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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I will be buying a 1969 Mustang (351w or 302) to use as my daily driver later this year. I plan on doing a complete frame up rebuild and modernizing only the parts I feel absolutely need is such as tranny, disk brakes, lead conversion.......
Here's my issue, I will be using it as my primary vehicle and would therefore like to reduce the impact at the gas pump while at the same time maintaining/upgrade the muscle. Athough I've worked on and driven classic cars I've never owned one yet. I have my own ideas as to what to do but would thought it would be a good idea to get yalls opinions on what yall think would be the best improvements?

Disclosure:
I know all the reasons why I shouldn't use a 69 as my primary vehicle, but I'm going to do it anyway. While I'm open to swapping out a newer engine I'd like to keep it to a gas 302 or 351w. I hate electronics and want to keep it as mechanically controlled as possible. (regrettably I might add some computerized components so I'm open to it)
 

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I DD'd my '68 for over a year before I moved to a State that snows.

I upgraded to disc brakes, 3 point belts, power steering, maybe throw in some suspension upgrades (roller perches, 1" sway bar), seats with a headrest. I wouldn't expect great gas mileage with a 302 or 351; but, who cares? Drive it and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are a few of my ideas, But I don't want it to persuade anyone from recommending their ideas. Originally, I wanted a 351w with shaker, But I'm considering a turbo and not sure about compatibility between the two yet. I'm a little OCD about getting as much fuel burn as possible.
I've considered throwing out the rack and pinion, but haven't decided yet.
Haven't decided about rear leaf. But I'm considering coilover. And of course disk breaks.
Will be repadding the floors And doing whatever else I can. To dampen road noise a bit.
Swapping to unleaded.
Considered efi, but I don't think it's worth it considering it supposedly only gives 1% MPG benefits.
New 6-speed tranny with OD

I'm actually looking for a junker with a good frame so I can have some fun rebuilding it for a while
 

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Nothing wrong with using a classic for a daily. We used those cars in the 60s and 70s as dailies. ?. My dad used this one as a daily through the 90s. You’ll just need to put new parts on it either classic or modern. Were I doing that I’d get efi. Anything big with an older design isn’t going to do that well in terms of mpg when compared to cars of today. If you want mileage and performance stab in a newer Ecoboost. It will outperform the 351 given the right mods and give much better mileage when you aren’t pounding on it. Otherwise the mpg window is pretty narrow with the old v8s even with new parts. It’s just the nature of the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thx man. I live in Houston so won't be driving through snow, but there's a lot of rain. I considered a sway bar but my brother who had a 66 said not to bother. I kinda figured someone would contradict that which is good since I've read that others also recommended installing one. I was going to swap out the seats but figured I'd drive it a while first then decide; I have scoliosis so what's right for me isn't necessarily what's right for others (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep I get that. I will never get the mpg of my wifes CX-5 but wanted to go from ~10 to maybe 15+ if possible.I keep hearing a lot of variance in the benifits of efi, guess I'll have to re-research them
 

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I daily drive my 69 coupe. Look under the mod forum for the sticky on the t5 swap, I wrote that write up. I rebuilt my original 302 with gt40 heads, wieand street warrior intake, comp 268h high energy flat tappet cam, had the original distributor rebuilt and recurved by mustang barn, and topped it off with an autolite 4100 off of a 65 mustang 289. My goal wasnt power but reliability and economy. I took it on a 2000 mile road trip this summer and averaged 21mpg at 80mph on the freeway.
 

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I'll add I'm using points ignition and my rear end ratio is 3.00. At 65mph it's at 1800 rpm with the 5spd. It's very doable
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice. I'm not sure why I said 6 spd I was likely going to go with a 5 spd which is even more likely after reading your sticky. How's it feel after all that? I'm trying to get the mpg up but still love that power as well. Also I'm not one to sit behind slow people for too long so need a little acceleration every once in a while
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Recently drove my mom's 1967 289 and was a bit disappointed so wanted to make sure I don't end up building a car that will leave me underwhelmed. (still pissed off that she got her classic stang before me:mad:)
 

