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Hey everyone, been anxiously awaiting my chance to start up a build thread on my 68 coupe. The story on this one, I found it about a year ago and after buying, I had no place to put it, so I stashed it in my father-in-law's barn for a year while I added on to my garage to make room. The addition is done and the car is home. So now I feel like the dog who chased the car and now that I've caught it, I don't know what to do with it. It is definitely a project, but it has good bones, so to say. The Marti report says it was originally a sprint B package, candyapple red, with red interior. I'm not going back to stock on everything, I don't like red on red, so the plan is to go back to red exterior, but with black interior. It currently has almost no interior, so I'm starting from scratch anyway. Looking for input on where to go from here. Plans are to rebuild the front suspension - new LCA and UCA, bushings, maybe springs? also new shocks all the way around, new shackles in the rear to replace the 70s style longer shackles that are back there now, maybe new leafs? The wiring worries me, I was thinking of a complete rewire with AAW update kit, but maybe just need the engine compartment? I have big dreams and a small budget so I will be doing a lot of learning as I go, but excited to start making some progress!
 

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Steering, brakes and suspension would be where I would start. Without these it doesn't matter if is runs and moves :)

Mine was on a tight budget, but I have no complaints with the results. A lot of parts were sourced used(pick n pull, and ads) to stay on budget.

Here's my 68 list:

Suspension and Steering
-new steering rebuild kit
-new LCA, UCA, springs, perches and shocks
-arning drop
-Granada Spindles and disc brakes
-new 75 Comet/Maverick MC and prop valve
-Granada sway bar and new end links
-new leaf springs and rear shocks
-export brace and monte carlo bar

Then I moved on to Drivetrain (all used parts)
-exploder rearend
-90's T5
-Edelbrock 4 barrel intake and carb
-4G alternator
-serpentine belt setup
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It already has a strong running 289 with headers (no exhaust past that though which is also on the list), manual disk front brakes and drum rear, export brace and monte carlo bar, and a 9 inch rear end.
 

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Thanks! I've been following your progress on your coupe to fastback conversion, looking good!
So here are a few suggestions:

Check everything steering wise....Idler Arm, Steering Box, all your bushing.
If going for stock setup, do the shelby drop, roller spring perches and maybe even the roller idler arm. They can make a good difference.

I also have become a fan of the EPAS electronic power steering. You can piece together a kit for rather cheap but it takes some finagling. If i were to do it over id buy the kit from epowersteering. thats like $650 which is half the price of the kits at the mustang sites. Come with the proper 16.5MM coupler as well as everything you need. Not sure it comes with instructions or not but powersteering is always a plus in my book. They also have the sensor already detached in the kit which allows for more leg room etc

As far as the rear, I always like to replace the rear leafs, bushing when i have no idea how long they have sat. Mine had extended shackles and all sorts of stuff including a trailer hitch setup. So it was jacked up a bit so i got 4.5 mid eye shackles to level it out and give it a little more to prevent any wheelhop

You can go many directions i just like to improve on standard setup. I had everything but epas on my 67 and it felt pretty good even with the manual steering until i got into parking lots.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got a little done this weekend, started into the rear suspension. I decided to stay with the current leaf springs, but change out the shackles and the shocks. Got a picture of the old extended shackles, was going to get one of the new stock length after install, but my iphone is getting to where it likes to power down unexpectedly in the cold, so maybe later. I didn't realize that the most important tool of the job would be the BFH, but after pounding out the old bushings and putting in the new urethane bushings, that was exactly what happened. Just waiting on some new U-bolts and I should get it all buttoned up soon and ready to move on to the front.
I am worried however that my mostly rust free car will need some work on the rear frame rail on the drivers side. That's the second picture, it is dark where I sprayed some WD-40 to loosen up the bolt of the shackle. There is definitely some rust there that will need to be addressed, also the rear trunk support needs to go. I'm glad they slapped a new valance on the back to make it look good without taking care of that first!
 

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Got a little done this weekend, started into the rear suspension. I decided to stay with the current leaf springs, but change out the shackles and the shocks. Got a picture of the old extended shackles, was going to get one of the new stock length after install, but my iphone is getting to where it likes to power down unexpectedly in the cold, so maybe later. I didn't realize that the most important tool of the job would be the BFH, but after pounding out the old bushings and putting in the new urethane bushings, that was exactly what happened. Just waiting on some new U-bolts and I should get it all buttoned up soon and ready to move on to the front.
I am worried however that my mostly rust free car will need some work on the rear frame rail on the drivers side. That's the second picture, it is dark where I sprayed some WD-40 to loosen up the bolt of the shackle. There is definitely some rust there that will need to be addressed, also the rear trunk support needs to go. I'm glad they slapped a new valance on the back to make it look good without taking care of that first!
Break out the wire brush and go to town! Might as well see if it cleans up before you worry about it too much! PLus you have the plug on top in the trunk to look down in it to see how bad it really is. Honestly it could be a lot worse
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got a little more work done this last weekend, had a nice 50 degree day and got the new leaf springs installed and the ride height came up to right about 26.5" on both sides, doesn't sit on the wheel anymore. Now just need different wheels so the tires don't stick out over the side anymore. No time for a test drive however as two days later we got a blizzard!
That's my daughter standing in the path we cleared through the drift in the driveway to the garage. For reference, she's about 5'7"
 

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Got a chance to tear into the engine and address a vacuum leak problem. Changed out intake manifold gaskets, reassembled the engine and nothing leaks and it runs, so that's a win for me. Also added some stock valve cover gaskets and a PCV since there wasn't one hooked up before. Changed the oil and flushed out the radiator/cooling with the garden hose, added fresh coolant.
 

