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Thread: 1974 Mustang II Build
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Mike P's Avatar
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    1974 Mustang II Build

     



    I guess deep down I’ve been waiting for this day for about 14 years…….Cade and I are starting on his first car.


    The car were doing is a 74 Mustang II I bought for $100 close to 20 years ago. The car had been abandoned and hauled into a local wrecking yard that I did a lot of business with. I got it home and got it running and had intentions of dropping a SB Ford into it, until I figured out that I’d need to do more work than I wanted in order to get a 351 AND AC in it (the 75s and up had a revised front fascia and core support that made a V8 AC swap a lot easier). Anyway it was a Basic Mustang II; 2300 4 Banger and 4 speed. Somewhere along the way a previous owner had already added the optional 8” rear end.

    74 Mustang 1 by M Patterson, on Flickr

    The car ran OK for what it was so I kept it stock and would occasionally use it as a loaner for customers if I needed to borrow a car. Cade’s Mom even used it for about a year or so. I built a 77 Cobra II that my wife Donna claimed for about 5 years and when we sold it she decided she would like the 74 (figuring the 4 banger would be a bit more friendly on gas). She did have a couple of little requests for the 74 though……. convert to an automatic, add power steering, add Air conditioning and of course paint and upholstery all of which I agreed to (ain’t love grand ).


    74 Mustang 2 by M Patterson, on Flickr

    Donna drove the 74 for a few years then we parked it about 5 years ago and she started driving my old 77 Mustang.

    A several months ago Cade mentioned getting the 74 back on the road for his first car. After talking it over with his mom we decided that it was doable.

    Of course Cade's day didn’t start out with the car. It’s going to need a few parts; battery, tires etc over the next year and a half, and Cade will be paying for them. Right now we worked out a deal where he works for me and I credit all or part (depending on how he wants to split it out) towards the things the car will need. Cade’s day started out weed eating and cutting some small trees down and adding a bit of money to his credit towards the car.


    Then it was drag the car out of the back shed and let Cade clean the 5 years of crud off of it.

    cleanup 1 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    cleanup 2 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    Donna managed to put a couple of dings and scratches in it over the years she drove it, but it's still presentable and the interior I put in has held up well. I think I've still even got some touch up paint left over for it.

    washed by M Patterson, on Flickr

    After Cade washed it we did manage to get the old trunk lock drilled out and a new one installed. We spent the rest of the time looking over the car and building a list of the parts we would need to get to get it going and putting together a TO DO list. Then it was get it back in the shed until the next time he comes over.

    Back to the shed by M Patterson, on Flickr


    Next time he's over we'll try to get the gas tank drained and new fuel in it and see if we can it moving under its own power.

    Besides getting the car safe and going again, plans are to reinstall the 4 speed back in it (yup I kept all the parts)



    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  2. #2
    glennsexton's Avatar
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    I think I see another episode of "Super Grandpa" developing here!!
    NTFDAY, 53 Chevy5, randyr and 3 others like this.
    "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." John Basil Barnhil

  3. #3
    34_40's Avatar
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    A young guy washing "his" car for the first time...... priceless!

    I just realized we don't have a jealous emoticon...

  4. #4
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    That's going to be a great time for you guys! Your lucky to live where you do, your cars are in such great shape to start with. If you lived around here the Mustang ii's are usually in powder form and your grandson would maybe not have as much fun.
    40FordDeluxe likes this.
    Seth

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  5. #5
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Yeah I think this is .going to be at least as much fun for me as it will be for Cade. As I realized once today already I need to "supervise" more rather than just doing it myself with Cade watching.

    Seth you're right about being me living in the right place for solid cars. I grew up a bit east of you in Illinois and still go back there at least once a year. Every time I see a car or truck back there rusted up to the tops of the fenders and holes you could put your fist thru it reminds me of part of the reason I live here.

