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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
This project is a v8 swap for a 66 coupe that I just purchased which already has a great paint job and some new wheels but is otherwise pretty a basic stock T code.
The paint appears to be the original color Nightmist Blue and is in really good condition. It looks like a lot of bodywork was done during paint, likely including replacement fenders and maybe even quarterpanels based on the lack of rust, filler, wrinkles or any other signs of life in the upper Midwest for over 50 years. This is exactly the starting point I wanted as I have no desire or skills to do bodywork, but otherwise look to replace or refresh the entire powertrain.

I’ve been researching my modifications for months and have the long lead time items on order now as outlined below:
  • Engine: crate 347 from Tri-Star in Wisconsin, target 400HP, upgraded to full roller cam. Chad helped walk me through all options and is very responsive on follow up questions, great guy.
  • Transmission: T5z kit from MDL. Going with hydraulic clutch actuation. These guys know everything you need for a swap and can provide it all.
  • Rear end: 9” with 3.70 gears from Quick Performance.
  • Front suspension: SoT coil over kit with street tuned Bilsteins. Spoke to Shaun, super helpful and knowledgeable!
  • Rear suspension: refreshed with new 1” drop 4.5 leaf springs and some Bilsteins from SoT to match the fronts.
  • Brakes: Wilwood Dynalite 4 piston 12.19” all around with parking brake in the rear. Wilwood master cylinder, non powered with 15/16” bore as per Wilwood recommendation.
  • Steering: OEM v8 manual set up, combination of new links/arms, OT roller idler, and some very good condition 67 spindles from MustangBob on Ebay (great guy that also spoke to me for a good while about v8 swaps and what to look out for).
  • Chassis: subframe connectors, TBD.
  • Wheels/tires TBD, not looking to tub or roll fenders.
  • Exhaust is TBD, still researching.
Here is the starting point as purchased:
767621


After day 1 of disassembly. I've got a bit of rust to deal with on the radiator support, but not too many bad surprises so far.

767622


I am aiming to be on the road in May 2021 and looking forward to advice along the way from the massive base of experience here at VMF. Parts are starting to show up and I will do my best to document as I go. I plan to do all the install labor together with my son. We have several books and with VMF and Youtube, what could go wrong?!?

Soon to post up take offs including barely used 4 lug wheels/tires and then the entire i6 powertrain.
 

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Your starting point looks like an Ending point.

Welcome to the board, I'll be following.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Your starting point looks like an Ending point.

Welcome to the board, I'll be following.
Only from the top, I can assure you!

There was no love underneath this one for a long time.

To set expectations, I won’t be impressing anyone with my welding and metal fab skills but this should still be a nice transformation done with wrenches and other tools of the mortal man.


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You'll be surprised what you can learn from the many members here.

Anything that needs to be done, Someone here has already done it, and will walk you through the steps.
 

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Dimples
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Great start, this'll be fun to watch.

Edit: since subframe connectors are on the list, I would also suggest torque boxes. Not absolutely necessary, but a nice addition.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #6
Great start, this'll be fun to watch.

Edit: since subframe connectors are on the list, I would also suggest torque boxes. Not absolutely necessary, but a nice addition.
Looking into torque boxes, thanks for the suggestion. That will require some serious welding and I am a "day one" beginner! However, I am planning to get a MIG welder and had 50A 240V put into shop for it. My son took a welding class last year so we will practice enough until we are ready to go on the car. I know the subframe connectors will require it any maybe we will get to the point where we can take on the torque boxes.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #7
Day two progress was good, ready to pull the engine/trans together now. I had a to cut off the old rusted exhaust, doubt anyone would want that so I did not hesitate to go for the hacksaw. All but two nuts & bolts came out/off with some help from rust penetrating spray. However, I did learn where a breaker bar gets its name as I broke off both trans mount bolts. Later found that I could take off the trans to mount bolts and now the back of the trans is free and ready to come out.

After carefully capturing all of my antifreeze with the radiator removal I made a nice mess when I cut off the heater hoses. I can't believe the hoses penetrate the firewall, looking to get the extended tube core that will save me that mess next time!

I may not get to the engine until tomorrow, today is the dreaded end of boating season and I have to pull the boat and clean it up and tuck it away 😢
 

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Dimples
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Looking into torque boxes, thanks for the suggestion. That will require some serious welding and I am a "day one" beginner! However, I am planning to get a MIG welder and had 50A 240V put into shop for it. My son took a welding class last year so we will practice enough until we are ready to go on the car. I know the subframe connectors will require it any maybe we will get to the point where we can take on the torque boxes.
I was a complete novice a couple months ago too. Now my daughter’s coupe has torque boxes and subframe connectors. :)

Just required some patience. Trimming and fitting was more challenging than zapping some welds on there.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #9
I got sidetracked with other things today so no motor pull. However, I did make a decision on my steering box after speaking to Dan at Chockostang. Staying with 5 turn OEM box and ordered a rebuilt unit from him. After watching some videos on rebuilding the steering box I am happy to leave that that to an expert!


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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #10
The engine and trans are out. It was pretty hairy and I had my doubts about the chain location/balance as it was hard to get enough angle to clear the radiator support, which did take a few hits. Next is to separate them onto two pallets for disposition. With these out of the car I can move onto the removal of the suspension and steering.
767916
 

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Looks like those new wheels are 4 lug, so they will need to be sold and replaced with 5 lug of your choice.

Have you done a cowl water test yet? Hopefully not an issue, but with the engine out, if you need to do it now is the time.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like those new wheels are 4 lug, so they will need to be sold and replaced with 5 lug of your choice.

Have you done a cowl water test yet? Hopefully not an issue, but with the engine out, if you need to do it now is the time.
Yes the PO put on some new wheels and tires in 2018, I have the receipt. I doubt they have even a hundred miles on them, shame that they have to go.

I have to admit I have not yet come across the cowl test in my seemingly countless hours of research for this project. Clearly I have plenty more to learn! I will wait until the carpet is out and may give it a shot.

BTW I see you are in the Prescott area. I lived there 2 years and plan to be back someday for retirement. We still have family there and visit a couple times a year. Jeeps were my hobby at that time, so many places to go with one. I will add a Mustang to that now for when I want to stay on the pavement.


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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #13
Back at it after two weeks away from the house, disassembly is proving difficult despite liberal use of rust penetrant spray.





One of the cross member bolt broke off, not too sure how I am going to solve that! Any ideas welcome otherwise I will try to drill it and use a bolt remover.




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Heat the broken bolt until it turns orange, let it cool and heat it again. Do this 3 or 4 times to break the rust bond with the captured nut inside the frame rail. It will be easier to drill then. You probably noticed on the bolt that didn't break that those are unique bolts with a taper under the head.
 

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1966 65A K 22, soon to be v8 swapped
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, will try that out. I am dreading getting that bolt out.

Another surprise, the PO drilled for the Shelby drop but not accurately, the front hole is about .050” too high. I will have to check with Shaun at SOT to see if I can use the lower holes as they are or if I need to swap to the UCAs that use the original holes.




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