Cowman's 73 Mach 1 Restoration

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Cowman

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Finally I'm in a position to start my build thread!

I bought this car back in 2010, I already had a project on the go but the price was right and I had storage to keep it until I was ready. Fast forward to 2021 and after completing my other build and settling down I'm now in a position to start the restoration.

Car is a 73 Mach 1, H code, in Bright Red and left the factory with a white vinyl top. It came to England in 73 and has been here for essentially its entire life. The story goes that it was taken off the road in 93 to fix a transmission fault, but it never returned to the road, moving between owners and neglected until I bought it in 2010.

I pulled it out of my storage last weekend and moved it to where I'm living now. My original plan was to sympathetically modify, but I have since learnt that it still has the original engine and trans, indicating a matching numbers car, apart from being neglected it does appear to be mostly original, although someone had a go at a few repairs somewhere along the way. Plans now are to restore, but I have a huge journey ahead, because it needs everything - and I'm not exaggerating!

First job will be to tear it down and see how bad the rot is, then I'll need to make a decision about where to start, probably the floor pan, that should at least give me something solid to work from.

Looking forward to getting stuck in!

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c9zx

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Good luck with the restoration. Take your time and do things once. Keep us updated. Chuck

 
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When you remove anything keep it until you are finished. The replacement floors do not have all the reinforcements and brackets on them you have to take from the original. I have a 73 if you have any questions about how something looks or goes. Here the first place a built goes is to a frame shop to put the chassis back to zero before doing anything. Then if you have to do floors you need a chassis JIG to keep it right. I am having to cut and patch a botched quarter panel on one now. Off 1/2" about 11 mm. It was a NOS Ford quarter panel also.
I am sure you know the side stripe is something someone did on their own not Ford.

 

mach71351c

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Take lots of pictures during tear down! You will need them later.

 

cwalker509

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...and label everything with tape and a marker (not marker directly on part) or place in a sealable plastic bag and label that....but perhaps you already know that. What was your other recently finished project?

 

Cowman

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Thanks for the warm welcome! I learnt a lot from my first project which took best part of seven years to complete, I'm hoping to apply what I learnt to make this project even better!

I fully anticipate that I will need to build a jig to work from, fortunately I have a four post as a datum, so I have a square and level platform to work from (something I didn't have first time round). It'll be interesting to see how square this thing is before I start cutting, I have no reason to believe it has ever had any damage, but the extent of the rot may have meant things have shifted.

I have the Marti report, and I've sent the log book away to update the address since moving it, as soon as that comes back I want to see if I can get the original invoice from Marti, as retained by Lois Eminger, if the car has been over here since 73 they should still have it!

As for previous project, brace yourselves...

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Muskrat1

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Nice job on the citrus green RS, Looks beautiful.

 

PNWMach1

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[url=https://ibb.co/Z2c0Tbg][img]https://i.ibb.co/WVBLKRz/IMG-20150502-00511.jpg[/img][/url]
Wow, that Camaro looks outstanding. If that is what you had to start with, the Mach 1 should be easy in comparison :biggrin:

Found it interesting that your car originally came with a white vinyl top...can't recall ever seeing one in that color before.

Best of luck on the resto, and welcome to the forum!

 

mjseakan

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Welcome from Central New York.

Good luck with the restoration and keep the pictures coming.

Mike

 
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Hello and welcome from an ex-pat Brit, now living in SW Ontario, Canada.

The car looks like a good base to start with. Please post lots of pics, we love pics! TIP: resize your pics first before posting as it will save you room, which is limited.

See my Garage. I saw my very first Mach 1 in Birmingham in 72, fell in love and I am on my 4th one now.

PS Love that split bumper Camaro and love the colour.

 
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I always suggest you go to frame shop first you can bend one of these by jacking wrong. My X wife bent her 1974 SS Chevelle by crossing a ditch was way off. I have never seen a mustang right when checked. My next project is totally rust free do not have to replace a single panel but will go to frame shop first. I have seen too many failed builds to not take it serious. Too late after everything is weld up and nothing fits.

 

Cowman

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Thanks for the top tips everyone!

