Once your cowl panel is removed, you can look at its condition and decide which repairs need to be done. Often times, the lower cowl panel is in good shape and only needs to be cleaned and re-painted. However, if it is rusty, a patch panel will need to be installed. Dynacorn Industries offers a good reproduction repair panel. It is a complete lower cowl panel replacement, so you won’t need a patch panel.
I’ve used several of these and they work great. Keep in mind that this panel is patterned after a 1967 Mustang. So if you are using the panel on a 1965 or 1966 Mustang, you will need to drill an extra hole in the mounting flange of your left hand fresh air intake canister. 1967 Mustang fresh air intake canisters had more mounting stud holes than a 1965 or a 1966 did.
To achieve the proper placement of this extra hole, place your fresh air canister on the cowl prior to installation and mark the mounting flange.
Another thing to keep in mind: if you are repairing a 1965 Mustang cowl panel, make sure that your windshield wiper transmission protrudes high enough through the top of the exterior cowl panel. This ensures that you have enough of the wiper transmission protruding through to put the chrome bezel on it. If this isn’t done during installation, it is difficult to do once the painting has been completed.
Here is a tip on avoiding paint overspray inside the Cowl Panel. After you have removed, repaired, and repainted your 1965-1968 Mustang cowl panel, you are ready to reinstall it. Here’s a neat tip for avoiding any paint overspray in the cowl panel area. Use aluminum foil! The aluminum foil catches all the paint overspray that would accumulate in the vent area of the Mustang cowl.
Here’s what to do: prior to permanently welding the cowl lid on your Mustang, line the cowl floor with aluminum foil. Then, weld your cowl lid to your Mustang. When you are ready to paint your Mustang, this aluminum foil will prevent any overspray build-up to the inside of the cowl panel area.
After your vehicle has been painted, simply reach up inside the air or heat intake holes, grab the foil, and pull it out. This leaves a nice cowl interior without the ugly paint “scale” (paint buildup) that is commonly left in the cowl panel area.
Here’s an additional benefit of using aluminum foil: If the aluminum foil is carefully placed, it will also prevent weld sparks or blobs of hot metal from burning the painted cowl panel during the welding process. Aluminum foil works much better than any plastic or paper masking material.
Nearly all 1965-1968 Classic Mustangs and Cougars should have their cowl vent panel removed. This area harbors hidden rust, ugly scaly paint overspray, and water leaks. If not repaired properly, rust will continue to eat away at the cowl panel and then the firewall. You’re better off taking care of the cowl panel before this nightmare happens.
Upon removing the cowl panel, clean, repair, repaint and re-install it. Here are some tips for how to re-install the cowl panel.
- Align the cowl panel. Make sure when re-installing, that the position of the cowl panel is correct. It should line up evenly with the rear edge of the hood. It should also line up evenly with the front fenders. Temporarily install the hood and fenders to get the positioning correct. Self-tapping screws work really well for temporarily installing body replacement panels. When the cowl position is correct, attach the cowl with a few self-tapping sheet metal screws. This will temporarily hold the cowl in proper position. Remove the hood and fenders so that you have access to the cowl.
- Weld the cowl panel. Beginning from the center of the cowl panel and working outward, make a plug weld every 2-3 inches. A plug weld is a weld that fills a hole in the top piece and attaches to the bottom piece. This type of weld is about 1/4″ size. Complete the plug welds until you have welded the entire panel.
- Grind the welds. Using an air or electric grinder, grind the excess welds so that they are flush with the cowl panel.
- Seal and fill the welds. Using a quality seam sealer or body filler, fill any grinder marks or unwelded holes. Once the sealer or filler has cured, sand the area smooth.
You are now ready to paint the cowl area and permanently reattach the hood and fenders.
Dynacorn Industries offers complete body shells for 1967-1970 Mustang Fastbacks. We have heard that they plan on introducing the body shells of a 1965-1966 Mustang Fastback and Convertible. They will be introduced at the November, 2009 SEMA show.
The production of these unibody components makes it possible for someone to use parts that were previously difficult to locate. This makes it easier to restore an original body. It will also re-energize the passion for the early Mustang classics.
A 1965-1966 Mustang has always been my favorite (I guess that’s why I have saved up so many of them!). My vision 20 years ago was to restore one Mustang at a time and do the best quality work, while leaving no hidden rust. Here at FastbackStack, LLC, all vehicles are completely disassembled and mounted on a rotisserie for a complete restoration. All cars receive metal repairs and a sand or media blasting. The cowl is removed regardless of the vehicle’s condition prior to restoration.
