A not-too-subtle diversion

Whoa. Considering how long it’s been since my last post, I’m embarrassed to say that the status of the Mustang is largely unchanged. Not that I haven’t been working at the garage; far from it. But the taxi has been so much of bother that I haven’t found time to work on the car that actually deserves my attention.

The London Taxis Inc. TXII that my dad purchased has been nothing but trouble from the beginning. For as long as we’ve owned it there have been electrical problems galore. We first noticed when the battery was dead every other time we went to start the car. Thinking there must have been some appliance draining power, we installed a battery cut-off, which slightly extended the battery life but failed to fix the problem overall. Our next thought was to check the alternator’s voltage output, which registered low. Larry, our TXII expert in South Carolina, sent a new one and suggested we also increase the belt tension. We replaced the alternator and attempted the tighten the serpentine belt, whereupon we discovered that the belt tensioner had been stripped by the previous owner, and the tensioning spring stretched as a result. We replaced the tensioner, tensioning spring, and belt, and finally achieved the right tension. However, as if that weren’t enough to deal with, we performed a voltage drop test across the alternator cable and negative battery terminal, which registered at a whopping 0V. When we tested it against the positive battery terminal, though, we got the full 12V. Seeing this, Dad was able to recognize that the cable connection between the battery must have been grounded someplace between the starter and the alternator. Rather than messing with the wiring harness, we installed a bypass cable straight from the battery to the alternator, and now the car runs fine (hallelujah).

With all that finally out of the way, I returned to my long-neglected project. With the ‘stang on the rotisserie, I removed and inventoried every last part on the body: emergency brake cable, brake fluid lines, assorted rubber plugs, interior trim brackets, etc. On to the stripping…. I helped Dad move the Citroen H-van out of the way so we could put the Mustang in a place to begin stripping the primer and body filler currently on the car. Apparently, many paint shops won’t supply a warranty on a car that has been soda-blasted, because the soda reacts with acid-based chemicals laid down before the paint, so Dad sold our soda-blaster to buy a Dustless Blaster, which uses a combination of water and glass beads to strip paints and primers in a much cleaner and environmentally-friendly way. This weekend we’ll erect a small containment structure of pipes and┬ádrop-clothes.

Prepare for blastoff.