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It has lots of pep! I'm using stock manifolds through waldrons 2in boss 302 dual exhaust set up. If I put 3.55s in it it would really wake it up. Realistically it's probably not more than 230hp. If I went with headers and more cam itd probably put down more but I was going for good daily driveability. I recently picked up a 70 coupe that I will build more radical. When selecting my parts I was looking for stuff that would compliment my goals. I went with a cam that stopped at 5500 because I'd almost never be up there, most of my driving is around 2000 rpm. I chose the autolite 4100 because of the annular booster which everything I read told me were the best atomozing carb design. Also when running cfm calculators I calculated at 100% volumetric efficiency my 302 would consume around 480 cfm. Na engines are like 80%efficient and an autolite 4100 is around 490cfm perfect for what I needed. The two most common mistakes I read for engine building was over camming and over carbureating. So I spent alot of time making sure my components all worked together and at 21mpg I couldnt be happier. City mileage I've calculated at 17-18mpg
 

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I should clarify, the 1.08 venturi 4100 off of a 289 is around 490 cfm. 4100s came on alot of engines and there are 1.12 venturi carbs that flow much more than that
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I'm guessing you're going to talk me down to a 302 which is fine but where do stand on the 302 vs 351w? I was leaning more towards the 351 since everyone talks about it having more part options and therefore more and cheaper ways to customise it.
 

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Just buy it and start driving it every day. The car will tell you what needs to be done first, believe me. I've daily-driven my '67 fastback for over 100,000 miles in the last 15 years. You spend that much quality time with a classic car and its starts speaking to you very easily. You'll know what needs to be done when it's time.

Also, be sure to get "Agreed Value" insurance, not "Stated Value" insurance. Do a search here for the differences. The really inexpensive classic car insurance offered by many companies for less than $200 a year won't apply to a daily driver. Good luck on the purchase!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks. I'll definitely be careful the insurance now that you mention it. But I plan on buying a car that is not running. In fact, ideally, I want a car that's held together with bubble gum and Band-Aids as long as it has a good frame.
 

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Josh, you know a Mustang doesn't HAVE a frame, right ? They are unit-body cars. Why the preference for a non-running example ? And where did the 10 mpg idea come from ?! My 69 302 2V car, with 3.00 gears and C4 automatic, regularly delivers 20-22 @ 55~60mpg. I'll presume in TX you want to go faster than that, so, if you're a manual trans guy, get a Tremec 5 spd, if you're an auto guy, get an AOD. Carb is fine. Either 302 or 351W is fine, use what ever the car you choose has. 351W does NOT have more parts options, who are you talking to to ? LSG
 

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Any leads on an actual car? It’s easy to lose motivation and go over budget if you buy a project. But you could also lose motivation if you buy a running but less desired (by you) model.
 

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302 with 5 speed and 350s for gas milage. 351 with 5 speed and 350s for fun. Based on your questions and making an assumption regarding your current garage skills based on your post, I would be willing to say that building a car will cost you a conservative 2X (average for a garage mechanic on this site, cost vs ending sale price, not including work!) what buying a running car will and if there is significant rust, 10X ending most likely being sold never being driven unless you are truly one of the few with the tenacity for years of no life.

Save up till you can buy a running car preferably with a 5 speed and 350s/355s and limited slip already installed. Then you can have fun and build your dream car from a solid base and save a TON of money. Its the little things that cost a fortune and when combined with big things that cost a fortune, like engine rebuild $2k in parts and machining if you build it yourself, 4-6k if you have it done. Paint (ugh) $2k if you do all the work and paint it yourself 4-20k if you have it done...

Buying a major-rust-free car with good drive train and that is presentable is anywhere from 6-12k if you play your cards right and that is the cheapest road to a DD you will get. This is the road I went 23 years ago and I'm very glad I went this route. Then I could play with performance and seats / rims - the fun stuff that will keep you very busy for years (23 in my case) while driving it which kept me interested in the project.

Put new: fuel pump and ignition coil in it right off the bat unless there is proof they are new - for a daily driver plus the usual stuff brakes etc.

Do the research to find out where Mustangs rust...

Good luck
 

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For 12 years my daily driver was a 1969 Cougar with the factory 351W. I recently finished a 1970 Mach 1 project from bare-metal. Here's my take:

- Sounds like you want some decent power. For this reason, I highly recommend going with the 351W. It doesn't cost any more money to build a 351W compared to a 302 and there's a lot more power potential.

- Sounds like you're also concerned about MPG. For this reason, I highly recommend installing an overdrive trans. FYI, the T5z is a good trans, but you can grenade one with a built 351W. If it's in your budget, go with the TKO-600. I put this trans in my 1970 Mach 1 and I really like it. I got my trans and all necessary parts from Modern Driveline. I highly recommend those guys. You can find overdrives transmissions and kits that seem cheaper, but they don't include all the parts and fasteners and they won't have the tech support you get from MD. It's a lot of money, but worth every dollar IMO.

