Low-dollar driver builds - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Low-dollar driver builds

"Low-dollar" is TOTALLY subjective, I know! But, I was wondering how many guys out there are putting together low budget cars to just enjoy? After seeing all of the great build threads and killer cars on here I feel that I'm probably in the minority.

I picked up a 66 T code coupe last year that needed rear frame rails, full floor pans, tail panel, floor support and front frame patches. Of course along with a zillion other things. It had a ford falcon 170 and C4 in it. Thanks to some helpful suggestions to folks on this forum, the car is now running, and running well. I've replaced all of the aforementioned sheet metal and put in a different engine/trans. It's not quite road-ready, I need to bleed my new brake system and a few other odds and ends before I go test driving around the block! Anyhow, this car wasn't/isn't worth much, and I don't have much to put into it anyhow. It's a basic 200/3spd drum brake car (twin reservoir master though!) that I plan to putt around in, in primer. I'll probably throw some carpet and door panels in the car eventually! No high dollar paint jobs, no concours level restoration here. I feel good that I'm giving this old girl another life, but I also feel bad that I don't have the experience/cash to build a concours car!

Anyone else doing similar builds?
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'66 coupe T code "Rustang"
'68 200 dual bolt pattern block
'68 3.03 3 spd toploader
Back on the road as of 3/25/17!! A driving shell of a beast.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:30 PM
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Sorta. I daily drove my '67 for 2 years while doing a rolling restoration. It started out as a 200/C4 car and that's how I bought it. But that engine was just gone so I did a V8 swap. It wasn't until this last summer that I actually finished bodywork, got her painted, and put in an interior. Those 2 years was literally just gauges and seats on the inside. She's not even close to concours now but she's a solid daily drivable car.
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1967 Mustang 302 - Build Thread
1976 Triumph Bonneville

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:57 PM
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Most of my car is low budget. My new old engine is a GT40P out of a 97 Explorer. I have a rebuilt long block in my garage that I was originally going to use along with a new set of GT40P heads. I realized if I sold the new GT40P heads I could probably buy a used GT40P for about the same price plus have a roller cam and pistons with low tension rings. The one feature I like about roller cams is it's no problem to put used roller tappets on a used roller cam. They're are a lot of used roller cams cheap. It makes for a cheap and easy cam swap. So I sold the new GT40P heads for $525, bought the motor with the trans and all the EFI stuff for $450. The motor had under 40K miles. I sold the trans as a core for $25, sold the intake and EFI stuff for $150. Now I had a motor and made $225. Bought a used Mustang 5.0 cam for $60, used 1.72 roller rockers for $115, used Wieand Stealth intake for $80, used Edelbrock 600 for $100. It runs great. Even my dual exhaust system I bought used. It was off a trailer queen that the owner was restoring back to original and that meant a single exhaust. Believe that? This is how I operate most of the time. Most of the money I spend comes from selling scrap metal and literally picking pennies off the floor. It all adds up and keeps domestic harmony in the house.

Of course I have spend some good money on a complete Street or Track front suspension. That was worth every dime. I saved money by learning to do my own alignments. So I didn't spend money at a shop for that and I got it exactly how I wanted it! Priceless.
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I'm not a complete idiot, pieces are missing.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:06 PM
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Believe that? This is how I operate most of the time. Most of the money I spend comes from selling scrap metal and literally picking pennies off the floor. It all adds up and keeps domestic harmony in the house.
You've got the right idea! It's always worth it to sell old parts. Anybody I spoke to said it would be near impossible to sell my 6 cylinder rear end, front 4 lug drums, worn out UCAs, whatever. It's $20 here, $40 there, and you'll have it on CL for two months but a couple text messages and a 30 minute interaction is worth the $20 you can reinvest in the car. I had someone drive from San Diego to pick up the front drums. Someone paid me to ship out the UCAs for a Boss 429 restoration.

