I've never had a project car

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DryCreekNurse

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My car has a cool story, I'm going to need guidance.

I bought my best friend's '71 from her estate. She bought it 26 years ago when she was 16 and I was 17. She saved her money from working two summers at Subway. There was five of us that piled into a minivan and drove from MN to Long Beach to pick it up. 
We all went to prom in that car back in 1996.

She died of an aneurysm last summer, her mom decided it was time to sell it. It had been sitting in the woods for quite a while, the tabs are from 2001. I couldn't let it go to a stranger, so I loaded it up on my husband's car trailer and brought it home. 

So here we are. I don't have a clue where to even start.. I put a jump pack on it, squirted some gas into the carb, jumped the ignition and it turned over and fired. I don't think she was aware of exactly how cool this car was when she bought it. Neither did I until I started really looking at it. It will be in our cold storage over the winter. Spouse said I'm just going to have to chip away at it one step at a time. 
It's a Cleveland, FMX auto, Vin is a 1F05H.. 

Any advise would be appreciated very much. 
 

241673577_10223281246157393_7101551501908359275_n.jpg

 

Bobby

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Sep 24, 2018
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Location
League City, TX
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1972 Mach 1
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!

 

Manu Mach1

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France
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73 Ford Mustang Mach 1 351 CJ all matching numbers, under restoration.
73 Ford Mustang Sprint from Mexico.
 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.

 

mjseakan

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Location
Clinton, NY
My Car
1973 Grande
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

 

Bobby

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Sep 24, 2018
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League City, TX
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1972 Mach 1
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!

 

MikeGriese

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Dec 24, 2013
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Minnesota
My Car
71 convertible
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! 

 

Kilgon

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Ross, Ohio
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71 Sportsroof Bright Red.

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.   

 

MooseStang

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Jul 1, 2021
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Location
Texas
My Car
72 Q-code Vert
Welcome from the Woodlands TX!   I've only been here for a short while, but the willingness and depth of knowledge of the people here are outstanding.   Good luck on your build,  and as they say, we like lots of pictures.

 

Bentworker

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California
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71' Grande project.
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.

 
Joined
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Location
East Texas
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351 4 speed
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. 

 

rio1856

Drive it like you stole it!!!
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Aug 21, 2011
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Location
Immokalee Fl.
My Car
1972 Mach 1 Q code 351CJ 4Spd Toploader 9" rear end
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!!     

 

Sheriff41

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Texas
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72 Mustang Q-code
Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. You'll find a lot of help and advice here. Best of luck with your resto and don't get discouraged. 

 
Joined
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Location
SW Ontario
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1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
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

 

MustangSally44

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1973 Mach1
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.

 

DryCreekNurse

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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. 

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..

 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. 

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.

View attachment 54877
I really like these wheels.

 
Joined
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1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
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

 
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