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Stanger's Main Rule of Ford - No matter what you've heard, seen, read or experienced, there are always
The information found on this site is as accurate as is humanly possible to be. In my thirty-plus years of involvement with the Mustang, working in a Ford dealership parts department, owning a Mustang parts and restoration shop, and running a steering component rebuild business, there is one thing I have learned above all others - that nothing about these cars is etched in stone. Errors and inaccuracies are to be found in many magazines, Ford publications and general information. Some of the material on this site comes more from actual experiance and personal knowledge than from any written source, and while every attempt has been made to maintain a conformity and accuracy, some differences may occur.
The fact of the matter is, Ford didn't build every car the same nor did they build them all as they said. Parts were swapped, interchanged, substituted and left off according to whim and circumstances. Add to this the problem of modification over time and things get even worse. So many cars have been rebuilt, repaired (or just plain screwed with) over the years that they no longer resemble the way Ford built them. Ford used many different parts suppliers over the years and these even varied by assembly plant and distribution region. Prior to the mid-seventies it was common for a Ford dealership to add accessories to vehicles and make owner selected modifications. A Mustang could leave the dealership with air conditioning, power steering, engine modifications and a GT package that was just as correct as if it had been installed at the assembly plant, and who is to say it was not as authentic and correct.
Much of the information here is based from Ford dealer parts catalogs, factory shop manuals and magazine publications that I have collected over the last thirty years. During that time I have seen more misprints, half-truths and fallacies than I could ever count. One magazine will often quote (or copy) anothers article, passing on and perpetuating the same misinformation and inaccuracies. I have even questioned whether the authors have seen the processes they are writing about or just making it all up. There are mistakes in Ford shop manuals that can cause you grief and yet these were written by Ford engineers. And don't get me started on Ford dealer parts books! No doubt you have all had problems getting the right parts when you have gone to your local Ford dealership parts department for help. I am sure that some of your problems are due to an inept partsman, I have seen plenty of these myself. But the Ford parts books sometimes need more than a literal interpretation to find the right part. Cars were not always equipped with the parts shown in the book and production changes can make it worse. While information provided here for indentifying ID tags and such can be considered spot on, looking up a fan belt or U-joint using a Ford book is a lesson in frustration - you never know what belt or joint is on a Ford until you match it up. Sure, the parts book says that a hood hinge for a 1967-1970 Mustang will interchange with a 1965-1966 hinge but anyone who has ever compared the two will tell you they absolutely won't.
Some of the information on this site will not jive with what you have "heard". Misinformation abounds among the numerous clubs, forums and gatherings of car people. Go to a help forum and ask a technical question and you are liable to get a dozen different expert opinions and answers, some of which don't pertain to the question asked or reflect the persons inability to understand the question. Even experts can be wrong. For over twenty years the Mustang public read about the six Shelby Convertible Mustangs built in 1966. There was much discussion about the various colors and features of the cars and their whereabouts. It was many years later that it was learned that there had only been four convertibles actually built. Even the "experts", the people who worked at Shelby at the time, did not know this and accepted and perpetuated the six convertible myth.
So you see my dilemma. For an example: If I tell you that a power steering pump on a factory equipped 1966 Mustang was painted a particular shade of blue, then that is an accurate statement most of the time. If yours is a painted black, well, in a way, that is correct too. A dealer installed installation used a black pump. A new Ford pump sold over the counter may have been painted Ford Pump Blue or black at some time. A dealer stocked Ford Rebuilt Replacement pump may have been black. An aftermarket replacement pump installed by a previous owner is probably painted black. All of these things may be "correct". That is why Mustang Club of America rules state that blue or black is considered correct, but generally speaking, that pump was probably blue from the factory.
Remember as you order parts and restore your car - there is one general rule which applies to your situation, and there is the rare exception to it as well. Most of the information found on this site is accurate for the vast majority of cars. But time, factory variance, dealer preparation, mechanical repair work, previous owner modification and parts availability have made that information suspect.
Keeping all this in mind, I cannot be responsible for any loss, damage, expense or misunderstanding that may befall you from using any of the information presented on this site, since I have no control over your comprehension of the material, your ability to properly use and follow it, your mechanical ability to implement it or the parts and tools you use to perform it. I have no way of knowing the application you are applying the information to or whether you are qualified to do so. Feel free to use the information on this website as a guide, but be aware that is all it is, and may not perfectly work with your application.