Getting my car decent. Looking for thoughts on this long list.

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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EDIT 7/1/2019: Items that are done were changed to RED.

A short time ago I posted about potentially trying to get a car to drive other than the mustang. This is the result. I've done most of this stuff a thousand times for me and others just like some of you have. As I have gotten older I just have developed a habit of looking for suggestions and watching vids of others doing these things. I don't really know why. For longer than I remember all the folks around me brought things to me that they couldn't figure out. I guess I'm just getting tired....lol. So my goal is to get some input, motivation, moral support or whatever so I can get this car up to at least a certain level. So here goes.....

If I'm going to be driving my Mustang daily, there are things that I'd like to do to make it as nice to drive as possible. Imagine buying a Ford Focus or Honda Accord that's four or five years old. You get in that car and just drive it. The mirrors work. It's not blowing oil out. The brakes are good. The headliner isn't falling down. All these things are just taken for granted in a car like that. I want the Mustang to be the same. It won't ride as good or look as new but I do not want to have ten or so things that I always hate about the car every single day because those things need repair. This isn't a wish list of how I would build my car if money were no consideration. Most know money is basically non-existent right now for me. These are must have's, so to speak. Of course, you can do without some of them but that very thing is what I'm trying to get away from. I've put up with this car the way it is long enough. I want to either make it right or drive something else. Period. This is my attempt at making it right with the most important ones up top.

Top Priority are these first 3 with #1 BY FAR the biggest PITA!

Items in RED are DONE!!

-Stop the oil slinging out of the front of the engine.....again. Fixed it a year ago and it stopped for 12 months. It's back. As tooky as I am about things, for some reason I can't seem to make this fix permanent even though I spread this job out over almost a week. I did this because I wire brush every single bolt and totally clean everything. Then I do it again. Clean and as perfect as possible is my norm. I even get made fun of because of this...which is kinda fun at times. My point is, I didn't rush anything or cut corners. The job was done thoroughly. I took everything off the front of the engine. I was looking at the timing chain. I dropped the front of the oil pan. As much as I hated to, I cut the one piece oil pan gasket after not being satisfied doing it any other way. The reseal of the oil pan is not where my problem is (I don't think). I cleaned the timing cover and installed a new front seal. Everything went back together just fine. Before doing this I was getting oil residue all over the belt and it was slinging it everywhere. My battery was gunked up terribly. After the repair, the engine was staying spotless once again like it always has. About 2 months ago all of a sudden it started again. My battery, engine, underside of hood, etc are once again covered. I hate it. Since I've had my car since new it's used a quart of oil between changes (1500 miles). This is not the same engine but after building this engine it has always done the same. With the oil coming out of the front now though it using the same amount but at 1000 miles. This has to stop. I am confident the car will run forever like this but I can't take it. It reeks of burning oil all the time and is a mess. I'd like some input, please.

-Fix clutch cable. This may include a new cable and firewall adjuster. Already have the aluminum quadrant installed although MM says that an aluminum quadrant made for adjustable cables won't work with the MM cable. Not sure. I need to adjust it first and see if that fixes the problem. While cranking the car in gear with the clutch pressed the car wants to move forward. Also, in a parking lot or at a stop light, if I take the car out of gear it can be difficult to get back in. It feels like you are hitting a wall. It only does it with the car running so I'm almost sure it just needs adjusting.

-Order some of the good oil drain plug washers. (having trouble finding them) My car uses so much oil I am trying to eliminate every possible spot that could leak. A year or so ago I found a fellow mustang guy that found the holy grail of drain plug washers and it fixed his leak. I can't find him or the clip I made of the washers. I actually found these online at Summit and they were in a pack of 4. Can not find them now and don't remember any details. The only thing I definitely remember is they were not available at any parts store.


Others in order of Priority

-Check all ground wires and add or replace all that is needed. The reason for doing this is at times I get crazy gauge readings for a few minutes then it goes back to normal. Already bought a new braided line for “ground #2” from the famous ground list.

-Fix wiring at Hazard Switch. One wire won't stay pinned and it keeps the hazards and blinkers from working.

