Restoring the Air Cleaner

1965 factory pink mustangI 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.

This 1965 carburetor needs help!

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.