25 Do It Yourself Mustang Projects
Improvements You Can Make To Your Ford Mustang Over A Weekend
22 Coolin' ItOne of the most common concerns we hear about is overheating. That's because there are many misconceptions about why Mustangs tend to run hot. One of the biggest is cooling system capacity. Vintage Mustangs had small radiators from the factory that never did the job they were supposed to do. Then, when radiators became loaded with rust particles and other debris during years of neglect, it further hindered cooling capacity. Even the larger 24-inch radiators ('67-up) were woefully inadequate with time and use.
To eliminate your Mustang's overheating problems, you must first have enough radiator capacity in order to transfer heat, ideally a three- or four-row core coupled with proper fan-to-radiator spacing and a shroud. There's always debate between copper/brass radiators and aluminum. Redline Cooling (www.redlinecooling.com or 734/320-6915) eliminates the debate with the wisdom and expertise of Craig Parsons, who builds one heck of a custom aluminum radiator. And when it arrives on your doorstep, you can be confident it's going to fit because Craig understands your needs.
Redline Cooling radiators are available with and without Spal electric cooling fans. If you're going with an engine driven fan, consider your application before ordering a fan, spacer, and shroud. The fan should be half-way into the shroud for optimum airflow and heat transfer. Get the fan too close to your radiator and you will run into air stagnation.
23 Cable ViewThere are all kinds of clutch release systems for classic Mustangs. Earlier, we showed you the Muscle Z-Bar system, which yields identical feel to original equipment. Bruce Couture's Modern Driveline (www.moderndriveline.com, 208/453-9800) clutch cable system provides a late-model clutch pedal feel-that nice, smooth clutch engagement we associate with '79-'04 Fox-body Mustangs. Hydraulic clutch kits are also now available from Modern Driveline.
Installing a clutch cable system is easier than you might think and it can be performed in a day. The instrument panel and driver's seat should be removed along with the Mustang's pedal assembly for access. Pedal assembly removal isn't always easy. It is suggested you rebuild your Mustang's pedal assembly using a new shaft and bearing kit from Scott Drake Reproductions for superior support and function. This shaft kit is available from National Parts Depot (www.npdlink.com or 800/521-6104).
Pedal assembly removal also involves master cylinder removal. This is the time to inspect your Mustang's master cylinder. If you're doing a '65-'66, consider installation of a dual braking system, as used on '67 and later Mustangs.
24 Carb IncreaseAlthough the aftermarket carburetor industry has certainly been good to Mustang enthusiasts in terms of all-out performance, few fuel systems have worked as well and as reliably as what the factory used to begin with. With Pony Carburetors, (www.ponycarburetors.com), you can choose the correct factory carburetor for your classic Mustang, retrofitting your Mustang's fuel system in an afternoon with a concours restored piece right out of the box. Although each carburetor is run tested and ready for operation, idle air mixture and jetting may need to be different for your elevation. So be ready to make adjustments to fuel mixture and ignition timing when installation is complete.
25 Stop The DripIf you keep a classic Mustang in your garage with its original-style Bendix power-assisted steering, you understand the concept of keeping a drip pan underneath or wiping up your garage floor on a weekly basis. The problem with Bendix power steering is the many and varied spots (ten of them) where fluid can leak. Control valves leak. So do power cylinders and hose connections. First, make sure you have fresh hoses of solid integrity. Order new power steering hoses from Larry's Thunderbird & Mustang Parts (www.larrystbird.com, or 800/854-0393). They can be installed in an afternoon. We suggest the purchase of good tubing wrenches while you're ordering hoses because conventional open-end wrenches can round off fittings.
Also, make sure your power cylinder boot is free from cracks and splits. Double check power cylinder grommets while you're under there. One more thing, closely examine all flared fittings for even the smallest nicks, which will cause leaks even with a new hose.
And remember, your Mustang's power steering pump generates 1,500-1,800 psi, which is dangerous if handled carelessly. Never check for leaks with your fingers and always be mindful of proper hose connections. Get control valve hoses backwards and you can wind up with broken wrists. Take pictures before disassembly because this is easy to get backwards.