Progress Thread 66 Convertible Restoration: Engine, Suspension, Ez Wiring, Vent Windows,etc. Lots Of Pics

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by 1965coupe, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. PG 2: convert standard upholstery to pony/deluxe seats

    1966 Convertible, 289 C4, Ferrari Red, with black interior
    I started taking this car apart back in 2005, and now things are finally coming together.

    I have a LOT of projects I'll be posting, including:
    • Aftermarket Painless/EZ universal wiring install
    • Replating vent windows, side glass, etc. - assembly and installation
    • Complete heater box rebuild
    • Shifter restoration
    • Custom engine bay: large radiator, shaved holes, hidden wiring, etc.
    • Radio/speaker hole repair, including door speaker holes
    • Suspension rebuild
    • Undercarriage restoration
    • Interior re-do, including Pony seats
    • And a few others.
    I have a lot of info/pictures to post. After restoring my '65 coupe in 2004/2005, I've learned from my mistakes so this car will turn out really nice!
    Just some background - car was 'restored' in 1996 after an accident, but was not driven much after that. Most exterior items, rubber, etc., was replaced with Ford items at the time. The engine was rebuilt, and installed with all stock items. The interior was re-done with standard upholstery.
    I do all of the disassembly/assembly, while my brother does all of the metalwork.
    Here is a before picture, from 2005
    VERY nice paint, but typical restoration - vent windows were not restored.
    Engine, BEFORE. Rebuilt, all stock items including smog parts
    The pictures don't do the paint job any justice! The panel fitment is spot on, and the panels are straight as an arrow. Unfortunately, with such a nice paint job, the rest of the car needed a few things. But with all projects, that turned major. Stay tuned!
  2. So let's tear into things, shall we?
    Somewhere along the line, a really smart person decided to install not only a CD player in the dash, but beautiful door speakers; round ones. Speakers that don't fit anywhere on the doors. And they literally used tin snips, or a torch, to cut the holes.

    Since Mustang doors are 'textured', the left us with only a few options:
    • Weld them, bondo them, and make the door smooth
    • Screw it. It's a convertible, and you need speakers.
    • Weld them, bondo them, and wrap the door in vinyl.
    The third choice was the route we took. And here's how it happened:
    Yummy! Whoever cut these holes was a PRO!!
    Clean-up the area first:
    Make a nice little piece out of metal and add the contour line
    And start welding! REMEMBER - this is a 'finish' painted car. So I can't even begin to tell you how much time it took to protect the paint/car. There were multiple layers of protection in the door.
    Finish welding:
    And fill with some U-pol.
    Don't forget the primer!
    But now what? Paint it? No. Wrap it in vinyl!!!
    Next up: dash repair.
  3. I ALMOST left the hole, but then I realized how it's kind of frowned-upon in the Mustang world.

    Straighten the edges.

    Weld, grind, etc.

    Remember, with the radio patch panels, don't use the whole thing - use as little as possible!!!


    Paint it? No. WRAP IT!






    The convertible 'plastic' quarter panels are also wrapped, as is the console.
  4. Next up, how about some floor pans? A convertible would NEVER have any leaks, right? And I'm sure nobody would have left the top down at some point in the car's life. Ha, yeah, right.

    Sure enough, both rear pans were shot.

    These were replaced a few years ago, so I can't find all of my pictures. They are 100% butt-welded/finish welded, not just tacked and sealed.

    I did end up having issues with the seam sealer in the pictures - the paint didn't want to stick to it. So I peeled it, and tried a different brand, as you'll see in the next few pictures.




    Is that a TCP brace I see hiding up there??

    How about some undercoating?

    And a nice top-coat.

    Car is masked, so don't forget your A-pillars.

    And don't forget this guy. It didn't make it in time for powder coating.


    I still need to add insulation. I ordered the Fat Mat MEGA Mat - the Butyl-backed insulation, not the asphalt-backed. I read too many horror stories on car forums. And this isn't some late-model Honda with subs that I'm going to keep for five years. No. This insulation has to last.
  5. i like the paddinig on the dash and doors .i am planning the same thing on my 35 ford truck i was wondering how it may look ,looks great. how did you get it to lay so smooth around all the ridges and bumps /no wrinkles.
  6. ^ Thankfully, I had the vinyl done in town. I did my '65 dash years ago, and I know how long it took. The key is finding the right vinyl (thickness, elasticity, grain, etc.) and using the right glue.

    My coupe dash looks really good, and I'm proud of it, but for a convertible, it needed to be 'perfect' - since the interior is a focal point when the top is down, so any flaw would be unacceptable.

