Vintage Tech Advice - February 2014
Beyond the Basics
I have a '69 Mach 1 with an automatic transmission and center console. I have never seen any information about how to replace the console's light bulb and seal. Can you tell me how that's done?
Also, I have oil on my intake manifold underneath the carburetor linkage. I thought it was leaking from the valve cover gaskets but I replaced them and the oil is still pooling on the intake. Do you have any idea where the oil leak may be coming from?
Replacement of the light bulb and rubber seal on a '69 console can be accomplished very easily. Once the chrome bezel is removed, the bulb is obvious and a simple replacement is easily done. The T-handle for the shifter must be removed by loosening the Allen-head set screw in its base and the chrome bezel is retained by four screws. The rubber seal is riveted from the factory but is easily pried loose. You can install the new seal with an adhesive of your choice. I use RTV.
Oil on the intake near the carburetor is usually from the PCV connection at the carburetor spacer. Oil vapor from the PCV system enters the engine through the rubber hose. If the hose is loose or leaking, condensed oil vapor can form on the spacer and intake manifold area. Be certain the PCV valve and system are working; an inefficient system will allow more oil to form.
I am about 95 percent complete on a total restoration of my '65 Mustang convertible. One of the few remaining problems is that the top will not retract fully. Therefore I cannot get the cover to snap onto the trim. Can you offer a solution or the possible source of my problem?
Via the Internet
There is no limiting device or adjustable stop to fully retract a vintage Mustang convertible top. The amount the top retracts is limited only by the amount of top material between the top frame bows. If the material is bunched up anywhere, the top will not fold efficiently.
Be certain that you smooth the top layers as the top is lowered. I lower the top in increments, stopping to pull and even out the folds from each side of the car as I go. I also unzip the plastic rear window, gently forming it to the well liner to prevent damage from the folding and to create more room for the top to fold as well. A thin towel over the plastic window will prevent scratches.
Radiator/Oil Cooler Combo
Are you familiar with the availability of a combination radiator and engine oil cooler? I saw one on a '66 Mustang fastback at Road America but wasn't able to ask the owner about it. I have a '66 fastback with a 289 Hi-Po engine and the combination radiator/oil cooler sure seems like a slick idea.
Water-cooled engine oil coolers work very well and are the cooler of choice for the vintage race crowd. Most aftermarket radiator companies offer generic-sized units that will require fitment to a Mustang. A very nice bolt-in radiator/oil cooler has been developed by Cobra Automotive (203/284-3863; www.cobraautomotive.com), a company that specializes in Cobra and GT 350 vintage race cars.
Cooling oil with hot coolant may seem odd at first. However, the fluids operate in similar temperature ranges. This system is very stable and efficient, and has been used to cool automatic transmission fluid for many years. It is important for the fluids to reach proper operating temperature quickly and remain as constant as possible, something that can be achieved with this type of radiator/oil cooler unit.
Can you tell me how to convert my '66 Mustang with the 200 cubic-inch six-cylinder from an automatic to a manual transmission? I'd like to switch to a four-speed.
Via the Internet
Converting an early car from automatic to standard transmission is a bolt-in swap when using '67 and later parts. The '67 and later six-cylinder Mustangs came factory equipped with the fully synchronized three-speed manual transmission that is dimensionally the same as a four-speed Top Loader. Installation of a '67 flywheel, clutch, and bellhousing will allow the use of either a three-speed or four-speed transmission behind a '66 six-cylinder engine. You could also install a later-model T-5 five-speed utilizing the adaptor plate and crossmember designed for this swap on V-8 cars.
As for the driveshaft yoke, your automatic yoke should fit the manual transmission. The function of the neutral safety switch from the automatic must be eliminated by fitting a connector between the black/red wires located in the plug connection at the firewall. The factory back-up light switch uses the same connector plug and will have a jumper wire already in place. Installation of an OEM replacement back-up light switch will duplicate the factory install.
Let us hear from you. Send your '65-'73 Mustang questions to: Beyond Basics, c/o Bob Aliberto, P.O. Box 205, Salt Point, NY 12578. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.