Ford Mustang Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Brand new to the forum. I have learned many things from Miata.net, and the various Volvo forums. Now it's time to dig into the Mustang.

First, is this THE site for classic mustangs, or are there a variety of site that y'all use to gather info.

Here is the story- we have a 1968 2bl, 289, coupe, 3-speed- originally lime gold, but when we got it in 1992 it was blue, and we've painted it twice (both times to blue) and brought the interior close to standard, but with Mach 1 seats, upholstered like the originals. Non Original rims- it was a daily driver. My three brother and I all took turns driving it to high school, and the past few years it has seen occasional use.

A little over a year ago, middle brother was driving when it caught fire in the engine compartment. He is not so mechanical, and waited until the fire trucks arrived-

I had not seen the car until today, as I was living out of town then, and I wasn't in a hurry to see the ole girl in that state. It was a lot worse than I thought. It has been sitting for a year at friend's body shop- the title is now salvaged, but we still own the car.

Anyway, everything rubber or plastic under the hood and through the dash is toast! The hood is a loss, but the paint on the quarters is fine.

My goal is to get her started, and then hopefully drive her off site to the home garage.

Does anyone have expertise in resurrecting a crispy critter? I want to know the minimum of what I'll need to get it started.

I didn't know too much about cars in the mid '90 (although I thought I did). I have since done lots of work on numerous Jeeps, a Miata, and now a Volvo so I'm pretty gung-ho on tackling this, and it seems so simple compared to these newer cars.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm trying to avoid the entire wiring harness if I can- to keep the cost low to make sure she'll still run. I can leave the cooling system alone until she's running.

I'll try to post some pictures of the damage tomorrow. I think the dash is melted and all those gauges too.

The goal for this spring is get her running, stopping, and signals working. Eventually I plan to get ready for a frame off, but I want to get her as close to where she was before we do the tear down maybe later this year.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
I had a link to a website somewhere where a 68 that ahd an engine compartment fire was resurrected.


Depends on how bad (hot) the fire got if you want to try getting the motor going the way it is. First, what caused the fire? If it was the carb then I wouldn't try running the car until it is replaced and the intake is removed and any remains of the carb or other debris is removed from the inside of the intake. You don't want to suck any of the debris into the motor trying to crank it over. The valve covers may be destoyed too along with the coil. An oil change would be wise too. Sounds like you will have to do quite a bit of wire jumping to get it going. The car will start and run without the gauges, but since you said the dash is burned the ignition wiring, part of the underdash harness, may be gone too although it could be jumped out completely under the hood.

The fuel line has to be chacked along with the master cylinder and brakes lines in the engine compartment. I really wouldn't try driving this car home though, just get it towed.

To get the signals to work the complete engine compartment harness has to be replaced and possibly the dash.

Everything the car needsto fix it is out there and available.

I have to try to find that website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,163 Posts
I agree, get the car towed. It would be worth the expence. There may be damage to the brake system that could be overlooked or fail due to fire weakened brake lines. The master cylinder and all of the brake system routing is under the hood. The money that you are trying to save, may turn out to be a financial disaster if you have a wreck.

Medical expences, law suits, injuries, ect. What about insurance? The risks are too great. Just get it towed to a place where you plan on working on the car and then you won't be under any pressure on how to go about restoring your car.

It will probably cost you more to get it temporarily running where you're going to have to redo the temporary work again. Play it safe and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Here's the link to the site with a 68 coupe that was saved after a moderate engine compartment fire, Coupe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Jay 237 H,

That is a great link- my fire is actually not as bad as his was. I am encouraged after the inspection today, tomorrow after I vacumn off all the junk I will remove the valve covers and intake to do the final assessment.

I have posted the pictures from today online- here's the link:

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0EZOG7Vs5bsWGa

I agree with all that safety is paramount. I assure you that I will not do anything unsafe. I'm just trying to get her breathing again. It will be symbolic if I can get it driving, if only around the yard at the shop- my friend says that the car can stay there as long as needed, and he's offered to tow it anywhere I want to. He helped my restore it the first time in 1992-93, so he's real supportive. If I can get it running there will be a lot more spousal support- now it's just viewed as a money sucking burnt up piece of metal that is useless. Once she's running, she'll only be a money sucking hobby in the eyes of the unbelievers.

