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RayS

Getting a 20+ Year Old Mustang Challenge

Question

I have never shied away from a challenge and while I'm passionate about Mustangs, I do have an overall requirement that they have to be Red.  I have been presented with a Mustang Challenge with a Fall 1997 (98 model year) convertible that I am pretty sure the only washing has been when it rained.  It has lived its life outside in the South Carolina sun since it was purchased.

 

The worst area is the hood, the first picture shows the entire hood and the second is more of a close up of the hood.  The rest of the car isn't terrible, but wow - Mustang Abuse without a doubt.  I know there are some stone chips, which I'm not overly worried about, what I don't know is what the real condition of the paint is.  Maybe there is enough dirt covering it, that it isn't as bad as it looks, I just don't know yet.  I have plenty of experience with Red vehicles, so at least I know what Red is supposed to look like - this isn't it...

 

My plan of attack is to wash it, properly, which will probably be a 6 or 8 bucket wash with this much crud on it.   Given that it has not been taken care of for over 20 years, should I start with a regular shampoo wash, Strip wash or Diluted APC wash?  It will be about two weeks before the car is in my driveway to start working on and I have access to it to take additional pictures if anyone has any they would like to see that might help with the some guidance. 

 

Much appreciate any and all feedback.

Mustang Hood.jpeg

Mustang Hood Closeup.jpeg

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2 hours ago, mc2hill said:

 

Where is the shot of the rinse bucket filled with red water? 

 

After I did one like this I had a dark green rinse bucket.  After that I knew there was no reason to polish the truck (Mitsu SUV), but I did get some great 50/50 shots with doing the headlight and interior!   

I stopped after the 2nd test spot since I was pretty sure it was going to start bleeding like stuck pig.  Based on the way the clear coat just wiped away, I'm pretty sure I would have had a red bucket very quickly.    While the Mustang of out getting a repaint and curing, we'll be doing a 1994 Lexus SC400 - at least this one has been taken care of and yes it is Red. 

 

The next update on this thread will probably be late October or November based on the repaint and curing time info I'm getting. 

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7 hours ago, falcaineer said:

Reminder set! Do you have any pics of the whole car to share as before shots?

I need to get more pictures of the car as it is today, here are a couple that were taken in October 2001.  

IMG_0001.jpg

IMG_0003.jpg

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2 hours ago, RayS said:

I need to get more pictures of the car as it is today, here are a couple that were taken in October 2001.  

IMG_0001.jpg

IMG_0003.jpg

 

Well, 17 years ago certainly qualifies for "before" shots ??. But we all hope you can get her back to close to that. 

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Update:  The paint shop called and has an opening, so the Mustang goes in on Monday.  We should have it back by the end of the week since there is no body work needed.  This is about a month behind were we planned to have it done, but no worries there.   The big question will be whether or not to use ceramic coating once the paint has cured.

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We got the Mustang back from the paint shop and now it gets to spend a week in the garage and wait for 45 days before it gets reinspected and then we can get it sealed up.   While I'm waiting, I'll get the headlights replaced, wheels and tires done, plus a few other items.  

Mustang Repaint 2.jpeg

Mustang Repaint.jpeg

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We are getting closer to having the outside completed.   The new headlights should be here on Friday and the polishing was completed today so the depth is in the paint.  Best of all my Adam's order arrived today so I have some Trim Restorer, plus a few other "essential" items, such as a gallon of APC, Orange towels and some more Orange hand polishing pads. 

 

My daughter, who owns the Mustang, and her husband both graduated from Clemson and think the orange items represent Clemson - It is a argument we have regularly, Orange equals Syracuse Orange. 

 

If all goes well, by the end of this weekend the exterior will be completed and she'll have a nice coat of Ceramic Wax to keep her protected for a while.  As for the tire and wheels, I really thought about the Tire Armor, but decided that I'll stick with using Tire & Rubber cleaner and Tire Shine for this round and reconsider Tire Armor in the spring.  They'll get taken care of sometime this week and made to look real pretty.

 

The other two pictures are of the top, the first one is with the top 1/2 done, first coat and the second picture is with 2 coats on the top.  It probably needs one more coat on the top to make it completely uniform.   

 

For anyone who is tracking the evolution, we're 5 months into this endeavor and it has been a lot of fun seeing the car come back to all its glory one step at a time.

