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My 1984 Tbird Restomod

Old 2/2/10, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hi5.0 View Post
Interesting choice. BTW, what is the max speed reading of the digital speedometer? Did those suffer from the 85 MPH "limit" as well?
Ya know there is a "1" digit to the left of the "00" digits that lights up during the initial cluster-on. I also wonder if it will actally read that high! It will be a while before I ever get this car to go that fast! I am doing a lot of work that is easier to do in the winter. I will be tackling the mechanicals when the weather gets much warmer.
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Old 2/2/10, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by edumspeed View Post
Interesting build. You've done a great job retrofitting that dash into your T bird, no walk in the park there!

Thanks! This project ended up being more involved than I anticipated. However the easy part was mounting the dash shell to the original Tbird metal dash frame and mounting it in the car. It's all the other detail work that has been quite involved.

I just got a used Mustang console because I really wanted the center stack to flow into the console instead of contructing a makeshift relief to mask and finish off the bottom of the Mustang dash. It's unbelievable that the Mustang console fits in and lines up perfectly to the sides of the center stack despite the dash shell being mounted on the original Tbird frame.

However, I still like the original Tbird console much better than the Mustang one. I could possibly end up using the front half of the Mustang console joined to the Tbird in some Frankenstein way.
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Old 2/2/10, 11:28 PM
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Oh yeah and my inspiration for going ahead and doing the Mustang dash.... The 1958-63 Tbirds originated the dual cowl look that the original Mustang ended up using help differentiate the Falcon dash that the Mustang borrowed while giving it a sort of mini T-bird flair.

I believe that the Mustang dash fits perfectly with the original AeroBird soft forms while giving it a related theme that links to past Tbirds....

It's very interesting how the 1958-60 center dash vent design is so similar to the one the 1994 Mustang started using...
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-5e024631ec.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-62-tbird-int-black.jpg  

Last edited by watchdevil; 2/2/10 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 2/5/10, 08:14 PM
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I updated the digital cluster face today by using carbon fiber decal material laid across the entire cluster face. I cut out windows for the lights and readouts. The dated Hollywood Squares look is now gone.
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-2010-02-05-002.jpg  

Last edited by watchdevil; 2/5/10 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 2/6/10, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by watchdevil View Post
I updated the digital cluster face today by using carbon fiber decal material laid across the entire cluster face. I cut out windows for the lights and readouts. The dated Hollywood Squares look is now gone.
Looking good! Nice touch!
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Old 2/9/10, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by watchdevil View Post
I updated the digital cluster face today by using carbon fiber decal material laid across the entire cluster face. I cut out windows for the lights and readouts. The dated Hollywood Squares look is now gone.
Pretty neat touch with that trick.
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Old 2/10/10, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by edumspeed View Post
Pretty neat touch with that trick.
Thanks! The gauge face panel was easy to cover with the carbon fiber decal because it is so flat. It would have been more of a challenge if it had countoured surfaces. The decal material is actually foil backed, not just vinyl. I picked up the roll of material at Advance Auto Parts.

It would have liked to went with a real Mustang gauge cluster, but I figured I would have ran into problems with some of the wiring and that it probably needs to be flashed or is possibly tied into the PCM. There is also no speedo cable on 94+ Mustangs. Maybe if I research it more it's possible I could adapt it later, but I wanted uncomplicated simplicity. The 80 Tbird digital speedo uses a traditional cable and a magneto speed sensor attached to the tail of the mechanical odometer. The cluster fit inside the Mustang dash opening.

I originally changed the cluster illumination to blue LED's but after lighting it up it just did not look right with the blue-green (not slime green) vacuum flourescent displays, so I changed it back to conventional bulbs. After installing the Mustang dash top clock, the display for that matches the color of the gauge cluster displays so it all has a uniform look.

Most of the dash work is now done. I just ordered a Ford factory radio that is the single din style used with this Mustang dash. I just realized after ordering it that I didn't check to make sure the display lights up in the blue-green instead of the slime green.

I also have to work on the Mustang console. It needs to be painted gray to match. It will be simple to install. I already test fitted it and amazingly it aligns and mates perfectly with the centerstack of the dash. I have solved the problem of what to do with the Tbird window, seat and mirror switches. Since I will not be going to a floor shift, I got a "consolette" switch trimplate from a 1986 Tbird and it will be trimmed down and bonded to the bottom of the oval opening of the Mustang shifter bezel. Since I will not be converting to a console handbrake, I am going to line the slot opening with black vinyl like an inverted closed boot so it will serve as a functional map pocket.
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Old 2/11/10, 06:17 PM
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More pictures... I have made some progress. The digital cluster is installed and finished inside the trim bezel. The 89-93 Tbird steering column trim is now in place. The dash clock is installed and working.