- For a daily driver, it's all about reliability. Therefore, I would not even consider a turbo setup. Sure you CAN build a reliable, turbo-charged engine; but it's not easy and it's very expensive. If you want boost, a supercharger is much less complex, less expensive and more reliable. (But you probably don't need it.)

- The 351W is a great engine with mediocre heads. So, go with aluminum heads. These days, there are just so many great options for aluminum heads. Do your research, but it seems most people prefer Trick Flow or AFR. I would recommend you steer clear of the cheaper, Chinese knockoff heads. Those can work, but here again, you want reliability and not potential problems.

- I like to run high compression. It makes a HUGE improvement in power and opens up a lot more cam options. However, higher compression will require premium fuel. This does involve more cost, but overall, it's not THAT much more cost. Think hard about this and run some numbers. Likely, you'll conclude the difference between regular and premium pump gas isn't enough to prevent you from running high compression. With aluminum heads, you can run 11:1 static compression easily on premium pump gas. Therefore, take great care with selecting pistons and heads to ensure a good static compression then select a cam matching that static compression.

- Sure, it's a great idea to find a car that already has a limited slip differential. Good luck finding one. For some reason, people will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a custom, stroker engine and bolt in front of a single trac diff with the factory 3.0 gear. If you get lucky and find one, cool. You've led a clean life. But you should pretty much expect to rebuild and convert the differential. I went with an Eaton Truetrac and 3.70 gear on my Mach 1 and it's great!

- For the suspension, forget what the guys on the car TV shows do. That's all about selling expensive parts and not what best for the street. Here's what I did to my Mach 1 and I think most anyone would be very pleased with how it drives and handles:

  • 1-1/8" front anti-sway bar (some people say a 1" is big enough, but the 69/70 Mustangs are a little bigger/heavier and the extra 1/8" works really well.)
  • Scott Drake Street Performance coil springs (any similar coils would be fine)
  • Roller spring perches (small part, BIG improvement!)
  • Shelby/Arning drop (GIGANTIC improvement in handling/driving for the cost of a drill bit.)
  • Kelsey/Hayes 4-piston caliper, non-power disc brakes (these came on the early Shelby Mustangs and they are really good brakes. Non-power means you can run whatever cam you like without worrying about engine vacuum.)
  • Scott Drake "mid-eye" leaf springs with an extra 1/2 leaf and urethane bushings. (Perfect ride height!)
  • Bilstein street performance shocks (these shocks are expensive, but amazing and perfect for a street Mustang!)
- Sure you can run rack and pinion steering, but be very careful here. There are a tiny few really good options. Many are junk and will increase your turning radius. I thought hard about this and ended up going with factory power steering and a quick-ratio steering box. I really like it. Another option would be the Borgeson power steering. Lots of people really like that setup. I've driven Rack and Pinion Mustangs and really wasn't blown away.

- Rear disc brakes look cool, but man, that's a LOT of work and cost and, unless you're going racing, they won't do anything for you.

- Oh yeah, my Mach 1 has a factory shaker. It's really cool and I really like it, but it would be a MAJOR headache to run one with a turbo or a supercharger. Here again, you don't need boost for a fun street machine. If you want stump-pulling torque, stroke it. You'll end up with more power than the car can put to the pavement.

Anyway, there are some data points to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
LS
Uni is a type of frame. I would definitely buy a car that runs but that's not the goal. I want to end up with a car that I rebuilt by hand. Partially because that would be a blank slate for me to ensure everything is in tip top condition; and partially because I like wrench turning. I was using the 10mpg as a generic example, 10mpg because it was the original mpg of the gt40 so that's why my brain likely pulled that random number. Yep I also plan on driving it from Houston to Louisiana every few months or so. I read about it on another forum where they stated that the 351 has been used consistently since the 60's and is still used so their is infinitely more parts out their. I have no idea yet as to how accurate that is since I haven't extensively shopped for any yet. I'll definitely take a look at those parts and keep the 302 in mind though thx
P
I'm not looking yet but my brother knows someone with a few up in Kansas so we're going to take a road trip when I'm ready. I plan on start looking in about 6 months which gives me time to save up a little more. I'm very picky so I won't compromise and get something I don't want. I love rebuilding classic cars and while it is possible that I'll "lose motivation" temporarily and the car will sit for a few extra months.... it's not a big concern of mine. My wife won't be driving anytime soon so I still have her car. (she doesn't drive yet, but I bought her a new car so she could learn)
 
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