Build Thread 1990 Lx 5.0 Restomod Build

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by boostfrk, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. This is not the first car I’ve ever built or modified, but it’s the first I’ve restored and done this much work to. It’s also the first build thread I’ve ever done…I guess they call this “giving back”. I enjoy reading build threads so I figured someone might enjoy this. I'm doing this in retrospect, so it may take me a few days to get all of the posts completed to where I'm at today.

    I’ve done a bunch mechanical wise, but this build thread will at least start off tailored to what work I’ve done on the interior. Perhaps it will change into a complete build thread later on. This is a weekend cruiser/toy car for me, and it’s certainly not a “no expense spared” kind of build. I’ve got a wife and one kid (with 1 more on the way), and even though we both are working professionals I don’t have a ridiculous amount of money to throw into this thing.

    I bought the car in September 2011 and started off with this




    As I said I spent a good amount of time working on mechanical issues (transmission, suspension, motor stuff) mainly just to get the car in working order and safe to drive.

    I started on the interior at the beginning of June 2012. I pulled the seats out and sent off the driver’s seat to have the tears fixed in the vinyl and the side bolster. All the interior plastic trim came out, carpet, etc. The only thing that remained was the dash, at least for now.

    I was left with this


    What’s that you say? You spot rust on the floor pans? Me too…


    Now it looks terrible, I agree. I about S%^$ myself when I pulled back the carpet and saw it. Once I cleaned it up with a wire brush and got down to it the rust really wasn't that bad, just a lot of heavy surface rust.
  2. I had some rust repaired in the door jambs previously. I checked with the guy who did that, and he wanted several hundred to cut out and weld in new floor pans, and that was with me providing him the pans.

    I started doing research (having heard a lot about POR-15 of course). I ran across some stuff called Masterseries Silver from a local bodyshop. This stuff has been around pre-POR-15 and has been used on bridges and exterior metal structures near coastlines where a high salt content is a concern. I started finding numerous old school muscle car guys that have been using this stuff with great success. It doesn't require the same prep as POR-15 and it's about half the cost. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking POR-15, but I thought applying a marine wash and etching solution on the interior of a car, then washing it off really well was going to be difficult.

    I took my chances with the Masterseries. 1 quart was enoguh to do 3 coats on my floor pans as well as the spare tire well just for good measure.


    I had a spot where the passenger's feet would be behind the driver that seemed a little weak to me. I used some fiberglass resin to strengthen this area up. I had seen a couple of Grand National guys do this on the floor pans as well as some of the old muscle car guys I was talking about.


    Spare tire well, sans that darn oval body plug to prevent exhaust fumes and noise from coming into the cabin.


    After this I used some Duplicolor sound deadening spray on the trunk and door panels. I didn't spray it over the floor pans as I didn't want to have to worry about water coming off people's shoes, and getting trapped in between the coating and the floor. Paranoid, maybe. I used 3 cans total (goes fast). The interior does seem to be quieter now; not as much road or exhaust noise.
  3. Next up was sending off the door panels, which actually should be done this week. The map pockets were long gone, so I removed those inserts and I'll be carpeting those with some simply black carpet. The panels had a couple of tears, both up right below where the mirror cover goes on the door. These tears are almost covered by the sides of the dash, but not quite.

    New armrest pads, switch bezels (if I can find them anywhere!) door handle bezels and door lock knobs will all be purchased and installed once the panels are back.



  4. I got the carpet back in. I considered buying new, but mine wasn't really that discolored, faded, stained, etc. I spent time using degreaser and a brush on it, then washing it, scrubbing again, washing again, then letting it dry. Then shaking it out an vaccuming the crap out of it. One of the PO's must have really liked the beach...I got A LOT of sand out of it. Overall it came out well, and for a couple hours I'm OK with it. Having the new carpet smell would have been nice, but I opted not to go that route.

    With everything else out of the car (seats and console) I figured this would be a good time to go ahead and replace that pesky heater core. I removed the cluster, cluster bezel trim, dash pad (had to clean behind it too), and started taking the dash apart.




    I thought I had better pictures of this process, but I guess I don't. It wasn't that hard since I was already halfway there, but wiggling that sucker out was a pain. In this final picture you can see the heater box that sits behind the passenger side of the dash.

