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 I've never had a project car


DryCreekNurse
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Nice Story!  Restore it lovingly in memory of your friend.  Welcome from League City TX.  Good luck with the resto.  It is a labor of love!

9-20-19-Mine-Again.jpg1972 Mach 1 351 Cleveland Ram Air, C6, 9 inch with 3.25 Posi, Sanderson Ceramic Headers, 2.5" dual H Pipe exhaust w/stainless tips, MSD Ignition, Edlelbrock 4BB Carb, Wilwood Front Discs, Summit Racing Rear Discs.

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 Nice story, sad on one hand, but on the other, it's in memory of your friend and a part of your story. Lots of tips here to start giving this car a new life.

 

Mustang, beer and rock'nroll

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Welcome from Central New York.

That's a great story. Sorry about the loss of your friend.

This is without a doubt the best site around for answers, information, tutorials or whatever else you might need related to 71-73 Mustangs.

Don't be afraid to ask any question you might have. Everyone here seems to be a pretty good person.

Good luck and have fun.

Mike

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BTW, restoration is a long term project requiring a year or two.  Replacement parts are hit or miss.  Sometime take weeks to get parts only to realize that they are wrong, incomplete, dont fit or way out of spec.  Some shops will promise to finish work within a few days or a week will then take months.  Be careful of the resto shop and look around and get referrals.  Patience is required!

9-20-19-Mine-Again.jpg1972 Mach 1 351 Cleveland Ram Air, C6, 9 inch with 3.25 Posi, Sanderson Ceramic Headers, 2.5" dual H Pipe exhaust w/stainless tips, MSD Ignition, Edlelbrock 4BB Carb, Wilwood Front Discs, Summit Racing Rear Discs.

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Welcome!  I am also in Minnesota (near Rochester) with a convertible undergoing a full restoration.  If you are ever nearby and would like to see what you will be getting into, let me know! 

---

Mike

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Welcome from Ohio.  Sorry for the lost of your friend.  It's nice to know the story behind your car. 

As far as restoring your car you need to answer two questions -  1. what level of  restoration do I want and 2. how much money am I willing to spend. Even with a car in fairly  good  shape a full restoration could still run in the upper teens to mid $20k at least. 

Next question is  how much am I going to do vs sending it out to a shop.  When it comes to budget this could make the difference of something getting done or not. Labor prices can eat a hole in your pocket in no time.  Anything you can do yourself is money staying in the car.  I would make a list of the obvious things that need to be replaced or repaired to start with and work from there.  

As far as getting help you can't find a better place or group of people to work with.  There are lots of threads on here and good info to be had.  You might want to checkout the https://7173mustangs.com/forums/forum/78-individual-project-build-threads/.   This should help guide you some.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.   

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Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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Welcome from Germany

Cheers Frank

1972 Mach 1, 351C-2V, wimbledon white, blue all vinyl luxury

born in Dearborn, grown in the district of San José, spent a lifetime in California, moved to Germany in 2010

Mustang_Mach1_wallpaper_300_150.jpg proud member of clublogozusammen.JPG.59fb4a10d15cfff9ec756235059135b8.JPG

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Great project to have.

I've been working on mine for about 13 years.  Before the time comes to start the project, spend some time on the forum to plan your project.  Not that your project won't frustrate you at times, but planning it first will make it better.  Basically the four things needed are space, money, time and skill.  For me the big hiccups of doing a restoration are the amount of effort and time it takes to find someone skilled to do the parts I can't, accepting that some things need to be done twice, and the amount of fiddling it takes to make reproduction parts usable.

 

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I am doing a 71 that is probably in about the same condition cosmetically as your car, maybe a little worse is some areas. Mechanically it runs and drives, but in reality needs almost everything. I started doing some body work on the roof and a quarter panel, and then found out that I had a rusted out front floor drivers side floor pan. I just put a new pan in. I have to do bodywork and mechanical stuff, and it is really driving me nuts on what to do first. I have a couple of leaks on the cowl that I need to fix, and I want to finish all the floors, as soon as I am done with that I will go and do all the mechanical stuff to get the car running right. When I finish all the mechanical I will go back and do all the bodywork. 

