December 16, 2004

Dyeing To Get Out

So your carpet is looking kinda puny, eh? Well, you may not need toreplace it. You might just be able to re-dye it. Obviously, if thecarpet is as rough as a doggie chew toy, you might want to considerbumping up to a new set. However, if the carpet is still fairly nice,you can get some carpet shampoo and a can of spray dye to get the oldcolor back in no time.

Be advised that you should remove the seats but not the carpet. No needto soak down the stuff either--just a brush and wipe will do the trick.After the carpet is dry, spray away. Oh yeah, get some vinyl dye forthat heel pad. You might be surprised at the results.

Turn, Turn, Turn

So, your Ford is giving you fits when you try to park. Other thanPopeye-size arms, there seems to be little benefit from the exertion youencounter. How about some power steering? Sure, you can gorack-and-pinion, but you can also go with the old standby Fordpower-assist from the Granada and Monarch (G/M). The G/Ms are slowlygoing away in the yards, but they can still be found. Most, if not all,of them have the power-steering setup common to the '67-'70Mustang/Cougar, '66-'71 Fairlane/Torino, and '70-'77 Maverick/Comet.

This system will probably require a rebuild, but with companies like Stainless Steel Brakes (that also deals in power-steering components)you can put the system right pretty cheaply.

Be advised that you may have problems adapting the G/M system to the earlier Ford cars, and the Mustang in particular; but this is a cheap alternative to the workout routine.

Fly Wheels Man

Next to the top coat on your ride, the star of a car is the wheel, andthere are some wheels that just lend themselves to restomodding. One isthe Magnum 500 and the other is the Torq-Thrust, the "Cragar SS" of the21st century. But if you'd rather (for the time being) focus on anotherand less expensive alternative, there is the Ford Corporate trim ringand cap shown above (of course, these are the expensive ones from theBoss 302 and 351). For a cheap date, the trim ring and cap are a niceway to sharpen up a vintage Ford on the cheap. Try to get thedeeper-dish trims and caps that came on the '71 Mustang with the Ford14x7 wheels, but even the narrower Torino ones will do.

Bringing Up The Rear

So, you have an 8-inch diff in that Ford and you want a bit more pokeoff the line. You don't have the budget, but you do have some time.Check the salvage yards for '74 Mustang IIs and Pinto wagons. These carscame with 8-inch differentials. Most of the ratios are 3.25 and higher,and some even have Traction-Lok.

Check the ratio by marking the yoke and wheel, and turning the tire. Ifthe wheel turns one-half revolution to three turns of the yoke, you havea 3.50 gear. Obviously, there are no warranties on these kinds of parts,but you can get some good service from the center-sections at a cheapprice.

Painted Lady

If your Ford's engine bay looks as if a dirt bomb was set off in it, doas we did in our August '03 issue--attack it with rattle-can paints. Fora restomod you can do things like use detail colors such as Cast Coat,Aluminum, Fresh Steel, and a host of others to give some contrast to the parts. We like SEM semi-gloss black for a close representation of the original Ford semi-gloss black. Things like hood hinges can be painted cast coat, while the hood-hinge springs will look sweet in gloss black.Bolt heads can be painted semi (or flat) black to give that industrial look.

Getting Mono

Let's say you have a Ford with a huge glut of anodized aluminum and chrome--all of it discolored or pitted. Why not go monochromatic? Just take a look at the car we featured in our Aug. '03 issue titled "First Time's a Charm." The look is sinister, yet clean. Best of all, the overall outlay will be a bit cheaper than getting all that anodizing and plating done.


The new century brings new technology for the masses, and it's cheap technology when compared to the cost of a MIG-welder. What is this new modern miracle of man? Panel glue. That's right--you can now use the same stuff the auto manufacturers are using on assembly line cars to apply panels to cars. Look for a couple of stories to carry this production the near future.

There are several companies manufacturing the glue, but we have the closest association with Fusor ( At roughly $80 for the applicator gun and glue tubes, the entry cost is dirt cheap when compared to buying a welder, and most anyone can handle the job.

Note, however, that if the floorpans are toast, you'll need to stick tothe old standby MIG-welder, as the glues available to the aftermarket are not rated for structural use.