After Polish.jpeg

Top Half Done.jpeg

Top Second Coat.jpeg

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13 hours ago, RayS said:

My daughter, who owns the Mustang, and her husband both graduated from Clemson and think the orange items represent Clemson - It is a argument we have regularly, Orange equals Syracuse Orange. 

 

 

Nice work Ray.  And I think this week she wins the argument!   

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I'm not sure if this has been a 3 year project or a 20+ year project.  Either way it has been fun, had a few challenges and the results are more than expected.  We know that done never means done, it is simply a break until the next activity.  Of note, the headlights are not complete, while the replacement arrived this week, there is a problem with them, but I went ahead and finished the body.  I'll also mention that I did not pull the wheels to do them, I decided to get Tire Armor and it is on the way. 

 

The weather was perfect for a very early start today, it was 50 outside and 60 in the garage with the humidity just above 50%.  She was already clean, but I went over the car with waterless wash and wiped her down twice.

 

The trim restorer works very well, I hadn't realized how dull the mirrors had gotten and the front cowl was really bad, they are nice and black now.       Following the WW, I pulled out the Ceramic Wax and was careful on the volume on the pad.  Paying careful attention to how the wax looked before I started wiping it off, I found 2 minutes to ideal with today's temp and humidity.  The 2 minutes allowed me to do one panel, excluding the hood, which I did in two parts.

 

After each panel was complete, I would go back over the previous two panels with a separate double soft to make sure I got everything, then I would start waxing the next panel.  I figured if I wiped each panel three times, I'd be assured of no left over wax.  Following the wax, I let it sit an hour, got a clean double soft and wiped it one more time.  Next was Ceramic Boost 2.0, this was my first use of 2.0, since I didn't have enough 1.0 in the bottle to do the whole car.  CB 2.0 went on very easy and I followed the same process as CW.  Finally, I topped it with Brilliant Glaze for the pop factor.

 

I'll add this to the do's and don't listing, but a word or caution, do not get CW on your convertible top unless you are prepared for some real work to get it off.

 

The first two pictures are of the car today after it was done.  The collage is the journey from shortly after we purchased it, through the engine rebuild and the body.

 

Finally, I want to thank all the members on the forum who have provided input with a special call out to @falcaineer @shane@detailedreflections @pirahnah3 and @mc2hill.  Chris, Shane, Jim, Michael, I really appreciate all the advice and notes as we went through this project - Thank You.

 

IMG_0288.jpeg

IMG_0284.jpeg

Mustang Collage.jpg

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6 hours ago, Rich said:

Great job!  Tell me about the bike too.  I had a Yamaha back in the day that was that same color.  

The bike is a Suzuki Intruder 850 with 1,395 miles on it and should I mention that it is for sale.  The bike was not clean when this picture was taken, but I will be making her pretty over the next few weeks. The average temp for February is 62 and we'll get some days in the 70's, it was 67 yesterday and it is still 52 as I'm writing this at 5:50 AM.  Monday will be a different story with highs in the low 40's and nighttime temps in the lower 20's, but by Wednesday we'll be at 65.  

 

If you look close at the picture of the Mustang with the engine out, you'll notice that is the motorcycle jack in there.  I prefer using the motorcycle jack over a regular tranny jack.

Bike.JPG

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What an incredible turnaround, Ray! You should be proud of your work, and I'm sure you...or rather, your daughter 😉...will be thrilled to show it off around town. Enjoy! 😎😎😎

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18 hours ago, RayS said:

The bike is a Suzuki Intruder 850 with 1,395 miles on it and should I mention that it is for sale.  The bike was not clean when this picture was taken, but I will be making her pretty over the next few weeks. The average temp for February is 62 and we'll get some days in the 70's, it was 67 yesterday and it is still 52 as I'm writing this at 5:50 AM.  Monday will be a different story with highs in the low 40's and nighttime temps in the lower 20's, but by Wednesday we'll be at 65.  

 

If you look close at the picture of the Mustang with the engine out, you'll notice that is the motorcycle jack in there.  I prefer using the motorcycle jack over a regular tranny jack.

Bike.JPG

 

Nice bike!  Some days I miss riding, but then again, I'm 72 and there are just too many idiots on cell phones on the roads these days. Enjoy, and stay safe.  

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