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Alwayswanted73conv

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    1973 Convertible

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    Portland, OR

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  1. http://www.convertibletopguys.com/convertible/387/1971-73-Ford-Mustang I was pleased with the kit overall. It came with everything but the instructions left a lot to be desired. I had taken 50+ photos as I took it apart and that helped a lot. The new tack material works good. The pads that came with it were great but no instructions on how to place the rear quarter pads. Mine didn't have them when I removed the top installed a decade ago. I got them on but am not happy with them. The cloth top doesn't stretch as much as the vinyl one so I wouldn't move the material forward more than a .25-.5 inch when fastening the top to the header instead of the inch they recommend. Also like I said above, I'd move the rear bow up about .75" next time. This would help line up the crease spot on this bow better with the rear tack strips than I ended up doing mine. It holds out the water when I wash it and looks good. For the install I ordered two different rivets from a company in CA, Hanson Rivet. One type, AD48AH Aluminum Closed End Blind Rivet - stock #PAAD408AH, to hold down the rear tack material in the rear bow (factory used large staples) along with 3M trim adhesive. The other rivets were to hold the front tack strip (factory did rivets here) on with adhesive as well, SSD53SSH Stainless Closed-End Blind Rivet with Stainless Mandrel, Dome Head 5/32 X .125-.187 Grip - stock #PTTD503H. One very minor "wave" at a rear corner when its up. Haven't had it in the rain yet. In case you meant the stripes, I just got those from Mustangs Unlimited and they are Ford authorized ones.
  2. The wheels are 17" American Racing Hopsters. The guy before me put them on. I was thinking of getting Magnum 500 when I got the car 1 1/2 years ago. It had a white vinyl top that was old & had holes. Once I got the black top on, and the black Mach 1 side stripes, I decided to leave the Hopsters as they look better now by far. My wife likes the looks better with the top up as well. With the top down and the white cover, it looks great to me going down the rode but maybe thats becuase I want the top down. Part of the reason I wanted a 71-73 & not a 69-70, was the more modern car overall. I already had power disc brakes, power steering, unleaded gas engine, factory safety improvements like gas tank location, steering collapse, etc. from factory. By adding better headlights, daytime and three points, rounds out most of the modern improvements. I had the fuel lines re-done and re-routed with metal anywhere near the engine for safety reasons as well. Nothing is for sure, but I like improving my odds at reasonable cost. I will take some shots tomorrow and post. The kit I got from Mustangs Unlimited came with the parts for multiple years & body styles. I had to use a heat gun to "mold" the interior panel just a little so I got a better fit in there. I wanted a flat spot without rubbing so the pivot moved. Fairly easy to do just don't leave the heat too long or you'll lose the surface feel. Once you get the panel off, there was a natural spot to me to drill through that had good re-inforcement and the bolt that came with an angled piece for the door jamb fit the surface very good. I bolted to factory locations only down low inside the car. Driving with the seat belts on is a natural fit, similar to a Mercedes CLK430 I had. Feels very natural. I'm 6' tall. The other issue was, I had original belts and after almost 40 years, I don't think they would have held anything. New belts, three point and old style buckles and I would say no one but a Mustang show judge would know they were not factory from day one. I know going down the road, its not as likely I will smash my face, just in case. That way if I do wreck, I can cry about my car instead of me. The wheels are 17" American Racing Hopsters. The guy before me put them on. I was thinking of getting Magnum 500 when I got the car 1 1/2 years ago. It had a white vinyl top that was old & had holes. Once I got the black top on, and the black Mach 1 side stripes, I decided to leave the Hopsters as they look better now by far. My wife likes the looks better with the top up as well. With the top down and the white cover, it looks great to me going down the rode but maybe thats becuase I want the top down. Part of the reason I wanted a 71-73 & not a 69-70, was the more modern car overall. I already had power disc brakes, power steering, unleaded gas engine, factory safety improvements like gas tank location, steering collapse, etc. from factory. By adding better headlights, daytime and three points, rounds out most of the modern improvements. I had the fuel lines re-done and re-routed with metal anywhere near the engine for safety reasons as well. Nothing is for sure, but I like improving my odds at reasonable cost. I will take some shots tomorrow and post. The kit I got from Mustangs Unlimited came with the parts for multiple years & body styles. I