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ThePoose

69 Mach 1 Re-restore Restomod

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Hi everyone,

I've been lurking for a few years and I'm finally starting to re-restore my 69 Mach I.  Or more accurately, finish and update the restoration I started about 25 years ago.

To start, a little about the car.  I bought it back in 1990 from the second owner.  While my 69 GT coupe was in getting paint, I needed something else to drive to get to school and work.  I'd seen the Mach sitting for about a year and finally walked up and knocked on the door. As luck would have it, the guy needed money to pay for a lawyer for his upcoming DUI and assault cases.  $1800 firm.  I secured a loan from my wife's (then girlfriend's) grandmother and bought the car.  It's a 351W 4-speed car AC car, originally Acapulco Blue.  This guy had painted in black, but fortunately, the only mods were some speakers cut in the rear deck and some obnoxious, blown-out glasspacks.  I drove it for the next year to finish school, then when it wouldn't start the first day of a new job after graduation, I bought a new Ranger and started tearing this apart. Stripped it down to metal, pulled the engine and rebuilt it, had it painted.  Next got married, got a job, moved 1000 miles away, trailered the cars up there. Then bought a house, so worked on the house. Then started having kids.  Kids, work, and house were the priorities, so worked on the cars very little. Plus, never had money for the cars. Fast forward about 20 years and now my youngest has the Mustang bug and wanted to work on and finish one. So we started tearing it apart after Thanksgiving. On the bright side, all the greasy parts were done.  On the not so bright side, all the work I'd done was toast.  20 years in the Northwest, even in a garage isn't kind.  And the shop we had built at our current house leaked like a sieve for a decade as we fought with the building company.  That also put a damper on wanting to work on the cars.  Shops all fixed after that company went out of business and had someone else repair it. Oh, don't forget the mouse urine, it's nasty to metal. 

I have a few pictures to post. A number before tear down were corrupted unfortunately, but I'm not going to reassemble.

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This is a shot of my to-do list.  The Mach is in the middle.  GT coupe is in the foreground.  That's a 91 GT behind it.  The Mach looks pretty good in the picture, but will need to be repainted.  If you notice the "bubbles" on the hood of the 69 GT, it's on the Mach, too.  The guy who did the paint and body, from what I can tell, didn't let his clearcoats cure long enough before wet sanding and buffing.  So over the years, more of these bubbles come to the surface.  It's a shame, too, because the bodywork is nice.  And the paint was, too, for a while.

Because this car was so complete, down to the paint markings, I started with the goal of a concourse level restoration.  But now, I want to have some fun, and make it safer.  I'm keeping all the original parts and won't do anything that compromises or modifies the body or frame.

Plans for the Mach:

Update the 351W with roller cam and lifters, aluminum heads and intake, headers, fuel injection (FiTech or similar), updated alternator and other bits.

Swap the Toploader for a T-5 kit with hydraulic clutch

TCP front and rear coilover suspension, rack and pinion steering, and swaybars (I like the look and engineering of their products)

Front and rear Baer disc brakes (would have been Wilwood, but their MC won't fit. I like Baer better, but prefer the price of Wilwood)

Rewire and hide some of that wiring

Modern gauges

17 (maybe 18) inch wheels and tires

Repaint (ugh)

As of now, I plan to keep the interior pretty much stock. 

 

I'm sure things will change/be added as I go.  Things already have.  I'm likely covering ground many others have, but I'm kind of excited to get started again.  I'll have my son's help at least until he gets a new girlfriend.  Hoping that something I post here can help others, because I know I'm going to need some help.  

 

Thanks all

 

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Another exterior shot, plus some shots of the empty engine bay.  Everything I took before we pulled the motor and trans was corrupted. Figures, only time that's happened.

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Funny, my phone takes better low light photos than my nice camera. 

 

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FWIW, you can see the reproduced paint markings on the steering now surrounded by rust.

 

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More stuff out.

 

 

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Mice had been making pit stops on top of the brake booster.

 

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Edited by ThePoose
Updated photos to new links

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The engine and trans after they were pulled.  I rebuilt the block and had the heads rebuilt at least 25 years ago and never fired it. For whatever reason I can't remember now, I never put plugs in it. With the amount of oxidation on the outside, I was really worried about the inside.  (Mice liked to stop here, too.)  Dropped the trans and it turned freely.  Once I pulled the intake and heads everything looked great.  Just one little spot of surface rust on the lifter valley. Assembly lube is good stuff.

