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Old 01-30-2012, 08:18 AM   #1
shifterss
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1966 Mustang Hardtop project in progress

I am currently a high school student and my dad and I are fixing up a 1966 Mustang. It has a 351 windsor in it right now, but my dad wants to exchange it for a 289 because he thinks that the 351 will have a little to much horsepower. Any opinions? I'm also trying to decide what size tires/rims to put on it. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'll upload pictures of the car later. We've gotten most of our parts from Shifters Galore because they have pretty good prices and ship pretty fast. Also would like opinions on interior and exterior colors. Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Re: 1966 Mustang Hardtop project in progress

A stock 351 with auto should be ok in that car unless you beat it up. Upgrade to disc brakes and the proper size 15 in wheels would do, I assume 5 lug wheels?
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: 1966 Mustang Hardtop project in progress

Welcome to AF. Thats a nice project!

I do not understand the engine swap theory.

Too much HP? Why? Is this a safety thing because he thinks you will drive the whiz out of it and kill yourself? If yes, then simply drive it with a mature, law-abiding attitude.

At your age, I was building a '79 Mustang that was decently fast. But I drove it relatively conservatively because I did not want to break or wreck the car in which I had put so much of my own effort and hard-earned money. IMHO getting involved in fixing a car is a great way to encourage mature driving attitudes.

It looks as if the 351 engine has been modded. If it is a radical engine (lots of revs, high-end power, noise etc) you can easily de-tune the engine by installing a mild-spec camshaft. This will decrease peak HP, increase low-end power and torque, smooth-out the idle and generally make for a much more pleasant-to-drive (but less powerful) engine.
Very quiet mufflers will help too, slightly less power but a more comfortable driving experience.

Finally, vintage 289 engines are getting pretty rare these days. Some 289 blocks use a 5-bolt bell-housing, not the 6-bolt pattern that the 351 uses. So if you were lucky enough to find a correct 289, you might also have to swap the trans....... or get an adaptor, if they are available.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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Re: 1966 Mustang Hardtop project in progress

maxwedge - We just put disc brakes on it. You think that 15 inch wheels would be good? My dad believes that they would be kind of small, but we have some that we got from a junkyard that we are going to try out and see how they look.

magicRat - The headers that we have are a pain to get in and out, it took a couple days just to get them out and we cut out part of the inside of the car to make more room, so which headers would you suggest for cutting down on the noise? I don't think he's going to get rid of the 351 now because he's going to want to drive it sometimes and he'll want as much horsepower as he can get out it.
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