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I have been taking time off to try different combinations of what can be done with my car and I have been thinking of using a v8 289 I already got. Or thinking of switching to a 250 I can look for. Or use the most extreme option of using a Barra 6. I asked before for some build ideas, but with a much much greater budget, but bringing myself to reality I feel that 10 to 15 is something I can truly afford. I would also like to switch it to manual regardless of the engine. I also have decided to build it myself and get tools when necessary. The build in general I realized I want to focus kind of like a Baja look and feel or one that will be killer on the backroads or in the city. What can I do with a budget and my car that just needs performance mods as the appearance is next to perfect for me. I am willing to buy junkyard parts too but I feel its hard to find parts that can work as I don't know what parts are compatible. I have also looked at using donor cars like an old sn95 or foxbody, but still don't know. I would also love to keep this car as it was my first car and want to make it my car to keep as I have no plans of selling it. Any suggestions I am open to as now I can begin to focus on the building aspects of a car as before I had too many other things to worry about. Thanks for reading and ready to start experimenting.
-Andrew
 

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This is tangentially related: In the period before I joined this forum (less than 1 year, active), I was always under the impression that EVERYONE who could, would convert their 6cyl cars to a V-8 (289 or 302 or even 351, and more recently to the 5.0). Keeping, or even just installing a larger 6cyl was never a consideration.

HOWEVER, I have noticed that a 6cyl is a popular choice -- although I have not seen anyone change out their V8 to a 6cyl.

What are the benefits of the 6cyl, besides fuel economy, and besides accurate restorations? (I would guess that very few classic Mustang owners use their cars as daily drivers -- more as weekenders or occasional driving.)

Just curious about this trend I just started noticing -- likely this has been going on for decades, and I'm just aware of it....

Thanks.
 

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The 200 and 250 are especially plentiful and durable with a nice flat torque curve, 7 main bearing caps and very long lasting with good swaps and aftermarket support. They just don't have a reputation for revving very high but a good street gear for the grunt and an overdrive for the highway are a popular choice. All that can be had without upgrading the front steering, suspension, and rear axle, unless you're building to an extreme, and if your brakes are well maintained you can leave those in place though I am fan of front discs to resist fade in stop-and-go, repeated hill descents, or the track.
For a V8 conversion, because of the weight, you'll need to check all the boxes for goodies above. But, there's a lot to be said for a hairy V8 under the hood.
 
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The 200 and 250 are especially plentiful and durable with a nice flat torque curve, 7 main bearing caps and very long lasting with good swaps and aftermarket support. They just don't have a reputation for revving very high but a good street gear for the grunt and an overdrive for the highway are a popular choice. All that can be had without upgrading the front steering, suspension, and rear axle, unless you're building to an extreme, and if your brakes are well maintained you can leave those in place though I am fan of front discs to resist fade in stop-and-go, repeated hill descents, or the track.
For a V8 conversion, because of the weight, you'll need to check all the boxes for goodies above. But, there's a lot to be said for a hairy V8 under the hood.
Thanks. Good, and logical, rationale.
 

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I know it may be considered petty, but IMO you just can't get a 6 cyl to sound like a healthy V8. Granted there have been a few that come close and sound 'ok', but.....
 

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First car and first project car? Keep it simple, keep it driving. If you blow it apart to build your dream car, it will be several years before you drive it again. And you will change your mind on the build along the way...so run what ya got, make improvements, and have fun. If you want to go V8, accumulate parts now, and do future swap when you have more tools, more knowledge, and more money.
 

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I think I’d clean/paint/polish everything I could to get it looking how I want then re-evaluate. Then overhaul the brakes and find 14” wheels if you have 13’s. I once did a 170 to 200 swap in a ‘60 Ranchero. That pumped it up. Then I added a little 2v carb, open element air filter, messed with the timing and put 2” exhaust pipe and a glass pack on. It sounded ok. Not like a V8 but pretty ok. It was also noticeably quicker than the 170. First, though, I got it cleaned up and looking good. Oh, I put in a floor shift and found a ‘glass tonneau (both junkyard sourced) too. Don’t need either in the Mustang but you get the idea.
 

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Doing a V8 swap is a lot more involved that just swapping out the engine and transmission. You've got you replace the rear axle and steering gear and spindles. I bought a half finished swap when I was 19 years old and I learned a lot about that project. Also, yes, you have to do this suspension swap or you will break a 6 cylinder spindle under the weight of the V8. I speak from experience.

