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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I have a CUTE little straight 6 that is in great shape and I'm ready to take the plunge and make it an 8. Being a woman, I don't want to get scammed by a dishonest mechanic so I want to be really well informed. Which 8 would you suggest? ALso want to do disc brakes. I've been looking at prices on 289's and 302's. WHat would you do if you were me? I'm thinking of starting with the suspension. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Jessica
 

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The first thing you should do is set up a budget for the work you want, the little extras can hold off. You should replace the suspen for the weight diff of eng knb shocks are good replace the coils. Take this from a builder eng from bone yards may be the cheapest way out but it's like xmas you never know whats inside till you open it. Now the question of the day how fast do you want to go.....? It is best to change over brks you will have the power to fly but in the end you should be able to stop this machine. I could type for hours going over all of this let me know what you are look twords and I will try to give you the most cost effective way. What car is this going into?
 

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Welcome to the forum!

First question: why do you - a woman who chooses "CUTE" to describe a vintage Mustang - want to convert to an 8 anyhow? It's typically kind of a need-for-speed, guy thing to do. You sound as if you may be the very type that Ford marketed to straight 6 cars to in the first place! ;)

Secondly - unless this is a car you want to keep for sentemental reasons - you may want to seriously consider selling and simply buying an already-done, running 8 cylinder car. You're looking at what can be a terribly expensive project... well beyond to monetary value of your car. As well as a terribly unsafe car if not done properly.

Just my $.02...
 

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Same as Dan66, if you want a V8 look into buying one over converting the one you have. It sounds as if someone else will be doing the work and that will get quite expensive. The sixes are quite dependable and to convert it to a V8 could include as much work as changing out the engine, transmission, drive shaft, rear end and entire front suspension. And this is all before the while i'm at it and the gotchas (rust).
Oh and welcome to the board.
Troy
 

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You might want to fill out your profile so we know where you`re from.
Doing the swap involves a lot of different areas, a 6cyl rear will not hold up, the brakes are inadequate, cooling system, steering...

I have done this swap and doing all the work myself with a lot of scrounging for parts it still cost a considerable amount of $$$
The best way to do the swap is to find a wrecked or rusted donor car. ;)
But definately start with brakes, then suspension, going fast is NO fun if you can`t stop or handle :p
 

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Welcome to the forum! I agree with the others, it'll get expensive converting. Since you won't be doing the work and farming it out, I'd generally suggest getting a V8 Mustang to start with.

Being a V8 owner, I'll say there's nothing wrong with having a six. It's a better handling car because it has less weight over the front. A thought though, how about putting a V8 suspension on and leave the six. This is very worth while doing since the V8 uses bigger brakes and stronger parts. This alone is very worth while swap just for safety reasons. Then down the road, if or when you want a V8, it'll be a lot easier and quicker to do.

Since you didn't tell us what year you have, you could have a 69 & up with a 250 six that already uses V8 suspension and transmission that would be a very easy swap to do!

The six can be made to run very well and will be easy to work on and maintain. I'd suggest leaving it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, lots of good info. Thank you. The reason I'm hoping to keep this particular car is for sentimental reasons (yes, girls fall in love with cars too). We've had it for 15 years. It's a 66. Sorry I left that out earlier. The body is in exceptionally good shape. So I love the car and just want it faster!
 

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The reason I'm hoping to keep this particular car is for sentimental reasons
The car in my sig pic was my father in laws. My SWMBO drove it when she was in high school in the early 80`s ::
I did the swap on it because the 6cyl was tired and I didn`t want to put the $$$ into it and not get the zip I wanted ::
I have some of the stuff you`re going to need to do the swap, at least the steering linkage, maybe even a set of front disc spindles. If you`re willing to do a little work and learn a few things, you can save a considerable amount of $$$.
If you get in a jam, you have found the most incredible resource in the world for vintage Mustangs :: :: ::
 

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Wow, lots of good info. Thank you. The reason I'm hoping to keep this particular car is for sentimental reasons (yes, girls fall in love with cars too). We've had it for 15 years. It's a 66. Sorry I left that out earlier. The body is in exceptionally good shape. So I love the car and just want it faster!
There are ways to make your inline six faster. The Ford Six forums have much information on the Ford inline six cylinder engines. It is mostly about making them faster. ;) I have a 1965 Mustang with an 200ci inline six. I have installed a dual outlet header, port divider, dual exhaust, and a 2bbl carburetor. After the exhaust upgrade it was noticeably quicker. I recently upgraded the 1bbl carburetor to a Holley 5200 2bbl carburetor. I had the engine running for two days after the carb upgrade but the solenoid gave out. :p Click on my sig pic for pictures of my exhaust setup. Sorry, there are no pictures of the new carburetor yet.
 

