Manual vs Automatic - Muscle Car ? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Manual vs Automatic - Muscle Car ?

I would like some of your opinions this. Currently my 65 is what I would consider a hot rod / muscle car with a 4 speed toploader. I enjoy the manual transmission for fun factor. My wife has decided that she enjoys this antique auto hobby as well and has mentioned that she wants one. Originally this car was meant to be for both of us but she drove it once and didn't enjoy driving it with manual steering, manual brakes and the hp/old 4 speed combo. She can drive manual well but these older units are a bit different. I also have a 1953 IH pickup in the garage. I hate to sell the Mustang because it works so well and I've taken quite a liking to it, but I am considering selling it and building a car with ps, pb and automatic. It would still have plenty of hp but she is ok with that if she has these options. I'm hesitant to just add another vehicle for a few reasons. I would need to build another structure to store it, upkeep/maintenance/time, ongoing cost, etc.

So my question is, is there any kind of auto transmission that gives you some fun factor similar to the manual? I know nothing about auto transmissions in these old muscle cars. Slap shift, this shift, that shift, shift kits, etc., etc., etc. Or is it really all just the same as a new car where you put it in drive and go?

1965 Coupe
351W - ~400 Engine hp
Edelbrock Performer RPM Top End Kit
Holley 670 Street Avenger
Bored .30 over
Hooker Headers
MSD Box/Distributor
4 Speed Toploader
3.55 Limited Slip Detroit TrueTrac
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 10:41 AM
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Why not add ps, pb, and auto to the car you have? As far as auto transmissions, there are plenty of good shift kits for the C4 trans that will make it bark the tires shifting to second and third. If you want to get fancy and go with a computer controlled overdrive transmission, I know that us shift has controllers with provisions for paddle shifters as well as the the ability to program your own shift points as well as shift firmness. Lots of possibilities.


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1998 5.0, fitech efi, holley in tank returnless pump
4R70W transmission with USShift quick 2 controller
3.00:1 8" open rear end
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 11:06 AM
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I'd add electric PS, PB and a modern 5/6 speed manual transmission. Install the hydraulic clutch and you've got all the amenities of a new car. And no there is no replacement for a manual transmission, I've had ratchet shifters and bad a$$ shift kits but there's just something missing in an automatic car.

Scott

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 11:34 AM
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I second @Redneckgearhead. Although, I personally dont see much of the advantage of power brakes unless their anti-lock. My car doesnt feel too much different in pedal stopping power than driving my F150 but i digress.

EPAS is where it's at though. Add a T5 and a Tilton throwout or some other hydraulic clutch pedal setup and it'll be much more enjoyable to drive for her. Remember, real cars dont drive themselves.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 11:44 AM
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I love my C4s built well because I cruise. My family has 4 wheel drives and a Trans-Am with a 6 speed. I had a truck with a 5 speed and it got OLD. If my auto craps the bed, I'm going with a custom AOD. I don't want computer-controlled anything in my 50+ year old cars. That's why I have 50+ year old cars. Getting older, the manual is fun for a little bit but then I'm ready to hold her hand or my 44-ounce drink. Taking the kids to school in the car line, the food or bank drive thru, or cruising the strip on the coast isn't fun with a hand-shaker.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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+1 on the 5spd (T5 or TKO) with hydraulic clutch, adding electric PS and PB. I converted to Electric PS and itís one of the best changes Iíve made. Definitely recommend.

What did she not like about driving the toploader? Stiff clutch pedal? Stiffer gear shifts?

Iím sure thereís middle ground. Keep the stick, just might have to be updated so your wife can enjoy, and you donít lose out on what makes the car fun.


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-Chris

'68 Mustang
347ci that has a lot of neat stuff in it
T5 manual trans, alum driveshaft, 9" w/3.70 gears
Suspension parts from SoT, Global West, Maier Racing, and a few others. Works for me!
TCP manual rack (love it)
EPAS (Love this the most)
VWW V45 wheels (like these too)
SoT 13" brakes (stopping is good)
And I finally got a paint job!
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:22 PM
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Looks like you're going to have a few options...

1) Convert everything on your car to power and an automatic at great expense and lose the ability to bang gears.
2) Buy another car that is suited to her and need to build a new structure to store it at even greater expense.
3) Buy more of a beater muscle car that has the options she wants, store it outside and get to wrench on something new in your spare time.

1965 Mustang
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueovalfan68 View Post
+1 on the 5spd (T5 or TKO) with hydraulic clutch, adding electric PS and PB. I converted to Electric PS and itís one of the best changes Iíve made. Definitely recommend.

What did she not like about driving the toploader? Stiff clutch pedal? Stiffer gear shifts?

Iím sure thereís middle ground. Keep the stick, just might have to be updated so your wife can enjoy, and you donít lose out on what makes the car fun.


Sent from the interwebs

At this point I can't really remember. That was 2 years ago she drove it. Her biggest complaints were ps and pb and her preference is automatic.

