The more I dig into this Mustang, the less I appreciate Ford’s engineering choices. Let’s take a look at the assembly for the convertible top on my ‘05 Mustang V6.

Oh, neat. A hydraulic system. That’s much nicer than a pair of motors and a gearbox directly connected to the top. The problem in this picture is that the cylinder should be up and to the left about 2 inches. Right here it’s resting on the passenger seat belt retractor, hidden from view on the right. What Ford did to mount the cylinder was put two holes about 1/2 inch deep on either side of the cylinder, towards the top of it. The outboard one fits onto a smooth greased stud on the body (hidden from view, bottom-ish of the picture) and the inboard side is held in with a stud attached to a chunk of metal held in place by one screw. One little bitty screw with no loctite. Wanna guess where this is going? Over the life of the car that screw came loose, go figure, and sent the cylinder smashing into my passenger seat belt restraint system, fucking up the retractor so now it doesn’t retract all the way. Fortunately I found the pieces hiding on the bottom of the floor pan and got it mended. Top works beautifully now, which is nice because we are in for some beautiful weather this weekend in Kansas.

Also, convertibles always look better with the top down.

I also got most of the wiring in place for a small subwoofer and amp to sit in the trunk. The interior of this car is held together entirely with plastic snaps, and comes apart if you look at it right, which is a blessing and a curse. My luck continues to prevail, as there was a perfect-sized grommet for my 4-gauge wire unused in the firewall. Poke a hole through that and the sound deadening/insulation and I’m good to go. All that’s left to do now is strip the wires, crimp on the connectors, and hook the whole mess up now that the wires are run, and enjoy. But first I’m having the car professionally detailed, since it was a bit of a messy disaster when I got it.

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