I cleaned up and vacummed the interior today. I also staged the tan Mustang console for pictures. It is not attached and needs to be painted to match so pay not attention to the gaps and misalignments. It will install perfectly.

The window, seat and mirrow switches are going in the shifter trim bezel. I'll have a picture how that will look later...

Waiting for the Ford factory radio... It should be here tomorrow I think...
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts1.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts4.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts5.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts6.jpg  

Last edited by watchdevil; 2/11/10 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 2/11/10, 07:14 PM
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That is insanely cool! And very unique
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Old 2/11/10, 10:13 PM
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I worked out bonding the front half of a Tbird consolette switch trimplate to the bottom of the Mustang shifter trim... It will work perfect for relocating the Tbird console switches...
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts-21.jpg  
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Old 2/11/10, 11:00 PM
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dude this looks awesome You've made something supercool that no one would normally expect to see



And ive always wondered if anyone would come up with a practical and non-gaudy use for that carbon fiber foil tape stuff haha, and by golly you've done it
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Old 2/12/10, 03:03 PM
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Unique at it's finest here. Especially because it's all done back yard style
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Old 2/12/10, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mustangGT90210 View Post
Unique at it's finest here. Especially because it's all done back yard style
Hey I cannot help I do not have access to Ford's computerized milling machines! LOL!
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Old 2/12/10, 09:59 PM
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Interesting. Good work! For those of us who missed the original thread what else you planning on doing to it?
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Old 2/13/10, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Slims00ls1z28 View Post
Interesting. Good work! For those of us who missed the original thread what else you planning on doing to it?


I am at the stage now where I have done all I can do with the interior until it's time for exterior refinishing and getting the new carpet and headliner. I still have to paint and match the color of some parts.

Now is the time I must start working on the mechanicals. I know I will need an engine rebuild or a remanufactured engine. This engine has 145,000 original miles on it. It starts just fine, but there are some oil leaks and a fair amount of smoke from the exhaust while it warms up. I can tell it's running too rich. Something is burning from the catalytic converter and I have not figured out yet for sure if it is something dripping onto the converter and burning when it get hot or whether the converter is filling up with unburned fuel in the exhaust.

I am sure the transmission needs work. It is slow to shift into gear from park or neutral. At some point after the drivetrain is driven a while, it feels like the torque converter is not disengaging when it should and stalls the engine.

The brakes and exhaust needs to be replaced as well as every suspension bushing, ball joints, tie rods, shocks, struts, steering rack... you name it probably needs replacing at this point. With the cost involved this will not be a project done overnight.

I don't care so much to make this car a tire burner as much as I want to have it in an enjoyable and reliable cruising condition. This will never be a daily driver either.

Last edited by watchdevil; 10/14/10 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 2/14/10, 11:00 AM
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Take your time. Maybe we'll see it in one of the Ford/Mustang magazines some day. If the engine has to come out and get rebuilt, may as well "kick it up a notch". Check out the Click-Click Racing forums - it deals with modifying Ford automatic transmissions such as the AOD/AODE/4R70W. Maybe a AODE/4R70W swap could be the way to go as they can handle more power and tend to be more reliable than the AOD since they are stronger. Lots of them available in salvage yards too.
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Old 2/15/10, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hi5.0 View Post
Take your time. Maybe we'll see it in one of the Ford/Mustang magazines some day. If the engine has to come out and get rebuilt, may as well "kick it up a notch". Check out the Click-Click Racing forums - it deals with modifying Ford automatic transmissions such as the AOD/AODE/4R70W. Maybe a AODE/4R70W swap could be the way to go as they can handle more power and tend to be more reliable than the AOD since they are stronger. Lots of them available in salvage yards too.

Thanks for the tranny info! I'll have to keep that in mind.
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Old 2/15/10, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by watchdevil View Post
This is the original thread! It all starts on page one. I cannot believe I am up to 30 pages already.
I am loosing my mind^^^^

I forgot we lost the original thread I started in the hack crash... And I also got confused with my similar thread at Fox Tbird Cougar forum which has grown to 30 pages.

I hate we lost the original thread in the crash but I could very well reconstruct the pictures and some of the things I have done when I get time.

Anyway, something new to show off... The airbag delete cover...

And the view through my window of the Bird covered in snow. It's interesting how the snow formed on the surfaces of the car making it look like some undetailed clay prototype...
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts-22.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts-21.jpg  
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Old 2/16/10, 12:14 PM
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The airbag delete cover is now installed
Attached Thumbnails My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts-31.jpg   My 1984 Tbird Restomod-dash-parts-32.jpg  
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Old 2/16/10, 12:40 PM
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That looks sweet
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