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Old 06/02/2008, 11:19 PM   #1
GT/CS S Code
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
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Red face Pandora's Box ....

"Abandon all hope ye who enter into basic repairs on 40 year old classic cars ...."

Well, we started with the very best of intentions (of course), and due to some recent electrical problems we had decided to install a completely new "Painless" wiring harness in our 68 "S" code in time for our road trip to Bellevue, Washington for the Northwest Mustang Roundup in July. I bought the proper harness and we picked the recent holiday weekend to do the job, as then I'd have three consecutive days to help my mechanic friend Chris to do the work. As a bonus my wife would be away for a two week holiday trip to Maui with three of her girlfriends, so we could concentrate on the job at hand while she was out of town. Sounds too good to be true, and of course it was.
It started off badly when we started to strip out the interior and discovered that coolant had soaked into the carpeting on the passenger side. The culprit, ... a blown heater core leaking coolant down the firewall.
OK, so we'll strip out the heater box and rebuild it at the same time. So, we ordered a new core, and a heater box seal kit, and then we'll media blast the interior of the rusty box and repaint it so that it will be completely rebuilt. Of course the 40 year old hardboard plenum box is toast too, so we'll order a new replacement for the toasted one. Might as well replace all the heater hoses too while we're at it, and both of the radiator hoses too so that it is all fresh.
Once the interior was stripped out we discover that there were rust pinholes in the front floorboards, and with a further look found that the torque boxes were also in fairly tough shape too. OK order two new replacement torque boxes and front replacement patch panels for both of the front floors. What the heck, we've already got the car half apart anyway, so let's do it now while it's all readily accessible, right?
Next, strip out the rest of the dash to access the old wiring harness and remove it. We discovered that we also need to replace a set of broken heater control cables and to deal with some issues with the existing dash pod and gauges. Order those needed parts.
We started comparing the old wiring harness with the new "Painless" harness and there are some differences between the two? What? Hmmm? OK, dig through the spare parts that came with the car and discover that the original harness has been removed at some point and replaced with a different harness (a 67 ?), but at least the old original harness is still there. Remove all the connectors from the old harness to install on the new "Painless" harness so that stock Ford components will "plug in" if we ever need to replace anything in the electrics again.
Remove the door panels in preparation of the floorboard welding work, and discover that there are some missing parts in the driver's side window mechanism, and that the shaft for the door handle is mostly stripped out and holding by about 1/2 a thread. OK. Order some more replacement parts .... and what the heck, a pair of new black door panels since the old ones are a bit "tatty", and the parts that are missing from the remote driver's side mirror adjuster, and while you're at it new brake, clutch, and accellerator pads since they're worn out too.
While we're at it, we might as well order a bushing kit for the pedal shaft assembly too, since they're worn out and the pedals are fairly sloppy on the shaft.
Then due to the "haywire" wiring modifications by a previous owner, a new coil to replace the old one, and a new starter solenoid, a new oil pressure sensor, and a new water temperature sensor too.
Then, since the front bucket seats are out of the car anyway, let's recover them since they have a few tears and replace the cushions since they are 40 years old after all.
Then, since the interior is stripped out for the rest of the work, let's order a brand new headliner to replace the old tatty one too, and a new dome light bezel and lens to replace the old deteriorated one.
What the heck, let's order new scuff plates too, since those old ones are scratched and dented, and also a new battery tray to replace the old rusty one from a previous battery that leaked acid onto it and corroded it up badly.
I guess we should install an export brace to go along with the existing Monte Carlo bar too, to tiddle things up under the hood and improve the handling.
So, about this Wednesday, our poor "stripped out" car will finally head out to the body shop, have the front floor patch panels and new torque boxes installed, have the new headliner installed, have the new set of restored GT chrome wheels installed to replace the current mag wheels, have the new rolled tip GT exhausts installed, and have the metal interior door panels sprayed black.
When it finally gets back home, we'll attack the re-installation of the new and improved "Painless" wiring harness, the rebuilt gauges and dash pod, the rebuilt heater box and controls, the rebuilt interior and seats, and install the new interior trim pieces along with the remaining old parts still in good condition.
Then we'll deal with the brake proportioning valve that has tripped and is no longer centred .... oh, did I forget to mention that we discovered that too?
... and we'll re-install the missing choke plate and choke controls that were missing from the carb too! (Again, the good news is that I actually had the missing parts in my personal stash of spare carb parts and pieces ....)
Once it's all reassembled and back in one piece, we'll do some basic engine tuning and give the front and rear brakes a once over to check their general condition just to be safe.
At that point we should be all finished for now, and ready for the road trip to Bellevue in July ... but I'd rather have found out about all these "hidden" problems now and take care of them while the car is apart for the basic wiring job, rather than tear it down multiple times in future and fix them one at a time. Worse yet, we could have had a major break down on the road and worse yet, a major "out of town" break down!
I cannot possibly thank my good friend and mechanic "Chris" or my body and paint man "Kevin" nearly enough for all their help and patience in dealing with "the never ending repair job" of the last few weeks.
By the way, the "Painless" wiring harness is very high quality and was worth every cent for the peace of mind a brand new up to date system will give us.
... but the next time you plan to do ONE "simple' job on your 40 year old car, and hope to get it all done over a three day holiday weekend, don't be at all surprised if 'Mr. Murphy" arrives and throws a wrench right in the middle of it all!
We'll keep you posted as to the final results over the next few weeks, but at this point it appears that I'll have spent considerably more on our car in the last two weeks on replacement parts and labour than my wife spent on her entire two week holiday trip to Maui with her girlfriends!

