Giantpune's 73 mach 1 project thread

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giantpune

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Figured I'd make a thread for my car. Its a pretty rough looking fastback. I got it back in the 90s. You can tell its been a project car a few different times. And its been wrecked pretty nastily a few times. When I got to it, it was sitting in a field with nothing under the hood and the rear quarter panel wrecked. I put in a 351w long block and completed it with mostly bolt on performance parts. Headers, underdrive pulleys, edlebrock intake, holley 4 barrel, aluminum radiator, electric fans. And thats how i was driving it around until it got wrecked. The front end got smashed and they totaled the car out. I bought it back from the insurance company. Somehow they didn't put it on the books as totaled out, so there's no salvage or rebuilt on the title. I had to straighten the frame and put the car back together. Then life happened and the car sat for 15 or 16 years. 10 of them outside where tree limbs and the weather took their toll on the brand new hood and fenders. Then about 5 yr parked in my garage. Last april I sold off a different car and decided it was time to revive the mach 1.

This is it the day I pulled it over from my old house.
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I started by replacing the fuel tank, sending unit, rubber lines, filters, and carburetor. My old holley had gummed up from sitting all those years and I didn't even want to get into learning to rebuild it.
I also did new plugs and wires and pulled the distributor to prime the oil pump. I used a piston stop and whistle to help find close to TDC and got the timing set somewhere close to where it needs to be.
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I scored some parts from the classifieds. I new seat bottom half for the passenger since the frame on my was completely rusted out and some Headlight bezels. I got a punch of random parts like headlight buckets, grille, trim from online. The rims I had on the car were stupid wide and tires were insanely expensive. I ended up getting a set of 16x8 magnum 500 and new tires to fit those.
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My radiator support was bent from my wreck back in the day, with the radiator being held up with a rock and a piece of rope. So it was time to fix that. I managed to do the whole job without pulling the radiator or draining the cooling system.
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I had ordered a metric buttload of sheet metal for this car in June 2021. Both fenders, hood, both full rear quarters, tail light panel, truck openings, inner and outer wheel houses. The plan was to redo the whole thing.
Unfortunately, the place took my money and never shipped anything. I got an almost perfect condition urethane bumper from ebay sitting in the shed for whenever the bodywork gets done. But my body panels never shipped. I canceled the order after 8 months waiting.

The condition of the car is such that it is not financially a smart thing to pay a shop to fix it. Rust all around the windshield and back glass. So much that you get soaked when its raining. The floors are in pretty good shape, except you can see all the way through the passenger carpet and rocker to the road below. I decided barring me winning the lottery, I'm probably going to fix up the mechanical stuff and drive it till it falls apart around me. Maybe one day the body panels will come in stock.

I know the power steering had a leak in it years ago. I took the belt off the pump and have been driving it as manual steering. This past week, I reconnected the belt and put fluid in it so I could start assessing the power steering situation. It works, but it leaks pretty bad.

I have total control products front coil overs ordered. I have ordered the red head quick ratio power steering box. I will have to pick up a power steering pump. My current one works, but I'd feel gross pumping who knows what's inside it into the brand new steering gear. Today I put the car up on jack stands. When all the steering and suspension parts come in, hopefully I can get the front end done up right and get it feeling nice and tight.
 
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giantpune

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Just an FYI you might want to reach out and check with Don at Ohio Mustang Supply for your sheet metal needs. He's one of our vendors here and is a top shelf all around guy.
The sheet metal never arriving kinda worked out well for me. They filmed a movie here in town and needed some cars from the 50s-70s. I had some of mine in there. The main character is supposed to be poor. And at one point, they couldn't get his beater car to start. There were a lot of really nice restored cars out there. The producer and director saw my car and I guess it fit the story perfectly. They ended up using mine for what they call the "Hero car". It became the main character's car in the movie. For some of the scenes outside the car, I got to do the driving. Last I saw, the movie is set to come out this winter.

So I'm not sure how much of the body work I'll end up doing to it now. It may end up being more fun having the ugly mustang from that movie than having one that looks good but looks like thousands of other ones. :D
 
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My all time favorite vehicle is our 1969 Shelby GT500
We have a 351W in our 73 Mach 1, vs its original 302 2v. The 351 was rebuilt for moderate street/strip performance, plus the prior owner also replaced the original rear axle with a 3.5:1 TractionLok gear set, so it would really scoot. After doing a deep re$toration we transplanted an AOD into it, with really great results. Those 351W engines can be built into some unexpectedly powerful engines. This is my 2nd built 351W. My first was in a 69 Mach 1 that in street rim could turn 12s in a quarter mile - with a 3.0:1 rear axle ratio gear set no less. I have never run a 1/4 strip with the 73 Mach 1, but as it built far less ferociously than my 69 Mach 1 engine, even with the 3.5:1 rear axle gears and AOD tranny I doubt it will be able to do much more than high 13s, more likely in the mid-14s. We will see. I plan to take all of our pony cars to a local drag strip this coming Car Season just to get a baseline on them all.

