Mustang Restoration. Are you having fun yet? I am and I hope you are too, with your own restoration project.
My own own 1965 coupe restoration project is detailed here step by step, so you'll not only see its progress, but we'll cover how to easily fix the typical major and minor issues and projects that come up.
My 1965 Mustang restoration
This is my little 1965 Ford Mustang coupe, clearly at this point, a work in progress.
This picture shows the start of the 1965 Mustang Restoration. See the list of sections below for the various projects involved in the ongoing progress of the restoration project.
And I know, I know, I see the rust too....
That's what happens when you don't seal all parts of the newly exposed shiny metal, your shop floods and doesn't drain for several months during winter...
All new rust on what was clean steel.... So, everything must again be sanded down to bare metal, before the restoration of the body begins.
Or if you need some specific information on how to refinish or replace a particular part or component of your own pony car, you can look below to jump directly to a section that interests you.
Bookmark this Ssection: It's regularly updated with new information and techniques, including my upcoming next project car, a soon to be brought back to life 1970 Ford Mustang fastback (sportsroof).
While the 1965 coupe project deals with returning a classic car back to almost factory stock condition (not concours), the '70 fastback will be brought up to more modern specifications.
How far will that go? We'll see!
In the meantime, there are projects to do before that happens. And with every classic car restoration project, including these Ford Mustangs, there are some common (and uncommon) issues to address.
Used Mustang Parts ?
Yep. Not everything is going to be restored using new parts. So far, I've sourced many used auto parts for the front and rear of the car including the front valence, grille, horse and corral and even the hood.
Sometimes a deal can be found when you least expect it.
I was looking for some missing stainless steel trim pieces and came across an ad for some trim and other various 1965 vintage parts that would fit my project car and when I went there to check them out and decided to ask him if he had any other stuff lying around he hadn't shown me that would fit the car.
Out of a pile of pieces he'd pulled of his abandoned 1964 1/2 Mustang restoration project, he showed me a dirty, but fully intact console that he wanted to sell. And it seemed he had very few calls, because he had been advertising them as coming off a 1964 car, which was when the car was built, but never an actual model year.
Asking out of curiosity, what he wanted for it, he told me he knew what they were worth and threw me a price of $250, which is at this writing anyway, a pretty good price.
I told him I had a tight budget and wasn't really interested in the console, so all I was prepared to offer would probably insult him. He asked for it anyway and I told him $50 was it.
He said it was too low and I agreed, but that was all I was willing to do since I really didn't want it we parted ways. The next day, however, he called me and said I could have it for fifty bucks!
Why am I telling you this? Because I took it, cleaned it up and resold it for $350, which bought me a bunch of nice new shiny parts that I needed more than a console!
Oh, and he gave me a brand new 1964 1/2 to 1966 Ford Mustang repair manual which I had priced out a few weeks before for $55.00.
Another used parts deal...
As my project car started coming together, I needed some more small interior and window parts and came across an ad for some of these parts for free if I took all of the rest of his junk parts left from his 1965 convertible restoration project.
In this box, was enough parts to finish my interior and I sold the rest for an additional $75. Gotta like that!
So keep your eyes out for deals and abandoned project cars. You never know what you'll find. And it can really help to keep your budget in line.
New Classic Mustang Parts
When I found this car, it was a long ago started and abandoned Ford Mustang restoration project. Most of the major parts were there, but a lot of the little stuff was missing, like hardware, front valance bolts, the grille bracket and more.
Some of these parts were either too rough in used form anywhere I looked and sometimes, it's just too labor intensive to restore them to like new.
A case in point was my rear valance. It looked pretty good when I removed it from the car. But upon closer inspection, I saw that it had seen a minor fender bender which had been repaired poorly and after attempting to bring it back to it's correct dimensions and fill the little nicks and dents I just wasn't satisfied.
Eventually I decided that buying a new rear valance was the only thing to do if I was going to be happy with the results. And it turned out that a new one was only $40, making it crazy to have spent hours trying to repair the old one.
Creating Your Classic Car's Restoration Template
I wish I could say that these few restoration parts were all I needed, but this was really just the start of all the new parts that it takes to put this coupe back on the road.
I'd also like to give you a template that you can use, to help you decide the order that you do things, to make it all come together. The reality is, that it really depends on what you see when you buy your Mustang, and what you see once you start taking apart the car.
So rather than giving you a template that doesn't work for your car, I'll explain how to put together your own custom resto plan.
Plan Your Work
What you do need, is a plan. And what I like to do is get one of those kid's school notebooks and turn it into my project car template.
Spend as much time as you need looking at the car, making notes on what needs to be refinished, what needs to be replaced with new parts and getting a good idea of what you think needs to be done first, to avoid problems or make things go back together easier.
Then leaving some pages between each section, create your template. As you move forward in your project, you may find other areas that need attention, or are actually in better shape than you'd first thought. Just add, or check off the sections as you go and you'll never be stuck trying to remember what you still need to do or in what order you should attack the issue.
Restoring the interior of your classic car is just as important as the exterior and mechanicals, so I've included a separate section with lots of how-to articles on
Mustang interior restoration.
Alternator Removal and Replacement
Here's how to replace or remove the alternator on a V-Belt or serpentine belt equipped Ford Mustang.
Tell Us About Your Restoration Project
Below the list of Mustang restoration sections, you'll find lots of other enthusiast's projects, questions and a place to see your own project restoration featured on this site.
Check it out!
In the list below we'll jump into some of the bodywork and sheet metal repairs that need to be done on my 1965 Mustang restoration in Part 2.
Or, you're looking for something specific for your own project, these sections are sure to get you the information you need.
Complete List Of Restoration Sections
Part 1 - Mustang Restoration
Part 2 -Resurfacing Minor Irregularities
Part 3 - Rear quarter panel repairs
Part 4 - Inner Fender Refinishing and Repair
Part 5 - Mustang floor pan replacement
Part 6 - Floor Pan Replacement Continued
Part 7 - Headliner Replacement
Part 7A - Mustang Headliner replacement part 2
Part 8 - Mustang Dash Restoration
Part 9 - Trunk rust repair
Part 10 - Priming and Painting your Mustang Part-1
Part 11 - Gas Tank Restoration
Part 12 - Color Sanding
Part 13 - Mustang gas tank Installation
Part 14 - Mustang gas tank Restoration
Part 15 - Valve Cover Restoration
Your Mustang Restoration Project
Whether it's finished or just started - we'd like to see and hear about it.
Links to Other's Restoration Projects
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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