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1966 Mustang Coupe
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new to the forums and as the title says, I recently purchase a '66 coupe. I'm not in a big hurry to start modifying it, but I do have quite the list of things I'd like to do or have done to it in the next couple years.

Firstly a little about myself. I'm 39 and always wanted 65-68 fastback. These are just outside of my price range so I decided to go with a coupe. Don't get my wrong I still love the coupes and I am super happy with my purchase. So I have a very basic understanding of mechanical components. One of the big reasons I wanted a classic car was to learn how to wrench on something. I mention this because any questions I might ask I wont take offense and in fact I prefer the "explain it like I'm 5" approach if you're nice enough to respond.

With that out of the way. I want to make it faster(duh, right?). From what I am told is the car has a 302 from a fox body. I plan on taking it to a local tire shop to lift it and see if I can get the engine code to find out exactly what engine/year. However, before I make it faster, I definitely want to make it safer. The car has generic disc breaks up front and drum in the rear. It stops well and good, but seems like breaks and suspension might be the best place to start before making the car faster down the line? Is has an automatic transmission that eventually I want to convert to a 5 speed. I find the automatic transmission to be pretty sluggish. This may be a tough question to answer without knowing exactly what engine I have, but is it even in the realm of possibility to get this thing to make between 350-400hp? If so, is this a $5K job or $10K and what are the high level steps involved?

Also and perhaps I should have started with this question, but pretty much every hole in the firewall, especially on the passenger side is open, so hot air blows perfectly at your crotch. I bought this rubber grommet set from CJ Pony. It sure looked like what I was after, but sadly not a single one fit the holes of the firewall. CJ Classics Rubber Body Plug Kit Mustang 1965-1966
Any Idea what type of grommets I am looking for then?

I have lots more questions, but I'll probably save those for specific forum posts down the line. Here are some photos of the car. I named it Erebus. :)
804953

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68 Mustang Coupe
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4,806 Posts
You're gonna need to post a pic of your brakes, as "generic brakes" doesn't give us much to go on. The stock disc brakes stop these cars as well as any other. Make sure the master cylinder is a dual bowl design, get some decent pads in the front and shoes for the rear.

Not sure I'd worry about the motor just yet. Start with basic maintenance and making the car better, aka firewall plugs.
 

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68 Mustang Coupe
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4,806 Posts
Is there air shocks on the rear?
 

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67 Fastback T5 331 TCI Frt End, Canted 4 link rear susp
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1,087 Posts
First, if your car is a solid (rust free) as it appears, then you are in a good place to start. Also, since it is on the road, you can do your upgrades in stages if your budget requires that. As others have said, don't be too quick to do away with your current brakes. A good quality brake rebuild with the right shoes and pads will stop the car well. The 302 (or 5.0) out of the Fox Body (depending on the year) were rated around 225 hp. Conceivably you could do some performance upgrades to the motor, put some gears in the rear end, and along with that 5 speed, have a very fun car to drive. There are some relatively reasonable suspension upgrades that will improve handling and ride.

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the forum. There's a lot of experience here, and they will give you the advise you need, as well as tell you when you may be heading in the wrong direction.
 

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Welcome, you have come to the right place.

For suspension call Opentracker.
Explain your goals for the car and they will help you select the
arts you need. Or just chose one of their prebuilt kits. I like the Level 1 and level 2 kits for street cars.

Vintage Mustang Suspension and Steering Friction Free Roller Bearing Performance - Opentracker Racing Products

Also have your steering box rebuilt by Chockostang. He is a regular here. That will have your car driving well.

If you have a 5.0 roller motor, add aluminum heads, intake manifold, warmed up cam, and improved exhaust will get you in you into the 300+ for under 5K (Assuming you do most of the work) You’ll have multiple options for carb or fuel injection as well. Getting up to 400 you are best off looking at adding boost or rebuilding it as a 347 Stroker. Both of those options significantly up the price.
 

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I guess I dont know where these guys are coming from as far as the motor goes. 400hp at the crank is not at all hard to make with a 302. My motor made over 500hp, yes its a 363 and has good heads, custom cam. But the basic crate motors now a days are putting out 425-450 easily with 10:1 compression. I mean a blue print 306 crate engine with basic stuff, not cnc heads, custom cams or anything is putting out 375hp/350ftlbs and all for a warrantied $6000 from oil pan to valvecover.

OP you can easily get 400hp within the budget you asked. For $10,000 ypu can easily get over 500hp out of a 363. In fact ford strokers makes a long block for I want to say $8600 that will put out all of 500+hp easily with 10.5 compression. It wont even break a sweat. No boost required either.
 

