|photo source: ginamote.wordpress.com|
There's always something left on the platter after the meal.
What am I waiting for?
I got the chance to drive my Mustang enough to chase down the source of the coolant leak, sort of. I finally saw a small drip running down the right rear side of the intake manifold. After closer observation I saw that the right rear manifold bolt had coolant flowing around it. I could see that there wasn't any coolant flowing down into the engine valley. Could the manifold have loosened up enough to permit a leak? Is anything ever that easy? I checked the manifold bolts and found that the torque reading was within specs. The manifold must have a little crack, the heater hoses connect to a boss at the rear of the manifold that contains the hose fittings. That could be the source of the leak. I guess I could put some sealer into the system to check my hypothesis.
The intake manifold is made of plastic, and they were known to break down and leak around the thermostat housing, among other places. Sometimes they suffered a catastrophic failure that erupted into an under hood shower of green coolant. An updated design used an aluminum coolant cross over pipe which was supposed to alleviate the problem. The original manifold in my car lasted for 175,000 miles which is pretty good service. I replaced the manifold in my car about three and a half years ago. Could the replacement have failed so soon?
I was successful in removing the pistons from the front wheel cylinders of my Mark VII. I need to replace some parts that were damaged: I need the internal cylinder spring for one cylinder, the crossover pipe fitting refused to loosen and the pipe was twisted and broken when removing the fitting from the other. I would also like to replace the brake shoe return springs
My plan is to clean, rebuild, and remount the cylinders, reassemble the brake shoes but not connect the brake hoses, yet. Then I will move back to the rear brakes to repeat the process. If I could get the hand brake to work, I could use it while moving the car, if it was running. Of course I need to remove and rebuild the master cylinder and blow out all the brake lines.
The oil filter canister top cover gasket didn't fit properly and needs a better design. I have to repair the end fitting to the add on oil filter canister and secure the mounting.
The carbs need to be cleaned, the broken bushing housing replaced and the assembly mounted to the head.
I have to clean out and check the integrity of the fuel tanks. I also have to devise a gravity fuel feed directly to the carbs. Not that I'm forgetting the dual fuel pumps, but I would rather concentrate on getting the motor started.
The vacuum advance assembly on the distributor needs to be replaced. I saw one for sale on Amazon but it cost 80 bucks!
The registration on my XJ6 was due this month. It also needed a smog check to complete the process. I misplaced the renewal notice and when I checked the actual registration document I found that it had passed a week earlier! I went to Triple A and paid the registration, plus fees. I only had to pay a penalty of an extra thirty bucks! I've done much worse. The CEL has been on for a long time, but the car runs really well. Still, that will have to be dealt with before it's gets the smog check.
The front suspension really needs to be rebuilt, I mean REALLY needs to be rebuilt. The steering is sloppy and it pulls to the left constantly. The last time I drove it to work it had developed a really bad oscillation that was felt in the wheel. No more driving it to work.
|This is the official Jaguar tool.|
|The homemade tool is on the left, threaded rod, nuts, washers, and a piece of pipe.|
The tool on the right is for the rear spring units.
This is going to be a difficult job so I've even toyed with the idea of buying the actual Jaguar spring compressor. Jagbits offers the tool for 500.00. That's a chunk of change so I started building the homemade job like I've seen on the forums. I have several additional compressors that I can use in conjunction with the DIY tool to ensure a level of safety. This is more in keeping with my driveway mechanic ethos, except that I don't want to do the job in my driveway.
The shed is in, and my Wife has started the process of clearing out the garage.
My goal is to be able to park two cars in the garage, while still housing all my necessary tools and equipment like the tool chests, jacks, and air compressor. I would like to be able to keep my workbench and some of my steel industrial storage racks, but nothing is written in stone. I graciously decided to set aside some space along the wall for my Daughter's small business stuff.
The XJS needs the same front suspension rebuild that the XJ6 does. Still, it is running and driving. At least all my cars except the Mark VII are driveable and I can easily move them around. That makes huge difference.
Am I buried alive or just slogging through ankle deep mud?
