Archive for the '67-68 Shelby' Category

1968 Shelby Mustang – Diagnosing And Repairing A Tilt-A-Way Steering Column – San Diego, California

Most of today’s cars have tilt or multi-position steering columns. They are a lot simpler than classic cars. I’ve rebuilt a few late 70’s Ford tilt columns that have a simple eight position, up or down tilt. They have a lot of internal parts to allow that function to happen. Flash back to the 60’s, and they did all kinds of things. Recently, I diagnosed and repaired a tilt-a-away steering column out of a 1968 Shelby KR Convertible. Not only are they eight position up or down, but they tilt away when the door opens, so you can get out of the car easier. There are all kinds of parts making these functions happen, and if your car does not start, it could be caused by one of those parts in the column. There are vacuum hoses, cables, relays, switches and solenoids just for the steering column alone. Also, the turn signal switches are unique. The cancellation lever also operates the up and down function. I had to replace it because the turn signals and brakes were not working.

This 1968 Shelby had an intermittent no start problem, and a lot of play in the column. On a 1968 Shelby with a 428 big block and automatic transmission, there are three starter safety switches. The first one is the neutral safety switch, so the engine does not start in gear. The second one is a starter delay relay that provided a 4 second delay between starts, so the starter did not engage while the engine flywheel is still spinning. The third one was the vacuum motor for the tilt steering, so the engine would not start while the steering wheel was in the tilt away position. To diagnose a no start, each one has to be isolated and tested individually. After going through them all, I discovered it was the vacuum motor. It’s vacuum pod with an electrical switch inside, and if it leaks or the switch is bad inside, the car will not start.

The other issue was the amount of play from side to side. The up and down was fine, but the side to side had excessive amount of play. There are four pivot points in the upper column tilt knuckle. There are some adjustments on the column, but none of them address the play, and there are no rebuild parts for it. The play is usually caused by worn out pivot pins holes. Only a couple of places rebuild them. They drill the holes over sized, and machine larger pivot pins for them. The other option is to find another tilt column as in the case of this one, but they are very rare in good condition. 1968-1969 Mustangs and Cougars are interchangeable. 1967 Mustang columns mount to the dash differently, and do not have the collapsible tube. 1970 Mustangs have a locking steering column, and the ignition switch was moved from dash to the column.

If your Classic Ford is having tilt steering column issues, then give Classic Resto Garage a call at a 619-929-8506, or fill the contact form.

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in 67-68 Shelby and have No Comments

Repairing A Tail Light Panel On a 1968 Shelby Convertible KR – San Diego, California

     I just finished working on a third 1968 Shelby convertible this month which was a GT-350 model. The other two were 68 GT-500 KR convertibles. Shelby made 404 GT-350 convertibles with 302 V-8’s, and 518 GT-500 convertibles that came with the 428 big block. Those production numbers were out of a total of 4451 made in 1968 at the Metuchen, New Jersey facility. The GT-350 was experiencing dim tail lights on the driver’s side. After initial diagnostics, I discovered that it was a grounding issue. Another fact about the 1968 Shelby is that they used tail lights from a 1965 Thunderbird up until 1970. The 1967 Shelby’s used 67-68 Cougar tail lights.

     If you have ever had a chance to see underneath a 67-68 Shelby tail light panel, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. Shelby received plain Mustang GT convertibles that were transformed into the iconic Shelby’s. The exterior is made up of fiberglass bolt-ons. For the most part, the fiberglass could be swapped back to the original sheet metal, but the rear tail light panel would need a little more work to change it back. You’ll notice that the Mustang’s original tail light openings were partially cut out, and two other holes on each side were cut to make clearance for the Shelby bulb sockets. They also, added a harness to accommodate a total of six bulbs, and they had a separate ground from the chassis to the housing. The tail light housings were not protected in the trunk like the regular Mustangs, so they can become dirty and corroded. The first thing I did was move the main ground wire to a better location which made the lights a little brighter. I also repainted the inside of the tail light housing with a reflective paint, but they were still hard to see during the day. I next preformed a ground test directly to each bulb socket, and I noticed a major improvement. The bulb sockets are pressed into the housing, and also become  loose and corroded over time. I carefully pulled each one out, and cleaned them. For the sequential to operate correctly, Shelby installed a slow flasher. If the flasher is too fast, they will not sequence thru the Dynamite Sticks. The Dynamite Sticks are what made the tail lights blink sequentially. When buying flasher pods at a parts store, it’s luck of the draw to find one. You can avoid going thru a entire box of flashers by just purchasing an adjustable flasher pod.

If you’re having tail light issues with Classic Mustang or Shelby’s convertible, then give Classic Resto Garage a call at a 619-929-8506, or fill the contact form.

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in 67-68 Shelby and have No Comments