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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided I'm going to start a slow refresh on my 66. I've had it for about 16 years. It was my DD for the first 6, weekend car for 5, and been sitting unloved in the garage for the last 5. This car will go back to stock power and recreational duty; I'm not wanting to hot rod it.

It is a stock A-code 289 with a three speed. At some point in its life someone put a 2 barrel carb on it and that's what it still has. It's a POS auto parts store carb and I've never liked how it performed. I don't know the miles on the engine but it always ran well when I was driving it. My thoughts:

EFI setup: I need either a 4bbl intake again or I could do MPI, I'm easy either way. The fuel tank has a pinch in it that has developed into a leak, so I'll need a new one anyway. Thinking a 22 gallon with the EFI setup already included. The ignition is still points, so I have any option here. Finally, I'm not sure what the valve train setup is/looks like for the car; so I thought I'd check it out and potentially put some new gear in there while I have the intake off.

It seems like the Sniper system is the most popular. I like the bluetooth option on the Edelbrock but I don't think I have much of a preference outside of ease of use and cost. I was thinking about having the EFI drive whatever ignition I get as well but if this is just going to be a street car I don't know if it's worth the cost. I do want to do some kind of electronic ignition though.

5-speed: Looking at the T-5 since it'll have stock power. Towards the end of me driving it regularly the car had developed an occasional clutch chatter. I'm torn on keeping the original clutch set up or switching to hydraulic.

Overall I'm just looking to get the car going again and enjoy some modern reliability and driveability. Not looking to do it as cheap as possible but making smart decisions on price. Looking for y'all's thoughts on a good setup.

Thanks
 

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If your thinking efi Holley also makes a 2 barrel version, if your not looking to hot rod it that will be more than sufficient. If you go with a 5 speed you will probably have to change the rear to a lower gear to have the overdrive be useful.
 

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I have a 66 A-code, which when I restored it, I put a pony carbs rebuild on, and it ran amazingly well. If you were to get a properly rebuilt Autolite 4100, and general good tuneup, I'm thinking you'd be quite happy with it.

That said, I am now building a 64 1/2 which came with no driveline, so I'm putting in a 1990 5.0L EFI motor with T-5. I'm glad I'm doing it, but it is a fairly large amount of work, and at times I've wondered if I would have been better off with a 4bbl. Having no engine or trans to start with, however, and finding that 5.0L with attached T-5 kind of sealed the deal for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If your thinking efi Holley also makes a 2 barrel version, if your not looking to hot rod it that will be more than sufficient. If you go with a 5 speed you will probably have to change the rear to a lower gear to have the overdrive be useful.
I did think about that, but I halfway talked myself out of it for resale/further adaptability of the system. Honestly it's always bothered me having the 2 barrel on my A code car, for no reason other than it does. 🤪
 

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summit sells a 4 barrel carb thats essentially an autolite 4100 knockoff with some of the Holley 4150 features. They also sell some Summit branded 4 barrel intakes which are good performers. I'd suggest that going back to a 4 barrel carb would be advisable vs. the EFI route. The Summit carbs are very popular, easy to tune it and forget it. And you'd have a $1,000 left in the bank account vs. the questionable EFI advantage.

As far as a 5 speed goes, since you are not needing the car to be daily driver with a long highway commute, I don't see any valid argument in favor of the 5 speed conversion.

a 4 speed toploader with a 3.50:1 rear end gearing would be my suggestion. Period correct and plenty of fun. Also, the toploader is a much more stronger (and more reliable) transmission,

since you asked for opinions, those are mine.

Z.
 

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Do your tank first and get it going again because you might find other priorities that pop up. The 22 gal i think makes a hump in the trunk floor so I would go with one of the smaller ones.

The T5 can be done way cheap if you get lucky, like under $500 with a new clutch. Speaking of clutch, I think a diaphragm type and Z bar makes it so easy all but the most feeble wont complain. I bet you have 3:00 rear, its fine with a T5, but cant use OD till over about 55 depending on terrain.
 

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I switched my '67 to a T-5 transmission that I rebuilt myself. One of the unexpected benefits I noticed was that it is much quieter than my old top loader (gear growl/whine). The engine RPM is lower on the highway (3.80 rear gear) which is nice when taking long trips as I can talk and be heard by my wife/son a little easier and can hear the radio better (my exhaust it louder than it should be which is probably the majority of this problem). I have an aftermarket shifter on my T-5 with the original toploader shifter lever so it looks original but shifts super smooth. I really like the upgrade.
 

