I’ve got the top out the mustang, and I’ve packed it away safely for the winter while I work on the body of the Mustang. Pulling the top out itself was simple, I did it by myself in about an hour. I was expecting it to be a lot more complicated that it really was!
I pulled the interior and carpet on the 1965 convertible Mustang with the intention of replacing pretty much everything. I wasn’t sure what condition the floor pans would be in, but I’ve patched and replaced pans in other mustangs, so the prospect doesn’t frighten me too much.
(I can only pray that sticky stuff on the steering wheel is oil…)
(One of my neighbors called the color “titty pink” back in the 60′s. Sounds about right.)
(The secret to restoring vinyl: If you overexpose your photos, white seats always look great!)
Next I sanded down any surface rust in the pan and sprayed it expoxy primer. I also sanded down the door interiors and dash, taped them off, sprayed with epoxy primer, and the painted with 1965 Ford interior white paint:
(Stuffing your mustang in a big plastic bag is NOT an appropriate disposal method)
I also removed the center console and re-sprayed that as well. The chrome on the console is less than perfect, but it is still very presentable, and at the cost of replacing the chrome, I opted to instead keep it. I then went ahead and replaced the carpeting with a carpet kit from CJ’s Pony Parts:
(The instructions said “PRE-MOLDED”. Technically true, but hardly “plug-and-play”)
Once the carpet was done, I reassembled the interior and replaced the padded dash which had been warped over the years due to sun and age. Along with the new carpet and paint, I also replaced the steering wheel and horn ring. Here’s what the new interior looks like:
(Strategic angles prevent you from seeing the missing kick panel)
(Now, if only I had fixed the rear window cranks while the interior was out!)
The new interior looks and feels great! I’m thrilled to have it done, and the only thing I’m thinking of doing to the interior now is either refinishing or replacing the gauge cluster, but other than that I have no complaints. Having done the interior on a ’65 coupe in the past, I have to say that the convertible was much easier considering that I could put the top down as I worked on it!
I’ve got the Carburetor finished, and it’s running great! As it turns out, the inlet valves were almost completely gummed up, which would probably be why the car was stalling out so badly, and the gaskets were pretty much falling apart. (10 years of storage will do that!)
I got an electric choke to replace the original, but I haven’t actually installed it because the vacumn pump seems to be working perfectly after the rebuild (My original suspicion was that the original choke was shot). I’m hanging onto the electric choke as a backup, and I’ve finished replacing the convertible top and interior, so I’ll post that good stuff in a bit!
I have to admit, the air cleaner on my car was in rough shape. The paint had been re-sprayed once, and the paint job was poor at best. The paint was chipping away, exposing the original paint, and there was some severe overspray on both the box as well as the snorkel.
Strip it Baby!
The first task was to strip off all of the original paint, and see if here was any rust hiding underneath the original paint. To strip the paint, I went to Home Depot and asked for the most caustic paint stripper they had. It was a rather hot day when I stripped it, and even though I was working in the shade, the paint stripper was boiling as it hit the metal!
I was dismayed to see that there was rust hiding underneath the original paint, particularly in the divot for the distributor cap. The rust had just started to pit the metal at that point, but otherwise the box was in decent shape, so I decided to take the entire box, lid, and snorkel and brush them down with a heavy wire wheel to eliminate any trace of rust.
Painting The Cleaner
I repainted the cleaner back to it’s factory original colors: Gold Lid, Gold Box, and Black Snorkel. I ordered the paint from CJ Pony Parts (Don’t get me started on them again, let’s just say I recommend using another vendor). I ended up with 4 coats of paint on each part, with wet sanding between each coat. The finished product looks great, and I can’t wait to get them back on the car! My next project is getting the valve covers repainted, which I suspect is going to be an identical process to restoring the air cleaner (Albeit much faster!)
I’ll have photos of the Air Cleaner up this weekend.
I took a trip up to CJ Pony Parts about 3 weeks ago to gather parts, paint, etc. for the mustang. Al told, I spent a little over $1,000 on the order, and included in that was a $35 restamped data door plate to replace the original. My original door plate had been sprayed over, and I wanted to make sure that the plate was clearly visible due to the rarity of the car.
Last week my new data plate came in the mail and for some reason the stamping style was completely different from the original. I know that different stamp styles were used based on point of origin, date produced, etc., but all that info is on the door plate, so there shouldn’t have been an error like this.
I called CJ and they told me that Marti Auto Works did their stamping, and I would need to get in touch with them. When I called Marti, they said they had no record of doing the work and needed the order number. What followed was a flurry of calls back and forth that went something like this:
Call to CJ: They gave me the order number, told me to call back Marti. (Spoke to Earl)
Call to Marti: They said the order number was incorrect, please have CJ give them a call to straighten this out. (Spoke to Christie)
Call to CJ: They gave me a different order number, told me I could just call Marti back myself. (Spoke to Earl)
Call to Marti: They still couldn’t find the order, they again told me CJ should be the one calling them since they placed the order, and could I please email them photos of the original and re-pop plates. (Spoke to Christie)
Call to CJ: Asked to speak with Jeremy (The guy who did my order 3 weeks ago), asked if he was sure that Marti did their plates. He checked and said it was someone else. I explained the situation again, and the run-around I’ve been getting, and he said I need to talk to customer service. I talked to customer service, they asked for photos of the plates to see how bad the error was, and I sent them.
Call from Marti: Christie calls me, says that she looked at the plates, and it was obvious that it was not something they did. I explained to her what CJ told me, apologized profusely for harassing them, and asked them to go ahead and re-pop the plate, since they weren’t at fault but actually took the time to help figure this out.
This took up a good chunk of my day, and I felt terrible about pestering Marti when it wasn’t their fault. CJ Pony Parts managed to make me look like a real asshole for complaining about a mistake they didn’t make; Thanks CJ! They also couldn’t be bothered to apologize for the mis-stamp, or for pawning me off onto the wrong manufacturer. I really feel like CJ did a piss poor job here, and I’m fairly certain I learned my lesson. I’m not going to be buying my parts from CJ in the near future!
Marti said it was going to take a few weeks to get the plate stamped, which is fine with me. I highly recommend you consider Marti if you’re getting a plate restamped, because who knows what you’re going to get with CJ!
BTW: Marti charged me $10 less than CJ did!
I bought my mustang as a running convertible. That doesn’t mean it ran WELL, it just ran. I have the receipts from the engine/carburetor rebuild, and mechanically speaking the car idles fine. Once I got the car home I found that the carburetor was not operating properly. It would start without hesitation, but the choke didn’t want to move.
The previous owner had compensated by setting the choke more than 90 degrees too rich. The problem is that at 30 mph, the car wants to stall out. Certainly not what I would consider a safe driver.
There is also a significant amount of carbon of the choke valve and a ton of rust on the spring coil. Not only that, but the choke piston is completely missing! The vacumn works just fine, but without the choke piston, that doesn’t matter too much!
I decided to completely disassemble the carburetor, clean the engine paint overspray, replace the gaskets, and dip every nut and bolt. The goal is to restore the carburetor to “new” condition. I scoured a mustang junkyard for a replacement piston, but in the end I’ve decided to replace the choke with an electric, rather than manual, choke. This should provide greater reliability, and although not “original”, it will be unseen beneath the air intake, so I’d be very surprised if anyone noticed.
I’ll post photos once I get the carburetor finished, in the meantime I’m planning on stripping and repainting the air intake and valve covers back to a high quality gold finish.