The Barra swap is a cool idea, but it can easily break your budget and be super frustrating waiting for parts on the slow boat from Australia. Also, I can almost guarantee no one in the states has done this swap, so you're going to be blazing a new path.

Or you can go with the 250 like you suggested, but swap out the head for a crossflow head from Classic Inlines - 250 Cross Flow head swap. You'll get more power out of it, have better exhaust and induction options. There are a bunch of people in the states that have already done this, so you'll have some resources available if you run into issues.
 

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Barra would be cool, kinda hard to find in the states though.
yep, this is true, however i have been considering an upgrade for my falcon while keeping a six in the car, and using a 2.8l volvo six. some come with two overhead cams, and turbos as well. the nice thing is that they are aluminum blocks and heads, and they are about the same size as the original ford six, though perhaps a bit taller due to the overhead cams, since they were designed to fit in a front drive/awd configuration. the nice thing is they make a ton of power in stock form, and can be built for more if you so choose. and dont forget that ford owned volvo for a while, so it isnt as much of a sacrilege to make the swap.

that said, andrew the first thing you need to do is sit down and decide what you want from car, and make a plan accordingly. also double your budget, depending on what you are going for.
 

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Or you can go with the 250 like you suggested, but swap out the head for a crossflow head from Classic Inlines - 250 Cross Flow head swap. You'll get more power out of it, have better exhaust and induction options. There are a bunch of people in the states that have already done this, so you'll have some resources available if you run into issues.
for anyone considering the crossflow head swap on a US block, read that article VERY CAREFULLY. yes it can be done, and it does produce great results, BUT it does require a fair amount of machine work, a new cam from australia since no one here sells a similar cam, among a load of other details. it also requires that you fabricate your own intake and exhaust manifolds, the intake especially since the front intake runner would interfere with the stock distributor.

dont get me wrong, i like the crossflow head swap, and still consider doing it from time to time on my 170.
 

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I would keep it 100% original. What is your vin #? As an early car, it is worthy of restoration.

I am in the process of swapping in a 250 for a 200 in a 67. It is less work to replace a 200 with a V8, in the end a V8 swap cost less as well.

The 250 can use or uses the same radiator, head, distributor, carb, valve cover, alternator, pistons and cam as the 170/200. Pretty much everything else is different. The back of the block uses the 6-bolt 289/302 bell housing. The flywheel or flexplate and torque converter are 250 specific as is all the accessory brackets that bolt on the front of the engine. The water pump is 250 specific. The dampner is 250 specific and is not reproduced. A rebuilt is around $100, you must supply the core. With AC, a 250 weighs nearly what a 289 weighs without AC or PS. In a 64.5 there are no engine mounts for a 250 you must modify Maverick mounts. Hood clearance is a huge issue. The only 250 specific headers are Hooker 6602, they havent been produced for many years, a used set will run you $500+. 200 headers hit the starter, even a small mini starter, I have heard some 200 headers will fit a 250, but I have not seen any myself. Headers will not work on a 170/200/250 car with AC without modifying the AC mounting bracket.

In short, if you cant live with the 170 or 200, a V8 swap is way easier, costs less and increases the value more than a 250 swap. Ive been searching for all the necessary swap parts for my 250 for about a year. Im pretty close, but it has been a daily internet search and some parts are crazy expensive. The mentioned 6 cyl aluminum head is $2000 + the carb + exhaust. Summit sells a 235hp 302 crate engine for $3200 complete carb to oil pan with free shipping and a 30 month warranty.
 
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Well, you could do it in stages.

Start with safety.
  • Add 4-bolt front disc brakes. Careful kit selection will allow use of stock 14" wheels.
Then go with handling. Full, GT style suspension with-
  • GT-rate front and rear springs
  • HD shocks
  • 1" front sway bar
  • Export brace
  • While doing the front end work, perform the Arning/Shelby drop, for a dramatic improvement in handling.
Performance
  • 2" GT dual exhaust, with dual headers. Make sure the shop creating the connector between the exhaust and headers installs an H-style crosstube. This enhances sound, power, and mileage.
  • T5 5-speed transmission. Improves acceleration and mileage.
Once that is done, you can consider engine upgrades or replacement with a 200, cam, special carbs, etcetera.

