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Hey all,

This is my first post here on VMF. I am a 17 yr old who has been dying to get my hands on a 68' for the past couple years but my dad won't let me get an entire project car for a number of good reasons. I finally convinced him to at least let me buy and rebuild the drivetrain as long as I paid for it myself and kept the garage clean haha.

So basically I am just on here looking for some ideas. Im looking for a 302 or 351, leaning more towards the 302. But I would like to get one that was actually from a mustang and not a pulled engine from another Ford vehicle. On CL they are all pulled from late model comets and things of that nature. So any ideas on how to find one down here in Texas?

And secondly I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what kind of upgrades I could be looking at. Common sense tells me to look at a cam, intake, new carb. Specifics? I am prepared to spend a good amount because I would obviously be doing all the work myself. I am looking to spend no more than 2500 total. I would like to spend no more than 1000 on the engine itself. The trans would come later.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to VMF! I'm pretty new too, but keep coming back here for all the great info. Best advice I got (and am still trying to follow) is to start with the end in mind. What are you planning to use it for (daily driver, street/strip, race)? What kind of hp are you ultimately going for? Planning on a resto-mod or something more like an original?

I'm trying to build one that looks stock but turns 290+ hp to use as a daily driver. So I decided (and it's my opinion only) to eliminate a 5.0 late model swap or a 347 type stroker. I've bought a 289 bored .060 over with ported heads, full roller rockers, and a moderate cam. I'm planning to match that up to a toploader 4-spd, and someday when the $$'s are there a 8.8" or 9" locker rear end. Dual plane manifold with 600 cfm carb (2bbl or 4 bbl is still up in the air, see my post later today). Tri-Y headers if I can figure out how to get them to fit with the manual tranny. Hoping for a decent driver with a little uumph.

I would say plan out what you want, then do a little pricing on how much it will cost you to rebuild vs buy one that's had the work done. Mine came out a lot cheaper to buy one already rebuilt, especially after I add labor/time. Keep an eye on ebay and CL, and don't buy anything unless it fits with the rest of plan. Only other thing I would say is don't be tempted to grab something just because it's a great deal. Make sure it's what you want and stay on the forum for good advice and knowledge.
 

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It will be almost impossible (and impossible in some cases) to tell if a 289, 302, or 351 came from a Mustang or not. What does it matter anyways? A 302 that went in a Mustang and a 302 that went into a Torino, LTD, pickup, Cougar,etc. during the same model year are identical.
 

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It will be almost impossible (and impossible in some cases) to tell if a 289, 302, or 351 came from a Mustang or not. What does it matter anyways? A 302 that went in a Mustang and a 302 that went into a Torino, LTD, pickup, Cougar,etc. during the same model year are identical.
Except when you get into the late 80s when passenger cars had roller blocks and trucks were still flat tappet.

Find a 87 - 90 302HO. You'll get a roller block, if it only needs a cleanup hone you can run the stock forged pistons. I found mine '90 for $300. With your budget, forget about the 351w, parts tend to be more expensive and you're less likely to find good used parts.
 

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What part of Texas? I'm almost 17 and I'm restoring a 1966 mustang coupe my dad wants me to learn how to do everything and ive been dying to restore one for a long time to and I'm just north of Houston
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What are you planning to use it for (daily driver, street/strip, race)? What kind of hp are you ultimately going for? Planning on a resto-mod or something more like an original?
I would definently be looking to use it as a daily driver, of course I wouldn't mind being able to get on it every once in a while :) It would be a resto-mod as well. And im hoping for anywhere from 300-350 hp. I know it can be done with a little work, im just looking for the most efficient way(s).

What part of Texas? I'm almost 17 and I'm restoring a 1966 mustang coupe my dad wants me to learn how to do everything and ive been dying to restore one for a long time to and I'm just north of Houston
Im down is San Antonio. Not good, not bad...just San Antonio. HAHA
 

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Rebuilding a drivetrain will become more expensive than you initially think. There are also many safety features to consider when planning to use a classic car as a daily driver. Disc brakes, high back seats (or added headrests on low back seats), and 3 point belts are popular upgrades. The most efficient way is to do as much as you can by yourself, but depending on how much of a rebuild you want for the engine, you will probably need to pay a machine shop for something. Also, be prepared to replace a lot of old parts as you go, unless you have a higher initial budget to spend on a car that has been refreshed.
 

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Rethink your budget. More money needed......
 

