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Discussion Starter #1
Where do I start? Really I know I can do this but step one to ten is eluding me. My current plan would be to pull engine and tranny, Set them aside and then redo steering. Get car painted, replace brake and fuel lines, rebuild anything that needs it (power steering, brake booster ect.) re-install engine and tranny and call it good. Other than that not a clue.
 

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Get the "How to restore your Mustang" book and start reading.
Tear down is easy if you remember how to put it back together. Take pictures. Label and bag everything.
Ask a lot of questions.
 

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At a high level, my preferred sequence is mechanical, followed by exterior restoration, then interior. Unless, of course, you can do it all as a single project.

The idea is to get everything working as it should, then move on to body work and chassis detailing, then redo the interior. That gets all the dirty work done up front, before the interior is fresh. It also means your shiny restoration has less chance of ending up on the back of a flatbed enroute to, or returning from, a show.
 

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The major things I learned..

1. It is important to write down an outline of your steps. I didnt' do this..build an outline with a LOT of space between the headings and divisions of your project. Divide it up into parts so that you don't drive yourself nuts trying to figure out what to do next. If you have the space, build yourself a roll-around 4x8' plywood table with wheels under it. In addition, have a completely empty set of shelves for the various "divisions". Think of it as the inverse/opposite of building a house. I would divide it all up by: Engine; Body; Chassi; Electrical; and Interior And have a shelf/area for each.

2. It is not only possible but NECESSARY to do the projects all at once. The procurement of parts and wait for restoration services will require a LOT of waiting and calendar challenges if you aren't savvy at all of the areas of a resto. For example, Chromers can take forever..so can rebuilding a Fan Clutch; getting door panels restored; getting your bright trim re-anodized; rebuilding the engine and transmission..the list goes on and on. I had my body with a sheet metal and chassis expert for over a year, and had the engine build and tranny rebuild all done before the body came to the next step (paint shop). You can procure/refinish, or exchange all of your new door handles, window cranks, bumpers, window frames and glass, exterior lamp fixtures during all of this time too..

3. If you are building a driver, you can certainly decide not to restore your undercarriage and springs, drums, etc. Completely, but that is your decision. In the meantime, though, you want to decide how far to go with control and pitman arms, sway bar, and all the power steering components. Luckily, these days it is really easy to order up all of these parts from WCCC and the online Catalog is a hugely awesome tool to build your car and remind you of what you need.

4. Speaking of the online catalog- USE your OUTLINE and BuILD your SHOPPING LIST in conjunction. The catalog is great for guiding yourself through the process and laying out your needs. I wasted a lot of time trying to restore a lot of stuff that now comes all done and perfect from WCCC. A lot of developements have happened in the past five years! So compare the cost (and time needed on your behalf) of new stuff vs. what you can do yourself..and refere to your outline/notes..

5. Get your screw/nut and bolt kits from AMK. Buy the Chassis, the body, and the engine detailing and underhood detailing kits and don't worry about all of those bags of nuts and bolts that stress you out when you dissassemble the car. Certainly KEEP them, but don't stress about it. If you're doing a Concours restoration, all of the bolts and nuts and screws are in these kits. They have an online catalog too..but GET the KITS and enjoy. They are 100-150 each total, and make life so much easier. BUT, don't throw away the unique bolts on the Chassis and undercarriage. The Body kit is the best one, but there are some body bolts, for example, that you might want to save and wire wheel.

6. Speaking of Wire wheel--make sure you have a good and powerful one. And a BLAST CABINET. Air is everything. And good light. Mine sucks and I"ve plowed through the process cursing the thing! Also, a buffing wheel with a lot of power is pretty nice to have. $ spent is worth it for these tools!!

7. Have TONS of 0000 steel wool! Cleans everything and polishes things nicely. You don' thave enough when you think you do, believe me!!

8. Have TONS of "low gloss black" and "SEMI GLOSS Black paint. Eastwood.com. Buy at least a case of each and save some $. I use the high-temp panit from NAPA just because it is here in town and is a bit more hearty than regular black paints.. Also get a TON of "detail gray" from Eastwood which mimics stamped steel, and "Cast Gray"(Might be called "spray gray) also from Eastwood. There is a big difference between stamped steel and Cast Iron. Know the parts and the paint and get 'em painted with a LOT of HEAT when you do it. And do it immediately once you have blasted or wire wheeled the parts. This is the fun stuff..get the parts done at your leisure while you're waiting for other parts to come in or services to be done..and put them back on your special shelves that you've built for each area of the car.

9. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I learned was to have a MENTOR or two. We all need motivation and encouragement and help. That is what has saved me and pushed me along. The board here is also your friend ;).

10. Another thing-- Keep a MASTER LIST of things-to-do..on your PC or blackberry, or whatever. And have it in the shop with you..Then cross them off as you go. It's a huge motivator and very satisfying to cross things off or delete them. But don't delete them completely..It's fun to go back and look ;) Build this with your outline..And keep all of your contacts and purchases recorded and the receipts in a file..those phone numbers and addresses come in handy later..


