'71 M-Code Mach 1 Restoration
#1
OK, here we go. This is my third Mustang, my second Mach 1. When I was in high-school I had a '67 coupe with a 289. That was my first car and it had a cracked shock tower so it left this world prematurely. After that I had a '67 Cougar and then I bought a rust-free '73 Mach 1 from a guy in school for, get this - $500.00! Those were the days.

This one is in REALLY bad shape but I'm going to try to bring it back to life. I'm building a chassis fixture to hold everything in alignment as I cut and weld in the new metal. The plan is to restore it to "period correct, slightly modified" as in the way it would have been back in the early 80's (when I was in high-school). This was the era of braided stainless steel hoses + AN fittings, MSD ignitions, Rhodes lifters and "slapper" traction bars. NO air suspensions (except for Hi-Jacker air-shocks) or 22" wheels with low-profile tires. Yeah you had to DRIVE these cars!

Here are some "before" pictures to get things going. Like I said, it needs a LOT of work...


Attached Files Image(s)
               
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#2
This will be a great build thread and I am looking forward to watching it develop.

Ah yes - the early 80's!
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#3
Just waiting for the weather to warm up. It's been pretty nice the last few days so I think Winter is finally over. I may be able to get started really soon.

We're going to take lots of pictures - my friend is a semi-professional photographer. Hopefully we'll all learn something from this project. Smile

There's so much rust on all of the hardware - I have as many things soaking in PB Blaster as I can. I want to get the interior out first, then the engine + trans. followed by the rear and suspension. Once I get the whole car stripped to the bare shell I'll know the full extent of work I'm in for. I don't really have a budget per se. I'll just take my time and save all the receipts. I know this isn't what you should do (if you're concerned about spending "too much money") but in my mind this car HAS to be saved at all costs. We're on a mission...



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#4
Hey JRPAV, Great before pictures! As Steve mentioned, your car will be a great build thread. Are you planning on stripping the car down and media blasting it as a starting point? I also like the "old school" 80's theme. Oh what memories!

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#5
Yeah but I'm not going to hit everything with the sand, just the underbody and other "rough" parts. The exterior panels (whatever parts that I save) should come out fine with a DA.

I've actually done a few complete restorations like this back in the '90s so this isn't my first rodeo. Only one was a Mustang, the rest were GM products. Even full-frame cars fall apart up here in the Northeast. You have to remember, these cars were never meant to last 40+ years. Even the high-end muscle cars weren't really expensive when they were new. Car loans were for 3-4 years. Meticulous prep and corrosion prevention at the factory costs $$.

My biggest concern now is with the quality of the metal that I use. Back in the '90s we didn't have a lot of Chinese junk. Their metal is not the same. If you guys know of any good, MADE IN USA parts please let me know. I only want to fix this car once.
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#6
(04-03-2014, 02:30 AM)jrpav Wrote: My biggest concern now is with the quality of the metal that I use. ... MADE IN USA parts please let me know. I only want to fix this car once.

Give Don Whit a call:

http://www.ohiomustang.com/

Don will steer you right on quality products.
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#7
Yes...Don from Ohio Mustang is a great source for restoration parts. As far as reproduction metal, I am not sure if there are any more U.S. manufactures out there. Don may know better. However, I know the Dynacorn label seems to be popular and there are some Canadian made pieces of a higher quality. And, of coarse the "original tooling" stuff which is better quality but the selection is limited and the parts are pricier. Finally, as you may already know, there are 2 swap meets in CT coming up. The first one is in Stafford Springs this Sunday and the other one is in May at Lake Compounce.
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#8
Thanks for the tips. No I wasn't aware of the swap meet this weekend. I've been away from the car scene for a while. Thanks!

My friend just restored a '67 Camaro with a lot of Dynacorn parts. I don't want to badmouth anyone but lets just say many of the parts needed "extensive tweaking" to obtain a satisfactory fit. Maybe my best bet - at least for exterior sheet metal would be takeoffs from other cars (assuming the rust isn't too bad).

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#9
Yep...I have had some less than perfect fitment with aftermarket sheetmetal but at the end of the day it all worked out. The other option is like you said...track down some good original pieces. Below is a picture of an original Ford quarter panel I picked up for $125 and transplanted onto my car. It fit fit like a glove.

   

As long as you are patient, original parts will come up from time to time. It is just a matter of finding them. I looked for 2 years to find original doors and one day there they were.
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#10
(04-03-2014, 02:30 AM)jrpav Wrote: Yeah but I'm not going to hit everything with the sand, just the underbody and other "rough" parts. The exterior panels (whatever parts that I save) should come out fine with a DA.

I've actually done a few complete restorations like this back in the '90s so this isn't my first rodeo. Only one was a Mustang, the rest were GM products. Even full-frame cars fall apart up here in the Northeast. You have to remember, these cars were never meant to last 40+ years. Even the high-end muscle cars weren't really expensive when they were new. Car loans were for 3-4 years. Meticulous prep and corrosion prevention at the factory costs $$.

My biggest concern now is with the quality of the metal that I use. Back in the '90s we didn't have a lot of Chinese junk. Their metal is not the same. If you guys know of any good, MADE IN USA parts please let me know. I only want to fix this car once.

" If you guys know of any good, MADE IN USA parts please let me know. "
There is not much USA made metal anymore and there is none for a 71-3
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