-Put all stereo equipment back in. I have a brand new JVC head unit in the box that I got a couple years ago. I also have all the speakers and most of the wiring. The Soundstream amp that I want to use needs repair. It's a very good five channel amp that ran the big system I use to have in the car. Not sure on how much this will cost or who can do it. I checked it once and it had one channel not working. The amp repair doesn't have to happen right now but if any of you have a trusted amp repair resource please share it. (stereo is in and working...no amp installed yet)


-Fix the door speaker grills so they don't stick out and rattle against the dash. (do this while door panels are off for the stereo installation) Anybody that's done a custom job on this I'd like to see it. I have a good idea of what I'm going to do but always open to others.

-New dome light and other interior lighting to really light up the interior (Get a dome light from the wrecking yard. I'd like the '93 Mustang version but need to know what all vehicles they are the same in since there are zero foxes in the yards here.)

-Fix horns. (I bought the horn button repair kit from LMR but it was junk) Anybody else have the horn coming on at 3am deal? That's why it's been unplugged for 15 years.

-Put newer model front seats in and recover. I already have 2005 seats but the covers are around $550. I don't mind at all painting these seats a dark grey if it's something that won't rub off on me. They are the tan color factory seats.

-Door lock actuators again (100% sick of these).

-New headlights and fog lights again (100% sick of these too).

-Fix cruise control. (this may or may not ever happen as it seems to be a mystery to almost everyone...and no the wiring diagrams didn't help)

The next 4 are just having the money to do it but all thoughts are welcome.

-Rebuild rear drum brakes $75 (pretty straight forward there I guess)

-New door mirrors (LMR $175 with free shipping....RockAuto $153 plus shipping)

-New hatch lift struts. (LMR pair $30....RockAuto pair Monroe 901244 $18.38 $28.84 shipped) LMR is plus shipping.

-Need the Lower Door Hinge Tension Spring replaced on the drivers side. (LMR $20)

Things that I'd like to do but will be down the road, if ever.

-Rebuild my extra engine and replace the one in the car with it.

-New quarter windows.

-Paint the car.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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@jrichker has an excellent writeup on the door lock actuator replacement, I could not find it in the tech or resources. I'm sure he will be along in a minute.
My contribution to your list. I may be back later with more nonsense, I mean info.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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@jrichker has an excellent writeup on the door lock actuator replacement, I could not find it in the tech or resources. I'm sure he will be along in a minute.
My contribution to your list. I may be back later with more nonsense, I mean info.
Thanks man. I'm sure you'll have more of both. This isn't a small list. Btw...I have his door lock write-up printed to pdf and saved...lol. I'm a hoarder of info.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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My horn button used to do the same thing in my 89. The button pops out of the steering wheel and there are two plates...one has little pimples and a piece of foam goes between them.

On my car i found that the copper disc had deformed. Bending it back to the correct position fixed my issue. I've also used electrical tape to fix them in the past. Used it as a spacer between the two discs. Back then there were no easily accessible repair kits. You've got to put the fuse back in and play with it until you find the sweet spot that keeps the horn from blowing.

The speaker grills are harder to deal with if the metal clips are broken off. Unless you really want to do some custom work they'd be better off drilled through to accept a small long screw. The screw on the side doesn't help the rattle up top...trust me I know.

The grills on the door panels have one screw and 3M tape to hold the secure.

The cruise control isn't rocket science....more like projectile science. Lol. If the cable is good and the diaphragm holds vacuum it would be something on the electrical side. Its looking for several inputs....including the vehicle speed sensor at the transmission. I believe there are only 3 wires running to the steering wheel. If the horn button fuse is pulled it may remove power to the cruise control buttons too.

I believe @Davedacarpainter rebuilt his factory power mirrors. Might be a cheaper option.

Ummm....that's it for now...
 
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JKWilson61

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Regarding your #1 PITA I re-read several times what you did in repairs. Based on the description of repairs I'd ask one question: did you inspect the seal contact surface on the harmonic balancer when you had it off? It not uncommon for a high mileage motor (or one that possibly sat for a long time and the seal hardened up), to have a groove worn into that surface. A new seal may work for a short time depending on how bad the wear is. It'll start leaking again in a short time span. All is not lost though. Yes, the "correct" way to fix it is a new balancer however you can get a repair sleeve that installs on the balancer over the seal surface. Since money is tight they're pretty inexpensive and a LOT cheaper than a new balancer.