Thanks for the link and the info. No one ever said if there is any other site that y'all use for mustang info?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
Replacing all the burnt stuff in the engine compartment is pretty obvious.

I see the top of the dash is melted. It looks like the dash was melted from heat transferred though the windshield. But what about the wiring and stuff under the dash? What little I can see hanging down doesn't look bad. If the dash wiring is also toasted, you're best bet is to get a Painless Wiring harness and redo the whole car.

Check out the brakes. If the MC got too hot, it will melt the seals in there.

Check out the front suspension. There isn't much that can burn down near the upper A-arms. But if it did, they would have to be replaced before driving.

Metal parts get toasted pretty fast. And that can be a real problem. It looks like a lot of heat was transferred through the windshield into the dash. Check out the firewall very careully. If it got hot enough to deform, you've lost structural integrity through the core of the car. It can be fixed, but it won't be cheap. Either replace it, build a full roll cage, or junk it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Middlebay, here's how I feel after seeing those pics, the car is definitely savable.

You put really good pics up, very detailed, and I think I saw what possibly caused the fire. The metal fuel filter that screws into the base of the carb is in two parts. I had one come apart on me at the seam and had fuel on my intake, luckily no fire.


Oh well, onto what I see. New battery, starter solenoid, engine gauge feed harness, headlight harness (includes charging circuit), battery cables, radiator and heater hoses, thermostat, plugs and wires, coil. Intake and valve cover gasket set. New carb and spacer gasket. Basically alot of small stuff, nothing major. There's more things it definitely needs but I won't list everything and some things may show up as you get into it. The distributer may have to be completely replaced as it's aluminum and likely warped bad and a cap, rotor, points and condensor won't fix it. You'll have to see. There is a seal on the bottom of it that most likely has to be changed but that can be done later.

The power steering needs new hoses too. You can leave it alone for now and skip installing that belt. It will just be harder to steer as you'll be working the ram too, but the car will be "lot drivable".

The person who's car I posted the link to is a member of the Vintage Mustang Forum (VMF) who bought it after the fire and repaired it for resale. The VMF can be found here Forum Index - Vintage Mustang Forums? You will find me there under the same user name as I'm active on both these boards.


Now as to the dash harness. Check it out but you may be OK as the main dash harness in a 67/68 is run out near the front, not back by the firewall, I think you got lucky there. I do feel that your defroster ducts, speaker and wiper motor did get damaged though.

For safety's sake do check the brakes out and MC as mentioned but there's also something very important on a 68 that you will want to look at very closely. The steering rag joint, if that fails you have no steering! I can see it in your pic, looks "decent" still but I wouldn't trust it! New ones are only $15 through the Mustang vendors. Cheap insurance! I have a new one for my unfire damaged 68 I have to install. I feel the one on the car is original and being 40 years old it's getting changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
more questions

Jay, that was a pretty good list. I'll post what I think it will need soon. The wiring harness is actually in great shape except for about a 2 foot section. It comes out of the firewall with the black wrap intact and the color wires look fine. Then about a foot from the front grill it is back to colored wires inside the black wrap.

New facts- found out they only used water to put out the fire. Saturday I used a shop vac and vacuumed out all the junk and it looks so much better. Some of the worst metal is the battery area, which was already corroding long before the fire.

I also wanted to let y'all know that this car was 'tired' before the fire. We had never done anything to the motor, and as far as we know it was original inside- and have not seen any evidence to contradict that.

So the goal is to get her drivable, and in the future we plan to a frame off restoration one day, the right way.

y'all have been helpful and supportive and I appreciate that.
a few questions:
Should I begin new threads about specific question I have that come up, or keep posting on this thread with fire-related issues?

I have Monroe's "how to rebuild a small block ford', and the Hayes manual- anything thing else that is required reading for this project.

how about suppliers? On my cars I'm quite adamant that I use only original (or better parts) and I have a great relationship with my local parts counter at the dealer. Do you guys shop around on price, or do you find one supplier that can handle everything with high quality parts. I want to be economical (not tricked out) but I don't want autozone crap that doesn't fit nor work properly. I wasn't sure where you start on a 40yo car.

