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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys and gals. My name is Allen and I have a red and black 66 convertible that has been sitting in the corner of the driveway for the last 15 or so years. Lately I’ve been thinking of making it road worthy again. It’s red with a black top and interior, A/C console, p/s 2 barrel V8 with automatic and a power top.


Some of my biggest issues with the car before I stopped driving it was the braking and everyday drivability. The car to me in its prime was a little scary to drive. Today with the way people drive I think I would have a heart attack.

Although the engine is completely stock as well everything else, (exception would be the radio and spark plug wires) I’ve been considering going to 4 wheel disc brakes, power windows and even a fuel injected V8 transplant with a od trans. I feel kind of bad doing this to a car that is so complete, yet I don’t know if I would be able to enjoy the car if I just restored it back to stock.

Your thoughts?

Thanks

Sorry for the nasty pictures the car has at least 10 years of dust on it. I should have put the hood back on after I took off the booster back in 94.
 

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My thoughts (and I know that some people will disagree probably) are that it is your car and you should do what you want with it! I think it's a shame that there aren't many classics on the road today - though really, with the stupidity of drivers recently, I don't blame people for hoarding them away in their garages! :)

I think it would be one thing if you had a super-rare car with only a limited number made, but since it's a vert I don't see any reason why you couldn't do what you wanted with it. Personally, I've got a fastback that started as a straight 6 and is now a v8. I've been in the process of adding aftermarket A/C and, recently, a rack and pinion setup. I also put in power front disc brakes, late-model Mustang seats, and 3-point seatbelts. I intend to drive this car every day for the rest of my life (or at least as long as I can), so I wanted it to be as safe and reliable as possible.

Good luck with your decision! :)
 

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Wow; Both of you have some nice cars,you are right Jane while it is in your hands-do with it what you want.Not even going to tell you what I am doing with my fastback,some would scream!!
 

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You asked for thoughts so here are mine:

1) I hate to see a Mustang just sitting, so if you aren't going to drive it and enjoy it, sell it to someone who will.

2) That said, if you DO sell it, you will join the unhappy legion of folks who come up to me (and probably every other VMFer) every time I stop at a gas station to tell me about the Mustang you used to have and how much you regret selling it.

3) You don't need 4-wheel disk brakes for reliable stopping power. You do need front disks and a dual master cylinder. These can easily be added without significantly altering the appearance of the car. You will probably be happier with power disk brakes as opposed to manual.

4) Fuel injection is cool but totally unnecessary for a reliable driver. If you want it, go for it, but it is by no means necessary.

5) Power windows are nice and can be easily added, again without altering the basic appearance of anything.

6) After brakes, you need quality suspension, tires, steering, and alignment to make the car fun to drive. The stock items can be made to work quite well if they are in good shape (except for tires, you need good quality modern radials). Your alignment must be to modern specs and not the way outdated ones in the Ford shop manual.

7) This forum can help you with every item I mentioned and anything else you could possibly think of. It is a tremendous resource.

If your heart's not really in it, pass the car on to someone who will love it. But don't be discouraged by how it drives and brakes now - these things are easy to fix (relatively speaking).

Good luck,
MrFreeze
 

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Welcome aboard! It sounds to me like you should go for front discs and a complete front end/steering overhaul. I would stick with factory styled stuff. Rear discs aren't really worth the time and money on a cruiser, a good brake job in back should set things straight and save a ton of cash.
Overdrive is real nice if you're geared high, but if not, you should do just fine on the road.
Good luck!!
 

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Daily driver

I have a 64 convert that is basically a daily driver. It has been for 22 years and 350,000+ miles, including over 60K miles just on our Pony Drives.
IO used to have a resto shop when more people drove these cars daily and here's what we recommended-
1. As others said- front discs but there's not enough weight in the back to justify $1000 for rear discs.
2. Export brace, 1" sway bar, KYB shocls for a good handling car
3. Find a mustang shop nearby ( they are all over) or check w/ a local club to see who is well versed in mustangs and have the brake lines checked, rear wheel cylinders checked- better replace them, as they are cheap, front suspension for worn parts- if not, grease them REAL good.
4. Tune-up, carb adjust or rebuild if necessary
5. Check rear fluids & u-joints
6. GOOD tires
Remember- any car may go, but 1st it needs to STOP & handle properly for control. Spend the early money here and you'll drive a LOT safer.

