Restoring Our Mustangs

Before taking delivery of your “new” Classic Speed Mustang it will have undertaken quite a journey…

After arriving by sea freight from the USA your authentic Mustang clears customs and is delivered to our factory.

On arrival it is catalogued and photographed before the mechanics move in and strip the engine, gearbox, diff and springs. The trimmers then remove all the trim, the glass fitters remove the glass and finally bodyworks moves in and remove the doors, fenders, hood and boot.

All panels that are to be potentially reused are now moved to our media blasting booth to be brought back to bare metal before undercoating.

Whilst this is happening the electricians have gone to work on the body shell and removed all the wiring. Once this is complete the body shell and chassis is placed on a rotisserie and media blasted. It is then rotated through 360″ while high pressure air is used to remove any remaining media. Finally the body shell is inspected and primed and attached to an alignment frame and then strengthened with temporary frame braces.

Any repairs that may be necessary are now carried out and any body panels required to be replaced are replaced with Ford licensed panels from the original presses and fitted as required. Each panel is perfectly aligned to achieve an exact fit.

The right hand drive conversion is now started. The original dash is cut up into 6 pieces and fabricated to create a perfect mirror conversion in sheet metal (not fibreglass) from the original parts. New firewalls cannot be purchased for most right hand drive Mustangs so we typically modify a new left hand drive firewall to create a mirror image of the original panel.

The brake booster, master cylinder, heater box and steering column are trial fitted and the necessary adjustments to the firewall made. The windscreen wipers are also converted to right hand drive and the wiper arms and motor is modified to accommodate the conversion.

If Shelby vents and air ducts are required these are added as functional items and not just cosmetic additions. For a 66 Shelby Tribute we manufacture a sheet metal insert for the rear quarter flute (window) as experience has taught us that the aftermarket fibreglass panels that are supplied do not fit correctly and cause leaks. If the guards or inner wheel tubs need to be modified they are hammered out and remain in sheet metal, not fibreglass. If a Shelby hood is required, we hand make a steel bonnet scoop and fit it to the metal hood as a functional element. We do this as we found fibreglass hoods impossible to get perfect. Lastly, for additional strength, our high performance Mustangs have their bodies seam welded to create a race car equivalent finish. As a matter of course we straighten and strengthen the entire body, frame and chassis to a standard well above that of the original Ford factory.


Inspections Continue

Inspections and pre-fitting are now carried out by the mechanical, electrical, paint, trim and glass departments. Once each department has signed off, bodyworks then strip your Mustang back down to a shell and it’s moved to the paint department. Any bare metal as a result of the work performed in bodyworks is media blasted once again and now primed. Any minor imperfections are filled and primed and the Mustang is ready to be painted using a very high quality two-pack paint system.

Underneath, your Mustang is prepared to provide a show car finish. Before the final coats are applied to the under body, anti-chip paint is applied to areas where stone chips can occur. The body is then removed from the rotisserie and placed on a padded rolling frame. It is them rolled back into the spray booth to be painted and finished with a minimum of four coats of colour and 4 full coats of clear. This produces a stunning level of finish to our restored body. Panels, fenders, hood, boot lids and doors are all hung for painting and undergo the same paint procedure before being stored on custom built racks to ensure they are not marked prior to assembly.

The body is now relocated to the Mechanical Department where the suspension is fitted. There are several options available depending on your requirements.

The standard suspension set up is constructed with new parts including standard height front coil springs, new upper and lower control arms with new ball joints and bushes, and new standard height rear leaf springs and bushes.

Alternatively you may prefer the performance version that would have been used in a Shelby Mustang incorporating new hi-po 1″ drop front coil springs featuring 600 pound/inch rating and 5 leaf rear springs featuring the 2″ drop reverse eye.

For the serious performance minded individual we use advanced technology bolt-on coil-over strut suspension solution that enables suspension tuning and uses OEM control arms and is perfectly mated with the Mustangs original engineering. This is backed up with a g-bar canted-4-bar suspension system which bolts on directly to replace the OEM leaf springs and shocks for remarkably improved handling and performance. We recommend Total Control Products as the preferred option for this touring car suspension setup ( This specification ensures a superior ride, neutral handling characteristics and better traction control. Ride height is also adjustable.

On certain models it may also be appropriate to fit a front sway bar together with adjustable rear sway bar. In this instance traction master under ride bars are also fitted to reduce wheel hop and improve acceleration as they would have been on an original Shelby vehicle. All our vehicles are also fitted with Koni shockers to enhance overall handling characteristics.

The power rack and pinion steering systems are again supplied by Total Control Products. These top quality components ensure superior adjustability for bump steer issues and longevity. TCP’s patented line of high performance center-take-off rack and pinions enables correct geometry and a level of positive, direct steering that is not possible with adapted OEM units.

While the body has been undergoing the modification and restoration process the engine, gearbox, differential and brakes have also been completed and the upgrades continue.

The Engine

Firstly, the original cast engine block is treated with an alkaline based chemical solution and then hydro tested for any leaks. The cylinders are machined as necessary.

The main saddles are aligned and bored and the block surfaces refaced. Crankshaft alignment is checked and the con rod journals and main journals are ground to the next serviceable size.

Con rod big ends are resized and aligned. Pistons are then press fitted to the con rods and fitted with 8740 chrome moly 190,000 PSI tensile strength con rod bolts.

