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Title: 78 Mustang II Late Model WIP
Description: 2018 SNRA Late Model entry


Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:35 AM (GMT)
Posted: Sep 1 2014, 07:57 PM

This build has a story behind it...and the story continues on....this is an on again/off again project that I am working on

It starts with this 1:32 scale Monogram Ford Mustang II funny car that I built some time in the mid 70's......
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As what happened to many builds back then , I decided to convert it to a dirt late model 34-35 years ago.....needless to say my skills and abilities where quite lacking as far as building a dirt late model went.

As time marched on and my interest changed, that build along with a few others , where boxed up some time between the early to mid 80's.....a few years ago,(2008) while going thru some stuff at my folks home in the basement, I found the box with the Mustang II late model in it....only the body was salvageable.
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I decided to build the car right this time since I had gained some skills and had the right tools to do so. I was up for a challenge ,so I decided to up size the car from a 1:32 scale to a 1:25 scale in small areas of the body while leaving other areas alone...such as the roof, which has a lowered appearance to it since that portion is still in 1:32 scale. The body width and length was increased. The wheel base was increased to a 1:1 scale 108" (108mm. 1:25 scale) I used a 1:25 Mustang II hatchback body as a reference.
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I never was satisfied with the rebuild...I hurried in areas like the front and rear suspension as well as the body.....the build represents a dirt late model built locally to qausi N.D.R.A rules in 1980.
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I have started an extreme make over with this project...no time constraints, no excuses..

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:40 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:41 AM (GMT)
Posted: Sep 3 2014, 06:48 PM

Thanks guys for your comments...always appreciated!



QUOTE (sentsat71 @ Sep 3 2014, 02:03 PM)
Looks great....



I don't know how the builders back in the 1960's up to the age of the personal computer and related cottage industries ever built the models that showed in the magazines of the time (Car Model and Model Car & Science)!!



...From what I have been made to understand from reading about the builders from back in the day is that they, for the most part, had the ability to see what the end result should/would look like in their head and built off of that. The small hand tools we use today have been around for many,many years, in fact, we have more unique tools at our disposal now than what was available 30-40 years ago.

I have seen some builds from the 60's...early 70's that where done to award winning quality.....lots of scratch building.....what was visible to the eye as seen sitting on a table top was incredible to say the least.

I would imagine it was more difficult and took longer to build a kit(not a glue bomb) back then than what it is now....I would also imagine that a builder took more time, on purpose, to build a top notch kit simply due to necessity.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:44 AM (GMT)
THE EXTREME MAKE OVER


This begins what will,hopefully, be the last time I have to do anything with this build. I like for my builds to be challenging, but not impossible. As I stated before ,I was never satisfied with the way it turned out. I didn't want to part this one out for other builds. I did the build previously pictured in the Summer of 2008...by the grace of God, my abilities have improved some what from where I was then. There are tools at my disposal that I did not have in 2008 that make this make over a lot easier than the re-build I did then....mainly a digital caliper and a magnetic base jig.
I still have issues with glue control and painting...I have learned some new techniques that I will be trying with this make over.
I am farther along than what these pictures show...I am just bringing everyone up to speed as to how things have progressed.
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This is what I will be starting with on the make over.....multiple issues with this cage and chassis...first jig built frame that I did...needless to say that particular jig is a thing of the past due to design flaws that came up later on in the build.

Engine cross member is not centered properly, thus the engine and transmission did not align properly with the rear suspension.
The front frame stub needs replaced ahead of the engine cross member...design flaws of the jig caused issues with mounting steering components and coil over shock set up.
Both the front and rear suspension were lacking any real detail...this build is supposed to represent the 1980 racing season....I need that detail to show and be period correct.
The rear stub frame rails are too short in length, thus the rear suspension was off.
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Removed all of the Black electrical tape that was suppose to be the Black plastic that was used back in the day. If you want the look of Black plastic, then use Black Plastic. As it turns out, this body is still too narrow ( remember this use to be a 1:32 scale that was up sized to a 1:25 scale) ...I now have a set of digital calipers that I did not have in 2008 , so now I use the AMT/ERTL 1977 Mustang II to get all of the proper measurements utilizing the digital calipers.

The Left half side of the roof has issues....more than likely due to all of hacking and whacking that has taken place on it.