We'll see some of you soon down in Bellevue, Washington in July!
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I may have passed my "best before" date, but I haven't reached my "expiry" date!
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Old 06/03/2008, 04:40 AM   #2
390cs68rcode
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Have you driven your CS or Cobra Jet today?

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I have gone through this procedure a couple of times myself. Fun, ain't it?

:)

2005 Ford GT (2000hp)226.2 mph in the standing mile, 2008 Superleggera UGR X Version (2000+hp),2014 S63, 89 IROC 30k miles, 150 shot NOS
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Old 06/03/2008, 04:44 AM   #3
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That's exactly why I tend to buy projects and rebuild them from the ground up. You end up doing that anyway, a lot of times.

Steve

The wannabe formerly known as an owner.
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Old 06/03/2008, 05:52 AM   #4
gazrox
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I'm goin' nowhere and I'm in a hurry

Location: Saskatoon
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If there's one thing that I've learned, its "Murphy was a *!*&*% optimist!"

Gary

Seafoam Green '68 GT/CS
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Old 06/03/2008, 02:02 PM   #5
Doug
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Location: Valencia, California
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Thanks for writing my cars life - I could cut and paste my name on your weekend story but add 6 months to it and it would be the same. I ended up trying to fix the clock and nearly replaced half the car. Good luck with your project.

66 Shelby GT 350, 55 Chev Nomad my sons 07 Shelby GT#4208. SOLD Candy Apple Red 390GTAuto w/air - Now in Australia.
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Old 06/03/2008, 04:29 PM   #6
GT/CS S Code
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
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Thumbs up Thaks guys ...

... glad to hear that we're not alone on this one, and that this is much more common than expected!

As my best friend has aways said: "It's only money, just spend it and then go out and make some more!"

I may have passed my "best before" date, but I haven't reached my "expiry" date!
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Old 06/03/2008, 10:49 PM   #7
BroadwayBlue
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Sounds very familiar ...

Rich

1968 Acapulco Blue GT/CS 289 * 1996 Red GT Convertible *
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Old 06/04/2008, 02:21 AM   #8
cnassif
 
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You have certainly convinced me to rebuild mine completely from the ground up. It just doesn't sound worth it to do it any other way.

Sorry for the hassle, thanks for the lesson.

Christian
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Old 06/04/2008, 09:38 AM   #9
J.Bart
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did your wife wonder where your old gt/cs went? and ask how much this nice one cost you? lol

jbart
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Old 06/04/2008, 10:34 AM   #10
clubpro
 
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Location: Orangevale, California
Joined: Feb 03
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Cool

Just a reminder to all of you who are considering any type of restoration. You can buy all of your parts at cost + 10% if you order them from my company. The prices on my website www.RnRclassics.net are not the prices that you will pay. Just send me a list of parts that you will need and I will send you the cost + shipping. If you don't see what you need on my site look at the Scott Drake website and then give me the part number and I will get you the price.

Cheers,

Ron

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." - Henry Ford
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Old 06/25/2008, 10:17 PM   #11
GT/CS S Code
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
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Red face Rebuild update ...

Well, the "repair and rebuild' of our "S" code GT/CS continues.
I talked to my body and paint man today, and when he got the floorboards out to do the torque boxes the frame rails were very rough too, so now they were being rebuilt today too. The exhaust and the wheels are done, but with luck the cutting and welding work will be done by Friday as he's booked his headliner expert to install ours that day. With luck the rest of the needed work will be done shortly, which still leaves a VERY short time for my mechanic friend and I to re-assemble the wiring harness and interior and get it running again. We were really hoping to attend the Northwest Mustang Roundup in Bellvue starting on the 17th of July, but it'll depend on whether the car is ready in time or not ....
We'll keep you posted!

I may have passed my "best before" date, but I haven't reached my "expiry" date!
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Old 06/28/2008, 01:04 PM   #12
GT/CS S Code
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Red face The work continues ...

Well, still no joy in getting the car back together yet, but it is progressing well. No sense doing anything in "half measures", so we'll do it all right and only once!
IF the car gets back here from the body shop about mid next week, and IF my mechanic friend can schedule some extra time in the next two weeks to help me out, we should JUST make the Northwest Mustang Roundup in Bellevue, Washington in July. Whew!
My dear wife must be getting a bit frustrated about it all though. As we were driving back from a quick trip to the body shop to see how it is all progressing this morning, she commented that maybe we could sell the Mustang GT/CS and buy her a Mazda Miata convertible .....
SAY WHAT! ????
She'd better be joking ....

I may have passed my "best before" date, but I haven't reached my "expiry" date!
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Old 06/28/2008, 04:04 PM   #13
Mustanglvr
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Former GT/CS owner :(

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Did you find out yet that you have to take the front and back windows out to replace the headliner?
Been there, done that.

RHONDA
GT/CS FOREVER!
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Old 06/28/2008, 04:31 PM   #14
joedls
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I decided to put my 65 convertible in the paintshop for a quick paintjob. I finally finished about a year later and replaced just about every piece of sheetmetal on the car, the whole drivetrain, the suspension, interior, convertible top. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop until it was right.
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Joe

HP numbers are good and all, but they're like asking someone how much they can bench. What difference does it make, if I can still kick your ass.
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Old 06/28/2008, 04:53 PM   #15
Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedls View Post
Once I got started, I just couldn't stop until it was right.
Does these cars (or any special car) is like doing drugs once you start it's hard to stop. Never have done drugs I don't know whats it like to stop; but I know that I don't think that I could or want to stop playing with cars. Thankfully I have a wife who is just outstanding and supports my "addiction".

66 Shelby GT 350, 55 Chev Nomad my sons 07 Shelby GT#4208. SOLD Candy Apple Red 390GTAuto w/air - Now in Australia.
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