If you let us know where you are, someone can direct you to a shop and/or local club.

LAST- as they said- if you sell it, you'll be the one that HAD a mustang.
 

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I think you need bigger jack stands.


If you freshen up the suspensionn, get rid of this 14s and put a larger rim and better tires, add disc brakes to the front, and the recommended stiffening...I think you will find the car will feel quite a bit better.
 

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My approach would be to get it back on the road first before you start pouring money into it. Once you can drive it then improvement projects can be tackled one project at a time, prioritized by the items that are required to make it safe and reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the welcomes; the small amount of research I've done has netted a lot of info. I’m in so cal, OC N. Tustin area.


I think you need bigger jack stands.

At the time they were the largest ones I could find. And yes I did look for larger ones. I wanted the brakes at chest level. :loco: thankfully the car has stay stable threw all the rumblings we had over the years. knock on wood.
 

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Bahaha, I use jack stands that look like that but can only lift the car 21" because of my jack... and I'm under there all the time installing stuff! Ask me about how much it SUCKS to try to torque main caps to 70ftlbs when you're squished under there and the bolts in question are less than 6" above your face :)

Oh, and if you're going the restoration route, get a nice impact wrench or SOMETHING that's a power tool. I've been doing my whole restoration with hand tools, with the exception of when something needs to be ground or cut. Don't ask me why; by now it's just kind of an issue of stubbornness.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Power tools is not a problem. I have plenty of that stuff. For the most part I actually enjoy working on my old cars using the simple hand tools. :shrug:

I actually need to get a new jack. Or better yet find a rebuild kit for my old jack.
 

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One point I'd like to make is that a 100% stock Mustang can zip in and around traffic with confidence and ease, when it's actually in spec and set-up correctly...

Every day I see folks spending alot of money on heart-transplants, when they really only needed to cure the disease, i.e. cobbled and worn and out-of-whack suspension/steering/brakes.

Drum brakes are the biggest subject of scorn, yet when properly rebuilt and matched (shoes to drum) and adjusted, they can be quite effective. My '67 Goat still retains its 4-wheel drums, and I can lock all four corners up at 70mph. When traction is your limiting factor, you've got all the braking power you need.

But for safety, obviously a dual m/c setup is key, and front discs are indeed better/easier on the foot, and easier to service.

I'm not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, as the sky's the limit with a Mustang, and that's part of the fun. I'm just making the point that these cars drove dandy when they rolled off the dealer lot, it's previous owners/so-called-mechanics, age and wear that makes them feel like death traps when we buy them!

You don't need to knee-jerk-blame 100% of the issues on the original set-up, and don't believe that a back-to-stock build will be "sketchy" out on the road. That's getting to be an over-used assumption.

Whichever direction you go, you can accomplish a very road-worthy car. Best of luck!!
 

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Personally I think it is a total waste of time for you to even consider turning the first nut or bolt on that car. Just get the idea out of your mind, go to a local dealership and get yourself a new economy car (You are in CA with crazy high gas prices) and get the Mustang ready for pick up. I'll have a car hauler come get that eyesore out of your way as soon as you send me your address! :pirate:

Really though, I know CA has the most strict smog laws and regulations in the nation. You might want some input from some CA gear heads as to just how far you can go with a motor transplant or aftermarket mods for the engine. But as everyone suggested, tighten up that suspension, but I would first get it driving again so you can get a feel for what you want.
Or if you are feeling ambitious, you can gut everything and start with a ground up mod/restore. There are many choices for suspensions on early mustangs. Rack & pinion conversions, Mustang II type converison with R&P, Borgeson power conversion, Classic Performance Products Mini Sub-Frame kits along with a R&P conversion, coil over, etc...Oh, and don't forget about the good old Shelby 1" drop.
In the least I would do a front disc and master cylinder conversion with a new replacement suspension using better springs.
Oh, welcome aboard!
 

