The Rickster - a 73 Mach 1 work in progress

7173Mustangs.com

Help Support 7173Mustangs.com:

Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
356
Reaction score
223
Location
Pittsford, NY
My Car
My all time favorite vehicle is our 1969 Shelby GT500
Thanks, guys.

I've been working on wiring up the back half of the car while waiting on the freeze plugs to arrive. They came in this morning, so this afternoon, I was able to get them replaced. I had tried to photograph the dye trail, but it wasn't showing up. I told my wife, and she suggested putting the yellow glasses in front of the lens, and sure enough, I was able to get a picture of it. You can see the fluorscent green stream flowing from the bottom of the freeze plug in the picture below.

View attachment 63419

Two freeze plugs were confirmed to be leakers, and another was suspect. I changed all 6. I used some sandpaper to clean up the opening and wiped it out with some lacquer thinner just to make sure it was clean. I used a very thin layer of Permatex UltraBlack on the inside of the opening and around the perimeter of the freeze plug before tapping each one into place. Worked out well.

View attachment 63420

View attachment 63418

Tomorrow, I'll do a pressure test to confirm it holds before I drop it back into the engine bay. Slowly, but surely.
I am glad you chose to use brass core plugs, not steel. They are a little more costly, but the result is well worth it. I applaud your wife for her suggestion to use a yellow lens to better see the coolant leak. That was clever.

I also like how clean you have managed to get the engine compartment to look. The one panel for the electrical wiring needs in the inner fender near the battery looks especially nice. Nice enough to cause me to consider doing something similar with our 73 Mustangs were I to run out of things to do with them. The exhaust with the X-Pipe looks really nice also. Hell, it all look really nice!

So, have you made a decision re: using an AOD yet. Just curious. As an aside, I have twice bumped the Throttle Valve (TV) pressure up a little higher than the spec of 35 PSI. I am running at 39 PSI, and the upshift points are now right where I wanted them to be. The hazard with an incorrect TV setting is when it is too low, which reduces line pressure and can result in a smoked transmission. Sadly, in a lot of cars using an AOD the eventual wearing or breaking of a nylon/plastic bushing that has hardened over the years is enough to cause a low enough TV level to smoke a tranny. Back to the 39 PSI setting I am at now, I do not see a need for me to go any higher than that. If I still wanted a higher shift point, or a firmer upshift, I would now be considering a valve body performance upgrade. But, at this time I am leaving well enough alone. It seems the enemy of "good" is "better."
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
356
Reaction score
223
Location
Pittsford, NY
My Car
My all time favorite vehicle is our 1969 Shelby GT500
Others have already said a lot of what I would have. No need for me to be repetitive. Ah, bull pucky! Yes, it is worthy of me being repetitive... Awesome job, clean, really cool looking... The work you have done is in a class of its own. You have much to be proud of...
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
Thanks, guys, for the positive feedback. When working alone, it's easy to get bogged down seeing every imperfection there might be. Your comments are very encouraging, letting me know that I'm doing it at least halfway right. Well, back to the tedium of auto electrical wiring. Keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't get exciting.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
It's been a few weeks since I've posted an update, but I have been keeping busy working on the Rickster. Wiring is so non-photogenic, it's hard to get enthusiastic about the last bunch of wires I just tied together. Still, progress is being made.

I went with a Ron Francis Express wiring kit instead of having Midlife refurb my old wiring harness. I regret that, now, but I'm way to deep into it, so I just have to keep at it. One problem I discovered was that most wiring harness kits use GM style headlight switches. They fit, but the problem I discovered is that the GM switches the courtesy and dome lights on the ground side, while Ford has us set to switch the hot. The dome light attaches to the roof frame, with the plastic insulator on the power supply attaching screw, so switching with the ground wasn't an option. About 3AM one morning, I woke up when the light bulb went off in my head. Use a relay and wire it like a cooling fan with a temp switch. The interior light ground will switch the relay on, sending 12V to the dome light. I build a small relay panel and mounted it above the glove box and it works!
20220712_133224.jpg

Also, I've been fighting with the wipers motor not working. I checked that it was wired up correctly and checked all the wires for continuity, and everything checked out. I had run a ground wire from the grounding stud on the shock tower to the base of the wiper motor, and made sure it was tight, but still it wouldn't run. I pulled the switch and test it and it was fine. I was so frustrate, I started rechecking my work. I realized that the nut to the grounding stud had less that 10 ohms resistance, but when I tried the strap to the motor, continuity was lost. I had planned to use a 10 gauge wire for the final assembly so I unbolted the old jumper I had been using, got some sandpaper and sanded the base of the wiper motor where the bolt mates up, as well as the mating surface of the bolt and both sides of the ring terminal. I got the new ground wire installed and tightened securely. I checked continuity and now had barely an ohm of resistance. I got back in the car and hooked up the wiper switch. When I flipped the ignition switch to the run position, in addition to the fuel pump kicking on, I heard my multimeter and tools getting shoved around on top of the cowl. Yes, it was still on low, when the power got applied to it. I was able to cycle it off, then to low, and to high, and back to off and it all works as it's supposed to.

Lesson learned. Even if you think you have a good ground, double check your grounds.

But it's one more thing to check off the list. More to follow in the next few days, as I have been working and making progress.

