Jim Smart
December 24, 2015

We’ve been horsing around with classic Mustangs for more than four decades and have come to the following conclusion: we’ve never stopped learning from our mistakes nor have we stopped making them. When you’re restoring a classic Mustang or building a hot restomod it is important to see the pitfalls before you find them, not after stumbling and falling into them. Silly stupid mistakes we make time and time again. Whatever your reason for screwing up, we’re here to remind you we have been there ourselves and know how not to make the same mistakes again.

Mustang restoration should follow a common sense path. Not enough of us do that. Planning ahead, sticking to a budget, and following a checklist are valiant first steps toward a successful restoration project. Being realistic about your own resources and cash flow are crucial to an impressive rollout. So how to avoid the chuck holes and enjoy the restoration process? Turn on and tune in because we’re here to help. This is the first installment of a new series of restoration fails and how to avoid them. Keep checking back to Mustang-360.com for more to come!

A reproduction multiplex plug can be a bear to seat. However, they must be completely seated to where pins are fully penetrated and unexposed. Use a dielectric compound if it becomes impossible to seat the plugs.

Fuse Box Installation & Fire

We’ve made this mistake once and it cost us a main wiring loom. Nearly cost us an entire car because it quickly became a hot sticky smoldering underdash mess. When you are installing a classic Mustang fuse box take extra care to ensure the sheet metal screws that secure the fuse box haven’t penetrated any wiring behind the fuse box at the kick panel or firewall. When these screws penetrate wiring they create a prompt short to ground along with melted wiring and generous amounts of smoke. That said, always be ready to pull the battery cable and have a working fire extinguisher handy.

When you connect factory plugs make sure the pins are fully penetrated to where none are exposed and can short. Absolutely never substitute fuses with anything but another like-sized fuse. Never add an unprotected accessory or lighting, which is an easy mistake to make. Fuses and circuit breakers must be at the source of power not several inches away. When you locate circuit protection away from the power source you have all of that unprotected wire between the fuse/breaker and the power source.

Burn baby burn.