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Dimples
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As others have said, your goals are do-able.

That’s a pretty rad looking coupe you have there sir. Looking forward to to seeing what you do with it.
 

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That is a future autocross car if I've ever seen one!
 

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1965 Mustang Fastback 289-2V, 3-Speed M/T
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219 Posts
Welcome to the VMF...look forward to your posts. Nice car by the way...
 

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6,377 Posts
I guess I dont know where these guys are coming from as far as the motor goes. 400hp at the crank is not at all hard to make with a 302. My motor made over 500hp, yes its a 363 and has good heads, custom cam. But the basic crate motors now a days are putting out 425-450 easily with 10:1 compression. I mean a blue print 306 crate engine with basic stuff, not cnc heads, custom cams or anything is putting out 375hp/350ftlbs and all for a warrantied $6000 from oil pan to valvecover.

OP you can easily get 400hp within the budget you asked. For $10,000 ypu can easily get over 500hp out of a 363. In fact ford strokers makes a long block for I want to say $8600 that will put out all of 500+hp easily with 10.5 compression. It wont even break a sweat. No boost required either.
I was referencing HP at the rear tires, not flywheel. A stock 5.0 is rated at 225 HP at the wheels which is something like 275 at the flywheel. 350 at the flywheel is not hard at all
 
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I was referencing HP at the rear tires, not flywheel. A stock 5.0 is rated at 225 HP at the wheels which is something like 275 at the flywheel. 350 at the flywheel is not hard at all
I never tested my engine on a chassis dyno NA but Id be willing to bet it was over 400 at the wheels if I did by the power it put out at flywheel. My build would put him over the $10,000 mark for just the long block, however thats in part to using a dart block for the big bore. However if he went with a 351 with decent heads and cam, I think he could easily get 450rwhp for well under 10k. Ive been pricing a 408 build to put a turbo on and make a drag week car with my kids, and Im fairly certain I can do it for about $7500 with the turbo kit and make north of 750hp all day. It can be done. Just gotta get creative lol
 

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Where are you located? I’ve got a fresh, zero mile 347 short block I’m thinking of letting go of so I can go in a different direction.
 

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67 vert, 347 EFI, T5
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Beautiful car!

Some suggestions: start slow. You want to learn to wrench on your own car--begin with the basic maintenance and safety items to learn more about what you have. There will always be opportunities to scratch the mod bug bites. One of the easiest is to discover during your maintenance work that you need to make a repair, and *while I'm at it... ". 🤔
 

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1966 Mustang Coupe
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi everyone! Thanks for the great welcome.

I probably shouldn't have started off my introduction with a bunch of questions and saved those for different forum posts. Regardless, I appreciate your feedback and you've already given me ideas.
 

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Beautiful car! Congrats on your acquisition. The first thing I'd check and do is the Shelby/Arning drop to the front A-arms if it hasn't already been done, then get a proper alignment for the new geometry. That alone will transform the handling of the car. And make sure you have a dual master cylinder - safety! A decent set of performance brake pads and shoes from Porterfield (or others) will feel like a definite brake upgrade.
 

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1966 Mustang Coupe
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Beautiful car! Congrats on your acquisition. The first thing I'd check and do is the Shelby/Arning drop to the front A-arms if it hasn't already been done, then get a proper alignment for the new geometry. That alone will transform the handling of the car. And make sure you have a dual master cylinder - safety! A decent set of performance brake pads and shoes from Porterfield (or others) will feel like a definite brake upgrade.
Hi Garth, thanks for these tips. Could you point in the correct direction of what dual master cylinder I should be shopping for?
 

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First verify if your car has a single master or a dual master. If the front disc brakes aren't factory, then there's a strong likelihood the master cylinder was changed when the disc brakes were added.

Anyway, I think folks commonly go with a dual master cylinder from a 67 Mustang with front disc brakes, but I've also heard of using a 74 Pinto dual master, or something like that. I'm sure a search of the forum will yield a number of recommendations.

Here are a few I found with a quick Google search...


And another thread on the subject...
 

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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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That is a very clean looking car, I like the black accents. Just wondering though, what makes it sit so high in the back? You will probably find it handles so much better if the rear was dropped about the same level as the front. Just a heads up on parts, be sure to check out National Parts Depot. They are about the most reliable source and offer great customer service. Personally I also use Summit Racing, Street or Track, Opentracker Racing, Virginia Mustang and Chockostang.
 
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