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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some wisdom and opinions on this.

I have a 66 Mustang 289 2bbl in really good condition. Tahoe turquoise coupe with not many options. Parchment interior so nothing rare I don't believe.

I bought it almost a year ago now. Rust free other than the wheel wells in the back.

I have the original service book and bought it from the son of the original owner so some nice history.

So far I have replaced the front drums with disc brakes and the rear leaf springs. The rest I am restoring as I go along.

Question is, to keep it original or make some minor changes. I'm not particularity concerned about the resale value.

I was thinking of doing the following:

1) Remove the smog system (CA car) - just don't like the cluttered engine bay with those parts
2) Replace the seats with newer TMI type seats with head rests.
3) 3 point seat belts
4) Carpet in the trunk

Any opinions either way?
 

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Not a rare Mustang, so I say do what you want. I would keep all those Smog parts as they are hard to find.
 
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Go with whatever you desire. Just be aware that once you start, more ideas will pop into your head. You've got a good start already though.
 

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Build it how you want it, so that you’ll enjoy it.
 

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Make it the car you want! But as "my289" said, keep all the original smog stuff. Or offer it for sale here; but don't throw it away! Then just drive and enjoy!
 

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I agree with the comments here. If your car was a K Code then my answer would be diff.

My 65 Mustang Conv started as a C Code 2bbl 289. Basically the bottom/lowest of the 289s, not much value there.

Engine was on its way out, so it was either an overhaul or a 302 crate. Based on the fact that it's a C-Code, I went with the latter option (BluePrint 302). Never looked back.

Oh and I didn't stop there.... A short list of work I've done:

  • Went EFI (Holley HP) with direct port injection,
  • Swapped the 3 speed C4 with a 4R70W,
-Added Dynamat insulation and sound deadening to the whole floor of the car,
  • Added front Wilwood discs,
  • Added MSD Digital 6A ignition control box
  • Swapped out the distributer for Holley Dual Sync Distributor,
  • Added vintage Air AC (car was a non AC car),
  • Swapped AM Radio for Retrosounds Long Beach bluetooth system,
  • Swapped Dash Speaker for Retrosounds Speaker,
  • Swapped old radiator with custom built dual spal alum radiator with shroud,
  • Added 150amp power master Alternator,
  • Added Petronix Flamethrower Coil and Petronix Ignitor,
  • Replaced tank with Tanks, Inc tank and GPA4 in-tank pump,
  • Swapped tail-lights to LEDs from Vintage LED (because in the daytime and even at night our rear lights are very faint),
  • Swapped out the old dash lights for LEDs,
  • Replaced single Muffler with Magnaflow XPipe and custom chambered dual mufflers (initially with full MF 15815 system but that ended up being too loud for me),
  • Replaced the tired old OEM front seat belts with a new set of front and rear seat belts,
  • Swapped out old leaky OEM style ACDelco PS Pump with Borgeson PS Pump Saginaw Kit....

This is basically my list of resto that I've done to the car (other than faulty parts that I've replaced etc) ... I've left out the fact that I repainted the whole car and changed the soft top with a new one (EZ-ON from NPD) since both paint and top were worn out.

Just some ideas you might like to consider in case you want to go further. These forums and the great members here have been so helpful with me every step of the way.

All this over 2 years. The car is a daily driver now, starts when she's told and does as she's told. I feel safe taking my wife and kids out as well which is important. I may go for all rounds discs and bigger brakes at some point for added safety.

I still have all my original parts in the garage, and my original 289 is still in the workshop that did my work. I know every nut and bolt that went into the car and by God she exhausted me over the last 2 years but she makes me so happy now.

Take your time, based on your budget. I did most work in summer where I am it was always too hot to drive the car so instead of hibernating, she was at the shop getting work done. Now I can drive her all summer and all winter.

Oh and take photos every step of the way, I sure did. Great to document progress.

Good luck!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I'm not a purist... BUT I like my car to look as stock and original as possible so everything that I did to the car has been very discreet but very functional at the same time.

