REQ: advice on '65 coupe restomodding

Hi everyone,
After years of slugging away at an old 6-banger and fixing this and
fixing that, I have made up my mind... I am getting it restomodded.
The car isn't special enough to warrant a restoration and keeping it
original, and I drive it regularly enough during the summer that I want
something more reliable - modern drivetrain and suspension.
I am hoping possibly a few of you here might be able to lend some
- I am hoping for a late model Mustang V8
- not looking for anything over 270-300hp - just becomes too costly to
- something I can dress up with Cobra valve covers
- something that is readily available from a donor car
- something not too expensive
- not looking to drag race but would like to get the most out of modern
5spd stick
- again, I'm happy with a stock setup, I enjoyed my new '96 GT 5spd
- again without going nuts, which GT or Cobra or other rear-end and
what year?
Wheels and tires:
- I am in love with the 2001 Bullitt 5-spoke dark grey wheels
- I don't want to change the profile too drastically, that is, I don't
want wheels sticking outside the fenders, and I don't want too low a
profile, I am hoping for something similar to a standard '65 tire
profile though the 17" Bullitt rims may affect it quite a bit, any
recommendations for tires for these rims?
- I currently have '69 low buckets with headrests and I love them
- I love the '65 Pony interior but not sure I can spring for it yet
- anyone put anything newer in their coupe and have it work nicely?
- I see restomod harnesses on ebay, would figure I probably need an
upgraded harness to handle the electronic requirements of the new
engine... anyone used one of these newer harnesses in an old stang? and
any pointers/cautions?
- I am firm on painting it the original Caspian blue, I have the
Ditzler number somewhere, but would there be a reason not to want an
original colour due to technology in paint types?
- certainly want it clear-coated - or is there any reason not to, or to
choose a specific protective coating?
- really tempted to put white Shelby stripes on the dark blue - just a
thought - it has a white vinyl roof, the striped would be a knockout on
Any other advise...?
I am looking forward to hearing any and all constructive criticism...
and all going well, hope to post progress reports during the winter as
she goes through the process.
Andrew C
Toronto, ON, Canada
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V8 conversion done right requires considerable suspension and drive train replacement.
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can show you what can be donewith the 6.
V8 65-68 mustangs, probably mavericks, maybe granadas and monarchs.
The SN95 17x8in rims will likely rub on the control arms in front and may not even fit on the rear (hit the the leaf springs).
Reply to
I don't see any mention of updates to the front suspension, an area of the first generation car that was notoriously weak. I wouldn't even think of throwing money and effort at any other area of the car before sorting out the front end.
I think there may be a kit of some sort out there that replaces the front suspension with a Mustang II style K-member. But it's a lot of work, and extensive structural modification.
The primitive suspension is the reason I wouldn't ever go back to another first-gen car. (I had 6 of them, so I speak from experience).
< '01 Bullitt, '89 LX 5.0>
Reply to
RD Jones
Hi there,
The car will definitely have complete suspension upgrade... front and back, should have mentioned that.
Being it is a 6 cylinder car to begin with, I know the front end needs a complete overhaul.
In fact, the shop that I visited was doing this type of work to fox body Stangs - I looked at a few of the projects on the go and it was amazing stuff.
Seeing as I want late model Mustang engine and drivetrain, suspension is certainly part of that. But I doubt anything will be coming from older Fords, I don't see the point of that.
In article , RD
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My budget is between $6 and $8K for the work...
I plan to buy up what I can as inexpensively as I can...
it would like run $10-12K total.
The shop I've been talking with has many donour cars from which I hope to get most of the basic components to upgrade the engine, suspension and drivetrain.
I'm not looking for a show car here, just an updated, safe-to-drive, daily driver.
That's why I'm looking at stock parts from 1990s-2000s Mustangs.
Thanks for the link - will make note of some of these options.
Looking for any other advise/links/suggestions...