If you prefer factory original Mustangs and are looking to purchase a factory original 1965-1968 Mustang Fastback or Convertible, check with us. We currently have a few 1965-1968 Fastbacks in various stages of restoration. Additionally, if you have been looking for original parts for your Mustang restoration, we have several thousand to choose from.
Freshly applied and cured body filler tends to clog sandpaper. Here is a trick I have used to save a little time while also prolonging the life of my Long Board or Dual Action (DA) sand paper:
- Once the body filler has cured, take a piece of used coarse-grit sand paper and thoroughly scuff the body filler.
- Next, take a handful of fine, dry filler sanding dust and rub this dust into the freshly sanded filler. If possible, wait a day or so to further dehydrate the filler.
- Then, place a new piece of sand paper on a sanding device of your choice.
- Now you are ready to begin sanding the body filler again.
Utilizing this tip helps to dehydrate the body filler, prevent paper clogging, and saves the amount of sand paper that you will go through.
Another Sanding Tip
- When shaping body filler in a concave area (where the metal curves inward), wrap sandpaper around a rolled-up magazine. This gives added flexibility, yet the length is stiff enough to be able to sand successfully.
Good luck with your body work and sanding projects on your Vintage Mustang!
Copyright 2007: FastbackStack, LLC
I have discovered an amazingly easy way to way to clean a lot of small parts with very little effort. If you own or have access to a cement mixer, this tip will be very useful to you. The cement mixer, combined with sand-blasting sand, will automatically clean your parts for you!
- Cement Mixer
- 1 bag (100 pounds) of sand-blasing sand
- 2 five-gallon buckets (1 for parts, 1 for sand)
- 1 section (1/4″ to 1/2″ mesh) chicken wire or comparable screening device
This process works well when cleaning heavy duty parts such as nuts, bolts, brackets, clips, rubber bumpers and bushings, spring plates, motor mounts and other comparable items.
- Start up the cement mixer.
- Pour in the parts to be cleaned.
- Pour in 1 bag (100 pounds) of sand-blasting sand.
- Lower the angle of the cement mixer down, keeping the angle of the mixer high enough so that the contents do not spill out, but low enough to thoroughly agitate the contents.
- Allow the cement mixer to run for approximately 4 hours. Four hours should be adequate time for general cleaning. Additional time may be required for cleaning excessively dirty parts.
- Place an empty five-gallon bucket under the mixer. Using a strainer (chicken wire or screening device), slowly tip the cement mixer to allow the sand to fall through the strainer, leaving the parts on top of the strainer.
You have cleaned your parts without all the tedious work! A “set-it and forget-it” process that yields great results.
PLEASE NOTE: Do not attempt to clean delicate parts using this method. Items such as horns, trim pieces, and brass parts will be ruined if you attempt to clean them this way.
Copyright 2007: FastbackStack, LLC
Installing a new headliner into your Mustang is probably your first step when restoring your vehicle. Use this “how-to” guide to help during this installation process. I have installed many headliners and used to install headliners using clamps until I came across a new trick of using cut up pieces of windlace instead of clamps. I’ve found that this way is much easier and tends to yield better results. Installing a headliner should not be intimidating. You can save a few hundred dollars by doing the installation yourself, while at the same time fostering the pride of completing this task all on your own.
- Sharp Scissors
- Razor Blade or Sharp Knife
- 3M Spray Adhesive
- 32 Pieces of Cut Up OLD Windlace (cut into 2″ pieces)
- New Windlace Strips
- Bow– the metal rods that hold the headliner against the roof of the car. Mustang Coupes generally have four bows, while Mustang Fastbacks generally have three bows.
- Windlace – the long plastic trim cap that runs alongside the door glass seal on the body.
- Moonskin – the texture of the headliner material.
- Roof Rail – the part of the roof frame where the headliner bows insert into.
For best results, remove the windshield, rear window and weather stripping channel in the door openings. It is VERY difficult to tuck and secure a headliner without removing the glass (besides, it will look horrible and have wrinkles if this is attempted).
- Before starting, lay your new headliner flat to remove any folds or wrinkles. It may help to lay it in the sunshine to make it more pliable.
- Completely remove the old headliner, while taking note of exactly where the headliner bows are placed (this information will help you when installing the new headliner). SPECIAL NOTE – it is important to know that each bow may vary a little in length and curve. It may help to number the bows as you remove them and assign a numerical number from front-to-rear, while laying the bows in the order that you will insert them again into your new headliner.
- If the old insulation pad is still intact and in good condition, you may reuse it (depending upon your degree of restoration, you may choose to reuse the pad or purchase a new one). If the pad falls apart, find a new insulation pad and securely glue it in place by spraying both the pad and the roof with 3M Spray Adhesive.