Another thing part 2: If you have the chance to buy or get a lift..it makes restoration so much easier it's not even funny..if you're building a driver, though, see number 3 . It won't be all that bad ;)



Just some random thoughts. Good luck and enjoy!!
 

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But before you do ANYTHING, are you sure you are starting with the right car to restore? A rustfree body can be bought for $3,000-$5000. Any rust repair will cost this much or more in time/materials/aggravation.

If you say you don't have 3-5K in the budget, you're likely going to end up with an unfinished project/lost interest situation.

Do you car to tell us what you're starting with?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sure, I am starting with a 1968 XR7, Fawn in color with a 390 2v under the hood. Currently original paint, all seals are original, intior everything is stock from the factory cept tires!! Had a friend who does Fords look at it today, He told me to put new plugs in it and drive it the way it is! Said It looks good as is. However I want to go through the car. The paint is very thin is spots, steering is a bit loose, all rubber is dry and brittle. There is no rust on this car! Engine actually idles nice as is but front main is leaking and the air isn't cold! Everything seems work cept the amp gauge and one light in the drivers door (busted wire).
 

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Sure, I am starting with a 1968 XR7, Fawn in color with a 390 2v under the hood. Currently original paint, all seals are original, intior everything is stock from the factory cept tires!! Had a friend who does Fords look at it today, He told me to put new plugs in it and drive it the way it is! Said It looks good as is. However I want to go through the car. The paint is very thin is spots, steering is a bit loose, all rubber is dry and brittle. There is no rust on this car! Engine actually idles nice as is but front main is leaking and the air isn't cold! Everything seems work cept the amp gauge and one light in the drivers door (busted wire).

You want my thoughts?? OH MY GOD Enjoy it!! Seriously, don't restore this car. It's waay too nice as it is..and you'll enjoy it's originality and cleanliness so much more as you get to actually drive it.

Get a piec of crap if you really want to enjoy a restoration project. This car looks awesome. Tinker under the hood, detail the engine bay, clean some parts..but I'd NEVER again tear apart a car like this..it's too nice. There is a lot to be said for originality. Thin paint? It looks terriffic!

Hard Rubber? Hit it with gobs of WD-40 and re-soak it a couple times. Not plastic, but rubber, btw..

Clean your wires and get some steel wool on some parts and see what you end up with. My guess is you can be in love with this car without tearing it all apart for a couple years..seriously..
 

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Brian is giving you very good advice. It costs nearly as much to "restore" a pretty nice car as it does to restore a roach. Do the cosmetic upgrades Brian has suggested and whatever minor mechanical issues you have and leave it alone. You'll drop $40K doing a proper and complete restoration before you know what hit you.
 

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To ad to what Brian and Jeff have said - having been to a TON of car (and Cougar) shows, personally I like ogling original/surviver cars much more than restored cars.

They are only original once.
 

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I'm saving this one.
Looks like a good plan.

The major things I learned..

1. It is important to write down an outline of your steps. I didnt' do this..build an outline with a LOT of space between the headings and divisions of your project. Divide it up into parts so that you don't drive yourself nuts trying to figure out what to do next. If you have the space, build yourself a roll-around 4x8' plywood table with wheels under it. In addition, have a completely empty set of shelves for the various "divisions". Think of it as the inverse/opposite of building a house. I would divide it all up by: Engine; Body; Chassi; Electrical; and Interior And have a shelf/area for each.

2. It is not only possible but NECESSARY to do the projects all at once. The procurement of parts and wait for restoration services will require a LOT of waiting and calendar challenges if you aren't savvy at all of the areas of a resto. For example, Chromers can take forever..so can rebuilding a Fan Clutch; getting door panels restored; getting your bright trim re-anodized; rebuilding the engine and transmission..the list goes on and on. I had my body with a sheet metal and chassis expert for over a year, and had the engine build and tranny rebuild all done before the body came to the next step (paint shop). You can procure/refinish, or exchange all of your new door handles, window cranks, bumpers, window frames and glass, exterior lamp fixtures during all of this time too..

3. If you are building a driver, you can certainly decide not to restore your undercarriage and springs, drums, etc. Completely, but that is your decision. In the meantime, though, you want to decide how far to go with control and pitman arms, sway bar, and all the power steering components. Luckily, these days it is really easy to order up all of these parts from WCCC and the online Catalog is a hugely awesome tool to build your car and remind you of what you need.

4. Speaking of the online catalog- USE your OUTLINE and BuILD your SHOPPING LIST in conjunction. The catalog is great for guiding yourself through the process and laying out your needs. I wasted a lot of time trying to restore a lot of stuff that now comes all done and perfect from WCCC. A lot of developements have happened in the past five years! So compare the cost (and time needed on your behalf) of new stuff vs. what you can do yourself..and refere to your outline/notes..

