If you have just purchased a 1970 Mustang, you have just purchased an automobile that is over 35 years old. Now think about that for minute. Except for whatever items that have been replaced over time because of maintenance, damage, or age, many components on your mustang may still be the original items. Many of these items are where you are placing your personal safety when you are driving your mustang. More than once, I have had a component fail causing me a tremendous amount of surprise and expense, not to mention the later realization that death or injury could have been a likely result. Unfortunately, all too often the seller either doesn't reveal all he knows about the condition of the vehicle or may be in the dark himself as to the actual condition of the car or it's components. Over the years, I have encountered some mechanical components that have revealed themselves to be not only aged but downright dangerously faulty and left to me to find out about later. Some of these are often not thought about by some new buyers.

With this in mind, I suggest that the following components should definitely be inspected and possibly replaced if there is any question about their condition.

1. REAR AXLE BEARINGS. This is the worst area by far that I have seen neglected. I am not sure if it's because people just don't think about them or they think they last forever. In the 80's, I had a friend with a 69 coupe who had his right rear axle bearing freeze going down the road and the axle literally spun itself right out of the rearend housing and this was while he was driving down the highway!!

2. REAR END GREASE. If the rear end gears have a lot of miles on them and the grease is never changed, the grease will turn extremely black and have the consistency of molasses. It will smell burned. If the car then just sits for a long time, condensation will cause water to form on top of the grease and contaminate it. When in doubt, drain it all out and put in fresh grease.

3. IDLER AND PITMAN ARMS. Again with age, these components can dry out, especially if they are the original non greaseable kind, and seize up on you. it is much better to have a worn out working idler or pitman arm than a dried out seized unit.

4. DRIVESHAFT U-JOINTS. In 1979, I bought a Boss 302 from the original owner. Two weeks after I bought it, I was driving on an interstate at around 70 MPH or so and I began to hear a slight rumbling noise in the very center rearward underneath. Suddenly the rear u-joint let loose and the driveshaft came loose from the rear end housing yoke. I was lucky that it was the rear and not the front joint to let loose or the car could have jackknifed upward and over. Upon inspection, both of the u-joints were dry and out of grease. I replaced both with greaseable ones. Losing a driveshaft at speed down the highway is not something I would want to happen to anyone.

5. STEERING GEAR BOX FLEXIBLE COUPLER. This is the coupler that connects the steering column to the steering box under the hood. These couplers get old and wear out. Fortunately they are made differently than todays cars and can get worn but won't outright fail usually. They still should be inspected for extreme age and wear for a nice tight steering feel.

6. CRANKSHAFT DAMPENER. This is a weighted balanced thick metal disk that attaches to the front of the crankshaft outside of the engine and has the timing marks you use for timing your engine. This is a two piece unit with a rubber insert and with age can wear allowing the outer ring to shift and sometimes even separate. Naturally if the outer rings shifts, your timing won't be accurate but you certainly do not want the outer ring to separate while the engine is running. It can damage just about anything under the hood, such as the radiator, fan, and so forth, and can be a real surprise on the pocket book from the damage. Inspect the dampener carefully and make sure the rubber is still in good condition.

7. ANTIFREEZE. Without going into the technical reasons why, suffice it to say that antifreeze generally goes bad after two years. This is just the way it is. Now think about how often you change your antifreeze and think about a 35 year old car. Probably the antifreeze has been changed at some time but even nice green antifreeze can be breaking down and beginning to cause internal corrosion to your radiator, thermostat, water pump, heater core, and engine. Just change it and go on with other things. You DON'T want to change the heater core if you don't have to. Some shops will even flush your system with anti-corrosion solution and clean out the system before putting fresh antifreeze in. 50/50 mix antifreeze and water is the recommended mixture. If changing the antifreeze causes a component such as the water pump to fail, then it was dying anyway and you needed to be aware of it. Some people have used products like "Stop-Leak" to compensate for a faulty radiator. This is a band-aid fix that will catch up to you and this puts added junk in your system.

Simple inspection and maintenance of your Mustangs mechanical components before you drive with confidence will save you much in the long term and give you great peace of mind in driving your Mustang safely and enjoyably for years to come. I hope these suggestions help you.