 

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giantpune

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We have a 351W in our 73 Mach 1, vs its original 302 2v. The 351 was rebuilt for moderate street/strip performance, plus the prior owner also replaced the original rear axle with a 3.5:1 TractionLok gear set, so it would really scoot. After doing a deep re$toration we transplanted an AOD into it, with really great results. Those 351W engines can be built into some unexpectedly powerful engines. This is my 2nd built 351W. My first was in a 69 Mach 1 that in street rim could turn 12s in a quarter mile - with a 3.0:1 rear axle ratio gear set no less. I have never run a 1/4 strip with the 73 Mach 1, but as it built far less ferociously than my 69 Mach 1 engine, even with the 3.5:1 rear axle gears and AOD tranny I doubt it will be able to do much more than high 13s, more likely in the mid-14s. We will see. I plan to take all of our pony cars to a local drag strip this coming Car Season just to get a baseline on them all.


I had a marti report for mine back in the day. It said the rear end that came in the car was something that started with a 2. I dont recall if it was a 2.50:1 or 2.75:1 or what. Whatever it is, I'm glad it was there. I was driving this car around delivering pizzas during college. If I can keep my foot out of it, It easily gets 15-18mpg.

I do have dreams of a tremec and a 3.5:1 posi in this thing. Maybe one day...
 

Sir_Muffins

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The sheet metal never arriving kinda worked out well for me. They filmed a movie here in town and needed some cars from the 50s-70s. I had some of mine in there. The main character is supposed to be poor. And at one point, they couldn't get his beater car to start. There were a lot of really nice restored cars out there. The producer and director saw my car and I guess it fit the story perfectly. They ended up using mine for what they call the "Hero car". It became the main character's car in the movie. For some of the scenes outside the car, I got to do the driving. Last I saw, the movie is set to come out this winter.

So I'm not sure how much of the body work I'll end up doing to it now. It may end up being more fun having the ugly mustang from that movie than having one that looks good but looks like thousands of other ones. :D
Do you know the title of the movie?
 

giantpune

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Do you know the title of the movie?
Its called "The Hill". I made a thread in silver screen subforum back when they started filming and mine was just an ugly background car among all the pretty ones. https://7173mustangs.com/threads/maybe-adding-another-73-mach1-to-the-list-in-the-hill.39654/ That was back before the movie folks had trouble with their own rust bucket and decided to use mine.

In other news, I have a big box sitting by the front door with all the total control coilover conversion parts in it. Another box has my inner tie rods in it from summit. Fedex is showing that my steering gear is on its way. It kinda feels like progress.
 

giantpune

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I made some progress on it today. Got all the driver's side old suspension taken off before work. Then after work I got most of the total control parts put on that side. I'm up to the point where I'm ready to measure the bump steer and use their eliminator kit to shim that out on this side. I'll have to come up with some contraption to help quantify it.

It takes a lot of specialty tools like the spring compressor and ball joint separator. On deck, I've got a pulley puller and a vacuum bleeder for when I get to the power steering parts. And I hope I don't jinx myself, but the kit seems to just bolt on very easily. The hardest part has been getting the old stuff out of there.

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giantpune

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Here's the contraption I came up with to help measure the bump steer. Its a piece of angle iron with some holes poked in it, 3 bolts, some washers, scraps of 2x4 epoxied to some glass, and then an ammo tin with gauges stuck to it with their magnetic bases. I epoxied the wood to the glass face down on precision ground cast iron surface, so the piece of glass are pretty straight and true to each other.

I ended up adding spacers and measuring over and over. On the 7th attempt, I had it to 0.003" (3 thousandths of an inch) difference across a 16" span as the suspension traveled. Its been a while since I was in geometry class, so I could be wrong. By my math, that worked out to like 0.02 degrees of bump steer which hopefully isn't too severe.

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After that was dialed in, I made some progress getting this side of the car put back together. I went ahead and did new wheel bearings while I had it torn down this far. Greased all the zerk fittings on the ball joints and on the front of the total control strut rod. Then installed the coil spring on the coil over and got the rotor, brakes, coil over assembly, and shock town reinforcement back on.

My driveway is not really that level. So I ran a straight edge across the inner fenders and zeroed a digital angle gauge off that. Then used that to set my initial camber adjustment of 0 degrees with the suspension at roughly ride height. It's a 5 mile drive to the shop my buddy works at with the big alignment computer. Hopefully this is accurate enough to get me there without ruining any wheel bearings or tires.

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giantpune

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I didn't make as much progress as I'd hoped yesterday due to the weather not wanting to cooperate. Between what I was able to do yesterday and then this morning before work, I got all the old suspension parts off the passenger side and got the total control upper and lower arms and the strut rod installed and then my spindle back on. Its up to the point where I get to start measuring the bump steer and installing and removing spacers again.