Another thought is if I kept the Mustang and bought her another car I might be able to get out of building a structure by parking 2 of the vehicles on wheel dollies and having them all slid together closely. Any of you ever do something like this? Seems like it might be a pain in the rear to move them around and off the dollies just to get out for a quick run around the block though.
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1965 Coupe
351W - ~400 Engine hp
Edelbrock Performer RPM Top End Kit
Holley 670 Street Avenger
Bored .30 over
Hooker Headers
MSD Box/Distributor
4 Speed Toploader
3.55 Limited Slip Detroit TrueTrac
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:45 PM
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Probably just a phase for her, she might not have any real interest then you've turned your car (or bought another one) for nothing. There was one point where my wife "wanted" to drive my C10. We've been together 16 years, she's driven it once.

Want her to really enjoy Mustangs? Get her a super nice 2011-2013 V6 Premium Pony Package Mustang. Cool looks like the older ones, 300 HP, most are autos, super clean cars can be found for under 10K. If it was a failed experiment, a year later, it's still worth almost what you paid for it.
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1965 Mustang C Code Coupe 289/T5/3.25
1967 Chevrolet C10 350/700R/3.73
1968 Pontiac Firebird 400
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:09 PM
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I have been working on my 70 Mach 1 restomod for almost 2 years now. My transmission choice was largely dictated by the donor 2017 Mustang GT I bought primarily for the Coyote. Ford Performance then introduced the controls pack for the Coyote with the 6R80 AT. The 6R80 is a very robust transmission capable of 1000 HP stock some say. I liked the idea of paddle shifters with the AT, so I went that route. I changed direction a bit when Lokar introduced a sport shifter for the 6R80. So instead of the paddle shifters, the shifter can be put in sport mode and shifted manually, cool. The build is still in process so I can't speak to how the car drives, but with PS, PB, AC, and 6-speed AT, it should be an entertaining package. As I have aged, the third pedal has lost its appeal. Given I can manually shift the 6R80, I think the fun factor will still be there yet I can leave it in full automatic when stuck in traffic. I know the vintage Mustang was never supposed to be like this, but it will be one hell of a driver. The only real drawback has been cost. Even with getting a bargain on the donor GT, the build is likely $10K more already than I expected.

Many 69 Camaro Pro Touring builds use automatic transmissions, I guess the time has come to put one in a Pro Touring Mustang.
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http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/bu...mod-build.html
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65 Pony View Post
Probably just a phase for her, she might not have any real interest then you've turned your car (or bought another one) for nothing. There was one point where my wife "wanted" to drive my C10. We've been together 16 years, she's driven it once.

It's not a phase. She had a 1976 Corvette Sting Ray when we first got together and she decided to sell it for cash when we were buying our first house. She misses it. We have been going to a lot of car shows lately and she is interested in it and rides with me a lot in the Mustang. She just wants something that is not rough around the edges.
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1965 Coupe
351W - ~400 Engine hp
Edelbrock Performer RPM Top End Kit
Holley 670 Street Avenger
Bored .30 over
Hooker Headers
MSD Box/Distributor
4 Speed Toploader
3.55 Limited Slip Detroit TrueTrac
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 04:05 PM
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IDK, I think trying to make one car suite two different personalities is a recipe for problems. My wife spends her disposable income how she wants, and I spend mine, we never force a joint solution. Either get her a driver quality Mustang, or see if a T-5 / hydraulic diaphragm clutch ( dual-friction ?) would suite her ( I think that would be the easiest shifting MT option ).

'65 A-code coupe, T-10 4-speed, 8" 3.25 limited slip
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 04:26 PM
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I love the Mid-Year C3 Corvettes (1973-1977). They are great cars. Bodywise, 1977 was the last good year for the C3 with the fastback roofline. They killed it in '78 when they went with the Glassback roof... but the '78's and '79's make great Parts cars!...lol...

I owned a Near Mint White with Red Interior 1977 Model once around 1990... What a well built and great car. It was lots of fun, but not very practical.. You can barely fit a Pizza behind the rear seat... Any Groceries rode shotgun....still, I owned it for quite a few years and enjoyed it. I would not mind owning another '73-'77 C3 again...not at all.. They all have Posi-Rear too....and you can easily "hop-up" the stock 350 with some Edelbrock goodies...

)

Tony K.



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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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Happy wife, happy life. Mama sold the Vette to buy a house? She may be due another car.

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289 w/AFR 165, T-5z, 3.55T-loc, Granada Discs and 6 bolt Moto-Lita Steering Wheel
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrowles View Post
At this point I can't really remember. That was 2 years ago she drove it. Her biggest complaints were ps and pb and her preference is automatic.



Another thought is if I kept the Mustang and bought her another car I might be able to get out of building a structure by parking 2 of the vehicles on wheel dollies and having them all slid together closely. Any of you ever do something like this? Seems like it might be a pain in the rear to move them around and off the dollies just to get out for a quick run around the block though.


Wheel dollies would work. I personally have not done it. The compromise seems to be adding PS and PB, with an updated MT. But maybe a car for her is in order... the wheel dolly option isnít bad honestly...


Sent from the interwebs

-Chris

'68 Mustang
347ci that has a lot of neat stuff in it
T5 manual trans, alum driveshaft, 9" w/3.70 gears
Suspension parts from SoT, Global West, Maier Racing, and a few others. Works for me!
TCP manual rack (love it)
EPAS (Love this the most)
VWW V45 wheels (like these too)
SoT 13" brakes (stopping is good)
And I finally got a paint job!
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