Going to re-work the front clip...make it a little bit shorter and re-do the fender wheel well radius' and flares....bubbled fenders and hood
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The only piece's from the build that does not need anything done to it is the engine and tranny....Clevor engine (Cleveland heads on a Windsor block according to the magnifying glass) ,Detail Master pre wired distributor and oil breathers, scratch built Moroso deep sump oil pan, scratch built Moroso valve covers (carved from BB Chevy resin pieces),solder headers,cast Moroso air cleaner cover,scratch built Holley intake, scratch built Lakewood bell housing, scratch built shifter linkages.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:47 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:52 AM (GMT)
....Do hope those buckets of popcorn are with free re-fills....
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For what ever reason I failed to get a picture of the engine cross member replacement...this is as close as it gets...for the cross member I took 2 pieces of Evergreen Part#285 H-Column 5/32" (.156) (4.0 mm) and made it a "U" column (didn't have any "U" column laying around)...the center section of the cross member is flat material. The cross member is designed so that strut type lower control arms will fit into the channel that is the "U" column....similar to the Ford style of the 60's and 70's .
To help insure proper engine placement and alignment this time, the flat center section of the engine cross member also sits flat against the magnetic frame jig base like the center frame rails. Before, the engine cross member had an aprox 1.5 - 2mm gap, as I recall, between the bottom of the cross member and the flat surface which resulted in a misalignment....

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Simple scratch built strut type lower control arms...these are longer than the kit offerings so that they can be used with a coil over shock front suspension....end portion is tapered to fit in the U channel of the engine cross member snug.

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The old cross member had issues....this is how much of the interior I had to remove to accommodate the new and correct position of the bell housing,shifter linkages and tranny. The seat will have to be moved slightly outboard as well as the Left side halo portion of the roll cage. With the seat moved outward, the roll bar was directly above the seat and not to it's Left as it should be. As this picture shows I have a little wiggle room left.

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With the engine/tranny combo in the correct position you can see the transmission tail shaft end piece (directly below the gauges)...the interior that is adjacent to the bell housing and shifter linkages has already been moved to the Left.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 12:56 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:00 AM (GMT)
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Got the lower control arms mounted into the new cross member.....snug fit allows them to be moved around in the channel until they are aligned, then glued into place.

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This is the point where I realized that there was an issue with mounting the coil over shocks and the front stub frame rail being too wide.....I blame the jig designer mm1 (mad at myself) .......everything marked in Black has to go.

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I figured with the problems that I had encountered with attempting to mount the coil over shocks that I should check the rest of the front stub...sure enough, more design flaws....front cross member is wrong, it should drop down and not be flat so that the lower control arm struts mount properly.....front portion of the stub is too wide to properly mount a front steer set up....so the front portion of the stub got removed.

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Used the magnetic base jig to rework the front stub.....wish I had this jig set up back when I first did this....mock up of the coil over shock and tubular upper A arm show no issues.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:03 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:04 AM (GMT)
Posted: Sep 14 2014, 08:10 PM

...This post thread is sort of deceiving...at this present time I am a lot farther along than what it appears...I am feeding it to you a bit at a time so that it will make sense later on....but ,none the less you are right, I have encountered several obstacles to overcome along the way...most of which are "what was I thinking at the time" related.....and there are more to come, trust me.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:07 AM (GMT)
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I need the ability to adjust the ride height of the front end once I get everything set so I scratch built the spindles...the round piece(spindle) is able to move up and down in the channel...once the ride height is set I will glue the spindle to the channel piece.
These pictures are out of order..so to speak.. as far as the re-working process goes. It was at this point that I realized that there was issues with the front portion of the frame/stub and that it needed redone....so there are pictures of the front stub prior to it being removed and replaced. Since the parts,at this time where mocked up, I simply took them off and reattached them for good later.

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Scratch built the tubular upper control arms....NASCAR kit tubular upper "A" arms just didn't fit right...needed something shorter so that the wheel/tire track width would be correct, yet able to still work with coil over shocks.

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Scratch built the coil over shocks...... Here I was figuring out where I need to put the shock eye and shock mounts on the chassis on the Right front.

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This is a G.M style front steer set up that I scratch built to be a perfect fit for the front frame stub...I decided to stray out of my comfort zone and go with a front steer set up as opposed the rear steer Ford set up. The strut type lower control arms (Ford style) and front steer (G.M style) front suspension was quite popular right before rack and pinions caught on.




Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:11 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:14 AM (GMT)
...Again thanks everyone for checking it out and your comments.... .z.
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Completed the front end suspension wise and other wise....
Mounted the scratch built front steer steering linkages, scratch built a steering gear box , re-did the front cross member and strut mounts.

ON TO THE REAR FRAME SECTION:


Again, another area that was affected by a poorly designed jig (my own fault) was the rear stub...fortunately all that is wrong is that the frame rails are too short to correctly mount a leaf spring rear end. Since the frame rails are going to be lengthened, the diagonal bars coming off of the main portion of the cage will have to be removed and replaced with longer pieces.
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Here is the new rear frame section.... late 70's Howe leaf spring "copy"....used a 1/8th scale draft from Howe that was reproduced to 1:25 scale to get things right.



Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:17 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:19 AM (GMT)
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One of the few kit pieces used...this leaf spring came out of a MP C or AMT/ERTL '71 Mustang kit. I am building a period correct rear suspension set up...to accomplish that I am going to have Chrysler style leaf springs. I am going with the Chrysler style of leaf springs mainly due to the shorter distance (20 mm.) between the front mounting point and where the rear axle is located. The shorter distance of the Chrysler style spring (20 mm. 1:25 = 20" 1:1) fits the body better than the longer Chevy (Camaro) style leaf spring at 25 mm. (or 25" in 1:1 scale).....
I had to add to the rear portion of the kit multi leaf spring to get the correct over all length needed...53 mm....the front mount to axle location was right on the money. I used Evergreen part# 124 .020 X .080" (0.5 X 2.0) strip for the leaf.
The set up will be a Chrysler multi leaf on the Left rear and a Chrysler Mono leaf on the Right rear. I used the Evergreen strip to build a simple mono leaf spring.

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I used modeling clay to hold the rear end in place while I got the proper alignment set. I applied a small amount of CA to the leaf spring front mounting points so that I could move the rear axle up and down to set the ride height with out it moving horizontally. Picture also shows shock placement mock up.

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With the body in position, I placed modeling clay between the wheel well opening and the tire to set the ride height/gap between the top half of the tire and the body.

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To help keep the rear end in place , I attached the shocks ....scratch built a coil over shock for the Right rear and a regular shock for the Left rear. I scratch built a set of shackles and shackle mounts to attach the rear portion of the leaf springs to the chassis.



Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:25 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:26 AM (GMT)
jsm I've heard comments from all(?) of the SNRA Official's ...I feel honored,I really do.....I will try and get some more posted this week end....I am just about caught up, posting wise, as to where I am at presently with the make over.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:29 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:35 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Chargincharlie6 @ Oct 18 2014, 10:39 PM)

You gotta get in the SNRA next year for sure. We will be doing 62 to 78 local style late models, full bodied, pony or full size, small block or big block. I'll have a set of rules in a few weeks but virtually any of the stuff on the shelves now will work, Petty Kit car, Holman Moody 65 Galaxie, 76 Pepsi Lumina, Model King ex AMT Mod Stocks and ex M PC Super Stocks, Dukes of Hazard conversions, etc. It will all be good.
Dave B.



Thank you very much for the invitation .z. ....I am planning on it....I have a few possible candidates in the racing stables not to mention the soon to be released Donnie Allison 1971 Mercury Cyclone stock car from M PC and the Revell/Monogram 1974 "Starsky & Hutch" Ford Gran Torino which if I can get soon enough, I'll build one of these two for the next racing season.
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As it turned out, the body was too narrow,so a cut was made where the roof was already messed up.......since I put this body together a few years ago, I purchased a set of digital calipers and have starting wearing glasses for the up close ,small stuff....used another Mustang II hatchback body for reference.

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This area of the roof had issues.....cut out everything that was not right...added a small piece of plastic on the bottom side of the roof for reinforcement and support and then built up the area with squadron putty...this also ties the two portions of the roof together. Used braces in the trunk and engine bay areas to keep the proper width of the body in place.

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The hood had to be re-worked since I decided to shorten the area from the wheel well forward to the front bumper. The hood was shorten by cutting aprox. 10mm. off of the rear portion....also had to cut out the bubbled part of the hood on both sides and move those forward so that they stay centered on the front wheel well as shown in the picture.

