Getting Ready For The Car Show Season – Maintanance And Upgrades – San Diego, California

The car show season is here again, and we are looking forward to doing some cruising.  Is your Classic Mustang ready? I don’t mean is it waxed and detailed, but is it really ready. You’ve probably had a lube, oil and filter done on your Mustang. Did you also make sure that your door latches are lubed and adjusted? Are you door hinges tight? Does all your windows roll up and down smoothly, and are adjusted properly? Doors are most often forgotten, and in need of maintenance too.

Over half of the Mustangs I’ve seen have damaged door latch mounting areas. Customers usually do not notice until I show them. Door latches are only attached by three small screws to un-reinforced sheet metal. They will crack over time just from normal wear and tear. If the cracks are no bigger than the diameter of a dime, they can be saved. If they are larger than that, they will require more extensive repair. Also, lack of lubrication on door latches, and improper door striker adjustment will cause damage. Just because your Mustang is old does not mean you have to slam the doors. If maintained and adjusted properly, you should be able to close them with one finger. Window regulators are another over looked part of your Mustang.

Windows should go up and down smoothly without having to force them. Front window failure is either caused by a worn regulator mechanism or broken window rollers. I’ve seen Mustangs with their original window regulator that still work due to proper maintenance. On the other hand, I’ve replace window regulators that were only a couple of years old. If the windows are not adjusted properly, the regulators will not last long. Rear window regulators are hardly ever used, and are usually stuck in place. Rear regulators in most cases can be saved. I have only replaced two rear regulators in the past 18 years. Replacing the rollers, and lubrication and adjustment takes care of problem. For convertible Mustang owners, the tops usually fall short in the maintenance department as well.

Sure they look better with the top down, but how often do you operate them?  I’ve talked to many customers, and they have told me their tops are almost always up or always down. The one time they decide to use it, the motors are really noisy, or move up and down very slow. If the hoses are original, they can blow,  and make a mess in your backseat. It’s a good idea to check the hydraulics once a year. The fluid doesn’t usually need to be changed, but the system should be bled to keep the motor from burning out. Also, proper lubrication and adjustment is necessary for the longevity of the frame. Old convertible were never water tight, so even the most precise adjustments won’t keep all the moisture out. You can still reduce the wind noise, and keep most of the water out during that unexpected shower at the car show. Mustang body gaps and alignments change overtime, and can sometimes be fixed without any major body work.

If your doors gaps are uneven symmetrically from front to rear, they can usually be adjusted without going to a body shop. Door hinges and door striker are the number one cause of door miss-alignment. They can be fixed by rebuilding the door hinges, or replacing and adjusting the door stickers. Hood to fender adjustment are another common area of miss-alignment. Small adjustment can be made without going to a body shop as well. If you hood pops up in the back when closed, then it either needs adjustment or hood hinge replacement. You can add some modern upgrades to your Mustang without necessarily taking away from its originality.

If your Vintage Mustang suffers from dim headlights or dash lights, there are some modern upgrades that can be done without being seen. Headlamps relays will make your headlights much brighter, and take some of the electrical load off your headlamp switch. Also, replacing the stock instrument bulbs with LEDs along with careful cleaning of the internals will brighten up your gauges. If you’re looking to improve the safety of your Mustang, then upgrading your seatbelts to a 3-point retractable style will help keep you in your seat better.

If your Classic Mustang needs some summertime maintenance, or some modern upgrades, then give Classic Resto Garage a call at a 619-929-8506, or fill the contact form.

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in Shows & Cruising and have No Comments