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I've worked a lot recently (for me at least), and I was thinking that it might be fun to do some sort of project on my car. I only have about $1000, and it would be nice not to empty my bank account completely. I was pondering some ideas, and talking with some of the dishwashers, who are fellow "car guys" (and Fords at that). Here are some of the options I've come up with, or the main ideas they had:
1) One of them says to drop in a 427, but my 302 is more than enough power for me, and I don't think it would be cool with my dad anyway.
2) They said I should change it to a manual. I don't have much experience with them, but a little more practice and I'll be fine. How hard is this to do? How much will it most likely cost to put in a T5 or 4 speed? Will it probably be worth it? My C4 has it's own problems, but I don't think it's too bad.
3) Disc brake swap #1, using Wilwood, SSBC, or some other kit. How hard of a task can this be? I don't have much car experience, but if it's not too hard, it could be done by me and my dad.
4) Disc brake swap #2, using a Granada, or other donor car. How hard would it probably be to scrounge up the necessary parts, and how hard of a thing is this to do?
5) Repaint #1. Covering up bondo spots, matching current paint. One of the dishwashers says he has all the things I would need to spray the paint, and his uncle has a shop that I could probably use for a cheap price. He says he painted his truck himself, so I assume he has experience enough to paint my car.
6) Repaint #3. Repaint of car. I would take off all the current paint, do whatever bodywork I can, and repaint it. Either the same color, or a nice blue. Either way, I would try and keep the stripe.
I think these are all the options we talked about, but if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to chime in.
 

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forget the engine, you already answered that one. tranny is going to cost you more then 1000 dollars for sure and the time to learn/buy parts to do it. repainting it, why? if you want someone else to do it, its gonna cost you the 1000 bucks atleast, probably more unless he is a real good friend and doesnt care to do it. not really something you want to do on your own.
break job, go for it. i did the granada switch, cost less then 500 bucks to do. find a good granada switch everything over and buy new rotors and you are set to go. not to much money and it would take some time but not much if you got a clue of what to do.
what about your 302? 2 bbl/4 bbl? done anything to it, maybe add some pep to the engine, doesnt take much do a couple things here and there and kick some arse. if the engine is enough, do the break switch, its nice being able to stop easily.
 

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Either switch to a t5 (less than $1000 if you take your time and go with used parts)

or do a granada or mustang disk brake swap (i recommend 69-73 mustang disks) and a spot fix on your paint job.

I would recommend the second option.
 

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I'm going to go with 2 also. Your going to get alot of that money back in saved gas milage on the freeway and the less wear with the OD. EFI would be an even better upgrade as you would save gas every where but I'm not sure about the costs.
 

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I would go with the Granada swap first for safety reasons and then I would look at a 5-speed or touch up work. A full repaint will cost more than what you have to work with at this time. So maybe a new intake and 4V set up would be a good choice as someone already suggested. If you don't have this yet.
 

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Personally, with $1000:

Forget the engine...too much trouble for now...and you will get nickel and dimed to death

Forget the Tranny...unless someone gives you a really nice T5 for free. It is a great upgrade, but it cost me $800...and I only paid $250 for my T5, but it is a 4cylinder T5...won't work for you, you'd kill it behind a V8.

Brakes: Definitely...do this. Either way, good upgraded brakes or Granada. Personally, I'd go wilwood or SSBC (and that's what I'm doing) vice Granada. Unfortunately the bolt ons will eat up a lot of your money.

Paint: Fix what you can with the money left over from brakes.

Slade
 

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If you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, I'd spend it on general maintenance and safety. Do a really great tune up on the engine. A complete brake job on the brakes you have. Change out the brake fluid. Replace shocks, tie rods, ball joints, front wheel bearings. Get a front alignment. If there is cash left, new tires.
 

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Im assuming since you said your dad wouldnt agree with a 427 your like me, under 18 and still living at home. I faced the same delema a little while back with my first 68, ended up doing a full maintenance thing on, got my a/c fixed and converted over, new shocks, tie rod ends, finished my power steering change over, did some upgrades to my stereo system, did the 2 tone interior I always wanted and then with the money I had left over after that, I went and started in on the engine, just the little stuff like electronic ignition, new battery, put a dual exhaust setup on the car (it was a stock 289 2v but it still sounded pretty good), and then I replaced my radiator. Its just little conviences that I would spend the money on, and if you have enough left over, then spend it on the brakes, it will be the best thing you spend your money on. Also thing about a monte carlo bar and export brace, for around 100 you can get some really great performance out of those parts! Keep us updated on what you decide!
 

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Always do mechanical stuff before cosmetic.

Do a break swap, either Granada or 69/73 Mustang.

Upgrade suspension, sway bars, Monte Carlo bar, export brace, KYB shocks, new springs...
 

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Go for the front disc brake swap.
I did the Granada conversion and have been very happy with it ::
As everyone else has said, do the mechanical stuff first before the costsmetics.
That 5 speed conversion would be awefully nice to have down the road.
 

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I don't think there's anything more important than to be able to stop your car.
Granada brakes aren't a huge improvement over drumss but they are better, more reliable and more consistent. Plusses are that you'll have money left over and you and Dad get change them in a weekend.
If you wan to do this you'll need to find complete Granada spindles in a junkyard somewhere. This stuff will be at least 25 years old so you don't want to just "slap it on".
Use the calipers as cores for trade in. Buy new rotors, bearings, pads, tie rod ends, etc. All the stuff you need should be available at your nearest AutoZone, NAPA, or whatever. You can "build" your brakes on to the spindles as you get the new parts. When you you get ready, then all you have to do is knock off your old spindles and bolt the complete new assembly on. Then to your master cylinder. Some more to it, but it's been covered well on the Forum, various net sites and magazines. Like I said, a weekend should cover the actual installation. You will need an alignment on Monday though.
A "brake kit" should be about the same. The main difference is that can't can't buy bits and pieces of it at your local parts store (or junkyard).
 
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