- While using your metal headliner bows that you have numbered from front-to-rear, begin with the forward-most bow piece and slide the metal headliner bows into the forward most sleeve of the new headliner. Repeat the same steps with the other numbered bows, continuing to work from front-to-rear.
- After all bows have been inserted and CENTERED into the headliner sleeves, trim the excess sleeve material back, exposing about two inches of both ends of all the bows. When trimming, just trim the excess SLEEVE material…DO NOT TRIM THE MOONSKIN YET!
- Next, begin to insert the headliner into the vehicle, starting with the rear bow. Insert the rear bow into the holes of the roof rail. Then insert the other bows into their corresponding holes of the roof rail. Your headliner will be “baggy” and hanging at this point. The bows are hanging downward.
- Beginning with the front bow, rotate the bow so that it is snug against the ceiling of the vehicle. Repeat this step, working from front-to-rear, until all bows are snug against the ceiling of the vehicle and are no longer “baggy”. The bows are now upright and in the correct position.
- Working with the rear bow, hook the center of the bow with the two springs that connect to the rear window opening (you probably noticed these two springs when you removed your old headliner). SPECIAL NOTE – If the two springs are in poor condition, find a suitable replacement (I have actually used spring steel wire and cut and bent it to fit as a replacement).
- Now it is time to begin to stretch your headliner. This is where the old cut up pieces of windlace comes in handy! Starting in the center of the front windshield opening, pull the headliner material gently through the windshield opening, holding it on the roof, and secure it with a few pieces of windlace. This is done by pushing a piece of windlace (using the channeled groove) onto the sheet metal edge of the window opening. This will hold the headliner securely to the sheet metal. Repeat this step at the rear window opening, again using windlace to secure the headliner to the sheet metal. Best results are achieved when using approximately eight pieces of evenly spaced windlace at both the front and rear windshield areas.
- Next, continue to stretch and secure your headliner to both door window openings. Again, use approximately eight windlace pieces per side. Thus, you have now used 32 pieces of windlace. SPECIAL NOTE – for a Mustang Coupe, the rear pillar has a metal tack strip that holds the headliner in place. You’ll achieve better results if you keep stretching and re-securing the rear pillar portion of the headliner. This needs to be done carefully, as the headliner may begin to tear. I have found it helpful to cut a piece of window screen, spray it with adhesive and stick it to the back of the headliner where the tack strip will puncture the window screen. This aids in preventing any serious rips in the headliner.
- Do a visual check of your headliner to locate loose or wrinkled areas. If these areas are present, continue to work your way around the vehicle, removing windlace pieces and gently pulling the headliner and re-securing the windlace pieces. The headliner should be wrinkle-free, but not too tight.
- The headliner is now ready for adhesive. Remove 3 or 4 pieces of windlace from one area (I usually begin with the windshield area opening). Spray adhesive on the headliner backing and on the metal window opening edge. DO NOT ATTACH THESE TOGETHER YET! Allow a few minutes for the adhesive to dry before re-securing the headliner to the metal window opening edge. This is the recommended method of the spray adhesive (see the adhesive can for further instructions). Once the adhesive is ready, re-secure the headliner to the metal window opening edge. Repeat this step until all edges are glued.
- Now the headliner is ready to trim. DO NOT REMOVE THE WINDLACE PIECES YET. Using a sharp razor blade, carefully cut the excess headliner from the front and rear window openings. Leave about 3/4″ of headliner material so the rubber window seals will cover them when later installed (REMEMBER, DO NOT REMOVE THE CUT WINDLACE PIECES FROM THE FRONT AND REAR WINDOW OPENINGS UNTIL THE GLASS IS TO BE INSTALLED).
- For the side window openings, have your brand new windlace strips ready. Remove one windlace piece at a time, while pressing your NEW windlace strip in place. Doing it this way will prevent any headliner movement. Do this to both window openings, installing both NEW strips of windlace.
- Now the sides of the headliner are ready to be trimmed. Simply run a razor blade along the outside edge of the new windlace strip. Do not leave any extra headliner material hanging on the outside edge of the windlace strip (installing the weatherstrip channel will hide the outside edge of the windlace).
- The headliner is almost complete. Now, you’ll need to finish the inside windshield pillars. Locate the screw hole for the trim piece that covers the seam and cut the headliner so that the trim piece will hide the edge of the headliner material. This may require some adhesive. Repeat this step with the rear window opening (that is, if are installing a Fastback Headliner). SPECIAL NOTE – For a Mustang Coupe (referring back to STEP #10), re-stretch the area if necessary. The rear pillar of a Coupe is the most challenging area to achieve wrinkle-free results.
Congratulations! Your headliner installation is complete.