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That transmission looked brand new when I put it back in. Blasted and then coated with Eastwood paints. But the Krylon used for the "8" and the daubs on the tailshaft housing look great.  Hmm. Sitting is definitely worse than running it.

 

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Engine on a table. When I put this together a quarter century ago, there weren't a lot of parts available for 69 Mustangs and 351W engines. That's the original balancer.  It will be getting replaced this time around.  The Autolite carb is rusted shut and the distributor won't spin.  Getting new this time.

 

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Edited by ThePoose
Updated photos to new links

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Hey Poose, maybe you'll have twice the fun this time around with your son helping. Real nice shop you've got there. 

I've found these 3 things you be true: life gets in the way, mice eat everything, non use is worse than driving. 

Do you have plans for the toploader? Any chance you'd sell it?

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VIN is 9R02M.  Data plate matches and the stamping on the shock tower apron coincides.  San Jose car with a 351 4V, at least as I interpret it.  I remember writing Mustang Monthly or one of the mags way back before the interwebs, hoping maybe I'd found a long lost big block car.  They said it may have been slated to be a big block car and got switched on the line, the plant ran out of non-supported shock towers and put these in, or it was a mistake.  I'd also heard that toward the end of the year the San Jose plant started putting the reinforcements in because of cracking.  Could be BS.  Any new insight is appreciated.

Thanks, RPM.  Since the car was so intact, I plan on keeping all the parts for now, including the trans. Fortunately, I have the space.  Also, learned my lesson about getting rid of parts.  My GT had the square clock originally.  It didn't work so I tossed it and put in the blank insert.  Now I see those clock panels on ebay going for $900-$1000.

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Welding classes have been taking the evenings, so finally got back out there.  Still mostly disassembling and cleaning. Pulled the original AC box out that I rebuilt years ago.  Big mouse condo.  They thoughtfully used the new (20 years ago) firewall pad to make a nest in here. There are parts now to do it right, but I'll upgrade to a new Vintage or Classic air unit.

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The fan doesn't really turn now for some reason...

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Edited by ThePoose
Updated photos to new links

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Pulled off the front suspension.  So far this rebuild has been the story of backorders.  The TCP front suspension arrived, except for the top mounting plate, which was back ordered. All the parts to rebuild/restore the clutch and brake pedal, back ordered. Pair of aluminum heads, they sent one. The other is back ordered.  I supposed the wiring kit I should go ahead and order since it already says back ordered.  Meanwhile, still things to pull apart and clean.

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Passenger side on the table.

 

 

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Still find it funny that some restoration bits remain.  Taped a pretty good line on that lower control arm.  Can't even tell on the top it's so rusted.  Better paints and powder coating this time around.

Edited by ThePoose
Updated photos to new links

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It's been a while.  Work has been crazy and when the photos all disappeared, I was a little demotivated.  So in the past year, I stripped and refinished the engine compartment.  Self-etching primer, then gray primer.

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Then semi-gloss black.  

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The TCP coil-over parts finally arrived and installed.  I had the spindles powder coated black.  I liked how they sort of disappeared and let the expensive suspension shine through.

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13-inch Baer disc brakes added.

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I have some more pictures to take tonight of the TCP rack.  

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Here is the TCP power rack installed.  That sticker is coming off.  Power booster rebuilt and installed. Stainless front brake lines in.  Baer master and prop temporarily installed.  Mounting base for hydraulic clutch  mounted beneath that.

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From the back.

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It's a really nice piece.  It ought to be.  Probably the nicest it will ever look.

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Saved up for one of these as a Christmas present to myself.  Wanted it for years and wondered why I waited so long.  The only thing worse that cleaning the underside is doing it on your back. 

Not the wheels that will be on the car, just using the wheels off my son's 2003 Mach 1 that have been sitting in my garage for two years.

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Cleaned off all the old undercoating and seam sealer.  Removing fifty years of gunk and grime suuuuucks.

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Added new seam sealer.  Still some more prep then prime and paint.  I'm on the fence whether to add Raptor liner to the bottom.  I don't expect I'll be driving it in anything but the best weather, but the liner is easy to clean and will help hide ugly welds that are coming with the subframe connectors and rear suspension.

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