Friday, December 25, 2015

I would like to make my final entry for the year. My Mustang has been up and running now for about a year. I have spent more time driving it instead of working on it. It has proven to be quite reliable, it has not left me anywhere except when it ran out of gas several times. I finally got fed up enough to pull the instrument panel and fix the gage. The working gage is much appreciated. I had a lot of trouble with the illumination of the instruments. They were so dark, even after replacing the burnt out bulbs. I had considered adding some kind of internal lighting but decided that I didn’t want to drill any holes in the dash cluster. I found some stick on blue led projector lights at Pep Boys. They were designed to plug into the lighter socket. I ended up using three two light sets, wiring them all together and hooked them up to the existing rheostat wiring. I used a single light for the smaller gages and two lights for the larger gages. I ran the wires under the panel and though they look a little cheesy they really make the gages easy to read. At least I didn’t make any permanent modifications.

The Mustang starts right away in the morning but after a ten minute stop it takes a bit of cranking with the throttle down to clear it out. It seems it floods out a bit after sitting hot. I think the float level might be a little high but I’m reluctant to open up the carb until I can find a source for the float bowl gaskets. I’ve been forced to buy a complete rebuild kit and the enclosed bowl gaskets had to be stretched out to fit. These kits have run me over twenty bucks a piece. What I need is a fuel resistant o-ring that would work. I might also add a heat shield under the carb. There is a shop in Santa Clara that would rebuild my carb for 125.00. I had them rebuild the Quadrajet in my 66 Riviera and they did a good job. I haven’t wanted to spend the bucks because I was thinking of selling the car.

I put it for sale on Craigslist and didn’t get any serious response. I even took it to the Goodguys event in November with no luck. I’ve taken three other cars there over the years and had struck out three times. I was kind of disappointed as I thought a Mustang would be an easy sale. I’m beginning to think that people just attend the show as entertainment although the swap meet seems pretty busy.

Why am I thinking of selling after talking so much about automotive equity? It’s hard to accept the fact that this car isn’t anything special. It pretty underwhelming. It’s slow and get crappy gas mileage. There’s all kinds of squeaks and creaks, and water leaks. Financially I’ve now got a bit over five thousand in the car. ( I tried to sell the car for that price with no takers) I figure if I upgrade the car with a V8 auto trans combo, power front disc brakes,fix a few misc. bits and a suspension rebuild I might spend another five grand. Now I’ll have ten grand tied up in the car. The car would now be in a pretty good state, pretty much as I had envisioned. I could then square away the prior body repairs, repaint the car, recover the seats and spruce up the interior. And there goes another five grand! So now I’m up to around fifteen grand. Is it worth spending fifteen grand on a salvage coupe? At this time it’s a moot point as I don’t have that chunk of money to spend.

I’ve decided to hold onto my Mustang for awhile and make some of the repairs it needs. I’ve bought some new parts that I still need to install and there are some low priced repairs that I can do to improve the car, but I will let the car remain what it is. A six cylinder stripper. I am going to accept the car for what it is. I do plan on working on the induction system by going to some kind of dual carb set up. I think this might also improve fuel economy by more efficient distribution. I actually found an old complete three carb set up at a swap meet, the seller only wanted fifteen hundred bucks for it, more than I paid for the entire car!

Once when I tried to explain hot rodding to my Dad he didn’t get it, but he made a very valid observation. He said, “If you want a faster car, why don’t you just buy a faster car?” Well, that is just what I have done.  


  1. Its easy to get trapped in the upgrading/modifying mindset. I bought my first gen Pathfinder for cheap because I wanted to try having a 4x4 and going on adventures. All the Toyotas and Jeeps were 3-4x as much money for junk so I ended up with the Nissan. Its a fantastic truck and a solid offroader (can do more then I'd feel comfortable doing) but I have dreams of modifying it into a awesome overlanding machine. Big armored bumpers with a winch, nice roof rack with lights, on board air compressor, upgraded suspension, add on air conditioning, etc. I have to constantly remind myself that if I want a faster truck with an even better off road suspension and more room it would make more sense to buy another vehicle. I am just enjoying it for what it is, an inexpensive base model truck that realistically can do any kind of offroading I'm ever going to be doing (and cost almost nothing).

  2. Enjoying what you have, or acquiring something attainable. That is the Better Beater mantra. Pick the low hanging fruit.