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to not blow the car up into a million pieces to start a restoration. We all see all the cars that owners blow up to start a restoration, and then they never finish it and the cars sit sometimes for decades deteriorating, until the owner decides to sell. My cars interior is all out, but I still have the drivers seat in it. I can start it right now and move it or even use it if I want to. I do a little bit at a time always making sure that I can easily get it back to running condition. This weekend I will change the fuel tank, and hopefully, start on the front suspension. On the suspension I will do one side first, and when that side is done, I will do the other side. I always keep the car where I can in a day or two of work get it back on the road. Small projects keep me motivated, as I can see the end of them. If I blow up the car into a million pieces, I can't see the end and it frustrates me and I loose interest, which is what happens to most people. The only point where the car will be out of commission, where I can probably not get it back on the road fast, is when I pull the engine to reseal it, do the heads, and put a small cam in it. I know this will take it out of commission for maybe a few weeks or a month, as heads will need to go to a machine shop, but as soon as heads are back, engine will go in and it will be back on the road. 

 

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Hello from southwest Florida! Welcome to the forum. You came to the right place. Everyone here is very passionate about these sleds. Please feel free to ask us any questions you might have about anything you're going to tackle in your restoration. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge here from people who have probably already dealt with and repaired the same thing you might be doing. Also everyone here is very visual so post up plenty of pics, we love pics!! Just wanted to also let you know the vendors that advertise and support this site are the best in the business when it comes to helping you out, they will bend over backwards to try and assist you. Names like Don at OMS. Mike at MotorCity Mustang. Bob at Rocketman's  Classic Cougar Innovations and that "Steely Eye Wiring Wizard" Randy, from Midlife Harness Restorations he always wants to "Check your shorts" So welcome!!     

Just remember John Wick didn’t kill all those people for a random car. It was a Mustang

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Hello and a warm welcome from SW Ontario, Canada.

First, I too am sorry for the loss of your best friend, but you are doing the right thing to keep her memory front and center.

As others have said, take and post as many pictures as you can from many angles and close up detail. This will help members advise on a process to get this beauty back on the road. Tip; when you take pics for posting, either use a lower resolution or resize them before. That way you will be allowed to post more pics moving forward.

Not to brag, but here's a pic of my car which is also in the original color, Light Pewter, so you can visualize what YOUR car would look like when done. This one is a 1971 Mach 1 351C 4V, 4 speed.

Good luck moving forward.

IMG_1557_LI (2).jpg

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Hello from Ontario. My sugestion would be to get the car on the road and work the bugs out of it. Your bound to have electrical issues,water leaks, mecanical problems.ect.  Over time you will have a good running/driveing car that your knowledgeable about. Now you can decide whether to do a full out restoration or just get it painted.. Old cars arnt everybody's cup of tea and can nickle and dime you to death so be sure you want to commit before takeing on a huge project. If you do go the restoation route, remember cars are just a bunch of sub assemblys put together. for example if I removed a gas tank it would be cleaned, painted ,hardware replaced wrapped up and put on a shelf ready to be reinstalled then move on to the next part. People who take the whole car apart and throw everything in the corner seldom put them back together. Good luck.keep us informed.

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Thank you for all of your condolences. Car people are sentimental folks. I'll tell you what, we never had this in our plans at all. My husband never thought he'd have a Mustang, but he says the more he looks at it, the more he likes it. 

 

20 hours ago, Kilgon said:

As far as restoring your car you need to answer two questions -  1. what level of  restoration do I want and 2. how much money am I willing to spend. Even with a car in fairly  good  shape a full restoration could still run in the upper teens to mid $20k at least. 

 

#1, I'd like it to go "brap-brappp-RAAWWRRR!" and for the interior to not smell like mouse poop. I'd like to be able to put my kids in the backseat and kick it down on the highway and make the kids squeal and laugh. 

#2, I can not get a handle on number 2 yet. I pulled up the carpet yesterday looking for the build sheets, the floor boards need replacing. I opened the trunk, the trunk needs replacing. I don't think I can even get an estimate with any accuracy. Does it need panels over there or can I get by with skins over here? Can you ever really tell yourself, "No, my budget is $25G, that's it. I have to stop at 25." and follow through?

I found about a dollar in change under the seats, soooo..