    After working with Cade this morning I also got to spend some quality time with my other Grandson Austin this afternoon when he and his mom came over to pick Cade up. I had picked up a wood model car kit at the local lumber yard a while back. Just some simple wood blocks with pre drilled holes and a hand full of nails top put it together with. Austin and I had painted a while back so this afternoon he got to assemble it.

    20170820_153456 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    He even got a hand from his older brother........watching those 2 work together always brings a smile to this old mans face.

    20170820_153734 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    20170820_154343 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    The car has one of those little spring motors in where you drag it backwards and let it go and it takes off across the floor.


    20170820_155038 by M Patterson, on Flickr


    As Austin explained it to his Sister......."you pull it back and then let it go and it runs till it crashes"

    I love Austin, but for some reason I see a lot of broken parts in his future



    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  6. #6
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    Mike, Kinda strange after seeing your pics, I head to alot of car events, and the cars I use to really never look at years ago or maybe even despised now look good since they had been overlooked, and the ol' Mustang II's are in that category, they have taken the back seat to te early stang's and the fox bodies and its really good to see one once in a while, just like the late 70s Monte's, Vegas and even the Mavericks! Though I wasn't a fan, I applaud you for getting him hooked and its really good to see one again! Young guys probably never knew they existed
    Mike P, NTFDAY, 53 Chevy5 and 1 others like this.
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  7. #7
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    I too applaud you for the fun and smiles you enjoy with your grand children and yes, I wish we did have an envious emotion to use as I haven't had the pleasure of producing children. I'm glad you have decided to leave it a 4 banger as I personally believe Cade will enjoy the stick shift and be able to build his driving skills and abilities safely with a car not so powerful as a V8 powered one. I can imagine the Stang getting parked up again later for when young Austin is ready for his first ride.
    I maybe a little crazy but it stops me going insane.

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  8. #8
    40FordDeluxe's Avatar
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    Mike, the stang sure did survive well for sure! I like the way you are letting him work it off too. That's how I got my first car, and truck. I really believe this will help him through life just because it will set a value to him and he will have something to be proud of too. Nice job, and enjoy that project. A friend of mine had a 76 Mustang Cobra with a 302 and a 4 speed. It was white with blue stripes. I never liked the looks of those cars, but his was cool looking. It was a death trap with that 302 so you're decision to leave it a 4 cylinder is a good one IMO.
    53 Chevy5 likes this.
    Ryan
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  9. #9
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Matt I totally agree. I've always kind of tended towards the orphans that people generally...myself included.....laughed at /despised. The Mustang IIs, 57 Dodge and Plymouth, 58 Chevy Biscayne etc that I've built over the years kind of attest to that When they aren't around everywhere anymore they do tend to get a second (fresher) look. A big plus is they are usually dirt cheap when you do find them.

    Mark and Ryan leaving the 4 banger in it was a pretty easy decision (although a V6 of some flavor did cross my mind ), All I had to do was remember what I was like at 16 with a freshly printed license in my billfold.

    I did a 77 Cobra II about 15 years ago (it was a good way to package some of the parts I had left over from my V8 Pinto days and make a few bucks). The car was a looker and ran pretty well with a 302, C4 and 9" rear.

    77 Cobra II by M Patterson, on Flickr


    cobra back by M Patterson, on Flickr


    Cobra Engine by M Patterson, on Flickr



    Turning a 16 year old loose in something like that is just all kinds of a bad idea. A big plus with the 4 cylinder Mustang II is that insurance and plates will be just about the cheapest you can get (and a lot more affordable for a kid with his first job) .