    Next up was painting the interior plastics. I'll detail everything out well. There seems to be a lot of opinions out there (as with everything else) about the best way to go about this. I was lucky as I'm just freshening up my interior, black over black.
  5. Nice. I'm starting on my interior soon, I will keep an eye on this.

  6. Nice detail in your post I will keep following nice job so far!!!
  7. So painting/dyeing/whatever you want to call it to the interior plastics is what everyone says; it's all about the prep. I used the following products after much research. I kind of took what I liked from everyone's opinions and comprised my own process.


    My process was as follows:

    1. Wash interior pieces with Dawn soap and water and microfiber towel
    2. Rinse well
    3. Wash pieces again with Dawn soap and water, but this time gently cleaning with a grey Scotchbrite pad
    4. Let pieces dry really well. I let mine dry overnight on several pieces of cardboard.
    5. Apply wax and grease remover (essentially the same as SEM's Plastic Prep) using microfiber towel
    6. Apply 1 very light coat of adhesion promoter; wait 2-3 minutes
    7. Apply another coat, a little bit heavier than the first, wait another 3-4 minutes
    8. Apply light coat of SEM color coat. I used #15013 Landau black. It's a darn close match to the factory black. Wait 10 minutes
    9. Apply additional coats as necessary, waiting 10 minutes minimum in between.

    Here are all of my parts laid out, obviously with at least 1 coat laid down.


    Here you can see how beat up the rear sail panel is. Faded, grayish in color, scuffed, etc.


    Here's a side by side showing the difference between the painted pieces (right) and unpainted (left)


    I also found a red console in mint shape. I did the same process and here is the result


    All in all I'm happy with the result. I was lucky because I am just freshening these up, so it's black over black, but these 22 year old pieces look great after re-spraying them.

    I waited about 3 full days before starting to put these pieces back in the car.

    Here's the left rear sail panel installed. Much, much cleaner and better looking than before.

  8. Yours didn't look nearly as bad as mine. But, I bet your car wasn't sitting for 7 years, also. shit.jpg
  9. Ouch...stay tuned maybe for more ideas?:D
  10. Is that sound deadner in your floor? What brand is it? A buddy of mine is trying out a cheaper product (Freeze king) that he read about on the Corral. Its intended for hvac ducting, but is supposed to insulate and quieten. Just curious as to what you used. I was looking at other brands besides dynomat, and I ran across a few others that are cheaper. I'm waiting to hear my buddy's car before I make a decision.

  11. Keep up with the detailed pictures and words! I might just end up using this as a write up for breaking down, painting, and redoing my interior when I get the money and time together. Really liked the details on how you dyed your interior including the materials you used.
  12. joe - You mean the black mat that's shown in my last picture, underneath the rear seats and then going up into the trunk? It's the stock sound deadener mat. Being as this is just a weekend cruiser for me I couldn't justify spending the amount of money on a sound deadener mat for a vast majority of the car I've used Dynamat in the past and haven't been too impressed with it. Maybe I sucked at applying it, but it seemed to peel off easily. Not to mention it costs and arm and a leg. I mentioned earlier that I did use the Duplicolor Undercoating and Sound Deadener Spray. It's nowhere near as thick as a mat, but it does take out some of the resonance of these thin gauge sheet metal panels after a couple coats are applied. I think it's about $8 a can and I used 3 cans for the trunk floor, under the rear seats, doors, and over the rear wheel wells/side of the trunk area. It goes on thick, and it goes fast.

    @Jordan821 - Thanks. I've tried to be as detailed and complete as possible so others can use it as a guide. I'm also an Engineer, so being detailed is in my blood. The cost associated with dyeing the interior wasn't too bad. The wax grease remover was $20, the adhesion promoter was $20, and each can of ColorCoat was $15. I think I used 3, maybe 4 cans of ColorCoat altogether. So total cost would be maybe $100. I bought it all from a Sherwin Williams Automotive store (not the regular store that sells house paint). I have a family member who runs a SW store so I get a pretty healthy discount. Still, $100 to completely rejuvenate your interior that you have to stare at day after day isn't too bad.
  13. Got the driver's seat back a couple weeks ago...

    from this


    to this


    They used a piece of OEM material to redo the lateral bolster (you can tell it's not as faded but the flash of the camera really accentuates it) and they redid the vinyl along the outer leg bolster portion. They also added foam back in to the seat bottom and the outer leg bolster. The fabric along the seat bottom is still a little loose in a couple places, but I wasn't willing to pay to have the entire seat recovered. Unless you really start inspecting the seat close you can't see these minor imperfections. Again, this isn't a show car. My "garage queen" when the Mustang isn't in the garage that is, can barely be seen in the background.