Started stripping the front end yesterday, some of the fasteners sheared, others had to be cut out and some were just clearly wrong! I now have a lovely pile of scrap which I'm sure will grow over the course of this build, the lower valance, hood and passenger fender are all scrap, along with most of the headlight assembly brackets. Gut feeling at the minute is that I will be building a new front clip using the Dynacorn assemblies, but, I first need to find some solid steel to work from, the firewall looks my best bet at the minute!

I'm going to continue stripping the scrap from the front end and get the engine pulled, then I can have a good look at things and come up with a plan. 

Does anyone reproduce the 73 front bumper mounting arms and or the B-Pillars? I can't seem to find any listed so suspect I might be looking at parts cars? Does anyone have any leads?

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turtle5353

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Yeah you got some work ahead of you.  For the hard to find sheetmetal that's not reproduced, I would contact Don at Ohio Mustang Supply or Mike at Motor City Mustang.  Both are on here as site supporters and both a very good guys to work with. And both have multiple parts cars for just such an occasion!  Good luck on the build and keep us updated. 

 

Kilgon

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Very nice looking Camaro.   Looks like you got a lot of work ahead of you.  At least you know what you are getting into.   As already mentioned keep us updated with pics and let us know how it is going.  

 

timachone

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Wohoo, that rust has eaten up some iron  :classic_blink:  

:welcome: from Germany and good endurance for your project. But it looks like you are not one of the chicken-hearted! I will looking forward to your progress! Awesome Camaro you have. This generation was one of my favorites for a muscle car once. Then came the Mustang  :biggrin:  

The bumper mounts and b-pillars are not reproduced. But as Kevin said we have some folks in there who have some parts cars...  :thumb:

But when you have to do all this work I would considering if you don't go the 71/72 route front wise. It depends on your front bumper and its condition. They are hard to come by in good condition... And they are heavy!!! I had the luck to find one in a decent condition many years ago in Luxembourg. But if yours is not decent enough and you will not find a decent one all over the world I would buy 71/72 front fenders, valance, chrome bumper, bumper mounts etc. They are different from '73 but in your state of project it makes sense to overthink if you would have to buy new sheet metal anyway! 

 

Cowman

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Yeah you got some work ahead of you.  For the hard to find sheetmetal that's not reproduced, I would contact Don at Ohio Mustang Supply or Mike at Motor City Mustang.  Both are on here as site supporters and both a very good guys to work with. And both have multiple parts cars for just such an occasion!  Good luck on the build and keep us updated. 
Thanks, I'll be sure to give these guys a shout.

Thank you for all the kind comments, I've been doing some research on how people have built jigs for their projects. This is definitely the path I want to take, does anyone know where I can get the chassis dimensions for the 73? I've seen other years posted but not for 73, or were all years the same?

Randomly my 73 bumper appears to be OK, it will need some TLC but it actually looks like it might be salvageable, the brackets on the other hand look too far gone to be of use. Worst case I could fab up some new brackets I guess.

 

timachone

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Thanks, I'll be sure to give these guys a shout.

Thank you for all the kind comments, I've been doing some research on how people have built jigs for their projects. This is definitely the path I want to take, does anyone know where I can get the chassis dimensions for the 73? I've seen other years posted but not for 73, or were all years the same?

Randomly my 73 bumper appears to be OK, it will need some TLC but it actually looks like it might be salvageable, the brackets on the other hand look too far gone to be of use. Worst case I could fab up some new brackets I guess.
Mmmmh... 

I have my old ones which I will change to some unmolested newer ones. The old ones are structurally ok, somebody have cut some holes on the front for the bumper mounts in length otherwise sound. But they are heaaaaavy... Perhaps we can keep in touch  :thumb:

 

Cowman

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More progress last night, pulled the other fender, turns out I had one 71/72 fender from what appears to have been a yellow car, and one original fender, which would explain why one was shorter than the other. Will need to add a passenger fender extension to the shopping list!

Plenty more rust hidden behind the drivers fender, but starting to get a feel for how much work is required.

Took some photos of the motor, I've already established that it's the original block, and that it appears to have the 2V heads (which makes sense) and otherwise it appears to be mostly original, unless anything looks out of place to those in the know. I've had a go at turning it over with a breaker bar on the crank but to no avail, hoping it's not seized. 

More photos of rust...

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