for failure. This would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Find a good parts supplier, (you just did) one that has the knowledge that only comes from having experience by specializing in classic Mustangs. Find a supplier that can offer used as well as new parts, one that is willing to take time and guide you through your project till the end. One that offers expert repair services at a resonable price. Find SHASTA MUSTANG SUPPLY.

Keep your costs down by checking on-line Classifieds like craigs list, epay and others. All things being equal, shop local whenever possible, your local supplier should be like a friendly neighbor.

Do research online or consult those journeyman technicians such as I, listen what they have to say, and have a good understanding of your own capabilities. Bolster your knowledge with any of the multitude of Mustang restoration books available. Use your project as an enjoyable pastime. Be diligent, but don't rush or set a time limit for completion. Quality of workmanship is directly linked to pride of ownership, and the feeling of pride you get as you complete various stages of restoration, with true craftsmanship, is well worth the time invested in research.

I recommend the original Ford Shop Manual, it is formatted in a sensible order, with lots of illustrations in categories and sub-categories.Think of the vehicle as it passes down the assembly line, the most efficient sequence possible. Duplicate this process in steps of assemblies and sub assemblies, carefully disassembling evaluating, replacing, repairing and detailing each as necessary and proceed to do so until all that remains is the final assembly. Sequence is the key.

Avoid "redundant labor'' by following the correct sequence. Redundant labor is a gross waste that can compromise the finished product, and it is expensive. For example, one customer had a fairly nice driver so he asked me to restore his car's worn interior, replace the bumpers, outer door handles, grill, and exterior moldings etc. I also replaced most weatherstrips. Three weeks later, he decided the exterior paint was not to his standards, back came the car to remove all the aforementioned items and replace a front fender and hood. Redundant labor.When back from the paint shop, overspray covered my fresh interior restoration. Wasted labor. New weatherstrip (again) and reinstallation of those same items was performed. Redundant labor. When he came to pick up his car, paint barely dry, his statement was "now we need to detail the engine bay''. This meant more redundant labor, (I declined) to make matters worse, after having the engine bay cleaned-up (somewhere else) the exterior paint got stained and oversprayed. Wasted labor. Bringing the car to me again, he requested to pull the engine for a rebuild. Again I declined, so he took the car elsewhere for an engine. Redundant labor. After paying major bucks for a Ford crate motor installed by someone not familiar with differences in the late model engines, he brought it back for me to releave his over heating, poor idle, vibration and lack of power symptoms. I redundantly obliged.

The moral to this story is of course, don't put the cart before the horse!

To begin your project, take as many pictures of the car as possible of things such as engine, suspension and brakes and all the ponys ''guts." Doing this will facilitate easier assembly as well as greater accuracy . Use your photos to assist your overall inspection/inventory of vehicle.

Treat your car as if it were your best friend, talk to it, but more importantly, listen to what it has to say to you! Pay attention, and plan your strategy. Make your project an extension of yourself and it will reward you with a reflection of all of the loving attention that you have given it!

Assuming you have something to work in that resembles a garage or shop, I suggest hanging several sheets of pegboard on the wall. Use this pegboard to represent your vehicle with one end being the front. Hang labeled plastic baggies that contain various fasteners and small parts that are easily misplaced in their respective location on the pegboard. Put larger parts in labled boxes as to size or area they belong. Detail or replace contents as time allows, or as the necessity arises. As you inspect each piece have a list of parts to be replaced, get them ordered, and hang them on the board or in a box until your project needs them installed. Avoid surprises by knowing your inventory! Consider purchasing various mounting hardware kits, not only are these are real time savers, they are economically priced and help produce a much more professional-looking finished product. Think ahead, poor planning causes grief and frustration. Take more photos, keep a diary, stay focused and be organized, very few projects are completed without having any interruptions.And remember, Greenhorn, don't bite off more than you can chew!!

Take a deep breath, were going into the trenches. LET'S RESTORE THAT MUSTANG!!

When you first begin, enthusiasm will inspire you though the initial major teardown process, I start at the front of the car. Remove EVERYTHING from the cowl forward, as this important area usually commands the most attention. Concentrate on completing this stage before doing any more disassembly as your car will be immobile. If you are limited on tools for pulling engines, or rebuilding suspensions or any other phase of restoration, it's o.k. to sublet them out to a professional to whatever extent you deem to be necessary, That's why Shasta Mustang Supply is in business, to assist you wherever possible, making your job a little bit easier, often for less money than if you did it yourself. As an added bonus, you know it will be done correctly, for safety's sake.

Most customers become my friends as my eagerness to explain and assist in all phases of restoration becomes apparent, ''SHASTA MUSTANG AIN'T WAL-MART.'' I'm a one man show whereas I do all that is possible to accommodate my customers needs! Since I'm bragging it up, I should remind you of Shasta Mustang's competitive pricing program on quality new and used parts, but I won't.

Had enough of a pep talk? Ready to roll up your sleeves and skin up your greasy knuckles? Follow me!


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