How to Restore a '69 Mustangby Bryan Schatz
Restoring a 1969 Mustang will involve a tremendous amount of work (not to mention tools, equipment and know-how), depending on the quality of the vehicle when you receive it. A 1969 Mustang has either a Boss 302 or Boss 429 engine. Restoring the engine is just as important as restoring the exterior of the vehicle. The website restorecarsfast.com states that restoring a vehicle "involves returning the car to as much of its original glory as possible."
Purchase a '69 Mustang with as little damage as possible. The more problems your Mustang arrives with, the larger the job will be. Choose your purchase based on the quality and originality of the parts that make up the vehicle.
Make a detailed plan. Before beginning any restorative process, make an inventory of all of the parts as well as the condition of every aspect of your '69 Mustang. Note which engine it came with (either the Boss 302 or 429) and what parts must be either restored or replaced. Make a list of all the work that needs to be done, the parts that must be purchased or repaired, and the tools and equipment that is needed.
Tear down your Mustang. Take apart the entire vehicle for a complete inventory list. Take pictures as you disassemble the car and arrange any loose parts in an organized manner, paying particular attention to the location of their storage and how they will be replaced when the time comes.
Clean all of the parts that make up your '69 Mustang. Strip any metal of rust or grease, using tools such as sanders, grinders, chemical strip substances and welders, depending on what needs to be done to the parts. Repair all of the metal parts individually. Replace the panels and weld whatever parts need welding.
Rebuild and reinstall the engine, transmission (4-speed on the 1969 Mustangs), drive shaft, axles, and radiator, as well as other components such as the carburetor, alternator and starter. Any components that are beyond repair will simply need to be purchased in better condition and then restored. Use an engine hoist to reinstall the larger pieces into the body of your Mustang.
Prime, paint and chrome the metal parts that make up your vehicle. Use quality products when restoring your '69 Mustang. Compound and polish your Mustang to protect the paint job after the paint has dried and you have sanded away runs and dust nibs with a 600- to 2,500-grit sandpaper.
Rewire the headlights, tail lights and other electrical components. Attach the front and rear bumpers and replace any broken windows or mirrors.
Complete your restoration project by restoring the interior of your 1969 Mustang. This may include simple stitching or finding an original pair of the high back bucket seats that came standard with some of the 1969 Mustang models, or the comfortweave bucket seats that came with the 429 (most of which were black). This step will also include repairing or replacing the interior carpet, console and interior trim.
- An authentic restoration of your 1969 Mustang may involve having to hunt down specific components that are both costly and difficult to find. Consider making “upgrades” that will enhance the performance of your Mustang if you are not overly concerned with its authenticity.
Items you will need
- Large enclosed work area
- Access to electricity
- Full range of automotive tools
- Replacement parts
- Large air compressor
- Auto lift (handy, but not required)
- Engine hoist
- MIG welder
- Reupholstery kit
- Large tarp
- red hot mustang image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com