 

8 hours ago, rio1856 said:

 Just wanted to also let you know the vendors that advertise and support this site are the best in the business when it comes to helping you out, they will bend over backwards to try and assist you. Names like Don at OMS. Mike at MotorCity Mustang. Bob at Rocketman's  Classic Cougar Innovations and that "Steely Eye Wiring Wizard" Randy, from Midlife Harness Restorations he always wants to "Check your shorts" So welcome!!     

This is extremely helpful, I never considered that the forum would screen advertisers. Thank you. This has been the biggest worry for me is how do I select online vendors for parts. 

 

4 hours ago, Stanglover said:

Hello and a warm welcome from SW Ontario, Canada.

First, I too am sorry for the loss of your best friend, but you are doing the right thing to keep her memory front and center.

As others have said, take and post as many pictures as you can from many angles and close up detail. This will help members advise on a process to get this beauty back on the road. Tip; when you take pics for posting, either use a lower resolution or resize them before. That way you will be allowed to post more pics moving forward.

Not to brag, but here's a pic of my car which is also in the original color, Light Pewter, so you can visualize what YOUR car would look like when done. This one is a 1971 Mach 1 351C 4V, 4 speed.

Good luck moving forward.

IMG_1557_LI (2).jpg

I really like these wheels.

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5 hours ago, Stanglover said:

Not to brag, but here's a pic of my car which is also in the original color, Light Pewter, so you can visualize what YOUR car would look like when done. This one is a 1971 Mach 1 351C 4V, 4 speed.

@Stanglover I think you can brag all you want.

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Something no-one has mentioned and that is obtaining a "Marti Report". A Marti Report will identify YOUR vehicle from the VIN number and will tell you what it left the factory with. There are several levels you can apply for, but perhaps start with a basic report, which is the cheapest. Below is mine for an example. Knowing what your car is and how it was equipped is very useful information to have moving forward. 

From the replies, it would seem that your car has suffered from being outside and that's a shame. However, it's ALL fixable. Practically every part needed is reproduced, BUT not all parts are as good as the originals unfortunately.

All the best with it,

Marti Report.jpg

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Welcome from Illinois!  That is a great backstory to your car, and your friend. The advice you’ve received by the others before me are all good and I’ll just add two more.  

1. Take a lot of pictures of everything - it’ll help you in the future and because as said before, we like pics!

2. DO NOT throw ANYTHING away. There are considerable amounts of parts being reproduced, but there is an even greater number that are not.  Read through some build threads and you’ll understand. Our friends outside the US understand this sometimes better than we do here.

Just take your time, get it drivable, and make your plans on what you want to fix or get done next.  Enjoy your Mustang!

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Welcome from Western Canada. Sad story about your best friend.

I echo everyone’s advice here, but I suggest most importantly have fun with the car.

Don’t let restoration “creep” take over your life and pocketbook, if you can help it...but easier said than done.

Similar to you my car has sentimental value....as it was my high school car.

My car was parked in a garage for almost 30 years...but was in good shape

in winter of 2018, I had the body and paint redone

in the fall of 2019, I decided to redo the interior...it started with reupholstering the seats, and replacing the carpet.

While I was at it, I added this and that and so on (ie restoration creep) ....last night I finally moved the car out of the garage, after almost 2 years of it being apart.

I still have work to do...but over time I have to say it was tough to stay motivated.   For me everything that should have taken an hour to do, took a weekend or a week.   I installed parts, then had to redo things multiple times.

In hindsight, it was fun, frustrating and rewarding at the same time...but it was nice diversion from all the nonsense going on in the world these days.

 

good luck, with whatever you decide to with your project..And have fun doing it

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Body work will be your most expensive cost, mostly due to labor.  This is where you really need to think about what you want to end up with.  I took my car to a shop that I trust and know does excellent work.  I told them my car was their lowest priority and to work on it whenever they got around to it.  They took me at their word.  Everything was stripped from the car and every panel, seam, weld, and fastener was evaluated and corrected.  Eight years later I have a fabulous paint job with all corrosion removed.  The body is "flat" - you look down the sides and can't see a ripple or seam.  Park the car by a window and stand with the car between you and the window and you cannot see the color of the car in the reflection from the window.  All of the factory spot welds were reproduced when any bodywork needed to be replaced, and the minimum amount of steel was removed.  Patches were taken out of replacement panels vs replacing entire panels.  Very labor intensive, but the shop used the car as a way to work out techniques and processes for their staff.  The finish is better than new.  Sounds great, but that totally raised the bar for all of the other parts that go back on the car, so now I'm "that guy" looking for proper finishes and date codes for everything else.  On the plus side, I am learning a lot more about these cars and the things I can do myself vs having to pay a shop for (although to be honest, with the number of times I have to redo something because it's not quite right makes the cost thing a wash - or worse).  The downside is, the car has been off the road a lot longer than I intended, and there is still about 2 years to go.  But damn - it's gonna be nice.  Basically, beware of scope creep.