There's also a wide variety of aluminum wheels available, for both appearance and performance.
 

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First car and first project car? Keep it simple, keep it driving. If you blow it apart to build your dream car, it will be several years before you drive it again. And you will change your mind on the build along the way...so run what ya got, make improvements, and have fun. If you want to go V8, accumulate parts now, and do future swap when you have more tools, more knowledge, and more money.
Gawd, truer words have never been spoken, and, yes indeed, I have spoken these true words....
...but adhered to them , despite knowing the perils???
Gakkkk!!
Imma dummy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The 200 and 250 are especially plentiful and durable with a nice flat torque curve, 7 main bearing caps and very long lasting with good swaps and aftermarket support. They just don't have a reputation for revving very high but a good street gear for the grunt and an overdrive for the highway are a popular choice. All that can be had without upgrading the front steering, suspension, and rear axle, unless you're building to an extreme, and if your brakes are well maintained you can leave those in place though I am fan of front discs to resist fade in stop-and-go, repeated hill descents, or the track.
For a V8 conversion, because of the weight, you'll need to check all the boxes for goodies above. But, there's a lot to be said for a hairy V8 under the hood.
I will be completely honest that I have no idea what 7 bearings vs 3 bears mean. I have looked into but still am lost. I want to get a 250 because it can be made to produce some good torque, but finding the engine seems kind of hard because I would prefer to pay under 1000 for one or a junk car with it.
 

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I know it may be considered petty, but IMO you just can't get a 6 cyl to sound like a healthy V8. Granted there have been a few that come close and sound 'ok', but.....
Yea I understand but I feel the cost to make it a v8 outweighs it and at that point I might as well by a fastback with a v8.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
First car and first project car? Keep it simple, keep it driving. If you blow it apart to build your dream car, it will be several years before you drive it again. And you will change your mind on the build along the way...so run what ya got, make improvements, and have fun. If you want to go V8, accumulate parts now, and do future swap when you have more tools, more knowledge, and more money.
The thing is I can do really what I want and don't need it to be driving because I already have another car as a daily for rn and want to make that a fun daily, canyon carver, track car, etc.I also have many parts on it wearing out so I will need to change it none the less.
 

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my suggestion is then to keep this FB, build as 6, then buy a second FB that is V8! Honestly 10k seems like a lot, but you can burn thru that quickly on a paint job alone. Putting a 250 in seems like a good idea for cool factor, but is not cost effective at all. You would be better served dropping in an explorer GT40, 5 speed, a set of gears, and disc brake kit, or bumping up the 6 to a later model 200, add a T5, gears, and duraspark. I’ve got cars w/ multiple engine trans combos and love them all.
 
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I will be completely honest that I have no idea what 7 bearings vs 3 bears mean. I have looked into but still am lost. I want to get a 250 because it can be made to produce some good torque, but finding the engine seems kind of hard because I would prefer to pay under 1000 for one or a junk car with it.
Uhoh, you are about to enter into the vortex that will suck your time and money dry.
You can get a fool proof kit and install a much more modern Mustang 5.0 fuel injected engine, buying the engine for $500!
210+hp. Prob more economical than your 6cyl, plus HP. And with great accessories, like 95amp alternator, AC compressor, etc, in one $500 purchase.
Watch out!
Do you want an original resto, or are you willing to go restomod.
Either way, there will be regrets.
Life's a beeyotch.
 

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In my humble opinion, before I did anything else, I'd go through and replace when necessary, the following:

1) Radiator - might as well get the largest 2 core aluminum one that will fit, and electric fan(s)
2) Brakes - Master cylinder, disc brakes on front, rear is fine either way, replace brake lines, check wheel cylinders, bearings, drums
3) Gas tank, fuel lines, sending unit, etc.
4) Suspension - upper and lower arms, ball joints, tie rod ends, idler arm, shocks, and springs if necessary
5) Steering - who needs all that slop and play, replace steering box
6) Electrical - lights, gauges, turn signals, wipers, horn
7) Interior - Seats, Stereo, Subwoofer, etc.

Ok, now you have a car that is safe and ready to make the decision on the motor/tranny/rear end combo. And they all have to compliment and be compatible power wise to each other. Be aware of the weak link in the chain.

Enjoy!
 
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