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Poor quality control, factory freaks, or mistakes?


Guest Kit Sullivan
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Guest Kit Sullivan

It seems lately that a lot of enthusiasts on this forum and many others have taken the attitude that cars from the 60s and 70s were built with poor attention to detail and poor quality control, and are using this assumption as the basis as to why thier particular car has some unexplained (or unknown to them) feature that doesn't fit in with what they assume are the standards used "back in the day".

The feeling that quality bcontrol was not an issue is not as true as some may think.

The Monroney act was still fresh in the minds of many (especially Ford) and it was very important that the product that was built, sold and delivered matched what they claimed they were selling to the customers.

 

To assume that something is a mistake due to carelessness or poor quality control on your car because you can't readily explain it any other way is an exercise in "bad science". To stste that something must be a "fact" based on anecdotal evidence and without any other input is a fallacy. Sounds like religion to me.

 

These cars are 40+ years old...whether you want to belive it or not, many things may have been changed or modified over the years without anyone realizing it.

Old owners sometimes forget changing things, cars are often "robbed" of desirable parts at a delaership and replaced with the lesser version of that part to make a car more sale-abale to a particular customer.

That 'robbed' car may then be sold to the first owner, who swears it "came from the factory" that way.

 

Family members sometimes change items on cars and others in the family may be unaware of it.

 

Over the years, I have herad all thse "facts" from supposedly knowledgable "experts":

 

all 71s came with chrome bumpers, all 72s had urathane. we know thats wrong.

 

There were mach 1 convertibles. Wrong again.

 

Magnums could be had on 73s...nope.

 

Front spoliers wee optional on Mach 1s. Never.

 

Windsors came in 71-73s. No again.

 

And many more.

 

Some things are just bound to remain a mystery...an assumption of fact is not a fact at all.

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I find your logic sound and agree, mostly. 302 Windsors did come in 71-73 Mustangs 351 Windsors did come in the Mexican built Mustangs.

 

I know I am picking nits with that statement, but overly broad statements tend to hold a lot of nits.

 

And I am not going to say it was a quality control issue, but fit and finish standards were quite different in 1973 than they are today.

 

Mach 1 stripe kits installed at the dealer on a convertible or a coupe ordered with the appropriate equipment made what may well have been sold as a "Mach 1" though I don't imagine that would have been known to many owners at the time.

 

We are lucky to live in an age where information is so readily available. It wasn't so, not so long ago.

http://www.7173mustangs.com/gallery/1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png

 

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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My Marti Report said the car came with 14" "Wheel Covers," but did not specify which wheels covers (dog dish, sport, et al).

 

Am I wrong to simply assume it was "Sport Covers," since I prefer those to the corporate "dog dish" application?

 

That's the bad thing about having such a cavalier effort towards keeping records.

Eric

mach1sig2.gif

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Guest Kit Sullivan

Jeff,

You are right, Mextangs certainly did have 351 Windsors, but I am just referring to USA made Mustangs, which of course never had the 351 Windsors.

The 302 did come from the same family of blocks as the 351 Windsor, and many have taken to calling them "302 Windsors". I don't subscribe to that, only because Ford never really referred to them that way, simply because there was no need to differentiate them from any other Ford-produced 302 engine. The Windsor moniker on the 351 was used primarily to denote it from the 351 Cleveland...as we all know.

 

Not sure if this true, but I heard this from someone years ago:

 

When a new 352-inch small block was developed by Ford, it was given the official size designation of "351" to keep it seperate from the older "352" truck engine (FE series) Ford sold. So it was simply "351".

Then...the new high-performance 351-inch engine came about, requiring "Cleveland" and "Windsor" names to keep them seperate. I never did the math to verify that story, though.

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True, but body and gap fitment issues were not out of the ordinary. Not to the point of your average Jethro and Jed's Cut-Price Bodyshop clunker, but there are some bad factory gaps out there.

 

That, and there are also variances in factory gaps. I've seen perfectly intact cars with completely different door gaps - and not due to unibody sagging either, or door sagging.

 

Case in point, my '71 has huge gaps at the top of the doors, which taper to an even gap from the feature line down to the bottom. There is a bit of sag in this door, but you're not going to fix that gap adjusting the door. Point it up and it won't match the quarter. Bring it both back and up, and you'll throw off the lower gap. I know there IS room for improvement from what's shown here, but it's never going to look perfect.

 

2ujt6c3.jpg

 

Yet, it's still not even close to what one might assume is factory acceptable, but it is. In this case - there's nothing wrong with the gap as it is.

