A blog about finding and keeping my 1973 Mustang Grande (V8 - 351C 2V). Produced on July 6, 1973. Sold in Florida, USA.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cleaning up a flat hood

So... I managed to score this flat 7123 hood. These are not reproduced and good examples can cost quite a bit. I got lucky and managed to buy this one for only 200 euros (about 230 US $). Of course it's not yet up to my restoration specs so I want it to become that way.

Having recently learned about a method involving lots of vinegar and a rust solvent called Rustyco I thought I'd give that a try as it's a relatively cheap method. I was yet to find out how much work it involves....

Let's start with the beginning:

Bringing my new score home :-)

It actually looks very nice and it's completely dent-free. Also it's got no visible rust.

However, there's always rust on the inside and when this one it turned over it sounds worse than a salt shaker.

Upon closer inspection there's always some rust to be found along the edges...

Then there's also this stuff inside. Probably left overs from sand blasting it before. It should've been cleaned better...

I stuck a camera inside to see how bad the rust is.

Apart from dirt there seems to be only surface rust which makes me happy!

So, time to start building the cleaning area!

Because my garage has no drain I needed to fluids to be collected in a different way so I created this...

Almost ready to go.

Before cleaning all the loose bits need to come off. Be careful when removing these, they can fall inside.

The front trim was stuck with old paint.

It can be carefully pried off thought.

Bag everything and put it somewhere safe.

To make sure I can access everything inside I needed to drill small holes in certain areas to put the hose through and spray the inside.

I also removed some of the sealer used to glue the inner sheet to the outer sheet of metal. Those are the red spots. The silver spots are the holes I drilled for spraying the inside. This will come in handy later.

Right, the first thing to do is to hose the hood down thoroughly and get as much crap out as possible.

I bed it will already make less noise!

After the hose down it needed to be dried and then taped.

The taping was a royal PITA. It took about 3 hours to get this hood done. Apparently a nasa-style hood only takes 1 hour... Lucky me.

Here's the whole hood taped up except for the loch-hole. That will be used to pour in the vinegar and Rustyco.

So, I poured in 4 litres of vinegar and closed up. Sure enough a few leaks sprung up even before I put the last bottle down. Crap! Not surprising with this amount of tape though.

I left the hood for the night letting the vinegar do it's rust-eating. The next day I was there from 9am till 4pm and I shook the hood every 10-15 minutes from every side so I'd get the vinegar everywhere.

The day after that I removed the tape at the tip and let all the vinegar out. Then I put in 3 litres of vinegat and half a litre of Rustyco. I shook that for the whole morning. In the afternoon I rinsed quite a few times with hot soapy water to get ph levels down and dried it with a heat gun.

Please take note of the mess I created...

And there it is, a flushed and cleaned and kinda de-rusted hood.

All the bare metal got flash rust on it, it turned orange while looking at it, unreal!

I sprayed Brunox everywhere inside and also on some spots on the outside. It does seem to react with the rust turning it black.

And that's all!

I found it a lot of work (3 full days excluding prep) and although it's cleaner than before I am not convinced about the rust being gone. I could feel areas still having surface rust and being untouched by the fluids. The Brunox will still work it's magic but still...

Meanwhile I have decided that if I want this hood to be 100% rust free, I'm going to have to get it dipped (stripped of paint + de-rusted + base coat), which is what's going to happen in a few weeks. What can I say, this was a learning process.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The compressor

I finally got myself an air compressor! It's not an expensive one but it's not too loud and specs are good. For a first I reckon it's a good investment.

It fits in right under the stairs. Great!

Monday, October 8, 2018

The water

I finally got around connecting water in my garage.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My new fender gripper

My girlfriend got me a proper fender gripper for my birthday and I love it! :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The sports wheel covers

So my Mustang would have originally looked like this apart from the colours and the chrome side strip.

Amongst a few other things, my car doesn't have the original hub caps anymore. This specific model is a so-called "Sports Wheel Cover" and they are not reproduced. So you can imagine that trying to find a decent set of 4 is not easy and when you do find some they will cost you an arm and a leg.


I found 2 sets! None from 1973 because in that year the heart was chromed and only the edge around the holes is black.

The reason I bought 2 sets is that in each set, there are 2 screwed up caps... You see, these things looked so much like a real rim (the caps are made of cast metal) that people tried to take the nuts off. The nuts that are part of the cast and cannot move, yes. So this results in nuts that are partially broken off... But since I do also have 4 good ones, I can make one good set. The best part is I paid not even $200 for all of them :-)

So now I'm combining the good ones.

For now I'm just cleaning them up a bit. I'll have to find a way to re-paint and re-chrome the parts to give them the correct 1973 appearance.

The first thing I did was to de-rust some screws in vinegar. I had never done this before but man does that work like a charm! All the washers came loose, nice!

Re-setting the idle mixture

Lately I found that the engine was holding back a bit when giving a lot of throttle. I thought maybe the idle mixture would make a difference. Because I had never done this before I thought I'd try and set the idle mixture on my carb myself by using a vacuum meter. The idea is to set the idle mixture so that the highest possible vacuum is achieved. So I hooked up and vacuum meter and started turning the 2 idle mixture screws. I did get a better idle mixture but it did not improve the holding back of the engine. I guess it has to do with the engine being cold coz with a warmed up engine it picks right up when pushing the pedal down...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The inspection

My car was due for bi-annual inspection to see if it was still roadworthy. After a 30 minute drive, the garage I had an appointment with had some equipment malfunctioning so they couldn't do the inspection and they pointed me to another garage I did not know... It was in a bit of an obscure place but they were quick and it passed without problems. Good to go for another 2 years, yay!

The best thing about today was the fact that I had to stop the engine, let it sit for a while and restart while it was still warm/hot. This used to be troublesome but the engine fired right up every single time. So I guess the ignition improvements I did a year ago really worked out well :-)