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summit sells a 4 barrel carb thats essentially an autolite 4100 knockoff with some of the Holley 4150 features. They also sell some Summit branded 4 barrel intakes which are good performers. I'd suggest that going back to a 4 barrel carb would be advisable vs. the EFI route. The Summit carbs are very popular, easy to tune it and forget it. And you'd have a $1,000 left in the bank account vs. the questionable EFI advantage.

As far as a 5 speed goes, since you are not needing the car to be daily driver with a long highway commute, I don't see any valid argument in favor of the 5 speed conversion.

a 4 speed toploader with a 3.50:1 rear end gearing would be my suggestion. Period correct and plenty of fun. Also, the toploader is a much more stronger (and more reliable) transmission,

since you asked for opinions, those are mine.

Z.
I'll second that....but my "vote" goes to a 3.25:1 gear.
 

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A carb replacement and toploader might be all you need to achieve the "recreational duty" car you're after. I had an Edelbrock 1406 carb, toploader and 3.00 gears in my '66 A code and it was a very enjoyable car. That said . . . .
I am now running much of the equipment you have listed in your initial post. I installed the Sniper EFI, Aeromotive Stealth II tank, MSD ignition, T5Z trans with 3:55 gears and I don't regret any of my decisions. It's really nice to start the motor, wait for the oil pressure to come up a bit, put it in gear and go. It runs great and is now an even more enjoyable car to drive.
The entire EFI conversion with all the related parts (Sniper, tank, fuel lines, filters and fittings) came in at just under $2000. The trans cost will vary, depending on whether you go new or used. and the gears will also depend on the sources you use. You could go over $4000 total very quickly. I might not have made the decisions I did if I had planned on it being an occasional use recreational vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I appreciate it. Sorry for the long delay. I wanted to get the car going again and check the health and oil pressure to make sure it was worth even discussing. Idle pressure was between 25-30 psi and it jumped to 40-50 psi as soon as you lifted it off of idle.

Do your tank first and get it going again because you might find other priorities that pop up. The 22 gal i think makes a hump in the trunk floor so I would go with one of the smaller ones.

The T5 can be done way cheap if you get lucky, like under $500 with a new clutch. Speaking of clutch, I think a diaphragm type and Z bar makes it so easy all but the most feeble wont complain. I bet you have 3:00 rear, its fine with a T5, but cant use OD till over about 55 depending on terrain.
The downside to doing the tank before I make a decision is that there is quite a price difference between an EFI and non-EFI tank. So I want to decide before I spend a lot of money I don't need to or have to retrofit a new tank.

How much of a hump? Looking at the website dimensions it looks like it's 2" taller, I'm having a hard time picturing how that affects me in this car. Anyone here with experience/regrets?

I suppose another option is the non-EFI tank and then I could do the Edelbrock sump tank if I did go EFI. Save myself from running return lines as well.

summit sells a 4 barrel carb thats essentially an autolite 4100 knockoff with some of the Holley 4150 features. They also sell some Summit branded 4 barrel intakes which are good performers. I'd suggest that going back to a 4 barrel carb would be advisable vs. the EFI route. The Summit carbs are very popular, easy to tune it and forget it. And you'd have a $1,000 left in the bank account vs. the questionable EFI advantage.

As far as a 5 speed goes, since you are not needing the car to be daily driver with a long highway commute, I don't see any valid argument in favor of the 5 speed conversion.

a 4 speed toploader with a 3.50:1 rear end gearing would be my suggestion. Period correct and plenty of fun. Also, the toploader is a much more stronger (and more reliable) transmission,

since you asked for opinions, those are mine.

Z.
That is a very well founded opinion. Low cost, good carbs certainly throw off the $$ advantage. Not much reason for the 5-speed other than not wanting it wound up like an 8 day clock like the 3-speed. The 4-speed would probably suite me just fine.

With the cheaper carb setup and finally the availability of better gas it's harder to argue against that setup other than "just cause". For some time now it's been hard to find non tainted gas here in East Los Angeles (Austin). When I'm around I want to enjoy driving the car. But when I'm gone, I'm gone for long periods of time. I ran into the issue of ethanol gas and sitting in my carbed bike. Turned the fuel off to it and ran it dry and the floats still stuck. Now it doesn't matter how long my FI bike sits as long as the battery stays charged. That is my data point, and my sole source of info for deciding on this swap. When I'm finally home I want to drive it, not work on the carb to get it running well again.

