Cosmetic Stuff

The weather warmed up a bit and I decided it was time to try and get a few odds and ends squared away.  The major jobs that need to be done mostly hinge on the work I plan to farm out.  Since that work is on hold until April I chose to work on some cosmetic items that don’t really impact getting the car running very much.

The first thing I chose to address is the fact that the ignition coil is mounted facing the wrong way.  I had attempted to turn it around to face the correct direction, but ran into interference with the hard fuel line.  Today I removed the hard fuel line and adjusted it to gain a little more clearance.  I also needed to shorten the flexible fuel line to help gain a better angle.  This barely gave me enough room to turn the coil around and mount it.  Things are fitting pretty tight but it is workable.

The voltage regulator that was on the car is a replacement that was installed by the restoration shop 15 years ago while they tried to diagnose my charging system.  The one they installed is functionally equivalent to the correct one for my car but it differs cosmetically.  The correct one for my car is black with silver lettering.  I had a brand new one on the car before they swapped it out.  The one they install was blue with yellow lettering.  I swapped my old voltage regulator back in.  I also had a set of mounting screws that were unmarked by the vendor I purchased them from 15 or so years ago.  I thought they were for the starter solenoid and the voltage regulator but I couldn’t remember for sure.  I should have marked them, but I never expected it to take over 15 years to get around to installing them.  When I compared and test fitted them they were correct, so I replaced the rusty original hardware with the shiny new hardware.

The horns that had been on my car didn’t work because somebody played a prank on me back about 30 years ago.  Somebody sprayed WD40 into the original horns and they never worked again.  I’ve tried to replace them several times, but the replacement horns I ordered never seemed to match the originals very well.  The set I ordered this time looked really close to the originals.  At least until I tried to install them.  The holes in the mounting brackets were drilled slightly off.  I debated whether I should return them or try to re-drill the holes.  I ended up making new holes and then installed them using the new hardware I purchased.  The fit still isn’t as good as the originals, but i now have working horns.

The last thing I chose to do was to start stripping the paint off of the interior rear quarter trim panels.  My original panels disappeared while the car was in the restoration shop.  I purchased some used ones at a local Mustang parts dealer.  My car has a red interior and the replacement panels I bought were colored black.  That meant I needed to repaint the panels.  But before I could repaint them I needed to strip off the old black paint.

I had some paint stripper, but I had heard that oven cleaner worked well to remove paint.  I tried it on one of the panels, but the paint wasn’t affected.  So I moved on to the paint stripper.  The first application of stripper removed a fair bit of the paint, but not enough.  I applied a second coat of the stripper.  That removed quite a bit more of the paint.  I cleaned off the panels using isopropyl alcohol and some fine steel wool.  A lot of the paint was removed, but there were still some stubborn spots.  I was out of time, but I’ll try using a wire wheel in my drill to see if I can get them a bit cleaner and also try to strip off some of the surface rust.  Once I get the metal prepared I plan to spray on some self-etching primer and then the correct red color.