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This rear suspension is straight out of 1980 for a leaf spring dirt car......Left spring is a Chrysler style multi leaf...Left shock behind the axle....axle dampener over the center section of the axle ...Right side coil over shock ahead of the rear axle...Right side spring is a Chrysler style mono leaf.
Was having issues on figuring out the angle for the axle dampener when this picture was took...just ended up going with what looked right.

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:38 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:42 AM (GMT)
Here is where I was at (11-1-14)

With this post , I am able to bring everyone up to date with this extreme make over....

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Still some sanding and priming left to do on the hood....not too worried about the gap between the hood and the fenders as it appears pretty much the same as on the 1:1 dirt late model stock cars of the time.

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Used a plastic deli tray bottom for the Black plastic pieces on the front side of the front wheel well arches...will end up painting them Matte Black.


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Used plastic prescription medicine bottles cut to form the bubbled/raised fenders on the front. The body is turning into a putty mobile, but at least this time it won't look like a bag of Walnuts.

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Prime, sand.... repeat 1500 times

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:45 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:55 AM (GMT)
C O L O R T I M E
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...I'll be stopping at this point for the time being with this make over....Need to get a couple of cars built for the up coming 2015 SNRA season.
For the Red stripes I'll be using decals made on the computer..... same thing with the other decals to be used on this make over as far as using the computer.
THANKS everyone for stopping by and taking a look! .z.


Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:58 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 01:59 AM (GMT)
Posted: Dec 6 2014, 08:39 PM

Thanks for taking a look and keeping up with the progress....that goes for everyone else as well. I am going to be taking a hiatus from this project so that I can get what now appears to be 2 cars ready for the 2015 SNRA stock car series.....the way I build I will probably be right up against the 11th hour getting cars ready for next season so look for me to pick this up again around mid to late April 2015.


Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 02:02 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 02:03 AM (GMT)
Posted: Nov 22 2015, 11:24 PM

After an almost 1 year hiatus from this project, I am jumping back into this extreme make over....

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Using sprew,scrap pieces of flat plastic and assorted Evergreen plastic I scratch built the swing arm style accelerator pedal (left), the floor mount brake master cylinder and pedal (middle) and the floor mount hydraulic clutch reservoir and pedal (Right) this weekend. Will get the pieces painted some time this week and start putting the interior back together.

The shaft of the accelerator pedal will pass thru the fire wall just adjacent to the bell housing and hydraulic lines will come off of the brake master cylinder and clutch fluid reservoir.



Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 02:06 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 02:10 AM (GMT)
Thanks for all of the comments......



QUOTE (mrchevyblack @ Nov 27 2015, 11:43 AM)
Lot of work there!



Sort of...I guess...I was on a ro ll, took only a couple of hours or so to get to this point with the pedal sets...everything still needs painted, though.

Sometimes I end up creating more work for myself, these pedal sets are no exception. I am going to have to extend the lower portion of the fire wall directly ahead of where the driver sits forward into the engine bay a few mm. to accommodate the back sides of the clutch and break master cylinders. mm1



Brian Conn - July 5, 2017 02:12 AM (GMT)

Brian Conn - October 22, 2017 07:26 PM (GMT)
I have decided to make this my 2018 SNRA entry...if nothing else a good excuse to finish W.I.P that's been around a while.
I have been fallowing the builds of fellow forum member Bernard Kron...particularly where he is doing his own decal stripes.
With this build that I am doing, I am wanting to redo the Red stripe with a decal rather than trying to paint it on. Fallowing along with Bernard's explanations on how he has done it, I decided to give it a try.

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This started out as a crude drawing on paper using the actual body for lengths and sizes, etc,etc. Using MS Paint I was able to clean it up and add color. I am currently working on getting the different stripes sized/proportioned right before calling it done.

Brian Conn - December 8, 2017 03:24 AM (GMT)
Starting to pick up the last few days where I left off with this build a little over 2 years ago.

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Mounted the scratch built accelerator pedal to the transmission tunnel and placed the scratch built the floor mount brake master cylinder and hydraulic clutch pedal.


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Reattached the seat,shifter and gauges and also added a resin cast fire extinguisher. Wired the gauges for the tach, water temp. and oil pressure.




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