A suggestion about the oil drain plug washer; have you looked at a hardware store? I put a drain plug in the pan of an AOD and was looking for the stuff to do it (yeah, I was too cheap to buy a kit). Several of the hardware stores I shop at (not the big box stores), have the zillion drawers of every imaginable screw, washer, bolt spring, furniture repair parts. Lo an behold I found a drawer with drain plugs of different sizes and styles AND washers too. Since your searches at auto parts places failed it's just a thought.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
Regarding your #1 PITA I re-read several times what you did in repairs. Based on the description of repairs I'd ask one question: did you inspect the seal contact surface on the harmonic balancer when you had it off? It not uncommon for a high mileage motor (or one that possibly sat for a long time and the seal hardened up), to have a groove worn into that surface. A new seal may work for a short time depending on how bad the wear is. It'll start leaking again in a short time span. All is not lost though. Yes, the "correct" way to fix it is a new balancer however you can get a repair sleeve that installs on the balancer over the seal surface. Since money is tight they're pretty inexpensive and a LOT cheaper than a new balancer.

A suggestion about the oil drain plug washer; have you looked at a hardware store? I put a drain plug in the pan of an AOD and was looking for the stuff to do it (yeah, I was too cheap to buy a kit). Several of the hardware stores I shop at (not the big box stores), have the zillion drawers of every imaginable screw, washer, bolt spring, furniture repair parts. Lo an behold I found a drawer with drain plugs of different sizes and styles AND washers too. Since your searches at auto parts places failed it's just a thought.
Thanks, John. You know, once it started leaking again I questioned that very thing (balancer groove). I will say that I put two brand new seals in because the first one didn't go in just right and it concerned me. Even the second one wasn't perfect. I've always just tapped them in with a hammer. I tried using a heavy use truck socket and all that did was bend the first one up. So on the second one, I just did old school with a regular hammer. The whole reason I wanted to use the socket was to not bend the thing up. So, considering all that, I'm thinking it's the seal or the balancer as you said. I have such a good seal on the timing cover otherwise I absolutely hate removing it. Wondering if anyone has done a new seal without removing the cover? Anyone? And please if yall have any timing cover seal install tricks gimme gimme!! As I said, #1 listed item is my most troubling thing and I'd like all the input possible before I start pulling it apart again.
I did look at Lowe's thru all their fastener drawers. Didn't see anything there other than Teflon. I don't imagine you have a pic or something of what you used huh?

On the drain plug thing, a copper washer works really good, like said above, you can find them at lowesdepo
I'll look at those and try them. I think I already did but that could be a phantom memory....:shrug:
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
572
285
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Cuba, AL
My horn button used to do the same thing in my 89. The button pops out of the steering wheel and there are two plates...one has little pimples and a piece of foam goes between them.

On my car i found that the copper disc had deformed. Bending it back to the correct position fixed my issue. I've also used electrical tape to fix them in the past. Used it as a spacer between the two discs. Back then there were no easily accessible repair kits. You've got to put the fuse back in and play with it until you find the sweet spot that keeps the horn from blowing.

The speaker grills are harder to deal with if the metal clips are broken off. Unless you really want to do some custom work they'd be better off drilled through to accept a small long screw. The screw on the side doesn't help the rattle up top...trust me I know.

The grills on the door panels have one screw and 3M tape to hold the secure.

The cruise control isn't rocket science....more like projectile science. Lol. If the cable is good and the diaphragm holds vacuum it would be something on the electrical side. Its looking for several inputs....including the vehicle speed sensor at the transmission. I believe there are only 3 wires running to the steering wheel. If the horn button fuse is pulled it may remove power to the cruise control buttons too.

I believe @Davedacarpainter rebuilt his factory power mirrors. Might be a cheaper option.

Ummm....that's it for now...
Well I didnt pull the fuse on mine. I just unplugged it behind the center button. I'll take a look at it again. Now for the speaker grills. I'm all about making things that i can't buy or afford. I even plan on video documenting this particular procedure. The plastic bosses on the back of the grill that go thru the door panel are gone.
629109
629110

I'm thinking I'm going to make some ABS or HDPE shafts and just chuck one up in a drill and use some sandpaper to turn it to the diameter I want. Then I will epoxy them to the speaker grills at the best locations and put a hole there on the panel. I may just use the factory type nuts above or even the extra pile of them I have that go on quarter windows. Either will work fine I think. I'll be the guinnea pig.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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I'll be totally honest guys. If I can just get the top 3 things above 100% fixed I'd be thrilled. I must take care of the others for the reason mentioned above. The first 3 are weighing on me.