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Like you, I started out with an all original 66 (but coupe, not vert.) My mother bought it brand new, so there was no guessing on the history. I have now done almost all the changes listed in the other responses.
Mine was even less rare than yours, so I made it the way I had always wanted it. I have no regrets. It looks like a 66, but has a lot of modern parts. If I hurt the value (which I doubt), my kids can worry about that when they inherit it. In the meantime I can enjoy driving it the way I want it. Also, as you probably already know, Calif. smog doesn't apply to models prior to 1975. Go as crazy as you want.
 

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First off I can hardly believe you let that sit there for like 15 years and not wanted to get it out on the road. I grew up with these cars and never really wanted a convertible till I came across mine. If you make a few upgrades like the disc brakes on the front only and some suspension mods that car will be nice to enjoy. Top down and the Calf. weather, it will be great. Forget the interstate driving...get on some back roads where there are sites to see and enjoy it. If not...give me a call and I'll come get it.
 

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Can't believe it has survived earthquakes like that!

I would try a few period handling improvements before I resto-mod it (fuel injected engine etc). I just replcaed my entire front end with new stock components, did the Shelby rop, export brace, monte carlo bar, one inch sway bar, and a performance alignment. Can 70 on the interstate with no hands on the wheel. Perfectly straight and stable. Front discs are about to go on.

Fuel injection and power windows make it less of what made it classic a little bit to me.

I would go to 15 inch wheels too, and better tires.
 

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Front disks... rears (don't do the bulk of the work) can stay drum, dual bowl MC is a must! Also the Arning/Shelby Suspension "drop" is the most recomended "mod" for handling (just use the Shelby specs for alignment).

Everything else is just Icing... make it your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Are the 4 piston oem looking calipers worth the money or is it better just to use the cheaper single piston brakes?

I have a old lincoln versailles rear I bought years ago but it looks like a lot of trouble to install it.

As for the dual reservoir master, does someone have a link to a install that some has done here?

Thanks again.:thumbsup:
 

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Are the 4 piston oem looking calipers worth the money or is it better just to use the cheaper single piston brakes?
There a lot of options on front discs these days. Check out Mustang Steves offerings. I think he has one that you can use modern Cobra calipers. I actually installed the Versailles fronts on mine, but they are about to come off due to my new Rod & Custom suspension I just ordered. I would only consider the original 4 piston if I was doing a concourse restoration.

I have a old lincoln versailles rear I bought years ago but it looks like a lot of trouble to install it.
Considering todays rear disc options, I would not consider it. I did it in mine, but that was 11 years ago. Since then there have been much easier retro fit kits introduced to the marker. Personally, I would just leave the rear drums in place and refresh all the parts. Should have done that myself.

As for the dual reservoir master, does someone have a link to a install that some has done here?
I think you can :google: the topic and get a few hits. It's not really that hard of a mod. You might even get instructions with some of the kits offered by Mustang vendors. This is a MUST DO mod. I remember the day my single reservoir '65 Fairlane let me down when my coat hanger exhaust pipe hanger let go and burned through my rear brake line :shocked:


Thanks again.:thumbsup:
 

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Can't believe it has survived earthquakes like that!

I would try a few period handling improvements before I resto-mod it (fuel injected engine etc). I just replcaed my entire front end with new stock components, did the Shelby rop, export brace, monte carlo bar, one inch sway bar, and a performance alignment. Can 70 on the interstate with no hands on the wheel. Perfectly straight and stable. Front discs are about to go on.

Fuel injection and power windows make it less of what made it classic a little bit to me.

I would go to 15 inch wheels too, and better tires.
Great advice!

I would see no problems putting on a set of fresh 4 calipers with the plated pistons. I just picked up a set of these from Dan and they look great!

Classic Mustang Disc Brake Conversions and Power Steering

He can set you up with anything you need to make your car stop nicely.
 
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