Restorations/Improvements/Keeping it ready to drive


As you may know by now I am a driver, meaning I like looking at my car but I prefer driving it ! That means of course that things get broken, worn out or I just want to improve the looks. Let me tell you about the things I have done so far. I also explained that no new or correct parts were used by the previous owner so often these proved to be the cause of problems.

One of the first things I did was the installation of a battery lock, that way I can always disconnect the battery when the car is in the garage. Then I felt that there was a problem with one of the tires. because the car had been in storage for 7 months before me buying it, one of the tires got bad (new, but cheap tires...). So I replaced the four tires early in the 2000 season. Together with that I replaced the oil and oil bearings in the rear axle. On the front I replaced a disk brake which was getting rather thin

A little time later I noticed a problem with the brakes. I thought it was the replaced disc in front but it turned out to be the drums in the back. One of the oil bearings started leaking and caused the trouble. Later I found out that my rear drums were deformed because of the wheels (not original and in bad condition) So I replaced the brake shoes and installed new drums. And because I had that wheel  problem I decided to get new wheels as well: 65 styled steel wheelwere ordered. When they arrived after a couple of months I noticed that I ordered the wrong size ! ( lesson: ALWAYS doublecheck everything !) I decided not to send the wheels back but to get 4 new tires (again) but this time white letters instead of whitewalls. Now they are 215/60/14 ! Of course with the new wheel/tyre package my car looks a lot nicer and sportier !

Another big project was to replace the suspension ! The ride was getting a bit too soft (read: worn out) so I decided to replace: upper and lower control arms, the shock absorbers and all the rubber suspension components. I choose to use polyurethane for a harsher ride and I got indeed a (very) harsh ride (lesson: stick with the ORIGINAL rubber !) One of the things that has surely improved is the rear of the car, now it seems to follow the front instead of going its own way ! While my mechanic was having lots of fun under the car (yeah !) he gave the power steering a needed overhaul. (No more oil drips)

The radio antenna was replaced with a new one (the one installed was not correct and rusted) and by the end of the season it was definitely time to change the spark plugs and the the spark plug cables !

Just before putting it in its wintersleep I took the bumpers and door crutches off to have them rechromed (bumpers are original and undamaged)

Next thing to check was the airconditioning. After a visit to a specialised shop I knew that the condensor and pump were leaking! That's why all the gas was out.... the radiator for cooling the AC was also falling apart and got replaced.

It took a while to order and get the new parts, but finally all the new stuff got installed. I have got cold air again in the car !

I have also installed a new fan and a fan shroud, the cooling is more efficient now.

I noticed a sound when driving, every time I puched and released the accelerator. This again proved to be incorrect parts, the universal joints for the driveshaft were bad. It took me a while to get the correct ones so season 2002 came to a sudden halt first week of September. I hope to have the car ready for the technical check-up in December so I can put it in it's wintersleep.

Since the cooling was still not exactly what I wanted, I decided to check everything. The waterpump did a good job, but the thermostat was stuck halfway open. After replacing it the problem was solved.

Some time later, the radiator had a leak, so I had it rebuild. I opted for a 3 row one for better cooling. Now I don't have any problems with the temperature.

The yearly check-up revealed a problem with the exhaust fumes, and the carburator's adjustments screws could not improve that. I still have the original Motorcraft 2150 2V, I got a rebuild kit for it and the problem was solved. Clean exhaust fumes and better fuel economy as well.

New lens for instrument cluster: click here
Heater restoration: click here

I have installed/replaced various things: a new brake pedal pad, it says disc brake now. I have replaced the headlights, I have replaced all the screws for the taillights, console and instrument cluster. I have put new door sill plates and I have added an option: the remote trunk release.

New leaf springs were installed, and guess what: the air shocks at the back suddenly proved useless as with new leaf springs that car sits at the correct height.

Clean-up of underside and rustprotection: click here
Brake caliber rebuilt and cleaning of drum brakes: click here
Brake rotor replacement: click here
At the end of season 2008, I noticed a waterleak. It turned out to be the distribution cover. I also replaced the distribution chain and the waterpump. Picture here. And shortly after that the fuel pump was replaced as well.

Before season 2009 started I had some oil seals replaced: the one in the rear axle and the one at the exit of the automatic transmission. No more oil drips ! Click here.

I also had to repair the ignition in the dash, again this part had been tampered with and eventually gave a short circuit so I could no longer switch of the car with the key. Thanks to a friend Mustangdriver this got repaired.

I also replaced the 4 tires again, no need to economise on your only contact with the road ! This time I installed BF Goodrich, good tires, also in the rain.

In 2011 I finally decided to have something done to the vibrations of the car. Ever since I bought it I had vibrations, although very minor in the beginning it only got worse. Again wrong parts were the cause of this problem. My car is equipped with a AOD transmission, as this is bigger the driveshaft needs to be shortened. This again was not done, only the joke was shortened. This setup gave alot of "stress" on the bearing of the AOD. This bearing together with the yoke got so badly worn that it gave the driveshaft a play of 1cm !! I had the bearing replaced, purchased a new shortened driveshaft and yoke and guess what: no more vibrations at any speed.
On 2nd September 2012 the old engine gave up. Read all about it here
The rear shock absorbers had their time as well during season 2013, they were still those airshocks and they were leaking. I decided to replace all 4, I choose again the KYB high pressure ones.
Last thing for the season: replace the radiator. The radiator has been replaced in March 2014. Ready for the season.
Rust repair at the back window: click here
For the 2015 technical inspection I had to replace both tie rod ends. (again difficult as the previous owner had a mixture of parts (even big block parts) installed. Luckily my mechanic had enough parts and skill to get it all working again.

November 2018: the barely 4 year old radiator has been replaced. This time I went for an aluminum one instead of an original design in copper. Better cooling for sure !

Winter 2018-2019: restoration of the seats: click here - upgrade of the interior insulation: click here

Also done: new upper control arms and roller perches: click here

I was lucky to find another rev counter for my original rally pac. Although it's for a 6cil this one working. It pays to check the 2nd websites ! Click here

Waiting: new Sanden AC compressor.