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giantpune

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Between yesterday evening and this morning before work, I managed to get the passenger side put back together and the sway bar ends attached. Then I went through and double checked that all the nuts and bolts and adjustments so far are tightened and greased all the zerk fittings I could find.

I have the old steering gear mostly disconnected from everything. Its off the frame rail, hoses off, steering coupler disconnected, and I got the pitman arm nut off. The pitman arm puller I have is too small to fit around the end of the arm, so thats another trip to the store in my future. And hopefully once the pitman arm is disconnected, I'll be able to maneuver the steering gear on out of there without having to do something silly. I'm thinking maybe jacking the motor up on the driver's side if i need some room.

Here are some of the silly and special purpose tools from this chapter. I used the extra long ratchet with a couple ft of extensions, then a swivel, and a flare wrench crows foot to get at the hose connections on the steering gear. And for the pitman arm nut, I had to find a 1-5/16 socket, which took trips to multiple stores. And this big tooth rattler impact gun had no problem getting it off. I had seen stories on here with guys using breaker bars with pipe extensions and still having trouble. The tooth rattler zapped it right off.


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giantpune

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So I got the old one out without too much fuss. Even with the idler arm installed it came out. And the little ball joint at the end of the idler arm wobbles freely by hand, so I'm calling this one shot. I guess I can cross the idler-arm-puller off the list of oddball tools, because it really wasn't needed. When I send this core back to red head, they'll get an arm core, too.

As much as it hurts to have to buy yet another part, it does feel good to find worn out parts like that and replace them. That's 1 less worn out part to cause me slop in the steering when its all back together.

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giantpune

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Crow's foot line wrench is the easiest way to get the PS lines off. Wish I'd bought a set years ago. That box was really leaking something special. o_O
Yep, the flare nut wrenches and the flare nut crows feet are some of those tools you didn't realize you need in your life until the first time you have to use one.
Out in the driveway, I got my new power steering pump in.Now its the waiting game until the steering gear and idler arm get here.
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I changed my power steering pump and lines not too long ago. You can get to the power steering lines on top of the steering box pretty easy from the top, as long as you remove the shock tower braces.
 

giantpune

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Fedex Santa dropped off the steering gear today. I got it paired with the lares steering coupler and up into the car into position. Its only attached right now by the 3 bolt holding it to the frame rail. I see that the output shaft is pretty close to the headers and it could be a tight squeeze sliding on the pitman arm. I have left everything unhooked in case i need to drop this thing down a bit to slide the pitman arm on the shaft.

I did screw up a little. The old steering gear was 4 turns lock to lock. The new one is a bit over 3. I didn't take that into account when installing the steering coupler on the new gear box. So as of right now, the way the holes in the coupler and the steering column are lining up, my steering wheel is about 90 degrees off to one side. I'm undecided if it would be easier to pull the coupler off the gear box and try again, or just bold it all together like it is and then after its all together and alignment is done, pull the steering wheel and straighten it out as the last step.

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Hemikiller

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I'd drop the box back out and get it lined up correctly after you get your pitman arm installed and torqued. You can also pre-install the lines to save a little hassle.
 

giantpune

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The pitman arm came in today. I ordered it from autozone on Tuesday. They said it would be delivered wednesday morning, which I took to mean they had it at a hub or store nearby. Turns out, they shipped it from CA to GA, fedex overnight. Somehow, the little guy made it to IN and got delayed and sent back to CA, then shipped to TN and made it to GA today. Whew.

I got that put in the car, then finished up the steering gearbox and did the fill up procedure for the fluid. Then finished up the remaining connections for the inner tie rod ends and gave it a rough visual alignment. I dropped the car back down on the tires. Maybe its just cause I'm used to my old super duper springs and the nose sticking way up. The way it sits now seems really low to me.

Center of the wheel to the top of the fender arch is 12.5"
Fender arch is 24.75" from the ground
Top edge at the front point of the bumper is 17" from the ground.

I'm thinking I'll probably put a couple turns on the coilovers and raise it up in inch or so.
The 1973 assembly manual shows 14.50" (competition suspension) and 14.72" (standard suspension) +/- 0.35" for the ride height of wheel centerline to center of the arch. I guess that means I'm sitting about 2" low.


As an added bonus, the total control upper control arms have less material protruding out distal to the ball joint. I have 16x8" rims with 4.5" backspacing. they are sold as fitting our cars, but the old upper control arms wants to rub the outer lip of the rim when you make a turn. I had to run wheel spacers to prevent it. Now with the total control upper arms, I don't have to run the spacers and there is no rubbing.

I drove the car to the alignment shop where my buddy works. But he wasn't in today and the guys who were in looked like they were scared of working on an old car. So I just left and will go back when my guy is there.

Even without an alignment, the car does drive a whole world better than it did before. All the felt/perceived bump steer is completely gone. Before, every little bump in the road, the car would pull off to one side. Now it doesn't even a little bit.

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