A carb replacement and toploader might be all you need to achieve the "recreational duty" car you're after. I had an Edelbrock 1406 carb, toploader and 3.00 gears in my '66 A code and it was a very enjoyable car. That said . . . .
I am now running much of the equipment you have listed in your initial post. I installed the Sniper EFI, Aeromotive Stealth II tank, MSD ignition, T5Z trans with 3:55 gears and I don't regret any of my decisions. It's really nice to start the motor, wait for the oil pressure to come up a bit, put it in gear and go. It runs great and is now an even more enjoyable car to drive.
The entire EFI conversion with all the related parts (Sniper, tank, fuel lines, filters and fittings) came in at just under $2000. The trans cost will vary, depending on whether you go new or used. and the gears will also depend on the sources you use. You could go over $4000 total very quickly. I might not have made the decisions I did if I had planned on it being an occasional use recreational vehicle.
Do you DD your Mustang? What else made you decide to do your swap?

Do EFI systems ever pop up for sale here?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Follow up question. The history of this engine is unknown. While the manifold is off would be the ideal time to do any cam work I might want to do. When I had the valve covers off and before I pumped the lifters up with oil I pressed on the push rods and I did not have any downward play. Any other good way to identify a solid vs hydraulic lifter with the intake on? I assume the stock lifters were solid?
 

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I have a T-5Z with 3.50 gears and TrueTrac. I love the setup and almost daily drive it on roads of 50-60 mph, but have regularly done over 70 and it's very comfortable. The overdrive gear is the same as that on a T-56 but the transmission is lighter and requires no tunnel mods, which is nice since I have a stock console.
 

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Follow up question. The history of this engine is unknown. While the manifold is off would be the ideal time to do any cam work I might want to do. When I had the valve covers off and before I pumped the lifters up with oil I pressed on the push rods and I did not have any downward play. Any other good way to identify a solid vs hydraulic lifter with the intake on? I assume the stock lifters were solid?
I haven't seen it mentioned, what kind of roads and speeds do you tend to drive the car ? Secondary roads at 60 MPH are vastly different than Interstates @ 75+ MPH as far as "needing" a T-5 is concerned. You certainly don't HAVE to change the rear gear, although acceleration would benefit. 5.0 Mustangs came with 2.73 or 3.08's from the factory, and they were peppy performers.
 

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From someone with the Sniper AND a T5Z...

I wanted to be able to get in, turn the key and drive for hours and not think about it, or hand the keys to ANYONE and do the same. The sniper turns over very easily, idles nicely gets good fuel mileage and requires next to nothing for tuning like a carb might. No choke to worry about. no pumping the gas pedal, no weird cold or hot start issues. No fuel smell in the garage. It can also control other upgrades like ignition or electric fans etc etc. Mine switches the relays on for my electric fan with minimal fuss. I currently run a recurved stock dizzy with a pertonix in it, but may step up to hollers hyper spark. The whole thing hides nicely under a stock air cleaner now too.

The T5 is a huge improvement. If you're on the freeway doing +60mph for any amount of time you'll enjoy the lower engine rpm and increase in mileage. While they aren't as 'strong' as the Toploaders and T10's like many here talk about, for a stock or mildly built SBF they're just about perfect. A built T5Z can easily withstand a stroker, like my 420hp 331. They are indeed quieter and shift nicer in my opinion. I've driven my share of close and wide ratio top loaders and they feel like truck boxes in comparison now. I guess some people like that though. I've got 3.55s and a trak lok. I feel thats just about a perfect combo for what I'm doing with the car.

I've got the 22 gal tank with the in tank pump. It works quite well. The top of the tank is essentially flush with the rest of the trunk floor now instead of recessed. Its a drop in with a slight modification to the filler neck. The added capacity has been fantastic for me on longer trips.

I drive the car as much as possible. Put on over 12k last summer. I did Hot Rods Power Tour last June (and will be going again this year) and then drove back from Norwalk OH to Vancouver BC in a 2 day cannonball. The car churned along nicely at 70mph and returned nearly 25mpg and didn't skip a beat. The only issue I had was with my stiff rear leafs and bilsteins making the mid western interstates a bit more jarring :D
 

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I recently made the jump to a Sniper last year. I had to replace my distributor anyway, and wanted EFI, so I went in for the full Holley kit and kaboodle. I like it alot for all the common reasons. My car will frequently sit for weeks (especially in the winter) without going out of the driveway. It fires up every time without issue. However, EFI does change the personality of the car. The accelerator does not have the responsiveness it once did. Outside of that, the only other downside is expense.
 

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16 gal = 65-68
20 gal = 69
22 gal = 70

I am using the 22 gallon EFI tank by Spectra.


It has built in sump and electric fuel pump and fuel level sensor.
Got it from Rock Auto...best price I could find a couple of years ago.

It replaced my 22 gallon carb tank.

I have a stock 5.0/T5 combo in my 65.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nice. That's a good price.

Just found out summit is including an Edelbrock fuel sump if you buy the pro-flo 4 through Jan. That's tempting as well. I was leaning toward their efi setup if I got one anyway.
 
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