had to use a heat gun to "mold" the interior panel just a little so I got a better fit in there. I wanted a flat spot without rubbing so the pivot moved. Fairly easy to do just don't leave the heat too long or you'll lose the surface feel. Once you get the panel off, there was a natural spot to me to drill through that had good re-inforcement and the bolt that came with an angled piece for the door jamb fit the surface very good. I bolted to factory locations only down low inside the car. Driving with the seat belts on is a natural fit, similar to a Mercedes CLK430 I had. Feels very natural. I'm 6' tall. The other issue was, I had original belts and after almost 40 years, I don't think they would have held anything. New belts, three point and old style buckles and I would say no one but a Mustang show judge would know they were not factory from day one. I know going down the road, its not as likely I will smash my face, just in case. That way if I do wreck, I can cry about my car instead of me. Just remembered, I already posted the pics on another string. http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-3-point-seatbelt-conversion
  3. I just "finished" my '73 and am just driving it now. From the factory: 351C, C6, NASA Hood, Appearnce Group, Sport Mirrors, Console, blue interior. I have the original bill of sale and factory sheet with pencil marks for installed options. Its been repainted once, same color (close). 117K miles roughly on the car. Two owners before me (@ 5-7 years ago) replaced the suspension and re-built the motor and changed out the interior to white. The guy I got it from did new flowmaster exhuast (mid range so nice rumble at idle but not loud aggressive to drive, unless you get on it), headers, some Mach 1 clone items, added factory gauges/tach, 8-Track and other period correct items that didn't come on the car. I did a new top this summer, Mach 1 stripes to finish the clone look, better speakers for the radio and more misc. mechanical. All new steering linkage, fixed some oil leaks, etc. For safety beings I plan on driving it frequently, added Halogen Headlights with daytime running lights and three point seatbelts. Not an original concours car but a lot of fun to drive and lots of thumbs up. The headlights look stock but what a difference when driving a two lane country road at night. Handles better than new and I'd drive it anywhere without even opening the hood now.
  4. I finished the top a few weekends ago. Just added the Mach 1 stripes. A lot of work and I would do a few things different next time. The line up of the rear bow should be about .75" higher than what I did but it works and doesn't leak. Also I don't think the cloth top streches as much as a stock vinyl so next time I'll adjust how I do the front bow. But in reality I hope there never is a "next time" and this top lasts decades in my garage.
  5. I bought mine from Mustangs Unlimited. I think about $70 for set for all four needed inside & out. Fairly easy to put in once you take the door panel off. Cleaned up some overspray from when the last owner had painted it. While I was at it, I repainted the pull handle and hard plastic part behind the chrome interior door handle. Repalced the window crank handles.
  6. I'm in the final stages of doing my top myself. I am so detailed, its better I do it myself but I'm sure I didn't save any money. I do hope to have a better job once done than if I hired it. I did one on a '66 Olds Delta 88 about twenty years ago in a weekend, but only had to do the vinyl. My Mustang had a new top done about 2000 but it was obvious a poor job. There were wear tears in spots on the top from rubbing while down that shouldn't have been there. I got more pieces of padding and extra parts in the new kit than were on the car as well. The Ford manual I saw online had pictures but not very complete, mostly worthless. Lots of figuring out the puzzle, common sense, and looking at every picture I could find of the inside rear with pads, but I think I have the pads on right. When I had the top off the frame, I cleaned it up and repainted it. The top is going on well. I have the rear curtain on and started on the top itself. The two rear quarter trim sticks are done. Seems all tight and no large wrinkles. I spent many hours on each of the three trim sticks & the top adjusting, measuring, removing staples and re-doing to get right. Not for the faint of heart to cut the first holes for the screw/bolts that hold the top to the car. Screw up and wasted hours and $$. I went on the loose side and tightened up, just in case. Meant I knew I would be re-doing, but worth it to me. But then each time you take the trim sticks on & off means leaning under the window, over the rear seat, and taking 4-8 bolts out that are frustrating to line back up and find the holes. Starting on the rest in a few weekends. I'll post a picture when I get it done.
  7. Thanks. I will do that. I plan on hitting the aluminum radiator with black as well. Did you have your car at the Kaneohe Air Base Air Show in late Sept. 2010? I saw a nice coupe with the Ram Air and Magnum 500's there when we were on vacation and attended the show.