Not every part can be saved but it's always worth it to me to throw it up on Craigslist for dirt cheap. In total I've probably made $400 off of old parts.
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1967 Mustang 302 - Build Thread
1976 Triumph Bonneville

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:08 PM
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I hope mine turns out that way doing all the work myself saves a lot,floorboards are strong but rusty so Chemprime or Por and carpet and you wont see them she will live in the shop and be a good weather driver in Texas biggest budget for me paint which again I will do myself but materials add up quick for paint.

1966 Mustang Coupe 289 in progress
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:41 PM
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That's always been my approach - spend a little on the car every now and then but drive it. When I bought it nobody was looking at the 302 equipped 69s - everybody wanted Machs. I drove the car immediately after I purchased it - I just changed the battery and stuck fresh gas in it. I've since rebuilt the engine but no expensive aluminum heads - I just found some cheap GT40Ps. I ported the heads, polished the crank, deburred everything, etc, etc. Then I rebuilt the suspension after I got some good advice from Tom. Now I'm looking at replacing the headliner since mine was falling down but I stitched it back together by hand just to get it out of my eyes. I still get a lot of looks from people as I go down the road - just this morning a girl in a Prius was taking photos while I was driving down the interstate.

david
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69 Winter Blue 302 Fastback w/ Original Paint

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
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You've got the right idea! It's always worth it to sell old parts. Anybody I spoke to said it would be near impossible to sell my 6 cylinder rear end, front 4 lug drums, worn out UCAs, whatever. It's $20 here, $40 there, and you'll have it on CL for two months but a couple text messages and a 30 minute interaction is worth the $20 you can reinvest in the car. I had someone drive from San Diego to pick up the front drums. Someone paid me to ship out the UCAs for a Boss 429 restoration.

Not every part can be saved but it's always worth it to me to throw it up on Craigslist for dirt cheap. In total I've probably made $400 off of old parts.

Someone actually wanted the six rear end?!

I just can't come to throwing it away, so it's just sitting there with the drums.

Wife,........."You drove how far for that thing?"
Daughter,..."Theres no inside and it stinks."
Friend,......."Dude, thats a rusted piece of sheet."
Son,.........."This old car is cool."

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 06:46 PM
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In 1995 I had a '50 Merc that I never drove for fear of scratching the paint. I wanted a '66 Mustang Vert to run-a-round in. The phrase "babe magnet" came up an SWMBO nix'd it.

Laid low for a coupe of years, on my daughter's 16th birthday I bought her a '66 Vert. Michigan Car, Michigan Rust. 200/3sp $2,500. She drove it for a couple of years and I promised her that "if she got straight A's and accepted to Engineering School I'd buy her a new car for HS Graduation. She did, I did.
1999 Cougar $20,000. I didn't want her driving to college in an old car. Son drives the 'stang for a couple of years. Takes it to Rust-Busters in Detroit. $14,000 to fix the rust, didn't do THAT!.

Found a '66 Vert on the internet. No engine, got one. No Trans, got one. No rag top, got one. California Car = NO RUST $4,500 + $900 hauling. Bought it based on the pictures. So I was going to do what I was going to do - a low-ball restore, take everything off and put it back on THE NEW ONE.

So now I have two '66 verts and no place to work on them. So I built a 36x40 pole barn $18,000. SWMBO says "if you get to spend $18,000 then I get to spend $18,000, and THEN its HER turn to go first! Add-on a sun room $16,000 and then a front porch $15,000.

So I'm at $2,500 + $20,000 + $4,500 + $900 + $18,000 + $16,000 +$15,000.

I have $76,900 in my Little Red 6 Banger. A low-dollar driver build.


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:43 PM
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Someone actually wanted the six rear end?!

I just can't come to throwing it away, so it's just sitting there with the drums.
I do. I've been looking into rebuilding my 6 cylinder rear end but so far so good.