Slowly, but surely.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
As I noted last night, I've been working on the Rickster and getting things done. One thing I did was to install a coolant recovery tank. Gilbert Hale (mrgmhale) has a YouTube video on installing the coolant overflow tank () that I found very useful. I was able to use the upper bracket that came with the tank, but had to fabricate the lower bracket. Here are some pictures showing how I did it.

I used 5/16" fuel hose to connect to the filler neck.
20220717_133612.jpg

The hose runs down the side of the radiator, then underneath and along the bottom of the core support.
20220717_133540.jpg

I use a plastic Dorman connector to connect the 5/16" hose to a short length of 1/4" fuel hose that would connect to the coolant recovery tank.
20220717_133535.jpg

The lower bracket attaches to the core support and spaces the slot away from the core support just a tad to keep the tank vertical.
20220717_123652.jpg

And here it is, completed. I used a section of 1/4" fuel line for the overflow so (hopefully) it will discharge behind the valence when that finally gets installed (soon).
20220717_133520.jpg

I think it turned out great, and it's one more task checked off the list. Making progress, slowly, but surely.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
No pictures, but I am so stoked. I finally got the courtesy lights working, along with the dome light.

I've been struggling with how to wire it up for a couple weeks, poring over the wiring diagrams, trying to figure out how to tie it in to the aftermarket wiring harness. Now, when I open the doors, the dome light and underdash lights come on, and when the doors close, they go out. When I turn the headlight switch all the way left, the lights come on, and when I turn it right, they go out.

All that is left to clean up with the electrical wiring, is getting the idiot lights working, and the back up lights. SooOOooo close to being done with electrical.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
I had a gaping hole above the center AC registers, and needed to do something to fill it. I considered just blocking it with a small ABS sheet, but I also liked the idea of a map light. We all know that the map lights are rare, and expensive, so I decided to make one.

I used a cardboard template and cut out a piece of ABS plastic to fit the opening. Then I cut out an opening for the white acrylic window.
20220720_111915.jpg 20220720_111925.jpg

I inserted the acrylic window and used some superglue to secure it in place.

20220720_112136.jpg

I cut 1/2" wide strips that I cut to length to surround the window, and superglued them to the base and along the ends, to each other. I then doubled the end sections, so I had enough meat to allow the top to be screwed to it. The top was cut to cover the walls and secured with two #4x1/2 pan head screws. I attached two small LED accent lights (from SuperbrightLEDs.com) to the underside of the top cover and routed the wires out the end toward the switch I had installed.
20220722_101444.jpg

I wired it up to power, so that the switch turns it on and off. I didn't feel the need to have it connected to the courtesy or dome lights, so it's controlled by the button switch only, but it works great. Each light puts out 24 lumens for a total of 48 lumens, and seems to be nice and bright. Overall, I think it came out really good.

20220722_155222.jpg

20220722_173651.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
352
Reaction score
257
Location
Homer Glen, Il
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1 351c FMX trans and 9 inch rear end
I had a gaping hole above the center AC registers, and needed to do something to fill it. I considered just blocking it with a small ABS sheet, but I also liked the idea of a map light. We all know that the map lights are rare, and expensive, so I decided to make one.

I used a cardboard template and cut out a piece of ABS plastic to fit the opening. Then I cut out an opening for the white acrylic window.
View attachment 66174 View attachment 66173

I inserted the acrylic window and used some superglue to secure it in place.

View attachment 66172

I cut 1/2" wide strips that I cut to length to surround the window, and superglued them to the base and along the ends, to each other. I then doubled the end sections, so I had enough meat to allow the top to be screwed to it. The top was cut to cover the walls and secured with two #4x1/2 pan head screws. I attached two small LED accent lights (from SuperbrightLEDs.com) to the underside of the top cover and routed the wires out the end toward the switch I had installed.
View attachment 66171

I wired it up to power, so that the switch turns it on and off. I didn't feel the need to have it connected to the courtesy or dome lights, so it's controlled by the button switch only, but it works great. Each light puts out 24 lumens for a total of 48 lumens, and seems to be nice and bright. Overall, I think it came out really good.

View attachment 66169
Nice job looks great!
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
981
Reaction score
327
Location
Jonesborough, TN
My Car
1973 Mustang Mach 1
Well, some of you may have seen in another post, that I was having problem with my turn signal switch binding when secured in the collar in the steering column. The original one was broken and I had gotten a replacement, which seemed to fit well enough, but the hazard switch bottomed out on the slot in the column and bound everything up. I noticed that the part number was D0AA-3511-G and wondered if there was a newer part number for the 73's. Well, DieselDave came through for me and confirmed that there was a D3AA-3511. I got hold of Don at Ohio Mustang and he shipped me the right part the next day.

The new part arrived yesterday afternoon. I test fit the turn signal switch and it fit perfectly, with no binding. I did note that the slot for the hazard switch was significantly deeper. I got it cleaned up and sanded, and this morning, I went over it again with some 320 grit sandpaper. After wiping it down with wax and grease remover, I hit it with etch primer and several coats of the correct Charcoal Black Metallic paint. I think it came out really nice.

Here are pictures of both, with a ruler for reference.
D0AA-3511-G slot is .750" deep
20220727_153011.jpg

D3AA-3511- slot is 1.18" deep.
20220727_153017.jpg

So for all those who want to know, the collar that houses the turn signal switch changed for the 1973 model year.

After painting, I was able to get the steering column reassembled, and tomorrow, hopefully, I will be getting it back in the car. Making progress, slowly, but surely.
 
Top