Boss Restoration

Home Up

 

Back in June 1996, I had located and bought two 1971 Boss 351 Mustangs in a package deal. One of these cars was black with black Mach 1 Sports interior. It was a rolling shell when I first saw it for the first time. Most of the options were missing. But the original window sticker states that this Boss came with 14 options from the factory. The highest number of options for a Boss in the registry so far. This car will be restored at a later time as the rare parts are accumulated.

However, this article is about the 2nd Mustang that I bought and wanted to restore to stock - original condition. The car was all original and complete. It was missing only the correct carb and distributor, which usually is the case with these cars. This Boss 351, was showing only 58,200 miles,  and still had the Ford factory exhaust manifolds, H-Pipe, mufflers, and tailpipes. The rev-limiter was still working and was date-coded “7045”. Research shows the build date is January 10, 1971 and it came ordered with one option only, an AM 8-track radio.

So I decided to undertake this project (fool that I am) and turn it into a full-scale concourse restoration that began in January 1997 (double fool). First order of business was the body panels. They were rusted and needed replacing. NOS 1/4 Panels were installed, as well as the floor pans, fender aprons, tail light panel, trunk floor pan, outer wheelhouses, and the cowl panel, frt. cross member, and radiator support. You now understand that this was a very rusty car after sitting for 18 years in all types of weather. All work was done myself [body / paint] while the Boss motor was sent out to a local machine shop to be rebuilt.  The motor was bored .030 over, the block was decked, heads shaved, new aluminum pistons installed, a slightly beefier crane cam was added, and upgraded to crane roller-rocker arms. After rebuilding the heads, the motor was assembled and placed on an engine stand while the work continued on the body.

Using PPG’s urethane primer, the entire car was DA sanded several times and re-primed to get the doors and fenders straight. Your bodywork really shows up after it's painted. A good paint job consists of getting the body rid of waves and small dents for a quality finish. Wet sanding with #400 wet/dry sandpaper was the next step before the painting process began. The car received a coat of white sealer, then two Coats of PPG’s urethane red base coat [Paint Code 3 - Bright Red] and 4 coats of clear. After drying, many hours of wet sanding took place in getting out all of the orange peel out of the paint (#1200, #1500, #2000 wet sand paper were used). The sanding process was followed by machine buffing w/ 3M's buffing compound, and also 3M's polishing compound to get that mirrored look. The results are impressive. Finally, the black out paint [low-gloss] was added to the hood, tail light panel, and lower body panels.

The factory stripes and decals were added next and really make the car stand out. New F-60-15 Firestone wide-oval tires were also purchased along with new upholstery, carpet, dash pad, headliner, sail panels, and all new weather- stripping. The top-loader transmission was inspected and resealed along with the 9’’ rear end as well. The front suspension was completely replaced and detailed per concours specs. A new NOS Mach 1 grill was installed and a new date coded Carlite windshield.
  
I like extras on a car, so I decided to give the car a few more options. A correct, original rear-deck spoiler, Magnum 500 wheels, a full console, rear window defroster, and an upgrade to a two-spoke steering wheel from the original "Pinto" style steering wheel. Finally, a correct Autolite carb and distributor D1ZE 12720-CA were installed as well as a NOS fan shroud. This Boss 351 with its’ red paint and white Mach 1interior really stands out.

This project turned out to be a four year restoration, with some breaks in between. Now it’s time to compete in shows and drive the car!!    See you at the MCA Nationals and 40th anniversary.

Please email me with any questions that you may have as you undertake your restoration.

Steve Collins  -  Jacksonville, Florida   

 

Jan 1997 - started with an original 58,000 mile car

CAR15.gif (22646 bytes) CAR16.gif (25169 bytes)  CAR17.gif (20271 bytes) CAR28.gif (27924 bytes)

  CAR29.gif (28732 bytes)  CAR23.gif (28571 bytes)  CAR25.gif (26069 bytes)

CAR22.gif (30230 bytes)  CAR24.gif (29251 bytes)  CAR27.gif (26639 bytes)

   

July 2002

CAR21.gif (23056 bytes)  CAR19.gif (25066 bytes)  CAR18.gif (26131 bytes)

 

August  2002

car 50.jpg (30637 bytes)   car 57.jpg (46073 bytes) car 59.jpg (54448 bytes) car 47.jpg (24698 bytes)

car 62.jpg (27946 bytes) car 63.jpg (48735 bytes)  car 58.jpg (41110 bytes) car 63.jpg (48735 bytes)  

 car 49.jpg (30658 bytes) car 55.jpg (35342 bytes) car 56.jpg (35323 bytes)  

   

October  2002

interior1.JPG (34067 bytes)   interior3.JPG (37238 bytes)car-restore2.JPG (29029 bytes)car-restore1.JPG (29148 bytes)

Int-w-carpet-2.jpg (29934 bytes)   Int-w-carpet.jpg (25832 bytes)  Steve-Car-3.jpg (29951 bytes) car 48.jpg (33857 bytes)

Steves_Car.jpg (30111 bytes)   Shock Tower Springs.jpg (28903 bytes)

 

April 2003  "Completed"

car 64.jpg (46566 bytes)  Copy of SteveC-1.jpg (34171 bytes) SteveC-3.jpg (36827 bytes) Steve-C-6.jpg (19459 bytes) StecC-2.jpg (36680 bytes)

    

 

Privacy Statement  Copyright © 2002 [BOSS 351 Registry]. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 22, 2008 . Contact the Webmaster