Back on the road, first impressions - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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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
Arning drop
Opentracker roller spring perches
Gt coils
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.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, after a few weeks and several hundred miles, I can only say that the more I drive the car the more I like driving it and the happier I am that I made the mods I did. It seems to run and drive better and better every time I get behind the wheel.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:57 PM
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Good lookin car with some great mods. Glad you’re getting to enjoy it.

The anvil of reality.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:34 PM
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KUDOS!!

Allen

My build thread: Allen's Build Thread

My go fast build thread: Go Fast Build Thread
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:34 PM
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Sounds like you're having a great time with your Mustang. And now that we're in spring and headed into summer, I see many more happy miles for you.



I've started a blog about my car and adventures: http://65mustangfun.blogspot.com/

1965 Fastback, 289, Toploader 4 Speed, owned by me since June 1980. Originally a C-code with a C-4. 5R09C16****
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:54 AM
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Nice looking car! Congrats on finishing the swap. The weather is just breaking so many great sunrises and sunsets to enjoy in your Mustang!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:21 AM
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Glad your feeling better, I was lucky enough after my 289 popped that my buddy @Huskinhano took a chance on me a picked up a GT40P for me with out any payment upfront( for the price though it wasn't much of a risk on his part.) I was also lucky enough not to have to do any work to it other than just swapping the cam and changing heads because I got a really nice deal on some Edelbrock aluminum. Point is the GT40P engines are a really nice starting point vs a rebuild I would guess I picked up close to 100HP vs the old 289.
Not sure of this Buick of which you speak ,But after I did the UCA drop and a 1" sway bar and some chassis stiffining and new rear springs and bushings my car was transformed from scary to change lanes to corner carver.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2me View Post
Arning drop
Opentracker roller spring perches
Gt coils
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

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.
Sounds like it really turned out great. I am guessing it will never ride like your Buick but once you really get the feel for it, with a little more tire and brake it will out handle the Buick on the twisties, feel more solid and at home pushing it in the curves.

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback in body work https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/b...e-powered.html and on Facebook @65gtmustang
F150 SCREW Ecoboost as my daily
66 Emberglow Coupe first car,71 Torino GT, 82 Fastback slooooow 6 banger, 71 Boss 351, 85 GT all long gone
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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I can't say that its a corner carver but the handling is way better than it was. Lane changes were...interesting...before, especially quick ones because there was a lot of side to side movement and you really had to pay attention to avoid weaving. Now its much more sure footed and I think probably new tie rods and a steering box rebuild would put me just where I want to be in regards to handling.

I have nothing but praise for the GT40P motor. I reused the explorer cam, which I know is unusual for this group, but knowing that this was going to be a road cruiser and with overdrive and 3.00 gears I wanted power and torque in the lower rpm range. I run about 1750 rpm at 60 and 2200 rpm at 75 on the highway so I think its right about where I want it to be.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:54 PM
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Sounds like a great set of modifications to make the car safe and pleasantly modernized without losing the vintage charm.

1965 Mustang
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 10:25 AM
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Dang, those are almost exactly the same changes we made to the 66 we are working on. Even have the same wheels. We are still waiting on the engine. I was worried the front would be too low but yours looks great.
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