Clevite main and con rod bearings are fitted and a clearance check performed. New camshaft bearings are installed to the block. Con rod small and big ends are balanced. The crankshaft, piston, harmonic balancer, flywheel and pressure plate are all balanced.

New freeze plugs and oil gallery plugs are fitted along with a new hi volume oil pump and increased capacity oil pan. An alloy CNC ported heads with 2.020 inlet, 1.600 exhaust valves are fitted.

A new hydraulic roller camshaft is fitted, with a high performance billet double row timing chain and sprockets. High performance roller rockers and hydraulic lifters are fitted to specific camshafts. Aircraft quality 8740 high tensile strength main cap and head stud kits are fitted.

Heads are fitted with 4140 chromoly screw in rocker arm retaining studs and 4140 posi-locks.

Stainless Steel Roller rockers manufactured from 21M4 high grade steel are utilized to ensure greater strength and durability.

Valve springs and retainers are selected according to the lift and RPM specified for individual camshaft applications.

For the stroked 351 engine, a 4340 steel crankshaft is used with a 4.100 stroke and the 4340 “H” beam race 6.2″ con rods. Main steel main girdles are fitted along with 4 bolt main bearing caps.

Keith Black forged pistons are installed in high performance engines along with a roller type Crower hydraulic camshaft in the stroked 351. Other engines are fitted with Sealed Power or Keith Black pistons and Crane hydraulic camshafts.

A MSD billet distributor is utilised with a multi spark CSI ignition.

An Edelbrock Performance manifold is typically used with a 600 CFM DP or 750 CFM DP Holley or Edelbrock carburettor depending on the engine capacity and performance specs.

Custom headers are made for the engine and mated to a 2½” – 3″ exhaust system.

Transmission, Brakes & Electrical

The transmission you have chosen may either be a completely overhauled C4 automatic gearbox, or new AOD 4 speed automatic with overdrive. Or you can choose a Top-Loader four-speed, or a new T5 five-speed manual gearbox with a HURST competition shifter. A Macleod double plate performance clutch kit is fitted to these perfectly matched gearboxes.

Automatic transmissions are carefully inspected after strip down. All internal and external spline clutch plates, intermediate band assembly, reverse band assembly, thrust washers, snap rings, bushings, oil seals, gaskets, and throttle valve control are replaced. If you have chosen a High Performance engine a Hughes high stall (2300-2500 rpm) converter is fitted together with a shift kit.

Original 9″ differentials are also stripped down and the gear sets (crown wheel and pinion) examined to determine condition and ratios. All bearings, cups, seals, gasket and pinion shaft are replaced along with axle bearings, retainers and oil seals. All traction lock components are also renewed as required. Alternately a new differential center is used and combined with 31 spline axles and heavy duty bearings.

The engine and gearbox are now fitted into a test frame and run for 30 minutes to bed in the cam prior to fitting in the body along with the rest of the drive train.

The brakes will vary considerably depending on the set up you have chosen. The standard brake set up is as per original Ford Mustang and includes new brake rotors, new 4 piston callipers, inner and outer wheel bearings and new seals and dust caps.

Rear drum brakes are overhauled with new wheel cylinders, brake shoes, retainer spring kits, brake shoe self adjusting cable, cable guide, and star wheel. A Summit power assisted master cylinder is fitted to activate the system.

If you have chosen to have four wheel disc brakes your Mustang will be fitted with WILLWOOD 11.7 inch front rotors with 4 piston callipers and WILLWOOD rear rotors and callipers. WILLWOOD also supply the master cylinder in this configuration. This system mates perfectly with the original Mustang engineering.

For extreme performance Mustangs we will fit your Mustang with oversize rotors with 6 piston callipers for the front and mini 6 piston callipers for the rear.

If you have chosen to have a floor mounted handbrake this will now be fitted.

The Electrical Department then take over and fit the new wiring loom they have made. It’s not possible to buy new wiring looms for right hand drive Mustangs so we make them ourselves. Once the loom has been fitted the engine can now be started, checked and tuned.

Final Assembly & Road Test

Before being road tested a new front windscreen is fitted along with other new glass. The doors are swung and your Mustang is ready to perform its initial road test.

Once the initial road test is complete the interior is also treated to a complete restoration. Original seat frames are sandblasted, re-sprung and painted before new foam cushions are fitted and then covered with new upholstery. The rear seats and fastback fold down shelf are also restored and re-upholstered. The Fibreglass Department has checked the fit of all internal panels and modified them as necessary to ensure a better than original fit.

New front and rear heat proof insulation and under felt is then fitted prior to the new carpet being edged and installed. Alternatively you can choose an upgrade to HushMat, which provides superior soundproofing and heat resistance. Sun visors, kick panels, arm rests and the dash pad are also replaced with new items.

If you have chosen a convertible the convertible top frames are totally restored and a new hydraulic power top lift is fitted. Lastly a new high quality convertible top and liner are fitted.

Further testing is then completed after which the front panels, grill and fenders are fitted. The painters now cut and polish your Mustang to a mirror finish while the Finishing Department fit the mirrors and badges before completely detailing your Mustang inside and out.

Prior to delivery your Mustang is driven for between 250 and 400 km at our local testing facility to ensure it is completely bedded in prior to you taking possession.

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