Last year I posted the following quote: "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes their way." Karen S. Magee
That's an attitude that I've tried to embrace and it leads me to be appreciative of everything that I have been able to enjoy in my life. Cars are important to me, but there are things of greater value. I have responsibilities towards my Wife and family first. I am blessed that the important things are going well enough to allow me to have a little fun with my old cars. I hope that you have an enjoyable Thanksgiving.
And now, for something completely different.
Just something I can kick around in the back of my mind.
|My 1970 Mustang hardtop.|
Thinking back about my '70 Mustang coupe I'm left with mixed feelings. On one hand I was kind of glad to get rid of it, on the other hand I thought that it was a pretty good looking, just a right sized, fun to drive car. It was a project car, and it was built to suit my design. On that point I think that it was a success. I built it with the look I wanted.
On the other hand I found myself with a car that would need a pretty big expenditure to bring it up to the technical specs that I wanted. While I really didn't have a beef with the straight six, it was the biggie after all, displacing 250 cubes, it's just that the fuel economy was so poor. Any equipment to improve performance and economy was scarce and very expensive. The braking system, though it was the same five lug wheels and drums as on the small block equipped car, left a lot to be desired. My experience indicated that a power boosted disc brake system at least on the front would have been a much better set up.
Sure, all kinds of upgrades are readily available, they just cost money. Add up all the upgrades; V8 swap, disc brakes, and adding a/c and the price tag turns out to be prohibitive. I guess that I should have started out with a better car! I know, I know, it didn't take a genius to figure that out. I started out trying to make an end run around the high price of a ready to go V8 muscle car. It didn't really work out.
I did that like that '70 Mustang, it really is my favorite model classic Mustang, but I don't think that I will try to find another one. If I go for another Classic Mustang it will be better equipped, but not one of the more expensive models. My choice would be the much unloved '71-73 Mustang coupe.
|I actually like the sail panels of the C pillars.You can see how the level the roof line is, |
if it would have tapered at the rear it would have been a much sleeker design
Why? Well because they are unloved (even in the Sportsroof version), and they are therefore cheap. Most are equipped with the standard small V8, usually an auto trans, power steering and often power disc brakes up front, and even a/c. All he basic building blocks are already there. Since they are pre '75 no smog test is required and I would be free to modify the motor and make some real improvements.
Some say that they are too big, ungainly, even ugly. I used to think so too.
|This is the look I would try to avoid.|
The rear of the roof is pretty tall and there are those roof sail panels. I think that the stance is very important. having a jacked up rear just makes the car look too tall. A lot of guys add the Mach One wing which doesn't help the profile any, in my opinion. I think that it should be lowered slightly, maintaining a level stance. A front spoiler would be okay, keep the tires and wheels within the fender contour, no big meats hanging out! I would build a custom front grille and tailight panel like I did on my '70. And it would also be Highland green, if I'm going to have a classic Mustang it's gotta be Highland green! The wheels would be wires. My favorite pick would be the Mark VII alloy wire as used on the Bill Blass editions. If that can't work, then maybe some other type of OEM alloy wire. If all else fails, GM wire hubcaps as used on the Buick or Olds models would be an option. Cadillac caps have too big a center section.
These are alloy wheels with actual spokes laced in the front.
I guess the center section is kind of big, too,
I've been reading Octane magazine for several years now, and what I'm going for is a kind of Euro vibe. A clean look that would stay away from overused muscle car cues.
|photo source:Stephen Alfon|
In this shot you can see that the design is well proportioned.
The large wheels fill out the wheel openings without having to lower the car excessively.
|This is a 1977 Aston Martin DBS coupe.|
I do love a green car!
I think that the Aston's fastback roof treatment is better than on the '71-73 Sportsroof Mustang, but the coupe looks better than the Aston convertible with the top up! The cars do have a lot of similarities in their profiles and even in the front appearance. Am I saying that the Mustang is the same thing as an Aston Martin? Of course not. But they ARE both large V8 powered GT cars, and they can be put to the same uses. I've always believed that the Mustang was the "Everyman's" Aston.
|You won't find many pictures of the car with the top up, now you can see why.|
Am I really going to buy a '71 Mustang? Maybe someday, but I think that I'll just keep my eyes open for a set of those Lincoln wheels!