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I'm seriously thinking about buying a '65 or '66 Mustang coupe this spring or summer and would like some input. What I would like to do is find a running car with a 289/302 and drop in a 5 speed and some low gears in the rear (~3.55 or3.73). I',m on a somewhat limited budget so engine mod's will probably be limited to headers, intake, cam, etc, nothing outrageous (yet). Can someone running a similar setup let me know how this would perform? I'd like to run decent e.t.'s in the 1/4 mile but the car will be mostly street driven. I'm curious as to how much these cars weigh, from what i've seen the factory listed it around 2400-2500 lbs, but most real world examples i've heard are more in the 2600-2800 range. Also what are the more common places to find hidden rust on these cars, I don't want to buy anything before checking it out thoroughly for rust. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

P.S. I am really impressed with this forum, and have already found a lot of useful information reading through old threads.
 

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For your rust question, the most important place to look is the cowl. Pour water down the cowl vent and if you see water leaking from behind the dash, you have rusty cowls. This is a pain in the @ss repair. If the cowls are rusty, most likely the floors are rusty. Stick with this forum and you will learn all you need to know.

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Hi, happy hunting. I've found that it isn't the budget that is limited, just when the money is there. I agree with the above on cowl rust, also look at the bottom of the doors, as well as inside the trunk drop offs.
Dan

every man must have a toy
98 Dodge Ram (mobile tool box)
97 Grand Cherokee (family hauler)
66 Coupe 289/c-4 (The Other Woman)
 
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As long as we're on rust... check the lower rear of the front fenders (below the Mustang lettering), torque boxes, and rear frame rails.

Out of curiosity -- why a 65/66?

'67 cpe, daily driver
 
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Well primarily I just like that body style the most but also because I live in Houston and the emission restrictions are starting to get serious around here. I doubt they will start testing anything built before '74 anytime soon but i'd like to stick with something built before '68 just for peace of mind. I really love the look of fastbacks but it seems like they would have a nasty blind spot and in Houston traffic that could be a serious problem.
 

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One spot I find to cause a lot of issues is the front frame rails and the bumper mounting brackets. If you can, see if the bumper mounts actually unbolt <G>. My last car they were pretty much "rust velcro", just pull and they came right off :)!

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1969 Mach 1 ( M-Code)
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On a coupe, another prospective hiding place for rust is the rear window frame bottom. That was actually the second place that rust got hold of my coupe (first being door bottoms, which is almost a given - keep those drains cleared out). It seems, when I lived in Hawaii, that my carport opening faced the sun and 5 years of sun beating down on the rear window rubber took it's toll. Texas may be the same, as the sun would probably have an effect on any rubber, which would shrink and allow water in).

Dan
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If you really like the fastbacks, consider using one of the small, round stick-on wide-angle mirrors in the lower outer corner of the sideview mirrors. That will take care of the blind spot for lane changing. For intersections, just angle the car on approach to move the blind spot out of the way for checking traffic.

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