5. Get your screw/nut and bolt kits from AMK. Buy the Chassis, the body, and the engine detailing and underhood detailing kits and don't worry about all of those bags of nuts and bolts that stress you out when you dissassemble the car. Certainly KEEP them, but don't stress about it. If you're doing a Concours restoration, all of the bolts and nuts and screws are in these kits. They have an online catalog too..but GET the KITS and enjoy. They are 100-150 each total, and make life so much easier. BUT, don't throw away the unique bolts on the Chassis and undercarriage. The Body kit is the best one, but there are some body bolts, for example, that you might want to save and wire wheel.

6. Speaking of Wire wheel--make sure you have a good and powerful one. And a BLAST CABINET. Air is everything. And good light. Mine sucks and I"ve plowed through the process cursing the thing! Also, a buffing wheel with a lot of power is pretty nice to have. $ spent is worth it for these tools!!

7. Have TONS of 0000 steel wool! Cleans everything and polishes things nicely. You don' thave enough when you think you do, believe me!!

8. Have TONS of "low gloss black" and "SEMI GLOSS Black paint. Eastwood.com. Buy at least a case of each and save some $. I use the high-temp panit from NAPA just because it is here in town and is a bit more hearty than regular black paints.. Also get a TON of "detail gray" from Eastwood which mimics stamped steel, and "Cast Gray"(Might be called "spray gray) also from Eastwood. There is a big difference between stamped steel and Cast Iron. Know the parts and the paint and get 'em painted with a LOT of HEAT when you do it. And do it immediately once you have blasted or wire wheeled the parts. This is the fun stuff..get the parts done at your leisure while you're waiting for other parts to come in or services to be done..and put them back on your special shelves that you've built for each area of the car.

9. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I learned was to have a MENTOR or two. We all need motivation and encouragement and help. That is what has saved me and pushed me along. The board here is also your friend ;).

10. Another thing-- Keep a MASTER LIST of things-to-do..on your PC or blackberry, or whatever. And have it in the shop with you..Then cross them off as you go. It's a huge motivator and very satisfying to cross things off or delete them. But don't delete them completely..It's fun to go back and look ;) Build this with your outline..And keep all of your contacts and purchases recorded and the receipts in a file..those phone numbers and addresses come in handy later..


Another thing part 2: If you have the chance to buy or get a lift..it makes restoration so much easier it's not even funny..if you're building a driver, though, see number 3 . It won't be all that bad ;)



Just some random thoughts. Good luck and enjoy!!
 

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DON'T RESTORE IT! Unrestored cars with original patina are HUGE right now and growing in value all the time. Ever watch Antiques Road Show? "Well Mam, had you have not spent $1000 refinishing this 1789 desk it would be worth $80k but now it is worth $30k". A 68 302 F code with very thin paint and a ripped seat just sold for $20000.00 because it was all original, the new owner would not have paid that if it had $20k put into it. Buy the twin to your car that NEEDS a resto and use your for a template when you go to reassemble. This will make the resto so much easier...

Rat Look - properly done it must have original patina - forced patina sucks
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If I don't restore it does that mean not to replace the worn bushings on the tierods? What about the loose steering? or the mains leaking on the engine? Sorry to be sounded stupid, I have a couple of ole guns and wouldn't think of refinishing them. One was my great great grandfathers in the civil war. But even though they are in great condition I won't shoot them either. I want to drive this car!> Not just to shows but to show off.
 

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By all means, fix any mechanical issues. The advice to keep the car as-is doesn't mean that you can't maintain it. Just don't restore it so it can't be considered a survivor car any more.
 

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If I don't restore it does that mean not to replace the worn bushings on the tierods? What about the loose steering? or the mains leaking on the engine? Sorry to be sounded stupid, I have a couple of ole guns and wouldn't think of refinishing them. One was my great great grandfathers in the civil war. But even though they are in great condition I won't shoot them either. I want to drive this car!> Not just to shows but to show off.
Did you read my post? I advised you to fix the cosmetics that Brian detailed and the mechanical issues you identified.

A restoration would generally involve completely disassembling the car, doing paint and body work, upholstery, replacing or refinishing all the chrome, stainless & aluminum trim, rebuilding or replacing all mechanical components, refurbishing the wiring, etc., etc., etc.

As Bill said, maintain the car and improve some of the cosmetics but don't do a restoration. If you want to see what a restoration looks like, read the ECI thread.
 

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i so agree with everyone ! after having my 64 ford since 91 and driving maybe 10 times, and having to strip the 69 cougar completely down that i bought in 07 beacuse doing light resto work turned into a complete teardown!

do what it mechanically needs. fix those pesky little trim and apperance items, and enjoy! seals , if worst case , call don at wccc and order them up!
 
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