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racer_dave 04-08-2014 09:34 PM

Shelby's Mustang
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Never would have thought that my first 'build thread' would be this, but my 67 fastback is parked(for now) and my daughter turns 15 this summer. So when I asked her what she wanted her answer was 'Not some lame car.' That didn't really narrow it down, but we started looking and she was certainly more into older cars. Originally we were looking for a 72-73 Torino fastback, but there just aren't any to be had for a decent price. Then she piped up and said 'can I get a Mustang?'

So we started looking, but like the Torino, the 64-73's are getting pretty pricey, even for a plain Jane coupe. But a guy I know had a 77 Mustang II that he was going to haul for scrap. I checked it out, and $250 later I had an original 302, 4 speed, 1977 Mustang II.

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So, I got it home 2 weeks ago, but the weather up here in MI sucks. I shoved it into the shop and left it. Today we pulled it out and started inventory.

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The Good- floors are solid (except for toe area), front framerails, trunk, rockers, fuel tank are all really solid. I got the original 302 which includes the bellhousing, motor mounts, exhaust manifolds with it :-). All the interior is there and all the glass is good. Even the window regulators are smooth.

Cowl is good!!!! no Leaks!! YEA!!!!! :icon_goofygrin:
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Spare tire well- solid
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Rear pans- good!
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Complete 302 & bellhousing
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Original exhaust manifolds.
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Well, the interior was technically 'in' the car... :icon_eek:
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The Bad- Inner fenders are shot, lower doors are rusty, need to replace toe boards, probably going to need a hatchback as well. Needs carpet, original 4 speed is long gone, might need as a rewire(I think).

Inner fenders- Shot :(
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Toe boards- shot :(
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the girl wields a mean Shop-Vac
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And the bonus- found an old love letter under the back seat. Evidently Daphne loves John with all her heart, but she messed up and wants him to forgive her... I think he should :icon_hug:
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Double bonus- the buck tag! Marti Report to follow once I get it...
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So our build thread commences. Yeah, it's got some problems, but we're in good shape for just over 2 bills.

We have a year and a few months before Shelby is 16. No problem! What could go wrong...

racer_dave 04-21-2014 10:06 AM

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So we made a bit of progress. A drive to Irving IL, netted us this coupe from forum member on another site. The car was just as described. Got her loaded up and headed home.

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On Sunday after church we got out in the shop and got the engine pulled off the hoist and onto an engine stand. Shelby learned how to use the impact gun and the air ratchet. Baggied and labeled any parts we're keeping as we went.

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She also got a free lesson on electrolysis and how aluminum spacers will 'attach' to the steel bolts. We used a torch to heat up the bushings until they freed themselves. Got half way into the speech about why we were heating it and she figured out the rest.

Had to torch 3 of the connecting rods to get the crank out, and then was able to beat out the stuck pistons.

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Crank and pistons out! Crank looks good, we'll get it turned down and reuse it.

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Will try to punch the lifters out tonight so I can get the cam out.

Where we stand now...

Alternator- locked up headed for scrap- Alt mount- saved for now, will get new, smaller mount when I replace the alternator.

Heads- headed to scrap

Intake- headed to scrap

Valve covers- rusted through, headed for scrap

Original bellhousing- beadblast it and reuse.

Power steering pump- headed off to scrap. I'll run one of the smaller servo style pumps like I use on the racecar. Brackets- saved for now, the new pump will have brackets, maybe sell these to someone who needs them?

Starter- locked up, saved for reference to new starter when we get it later on

Balancer- saved for reference, scrap eventually

So, now my questions...

Original flywheel is rusty, but I'm assuming this thing is about impossible to get, so I'll sandblast it and get it resurfaced.

Air conditioning- not an AC car but was thinking about adding it. Easier to cob Mustang II parts together, or just get an aftermarket unit? Thmpsn70 showed me part of an original MII system and it went up under the dash? Had a second blower motor encased in it besides the fan motor? Not sure since I've never seen one. I know there is a really small AC unit the street rod guys use(based of rear air option on Suburbans and vans- yeah I know...GM ...) maybe that's the way to go for ease of install/parts supply later? If Ford had a viable alternative I'd go with it, but can't seem to find one. Ideas??

So that's it for now... Till next time.

CPTCO 04-21-2014 10:45 AM

Looks like a great project. Enjoy every second of it. Guy in town used to have one of those with window louvers and a spoiler. It dressed up the car a lot.

racer_dave 06-11-2014 12:05 PM

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So its been a while since we played with the Mustang. Spent most of May and start of June racing and going to horse shows, with a side trip down to the Indy 500 thrown in. But last weekend we got some time and continued on with deconstruction...

scraping floors- what a joy
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:icon_tree: Why yes Virginia they did patch the floorboards using Christmas cookie tins, silicone and some expanding foam spray...
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But other than the toe boards all the rest is super clean and solid. Surprising since the car has been outside in Michigan winters for a long time
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Up in the air on jack stands so I can start tearing out the suspension
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Hoping to get the suspension off this week. I'm not racing again till the end of June so I have some time.

Also, what is the best place to put the jack stands under the rear? I didn't really see a good place. Right now I have them under the front leaf spring eye, but that won't work as I start to pull the rear suspension.

racer_dave 07-02-2014 09:43 AM

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An update for the 2 people who actually read the Mustang II section of this site. :icon_smile:

Well, I parked the racecar for a bit due to budget issues but that frees up some time to work on other projects. I did manage to make some time to work on Shelby's Mustang.