With your floors and trunk needing replacement, I would expect to see rust in the rear wheel housings, cowl, and core support.  What you replace or repair will depend on what you want of the car when you are done.  I would recommend anything structural be replaced, and anything that can lead to future damage (like a leaky cowl) be at least repaired.  Anything cosmetic is up to you.  All of these parts are reproduced to one level or another (cheap stampings from China on eBay to pretty faithful reproductions from Dynacorn).  In general, the less you pay for the part, the more you pay in labor to get it to fit properly.  If you are going to do any of the work yourself, particularly disassembly and reassembly, take pictures of EVERYTHING, from as many angles as you can, even of things that seem unimportant - like holes and brackets.  Lay parts you take off on the floor in an exploded assembly view and take pictures of that, with closeups where fasteners go.  Bag and tag anything that comes off the car.  Don't get rid of anything until you have a replacement on the car, even if you are replacing them with aftermarket parts or upgrades.  I like to group things by subassembly, but that's just me.  Add notes to the pictures, and save them in folders that make sense to you and then back them up.  Twice.  They will become invaluable when you get ready to sign off on bodywork before the car gets painted, or you put stuff back together.  A lot of the reproduction panels don't have all the holes put in them for all of the features of the car - like holes in cowls and firewalls for vacuum lines, brake proportioning valves, or any other option you have, the AC condensation drain in the floor, or various wire passthroughs, fold down seat supports, spare tire supports, etc., in the trunk floor panels.  You can't always count on the body shop to know where these things go.  And no matter how many photos you take, you will wish you had taken just a few more.

As far as shop selection goes, it's a bit of a crapshoot if you are going in cold.  Go to car shows and talk to owners who have cars that look like where you want yours to end up and ask them where they got their work done and would they go back to that shop again.  Then visit the shop and ask for a tour.  Shops that do collision work as their mainstay have a different mindset from shops that do custom work or shops that do restoration work.  I would recommend against a force fit between what you want vs what the shop is best at.  Be aware that no shop can guarantee an estimate (time or cost) and Run Away from any shop that does.  Old cars contain secret surprises that don't get revealed until the car comes apart, and by then you are committed to dealing with them.  Most shops aren't doing this to mess with you - it just is. 

Well that got a lot longer than I expected.  I could go on and on, but I think I'll wait to see what questions you might have so far.

---

Mike

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A set of Shop Manuals (5 volumes plus wiring diagrams) would be the first one I would get. Even if you don't plan on doing all of the work yourself it is a good reference to make sure whoever is doing the work isn't blowing smoke when they tell you what needs to be done.

While a set of Assembly Manuals are a great reference for reassembling your car, taking pictures of the tear-down are even better. The illustrations in them are a good reference as well as some of the detailed instructions on how some things go together.

The Parts Manuals are also a good reference, especially the illustrations, which show exploded views of the parts.

Hard copies of the manuals are available, repro from vendors, originals from eBay sometimes. Electronic (pdf) versions of all of them are also available from vendors.

SHOP MANUAL, PRINTED, 1971 FORD MERCURY CAR - #L-27A - National Parts Depot (npdlink.com)

SHOP MANUAL, 1971 - #L-SM-71C - National Parts Depot (npdlink.com)

The colorized version of the wiring is nice, but not necessary, the wiring diagrams are available on this forum in the Wiki section.

WIRE DIAGRAMS, 1971 - #L-WD-71A - National Parts Depot (npdlink.com)

CD, FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUALS, 1971-1973, 6 VOLUME SET - #L-FAM-7173A - National Parts Depot (npdlink.com)

Ford eBook Downloads 3 (factoryrepairmanuals.com)

If you don't have one, the owners manual is also nice to have, also available from many of the vendors in hard copy.

By the way, welcome from Oregon.

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“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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