 

By comparison, my Dearborn '72 has very tight factory gaps which taper a bit at the top. I immediately suspected the car of sagging due to its substantial rot - but the gap is more or less even down the whole length, and jacking it up on its rear torque boxes caused no change in the gap. I'm convinced it isn't sagging.

 

2rrxoo4.jpg

 

The RH side is even kookier, with gaps that get narrower and wider over short distances. It's just the way they made them. I defy anyone to adjust the gaps on my '71 to look absolutely identical to this '72 - using only the door hinge and striker for adjustment. Can't be done without custom bodywork. There's a variance in the build, and that's just the way it is.

 

1zezdl4.jpg

 

Now the REAL trick is to know when a bad gap is normal and when it is not normal. Convertibles are great learning tools for this, as every other one out there is a sagging rust pile.

 

Windsors came in 71-73s. No again.

 

As in 351W's, that is.

 

EDIT: Never mind, everybody else beat me to the punch while I was out taking photos.

 

-Kurt

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How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Guest Kit Sullivan

Actually, cars do "sag upwards", especially our Mustangs. Jacking a car in the wrong spot in the center can easily tweak a high spot in the center of the unibody. That is actually kind of common on our cars.

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Actually, cars do "sag upwards", especially our Mustangs. Jacking a car in the wrong spot in the center can easily tweak a high spot in the center of the unibody. That is actually kind of common on our cars.

 

If there really was a center to jack from on our cars. Other than the floorpan reinforcements, it's not that hard to miss the torque boxes.

 

That said, you'd think that 30 years of banging over speed bumps would cause the worked metal in that area to ease back into shape.

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Quality of paint was definitely a problem on my 73 Convertible. The day it left the dealership new we noticed you could see primer on the tail light panel above the right rear tail light. The tail light panel around the tail lights suffered from rust early in ownership.

 

The mis-alignment of the trunk lid was obvious when new also. In fact it appeared the left rear quarter panel was misaligned a the seam. Back in the mid-70's my friends father was a body man and he tried to align the trunk lid a little better, but indicated it was the quarter panel that was the problem.

 

Other than those two things I believe the fit and finish was OK for the time as compared to other cars I owned.

Mike AKA Ole Pony & Rare Pony
Our current Mustang garage/driveway
1973 Mustang Convert - Bought in 1974 - Still have it!
2004 Mach 1 Oxford White Auto, Bought Sept 06

20180127_082009.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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'To stste that something must be a "fact" based on anecdotal evidence and without any other input is a fallacy. Sounds like religion to me."

 

:s

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRveIaRU6OAzTfd2Mv6ypGH49BZcPU7MS_7PBKhiOmpmJJrHJ_B_Q

 

DUDE

 

LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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'To stste that something must be a "fact" based on anecdotal evidence and without any other input is a fallacy. Sounds like religion to me."

 

Watch it, Kit. Mustangs are my religion! :D

 

Don't underestimate Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration!

 

;)

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Assembly lines for our cars were still pretty basic as was the assembly orders. A lot of it could be overridden by an executive who wanted a car in a specific way. If a vice president really wanted a Windsor they could have made it happen. I am not saying it did. I am just saying it would have been a lot easier to override the system 44 years ago.

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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I have an uncle that worked for Ford in the Lorain OH plant from the late 60's then moved to the Kentucky plant in the 90's, and many times he said, they did what they had to do to get the production numbers out the door.

he worked the assy line, and he said, as long as its within spec, they let it go, or they would substitute parts on the go as long as it was approved by the line supervisor, and when he worked in the Kentucky plant he was in QC, and he said, some times the gaps were way off, but they were within the engineering specs, they would let it go.

Iyman

1972 Mustang Convertable :run_horse:  [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=1507]Visit My Garage[/button]

Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Facebook Page [button=https://www.facebook.com/MUSTANGCCNE]MCCNE FB Page[/button]

 

Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Web Page [button=http://www.mccne.com/]MCCNE Web Page[/button]

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I have an uncle that worked for Ford in the Lorain OH plant from the late 60's then moved to the Kentucky plant in the 90's, and many times he said, they did what they had to do to get the production numbers out the door.

he worked the assy line, and he said, as long as its within spec, they let it go, or they would substitute parts on the go as long as it was approved by the line supervisor, and when he worked in the Kentucky plant he was in QC, and he said, some times the gaps were way off, but they were within the engineering specs, they would let it go.

 

I noticed some gaps between seams when I cleaned removed factory undercoat on bottom of my car. One side looks flush and nice, other side looked sloppy. I looked it over real good for hidden rust or something but couldn't find a legit reason for it. Me and dad chucked it up to build quality. My dads been a ford tech for almost 40 years and said its nothing to worry about and 70's cars were common to have little things "not so perfect". Eh anyways it really doesn't bother me as I'm not gung ho purist about my car. Maybe if I had a special mustang I'd think differently.