Driving a stock Mustang is like driving a sofa. I'm Real Good at driving sofas!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:18 PM
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You aren't. I've had my 69 coupe ten years now (I'm 29). I drive in the summer and upgrade in the winter. Every year except for 2 whole years that it sat while I was in school (barely had the money for gas in the daily driver let alone fun). It isn't perfect. I got a cheap paint job at a mom and pop shop while they were slow. I put a 5 speed in it and did a mild build on a 302. I have plenty left to do. But I believe if you make it too nice, you'll be afraid to drive it. I'd rather put my 3 year old son and wife in the car and go to the park or cruise around than sit at a car show for 8 hours anyways- alot more fun to drive!
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:58 PM
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I think my 66 is probably about as low budget as any. I've reused old parts, bartered,Traded,Built my own stuff Ect.
The most money I've spent is on the Rebuilt T-5 and Rebuilt 8" center section. The engine short block was giving to me it was as nasty as you can imagine(maybe even worse)1 Wrist pin was almost seized I Spent countless hours cleaning it. Reused the old cam bearings used the oil pump from my previous 289 New rings rod/crank bearings and a new Jegs House brand cam. This car has a lot of parts transfered from my 1st 66.
When it came time to do something about the vinyl roof peeling off I used 4 cans of spray on bed liner for texture then 5 cans of plasti dip over that for a nice feel.
It's funny people ask "hey what year is that?" I always say "what part?"
93 T-5
76 Granada front brakes
90 Escort mirrors and wiper arms
84 Mustang GT seats
07 Ford Ranger rims
70 Mustang gas cap
65 dash pad (in it when I got it)
87 Crown Vic master cylinder
67 Style Radiator (only new and aluminum)Champion
Kid I used to work with gave my the H4 headlights from his Jeep
64 Thunderbolt hood scoop
soon to have 65 Shelby pitman/idler arms
Rear gear ratio probably from a pinto/Mustang II 3.40's
79 Mustang Distributor/Duraspark
96 Ford Explorer 3rd brake light
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Last edited by 2nd 66; 03-20-2017 at 09:10 PM.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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Someone actually wanted the six rear end?!

I just can't come to throwing it away, so it's just sitting there with the drums.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 66conv6 View Post
I do. I've been looking into rebuilding my 6 cylinder rear end but so far so good.
Aren't they pretty much a dime a dozen, why do you need another?

Wife,........."You drove how far for that thing?"
Daughter,..."Theres no inside and it stinks."
Friend,......."Dude, thats a rusted piece of sheet."
Son,.........."This old car is cool."

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:16 PM
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Two words you'll have to remember and utilize when the opportunity arises... especially if your plan is to take it out whenever the weather permits. You'll run into a lot of people who'll give you the thumbs up, no matter what condition the car's in. Then there's the people who'll criticize you because it's not a V8, or a 4-on-the-floor. When you run across these critics at the local Dairy Queen or filling station, just respond, "WHERE'S YOURS?"
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69 Convertible, 351W, T5, E-Brock Performer 351-W intake, Performer Plus cam, Holley 4160, power assist, dual exhaust, 4-wheel manual drums.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:00 PM
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Lots of good stuff here. The resources at your disposal are time and money. I personally had more time than money, so I used what I had. Had it 8 years til I got a $1,500 paint job. Had it 12 years before I bought a wrecked 85GT, swiped the roller 5.0 and T-5 out of that and parted out the remains: free driveline. You see where this is going.

The best advice I can give you is to keep it running as much as possible. Having a 50 year old paper weight when it's pretty outside is a good way to lose the passion.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Israel View Post
Someone actually wanted the six rear end?!

I just can't come to throwing it away, so it's just sitting there with the drums.
Yep. Had it on there for $60. Sold it for $50. I made some money and it's no longer sitting on the side of the house taking up space.
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1967 Mustang 302 - Build Thread
1976 Triumph Bonneville

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