Back on the road, first impressions
For those that don't know, about 4 years ago I began an engine and transmission transplant in my early 65. In the midst of this, some health problems cropped up that kept me sidelined for a few years. This past winter I was finally able to resume work on the car and even make a few upgrades to the suspension, steering, and brakes.
The changes I made were,
Gt40p motor with fitech efi
4r70w transmission with USshift controller
Opentracker roller spring perches
Pacific thunder adjustable strut rods
Bilstein street valved shocks on all 4 corners
CSRP manual front disc brakes
Scott Drake export brace and MC bar
Opentracker roller idler arm
2" exhaust with custom h-pipe and magnaflow 11224 mufflers
Vision torque 143 15x7 wheels with 215/60/15 tires
I put plates and insurance on it this last Monday and have been driving and fine tuning it all week. Suffice it to say, its a completely different car than what I remember. All of you guys (and gals!) with a tired 289 or 302 that are thinking of a rebuild, the gt40p motor is an option that simply cannot be dismissed. I bought mine from a local junkyard along with the 4r70w transmission for $500. The engine had been stored outside and was completely filthy, so I tore it down and sent the block and heads to the local machine shop to be checked over. They determined that the block needed to be bored and went .040 over. The heads were in good condition and only needed a good cleaning.
So, the only change to the engine internals was the overbore, pistons and rings, and new roller lifters. The difference between the old 289 and the 5.0, even in stock form, is amazing. I think I peed a little the first time I nailed it and roasted the tires through first and well into second with a 3.00:1 rear end.
The fitech seems to work well. I had some problems with it wanting to hunt for the idle speed but after having the exhaust made, I reset the ecu to default settings and cleared all its previous learning and now it seems to be a lot more stable. I think it still has some learning to do, but it idles well and responds well to the go pedal.
Being a junkyard transmission, I had no idea of its condition so I decided to do my very first automatic transmission rebuild and being my first, I messed up and had to pull the transmission again and fix my mistakes. I learned a lot and now I know what the inside of an automatic transmission looks like. The tires turn and it shifts through all the gears so I think I did OK. The USshift controller seems to work well. I don't need a great deal of adjustability since this was never intended to be a performance build so I went with the quick 2 controller. It was quite easy to hook up and the people at baumann controls are top notch and extremely helpful.
The CSRP brake kit was a breeze to install. If you have even a moderate amount of mechanical ability, there's no reason to be intimidated by the swap. The kit comes with everything needed and the instructions are clear and concise. I haven't measured stopping distances but just going by seat of the pants, its a much safer car to drive.
The suspension mods I can't tell you too much about because I haven't been down many twisty roads yet. I can tell you that the ride is much improved. Its not on par with my Buick but for a 65 mustang, its freaking awesome. The roads around here are some of the roughest around and it handles the bumps and potholes without feeling like its going to go anywhere but where I point it.
Sorry for the long post, but I thought I'd get some information and review out there for people that are considering similar mods.