New Owners And Greenhorns read this!
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
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
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
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
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!