I'll need lots of little lines, gaskets, hoses and fittings. Also it was a 2bl, which I should probably go back with for now to keep it simple. in the future I like to rebuild the motor to be pretty hot, but not for now. Any recs on the 2bl card?

I'm reading about the distributor now in Monroe's book. Will have to inspect it next time I'm at the car.

Bob raised the question of the firewall integrity, and that is an issue. My friend who owns the shop said that would be a likely result of the fire. When we do the total restoration I want to do full roll cage then, so it will be addressed in the future. I will assess the best I can for now. This body won't be seeing much torque, as the motor was pretty weak before the fire. She'd start and run fine, only blew a little smoke under full-load acceleration.

one last thing- my friend recommended pouring Marvel Mystery Oil in all the cylinders to prevent a ring from breaking when we turn it over- what's y'all take on that?

I will keep you posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Forgot one more item- the hood.
What's the thought on going to a fiberglass hood. I will be replacing the hood (if I can get it running) and the hinges. Any tips on supplier for the hood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,163 Posts
I found National Parts Depot to have a lot of the small parts that some resto suppliers don't offer. Their prices are at the market level.

There is a series of factory assembly manuals that are available for each year of the vintage group of Mustangs. There is one each for the Electrical, Body, Chassis, Interior, Engine and Weld/ Sealant. Each book is about 16 bucks and have detailed drawings and notes that I found invaluable. These books saved me a lot of time and guesswork when working on my 67 F/B. These are available from NPD as well as other resto vendors.

Being also married I know how diplomacy is a factor when it comes to financial issues and hobbies such as ours. I wish you luck.

P.S. A few squirts of Marvel Mystery Oil is an excellent idea, just make sure to turn over the engine without the plugs installed first of else you may encounter damage from hydraulic lock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
If you're not 100% looking for the plug wires, distributer cap, hoses ect to be "original with correct stampings/markings" looking then NAPA is a good source for basic parts. They would have any gaskets you would need too.


Personally I don't like the electrical items from Advanced Auto, thier GP Sorensen brand. I replaced the motor in my Chevy last year and I had problems with some of the new electrical items. The metal contacts in the distributer cap became loose, these were molded right into the plastic cap, and I had to replace the cap after only 20 miles on the replacement motor (and cap)! I had a defective new sensor too that I had to replace. I prefer the NAPA Echlin brand or OEM like Delco or Motorcraft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No way do I need 'original.' This car will never be stock- I just want quality first, and value right up there to. Do you guys get part from your local dealer, or do you have a favorite online seller of FoMoCo and Autolite?

Anybody want to weigh in on where the carb should come from?

The bushing at the top of the shocks melted to. Can those be replaced, or am I shopping for shock too?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright guys, I've been making my list, and checking it twice.

A couple of questions-

If I'm replacing the distributor anyway- do y'all suggest an upgrade to a pointless system- remember we're going for economy and not performance.

The carburetor- Do y'all like Pony Carburetors- or do you have any other suggestions.

From what I've been seeing and reading it looks like there different ways to hook up the tubing to and from the carb and the valve covers. One breather cap had a hose from it and the other cap did not have a hose attached. I'm a little confused about the choke tubing and all things that attach to the carb. Most references I have found say to hook it up like was, but I can't really reference the charred mess.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
2011 GT500 SVTPP
Joined
·
150 Posts
Just in case the fuel line broke after the fire started, be sure to replace the power steering lines which are notorious causes of underhood fires. Happened to me once. Never leave home without a fire extinguisher after that incident many years ago. Lucky I'd had one in my trunk at that time too. Never leave home without it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Boss,

I'll be removing the lines next weekend and giving them a good inspection/replacement. I don't think they started this one beacuse most everything down there looked pretty clean.
 

·
Registered
2011 GT500 SVTPP
Joined
·
150 Posts
Thanks Boss,

I'll be removing the lines next weekend and giving them a good inspection/replacement. I don't think they started this one beacuse most everything down there looked pretty clean.


The A/T fluid ignites pretty easily on a hot surface, and the 68 rubber P/S lines are notorious for cracking at the metal seams. Just last year I witnessed it at a car show, no less... saw the A/T fluid spray all over the engine and instantly catch fire. I replaced the hose twice over a 5 year period. So, when it came to restoration, I didn't think twice about tossing it out for a manual rack.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top