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1965 Ford
Mustang

Completed Client Project





Van and Sandra's 1965 Mustang Coupe has been in the family since Van's parents bought the car new in December of 1964. Over the years it has had its share of maintenance - including a repaint and engine replacement. It sat outside over the several years because of a problem with it running hot - so much so that it was considered unreliable as a driver. This is a common problem these days with the elimination of lead in gasoline (which helped cool the valves) and the addition of ethanol (which burns hotter). The addition of air conditioning and today's traffic conditions didn't help matters either. A past error by another shop (an improperly installed thermostat) also caused a severe overheating in the past and there was some concern that it was never properly repaired.




This Mustang received a full bare-metal restoration. Since it had known issues, actions were taken to remedy the original cooling system issues and a rough-running condition prior to disassembling the car. That allowed a proper determination of the engine's health so that a decision of whether or not to replace/rebuild it could be made before any efforts were wasted on what was determined to be a damaged engine.

The intended mission of this Mustang is for it to be a potential daily driver with enough good looks to be worthy of car show participation. With that in mind, cosmetic restoration was done pretty-much to original specifications, but mechanically there are safety-oriented upgrades to the chassis - namely power front disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering.




BEFORE

         
         
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PHASE I

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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PHASE II

Disassembly and sodablasting of the car revealed a few problems that were previously unknown. While the floorboards originally looked to be in pretty good condition, a significant amount of metal came up with the jute carpet underlayment on the passenger's side. Since it is now obvious that the right floorboard will need replacing, the left side will be done as well since it does show some serious pitting. The left rear quarter panel had rusted through just behind the wheel, but after blasting this damage seems to be the only notable rust on the outside of the body. Very little bodywork was discovered. Most of it was likely from the original factory build and will be easy to repair the second time. The front and rear valance panels had once received some pretty copious amounts of bondo. Given the low cost of replacement sheetmetal for this Mustang, those will be replaced rather than repaired.

Superficial work on the engine (essentially a major tune-up) proved fruitless and since compression was solid all-around, it became apparent that either one or more lifters had collapsed or (more likely) cam lobe wear was to blame for the rough running and dismal performance. Given that the engine was already a non-numbers-matching remanufactured longblock, we decided to go for another remanufactured longblock from S&S Remanufactured Engines in Oregon. It's probably a good thing since upon disassembly we also found some serious build-up in the coolant runners of the heads and a very loose - but still in-time - timing chain.

Nearly all the parts have arrived and it's time to start going over the body, replace the floorboards, assemble the new engine and restore all the major components.

The entire underbody and the engine compartment were first treated with POR-15's "Marine Clean", followed by their "Metal Prep" - and finally sprayed with two coats of their "Chassis Coat" product (2 quarts were required) for a tough and permanent rust-inhibitive satin-black finish.

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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PHASE III

After retrieving the chassis from the paint shop, reassembly begins.

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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COMPLETED

The finished project came after months of hard work and a lot of patience. For all intents and purposes, this is a "new" 1965 Mustang with some key upgrades intended to improve safety. With the rack and pinion steering, this little pony tracks predictably and responds to steering inputs much like you would expect in a modern car. The power front disc brake conversion makes a world of difference in driver confidence given that it will be "doing battle" in a four-wheel-disc antilock-brake world. With no squeaks or rattles and less wind noise than most of us remember, this Mustang is giving its owner all the pleasure of a new car with the added pleasure of the nostalgia that can only be had by driving a family heirloom that is once again "new".

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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SPECIFICATIONS


MODEL YEAR: 1965
MANUFACTURER: FORD
MODEL NAME: MUSTANG COUPE
MILEAGE: 162,205

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION:

CHASSIS:


INTERIOR:

Send Mail to
bob@midlifeclassics.com