  14. Ok, I looked at it again. It looked a little silver in the pics. Keep up the good work.

  15. Anything that's silver would be the painted Masterseries rust prohibiter. There looks like to be a little bit of reflection off the black matting...maybe that's what looked silver.
  16. Great thread so far. Interesting stuff. Also...Subie love.
  17. Yep, thats what I was referring to (the reflective matting).

  18. I forgot to add in my last update about painting the dash. I was hesitant to do this; I considered pulling the entire dash out and spraying the dash outside of the car but after reading about so many doing it with the dash in the car, I figured why not.

    I masked off the bottom of the winshield with a strip of painter's tape right at the top of the dash (hard to reach), then I masked off the rest of the winshield with painter's paper and tape.


    The lower part of the dash was masked off with tape and paper also. I used a trash bag to cover the steering wheel, then taped the bag down so it didn't accidentally come off while I was crawling around the interior trying to paint. I also taped off the little white squares on the vents that depict if the vent is open or shut



    At the end, it came out really nice. There was some fading on the passenger side of the dash right about the dash pad, and re-spraying it took care of that.
  19. I also wanted to make sure I took care of the details on the interior, as I only want to do this once. I hate the feeling of spending all this time, getting it back together and then seeing something and thinking "damn, if I would have take 1 more day and done that it wouldn't be sticking out like a sore thumb now".

    I took all of the interior screws that hold the interior plastics on, sanded down the heads, primed and painted them. No more rusty/brown colored screw heads sticking out in the interior. I had two of these styrofoam things with screws stuck in it. All were labeled with numbers that corresponded to a list I had written down. ie: #1 was for the dash speaker covers, #2 was for the door sills (missing 2 screws). I found that nearly all (if not all) of the interior screws are a #8 sheet metal screw. Most are 1-1/4" in length, some are only 3/4", 1", and a couple are 2" long. It was easy to go to Lowe's and grab a bag of 10 #8 screws for $1.25, sand the heads, prime and paint them black.


    I also took the seat tracks off, sanded them down, primed and painted them. I did this only to the parts of the track that can be seen when the track is installed on the seat and the seat is in the car. I didn't want to gunk up the track itself with paint.

  20. Like nearly every other friggin Fox out there, my power windows worked sometimes. Most of the time they didn't. After research (common theme here) I decided to rebuild the gear sections of the motors. I bought the 3 nylon regulator plugs from Autozone


    and took the cover off the power window motor


    Yep, just a bunch of chewed up pellets now.

    Everything removed


    I packed it with grease and installed everything back together. While I was at it I replaced the passenger's side window switch just so it was new also. Plugged everything in and the motor worked like new. Window goes up fine, window goes down fine. Unfortunately, this lasted for a day or 2.

    I was going to wash off the car this past weekend since it's been sitting in the garage for a couple months, it's got lots of dust on it, bugs that have flown in the garage and died, etc. Went to put the window up, nothing. I checked voltage before and after the switch and was getting a full 12 volts. I messed around with it for 20-30 minutes, then decided if I was going to replace the motors I might as well pull this one apart and see if I could find out what was wrong.

    I pulled the two long bolts out and removed the "motor" portion of the assembly. 22 years of dirt, dried grease and crap was in there. I cleaned it all out, but upon re-assembly one of the wires pulled loose from the brush inside the motor. Again, I dicked around with for another 20-30 minutes trying to get it back together. During this time the phone kept ringing for work, so I'd have to quit and go answer it, then come back to trying to put this motor together. Finally, I decided my time wasn't worth it. I went inside and ordered 2 new motors. I figured after 22 years these guys deserve to be retired. New motors should be here today; I'll report back how they work.