Hey everyone! I’m still alive, and so is the car (well, generally). I knew it’s been awhile since I updated this, but didn’t realize it’s been over a year now. So here’s a quick summary of what’s been going on.
- 12/2014 I had to replace the valve stem seals. Somehow one fell apart into a bunch of pieces while I was on the highway and it temporarily caused a loss of oil pressure. I guess a piece got into an oil passage but then freed itself. I just replaced them with standard umbrella seals like it had since that’s all I could get without waiting.
- 02/2015 I finally bought a second car so I’m not depending solely on the Mustang. I found an ‘88 Jeep Commanche long bed with a 4.0 I6 and a 5 speed (but only 2wd somewhat unfortunately).
- 05/2015 Replaced the radiator. The stock replacement one I put in a couple years back had started leaking after a year or so (just out of the warranty period, of course), and I had just left it alone since it wasn’t awful. It slowly got a little worse though and started annoying me. I decided to put in a Champion meant for a 5.0 swap, so the inlet and outlet are on the correct sides for the 6 cylinder, just bigger in diameter than what the 6 uses. I found a couple flex hoses that worked out with the correct ends and lengths.
- 05/2015 Some of the body rust had started getting worse. I was getting a little frustrated with it, especially with everybody always pointing it out at shows, so I decided to try fixing some. I’d never done body work before, so I started with an area that isn’t especially obvious—the lower part of the driver side quarter panel. It was mostly just surface rust but the paint was pretty much gone in the area. I sanded it down, cleaned it up a little bit, used a little putty to smooth it out, and repainted it with a high build primer spray paint and custom-mixed paint sprayed through an airbrush. It’s not perfect, but it seems pretty decent for my first time doing it. I also started working a couple areas on the passenger side after that, but got sidetracked with other things and still haven’t finished them…
- 05/2015 Replaced the old gas cap that wasn’t looking so great.
- 05/2015 Lowered the rear with 1” lowering blocks. That made it look a lot better. The rear has been way too high in my opinion, especially with the small wheels.
- 05/2015 Did a little cleanup in the engine bay, repainted the air cleaner and valve cover, that kind of stuff.
- 06/2015 Put in LED tail light bulbs, the “plasma” version from West Coast Classic Cougar. They’re probably not as bright as the board-style, but they’re supposed to be better than the standard LED bulbs, and they’re certainly better than just regular incandescent bulbs.
- 06/2015 Drove it from Cincinnati to Kansas City and back for an AACA show, where it received a Driver’s Participation class certification.
- 06/2015 Had the exhaust partially replaced as I drug it a few times on the trip and ripped a hole in the muffler. Had a custom intermediate pipe made and a new muffler put on. It’s a little louder than I’d like, but everybody says it sounds like a V8, so I guess that’s good…
- 07/2015 Replaced the oil pan as I managed to ruin the threads on the drain plug. Go me.
- 10/2015 Broke the driver’s side outer tie rod end while I was on a trip.
- Somewhere in there I added relays to the headlights. I need to clean that wiring up still.
It’s been sitting ever since getting it towed back to my garage after breaking the tie rod end. It’s now going through some changes. Upgrade list is:
- 8” rear end from a ‘77 Maverick
- Rebuilt Maverick rear drum brakes
- Scott Drake 4.5 leaf leaf springs
- V8 steering linkage with a roller idler arm from Opentracker
- Opentracker Street upper and lower control arms (not the fancy roller ones)
- Opentracker roller spring perches
- GT coil springs
- CSRP Kelsey-Hayes style disc brakes and new spindles
- 15x7” Cragar Eliminator 500 wheels, with gray spokes
- 215/60R15 Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring tires
- Still need to decide for sure on some new shocks and a new driveshaft
Since I’d been debating going 5-lug for years now, and I found the rear end a week before breaking the tie rod, I figured I may as well just go ahead and do the swap. I’ve been having lots of fitment issues and other problems, so hopefully one day I can get it all back together… I miss driving it…