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'68 Coupe Mustang

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Reviving A '68 Coupe
    An exercise in rust removal

Overview - Photo Gallery

June 7, 2005:

Voila! Here we have my 1968 mustang, for which I have been rapidly acquiring parts and materials to begin my restoration. I just bought it recently, and boy am I anxious to start work! Updates to follow.

June 15, 2005:

Oh yeah ..Amidst all of that fun, I also (FINALLY) became a legal driver. Took me long enough, given that I was eligible about four years ago

If only the mustang wasn't in pieces.. I'll be driving it as soon as i can weld it back into a respectable driving conditon. Till then, I guess im stuck with the jeep and truck. poor me. haha

June 16, 2005:

Alright, its long past time to revisit my Mustang.

First, a recap: After a long search, I was finally able to get my grubby little hands upon a 1968 Mustang - and only after another failed attempt. I came across my pretty pony during the last week of May, and secured its purchase on the 26th for $750 - not so bad for a thirty-seven year old car in not-so-terrible shape. My father and I had a hell of a time finding our way up the long and winding road to Claverack, New York. That was a frighening ride into Deliverance country..the hills upstate are deep in the heart of hickville - and full of the kindest people in the world. As our pickup and tandem axel trailer bounced around corners on dirt roads, we finally arrived at the resting place of my car - a dairy farm home to three hundred cows and forty-seven cats. Secured on the trailer, payment made, hands shook, and directions exchanged we were off on our way home. We left at four in the afternoon and arrived home sometime after midnight..my was that a trip. Trailer offloaded, it was time for bed.

I was just dying to get started, but then a certain meddlesome video got in the way - ahem! So, instead, here I am, finally ready to begin. Keep reading...

October 18, 2005

Ok it's been about three years since my last update, or close enough. Too lazy to check at the moment. Following is a brief summary of my progress with the beast as of summer's end. For reference, check out the gallery of photographs thus far documenting my progress.

    In rough chronological order, I:
  • Started the engine, twice, then...kaput. Starter and solenoid fried
  • Spent some time under the dash, eventually leaving feeling disgusted and wondering what moron hacked it up
  • Stripped the front end of all exterior sheetmetal
  • Once able to see more of the underlying structure, gaped at the fact that the car SURVIVED the trip from upstate NY in Claverack
  • Removed hood, hood hinges, fender supports and bumper
  • Stripped engine compartment of all wiring and electrical components
  • Removed carb assembly, throttle/choke cables, and steering pump from engine block
  • Pulled the engine and transmission
  • Towed the car around the corner to my house from my grandpa's (MANY THANKS for the space!)
  • Brought the engine and transmission around the corner too
  • Drilled out 60% of the spot welds holding the radiator support and the front fender aprons
  • Jerry-rigged (well, not so much..its welded) a dolly out of a 1/4" steel plate and heavy duty casters with ball bearings
  • Bolted the "dolly" to the transmission mount, because i dont trust the structural integrity of anything forward of the firewall
  • Jacked everything up onto jack stands
  • Removed the wheels and most of the suspension
  • Stripped the interior of seats and carpet
  • Pulled the doors
  • Wept over the condition of the driver's side floor and wondered how on earth it held my weight
  • Realized through my sobs that I should test the cowls and began preparing myself for the very likely need to drill out 240 spot welds
  • Poured some water into the vents. Noticed some lovely leakage flowing steadily onto the floorpans. Swore a bit.
  • Realized that it was mid august and school was approaching
  • Cut some of the engine compartment away
  • Spraypainted all exposed metal with etching primer
  • Stuffed parts into the interior
  • Covered the car with a massive tarp
  • Belatedly uploaded pics to the website, made a gallery script, and posted everything here.
  • Left for school and put everything on the backburner

    To-Do list for Fall/Winter 05
  • Order all parts required to rebuild front clip and doors
  • Carefully create plan of attack for time after the spring semestre concludes
  • Over winter break,
    • Send out engine block for cylinder boring
    • Take a stab at transmission repair
    • Strip each door and recondition interior
    • Weld in a patch of the lower doorskin and potentially replace inserts
    • Replace all weatherstripping and recondition chrome/windows
  • Relax when possible

If you're actually interested (or bored) enough to still be reading this, the following might be of some interest if you have a 1968 mustang coupe, fastback, or convertible; however, it does apply to most other cars of the era too. Read on for some annoying practices by lazy mechanics.

A conversation between Justin and I, archived and resurrected purely for YOUR benefit:

    sax0913: some moron mechanic cut access holes in the shock towers to lube things up
    sax0913: so its been serviced at least once in about 40 years lol
    Justin DeMaris: lmao
    Justin DeMaris: wow..... lol
    sax0913: well that (sadly) used to actually be standard operating procedure
    Justin DeMaris: :-/
    sax0913: i cant understand why
    sax0913: well
    sax0913: i take it back
    sax0913: i see why - its easier and cheaper
    sax0913: but its stupid
    Justin DeMaris: lol
    sax0913: mechanics have their massive grease guns
    sax0913: ford designed a tiny opening with a fitting for a needle grease gun and printed directions in the ford service manual
    sax0913: mechanics said 'wtf mate?' and used the big guns anyway
    Justin DeMaris: lmao
    Justin DeMaris: steve you must blog that
    sax0913: lol why
    Justin DeMaris: b/c that is the perfect thing to put in a blog rofl
    sax0913: haha ok
    Justin DeMaris: its a comment on the way things are / were done that might enlighten others!
    sax0913: lmao yes, and all of three people will understand what im talking about
    sax0913: you
    sax0913: me
    sax0913: and some random dude who happened to find the site by accident
    Justin DeMaris: hey hey hey, we gotta start somewhere lol

If you happen to have an older car with such symptoms on your shock towers, you should inspect them THOROUGHLY for stress cracks and other damage. If they are lacking such damage, consider yourself lucky, but by no means spared. This ailment will someday strike you, and the only remedy is replacement. So then, get your welding rig warmed up or call in favors with that mechanic buddy.

That's it for now, I believe. Do check out the gallery of photographs thus far documenting my progress. They will be better organized around Thanksgiving when I have some time.

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