25 Do It Yourself Mustang Projects
Improvements You Can Make To Your Ford Mustang Over A Weekend
17 Single-Wire AlternatorIf you drive your classic Mustang on a regular basis, you understand charging system woes. They can leave you on the roadside waiting for AAA and a battery. Those old mechanical voltage regulators can sometimes make your Mustang's charging rate sporadic. When this happens, you need to install a single-wire 100+ amp alternator, a popular modification for owners who drive their vintage Mustangs daily. Performance Distributors (www.performancedistributors.com or 901/396-5782) calls its single-wire, high-amp 3G alternator Mr. AMP and it does a terrific job of keeping the lights on and your battery charged.
Mr. AMP enables you to bypass the stock voltage regulator because it is internally regulated. Performance Distributors includes everything you'll need to install the 3G Mr. AMP, including heavy-gauge wiring, circuit protection, and all terminals. Don't forget to disable your Mustang's ammeter when you go to single-wire. Otherwise, you can count on smoke in the cockpit.
18 Strap In To Stay SafeLike we said earlier, when you drive a vintage Mustang, you accept the risks as well as the rewards of ownership. Companies like Custom Accessories (www.customaccessoriesmfg.com or 800/560-2358) have come out with three-point passenger restraint systems for early Mustangs as a means to making them safer. They're easy to install in a weekend in your driveway.
Thing is, not everyone wants that late-model look in their classic Mustang. This is why there are viable alternatives for those owners who want lap belts that not only look good, but also function well. Here are your choices.
We like the classic look seat belts from National Parts Depot (www.npdlink.com and go to the interactive catalog or 800/874-7595). Produced by Scott Drake Reproductions for NPD, these belts are available in a variety of Mustang interior colors and connect across your waste with the ease of an airline belt. When you're installing these belts, it is suggested you use the factory attachment points along with positioning them where the pony and tri-bar are right side up as they face the passenger.
If your desire is to restore your Mustang's original seat belts and retractors, SSSnake-Oyl Products (www.ssnake-oyl.com or 800/284-7777) can help with a nice selection of new restraint systems as well as restoration of old belts, buckles, and hardware. The main thing you want to remember with seat belt restoration is to take note of date codes on the buckles and hardware to ensure you get back the same hardware for your Mustang's manufacture date code. You can also specify a specific date code. If they have it, you will get it. Ssnake-Oyl Products can restore any classic Mustang seat belt with outstanding results.
19 Wheel TerrificSometimes, a stock steering wheel just doesn't cut it in terms of feel and appearance. When you compare the feel of an original Mustang steering wheel to a nice, compact aftermarket wheel, it feels like you're driving a school bus. Grant Products has a huge array of custom steering wheels and installation kits for classic Mustangs. Installation is something you can accomplish at home with that tool kit your parents gave you when you were 16.
As with any steering wheel, the Grant wheel must be secured carefully. It is suggested you use a thread locker on bolt threads, but not the shaft nut, which is a lock nut. Wiring must be protected from chaffing and cutting. Tension pins should always be installed with gaps to the inside to prevent turn signal switch damage. It is also suggested you use white grease on these pins.
Grant steering wheels and related parts are available from Summit Racing Equipment at www.summitracing.com or by calling 800/230-3030.