The Rickster - a 73 Mach 1 work in progress

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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."
 
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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...
 
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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.
 
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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!
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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.
 
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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.
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The hose runs down the side of the radiator, then underneath and along the bottom of the core support.
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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.
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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.
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
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I inserted the acrylic window and used some superglue to secure it in place.

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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.

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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!
 
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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.
 
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I've been working and making progress. I was able to get the steering column installed without to much trouble. The wiring is pretty much complete. I built a small relay panel for the key buzzer and headlight warning chime.

20220809_175510.jpg

It took a while to get it sorted, but I finally got the headlight warning chime and key in warning buzzer wired up. I also got the ALT warning light working.

I've been fighting with the FAST EZ EFI system with wants to run super rich. I have fixed an exhaust leak and replaced the O2 sensor and still am having no luck keeping the engine running more than 10-20 minutes before it starts choking itself out. Very frustrating.

I have decided to ditch the FAST system and have a Holley Sniper that should be here tomorrow. It won't take a whole lot of rework to get it hooked up, and it will be much more user friendly.

This morning, a couple friends came over, and with help from my son, we got the hood and fenders installed. It took a little work, but having gaps already set before it was blown apart for paint made reassembly so much easier.

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I also got the grill installed, and this afternoon, my son and I got the front bumper installed. I am stoked that we got that crazy thing installed. I don't think I would have been able to install it by myself.

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It's starting to look like a car, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow, I'll be back on it, working to get the front end finished up, and then on to more of the interior.

Making progress, slowly, but surely.
 
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And just like that, more hours have passed, and more stuff has gotten done to the Rickster. I was able to get the headlight doors attached, as well as the front valance and front spoiler. I found Qcode's old YouTube video on installing the front spoiler. It was super helpful and definitely saved me a lot of grief.


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This morning, I glued in the trunk weatherstrip and adjusted the hood locks. I'm still waiting on the louver mounting kit, and have to have a very tiny paint touch up on the front edge of the hood before I install the front hood molding, but then I will have the front of the car pretty much finished. This afternoon, I got a couple small switches inserted into the front side of the consolette. They will allow me to turn on each of the radiator's electric cooling fans manually. I also installed a small port on the passenger side for the USB and audio in ports for the retrosound radio system. They won't be obvious, at all, and really pretty unobtrusive.

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So, now I think I will start swapping out the FAST EFI system for the Holley Sniper. Moving forward. Slowly, but surely.
 
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Well, it's been a while since I've posted an update, but I have made some progress. I've gotten the nacelles (nostrils) installed, and the plumbing for the ram air is sorted.

20220929_173447.jpg

I've gotten Kilmat placed over the panel separating the passenger compartment from the trunk.

The FAST EZ-EFI system was giving me a fit trying to get it working on this motor. I finally gave up and decided to ditch it for a Holley Sniper EFI system. I had to do some plumbing changes in the engine bay, and also had to do some rewiring since the ECU is in a completely different location. It took a while to actually find one in stock, and it took a few days for delivery. Overall it set me back about 10 days.

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I measured the height of the original carburetor and the Holley Sniper and found the Sniper throttle body to be only about 1/8" taller than the original carb. I had installed a 1/2" spacer to allow the air cleaner snorkel to clear the taller valve covers, but I found that it kept the hood from closing without a lot of pressure. I found a set of valve covers that would clear roller rockers and were shorter, but had to do some mods to the baffles, but they work great, and gave me the clearance I needed to lose the spacer. Now the hood will close with the air cleaner installed. Win!!

I had planned to install subframe connectors from the start. I had removed the rusty, steel C-channel back when I replaced the floor pans. I didn't install the Tinman Fab subframe connectors when the floor was out, because I wanted it to be on its wheels with the engine installed, so essentially at ride height. I primed the top with a couple coats of epoxy and the 2K chassis black paint. I cleaned up where I would weld and sprayed covered areas with weld thru primer. I got them welded in without much difficulty. After they were welded in, I hit them with a couple coats of epoxy primer, followed by a couple coats of 2K chassis black paint. It took the best part of 3 days, but it came out great.

The instrument cluster was installed, and the speedometer hooked up. All the AC ducts were secured, and the dash was ready to close up. With all that wiring tied up and everything secured, the dash pad was ready to install.

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The headliner was next. I was working alone, but I think it came out really pretty nice. I made sure to put the sun visor, dome light, and shoulder harness fastener in beforehand, so they could be found after the headliner was in. After getting the bows in, I pulled it tight in the center of the windshield, and worked my way laterally. Then I did the same on the rear window. With both ends secured, I got the sides pulled and clamped and then glued them down. It worked out well.

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I wanted to put in the headliner trim, but found that I needed to have the A-pillar trim in first. The I discovered that I need to have the A-pillar trim in before I put in the dash pad, the dash pad had to come out. It was irritating, but not hard, and after the A-pillar trim was in, I reinstalled the dash pad. It went in a lot easier the third time. I made sure to run the wires for the the backup camera up the A-pillar, and into the windshield trim so that they will connect to the rear view mirror when it's installed.

I got the sail panels installed and the plastic, lower sail panels. It tightened things up, and looks good.

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I couldn't help it, I had to get an idea of what it would look like, so I set interior quarters and the rear seat back and bottom in place. I think it looks great. Now I'm even more excited to get it done.

So, now, it's on to the getting the glass installed. I've marked the location for the window clips that I must install, and then I can get to installing the windshield. I've got the rear window clips installed already, and it's ready to install, too.

20220929_173458.jpg

Making progress, slowly, but surely.
 
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