    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 08-22-2017 at 04:44 AM.
    NTFDAY, 53 Chevy5, johnboy and 4 others like this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  10. #10
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a neater thread on the board than this one right now................making smiles across the world there bud.
    NTFDAY, 53 Chevy5, 34_40 and 2 others like this.
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  11. #11
    40FordDeluxe's Avatar
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    Very nice Mike! Just don't let him find any info on the turbo 2.3. Those can make decent power. We used to have one in a lawn mower pulling tractor. It was pretty wild. We put it in a fox body and raced it when pulling season wasn't in. That was the SBC of 4 cylinders if I remember correctly.
    Mike P, ted dehaan and 53 Chevy5 like this.
    Ryan
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  12. #12
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    The 2.3L SVO Mustang was faster than the V8 GT counterpart as I recall. About 1986?. That was just a 'little warmer version' than the Turbo Coupe as I recall.

    The Mustang II is probably one of my favorite Mustangs. It pays homage to the original while still fitting in with what the mid 70's brought to the car scene. Cade's pretty lucky to have a grandfather like you.
    You don't know what you've got til it's gone

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  13. #13
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Another Sunday .

    In order to get an early start Cade stayed over with us again last night. His day started around 6 AM when I woke him up. It's funny, his mom says on school days she usually has to wake him 2 or 3 times before he gets around and starts getting ready for school. He was up had breakfast and was out in the shop by 6:30


    The voltage regulator cost a few bucks more than the credit he had built up so first thing on the agenda was doing more yard work (I've got some painting lined up for later on this fall). Once he got done with the we hooked up the lawn mower to the 74 and moved it out of the back shed again and the first order of business was getting the regulator on.

    voltage regulator by M Patterson, on Flickr


    Several years ago when the car would sit for extended periods of time I had added an electric fuel pump back by the fuel tank so the fuel lines and carburetor could be filled and the car started without cranking and cranking on the engine. with that in place it was pretty simple to disconnect the fuel line at the mechanical pump, put a battery in it and drain the 5 gallons or so of stale gas out of the tank.

    Cade checked all the fluids, changed the fuel filter and then I had him put in a few gallons of fresh gas.

    fresh gas by M Patterson, on Flickr


    I had to chuckle when I took this picture as I'm pretty sure it will be recreated at least a couple of times in the future when Cade gets his license. Even though the gas gauge in the Mustang works and reads correctly, Cade's pretty much a typical teenager and I'm sure he will see how far he will be able to squeeze the last mile out of a few bucks of gas.

    It took a fair amount of coaxing to get the old engine to fire off after its 5 year hibernation but it finally popped off. I had Cade in the drivers' seat running the key and when the engine finally caught I happened to glance over and saw one of the biggest smiles I've seen on his face in a while.

    We let it run for a bit keeping an eye on the oil pressure and temperature and checking for leaks. We shut it down and rechecked the fluids and decided to call it a day. There were a few things added to the to do list....the brakes are a bit mushy, and a few electrical things aren't working (probably grounds and corroded contacts in a couple of switches).

    The last thing on the list for the day was Cade cleaning the chrome air cleaner lid.


    Air Cleaner by M Patterson, on Flickr


    I'm not quite ready (and neither is the car) to let him take a couple of laps around the arena yet so I drove the car back to the shed and Cade got the consolation prize and drove the lawnmower back.

    All in all it was another good Sunday for both of us.




    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  14. #14
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Neat car and a good story. I didn't particularly care for the MII back in the day, but the body style has grown on me over the years.

    Nice that you are letting him do the work. No better way to learn. That old 70's car will allow him to learn the basics before jumping into all the complicated systems in newer cars.

    +1 on getting him started on a standard.

    Subscribing to this one.
    40FordDeluxe likes this.

  15. #15
    40FordDeluxe's Avatar
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    Very cool! At least he'll be used to using those garbage no vent mandated gas cans. It sure is a hard learning curve going from the old school ones to these new take for ever to empty ones.
    Ryan
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
    1968 Corvette Coupe 5.9 Cummins Drag Car 11.43@130mph No stall leaving the line with 1250 rpm's and poor 2.2 60'
    1972 Chevy K30 Longhorn P-pumped 24v Compound Turbos 47RH Just another money pit
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