Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to make a rear end look good

Haven't had an update in awhile...this stuff takes time and the inevitable hiccups occur. Things that have happened since the last posting...

1. I sent the steering gearbox to Stangers Site ( to get rebuilt. It's a necessity if this car is going to handle with any manners. He'll probably have it a few months since he's pretty backlogged, but he's the authority in Mustang steering.

2. I made the back end pretty. It was a lot of work, but I completely cleaned and degreased the axle housing and differential (sans the front of the differential), and removed the leaf springs and cleaned them. I painted everything up with Miracle Paint so at least when you drive behind the car it will look good.

3. While I had the back end apart, I took the opportunity to rebuild the rear brakes. The shoes still had plenty of surface and the springs looked fairly fresh, so I cleaned everything up well, painted what needed to be painted, turned the drums, and installed new wheel cylinders. I neglected to do this on the front brakes, and after discovering how cheap wheel cylinders are I begrudgingly then disassembled the front brakes and installed new wheel cylinders too. I think there are two essential parts of a good brake rebuild--replace the wheel cylinders and all rubber brake hose. I replaced the rubber brake hose on the rear as well. It was foolish of me to initially not change out the wheel cylinders; so much safety resides in a quality braking system and I was cutting corners. You just can't have it. As it turns out, the rear wheel cylinders were in bad shape, but somebody had already beat me to the punch on the fronts. I replaced them anyways. They had been sitting for a long time and it was cheap insurance.

4. The passenger's side axle looked like it may have been leaking. I replaced the seal, which created an enormous deal as I could not get the axle to function properly once reinstalled. I concluded the axle seal was the wrong size, because it's depth was quite a bit more than the original seal, even though the part numbers crossed. However, when I put the original seal in, the axle was restored to proper function. I had the guys at O'reilly's scratching their heads on this one, but we measured the dimensions of my original axle seal and they found one in their system with the exact same dimensions--to an 88 Jeep. I don't care what it's too, because when I put that seal in, everything works perfectly again.

5. I started reassembling the engine bay. I reran the wiring loom, connected with new ties and connectors I got from Mustangs Plus and started hooking up what electrical connections I could. This all happens easily with the guidance of the factory lineworker manual for Mustang wiring assembly.

6. Finished the entire brake system. Reinstalled the master cylinder (refinished with cast iron paint), and got all the lines hooked up and air out of the system. I could tell the master cylinder was recently replaced, so replacement here was not necessary. This checks off another major system completed.

For the next phase, some major body work to replace rippled panels will take place. After this things will come together quickly.

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