Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adding An Eleanor Side Scoop To A 68 Mustang

Most people will remember the iconic gone in 60 seconds Shelby GT 500 from the movie. Its great lines and aggressive style, made it hard to forget. But in truth very little of it was actually ever on a 1967-68 mustang.

Most 67-68 Mustangs will look a lot closer to this. Notice upper louvers instead of scoops. No lower side scoops at all. The front end is completely different and no aggressive stance, but have no fear. Our 1968 Mustang Coupe will be getting several of the movies style cues and we'll show you how it's done.

 For this project we went with's Eleanor reproduction side scoops. While I'd like to say they fit right on with no modification, I can't. In fact they will require some heavy modification to fit flush like the iconic mustang from the movie. Basically the simply bolt on over the factory rear fender flare, aligning just behind the door jamb. In order for our flush fit we also opted to use a heavy bonding agent to also secure the scoop to the car. This is so when turning or launching hard, the body twisting won't break the scoop loose causing cracking in our paint.

First using some 120 grit sand paper we reduced the excess around the vent from the moulding process, while contouring it to the body. This is import and somewhat time consuming, but the better the fitment now the less work and chance of ill fitment later. Once brought down to the right size and fitment, we added wax paper and tape to protect the body from the fiberglass resin need to widen the edges. Why widen the edges? We needed contact area for the epoxy we are adding to doubly secure the scoop to the car. Don't want to take the chance of hours of work ruined by the scoop breaking loose in a turn.

With the gel generously applied and wet, we remounted the scoops to the side and securely tightened the scoops. No need to worry the wax paper or wax tape (either will work) will stop the piece from adhering to the car. At the same time, by doing this we again make a perfect fitment to the body making our work of sanding down the road, that much less. Once dried removed the scoop and thoroughly scuff the back mounting side. Be sure to remove all of the wax paper that may have adhered to the scoop so the epoxy doesn't stick to it, instead of the scoop.
After being sanded, put the scoop back on the car. trace around where it will be placed and remove again. Using a heavy grit sand paper (80 in this case) rough up the surface area inside your trace lines, if possible bringing down to bare metal is best. Degrease and clean both the sanded area and the scoop thoroughly before putting on the epoxy and mounting on for the last time. If you were unable to get a tight fit using the supplies bolt anchors, you can also use some large C-clamps to hold down while the epoxy dries. Once scoops are set turn the focus to the door. Since we are adding a scoop on, It will not be flush with the body lines. To fix we do a process called dove tailing. Basically with a hammer and dolly, flare out the edges of the door until the align with the newly mounted scoop. Once there you can use a filler to smooth out any ripples from distorting the door skin. For straight line you will need to use a block sander and have patients. You will probably need to do this set a few times to get the ridges perfect. Like always we use a three step process first using an 80 grit to knock down any high spots, then a 120-160 grit to do the majority and finishing off with a 220 to get it ready for primer.
Once you think you have it done, apply a black gloss coat of spray paint. I feel it will show any and all imperfections just like the paint will in the end. As you can see while the fitment is good, we noticed a ridge just under the key lock we couldn't see when unpainted. 
After a little more sanding, the final product is a factory fit completely flush side scoop just like our movie car. Total cost with epoxy, scoops, filler and sandpaper was around $400. Hefty price tag, but these not only add flair and style. They will also let us add rear brake ducts and other good stuff in the future.

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