It took 3 hours of work with the torches to get the front suspension off. Everything was rusted solid. Some of it I was able to heat the bolts and get the nuts to release(UCA mounts) but the rest was extremely stubborn. I had to cut all the shock bolts, ball joints and the LCA bolts (hate burning, rotten rubber) but saved all the parts I needed to save. On the good side, when I pulled the rotors, they had brand new grease and bearings. I think they redid them and then never worked on the car again. The grease was still bright blue, so I pulled all those parts and saved them. At least it will save me a bit of cash on reassembly. Every bit helps, right?

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I also started to remove stuff from the engine bay so I can start on the rust repair/replacement of the inner fenders and floor boards.

Down side to getting a car with the engine already pulled is that wiring is already cut off or unhooked. So my questions...

302 V8 Power brakes, power steering, no air.

This wire harness is on drivers side. What do these go to? I'm assuming distributor? Oil press sender? water temp sender? Choke? Which is which? The single wire with the end cut off is kind of a beige color.

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Also on driver side, this wire is from the main harness near the ignition. What's it go to? Brake sensor and windshield washer are on this side, but both were hooked up still.

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On the passenger side this comes from the same harness as the solenoid, so I'm assuming alternator?

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Hope to have the fenders and fascia off it tomorrow so we can get to cutting out the bad metal. Down side was that I did find a little rust on the lower core support that will need to be fixed/replaced and some bad rust on the frame rails where the lower cross support is bolted in. So I'll have to scavenge that from the parts car as well. It's only about 2-3 inches on each side so I should be able to patch and not have to replace the whole rail.

Until next time!

mcrider 07-02-2014 10:09 AM

Nice build. Enjoy it with your daughter while you can.

racer_dave 07-07-2014 08:49 AM

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Well we got quite a bit of time over the weekend to keep stripping Shelby's Mustang. Front fenders and header pulled and the wiring harness and p/s lines moved out of the way.

Earlier in the thread 1COLDPONY requested we document the inner fenderwell replacement- so consider this the start of that process.

The rust was worse than I originally thought, but not so bad that I'll scrap the car. Just means I have more to cut out...

Knew the inner panels were shot, but had hoped the upper rails were still useable- NOT!

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Made a set of alignment points on the cowl and took measurements to the unibody pin locating holes to triangulate their position, and grabbed a height measurement too. Don't worry, I know the numbers are a bit different, that's because I just made the points close. I didn't center them. I just needed points to measure from. 2" base means we measured from 2" mark on the tape measure. We do that so the number is more accurate. If you just use the end of the tape, the little metal tab can move around or you might be more on one side than the other which can throw off the measurement by 1/8" or so. But using an inch mark instead takes out those variables.

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Then I spray bombed the seams for the upper rail braces with yellow paint. This will give me a defined line/pattern to position the replacement braces from the coupe. I sprayed the core support braces as well, but that was before I decided to take the snout off the donor car in one piece.
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I'm now looking at replacing both front floorboards, both inner fenderwells, both upper rails and the core support. My plan is to remove the inner fenders, rails and core support as one unit from the donor car. I figure the more of that I keep factory welded the better chance that the front end will position up easier.

I have a few more things to pull off the firewall before I commence with the torch/sawsall work, like the blower motor and power brake booster. I'm going to pull the doors as well so I have more room to work.

Shelby wasn’t in any of the pics, but she was out there helping the whole time, close to 6 hours total. She’s jumped right in to work any time I get the chance, very proud of her. Will post more as I get more done...

rjpkrp 07-07-2014 07:41 PM

This is awesome. I'm currently going through the process with my son who turned 14 a couple of weeks ago. I had tried to talk him into a SN95 Mustang, but he loves the II. We picked up a 78 Black 2+2 V8/AC/Auto car a few months ago that is a huge project. Both doors are unusable without a lot of welding and bodywork (lower doors are rusted bad), rear end is pulled from the car, and scattered, no engine/tranny etc. Last week we went down to TN and picked up a 76 Cobra II (also V8/AC/Auto with engine and tranny although engine pulled) that we planned on using as a parts car for the 78, however, it is a much more solid car so we are going to build the 76 and use the 78 and parts.

Love watching the build!

racer_dave 07-09-2014 09:23 AM

rjpkrp- where in Indiana are you? I'm just over the border to the north in Edwardsburg MI. You might want to look into joining the pages. There is a lot more info and participation on that board than there is on this site, and its dedicated to the M2.

rjpkrp 07-10-2014 07:16 AM


We are neighbors! I had no idea that you are in Edwardsburg! I'm in Elkhart. (for those of you who don't know this area, Edwardsburg, MI and Elkhart, IN are less than 10 miles apart.)

One of the things I had told Cole, my son, was that he would be one of the only people in the area driving around a Mustang II as a daily driver and that when he got out there acting like a jack wagon I would be the first person they call.

It looks like there will be at least two black hatchback daily drivers! Although it looks like we will be building the Cobra as his car. We went down to Tennessee to pick it up has a second parts car, but it is much more solid than the 78 2+2 that we were originally building.

I will have to check out and register on the other Mustang II forums site. I also have a 1966 GT that I drive during the spring and summer.

it has been in the Lunker's parking lot once or twice (although I'm concerned that they won't be around much longer), and over at Essenhaus on Thursday nights a couple of times to.

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