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Eh, for $2500 you can put a decent dent into the drivetrain. Most 80's model engines usually don't need more than a good rebuild kit, IMHO. Then again, most of my research has been into 68's, and the 66's are worlds different in some area's than I'm used to in terms of fitment and the like. For the money though, refreshing a decent engine's probably the way to go. Only hard part's finding one that hasn't been bored over and worn the f*** out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well the 2500 I was referring to would be put only into the engine. The transmission would be coming later with a different budget. Still think I would need some more cash? There are engines to be had dirt cheap and others that would cost me half a year's pay...at 8/ hr of course. So i suppose it all depends where I start out. Like I said I would like to only spend about 1000 on the engine initially. That would leave me with around 1500 for repairs or upgrades.
 

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IF you are willing to play the "lottery" used engines can be found everywhere. My machine work alone was $1K just to get the crank turned, block bored and all surfaces perfect, pistons swapped on the rods, rods resized, cam bearings and balancing. On corral.net you can find motors guys are pulling out and upgrading all the time. Take your time finding the right deal and you can save a bundle. BUT, you have no idea as to how good of an engine builder you are buying from, or if original how honest they were about describing condition.
My engine is still on the stand with no intake yet and I can easily count up $4K in it. And I still have to get all the accessory drives, A/C compressor, intake, Fuel injection system, P/S pump, brackets powder coated, etc.... So I basically have another $3K to go with the FI system.
EDIT: Dang, I have not even thought about the headers yet. There's another $350.....
 

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Hmmm..... I think it's great to see younger people, take an interest, in wanting to learn, and fix up these classics, and I think you've chosen a wise road, to focus your attention on just the engine, at this time. Since you've explained that your income, is of a restrictive nature, and that your final goal, would be that of a reliable, DD type motor, I would suggest you consider the late 80's, early 90's type 5.0, as well. Take your time, in locating one, as there's a lot of them available, and you're looking for one that has never been rebuilt, or blown-up! Prepare to spend your initial amount, and more, on just the machine work, if required. Make sure to have the machinist check all of your tolerances, and don't get crazy with the "Big Power" attraction, for your first engine. Try to keep it simple, and straight forward. A good place to invest your time, for added performance, would be in mild port work, and matching. There's lots of good study material, on the internet, and in books, to help you with small block fords. However.... Plan out your complete engine build, before buying anything! Find a local Machinist, that's willing to take his time, to review your part's selection, and their compatibility. and is sincere, in his advice!

Have Fun, and Good Luck, with your project!
J.R.
 

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You didn't list your location when you joined up. You might want to fill it out completely since someone here close by might have what you need. Bu tif you are near Atlanta, or want to pay shipping, check out MPS auto salvage. they are a Mustang bone yard dealing with late model cars and have complete 5.0 motors all the time. You can get a stock engine usually for under $900
 

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Does your car have a good running 6 cyl? Those engines do very well with a 5 speed, and some simple mods. If you have an 8, the EFI route is a great mod for this car.
 

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where in Texas are you? Check out westsidemustangs.com for local deals and local help w/ hands on stuff. not a lot of classic guys there but those that are know their stuff.

I will say to find a complete pull out from a 96/97 explorer w/ the real gt40 heads and not the gt40P heads for about $500, put new springs on the heads and put a trickflow stage 1 cam in it, put a weiand xcellerator intake w/ a 750 vac secondary on it and after you sell the GT40 intake you'll come in under $1k.
you can go the 88-91(early 92?) 5.0 HO route and get forged pistons but thats a 10 yr older motor w/ who knows how much more abuse w/ horrible heads.

Any 5.0 factory block after 85 should be a roller block, it just won't have the roller parts in it. 351 blocks are about the same but unless you go stroker a well built 302 will out run a stock 351 $ for $.
 

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If I were you I'd look for a late model roller block. A roller cam is going to be your best be to reaching your hp goals and trying to keep the cost down. That being said, $1000 is a little skimpy for an engine build other than a completely stock rebuild and doing the work yourself. Depending on your location you can probably bet on spending $800 or so on machine work and getting the rotating assembly balanced. The machine work in the most important part of a good build; its the foundation of a build that everything else will be built off of.

For cylinder heads, a set of GT40's or World Products Windsor Jr's would be be a good place to start. I'm not a big fan of used heads as they usually end up costing you more than a new set of heads, but if you can find a lightly used set of Windsor Jr's you will have a decent set of heads for the build. Making sure that you have the proper valve springs for the cam you use will be extremly improtant.

Intake manifolds are a good place to buy used parts. Not much can be wrong with them and they are usually substantially cheaper. The Weiand Xcellerator intake works very well on 302's. The Edlebrock RPM is another good intake manifold.

The other way you can go is build a stock 351w with a warmer camshaft, better intake manifold and headers and you will easily hit your hp mark. Personally, I would go this way as it would be the cheapest option for you.
 
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