  8. Been looking off & on at 71-73 convertibles for about ten years. Mine was built when I was in Junior High and neighbors had them new at the time. I fell in love then. I preferred the 73 for the front end treatment and wanted a cloned Mach 1 look or was going to do it myself. I bought a 73 convertible July '10 that had had a lot of work done to it already. It needed some items to finish the car up and I felt I could do most of it myself. The previous owner had the car about 3 years and the previous to him about 10. Lots of receipts from both, and the original owner with the handwritten build sheet, owners manual and generic Ford shop manual (not much use). The 10 yr guy had rebuilt the 351C with a little enhanced performance, 1st re-paint to almost a match original blue, re-did the interior to white and put a top on it 12+ yrs ago. The 3 yr guy had added a bunch of Mach 1 clone items: rear bezel, spoiler & gas cap, grill, chin spoiler (though the NASA hood with the chrome lockdowns had come factory), new aluminum radiator, rebuilt the suspension front & rear all new with sway bars (lowered front 1"), new headers and Flowmaster stainless steel dual exhaust, added the American Racing 17" chrome wheels, and some other items. It drove like a new car with right over 100K miles. I saw it needed: New Top (two tears in vinyl each side), the blue paint on the hood was faded, some general micro detailing of the interior parts and some minor fixes to things like the radio, window cranks, etc. All the minor stuff I could easily find at not too high of expense. The top was the only big item, maybe paint "someday". I've taken apart the dash (polished all the plastic & dusted), added LED lights in the dash (I can see the speedometer now at night), Halogen headlights (can see the road at night now) with a daytime running bulb at bottom, new headlight switch, played with the radio (8 track works) but will replace as sounds terrible, polished the hood paint, just installing 3 point seat belts this weekend and have been working on the top. I removed the old one and have cleaned up the mechanism and repainted. I am about to start on the install of the new cloth top I ordered in black. I did a top myself 25 years ago on a '66 Oldsmobile Delta 88 I restored so the Mustang should be doable. I also have the side stripes for the 73 Mach 1 to put on. I am thinking of painting the interior of the chrome wheels "spokes" satin black to get an effect like the Magnum 500s until I get get my wife to agree spending those $$ is a good ide. She likes the hot rod look of the chrome wheels and they do look somewhat period correct. Those of you that work on your cars know that each of the above "fixes" took many hours, some entire weekends, each. But the satisfaction when its done is priceless. I enjoy this type of detail improvements and driving the car. Took it out this Sunday (a rare non-rainy day here this time of year & with no top currently on it, important) for about a 3.5 hour drive around Portland to get some vitamin D. I hope to get some good advice from other members and am happy to post my improvements as I did with the 3 pt seatbelt post under "convertibles". The picture is from when I first got it. I will post additional once complete this Summer.
  9. I was at work yesterday when I posted and planned on taking some photos to add today. Here they are. The bracket in the door jamb doesn't look too bad and doesn't interfere with door closing at all. You drill through two sheet metal pieces and the interior 1/4 plastic to get the bolt through. I alligned the hole through the strongest part I thought on the inside metal above a ridge in the metal. The plastic inside is bent in about 1/2 inch. I will be using the heat gun to mold it a little better for a more permanent flex. When you wear the belts, they comfortable ride over your shoulder. I'm 6' and they fit fine. I have a MB CLK430 cabriolet as my daily driver and the seat belts fit pretty much the same with a simlar mounting angle. Pics would be great if you get a chance. :)
  10. I just installed the 3 point set in my 73 conv. this weekend. Very pleased with results. Buckles look period original though don't match what I took out. Wanted the shoulder harness and didn't like the safety aspects of 40 year old belts. I bought the set from Mustangs Unlimited $200+. Used only about 10% of the hardware kit as its a multi-generational kit. It came with a bolt with an angle piece attached that attaches to the door jamb. Had to bend a little to get the rivit holes to align properly, easy. I would have preferred the bolt to be about 1/2 longer but thats life. Looks good, kind of like "factory" as it sits on the vertical wall just below the top edge, but had to bend the plastic rear quarter inside piece some to get the bolts on. It didn't crack and I plan on using the heat gun to mold it a little, then re-paint the pieces. Took it out for a three hour drive afterwards and they worked & felt well.
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