I like to take pictures of my cars and what I do to them, so I plan on using this as my build thread. First things first though, I am not a mechanic. I work on my cars for fun and therapy. I screw things up sometimes, so bear with me. If I do something stupid, be gentle.
Here is the car the day I got it:
I bought it from a friend of the family for an amazing price. I bugged the owner for years about it, persistence paid off. He had it restored around 6 years ago, and it was rarely driven after that. It sat for a long time, so it needs some love. The tires would not even try to inflate when air was put to them, there were very weather cracked. New ones were put on immediately so that I could roll this thing around.
The next thing I did was try and start it. I changed the oil, drained the gas tank, and topped off the coolant. I plopped a new battery in, and she started right up. I was amazed. The previous owner had the engine re-built when it was painted, but I was still surprised. I rolled it out and washed it.
I have only found a few small rust places. The very front of the drivers door has a small bubble under the paint, but not popped through yet. The top of the inner fender had a bubble, and this:
I hear battery tray rot is common. I bought a replacement tray and inner fender apron from Mustangs Unlimited and went to town. I had a 280z in the past that I learned to weld on, this was a fairly easy job. Fender off:
Now for my recent project. Disc brakes up front. The stock drums up front were frozen solid, and instead of putting money into rebuilding them, I decided to go straight for discs. I had just spent money on tires, and I wanted to keep the stock wheels. Since I have the 4-lug set up, the most affordable option seemed to be the Scarebird kit, or as its called in my house, the "none of this #$%# fits like its supposed to" kit.
After a few weeks, I had assembled everything I needed (or so I thought) for the kit:
OK, this is what we are looking at:
Scarebird brackets and rotor spacer rings.
New bearings and wheel seals
Nissan Stanza rotors (that needed the stud holes enlarged)
Chevy Cavalier calipers
New studs (that needed their threads chased)
74 Maverick disc/drum master cylinder
This should be easy, right?
Last edited by Beau M; 02-17-2011 at 10:11 PM.
So far so good! Then I went to put the calipers on, they did not fit. After some head scratching and measuring, I decided that cutting the back side of the nuts on the Scarebird bracket would get me the clearance I needed. Hopefully this pic will show you where I did this.
They fit! Check out the bling on those gold calipers. Oh, they fit just fine behind my 68 steel wheels:
Next up are the brake lines. Scarebird recommends 1980 cadillac eldorado lines, so that's what I got. I thought they would be a bolt in item, silly me. The threads on the car side did not match the Mustang brake lines, and required adapters. I found the ones I needed at Ace Hardware of all places.
Here is a cool shot of the car on stands with its gold calipers hanging out for everyone to see:
So, the next part of the project is the master cylinder. I am replacing the stock unit with one from a 74 Maverick with front discs and rear drums. For some reason I thought this would be a bolt in item.
After some research, I think I need an adjustable proportioning valve for the rear, and new lines from the MC to the distribution block. That is where I am at now, stay tuned.
I ended up having to put in a proportioning valve for my rear brakes, I will snap some pics of it when I get a chance.
My next project was the ignition. I wanted to get rid of the points style ignition, and upgrade to something I could use when I put my V8 in. I decided a duraspark 2 setup was the best option for me.
I bought all the parts I needed from autozone/schucks/napa for less than 200 bucks. Just ask for parts from a 1980 Ford Fairmont.
Here is my new Accel coil and ignition control box mounted to the drivers inner fender:
On problem I ran into with the swap was with the larger distributor cap. It interferes with the power steering bracket. I cut a chunk out of the bracket to make room:
Here are some shots of everything wired up. I tapped into the switched 12v post on the starter solenoid for the control box, and used the stock 12v lead for the coil. Those are the only two places the system ties into the stock wiring.
Believe it or not, it started. I need to set the timing, but I know it works.
Car runs like a champion with the new ignition. My next project was to install a tach to keep a better eye on the engine. I found this one at O'reily's, its not the Sunpro that a lot of people use, but I like it and it fit well:
Here is a shot of the stock dash and gauge cluster:
Out of the car on the bench:
Here is the back with the new gauge in the middle slot:
Here it is from the front. I like it, the gauge fits in well and does not stick out like a sore thumb.
I got a wild hair this weekend and decided to lower the stang. Some parts were easier than I thought they would be, some were harder. First order of business, the rear shocks. They rode really rough, now I know why. They were the stock shocks that came on the car in 1968. Think about that, its crazy.
I measured from the ground to the wheel well lip before I did anything, it was a little over 26 inches.
Here are the blocks I got for the rear, 30 bucks at Autozone. They are the 2" model. Just a couple of notes here: The shock bracket holes need to be enlarged for the thicker u-bolts, and the u-bolts need to be trimmed down. Other than that, they went on great. I also got some cheapo shocks, way better than before.
I did'nt take many pics of what I did up front. Its the basic Shelby upper arm drop and coil cut. This was my first time doing either, it was scary but what the heck. Here is the upper arm mounted, with the stock holes peeking out.
Here are the coils. After some research, I decided to cut off one whole coil. It turned out to be perfect.
I slapped it all back together, held my breath, and put it back on the ground. I re-measured the well, I managed to drop it 2" all around first try. Let me say, 2" makes a HUGE difference.
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