Reply to
On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 13:51:44 -0400, Andrew wrote:
just about any 302 V8 will do. Good power in a small block V8, and economical.
I'm running a 302 4 barrel. Had it up over 110 on the interstate, no problem passing or integrating from an on ramp. An easy engine to improve upon as funds permit.
I went with the original automatic, although I replaced it with a custom built C4 from TCI.
I've got a stock 8" rearend, which is plenty beefy enough for a 289/302. I would have considered upgrading if I was moving up to a 351W V8 or using a 347 kit. In such a case, either the 9" or the 8.8" would have been fine.
Posi is a definite.
Originals were 13". I am running 16" rims, and a Cobra Dropped front end (1.75"), without any thing else to the suspension (although that will come in the future). My rims are era correct mags from Vintage Wheel Works. I bought a complete set of blems, saved a bundle, and unless you look very close you can't see where there are any blemishes. Tires are Comp T/A P225/50ZR16.
Everything fits inside the wells, front and rear. Did have to adjust front breaklines to avoid rubbing wear. The only problem experienced has been when going over a curb, entering my driveway, going through a depression such as a gutter at an intersection, while at the same time making a turn, then the front left tire rubs on the rim of the fender. There are a couple of fixes for this.
Car came original with front disc/rear drums, to which I added power and dual reservoir.
Steering, I gave in and went with power rack and pinion coupled to a mini
PST traction bars front and rear.
I'm still looking for seats. I'm picky, I want power lumbar and side bolsters. I don't care about forward-back and up-down.
I have not had to do much of anything to my wiring harness, but, I have the V8 to begin with. As I recall, your interior harness is pretty much the same with a couple of subs depending on guage package, etc. Those are available seperately. From the firewall forward, is another harness which is available seperately for the V8.
If you go with halogen headlamps, you will need to upgrade the harness to the headlamps to avoid having your lights sometimes shut off when you least expect it. If you're going to add a bunch of high power stereo equipment, you might want to go to a higher output alternator.
I've got a Vintage Burgundy paint. Clear coat depends. I live in a very high summer heat locale. The clearcoat on my 91 TransAm (sold to purchase my 65" Fastback) broke down in a few short years.
Color choice is totally up to you. Modern paint can dupe original colors. I went with acrylic paint. Time will tell if I made the right choice or not, but it's been 8 years and it's still looking great.
Personally, I prefer to stick as much as possible to era correct and model correct. If stripes came on mine, OK, but if not, I don't add them.
Changes I do make are for safety and comfort reason, such as adding power to the brakes, or swapping out the original am radio for an am/fm/CD Controller. But this is going to be your ride, so do what you want.
I would upgrade the front suspension with a Total Control Coil Over to eliminate the need for shims when doing an alignment.
Due to hot weather where I live, I went to a Heavy Duty "Desert" radiator, and made it a closed system with an overflow tank.
All of my interior lighting, as well as instruments/dash, parking lights and turn signals are now LEDs from The Mustang Project. The bulbs don't get hot, like standard bulbs, they will last a LOT longer, and they draw far less current.
You're welcome to contact me direct for additional information/photos at veegerATsnowcrestDOTnet.
Reply to
D E Willson
Hey Andrew,
Here are my thoughts.
Sounds like a late-model 302 would be the right one for you. Then, if you feel the need later, you can slap on some mild aftermarket heads, intake and slip in cam -- Crane 2040 is good choice -- and you'll have plenty of pop.
I'd advise an early 90's T-5.
An 8.8 would serve you well, and are cheap and easy to come by. .
I like your choice of wheels. I've had good luck with Firestone and now Potenza tires on my Cobra's 17" wheels. You might want to scan the Tire Rack's review section.
If you're going to put some miles on this car, you might be wise to go with a safer [in a crash] late-model seat.
I can only say that staying with the original color is the route I'd go.
I wouldn't. If anything, maybe go with a strip that was stock/ available for your model Mustang.
I think you're right on target for a nice driver.
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