BTW......it was @Mustang5L5 that rebuilt his mirrors. I'm hoping he will drop in this thread when he can.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Mine are stuck with two sided tape and the one screw. I don't think there are holes in the panel for the grills like the new ones. Mine may be broken off too.

My car didn't have speakers in the doors from the factory so maybe that made a difference
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
Mine are stuck with two sided tape and the one screw. I don't think there are holes in the panel for the grills like the new ones. Mine may be broken off too.

My car didn't have speakers in the doors from the factory so maybe that made a difference
For now, I'm going to keep my grills because I'm sure after this long they are faded to match....lol. I'll just modify what I need to. That two-sided tape on certain things is awesome. I put some emblems on a car once with the 3M tape. A few years later I was ready to remove them and that tape was a bear to remove. I thought I was going to pull paint off.
 

Mustang5L5

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BTW......it was @Mustang5L5 that rebuilt his mirrors. I'm hoping he will drop in this thread when he can.
Tried to, but parts aren't exactly available.

What I ended up doing was swapping the motors/lenses into my original housings. They were a direct swap. Much quieter, but the lens on one is a little wavey. When I look in it, it's annoying to see. I might try and swap a factory glass onto it.
 

Mustang5L5

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Mine are stuck with two sided tape and the one screw. I don't think there are holes in the panel for the grills like the new ones. Mine may be broken off too.

My car didn't have speakers in the doors from the factory so maybe that made a difference
There are holes. They frequently rip and tear though.

You basically install the speaker ino a removed door panel, and then go onto the backside and mushroom the plastic tabs with a solder gun. I put a washer on before I did this to spread the load area out. Holds the grill on nice and tight and then you have the one screw on the bottom.


If you have map pockets, with the panel off you can remove the pocket and then feed a 3/4" band of elaster through. Pull it tight and secure it under one of the nearby metal clips you bend over.

New grill, fixed map pockets and new window switch plate and switches makes a huge difference on the door panel. I also highly recommend new window bushings, readjusting the window and a liberal coating of silocone lube in the channel to fix those rattling windows

IMG_9319.JPG
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Tried to, but parts aren't exactly available.

What I ended up doing was swapping the motors/lenses into my original housings. They were a direct swap. Much quieter, but the lens on one is a little wavey. When I look in it, it's annoying to see. I might try and swap a factory glass onto it.
Thanks, Mike. Got any thoughts on my #1 item...oil slinging and the timing cover seal replacement on the vehicle. Or any seal installation tricks? :thinking:
 

Mustang5L5

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How are you getting so much oil slinging out the front? It's gotta be the front seal on the timing cover no? I'd check out the condition of the balancer where it rides on the front seal
 
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2Blue2

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Got any thoughts on my #1 item...oil slinging and the timeing cover seal replacement on the vehicle. Or any seal installation tricks? :thinking:
. My battery, engine, underside of hood, etc are once again covered.

+1 on the balancer sleeve, It has solved my problem before on a 60 yr old 289

A leaking front TC seal will mostly run down the front of oil pan, the harmonic balancer is flinging oil all the way to the hood?
My 2 cent guess is the seal is fine, but the key way on the inside of Harmonic balancer is allowing oil to come thru ( you cleaned em really good right )so all oil leaked is running out to front of harmonic balancer past the big bolt and is flung around.
A little rtv on the key and key way might be the answer. Oil leaks are hard to diagnose on the inter web.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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A little rtv on the key and key way might be the answer. Oil leaks are hard to diagnose on the inter web.
Good idea on the keyway. And what do you mean hard to diagnose online. Can you not smell that oil!!! :D
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Cuba, AL
How are you getting so much oil slinging out the front? It's gotta be the front seal on the timing cover no? I'd check out the condition of the balancer where it rides on the front seal
I don't know. It's getting on the belt and flying everywhere. I would think it has to be the seal or balancer. I will be pulling the balancer after I feel this discussion has played out.
I just called my fellow OLD mustang buddy. While we were discussing replacing the front seal with the cover still on the car it occurred to me that I would be hammering on the timing cover on the install but there would be nothing really behind the lower part of the cover to take the impact. The gasket is all that's there on the circular lower. I'm thinking this wouldn't be a good idea. But, still wondering if maybe I'm wrong and being too picky. Anyone done this on the car?
 

2Blue2

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Another thought I had on this ( I assume you did this but no one mentioned it) is to install Tcover (with new seal installed ) loosely to block and then use the harmonic balancer to center it up before tightening the TCover down. As so not to be cocked to one side.