 

Sent from my SCH-S960L using Tapatalk

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I had a 97' expedition, 1 owner (me) it was missing 3 bolts that hold the dash in place, I drove the car for a few weeks and it started to rattle, so I started to look around, and I noticed them missing, so I took it to the dealer, and they laughed and said " its your typical Ford, we'll take care of it."

Iyman

1972 Mustang Convertable :run_horse:  [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=1507]Visit My Garage[/button]

Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Facebook Page [button=https://www.facebook.com/MUSTANGCCNE]MCCNE FB Page[/button]

 

Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Web Page [button=http://www.mccne.com/]MCCNE Web Page[/button]

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The best that Union money can buy.

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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'To stste that something must be a "fact" based on anecdotal evidence and without any other input is a fallacy. Sounds like religion to me."

 

Watch it, Kit. Mustangs are my religion! :D

 

Don't underestimate Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration!

 

;)

 

-Kurt

and i take lightly any insult cast my direction for grammatical errors, rants of no value, lack of knowledge whole or in part .... but I doubt you will find any day that I make a conscious decision to allow someone to insult religion. I'm not the pushover other Christians have trained themselves to be these days.

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRveIaRU6OAzTfd2Mv6ypGH49BZcPU7MS_7PBKhiOmpmJJrHJ_B_Q

 

DUDE

 

LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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Poor quality control, factory freaks, or mistakes?

 

We are talking about us, the forum members here, right????

 

NOTHING but NET!!!!!

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRveIaRU6OAzTfd2Mv6ypGH49BZcPU7MS_7PBKhiOmpmJJrHJ_B_Q

 

DUDE

 

LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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:whistling:

Doc

Project started 8-7-10

Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system

Current "mini-project": interior upgrade :-/

[button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=76]Doc's Garage[/button][button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-mustang-convertible-restoration-and-modification]Doc's Wiki[/button]

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  • 10 months later...

My uncle Skip worked for Ford from the early 60s through the 80s and he told me they had a saying that good enough was good enough. Quality was not job one especially during the 70s. Panel alignment was nowhere near what it is today. It is very true about dealerships robbing Peter to pay Paul to sell a particular car. That was commonplace and installing front spoilers on MACH1 to make a sale or make a customer happy happened quite often.

Going fast is fun but life is short so slow down and enjoy the ride :D Frank

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There's a small metal bracket that attaches to the car body at the inner bottom of the quarter window opening, the purpose of which is to hold in place the top of the plastic arm rest panel.

 

One side was missing this bracket so I assumed it had got lost somewhere in the last forty years. When it came time for me to spruce up my floors, I peeled up the factory-installed floor insulation and found the missing bracket on the back floor pressed into the underneath of the insulation.

 

Well that solved the whereabouts of the missing bracket, but when I went to install it I found the hole in the body where it screws onto was malformed from when the panel was pressed (the hole was there but it hadn't broken through), and there was no way to screw the bracket on until I "completed" the hole by drilling it out.

 

So the bracket hadn't been installed at the factory at all - I surmise that the vehicle assembler went to screw it on, found he didn't have a hole to screw it in to, so piffed the bracket onto the rear floor for me to find forty years on! Quite thoughtful of him really.....

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Brett

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Surprised nobody has mentioned delivery "accidents", sales person demo "boo boos" or any other damage from test drives that a dealer repairs before the vehicle is sold to the original owner. Having worked in dealerships, I've seen it many times.

.

.

I can’t believe I forgot three big ones: theft, damage and vandalism just being on the dealership lot. Not much for surveillance back in the day.

Stang1.jpg
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There's a small metal bracket that attaches to the car body at the inner bottom of the quarter window opening, the purpose of which is to hold in place the top of the plastic arm rest panel.

 

One side was missing this bracket so I assumed it had got lost somewhere in the last forty years. When it came time for me to spruce up my floors, I peeled up the factory-installed floor insulation and found the missing bracket on the back floor pressed into the underneath of the insulation.

 

Well that solved the whereabouts of the missing bracket, but when I went to install it I found the hole in the body where it screws onto was malformed from when the panel was pressed (the hole was there but it hadn't broken through), and there was no way to screw the bracket on until I "completed" the hole by drilling it out.

 

So the bracket hadn't been installed at the factory at all - I surmise that the vehicle assembler went to screw it on, found he didn't have a hole to screw it in to, so piffed the bracket onto the rear floor for me to find forty years on! Quite thoughtful of him really.....

 

 

So now your car is no longer factory correct. :)

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Mike
"If I were you...... I´d rather be me." 😛
Check out my video:
http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-my-mustang-in-action

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