This Mustang was my brother and my first car when we were 16, sometime around 1998-1999. My dad had one as a kid too, and he thought it was the perfect first car. We worked on this thing all through high school, and really never stopped. It is now sitting in my garage, still with the hood up, in the middle of some more long overdue maintenance. We had started a disk brake conversion on the front end when we were in high school, and the car sat with the front end torn down for 7 or 8 year while we went off to college and moving around Southern California. We finally had her towed down to San Diego on a flatbed and finished the disk brakes about five years back. Also went through the entire cooling system and upgraded to a Champion 3 core radiator and electric fan. About 2 years ago I lucked out on finding a brand new set of American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels (staggered) on Craiglist for $600, which went on replacing the stock hubcaps and wheels. A new set of air shocks went on too to jack up the back up for the wider rubber. I also took her down to a muffler shop and replaced the tired old glasspacks with set of Flowmaster 40 series mufflers. One of these days will also replace everything with 3″ piping.
My brother has now moved off to Colorado (2016), and needed a car at the time and my dad gave him his Jeep (2004 Wrangler Sport). The Mustang was then given to me, and now sits in my garage as I’m going through another round of maintenance and upgrades to get her back to daily driver status. I just recently had the Carb completely rebuilt at San Diego Carburetor – Stan does absolutely amazing work! While i had the carb off, I decided to freshen up the cast aluminum valve covers that we installed back in High School. Well that led to a another whole situation that I’m currently in the middle of.
When we put on the aluminum valve covers in ~1999, we cracked one of them from overtightening the bolts. They ended up holding just fine for almost 20 years. However since I had the carb off (7/2016), I pulled off the valve covers to clean them up. soaking in some simple green and polishing them up resulted in a brand new looking set of valve covers!
Well it turned out they really were brittle after all this time, and after mounting these back on with new gaskets, they cracked immediately even worse in the same spot. I JB welded the crack, but it just wouldn’t hold anymore. Thankfully my dad had kept the original stock covers, and brought them down for me. So I’m now in the process of sanding and prepping them for paint. Going back to the stock Ford Dark Blue color (Duplicolor 1606). After spending this entire weekend working on them, they are about ready for paint.
Finally finished the prep and paint on the stock valve covers. They turned out so amazingly good that I’m considering restoring the stock air cleaner as well and switching back to it. This is the first time I have done serious prep work, and it really does pay off. I have never done this level of sanding and prep before, probably 10 hours total in prepping these, and it really made all the difference. I used Dupli-Color Engine Enamel primer, paint, and clear coat. All 3 were in spray cans, and I did 3 coats of each. With all 3 they recommend 2 light coats and one Medium/Wet coat, as little as 10 minutes apart. I gave them 30 min between coats. This really worked well, and brought out the color in the paint. I made sure to use all of the paints/clear coat in the same brand/type so they worked well together, and the clear coat should protect them from oil/gas, etc and keep the color showing bright.
And here’s a few pics of them mounted on the car. Just got them on tonight, and they fit perfectly and look amazing! With the professional looking turnout on these, I’m thinking about doing the stock air cleaner next!
Here’s a quick slideshow of some pics of the current work (8/2016):