We hope these steps have been helpful, especially using the tricks with the cut up pieces of windlace. If you are an experienced headliner installer, perhaps this guide offered you some new tricks to try during your next headliner installation.
Copyright 2007: FastbackStack, LLC
1965 and 1966 Shelby Mustang style 9″ rear end housings are very difficult to locate, but not impossible to duplicate. With a little work, you will be able to duplicate this Shelby rear end housing, while saving a lot of money. This guide will provide the basic steps and necessary parts to be able to complete this process. In the end, you will be using a Ford Galaxie 9″ rear end housing center section and 1965 or 1966 Mustang 6 cylinder rear end housing axle tubes to duplicate a Shelby rear end.
Please note: Other Ford 9″ rear end housings may have the same styling as 1963 and 1965 Ford Galaxies. If so, you may want to try to use one of these if a Ford Galaxie is not available.
Parts Needed for a 1965 Shelby Mustang Style Rear End Housing
- 9″ rear end housing from a 1963 Ford Galaxie or any 9″ rear end housing that is flat on one side, rather than completely rounded with a small drain plug
- 6 cylinder rear end housing from a 1965 or 1966 Mustang
The shape of the center section on a 9″ rear end housing on a 1965 Shelby and “K” Code Mustang is flat on one side, rather than completely rounded. This is why you will need a 9″ rear end housing with this characteristic. The rear end housing on a 1965 Shelby used a smaller drain plug than the one found on a 1966 Mustang Shelby.
Parts Needed for a 1966 Shelby Mustang Style Rear End Housing
- 9″ Rear End Housing from a 1965 Ford Galaxie, or any 9″ rear end housing that is flat on one side, rather than completely rounded, with a large, flat, hexagon shaped drain plug
- 6 cylinder rear end housing from a 1965 or 1966 Mustang
The shape of the center section on a 9″ rear end housing on a 1966 Shelby and “K” Code Mustang is flat on one side, rather than completely rounded. This is why you will need a 9″ rear end housing with this characteristic. The rear end housing on a 1966 Shelby and “K” Code Mustang used a large, flat, hexagon shaped (6 sided) drain plug, approximately 1 1/2″ in diameter.
How to make a 1965 or 1966 Shelby Mustang 9 inch Rear End
- Remove the axle tubes from the Ford Galaxie (donor car) rear end housing.
Cut the Galaxie axle tubes flush with the weld at the edge of the center section of the housing, being careful to not damage the weld of the remaining tube in the center section. There will still be about 2″ of tube remaining in the center section (the remaining tubes will be needed to guide and hold the 6 cylinder Mustang tubes in place, as discussed in Step 3). Label the center section “Driver” and “Passenger” (the “Driver” axle tube is shorter and the “Passenger” axle tube is longer).
- Remove the axle tubes from the 1965 or 1966 Mustang 6 cylinder rear end housing.
Cut the Mustang axle tubes flush with the edges of the cast iron center section on the Mustang 6 cylinder rear end. Deburr the freshly cut edges (grind the edges smooth) on the axle tubes for ease of fitting.
Please note: when these tubes are reinstalled, they will need further trimming to achieve proper length and center section offset (this is explained in Step 4).
- Insert the 6 cylinder Mustang axle tubes into the Galaxie center section.
Slide the 6 cylinder Mustang tubes into the remainder of the Galaxie tubes. Push the tubes inward until the proper rear end housing width is achieved. Remember to insert the tubes according to the “Driver” or “Passenger” label on the center section. Once the tubes are inserted to the proper overall width, use chalk to mark them at the center section weld. Once chalk marked, remove the tubes.
- Trim the Mustang axle tubes to the appropriate length.
Measure the Galaxie center section from the location that the Galaxie axle tubes were cut to the inside end of the original Galaxie axle tube. This measurement should be about 2″. Using this measurement, add this amount to the chalk mark on the Mustang axle tube. Now, cut the tube even at this newly measured point. Repeat this process with the other axle tube.
Please note: the inside end of the Mustang axle tube should be even with the inside end of the remainder of the Galaxie axle tube.
- Reassemble the rear end.
Using a flat level surface, set the Galaxie center section down and firmly brace it. Insert the Mustang axle tubes to the proper width, being certain that all of the components are braced so that they will not move. Ensure that the components are absolutely straight. Tack weld the Mustang axle tubes in place. Double check that all tubes are straight before further welding.
- Weld the Mustang axle tubes to the Galaxie center housing.
If you are an experienced welder/fabricator and know that you can weld the tubes straight and securely, attempt to do so. Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you take the components to an experienced welder/fabricator to perform this task.
Mustang Shelby and “K” Code drivetrain components are one of the most difficult to find. Here is a way to duplicate your own drivetrain component.
Copyright 2007: FastbackStack, LLC