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Just made a lot of work for myself, ordered basically all new parts for under the car, everything for suspension, steering, and brakes. Excited but nervous that I'm in over my head, but I'll take it one piece at a time, and ask for lots of help when I need it!
 
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With desire, patience, time and the resources of the knowledge here, you’ll be fine.

Post up your progress!
 

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As others have stated, I would focus on the safety aspects of the car first. I mean to say that anything that makes you turn or stop should be rebuilt or upgraded as much as your budget allows. This means the proper brakes, a new and upgraded suspension, modern rubber, and a sorted steering. Don't forget about things that make the care safer for the occupants - headrests, 3 point belts, collapsible steering column, metal trunk partition, etc. Also, proper lighting is included in safety features - relay headlights, LED's and the like.

I'm rebuilding a '68 coupe for my buddy who wants it to be his daily driver. We've done everything in the mindset of "will this be reliable, safe and stealthy". So he got disc brakes, 11" rear drum brakes, braided stainless lines, bilstein shocks, 620 springs, new leafs, rebuilt power steering, arning drop, roller suspension components, strut bars, modern seats w/ headrests, all led lighting, relay headlights in cibie housings, relay horns, 3g alternator, steel trunk parition, fuel tank armor, and more and more.

Regardless, the daily driver mentality is one of the hardest to do right and on a budget, so I'd start with getting it running first, then sort out the systems as your budget allows, keeping in mind that some of the components might be past their shelf life and not function properly (do you think 50 year old shocks will do their job in an emergency maneuver??). Eventually, you'll have a sweet ride!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As others have stated, I would focus on the safety aspects of the car first. I mean to say that anything that makes you turn or stop should be rebuilt or upgraded as much as your budget allows. This means the proper brakes, a new and upgraded suspension, modern rubber, and a sorted steering. Don't forget about things that make the care safer for the occupants - headrests, 3 point belts, collapsible steering column, metal trunk partition, etc. Also, proper lighting is included in safety features - relay headlights, LED's and the like.

I'm rebuilding a '68 coupe for my buddy who wants it to be his daily driver. We've done everything in the mindset of "will this be reliable, safe and stealthy". So he got disc brakes, 11" rear drum brakes, braided stainless lines, bilstein shocks, 620 springs, new leafs, rebuilt power steering, arning drop, roller suspension components, strut bars, modern seats w/ headrests, all led lighting, relay headlights in cibie housings, relay horns, 3g alternator, steel trunk parition, fuel tank armor, and more and more.

Regardless, the daily driver mentality is one of the hardest to do right and on a budget, so I'd start with getting it running first, then sort out the systems as your budget allows, keeping in mind that some of the components might be past their shelf life and not function properly (do you think 50 year old shocks will do their job in an emergency maneuver??). Eventually, you'll have a sweet ride!!!
Thanks! This has been my plan from the beginning, the engine is running strong and now I'm redoing everything to make the car drive safely, all new control arms, springs, shocks, tie rods, idler arm, rotors, calipers, hoses, everything is pretty much stock, but should drive like new (1968 new anyway) when finished, then on to the interior, and finally making it pretty.
 

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One thing to take note of - some of the upgraded parts that offer significantly improved performance are not that much more expensive than the stock equivalents or rebuilds. Open tracker has whole kits to modernize/update your steering/suspension. Give John a call as I'm sure he'd help get you set up nicely!

Also, I've an Arning drop kit template I'd let go for cheaper than new for you, just PM me if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quick update on my progress: I was able to get all the new suspension components in and spent a lot of quality time under there with the wire wheel. Painted it with some of Eastwood's rust encapsulator and also used some of their rubberized undercoating, I like that stuff, it has a good look and should protect the wheel wells. Painted anything that was going back in the car like brake backing plates and strut rods. Had some trouble with the new rotors - the bearings wouldn't go in far enough for the rotors to go on all the way, took them to a mechanic friend and he pressed out the races and got them ready to put back in, but my real job has kicked in so my garage time has quickly dwindled with the start of school. I need to get them back in and the car will finally be back on the ground!
 

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Setback. I've had a couple body guys come check out the car, and their estimates are a lot higher than what I feel like I can put into the car to get the metalwork, body, and paint done.
How in over my head will I be if I attempt to do this stuff by myself? I don't really have much for experience with bodywork or metal, I don't even know how to weld.
On the plus side, seeing everyone's projects on this site give me a lot of confidence I will be able to figure it out with enough determination!

There is a local painter I haven't talked to that I might be able to work something out to have him spray primer and paint if I can do some metal and then all the sanding and blocking. I want to take it down to bare metal too.

Any advice is appreciated from someone who has been in the same boat!
 

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Well, she's back on 4 wheels. Finally got a weekend in Nebraska where the temp in my uninsulated/heated shop wasn't below freezing, so I got the rotors on. Thanks to everyone who chimed in to help figure out that problem. Having the 70 spindles definitely isn't a bad thing, just wish I had known that's what they were from the beginning. She's riding a little high in the front, even with the 1" drop springs, hopefully they settle a little bit, otherwise I guess I know how to take springs out to cut them down now. Next will be a rear drum rebuild which shouldn't be too bad, at least I've done that before on the pickup. New 74 Mav master cylinder and get things up and running again. Then it will be time to decide what to do next. I'm feeling less intimidated about body work the more research I have done.
 

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Had a pretty productive summer working on the car. Got new wheels and love the look. I got my suspension and brakes all sorted out finally. I managed to plumb new lines for my adjustable proportioning valve below my new 70s Maverick MC. I even got the car downtown a few blocks for a local car show and drove it around town for a bit, for the first time in quite a while!
 

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