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have Mustang and Ford mag article that details what needs done. i agree with few others that it's going to be expensive. i have a 6 and was just going to use it for restoration practice but then decided its a nice little car that will run forever with those 7 mains. have articles on how to power it up that i intend to do - mostly with Clifford Performance stuff. PM me if you want any of the articles and i will e-mail them to you.
 

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Welcome to the forum, I disagree with most posted here! Dump that 6 in the lake where it belongs. You'll need a new front suspension, but you're going to want those disc brakes and new wheels for your baby anyways. The rear springs are worn out after all these years so you'll have need to replace 'em, just need to dig up a 5-lug rear axle. ALl thats left is everythig else; engine, trans, radiator, fuel lines...... Much has been written on this topic, do a search and read it all and if it still doesn't scare you off then do it. The guys here are well equipped to handle any of your questions along the way. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welcome to the forum, I disagree with most posted here! Dump that 6 in the lake where it belongs.

Phew! I was starting to think I had posted a crazy idea. I know can make this work. This forum is such a great resource for info. Thanks to all.
 

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Everyone here has given you good info, but here is the most important: If you are going to add power, either through a V-8 or a hot six, you will HAVE TO upgrade the brakes, suspension, and driveline FIRST. Almost 30 years ago, I did this on my first Mustang. No portion of this job is difficult, but it is extensive. Almost every major component underneath the car will need to be replaced. If you do it right and only use salvage yard parts where it makes sense, I would guess that your parts bill will run at least a couple thou, maybe a bit more, and that is just the infrastructure necessary to handle the power. The work under the hood will be in addition.

An emotional attachment to your car is one of the few good reasons that I can think of to take on this job. Although it is a really big one, there is no rocket science here. If you or anybody that you know is even a moderate gearhead and owns corresponding tools, you could save lots of $$$ by doing some of the work yourself. Since I have been there before and have ASE certification in brakes and suspension, (although I no longer do it for a living) I would be delighted to mentor you if you should decide to do this. PM me if you are interested.

Do you live anywhere within about a day's drive of Columbus OH? There is a huge indoor swap meet there every Thanksgiving weekend. I would wager long odds that any/all of the stuff that you will need can be got there.

Don't hesitate to post any further questions. Someone here almost certainly has the answer.
 

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An emotional attachment to your car is one of the few good reasons that I can think of to take on this job.
Agreed...

No portion of this job is difficult...
You're kidding, right? I mean, what more complex/expensive/difficult undertaking could there possibly be? ::

Dump that 6 in the lake where it belongs.
I disagree with this philosophy altogether. The Ford 200 cid staight six is the mainstay of the Mustang line! They're practically indestructable and have tremendous potential for improvement. Don't get me wrong - do what you want. After all - it's your car! But be warned: you're about to spend a ton of money.

No offense intended towards to at all when I say this - but someone who calls their car "CUTE" does not need a rumbling 12-second V8...
 

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What I meant when I said that no portion is difficult is that if broken down into individual tasks (ie rear axle replacement, front disc conversion, steering linkage change) all of them are fairly straightforward r & r operations. I do not want for a moment to understate the magnitude of the total job--this would take a good amateur months and lots of money to sucessfully complete. All I intended to say was that if a mechanically inclined but ignorant and cash-strapped college student (me) could get it done in 1975-76, it can't be all THAT difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I've got plenty of time for this project. I don't use the mustang as a primary vehicle so I'm in no hurry. I also want to take it slowly so that I can really give each stage of the conversion the attention it deserves.
Forgive me for using the word "cute". I didn't mean to offend any die-hards. How about "awesome" or "hot" or "bad-ass"? Just substitute whatever superlative floats your boat (or revs your engine as the case may be).
 

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Forgive me for using the word "cute".
I think it`s "cute" ;)

I also think you should go ahead and do the swap, if you`re in no hurry it can be quite rewarding to acomplish each stage, especially if you do the work yourself. We can help you through it ::
 
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