There is a very large class of people that own 65/66 Mustangs that, as far as I can tell, anyway, have been, for the most part, ignored entirely. They don't really want that 100 pt. show car that is so nice and was soooo expensive that they're afraid to drive it, they also don't want to make their car capable of achieving warp factor three. They just want this car that they dearly love to be able to cruise around smoothly and reliably, without having it dump them out on the side of the road or have it start making weird noises or belching out big clouds of funky-smelling smoke. And I think, truth be told, that this is by far the largest class of Mustang owners. They take their car to some technician when what they actually need is a mechanic, and this, frequently, does not work out very well at all for the owner. They don't want to re-engineer the entire car, they just want someone to fix what broke. These are the people that I am trying help out with this blog. Some problems require a little bit of back and forth, as in, "Try this." "I tried that and it didn't change anything."
" Oh. well, you probably need to try that." " I tried that and it helped, but it still isn't quite right." "Now you need to try this...." If you go to http://www.allfordmustangs.com/ and then go to the classics forums, you will be able to do that with a pretty hefty gathering of some very knowledgeable people that also happen to be very friendly. None of that ridiculous one-upmanship, no flaming or abuse, none of that stuff. Just good, solid advice from people that know what they are talking about.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Front end alignment tool for 1965 and 1966 Mustang

This is a remarkably simple tool that will make getting the front end alignment right on the money on your Mustang. What you see is actually all that there is. I took a piece of steel that is an eighth of an inch thick, an inch and an eighth wide, and cut off a piece that's about 2 feet long.I bent it at about 90 degrees in the middle, and bent it at 90 degrees again out near the end, so that it would hook on the back of the rear tire. I drilled a 5/16 hole in the end, and a matching 5/16 hole all the way through a 2 foot piece of one inch square aluminum tubing, and bolted the two pieces together with a 1/4-20 bolt. I then took a couple of 1/4-20 U-bolts and used them to attach a laser pointer to the aluminum tube. I hook this assembly onto the rear tire with the laser pointing toward the front tire. I made a little bracket out of the same steel as the long piece with the bends in it, used a #7 drill to poke a hole in the bracket, ran a 1/4-20 tap through that, put a bolt in the hole and stuck a vacuum cap on the end of the bolt. This is my helper that pushes the button on the laser pointer. He asks no questions, offers no input, he just pushes the button when I tell him to.

With this hanging on the back tire, you can then use a tape measure and come out from the front and back of the front wheel and see how much it's off from straight with back wheel. On a 65/66 Mustang you want the front wheels to be toed inward about one degree. How you convert the measurement that you are taking in inches to degrees is you measure the diameter of your wheel from outermost lip to lip. On a 14 inch wheel this measurement will be about 14 1/2 inches. Take your measurement, multiply that by Pi, and divide that by 360. On a typical 14 inch wheel, your answer should come up as about 1/8 of an inch  being equal to 1 degree. You don't need to calculate pi all the way out to the Feynman point, I just use 3.14159265 . That will be plenty close enough.

With the laser pointing straight across the front wheel you can get the toe-in adjusted correctly. To adjust the camber you just point the laser slightly upward and slightly downward. to get the top and bottom right. The camber is adjusted by means of shims behind the upper control arms.

Changing the geometry of the suspension and steering of any car changes the way that car handles, and if it is not done correctly, it can cause serious injury or even death to the people riding in that car. This is not something to take lightly. Changes in the suspension and steering of a car should only be performed by people that fully understand both how those systems operate and all of the potential hazards associated with them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Posting comments

If you post a comment or a question to something that you read here, you will no doubt notice that it does not appear immediately. I have things set up here in such a way that I have to see comments before they actually appear. Experience taught me pretty quickly that some people are not as well behaved as others, and, if I didn't do this, all sorts of objectionable material would pop up that I had to delete. The vast majority of people are too civilized to waste time trolling the internet looking for opportunities to be offensive and hateful, but, there always seems to be 'That Guy' that tries to cause problems for everybody else. If you post a comment that has anything to do with an old Mustang, or is of a general conversational nature, and is not something that a parent would object to having their 10 year old see, it will be posted. It's just that there is a time lag. You post the comment, I get an email notification, read it, and click 'Publish'. The reason that I am writing this is because I sometimes get multiple email notifications about the same commentwhich  has been posted two or three times, as if someone had tried to post a comment, saw that it didn't appear, and then tried again, as if they might have made some sort of mistake somewhere along the line. You probably have done everything correctly, it just takes a little while to appear.