    I'm also glad I had a local shop do it because it snowballed into... doors.. dash, then the convertible panels, then the console, etc. So it all matches, and the shop owner got to to a Mustang interior (he usually does HIGH-end hot/street rods). I could tell it was difficult doing the dash by his reaction when we picked the car up.

    How about the heater box???
    The original box was rough! My brother did lots of fiberglass work to get it back in shape, and I painted it satin black to kind of blend in and not stick out. The heater motor didn't test out very well on the bench - made horrible noises. Even after opening it up and cleaning the contacts/greasing it, it still wasn't up to snuff. So I found a NOS motor on eBay. Those chinese repros annoy me - they're 1) hideous 2) made in china, and 3) don't resemble the factory motor one bit.

    Due to rust potential/condition of old parts, ALL heater box items were powder coated. I learned years ago from previous projects that a) wire wheeling old parts was dangerous/tedious/time consumin b) rattle can doesn't hold up very well, and c) having a big batch of powder coating is cheaper than you think.

    LOTS of parts!

    Figure out where each foam piece goes and use vinyl adheisve/clips/tapes to get everything glued down.





    The door didn't want to work with the factory hinge. The box was slightly warped, but still very usable after fiberglass work and paint. It's not like you open Mustang heater box doors on a daily occasion, so..
  7. doors and dash came out nice.Im sure it gives a "luxury" feel instead of all the metal.I plan on doing mine also as soon as my seats are done i decide on the main colors.I usually get my fabrics from J&J in Rialto or Keyston Bros.
  8. Grats guys, that is looking good and giving me some ideas as well.
  9. when you figure ot what is the best material let me know .Jim
  10. Since we're on the topic of vinyl wrapping, I got caught up on my pictures.

    Console. Had a 2" crack at the front that my brother fixed. Then it was wrapped.
  11. And the quarter panels. Nothing fancy here, other than my brother making new brackets out of fiberglass/metal.


    And while we're at it, here are the Snake-Oyl restored seat belts that have been restored for a while now.
  12. I have use Allante vynil alot in the past.Its has a dull finish so its not real shiny and cheap looking. Its really pliable and has a thin backing to it forms easy.

    Nothing better then putting your arm on the metal door of a Mustang on a HOT day.
    jikelly likes this.
  13. What did your brother use for the metal pieces on the quarter panels? L-brackets of some sort? I need to do the same thing but am clearly looking in the wrong place in the hardware store?
  14. They were Simpson 'straps' from Home Depot - just cut to size with the appropriate holes drilled. I ALMOST opted for new panels, but am so sick of Mustang parts being made in China. Plus these ended up really nice with the repairs and new vinyl.
  15. I know I posted a picture of the pitted vent window - they've already been rechromed. I have a HUGE box of all window frames, glass, glass tape, etc. Everything has been rechromed/repolished depending on the material. I'll post a how-to on reassembling everything, but for now, here are my '65 Coupe windows.

    New tape, rubber, polished/chromed frames.


  16. vent windows are one of the things that separate a restoration.I never did mine and they need it, thought it was too much trouble.I regret it.LOL
  17. It's not as bad as you think. I never took pictures of how I re-assembled them on my '65. But for this project, I'm definitely going to document the entire process.

    In So Cal, it's about $100 per vent window frame for chroming. Then there's the actual glass frame that gets polished. Some super fine steel wool/compound to clean up the glass. A roll of glass tape. A few stainless screws. Vent window handles ($20), and, in some cases, new front window guides.

    My advice would be to re-chrome an original frame. I wouldn't trust the repro junk.
  18. you make it sound tempting.My first "restoration" on my car i did when i was about 20, so the small detail werent big enough to worry about.21 years later,now there very few bolts that havent been turned, the vent windows being one of the last appearance items.
  19. I was 18, going on 19 when I was assembling my car. ;) I think for me, though, I had 7 months of downtime while the car was at the body shop.

    The engine was already built, most parts were ordered, the suspension was already done, etc. So I had time to keep going through boxes of all of my old parts, thinking "what needs to be done". And then of course it snowballed into having every piece of stainless/chrome for all of the windows done.

    I tend to get carried away with things.

    Now that I'm doing this '66, I realized how many things I need to go back to 'fix' on my '65.. I guess it takes a few restorations to 'get the hang of it'.. Trial and error I guess.
  20. and also doing things 2 or 3 times over.I have a few cams,intakes,carbs,seats,wheels etc.