It wasn’t really all that warm or nice of a day today, but I couldn’t keep myself from starting the reassembly after paint. I started at the back of the car because it was facing into the sun. That at least gave me a little bit of warmth. I felt that the most important things to address first were the trunk lock and fuel filler. Without the trunk lock the only way to gain access to the trunk was using a long screwdriver. After finding the new gasket in my parts inventory I made short work of the trunk lock. The gasket made it a much tighter fit but perseverance and some pressure locked it into place. The fuel filler was another easy job. As a temporary install for painting I had it installed inside the gas tank with a spare gas cap. I simply removed the filler neck, put on the gasket, and inserted it through the hole in the tail light panel. A little WD-40 helped the neck slip inside of the rubber tank inlet hose. Then I screwed on the pop-open gas cap.
My confidence was building so I decided to continue with the tail light bezels. I had new gaskets and bezels ready, so I removed the left hand side housing and disassembled it for cleaning. Most of it looked pretty good, but there was a bit of rust in the bottom where some water must have collected. I scraped off the rust, reassembled the housing using the new gaskets, and then installed the housing and bezels. Then I started on the passenger side. It also had a bit of rust. When I scraped it away I was left with a hole in the housing. I had to leave that tail light for another day after I get a new housing, which is now on order.
At this point I was energized and didn’t want to stop just yet. The trunk lid molding looked fairly easy to install. It turned out it was a easy as it looked. Then I put on the MUSTANG letter that go across the trunk lid. They don’t line up quite as nicely as I would like. The holes in the trunk lid were made by the factory so either the reproduction letters are a bit off or the assembly line worker didn’t make the holes quite straight. That’s OK, it will be good enough for my purposes as I’m not building a show car.
The running horse fender emblems were next to go on. It took quite a bit of force, but I was finally able to get them installed without breaking them. I haven’t installed the MUSTANG fender letters yet, but i have them ready in my parts inventory. I also decided to install the hood mounted turn signals. That was a really easy job, but I still need to check and make sure that they still work.
Next I turned my attention to the driver’s door. I installed the rear view mirror, door lock, and door handle. I made sure the lock worked and that the door opened correctly. I wanted to start on the passenger door, but it was getting late and I had other things to do. I compromised by installing the passenger side rear view mirror. Then I stood back and admired my work. One thing that stood out to me was that the rear view mirrors and door handles have been sitting in my garage since the late 1980’s. They fit OK but I wonder whether newer reproduction parts would look or fit better. That question will most likely go unanswered.
The weather forecast for next week includes a couple of warm days. Hopefully I will find some time to continue the reassembly process in the next few days.