Jeff Ford
November 1, 2000

Step By Step

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What it was.
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What it is.
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The center piece on this console shows the difference between a ’70 and a ’69: The ’70 lacks the seatbelt holsters. And no, we did not pick on the console to make look it worse.
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Too much arm pressure is probably to blame for this damage. The lid is flexible, plastic is not. Unfortunately, none of the pieces for the glovebox were in the console.
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This is the cracked base. It fell while in the shop. Don’t ask who or why.
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Bleuck. Don’t know what that stuff is on the upper-base piece, but we used rubber gloves and Krud Kutter to remove it.
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The tension clip (arrow) was loose on this ashtray lid, so we used a pair of needle-nose pliers to give it some tension. This piece was cleaned with a wire wheel and Krud Kutter, then wiped with lacquer thinner in preparation for paint.
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The woodgrain that was part of the Mach 1 or Grandé package was a separate piece that was applied to the standard console. We used a small cutoff wheel to grind away the plastic studs from the back of the shift bezel, then we used a punch to free the appliqué.
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This shift bezel is the correct bezel for a manual shift Mustang, so we endeavored to repair what we have. First, we used super-fine steel wool to brighten up what was left of the chrome. Note the gray patch on the right-hand side of the bezel (arrow).
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We used sandpaper to remove the appliqué’s woodgrain.
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We refinished the bezel with some Painters’ Touch semigloss black. Rather than having it replated, we used some chrome tape to repair the missing chunks from the passenger side of the bezel. This tape is available from most auto parts stores. Of course, on a concours car, we recommend a replate.
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To promote good paint adhesion, Carla’s old toothbrush and Krud Kutter were employed to clean the faux stitching on the console.
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The driver-side clip that keeps the upper body of the console centered on the lower body was missing, along with the plastic brace. We took a piece from the old glovebox, made a patch (arrow), and attached it with some Zap-a-Gap that we bought at a local hobby store. While we were at it, we used Zap-a-Gap to repair the anchor holes and the crack in the base.
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Luckily, the passenger-side clip was still there, so we used it as a template to manufacture this one from a band-type radiator hose clamp. Then we drilled and pop-riveted it to the console.
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We used our rivet gun to reattach the forward ashtray clips. Since there are no screws to hold the upper body steady, make sure the clips are secure.
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We removed our rear ashtray and separated it (as shown) so that we could bead-blast the box and paint it. The outer portion was painted semigloss black, while we used a bright chrome paint finish on the inside to mimic the silver cad Ford used.
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We found out the hard way that the glovebox goes in before the center support brace. Note the pop rivet and the broken plastic. We were not amused. On our console, the pop rivets were missing from the brace when we received it, so we just assumed that the box would fit with the brace in place. We assumed wrong.
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The bezel goes back on using black phosphate screws. Note the difference in the original chrome and the tape. This would hurt us in judging but would do just fine for Saturday night cruise-ins.
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The ashtray light, which had been dangling in the console, was replaced when the ashtray lid was screwed back into place. Now we can see where we throw the candy wrappers and the gum. Just kidding.
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Black is black. The formerly medium blue console is now a nice, rich, easy-to-work-with black—yes! Though a little hard to see, the ashtray bumpers for the console were supplied by Laurel Mountain Mustang. The ashtray is original and was painted with our chrome paint.
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All snapped back together and ready to go. Luckily, the chrome cleaned up with nothing more than steel wool.
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As we stated before, our ’70 was a factory three-speed and thus has the manual shift hole in the console. Soon, we’ll have a T5 under this with a stock-appearing Hurst arm and correct shift handle. How will we do that, you ask? Stay tuned.
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Laurel Mountain provided the real imitation teakwood appliqué for our project. The sticker is a perfect match to the dash pieces. The plastic was painted with the chrome paint. Once again, if this were a concours car, we would have sent the pieces off to a plastic-plating company.
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We bent the paper backing over about 2 inches, exposing the glue. Then we laid down the appliqué and slowly pulled the paper back. The appliqué was, however, a tad too long at the back and had to be trimmed. No sweat. We just whipped out the X-Acto knife and cut it off.
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Next, we spread some 3M 8002 weather-strip adhesive on the bezel and the plastic plate. We let it air-dry for 10 minutes, then attached the appliqué to the console.
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Now we’re getting somewhere. Doesn’t even look like the same console, does it?
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Our original lid had seen better days. It was given the old heave-ho.
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The reproduction from Laurel Mountain replaced it. This is a perfect step up from the ratty one we had. Our only reservation is for those who are looking for a perfect match to the original. The repop, though beautiful, is missing the matching stitching that should run along the leading edge of the mold. Our call? Unless you’re doing a concours car, this part is hard to beat.
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In order to place the clasp on the lid, you’ll need to measure the distance from the edge of the lid over to the clasp. Ours was 1 inch in and 1-3/4 inches from the leading edge. We recommend that you measure yours just to be sure.
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Done is done. The console is now ready for bolt-in and is now our favorite color for repop parts—black.

Consoles are, it seems, an integral part of the Mach 1 experience. This is especially true where the '69-'70 Machs are concerned. These cars left the factory equipped with the "armrest with an attitude." As nice as this option is, we often run into problems with it.

For instance, take our Project '70 console. After sending off the old blue hulk to Mustang Central [(912) 956-3871] in Byron, Georgia (last month we mistakenly said it was in Macon), we decided to get busy with the parts we kept. One of the parts was our medium blue console. It was, to say the least, a wreck. The glovebox was grenaded, the body was cracked on one side, and all but two of the anchor holes were blown away. Luckily, the plastic that had been broken away from the holes was in the glovebox--or what was left of the glovebox.

Since our box was toast, and no one reproduces one yet, we had to turn to the used parts world for a new one. A local parts guru, Kent Hatchett of Brandon, Florida [(813) 651-1468], unearthed one for us from his pile of parts consoles. As for the other stuff, we turned to Laurel Mountain Mustang for the only three items that are available for these consoles: a new lid, ashtray bumpers, and the woodgrain.