Based on this, changing the seats to TMI I would not do, but I WOULD change standard seats to Pony seats for example (I have not done but it has crossed my mind), nor would I add 3 point seatbelts, nor carpet in trunk (in trunk you can add a thin black rubber mat, I did that and it does the job) - might also be worth adding an extra lawyer over your gas tank in the trunk, I did this.

Obviously it's your car and your choice but this is my opinion.

Sent from my ELE-L29 using Tapatalk
 
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Go with whatever you desire. Just be aware that once you start, more ideas will pop into your head. You've got a good start already though.
Amen when the bug bites it bites.

Sent from my ELE-L29 using Tapatalk
 

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Ahhh, Tahoe Turquoise...I like keeping mine stock-looking, aside from some chrome under the hood, and made mine different by adding the factory or dealer available options... But I like to hide the performance goodies inside the engine, transmission, steering, suspension and rear differential... and the sound of the dual exhaust is a hint there's a little something extra there. Some nice tunes are easily added with an in-dash radio without cutting, modern speakers and even Bluetooth stuff. Everything I've done to the car is completely reversible if I wanted.
 
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I have lived in California several times. Reference the smog stuff. It WAS GOLD GOLD GOLD as long as California enforced the underhood checks, have it or not get your plates rule.

That went away, and the price of smog stuff fell to scrap iron.

Yes, a few concurs want it, but most likely, they already have it. The smog heads were dogs, and most have become parts of new cars many years ago.

Drum brakes, common as dirt, easy to replace.

Seats bolt in bolt out, no issue

Carpet can be pulled.

Short of flaring the fenders, chopping into a convertible, cutting out the shock towers and welding in a Mustang II front end, nothing you mention is "bad" or would take much to undo.

Without sounding condescending, you have a nice driver car, +++ points from, I presume, a rust free area, hopefully without parts being replaced from accident damage, but it is not a "rare" or "valuable" car where what you are doing will cause an issue.
 

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You have to ask yourself: "Will I sell this or keep it forever?"
If you're not going to sell it, then do whatever you want.
If you think you will some day sell it, remember that certain modifications turn away some buyers, so choose wisely.
 

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If its a coupe it has no resale value to speak of anyway...just one of a million. I wouldn't stop to think twice unless the said coupe was an A code, K code, or a test mule of some type. In the end, its either a garage queen or something to drive...build it for its purpose.
 

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Make it yours. That's one thing I like about my car being born as a T-code. It has been my blank canvas.
 

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I stay as original as "practicable" - meaning I will make changes/minor mods but keep up appearances.
 
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If you remove any original parts, such as the smog thermactor system, I would recommend keeping those parts and storing them. If you ever sell the car or decide to return to stock, you will be glad you kept those parts. Most people tossed those items and thus they are rare to find. Otherwise, its your car, do what makes it more reliable and what makes you happy.
 

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IMO, if you plan on driving the car a reasonable amount you should...
(1) First, make changes that make the car safer to drive. Your life is worth a lot more than any "originality".
(2) Second, make changes that make the car more fun to drive

Fortunately, a lot of #1 changes are the same as for #2

My list:
Safety
(1) Front disk brakes
(2) Headrests
(3) Metal trunk divider (also stiffens the car)
(4) LED taillights (more visible)
(5) Shoulder belt (eg 1968+) or 3-pt seatbelts
(6) Good alignment (Opentracker specs)

Safety and fun
(7) Arning drop
(8) Export brace
(9) Subframe connectors
(10) General front suspension upgrades - larger sway bar, roller perches, etc.
 

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When I got my car I was thinking concours all the way. Then I shifted heavily to modified with correct look. So open tracker suspension, AM radio converted to AM/FM, aluminum intake manifold and water pump painted Ford blue. Lots more little things but the car doesn’t look modified to the average person.
 

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Make the changes you want, concours cars don’t make for safe, comfortable drivers.
Strange comment. These cars were "safe and comfortable" when they were built. Restored to factory original they aren't? I guess that says something about the owners/drivers today.
 
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